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November 08, 2018 at 10:00 PM EST

Legacies fans might not realize this, but Alaric Saltzman didn’t start the Salvatore School for the Young and Gifted all by himself. He had his daughters’ mother, Caroline Forbes, by his side, a fact that sits heavy with fans of the Vampire Diaries, namely because Caroline (Candice King) hasn’t made an appearance on the show just yet. As Legacies showrunner Julie Plec previously said of Caroline, “We’re going to hear her and feel her a lot. I don’t know when we’ll see her. I, of course, would like to see her anytime. The door is open. But the girls are dealing with the fact that their mother, who has raised them, is a little absentee lately.”

And fans saw that in action this week, when Legacies’ third episode dropped the first mention of Caroline’s name. When explaining why Lizzie is extra “sensitive” lately, Josie told Hope, “Our mom is going on these really long recruitment missions recently. It’s why she’s extra testy. She just really misses her.”

What Josie doesn’t realize is something else Plec previously said, which is that “Alaric knows [Caroline is] actually off doing other things that have to do with the long-term survival of their daughters. So the mystery of, where is Caroline, why isn’t she coming home for their birthday, that kind of thing is gonna be part of our story in the hopes that one day we’ll be able to have her walk through the doors as well.”

No matter what she’s really off doing, the first official mention of Caroline feels like a step towards that appearance … hopefully.

Legacies airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on The CW.

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