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Legion begins its third and final season this week, and with eight episodes to go its title character is, as usual, in a place where it feels like anything could happen.
The final season of Noah Hawley's trippy sci-fi series, based on the Marvel Comics following the mutant David Haller (Dan Stevens), begins with David as a cult leader, living life as a "love junkie" in a commune of followers while he tries to hatch a plan to undo all the pain he wrought in the previous two seasons. Season 2 ended with David ditching his friends, including his girlfriend Syd (Rachel Keller), after they confronted him over his actions, but now he's got an idea that he hopes will make everything all better. For his plan to work, he needs to recruit Switch (Lauren Tsai), a time-traveling mutant who's been searching for him as well.
Thus begins a journey that has the potential to move the show forwards and backwards in time all at once as David looks to his past to improve his future. Speaking of the past, perhaps the most highly publicized addition to the show for Season 3 is David's long-lost father, Professor Charles Xavier (Harry Lloyd), who will finally make an appearance and connect David to the broader X-Men world. Speaking to Collider about the final season, Stevens explained how that connection will work within Legion's own strange universe.
"The bubble of Legion is, even in the comics, is quite tangential to a lot of the main X-Men narrative. Whenever Legion shows up, things get really weird, really quickly, and a lot of worlds are turned upside down, sometimes literally. We have always been quite comfortable in this odd pocket," he said. "It’s nice, in this three-season structure, to finally have a string that ties our crazy balloon to the main raft of the X-Men stories. I think that will be satisfying for people who know and love X-Men and Legion. It’ll also make anybody who’s watched the show – and there are quite a few people who’ve watched the show, who have no knowledge of the Marvel of it all – curious, and it might cause them to go and watch some other X-Men-y type of things. Having surprised so many people with the unique look and style of the show, to bring it back to that universe is quite fun and satisfying."
Though David's daddy issues are a big piece of Legion's resolution, the heart of the final season is still David's conflict with himself, particularly after his full-on supervillain turn at the end of last season. As Season 3 begins David is convinced that, more than ever, he's simply a misunderstood good person who happens to have the ability to erase any pain he caused. Even if he can go back in time and undo the things he did, though, does that make him a good person? He can change events, he can change memories, but can he change who he is?
Stevens insists it's not for him to decide whether or not David is redeemed by the end of the series, and even if it was, he can't spill many details right now anyway. What he can do, though, is offer his feelings on the upcoming series finale, and how it wraps things up.
"I thought it was beautiful. It’s not too redemptive, in any way, but it does bring the story to a resolution, which gives it sense and meaning. I knew where it would end up, but how it got there, and specifically in that final hour, is really delicately done, very beautiful, and quite hopeful and sad. I think it will be wonderful. It’s nice to feel that the story has an arc, and has an end."
Legion returns tonight at 10 p.m. EST on FX.