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)
Lizzie, looking out for her sister, siphons the magic out of the watch before Josie can, but when Josie tells her she hates her, Lizzie has one of her episodes, and it ends with her blowing out all the lights in the school hallway. Just as Ric tries to usher the girls away to safety, Hope, Kaleb, Jed, and Pedro (!!) show up in some superhero spandex costumes. They’ve come from the Mikaelson Boarding School, and they’re here to help.
In this reality, Klaus is alive, and he turned the Salvatore house into the Mikaelson Boarding School, and it’s been so successful that he’s opening a European branch, which is why he needs Ric to run this one.
Fed up, Lizzie chooses her final wish: “I wish Hope Mikaelson was never born.”
Reality Number Three
Lizzie wakes up on a bench in some sort of post-apocalyptic world. She, Kaleb, and Jed are all homeless supernaturals on the run. Everywhere she looks there are “Wanted” posters for various supernatural beings, from Rafael to Klaus himself. They’ve been put up by Triad, and Lizzie is supposed to lead Kaleb and Jed to her father.
At the dilapidated Salvatore mansion, Lizzie walks in on a vigil when Ric hugs her and tells her everything. Just as she picks up a newspaper with Klaus and Caroline on it as “enemies of the state,” he says that Klaus lost everything that anchored him to his humanity two years ago. And when that happened, he shut off his humanity and started this war. As for the vigil in the other room, it was for Josie. She’s dead.
When Lizzie freaks, Ric knocks her out and puts her in the cellar, where she talks to Jinni. To Lizzie’s surprise, it seems a Jinni can grant more than three wishes, but she has a request: In order to grant another of Lizzie’s wishes, she wants the urn. And Lizzie can’t do that.
To try and persuade her, the Jinni sends Lizzie outside, where Ric and the students are preparing for a battle with Triad, who found their location. This is where Ric tells her what really happened with Josie. See, there’s a secret that Caroline and Ric hid from the girls for too long, and in this world, they found out: When Gemini twins turn 22, they must merge. It’s a battle of will and only the strongest of the two twins will survive. That’s why Caroline was always off traveling — she was trying to find a way to prevent it. But when Lizzie learned the truth, she went dark, paranoid. She saw Josie as a threat and one day, she lost control and killed Josie.
Lizzie promises Ric that she will fix this, and she heads to talk to Jinni. She refuses to give her the urn, but she figures out how to fix Jinni’s life as well. “I wish that you had never met the monster that sent you to Malivore,” Lizzie says. That way, the Jinni will be free, and Lizzie can return to her reality. Only, here’s the thing about this experience: Lizzie won’t remember it. She won’t remember the merge. But there will be an inkling of something in her brain, something that could slowly drive her insane. And when she finds out about the merge in the real world, she’ll likely kill Josie all over again.
Just like that, Jinni sends Lizzie back to her reality, where she apologizes to her father for her reaction that morning and starts to wonder why she feels like she’s losing her mind…
And that’s where we leave things. Talk about a creative episode filled with fun TVD callbacks while also setting up Lizzie’s potential downfall. If you’re not hooked on this show yet, I don’t know what to tell you.