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Spoilers ahead for the Season 1 finale of Legacies, called "There's Always a Loophole."
The first season of Legacies seemingly solidified Hope and the Saltzman twins as the lead teen characters of the latest installment in the Vampire Diaries franchise, but the season finale changed the game in some ways that mean a totally different Season 2. One of those three characters is no longer in the mix, and probably not the one of the three you would have guessed. No, Legacies didn't lose a Saltzman twin due to The Merge or a premature showdown. Hope is gone.
That's not to say that Hope is dead, but she's gone with no sign of how she could return. If Legacies carries through with its Hope cliffhanger, then we can only try to imagine what the beginning of Season 2 will be like without her.
The invasion of the Salvatore School that was teased in last week's cliffhanger and expanded upon in the intense finale trailer actually only lasted for half the episode, and Triad's method of removing all of the students' powers didn't hold out for too long.
Circumstances were dire enough that Rafael used what Hope had given him to turn him into his wolf form, believing that she would return soon enough to turn him back into himself once the fight was over. The battle did last long enough for one of the baddies to try and shoot Lizzie with blood from Malivore, which would have killed her.
Josie stepped in front of the mud bullet, and she was on death's door from its effects even after everybody regained their powers. Lizzie couldn't just siphon the magic away. Hope and Ric did come up with a way to try and save her, and the effects of it will likely continue to be felt. But more on that later.
After Triad was stopped, Hope rushed to Triad headquarters to save Landon. His brother had set him up to become the host in a process that would result in Malivore returning. This involved Landon being hunted by a headless horseman, and it became apparent that he really needs to work on his fight skills. Hope defeated the horseman, then learned what had been done to spring Malivore.
The only solution she could come up with involved sacrificing herself. A witch, a vampire, and a werewolf had created Malivore, so she reasoned that she -- as a tribrid -- would be able to stop Malivore's escape if she jumped into the mud. She killed Landon to simplify things, knowing that he'd be back sooner or later.
Magically grabbing his villainous brother for good measure, Hope jumped, and she is gone. There are three big complications that are probably going to arise because of it.
Everybody Forgot Hope
It's not clear whether or not Hope is dead or just gone, but either way, viewers shouldn't count on seeing the confirmed-to-be alive characters wailing and gnashing their teeth that she isn't around. As she informed Ric in her fateful final phone conversation with him, everybody's memories of her would be gone as soon as she was, so she made him promise to get rid of her belongings before it was too late. She didn't want her friends to even suspect that they'd lost somebody they loved.
Ric and Landon had already forgotten her by the end of the episode, to the point that Landon had no idea why he resurrected where he was and Ric had no idea who had left him a note telling him that Landon needed help. The big question is how Hope's absence will impact Season 2 given that nobody remembers her. Showrunner Julie Plec weighed in on whether fans would see "a Hope-shaped hole" in Season 2:
That's exactly what we can expect to see. What's fun about it, and sad about it, is we'll be able to realize just how much impact Hope had in these people's lives without them even realizing what they're missing. And just understanding that they all feel individually like there's something that doesn't feel right and that they're struggling with this feeling of not being complete somehow. It just feels like such a universal experience, especially for teenagers. I'm looking forward to having each of those characters act out on that feeling.
Hope is gone and forgotten, but her absence will still impact those she left behind in ways they don't realize. Viewers should be able to pick up on some of them, though, after 16 episodes of Legacies with Hope in the mix and even wearing an iconic Vampire Diaries dress. Julie Plec did promise that "there is hope," and I have to doubt that Hope is gone for good. The mystery is of how long it will take for her to return, assuming she does.
Rafael Is Totally Screwed
Raf spent the last several episodes of Legacies struggling with his experiences, and Hope gave him a way to retreat into his wolf form in case he needed a break from the complications of his normal life. The catch was that by using the method Hope gave him, he was stuck in wolf form until she and only she could turn him back into himself.
That was no problem as long as Hope and Raf were at school together. Now... well, Raf is in rough shape. He had to use Hope's method to go full wolf in the effort to get rid of the Triad from the school, but Hope was gone by the time the action was done and he was ready to resume his humor form again. Season 2 will presumably start with Raf the wolf. Julie Plec went on in her chat with TVGuide to explain his situation:
Yeah, Raf is screwed. Raf is a perma-wolf. Look, when Hayley (Phoebe Tonkin) on The Originals was turned into a wolf all that time, that really did a number on her, and Raf is a new werewolf, who is still a teenager. So to be stuck in your most primal and feral state for God knows how long, if he's ever even able to get out of there, that will be catastrophic.
Well, so much for briefly turning wolf to escape the complications of human life! Raf will undoubtedly come to regret his decision, even if he did help the Salvatore School in the process. This is something from which he may never recover, even if Hope does return from wherever she wound up after her mud bath.
Josie Drank Hope's Blood
After being shot by the Malivore mud bullet, Josie was circling the drain, and Lizzie was clearly terrified that her sister was going to die. Despite the two bickering over who would win The Merge earlier in the episode, the threat of one of them dying was enough to bring them back together. They were cuddling together when Alaric arrived with the means to save Josie's life: Hope's blood.
Hope realized that she was unaffected by the Malivore mud due to her status as a tribrid, so she gambled that her blood would save Josie from the mud's effects. It did, and the girls were working together to try and figuring out a mysterious artifact they discovered in their dad's office by the end of the episode. The artifact was strangely familiar to both, and it may open the door for Chris Woo to reprise his Vampire Diaries role as Kai.
All seemed well enough for Josie from a physical standpoint, but I have to wonder if there will be lingering effects from Josie drinking Hope's blood. Hope is one of a kind, after all, and this episode proved that her blood can be a very big deal for more than one reason. If there are more effects, will they be helpful or hurtful? And will this impact the looming Merge at all?
Honestly, at this point, I'm just hoping Caroline decides to drop by to help sort out the mess. The good news is that Legacies has already been renewed for Season 2, and unlike Arrow and now Supernatural, the renewal news wasn't followed by news of the series ending. Until Season 2 premieres, however, you'll have to content yourself with other midseason TV offerings.