Landon lied to Hope so now she knows all men are terrible ever and she will never trust again and everything is terrible and…
Ye gods, she’s certainly a Mikkaelson, isn’t she? Spare me from the melodrama.
She’s been lectured by school councillor Emma about using dark magic and how bad it is. She does cover for Josie but then yells about how she had to do it because it’s alllll her fault that Landon took the knife and she has to do everything she has to find him and it’s all on her
Oh. My. Gods. We have a protagonist as melodramatic as an Original and as self absorbed as Elena. Gods preserve us all.
She also wants to go out there to take down Landon with her best dark magic revenge spells. Why she even has access to dark magic revenge spells I don’t know.
Lizzie and Josie are also having drama because Josie helped Hope with dark magic and didn’t tell Lizzie - which annoys Lizzie and doesn’t help with her general insecurity that no-one cares about her or values her with both her father and sister seeming to be more focused on Hope. Lizzie’s issues are not helped by Alaric skipping out on the school football game which Lizzie’s part of in order to go Landon hunting.
Penny is still a caricature of awful. And they’re pissed at MG for being in her presence.
So on that Landon hunt - Alaric decides to take Hope and Rafael.
Alaric… this is a problem. Is this a problem with having a human run the school because he relies on his students to actually help him do stuff. I mean, it’d help if they dropped in one super powered co-teacher (Caroline, wherefore art thou Caroline?) or had an Original or powerful witch on speed dial for major issues. Instead he decides to take two of his students on a road trip to hunt down a threat to the school. One of which is on a rage filled black magic revenge kick and the other is brand new to the supernatural and convinced that Landon could do not wrong
This is not good decision making.
Hope insists that Landon is the worst thing ever while Rafael insists he could do no wrong ever. This is a fun road trip.
They arrive at the site of the bus incineration and find an oddly mute woman in a rather dated dress looking all scorched and traumatised. Alaric decides she needs to go to a hospital so he’s going to go with her while Rafael and Hope go looking for Landon alone.
I say, again, Alaric is not making good decisions here. So the traditions of The Originals and The Vampire Diaries continue
They find Landon and, of course, go in with Hope magic blazing despite assuring Rafael he’d have time to talk to his friend (Rafael swears Landon is made of angel’s tears and saintliness) to demand why he stole the knife and slaughtered a bus full of innocent people and lied to her about being compelled.
He admits to stealing the knife - but he doesn’t know why. He admits to lying (because, hey, the alternative was being locked in a basement cage). But he totally didn’t burn everyone. That was another passenger - a fire breathing woman who demanded the knife.
Which would be dubious except Alaric has his phone and watch stolen by the woman he’s escorting to the hospital who then breaths fire.
He runs to them and reveals Landon was telling the truth - oh except he lied about losing the knife because he still has it.
Alaric originally decides that she’s a rare pyromancer witch - but looking at the shiny things she’s stealing they realise hoards riches + breathes fire = dragon. Alaric protests dragons don’t exist and the rest of the cast hit him with a script and a note of the genre he’s actually part of. Of course it exists. It always exists.
Hope uses woo-woo to enchant the knife with dragonfire (because massive woo-woo always helps) so Rafael can stab the dragon and they can call it a win. Victory
Well, until the dragon loses her human form and turns into a giant firebreathing winged lizard. It flies away but Hope knows it will come back so sends Landon and Rafael away so they can be safe and even convinces Alaric to leave because he’s a father and doesn’t want to burn to death. So he leaves her
Alaric, headmaster of a magical school, just left a student to fight a dragon because he is incapable of helping her. This is a problem.
The dragon comes back, focusing on the dagger and Hope uses magic to turn her back into a human mid-flight making her crash and look all bloody. Hope tries to talk to her, ask why she wants the knife, but the dragon can’t speak. Instead she starts to breathe fire again and Alaric stabs her in the neck.
Rather than talk about the being they just killed, Alaric confronts Hope about the evil dark magic death spell she decided to bring with her to hunt down Landon - he accuses Hope of acting like her father - over the top ridiculously violent revenge.
It’s also silly. I mean, without dark magic Hope can throw telekinesis, fire-balls, that freaky brain pain things witches do to vampires all the damn time and who knows what else… she doesn’t need dark magic to make Landon die a horrible horrible death.
Back at the school, Lizzie and Josie are preparing for the big football match. It’s a match that the school holds with the local town every year where they are beaten every single year. Mainly so the locals can feel smug and happy about beating the rich private school nearby and not examine things too closely. They’re also super mean to the students which Alaric puts down to small minded small towners and in no way realises why a bunch of people in small town rural Virginia might resent, what they think, are a bunch of privileged rich kids on their doorstep. Especially since this is Mystic Falls which, we’ve already seen, has like a few hundred years of first-family-founder worship.
Anyway obviously they’re supposed to lose because that will dispel any sense that they’re supernatural. Lizzie and Josie aren’t happy but will do it, especially Lizzie because she’s almost terrifyingly desperate for her father’s approval. Alaric really needs to address this with some actual attention
There’s also Penny who is A Caricature of Evil and since MG is clearly crushing on Lizzie she decides to give him advice on how to attract her: that he should use his powers to win. Which he does, compelling someone, which doesn’t impress Lizzie but Penny encourages him to keep going.
They play, the locals are awful awful people and one of them, the daughter of the local pharmacist, mocks Lizzie for needing mental health medication. This is a last straw for Lizzie who decides to push everyone to win, with only Josie trying to follow Alaric’s original instructions
Glamour and magic and impossible physical feats later and they pull even with Josie finally insisting they need to lose, that exposing the school would be a loss for them all in the long run… and Penny The Evil puts in her own idea: they play to win. But without cheating. Everyone agrees with this one
But they lose when Josie secretly sabotages her own side. Lizzie may be desperately seeking daddy’s approval but Josie seems to be the one who treats his words like gospel
As they leave the pitch one more comment has Lizzie throw a punch and we have a brawl.
And oh my gods on a show about dragons killing a bus load of people I’ve just written 7 paragraphs on an American football match. Everyone get to the comment section right now and tell Renee she needs to cover this show.
Aftermath has Josie and Lizzie making peace and Lizzing making it clear she feels betrayed by josie sabotaging the game without telling her - and working with Hope on dark magic. Josie confesses she didn’t want to disappoint her dad - so she disappointed Lizzie. It’s all very sweet and I think I prefer both sisters to Hope. Lizzie’s insecurity is high on display: Alaric leaving and now focusing on Hope more than her hurts her: she hates feeling like she doesn’t matter.
We close with Landon leaving Hope a note saying, basically, he’s sorry and can we keep this damn love interest running
And Alaric worrying whether he’s capable of running this school. I agree, he isn’t. And one of his gargoyles looks all spooky and possessed
This. School. Has. Gargoyles. Why would you have carved demonic figures just begging to be possessed, magically animated or otherwise potentially causing issues? THIS IS A MAGIC SCHOOL?! Stop with this nonsense!