We don’t know how many times and ways we can say it: You need to be watching Legacies. If you’re here, you’re likely already watching it, but we’re just doing our best to spread the word that it’s so much fun, and so far is turning out to be a fun, funny, really well done show that we can’t get enough of—and that is reminding us of some of our other favorite shows in the best ways. One thing we weren’t so sure of after just seeing the pilot was the monster element, which had been promised but hadn’t made an appearance quite yet. Legacies’ parent shows, The Vampire Diaries and The Originals, didn’t really feature monsters in the way this show does, to the point where Alaric (Matt Davis), who was a series regular on The Vampire Diaries, is only just now learning that these monsters exist, after they were lured out by a mysterious stolen knife. Last week, a fire-breathing dragon. This week, a human-protecting gargoyle.
The gargoyle looked awesome, but it was what Alaric realized about the gargoyle that felt most significant about what this show could be. It had no interest in killing humans, like Alaric, but was actually after the school full of evil things, like vampires and werewolves. That’s something that The Vampire Diaries and The Originals always explored—what with Hope’s dad Klaus being one of the most evil creatures on earth—but something about the creatures being students in a school makes this show feel a lot more allegorical, and a little more grounded. “I pride myself and I think we all pride ourselves on the fact that our show definitely defies odds and steps outside of the box in many ways, including the ‘good guys,'” Danielle Rose Russell, who plays Hope, tells E! News. “But just like any supernatural being, there’s an evil side, each one, but you never really know. Even these kids who are trying to be the best versions of themselves and trying to be good and this and do the right thing, most of them, at least you will definitely see them battle of good and evil inside of them all.”
That’s no more true than with Hope herself, who started to dabble in some dark magic after she thought Landon betrayed her (which he did, but not to the level or for the reasons she had thought). None of the Mikaelsons ever did well with betrayal, but at least this time Hope only got punished with trash duty, and nobody died or anything. “Klaus made a little bit of an appearance in Hope in this episode, which is really sad, I think,” Russell says. “I hope that I get to play it a little more because it was really fun for me as an actor. Hope has a lot going on inside of her. Just the fact that the only one of her kind, battling three different natures inside of her at once. And also being raised by the family that she has, the Michaelsons and the Marshalls really has bred her to be evil, but she’s fighting the best way she can, and I think she’s doing a pretty good job.” Trash duty even helped Hope begin what looks like it could be a nice friendship with Josie (Kaylee Bryant), so it’s not all bad, but we really haven’t even seen the beginning of what Hope can do as the only werewolf/vampire/witch in existence. Russell says we might see more of her other two slightly more monstrous sides later on in the season. “Hope really has so many different layers to her and she’s so unpredictable that she could go off any deep end at any time,” Russell teases.
While the boarding school feels like a more modern Harry Potter, the monster of the week mixed with the teenage existential crises brings back pleasant memories of Buffy the Vampire Slayer at its best, even if this time it’s the vampires saving the day, and the special effects are a whole lot better. Hope’s relationship with headmaster Alaric is even extra reminiscent of Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and Giles (Anthony Head), with the added complication that this Giles also has a whole school and two actual daughters of his own to take care of. “He’s her mentor and her confidant, but also her partner in crime, and also he’s the headmaster and she’a s student at the school, so there are many roles that the relationship between these two characters takes on,” Russell says of Hope and Alaric. “They have a love for each other in a very strange way, because he respects her and understands that she doesn’t like to get too close to people, but she let him in a little bit more than she lets other people in.”
Russell also says this season will explore a lot more of Alaric’s role as a pseudo father to Hope, after she lost her own father at the end of The Originals, and we’re in for a lot of other things this season, too. More monsters, more fight scenes, more magic, and probably a whole lot of shipping, which Russell is already getting a jump on. “Kaylee and I, my costar who plays Josie, we’ve made fetch happen, we like to say, with Hosie,” she explains. “We just love their dynamic so much so we joke about it all the time. #Hosie for next week, everybody.
Legacies airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on the CW.
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