Why Legion Used That Epic Dance Battle In Season 2

Legion Season 2 david haller
(Image credit: FX)

When characters square off in a TV show or movie, they often engage in an epic battle of major fisticuffs. Not Legion. In Episode 3 of Season 2, there was a mind-blowing sequence that saw David (Dan Stevens) utilize the dance floor as a psychic battleground against his nemesis Farouk. So why didn't viewers get a scene with fists and furniture flying across the room? Legion showrunner Noah Hawley explained everything in a behind-the-scenes video for FX. This is what Hawley said:

I don't find action for its own sake to be interesting. So, how do you show conflict between characters in a way that feels fresh or interesting? And we reveal that David is keeping secrets. We realize now that he met with Farouk before he went to Division 3. You can do that scene in a fight sequence or a chase sequence---any of that stuff which is very standard for this genre. I just don't find that that interesting. I just decided to make it more metaphorical. This dance battle as I thought about it, like is it a courtship dance? Is it a fight? So this idea, this very peacocking, posturing, rams butting heads, that kind of thing, which, in the language of dance is so great.

In the behind-the-scenes video posted on FX's YouTube page, the cast also talks about the elaborate preparation required for Episode 3's dance sequence. It is a scene that required intense preparation. Dance scenes are often as complicated as fight sequences, as both require a deceptive amount of work to make the final product as staggering as it is. Will Legion start a trend towards characters confronting each other through the power of dance? Anything is possible.

Comic fans are used to seeing large-scale battles between foes, so the dance sequence offered them a taste of something different. As Legion's Dan Stevens points out, dance has been a component of the series before. This new take on dance as a means of existential confrontation is an interesting approach to the material. Whether fans will welcome the epic dance battle as a future trend remains to be seen.

It is unclear if the next episode of Legion Season 2 will include a dance battle. Given what is shown in the promo for Episode 4, it seems that Syd (Rachel Keller) and David will be working together in some capacity.

One thing is better known. The work that went into building Episode 3's intricate dance sequence was quite rigorous. It involved a lot of moving parts, including the choreography having to express the script. The actors also had to execute the emotion behind their character's dance moves, all the while syncing their movements to those of the backup dancers at certain points. And, Legion's composer, Jeff Russo, had to arrange the music to fit the dance, which obviously played a huge role in the finished product.

Behind-the-scenes videos like this give you an appreciation for the level of work that goes into a briefly seen, crucial scene, and it is even more extensive than fans may realize. You can watch the entire behind-the-scenes video below:

Legion Season 2 is far from over. David's story continues with Episode 4, which is entitled "Chapter 12." It premieres Tuesday, April 24 at 10 p.m. ET on FX. Curious about what else is coming up on FX? Find out, with our guides to TV's midseason and summer premieres. If you are craving more superhero shows, we have you covered there too. Check our guide to the new and returning superhero series coming on TV in 2018.

Britt Lawrence

Like a contented Hallmark movie character, Britt happily lives in the same city she grew up in. Along with movies and television, she is passionate about competitive figure skating. She has been writing about entertainment for 5 years, and as you may suspect, still finds it as entertaining to do as when she began.