Brotherhood is a fragrant story of code, family, and in tonight’s case, forgiveness and self-worth. The Originals draws in and capitalizes on a key element of both the show’s familial aspect and the ties that bind people close together. “Brotherhood of the Damned” showed it’s capable heart by producing a fantastic display of historical storytelling mixed with an appropriate and synonymous plot in the present. While under the thrall of a werewolf bite, Marcel attempts to keep his vampires from feasting on Cole and turning on their leader. During which, he experiences vivid flashbacks detailing his journey into World War I as a member of an all black squad who he embraces as family, much to Klaus’s dismay.
In the present, Finn traps Klaus, Elijah, and Kol in a spell using representational magic where they are trapped in a room with Finn the instigator. He tries to discover Klaus’s biggest secret but fails due to Elijah proving Finn’s representational magic is flawed. Meanwhile, Hayley has second thoughts about joining Jackson as one of the rituals she must go through involves the confession of all her secrets and his. He sways her to try and when Klaus discovers this ritual, he intends to stop it.
For several episodes I pointed out that Marcel needed a boost in character development if he was to maintain status on the show. Tonight’s episode did just that. It was an interesting choice to involve him in WWI but the parallels drawn from it matched precisely what they needed to for Marcel to uncover the leadership needed to help his vampires both in the past and in the present to victory. I liked the device although his hallucination of a fellow soldier suggested that his army brethren were killed when in fact he had turned them all into vampires to save them. This isn’t the first time something like this was done in the heat of war, but it’s not a tired cliché so I welcomed the result and wanted to know what became of those soldiers. Could a small army of vampires have won the war, or did something else happen to them after the battle? My guess is sunlight. Marcel had protection, but I doubt the rest had that kind of luck. It will be interesting to see if they return to this plot later in the season.
I thought the idea of representational magic was clever but all too convenient for the plot to bring in. Before this episode I don’t think such a kind of magic would have been uncovered or explained before. The idea of the brothers being placed under specific animal types was more metaphorical than clever but it got the point across. I do agree with Finn a bit about what Elijah did to prove he wasn’t the stag. Klaus redirects and calls Elijah a monster, but one that can be forgiven which was the true flaw in Finn’s design. My one gripe with this segment is that Klaus has shown forgiveness before and it took seasons for it to transpire in Rebekah. Why Klaus can easily forgive Elijah in such a moment just means he was super pressed for time and needed an out. Plus Tatia’s death isn’t something that Klaus has thought about in years, or even decades probably. The bottom line is Finn wasn’t aware of this kind of forgiveness and now he is.
I almost thought Jackson and Hayley’s segments were the bottom scenes of the episode until it came time to weave in Hayley’s secret about her daughter surviving. Again, I have to ask, who is left to truly be a danger to Hope that Klaus and Hayley would ruin this kind of joining which would strengthen their side? While as important as these segments became I would have traded them easily for some more forward momentum on Rebekah’s story arc involving Freya and the house of exiled witches.
The bonds of family shined through giving Klaus more respectable moments that showed he’s still capable of being a protagonist when his virtues are opposing his enemies. I’m seeing more desperation come out of Finn and he’ll be a bit disappointed when he realizes that Marcel doesn’t know Klaus’s biggest secret (At least I think he doesn’t from what I recall). Either way, Klaus is more worried about Hayley revealing to Jackson and whomever is around which could cause some kind of upheaval that we don’t know about yet. I also think it was important to bring up Klaus’s father in the respect that it was a total asinine death and Klaus doesn’t really have a noble excuse to have done it. In a way he contradicts himself because as important as family is, it has to be absolute loyal family otherwise it’s too little too late. It will be a true spectacle should all the siblings unite to defeat Dalia and/or whoever shows up to wreck havoc in the city.
I really enjoyed the flashbacks to WWI. Most of the time, the flashbacks center on a particular sibling and it revolves around love and some heartache from it. While we still had to endure more of Klaus’s banter over Marcel’s place at his side, we saw a new side to Marcel that worked in an environment we didn’t expect to see. I especially liked how he roused up his men to fight once they were all turned. I was afraid something horrible would go wrong but they seemed to be ready for the fight and brought it to the enemy. Good segments all around.
Hands down it goes to Marcel. He displayed a bit of that old fire that he needed to to stay relevant with the family plot and I liked the result. He didn’t necessarily grow mind you, but he remembered what it took to lead a group and found the strength to use it on his current vampires which worked out in the end. It was fresh for the character and he supplied the traits needed for the role very well. I would have liked to have seen Marcel in a more gruff and robust role, but the effects of war are different for a vampire and he never thought he was in any true danger.
LONG TERM THOUGHTS
The two women and Klaus showing up at the battlefield almost killed that whole segment. It broke the tone of the flashback and really made no sense. I don’t think we needed another example of Marcel defying Klaus and returning to war, we got that at the beginning of the episode and didn’t need a repeat. Plus, did Klaus just fly those girls in or were they some kind of local pair? Still an odd segment to shoot.
If Jackson discovers Haley’s secret about Hope, I’m pretty confident he’d keep the secret too. Of course, if Klaus is forced to kill Jackson, that will bump him back from his heroic stature quite a few points.
I think Elijah truly overshot his thinking that Klaus would be so relentless in finding out Elijah’s hand in Tatia’s death. First it was the foregone conclusion, then came the reveal in the same episode. It felt too rushed and altogether half-assed because again, Klaus has shown forgiveness to the audience before and he’s infinitely more likely to forgive Elijah over past transgressions than he is Rebekah, most times.
The patrons wearing red was a nice touch adding to the blood lust that the vampires were feeling as they struggled to walk through the parade without feeding. Juxtaposed over the WWI flashback made for a pretty cool climax of the episode as I honestly wasn’t expecting every vampire to make it without killing. Good for them.
I’m starting to get the impression this wedding between Hayley and Jackson isn’t going to happen. Not to mention, ten days away? Why so long? Is that to give the other werewolves time to travel and show up? Seems like an arbitrary date. I thought the wedding wouldn’t be dragged out for this long, which has me thinking it will be nothing short of disaster come the day.
I was very entertained by tonight’s plot and awesome backstory sequence. 8 out of 10. It may seem high for my bar these days, but there was also a genuine connection between the past and present that I thought really worked and it was about the one character on the show who needed the spotlight the most. Hopefully that won’t be the last we see of Marcel’s development, but I also want to see Freya’s plot take shape. It’s about time we understood who are next real enemy is. It’ll be grand.
No more words