On FX this Wednesday, the Season 1 finale of Legion continued the Marvel Cinematic Universe's tradition of airing bonus sequences during or after the credits. The Legion finale mid-credits scene both provided an agonizing cliffhanger and teased the possible introduction of a major character from the X-Men comics. "When we shot that, of course, we weren't sure if we were going to get a Season 2," Legion star Dan Stevens tells reporters about the sequence in a conference call ahead of the finale. But fans of the newest Marvel TV series will likely be very glad that Legion did get renewed for Season 2, considering what happens in that mid-credits scene.
When the credits started rolling on the final episode, everything seemed to have come to a surprisingly tidy conclusion for our heroes. David saved everyone from Division 3, Syd saved David from the Shadow King, and, although the Shadow King lived on and attached itself to Oliver Bird instead, even that particular development felt less shocking and more like a neat set-up for Season 2's conflict. But given how chaotic and subversive most of Season 1 was, we should have known it wouldn't be that easy, and that there was one final twist in store.
As David and Syd were on the balcony of Summerland enjoying a brief respite after their victory against the Shadow King, the pair was approached by a floating orb. "I think it likes you," Syd joked as it hovered near David. But after scanning David's body, the orb somehow… absorbed… him, trapping him inside and carrying him off to parts unknown while a helpless Syd could only watch. What the heck?? What just happened, and what does it mean?
While this tag may seem totally random and inexplicable to more casual viewers, diehard X-Men fans may have some clue what's going on here. While nothing about this mid-credits scene is confirmed yet, the floating orb that carries David away seems like a pretty direct reference to the Silver Spheres. These are objects introduced in the 2000s animated TV show X-Men: Evolution, which none other than supervillain Magneto uses to capture the X-Men and bring them to him, as well as to transport his own team of henchmen around.
Granted, there are some differences: On Evolution, the Silver Spheres are human-sized and can actually, physically hold a mutant within them; on Legion, the mysterious orb is much smaller and seems to somehow digitally scan its subject and then teleport a miniaturized version of them inside itself. But the similarities between floating silver globes that capture mutants are too striking to ignore.
Between this clear reference to Magneto and the many allusions made to David's father, Professor X, in Amahl Farouk's backstory in "Chapter 7," does this mean that Legion is finally going to start introducing more characters from the X-Men comic books in Season 2? (In Season 1, the only pre-existing characters from the source material were David Haller and the Shadow King; everyone else was an original creation sprung from the mind of showrunner Noah Hawley.)
"It's certainly possible," Stevens tells reporters about the likelihood of seeing some more recognizable X-Men in Season 2. "It's been fun teasing certain elements throughout Season 1, and I'm sure there will be more of that." Of course, the actor wouldn't go so far as to confirm that Legion will introduce either Charles Xavier or Erik Lehnsherr (the men more commonly known as Professor X and Magneto) — he may not even know the details of Hawley's future plans yet, since Season 1 is just ending — but he admits to being just as intrigued by the cliffhanger as the rest of the audience.
"How are we going to put a button on this but also maybe tee it up for another [season]?" he says about the intention behind the sequence. "I like the seasons of any show, really, that hang on a bit of a knife-edge, that come with kind of a resolution, but kind of a lot of confusion. It's a really fun beat, and it continues to be as playful as the rest of the season was."
But, what Stevens may consider playful, Legion fans may consider infuriating, as that whopper of a cliffhanger is going to make it even harder to wait for Season 2 than we already thought.