The school is holding a memorial for Ethan, who I guess was the only permanent fatality in the battle against Ken. While everyone comforts each other outside, including Pedro, Finch brings Hope a package that just arrived from New Orleans. It’s Klaus’ urn with Hope’s Mikaelson pendant still draped around it. She tells Finch that he funded the school for her so she’d always have a home. She wants to honor that by scattering his ashes there.
Finch is a little down, and she confides that she thought Josie would have come back by now. She told Finch not to wait for her, but Finch isn’t sure what her role is at the school without her. Hope asks for her advice on what to do with the god spear, AKA the only thing that can kill her. It can’t be destroyed; they can’t leave it lying around, because someone will come after it; and if Hope hides it, she’ll be the only person who knows where it is, which is a bad idea in case she ever turns off her humanity again.
Alaric summons everyone for an assembly. He tells them that when Ethan came to the school, he promised Sheriff Mac the same thing he promised all their parents – that he would take care of them as if they were his own children. But they’re holding another memorial, which isn’t what the school was for. It was supposed to be a safe place for supernaturals. It seems like it’s impossible to achieve Alaric’s mission statement. He can’t keep his promise any longer, so they need to close the school. Hope stands up to protest, but Alaric continues that there’s nothing more to say, other than, “I’m sorry.”
Ben and Jed spent the night at the old mill and missed Ethan’s memorial. Jed thinks something’s off with himself – he feels different physically. (Emotionally, he’s awesome, thanks to Ben.) Ben promises that they’ll figure out what’s going on. M.G. finds Lizzie packing up Twin Turret and asks if she’s really going to accept Alaric’s decision without a fight. She tells him she’s tired of fighting. She’s going to go visit Josie. He points out that if the school closes, some of their classmates won’t have anywhere to go. He wants to make Alaric see that. Lizzie admits that she agrees with the decision to close.
Hope blasts Alaric for announcing the closing without discussing it with anyone. They need the school. She needs the school. He’s sure she’ll find a new path, but she wants the path she’s already on, the one she just got back on. Alaric says that the path leads to death. Just because being there feels good doesn’t mean it’s right. This will be painful, but it’ll get better each day. Staying will just make the pain worse. Hope says the real solution is a headmaster who can handle the pressure of staying open.
Kaleb finds Cleo trying to paint in the art room. She’s having a creative block. He invites her to come to Atlanta with him if the school really does close. First, though, he wants her to know more about him. He can’t tell her, since “we’re all the heroes of our own stories,” and he doesn’t want to put a bias on his. She needs to use her powers to see his story for herself. Noooo, we want to see, too! Show us how Kaleb became a vampire! And M.G., too!
While Hope does a spell in her room, Landon explains to Ethan that he’s in limbo but should be able to get to peace pretty easily. Ethan would prefer to be resurrected, of course, but Landon already used his coupon for one free resurrection (times three) and can’t get another. He promises to help Ethan figure out what to do next. Maybe not this second, though, because Landon suddenly disappears. Hope’s spell has summoned him to her. She’s heard about his new job as the Ferryman, and she wants him to use it to help her see Klaus.
Landon isn’t sure that Klaus is in limbo. Hope thinks that as the Ferryman, he should be able to find out. He tells her that he’s already suffering the effects of sending back Kaleb, M.G., and Jed – everything is now muted and dull for him in the real world. Hope guesses that that includes his feelings for her. The cost must have been his humanity.
Landon isn’t sure about that; he still loves her. He wants to fulfill her request, but would it be worth him losing another piece of himself? Hope needs help figuring out where to take Klaus’ ashes, because it can’t be the school. She also feels like she’s screwed up a lot recently and might be able to fix everything if she can get this one thing right. It’s not worth hurting Landon, though, so she’ll drop it. She hugs him until he disappears.
Cleo comes out of her look inside Kaleb’s head, where, instead of seeing his past, she caught a glimpse of the future. She tells him it was beautiful, but they weren’t together. Back in limbo, Landon returns to the bar and finds that Ethan helped some people while he was gone. That makes Landon even more sure that Ethan deserves peace. Ethan still doesn’t want to move on, though. He’d be perfectly happy being Landon’s sidekick and continuing his time as Rescue Guy. Landon already has a task for him to complete.
M.G. brings Lizzie and Alaric to a meeting to try to convince them that closing the school would be a horrible idea. Lizzie agrees with Alaric that the school is too dangerous for the students. Every time they solve a problem, another one pops up. Uh, that’s just life. M.G. reminds her that the students’ problems landed them there in the first place. Maybe the school isn’t safe for them, but the world isn’t, either. The school is a home and family. “You are breaking up the squad!” he exclaims.
Alaric promises that he doesn’t want to close the school that he and Caroline built for their children. Lizzie says they need a fresh start after all they’ve gone through. M.G. won’t accept that. Alaric is running from grief so he won’t hurt anymore. He’s making a decision for everyone, the exact thing he promised Landon he would stop doing. As for Lizzie, she made bad decisions after Josie left, and now she wants to run to her sister instead of facing a life without her.
After the meeting, Lizzie tries to chat with Hope, who wants to be alone. She feels like everyone’s singling her out as the reason the school is going to close. Lizzie admits that “M.G.’s puppy-dog eyes hit below the belt.” She was all ready to run away until she got a letter from Josie. She gives it to Hope to read, since it contains something for her.
Hope busts through a barrier spell Alaric was using to keep people out of his office, where he’s filling out the paperwork to shut down the school. (He bribed Pedro with candy to do the spell, but it looks like Pedro played him. Or maybe he just isn’t doing as well in his witch classes as Alaric thought.) Hope wants to thank Alaric for helping bring back her humanity. Alaric reveals that it was actually Josie’s idea. Hope learned that from her letter, which also contained the amplifying talisman. Josie previously sent it to the Mikaelsons, who had it with them when they got through to Hope. Now Josie wants Hope to give it to someone who needs it. Hope thinks that’s Alaric. Maybe there’s a little voice in his head that’s trying to be heard over all his fear.
Ethan went looking for Klaus in limbo but has heard that he’s no longer there. Landon laments that the only way to contact someone who’s found peace is to go there, which he can’t do as the Ferryman. But Ethan can, if he changes his mind about staying in limbo.
Jed and Ben get some wolfsbane from the school garden so Jed can test out a theory. The wolfsbane does nothing to him, making him realize that, somehow, his werewolf curse was reset and he’s human again. It’s another change in a long line of ones he’s undergone recently. He’s proud of those changes. Being a wolf and leading the pack have always defined him, so maybe this is a sign that he’s supposed to figure out who he is without them. Ben is also free of something that defined him all his life, so he gets it. If Jed is going to search for something, Ben would like to come along.
Hope takes Klaus’ urn to the dock, trying to decide if it would be a special place to him like it is for her. If she scatters his ashes there and the school closes, she’ll be separated from him again. She asks for a sign. Landon suddenly appears and holds out his hand to take her somewhere.
Lizzie goes to M.G. to tell him that Josie’s pendant made her think about how M.G.’s voice always cuts through all the others in her head. When he died, she thought there was no one left in her life who would help her sort out the good from the bad. “You’re my pendant,” she tells him. M.G. asks where they go from here. Lizzie tells him that Josie found a school to attend in Europe, and she sounds happy. Lizzie wanted to go be with her, but M.G. helped her realize that instead of running to her sister, she’d be running away from everything else. That’s not who she is anymore. If M.G. wants to fight to save the school, Lizzie will be his squad.
Someone opens the door to the room where they’re about to make out, and Lizzie calls out for the person to go away without looking to see who it is. “I’ve been gone long enough, don’t you think?” the newcomer replies. Caroline Forbes has finally came back to the school!
Jed meets up with Finch, who says the werewolves are doing okay with the news that the school may close. He tells her that no matter what, the pack stays together. He acknowledges how much she’s led the pack while he’s been dealing with god stuff, then announces that he and Ben are leaving. He wants Finch to take over as alpha.
She’s hesitant, since she never wanted that role, but Jed thinks that makes her perfect for it. If the school closes, she’ll keep everyone together. Finch admits that the school has come to mean a lot to her. She asks if they have to do an alpha challenge. Jed knows he’ll lose, now that he’s human, but Finch assures him that he’s still strong. Her challenge is a long hug – the first to let go loses.
Landon takes Hope to the old mill, which he’s set up for a movie again. He tells her that Klaus found peace. Landon thought that meant that he couldn’t arrange a father/daughter reunion, but with his Ferryman perks and Hope’s tribrid powers, he made something work. Hope’s like, “Please don’t make me watch Star Wars again.”
He reminds her of the time they watched the Matrix movies and then debated whether the spoon was actually a spoon. He takes her hand, which makes footage appear on the screen. It’s shots of Hope as a baby, back when Rebekah was taking care of her. Landon’s all, “The screen is not a spoon,” which I think just means, “It’s magic; don’t worry about it.”
The footage changes to Hope as an older child and a teen, mostly times she was with Klaus. Then Ethan appears with a greeting from peace. He’s happy that Landon talked him into going there. He disappears and Hope tells Landon to bring the message back. “Wait for it,” he tells her.
“My dearest Hope,” Klaus says, appearing on the screen. “My littlest wolf. My miracle child.” He sees this opportunity to give her one last message as a gift. “You will make mistakes in your life,” he warns. “That comes with being a Mikaelson. You will go through hard times, for no one with your power always knows how to use it properly. You will find love…and you will lose it, for such is the burden of immortality. The most important thing about your life is that you live it, because you are my peace.” He regrets a lot of things, but not a single moment he spent with her. He loves her always and forever.
Kaleb takes some art supplies to Cleo’s room to try to help her get past her block. She’s inspired a lot of people, and he wants to return the favor. He won’t let her vision scare him off – at this school, they fight for the things they love. He wants to pose for her, since what’s more inspiring than “all of this dragon”? Cleo reminds him of when she had her vision of the school being destroyed and told him he was a good man. He’s actually the best man, at least for her. She loves him no matter what comes next. As they make out, the paint in the cans he’s brought bursts out and colors her blank canvas.
Hope returns to Alaric’s office to try again to talk him out of closing the school. So what if he’s failed? So has everyone else there. The school is a place for second chances, where people don’t have to be perfect. There are tons of scared supernaturals who want to be understood. Maybe they just need to change their mission statement. Alaric tells her that he’s used the amplifying talisman to listen to the little voice in his head. It agrees with her.
M.G. confides to Lizzie that he’s a little scared of Caroline. Lizzie warns that her mother won’t make it easy for him, as he’s her first boyfriend. He jokes that they might want to go to Europe after all. She reminds him that they’re not running away. She doesn’t think they would like Belgium anyway.
Alaric calls another assembly, this time to announce that the school will stay open. However, he’s going to step down as headmaster. The school was created to protect supernaturals from the world, but now he thinks the world needs to get to know them and their abilities. They deserve to be known. Alaric wants to tell their stories in a definitive history of the supernatural beings he’s known. If there’s ever another battle, they’ll be armed with the stories of the people they’ve loved and lost.
Wade speaks for everyone when he asks who will replace Alaric. Alaric assures him that the job will stay in the family. She’s not a professor and she doesn’t have extensive knowledge of every monster in the world, but Caroline will make an excellent new administrator.
Hope catches Alaric packing up to leave in the middle of the night, not wanting to wait until the morning for his official departure. He’s sick of saying goodbye to people. She asks if he’ll be okay. He just asks the question back. She says this is the first time in a while that she’s felt like she will be. In that case, Alaric doesn’t see the school as so much as a failure. They hug and she thanks him for being the second best father a girl could have. He thanks her for being the third best daughter. Then he drives off in his SUV to have whatever middle-aged adventures are in his future.
In the morning, Hope gives Wade a package to send to Josie. She’s entrusting Josie to look after the god spear. Cleo hangs her painting in what’s now Caroline’s office, naming it Passion. Kaleb asks what she saw in her vision of the future. She doesn’t want to tell him, since that might change it. That’s what he wants. She tells him he changes the world, at least for other supernaturals.
He starts to lead her out, but she wants to do something first – something that has to do with her future. She sits behind the desk, smiling to herself. Caroline comes in and jokes that she’s already out of a job. Cleo says she was just daydreaming. Or was she imagining the future she saw in her vision?
Hope returns to the dock, ready to scatter Klaus’ ashes. Landon joins her there, bringing her a peanut butter blast with whipped cream on the bottom. She’s happy that some things don’t change, especially when everything else is. She asks if Landon is happy. He can’t really answer that, since happiness is an emotion, but he feels like he belongs in limbo. He’s always wanted a home. “Just don’t be a stranger, okay?” Hope title-drops. Landon promises that, no matter how much they change, they could never be strangers. She tells him she’ll always love him, and he replies that she’ll always know where to find him.
Hope says it’s time for one more goodbye. (Music: “It’s Time,” Jordan Frye ft. Jean-Paul Barjon covering Imagine Dragons) She asks if Landon will stay with her another minute. He tells her the dead can wait. “Some have waited long enough,” she replies. She opens the urn and uses magic to send her father’s ashes out to the water.
“When we’re young, we’re taught the distinction between a hero and a villain, good and evil, a savior and a lost cause,” Hope voices over in an echo of her first words in the series. Ben and Jed are in the woods, reading a book of Greek folktales together in a hammock. “But I’ve learned the only real difference is just who’s telling the story.”
Hope gets dressed, giving us a glimpse of the Crescent birthmark on her back. She puts her Mikaelson pendant back on as she voices over that she comes from a long line of villains – or at least she used to think they were villains. She doesn’t anymore. The Salvatore School used to protect the secrets of supernatural kids, but now they’re going to use their secrets to protect others, because they’re heroes. Today they’re opening their doors to a new class they’re going to teach to be heroes.
The current students are all in the Great Hall, ready to make what Caroline hopes will be a good first impression on their new classmates. She asks Hope to open the doors. Hope goes outside to greet the next generation of heroes and squad members with two words: “Welcome home.”
Etc.: Congratulations to Candice King (Caroline) for being the only actor from the three shows to appear in all three series finales.
Speaking of Candice King, one of the students in the final scenes is her daughter.
Hope uses a picture of herself and Landon in her spell to summon him. Landon has the exact same picture in his bar. I like that detail, that they both chose the same one.
Joseph Morgan (Klaus) was in Canada when this episode was being filmed, so he wasn’t able to make it to Georgia for the finale, and though it’s a little disappointing that we don’t get to see one last interaction between Klaus and Hope, I don’t mind how they did this.
I can absolutely see Cleo being the head of the school some day. She has all the qualities you’d want in someone in that role.
The mention of Josie being in Belgium is a throwaway, but I like to imagine she’s at the all-witch school Penelope now attends. How many supernatural schools can there be in Belgium?
As a finale for Legacies, I think this episode is really satisfying. As a finale for the whole Vampire Diaries franchise, not so much. They should have been given more warning that they were going to be canceled so they could wrap things up across the board. That said, I appreciate that, for the most part, the franchise has a happy ending. After all these years of angst and drama and trauma and tears, almost everyone finds peace.