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Spoilers ahead for March 14 episode of Legacies.
That sound you hear is Legacies fans screaming at the loss of Penelope Park (Lulu Antariksa). Penelope isn't dead, but her family is moving to Belgium. On the way out, she handed Josie Saltzman information on The Merge ritual of the Gemini Coven, which was mentioned several times on The Vampire Diaries. She also emphasized that Josie should stand up for herself to Lizzie.
It seems like, on every front, Penelope would be a good person to keep around at the Salvatore school, but that's not happening. And many fans are not happy.
Apparently Penelope mentioned in her letter to Josie that she was moving to Europe. But Josie didn't read the letter. Lizzie Saltzman already knew Penelope was leaving and didn't tell Josie because she just didn't think it was important to tell her. She figured Josie would celebrate. After all, Penelope was introduced to all of us as Josie's evil ex, so good riddance? It was not so simple for Josie, and not at all simple for fans who had come to love Penelope and also love the #Posie romance that was re-brewing between Josie and Penelope.
Penelope seemed to genuinely care about Josie and what was best for her, which was put in stark contrast to Lizzie. Sure, Lizzie couldn't read Josie's mind about wanting to be Miss Mystic Falls, but Penelope made some good points about Josie always putting herself second to Lizzie. Josie has been an enabler of Lizzie, and habitually defers to what Lizzie wants.
As you might imagine, that would be bad news for The Merge ritual, when the "weaker" twin's magic is absorbed by the stronger one, and the weaker twin dies.
Last night's episode was jam-packed with Vampire Diaries and Originals nods -- from that dress to the return of Roman to more talk of The Merge. Penelope was actually trying to prepare Josie for The Merge in her own way. But she didn't explain The Merge on her way out, she just gave Josie the text she had basically stolen from Alaric through magic so Josie could read it all herself.
It sounds like Josie digs into it next week in the March 21 episode "I'll Tell You A Story." While Hope and Lizzie get closer and actually work together next week, Josie "looks into a secret that Alaric has been keeping." When I first saw that synopsis line, I figured it was related to The Merge, and it is. I had no idea Penelope would be involved in dropping that truth bomb on Josie, but that's how it played out.
Josie is likely to feel betrayed by Alaric and her mom Caroline, who is not actually out "recruiting" for the Salvatore school after all. She's doing her own research to try and spare the twins, now 16, from this ritual that they will reportedly be forced to face at age 22. Not that there are many Gemini Coven members around anymore. Just Uncle Kai (Chris Wood)? Who else?
Lizzie actually heard about The Merge before it was wiped from her memory. Her mind was left damaged by what happened. Pair that with Josie's newly empowered state and new information, and we could be looking at some explosive stuff ahead.
Also, the season finale synopsis is quite "dire," beyond what we've already read about Alaric and Landon. There are 16 episodes to this season, and Episode 16, "There's Always a Loophole" includes the line that "Josie finds herself in a dire situation." What could happen to Josie? Penelope won't be there to protect her anymore.
Some fans have already decided they won't stay with Legacies into Season 2 if Penelope Park doesn't return. We'll have to wait and see how that plays out.