‘Legacies’ 1×05 Review: The Political Is Personal

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I have been committed to Legacies ever since I heard rumblings that it could be happening. When it premiered, I fell in love. It was fun and fresh. There were just enough familiar faces from the TVD Universe for it to still stand on its own and make some weary fans of the other shows feel welcome. This episode is what proved to me that I am invested in these characters and their stories. I am invested in this expanding world of mystical and magic creatures and bizarre and interesting monsters. I am invested or at least have plenty of feelings about every pairing. I’m all in. From the look of the Legacies hashtag, this episode made a lot of fans feel the same way.

Let’s get into it!

The Mys-tree Is Solved

The monster in this episode may have been scary at first but won my heart in the end. The monster is a gorgeous and kind dryad – a tree nymph or the living spirit of a tree. While it is helpful to know that there is a dark pit named Melivore underneath the Earth and some unknown voice inside of the monsters’ heads is calling them to bring the knife there, the emotional connection this monster was able to from with Dorian, Ric, and hopefully the audience is what stands out.

As viewers, we usually find ourselves rooting for the Big Bad to be vanquished so everything can get back to some semblance of normalcy at the Salvatore Boarding School for the Young & Gifted. Not this week. The Big Bad isn’t so bad this time around. She is just a lost soul looking for peace and a happy reunion with the love of her life Oliver, but he doesn’t remember her. She has suffered a great loss, and so has Alaric. Alaric has lost the love of his life, the mother of his children. He has seen friends come and go. That loss is chronicled on The Vampire Diaries, if you are interested in a deeper understanding of Ric before Legacies. It is interesting to see Ric be so hesitant at killing a Big Bad, since he’s been more of a act first, questions later kind of guy so far in the series. Dorian is even shocked when Ric bargains with the dryad.

Dorian realizes the dryad isn’t all that bad when he lays her to rest. She returns to the Earth and instantly grows into a massive tree. The smile on his face while he looked at the tree said it all. She wasn’t evil. She was compelled to try and steal the knife, no matter the cost.

This dryad should complicate the views our heroes have towards the creatures they call monsters. Now that they, or at least Ric and Dorian, know that there’s a great chance all of the creatures are compelled to steal the knife for whatever is going on in Melivore, maybe the characters we know and love will show a bit more compassion and understanding towards the creature they deem monsters. I’m not saying they should have been nice to that GINORMOUS spider, because I wouldn’t have been.

Legacies — “Malivore” — Image Number: LGC105a_0388bc.jpg — Pictured: Danielle Rose Russell as Hope — Photo: Bob Mahoney/The CW — © 2018 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

Landon’s 23 & Me

Landon and Hope finally get another moment in this episode. Their first, in my eyes, happens when Hope gives Landon the stars to calm his anxiety. After a string of tedious tests to prove Landon is a supernatural creature come back negative and Landon is jumped by Rafael’s alpha Jed, Hope does get some honest answers. Thanks to the glowing orb, otherwise known as the “supernatural lie detector,” Hope discovers that Landon doesn’t feel safe at the Salvatore Boarding School for the Young & Gifted. He’s still holding out for that place that vibes with that “‘click your heels together three times’ kind of thing.”

Landon finds it in a nowhere-near-fashionable bracelet Hope gives him at the bus stop. There’s a giant button on it that will connect with Hope at any time, just like a “‘click your heels together three times’ kind of thing.” Hope also gifts Landon a ticket to New Orleans, where a family friend of hers will be waiting for Landon to find his mother Seylah. Then they kiss and it’s cute. It’s really cute. It’s cute because it’s so clear Hope has forgiven him and things are better between them now. Landon sincerely apologizing for breaking Hope’s trust and promising not to do it again seems to change things for Hope. Landon knows how hard it is to trust someone new, and Hope relates to that on a bone-deep level. Landon and Hope find their common ground in this episode, thankfully. Without it, we wouldn’t have gotten that truly epic kiss in front of the bus.

Legacies — “Malivore” — Image Number: LGC105a_0208b.jpg — Pictured (L-R): Aria Shahghasemi as Landon and Danielle Rose Russell as Hope — Photo: Bob Mahoney/The CW — © 2018 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

The Honor Council

It is great the Ric is allowing the kids to have a word in what happens in the school. It’s not good that this Honor Council seems to be causing a lot more drama than good for our favorite characters, and it only just formed. The representatives are picked in a very Goblet of Fire way. This is all fun and well until Josie is picked instead of Lizzie and Landon is voted off the island. Josie’s win is shocking because Penelope swayed the votes in Josie’s name. Sadly, Lizzie didn’t seem like a sure thing because she was rehearsing her acceptance speech too far in advance. That was a big warning sign.

This Honor Council proves that “the political is personal,” which should make Ric proud since Hope points out that she learned that from his class. Josie, even though she’s crushing hard on Rafael, cannot separate her obligation to fight for the safety of her family, friends, and school from Landon’s desire to stay at the school. Josie says, “This school is family, and I’m not putting my family in danger.” It is true that mysterious creatures and strange events happened much more frequently after Landon’s arrival.

Even though some of the campaigns the students ran were not the purest in heart, it is compelling to see these students so interested in the political happenings of their school. It is encouraging to see, even if the Honor Council is made up of a witch, a werewolf, a vampire, and a tribrid. Either way, they’re kids who care about what happens to them and their school. That’s important.

Legacies — “Malivore” — Image Number: LGC105b_0023bc.jpg — Pictured (L-R): Jenny Boyd as Lizzie and Kaylee Bryant as Josie — Photo: Bob Mahoney/The CW — © 2018 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

The Knight in Shining Armor

In a shocking turn of events, Lizzie is not the one to stand tall behind her sister this week. Penelope Park appears to be Josie’s knight in shining armor, plus a tasteful cape for obvious reasons. It’s no secret that Josie has put her own goals and happiness on the back burner to cater to Lizzie’s explosive temper and hopeful happiness. Penelope just so happens to be the person brave enough to bring that matter to Lizzie’s attention. Penelope changes the conversation from being about Lizzie and how to make sure Lizzie is okay into one about how Lizzie treats Josie.

While it is well and good to care about Lizzie and her feelings, Josie gets lost in all of that. Penelope points out that all of the energy and time Josie puts into making sure that Lizzie’s “black hole” doesn’t grow or swallow Lizzie whole takes a lot of Josie. It leaves no space for her. Josie, more often than not so far, makes herself smaller behind her sister to ensure that Lizzie gets to see the sun. Josie steps out of the shadows to fiercely protect her sister and that is formidable. It would just be nice to see Josie do that for herself more. Penelope proves her point with a final punch by saying, “She [Josie] won’t ever burn your world down. So I’ll do it for her.”

It is absolutely possible for Penelope to go about this a different way, one to lessen the blow for Lizzie, however, sometimes the truth hurts. Penelope’s truth also hurt. Even though she is wonderful and smart and powerful, many fans were quick to judge Penelope for hurting Josie. This exchange between Penelope and Lizzie suggests that Lizzie may have been the one to come between Penelope and Josie. Fans, including myself at times, were villainizing Penelope for breaking Josie’s heart because they didn’t know the truth. We still may not know the whole truth. All we know is that Penelope thought about what Josie would want, canvassed for her, and helped her win without Josie ever knowing. Penelope was looking out for Josie’s happiness this time.

Penelope Park is clearly more than what meets the eye, and I can’t wait to get to know her more. I’m still pulling for some #Posie flashbacks.

Legacies — “Malivore” — Image Number: LGC105a_0011b.jpg — Pictured (L-R): Lulu Antariksa as Penelope and Kaylee Bryant as Josie — Photo: Bob Mahoney/The CW — © 2018 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

Other Spelltacular Moments:

  • The soundtrack for this show is nothing short of amazing.
  • I wanted to give Josie the biggest hug when she hid behind her clipboard.
  • “I’ve always wanted to be part of a power couple.” – Lizzie Saltzman
  • Dorian called Bonnie Bennett for help with locating Oliver. The Vampire Diaries fans, are you okay? I’m not.
  • “You used to like it when I went low.” – Penelope Park
  • I learned that Kaleb’s name is spelled with a ‘K’ this week.
  • “Let me guess: there’s been a mistake. I won the popular vote but not the electoral college.” – Kaleb
  • Did anyone else think Hope and Landon were going to get hit by that bus?
  • Who is Hope’s family friend in New Orleans? Is it Vincent? It has to be Vincent, right?

Watch Legacies Thursdays at 9:00pm on The CW!


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