‘Legacies’ discussion: The case for Alyssa Chang
This post discusses events up to Legacies 2×11 “What Cupid Problem” aired January 30, 2020
Legacies’ latest bad girl, Alyssa Chang, is not to be messed with. Last season we had Penelope Park filling the role of the Salvatore School’s baddie, but while she definitely liked to manipulate her classmates and stir up drama, she had an endearing side. She loves Josie, and while her methods may be questionable, the things she does in order to give Josie what she deserves comes from a place of love.
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Alyssa Chang, on the other hand, leans more towards the, “I’m going to send you to a Prison World” type of bad girl. Let me elaborate: In the TVDU, there’s kind of a “spectrum” of villains:
The Damon Salvatores: “A bad boy on the outside, softie that just wants to be loved on the inside.” TVD season 1 Damon was snapping necks left and right, but now he’s a stay-at-home human dad just trying to be the best version of himself.
The Penelope Parks: “Classic high school bad girl with a heart of gold.” Dashes of “evil”, but not really a villain.
The Klaus Mikaelsons: “The most powerful being in the world with major daddy issues.” I mean, can you blame the guy? Regardless of his past, over the course of the TVDU he redeemed himself.
The Katherine Pierces: “She has her moments, but overall she’s kind of the worst.” Just when Katerina was thrown a bone… she jumped into a doppleganger’s body, manipulated another boy-toy, applied to be Queen of Hell… you love to hate her.
The Kai Parkers: “Irredeemable monster.” Yup. That’s about it.
So where does our dear Alyssa Chang fall on this spectrum? It’s still too early tell, but I’m leaning towards a “Klaus Mikaelson” kind of villain. From what we know about Alyssa, she (accidentally?) killed her parents Jean-Grey style when she was a kid, leading her to a mischievous, rule-breaking adolescence at the Salvatore School. With a little help of magic and memory-wiping, Alyssa was given a second chance by Emma, who convinced Ric to let her stay at school vs the Prison World. (Haven’t they seen any of the X-Men films?! This never works!)
From where I see it, Alyssa is a troubled teenager who feels betrayed by the two people she looked to as parental figures. So… can you blame her? My hope is that if she’s given a chance—a real chance, not a memory-wiped-let’s-see-if-that-works-chance—to become part of a family (say, the Super Squad?), she’ll move out of her current “villain” role.
Think about it: This is someone who has been manipulated into being “better”, has had no real friends, and feels very alone. In one of the flashbacks we saw the Saltzman twins demonstrating typical middle school mean-girl antics towards Alyssa, pushing an already neglected young girl down a path where she uses anger to deflect how sad she is.
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So what do you think, Legacies fans? Should we give Alyssa a chance? I say yes. Comment below or tweet me @lizprugh.
Legacies airs Thursdays at 9pmEST/8pmCST on The CW.