Legacies Season 1 Episode 1 – TV Review
Goddamn, CW. Do I have to watch another pilot episode about fledgling witches?
And oof, what a bad choice to come out with your teen supernatural creatures show at the same time as Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.
The CW ain’t got that Netflix money, honey.
TL;DR As Legacies sidestepped a backdoor pilot, this time we get a regular pilot episode, with Landon the waiter boy having left Mystic Falls at some point, but is now back, and with a werewolf foster brother in tow; Landon and Hope flirt, but things get weird when he turns out to also be some sort of supernatural creature; Alaric’s twins are not the evil mean girls I wanted them to be; some other bland, minor characters hover around; there is no Caroline.
But there is Matt Donovan. Who the fuck asked for that?
So things get off to a frankly fucking weird start, as Landon, the boy from the Mystic Grill, has moved away from Mystic Falls, and unbeknownst to him has a foster brother who is a newly-turning werewolf, and Hope and Alaric show up to save the brother from a Catholic exorcism (I guess the foster parents meant well?). Landon and Wolfboy are taken to magic school where Wolfboy will become a student, but after giving Landon all the hot deets, too, Alaric brings in a vampire to compel away his memories and chuck Landon out. It fails, so they imprison Landon to wait for what they assume is vervain in his system to dissipate, and he spends this time not being concerned about being a piece of human meat being held captive in a building full of lethal magical creatures, but instead flirting with Hope. Meanwhile, Alaric’s twins Lizzie and Josie give Wolfboy a tour of the school, and we get to meet our hot young cast, which includes the aforementioned vampire boy who has a huge afro, and Josie’s ex-girlfriend. Other Intern from TVD Season 8 is also here as a teacher in another “who the fuck asked for that” moment. Lizzie is rebuffed by Wolfboy and has a temper tantrum, and Josie sets aside her own feelings for Wolfboy to be good to her sister, and sadly neither is particularly bitchy or sassy. What a waste of hot twins in fetishistic school uniforms. Tsk. The episode comes to an abrupt close as Landon leaves the school after a second compulsion session with Afrovamp, but this one also turns out to have not been effective, and Landon has stolen some random artifact from the library. Hope blackmails Josie into helping her use dark magic to locate him, but the spell reacts with the artifact or something and incinerates everyone on Landon’s bus, leaving Landon in the wind, Hope blaming him for the deaths and marking him as the show’s villain (?), and Sheriff Matt Donovan with yet more supernatural deaths to cover up.
I’m tempted to suggest a bottle episode about Matt just trying to clean up all his goddamn paperwork, but TVD kind of already did that one.
Despite the months of vitriol that have accumulated inside me since the appalling The Originals finale, I’m going to try to reserve judgement on Legacies for now.
This does feel very much like a shaky pilot episode, and pilot episodes are more about putting all the pieces on the board, as opposed to actually getting to use them.
But on the other hand, the TVD-verse has already done this, gurl. Twice.
Why I hate this episode:
The Originals wasn’t afraid to lean on The Vampire Diaries when it started out. It had an actual backdoor pilot in TVD Season 4, and featured major characters that had been long established on the parent show. Legacies, however, has teenaged Hope, who only very recently was introduced into the TVD-verse on the not so great final season of The Originals. So I can see why Legacies decided to make more of a clean break. But as someone who has been with the TVD-verse all the way through, it’s disappointing that it would go so, so bland like this. Let us pray that it merely is just pilot jitters.
Being a pilot is no excuse for the blandness of Hope, though. Hope is supposed to be our protagonist (I think?), and she wasn’t afraid to get feisty on The Originals. So why then does she spend this whole episode just kind of floating around and staring dead-eyed into the middle distance?
Landon seems to get more focus than she does. But that’s not for the best, as he takes to being literally locked in a dungeon at the mercy of monsters way too casually. I suppose this could be explained away by the revelation that he, too, is a supernatural creature. But I don’t think he knows that.
Why the hell did Legacies make the choice to have Landon move away from Mystic Falls, only to then have him dragged back with this perplexingly roundabout foster brother plot device? I use the word “bizarre” a lot on I Just Hate Everything, and Legacies has genuinely earned it. It’s fucking bizarre.
Why does the opening titlecard have fireworks. Does Jubilee go to this school?
I can’t believe Lizzie and Josie aren’t mean girls. Penelope, Josie’s ex-girlfriend, seems to be aspiring to that role. But having twin bitch mean girls who are also the headmaster’s daughters could have been so delicious.
We haven’t got a villain, yet. Unless Hope’s overreaction at the end of the episode is to be believed, and it’s Landon. But bitch, you’re the one who did the spell, and from what I was seeing, that’s what caused the artifact to erupt. And Alaric is the one who left an explode-y knife just hanging around in the library.
Oh, and I groaned out loud when I saw Zach Roerig’s name in the opening credits. Please let it just be a one-and-done cameo.
But it’s not all bad:
He only has one scene, and he doesn’t complain about anything in it. I’ll take the win.
Hope the character is not winning any points with me so far. But goddamn, she stepped her hair game up between shows. At times I almost didn’t notice how empty her scenes were because I was so mesmerised by her gorgeous, gorgeous hair. Never underestimate the importance of good hair.
Lizzie and Josie may not be the twin mean girl bitches of my dreams, but in place of that they actually seem to be forming as relatable, three-dimensional characters. Lizzie clearly has some kind of ongoing anger problem, as seen when she goes ballistic after Wolfboy turns her down. But she also seems self-aware of it, as she appears to recognise her problem, and is afraid of it.
When Alaric finds out, he has a meditation session with her (apparently not out of the ordinary), and when Hope appears, we get some interesting tension between Lizzie and Hope in regards to Alaric. Alaric has a surrogate dad vibe with Hope, and Lizzie is evidently jealous of the attention he gives her. This has potential.
Lizzie also gets the best line of the episode when Hope appears, as Lizzie had just been talking about her to Alaric: “Speak of the actual devil.” And she says it to her face! Respect.
Josie is the meeker of the two, but I admire that she evades Wolfboy’s attention in deference to her sister. Her interest in Wolfboy also means that she’s bisexual, and I’m up for more bi representation.
I also hope her drama with ex-girlfriend and budding bitch Penelope escalates. Just this episode Penelope tries to seduce Afrovamp, and Josie is not impressed.
Oh, and Lizzie’s reaction to Hope is similar to my reaction to this show.