Just when fans thought they'd unraveled the mind-bending intrigue of Noah Hawley's Legion, the showrunner has revealed that Season 2 will begin with a time-jump.
Legion was a superhero show like no other. It explored the world through the eyes of David Haller, Charles Xavier's son. Believed insane by the rest of the world, David had actually fallen prey to the Shadow King. Season 1 saw David gradually realize that he wasn't crazy after all; instead, he was powerful. But the first season ended with David captured by an unknown force.
Speaking at the Television Critics Association panel, Noah Hawley revealed that he has a smart plan to retain the sense of mystery. Season 2 will jump forward in time by one year, and kick off with a rescued David. "I didn’t want to go in season two it’s all clarity all the time," he explained during Legion's TCA panel (h/t /Film), "So we built in a time jump." It's a smart call; the first season was compelling viewing precisely because of the show's sense of intrigue. Viewers had to work out what was real and what wasn't, and it took time for fans to get used to David's perception of reality. As Hawley added, "I think that’s the fun of the show, the mystery of trying to figure things out."
It seems Season 2 will be something of a reset. The first season was the story of an insane man in a sane world, but Season 2 inverts that. The Shadow King has been loose for a year now, and seems to have made his mark on the world. So much so that Hawley explained he's studied mass psychology in order to produce this season. "Mental illness can also be cultural in a way," he noted, "So those issues were interesting to me."
Now David has been rescued, he must find his place in this changed world - and he'll face huge issues.
"Issues of trust and in terms of who exactly has rescued him, what have they rescued him from. Is he a force for good or evil? Either way, is he being used? What does that then turn that into? Which team does he end up playing for is always at play I think. that’s really heightened this year."
From a narrative concept, this is an intriguing decision. It means that David will be struggling with the passage of time. He'll be playing catchup, and viewers will be learning along with him. As the series progresses, he'll have to decide just who he is in this world of "heroes" and "villains." The love story will be what draws him to the good path, but that might not be enough. "It's not determined yet where he'll end up," Hawley cautioned.
In the comics, David Haller is one of the most fascinating X-Men characters of all. He's among the most powerful mutants ever born, and can literally rewrite reality at a whim. Haller started out as a terrifying villain for the X-Men, a mutant who was completely out of control. Over the years, David has transitioned to become a hero, and in Simon Spurrier's X-Men Legacy run he even sacrificed himself to save the world. Marvel Comics recently announced a new Legion miniseries, so the character's return is imminent.
Although Noah Hawley's Legion has taken inspiration from the comics, Season 1 saw it take a very different path. Hawley abandoned the concept of Dissociative Identity Disorder in favor of something subtly different, more akin to Schizoaffective Disorder. The series ultimately revealed that David wasn't insane after all, but was actually a victim. Now he's free of the Shadow King's influence, will he become the hero the world needs?
Legion season 2 premieres on FX in April 2018.
Source: Noah Hawley (h/t Slash Film)