Legacies

Legacies 1.11, We’re Going to Need a Spotlight: The Real Me

An alarm rings in the middle of the night, alerting Alaric, Hope, and Dorian that something has tripped the trap they put up for the next monster coming after the urn. They head outside with weapons, in various amounts of clothes (Hope wishes Alaric had put on pants). Dorian asks what they think the next monster will be. Alaric says that with their luck, it’ll be Cthulhu.

When they get to the old mill, they decide this was a false alarm – a horse must have gotten out of the stables. Hope reminds Alaric that they don’t have a white horse. Also, this one has a horn on its head. Alaric aims a crossbow at the animal but Hope jumps in between them. No one’s killing a unicorn on her watch! Dorian notes that they can’t give the most recent monster a pass just because it’s cute. Hope says it’s harmless, so they should leave it alone. When the three aren’t looking, a slug-like creature pops out of the unicorn’s ear. Alaric agrees that they should leave the unicorn alone. As long as it’s there, nothing else will come for the urn. They all head back to bed, with the slug hitching a ride on Hope’s shoe.

It makes a slow trek up Hope’s body overnight, and in the morning, it crawls into her nose. She wakes up without noticing it. She’s in a great mood, and she acts bubbly and cheerful around Landon and Rafael. Lizzie and Josie are striving for the same attitude; they’re ready to take Caroline’s advice and be “airy clouds floating high above a turbulent sea of drama.” They won’t be upset to see their exes (or make out with them). Lizzie’s wearing a bracelet that she says gives her a silver lining. They’re ready to be their best selves.

They greet Rafael and welcome Landon back, though he’s skeptical about Josie’s sudden friendliness since she voted for him to leave. Lizzie says that’s in the past. She’s very excited for the school’s annual talent show that night. Hope tells Landon that all the factions compete, then says that the witches’ performance wouldn’t be the same without the twins.

Alaric makes an announcement over the PA system that another monster has been captured, so they’ll need to postpone the talent show. Everyone’s disappointed except him. Hope tells the twins that canceling is overkill; they’re just dealing with a unicorn. The twins go to their father to confront him over using it as an excuse not to put on the talent show. Lizzie starts to grumble, but after a slight jerk in her body, she changes her tone and suggests that the Honor Council make the decision. There isn’t supposed to be another meeting until next month, but Josie plans to call an emergency session and override Alaric’s decision. Cut to Lizzie announcing that the talent show is back on.

Landon comments to Rafael that Lizzie’s acting weird. Rafael says she’s not the only one. Hope is still bubbly, and she tells Landon (“babe”) that they should do an act together. She never wanted to before because she would have been performing alone, but now she has her own tribrid/whatever-Landon-is faction. He agrees, calling them Team Other. Rafael slowly backs away while they kiss. Poor Rafael.

Hope hangs out with some classmates later, drinking a smoothie and spreading her good mood around. Josie’s looking for some canes the witches use every year. She’s obviously sick of doing the same performance over and over, but she’s not going to speak up. She and Hope spot Penelope, and Josie hides behind Hope, thinking that…I don’t know, Penelope won’t see her ducking down five feet away? She gives Josie a note and tells her to read it in private. Josie replies that she’s not going to read it at all.

Hope wonders if it says, “Check this box if you want to kiss me; check this box if you want to kill me.” She offers to have Josie’s back if she wants to “smite the she-devil.” Josie asks if Emma gave Hope happy pills. Nope, she’s just having a great day, and she knows Josie’s day is going to get better, too. She gives Josie a little hug, and the slug hops out of her and crawls into Josie’s ear. Suddenly Josie’s in a better mood, too.

Lying on a couch like he’s in a particularly intense therapy session, Alaric tells Emma that he’s faced all sorts of terrifying creatures and dangerous situations, but only one day on his calendar has a black X on it: the day of the talent show. “If I have to hear somebody sing how many minutes there are in a year one more time, I’m gonna throw myself to the unicorn,” he says. Emma laughs and invites him to play hooky with her. The latest monster isn’t a threat, the twins are behaving, and no one’s paying attention to schoolwork. It’s the perfect time for him to take a day off.

Dorian checks on the unicorn, warning that he’s not fooled by its innocent act. A slug crawls up his leg without him noticing. Lizzie oversees the witches as they practice their dance number, but it doesn’t go well. As she’s complaining, she has another jerk and changes her attitude again. Josie arrives late with a smoothie and no canes. She tells Lizzie she didn’t feel like stressing out about finding them. She also doesn’t want to be in the back row. They should do something brand-new this year. Lizzie reminds her that they win every year, so they should do the number that always gets them the victory. Josie says she wants to sing something new. Everyone can work together on new choreography for a true collaboration.

Hope asks Rafael to serve as her guinea pig for a healing spell. He figured she’d want to work with Landon, but she notes that if she messes up, Rafael will heal on his own. Plus, he’s “sturdier.” She makes a small cut on his cheek and leans in as she puts something on it to heal it. He tells her someone’s going to teach him to juggle so he can participate in the werewolves’ talent-show act. Hope thinks he should do “something bold, spontaneous.” It should be unexpected. Once her spell has been successful, she leaves to meet up with Landon and figure out what they’re going to do together. She’s happy to have gone from having no one at the school to having a boyfriend and a true friend in Rafael.

Kaleb gets slugged in the library as the vampires discuss what to do for their act. No one likes M.G.’s ideas, and Kaleb says the show is a waste of time. They should take a stand. The slug’s magic, or whatever, suddenly comes over him and he says they should sing. The vampires are on board, and Kaleb tells someone to get a piano. “M.G., we’re going to need a spotlight,” he title-drops. He wants everyone to line up so he can see how high they can kick.

Hope and Landon bake a cake so they can practice their cake-decorating skills (which she considers a talent worthy of the show). Since dancing, karate, and synchronized ribbon dancing are off the table, they’re running out of options. She suggests that he sing something, since she knows he has a notebook full of lyrics, but he doesn’t like performing for an audience. Hope says that in that case, they’re decorating a cake and Landon will enjoy it. He’s just happy that she’s happy.

She tells him that the only thing that would make the day better would be getting rid of the urn. Landon knows that’s a bad idea, but she frames it as a road trip. They could just go wherever the urn leads them. He points out that it’ll probably lead them to Malivore. He’s finally realized that something’s off with her, but he gets distracted by their burning cake. Hope’s eyes glow green and she smiles devilishly.

Landon asks her to help with the smoke coming from the oven, and when she flicks a switch to open a vent, she gets shocked. The slug flies out of her ear and she suddenly goes back to her normal self. Landon spears the slug on the end of a knife and asks, “You ever see Wrath of Khan?”

They go to Dorian, since Alaric’s not on campus. At first Dorian looks at them blankly, making it seem like he got slugged, but it turns out he caught one trying to get inside him. He thinks the unicorn brought the slugs onto school grounds to infect everyone. The unicorn suddenly rears up, then collapses. So much for a harmless monster.

The vampires kick off the talent show with an R&B performance of “Feelin’ Good.” Kaleb sings lead and plays the piano, and the other vampires dance and do gymnastics moves. The audience loves it. Backstage, Lizzie orders Josie to find the canes so they can do their show-stopping number. After a jerk, she adds, “Please.” Instead, Josie approaches Penelope and invites her to leave with her.

Dorian, Hope, and Landon discuss the slugs, which hitched a ride on the Trojan horse (come one, Dorian – “Trojan unicorn” was right there!) and seem to latch onto the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain that controls inhibitions. “So I was slug drunk?” Hope asks. Dorian thinks the slugs replicate inside the hosts they attach themselves to, then wait to infect someone else. Unfortunately, there are no legends about creatures like this, so he doesn’t know how to stop them.

Landon’s familiar with this sort of thing from Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Faculty, and, again, The Wrath of Khan. Sci-fi is the modern-day version of ancient myths; maybe those movies were inspired by reality. The films are about mind control. Before the slug came out, Hope wanted to take the urn somewhere. Dorian says they’re dealing with a kind of spreading infection. In the first stage, a host’s inhibitions are lowered and they act out of character. Then, once the host is susceptible, they’ll do whatever the slug wants. In stage three, they collapse like the unicorn.

Hope studies a slug and notices that parts of it look bioluminescent. Dorian shines a flashlight in the slug’s jar and it glows blue. When he shines the light on Hope’s face, it illuminates the trail the slug left behind when it crawled into her nose. “I don’t wanna know, do I?” she asks. The guys confirm that she doesn’t. They grab flashlights to find out who’s been infected.

Alaric and Emma have gone on a pub crawl and are now at a place called the Mystic Tap. She wants to play Truth or Shot. She offers to explain the rules, but Alaric says he has doctorates in both history and drinking games. She asks his most embarrassing childhood memory. He drinks, then tells her anyway (he wet his pants during a Little League game). He asks who her first kiss was. She drinks instead of answering.

Emma wants to know why Alaric is always so hard on himself. He says he can’t afford to make mistakes. If he does, a lot of people are affected, including his own kids. They need him to always have the answer. Emma leans toward him flirtatiously and asks what he needs. He laughs and takes a drink. Then he asks if she wants to get dinner sometime. Emma can’t believe that after all the time they’ve worked together, he’s just now asking her out. She just started dating someone.

Hope, Landon, and Dorian find a bunch of slug trails all over the floors and walls, all leading to the auditorium. Hope notes that shocking herself made the slug leave her body, so that seems to be the way to end everyone’s infections. They’ll have to shock everyone without killing them, though Dorian points out that they’ll die without getting shocked, so…I guess that means it’s okay for them to aim for a mass electrocution?

As Dorian goes to call Alaric, Rafael takes the stage to perform some spoken word poetry. “Oh, no. He promised he wouldn’t do this again,” Landon says. It’s…bad. Rafael spots Hope and Landon at the back of the auditorium and uses his poem to complain that Landon left him behind. He then admits his feelings for Hope and says this is the first time he’s felt jealous of Landon. The slug takes over and he mentions the urn. Some other students stand up and their eyes flash green along with Rafael’s. “I say we get rid of it,” he says. Everyone else stands up as well and heads for the door. Hope and Landon guess that everyone’s infected and they need to run. She spells the doors closed and keeps everyone contained.

The Mystic Tap is a karaoke bar, and though Emma’s drunk, she’s still able to knock a performance of “All By Myself” out of the park. Alaric’s amazed. Sometime later, the two of them put on accessories and duet on “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life.” It’s a good thing the bar is almost empty because if there were more people there, and if they were sober, there would probably be some booing.

Alaric tries to sober up when Dorian calls to tell him about the slugs and the decision to shock everyone. Emma and Alaric guess that they’re infected, since that’s the only explanation for them to be there, drinking on a school night. He grabs a wire from a jukebox so they can shock themselves. She suggests that they grab the urn and take off instead. He doesn’t think they should do anything drastic while they’re under the influence. She agrees, then grabs him and kisses him. She tells him she wanted to do that while they had an excuse for their behavior. “We should find excuses more often,” Alaric replies.

They kiss some more, and then he holds up the wire so she can shock herself. The slug pops out and he stomps on it. He shocks himself next, but no slug appears. This behavior is all on him. “Well, that’s…totally awkward,” he says.

Dorian, Hope, and Landon grabs some chains to keep the auditorium doors closed. She notes that at last all the infected people are in one place. Lizzie suddenly arrives, so Hope and Landon chain her up and take her to Alaric’s office. Hope explains that Lizzie’s been nice all day because of her mind-controlling slug. But Lizzie says that’s not the reason for her behavioral shift, and Landon doesn’t find any slug trails. She jerks again, and when Landon asks what happened, she replies, “Unchain me and maybe I will tell you, you thrift-store Hobbit.” That gives her another jerk.

Lizzie explains that she’s “turning over a new leaf.” She spelled her bracelet to zap her whenever she says something mean. She regrets that now, but it turned out to be a brilliant idea – since she’s been shocking herself all day, she hasn’t been infected. She left the talent show to look for Josie, who’s been acting weird and skipped the performance. They realize that she was infected.

Josie and Penelope’s eyes glow green as they approach the unicorn and Josie siphons the barrier spell around it. Dorian tries to keep the auditorium doors shut, threatening all the students with detention. Alaric and Emma arrive and Emma uses magic to tighten the chains on the door. Dorian’s happy that she’s okay…because he’s her new boyfriend. Alaric tries to play it cool.

Landon puts aside his fear of small spaces to crawl through a duct and sprinkle some kind of dust on everyone in the auditorium. Emma explains that it conducts electricity, and when she gives it a magical spark, it zaps everyone at once. All their slugs pop out and get squished. I don’t envy whoever has to clean up that mess.

At the old mill, Josie asks what was in the note Penelope gave her. Penelope’s annoyed that she hasn’t read it yet. She kisses Josie and says that’s what was in it. Josie clarifies that Penelope knows they’re never getting back together before the kiss some more. They’re about to grab the urn when Hope arrives. She sends Penelope flying across the mill with magic. Penelope hits the door of a storage space and the canes Josie’s been looking for all episode pour out.

Josie sparks up a fireball to blast Hope, but Lizzie arrives and stops her. She says this isn’t the real Josie. Josie replies that Lizzie doesn’t know the real her. While Josie’s inhibitions are lowered, Lizzie wants her to be honest: Is Lizzie a good sister? Josie spits out that she’s a terrible sister. But Lizzie has slipped her shock bracelet on Josie’s wrist, and when it detects Josie’s meanness, it zaps her and makes her eject the slug. Josie feels horrible for hurting her sister’s feelings, but Lizzie just seems happy that she’s okay.

Landon wants to talk to Rafael about the things that came out in his poetry, but Rafael says he doesn’t even know what he said. Alaric announces that since everyone’s had a rough day, they’re going to pick the talent show back up to end on a high note. Landon makes sure that he and Rafael are okay. Rafael says he’s happy for Landon, but Landon seems skeptical that Rafael is really all right. He’s right to be skeptical, and from Rafael’s face, it looks like he remembers exactly what he said.

Alaric attends the second half of the talent show, which includes a juggling routine and the vampires’ sit-in protest (which gets booed). As the witches get ready, Lizzie tells them they’re going to learn some new choreography. Josie can’t believe she wanted to sing. Lizzie informs her that she’s going to. The slug made her reveal her “uninhibited self,” and she needs to take the spotlight.

Josie tentatively goes out on stage and signs a song about being in the shadows because she felt like she didn’t deserve anything more. The other witches dance with the canes as Josie gets more confident, singing that she’s leaving her doubts behind and stepping into the light. Alaric and Penelope both look really proud of her, and some younger kids in the audience are thrilled to see this new side of her.

After the show, Landon goes to Hope’s room, where she’s just taken three showers to feel clean from the slug. He wonders why he wasn’t infected, too. She says it’s something else to add to the list of things about him that don’t have explanations. She feels like she acted ridiculous all day, but she really was happy. She knows she could be like that all the time – maybe she’s the only thing holding her back from that. Landon notes that if life were about always being happy, neither of them would have made it this far. And that would be horrible, because then Hope wouldn’t get to hear what a bad singer he is.

He brings in his guitar and sings a song he obviously wrote about her. He knows she acts a certain way because she thinks it’s what people expect of her. He thought he’d locked up his heart, but she broke through. He finds all of her “fascinating contradictions” beautiful, and he’s falling for her. Hope is so touched that she starts crying. Landon sings that he dreamed about how she’ll be in the future, and he can’t wait to see how she turns out, so he can know all about her.

Lizzie complains to Alaric and Josie that she bent over backwards to be nice, and all it got her was a headache and the suspicion that a slug was making her act out of character. She’s not sure people can actually change. If everyone assumes she’s going to be a jerk, maybe she should just be a jerk. The witches won the talent show, so Lizzie thinks she should just continue being the way she always is. She thanks Alaric for the great talk, during which he said about five words.

After she leaves, Josie asks Alaric if he thinks the person she was when she was infected is the real her. He says that in his experience, a person is defined by what they won’t do. She leaves as well, satisfied with that, and Dorian and Emma pass the office moments later. Emma glances back at Alaric, who’s disappointed that he can’t be with her. He pours himself a drink while he studies the urn, which means he doesn’t see a slug in his glass.

Later, he calls Emma from a bridge and leaves a message apologizing. The slug mixed everything up for him. He hates the urn, so he’s going to get rid of it. His eyes glow green and he throws the urn off the bridge into the water.

Etc.: Kaylee Bryant (Josie), Chris Lee (Kaleb), and Karen David (Emma) all have terrific voices. Aria Shahghasemi (Landon) is…we’ll say adequate. Matt Davis (Alaric) should stick to acting.

Angel, Supernatural, and The Magicians have all done plots similar to this episode’s, so…that’s enough, supernatural shows.

If the date of the talent show is established far enough ahead for Alaric to have it on his calendar, why doesn’t anyone work on their act – or even decide on what to do – until the day of the show?

In a kind of visual joke, Alaric is reading The Iliad and the Odyssey when the twins come to his office, a book that features the Trojan horse Dorian later mentions.

Landon’s first hint that something was wrong with Hope should have been that she called him “babe.” She’s never called anyone “babe” in her life. The second hint should have been synchronized ribbon dancing.

I actually like M.G.’s suggestion for the vampires’ act, compelling people to do stupid human tricks. It’s like hypnosis, but real.

What were the vampires even protesting? Talent?

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