Legacies just delivered its strongest episode of an already solid first season, and to no one's surprise, it leaned heavily into the show's vampire elements and the human connections between all our non-human characters.
Directed by Paul Wesley, the episode zeroed in on the one character we've been wanting to dig deeper into: M.G. (Quincy Fouse). After learning that M.G.'s parents never invite him home for the holidays, Landon (Aria Shahghasemi) pushed M.G. to confront them and finally get answers. As it turned out, his father didn't even know he was alive since his mother hid the fact that he'd come back as a vampire, fearing it would conflict with her husband's devout faith. The resulting confrontation between M.G. and his father was as heartbreaking as a coming out allegory gets, and in his heightened emotional state, M.G. lashed out at Landon, feeding on him and eventually killing him.
Never fear though! Landon's supernatural identity was finally revealed when, the next day, his body spontaneous burst into flames and he was reborn from the ashes, very much alive. We finally have our answer, folks: Landon is a phoenix, a long-lived mythical creature that dies and then returns to life by rising from its own ashes.
TV Guide spoke with Quincy Fouse about the huge revelation and the emotional impact his confrontation with his father will have on M.G.
This was a very vampire-heavy episode. Was it nice having Paul Wesley directing to sort of show you the ropes?
Quincy Fouse: Yeah, for sure... Paul Wesley knows specifically how to talk to me, being not only an actor on The CW but being an actor in The Vampire Diaries universe, you know what I mean? He is very conscious of the realm that he's working in, so the way he directs you is not like someone who would direct on, like, a Disney show. He knows specifically what is needed in this realm, and I thought that was just a dope experience, experiencing the specificity of how he works.
This was also a very heavy episode for M.G., so what was your first reaction when you found out the truth about M.G.'s parents?
Fouse: When I tell you I cried reading the script for the first time, I was just like, "Oh my gosh, man." It's heart-wrenching. I was so satisfied that we got some more of where he came from, but then I was just like, "Damn, why is it so sad?"
Very at odds with his light-hearted personality.
Fouse: Right?! And that's what it was. I was like, "Yo, where are the jokes? Where's the punchline?"
M.G. telling his dad he's a vampire very much felt like a coming out story, so did you guys have talks about how to work those parallels in there?
Fouse: Absolutely. I actually sat down with Chris, who plays my dad, and we were talking about it. ... I see this narrative coming through about something that is you and not being received by the person whose job is to nurture you and how that can break someone's heart. Being an actor, having the empathy to take this story on, this was a new type of heartbreak for me. To think about this story happening in real life, I was happy to be able to give this story some life, because that was just an intense moment and just so powerful. I'm getting choked up thinking about it.
Now that he's been through this confrontation with his dad and his attack on Landon, are we going to see a more somber side of him moving forward?
Fouse: The thing is, the dude did murder somebody, you know? Regardless of what happened after, he did not know that that would happen. So that is a vibe that one has to carry and deal with, and that's not even something that really happens in real life. Now you've got to walk around and see the dude after? That's a real awkward spot, so yeah, we'll definitely be seeing how they deal with that tension throughout the rest of the season for sure.
From your perspective, do you think that M.G. is a ripper?
Fouse: I feel like the potential for him to be a ripper is there. I feel like what happened in this episode was not even necessarily him embodying that, but that added to the unresolved family problems that he had. Looking at solely the aspect of giving in to your heart's desires, when you have all those strong emotions that just came out of this box because Landon had pushed him to go to this place? He was in a safe place, and now his guts are on the floor. It needed to be someone else's fault. And then it was his. He was there, regardless of if it was better that this happened or anything like that, M.G. wasn't ready for it. And then also being as compulsive as M.G. is, I do believe that the things that chemically happen to make someone a ripper could have influenced certain things, but the actions themselves came from the trauma. That is something that I thoroughly believe in.
Do you hope to return to M.G.'s family storyline later on down the line?
Fouse: Definitely. We have to. The thing is, M.G., especially after this experience, he has to change. He can't be the same kid he was before after experiencing this. So with that comes growing and dealing with these problems that are now out of the bag. As much as M.G. can be upset with Landon for what he did, he's becoming more of a man because of it, and everyone's got to do that sometimes. If the tower fall and it gets messy, it does, and in this episode it definitely got messy. But M.G. is on this path now.
Will things change at school now that we know that Landon is a phoenix?
Fouse: Let's just hope he feels like he belongs now. They haven't given me too much insight on this either, but there's definitely going to be some exploring what the heck he is, how he lives and what it all entails, the lifestyle of a phoenix. There's definitely room to explore there.
Legacies airs Thursdays at 9/8c on The CW.
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