“Maybe I Should Start from the End”
January 24, 2019
Landon is in Lawrence, Kansas looking for his mom.
HEY LANDON, HAVE YOU TRIED LOOKING ON THE CEILING?
He spends every day in her coffee shop. Seylah teases that he must have a serious caffeine addiction. She asks his name and says it’s beautiful. Landon is like THANKS YOU GAVE IT TO ME. I’M YOUR SON. HERE’S A TATTERED SNAPSHOT I CARRY WITH ME LIKE A TALISMAN AS PROOF.
It’s enough for Seylah to close up shop and take Landon home. She fixes him a sandwich and he tells her his whole sad life story, but she says nothing about herself.
Landon comments on the many mementos and curios tastefully displayed around her house. He says it seems like she’s had a really interesting life, but in a conversational ‘I’ve bet you’ve got lots of great stories I would love to hear them’ way, not a ‘DID YOU EVER THINK ABOUT ME WHILE YOU WERE LIVING YOUR BEST LIFE WHY DID YOU ABANDON ME’ way.
He acknowledges that this is weird for both of them. Seylah takes a pie out of the oven. She says in times of emotional distress she finds that dessert really helps.
Seylah’s tiny purse dog squeaks, gasps, and keels over. Landon is like, I JUST GAVE HER A TINY PIECE OF MY SANDWICH I DIDN’T MEAN TO KILL HER. Seylah reassures him that the dog will be fine. The drugs will wear off soon.
As he hits the floor, Landon manages to activate his ugly wrist cuff before oblivion overtakes him.
He comes to bound to a chair. He insists that no one sent him. He’s telling the truth—he is her son. Seylah holds a hot iron up to his face and threatens to burn his lips shut if he keeps saying that.
Seylah is lovely.
Landon blurts out the Salvatore School. He says that’s who he called. It’s a school for vampires and witches and werewolves, which are all real by the way. Along with dragons and gargoyles and talking trees. Seylah stands down. That she believes.
The power goes out and Seylah quickly slips out of the room. Landon hears a thump and a creak from above him. There’s the sound of skittering and a long, gurgling growl. A gooey disjointed nightmare monster creeps down the stairs. It crawls up to Landon and unhinges its jaw to devour him.
Seylah slices off the monster’s head with a sword like this ain’t even her whole day.
Alaric and Hope arrive at a tidy suburban home. They hear screams from inside and Hope knocks the door off the hinges on a lovely—but stunned and confused—older couple WHO WOULD JUST LIKE TO WATCH THEIR MATLOCK AND ENJOY THEIR HAM STEAK AND CHERRY JELLO THANK YOU VERY MUCH. THEY PAY TAXES YOU KNOW.
Hope checks the mailbox and pulls out Landon’s cuff. Seylah knew they were coming.
She uses it to cast a locator spell. When they pull up to Seylah’s house it’s swarming with “utility workers” checking out a “gas leak.” Alaric is like, COOL COOL I’M FROM MYSTIC FALLS ‘GAS LEAK’ IS OUR GO TO STORY, TOO.
Hope next tracks Landon to a motel. Alaric picks the lock on the door and walks into Seylah’s gun. Hope magics it out of her hand. She stomps into the room and snaps at Seylah to tell them where Landon is before she blows the woman’s head off.
“You must be Hope.”
And Landon was wrong—Seylah likes her.
Confronted by the trifecta of her son’s floppy hair, Hope’s glare, and Alaric’s earnestness, Seylah finally starts filling in her story’s many blanks. She tells them she was recruited by the Initiative after she completed her Army service. Her job was to keep the supernatural world a secret. A few years in she became aware of gaps in her memory—gaps created when the monsters she hunted were imprisoned in Malivore.
Seylah says they should all go home and forget they ever heard the name.
Also, Landon’s father was some rando she hooked up with to blow off steam …
… and she’s not someone who’s equipped to be a mother, so.
Alaric follows Seylah outside and presses her for more. He says they need answers … and Landon needs the truth. Seylah offers to tell Alaric instead to see if he believes her. Because she’s still not sure she believes it, and she lived it.
Seylah says the Initiative guards the portal to Malivore. When they discovered she was trying to remember all the things she’d forgotten, they tossed her in. She says the isolation, loneliness, and endless darkness described by the monsters is real.
And then one day she found herself back topside. Two years had gone by and no one at the Initiative remembered her. Also, she was pregnant.
Seylah is astonished that Alaric believes her. He says his twin daughters were magically transplanted into their birth mother’s womb by a coven of witches. An immaculately conceived evil-goo baby isn’t much of a stretch for him.
Seylah says she left Landon then because she was selfish. Now she’s just tired.
Alaric walks back into the motel room, surprising Landon and Hope who are making out on the bed. Hope huffs that he’s the one always saying she needs to connect more with people. Alaric is like, I DIDN’T MEAN IN YOUR PANTALOONS, and shoos her out of the room.
Hope grabs her bag from the SUV and catches Seylah trying to hotwire her own car to avoid going back to the room to get her keys. She says over the years she would wonder how Landon was. What kind of person he turned out to be. If he had a nice life.
“Turns out he’s a good person with a crappy life. He deserved better.”
Hope says no matter what Seylah thinks she’s doing for Landon, all he will remember is that she abandoned him when he needed her the most.
Seylah is just as certain that Landon won’t remember her at all.
Meanwhile, in the motel room …
“She got pregnant in Satan’s mud bath?!?”
Alaric knows it’s a lot to process. Maybe that’s why neither of them notice the pungent aroma of swamp water wafting from the bathroom. It’s not until the door slowly swings open to reveal the fish man from The Shape of Water that they realize anything is amiss.
Hope magics the fish man back into the bathroom buying them time to yell at each other about why monsters are still coming after Landon. He grabs his bag is like, uh maybe because the second key compelled me to steal it from Seylah’s house?
It’s Alaric’s exasperated, “SON OF A BITCH,” that makes the scene poetry.
Hope puts Landon’s ugly wrist cuff into the canopic jar key and says they’re going to let the monster have it so they can follow it to Malivore. Alaric cannot stress enough that he is not taking two teenagers to a covert military hiding place for a demon portal. Hope shouts that he has to—Seylah is going there, too.
Alaric drives through the night following the fish man as it improbably treks from Kansas to Georgia.
They arrive at the gate of Triad Industries and continue on foot through the hole torn through the metal by the fish man. They get eyes on him just as he trips a land mine and goes splodey in a giant fireball.
Seylah has already slipped into the facility and flung herself into the goo.
As they drive, Alaric tells Landon he’s sorry they didn’t find his mother. He’s a little concerned that he can’t remember how they found Landon. Or why his gut is telling him to take Landon back to Mystic Falls. Alaric will just add it to the list of things he doesn’t know.
Hope checks on Landon as he’s settling into his room. He says he’s just enjoying his fancy new school clothes and trying to make peace with the fact that he may never meet the woman in the photo that he has somehow managed to lose. He asks Hope what she thinks his mother is like.
Hope says she thinks Seylah is an international assassin that specializes in killing monsters. And that she loves Landon, very much, in her own way. Landon laughs and says if they’re being honest, nobody that cool gave birth to him.
Hope is being honest, although Landon doesn’t know that. And she doesn’t know why she remembers when Landon and Alaric don’t. But she needs Alaric to know the whole story because she needs his help. She pulls the Anubis headed canopic jar from her bag and gently places it on his desk.
At the Initiative facility, a technician takes readings on the goo. He tells the smarmy fake gas company guy that I’m going to call Not!Riley there was a human-sized unscheduled absorption. No idea who—because Malivore—but he did find a photo floating on the surface. Not!Riley slips it into his jacket pocket and boots the technician into the goo.
Legacies airs Thursday at 9/8 p.m. on The CW.