Absorbing your sister feels like a weird theme for a birthday party, but try telling that to Josie Saltzman. No, really, we’re too afraid to say anything.
The newly crowned queen of darkness returned to the Salvatore School on Thursday’s Legacies to celebrate her big 1-7, beginning with a special gift for Lizzie: an early Merge! And to prove that she was absolutely not screwing around, Josie also killed Alyssa Chang, which was kind of a gift for… everyone but Jed, I guess? (Oh, don’t give me that look. Alyssa was a menace! Besides, Olivia Liang has already landed a starring role on The CW’s Kung Fu pilot. We’ll all be fine.)
Hope devised a pretty decent plan to trap Josie in a mental prison long enough to detoxify her, but that hinged on Lizzie winning the Merge, and Alyssa’s final words weren’t exactly encouraging. (“I don’t need a crystal ball to tell you that she’s going to tear you apart.”) So Lizzie did what any normal target would do in her position — she got the hell out of Mystic Falls. And even though MG was supposed to bring her back, he quickly became her accomplice. (“If you’re running, I’m running, too.”) Cutest li’l runaways ever.
But here’s the thing about MG — you can’t spend too much time around him without an experiencing an emotional epiphany, so it wasn’t long before Lizzie raced back to school… and just in time to stop her sister from impaling Hope on a spike! “Did you really think you’d be the one to bring out my good side?” Josie asked Hope. “I don’t even think she really likes you.” Lies. All lies. (And here’s a potentially controversial question: Am I the only person who wanted Hope to die here? Not to rush things along, but I’m ready for her to activate those vampire powers!)
Then came the moment we thought we had five more years to prepare for, as the Saltzman twins held hands and began chanting the Merge spell. Visually, it was just like when Kai and Luke merged on The Vampire Diaries all those years ago (video below!), but the emotional impact was significantly more intense. Give or take a few time jumps, we’ve been following these girls since their conception. And now they’re merging?! If nothing else, it was a real “Sunrise, Sunset” moment for longtime fans.
Oh, and how could I forget to mention the big Lizzie-MG moment? She planted a big ol’ kiss on him before battling her sister, adding this small disclaimer at the end: “Just to be clear, that was for you, not me. Just in case I lose.” Fortunately, she didn’t lose. At least not… technically? Honestly, all I know is that Hope’s potion tethered Lizzie’s life to Landon’s, so she was instantly revived when she died. But if she won, why did she die at all? Feel free to pick apart the mythological aspect of this week’s big twist in the comments section below.
When the dust settled, Lizzie awoke in Alaric’s office to learn that Hope has infiltrated Josie’s subconscious — and until she comes out, Lizzie needs to make like a corpse and play dead.
Elsewhere in the episode…
* Rafael’s scattered memories finally aligned this week — and the truth was not what we were expecting. It turns out he was murdered (by Chad?!) after returning from his recent trip, and now he’s one of The Necromancer’s undead puppets. Fearing that he might hurt someone he cares about, Rafael begged Landon to kill him, a favor that was emphatically refused. Little did Landon realize, Rafael was holding the golden arrow, which he used to stab the phoenix to… death?
* Alaric had a fun little subplot involving the magic box that sent everyone to a noir nightmare last week. I don’t have much to say about it, other than that I’m eternally grateful to the entire Legacies writing staff for continuing to get Matt Davis into Indiana Jones costumes. That’s twice in one season!
* I still can’t believe that Chad (?!) is the one who killed Rafael, but I did love this line from him tonight: “Hope always has an awesome plan… and somehow also has time for relationship stuff, too.”
* I also appreciated Josie’s response to Chad and The Necromancer when they feared their favorite show (i.e. spying on the kids) was about to get canceled. (“More like getting a spinoff.”)
OK, let’s break this all down: What was you reaction to Lizzie and MG’s kiss? Did you see Rafael’s reluctant betrayal coming? And what do we think is going to happen to Hope inside Josie’s brain? Drop a comment with your thoughts below.