After the briefest of cameo’s on last week’s TVD, Klaus and Rebekah are back in New Orleans to deal with a new villain, hidden in almost plain view. Celeste has resurrected a team of witches and sets the first on a path of revenge that once more, puts the Mikaelsons’s on edge. Secrets during the prohibition era are revealed, specifically centering around Marcel, and Rebekah continues to shadow her own plan to thwart Klaus’s rule over the city.
The presence of Papa Tunde gave me hope that he would be an antagonist with a seasonal goal. What transpired was a frustrating look at a good plot being wrapped up within a single episode. Celeste is still unimpressive and continues to operate with a glowing confidence that has yet to captivate any scene she’s in. The rest is semantics as certain other supporting character play at their bland roles and offer little to no depth in their characterization. For every piece of necessary development that holds true, there’s always another that falls flat in either incongruent plot or passive dismissal of previous events. Luckily, TO is still heading in an interesting direction, but there’s caution looming every step of the way.
Celeste shows her new resurrected companions the cemetery as a flashback ensues with Genevieve, a witch from the Prohibition era, witnesses the arrival of Papa Tunde, a practitioner of sacrificial magic, who intends to aid the French Quarter witches against the “beasts” and vampires in exchange for leadership among its people.
In the flashback, Klaus and Elijah discuss a deal with a local werewolf clan to smuggle liquor to the city as Tunde arrives to declare his role as another king of the city. He leaves them a gift containing the head of the mayor.
In the present, Marcel witnesses Klaus offer Thierry a pardon and wants his vampires to give the remaining witches a rustling. Two vampires are later discovered dead with marks on their foreheads and both laying on top of a symbol. Marcel warns Klaus to stay out of whatever mojo has returned to the city.
Thierry shows Rebekah the same symbol in a warehouse by the docks and is confronted by Tunde who performs a spell on Rebekah, decimates her body, and adds the same mark on her forehead, gaining her power.
Marcel goes to Camille’s bar and waits for Sophie to arrive to question her about the familiar symbols. Camille is cautious but listens to Marcel recount when he returned to New Orleans after WWI only to find Rebekah still hostile over his actions centuries ago. Klaus welcomes him with open arms and witnesses his role as host to Tunde and his marked men.
Klaus finds Sophie who explains that the vampires who were killed were sacrificed to fuel another a witch.
Elijah is unable to reach Rebekah and questions Thierry who mentions Tunde at the docks attacking her. Hayley joins Elijah as they head to the docks.
Marcel continues his memory of the past as he and Klaus conspire to deal with Tunde. They murder his sons and then Tunde himself. In the present, Tunde arrives at Camille’s bar and easily overpowers Marcel, beginning another sacrificial spell.
Elijah and Hayley find Rebekah but are unable to breach the sign holding her. Sophie, on the phone, instructs him to find an ingredient that can offset the spell and Hayley offers her blood which contains her baby’s partial-witch blood. The blood disrupts the sign while, at the same time, Klaus intervenes and attempts to stop Tunde. With the sign broken, Tunde flees. Camille offers her blood to heal Marcel, against Klaus’s wishes.
The next day, Rebekah confronts Thierry about his wavering alliance as Elijah cracks his neck and questions Rebekah about her plan. Rebekah points out his love for Hayley getting in the way of family and storms off. Later, Marcel and Rebekah discuss more of Tunde’s signs appearing in the city as another flashback explains Tunde’s original arrival was caused by Marcel finding and drawing him to the city, believing he would chase off Klaus, leaving Marcel his chance to reclaim Rebekah. Rebekah says only her father can truly chase Klaus out of the city, but they need a witch to help find them. Her eyes draw to Genevieve who is nearby.
In the present, Klaus offers the local vampires a choice to fight with him or flee the city. Some leave, including Thierry, but Diego and many others stay. Marcel and Klaus drink together as Sophie questions their fragile alliance and Tunde’s plan to usurp more power from vampires. Klaus realizes that Marcel’s garden is an easy target and arrives too late to see all the imprisoned vampires are dead and marked.
At the cemetery, Tunde offers his blade to Celeste, saying it has enough power to do awful things to the originals. He then allows her to kill him filling the blade with even more power.
Right off the bat, Tunde displayed a commanding presence and I was certainly convinced his role would last longer than a single episode. With his end unfortunately set, that leaves Celeste with a powerful weapon and at least two more risen allies. Bastiana is a recent elder and Genevieve is, or was connected to Marcel and Rebekah’s plan to run Klaus from the city decades ago. Pieces are starting to fit together with Marcel’s past, a pivotal event that Klaus has yet to uncover. When he does, one can expect a lashing of a lifetime. Knowing Marcel’s loyalty to Klaus was forced, I’m not certain such a reveal will have the impact it’s supposed to. I haven’t forgotten Marcel’s desire to overthrow Klaus which tatters any bonding those two will have in the coming episodes. There’s a time bomb waiting to go off and Marcel is very short on a plan to escape it.
The credit I’d like to give is how they were able to turn around Marcel’s alignment on the show. Until recently, I voted against Marcel in every way and rather despised his overconfident nature. Now, I’m actually rooting for him to find some balance in his undead life. It’s not really that important he reconnect with Rebekah, but I can see it happening if Camille refrains from falling for him. I doubt she’d join Marcel for the sake of spiting Klaus but it’s entirely possible.
I do like that they’re leaving Davina’s limbo state of death as a means to return her character should they find a way to balance the power removed during the harvest. It’s hard to truly kill off a character in this universe and though I was satisfied with Davina’s exit, I think there’s room to develop her character based on a long experience with death.
Thierry and Diego are wasted characters on this show. Thierry has proven to be a tactful self-preserving coward, who I shouldn’t blame for his actions, but I was hoping for more out of his role. Diego stayed with Klaus out of fear and it’s not worse persay, but he has yet to break out on his own and I currently don’t have an interest in seeing that happen unless he improves his worth to the team.
Sophie isn’t doing much better. Celeste is keeping her identity a secret from her which makes sense considering Sophie’s connection in the harvest ritual, but I scarcely believe an alliance with Klaus will last long. And shouldn’t Hayley be demanding or inquiring on Sophie’s role in ending her kin’s moon-curse? That was rather left out of recent events and it seems like a rather big deal considering she’s still alone.
Elijah seemed to have lightened up his sourness over Hayley’s actions leading to Sophie uncovering Celeste’s burial. There’s something off about this relationship as Hayley was last seen skipping out on Elijah’s failure to kiss her and next they’re basically over it and back to a suitable dialogue. I’d say their relationship is complicated, but that hardly seems fitting. Confusing seems a better term. I don’t think Rebekah really has a lot of ammunition to point at Elijah for staying close to Hayley. For keeping Klaus happy and peaceful yes, but for having any sort of feelings for Hayley, there’s just no cause to be that upset. Elijah is being chastised for something he hasn’t really done yet, but Rebekah is lashing out because her plans continue to unravel the moment she makes them. All those desecations have gone to her head.
If they’re going to flirt with Marcel and Camille reconnecting, they need to start and finish that quickly, because Camille isn’t going to last in any relationship with a vampire regardless if he’s good or evil. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone turns her just to get her on the same playing field as the other supernatural characters on the show. It worked for Elena, same could for Camille too.
Overall, I was on board for the set up, but was not impressed with the delivery of Tunde’s fate. Celeste is proving she can pull strings effectively but there’s motivation we’re missing and I can’t figure if she’s just following if she’s being vengeful or driven toward another purpose. We need more info to clearly decide where she fits in all this. And enough teasing, lock Hayley and Elijah in a room together and get their pent up urges out in the open. The only people stopping them is them.
I’d also like to point out that Tunde’s mark on the vampire victims were very similar to the blair witch symbol.
It’s interesting if runes play a part in this kind of witch magic. The symbol itself can look like a mixture of different runes such as the X (gyfu) or “gift” and the arrow (tir) “star” though it’s pointed in the opposite direction. X has also been known to be a symbol for pain when paired with another symbol. Again, it’s interesting to note the similarity, but otherwise, just a coincidence.
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