A vehicle from the sheriff’s department drives to the Salvatore School and a deputy knocks on the front door. Lizzie answers it, having spent the night in the Great Room because Josie and Finch were busy in Twin Turret. The deputy asks to speak to an adult or someone in charge. Lizzie says her father is the headmaster and she’ll go get him. The deputy stops her and tells her he has some bad news.
Josie wakes up and thinks she’s alone, but Finch is just scrunched halfway down the bed. She thinks they should celebrate Cleo’s return. Lizzie yells for Josie, who goes running to find her. Ethan moves into Landon and Rafael’s room (which M.G. officially confirms used to be Stefan’s), concerned because bad stuff happened to the room’s last three residents. As an athlete, he’s superstitious. M.G. tells him that they can talk to Alaric and maybe get him a different room. Ethan’s bummed that M.G. isn’t more excited about Ethan having superpowers. M.G.’s more worried about the two of them and Lizzie all being at the same school. Finch comes to get M.G., anxiously telling him that Lizzie needs him.
Kaleb finds Cleo in the art room, where she spent most of the night after being inspired. She’s sculpting a tree. He didn’t sleep, either, since he can’t stop thinking about how he took Hope to Malidon and sold out the whole school. Cleo regrets that she can’t help Landon, so she’ll help Kaleb instead. He thinks she’s a forgiveness expert, since she tried to kill Hope and wound up becoming a member of the Super Squad. She tells him that he just needs to be honest with their friends. They’ll understand and forgive him.
Josie and Lizzie go to the hospital, where Alaric is being treated for what they think is, for once, an actual animal attack. Dorian’s in Shanghai visiting Emma, and Caroline is in Africa, so there are no adults around to sit with them. Lizzie wants to give her father M.G.’s blood (a woman in the waiting room perks up at that), but they can’t be sure he’ll survive surgery. She’s upset that no one will tell them what happened. Josie is sure that Alaric will be okay, and they shouldn’t even think about other possibilities.
M.G. joins them, having used his vamp hearing to learn that Alaric is out of surgery and is stable. They should be able to see him soon, but M.G. doesn’t think he’ll be able to fix Alaric’s injuries. Kaleb and Cleo arrive and wonder where Hope is.
She’s at a bar, showing her Salvatore School ID to try to get a drink. (This makes no sense, since there’s nothing on there about her age.) The bartender rejects it, so Hope just compels him to give her what she wants. She dances with another bar patron, Brandy, as a precursor to getting another kind of drink. She’s about to bite Brandy when a familiar voice asks to cut in. Surprise, Hope – Aunt Rebekah is in town!
Rebekah’s disappointed that her niece isn’t happier to see her. She compels Brandy to go change the song on the jukebox, since “country music is for garbage people.” Rebekah’s there to try to make up for missing Hope’s tribrid transformation, and since they’re both vampires now, why not share a drink together? Sorry, Brandy, you didn’t get spared after all.
Ethan’s working out in the gym when his powers start to glitch, making his hands fade in and out. He drops his barbell but Finch is close enough to run over and catch it. She didn’t go to the hospital since she thought Josie and Lizzie needed time alone. Plus, she hates hospitals. Ethan asks how she manages dating a Saltzman girl. Finch is surprised that he wants advice from her, since he wasn’t exactly friendly to her when she dated Maya. He thinks he would have seen her differently if he’d known she was a werewolf. So he’s only a jerk to humans? Anyway, Ethan wants to do something to show Lizzie that she’s not alone during this crisis. Finch feels the same.
Kaleb returns from calling the school to check in and learns that the rest of the Super Squad talked to Vardemus. Alaric is in a coma, and Vardemus said that vampire blood won’t wake him up. The doctors won’t know his prognosis until he regains consciousness. Cleo suggests a head dive, which could allow Josie and Lizzie to find their father inside his mind. Lizzie doesn’t trust Kaleb to do it, since he sold them out to Malivore. That leaves it to M.G. Kaleb’s hurt but feels he deserves that treatment. He wants to help somehow, so he and Cleo head off to look for Hope.
Rebekah’s done with one of her drinks, since Brandy is almost empty. Hope suggests that they keep drinking until she’s dead. Rebekah compels Brandy to leave (and to “always remember that country music is awful”). Hope is surprised that Rebekah kept up her act as long as she did. Rebekah hates seeing Hope deal with her new nature on her own when she has a whole family of people who have been through it. She asks Hope to come home with her. Hope says that Rebekah has no idea what she’s going through.
Rebekah asks if she’s missing something – being the tribrid can’t be that different from being a vampire. Hope replies that this isn’t about what Rebekah’s missing. Rebekah realizes that she turned off her humanity.
Josie, Lizzie, and M.G. do a head dive on Alaric and see the end of his conversation with Hope. They learn that she’s the tribrid, she killed Landon, and she turned off her humanity. Then they see her vamp out and attack Alaric, throwing him around and beating him. She says she knows he’s been trying to prevent her from becoming the tribrid since she was a kid, but he was just holding her back. She’s finally realized that she’s her father’s daughter. She throws Alaric around again, then grinds her foot into his back before stepping over him. “And I’m cool with that,” she says as she walks away.
Lizzie runs to Alaric, who’s unconscious (and couldn’t hear her even if he weren’t, since she and Josie are just in his memory). Josie says they need to warn their classmates about Hope. Lizzie doesn’t care about her – if Hope were there right now, Lizzie would kill her. Josie notes that that might not be possible. Plus, she doesn’t think Lizzie could actually do it. Lizzie tells Josie that the best way to protect the Super Squad is to not tell them what’s going on with Hope. They’ll go after her and she’ll probably kill them, too.
Josie firmly tells Lizzie not to talk like Alaric is dead. They may not know where he is, but if they’re in his mind, he has to be there somewhere. Josie spots bloody footprints, which Lizzie says are from boots that Caroline got Alaric for Christmas. Josie notes that he came from a different direction in the memory. The footprints belong to another part of him. The twins clasp hands and head off to follow them.
They end up in a memory that Josie describes as “utter chaos, wanton destruction, borderline death.” It’s the twins’ 11th birthday party. The presents have been destroyed, the decorations are in disarray, and there’s a very sad-looking, half-inflated bouncy castle. The twins fought with Alaric that day because they invited everyone at the school except Hope. He brought her anyway and she turned the cake filling into worms. She and the twins had a magic battle that resulted in all the destruction around them. “Did we really invite Wade?” Lizzie asks.
Josie wonders why Alaric would want to revisit this memory. Lizzie thinks it’s because this is the day he realized that Hope is evil. He took the twins’ side over hers for once, then had a long talk with Hope that Lizzie imagines was harsh. Josie thinks he could be in that memory, so they go to his office. The only Alaric there is the one from his memory, so she doesn’t see the point in staying, but Lizzie wants to hear his conversation with Hope.
Alaric is pretty harsh, but Hope is justifiably angry that Josie and Lizzie get to have a birthday party every year attended by their whole family. She feels like her family doesn’t even remember her. Alaric sympathizes and urges her to be stronger than Josie and Lizzie when they’re mean to her. Hope asks what good it is to be strong if she has to hide it. He wants to use a new form of discipline on her: She’s going to an art exhibit. Hope doesn’t see how that’s punishment until he tells her it’s modern art. Ha! He agrees to get ice cream with her, too.
Lizzie’s annoyed that Alaric is on his deathbed and is only thinking about how he could have been a better father to Hope. Josie tells her they need to keep looking for the real Alaric or they’ll never understand.
Hope had a little too much to drink (alcohol-wise) and ends up throwing up in a trash can behind the bar. Rebekah tries to help her, but Hope wants her to get that her help isn’t wanted. Rebekah notes that, according to Hope, she didn’t voluntarily turn off her humanity. Hope’s happy about it and is excited to be able to choose her own fate and be whoever she wants, wherever she wants. Rebekah tells her that’s part of the blessing and curse of immortality. Enhanced senses make being a vampire better, but what’s the point if you can’t appreciate them?
Hope points out that Rebekah wants to be human again. Yeah, but she’s been a vampire for over 1,000 years. She was jealous that Klaus and Hayley were able to have a baby, but she’d give up having her own and let Hope have the cure if she wanted it. Hope calls her a hypocrite and a martyr like Klaus. She needs to go live wherever she wants and let Hope do the same. As Hope turns away, Rebekah pulls a dagger out of her pocket. She says Hope is right about the hypocrisy, since she always hated it when Klaus did this to her. She spins Hope around and daggers her.
In Alaric’s next memory, he’s arguing with Emma about putting a stop to construction on the Salvatore School. He doesn’t want to open the school if they’ll have to admit Hope. Her psych evaluation “has more red flags than a Georgia football game.” Emma reminds him that the point of the school is to help people like Hope. Alaric replies that there’s no one like her. She could be the most powerful supernatural being to ever exist, and she’s “a ticking time bomb.” Bro, one of your kids tried to set the other on fire. And that was the good kid.
Alaric asks Emma her professional opinion of what would happen if they take Hope in and screw things up. Emma admits that it would probably haunt them forever, but it would haunt them more if they didn’t try. Hope is capable of doing so much good. Alaric won’t budge on the subject, and Lizzie comments, “Memory Dad’s a real flip-flopper.” Hope isn’t the hero in this memory. Josie wonders what made him change his mind.
The head dive ends, not because M.G. pulled the twins out but because something’s wrong with Alaric. A medical team rushes into his room and tries to stabilize him. The news later is bad: He had a hemorrhagic stroke and his brain is bleeding. The doctors don’t think they can help him. His brain is still showing activity, though, and he may be able to hear people, at least for a little while.
M.G. doesn’t want to accept that there might not be anything they can do. Alaric has always taught his students to try harder and be better than humans. They need to go about this differently. The twins need to figure out which memory Alaric will visit next and try to get there ahead of him. Lizzie guesses it’ll be about Hope, but M.G. disagrees. He’s seen the same memories the twins have, and he thinks there’s one that Alaric will definitely visit. Josie suggests that one of the twins stay back in case something else happens to Alaric. Lizzie’s scared to go back into his mind without Josie, so M.G. says he’ll go with her.
Rebekah is stashing Hope in her trunk when the bartender catches her and snaps her neck. He’s also a vampire, and he’s thrilled to have the tribrid in his clutches. He calls a woman who warns him to never underestimate a Mikaelson. He thinks the woman is scared of Hope, and he’s not sure why she wants him to bring Hope to her. But it doesn’t matter, since Hope’s undaggered and has revived.
Lizzie and M.G. do another head dive, which takes them to what she thinks is just another hallway in the hospital. M.G. notices that they’re actually at Whitmore Medical Center, where Lizzie and Josie were born. In fact, it’s the day of their birth. Lizzie doesn’t think Alaric will come there, but she’s wrong, because he’s just arrived. He’s happy to see her and grateful to M.G. for bringing her there.
Alaric is aware of what’s going on and remembers what happened. He thinks his life is flashing before his eyes. There haven’t been a lot of highlights, but seeing one of his daughters makes up for that. Lizzie tells him that Josie is waiting for them, but Alaric isn’t sure he can go back. He points to a set of doors and says that on the other side, he’s holding his daughters for the first time and naming them. It was the happiest day of his life.
Lizzie asks why he’s never talked about it before. He says the delivery was complicated, and there was a huntress and Heretics and…you know what, Lizzie, just read the recap. Alaric always thought he had more time. The lights in the hallway flicker, making him think time is running out even faster than he suspected. He wants to apologize while he can.
So does the bartender, who hopes that saying he’s sorry will get Hope to unchain him and stop using him as a dartboard. He offers to tell her who sent him after her; she’s “the hunted, not the hunter.” Hope protests that, as an apex predator, no one hunts her, except maybe Rebekah. The bartender tells her to open his shirt so he can prove himself. On his chest is a brand of the Triad logo.
Hope tells him she already shut them down, but the brand is a mark of allegiance to the original Triad, the bloodlines that created Malivore. Hope still doesn’t care, since she killed Malivore. The bartender says that she’s the Triad’s new interest. She’s “a new breed of monster,” and the only thing the three factions agree on is destroying her. Hope quips that that’s flattering.
She starts to stake the bartender, who tries to buy himself a stay of execution by offering to take her to the Triad. “Has anybody ever told you you’re not a great henchman?” Hope asks. “All the time,” he replies. Ha! He hates how the Triad treats him. If Hope kills them, both of them will be free. She’s not interested in working with him, but she says if he tells her the names of the Triad members, she’ll make his death quick. As he’s about to tell her, his brand ignites and burns up his whole body.
Lizzie doesn’t get why Alaric thinks he needs to apologize. He feels like he failed her and Josie. After the girls were born, his whole life became about protecting them. M.G. thinks that’s why he changed his mind about letting Hope come to the school. Alaric says that he worried that Hope would turn out like her father, but he realized that if his girls could turn out as great as they have in spite of him, so could Hope. He saw a world where the three girls became friends, even family. Then if something happened to Alaric or Caroline, they could all protect each other.
The lights in the hallway start going out. Alaric asks Lizzie and M.G. to forgive him for putting them in danger. M.G. doesn’t see a need to offer forgiveness, since he’s made plenty of mistakes himself, but if that’s what Alaric needs, no problem. Lizzie, however, refuses – she doesn’t want Alaric to feel like he can die and go to peace. He needs to come back with them and make up for all his mistakes.
Alaric wants to, but he apologizes anyway for the times he wasn’t there for his daughters. Lizzie is perfect to him, and the flaws she thinks she has make her that way. He’s sorry for leaving her in a more dangerous world when he just wanted to make it safer. But he’s sure she’ll figure things out better than he could. The lights flicker more and Alaric tells Lizzie he loves her. He makes her promise that she and Josie will take care of each other, no matter what.
Kaleb and Cleo go to the bar where Hope’s spent the day and find the bartender’s burned corpse. Cleo says they’ll just keep looking. Also, this doesn’t count as their first date. Ha! Kaleb’s impressed that she’s always able to stay positive. She tells him she’s overcome a lot of things that others would consider impossible. Until just recently, she had to do it alone. With Kaleb by her side, even the trickiest things seem easier. He promises he’s not going anywhere, and he suggests that they share a drink to solidify their partnership. She’d prefer to seal it with a kiss.
Ethan finds M.G. outside the hospital, giving Josie and Lizzie some time alone with Alaric. He’s stable but his mind seems to be gone. Ethan says that he and Finch wanted to do something. He shows M.G. a bag he brought, and the contents make M.G. comment that the school is already better for having Ethan there.
He wants to talk about their love triangle with Lizzie. Ethan says he already knows that M.G. is Lizzie’s other option. He figured it out when Finch came to get M.G. because Lizzie needed support. M.G. says that there’s going to come a day when he finally tells Lizzie exactly how he feels. Ethan replies that they’ll jump off that cliff when they get to it. Until then, he wants to be friends.
Josie regrets not being able to do anything while Lizzie was in Alaric’s mind. She wishes she’d told Lizzie not to go in, and she wants to work on being better about speaking her mind. Lizzie’s sorry for being selfish, which she thinks she got from Alaric. She promises to find a way to bring their father back.
As the girls leave the hospital for the night, they’re met by their classmates, who have gathered outside with candles. It’s just like “Do Not Go Gentle,” even down to the music. Jed plays something on a guitar and Wade lights candles for Kaleb and Cleo as they arrive. M.G. looks on as Ethan hugs Lizzie, but she turns to him next, then hugs them both at the same time. Kaleb chats with her and she puts a hand on his shoulder, past her earlier resentment.
Rebekah wakes up at an outdoor storage facility, guessing that Hope is going to leave her there. She reminds Hope that they’re family, but Hope doesn’t see what good that is if family can stab you in the back. Or in the front, in this case. P.S. The Originals’ daggers don’t have quite the same effect on the tribrid. Rebekah says she had to try, since Klaus would. Hope replies that he’s dead because of family, love, and her. Maybe Rebekah should stop trying to be like him. If she cares about her family, she should stay away from Hope. Hope is her father’s daughter but she won’t make the same mistakes he did.
Rebekah says that Klaus would be ashamed of Hope. As she starts to leave, Hope stops her and takes off her insignia pendant. She thinks Freya spelled it and Rebekah used it to find her. She gives it back to Rebekah, telling her to keep it “always and forever.” In exchange, Hope will take her car. As she drives off, she calls the bartender’s contact to let her know that she’s coming for the Triad. The woman says she’ll be waiting.
Etc.: This is Emma’s last episode, and I just need to say that she and Alaric should have ended up together. (Sorry, Dorian.)
Hope’s sexuality has never been confirmed (though she once mentioned a brief crush on Josie), but her flirty dance with the woman at the bar makes me mentally nudge her spot on the Kinsey scale a little further from 0.
It makes me giggle to think of Rebekah and Hope sharing blood from the same victim as the equivalent of an aunt taking her niece out for her first drink on her 21st birthday. It’s even funnier that their victim’s name, Brandy, is a type of alcohol.
The timing of the opening of the Salvatore School seems off here, since Hope would have only been preschool-age at the time – what kind of psych evaluations could Emma have run on her? Also, there’s no way Caroline would let Alaric refuse to admit Hope.
I didn’t recognize the voice of the woman the bartender calls when I first watched this episode, but once you know who she is (we’ll find out in three episodes), her voice is instantly familiar.
The bartender: “You can’t kill me.” Hope: “No, I’m going to. I’m literally doing it right now.” Humanity-less Hope is much funnier than the regular Hope.