Warning: Spoilers for Legacies season 4, episode 12, “Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost.”

Although Legacies season 4 fumbled Josie’s big exit, the show did at least admit this with a sharp line from Hope in a recent episode. It is not easy for shows with large ensemble casts like Legacies to explain away the absence of supporting stars or to write them out of shows. Sometimes, actors are recast while other shows don’t bother to explain their lack of screen time at all, instead biding their time until the actor in question can make another appearance.

However, the difficulty of writing around an actor’s availability is no excuse for the hoary cliché of “putting them on a bus.” A television writing convention so ubiquitous that it has a TV Tropes page in its honor, the “Put on a Bus” trope occurs when a character suddenly skips town, conveniently leaving when their actor decides to exit a series. While Legacies season 4 committed this cardinal sin with Josie’s exit, the series did at least acknowledge the weakness of his story in a later outing.


When her actor Kaylee Bryant opted to leave Legacies in season 4, the character of Josie was put on a bus at a vital point in the season despite this being a classic tactic to awkwardly write out a central character when their actor becomes unavailable for shooting mid-season. Legacies did, however, admit this when Lizzie compared her losses to those of Hope, and Hope cut her off with a biting, “Your sister went on vacation. And your dad is still alive.” The fact that Legacies attempted to make Josie’s exit dramatic while also leaving the door open to her actor’s return fell flat for many fans, making the villainous Tribrid Hope’s retort a fitting encapsulation of many real-life viewers’ thoughts on the matter.

Lizzie’s comparison was never likely to move Hope since the former Legacies heroine turned off her humanity after becoming the Tribrid and hasn’t felt any emotions since. However, the conversation did give Legacies season 4 a chance to acknowledge the fact that Josie simply leaving the Salvatore School on a bus was not as momentous an occurrence as the episode made it out to be, particularly when Lizzie died (albeit temporarily) in the same episode. While Hope was unmoved by the attempts that Lizzie made to compare their situations, the comparison was still one that the occasionally self-centered Lizzie would make, and Hope’s response was both fittingly mean and vindicating for a vocal portion of the Legacies fanbase.

While emotional appeals didn’t work, Lizzie breaking her sire bond with Hope managed to stop the Tribrid from torturing Aurora to death. This did mean that Legacies season 4 cut one of its most promising subplots short, but the preceding confrontation between the duo was still valuable since it gave Legacies season 4 a chance to admit how poorly Josie’s exit was handled by the show. Whether Bryant will return and the second Saltzmann sister’s bus will come back in Legacies season 4 remains to be seen, but the series has done an admirable job of acknowledging the trite nature of her dramatic departure.

Legacies releases new episodes Thursdays on the CW.

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