Legacies Season 4 Borrowed Stephen King’s Most Terrifying Monster

Legacies Season 4 Borrowed Stephen King’s Most Terrifying Monster

Warning: Spoilers for Legacies season 4, episode 13, “Was This The Monster You Saw?” 

With its catalog of quirky monsters, it was inevitable that Legacies would borrow from Stephen King and adapt one of his most terrifying monsters at some point, and it did just that in its latest episode. Legacies season 4 has widely expanded the show’s scope and setting, even recently introducing the concept of gods. Still, it regularly returns to its episodic setup of the first few seasons, with the students of the Salvatore School tasked with identifying and defeating another one of the bizarre monsters that regularly terrorize the campus.

When one wants monsters, Stephen King is usually one of the first names that come to mind. So it was strange that, for a show that is so monster-centric and regularly borrows from other pop culture IP, Legacies had yet to spoof a Stephen King story or borrow one of his creatures. However, that oversight is rectified in a big way in Legacies‘ most recent episode.

Related: Legacies’ Jed Backstory Reveal Finally Explains Why He Was Such A Bully

Legacies season 4, episode 13, “Was This The Monster You Saw?” not only sees the show finally paying homage to the King of Horror, but also presenting its own version of arguably his most famous and terrifying monster. As Jed (Ben Levin) is about to make an intimate confession to Ben (Zane Phillips) in the forest, he’s interrupted by a hideous creature jumping him from behind and biting his shoulder, ripping part of his shoulder off. Anyone familiar with Stephen King will immediately recognize the monster for what it is: Legacies‘ version of It antagonist, Pennywise. MG (Quincy Fouse) even calls the killer clown with razor-sharp teeth “Pennywise,” referring to the Stephen King villain later in the episode in case the connection isn’t apparent.

But the connection to Stephen King’s Pennywise goes deeper than Legacies‘ monster also being a clown with sharp teeth. Though the CW show slightly modifies it from the books, the clown biting and ripping off part of Jed’s shoulder and upper trapezius is strongly reminiscent of a scene early on in King’s novel. In that gruesome scene, Pennywise attacks Adrian Mellon, a man who has fallen into Derry’s canal, emerging from the water to grab him. The demonic clown bites into Adrian’s armpit, ripping away a giant chunk of skin and meat. It’s exactly what happens to Jed’s character in the Legacies season 4 episode, albeit the bite coming in a slightly different location.

Legacies‘ clown also closely borrows from the themes of Pennywise preying on fear that run throughout Stephen King’s book and movie adaptations. The bite of the monster in Legacies causes its victims to relive the worst moments of their life. While not necessarily based on the sort of fear generated by a childhood boogeyman, as Pennywise is, terrible moments in life often revolve around different kinds of fear: the fear of loss, the fear of guilt, the fear of shame. So, just like the Losers Club defeat Pennywise in It, Alaric (Matthew Davis) uses the same trick to defeat the clown. Legacies‘ Alaric screwed up often in Vampire Diaries and its spinoff shows, then spent ages in Purgatory, helpless and forced to dwell on his worst mistakes. So there was nothing the clown could do to terrorize or hurt him. The clown’s confusion allowed Cleo (Omono Okojie) to stab the clown from behind, and as they watched, it shriveled and bubbled away, just as Pennywise does.

Some of Legacies‘ monsters have been quite creepy, but more often than not, its monsters have been more than a little cheesy. Season 4’s clown is one of the most genuinely scary monsters the series has showcased in a while, and also with more gore, from Jed’s shoulder bite to the gruesome way the clown bubbled into a pile of goo at the end. If it’s a sign that Legacies is open to embracing more genuinely scary creatures, even if they’re not borrowed from Stephen King, the future could be really interesting.

Next: Legacies Brought Back A Gruesome Originals Weapon (& Made It Worse)

New episodes of Legacies air Thursdays on the CW.

 

For a show filled with unique monsters, Legacies has never really taken inspiration from Stephen King. That changed with its terrifying new monster.

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