I know I’m like a broken record at this point, but I love this show! One reason? Believe it or not, the dragon wasn’t the biggest risk of the season, because this week’s episode saw Lizzie Saltzman visit multiple alternate realities, and it was one of my favorite episodes thus far. Let’s dig in!
When the urn glows again, Hope and Ric prepare for the arrival of the next monster, but what they don’t know is that she’s already here. She’s a Jinni — not quite a genie — and when Lizzie and Josie return from Europe and discover their father was too busy to pick them up at the airport, well, the Jinni sees an opportunity with a very upset Lizzie. The second that Lizzie’s alone, she says, “I wish Hope had never come to this school,” and with the snap of her fingers, the Jinni makes it so.
Welcome to …
Reality Number One
In this world, it seems Ric has aged A LOT, but at least he spends his days training with the twins and not Hope? But there’s always a catch, and Lizzie discovers this one pretty quickly: The Salvatore School is struggling. There are very few students, there are cobwebs in corners, and Alaric is struggling to pay the gas bill. As Josie explains, “Damon Salvatore has been as generous as he can be but he and Elena have kids of their own that they need to take care of.” Seeing as how Damon and Elena are both human now, they don’t exactly have the kind of wealth Damon got used to on The Vampire Diaries. And if Hope never came to this school, then Klaus never would’ve written Caroline that big check when it opened.
But Lizzie has an idea: She steals one of Hope’s spells to help them find new recruits faster. Basically, a globe lights up anytime someone uses supernatural powers for the first time, and right now, there’s a very powerful someone that Ric wants to find. Can you guess where they’re headed? New Orleans!
In this reality, Hope wears all black and runs around New Orleans decapitating people, and yet Ric is still able to convince her to come to the school. And in no time, Hope is the one that Ric is training on the dock. “Screw this,” Lizzie screams as she prepares her second wish: “I wish that there was never a Salvatore School to begin with.”
Reality Number Two
This time, Lizzie wakes up in a world where she and Josie attend Mystic Falls High. There, Josie is the popular cheerleading captain who’s dating Connor, QB1, and is best friends with Dana. Lizzie, on the other hand, is known as the school freak. As for Ric, he’s aged less, but he’s put on quite a few pounds, mostly because he’s a drunk. Standing in history class, he can’t even remember the name of the Battle of Willow Creek. (TVD flashbacks, anyone?)
Once class is over, Josie asks her sister to steal Ric’s watch. Apparently, Stefanie Salvatore’s dad gave it to him — in this reality, Damon and Elena have a daughter named Stefanie! — and it’s a magical object that Josie plans to use to show Connor that she’s a witch after the homecoming dance. Oh, she also plans to sleep with him. But when Lizzie sees Connor kissing Dana, she tries to put an end to Josie’s plan.
Only, here’s the interesting thing about this world. Josie and Lizzie’s dynamic isn’t ALL that different at its core. Josie’s simply no longer willing to deal with Lizzie’s insecurities. When Josie doesn’t want to believe Lizzie about Connor, Josie explains that she’s spent her entire life trying to make Lizzie feel okay. It’s the only reason Ric agreed to work at the school — to keep an eye on Lizzie. But Josie is done worrying about when Lizzie is going to snap, and she’s done letting her sister control her happiness. See? Same dynamic, but way harsher Josie. (Next: Lizzie makes another wish)