What began as a run at mill standard quasi-meh episode revealed a slew of fascinating discoveries and revelations as the Mikaelson family curse unfolds into a greater threat. While we watch Klaus prattle on about his reasons for superior hatred and unfathomable loathing of his mother and father, we begin to see more truth from Esther’s perspective on why many of her choices began with a simple wish to bear children. Once again, The Originals introduces sides within sides as the villains we suspect are in fact creatures of stronger alignments.
For a while, tonight’s episode “Wheel inside the Wheel” wasn’t performing in any optimal level, but surprisingly, once the wheel started turning, so to speak, everything became new and interesting. As the audience, we were given tons of new content to digest while Klaus and crew are given barely slivers except more of the same responses we come to expect from mighty Klaus and vindictive Hayley. Marcel, the always overbearing friend addresses concern with Camille using Finn to their advantage and Elijah is left unforeseen except for a dangling body. All this and a pleasant character death as well.
Ansel, true father to Klaus returns as a woodsman and preceptor to Jackson, who is shunning any interest in becoming an alpha to the wolves who have been controlled by Esther. In the past, it was widely speculated that Klaus’s father would return in some fashion either by influential flashback or in the present through some witchcraft. We find out the latter is true. He appears stalwart and stoic and immediately offers aid and understanding to Klaus even though Klaus completely dissuades himself from believing or interacting with Ansel. It goes to show that Klaus has an infinite amount of forgiving to do and he can’t even get past his own parents for that. I do think it’s a bit too early for Klaus to go running to his real father for guidance and familial feelings. He’s not ready and overtly denies Ansel to quickly hide the fact he’s probably elated over the chance to know his real father. He’ll come around soon, I imagine.
The big reveal is the existence of Esther’s sister, Dalia, who made arrangements for Esther to bear children through witchcraft only to lose her firstborn, Freya to Dalia for some unknown agenda. This sparked a hidden war between the two with Esther swearing to become a stronger witch to stop her. And that leads into the crux of her return by attempting to kill Hope to stave off Dalia from ever returning and destroying them all. These are important pieces to the Mikaelson puzzle and it looks like centuries old tales and fighting have finally given the family the origin of everything. The mythology here is definitely stepping up and challenging any future plot that VD could be coming up with this season. While relationships are a key focus for both shows, there’s a richer element in the story being told here. I’m very excited to see where this is going.
What I will say about Oliver’s death is he manned up and took ownership of his situation and for what Jackson needs to do. At the end I was almost sorry to see him go, but the truth is, he wasn’t engaging enough and though his last few scenes were noteworthy, as a supporting character, he wasn’t going to thrive beyond the annoying semi-good guy. Rest in peace Ollie.
Parts I thought worked really well were the height of episode’s conversations between Esther and Klaus, who searches for Elijah’s whereabouts. In a weird way looking back, I wonder why Esther just didn’t tell Klaus the truth. While Klaus views loyalty the strongest trait of family, I’d hope that honesty and truth were a close second and if Esther could extend more than a promise for a peaceful life and actually trust Klaus with why she tried to kill Hope than maybe things could have turned out slightly differently. Klaus said “hatred” so many times it’s reverting him back into a callous and senseless character who isn’t trying to grow. His qualities are always overtaken by his thirst for revenge and hatred over being betrayed. The sadder part in all this is Esther’s plight is more genuine now more than ever and Klaus can’t see past his own ego and quest for power. If he loses being a hybrid and that immortality, he’s lost his entire sense of being. Never mind the fact he won’t let Esther help him find any kind of peace, not while she’s his sworn enemy. It’s tragic but Klaus believes his current family is to be taken care of and he can only do that as what he is and not what Esther wants him to be.
The episode concludes with the knowledge that Dalia will soon return and claim Hope, which means Rebekah will be driving like a bat out of hell back into town with Hope in tow, escaping from this new threat. If Dalia shows up in New Orleans first that won’t be logistically accurate. Question becomes, how soon will this new big bad show up and what is her plan overall? Is it evil or does she take the first borns for another reason entirely?
It’s short, but the flashback when Dalia steals Freya and Esther vows to become more powerful to stop her was the highlight of this episode. It showed Esther’s reasons that we’ve been owed for quite some time. As a loving mother, she does the wrong things for the right reasons. In the flashback we’re given so much new information and things to come that I thought it was a grand set up for the future.
I’m giving it to Esther this time around. Played by two actresses, we see a side of her that gave us insight and understanding to her nature and why she is the way she is. She even tried to align with Klaus in the hopes of stopping Michael, which of course Klaus scoffed at, as expected. The show has done a good job with pushing all anti-hero characters into various directions and now Esther is given more of a believable background that makes sense and gives a lot of context into her decisions. Does that make her a good person ultimately? Tough to say. She paid with her life regardless and Klaus would continue taking it from her if given the chance. That could make anyone relentless in their pursuits.
LONG TERM THOUGHTS
This marks Esther having six children with Henrik the only one seemingly deceased for all time. Since Freya was seen as surviving and essentially the oldest of the siblings, she should absolutely be a character in the coming season. Who knows, maybe we’ve already been introduced to her. Not likely though. Is she teamed up with Dalia and if so, how did they survive for all these centuries?
With the return of Father Kieran’s hidden room of trinkets and bloodlines, it’s good to see Camille take advantage of it. I want to see her in there more getting her information and using it effectively.
Does this Dalia character contradict Esther as the original witch, or do people just believe that because nobody knew the existence of Dalia? Did Michael know of her? Probably not. Perhaps Ansel has information that could help. Right now Klaus doesn’t care, but he definitely should because his wolf heritage needs to come out already.
Marcel should return to the city. His outsider role isn’t very effective and at best, he’s a rid along character instead of driving his own plot with the characters. His story has basically been told and I wouldn’t find it too surprising if Marcel checked out by the end of this season. He shouldn’t though, not yet.
Finn and Kol are now both smitten with characters on the show. Plenty more development than they were given back on VD. I’m intrigued by Finn’s place in all this and his unrelenting loyalty to Esther. Now we know that she’s aware of Freya and what happened to her. I was surprised that he didn’t see past Camille’s ploy, but that’s what happens when you’re enamored with someone. Will Finn and Kol be coerced into doing good things or will Finn realize he’s being played and lash out like Kol can if provoked?
Freya is the name of the Norse goddess of fertility, war and death. Actually she’s the goddess of a bunch of different things. I wonder if when her character shows up if she’ll be wearing the necklace Brísingamen.
7 out of 10. While many moments were good and the last ten minutes were astounding, it didn’t quite make up for the lack luster moments of the first 3/4 of the episode. I wanted to like Klaus’s interactions with Esther more but Klaus wouldn’t stop talking about his hatred and all the wrongdoings caused by Esther to make his life miserable. It was too much and I didn’t feel like siding with him at all during those tantrums. Still, the cliffhangers continue to entice and promise more complexity in the family plot and this means Rebekah will be returning sooner than expected. Things are about to get very interesting in New Orleans, especially when Esther finds out Hope is still alive.
No more words