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‘Legacies’ Showrunner Explains Why an Appearance From Klaus Was ‘The Only Way It Could Ever End’

”Hope’s story really can’t reach a conclusion without knowing that her dad is going to be OK,“ Brett Matthews told TheWrap

The CW’s “Legacies” came to a close on Thursday night with an emotional series finale. The Super Squad had to deal with the aftermath of their battle with Ken the God.

While the good guys ultimately saved the day once again, Alaric decides that it’s too much to ask any of the students have have to keep saving the world (which is totally fair) and tells them he’s shutting down the Salvatore School for the Young and Gifted.

Hope, Lizzie and the rest of the crew spend a majority of the episode trying to convince him otherwise — with a little help from surprise guest Caroline Forbes (Candice King). At the end of the episode, Alaric reveals that Caroline will take over as headmistress while he steps away to write the definitive history of the so-called mythological creatures he’s encountered.

Perhaps the most noteworthy moment, and the biggest tearjerker, from the finale is the return of Joseph Morgan as Klaus Mikaelson. Fans have been clamoring for a Klaus appearance since Season 1 and, as Hope’s father, it seemed only natural he’d find a way to see her even from the afterlife.

Below, showrunner Brett Matthews breaks down the series finale and explains why bringing back Klaus was “the only way it could ever end.”

Now that we know shows that were potentially on the bubble at The CW were asked to treat their latest seasons like they could be series finales, how did you approach that with “Legacies”?

I think if you watch the season, you sort of see our answer. It is a strange task. We wanted to bring characters to a logical ending place where, if this is where it ends, so be it. So that was the challenge of the season, was just driving everybody toward what felt right for them and it was emotionally justified and they brought four seasons of a show to a close. And if there was more to come, we certainly had plans for that and building blocks there. But we definitely tried to prioritize [that] if it has to end here, how can we make it satisfying for people as much as we can, knowing that we’re sort of being cut short.

You also wrote for several seasons of “The Vampire Diaries.” You incorporated a major callback to the original series with Hope turning off her humanity, although this time we got to see the struggle for her to turn it back on play out on screen. What made you choose to do that?

We were there at the end of the finale last year, and we knew that was the direction we wanted to see. We wanted a very dark version of Hope, and Hope is such an ultimately wonderful person that shutting her humanity off is kind of the only way to do it. Obviously having to kill Landon certainly got her there. So it didn’t feel forced, it felt justified to us. And so it was a very good way for us to explore some things in Hope that were on the worst side of [her] because Hope’s better angels usually win out and it was a really nice chapter to be able to look at the other side of that coin. Like you said, we’ve always tried to bring in things from the past but also trying to make it relevant to somebody who doesn’t know. So there are moments in our past that we try to call back upon, plot points and mythology points. There are also some of them that don’t land for a newer audience. So that’s always the trick. It’s always a balance. It is just a matter of whatever feels most right for the story, and how the logistics work out. Seasons sort of take their own mechanical shape and there’s always outside forces, and so it sort of becomes about what carves a path through all those things and creates what a room of writers think is the best story.

In the finale, it’s pretty heartbreaking to learn that Landon also lost a piece of his humanity saving Kaleb and MG. Why did you choose for that to be the consequence for sending them back to from limbo?

I think Landon has always been our quote unquote, most human character in so many ways. He’s always been the big bleeding heart of the show and has kind of been the moral compass of the show so often. I would argue a dulled humanity Landon is probably still a pretty moral person. So he is not nearly as far gone as she was, I don’t think. But it was really the idea of, you know, it becomes a closed circuit — at a certain point where these characters are always going to try to find their way back to one another. If we’d gone on to Season 5, we would want to explore some different directions [with Landon]. So it was a means to that on one level. It was also just, you know, young love. Everybody thinks they’re gonna be with their first boyfriend or girlfriend forever. That’s not really how life generally works. So what mattered most to us about it was just the deepening of [Hope and Landon’s] relationship, their connection, because they’re two characters who are kind of fated to be incredibly important to one another. Ultimately, Landon was always a kid who wanted to have a home and wanted to help people and wanted to know who or what he was. He sort of gets answers to all those things. Not in the way he expected, but that is just kind of how life works. We just thought there was a very human story in seeing them deepen their relationship, if not in the direction that either of them wished it could have gone.

So, Candice King and Joseph Morgan both make appearances in the finale. Even though they don’t share the screen, I think it’ll be exciting for some Klaroline fans to see that. Did that cross your mind at all?

I don’t think it was about the pairing of them in any way. I mean, I think Candace and Joe in this episode are there for their children, who are the leads of our show. That’s really where their story lies in the episode. In a world where it was going to be the series finale of the show, those were just two things that we always wanted to have happen and we just knew that if it was ever going to feel like a series finale, that was just the non negotiables. We were very thrilled that both were so gracious and eager to do it. We’re very lucky in that sense. Hope’s story really can’t reach a conclusion without knowing that her dad is going to be okay. We said that from the beginning. That is the peace she finds, and that we needed to see. Caroline comes back to the school given her role within it. Logistics are always a problem, scheduling is a problem. For this potentially being the series finale [at the time of production], we’re just really glad it happened.

What made you decide that Landon would project Klaus to Hope, instead of actually bringing him back to Earth, even if only briefly?

The story of “Legacies” has told us he will not reach peace until he knows she is going to be okay. In a perfect world, that would have been great to have them both in the scene. It would’ve been great to have Landon bring Klaus back so they could share that scene in person. COVID, travel restrictions, Joe being a regular on “Titans,’ all these things make it super difficult to make those things happen. So the scene was ultimately what mattered and we were willing to do whatever we had to to bring it all together at the same time. It’s not the show’s place to bring Klaus back. I think that’s its own show, if that ever happens. But having Hope and Klaus share a moment absolutely felt like that was essential for Hope. It was really the only way it could ever end.

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