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Dan Stevens Discusses LEGION’s Mind-Bending, Reality-Defying Romance

Editor’s Note: this post contains spoilers for Legion’s second season—proceed at your own risk!

On a show like FX’s Legion, it should surprise no one that the most traditional part of the series—its central romantic relationship—would slowly become its most bizarre. Only on Legion would the idea of reality, potential futures, and general multi-dimensionality get in the way of true love and happily ever after. Because we’ve got at least two Syds on our hands—or, at least, two versions of the same person, torn into multiples and thrust across David’s plane of existence, thanks to the hallucinatory dreamscape of clusterfucked philosophical rumination that is this show.

(That’s a compliment, by the way.)

“When looking at superpowers in these sort of paradigms,” actor Dan Stevens explained, “there’s always the evolution; the baby giraffe stage of not really knowing how to wield these things and then there’s that sort of flush of ego. There’s still a lot of internal conflict in David.”

Conflict that only heightens the confusion he feels in his relationship with Syd (Rachel Keller). In the wake of the Shadow King escape and the subsequent hunt in season two, no one really knows where they stand with David—not Syd, in ANY iteration, and not even David himself. And now that we’ve learned it was she that went and scooped up our boy (but from the future) in the season finale, it’s about to get even weirder as two versions of the same person vie for his affections.

“Everybody assumes that this externalization [of the Shadow King] means that everything pretty straight forward,” Stevens posited. “David’s now on our side, everything’s going to be great and we’ll solve this war situation—but it’s never that simple. … Anybody who gets into a relationship with somebody like David has to assume a certain amount of license with the truth, or certainly a kind of perception of reality. But in some of these situations it seems that David is flat out lying and even he’s not sure if he’s telling the truth some of the time.”

And that goes especially for his relationship with Syd, which has, arguably, obfuscated David’s mission to find the Shadow King’s body—particularly now that there are two versions of her running around, telling him what he should or should not maybe do. “There’s a micro-macro sort of expansion going on,” Stevens quipped. “There are multiple versions of people that we encounter in this season, which complicates things.”

He went on to add, “It’s sort of interesting to talk about the Syd relationship because as things get more mature in terms of the level of the relationship, and the sort of deepening of that kind of relationship. On a macro level things get even more epic … which is fascinating to play with as well, sort of yo yo-ing between those two things for David is quite kind of—what’s the word?—whiplash inducing.”

But that yo-yoing has its consequences. No matter how strong the mutant, no human could be expected to take so much of what David’s dealing with in stride, which is perhaps where the mental health concerns come into play.

“David starts to feel that maybe he’s being used a bit as a weapon, and that maybe nobody was actually interested in him after all, it’s actually really his abilities, which is an interesting take on that kind of predicament. And he certainly runs up again some characters whom he can’t fully manipulate in the way that he seems to be able to manipulate most people, which that’s an interesting obstruction and it gets very annoying [for him]. … Some of the rugs have been pulled away.”

Legion airs on Tuesdays on FX. Are you watching? Let us know in the comments below.

Images: FX

Alicia Lutes is the Managing Editor, creator/host of Fangirling, and resident Khaleesi of House Nerdist. Find her on Twitter!

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