We have another scene where it’s apparent Kaleb is still feeding on humans and this is a problem
Another problem is that two students from the town, Sasha and Dana, have both gone missing and Sheriff Matt is around trying to decide whether the school is full of evil monsters he needs to kill everyone OR it’s an important secret he needs to hide form the world.
When they find blood and, later, Dana with an apparent vampire bite, Matt gets super suspicious. While Alaric decides it’s important to send students from the magic school to the mundane human school to gather clues and possibly personal items for locator spells etc
Again, this underscores how Alaric can’t actually solve problems himself and is constantly recruiting his students to handle school business. Lizzie is the first to volunteer because she wants to be a hero
Which sounds ridiculous and Lizzie being super melodramatic - but it’s actually because she’s trying to get her dad to pay a little attention to her. MG, Kaleb and Landon also join. The vampires because compulsion is shiny and they’re walking tools and if you’re going to make people walking tools do you really have to make them the Black men? And Landon because he went to the school once.
To the school of school scenes of schoolness with Hope becoming super popular and MG failing at compulsion because Lizzie is wearing shorts. Really, MG? It’s the 21st century, a woman in shorts should not make you lose your supernatural powers.
They eventually find Dana, apparently alive. Which is weird because Matt and Alaric just found her dead. They see the big bite marks on her neck so assume she’s a vampire in mid transition. Seeing the big bite marks on her neck and apparently dead, Alaric and Matt should have considered this as a possibility as well. Apparently not because they didn’t guard the body or anything
So the gang wonders what to do. No-one thinks to call Alaric because ha, why bother? Some people are suspicious of Kaleb because he fed on her but he denies killing or turning her. Hope magics Dana asleep while they decide and explain vampireness to Landon - they debate whether or not to give human blood and allow her to change but MG trumps to letting Dana decide because he’s a super nice guy and respectful of women as we’ve seen before and this would be so much better if I didn’t think his respect of women wasn’t supposed to be linked to his general weakness, inability to asset himself and, oh, having actual nightmares about serial killers. Nightmares.
This debate is foiled by Dana spewing out her guts and all her internal organs. Turns out they’ve all been liquified. Everyone blames Landon for angst reasons and he storms off to face old high school bully Connor is actually a Connor suit of flesh - inside is a giant scary spider. The others have already identified the spider monster because MG reads comics and… no sense. This makes no sense.
Speaking of - this means Dana was bitten in the neck by a giant spider, causing enough damage that Matt and Alaric, finding her body, decided she was dead (I’m going to assume someone checked a pulse and they didn’t just look at her laid there and said “yup, looks pretty dead” and moved on). She then recovered, insides liquidating, and wandered gods know how many miles to the human high school (which I’m going to guess isn’t close to the magic school because if it is that’s a mistake), without feeling any pain as her insides liquidate until she starts vomiting up a stream of liquid - presumably her kidneys. This… makes no sense. No sense at all. NOTHING MAKES SENSE
So they go hunting the spider - Alaric calls to ask Lizzie what’s going on but she ignores him because he’s human and pointless - really why is he here?
Marcel, Rebekkah, Freyah and Vincent would have been much much much much better headteachers for this school than Alaric. Only then the kids wouldn’t have to do everything
Meanwhile at the school, we have Josie and Rafael getting closer together. And Rafael’s having issues because the werewolf pack is demanding he submit to their alpha. He doesn’t want to, so they beat him up. Josie helps him and also helps calm him down when he goes into a werewolf rage - but eventually she does convince him that he needs to submit to the pack because that’s kinda what werewolves do. So, y’know, violent bullying seems to be built into the school structure? It makes the point that when he does the werewolves happily accept him as their brothers and all is good again and they don’t accept much which isn’t bad… but it kind of brushes over the fact they brutally beat him to make him join the gang and we’re all supposed to be ok with that? I mean, it could be a wonderful haute cuisine tasters club where members get to try the best food in the world for free while showered in champaign and cash- but if you’re being brutally beaten until you agree to join it’s not ok.
Anyway anyway moving on, we have Rafael and Josie captured in a spider’s web and she explains that she and Lizzie are Gemini witches so need to siphon magic to cast spells. So she siphons him by kissing him (I seem to recall siphoning was painful) to help fight the giant spider monster. Everyone else arrives by tracking spell and Hope, Lizzie and Josie cast a Power of Three spell (yes, really) to nuke it. It’s useful Hope can do that because Lizzie and Josie know no offensive magic because Alaric has no idea what he’s doing
Alaric decides to confront his daughters over… something. He’s always doing this. But Lizzie points out AGAIN that she’s trying to emulate Hope since he actually notices her while he tries to insist he doesn’t want them to have Hope’s tragic past. And Josie reads him the riot act about trying to protect them and leaving them unable to protect themselves along with his secret keeping so they don’t know there’s darkness out there. He constantly sends them on missions while also trying to keep them in the dark, it’s ludicrous. Alaric is awful and useless.
Hope elaborates on that tragic past while having a big dramatic speech to MG on how to compel Sasha (how survived) to not remember anything, to know Dana died and to grieve for her authentically. Because Hope knows grief with that whole orphan-ness.
Hope and Landon have a moment which we so need in which he pouts and stomps that she doesn’t trust him. Despite him giving her absolutely no reason to. But he sulks because they’re not all “one of us one of us one of us”
Whatever. Someone should be poking him to see what he can’t be compelled.
Kaleb confronts MG about talking about his feeding and uses the line “vamps before tramps” and ye gods no - thankfully MG calls that shit out as utterly disrespectful. Kaleb then calls out how the witches rule this school, use him as a tool and are feeding them animal blood which… y’know… he’s not wrong? But we’ve already established Kaleb is terribad wrong so we’re going to ignore him
To drive it home he also gets vervained and locked up by Matt and Alaric. Matt growls about the school being a threat while Alaric says if Matt comes after his kids he will come after Matt
Uh-huh keep pretending to be relevant, guys
Ok time for another rant about the very concept of the school. Or not a rant - but another poking at the flaws. Firstly, again, Alaric is utterly incapable of running the school. He is too weak. Kaleb is right, he does treat MG like an errand boy, a portable compulsion wand he can use because he doesn’t have any power. Lizzie, MG, Hope and Landon run after the spider monster without even bothering to call Alaric and let him know what’s happening. Now, in most YA I would roll my eyes and put this down to another “kids have to do everything because adults can’t be around” issue - but in this case it makes perfect sense. Of course they wouldn’t contact Alaric. Why would they? What’s he going to do? Scold the monster? He is superfluous in this storyline
And this has implications. Matt says he thinks the kids are a threat and what would Alaric do if they were? And he decides to menace Matt to protect his kids - again it’s hilarious because his kids could dogpile Matt in an instant and mush him.
But his ability to control and police his own kids is highly limited to say the least. And doesn’t the violent werewolf pack and the feeding vampires show that?
From that I also want to look at how he’s raising these - he’s teaching them how to be supernatural? Because he’s raising vampires that don’t know the taste of human blood and have NIGHTMARES. MG has nightmares. About King Kong - and a serial killer from a horror film MG, you’re a vampire. A vampire. These things are not a threat to you. Have a word with your subconscious and vampire up! Or Josie says the witches aren’t taught offensive magic - he’s sending witches, vampires and werewolves out in the world, apparently trained and educated, with huge holes in their education and development which will let them survive among supernatural beings Alaric hasn’t managed to neuter. This is an issue
Can we also talk about what a shitty dad Alaric is? We see Lizzie constantly acting out and going above and beyond to desperately, desperately attract some of his attention… and then we get a one-on-one with him and Hope, training. We don’t see this with his daughters - he has 1-on-1 with them (or 1-on-2) when they’ve done something wrong and they’re in trouble: but it really looks like Hope is the special one to him and his daughters are… annoyances? This whole episode every time Lizzie and Alaric speak on the phone his main point is “hey are you with Hope? Are you working with Hope? Where’s Hope?” Alaric, your daughter is screaming for attention, for help, for validation. NOTICE HER.