[Warning: The following contains spoilers for the Season 2 premiere episode of Legacies. Read at your own risk!]

Legacies sure didn't waste any time doling out emotional devastation in Season 2. Though we were expecting Hope's (Danielle Rose Russell) exile in Malivore to last longer than it did, we're glad to have her home — even if no one else is.

A quick recap: While the witches, werewolves, and vampire students at the Salvatore School all went their separate ways to enjoy summer vacation, the tribrid they'd forgotten spent her vacay trapped in a hell dimension. But it didn't take her long to realize that her plan to destroy Malivore by throwing herself into the pit probably didn't fully work because her vampire side is still dormant on account of the fact she's never died before. C'mon girl, rookie mistake!

So while she and Clarke (Nick Fink) toiled away inside Malivore together, Landon (Aria Shahghasemi) spent his summer drowning himself over and over again in order to get glimpses of the love he'd lost but couldn't quite remember. Josie (Kaylee Bryant) eventually gave him a serious lecture on self-harm, though, and they ended up developing a budding new romance.

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That was all well and good... until Hope found a way to free herself from Malivore and return to Mystic Falls. The catch to this fortuitous turn of events, of course, is that exiting Malivore didn't restore anyone's memories of her, meaning all of Hope's loved ones have no idea who she is. This girl just just can't catch a break!

TV Guide spoke with showrunner Julie Plec about this latest devastating development, and what it means for Hope and all her friends moving forward.

Danielle Rose Russell, <em>Legacies</em>Danielle Rose Russell, Legacies

What was the most fun part about creating a world in which no one remembers Hope?
Julie Plec: I really wanted to see how Alaric (Matthew Davis) handled himself without his sidekick. His relationship with Hope is such a great Giles-Buffy dynamic, and when left to his own devices, without her as his co-captain, I wanted to see what that looked like. Where we had fun was in how we rebuilt that relationship even though he has no idea who she is.

Now that she's back, how is Hope going to navigate this world where everyone she loves has no clue who she is?
Plec:
She's got a real big decision to make. She's got to decide, 'Do I just knock on the front door of the school and say, hey I'm back and here's who I am,' or does she follow that instinct in her head — whether it's true or not — that everyone's better off without her? It's not a decision that she can make right away. It's not even a decision that's going to be smart when she makes it, and that's part of the fun of her character. She's so strong and yet she's capable of making these kind of emotional mistakes, and I want to see how that goes for her.

Is there any hope left that she could get people's memories of her back?
Plec:
If and when she chooses to stay, it will presumably be because she thinks that there's a world where she can fit back into her old life again. But it's a precarious existence episode to episode, and it does a number on her emotionally. She wants so much to be back in the comfort of the world that she left behind, but she also knows that in doing so she'll be more disruptive than she will be beneficial, and that gives her pause.

Matt Davis, <em>Legacies</em>Matt Davis, Legacies

What can you tease about how this Hope-related memory loss will shift things around with all the relationships she'd built with people at the Salvatore School?
Plec:
She meets everybody as a stranger, and her decision on how to engage with each of these individual people is a lot of fun to watch.

Clarke seems to have recommitted to being his father's minion, but we did see a softer side of him in the premiere. How much of him is capable of being saved?
Plec:
I think any time a villain makes a decision to be a bad guy, it's based on feeling deeply and emotionally wounded. There's always hope for them to be redeemed, but first he's got to get himself out of there. So, we'll see how that goes.

As for this new ominous, hooded figure we saw, can you say anything about this person and how worried we should be about what he or she is up to?
Plec:
I can say that its identity is a mystery and a fun reveal when the hood finally comes off.

How long can we expect to wait to see Peyton Alex Smith again, since Rafael (Peyton Alex Smith) is still very much trapped as a wolf?
Plec: Well, I can tell you you won't have to wait too long, but it's also not immediate... It definitely is not an easy transition back into his regular life. He is someone who's always struggled, so he's used to the struggle. It's so hard, especially for Landon seeing his friend suffer so much. So it's going to really drive Landon to want to do something to help Raf make it through this hard time.

Kaylee Bryant and Aria Shahghasemi, <em>Legacies</em>Kaylee Bryant and Aria Shahghasemi, Legacies

What's on tap for Josie and Landon romantically this season now that they've acknowledged the connection between them?
Plec:
They have such a sweet friendship that they were able to build over the first episode that becomes romantic, and those are the best ones in a lot of ways. They're the ones that [are] built [on] a solid footing. But also, they're two very co-dependent people, who really like taking care of other people. They're not really used to people taking care of them, so it creates a lot of early relationship hurdles that are sort of fun and sad all at the same time.

And just for my peace of mind, does Landon have a phoenix resurrection limit we should be worried about?
Plec:
That is the question, and it's the question we will be asking every time he goes down, because we don't know.

My nerves are going to love that, so thanks.
Plec:
So will Hope's and Josie's.

Jenny Boyd and Kaylee Bryant, <em>Legacies</em>Jenny Boyd and Kaylee Bryant, Legacies

Josie seems to have dropped the Ascendant thing, for now, having found out about Evil Uncle Kai (Chris Wood), but is that door firmly shut or should we keep an eye on it?
Plec: Well, it's never firmly shut because it's something that is haunting them from afar. It's the thing that's going to impact their future, but they definitely do make a pledge to each other that they're going to try to live their lives, in spite of it.

Lizzie (Jenny Boyd) has a new love interest headed her way in Sebastian (Thomas Doherty). What can you say about how their relationship will develop?
Plec: He smolders, let's just put it that way. He's mysterious, he's probably a little dangerous, he's that great, old-school creature that we all used to love. Dropping him into a contemporary, newly woke universe is probably not the best place he's ever been, and yet it's fun to watch an old-school vampire learn the rules of being a new-school vampire, especially when MG is the one teaching those rules.

We also know Aunt Freya (Riley Voelkel) will be paying us a visit this season, so what can you say about what brings her back around?
Plec: One thing I can say about Riley's episode is that it's not Hope who goes and brings Freya to Mystic Falls. It's somebody else, which I think will be an interesting dynamic.

Twitter also very much wants to know, what are the odds of seeing Penelope Park (Lulu Antariksa) back in Season 2?
Plec: I love how much everybody loves Penelope Park, and maybe one day.

Legacies airs Thursdays at 9/8c on The CW.

(Disclosure: TV Guide is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of CBS Corporation.)

Aria Shahghasemi, <em>Legacies</em>Aria Shahghasemi, Legacies