Just when you thought the word “Doppelganger” was done and cast into the winds of old plots, a 4th Elena look-a-like appears in the past memories of a captured Elijah. Nina Dobrev guest stars in tonight’s episode “Red Door” as Elijah’s first love interest. Accent aside, I think it was clever how they brought a VD actress into a single one-off. It didn’t mess with any concurrent plots on the sister show and offered Nina a chance to dive into the past with our resident Originals.
From the get go, we’re treated to Esther and Michael, vexed parents both luring opposing brothers into their weakest moments. With Elijah, Esther has been forcing him to relive an old memory of loving Tatia (Nina) and ending her life after becoming a vampire. An act he had blamed Esther for all this time. For Michael, he removed the blade from his body and kidnapped Camille to force Klaus into a final showdown. All the while Davina comes to and discovers Cole’s real identity and his role in disrupting the binding spell that would free all vampires from Klaus’s line.
I have to admit, I think it’s a better move to give Cole some reason to maintain human dignity. He hates his parents just enough to thwart their plans without truly betraying his mother. His interest in Davina seems to be growing at a rate that maybe it’s possible his feelings are becoming real. It’s too early to tell and he could just as easily be manipulating her to Esther’s plan, but there’s some bit of hope that he’ll resign his evil ways…or not.
One piece of awkward dialogue came between Michael and Camille. Her therapeutic nature servers her in the best of ways, but it seemed she completely ignored all of Klaus’s wrongdoings that Michael was attempting to explain. Granted, Michael is a psycho and she has no reason to believe any of his words, but I think Michael came a place of hurt that Camille should have recognized regardless of his recent actions. She takes being kidnapped personally, so there’s that, but I think it’s just as important to understand that Michael is coming from a place that from his point of view is justified. Yet, when one calls themselves the Devil who needs to eat the flies, that does sort of negate any sympathy in the future.
Another plus this episode gained was the absence of every minor character on the show. Josh, Gia, Oliver, and the stand-in voiceless supernatural groups that tend to fill the void of scenes that don’t require them. There’s a simplistic element with leaving them out and concentrating solely on the heart of the show’s merits which are the dysfunctional moments between the Mikaelsons. Reunite Rebekah into the fold and we’ll be in a near perfect setting. Josh is the longest surviving minor character, but even he wouldn’t fit in this over arcing plot until it gets resolved. Wise decision thus far.
Now, let’s discuss the deconstruction of Elijah. Esther is convinced that by breaking his will and memories of the past enough, he’ll willingly allow himself to transferred into a mortal witch’s body to regain a new life. Of course, he refuses flat out and remains resolute that Esther killed Tatia only to find out Elijah himself was responsible along with his method of discounting hellish deeds by keeping a pure and cleanly sense of self, something Esther started in him. This actually begins to explain more of his purist attitude although I’d be hard pressed to believe that he’d forget really dark deeds he committed over the last few hundred years. He seems relatively at peace with shedding that kind of violence except when for the scene in question. Even more, Esther allows him a fantasy dream where Haley frees him from bonds and he tastes her blood and loves her while we’re given the harsh truth that it’s all an illusion from Esther. I liked that very much and even fell for it a little. This shows that Elijah is suffering in a way he hasn’t before and is capable of being schooled by his most powerful foe. There’s not a lot of support for Elijah to hold to his vampiric roots except in the definitive repulsion of Esther and what she represents.
We also now know that through enough channeling of power, the white oak stake can be rendered inert just enough to keep it from permanently killing an original for a short time. Klaus was in a world of luck as Michael stabbed him furiously. I was half surprised Michael didn’t tear off Klaus’s head a that same moment. I can see something like this happening in the future while the binding spell remains to be a sought after MacGuffin. Does the spell really exist and can it work?
While it was fun to see Nina portray another doppelganger, the highlight of tonight’s episode was watching Esther pick apart Elijah’s mental barriers. She showed a mother’s fierceness in a way that might have been better than how Cassie could have provided. Cassie (Esther) was more spiteful and polite, while this Esther is much more motherly and ruthless but in a tender way. Elijah also carried those moments with deeper revelations on his current grasp of reality. He’s breaking and we’re seeing it. Good job.
Elijah gets the gold star this round. He’s fighting to hold onto what he is and how he controls those urges and is perpetually devastated when he comes to terms with how he’s warded himself from his real memories. Even more, he still gives in to the desires he has for Hayley, an act we know isn’t gone, but pushed away by his sense of pride and honor. Elijah wouldn’t lose those parts of him if he became a human witch, but the principle is defying Esther and for that, he’ll last a vampire for eternity if he has to.
LONG TERM THOUGHTS
Wouldn’t it be funny if Damon and Stefan got heart burn from Klaus’s moment of rigor mortis? But then we’d know for sure that they came from Klaus’s line. That answer should eventually be known.
If the binding spell is in fact removed, I fear that one of our three main Originals may perish for good, if nothing else just to show that it works. No bets though, I wouldn’t want to see Rebekah pay that price.
With Michael free and with no powerful weapon, I imagine he’ll wait for the next opportune moment to strike which means we may not immediately see him in the future. I expect him to come out of nowhere, hopefully not as a nuisance, but as an bigger threat than before.
Our first VD character/actrress crossover has happened. Who will be the next to arrive in New Orleans, or possibly in the past? I wouldn’t mind an old Katherine flashback for all time’s sake.
Will Klaus find a way to ally with Cole this time, or will Cole jump off the deep end and make it hard to redeem himself as Finn will likely never be in that position?
This episode had everything in it that made it almost as perfect as it can get. It gets an 8 out of 10 tonight. There was a solid character lineup with no minor roles mucking things up and the dual plots were interwoven but balanced separately. Adding Nina as a guest star that wasn’t intricate to the plot was a nice touch. Some of the downsides though were that entire sequence with the hillbilly party group and how they were used to try and stop Klaus. They were as much a threat as flies to Vigo. The twist with Elijah hallucinating his escape was also a great way to end the episode and show just how devious Esther can be. Things will probably slow down slightly as everyone begins the search for Elijah. Cole and Davina will explore their relationship a bit more I imagine, and Klaus will inevitably continue his renewed interest in Camille. I’m still not buying it, but maybe there’s something to be said for moments like these where they continually save each other’s lives. The world is funny like that.
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