I am sure many of us had been eagerly awaiting a blatantly TVD-nostalgic episode of Legacies and we finally got it. The Salvatore Boarding School held the Miss Mystic Falls Pageant and of course many of our favorite characters participated. This episode had me in my feels the entire time and even afterwards. There are so many parallels between this episode and 1×19 of The Vampire Diaries. If you are interested and haven’t watched TVD, I suggest watching the entire series but also this specific episode. That way you can see and freak out over all of the parallels yourself. This episode also marked the return of Roman Sienna, Hope’s ex-boyfriend with a rocky past. We saw a significant character, Penelope Park, leave the Salvatore School, and we learned that MG’s mom is running things over at Triad Industries. Needless to say, the season is not slowing down as it heads into its final two episodes.
Our Big Bad of the week was initially believed to be the “Boulder Bandit,” as labeled by Roman. Ric provided the actual name of this supernatural being, the Gorgon. The beautiful Gorgon turned people around campus into stone. Of course it had to be the really sweet girl named Mia who liked comics and seemed to like MG. Luckily, MG saved the day with that bell.
Now all of this would have been good and well had Mia the Gorgon been the only problem everyone had to handle. Instead, it is revealed that she was sent by Clarke at Triad to retrieve Landon. Since she failed on the job, MG’s mother Veronica Greasley stepped in and did it for her. Before we go any further, if we are to believe that Mia is a teenager like the rest of the characters we know, how are we supposed to feel about Triad using kids to do their dirty work. I know it is not a good thing and speaks a lot to their character. Anyway, that’s right, MG’s mother is the woman in charge at Triad Industries, if I am understanding everything correctly. Now the threats Clarke made about investigating the Salvatore School hold even more weight, since that would mean Veronica would investigate her own son. There are a lot of conflicts of interest at play in this scheme and I could not be more intrigued to see how they play out.
Miss Mystic Falls Pageant
Of course I have to spend some time discussing the details of the Miss Mystic Falls Pageant itself. Going into this episode, I was sure Lizzie would do everything she could to win and she didn’t fail me. Lizzie adapted due to Dana’s mom’s involvement in the pageant and chose Hope as her runner-up. It warmed my heart to see that Lizzie still has her mother’s book of research, but of course Lizzie expanded on it and went a bit overboard with a BOX of her own research. It was so nice to see Josie and Lizzie be so excited about participating in the pageant since their mother Caroline Forbes is a previous Miss Mystic Falls. That is a legacy they want to be a part of, pun intended. That being said, it makes perfect sense that Josie felt hurt and I’d say a bit jealous that Hope got to wear Caroline’s dress. Lizzie was inconsiderate to count her sister out as a potential winner on the basis of “science,” knowing that the pageant had to mean something to Josie as well since it meant so much to Caroline. Thankfully, it seems like Josie’s anger towards her sister really stuck this time and may finally cause Lizzie to think twice before she brings her sister down.
Since Legacies has proved itself to be quite progressive, it is no accident that it established the Miss Mystic Falls Pageant as our new (or old, depending on how long you’ve been a fan of the TVD Universe) problematic fave. Penelope immediately pegged it as “nostalgalistic and archaic” and she wasn’t wrong. Later in the episode Penelope also called it “the death of feminism.” While some like Lizzie may only see it as a the “fiercest competition in the land,” it is still important that we realize how problematic it is. I loved that Josie poked fun at Penelope for standing in for MG by saying, “Isn’t your presence alone a huge win for the patriarchy?” Of course it is. It probably bothered Penelope a lot to have to do all the motions of “the simple intimacy of the near touch,” but she did it for Josie because she knew how much it meant to her. Penelope made a personal sacrifice. Lizzie could have done the same by allowing her sister to actually participate instead of designating her as the “fall girl.” Overall, I am glad that there was a consistent reminder that the Miss Mystic Falls Pageant is not as perfect and pure as it comes across. Obviously I still love it and would watch another episode dedicated to it, but I will always remember that it tends to be nostalgalistic and archaic.
It’s Okay Not to Be Okay
Hope reached a personal breaking point in this episode and Lizzie was there to pick up the pieces. The return of her ex-boyfriend whose hands aren’t entirely clean of Hope’s mother’s blood and Landon learning that Hope had been lying to him about his mother are only two of the factors that left her crying into Lizzie’s arms. The dress she wore to the Miss Mystic Falls Pageant is what knocked her down the most, in my opinion. Well, alongside standing over what she believed to be her boyfriend’s dead body in the previous episode, obviously. Hope has always been someone to suppress and save the day, so much so that she seemed to have convinced herself that she really was fine. She believed that wolfing out and training with Ric were enough to help her cope with her trauma, but she was still keeping all of her feelings bottled up. Losing her parents is something Hope hasn’t really dealt with since she’s been exerting so much of her energy in saving the day ever since then. To know that she wore a dress her father, Klaus Mikaelson, chose forced her to reckon with those feelings.
Thankfully, Lizzie knows the signs of breakdowns. Throughout the episode, Lizzie’s hand tended to be the thing to steady Hope. It was Lizzie’s hand on Hope’s shoulder during rehearsals that pulled Hope out of a trance. It was Lizzie who held Hope in her arms and let Hope cry. Lizzie said, “Just let it out the real way. The way you needed to all along.” Lizzie knew the wolfing out, the training, and the trips to the forest to scream were temporary but useful solutions to a larger problem. Hope needed to allow herself the space and time to cry. Sometimes that’s all you need to do to feel better. Lizzie also did whatever she could to stand by Hope and arguably protect her in this episode. Lizzie gave Hope a list of tasks to do to prepare for the pageant to keep her busy. Lizzie stood by Hope when Landon acted out since he was jealous of Roman. Lizzie said, “When it comes to jealous, always the guy,” when Hope asked who should apologize first. Lizzie even pulled one of her best “nicknames” for Landon out when she called him “a sentient jar of artisanal mayonnaise.” It is also telling that Lizzie admittedly did for Hope what Josie has always done for her, because it proves that Lizzie knows Josie gives so much to her sister all of the time and also that Lizzie is capable of being there for someone in the same way Josie is for her. Lizzie could be that for her sister if she tried. Anyway, I am a fan of women supporting women and that’s what Lizzie did for Hope in this episode. She held Hope up at her most vulnerable state, stood by her when Hope needed to scream it out, and pinkie swore to help her get back the guy she loves. It was nice to see these two on the same team.
There was also the stellar moment after Landon abandoned her in the middle of the dance and Roman stepped in. Hope was on the verge of a panic attack, but Roman brought her back to the task at hand. Hope wiped her tears and put her game face on. What an incredible moment. That’s the face and mindset she thought could pull her through, but she had to learn that it’s okay not to be okay all of the time.
From the very beginning of the series, Penelope made it abundantly clear that she wanted to watch the world burn. It turns out that endgame required a much slower burn than I had originally thought. She set the school aflame with a major bomb as she left though. By spelling a bunch of pens she gave the students, she was able to learn all of their secrets and start little fires by revealing them to at least Josie and Landon.
On the other hand, this episode was a goodbye (for now, I assume) for #Posie. Penelope laid it all out for Josie in this episode. She did everything she could to ensure that Josie could walk down the stairs at the pageant like Caroline had. Penelope told Josie, “You deserve to walk down those steps with you head held high, like your mom did.” Penelope always fought for Josie. I do believe that Penelope believed everything she did was for the greater good and for Josie’s overall happiness and safety. That explained why Penelope gave Josie the log of everything that had been written with her spelled pens and urged Josie to talk to her dad about the merge. That is something that could result in the death of Josie and of course Penelope will do everything she can to stop that from happening. After all, Penelope did tell Josie, “I love you with all of my obnoxious, selfish, evil heart.”
So in that sense, Penelope left the way she wanted. She watched the world burn and did what she could to lift up and protect the one person she loves the most. I don’t believe this is the end for #Posie. I hope Penelope thrives at the witch-only school in Belgium and makes some visits to the Salvatore School every now and then.
Other Spelltacular Moments:
- Even though they’re underage, I wish we could have seen more of Penelope and Landon as drinking buddies. They don’t even have to drink. I wish we could have seen them spend more time together. I feel like they would have an interesting banter.
- “If you’re looking for someone to blame, go ahead, you can blame me. I can take it.” – Alaric Saltzman. There’s a lot of weight on his shoulders.
- Roman has been recruiting for the school? I need to know more right now.
- Ric and Hope training together really gave me Ric and Elena Gilbert training together vibes. Hope and Elena even had matching ponytails.
- The music in this show is always amazing. The use of Lady Gaga and King Princess at (and prepping for) the pageant made a statement and it was that Legacies is the best.
- “At least here they see me for who I am, ugly parts and all.” – MG telling his mother why he refuses to leave the Salvatore School.
- “I’m not giving up on any of my friends, and I’m definitely not giving up on Landon.” – MG
- I love a callback and follow through to what can be viewed as a throw-away line. When Penelope wished she could do a spit take and then later got to do one? Genius!