Legacies boss on those massive villain twists: 'It's not going to be great for our heroes'
Warning: This article contains spoilers for Thursday’s episode of Legacies, “Screw Endgame.”
It wouldn’t be a decade dance in The Vampire Diaries universe without some massive villain reveal. Legacies hosted its first era-themed bash in Thursday’s episode, “Screw Endgame,” by taking a neon, hair-sprayed, 8-bit trip to the ’80s as fans learned the frightening truth about not one but two big bads along the way.
The mysterious Sebastian (Thomas Doherty) revealed some much-needed information about why he was previously only seen by Lizzie (Jenny Boyd) and MG (Quincy Fouse), and the desiccated vampire managed to convince another student to feed him enough blood to finally break free of the coffin cage he’d been locked in for hundreds of years. Now he’s out and hungry, and he has questionable morals when it comes to killing innocent people. But what’s even more terrifying is that Professor Vardemus (Alexis Denisof) is actually just Ryan Clarke (Nick Fink), a.k.a. Malivore’s evil son, in disguise.
EW got Legacies executive producer Brett Matthews to break down what those shocking revelations mean for all your favorites (spoiler: nothing great!), all those relationship shakeups, and more.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: That final scene revealing Professor Vardemus is actually Ryan in disguise brings his connection with Josie into ominous territory. What can you tease about what he’s planning, both with Josie and ultimately everything else?
BRETT MATTHEWS: That question is at the heart of what we’re going to do for a lot of this season. What I can say is that all of those questions will play out and it’s good that they’re being asked, and that they will be answered. It has deep ties to the mythology of the show and the mythology of this season. We’re very excited to see that play out. It’s not going to be great for our heroes. It’s going to take this show in a really exciting direction.
While we still don’t have the full story about Sebastian’s past, based on everything he’s revealed so far he’s looking more and more like a real villain — which is not great now that he’s free.
It’s a character we love. It’s a character from the old show. He’s a gothic vampire who has come into this world and realized that the world has changed so much, and it’s changed so much even in the scant couple of years that have unfolded between The Vampire Diaries and Legacies. What being a vampire is in this show is not the same as it used to be, and that’s a source of frustration for Sebastian. What I can promise you is that very soon we will learn a lot more about where he comes from and who he is and what his motivations are. He is definitely not a one-note villain. He is somebody, much like Klaus [Joseph Morgan] or Katherine [Nina Dobrev] or even Damon Salvatore [Ian Somerhalder], there’s a lot of depth there. I don’t think a label as simple as villain will end up applying to a guy like Sebastian.
We’ve seen him psychically connect with Lizzie and then MG and now Wade [Elijah B. Moore] — possibly RIP? — but who is he going to be sharing scenes with now that he’s out of his coffin and back in the world?
Quite a lot of the cast, to be honest. The Sebastian-Lizzie relationship is the foundational one, so you’ll see a lot more of that. But part of the fun really has been because Sebastian brings such a different perspective and opinions to the show that bouncing him off a lot of our characters has proven to be very fun for us. You will get to see him rub off on a lot of our cast, especially Lizzie.
Lizzie and Hope’s [Danielle Rose Russell] journey through the minotaur’s labyrinth was a huge step forward for the former enemies. Their rivalry seems to be erased, and since she’s the only one who even remembers Hope, how does this change the dynamics between Lizzie and Josie [Kaylee Bryant], since Josie still hates Hope?
Lizzie and Hope have always been frenemies, and some days the scales shift one way and some days the scales shift the other. This episode they were stuck with each other and had to find a way to work it out and they had a real moment, but as Lizzie says at the end, “I will deny it if you tell anybody about this.” There’s always going to be that element to their friendship. It’s very hard to ever come between Lizzie and Josie, but Lizzie and Hope’s relationship is complicated and beautiful and interesting. It’s fun to have them see each other in a new light, even if they had to get trapped in a magical labyrinth by a monster in order to do it. But sometimes that’s what it takes in the world of our show.
I loved how Lizzie and Hope defeat the minotaur and get out of the labyrinth by deciding that they’re stronger together because women don’t exist to step on each other to succeed. That’s such an important message to promote. How is that going to carry through past this episode?
I hope it’s already been something that people respond to in the show. I hope it’s something that, in our minds, Julie [Plec, the showrunner] and I, it was always there. This show is about a young generation of kids and we hope it is very of the moment because the world is changing rapidly beneath our feet. In the past we’d often look to the future for hope, and now we actually look to the youth. That’s what this show has always been about for Julie and I — it’s much more optimistic, it’s much lighter in tone, and it has all of those things on its mind. What I love about every show that Julie makes and what I really try to embrace when running shows with her is to let the show wear its heart on its sleeve. This is us doing that. It is what we as writers believe. We’re not trying to be preachy; we thinks it’s what’s right for the characters and the world. Our kids are part of the generation that makes the world a better place. It’s a natural perspective for them to have.
Speaking of heart, it seems like Hope giving up on telling Landon [Aria Shahghasemi] the truth about their past is paving the way for her and Raf [Peyton Alex Smith] to get together. What’s coming for her in the romance department?
That’s the question, right? How does one move on, and can one move on? That’s really what it comes down to. A lot us say we’re moving on and it’s not as easy as we’d like to make it out to be. Hope will struggle with that. In matters like this, there’s an intellectual decision and there’s an emotional decision. She’s making the intellectual one but the question is, can she make the emotional one to follow through?
Meanwhile, instead of taking the next step in their relationship, Josie discovers that magic journal under her bed showing her what Landon’s been writing in his journal. Obviously this doesn’t mean good things for their relationship despite Hope backing off. How is that going to affect them moving forward?
In the immediate future we’re going to see her try to get to the bottom of exactly what that means. And what she finds out, what she ultimately does with that information, will be top of mind going into the beginning of the next episode. Josie is going to figure out what that means and we will literally pick up with that story very quickly and follow her journey on the hunt for what that means. It will take her beyond the city limits of Mystic Falls, and perhaps as far away as New Orleans.
What a coincidence, since Freya’s [Riley Voelkel] returning in the next episode! How does this appearance add something new to her legacy in this trilogy?
That’s a character we love so much. She’s Hope’s family. All these shows stand on their own, but they really are a part of one interconnected universe. Any time we can see those old characters from the past, we’re always thrilled. Julie and I always say that it’s an open-door policy around here, so if people want to come back and play, they’re a part of the foundation that makes this show and we’re always happy to see people. It’s really a joy. Freya’s a really powerful force in this episode. It gives the scenes she’s in a power in a way that comes with the years and the history of the other shows.
Legacies airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on the CW.