This episode of Legacies brought together all of my favorite things (minus the absence of the twins). It had romance, action, feminism, comedy, and so on. It was creepy and intriguing. I was grossed out at the true face of the monster that creeped around the halls of the Salvatore School this week, but I couldn’t bring myself to look away. Every twist and turn, however big or small, left me wanting to know more.
Let’s get into some of my favorite and least favorite aspects of the episode.
The monster of the week, aka the “black-winged shape-shifting dream demon,” played more than a few tricks on our favorite characters in this episode. It played into some of the rules of classic spooky beings, like Freddy Krueger, but it definitely left a mark of its own. Since whatever happened to them in their dreams also happened to them in real life, we got to see how some of the main characters would react in a debilitating situation. It allowed viewers to see go-to defense mechanisms. It was very intriguing that Landon was the first one to realize the nightmare was actually a nightmare. That revelation also proved how intelligent he is since he was able to wake himself up. All of that being said, the first nightmare didn’t land well for me. As soon as Hope sat down next to Raphael in the library and the tensions arose, it seemed like we weren’t in Kansas anymore. Hope is a very loyal person, so it did not seem likely for her to turn on Landon like that.
In addition to the monster ripped out of Greek Mythology, the scary but extremely attractive guy from Triad Industries (played by Sweet Vicious’ Nick Fink) seems to hold his own in the category of Big Bads. He may be flying under the radar for now but he definitely has more than a few tricks up his sleeve. He’s clearly aware of vampires and compulsion, based on his reaction to Landon’s foster parents’ persistent answer to a question regarding Landon’s whereabouts. Also, this guy looked rather pleased about being invited inside Landon’s foster parents’ home. Does that mean he’s a vampire? Could he be some other supernatural being? I need to know.
Deconstruction of the Vampire
It’s no secret that the times have changed and so people’s opinions on vampires. It is a modern world where young adults are woke and challenge injustices and question problematic faves. One of the most famous problematic faves of popular culture just so happens to be the vampire. MG and Kaleb offer and interesting juxtaposition when it comes to their opinions on vampires, while also being one themselves.
MG has issues with vampires like Dracula who is a “privileged, powerful man who abuses consent.” All of that is true and MG does everything he can to prove that vampire do not have to act in that manner any longer. He even tells Kaleb, “Just because vampires have been this way for the last century doesn’t mean we have to stay that way.” MG is over the toxic masculinity and abuses of power that seem to come with being a vampire. This means it is likely that there is always going to be an internal battle with MG about whether he is overstepping bounds or falling into that problematic trope of the vampire. Some of MG’s concerns probably come along with the revelation that he is a Ripper (a vampire that takes abusing and killing their victims to the most extreme extent). MG had a taste of what it means to be Ripper and he didn’t like it. There is a sense of lost control and humanity when that switch is flicked. When MG leans into the Ripper-side of himself, he becomes the things he hates about vampires. It is commendable that MG wants to change the way vampires exist in the world. He’s starting in a great spot, after all. Speaking to his peers and changing hearts and minds in an educational system that could enforce a certain way of life – a better way of life – for a vampire is very smart.
On the other hand, Kaleb has different feelings about being a vampire. Kaleb seems to be someone who loves being a vampire and wishes to live in a world where he can freely be one. He doesn’t oppose the drinking of human blood or compelling victims. Rather, he encourages it. While MG is challenging the vampire canon, Kaleb stands behind it with his arms crossed. However, Kaleb’s nightmare offers up a different perspective from deep within him. It seems as if Kaleb is afraid of what will happen if he lives out loud as the vampire he longs to be. There is a fear of otherness in society, so does the torture simulation of his nightmare suggest he is terrified of being ostracized for being a vampire? Could it mean that he is afraid that giving in to his vampire side completely will result in the loss of any human part of him? We will have to see as the season unfolds.
Girl’s Basically Wonder Woman
Rafael’s words about Hope are the perfect header for a section dedicated to how awesome she is. Hope is the fierce leader of the Supernatural Squad. She is the protector, the fighter, and the intellectual. She is empathetic and considerate (mostly). Hope wants the boys to decide for themselves whether they wanted to take part in her master plan. She doesn’t force them to do anything. Hope continuously makes sacrifices for the greater good. She always someone else in mind, and that usually comes from putting herself second…or third on her list of worries.
When it comes to the guys, they are willing to stand behind her and lift her up. Hope is good at sparring. She’s better than Rafael, and Rafael isn’t the slightest bit threatened by that fact. Landon is okay with only being known as the guy who the found the plan to save the day, while Hope is the one to actually save the day. When Hope says, “Stay back, guys. I’ve got this,” THEY DO. They yield the battlefield to Hope with trust and confidence.
Now, the guys still have work to do when it comes to their respect for Hope. Yes, all of those previously mentioned things are great and I hope they continue, but most of the guys still reduce Hope’s actions to being “hot.” I realize these characters are teenage boys and they’re allowed to think Hope saving the day is hot, but I want to expect more of them. If they are going to challenge the vampire canon and push back on hyper-masculinity, then they can work on the way they talk about the women in their lives. They can do better and I’m hopeful they will.
Cut Ric Some Slack
Ric needs a break on a nice island where he can kick back and cut himself some slack. He is someone who feels the need to save the day, which then compromises his role as a father. His need to protect the kids of the Salvatore School consistently drives a larger wedge between him and his girls. He stays caught between a rock and a hard place.
Ric has to balance a million and one things on a daily basis. This causes him to question himself and his decisions, although he knows the things he does is in the best interest of the kids. This self-doubt and disappointment of his is most evident in the look on his face as he gazes after the Supernatural Squad as they do their slo-mo walk down the hallway. He is so upset with himself for falling asleep and endangering the kids in the process, as if he really could have stopped himself from falling asleep in the first place.
He is exhausted! As he should be! He even alluded to such in his own words, “I have also been kicking supernatural ass longer than you’ve been alive.” Ric has been fighting supernatural beings and the forces that will for longer than a decade. The weight on his shoulders that has come with those fights is probably rather heavy. Ric has lost and gained so much between those fights over the years. I don’t think he has ever really had the chance to breathe. Ric needs to breathe. Someone take care of him. Give him a beer and a place to relax.
It’s Not a Love Triangle
Rafael + Hope + Landon.
This is not your typical love triangle, if it is one at all. Yes, Hope and Rafael care for each other as friends should but there doesn’t seem to be anything romantic there. Rafael’s nightmares suggest that he is afraid of his feelings for Hope, but I would argue he is more afraid of Hope’s feelings for Landon. Rafael is terrified of what Hope could mean for Landon. Rafael is always waiting for the other shoe to drop with Hope because he has to be there to pick up the pieces for Landon. Rafael has always been protective of Landon, and so a skepticism of Hope and her feelings for Landon is natural. Rafael keeps his guard up around Hope so Landon doesn’t have to.
On the other hand, maybe Rafael is afraid to get to close to Hope in the fear of taking something good away from Landon. Rafael doesn’t wish to corrupt a relationship that has brought so much joy to his best friend’s life. In getting too close to Hope, Rafael could see some part of her that he thinks could result in Landon’s shattered heart. If Rafael keeps his distance, then nothing bad can happen. He won’t know too much and that’s a good thing. But knowing too little isn’t ideal for Rafael either. He can’t protect Landon from the storm if he doesn’t know what’s coming. Rafael is stuck and that’s what scares him.
If anything, this love triangle places Landon at the middle point. Rafael and Hope have a common ground in that respect. They both love him and want to protect him, even if that means protecting Landon from the other person. After all, it’s 2019; love triangles don’t have to be solely romantic.
Other Spelltacular Moments:
- Pedro made a grand return!
- MG continues to be the best at keeping up with all of The Flash comics.
- Ric’s cardigan game is still very strong.
- MG, Kaleb, and Landon may be the best band of the century.
- Don’t think I missed that Sheriff Donovan mention. I would never. Bring Matt back soon, please.
- Landon’s face when Kaleb said “no child left behind” broke my heart into a thousand pieces and then repaired it with some tape. It’ll do for now but I want to see Landon lean into his new classmates some more. There is a fierce allegiance among the Salvatore School kids and Landon is a part of that now.
- I love that Hope stashed the urn under her pillow when at a loss for some other mysterious hiding place. That’s something we would all do.
- “I’m going to be the guy who always fight to find you again.” – Landon making us all SWOON.
- TVD fans, did you get a little nostalgic seeing Hope and Landon sit in front of that infamous fireplace from the Salvatore house?
- Can they please show us the Lockwood mansion? It has been a while. Plus, most of the students continue to be relocated there when the weekly Big Bad appears. It just makes sense.
- Don’t we all wish we could speed-read like Kaleb?
- Energy herbs are apparently a thing and I can’t stop thinking about them.
- Of course Hope has a safe with the Mikaelson crest on it.
- Josie and Lizzie Update: They are with their mom and taking their exams wherever that may be. Even the Headmasters’ daughters can’t skip out on exams.
LEGACIES IS NEW THURSDAYS AT 9/8C ON THE CW, AND AVAILABLE NEXT DAY ON THE CW APP!