In addition to fan favorite characters Alaric and Hope, we have a ton of new characters on Legacies that we are still trying to figure out. Do we know who Penelope Park really is?
Our first introduction to Ms. Park was from the Saltzman sisters, and unfortunately, it wasn’t a good one. Josie and Lizzie have referred to her as the Dark Lord, Voldemort, Satan, the devil, and so many other obvious pet names that we definitely know where the twins as a unit stand against Josie’s ex.
But Penelope Park wasn’t born the twins’ enemy. She was once a beloved friend, or at least Josie’s girlfriend. We don’t yet know what drove them to this separation, but we can look at Penelope’s actions with different people and see how we feel about her.
Let’s start with a far less intense relationship. The pilot showed us Penelope and M.G. hanging out in the Salvatore School kitchen after a night of partying. They seemed to be friends, which makes sense considering that M.G. and Josie are friends. The ‘hanging out’ quickly devolved into Penelope labeling herself an “equal opportunity temptress” and attempting to lure M.G. to feed from her, something that is clearly banned for vamps attending the school.
She at least tries to be M.G.’s friend. She has tried to help him win over Lizzie Saltzman, until she finally had to call it a game and beg him to let his crush go. While the relationship between Penelope and M.G. is still evolving, I think it’s safe to say they’re friends and that they will probably stay just that.
Penelope’s relationship with Lizzie Saltzman is definitely not friendly. Penelope resents Lizzie for sucking up all of Josie’s time, love, and energy. And Penelope’s not entirely wrong. We’ve seen Lizzie blindly insult and/or belittle Josie time and time again, despite the fact that she clearly loves her sister.
So, while we can believe and even laugh in agreement when the twins call her evil behind her back (and to her face a few times, too), we also have to own up to the fact that maybe Penelope was justified in breaking up with Josie. Especially if it was due to Josie never looking out for herself in the twins’ relationship.
Despite knowing that Penelope is not always wrong, the outright disrespect and loathing that Lizzie and Penelope have for each other is fairly simple. Penelope believes that constantly having to calm Lizzie and look out for Lizzie is holding Josie back from fully living her life. Lizzie believes Penelope is an evil shrew who broke her sister’s heart. They will never get along unless Josie decrees it necessary… or unless one of them is forced to save the other in Josie’s name. That could go a long way to reconciliation.
Last, but most certainly never least, we must talk about Penelope’s relationship with Josie. From lovers to enemies, Josie and Penelope have never lost their fire. They must have been a pretty passionate couple with the level of vitriol they spout at each other on a daily basis.
We don’t know the specifics of how and why they broke up. We know Penelope did the breaking, and that in order for Josie to be so upset about it to this day, it probably wasn’t something she saw coming.
Despite their animosity, Penelope is constantly looking out for Josie, trying to show and convince her that standing up for herself and living her own life is not selfish. And in some ways Penelope is 100% correct.
Penelope was definitely looking out for both Josie and the Salvatore School witch community when she campaigned for Josie to get the spot on the Honor Council. Lizzie would have used it as one more way to put herself center stage while Josie tagged along behind her twin, reminding her of the importance of the Honor Council and the gravity of representing the entire class of witches in school decision-making.
And yet, Josie should be allowed to live her life however she sees fit. In Legacies 1×06 “Mombie Dearest,” we saw Penelope and Josie have a mini-showdown in the hallway after the shitshow that was the twins’ 16th birthday. Penelope insists that she knows what’s best for Josie, but Josie reminds her that the world needs both the selfish and the selfless. And then they made out. Relationships are complicated.
Josie definitely has a selfless streak running through her veins. We can only hope that when it comes time for her to step into the spotlight and save the day, Lizzie will let her twin truly shine.
So, Penelope Park is not all bad. She’s not all good either. She is clearly a flawed and deeply intriguing character that will continue to push Josie’s buttons until one (or both of them) snap.
So, tell us, how do you feel about Penelope Park? Do you love her? Hate her? Hate that you love her? Love that you hate her? Vote in our poll!