Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Legacies: Season 1, Episode 5: Malivore

So, Alaric is off doing some monster wrangling, leaving the school in the hands of his students


This man has no idea how to headmaster or how schools are supposed to work

Anyway he’s worried that the students don’t think they have enough power in their lives so he’s going to set up a Student Council with 1 witch, 1 vampire, 1 werewolf and Emma (or Emily? Honestly this character is so irrelevant I’m not looking it up) to represent the little kids.

And this Council will have the power to free Kaleb (who is locked up for feeding on humans) and deciding whether to kick Landon out.

Uh… Student Councils shouldn’t have this kind of power. This is not how they work.

So it’s electioneering. Lizzie goes all out for the witch candidate - not actually campaigning, she expects Josie to do it. Lizzie just accepts it as her due that she will win because she’s just that special.

MG is campaigning for himself because he wants to free Kaleb and stop feeling guilty about him being locked up.

Rafael, meanwhile, is running around trying to convince people who are going to be council members to vote to keep Landon around. This involves Lizzie blackmailing him to go on a date with her which is more than a little creepy, MG agreeing - and Rafael trying to convince the werewolf alpha (who will obviously win the werewolf vote) but Jed is an arsehole and refuses to even listen because he treats the pack as his servants, including making them do his home work. So, obviously, Rafael beats him in single combat and becomes the new alpha.

Hope is continuing to test Landon for any kind of supernatural woo-woo and getting nowhere. He has no apparent supernatural abilities and the truth spell she uses reveals he knows nothing about his ancestry (has only a picture of his mother), has no abilities, no idea why he’s glamour proof and no idea why he wants the knife. They also bond over their mutual suspicion of others and inability to trust because of painful childhoods.

Interestingly Hope does a legacy spell on him to check his lineage for magic and finds none. Which Emma considers weird because everyone has a little.

This lack of supernatural powers is a problem because Jed blames him for losing his alphadom and he beats Landon up. Hope becomes super concerned about him and whether he feels safe at this school. Landon says yes. The lie detector spell says no

And my gods why hasn’t the eternally paranoid Klaus got one of these? WHY?! Like 80% of the Originals plot lines could have been solved by one of these.

So the Council election: Rafael becomes the werewolf leader no surprise there. But Kaleb wins the vampire leader which may point to the vampires really not being happy with Alaric. MG is super sad since he only wanted to make up with Kaleb. And the witch vote goes to… Josie

Turns out that Evil Ex Penny has been campaigning for Josie above Lizzie. Lizzie is devastated and super upset and Josie tries to comfort her and even offers to give up the role for Lizzie - and Lizzie doesn’t refuse but apparently Lizzie wasn’t even the runner up. Penny, when she rubs salt in that wound is right, the witches don’t think Lizzie will represent them. And she’s not wrong - Lizzie is very self focused. But the main reason why Penny hates Lizzie is because of how she treats Josie - Josie exists to serve and support Lizzie. We’ve already seen Josie backing off Rafael because Lizzie is interested and, as Penny points out, Lizzie didn’t even pause to see whether Josie would like to be council head before running for it.

Maybe Penny won’t be so demonised.

The council vote on Landon… does not go in Landon’s favour. Emma, for the youth, votes to include him for the sake of inclusion. And so does Rafael, of course. But Kaleb votes no - this school is a school for supernaturals and the huge number of humans in the world mean taking in them as well would quickly overwhelm them. He’s not wrong. And Hope (of course Hope is on the Council) votes no because she knows Landon will be hurt in the school - and if they let him stay they will be responsible for keeping him safe. Rafael says he can - and Hope points out he didn’t when Jed attacks

This convinces Josie and she also votes no. Rafael has a tantrum looks like he may get violent but Kaleb is there and vampire vs werewolf on a non full moon usually leads to the werewolf being squished. Unless they’ve changed the canon. Again. He storms off declaring he’s done with everyone much to Josie’s despair

And he goes to have angry sex in the gym with Lizzie. Yeaaaah that’s not going to end well.

Hope says goodbye to Landon and they kiss in front of the bus because they’ve all made up. While I kind of hope the bus runs them over, it’s actually taking Landon to New Orleans where Hope’s friends will help him find his birth mother

So to Alaric. The monster of the week is a dryad, which Alaric and Dorian are super happy about since it’s a being that can talk so they can ask why she wants the damn McGuffin Dagger already.

She’s not happy about being imprisoned and not a fan of humans either. Buuut she talks about a lover she lost who became a vampire to be with her forever so if they can find him she’ll trust them. And they do… but he doesn’t remember her at all.

No she’s not a depraved stalker - there’s been a big magical woo-woo event that made everyone forget that all these weird supernatural beings exist. Still, though she’s sad, she does agree to talk - she was suddenly dropped in a black void and when she escaped, recently, with the weird compulsion to go get the dagger. A Compulsion she’s so unable to stop that she attacks them and ends up stabbed

As she dies and Dorian values her last wishes. The horrible Black void of ominousness is called Malivore and she draws a symbol.

A symbol also on the necklace that Landon’s mother is wearing in his baby picture


Time for me to beat that dead horse a bit more. Because what everyone said about Landon? Was right. Hope was right that he is utterly, completely helpless in this school. It is only a matter of time before some supernatural being squishes him, or eats him or wears his skin as a hat. He has no ability to be part of that community, around those people. Truth, truth and more truth

And all of that? Applies and twice more to Alaric actually heading the school. And we can see this by the creation of the Council. Do his students feel like he’s in control and not giving them choices? Well yes, because he’s the headmaster and they’re students. It’s school. This is how it works. Yes there are student councils and they decide, say, the theme of prom. They don’t decide whether a student who is considered dangerous should be allowed to freely mix with the student body and/or make important decisions for that body.

But Alaric allows this Council to have this level of power because Alaric couldn’t be more out of his depth diving over the Mariana Trench. Look at this episode - he’s not only set up a Council with a ludicrous amount of power but, really, without them how does he enforce his will? He must be chugging vervain already. He already uses MG as his personal vampire servant (and MG’s character is so grossly underused this episode - having him be the good guy to the bad guy Kaleb is turning him into a convenient prop), he just called HOPE and filled her in on everything he’s been doing with the Dryad. Why is he keeping a student up to date with this?! Why is he REPORTING TO HER!? Why did he even leave Hope, a woman whose biases he’s already uncertain about to question Landon “because I need a witch” yes, Alaric, you needed a witch. BECAUSE YOU AREN’T ONE.

Also, by the way, this is why his daughters think he’s the worst -and they’re not wrong.

He also gave Hope a seat on the Council because she demanded it. I mean no matter how this is meant I can’t help but think he’s doing it because he knows he has no way of controlling Hope otherwise.

For that matter - while we see him enforce this whole “no human blood” thing on the vampires - can we point out that his “young vampires can’t handle human blood” seems to be demonstrably wrong? I mean if they’re a ripper like Stefan then, yes, they’ll have trouble. But we’ve seen many newly made vampires feeding on people without going all Ripper. Hey even Stefan used bagged HUMAN BLOOD.

It also begs the question how much of what happens in the school does Alaric tolerate and why? Especially the werewolves with their violent alpha who bullies his minions into doing his homework. Are you in on this Alaric? Do you know enough about werewolves to

A last point on this is Kaleb’s excellent reason for not allowing Landon stay because humans have covered everywhere else on this planet and will take over this tiny space they have made for themselves. He’s right - the sheer mass of humanity means if you start deciding that dispossessed humans also have a place in that school then humans are going to take over. But perhaps more concerning about this is not that a human is enrolled in the school, but because the headmaster is a human. The one deciding what supernaturals should and shouldn’t do, should and shouldn’t behave and what they should and shouldn’t learn - is a human. This is an issue

Another issue which I dearly hope is getting better is Josie and Penny. So far these bisexual characters have been characterised by Penny The Evil One and Josie the Had-a-bad-relationship-and-is-now-focused-on-a-man. Seeing Penny go to bat for Josie with some hard truths for Lizzie gives me hope that maybe we’re putting this trope to bed