When I first saw the promo images for Legacies, I immediately pinpointed Lizzie Saltzman as the stuck up popular girl from every teen drama. I could not have been more wrong.
We are only two episodes in to its freshman season, and already Legacies has subverted so many of my preconceptions. None moreso than Ms. Elizabeth Saltzman. Lizzie, I must apologize for how I expected you to be. You are quickly becoming one of the most interesting, layered, witty, and surprising characters I’ve ever had the pleasure to watch.
All we knew about Lizzie Saltzman going into this season was that she is one of the Gemini coven twins and that Caroline and Alaric are her parents. Oh, and, of course, what we saw of her childhood throughout the final season of The Vampire Diaries. Everything else was surmised from her look, her style, and what we read in the promotional materials handed out by the CW (you may have seen photos of the school record dossiers floating around).
I am beyond happy to note that Lizzie is a far more incredible character than I thought she was going to be.
First of all, I want to give credit where credit is due. The writing on this show has been pretty stellar, and definitely adds to Lizzie’s appeal, but Jenny Boyd has been absolutely crushing it so far. I don’t think I would be as drawn to Lizzie Saltzman if it weren’t for the vulnerable, yet strong way she is being portrayed.
Okay, so, in just the first two episodes, I already feel badly that I ever expected the stuck-up, mean girl. While Hope has one hell of a lineage to overcome, I think I expected Lizzie’s familial legacy to make her feel superior, but it is completely the opposite.
I’m not yet sure if it’s common knowledge that Lizzie and Josie are of the Gemini coven, but even just the twins knowing that they come from such a powerful family could have given Lizzie a superiority complex that would have been completely valid and may have made for interesting character development.
There are literally not strong enough words in the English language to convey how grateful I am that Julie Plec and company chose to go a different way. While Josie seems to be very Alaric-like in how she relates to people, Lizzie definitely has a less smooth, sometimes downright painful way of relating to others (case in point, her talking to Rafael in the pilot during the Wickery match… yikes).
Seeing that she doesn’t have it all together definitely reminds me of Caroline Forbes before she fully embraced her neurotic control freak tendencies. Lizzie is great at acting like she has it all together, but when things start to crumble, she can definitely lose her cool in the most chaotic and intense ways.
I am already preparing to collect a bevy of Lizzie’s snarky quips for use against my own life’s Voldemorts. She slices and dices through confrontations left and right, whether it’s defending her sister in the face of a terrible ex, standing up to bullying from Mystic Falls High, or refusing to let a friend get away with inexplicable betrayal.
We’ve also seen a small sliver of her struggles with emotional upheaval. Those dossiers I mentioned before indicated that Lizzie Saltzman has bipolar disorder, and when you couple that with her supernatural abilities, it definitely presents a unique opportunity to show the importance of mental health.
Altogether, Lizzie has layers upon layers of growth coming her way, and I think her path through Legacies will prove to be one of the show’s most intriguing and complex journeys. It’s refreshing to see a shift in archetypes on a show like this, and Lizzie is one of those shifts I just know I’m going to be paying close attention to each and every week.