FX’s Legion panel at WonderCon 2019 kicked off with an exclusive look at the upcoming Season 3, which the network has stated will be the show’s final season. The clip was from the new season’s opening episode.
The lengthy footage starred a new addition to the cast in Season 3, Lauren Tsai, who plays a character named Switch. The clip didn’t have a lot of dialogue or many clear connections to the story as we know it, although we can infer some things. We essentially followed a day in Switch’s life: She eats breakfast with her father via teleconference on the screen of a 1960s style TV (the show remains era agnostic, as always), she goes to school, she listens all day to an audiobook called “Lessons In Time Travel.”
In the footage, we only got one glimpse of her using that power–as she encounters increasingly strange coincidences throughout her day, including mysterious flyers posted around the city, she eventually tunes a radio to a specific station to catch a secret message. Having missed it by seconds, she draws a line in the air, and the scene apparently rewinds a few seconds to her plucking the radio from a closet again. A voice tells her without ambiguity: “Follow the yellow bus.” And the voice sending the message? It sounded a whole lot like Dan Stevens’ protagonist-ish hero-turned-villain, David Haller.
The bus led her to a back alley door leading into a bright white room filled with racks of clothing, shifting desks, and singing hippies. After a funky musical number, the desks all shifted together to form a tunnel. As Switch crawled on her hands and knees, she passed through skyscrapers, office buildings, a forest, a ship, the bottom of the ocean, and more, the scene shifting around her in a kaleidoscope of weirdness. Finally, on the other end, she was greeted by an unfamiliar woman, and the scene ended.
Tsai shared during the panel afterward that this is her first work in scripted entertainment. “It’s crazy for me to watch it now,” she said. “I’m really excited for you all to see and get to know Switch. It’s going to be a very interesting season, and it’s been a crazy time of learning for me.”
The panel included Tsai and Stevens, as well as Amber Midthunder (Kerry), Jeremie Harris (Ptonomy), Navid Negahban (Amahl Farouk), Aubrey Plaza (Lenny), Rachel Keller (Syd Barrett), Dan Stevens (David Haller), Marvel Television’s Jeph Loeb, executive producer Lauren Schuler Donner, and creator Noah Hawley. They spent the first part of the panel reminiscing about how they started on the show, and various moments from the previous two seasons.
For example, Plaza said she wasn’t initially interested in the role of Lenny, a character who was originally written as a man. That was until Hawley told her that her character would eventually be killed, and her body taken over by a psychic mutant.
They did tease a few extremely tantalizing details, though: Legion Season 3 may be the show’s last, but it might not be the final collaboration between Hawley (also known for FX’s Fargo) and Marvel. Loeb himself raised the prospect of Hawley working on another Marvel show, or even something else within the Legion universe–eliciting cheers from the crowd.
“[Legion Season 3] is the end of this particular story,” Loeb teased. There’s a lot to potentially read from that statement, including the real possibility that Legion will somehow continue after the end of Season 3. Unfortunately, that was the extent of the tease.
Hawley also spoke at length about ending the story of Legion–or at least this chapter of it. “In looking at a story about a character who is mentally ill, there was a sense of kind of the path of the illness and recovery that [David] goes on,” he said. “I feel like where we left him at the end of the second season, again at his lowest point, there’s only two ways that he can go–he can either get back to a healthy place, or he can go off the bottom of the map. And once we decided which one of those he’s gonna do, it felt like the end of the story, because otherwise you start the loop all over again. But it’s not an easy decision to end a story.”
“Obviously it’s bittersweet, but a story has no meaning without its ending,” he continued. “And the old paradigm of television was, major corporations don’t usually do a mic drop after a success–you have to keep going, and there’s something about being allowed to tell a story, where the length of the show is dictated by the length of the story, that makes television better.”
Besides being Legion’s alleged final season, Season 3 will also introduce a beloved X-men character: Professor Charles Xavier, who’s being played by Game of Thrones’ Harry Lloyd. When an audience member asked what other Marvel characters they’d like to fold into Legion’s world, Stevens issued his own tease: “You might be pleasantly surprised by Season 3.”
Lastly, a question for Aubrey Plaza at the end stole the show, as far as any Parks and Recreation fans in the audience were concerned: How would her character April Ludgate react to being possessed by Legion bad guy Amahl Farouk? “I think she’d like it,” Plaza said. “I don’t think she’d be very different. And she’d probably be better at her job. And she’d probably kill Jerry once and for all.”
Legion Season 3 premieres on FX this June.