Legion season 3

I could try to describe the clip that kicked off Friday night’s Legion WonderCon panel. I could attempt to explain how creator Noah Hawley uses colors, how Lauren Tsai’s character, Switch, moves around her world wearing bright red headphones and a yellow fur-like coat. Or I could talk about how the scene’s different languages and sounds are integral to Switch and her surroundings, whether she’s listening to a voice giving her time travel lessons, telling her things like, “The present is not just a date, it’s a feeling;” “Nostalgia is your enemy,” and; “Time is a jungle filled with monsters,” or hearing the static of the radio as she tries to tune in to station 89.1 to find out about an orange fish.

Or maybe I could mention how she’s following the advice listed on flyers stapled to telephone poles, flyers that tell her to find the pregnant virgin and to not trust the mustache. Or that she ends up following a red double decker bus full of women in bright yellow dresses to a place odder than the oddest clothing store you could imagine, where reality bends like a kaleidoscope and employees burst into song as she crawls through a human-sized hamster tube that tunnels through different planes of existence.

Or maybe I could just sit there, slack-jawed and wide-eyed as I clutch the discordantly mundane Legion baseball cap that each audience member received to my chest. Legion is entering its third and final season, and we’re in store for another unbelievable experience.

Season 3 is Just as Weird as the Others

“I feel like a rodeo rider that’s just trying to hang on,” the moderator admitted right after the clip aired and right before he called the panel guests onto the stage, who included show creator Noah Hawley along with fellow executive producers Jeph Loeb and Lauren Shuler Donner, and cast members Dan Stevens, Rachel Keller, Aubrey Plaza, Navid Negahban, Jeremie Harris, Amber Midthunder and Lauren Tsai.

The panelists agreed with the moderator’s assessment, with Dan Stevens saying each script gave him “a warm thrill of confusion,” and Loeb describing how Hawley explains his vision as “someone trying to tell you what a duck looks like if you’ve never seen a duck.”

Based on the footage, however, it’s clear that Season 3, like the two seasons before it, will be an impressively odd duck. It’s the show’s oddness, its focus on creating a state of mind instead of merely moving from plot point A to plot point B, that makes it unique. You can’t just watch Legion – you have to let go, to allow your brain to settle into Hawley’s carefully crafted and utterly confusing world. There’s nothing else like it, and while it’s certainly not for everyone, it has a core group of fans and critics who don’t want to see it end.

Legion is Ending Because the Story is Almost Done

Hawley appears to have been the one to make the decision to end the show after this season, and he explained his reasoning during the panel:

“Looking at a story about a character who is mentally ill, there was a sense of a path of the illness and recovery that he goes on. We meet him in the hospital, he’s at his lowest point…he leaves the hospital, everything’s going great. He stops taking his meds and then he starts to spiral. 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 decide which one of those he’s going to do, we felt that was the end of the story, because otherwise you just start the loop again.”

And the end is imminent for the cast and crew, who are currently filming the last of Season 3’s eight episodes, and shot the final scene the night before the Friday evening panel. “It’s bittersweet,” Hawley admits. “But a story has no meaning without it’s ending…there’s something about being allowed to just tell a complete story where the length of the show is dictated by the length of the story. It makes television better.”

And while Legion is coming to a close, it’s clear that Loeb is eager to get Hawley on board for another Marvel TV production sooner rather than later. If that happens, and what show that would be, however, we can only guess.

Season 3 of Legion will premiere on FX later this year.  

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