I think this episode someone on the writing team suddenly realised that Josie and Lizzie exist and ooooh shit, get them out the plot box, this looks super bad for Alaric to forget he has daughters!
And then everyone else on the writer’s team responded with “but but but can we make ti all about Hope?”
The answer to that is, of course they can make it all about Hope. It’s the Legacies after all.
So, Lizzie and Josie have returned from a nebulously labelled “Europe” (my latest petty hobby is when Americans say this I ask “how was Liechtenstein?”) and Lizzie is super pissed because Alaric was supposed to pick them up at the airport but he forgot.
I’m a little miffed that Josie is being super reasonable because it’s kind of making Lizzie look unreasonable and irrational (this whole episode is basically “Lizzie is unstable and dangerous” while ignoring she may have any kind of reason to be upset)... but really? If someone said they’d give me a lift but when I arrive at an airport after a jetlagged transatlantic flight, wait a prolonged period of time for my lift to actually show up then have to find my own way taking three hours to get home? Yeah, I would make Lizzie look calm and reasonable.
So we begin with Lizzie being miffed, which is when the monster of the week appears, going for the urn. The monster is a genie and grants wishes. And Lizzie, who, we have to remember, grew up in a MAGIC SCHOOL decides that this is a super cool idea. How can all these people be so genre blind? Honestly put me in a supernatural world and I would run into a demonic vampire’s open arms rather than spend 2 seconds speaking to a wish giving being.
Now Lizzie could have just wished that her dad pay her the slightest bit of attention or made her a priority in her life or, maybe, decide that she matters as much as Hope. Instead she wishes that Hope never came to the magic school
Yeah that won’t back fire
Uh-huh, it does
So without Hope, Alaric does focus on Lizzie and Lizzie and Josie can both fight now because without Hope consuming all his attention, Alaric pays more attention to them and gives them the training he lavishes on her. Yay for Lizzie
Except the school is a wreck, utterly run down and without the massive luxuries Lizzie has become used to. It seems when Hope went to the school Klaus, before his ridiculous demise, wrote a massive massive massive cheque which is pretty much how it runs (also we had mention of Damon and Elena having children which I think means Julie Plec is planning another spin off and YE GODS SAVE US! SAVE US PLEASE!). I think we can also guess the other Originals chip in because hey, immortal super rich people obsessed with family and all that
Also Hope is the witch who designed the school’s X-Men style cerebro which basically allows them to find budding young supernaturals all over America to recruit them to the school. Without that they’re reduced to literally trawling through newspaper articles for supernatural occurrences and their student body is like 3 people.
Lizzie tries to make up for this by replicating Hope’s spell leading them to a powerful young supernatural who needs their guidance. Hope - and a room full of people she’s slaughtered for food. Alaric recognises her and goes into full on “I’ll protect and guide you” mode playing surrogate dad within like 3 seconds of meeting her (including hugging, the creeper). Lizzie is Not Amused
Time for wish number two to make things even worse because that’s how these things work. Now she decides that she wants her dad not to have set up a school at all
Which means a new reality in which they’re going to public school where she has the reputation as the “utter freak”. The implication put in by this is that everyone in the Magic school, where her dad is headmaster, makes allowances for her mental illness and she also has more outlets (though the latter I’m inferring just to TRY and smooth this really demonising narrative of Lizzie and her mental illness) while suppressing herself. Josie is super popular and happy but, again, the implication for this is because she’s not living as a basic support figure for Lizzie and her illness and is much less forgiving. And yes, I liked it when Penny pointed out that Josie deserves to live her own life but we’re really doubling down on the broken-burden-disabled-person here in a really unpleasant way. To drive it home Josie also blames Lizzie for Caroline never being around and for Alaric being an alcoholic having a job he hates just because he’s trying to monitor and protect her. Yes, the mental illness has destroyed their whole family
Shenanigans happen and Lizzie has an incident lashing out with magic
So time for the X-Men to arrive. Hope leading a squad from the magic school to save the world from magical shenanigans. She’s here to be awesome and recruit Alaric as the new headmaster of the school KLAUS now set up (why? She says to teach her - which makes no sense. No-one can teach her better how to be a werewolf and vampire than Klaus himself and as for witch she has Freya and Kol. This school was totally unnecessary for her)
And Lizzie is again not happy. EVEN WORST WISH TIME. She now wishes that Hope had never been born which ends up in a dystopian hell future
See, without Hope, Klaus continued to lose his battle with his demons until he turned off his humanity. The subsequent war and carnage he unleashed exposed the supernatural to humanity who are now hunting down all supernatural
Alaric, Lizzie and a few others are a desperate rag-tag band desperately trying to flee and survive. And Josie is dead.
How? Well while on the run they ran into a witch who knew about the Gemini coven and their twin merging thing. This set off Lizzie’s mental illness, her paranoia… and she killed Josie.
Did I mention that we’re going ALL IN on Lizzie has a mental illness and is dangerous and unstable thing?
Fighting breaks out and everyone’s going to die - and in comes the djinn. Lizzie is super sad because she used her last wish and can’t fix this but the djinn points out that she never said there was a number limit on wishes and don’t believe all you see in Aladdin. She lays out her lore - djinn here can grant any wishes they choose- yes and can refuse as well. They also have to serve for 500 years and this djinn was in the last year of her service before she had an unfortunate encounter, everything went wrong and she both lost her freedom and she Malivored. She now wants Lizzie to wish for everything to be back to normal...and for the djinn to have the malivore urn.
Obviously not a good idea. And obviously where they were going. Oh it also points out that while they can grant and refuses wishes as they wish, djinn are pretty incapable of independent action.
Lizzie agonises as the troops move in and fighting picks up with the djinn pointing out she chose Lizzie because she was “broken.” But Lizzie finds some strength in this because it means she can’t break any more - and she has an idea. She wishes the djinn never had the unfortunate encounter. This means the djinn would have completed her service and be free, never having gone to Malivore and never needing the urn. And it means she never met Lizzie so would never have granted her wishes.
Which is paradoxy as hell but whatever.
The djinn is super happy with this because she gets freedom - and agrees. All is good
Except Lizzie won’t remember anything (she never me the djinn) but it will still gnaw at her mind and drive her insane. Oh yay more mental illness tropes
She arrives back in the original reality with some self-awareness that Hope is a huge trigger for her and a nagging idea that she needs to make some fundamental changes in order to avoid some Nebulous Bad Thing
Which means we may be dealing with a magical cure time
Oh hey, since everyone knows I’m not Alaric’s biggest fan, can we address the fact that this whole drama is less “ewww Lizzie is irrational and “crazy” and broken” and more “hey, Alaric is doing some pretty shittuyh things with his daughter?”. It’s been abundantly clear that Lizzie has felt intensely neglected by her dad and… not entirely without reason? Just the fact that he clearly doesn’t train with them and Lizzie was open to the idea - that he, all about weapons training, has never trained Lizzie until Hope is out of the picture.
And I’m, not saying all the problems are down to Alaric being the worst (though he is) but also clearly Lizzie is presented as being The Broken One because she’s mentally ill. She is the one who is a burden to everyone else. And by presenting the whole idea that the only reason she’s super popular at school is everyone trying to pander to her because of her Mental illness takes away her strengths as well. This pretty much reduces Lizzie to a walking exploding mental illness. Perhaps if she had been developed more. Or at all then there’d be more to her than just the exploding jealous mentally ill one. And I kind of resent further this episode that just presents Lizzie as THE IRRATIONAL “CRAZY” one (oh and that’s a supernatural inheritance) and seems to exist to give Alaric a pass for being a pretty neglectful parent
Also by season 3 this series is so going to be the X-Men. I thought it was leaning on Harry Potter but clearly we’ve moved on