|“||I have some news. Many of you, like me, have forgotten that we are hosting this year's Miss Mystic Falls Pageant. [...] Trust me, I know. But the rotation is set in stone. So, let's take the opportunity to maintain our image as a normal school for the rich and awful. As usual, anything remotely magical, enchanted, vampire, wolf or witch-related must be kept tucked away, hidden, and under lock and key.||”|
MISS MYSTIC FALLS — As the Salvatore School prepares to host the Miss Mystic Falls pageant, Hope secretly deals with a recent trauma that's causing her magic to go on the fritz. Meanwhile, the unexpected arrival of Roman, a boy from Hope's past, causes Landon to be on alert. Elsewhere, MG struggles with the fallout from his recent actions, while Josie's secret desire to win Miss Mystic Falls takes a backseat to Lizzie's plan for the pageant. Alaric also appears.
Clarke holds someone hostage at Triad Industries. He questions if the person will bring him something valuable he needs. When the unknown person agrees, Clarke radios that he needs transport to the Salvatore Boarding School for the Young & Gifted.
Hope begins experiencing rough dreams whilst asleep with Landon. Landon tries to wake Hope, and when he wakes her, she expels a magical blast that throws him across the room; Hope is unaware of what happened, however, Landon explains that she blasted him. Landon attempts to talk with Alaric about Hope, but Alaric doesn't realize and tells Landon that Emma will talk with him when she is done with Rafael. Landon eventually explains that he is worried about Hope.
Alaric tries to talk with Hope, however, she deflects everything he says. Alaric's diagnosis is that Hope is dealing with the trauma of seeing Landon dead, however, Hope exclaims that she is fine and, once again, she expels a blast of energy that throws Alaric across the gym. Hope realizes that she could let off some steam, and tells Alaric that she is off to check if the woods are safe to wolf out. Lizzie enters, telling Alaric that they won't unload the truck of balloons and helium without his signature. Alaric is confused, questioning who ordered all of the stuff, and Lizzie reveals that he did. At this moment, he suddenly remembers and gives an address to the entire school that they're hosting the Miss Mystic Falls Pageant. Alaric warns the students to maintain their image of a boarding school for the rich, with everything pertaining to magic kept on the down-low.
Landon tells Hope that he has been thinking about why she has been acting weird, and reveals that he believes Hope is having cold feet about their relationship, given they have a clear road ahead of them with no obstacles. Hope is distracted, however, when Roman Sienna enters the room, revealing to Landon that it is her ex-boyfriend. Roman reveals that with everything going on, he has been doing recon for Alaric, but is lending a hand during the busy day whilst the school prepares for Miss Mystic Falls. Hope introduces Roman to Landon, who immediately explains that he is her boyfriend and a phoenix. Landon remarks if Roman is the vampire who helped murder her mother, and Hope reveals that it is, but she doesn't hold him responsible.
Veronica is angry at Alaric and the school. Alaric tries to convince her that they have an excellent counselor, and that MG is doing great. Veronica is however concerned that MG murdered a fellow classmate, but also that he is attending school with a phoenix. Alaric ensures her that Landon harbors no ill-will and that the developments surrounding Landon and his phoenix abilities are new.
Penelope questions if Josie has read the letter she wrote, however Josie remarks that she has been busy with the pageant. Penelope remarks that the pageant is misogynistic, but Josie tells her that her mother was Miss Mystic Falls and Lizzie has been dreaming of the title since they were kids.
Hope asks Lizzie for a new, more strenuous task, given everything happening with Landon and Roman. Lizzie tells her that she'll make a list, but leaves in a hurry to greet the judges. Lizzie is able to charm two of the judges, however is surprised and dumbfounded when she realizes one of the judges is Dana's mother. Lizzie tells Penelope, Josie, and Hope that she is withdrawing from the pageant immediately, given the head judge is her mother. Lizzie believes she can win next year, but nominates Hope for the contest, much to Josie's dismay.
Lizzie coaches Hope about how to win the pageant and remarks that her being an orphan is an advantage. She hands Hope Caroline's research, however, remarks that it is quaint at best; she reveals her research, including a box of numerous files detailing every answer given. Lizzie believes that the Salvatore School can win the pageant.
MG introduces himself to Nia, a visitor to the school. The two bond over their love of comics, and he eventually asks if he can show her around the school, to which she agrees. They later bond over comics again, and MG talks about redemption — a clear indication of his guilt about killing Landon. The two are interrupted, however by MG's mother, Veronica, who exclaims that she and MG must talk. She tells him that the school is not a good fit for him and that there are overseas schools better equipped to deal with the supernatural, however MG dismisses her.
Lizzie attends rehearsal with Hope, reminding her that — despite it being called rehearsal — the competition begins here. Josie gives Lizzie a nod, meaning that their plan is in motion. Penelope appears, telling Josie that MG is sitting the rehearsal out in favor of her escorting Josie. Josie does not appreciate the gesture and tries to sabotage the rehearsal in favor of Hope and Landon. Penelope stops her, however, much to everyone's dismay, and Josie remarks that she needs to lose the competition.
Landon and Hope dance and Landon asks how Hope can forgive Roman for what he has done. Hope tells him that things aren't that simple and that he was influenced by his mother, and spent the better part of his life desiccated. Landon keeps pushing, believing himself to have been wrongfully treated given Hope's treatment of Roman. Hope gets increasingly angry, however, and her magic begins shaking the room. Lizzie notices this and tries to calm Hope down, telling her to come with her away from the dance.
Lizzie takes Hope into the woods surrounding the school and tells her that she is close to a meltdown, that could cost them the pageant. She tells Hope to scream, and let out all of the anger she is feeling; Hope does this, emitting a huge blast of energy which makes her feel better. Hope is fatigued and tells Lizzie that she needs to sleep, however Lizzie refuses to accept this. Landon approaches and Hope asks Lizzie for advice on who is supposed to apologize, however before Landon and Hope can talk, they notice a statue that eerily resembles Veronica, MG's mother. Hope deduces that the statue is actually his mother, and they call Alaric and MG for help. Landon suggests that Roman is to be blamed, however Hope believes Landon is misled.
Landon confronts Roman, who reveals that he does still have feelings for Hope but knows that she will never choose him again, therefore he has nothing to worry about.
Hope reads the answers prepared for her by Lizzie, and Hope questions why all of the answers are pertaining to grief. Lizzie tells her that she and Dana's mother are alike, and playing on her grief could get them points. Lizzie shows Hope a blue dress — the same dress Klaus gifted Caroline in Dangerous Liaisons — telling her it was her mother's but they can adapt it to fit her.
Penelope asks Josie if they can talk, however Josie lashes out, remarking that she could just write it down with the pen she gave her; it is revealed that the pen is enchanted to spy on people and record what everyone writes.
MG and Alaric try to track down the monster who turned MG's mother to stone. Alaric tells MG that he believes the monster to be a gorgon, and MG — realizing that his new friend is the potential suspect — remarks that it could've been accidental. Alaric questions what MG knows, however before he can answer Alaric is turned to stone; MG is revealed to be right, that the monster is his new-found friend. She enters, demanding to know where Landon is, however MG refuses to reveal his location. She tries to turn MG to stone, however she fails, questioning why he didn't turn to stone. Instead, she snaps his neck.
Landon is drinking alone and is approached by Penelope. Penelope questions why Landon is unhappy, and he reveals that he is jealous of Roman, and feels that he is not special at the school, given everyone is special. Penelope tells Landon that Hope isn't honest, revealing that the school is full of hypocrisy.
Penelope returns to the dance, walking Josie down the stairs to the dance. Penelope questions what Josie is doing at this part of the dance if she doesn't want to win and Josie reveals that she needs to literally fall down the stairs and take out Hope;s biggest competition. Penelope is dumbfounded by Josie;s revelation and tells her to walk down the stairs with her head held high, however Josie sticks to the plan and falls purposefully. Penelope questions what Josie will do when Penelope is no longer there to fight for her anymore, causing Josie to question what she means. Penelope remarks that she should read the letter if she really wants to know.
Hope arrives at the dance but finds Landon is late and drunk. He reveals that Penelope told him that she is keeping a secret from him about Seylah, and Hope freezes. Landon is ashamed of Hope and angry, causing him to walk away from the dance. She tries to walk away from the dance but finds Roman standing beside her enticing her to get through the dance.
Landon storms off but finds Nia following him. She tries to force him to go with her, and he finally realizes that she is a representation of Medusa. Before she can turn him to stone, however, MG arrives and sedates her. MG asks if he and Landon are cool, and Landon replies that they're even.
Roman questions if Hope is doing okay, and she reveals that she is fine, just wants to get through the dance. Josie arrives, revealing that she read the note and knows Penelope is leaving the school. Josie is shocked when Lizzie reveals that she knew, and Josie is angry at this, exclaiming that Lizzie doesn't think of anybody but herself. Lizzie deflects this, telling Josie that if she wanted to win, she should've said. Hope notices that they're fighting, and asks Roman to listen to what the Saltzman twins are saying. Josie questions if Hope will still feel amazing if she knew where the dress from, and Josie reveals that the dress was a gift from Klaus Mikaelson, Hope's father. Roman is reluctant to reveal the conversation to Hope, but Hope demands to know, as he reluctantly revealed it. She becomes beside herself at this news. She becomes flustered and is put into the spotlight when the judges announce that she is the winner of the Miss Mystic Falls Pageant. She struggles to contain her magic, causing Lizzie to rush onto the dance floor and embrace her.
After the dance, Hope hands the dress back to Lizzie, telling her that she needs to talk with Landon, however Lizzie tells her to give him some space. The two have a heart-to-heart and Hope questions how Lizzie knew what to say. Lizzie reveals that it is the same thing Josie has done to her hundreds of times, but now she is mad at her. The two make a deal: Hope helps Lizzie get Josie back, and Lizzie helps Hope get Landon back.
MG talks with his mother, and he apologizes for snapping at her earlier. He reminds his mother that he has friends at the Salvatore School, and Alaric has his back. He further tells her that the only way he is leaving the school is dead, or when he graduates, but he hopes that it is his graduation.
Penelope is just about to leave the school when Josie appears, sarcastically asking if she was going to say goodbye; Penelope remarks that she did say goodbye in the letter. Penelope reveals that her mother got a job in Belgium and that there is a witch-only school there for her. This means she doesn't have to deal with other supernatural species or Lizzie. Josie asks her not to leave, however, Penelope remarks that Josie has given her a thousand reasons to go and that she will not lay down and watch what happens to her next. With this, she hands Josie the diary she has been using to spy on the students and asks her to read what Alaric wrote about the Merge. Both begin crying and kiss one last time before Penelope leaves the school for good.
Landon is walking by the school gates before Veronica pulls up, revealing that she was mortified when she heard what MG put him through. She asks if she can give him a ride somewhere, but when he declines, she reveals that it wasn't a question and tasers him.
- Antagonist: Veronica Greasley, Ryan Clarke
- Hope wins the 2028 Miss Mystic Falls Pageant.
- It is revealed that vampires cannot be turned into stone by a gorgon.
- Roman Sienna was last seen in There in the Disappearing Light on The Originals.
- Lizzie, Josie and Ryan were last seen in There's a Mummy on Main Street.
- Penelope was last seen in We're Gonna Need A Spotlight.
- Sasha was last seen in Hope is Not the Goal.
- Emma was mentioned. She was last seen in The Boy Who Still Has a Lot of Good to Do.
- Hayley was indirectly mentioned. She was last seen in When The Saints Go Marching In as a spirit on The Originals.
- The slugs were mentioned. They were last seen in We're Gonna Need A Spotlight.
- Caroline was indirectly mentioned. She was last seen in I Was Feeling Epic on The Vampire Diaries and When The Saints Go Marching In on The Originals.
- Dana was mentioned and seen in a photo. She was last seen in There's a World Where Your Dreams Came True in an alternate wish reality.
- Klaus was mentioned. He was last seen in Moonlight on the Bayou on The Vampire Diaries and When The Saints Go Marching In on The Originals.
- April was indirectly mentioned. She was last seen in Pictures of You on The Vampire Diaries.
- Miranda was indirectly mentioned. She was last seen in I Was Feeling Epic as a spirit.
- Violet was indirectly mentioned. She was last seen in Nostalgia's a Bitch on The Vampire Diaries.
- Rebekah, Marcel, Freya, Kol and Elijah were indirectly mentioned. They were last seen in When The Saints Go Marching In.
- Seylah was indirectly mentioned. She was last seen in Maybe I Should Start From The End.
- Greta was indirectly mentioned. She was last seen in What, Will, I, Have, Left.
- Mystic Falls, Virginia
- Fort Valley, Georgia
Behind the Scenes
- The episode title is a line used by Penelope Park.
- Alaric: "We are hosting this years Miss Mystic Falls pageant."
- Lizzie: "This is the fiercest competition in the land."
- Lizzie: "You are the perfect candidate."
- Hope: "I'm gonna regret this aren't I?"
- Hope: "Landon stop!"
- Hope: "I'm fine okay."
- Lizzie: "You are far from fine."
- Hope: "I said I'm fine!"
- Penelope: "Hey, how about we blow this popsicle stand and go to my room for a little binge watch and chill?"
- Josie: "You and I only make out when magical slugs invade our brains."
- Penelope: "I actually wanted to talk to you about the letter I wrote."
- Penelope: "Which I'm guessing you haven't read yet."
- Josie: "Been dealing with the pageant Penelope."
- Penelope: "Yeah I can see that."
- Penelope: "See this is me offering you a viable option out."
- Penelope: "This pageant is misogynistic and archaic."
- Penelope: "Stop enabling it."
- Josie: "I can't I'm a contestant."