Legacies 3×02 “Goodbyes Sure Do Suck,” sees the Salvatore students say goodbye (for now, hopefully) to one of their own. This episode is an improvement from last week’s disjointed season premiere, but it’s still not as cohesive as previous Legacies episodes. This is likely because most of this episode’s plot was meant to take place at the end of Season 2, but life got in the way and caused it to be cut short. Unfortunately, this results in a Legacies episode that leaves us with more questions than answers where there doesn’t really need to be any.
Goodbye Old Friend
The entire hour is a dedication to giving Rafael a good ending, a peaceful goodbye because there’s no loopholes to save him. This is completely out of left field after last week’s discovery that he’s a descendant of royalty. I assumed that meant we would dive into that even deeper, finally giving Rafael the screen time he deserved. Legacies went in the exact opposite direction. Instead, we don’t learn anything about that bloodline and Rafael is sent to a prison world to live out the rest of his days.
The prison world is a super convenient loophole that magically appears more than halfway through the episode. Seriously, no one mentions the supernova until it’s convenient to them. They’re a bunch of super cool, supernatural teenagers, but a supernova still seems worth mentioning? The current circumstances of the world may have contributed to Rafael being written off in this way. All things considered, this is a relatively nice way for him to go. It wasn’t painful or lonely. It was on his terms.
It’s not nice in the sense that it feels like a complete let down after last week’s reveal. It’s nice because it leaves the door open for Rafael to return in future episodes. It doesn’t draw a line in the sand so that Landon can never see his brother again. There’s still hope, and that’s reason enough to believe there’s more stories to be told in the TVD Universe. As much about Rafael’s goodbye that didn’t make sense to me, it makes perfect sense that his last day is spent with Landon. That friendship has been such a touchstone for Legacies and it felt like they tried to honor it as best they could in “Goodbyes Sure Do Suck.”
On the other hand, Rafael’s parents agreeing to go to a prison world is bizarre, right? Sure, his dad doesn’t like people and his mom doesn’t want to turn anymore. But they’re willing to give up their entire lives to go to a prison world? Maybe I’m being too pessimistic and I should look to the optimistic side of this. They want to spend eternity rekindling their relationship and building one with their son. It would have been beneficial to have met Raf’s mom before now so that it didn’t feel so rushed. Basically, I wish we had more time with Rafael Waithe.
The Ric Problem
What is Ric doing? What is Legacies doing with him? Ric is a staple for the TVD Universe. He’s been around for it all. He’s dealt with more supernatural conundrums than the Super Squad can imagine yet he always has to look to everyone else for answers. More often than not, he looks to the students he’s supposed to be mentoring. It’s such a weird dynamic that Legacies refuses to budge on.
Every time I think Legacies is going to make Ric accountable or step out of his usual pattern, he reverts right back to it. Things with Kai last season could have changed things, but that has yet to come to fruition. It’s still early in the season, so my fingers are crossed that maybe, just maybe, Legacies can do something different with Ric this season.
One thing that really didn’t sit right with me is that Ric had Kaleb compel Sheriff Mac to do whatever Ric wanted if it pertained to a “life or death situation.” Um, what?! Legacies has had nuanced conversations about vampirism, compulsion, free will, and more in the past, yet they think this is the route to go down? Sheriff Mac only shows up on Legacies to remind people she, too, is a mother to teenagers and help Ric with something he’ll only lie to her about. That’s not cool. I like to believe that the Ric I’ve watched on TV since 2009 would no better than to do that to someone at this point.
I want to have faith that the same Legacies that makes room to call out problematic things from the TVD Universe’s past will continue to do so even if it makes Ric look bad. If he’s doing a terrible thing, he should be called out for it. It shouldn’t be excused because he’s doing it for a dying student, because that doesn’t make taking away someone’s agency any better? Let’s be honest, Ric didn’t need to go to Sheriff Mac. He could’ve made a call to Matt Donovan (Isn’t he still the Mayor?). Legacies could have avoided this, which makes me believe they’re going to follow through and hold Ric accountable.
Hope Freaking Mikaelson
Similarly, Legacies continues to do a lot of the same things with Hope Mikaelson. Recent casting news makes me optimistic that will change soon. I dislike that so many of the characters put saving the day on Hope’s back and then complain when they want to do it but Hope hinders that. Everyone turns to Hope instead of Ric for answers and that’s a lot for her to burden. We see Lizzie step up to the plate, which is notable. Hope wouldn’t have been able to pull off the first plan or the prison world one without Lizzie. That’s proof enough that the Super Squad can exist without Hope doing all the work, because she didn’t do all the work and now Rafael is at peace.
Any fan of Hope Mikaelson is well aware of the tremendous amount of loss she’s faced during such a short amount of time. Her saying “always and forever” during her final moments with Raf is all you need to know to be reminded of that. That loss is never lost on Hope. It’s not lost on me that it directly correlates to a savior complex that can be stifling to the people around her. It can also be stifling to herself. Hope shouldn’t be so caught up in saving people that she forgets to live. That’ll create more room for different stories that feature Hope that don’t just use as her as a saving grace in the final moments of a sticky situation.
It’s not ridiculous for Hope to be so protective of Landon. It’s also not unheard of for Landon to want to live outside of Hope’s rules. I am a massive Handon fan, but maybe some distance between them could do both of them some good. Losing Rafael is going to be an adjustment for the Super Squad but especially for Landon. Legacies has the opportunity to explore what Landon and Hope are like outside of their relationship with each other. The possibilities of where those stories could take both Hope and Landon is exciting.
Other Spelltacular Moments:
- I don’t have time to worry about another prophecy. Can they stop?
- “Dollar Store Jack Sparrow”
- Did anyone else think of Mason Lockwood when Lucia was arm wrestling people? Just me? Cool.
- I’m really warming up to Jed.
- Raf driving Damon’s car that’s the twins’ car now makes my heart so happy.
- There was a sneaky Kai reference in this episode. I love that for me.
- I like that Alyssa came in and took over the Necromancer’s evil plan. It’s very in character of her.
What did you think of this episode of Legacies? Let us know in the comments below!
Legacies is new Thursdays at 9/8c on The CW.