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Things Only Adults Notice In Legacies

During the final season of "The Originals," fans met an aged-up version of Klaus and Hayley's daughter Hope, played by Danielle Rose Russell. As a result, the entire season essentially served as a backdoor pilot to the highly anticipated boarding school series, "Legacies." Set in the supernatural Salvatore School that Alaric and Caroline created for their witch twins Josie and Lizzie, a few years have passed between Klaus and Elijah's untimely demise and the "Legacies" kickoff. 

So, what's the biggest difference between the two shows? Well, "Legacies" takes "The Vampire Diaries" characters back to the franchises teenage roots. And, of course, there are certainly plenty of things only adults notice in "The Vampire Diaries" and "The Originals." However, by setting the follow-up series in The Salvatore Boarding School for the Young & Gifted — with all of the teen drama that comes with its surroundings — the show upped the ante further in the "things teenagers would never get away with" department. 

Sure, a school created to house a bunch of hormonal witches, werewolves, and vampires is destined to meet its fair share of hiccups. But magic boarding school or no magic boarding school, some of the Salvatore School shenanigans go a bit further than an adult can suspend their disbelief. Between imprisoning children, forcing them to fight dangerous monsters, and somehow avoiding a dozen lawsuits, "Legacies" has perplexed its adult viewers with some of these plot lines. Ah, to be young again.

Nepotism runs rampant

Alaric and Caroline started the Salvatore School for their witch daughters to have a safe and inclusive place to learn — and it shows. Lizzie and Jo get away with murder (quite literally at one point) when anyone else would get kicked out of the school in a heartbeat for the same erratic and dangerous behavior. Between Jo absorbing dark magic and killing a classmate (who was later resurrected by The Necromancer) and Lizzie frequently bullying students with no repercussions, Alaric's status as headmaster allows his daughters far too much leniency.

We've seen Alaric lock Kaleb in the dungeon for indulging in human blood straight from the vein, but he leaves Jo unchecked after she consumes a hefty amount of dark magic — allowing her to kill Alyssa. Even when Jo manages to let go of the darkness, she still doesn't face any real consequences. Come on, Alaric. Can you at least try to act unbiased?

To boot, the twins get a massive 16th birthday party held on school grounds when we never see another student get that kind of blowout (or any party, really) for their birthday. If you're going to throw your kids a rager at the school you run, you need to do it for everyone or splurge on an off-campus location. There's a chance major parties do happen for everyone, and we just don't see it, but based on the special treatment we've seen Alaric give the twins in all other campus matters, it's doubtful.

Alaric's alcoholism is played off as a joke

Alaric has abused alcohol as a coping mechanism since fans met him in "The Vampire Diaries." The troubled hunter's heavy alcohol use was bad enough when he was a teacher and pseudo-guardian to Elena and Jeremy. But now he has to look over an entire school with monster problems, and he's obliterated most of the time. Alaric's alcohol abuse amps up to eleven in "Legacies," and outside of some jokes and pointed comments, it's never addressed in any real kind of way. Given that "Legacies" is geared toward teenagers, it's not cute to make light of such a dire situation. We continuously watch him put himself and the students he's in charge of at risk by indulging in the bottle of alcohol he keeps in his desk drawer on campus.

In "There's a World Where Your DreamYs Come True," Lizzie enters an alternate reality where Alaric isn't even a functioning alcoholic anymore, and the issue is still barely addressed. Hope even hides the bottle of alcohol from his desk at one point, but even that's played off for a good laugh. That moment provided an excellent opportunity to broach the situation on a deeper level, but instead, we're supposed to laugh — but it's just not funny. Alaric has a problem, and if the monsters at his school don't kill him, his alcoholism very well could.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Hey, hun. Who wants to be a Boss Babe in an MLM?

In "This Year Will Be Different," Kaleb plays wingman when MG practices his cringe line, "We should seize this opportunity and take our relationship to the next level." Of course, Kaleb has the perfect response: "You're not recruiting her to your multi-level marketing company." Ouch. 

The reference to MLM (multi-level marketing) companies, also known as direct sales, would ultimately go over the heads of most young viewers. Their predatory business models are often pyramid schemes because, despite attempts to hide it, the money's not in selling products but recruiting a downline. In fact, the Federal Trade Commission constantly battles with MLMs over false claims. Based on MLM income disclosure charts, it's clear that people lose money over 90% of the time after getting roped in. You typically have to pay a hefty buy-in fee to join and accrue inventory. Then, companies encourage their "market partners" to keep buying the latest releases, so the debt hole gets deeper and deeper while the upline profits.

The insidious practice typically preys on individuals just out of high school and college — and new moms who want to stay at home with their kids. However, the Anti-MLM movement has gained significant momentum in the past few years, with the help of YouTubers like Savannah Marie and Kiki Chanel — who conduct deep dives into some of the more predatory practices and blast Hun behavior. Clearly, someone in the "Legacies" writer room is a member of the community. But you have to run from the huns faster than vampires. 

Pharmacy faux pa

If you've ever heard a bunch of soccer moms yell about HIPAA on Facebook live, you probably don't have an entirely clear view of what it actually is. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a broad law, and one of its most cited titles is the Privacy Rule. This rule puts strict limits on who can share a patient's protected health information. In most cases, health care providers — doctors, nurses, pharmacists, so forth — cannot share a patient's protected health information without good cause. You'd never know from "Legacies," which finds "gossip" to be good cause.

Lizzie's mental health struggles aren't exactly a secret. However, Dana, a Beacon Hills High student whose parents work at the local pharmacy, shouldn't know enough to taunt Lizzie about her "crazy" medication. A patient's prescriptions are absolutely protected health information, and sharing them is a huge HIPAA violation. Given how gossipy Dana's mother is in her own right — and how much she hates Lizzie based on her daughter's lies — it wouldn't be surprising if that's exactly what happened. That's cause for Vera to lose her pharmacist license.

There's a chance that Dana saw Lizzie pick up her meds at one point and put the rest together based on rumors, but either way, taunting Lizzie about it would be enough for her to raise concerns with the state pharmacy board. Vera eventually leaves the pharmacy during a messy separation with her husband and then tries to seduce Alaric for a loan, so maybe she's just not a safe person in any power position.

Where are the lawsuits?

Alaric started the Salvatore School to be a safe place for supernatural kids, but he constantly puts them in danger. And they get hurt — a lot. Prior to "Legacies," students had even died and disappeared when Alaric sent a group of unruly kids to a prison world. It's unlikely that one single parent hasn't gotten lawyers involved, or at the very least, filed reports against the school. Now, it's reasonable to assume that a significant portion of parents disowned their supernatural kids — we see it happen with vampires like MG. However, witches and werewolves exist through bloodlines — so their supernatural inclinations would run in the family, who'd be well-versed on tricks like the anti-compulsion herb, vervain. 

We're supposed to believe that no parents took notice when a handful of kids went missing? Vampire compulsion can do a lot, but it wouldn't be able to disappear the heavy amount of legal action that would pass through multiple hands for situations like a missing child, even if the parent left out the supernatural bits. In season 3, most of the parents pull their kids out of the school for safety concerns, but it's wild that none of them took further action when — at best — Alaric takes underaged kids on school-sanctioned dangerous missions. And at worst? He plays judge, jury, and executioner by sending minors to a prison world that's home to the powerful self-proclaimed sociopath who killed his own wife.

Students have no traditional rules

The Salvatore School may be home to werewolves, witches, and vampires, but that doesn't mean there shouldn't be mundane human rules that accompany every other boarding school. Students enjoy perks like no curfew and no bed checks — or any basic rules that will keep the students in line. The school has a policy of only admitting students under 17, so they're all underage, hormonal teenagers, with powers to boot — and they're left alone to do whatever they want at night. As heightened teenage emotions added onto supernatural powers are a recipe for disaster on a good day, it's strange that there aren't many guidelines to keep both the students and Mystic Falls civilians safe. Kids or not, the Salvatore School kids are capable of being dangerous — and deadly — even when they don't mean to be. 

Between hookups, staying over someone else's dorm overnight, roaming the town at late hours, and throwing late-night parties, Alaric and the professors don't seem to have any rules in place to try to curb behavior that can get out of hand. Given that vampires have to control their unruly bloodlust, witches have to keep accidental bursts of emotional magic at bay, and werewolves constantly battle their heightened anger, there should probably be just a few more rules that students have to follow after hours. Of course, teenagers will always find a way to do what they want to some extent, but the school makes zero effort to limit the damage.

Professors have no work-life balance

Work-life balance may sound like a resume buzzword, but it's actually an important component of mental health and job productivity. If you're on-call every hour of the day, you don't have enough gas left in the tank to do your job well or to have any kind of life outside of work. Yet, work-life balance is a nonexistent commodity for the staff at the Salvatore School, and their burnout is no secret. Of course, looking after a school of supernatural kids is no easy task, but the Salvatore School takes it to the max. Whenever something magical happens, it's primarily Alaric and Dorian who have to handle it, leaving them with zero time to decompress or lead normal lives. They're also the only two human employees at the school that we know of.

Alaric's dating life is abysmal on a good day, but he has nothing for himself outside of his daughters, Hope, and the school. Dorian can't even get a single day free of monster drama to mourn the family he lost to Stefan during one of his ripper binges. As for Stefan, whose name adorns the school, all the guy wants is just one day to honor his family outside of its walls. If Alaric had more help on staff and relied on adults who are actually supernatural, they'd be able to take turns dealing with off-hours monster attacks. In that case, Dorian and the guidance counselor might have stayed at the school.

At the Salvatore School, injury is encouraged

It's pretty clear that safety can't be guaranteed at the school, but there's a big difference between unavoidable monster attacks and encouraging physical harm. The Salvatore School may be unconventional, but in "We're Gonna Need a Spotlight," an instructor asks students to "make shallow cuts" on their hands during witchy science lab. And it's too much.

Sure, we can expect a certain amount of injuries when you have a bunch of supernatural teenagers under one roof. However, a teacher instructing a group of witch students to injure themselves to learn how to heal wounds would be enough to get the school shut down for negligence. There are numerous ways to teach witch students how to heal, including the teacher volunteering to be the test subject. Student injuring themselves isn't it.

At the beginning of the series, instructors refused to teach the students offensive magic, but they're perfectly fine encouraging students to use a knife to harm themselves. Beyond the injuries alone, self-harm is an epidemic during tumultuous teenage years. Add in the stress of being supernatural, and this instruction could easily lead a student to begin harming themselves as a coping mechanism if they find relief from it — and with witches, werewolves, and vampires who can heal themselves, the faculty would never even know. This is just an all-around Bad Idea.

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.

Lakeside charm with a dash of homicide

"Legacies" is filled to the brim with pop culture references that may be lost on a younger audience, but season 3's slasher cabin lake episode takes the cake. The episode, titled "This Is What It Takes," sees Hope enter a magical therapy box as she attempts to deal with the death of her boyfriend, Landon. Taking inspiration from everyone's favorite slasher movies, she launches into a horror movie scenario of unmasking a killer at a lake that rivals "Friday the 13th" and its Camp Crystal Lake.

Landon, who takes the role of Jason, pulls students under the lake wearing a mask that's reminiscent of Jason's iconic hockey mask. But the similarities don't end with the metaphor that Hope has to face her demons head-on. Many assume that Jason is the killer in the original film, but it was actually his mother — until all subsequent movies. Before the sequels, Jason was just a misunderstood and bullied character whose mother takes vengeance to the max. And while Landon doesn't have a family to protect him, Hope became that person for him. When she's dealing with the trauma of losing Landon, she must come to terms with the fact that she can't change what happened. She has the choice to get murdery about it, like Jason's mom, or live the way that Landon would want her to live.

Josie vs. Dark Willow

"Buffy the Vampire Slayer" was the OG teen vampire series, and its impact on pop culture is still relevant decades later. Anyone who watched the iconic vampire show might have felt a tingling sense of deja vu during Josie's black magic spiral. When Josie has to consume a bunch of dark magic to save her family from the prison world, she loses herself in the darkness — and what follows is a direct parallel to Willow from "Buffy" when a villain kills her girlfriend. 

Between the black spider veins, the newly dark hair, and the abandonment of previously strong morals, the parallel is pretty obvious to anyone who watched the '90s show. Similarly, both witches are terrified to use their powers at all once they recover from the dark magic, but the pull of darkness continues to have addictive-like temptations for Josie and Willow. It's not the first time "The Vampire Diaries" franchise has put a supernatural spin on addiction. Bloodlust and becoming a ripper (someone who can't control their bloodlust) have been addiction parallels since Stefan's homicidal blood binge in season 2 of "The Vampire Diaries," and we're seeing MG fall into that same pattern.

The sex consequences trope

We've seen it before: The minute a show's heroine has sex for the first time, dramatic consequences ensue. Example: Any "Buffy" fan can tell you that the minute Buffy loses her virginity to Angel, he immediately loses his soul and becomes a villain. Why? To punish Buffy for displaying her sexuality, of course. 

In season 3, "Legacies" brings back this outdated trend when Hope's boyfriend Landon disintegrates into a pile of mud after they do the deed. Landon's father just so happens to be a centuries-old mud monster created to destroy other monsters and erase them from memory. And to up the teen angst ante, as a tribrid, Hope is the only being capable of destroying Landon's bio father, Malavore — as she's all three of the species who created him. This is really the first time a show in "The Vampire Diaries" universe has punished a character for having sex, but the whole star-crossed lovers trope will never die, apparently. And neither will punishing women for daring to embrace their sexuality.