|“||There are two prisoners. One is the master of his cage. The other returns home without power. The sins of the father are visited upon the daughters here. And not here. New hero rises but can be felled by the golden arrow. The wolf among you has many faces. When time fractures, darkness overwhelms. But the greatest destroyer of all ... is love.||”|
— Sphinx explains what's to come next
THE RACE TO CLOSE THE MALIVORE PORTAL — After deciding that leaving town would be for the best, Hope gets pulled back in after Josie comes up with a risky plan to close the Malivore portal. Elsewhere, Alaric and Dorian make an alarming discovery about Professor Vardemus, while Rafael learns some upsetting news about Landon's future. Lizzie also appears.
Hope sits by the Malivore portal in the Town Square, thinking, when Lizzie arrives with Josie for 'portal duty'. The situation is awkward, and Lizzie points out that the two are too strong to let one boy come between them, to which they both agree. Josie notices Hope is holding the hologram prism, and asks if it is what she thinks it is. When Hope confirms that it is, she offers it to Josie, who takes it. Nonetheless, things are still awkward until a new monster appears from Malivore, the sphinx. With the possibility of passers by seeing the sphinx, the three work together to make him, and themselves, invisible.
Having gotten the sphinx out of sight, Hope visits Alaric, who hugs her. He tells her that whilst he was aware of her before, having his memories back makes everything better, and Hope remarks that she wishes everyone else felt the same. Hope tells Alaric that she is returning home to New Orleans, to work on a way to close the portal with her aunt Freya. Alaric worries, and asks if the trip is a round-trip or one way, but Hope replies that she isn't too sure at the moment.
Josie speaks with Landon — actually his subconscious — through the prism. She asks who Landon is going to choose, however the hologram is unable to give her a conclusive answer, which annoys her. She has an idea of giving Malivore an alternate version of Landon, which she then takes to Landon. She finds Landon in the library, talking over his feelings with Rafael, and pitches the idea to him, and then Professor Vardemus. Vardemus says it could work, but will require a major amount of dark magic, however Josie tells him that it is life or death and they do not have a choice.
Hope is about to leave on the coach to New Orleans, when Landon approaches her and begs her not to leave. She tells him that she has to try and find a way to close the portal, but Landon cuts her off, telling her that he loves her. As she replies the same, Josie arrives with another Landon, and the Landon Hope is talking to is revealed to be a clone. Whilst Hope talks with Landon and alternate Landon, ironically named "Simulandon", Lizzie discusses the events with Josie. It is revealed that Simulandon is a golem and a manifestation of Landon's subconscious, which explains why he went to find Hope as soon as he was created. This upsets Josie, as she feels like this has answered her question — that Landon will choose Hope. Simulandon begins expressing these feelings, and Hope is forced to silence him with a spell. Landon reveals that the plan is to pump Simulandon with Hope's blood and throw him into the portal, therefore the portal will close but Simulandon will disintegrate, meaning Malivore cannot open another portal.
Meanwhile in the werewolf transition space, the sphinx is locked up and guarded by Rafael, who is reading books and lore about him. The sphinx asks him a riddle, which he is easily able to answer. This prompts the sphinx to reveal that he is an oracle, and gives Rafael one question to ask. Rafael asks how he can possibly keep Landon safe, but the sphinx reveals that Landon will never be safe whilst at the Salvatore School; a revelation that shocks Rafael.
Landon and Hope prepare to transfuse her blood into Simulandon, but there appears to be tension between the two. Hope asks if they will talk, and questions Landon about him running away after he got his memories back. Landon answers this by telling her he had nothing to say, but Hope insists that they should talk like proper adults.
At the school gates, Dorian alerts Alaric that they have a problem — Vardemus. Dorian tells Alaric that he tested his DNA, which came back to say he is both male and female, all ethnicities and also has some non-human DNA. Alaric is shocked at first, but then remembers that he found the same at the Malivore portal the night that Hope disappeared, but cannot recall who was there that night. He comes to the conclusion, though, that it is the same person therefore Professor Vardemus is a disguise.
Josie is with Professor Vardemus, and expresses her feelings of anger and her feeling that she is second-best. However Vardemus tells her she is anything but and is an extremely powerful witch. He hands her the trident form earlier and tells her to repeat after him a spell to harness all of her anger. She does so, and Vardemus begins wincing, before his disguise fails and he is revealed to be Ryan Clarke. Before Josie can say anything, however, she passes out.
Hope and Simulandon talk, and he asks why she is about to leave town, with her replying that she doesn't want to stay where she isn't wanted. Simulandon tells her that she is wanted, hence why her friends created him so that she doesn't have to go into the portal. They talk about Landon's feelings for her, and Simulandon explains that Landon is too scared to admit he is a coward. Landon watches from afar as the two hold hands before Simulandon is taken away.
Landon goes to the lake behind the Salvatore School with a concrete block. Rafael arrives before he can do anything and asks what he is doing, with Landon replying that it is a safety measure as the sphinx cannot take him if he is dead at the bottom of the lake. Rafael is angered by this, but visibly upset at the same time. He tells Landon that the sphinx revealed there is no way to keep him safe at the school, which confuses Landon as he worries the sphinx will see their plan coming.
Lizzie takes Simulandon to the sphinx, and the two enact the plan. Lizzie opens the cell to allow the sphinx free, who notices Landon, but is not interested in him. This excites Simulandon, however confused Lizzie, who questions why the sphinx is not after Landon, and who he is actually after. The sphinx is unwilling to give a plain answer, however, and gives Lizzie a long and complicated riddle that contains the answers she seeks.
Meanwhile, Alaric rushes to Vardemus' office and finds Josie unconscious on the floor. We see Hope awaken from her sleep to find Alaric at the bottom of the bed, who tells her the school, has been evacuated. He reveals that Ryan Clarke is Vardemus, and that Josie created a dark object filled with immense power. Hope tries to stand to help, however Alaric tells her to rest and leaves to patrol the school. As Alaric leaves, Clarke reveals himself to her, smiling eerily. Clarke reveals to Hope that he promised to return and kill Hope, however Malivore screwed him over, and he had to keep feeding on people/supernatural creatures to maintain his form. He now, however, can transfer his subconscious into Hope — thanks to the trident created by Josie — and become an all-powerful tribrid and kill Malivore. He attempts this, but Hope manages to wrestle him to the floor and escape. He hunts her down and throws the trident at her, however it goes through and she is revealed to be an illusion. Clarke looks down to find his ring missing — one capable of casting illusions — and Hope is revealed to be hiding under the bed using the ring.
Hope tries to flee from Clarke by jumping out of the window, but is severely weakened. She shouts for someone to help her, but there is nobody around, and Clarke quickly catches up to her. Just as he is about to stab her with the trident, however, Landon approaches and is able to fight him off. Landon and Clarke fight for a while, and Clarke tells him that he doesn't understand Malivore's obsession with him. Landon eventually manages to restrain Clarke, and tells him to stab him instead with the trident, which he does. After this, Landon reveals himself to be Simulandon, and tells Clarke that now he will die the following night instead. Clarke is annoyed at this when his consciousness switches over, but Hope is able to break the shackles and throws him back with a blast of energy.
Hope and Josie talk about the possibility of Hope returning to school. Hope tells Josie that she misses them, but doesn't want to return back to school if it will cause her more pain. Before Josie can reply, however, they hear someone writing in Penelope's "burn book". When they read it, it reveals that Landon has left Mystic Falls — with Rafael — in hopes that the monsters will follow and they can lead a normal life at the school. With this, Josie welcomes Hope back to the school, telling her that she belongs. Lizzie enters shortly after telling them that Alaric has said she cannot give Sebastian the boot until he has been looked over by him; despite there being no headmaster.
Alaric talks with Dorian about the riddle given by the sphinx, and the two manage to figure it out. They reveal what they have found to the sphinx, including that they know he follows someone other than Malivore. With this, he tells them another riddle, before killing himself, turning to dust before their very eyes.
At the end of the episode, the zombie-Jogger drags Clarke's body to the Salvatore Crypt, where stands a hooded figure.
- Antagonists: Malivore (indirectly), The Necromancer (indirectly), Ryan Clarke
- Landon and Rafael leave the Salvatore Boarding School for the Young & Gifted again. This marks the second time they have left in hopes of keeping the school students safe.
- Josie reveals the existence of the mora miserium to Lizzie.
- Josie is tricked into creating a dark object for Ryan, disguised as Professor Vardemus, which he planned on using it to transfer his mind into Hope's body as a way to threaten his father, Malivore.
- The Sphinx reveals his master is someone far more terrible than Malivore.
- Sphinx - sliced throat; killed by himself
- Penelope was mentioned. She was last seen in Let's Just Finish the Dance.
- Dorian was last seen in Screw Endgame.
- Professor Vardemus and Ryan Clarke was seen in Screw Endgame.
- The Keeper was indirectly mentioned. She was last seen in Screw Endgame.
- The shunka was indirectly mentioned. It was last seen in You Remind Me of Someone I Used to Know.
- Freya Mikaelson was indirectly mentioned. She was last seen in the series finale on The Originals and That's Nothing I Had to Remember on Legacies.
- MG was mentioned. He was last seen in That's Nothing I Had to Remember.
- Sebastian was mentioned. He was last seen in That's Nothing I Had to Remember.
- Sheriff Mac was mentioned. She was last seen in That's Nothing I Had to Remember.
- Mystic Falls, Virginia
- Salvatore Boarding School for the Young & Gifted
- Headmaster Vardemus' office
- Salvatore Boarding School for the Young & Gifted
- Town Square
- Mystic Falls Cemetery
- Salvatore Crypt
Behind the Scenes
- This episode line was used by the Sphinx.
- Lizzie Saltzman "There are two Landons?"
- Dorian Williams: "We got a problem."
- Alaric Saltzman: "Oh, I'll tell you we got a problem --; Vardemus. If he thinks he's allowed to enroll teen Dracula in the same school as my daughters."
- Dorian Williams: "Ric, the problem is Vardmeus. Those forensic samples from the crime scene at the bar that you asked the Sheriff to forward to me? I finally got the results back from the whizz friend of mine in Philly. They're a match with Vardemus."
- Alaric Saltzman: "You ran Vardemus' DNA?"
- Dorian Williams: "I told you I'd keep an eye on him."