'Legacies' EP Brett Matthews Teases Hope, Josie and Lizzie's Personal Journeys in Season 3 (Exclusive)

Executive producer Brett Matthews shares how long Josie will be gone, Hope and Landon's future and Lizzie's big decision.

Warning: If you have not watched Thursday's season 3 premiere of Legacies do not proceed. Spoilers ahead!

It's going to be a year of personal growth for many students at Salvatore School. With the aftermath of Dark Josie still looming in the air, the Legacies season 3 premiere brought about many revelations about how difficult life will be for our main characters.

The premiere episode, titled "We Are Not Worthy," saw Hope (Danielle Rose Russell) finally wake up after saving Josie (Kaylee Bryant) from her dark magic -- but there is still much evil to be fought. Landon (Aria Shahghasemi) returned to his body after wanting to sacrifice himself so that the Necromancer (Ben Geurens) didn't grow stronger, and Josie decided that she needed to take some time away from the school and stay with her mother, Caroline (Candice King).

So what's in store for these and more characters as season 3 kicks off? As executive producer Brett Matthews tells ET, the new episodes will focus on Hope and Landon's relationship and the trials and tribulations that come with fighting evil as a couple. Lizzie (Jenny Boyd) and Josie's relationship will also be put to the test, with the two reflecting on their needs and wants as sisters. And expect to see a "big play" from the Necromancer that will shake things up for everyone.

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ET: We see Hope waking up at the end of the episode. Will there be any consequences to her having gone and saved Josie from her black magic?

Brett Matthews: I think the end of the episode brings with it the return of Hope Mikaelson and that there are many problems to attend to. I think the premiere asks and answers why she didn't wake up and why she does. And she is back with us and will resume being the leader of the Super Squad, resume being the hero of our show, and resume being a person faced with 900 problems and the one everybody looks to to solve them.

Hope and Landon are happily reunited and back together. How will their relationship evolve and change this season?

They're really going to be put to a greater test than they've ever faced before. Their dynamic, this push and pull of loving somebody, and wanting them to be part of what you do, but also the inherent dangers about fighting the forces of evil, is one that they will continue to struggle with. ... A huge part of season 3, which is always central to the show, [is that] they are going to be tested in ways that they have never been and all of that will ripple throughout season 3.

Will we get to see more of Hope's relationships with other cast members?

I will say this season, for me, the show really goes through Hope this year. So I think we'll explore Hope's relationship to hopefully everyone over the course of the season because she really is the center of the show.

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It was also revealed that Josie has decided to stay with Caroline. How long will Josie be gone?

It won't be a long absence but Josie will go on a very interesting journey this year. Obviously she went down a dark, violent path in season 2. She will return and she will be resolving those issues and she will be resolving what she wants out of her life and figure out where she fits in at the Salvatore School and with her friends, as a result of her going dark. [Her absence] will be very brief.

Will we get to see her when she is away with Caroline and figuring things out?

Candice does not appear in the episode. I think some people don't understand about the business of television is that not every character is in every single episode. There are times where we have to wrap certain characters and it also allows us to push other supporting players more to the floor. That's just the natural ebb and flow. It was certainly a good moment for her to take a beat and get some motherly advice. And the perspective that she brings back as a result of that will play out in season 3.

We also saw Lizzie continue to be overprotective and think she can handle everything. That blew up in her face. How will we see her grow and change?

Lizzie will very much continue on her path. The thing I love about Lizzie, people often see Lizzie as trauma, and what others consider "damaged" as a sign of weakness of her. I think Lizzie is weirdly a very aspirational character in a sense she is somebody who is always trying to be better. I really admire that about her, but clearly the fallout of the things Josie did over the course of season 2 impact her greatly. ... She is going to have a choice to make whether she uses her old tactics or continues her growth. And even on the other side of whatever decision she makes, what does her relationship with Josie look like following that trauma? Their relationship has always been so clear and it's really changed as a result of the events of season 2. She will be trying to navigate that while also be there for Josie a little bit because Josie has always been there for her.

You seemed to touch on it in season 2, but is there a chance that we will see heretic Lizzie?

Never say never. I wouldn't want to talk about whether we would do it or when we would do it. It's obviously something that's in the mythology. We also like Lizzie as she is and the journey that she is on. Certainly all the possibilities exist in the future, but we're really excited about the story we're telling with Lizzie right now.

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You teased that there's a lot of forces of evil coming up. How long will the Necromancer be around? And what can we expect from Malivore?

That's a watch-the-show-to-find-out one. I certainly don't want to tell the timeline, but the Necromancer, heading into season 3, is going to make a big play that is forever going to alter our mythology. So this will be a year where a lot of those questions are answered and a lot of the Malivore mythology, as we know it, will advance. We're very excited about all those things. But yeah, the Necromancer is definitely up to something dark, as he certainly always is and he sort of has these supernatural [mercenaries] to achieve what he's never done before, so it is going to be a real bad thing for our kids to deal with.

How many episodes have you completed so far in the current season?

We're only seven or eight [episodes] in the current season.

Did you have to change a lot of storylines and scenes for season 3 amid COVID-19 restrictions?

COVID was a huge challenge. COVID remains a huge challenge, just in terms of the way we shoot the show, see the show and write the show. So you will see a season 3 that I think is reflective of that. We had to as writers make some very smart decisions about how to protect our cast and how to protect our crew, but having seen some of the new material, I'm really thrilled how the show looks and what everyone is bringing to the table. And a big thank you to our cast and crew who really are going above and beyond. Filmmaking in a pandemic is not fun, and dangerous, and it's a little scary. But every one is really going above and beyond to bring this story that hopefully fans want to see. That's no small thing. It is an unprecedented moment in television history that every show is having to deal with in their own ways, but the impact is profound and I'm very proud of how our team is doing.

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I have some much-asked fan questions for you. Hope previously gave Josie a talisman. Will that ever come up again?

I think we will see it again. I have a very specific idea of when we will see it. It probably won't be for a while, but these things are always in flux as stories change. I wouldn't want to commit, but I certainly wouldn't be surprised if we see it again. I have a plan for it and we'll see how seasons evolve.

Fans also want to know why Hope and Lizzie’s word was "Fatum," meaning fate/destiny/doom, while in the film noir world in the "There's a Place Where the Lost Things Go" episode. Will Lizzie ever tell Hope what it means?

That's a word conjured by the therapy box. As we delve into season 3, what the therapy box is telling is that Hope -- what the first new episodes of the season explore -- believes the message of that is that she is always fated to choose between Landon and her friends, as the therapy box sort of presented her within that episode. It's not specific to Lizzie and Hope's dynamic, and more specific to Hope's personal journey in the therapy box. That is a lesson imparted on her, and she certainly will be resting with that very thing and very specifically so in early part of season 3.

So does fate, destiny and the prophecy play a big part in season 3?

It's big. It's a big thing. It usually is in these shows, it always has been. It's been something that's intertwined throughout The Vampire Diaries and The Originals, and so, yes, it will certainly be something that is front of mind in various points.

Legacies airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. PT/ET on The CW.