Legacies Season 3 Episode 11, “You Can’t Run From Who You Are,” finds the perfect tone and pacing that all season has been tip-toeing around. It’s a promising and welcoming development that leaves me more optimistic than ever about the remaining episodes of the season. “You Can’t Run From You Are” moves the stories of this season forward in a way that I have been craving all season long. We get to see the characters battle with real questions, like identity, in both direct and subtle ways.
Though that leads to a sort of predictable reveal on Landon’s part, Legacies has enough going for it now that my interest isn’t lost. On the contrary, I’m more engaged than ever this season.
Sister First Isn’t Always a Good Thing
“You Can’t Run From Who You Are” nails the return of Dark Josie, partially because Kaylee Bryant is so great in both versions of the role. Josie’s return to magic is more earned than Legacies‘ prior attempt of Hope guilting Josie into doing it. This time around, we get to see Josie have an internal dialogue external, thanks to the magical prism. It’s only after that confrontation with herself that she decides to take her magic back, to accept that part of herself, and save one of her closest friends. It’s a real hero move.
As for Lizzie, nothing landed well for me with her in this episode. Her quips are still great. I love that she’s trying less and less to cover up the fact that she’s a nerd. However, I don’t love that she manipulates Finch in the name of protecting Josie. Like MG says, Josie is more than capable of making her own decisions regarding her personal life. MG loses me when he doesn’t call Lizzie out on her behavior. He’s right that Lizzie is not a monster, but what she put Finch through was not right.
MG and Lizzie are supposed to be close friends, maybe even the best of friends. Those are the people we hope will call us on our bad behavior and poor decisions, but MG fumbles that here. Instead, he essentially excuses it because she did it out of love. Her love is misguided, and Lizzie should have been informed of that instead. Plus, Lizzie offering to spell mind-blocks to make Finch’s life easier after Lizzie was the one to pull up so much trauma for Finch is insulting. It’s not a kind gesture. Instead, it comes across as a way for Lizzie to make amends for what she did rather than help Finch.
Lizzie is better than all of this, and I wish MG would have reminded her of that. And this isn’t to say that Lizzie must be perfect all the time. That’s unrealistic and would make for boring TV. It’s that there are multiple opportunities for Lizzie to ease up on Finch, and she doesn’t. Instead, she only apologizes after she learned a truth that Finch kept to herself for a reason.
Death Changes You
The episode’s biggest cliffhanger is the most expected turn of the entire episode. Of course, there is something wrong with Landon. But, of course, he may not even be Landon anymore. Landon died too many times and spent too much time in prison worlds for him not to be permanently affected in some way. I hoped that when he melted into a puddle of goo, he would be changed by that if he did come back. Death changes you. No matter the supernatural elements, it’s not something you can ignore.
Thankfully, Legacies is finally jumping into that with Landon.
It is predictable doesn’t bother me all that much because this is what I wanted. This is Legacies‘ chance to push aside their tired routines of Landon and Hope operating in the same cycle. This is their chance to do something new with these characters. That’s exciting. Again, it’s disappointing that it’s coming so late in the season, but I’ll take it, nonetheless.
Similarly, this episode delivers on taking Hope down a darker path, but only because a monster infected her. That’s not necessarily what I meant when I said I wanted Hope to lean to the dark side, but this reveal with Landon could take her there. It could take them both there.
I’m a little cautious about what this will mean for his relationship with Hope. It tracks that Hope is too close to Landon and, because of that, wants to believe that he is back and safe and him. I’m just nervous to see how all of this washes over her and eventually settles. This episode only drops that bomb at her feet. We’ll have to wait until next week to see if, when, and how it goes off and what she does in its wake.
Hope Mikaelson is strong. I know that word is overused, mainly when applied to female characters, but it’s figuratively and true for this character. We see her take on a Berbalang in hand-to-hand combat, and she fights its infection when it tries to take over her body. Plus, she’s strong as a person because of all of the dark and unimaginable curve balls life has thrown her way. Hope hasn’t had an easy go of it ever, but she finds the strength to preserve. I believe that Hope can find that strength here, depending on where this goes next.
For once, I’m optimistic about what Legacies may do with Hope and Landon. That’s a good feeling.
Give Us More of Cleo and Finch
Some of “You Can’t Run From Who You Are” best moments are with its newest players Cleo and Finch. I wish this episode spent just a bit more time trying to understand Cleo’s abilities. The whiteboard shows they did invest some time in it, but I’m disappointed that so much of that happened off-screen. Understandably, the Super Squad wouldn’t get all their answers about the Muse in their first episode trying. I like that Legacies teases Cleo’s powers are at least in some part connected to Hope. Their friendship is one of my favorite parts of this season.
I really like what Legacies is doing with Cleo and Kaleb. I love that Cleo asks Kaleb to be mature enough to be honest with her so that they can rise to new levels together. What a ship and they haven’t even sailed yet! Legacies does the extra work of making this more than the tension between Kaleb and Cleo. It’s also about Kaleb’s past we know so little about. The fact that his aversion to vulnerability is directly linked to the day his mortal life turned into an immortal one is endlessly fascinating. Fingers crossed that it won’t be too long before we learn more about that time in his life.
Speaking of supernatural beings, life-changing events, and vulnerability, Finch Tarrayo is quickly becoming one of my favorite characters on Legacies. Finch allows the show to introduce the supernatural world to a person who is already a part of it. Finch is a werewolf, but that doesn’t mean that she’s aware of witches, tribids, muses, or anything else in that regard. She appears shocked to learn that killing someone is even a part of the process of becoming a werewolf.
There’s a compelling parallel between Josie and Finch that I hope they will find on their own at some point this season. After everything last season with Dark Josie, Josie stepped away from her magic when she killed Alyssa Chang. Finch keeps her werewolf genes a secret to protect herself and others after she indirectly and unintentionally killed her grandfather. Both of them keep parts of their identities a secret because they think that’s better than whatever alternative awaits them.
Legacies gave Josie the time to return to her magic on her terms (with some intense circumstances giving her an extra push). I hope the show will do the same with Finch and her werewolf identity. Finch’s decision to distance herself from Josie as a result of what happened with Lizzie is understandable. It’s justified. But Finch can’t be a lone wolf forever. She can try, but wolves call for a pack. And on a more human level, people need people. Like Cleo and Kaleb, I think that Josie and Finch could be truly remarkable together.
This show started with a boarding school that was supposed to be a safe space for supernatural kids and teenagers to call home and learn about themselves and their world. Legacies stepped away from that to cater to the ongoing and increasingly exhausting, Malivore storyline, but Finch’s role on the show allows them to return to that.
Finch can find comfort in Josie and the rest of the Salvatore School students. She can find solace in the knowledge that lies within the walls of the Salvatore Boarding House. She can discover her pack. There’s a whole lot of greatness just waiting to be explored with Cleo and Finch. This episode teased all of it, only making the wait to see if Legacies delivers all the more unbearable.
Other Spelltacular Moments:
- “Where is Lizzie with a zinger when you need her?”
- We love a Kai Parker mention.
- Hope’s Berbalang bit is disgusting.
- Landon’s Necromancer impression is so good!
- Does Ethan’s truck look a lot like Matt Donovan’s truck to anyone else?
What did you think of “You Can’t Run From Who You Are?” Let us know in the comments below!
Legacies is new Thursdays at 9/8c on The CW.