Prutha S. Patel (@PSPatel)
*Please note, spoilers ahead*
Following up eight seasons of The Vampire Diaries and five seasons of The Originals, fans of the “TVDverse” had a decision to make: either consider the shows’ runs completely over (much sadness), or go on and start up on the next installment. For the TVDverse specifically, this meant enrolling at The Salvatore Boarding School for the Young & Gifted (a mouthful, for sure), by giving Legacies, a shot. If anyone had stated back in October that Legacies would end up ranking so high on my informal favorite Fall 2018 Freshmen shows list, there may have been some doubt. And yet, here we are!
Simply stated, Legacies picks up after each of the origin shows’ end and follows teenaged “legacies” of characters introduced in the flagship shows. The trailers for the show made it pretty clear that the main squad, led by “Tribrid” (a witch, vampire and werewolf) Hope Mikaelson (Danielle Rose Russell) and “Gemini Twins” Lizzie (Jenny Boyd) and Josie Saltzman (Kaylee Bryant), as well as a handful of newly introduced characters, would now be making up The Salvatore School student body. The school is also where Alaric Saltzman (Matthew Davis) continues to serve as the headmaster. It was clear the students would be learning the “basics” for each of their gifts (or curse, depending on who you ask), but of course, it wouldn’t be a TVDverse show without some good ol’ SHIP DILEMMAS. And wowzer, are the ship dilemmas reaching Peak CW levels here!
One of the most outstanding things Legacies has done in less than one season is that it has essentially created what seems like a bajillion ships. Nearly every character can be shipped with multiple other characters, potentially to the point of creating doubts as to what ships one could consider their OTP for the show. It seemed totally alright to change your mind a few times as the season progressed. Is Hope/Landon (Aria Shahghasemi) a superior ship to Hope/Rafael (Peyton Alex Smith)? How about Josie/Penelope (Lulu Antariksa) over Josie/Hope or Josie/Rafael?? Is Lizzie/MG (Quincy Fouse) who you’re rooting for over Lizzie/Rafael??? (No, but seriously, tweet your favorite ship(s)! Definitely curious!) We’re also not talking ship dilemmas amongst just the student body here either. On the faculty side, Alaric finds himself in a brief almost-situation when he shows interest in the school counselor, Emma Tig (Karen David), unaware of the fact that Emma has just started to date his former-intern-turned-Salvatore-School-teacher/coach, Dorian (Demetrius Bridges). Just trust, it’s super cute. Somebody please draw up an updated chart for this, STAT.
Of major note is the show’s ability to switch up the usual format presented on TVD and The Originals. And to be absolutely fair, continuous enjoyment too! There does of course remain an omnipresent Big Bad of the season, Malivore, a sort of hell pit that holds supernatural beings, that’s being cordoned off by a super shady corporate entity called The Triad. Although the background info isn’t covered until later in the season, Malivore’s go-to move is to unleash monsters upon the Salvatore School, Mystic Falls and the surrounding areas. But the monster of the week format here is used to push the TVDverse to newer ground. It’s also quite unlike what we’ve previously seen. The show has been able to balance the drama, humor and horror aspects of the TVDverse in a way that distinguishes the show from its predecessors. The vibe is inherently lighter here.
For example, in Legacies episode 1x10, aptly titled “There’s a World Where Your Dreams Come True,” Lizzie, who thus far had been presented as the more selfish twin, is granted wishes to alter her world when a Jinni named Ablah (Riann Steele) arrives looking for an urn (a key) that Malivore requires in order to unseal said hell pit and possibly free all the supernatural beings kept within. If that’s the actual goal. We see Lizzie attempt to create her picture perfect world with each wish, but ultimately, discovers the world she originally lived in was perhaps the best of all. The concept isn’t new by any means but Legacies attempts a reformation of sorts for a character, in just one episode, whereas other shows might choose to span out the same task to over the course of a full season or even multiple seasons. Although the slate is apparently swept clean via a memory wipe, episode 1x11 shows viewers that that may have not been the case after all? Please take this as an attempt to minimize the spoilers here, folks.
Overall, Legacies has been a uniquely different sort of fun compared to The Vampire Diaries and The Originals and readers should consider this a recruitment notice for Legacies mutuals! If you’re a fan of literally any other show on The CW, then Legacies is probably your scene too. With that in mind, join us in talking about Legacies! Live-tweeting to commence with the season finale over at @watchtivistTV on Twitter.