One of the most successful TV franchises is The Vampire Diaries universe. The original series remains popular to this day and both of its spin-offs have been pretty solid hits. The most recent is Legacies, which wrapped up season 3 earlier this year and has more episodes on the horizon.
It’s unclear how long the new show will last but now is as good a time as any to look back on what audiences have seen so far and consider which installments were the best. Some of the highest-rated involved characters from prior shows appearing, while others allowed the new characters to shine brightest.
Updated on June 29th, 2022, by Kevin Pantoja: The recent cancellation of Legacies surprised fans and the crew behind the series and it marked the end of The Vampire Diaries universe (for now at least). The fourth and final season proved to possibly be the show’s finest hour, with a handful of the episodes ranking among the best in series history. Of course, the ratings on IMDb showcase that the best episodes of Legacies come from all over the place, displaying the consistency of the series.
15 I’ll Tell You A Story (Season 1, Episode 15) – 8.4
It seemed like Legacies really started hitting a strong point as it closed out season 1, with this penultimate episode being a highlight. This managed to tell the history of Malivore, who has been the series’ overarching antagonist, and explained its power level. That helped make Malivore even more imposing before the finale.
There were also secrets unleashed, including the fact that Clarke was Landon’s half-brother and that they were the children of Malivore, adding even higher stakes to the end of the season. This was an episode that accomplished everything it set out to.
14 Life Was So Much Easier When I Only Cared About Myself (Season 2, Episode 15) – 8.4
Again, it’s another penultimate episode that finds itself among the best of the best. A lot of season 2 had built up Dark Josie and she returned to school in this installment with the plan to complete the merge and defeat her sister. Josie went as far as to kill Alyssa, showing she was far gone.
The title of the episode is in reference to Lizzie, who found it difficult now that she was no longer as selfish as she used to be. The Merge went down, with Josie winning, only for the twist that Lizzie’s life was connected to Landon’s, which saved her. It gave fans the showdown they wanted without killing off a main character.
13 That’s Nothing I Had To Remember (Season 2, Episode 6) – 8.5
If there’s one thing that fans appreciate even more than a callback to The Vampire Diaries or The Originals, it’s a crossover episode. “That’s Nothing I Had To Remember” gave audiences one as Freya Mikaelson spoke with Josie in New Orleans, the setting of The Originals.
Viewers got to find out that Freya and Keelin had a child, while Freya also helped Josie with remembering Hope, who everyone had forgotten. This was a monumental episode as everyone recalled Hope, which led to mixed emotions from everyone, especially Landon and Josie, who had started dating.
12 I Can’t Be The One To Stop You (Season 4, Episode 9) – 8.5
It came as a surprise when Legacies introduced Aurora, one of the most intriguing villains in The Originals. This installment featured her taking over Hope’s body and having some confrontations with Lizzie, who ultimately got tricked by Hope into helping her get her body back.
The most important aspect of this episode though revolved around Josie. The fan favorite character officially departed the series for good, which came as a shock to audiences everywhere as it wasn’t well-known ahead of time. Losing Josie proved to be a sore spot for many viewers.
11 This Can Only End In Blood (Season 4, Episode 19) – 8.5
The penultimate episode of the series brought the usual twists and turns that the franchise has always done so well. The big showdown between Hope and Ken finally happened and Ken had a weapon that was capable of killing the tribrid, raising the stakes.
Hope also had a confrontation with Aurora, who redeemed herself in some ways by sacrificing herself to save Hope, taking that character down a path that nobody really saw coming. The episode saw the heroes win and set the stage for an epic finale.
10 The Boy Who Still Has A Lot Of Good To Do (Season 1, Episode 13) – 8.6
Following a fun road trip for most of the core characters, “The Boy Who Still Has a Lot of Good to Do” was a strong episode. The likes of Hope, Alaric, and Kaleb found many of their friends missing upon returning to the Salvatore School, giving the plot a fun mystery to unravel.
They were off doing different things, with it all culminating in Rafael turning into a wolf and biting MG, putting his life in peril. Although Hope’s blood was the cure that saved him, the episode also ended on a huge reveal, as Landon seemingly died, only to burst into flames and return as the first phoenix of the franchise.
9 Mombie Dearest (Season 1, Episode 6) – 8.6
Like so many other characters in these shows, the Saltzman twins have tragic backstories. Their mother was brutally killed before they could ever meet her but that changed in “Mombie Dearest” as her ghost appeared on their 16th birthday and played a major part in the episode’s story.
Of course, things couldn’t stay positive as Jo became a full-on zombie and buried one of her daughters alive. This whole thing was brought upon by the Necromancer, who would go on to become a recurring villain. This episode also shined a light on Josie’s romance with Penelope, as well as the possible relationship between Hope and Rafael.
8 You Can’t Save Them All (Season 2, Episode 13) – 8.7
In the eyes of a lot of fans, the show’s high point is the two-part arc where Kai Parker returned to the mix. This was the second half of that tale, as Kai escaped a prison world and began to wreak havoc on the regular world, including those who were related to him.
The installment worked because Kai was such a great antagonist and he felt like a true threat to everyone, especially given his history of attacks on Jo and putting Elena into her magic sleep. Although other things happened, Kai was the central focus for good reason and Alaric getting to finally kill him was a welcome ending.
7 We All Knew This Day Was Coming (Season 4, Episode 3) – 8.8
The main storyline of season 4 revolved around how Hope handled the loss of her boyfriend Landon. This episode saw her make the call to become the tribrid and officially turn. That led to an emotional last supper with her friends and family, including the return of her aunt Freya.
The entire process of the turn and setting the tone for it is what made this episode work. By season 4, the audience cared deeply for these characters so just seeing them prepare for such a big moment together was enough.
6 See You On The Other Side (Season 4, Episode 4) – 8.9
It came as a surprise of sorts to find that Malivore was dealt with so early in season 4. Hope had to make the ultimate sacrifice to finish the job though, killing Landon with a weapon made out of his blood. That changed everything for the show going forward though.
The overwhelming weight of killing the person she loved sent Hope over the edge. She turned off her emotions and decided she wanted nobody looking for her, so she attacked him. It was one of the many awful things Hope did with her humanity off.
5 Just Don’t Be A Stranger, Okay? (Season 4, Episode 20) – 8.9
It can be difficult to pull off a great series finale when an episode was never actually intended to hold that weight. However, Legacies got it right by wrapping things up in a satisfying way while also giving fans what they’d wanted for years.
Two of the biggest desires in Legacies were appearances from Caroline and Klaus. Fans got their wish as Caroline returned to take over the Salvatore School and Klaus showed up in a touching pre-recorded message he left for his daughter.
4 There’s Always A Loophole (Season 1, Episode 16) – 8.9
Season 1 built to the expected release of Malivore as the main antagonist going forward. Most fans likely believed Malivore would find their way out and that would be it but Legacies went a different and mostly unexpected route. Hope was the only shot at stopping them and she sacrificed herself.
Not only did she risk her life to do so but by jumping into the Malivore pit, she ensured that nobody would remember her in season 2. That was a game-changer and capped an exciting episode that also saw the school battle Triad forces, Josie come close to dying, and even an appearance from Headless Horsemen.
3 Kai Parker Screwed Us (Season 2, Episode 12) – 8.9
The first half of Kai Parker’s return as a major villain was aptly titled, “Kai Parker Screwed Us.” Alaric traveled to a prison world with his daughters to find Sebastian and three old students he trapped there. It just so happens that Kai Parker, who killed Jo Laughlin, was also there.
This episode saw him manipulate those around him to find a way out, where he ultimately double-crossed them too. Kai convinced Josie to do the thing that would result in her becoming Dark Josie, making him a great villain for a few episodes while also triggering the main arc of the final few episodes of the season.
2 I Thought You’d Be Happier To See Me (Season 4, Episode 5) – 9.0
Along with Klaus and Caroline, fans were always hoping to get a glimpse of the members of the Mikaelson family. After all, their motto was “always and forever,” yet they were almost never around to help Hope whenever she dealt with absurd things.
That changed when Rebekah made an appearance in this episode, hoping to get her niece to turn her humanity back on. There was also a fun side plot involving MG and Ethan working on Ethan’s new powers that fans enjoyed.
1 Everything That Can Be Lost May Also Be Found (Season 4, Episode 15) – 9.0
The most anticipated episode of Legacies season 4 was easily “Everything That Can Be Lost May Also Be Found.” It marked the return of Freya, Rebekah, Kol, and Marcel from The Originals, bringing the Mikaelson clan back together with Hope.
It was worth it just to catch up with them and see where their lives have gone but the cherry on top was that Hope finally turned her humanity back on. She also got the chance to scatter her father’s ashes, bringing the emotional level of this episode up even further.
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