[Note: This post is full of spoilers for the Legion season one finale. If you’re not ready to discuss the episode or read over some of Noah Hawley’s and Dan Stevens’ thoughts on the episode, maybe go watch the Fargo season three trailer again, so you can still be in the Hawleyverse?]
Okay, now that only the people who want to be here are here: Legion’s inaugural season reached its shocking conclusion tonight, with David finally ridding himself of Lenny a.k.a the Shadow King—or has he? After all, Lenny’s shacking up with Oliver now, and the two head off on what’s bound to be an awesome albeit frightening road trip. And Lenny doesn’t strike us as the kind of parasite that loses gracefully. We’ll be speculating about Noah Hawley’s mind-bending take on the world of superheroes for at least the next year or so, which is roughly how long we’ll have to wait for a new season, according to Hawley. The Legion creator spoke with reporters earlier this week about the finale and what lies ahead for the Summerland group. David Haller himself, Dan Stevens, also fielded questions about what might have been his Patrick Stewart impression, and whether his mutant character is finally on firm ground.
First, the practical stuff: FX renewed Legion for season two last week, which Hawley says should arrive in February 2018. The second season will likely comprise 10 episodes, and it may even take its new Los Angeles environs into narrative consideration. Also, there’s no need to worry about Jemaine Clement returning as Oliver—Hawley says “we’ll see a lot of him going forward, which makes me very happy.”
Legion’s mostly operated outside of the X-Men universe (comic and cinematic), but Hawley addressed the connections that have been made. He and his team are in no hurry to introduce Professor X, but he reiterated that it’s not out of the realm of possibility. As for whether Melanie’s statements about evolution and humanity’s decline were intended to evoke Magneto’s firmly held beliefs, Hawley said ”it wasn’t her intention, other than to say that [they] need a sense of perspective of the way the universe works.” It’s simply that the humans in Division Three think they’re ”at the top of the food chain, but now there’s something higher. So [they] should be a little less arrogant and more willing to work with” the mutants.
And what about the Equinox, which the new Division Three chief threatened to unleash upon the group? Is it a weapon? Hawley declined to comment while also suggesting that we might have seen the thing in action, if we watched up through the post-credits scene. That’s the same advice Stevens gave reporters earlier this week: “I would encourage people to sit through the credits, so they don’t miss the final beats. There’s a big question I would like to see answered next season.” That question being, presumably, “where the hell am I going?”
When The A.V. Club asked if David’s seeming calm at the end of the season is just the lull before a storm, Stevens said, “It could be. I think certainly some questions have been answered, but I don’t think all have been.” He elaborated that the rest of David’s story is “still very much up in the air. One of the interesting narratives, is the idea of the stories that we tell ourselves. We’ve been told he’s schizophrenic, and that’s really affected his life. So there’s a weird kind of adolescence that he goes through in the course of that season. He’s not on as concrete ground as he might seem at the end of this season.”
The actor went on to describe the ”experiential effect” of the show, before addressing our question about his impression of David’s dad. Was there a bit of Patrick Stewart thrown in for good measure? Not so much, Stevens said: “I wouldn’t go so far as to say it was a Patrick [Stewart] impression, but it made us laugh, the idea that idea’s rational self would be British. American David thinks it’s funny that his dad might be British. I’m pleased that that bit sounded a little like him, but I’m not sure I was going for that.”
As for whether season two will introduce a new antagonist or pit the Summerland team against the Shadow King again, Hawley said that he likes ”this idea of having to face our demons, and the idea that in the first season, that was an internal struggle for David.” But now there’s “an exterior agent,” so ”there’s going to be something so complicated about going to war with yourself. This thing has been with him since he was a baby; it’s a phantom limb. It’s been a part of him. We’ve now created a villain for David that’s worth building a whole story around. It makes for a potential showdown that we’re really invested in as an audience, instead of a villain a year approach.”
Finally, regarding just how far ahead he’s planned, Hawley said “I have a story that I want to tell, but I haven’t gamed out on an episodic basis how long that is yet. I think that there were things about the first season that I thought would unfold faster, and things I thought would take longer that I dealt with quickly. I’ll have a better sense at the end of the second year than I do right now.”