Legacies, the third series in The Vampire Diaries universe, is currently airing its second season on The CW.
While it inherited the crazy twists The Vampire Diaries and The Originals were well-known for, Legacies has yet to kill off any notable characters, something that is causing a wealth of problems in the narrative.
On a show filled with supernatural creatures battling the fine line between good and evil, it’s surprising we’re almost 30 episodes in without some significant risks.
With Chris Wood reprising his The Vampire Diaries role of Kai Parker, it offers the series the opportunity to shake up the world and make people feel like the stakes are genuine and characters are in peril.
If you watch The Vampire Diaries online, you know Kai is famous for ending the Gemini coven, including his sisters, his brother, and his father.
He helped breathe new life into The Vampire Diaries, and the creative forces are likely hoping he will pull off a similar feat on Legacies.
After watching Legacies Season 2 Episode 12, titled “Kai Parker Screwed Us,” we were immediately introduced to a darker world in which it seemed clear that things would never be the same again.
The darker approach to the narrative went over very well with our Legacies Round Table participants, and many fans are calling the episode the best of the entire series.
While Legacies has drawn comparisons to Buffy the Vampire Slayer for utilizing the monster of the week format, the fundamental issue with the series is that the monsters are taken down without the characters being pushed to their limits.
We lost many fan-favorite characters on The Vampire Diaries and The Originals at the hands of ruthless villains who could not be beaten with the flick of a wrist.
It’s embarrassing to have to plead with a show to give us far-reaching ramifications, but Legacies is offering very little in the way of danger.
In one hour, Kai managed to outwit everyone, rally a group of teenagers to do his bidding and return to the regular world. Granted, he had no clue he would be returning.
Instead, he was giving up the prison world. Groundhog Day really took it out of him, but now that he’s in the real world, there is a clear and present danger for anyone in Mystic Falls, and beyond.
The Necromancer is working against Hope and her allies at the school, and Kai will want to do whatever he can to cause carnage during whatever time he has before Bonnie Bennett pops up off-screen to take him back to where he belongs.
Kai and the Necromancer teaming up is inevitable, and Kai will be able to siphon all the magic he wants from the walls of the school to outwit everyone who will be conspiring against him.
If you watch Legacies online, you know that Hope is in panic mode trying to find a way to open the door to the prison world to bring back the Saltzmans. They’re the closest people she has to a family, but she will also have to contend with Kai.
Whether he will trick the daughter of Klaus and Haley, we don’t know, because Kai will be putting on an act to imply that he’s not this mass murderer he has been portrayed to be.
Having Killer Kai back not to have some significant consequences in the aftermath would feel like a wasted opportunity, so there is a very good chance he will bring darkness to the campy setting of the Salvatore School.
Beyond that, his actions need to help this series embrace the darkness on a more regular basis. Legacies has had some dark storylines, but for the most part, it is light and filled with teenage drama that would probably be best saved for a Disney original.
Julie Plec and Brett Matthews clearly wanted to try something different with Legacies, and the monster of the week format grew stale quickly. The lack of conflict and the ease in which the students take down the villains comes into play here.
The closest thing to consequences involved Hope erasing herself from existence to close out Legacies Season 1, but the actions from some of the characters made the plot tiresome quickly.
There’s only so long the series can last with new monsters and by pushing Hope into despair before viewers begin to wonder whether The CW is trying to force a procedural on viewers.
As things stand, Kai could be the shape of things to come. Chris Wood will only be around for a short time, and it’s unclear whether he would reprise the role again or if this was his last hurrah.
If this were The Vampire Diaries Season 6, Kai would have gone through Mystic Falls like a hurricane without a second thought.
Maybe his goal is for Josie to do his bidding. He did force her to consume the magic inside the mora miserium — fully aware that it could kill her in the process. If he can get her to cause problems, he will see that as a win.
However, if Kai takes a more subdued approach and everything is bright and rosy by the conclusion of Legacies Season 2 Episode 13, the show will have slipped back into its old ways, and that’s not a good thing.
Where do you stand on this, Legacies Fanatics?
Do you want Kai to be the tip of the iceberg, and for meaningful plots to arrive in the aftermath?
Hit the comments.
Legacies airs Thursdays on The CW at 9/8c.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.