The franchise speeds towards its grand finale as the Super Squad prepares for their biggest fight yet — the one against Ken. His villain status hasn’t been a certainty until this episode when he claims the final three episodes’ first casualty in Kaleb Hawkins.
Ken’s threats of grand destruction aren’t nearly as maniacal as the obvious manipulation tactics he uses against his family, like Ben and Jen, and Aurora. It’s as though Ken heard the whispers that his bark is bigger than his bite because he rips the rug out from under everyone by killing Kaleb.
Though Legacies repeatedly states that everyone won’t make it out of this fight alive, it doesn’t make reckoning with Kaleb’s death any easier. Legacies 4×15, “Everything That Can Be Lost May Also Be Found,” is a prime example of the untapped potential with Kaleb since there is still so much to uncover about his backstory.
Also, it’s challenging not to draw parallels between Bonnie watching Enzo die at Stefan’s hand and Cleo watching Kaleb die at Ken’s. The defining difference could have everything to do with what Jen reveals to Aurora — Ken can distort memories. Who’s to say Ken isn’t trying to get in Cleo’s head and shake the Super Squad’s spirits ahead of their big fight?
Whether Kaleb is secretly alive or not, that possibility doesn’t take away from Omono Okojie‘s incredible performance in that scene. Legacies amps up the tension by having it cut between Kaleb’s death and Ric’s celebration of life. It’s a heart-pounding sequence that tunes you into Cleo’s emotional state as she knows she has to say goodbye to the boy she loves to save the rest of the world.
Despite Ken’s domineering presence, Okojie and Chris Lee make it feel like Cleo and Kaleb are the only ones in the scene. Also, Cleo’s utter devastation — her scream — being silent is an incredible touch. It’s not necessary to hear the gut-wrenching noise she lets out because Okojie’s performance transcends the actual sound.
It’s a devastating sequence that allows Legacies to lean into the darker elements its predecessors were always so good at delivering. However, this show isn’t the greatest at making deaths permanent. So, that does undercut his death a bit; Kaleb’s death will likely have a loophole.
On the other hand, “By the End of This, You’ll Know Who You Were Meant to Be” pushes there is no loophole for Lizzie Saltzman’s impending death. The mere certainty that Lizzie will be the one to sacrifice her life to detonate the explosives is all a loyal TVD universe fan needs to know there will be a loophole, even if it comes at the last minute.
Although, this disbelief about Lizzie’s sacrifice could have everything to do with the series-long foreshadowing of Alaric Saltzman’s death. After every misstep, Ric questions how he can be and do better in the eyes of the younger generation. This sacrifice could be it, even if he doesn’t realize it — or accept it — initially.
Seriously, it’s a bit jarring for his teenage students to rally together to talk through which of them should sacrifice themselves to detonate the explosives, and Ric doesn’t even put his name in the running. Thankfully, he concludes that he should be the adult who makes the big, bold move like the teens have done countless times for him.
So, while “By the End of This, You’ll Know Who You Were Meant to Be” is set on Lizzie, it still seems like Legacies doesn’t want to count Ric out just yet. Honestly, it would be a bit of a letdown if it did. Nevertheless, this episode does letdown MG and Ethan shippers in not taking advantage of (yet another) opportunity to make their romantic subtext a romantic reality.
The pair have a grand goodbye at the bus stop where so many other Legacies couples have parted ways, whether Hope and Landon or Finch and Josie. That bus stop has become quite the locale for romantic goodbyes throughout Legacies‘ run.
Ethan tells MG he’s one of the best people he’s ever known, and Lizzie would be stupid not to realize that. Ethan draws a comparison between Ethan knowing his feelings for MG while Lizzie is still figuring hers out. The romantic subtext writes itself, and it’s beautiful!
Quincy Fouse and Leo Howard are such a dynamic pair that, even if MG and Ethan remain platonic, they make sure to express the genuine love those two characters share for each other. If this is goodbye for Ethan and MG (There are still two episodes left, so who knows), Legacies has an epic, platonic love story with those two.
As for two other characters with romantic subtext, Lizzie and Hope are so acutely aware of each other in this episode, which is nice to see after they’ve spent most of the season at odds. It’s fantastic to see them lean on each other about the big, life or death things, like detonating enough explosives to kill a god.
But, it’s equally amazing to see them lean on each other about the other big, life or death things, like MG telling Lizzie he loves her.
It can be challenging to find those beats to let the supernatural teens talk about the things all teenagers deal with, like those game-changing love declarations. Legacies usually finds the space for those or expertly weaves them into the larger narratives, which is always fun to watch. Jed coming out to Finch is another brilliant example.
Also, it’s a relief that Jed and Ben find some common ground in this episode because Legacies can’t end with them at odds.
Additionally, Legacies finally provides some more context to the purpose behind putting Landon in limbo and keeping him there for so long. It’s been a tedious journey, but the Ferryman finally reveals herself as Lynn, Ken’s sister, and her desired retirement means Landon’s promotion. The execution of this arc is dicey, but the conclusion is as earned as it can be with only three episodes left in the series.
Everything Lynn says about Landon Kirby’s character and heart couldn’t be more accurate, and it’s rewarding to see everyone, including a god, remind him of that every chance they get. Also, Landon’s new position brings much-needed closure to the Ted/Necromancer plot. Plus, Landon’s status as Ferryman could bode relatively well for however this battle with Ken ends for the Super Squad.
If Kaleb is permanently dead, Lizzie dies, Ric sacrifices himself, or whatever deadly twists and turns come in the final two episodes, there’s some comfort in knowing Landon will be in limbo waiting to guide whoever passes to peace. Because, though Ric is debatable, the Super Squad deserve peace — whether for the rest of their lives or afterlives.
Other Spelltacular Moments:
- The whole dream thing is very Nightmare on Elm Street.
- Alyssa Chang and Josie Saltzman mentions? I screamed!
- I find it a bit suspicious that Lizzie’s sister and mother don’t want to come home nad see her before she sacrifices herself.
- Love that Lynn is a member of The CW family since Tasya Teles played Echo on The 100.
- “Alaric Saltzman, this isn’t your choice. It’s hers.” I cheered!
- Jed teaching Ben that being a werewolf isn’t a curse is something I wish the show had more time to explore.
- “You’re a miracle.” I wept!
- Every single callback or reference or easter egg to this show’s past makes me so very happy.
What did you think of Legacies 4×18, “By the End of This, You’ll Know Who You Were Meant to Be?” Let us know in the comments below!
Legacies airs Thursdays at 9/8c on The CW.