Last week’s season premiere felt like a catch-up with old friends. A lot happened behind and beyond the gates of the Salvatore School over summer vacation, and that episode filled viewers in on all of the juicy details.
This week’s episode feels like Legacies is digging its feet into the ground and setting its sights on the upcoming season. After last week’s fast-paced recap of a transformative summer, “This Year Will Be Different” slows down and allows you to get to know the characters again.
It would be amiss to ignore the importance behind this episode’s title. If you are a long-time fan of the TVD Universe, then the words “This Year Will Be Different” should sound very familiar. Elena Gilbert spoke those exact words in the series premiere of The Vampire Diaries. Elena vowed to herself, through a journal entry, that she would have a new start after both of her parents passed away. It is her new beginning, intersecting with Stefan Salvatore’s return to Mystic Falls, that launched the TVD Universe so many know and love. Many of the Legacies characters are taking that page out of Elena’s journal and doing the same.
The monsters last season helped the characters learn more about Malivore. It’s still early enough in the season that the reason behind the cyclops’s presence is unknown. For the sake of this episode, the cyclops exists to bring Ric and Hope back together. It even brings Hope and Landon back together.
Without this slimy, green cyclops, Hope may not have felt so inclined to stick around and reveal her identity to Ric. Landon urges Hope to tell the guy she loves that she exists, and she does. She loves Ric, as the only person close to a father figure she has, and she tells him her true identity, even though it could cause more damage than she is ready for. She doesn’t even bother telling Landon because she doesn’t want to disrupt the happiness he found with Josie. Even now, when it hurts the most, Hope keeps Landon’s best interest in mind.
This is heartbreaking. Hope thinks that her happiness is always second-best to whomever she loves. She never prioritizes herself and what she wants. Hope is willing to throw herself into a black pit to let the people she loves have a chance at a better life. She is willing to live a life in disguise, masking parts of herself, to serve what she believes to be the greater good.
This all the more distressing when reflecting on the cyclops’s presence, because, if the monsters appeared because of Malivore, then that could be happening again. Hope’s sacrifice was supposed to halt the arrival of mysterious monsters, not slow it down. Hope doesn’t need any more survivor’s guilt on her shoulders, but her potentially ineffective sacrifice may do just that.
A new and incredibly mysterious vampire strolls joined Legacies this week. He goes by the name Sebastian (played by Descendants‘ Thomas Doherty) and seems to be taken with Lizzie. His pretty accent and even prettier eyes make it hard not to root for him, especially because he says all the right things.
One can’t help but think that’s part of the reason why Lizzie takes to him so quickly. MG is someone who has always seen Lizzie and said all the right things, but he knows her too well. He even says so to Kaleb. MG says:
“I feel like I know her. All of her. The good. The terrible. The bitchy. The funny. The fragile. I know her favorite episode of her favorite TV show. I know who she is when no one’s watching. I like all of it. She deserves to be with someone who sees her for who she is.”
Since Lizzie needs a fresh start, someone who doesn’t know a single thing about her seems like her perfect match, which is exactly why Sebastian shouldn’t be trusted. He’s too new and I’m too weary to believe he’s a good guy from the start.
That being said, I hate that I like him as much as I already do. He’s charming and it’s compelling, which may be his whole game.
Even though Sebastian doesn’t give Lizzie any real answers about who he is and why or how he ended up in the Old Mill, Lizzie can’t shake him and neither can I.
NEW HEADMASTER, NEW RULES
Professor Vardemus makes quite the grand entrance to the Salvatore School in this episode. It takes him no time to redecorate the office and tell the students they are better than humans. This divisive message is quite different to that of which Ric ran the school from in the previous season.
The Salvatore School used to be a place where supernatural kids could go to learn how to become one with their abilities. It was a safe place to fall when the mundane world didn’t have a place for them.
For this new headmaster, played by the wonderful Alexis Denisof (Angel), to come in and pit the supernatural students against humans is bold and old-fashioned. Clearly the species can coexist or else TVD wouldn’t exist. There should be no hierarchy; there should only be equality.
It looks like that’s going to be a long game to play with Headmaster Vardemus in charge, especially because he plans to teach some students defensive magic. Surely some of the students will catch on to Vardemus’s toxic ways and rebel from the inside. The Super Squad may be without its original leader, but they can still be a strong force against the archaic was of Headmaster Vardemus.
This may be shocking but Josie and Landon make perfect sense to me, and they’re super cute. They’re awkward and nervous around each other and it’s so heartwarming. They also care about each other so deeply. Their compassion for each other makes it seem like they’ve liked each other for much longer than they have within the context of the season.
Josie and Landon are both trying to find their place in the world, independent of their siblings, and they’ve found a place with each other. That’s beautiful. It feels like these two see each other in a way that others can’t see them. Landon sees through Josie’s need to take care of others and says, “Or you’ve just never been in a relationship where what you want matters.” He eventually goes on, “I mean, you’re this all-powerful witch and I wanted you to think that I was the kind of guy that could take care of you. You’re the kind of girl that deserves to be taken care of. Every once in a while, at least.” WHAT A DREAM GUY.
Landon listens and notices things about Josie that she probably thought she held close to her chest. He knows she’s strong and is capable of being independent like she wants to, but he also wants her to know that it’s okay to need other people.
Josie does the same thing for Landon. She helps him belong in a place where he didn’t think he could belong without Raf, since he doesn’t even know that he’s missing Hope. I love the little safe haven these two have found through each other.
As much as I would love to see Hope miraculously reunited with Landon next week, I’m not ready to say goodbye to the goodness that Landon and Josie have with each other.
Other Spelltacular Moments:
- “I thought you said yoga was karate for lazy people.” Of course Lizzie would say something like that.
- Ric’s beard is great.
- The score sounded a lot like it did on The Vampire Diaries, which makes me nostalgic.
- “Teenage boys plus monster. That’s a special combo.” Hope’s one liners are just as great as Lizzie’s quips.
- Landon listening to music on the bench while Hope and Ric took out the cyclops was EVERYTHING. I rewatched it a few times because it made me happy.
- Chord Overstreet’s “Take Me Home” made me WEEP.
- “It was really nice to see you happy today.” Oh, MG.
- Ric stopped Hope for apologizing for monsters appearing in Mystic Falls again before he even knew that it couldn’t possibly be here fault.
- I love a good Stefan and Damon Salvatore mention.
LEGACIES IS NEW THURSDAYS AT 9/8C ON THE CW!