Legacies Season 2 Episode 5 “Screw Endgame” may very well be the best episode of the series yet. It most certainly contains the best decade dance the TVDU has ever seen. Legacies twists the tradition and makes it its own, without sparring fans the romance and shockers.
The big bad of the week isn’t quite who it appears to be, as we learn the Keeper is a part of a vicious cycle to trap beautiful women. Lizzie’s decision to join together with Hope, rather than sacrifice Hope to save herself, is further proof that Legacies is a modern show for a woke audience.
The feminist message of this episode comes across as anything other than preachy, because it is Lizzie and Hope’s truth, but it also a truth that should be more universally accepted. Women should support other women. In doing so, women can join together and fight back against the system that trap and oppress them, like the labyrinth does for Lizzie and Hope in “Screw Endgame.”
After years of Lizzie competing with Hope for Ric’s affection and Hope’s existence being erased from the collective conscious, Lizzie and Hope are in a place to lift each other up, and hopefully this carries out throughout the rest of the season.
Their “epic former-frenemy reunion” results in personal but similar revelations: that they don’t have one sole reason for existing. Hope and Lizzie have done some serious mental gymnastics to believe the only reason they exist is to sacrifice themselves for the greater good of the ones they love, and it is only through each other that they are coming to terms with how false that is.
Like Lizzie says:
“There’s always someone telling women they only exist for one reason. We even told it to ourselves. I am done playing that game.”
It would be so easy to revert to patriarchal stereotypes and pit Lizzie and Hope against each other once more, but it would only be more effective for Legacies to do the opposite. It would be beneficial for both the show and its audience, who are likely more than aware that Lizzie and Hope would be an unbeatable force.
This episode works so well because the 80’s-themed decade dance is the perfect launchpad for a sexist labyrinth that resembles an arcade game from that very same decade. Ripples of classic 80’s films and TV shows are seen throughout “Screw Endgame.”
For example, a lot of 80’s movies’ plots focus on sex and, sometimes, a character losing their virginity. This episode does focus on that in relation to Josie and Landon’s relationship, but it doesn’t do so in a way that feels anywhere near as uncomfortable as some 80’s films made it out to be. For example, there is a scene in Breakfast Club where a character looks up another character’s skirt when he is hiding under the table she is sitting at, and this action is not consensual. There are also multiple scenes in the film Sixteen Candles when a female character, who is clearly intoxicated and unconscious, is passed around to arouse men.
Legacies takes the topic of sex and makes it all the things that it is. It doesn’t downplay the fact that sex is a big and exciting moment in someone’s life, and it doesn’t turn away from the issue of consent. Even though Josie and Landon may not be everyone’s cup of tea, these two have favored consent and the other’s level of comfort at every turn. Early in the episode, Landon says he isn’t ready and Josie respected that. Landon does the same for Josie at the end of “Screw Endgame.” It may seem like a small feat but that itself is an issue. Consensual sex should not be a taboo in TV, and it hasn’t been as much so within the last few years. That doesn’t make it any less important to see on Legacies.
One aspect of this otherwise fantastic episode that doesn’t make much sense is Ric’s relationship with his daughters. While it makes sense for Josie to vote her father out of the headmaster role to gift him a life he may not have had if he stayed at the Salvatore School, his final scene in this episode makes it seem as if he won’t be seeing his daughters again… for now. Ryan/Vardemus did get a restraining order against Ric and ban him from the school’s premises, but he didn’t ban him from every seeing his daughters.
Ric has had so few scenes with Josie and Lizzie this season, and that dynamic is seriously missed every week. Of course Josie and Lizzie deserve to grow, live, love, and make mistakes without their father down the hall in his office, but it is so odd that they’re blowing off brunch when Legacies hasn’t given viewers much context about their relationship.
It would be different had the show let viewers know that Ric had seen his daughters in an off-screen moment, but that isn’t the case. Ric just mentions that Lizzie and Josie were a part of that dark-magic mess last week, expelling the Oni from Lizzie’s body, but it would be really nice to see Ric interact with his daughters on screen again. If not, Legacies should give us some scraps to know that Josie and Lizzie are at least texting Ric to check in. After all, the twins are still kids.
Although, that may become even more complicated on Lizzie’s end since Sebastian is no longer desiccated in a box by the end of “Screw Endgame.” Sebastian’s interactions with the Legacies characters will be interesting to see unfold as the season progresses, especially as Sebastian represents an older kind of vampire. He is more like the vampires fans fell in love with back on The Vampire Diaries that didn’t always do things the right way, but their allure and charisma compelled people in.
Other Spelltacular Moments:
- What a bummer that we didn’t get to see Lizzie’s Jane Fonda costume.
- Ric’s nickname for Vardemus is a MOOD. We shall only refer to Varedmus as “Fumbledore” from now on.
- The soundtrack for this episode is seriously an 80’s dream.
- Ric’s costume of Indiana Jones is such a GIFT. It’s really great payoff, as Jo Laughlin (Ric’s late wife and the twins’ biological mother) always said Ric reminded her of Indiana Jones.
- The drunk witches are such a standout.
Legacies is new Thursdays at 9/8c on The CW.