So a tribrid, a phoenix, and a gorgon walk into a beauty pageant... No seriously, that's what happened on this week's episode of Legacies when the Miss Mystic Falls pageant rolled around again!
In the wake Landon's (Aria Shahghasemi) death and resurrection, things at the Savaltore School were decidedly tense, but for no one as much as Hope Mikaelson (Danielle Rose Russell). After suffering so much loss in her life, this poor little tribrid was an emotional wreck as she tried to deal with the trauma of seeing her boyfriend dead at her feet, the stress of competing in Miss Mystic Falls, and the return of her ex-boyfriend, Roman (Jedidiah Goodacre). Her emotional walls eventually came crashing down just as she was named the winner of the pageant, but that was mostly because she'd just realized she was wearing a dress that her father, Klaus (Joseph Morgan), had actually gifted to Caroline Forbes (Candice King) back on The Vampire Diaries. Way to warn a girl, Lizzie (Jenny Boyd)!
Hope won't have too much time to recover from her emotional outburst though; the episode ended with Landon getting phoenix-napped by the Triad and taken to the portal into Malivore. Can someone just put a tracking chip on this kid already?
TV Guide spoke to Danielle Rose Russell about Hope's traumatic experiences, Roman's return, and just what kind of nefarious endgame the Triad might have.
Hope is dealing with a lot of loss and a lot of pain in this episode. What about losing Landon sort of triggered that emotional response in her?
Danielle Rose Russell: Well, I think the biggest thing is remembering what Hope has been through in her life, and how hard it was for her to let him into her life, and how she was so afraid of losing him or hurting him in some way, or causing any hurt to him. So when she does lose him, seemingly, to her it's the most devastating thing that could possibly happen. It's like, what else could be taken away from her after? There's nothing else. So, she's trying to deal with the PTSD that comes along with that in this episode, but definitely for the rest of the season, and I think that will always be something that really plagues her.
And now Landon has gotten himself kidnapped. How is she going to react to that situation?
Russell: She's going to do what she always does, and that's fight for the people that she loves. No matter what, Landon is the person that she cares the most about in this world. Because she's lost all the people that are closest to her. You'll see her try to go about dealing with that, try to figure out what happened to him, and ... [try] to go about getting him back.
Clarke, who now is holding Landon captive, has been this mysterious Triad mastermind. Can you say anything about his motives or how Hope's going to deal with him?
Russell: Hope's connection to Clarke and how everything is connected will be revealed, obviously, by the end of the season. And it is really interesting, it's really shocking actually. God, I'm so excited for everyone to see how this season ends because it's really epic, and it answers so many questions. As of right now, the only thing I can say is just keep waiting to see how Hope deals with him.
I also loved seeing Roman's return, and I thought Hope was really mature in how she dealt with him. Do you think she really has truly forgiven him for his role in her mother's death?
Russell: I do actually. I had a lot of conversations with our writer for this episode, and I really do feel like she did truly forgive him, because one of the people in her life, Alaric, has helped her so much to try to come to terms with being good despite all the things that are trying to make her bad. She's trying not to be vengeful like her father. I think she truly has forgiven him, and you saw in the last episode, in the phoenix episode, you see Hope's heart. In the midst of the worse thing she could possibly feel, she still has this empathy and this compassion. Roman for her, the return of him — I don't think triggers anything more than what's going on between Hope and Landon [...] and of course wearing the dress. And seeing all these different things that are just coming to a head for her, it really kind of breaks her down. ... I always loved the Hope and Roman dynamic, obviously before it turned sour, on The Originals. And I always thought that it was kind of a fun idea to have him return, and so I'm really happy that they actually did that.
That moment she realizes the dress was originally from Klaus is sort of the straw that broke the camel's back for her. So from your perspective, what was going through her head and happening emotionally for her in that moment?
Russell: Well, I think that you kind of see her become a little girl again. You know, you've seen Hope be so strong and so fierce this entire season that this is the moment that she really just needs her dad. Not that the dress would make her cry on a normal day necessarily, but it's kind of been the fact that she has literally lost every single person that she has cared about. ... She's dealing with, like I said, a lot of PTSD and trying to pretend like she's OK but deep down she is not, and I think that's just the icing on the cake. Really, all that she needs is her dad and he's not there and that dress is just a haunting reminder of that.
There have been a few hints at Klaus and Caroline's romantic history on Legacies, but I'm so curious: Do you think Hope and Lizzie and Josie (Kaylee Bryant) know about that? And if they don't, how do you think they'd react?
Russell: You know, I actually don't think they know much about it, mostly because when they talk about the dress in the episode and it's Lizzie and Josie fighting and Hope and Roman are dancing, they are all kind of like, "What's going on? Why is this dress so important? I don't get it." Then [Lizzie] was like, "Oh, it was a gift from some guy who used to crush on mom." Josie knows that Klaus gave it to her, but I don't think the details were really that clear.
Well, I'm very eager to see what kind of humor unfolds if they ever find out that their parents used to sort of make out.
Russell: Yeah, like very steamily!
Something I've also really appreciated about this season of Legacies is that it's had a good balance of The Vampire Diaries and The Originals references, but it doesn't go overboard. How do you feel about that balance and how important do you think it is to the show?
Russell: I think that we do have a good balance. I think that it's important to keep reminding the audience that we are a standalone show, mostly because we have a totally different mythology. If our mythology was connected to the other two shows more than it is now, I think it would be more important to include pieces of history and what have you in the show. But because we do have our own mythology, I think it is really important that we keep it fresh and new. I mean, it's fun every now and again to relive what was so iconic, but yeah, I really enjoy giving Legacies its independence.
Legacies airs Thursdays at 9/8c on The CW.
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