As the first half of Legacies’ first season comes to an end with the fall finale, I continue to be pleasantly surprised and impressed with how the show engages with The Vampire Diaries and The Originals’ mythology. While “Death Keeps Knocking on my Door” continues the show’s good work of remaining its own thing and explains what Malivore, it’s not afraid to reference tons of important people like Klaus and Stefan Salvatore. But those allusions don’t feel forced at all. Instead, they’re organic and help flesh out the emotional lives of all of the characters in a way that is more immediate and far from easy nostalgia.
Naturally, the fall finale begins with yet another person coming back to the dead: Rafael’s girlfriend Cassie, who couldn’t have picked a better time to show up as it just happens to be Remembrance Day in Mystic Falls/at the school and she was definitely on her boyfriend’s mind at the time. Yes, this is the Necromancer’s doing. Even though Alaric’s been torturing him in the basement for the past few days, he’s still playing games with them because this Grim Reaping Jack Sparrow loves to play — as does the show. One thing that impressed about this episode is how it does deal with some heavy material — Raf’s guilt over Cassie’s death, Hope’s conflicted feelings about her father’s death, everything to do with Alaric — it does a good job of a balancing it out with some fun dialogue (“Everybody hates Nazis,” says the Necromancer) and general “We can’t believe what the hell we’re dealing with” spirit.
Of course, Alaric hasn’t been able to get anywhere with the Necromancer, and Dorian, who takes Remembrance Day off every year to honor his family that was killed by Stefan Salvatore, hasn’t had any luck with his research since Necromancer, like every other magical creature, has been erased from the everyone’s memory. Impatient as always, Hope decides to take a stab at getting some answers herself and breaks the new charming lord of the dead that no one knows who he is, which he doesn’t take well. But Hope offers him the chance to find out why no one remembers, a.k.a. permanent death, and how it’s related to the knife.
They both realize that in order to figure out why he wants that knife to revisit how he died all those years ago since that’s when he was thrown in darkness and faced permanent death. Unfortunately, the memory of his death is locked away in his subconscious, which means they’re going to need to dive in to get it. So, Hope recruits M.G. to help her enter the Necromancer’s mind (For the uninitiated, yes, that’s a thing vampires can do), which doesn’t go according to plan at all.
Once inside his brain, which looks like Rousseau’s in New Orleans because he loves messing with Hope, the Necromancer points out that the only reason she’s doing this is because she actually wants to know what happened to her father, meaning did he find peace or is he suffering. If we’ve learned anything about Hope from this season, it’s that she avoids talking about the past and her feelings, so she denies that’s why she’s actually there. But then the Necromancer traps her in his subconscious, which is a dark and empty space, and in the face of her loneliness, Hope finally breaks down and admits that she indeed wants to know what happened to her father in the afterlife. With that confession, the Necromancer returns and frees her from his mind.
Next: Klaus’ fate revealed
Once she’s back in the real world, Alaric and Hope finally have it out because they’re both pissed with each other. Hope calls Alaric out for his excessive drinking (man, some things never change), and he accuses her of not grieving properly. This argument feels like it has been a long time coming, and it isn’t going to be resolved any time soon, especially once Hope locks Alaric back in his office so she can keep chatting with the Necromancer.
Hope returns to the cells and the Necromancer reveals that he remembered his death; it turns out someone killed him everyone’s favorite MacGuffin. But that’s not all he learned. He also used the time he had Hope trapped in his mind to commune with the spirit of the man who forged the knife and he learned that it’s one of three locks on Malivore, which was created to wipe the scourge of the supernatural from the face of the Earth.
Unfortunately, one of those locks has been broken. See, the Necromancer ordered the resurrected Cassie to steal the knife and give it to the spirit of a Bennett witch (!!!!), which used magical transportation to take it to whoever needed it. In other words, Hope messed up big time by working with the “Thriller” music video reject. Before dipping, though, the Necromancer gives Hope an update on her father: He’s watching over her every day and doesn’t regret his choice to sacrifice himself for her, but he won’t find peace until she does.”
Although one lock on Malivore being opened isn’t good, the Necromancer’s shenanigans at the school did help a few others. Before fulfilling her primary objective, Cassie used her time back on in the land of the living to help Raf confront some lingering issues about her death, specifically that he was responsible for it since he was speeding when he took a dangerous in a storm because he was angry. Admitting his role in his girlfriend’s death sets Raf on the path to making peace with it. In fact, he even asks Alaric to help him deal with his anger and become a better man. Furthermore, Hope, who rejected the Remembrance Day traditions, also decided to work on grieving her father, too.
Klaus and a Bennett witch, however, weren’t the only TVD references we got. Dorian revealed to Kaleb — whom he caught teaching M.G. how to feed on humans — that the reason he takes Remembrance Day off every year is because it’s the one day he allows himself to hate the school since it’s named after the vampire that killed his parents, Stefan Salvatore. Why did seeing M.G. feed on a human prompt this story? Well, Dorian is worried that M.G. is at risk at becoming a ripper if he does what Kaleb says, and this revelation actually hits home with Kaleb.
Before heading off into hiatus, Legacies left us with a great tease for the new year: After Hope’s Landon-alarm goes off, the episode jumped to a mysterious figure watching footage of the knife being destroyed in black ooze and holding the picture of Baby Landon and his mother. Obviously, we’re going to get more of Legacies’ walking mystery in the new year. Even though I’m not excited to find out more about Landon the non-character, that didn’t stop me from really enjoying this finale.