Spoiler alert: This post contains plot details from the season 1 finale of Legacies.
In the season 1 finale of Legacies, Hope Mikaelson (Danielle Rose Russell) found her purpose… but unfortunately, it involved sacrificing herself to take down Malivore. In the episode’s final moments, she threw herself into the pit, thereby erasing herself from existence.
But that was only one twist in the extremely emotional hour, which also saw Lizzie (Jenny Boyd) and Josie (Kaylee Bryant) discover the ascendant, a little something Vampire Diaries fans will recognize. EW spoke with Legacies showrunner Julie Plec about the finale and what comes next.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: I loved Hope’s journey in this finale, and the realization that she has a purpose and a reason for existing. What does that moment mean for her?
JULIE PLEC: What I love about the journey so much is that it really did do a complete arc for her. I would suggest a little companion guide for people to go back and watch episodes 5 and 12 of [the final season of] The Originals and see Hope and how distraught she was with Elijah feeling like perhaps she was never meant to be born in the first place. For a teenager to feel like there’s no purpose to their existence and feel responsible for the calamities that have befallen other people that they love, for someone like her to finally realize that she exists for a purpose, and a magnificent purpose, must be so exhilarating for her. It was the arc we wanted for her, not just for this season but ultimately, should we see her again, for the series. Hope is not alone. Hope was not a mistake. Hope matters. Hope has friends. Hope has love. And ultimately Hope is rebuilding a family for herself. Sometimes with that comes great sacrifice.
We’ve talked about you wanting to see Chris Wood’s Kai Parker again, and now we’ve got the ascendant playing into things?!
[Laughs] It’s so rude of me and so presumptuous, but I am just going to keep layering in Kai Parker until Chris Wood feels like he’s got no choice but to come back and play in our sandbox. I would love nothing more than to see that character again. I think he’d drop perfectly into this story line, even if we just got to see him in one episode. I’m going to keep my fingers crossed and hope that I can make that work out one of these days.
But with the girls having the ascendant and knowing about the Merge, will all of that play a bigger part in season 2?
The Merge is an interesting predicament for us as writers and the girls as characters in that technically, it doesn’t happen until they’re 22, which with the way the timeline of our shows move could be season 10. [Laughs] But much in the way that we always asked ourselves, “When is Elena going to become a vampire?” in Vampire Diaries and we rode the narrative and didn’t do it until we felt like it was right, the Merge for me is the same. It may make sense for us to pull that up and do it sooner than later, or it may be something that just hangs over these girls’ heads for the next five seasons until we get there. All I can say is that our goal when we get there is to make it count.
Looking back at the first season of Legacies, what are you most proud of?
The thing I am most proud of is that an episode like “The Boy Who Still Has a Lot of Good To Do,” which is a classic and quintessential Vampire Diaries episode and everything that we always did well for all those years, can sit in the same season next to “We’re Gonna Need a Spotlight,” which is the closest thing to comedy I think that we’ve done on this show. It’s closer to an episode of Glee than to anything I’ve ever done. That those episodes can exist side-by-side in the same season and feel like they fit in the same show. The fact that we have been able to realize that the tone of this show is that there are no rules about tone has been a miraculous discovery and been so much fun for us as writers, because we could never do any of that stuff on Vampire Diaries or The Originals. I would’ve killed to have done a talent show episode with all the talent we had on Vampire Diaries, are you kidding me? I would’ve killed! But it just never would’ve worked. [Laughs]
Are you thinking you’ll keep the monster-of-the-week format in season 2?
Yeah, we really enjoy the monster-of-the-week for a lot of reasons as writers. We used to make the joke about the Vampire Diaries that it’s a show about 200-something-year-old guys with no jobs. So when we would sit down to break each episode of The Vampire Diaries, it was like breaking a brand-new movie from scratch every single week, and it made it really, really hard. We were really proud of it when all was said and done, but we really suffered for our art, so to speak, on that show. By having a monster in the midst of these episodes, whether it’s a monster or a spell gone awry or some kind of supernatural conflict, it makes the process of coming up with each weekly story so much more fluid and so much more enjoyable. We’re having a lot of fun with it, and I think that the fun we’re having then permeates into the fun on the page and makes the show more of a good time overall for everyone involved. We’re really excited about season 2 because we already have a very clear understanding of each character’s journey for the season, and how to make the mythology seem even more surprising and even more fresh than in the first season.