Legacies 2.1, I’ll Never Give Up Hope: Happy-ish

June: School’s over for the year, and all the kids at the Salvatore School are heading home. Pedro runs to give his younger brother a hug. There’s another, smaller Pedro! How fun! People say tearful goodbyes to their friends. One goth witch angrily gets in the car to go home with her parents, who look like they just stepped out of a Ralph Lauren catalog.

Landon voices over that the end of the year means different things to different people. As Josie and Lizzie hug goodbye before separating for the summer, Landon says it’s the time for new adventures. Kaleb and M.G. pack their things so M.G. can go home with Kaleb. Landon, unfortunately, has nowhere to go (except the new room he’s moving into). He’s only ever wanted to know where he comes from, to have a home and family, and to be special. Recently he got all of that, but he feels like nothing’s changed.

One night, he goes to the dock and ties himself to a cinder block. He voices over that he feels like the most important piece of his life is missing. As far as he can tell, “being immortal means being alone. And being alone is…hopeless.” He jumps in the lake and sinks.

Josie uses a crystal to have an astral-projection conversation with Lizzie, who’s in Europe with Caroline. Caroline told Lizzie that the ascendant the girls found is one they made with Bonnie when they were little. Josie wonders if it has anything to do with the merge, but Caroline wouldn’t say any more. Lizzie blips out to avoid getting caught by her mother (because she…doesn’t want them talking?), then returns. Josie notes that they could use normal technology to talk. Lizzie reminds her that they’re not normal. Plus, they should keep their magic sharp while they’re on summer break.

Josie asks how therapy is going. Lizzie just talks about a hot guy who has a session after her; he doesn’t speak English, but she’s totally fine with that. Josie doesn’t have any romantic prospects since she’s been hanging out with Alaric so much. She mentions that the Honor Council voted for him to step down as headmaster. She thinks he’s having a midlife crisis now.

Lizzie worries that her sister isn’t having any fun, even with the only other person who stayed on campus, “wee Willie Winkle,” AKA Landon. Josie says he’s spending all his time with Rafael. Lizzie encourages her to come to Europe, but Josie doesn’t want to leave Alaric alone in case he gets the urge to buy a little red car. Lizzie reminds her that they agreed to work on being less codependent. Josie thinks it’s more important not to let Alaric get too out of control growing a mustache. Ooh, good call.

Alaric (who does have a mustache, but also a beard, and they’re not too bad…yet) arrives at the front gates and has to wait for Dorian to buzz him in. Dorian tells him that Caroline is still looking for a new headmaster. Alaric’s there to pick up some stuff before going back to Georgia to run more tests on the now-empty Malivore pit.

Dorian is cool toward him, and Alaric knows it’s because he didn’t react well to the vote to boot him. He was just surprised that Dorian (who subbed for Emma) kept his vote secret. Dorian thinks that was reasonable, what with it being a secret ballot and all. Alaric just wants to know how the vote was 3 to 1 when the people voting were Dorian, Josie, Kaleb, and Jed (subbing for Rafael). He figured Dorian would vote for him. Dorian wishes him luck in finding whatever he’s looking for.

On his way out, Alaric runs into Landon, who’s carrying a bunch of raw meat. He hasn’t had any luck finding a spell to turn Rafael human again. He asks if Alaric’s been able to find out why he can’t remember what happened at Triad – Landon thinks he’s the one who destroyed the Malivore pit.

In Atlanta, Kaleb cooks steak on a rooftop patio, talking to the meat formerly known as Gertrude the cow. His uncle has a farm outside the city, and Kaleb was there the day Gertrude was born. He’s totally fine with eating meat from an animal he watched grow up and whose name he knew. He bugs M.G. for pouting when they’re at the beginning of what will be the best summer of M.G.’s life.

M.G.’s down because he can’t go home to his family, and because he was just getting into the swing of being a superhero, and because school ended right when Lizzie started to think he was cool. Kaleb bans him from saying Lizzie’s name, then encourages him to act like he’s one of Kaleb’s family members. That means he has to start practicing for their traditional July 4th cook-off. Kaleb’s determined to beat his uncle this year. He gives M.G. some animal blood and gets him to relax and check out the view. M.G. toasts to the best summer of their lives. P.S. The blood is Gertrude’s.

Landon is having his own little cookout at the old mill, making ribs for Rafael. He thinks that once he can find a way to make Rafael human again, everything will be great. “I’ll never give up hope,” he title-drops.

Speaking of Hope, she’s having decidedly the worst summer of her life, trapped in Malivore’s unending darkness and solitude. She does a spell to conjure an orb of light, but all it shows her is more darkness. Suddenly a swirling portal opens above her and sucks her toward it. A hand grabs her wrist and pulls her back down. It’s Clarke.

Hope’s confused, since she thought she was at peace. Now that she knows he’s there, she must be in Hell. “No such thing. I think,” Clarke replies. (He’s right.) She refuses to accept that they’re in Malivore, since that means she failed. He taunts that all her heroics were for nothing, Malivore still exists, and everyone who knew her has forgotten that she existed.

Hope starts to storm off, but Clarke offers to help her. He’s been there before, so he knows that even though Hope diving into the pit didn’t destroy Malivore, it changed something. If she’ll stop being a jerk, maybe he’ll tell her more. “Okay. I’m partially listening,” she says. Clarke tells her that the creatures in Malivore used to be completely isolated from each other, but somehow the two of them are talking to each other. Hope’s presence has “opened the cell doors.” Maybe that means there’s a way out. He’d like to team up with her to find it.

She’s not interested, and she starts to walk off again. Clarke spits out that she’s a child, repeating that she failed. She fires back that his whole life has been about failing his father. She doesn’t trust him and never will. He reminds her that she brought him into this – they wouldn’t be here if she’d let him use Landon as Malivore’s vessel. Hope does the spell that makes him mimic her so she can control him. She wants no further conversations with him, and since he has to mirror her, she forces him to walk away in the complete opposite direction.

July: Landon talks to Rafael as he sets up an outdoor movie theater at the old mill. He moved out of their room while it was being painted but doesn’t feel like moving back until Rafael’s there, too. He wanted to let Rafael know in case Rafael’s able to turn human again, goes back to their room, and wonders why it’s empty. Landon is setting up the theater so they can have movie nights together. He lights a sparkler, since it’s July 4th.

Josie and Alaric are in downtown Mystic Falls, discussing the unsolved mysteries of what happened the night Landon (or, you know, whoever) destroyed the Malivore pit. Since whoever went into the pit would have been erased from everyone’s memories, Alaric is trying to figure out who they’ve forgotten. Josie notes that it couldn’t be anyone they knew, or there would be keepsakes and photos left behind. Alaric knows that whoever it was had to have been important to someone.

Josie wants to change the topic of conversation to the ascendant and the merge. Alaric is relieved to have a distraction when he spots Landon outside the Grill. Landon’s discouraged because he hasn’t had any luck helping Rafael. Josie asks him to talk to Alaric about why he’s dodging her questions about the merge. Alaric notes that he doesn’t have answers. Josie isn’t sure if he’s being honest about that or if he just doesn’t want to tell her anything.

Alaric says that she doesn’t need to know anything about the ascendant. She asks why he flinches every time she mentions it. He tells her it has nothing to do with the merge. Anyone who goes by a nickname knows that since he calls her Josette instead of Josie, he’s really serious about her dropping the subject. Landon decides to excuse himself from this family squabble and go back to campus. He wants to be with Rafael during the fireworks, in case he gets spooked. Josie invites herself along, no longer wanting to celebrate anything, “much less independence.”

In Atlanta, M.G. is cooking a piece of a cow named Daisy for the Hawkins family’s cook-off. A girl named Kym joins him on the patio and tells him that a good steak is like a plant you’ve shown love to. They chat a little, and it looks like M.G. might be ready to move on from his crush on Lizzie. Back in Mystic Falls, Landon again ties himself to a cinder block and jumps in the lake. While he’s underwater, he has flashes of memories of Hope.

Clarke is trying to reason with Hope when a bright light appears and another swirling portal forms. He begs her to break the mimic spell so he can help her. She does, and he’s able to jump on top of her before the portal can pull her in. Just when they think they’re safe, a huge monster appears and breathes fire at them.

Landon is also surrounded by fire, having died and burned up underwater. As he pulls himself up onto the dock, fireworks bursting in the sky, Josie makes her presence known. She thinks he’s trying to hurt himself, but he reminds her that he can’t die (at least as far as he knows). Josie notes that his ability to resurrect himself might not be infinite. Hurting himself won’t make anything better – it never does.

Landon spits out that maybe he should focus on other people’s problems instead of his own. Josie says she’s not, but he knows from being an experienced liar that she’s not being honest. Josie asks what they’re supposed to do. Landon doesn’t know. She suggests that they both stop worrying so much about dying and start living instead.

The Hawkinses’ cook-off is pretty competitive, with attendees casting votes for their favorite meals. M.G. tells Kaleb to relax, since it’s just barbecue. Kaleb replies that he stood by M.G. after he killed Landon, but if M.G. ever says something that stupid again, they’re not brothers anymore. Heh. Earl, the farming uncle, arrives and calls M.G. a blood-sucker. He’s just kidding around, though. He compliments Kaleb on making a meal that will most definitely earn second place. Kaleb still thinks he and M.G. have a chance at winning. It’s the best summer ever, after all.

M.G. tells Kaleb that he’s found a new object of his affection. He points out Kym, who happens to be about to cast a vote for his and Kaleb’s barbecue. M.G.’s thrilled: “Best summer –” “Never,” Kaleb finishes for him. Kym is his sister, who’s just returned from building houses for the homeless. M.G. can have tons of summer fun still, but not with Kym.

Landon and Josie have no such restrictions, so they start hanging out together. They play chess at the Grill (she uses magic to cheat); watch movies at the old mill, sometimes with Rafael; and write songs, he on guitar and she on ukulele.

August: Lizzie doesn’t get the dynamic when Josie tells her about it during a crystal conversation. “Somewhere in Belgium, Penelope Park’s black heart just exploded,” she says. “You and Gizmo the gremlin?” Josie corrects that Gizmo is a mogwai. “He’s got you speaking nerd!” Lizzie complains. Josie says they’re just friends, but Lizzie says they’re “a montage.” She’s having much more fun in Europe and still wants Josie to join her. Josie deactivates the crystal to end the conversation.

Hope wonders how long she and Clarke have been inside Malivore. He doesn’t think it matters. She hears what she thinks is a gargoyle and mentions that she and her friends once killed one. Those friends are just kids and took on a big monster, so why is Clarke, a villain, so scared? He denies that he’s ever been a villain. He’s a kid who’s afraid of his father and will do anything to get away from him. He’s spent his life trying to figure out how and has never succeeded. To make him feel better, Hope conjures a butterfly. He appreciates it.

A portal opens, but when Clarke grabs Hope’s arm, it disappears. She asks why he did that. Some skeletal monsters surround them and Hope quickly does a spell to make herself invisible. Clarke thinks she’s left him unprotected, but since the monsters leave without hurting them, it looks like she covered him as well. Clarke comments that it looks like they’re partners after all. Hope says she only saved him because he’s keeping things from her. She does a spell to make him only tell the truth.

Rafael hasn’t shown up for meals for three days, and Landon’s distressed. “I can’t let him be alone,” he tells Josie. She assures him that they’ll fine Rafael and everything will be okay. Back in Malivore, Hope tells Clarke that she’s figured something out: Those swirling portals only appear after she’s used magic. He confirms this. She thinks she wasn’t able to destroy Malivore because she’s not a fully activated tribrid (her vampire side is dormant until she dies). Malivore doesn’t want her here because she’s toxic to him.

Clarke confirms that Malivore is trying to expel her. He also admits that whenever a portal appears, he grabs on to her so he can get expelled with her. But Malivore wants to keep torturing Clarke even more than he wants to get rid of Hope. She says they just have to wait.

When the next portal appears, she tells Clarke, “That’s my ride.” He begs her not to leave him there, but she’s determined to get back to Landon and her friends. Clarke promises that if she helps him get back, too, she’ll never see him again. Hope can’t take the risk, and Clarke blurts that he wouldn’t, either, in her position. “Good luck, Clarke,” she says. “Screw you, Hope,” he replies. And then she’s sucked up to the portal and he’s alone again.

Josie does a locator spell to find Rafael, admitting to Landon that she used it to cheat at hide and seek as a kid. Landon tells her that he wasn’t trying to hurt himself on July 4th. When he goes under, he sees images that might be memories. There’s something buried in his brain that he can get a glimpse of when he dies. It could be nothing, but it could also be the answer to everything. Josie says that no answer is more important than him possibly using up all his resurrections.

Landon asks if she’s happy. He was “happy-ish” until Rafael went missing. Josie says she is, too, but she doesn’t think she’ll be truly happy until she knows whether she and Lizzie will survive past the merge. Landon tells her that he thinks Alaric is lying about the ascendant.

Alaric is, unsurprisingly, at a bar. He’s looking over clues from Triad at the Mystic Tap, where he attracts the attention of another patron. (She never gets a first name, but her last name is Machado, and I’ve seen some people call her Mac, so I’m going with that.) He tells her he’s a true crime novelist.

Josie shouts from the doorway that he’s a liar. She’s spent the summer worrying about him, thinking he might fall into a depression or buy a motorcycle. She gave up her summer with Caroline so he wouldn’t be alone, and this whole time, he was lying about the ascendant. The bartender threatens to call the cops on the underage girl in his bar, but Mac tells him to let Alaric talk to his daughter. Also, she is the cops, as she proves when she slaps her sheriff’s star on the bar.

Later that night, Josie has a crystal conversation with Lizzie and tells her that Alaric spilled everything. The ascendant is a lock to a prison world where they trapped their insane uncle, the only other living member of their family. He’s been through the merge, so he must have answers. Lizzie wants to visit him when she gets back, but Josie tells her that they can’t. Kai killed Jo. Using the ascendant is a last resort, and they should stay far away from it.

Josie encourages Lizzie to enjoy her summer instead of worrying about the merge. Lizzie admits that she’s in therapy three hours every day and spends the rest of her time with doctors and healers. She really wants to get better. She wishes she’d told Josie sooner that she’s not having the fun summer she’s pretended she’s having. She asks Josie to make the most of the rest of her own summer.

Dorian’s on his way out for the night when Hope appears at the school gates. He’s curious about how she knows his name. She lies that she read it on his parking pass. She says she’s there because of a boy, and he tells her everyone’s gone for the summer. After he leaves, Hope uses a key code to open the gates.

Josie joins Landon at his outdoor movie theater, where he’s watching an old monster movie. He tells her that her locator spell worked, but when he went to find Rafael, he was gone. Rafael’s not missing – he just doesn’t want to be there anymore. Landon worries that the longer he’s a wolf, the less human he’ll be, and the less need he’ll have for a human best friend. Josie suggests that he moved on because he saw that Landon has someone who makes him “happy-ish.” They kiss, and of course, that’s when Hope finds them.

She goes to the bus stop to leave town, and while she waits, she uses the conversation prism to talk to Landon. He says she already knows what he would say to her, but she wants to hear it anyway. He tells her that there’s no world where he would want her to leave town without telling him that she’s back. He’d want to hear about everything that happened because they love each other. She shouldn’t leave town, especially after they agreed not to lie to each other.

Hope bitterly asks what’s going on with him and Josie. He gets her to admit that she’s not really mad at him. It’s not like he’s cheating on her – he doesn’t even know she exists. Holo-Landon acknowledges that it’s painful for her, and she should think about how much it would hurt him to find out that she came back and didn’t try to talk to him. Hope promises to go back to him and tell him everything if he answers one question: Is he happy? Is everyone happier without her? Holo-Landon doesn’t answer. She asks him to leave so he won’t see her cry, even though she knows he’s not really there.

Summer’s over and M.G. and Kaleb are packing up to go back to school. Kaleb worries that he let M.G. down by not giving him the best summer ever that he kept aiming for. M.G. says that was always a big ask. Kaleb urges him to be honest more often, so M.G. admits that the summer sucked. The first time he tried to move on from Lizzie, Kaleb shut him down. Kaleb says he wants a family tree with branches instead of a brother who dates his sister. He’ll make it up to M.G. by getting him Lizzie. They’re going to have the best semester ever. Oh, and they won the cook-off!

Hope’s bus approaches her stop, but it suddenly flips over onto its side. There’s a huge troll in the road. Some things never change, huh, Hope? In Malivore, Clarke asks what his father wants from him. He can’t suffer any longer. He pleads for a final chance to serve his creator. He wants to be sent back.

A figure in a hooded robe enters a cemetery in Mystic Falls as Clarke promises to be what his father has always wanted. He’ll be the bad guy for real. Malivore needs him. If Malivore doesn’t trust Clarke to raise him, Clarke will at least kill Hope, the only thing that can destroy Malivore. The robed figure does some magic and a portal opens above Clarke. The robed figure is standing in the middle of Triad’s logo, which is on fire.

Etc.: Someone let Ablah know – Lizzie finally wound up in a world without Hope. And she can’t even enjoy it because she doesn’t know any different!

It’s hard to tell, but if you look at the doorway and window, Landon’s new room is Stefan’s room.

I don’t know why Dorian didn’t become the new headmaster. I mean, I do know why, since I’ve seen the next few episodes, but I’m just saying, he would have been my first pick.

Kaleb letting M.G. stay with him all summer makes me so happy. So does Landon not wanting Rafael to be alone during the fireworks.

The concept of trying to figure out who you’ve forgotten makes my head hurt. You can’t know who you’ve forgotten if you have no way of remembering them!

Having heard one song from Josie already, I can say with certainty that I don’t want to hear any of the songs she and Landon wrote together.

Aww, Josie used to cheat at hide and seek, the same game her Uncle Luke and Aunt Liv used to cheat at it.

I don’t think Alaric would ever buy a motorcycle, midlife crisis or no midlife crisis, but a little red car? Absolutely. Damon would help him pick it out.

I’m so confused about what the twins know about the Parkers, how/when they were told, etc. Obviously they’ve known for a long time that Jo was their biological mother and that she died, but it sounds like they didn’t know how or that it was at her and Alaric’s wedding. And no one ever told them about Kai? They never asked who murdered their mother or why??

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