Dan Stevens as Noah Hawley
“Legion” creator Noah Hawley said that the extra hour of the show’s sophomore run was mostly comprised of scenes they already filmed. FX/Suzanne Tenner

“Legion” creator Noah Hawley has shared how the last-minute additional episode of the FX show’s Season 2 came to be.

In a recent interview with Business Insider, Hawley said that the extra hour of the show’s sophomore run was mostly comprised of scenes they already filmed.

“I had found over the course of the season that this show doesn’t want to be long,” Hawley said of the Dan Stevens-led series. “With ‘Fargo,’ we were long sometimes because there’s a lot of story to get across. With ‘Legion,’ because of how much we’re asking of the audience in terms of the fantastical nature of it and the non-linear storytelling and the surreal elements, it felt to me the more concise these episodes were the better. So, there were some elements that ended up on the cutting-room floor over the course of the season.”

“A lot of them surrounded [actors] Jean Smart and Jemaine Clement [who play Melanie Bird and Oliver Bird] and that relationship and how he came in and got into her head to seduce her,” continued Hawley. “She has this big turn where she goes over to the dark side, and when we had cut all that stuff out and I watched that big turn, it just didn’t mean enough. We hadn’t earned it yet.”

Hawley said that he came to that realization while filming the finale. “We had written a whole series and were filming the ‘finale,’ and I just felt, looking at it, that there was a critical piece of story that was missing, and nowhere to fit it in.”

Aside from the Melanie-Oliver scenes that were previously cut, Hawley told Entertainment Weekly that they also used scenes featuring the other supporting characters to complete the extra episode of the season.

“We [also] take the material that had Aubrey [Plaza] in it with the tweaked apartment and how she gets to the desert, and then we got the Kerry-Cary (played by Amber Midthunder and Bill Irwin) material, which shows how they got to the desert,” Hawley said of the additional scenes that made it to the extra episode. “And then we … cut it between the episode where [Stevens’ David] and [Rachel Keller’s Syd] are wandering in the desert in the episode where the action really begins, which created somewhat of a cliffhanger [with] not seeing David and her for an hour and wondering how they were doing, and also really give our supporting cast their due.”

FX renewed the series for Season 3 earlier this month, but the network has yet to announce the episode order for the new season.