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ElectricBoogaloo

S03.E05: This Is What It Takes

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After one of their own goes missing, Alaric suggests Hope turn to the therapy box, which thrusts her into a twisted game set in a summer camp slasher flick; Lizzie's attempt to spend some time with MG doesn't go quite as planned.

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Original air date: 2/18/21

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So they throw the artifact away instead of returning it to its rightful owner? It's all about them, isn't it?

When the artifact was given to Hope and it started into motion my first thought was is this going to be a monkey's paw scenario? Like, Landon will come back but he'll be a big walking pile of black goo.

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Was Hope keeping a jar of Landon-goo like Russell Edgington and his crystal tureen of Talbot? If so, I feel like the Therapy Box was pretty gentle with Hope's obsessive ass.

Speaking of, sooo does this show want Hope [and us] to let go of Landon or not? Because, as much as I like the kid, I'm more than ready for the Hope and Landon nonsense to be done.  I was actually thinking for a minute that he was being written out and Hope would move on... then that ending. I'm confused and annoyed.  What was the point of the Therapy Box? Don't get me wrong, I appreciate that it seems to operated purely through film genre tropes. I enjoy a 40s noir and 80 slasher reference as much as anyone.  But that ending seem to undermine the story entirely. 

Yay Kaleb being a great friend and zipping around in his Corvette.  Still makes me smile. 

And I guess Alyssa and MG are over via Alyssa's naked times with Jed. Seriously? Alyssa's principal redeeming quality, apart from solid snark, was her appreciation of MG and she blows it within 3 weeks? 

Josie's tour was fine.  I'm not looking forward to splitting the show's focus with Townie time.  But I'm not going to refuse to enjoy it. I'm just skeptical. 

Edited by RachelKM
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Is it me or did the actress playing Josie grow a couple inches taller? She look taller than Hope and than towered over the new potential love interest today.

Hope please stop being like your dad and being all obsessive about the person who love.

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Better episode. Still the continuous killing Landon off only for him to be brought back is getting ridiculous. 

Not sure what to think of the whole forgetting about and then remembering Hope and Landon being done off screen. Certain things are still being rushed or just handwaved. 

So is the fact that the therapy box has twice concluded that Hope and Landon shouldn't/can't be together without Hope sacrificing other parts of herself supposed to make want them together or not?

They really put little effort into Josie's female love interests. What are the odds this one gets more then 3 more episodes?

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To be fair to Hope;

- Landon was the first person she really opened up to after her parents died, her first big love... and he melted into black goo while they were post-coital spooning; she had to get herself dressed and march to the school while literally covered in Landon’s remains (side-bar: I missed any vial of Landon goo Hope had, but I’d chalk that up less to obsession and more to the reasoning that some part of the body is pretty common in locator and resurrection type magic, so if you’re trying to get him back, keeping some of the goo is just good sense).

- She already carries guilt because her parents died to save her and whether that’s actually the reason he melted or not, her subconscious at least believes that she killed Landon by having sex with him. Basically reinforcing her belief that everyone close to her dies.

- She also had to cast a big dark magic spell to make everyone remember her... again (which is probably why it happened offscreen; what new would we learn seeing it again), and those can make you a little cranky.

- The situation with the pawn shop guy was literally the first lead they’d found and even though she was presented with another lead they could pursue, she decided not to because the price was too high; pretty much the opposite of her father who’d burn the world down to get what he wanted.

- Despite this she got through all the stages of grief including denial, anger, bargaining and depression to acceptance (for the most part) in what the show told us was a bit over three weeks.

I do think the story would probably be stronger if they did leave Landon dead; without Raf or Malevore or the phoenix bit around anymore has no story beyond being Hope’s love interest. He may as well be the now ex-sheriff’s son (who also originally had potential if they hadn’t dropped the Hope/Alaric starting over at Mystic Falls High School plot after five episodes).

As to the rest of the episode; it’s hard to care about Josie’s Mystic Falls love interest subplot after how Hope/Alaric’s Mystic Falls subplot went. I fully expect the whalloping two characters there to be put on a bus within five episodes.

Right now the main thing I feel is that I’m waiting for the actual plot to start. If someone had found a real lead that suggested more was going on with Landon melting and there was a clear next step to take then it would have at least suggested a “hunt for Landon the McGuffin” plot.

Instead it’s clear that Landon’s just going to turn up through no additional effort of the main characters and inflict drama in a few episodes once Hope is just starting to move on, but not in some larger connective plot tissue sort of way that Malevore provided during seasons 1-2 (last episode was clearly the planned season 2 finale).

Then again season 1 and 2 both didn’t really get their plots started in their recognizable directions until their second episodes so I’m hoping we’ll see the same in a couple weeks when the next episode airs (seriously, who decides when to do the episode splits? This is basically playing the real season three premiere then taking a week or so off).

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I don't know if plans for this season all got changed due to COVID or they just decided on a new story for some reason, but this season has felt so of. It seems like its really doubling down on that thing that shows do sometimes where they add in tons of new characters, usually as love interests, just to test them out to see if they gel with the cast or if the fans like them. If they like them, they stick around, and if they never pick up steam with the audience, they just randomly get killed off or disappear. Its kind of a thing with CW type shows that I remember TVD doing pretty frequently, and this show has been doing it more and more. So now the sheriff and the daughter are gone after hardly doing anything, but we are keeping the boring son and Josie is getting a new love interest, and I cannot imagine that we will be getting anything really important with them. I don't care about Josie at normie school, the whole point of this show is that its a school for supernatural kids and not another show about magic kids going to normal school. 

This season has also been super melodramatic, why are we doing this angst with Hope and Landon yet again? This show is at its best when its fun and doesn't really take itself super seriously, but this season has been so mopey. This is why I can never get that into Hope and Landon as a couple, its always all drama all of the time and not enough of them just being a cute couple together. So is Landon actually for real gone? I really hope not, as I like Landon a lot, but him dying and coming back over and over again is just so tired at this point I just want them to commit to him being dead or not already. I don't even count him dying and coming back willy nilly because of his powers, just the super dramatic not deaths, there have already been way too many, and it always just ends up being about Hope. Even this episode, it feels like the only person who actually cares that Landon is dead is Hope, and everyone is mostly just worried about Hope and her reaction, its all just so weird. So if everyone has decided that Landon is dead, has anyone thought to go tell Raf in his spirit world home that his best friend is dead? Again? 

Cant blame Hope for being upset that she apparently fucked her boyfriend to death. That's right up there with Buffy's first time as world crappiest ways to lose your virginity. 

Edited by tennisgurl
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20 minutes ago, tennisgurl said:

Cant blame Hope for being upset that she apparently fucked her boyfriend to death. That's right up there with Buffy's first time as world crappiest ways to lose your virginity. 

When I watched the scene of Hope and Landon having sex and then Landon coughing up goo, I screamed to the TV: didn't all supernatural characters learn from Buffy and Cordelia not to lose your virginity to other supernaturals? It never works out well!

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1 hour ago, tennisgurl said:

I don't know if plans for this season all got changed due to COVID or they just decided on a new story for some reason, but this season has felt so of.

It did... everything up to last episode where they defeated the Necromancer and Landon melted into goo would have originally been the back end of season two if not for COVID. Its super obvious if, like me, you just last week realized the show was back, binge-watched most of season two as a refresher and jumped right into the new season by binge watching the first episodes of this season back-to-back.

This episode would have been the season three premiere if not for that (and you can really see it changed hair styles and such among the cast that are typical between seasons, but this happening in the span of a week).

So in judging both the previous episodes this season and this episode you really need to compare the previous ones to the back half of season one and this one to the season two premiere; Resolving the unresolved bits of last season? check. Good chunk of the non-regular cast written out? check. New characters that if they don't work out will be gone once their recurring contract runs out in 2-5 episodes? check.

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I don't care about Josie at normie school, the whole point of this show is that its a school for supernatural kids and not another show about magic kids going to normal school.

I think they had a chance at the start of season two to redefine the series in a way that would have made Mystic Falls High School a valid second setting for the series because they moved Alaric there as principle and Hope enrolled at school there because no one remembered her. You had the introduction of new normie friends for Hope who got tangentially pulled into the supernatural drama and a new sheriff/Alaric love interest, a new headmaster who while darker, was presented more as a rival than a villain and the issues with his daughters still attending the Salvatore school in the mix with monsters continuing to show up.

If that general setup had continued and we still got the Dark Josie arc that ended with her giving up magic and deciding to attend Mystic Falls High School in this episode where we already had Alaric, Hope, her now well-established new friends and the Sheriff operating and they also happened to introduce a new love interest character for Josie at the same time; I'd have confidence of the story going somewhere and sticking.

But they blew the Hope/Alaric at Mystic Falls High up after about five episodes with everyone re-remembering Hope and the new headmaster being revealed as a villainous imposter and throwing the entire Mystic Falls additions on a bus to not even be glimpsed again into virtually the season finale. So expecting anything to come of Josie going to Mystic Falls High when the only other people there are literally the boy they forgot about for the last dozen-ish episodes and a new love interest for Josie is pretty much a pipe dream.

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Cant blame Hope for being upset that she apparently fucked her boyfriend to death. That's right up there with Buffy's first time as world crappiest ways to lose your virginity. 

Honestly, once you accept that Hope IS the Buffy Summers of the Vampire Diaries universe and that Alaric is its Giles and Malevore was the Hellmouth, everything about this series makes a ton more sense.

They seriously need to do a Buffy riff at some point (in addition to the above, Josie is clearly Willow, MG is Xander, Lizzie is Anya, Kaleb is Oz and Landon is Angel if he didn't have any powers or turn evil the moment he didn't feel guilty), perhaps as another musical episode.

Edited by Chris24601
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5 minutes ago, Chris24601 said:

Landon is Angel if he didn't have any powers or turn evil the moment he didn't feel guilty), perhaps as another musical episode.

So basically puppet Angel?

249d4f32206cab690115bb85df001dfb.jpg

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21 hours ago, Chris24601 said:

Honestly, once you accept that Hope IS the Buffy Summers of the Vampire Diaries universe and that Alaric is its Giles and Malevore was the Hellmouth, everything about this series makes a ton more sense.

They seriously need to do a Buffy riff at some point (in addition to the above, Josie is clearly Willow, MG is Xander, Lizzie is Anya, Kaleb is Oz and Landon is Angel if he didn't have any powers or turn evil the moment he didn't feel guilty), perhaps as another musical episode.

Never insult MG like that! Xander was the absolute worst and MG is awesome!

I think Lizzie is Cordelia, not Anya. Heh and Kaleb isn't laconic enough to be Oz. I guess he could be early Spike since he has a cool car and loves a good fight.

21 hours ago, luckyroll3 said:

So basically puppet Angel?

249d4f32206cab690115bb85df001dfb.jpg

During S1 of TVD, someone mentioned that Stefan looked like puppet Angel and I was never unable to see it. The furrowed brow, the hair, the leather coat - Stefan was a wee puppet man!

 

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo
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Part of me loves that the therapy box requires period costumes and cinematic themes. Lizzie's 80s wig was even worse than her usual one.

Oh, Alyssa, I know Jed looks damn fine naked but you've been pining after MG for what feels like forever and once you finally get him, you decide to bone Jed? WHY, GIRL?

I wish the show would realize that it succeeds more during its fun/light moments than at it's melodramatic angsty moments. It's okay, show. Acknowledge where your strengths lie, embrace it, and focus on that instead of making Hope emo for the millionth time because Landon has died for the millionth time.

On a shallow note, I really love seeing the Salvatore mansion sets. Seeing the characters from this show in front of the fireplace or in the kitchen gives me good nostalgic vibes.

I was yelling at my screen when Hope decided that since the wish box didn't work she would just toss it into the lake. RUDE!

Last week I said I wasn't interested in seeing Josie go to Mystic Falls High and watching the inevitable plot of Josie falls in love with a townie then feels guilty about hiding her witchiness and everything about her family, her friends, and the Salvatore School. Disappointing to see that we're already headed down that path.

And what kind of weak ass excuse was that for keeping Ethan but getting rid of his mom and sister? The school in Savannah already has a QB1 so I refuse to move there, but Mystic Falls has a QB1 and that's not an issue because I'm going to convince the coach that I should replace him! Okay, that should be a breeze after that career ending injury you suffered last season.

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All I got from this one is... I have embraced the fact that I do indeed truly love Landon Kirby. Never thought that would happen. Too bad him and Hope suck.

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So they gave Hope and Lizzie new longer wigs? It also looked like Hope thinned her eyebrows but Lizzie's are so distracting.

I'm so over Hope, her character needs to do something else. All she does is mourn the lose of Landon or they break up and get back together, they are so boring.

So anybody can just hop into a prison world now? How did Lizzie and MG get to that prison world without that device and that solar whatever and what was up with that scream MG, lol.

Not at all interested in Jose's new school time. And of course she'll have to play football against her sister.

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Lizzie and MG astral projected into the prison world like Hope did last year and Jeremy was able to do with Kai's help in TVD. 

So they just use a magical item to make a wish with very little known about it, what could go wrong?

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11 hours ago, foxfreakinmulder said:

I'm so over Hope, her character needs to do something else. All she does is mourn the lose of Landon or they break up and get back together, they are so boring.

The worst part about this is that Hope is a tribrid, a one of a kind creature, so you'd think that alone would provide interesting things for her character to explore. Instead her life revolves around I like Landon, I'm mad at Landon, I'm sad that Landon just died again. Wash, rinse, repeat. She might as well be a boring human with no powers on any other CW show.

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10 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

The worst part about this is that Hope is a tribrid, a one of a kind creature, so you'd think that alone would provide interesting things for her character to explore. Instead her life revolves around I like Landon, I'm mad at Landon, I'm sad that Landon just died again. Wash, rinse, repeat. She might as well be a boring human with no powers on any other CW show.

So true!!! I want her to become a vampire, maybe then something interesting will happen. Heck, even the Vampire Diary's had more interesting side characters then the writing for Hope and Landon.

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On 2/20/2021 at 11:53 AM, ElectricBoogaloo said:

Never insult MG like that! Xander was the absolute worst and MG is awesome!

Xander was always my fave, so definitely no insult intended. :D

As to Hope's story being all "Landon, Landon, Landon", as I said, I think the show would be stronger if he just stayed dead; just like last year I felt it would have been a stronger show if Hope hadn't been remembered by everyone and had to reforge relationships with everyone fresh (Lizzie could remember because who better to have be the one person to remember you than your old frenemy you now get to bond with).

You could have kept Mystic Falls High as a valid second location, kept the adorable Josie/Landon pairing and done more with Raf since, until his "always loyal to Landon" memories resurfaced, he was totally into Hope (and those two actors had much better chemistry) and a love triangle with the mundane football player (basically a "normal" vs. "magical" life choice).

Dead Landon would mean Hope would have to move on to other things and interacting with other people; even the football player who may as well have fallen into the Malivore pit given how everyone forgot him.

My biggest concern with Landon returning is they've basically ended every arc of his that isn't Hope-centric; Raf is gone. Phoenix is gone. Malivore has been relocated to a prison world so no more conflict there. Him hooking up with Hope and then melting into goo is pretty much the best ending we could hope for... cause now instead of just his death, it'll be his whole character that melts into ugly goo and probably poisons a few other characters along the way unless they can find something brand new for him to do.*

As far as new things go though, I hope they do avoid the Hope becoming a vampire part. I just feel the vampire angle has been completely covered between TVD and The Originals and Hope is more interesting with magic whereas she'd lose the magic as a vampire (just like her father didn't have any magic because of the vampire in the mix) and become even more Buffy-like in terms of dealing with problems (i.e. physical prowess only). Throw into that too that she's already got the bit about her father's spirit not being able to find peace until she does and my gut-level hunch is that "vampire" is the LAST thing she wants to happen to herself (particularly since all evidence is that she'd self-turn if she ever was killed by anything other than old age).

Basically, the THREAT of Hope becoming a vampire is far more interesting than her actually becoming one.

Conversely, I do think they'll go Heretic-Vampire hybrid with either Josie or Lizzie at some point. They've already directly broached the subject with Lizzie's answer to Sebastian as a means of ending the threat of the merge so I think its really just a question of which one they go that route with rather than if they'd go that route. If you forced me to bet on it, my money would be on Josie just because Josie when she's darker is more interesting whereas Lizzie is interesting just the way she is.

*Side-bar: I never gamble, but I would bet cash money we get at least one episode, if not a whole crumbling relationship break-up arc out of "Having sex with me killed you; it can never happen again" like S3 of Buffy w. Angel.

Edited by Chris24601

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On 3/1/2021 at 1:31 PM, Chris24601 said:

Basically, the THREAT of Hope becoming a vampire is far more interesting than her actually becoming one.

So, during the hiatus I started a rewatch of The Originals and it really helped refine this thought for me.

Specifically, the reason I’ve been finding Legacies so much more watchable is that all the main characters are actually... heroic. There’s no protagonist-centric morality trying to justify Damon/Klaus/whoever has their humanity switch flipped off this week going on a killing spree because their feelings are hurt.

Basically, if Hope and Salvitore School would have been around during TVD they would have staked Damon around episode three of season one at the latest.

Take this episode for example; Hope is in a bad place, starts using, but doesn’t complete, a death spell, gets called on it and by the end of the episode has gone through enough of the stages of grief to decide against pursuing other means of resurrecting Landon because it could put other people at risk. It would take Damon or Klaus half a season and piles of bodies to figure that out.

The same for Kaleb, MG, Lizzie, Jo, Landon, and even recurrings like Wade, Jeb and Pedro. Last episode they went to bat to save a school of innocents from The Necromancer and this episode were mostly looking for ways to recover Landon.

This makes them far more root-able than the protagonists of the previous two series; that they actually deserve a happy ending.

And the thing is, if they turned Hope into a vampire, you just know it wouldn’t be long until they decided to flip her humanity switch “for the drama” and we start have start excusing various atrocities and everyone else has to start justifying it.

We were almost there with Josie when she killed Alyssa, but most everyone was horrified by that, Alyssa got brought back by The Necromancer in the same episode, then Josie gave up all her magic as part of her penance.

I’d like to have this batch of characters remain heroic; be better than the prior generations. I find whiny relationship angst way more tolerable than pretending casual murder is no big deal. That probably requires Hope to not activate her vampire side.

 

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