A Sashurai’s Review: The Originals – Season 1×22 (Klaus Wars: Episode 22 – A new Hope)

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Our first season about the oldest vampires draws to a close in The Originals climactic finale “From a Cradle to a Grave”. Wounded hearts and forgiving spirits race to ensure the safety of Hayley’s child as she is brought into the world and in instant danger from all who would harm her.

The finale foreshadowed coming full circle with the plot of Klaus and his family, including his parents, who want an end to their kind. It does a prophetic job at closing off all loose ends of the past arc and promises a more condensed thread that’s much more familiar for those who remember Klaus’s escapades on TVD. Many rich decisions were made and few pleasant ones to add. This finale drew on appropriate emotions and subtle teases with what’s to come as season two has already been greenlit for the fall.

Klaus is forced to watch while being bound by the witches as Hayley gives birth to her daughter. Monique slits Hayley’s throat and break Klaus’s neck then leave with the baby with a finite time to sacrifice her in the cemetery. Elijah finds Klaus with Hayley as the two leave to find and stop Genevieve.

Davina uses her abilities to siphon Klaus’s blood from the area where he and Marcel fought. With only enough to save one vampire from werewolf venom, Marcel tells Davina to save Josh. Afterward, Camille shows him and Hayley Kieran’s hidden room with relics to help stop and bleed Klaus including an object called ‘The Devil’s Star’.

Elijah and Klaus reach the cemetery but are stuck in an illusion-like maze. Meanwhile, Hayley reawakens in a transition state having her daughter’s blood inside her before death. She finds the brothers and together they seek after the witches.

Davina takes several relics and uses them to resurrect Mikael who is eventually brought back to life. At the cemetery, Genevieve, Monique, and the other harvest girl attempt to keep Klaus, Elijah, and Hayley at bay. Elijah disarms Genevieve and Klaus impales one of the harvest girls. A Monique attempts to kill the child, Marcel arrives and uses the star to kill Monique. He then steals the child and returns to the compound. Klaus catches up with him but they realize that all the bitten vampires are dead (killed earlier by Mikael) Even though Klaus realizes that Marcel was going to use the baby to leverage his blood, he thanks Marcel for saving his daughter and offers his blood anyway.

Davina reveals to Mikael that she is in control of him and will punish Klaus when she’s ready. Hayley, Klaus, and Elijah later realize that the baby will always be in danger as long as everyone knows she’s alive and will be hunted if they stay or run. Hayley offers a third option and Klaus agrees with the plan and sets in motion events to make everyone believe that the child didn’t survive. Marcel plants evidence suggesting that Oliver killed the baby and Hayley ingests a tiny amount of her daughter’s blood to sustain her transition into a hybrid. Klaus then takes his daughter to a remote location where Rebekah arrives and takes the child. Klaus names his daughter hope and tells Rebekah to find a witch who can perform a cloaking spell and to be happy.

In the final scene, Cassie, the final harvest girl is seen ressurrected and walking through the cemetery. She goes to a grave and is met by an unkown male who refers to her as “mother”. The grave is Esther’s thus revealing that Cassie is risen as Esther and the male is her son, “Finn”, one of the originals.

I applaud this show’s tenacity and perseverance with providing it’s own approach to telling the vampire, werewolf, and witch story that exists in the realm of The Vampire Diaries. With New Orleans an ever existing background of rich history and gothic allure, Klaus, Elijah, Marcel, Rebekah and Hayley have made this series an enjoyable one. The finale drew in remarkable emotions at exactly the right times. If there’s one constant, it’s the chain that tightens and loosens its hold on Klaus and his growth with accepting family as a means to do good things. Those good things will always remain self-centered, but it’s a step in the right direction. He and those close to him will have to keep their biggest secret and contend with powerful and destructive parents. But before we get ahead of ourselves let’s review our strong points.

Klaus and Hayley pushed their performances in high gear. Every piece of anger, fear, and passionate pain flowed their cores and felt real. Klaus doesn’t need to holler and swear pain to get his anger across. He can roar with the best of him and his helplessness help really sell that burden with watching Hayley die, initially. I admit, I was caught a bit off guard by Hayley’s apparent death and tried to imagine the rest of the show without her…and then they brought her back. Normally, I’m very against these “get out of death free” cards, but in Hayley’s case, she didn’t need to be sacrificed for the finale’s sake. Just watching her break down at the situation toward the end while holding her daughter made enduring her character for the past 22 episodes worth it. That kind of tearful outburst was the kind of overload necessary to truly add life to her personality, something I think had been lacking since day one. She’s driven now, and will do anything to se that Hope can come back to their city, just like Klaus promised. I enjoyed how these two interacted during the flashback as well. It was a little campy and fluttery, but we need to be reminded that Klaus does care, he just can’t be around anyone else to show it.

For those that didn’t make it through the finale, I can’t say I’m surprised by those events. Monique never had the right characterization and was barely balanced out by Genevieve desperation to stay alive. Their deaths, put an end a revolving issue with the witch plots that never seem to find the right focus with good characters. I like Genevieve a lot, but she couldn’t gauge her choices effectively and was driven to do cruel things at the end. She wasn’t powerful any longer and likely wouldn’t be if she remained on the show. Witches can have an afterlife presence, so maybe we can see Genevieve again some day. But not Monique. Leave her with Sophie and never bring them back.

Elijah was a bit of a miss on this finale. I felt more for Klaus’s plight then I did for Elijah and for one brief instance we got to see a bit of his vulnerability when he told Klaus how he opened up to Hayley. I like that, but it was a one shot scene. There wasn’t any chance to build or recreate that kind of moment with him because of the scenes that followed. They didn’t get to share in their harmony together due to horrific circumstances and that made Elijah suffer a little in the finale. He remains stalwart and driven to protect his immediate family so he didn’t falter his original course at all, he just didn’t expand on those emotions like Hayley and Klaus did, or at least enough.

Even though Klaus has forgiven Marcel and is part of the baby hiding plan, I still think he’s a bit of a wild card in this. He can still be persuaded because he has an ego and a love for the city that can make him a dangerous ally. I expect him to continue secretly plotting, even if its for the good for Klaus and company.

Another thing they did right was not oversell Klaus’s feelings toward Camille. They didn’t jump into each other’s arms and she’s not a part of the Hope’s hiding. These are good moves. It allows breathing space and a tease that he’ll pursue her again when the time is right. Now, in all fairness, the time will never be right for them. This was a repeat conversation they’ve had several times this season and this situation was very different. Camille and Marcel have unfinished business and I’m certain Klaus remembers this. In any case, they’ll be the next season’s “will they won’t they” as season one was mainly dedicated to Hayley and Elijah with “will they? yup.”

That leaves two elements left, The evil parents, and the room of ancient relics. Esther’s return is fantastic. I prefer the original actress, but Cassie may be fine. I’m hoping she doesn’t body swap a lot, that will just get confusing. Introducing Finn with her was interesting as well. OF all the Originals, Finn is the least interesting, but with new actors and come new life, so we’ll see where they take this. Is Esther hell bent on Klaus’s destruction or will she resume her original plan and eliminate all supernaturals from existence?

Keeping Mikael out of Klaus’s line of sight was also a tactical move on the writer’s part. I was thoroughly convinced he’d be the finale’s main villain, but this turn out makes vastly more sense. Keep him hidden and them unleash him for season 2. Being bound to Davina is also a gutsy but bold move. She’s always stressed about finding a way to kill Klaus and now she has the ultimate weapon to do so. How will Esther and Mikael react to one another when they meet again. And they will, they have to. I’m looking forward to finding out.

Kieran’s supply closet of ancient relics is also an acceptable addition to the plot. Let’s just hope they don’t use to too frequently and have a arsenal of obnoxious “This object totally fits with the problem of this episode and character” motif. I expect them to have fun but to also not overdo it. It still strikes me as odd that he’d leave that room for Camille to discover.

Overall, I was very satisfied with the finale. Hayley’s is now a hybrid and Klaus has a resurgence of good intentions. They expelled the necessary characters and reintroduced some more fan favorites. I hope Rebekah’s role isn’t downgraded to a camero every ten episodes. It would be funny if she took residence in Mystic Falls, but I’m not counting on the world being that small. She deserves more screen time and I’m glad she and Klaus buried their negative feelings and have moved forward in their lives. Him giving her and Hope his old wooden toy was precious and added to the heartfelt moment. My only cringe was the name of the child. Hope is very common when the child is more a symbol then a person. It’s cliche, but since Klaus named her (presumably) it works for him, because he needs a symbol to believe in and hope should do the trick for the time being. I’m uncertain if TO will continue into third season territory if VD ends after six seasons. Spin-Off shows have grown past their predecessors in the past and TO is looking to stay strong which is an excellent sign. Thanks for reading my season one reviews, we’ll return this fall when season two begins.

 

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A Sashurai’s Review: The Originals – Season 1×21 (How many witches does it take to hold down a pregnant werewolf?)

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Everyone’s game face is officially on as Marcel’s vampire hoard attempts to prevent Genevieve from completing her spell for Klaus that will give the crescent wolves control of their transformation and extra power under Klaus’s rule. Meanwhile, after Josh suffers a vindictive bite from Klaus forcing Davina to give him Marcel’s location, she is once more greet by Michael who agrees to help get Klaus’s blood to save Josh and commits to knowing how to kill Klaus.

After a grueling battle between Elijah and several of Marcel’s vampires, Franchesca is revealed to be a surviving member of the Guerrerra werewolves and secretly made a deal with Genevieve for the stones in exchange for Hayley. The deal is made and Genevieve takes her to the church where the other witches and Monique demand the child’s sacrifice. Hayley screams in defiance as Klaus hears from the distance, weakened by a spell Genevieve casted that links the stones power to him.

This episode brought to light the truth of Franchesca’s involvement in the show. Until now, her “mortal” confidence had me questioning the longevity of her character, but it was a clever ploy to returning to form another wolf tribe that was wronged by the vampires who claimed New Orleans years ago. With her turn complete and power to control it through the stones, she and her brothers will be just as equal a force to battle the other groups, if not more so. Whether her character and tribe make it beyond next week’s finale, remains to seen. I’d like to think that they have staying power, because the wolf arc has been lacking up until recent episodes. Welcome to the team.

Regardless of her involvement, I still feel bad for Genevieve. She had a cruel run of vengeance between Rebekah and Klaus but found herself more concerned with keeping the witches intact and regrettably followed the will of the ancient witches. Under Monique crazed constant bantering, Genevieve and Davina are the only witches that can be considered neutral-good considering the circumstances. Her secret deals aren’t truly made from malice even if she felt dubiously wronged by Klaus and his constant threats of betrayal. She reacts as characters do under constant pressure and need. What I appreciated most out of her character is that she’s more fitting to duel and combat Klaus on both a romantic and oppositional level than Camille ever could. It was one reason that kept Klaus from truly pursuing Camille, and so far it worked. I can foresee Genevieve being ousted by Monique for the safe of the harvest power and the need for it since they are at a serious disadvantage against any other group. I’m not in support of it, but it still think it’s happening.

As for Camille, on one end of the spectrum, she now has major access to relics, and information that led her to determine Franchesca’s true bloodline. I’m certain that was Fran’s entire motivation with attaining the key in the first place to keep her secret. Although it seemed rather redundant the moment she revealed herself as a werewolf which had to be the intention since she needed to kill to activate her gene. I’m hoping Camille will continue accessing and using the information stored in that secret room. This opens the door for some good opportunities I hope are not wasted quickly.

One of the scenes that felt strained was Elijah and Hayley’s second passionate kiss. While true it was necessary to address and maintain continuity, the action and stress of the episode didn’t lend to surreal moment that certain “Halijah” fans want to continue witnessing. There was a moment where Hayley explains that she was once betrothed to Jackson and wanted Elijah to do more than just confide a basic answer. Elijah did his part and told her she’ll always have a choice, but the betrothed concept is nothing more than a reluctant memory that continues to be brought up like it means anything at this point. It’s clear that Hayley cares for Jackson, but they’ve had very little scenes to engage their feelings that there’s hardly any kind of struggle for her to choose. And Elijah wins solely based on his patience and over-abundance of concern for her well being and safety. For continuity’s sake the scene had to fit, but it was an incredibly tight fit in a very quickly paced penultimate episode. We already know Elijah will do anything to keep her safe, all that’s left is for the two to come to terms and except that they are a couple.

Every one of Marcel’s vamps including himself have been bit and have wolf venom in their systems. This will likely spell disaster for nearly every basic vampire on the show. I’m not expecting Diego to survive, but stranger things have happened. The real question is whether Marcel will survive? In my honesty, not only do I expect Marcel to be taken out by the end of the finale, I think it would complete the character’s sense of purpose and serve to fuel Klaus in a way that no one has ever affected him before. When it comes to the growth of a supporting character, change is inevitable. The start of the season we were led to believe that Marcel was the tried and true antagonist, but as the season progressed, we got to know the real Marcel and how he really works as a character. His true bond was never with Rebekah but rather with Klaus and it’s more than obvious the two will never see eye to eye, not when their city is involved. If Klaus is ever going to evolve, he needs to understand what his limitations are both physically and emotionally. The death of Marcel can redefine something in him that isn’t just power and control. He can duel and debate with his siblings till the end of time, but Marcel is not truly immortal and can be killed. He’s one of the few characters left that can strike an impact on Klaus and help make a change by a strong ending. Marcel can have longevity, but like Klaus, there needs to be some change in his character and outlook on what matters to him.

Considering Davina has not brought Michael back to life, I’m more inclined to believe that it will be a finale scene or very close. Michael can’t just appear in the last five minutes and have a true reunion with the ending to match. If he appears in the middle of the multi-feud, it won’t work, not with Klaus so devastated and hurt already. It would be more appropriate if the finale scene was Michael subduing or appearing before Klaus with an extreme upper hand in everything. I don’t believe he has any intention of helping save Josh’s life. He hates vampires just as much as he hates Klaus especially if they are not his kin. Though, if he’s brought back, does he retain his vampire abilities or something different? We’ll find out next week.

Overall, I very much liked this episode and the build up to the finale. There was plenty of action to go around and a few twists that will keep everyone guessing how the finale will play out. Hayley is in serious plight and Klaus can do little to stop it as he roars his frustration at hearing her screams. I hope Rebekah finds a way to return, even though her heart was set on staying away. The siblings should be together for the end regardless of good or bad blood between them. See you all next week as we wrap up season 1 of The Originals.

 

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A Sashurai’s Review: The Originals – Season 1×20 (I always said this show needed a werewolf version of Elena)

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Klaus mocks the Freudian irony as he faces elements of being a father and being hated and hunted by his own. Mix in a little voodoo for Hayley’s troubles, a new clue into Kieran’s key, and the triumphant return of Klaus’s greatest enemy and you have quite a buildup into this first season’s voluminous arc.

I always chuckle at how easy it is to depict the nature of a scene when the heartfelt music reaches an ample height and two characters stare longingly from across the room. It spells a momentary lapse of walls held strong and promises of retribution from third parties in the near future. Some of the most savory and passionate kisses are derived from secretive and reserved feelings finally let loose to embrace and thrive. The stronger the kiss, the worse the punishment will follow. Let’s dive into this week’s episode “A Closer Walk with Thee.”

After Klaus dreams of Michael killing him during Kieran’s funeral he finds that Elijah too has been dreaming of their father. They suspect Genevieve is the cause, but when confronted, she denies accusation but offers her help. Klaus agrees if only to ensure her aid in creating the moon rings for the werewolves.

Marcel revealed to Camille that he has Kieran’s key and she gets upset over his possession of it and his search for what it unlocks. Meanwhile, Davina performs a séance with Tim’s violin and tries to call to him, but instead she is greeted by Michael who intends to return to stop Klaus.

Genevieve tells Klaus and Elijah that purgatory is disintegrating. Klaus confirms this after an off screen chat with Bonnie from Mystic Falls. They surmise that Michael intends to ruin their lives as before.

Hayley confronts Franchesca about the bombing at the bayou, but she denies being involved and mentions she wouldn’t miss her target if it was her. When Hayley leaves, Monique is seen stabbing a voodoo doll causing Hayley to feel chills. While Kieran is being taken to the cemetery, Camille gives in and asks Marcel about the key. He says Kieran was in possession of something that could be use against the supernaturals but doesn’t know what or where it is.

During Kieran’s transport, Hayley falls gravely ill and is taken back to the compound by Klaus, Elijah, and Genevieve who tries to revive Hayley with a spell. Hayley wakes in purgatory and is confronted by Michael who attacks her and swears to kill Klaus. Hayley is able to fight back before she wakes up.

During Kieran’s burial, Camille discovers that Sean’s tomb may have what Marcel’s looking for. They open the tomb and discover a box. Marcel unlocks it, but it’s empty. Camille dusts the lid and realizes there’s something coded on it that she can decipher but won’t tell Marcel what it is. She also realizes that Sean was meant to play a role in this war before he died.

Elijah thanks Genevieve and asks her to help create a moon ring to help with Hayley’s curse once she has the baby and offers Esther’s spellbook to help with the creation of it. Hayley returns back to the compound where Klaus shows her a baby room he made and mentions that the child should be raised by both parents.

Later, Genevieve calls on the dead witches asking not to kill the child but they punish her physically until she gives in to their demands.

Elijah finds and speaks with Hayley at the compound and says that her near-death experience made him more terrified than he could ever remember. Hayley then kisses Elijah passionately and he disappears quickly after.

Marcel greets Klaus at the stroke of his suspension and swears he’ll do whatever he has to and fight for what he wants. Klaus expects this and leaves. Throughout the episode in various flashbacks, Marcel’s turn to vampire is revealed after being shot by his former owner for interfering in another slave’s punishment. As he’s dying he asks Klaus to turn him. Klaus resists but ultimately agrees.

Davina calls to Tim again and sees Michael who apologizes for Tim’s death at Klaus’s hand and wants her help to return to life to stop Klaus.

 

In support of Elijah and Hayley’s first on-screen kiss, I have to say I’m a bit unimpressed at the execution. While well deserved, the scene could have worked just as well without the kiss making Hayley’s choice a bit thrown in at the end. I never expect Klaus to be a reliable partner to Hayley’s ever consuming love-life, but the episode was meant to showcase more of Klaus’s good nature and the kiss, in a way, overwrote those moments. Elijah was very much in the background of this episode and should have had more of a central focus before earning his place in Hayley’s embrace. All in all, it was necessary to accomplish before the end of season 1 even if it happened before the birth. Will Klaus be ruined by this turn of the moment, or is this more for Jackson to retaliate when he finds out?

For the first time, I did feel a bit of pity of Genevieve’s situation. Characters on this show have a way of being diabolical and truly despicable, and then become grossly entrenched in sorrow and regret and make it work for them. Someone like Monique is there to cast balance as the evil witch of the show, while Davina is good and Genevieve is essentially a neutral character, now more than ever. I’m certain Monique will turn her sights on Genevieve herself if nothing happens to the child soon. I don’t expect Genevieve to make it out of this season alive, but then again, I feel the same way about Monique too.

On to Michael. The lavish and well-spoken former vampire-devourer has made his claim to the arc’s final villain of the season. I almost wish his character never showed up on TVD just to make this final confrontation with Klaus more circular and deserving. Klaus expels the most out of his emotions when dealing with his father and will no doubt run rampant should Michael be fully resurrected. I very much appreciate the continuity with TVD’s arc on the other side dissolving. The problem doesn’t seem to require Elijah or Klaus to get involved, but it’s nice to know they acknowledge it. It helps with the placement of certain episodes now. If Michael returns, will he be just as powerful as before? I imagine he’d retain all of his abilities since the other side works differently than being plain dead.

Camille’s beginning to understand more and more of her and her family’s role in the city, which is a good step in her direction of development. As a human, her greatest strength is her psychology and deductive reasoning, which proved to aid Marcel in finding the box for the key. What code is inside the box though? If it’s a weapon of some kind against all supernatural, what does it entail? It wouldn’t be as simple as a spell, but maybe something that nullifies a supernatural’s ability perhaps? It couldn’t be too powerful else Kieran would have used it long ago. Whatever the effect is, I’m certain it will tie directly to Camille and make her a focal point of it. It would raise her stake a bit and a keep Sean’s involvement more appropriate.

Overall, there hasn’t been a shortage of sub-par episodes and this one continues to feed into the next with surprises and shifts in power. The human faction has yet to impress me with their power plays and won’t be seen as such until they can prove themselves more than just off-screen business handlers. Hayley and Elijah can now move into the next tier of their “high-school” crush and start with a lot of avoiding eye contact. Elijah will claim the importance of keeping separate and Hayley will comply out of spite only to be redirected at Jackson who is obsessed with the moon rings, much as Oliver is with keeping the wolves the main players of New Orleans. Marcel and Klaus’s relationship is ever changing but will need to come to a head soon or else Marcel is just playing without teeth. Michael is the true wildcard as we don’t know the scope and hold of his reach. Davina will help because she’s easily persuaded. Two episodes remain. Keep ‘em comin’.

 

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A Sashurai’s Review: The Originals – Season 1×19 (More like Oliver Twit)

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A significant strike causes the wolf pack to rally an offensive attitude against the vampires and witches of the city. From almost the start this episode brought an unexpected storm of gore I found oddly fascinating in the telling. If anything it added to a very positive episode that plays on almost every faction’s fear, save for the witches who are only represented by Genevieve in one scene.

Camille enlists Josh’s help and has him compel a doctor to acquire and assist in performing shock therapy to Kieran, who is hallucinating and no longer has lucid thoughts. Meanwhile, Elijah has hidden Esther’s spellbook from Klaus and goes to Hayley in the bayou to speak with her. At the camp, a human biker arrives and his bike explodes, harming several of the pack. Hayley leaves to find and accuse Marcel of the hit. After her departure, Elijah discovers a bomb at camp and several detonate, destroying the site and injuring Eve.

Hayley confronts Marcel, but he insists it wasn’t him and reveals he’s always known about Hayley’s real name and lineage. He suggests that her family line had enemies and offers to help but she leaves. Klaus meets with Camille at the church as she puts Kieran through shock therapy. It momentarily helps but eventually Kieran goes through cardiac arrest. Klaus attempts to keep his heart active by manually stimulating it as Camille relents to Klaus feeding him blood and putting Kieran in a vampiric transitional state. Afterward, Klaus leaves to confront Gen over the wolf attack.

Oliver reveals to an injured Eve that he set up the biker to put the pack back in the right direction. He then smothers Eve to death to keep his secret. Gen reveals to Klaus that Kieran’s transitional state will only momentarily remove the hex but it will return and his binding spell will be broken. Kieran suffers from the hex again and attacks Camille, tasting her blood. Klaus intervenes and is forced to stab Kieran with a stake, ending his life. Josh and Diego drink with Marcel as Josh hands him Kieran’s key, which Marcel feels a duty to keep hidden because Camille isn’t ready to have it. Elijah returns the spell book to Klaus and says he intends to choose his family as the winning side in the incoming war.

The death of Eve signifies the end of any lasting peace with the pack and the other factions. Oliver proved his desperation and sacrificial acts will have heavy repercussions in the coming episodes. He’s not afraid to put his own people in harm’s way, lending to a several possible outcomes I believe will involve Hayley’s safety at the crux. With Jackson’s flavor losing a bit, he should be the one to put Oliver down man to man. I can also see Elijah being the one to do it should Hayley be put in true jeopardy. I just know desperate people like Oliver will go at any length for faction power, slowly sifting into personal power. It also seemed odd that Oliver insisted that Eve activate her werewolf gene in order to heal her wound but then killed her anyway the second he told her his secret. For one, he could have dodged that bullet simply by leaving the cabin entirely, second, how exactly would that have even happened without another human nearby. I don’t think any werewolf would be able to offer themselves up to save Eve in that capacity. The whole segment was awkwardly forced to contend with Eve’s death one way or another and I think she could have survived while Oliver still rallied the pack over the other deaths.

Kieran’s death was inevitable and graciously accepted, but I’d like to give the writer points for keeping his fate in the air until Klaus finally did him in. The shock therapy was a nice change of pace and I’m glad it was Camille who thought of it. We shouldn’t forget that Camille is extremely smart and can think outside the box in supernatural situations. When I said “gore” earlier, one reference was in Kieran biting his own thumb off. I know the human bite is powerful in its own right, but he took his thumb off so fast, I can only think he must have gotten right under the cartilage to make it happen. Points for insane escapism. With Kieran’s death wrapped up, Camille will finally be able to move into her next arc. She’s maintained her role as one of the few humans (Like Matt in TVD) who will likely make it into season 2 as such. I don’t think she should be turned quite yet, though eventually it should happen. I’m also satisfied that Klaus played the bigger man and allowed Marcel to comfort her. He didn’t force himself to be that person and recognized what needed to be done. I still don’t think they will or should get together, but they have a whole other season to change my mind…assuming they don’t kill her in the finale.

One major aspect remains which is, what does Kieran’s key unlock? Marcel seems to know, which is why he had Josh steal it. His explanation was purposefully cryptic which suggests it will be a next episode plot or a finale piece that will set every faction in desperate states. The war is now inevitable. I can’t say the witches have much in their arsenal except if Genevieve relents and allows herself to die so the harvest power can give the witches what they need to survive intact. I swear, Genevieve and Camille have the same exact tone of voice.

Overall, “An Unblinking Death” was both intriguing and worthy of the top 5 episodes this season. Two more supporting characters ended their run and likely more will be put to the test in the final episodes airing the rest of April and May. Once more, Elijah has toasted an alliance with Klaus, even though history demands they continue to be at odds. Klaus will endure the alliance because Elijah will always be family, but nothing will change his nature to control things from his perspective. It will lead to more brotherly violence because that’s what drives this show. That and a lot of superfluous previous episode exposition.

 

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A Sashurai’s Review: The Originals – Season 1×18 (Klaus should have painted a selfie)

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Back from break and already there are whispers and plans to throw Elijah’s treaty directly into a storm, due in no small part by the elusive Klaus. Genevieve convinces Elijah to let the witches host a feast of blessings for the three harvest girls while Monique’s recent trance with the ancestors has her declaring that their coven will only survive if the last harvest girl is resurrected with Genevieve’s death. Klaus secretly secures Genevieve’s allegiance while she plans to steal Esther’s spell book from Klaus’s compound. Marcel fails to gain Diego’s help and falls to other plans. Hayley uncovers Jackson’s alliance with Klaus while Oliver procures Kerry, Klaus’s wolf relative, who is questioned about the stone that was once in his ring.

During the feast, Monique convinces Genevieve to punish Davina by diverting all gifts to her and the other harvest girl. Klaus arrives and tells Davina that to make amends to her, he pardons Josh and gives Davina a ring with the spell to create a daylight ring. Drummers arrive and are compelled by Marcel to slit their wrists which causes nearby vampires to attack and kill the humans. Enraged, Elijah finds Marcel and murders Tierre as punishment. After showing Genevieve the severed hands of her servant who tried to steal the spellbook, she tells Klaus she won’t help Camille and that Camille has been sleeping with Marcel.

Later, Elijah stands up to Klaus saying that he’ll take whatever he wants and no one will get in his way. Klaus then drinks at the bar and apologizes to Camille about not being able to save Kieran but also mentions that he’ll kill Marcel if he sees him again. Diego and the other vampires agree to join Marcel while Monique gets another message from the ancestors stating they want Hayley’s child to be sacrificed instead of Genevieve.

As far as redundant parties go, this one wasn’t so bad to endure. Given the unique and expansive history of New Orleans, the festivals, parties, and shindigs have merit and meaning, and I’d like to see more of that fleshed out and utilized. Marcel’s hand in the massacre was creative but altogether sloppy development. Elijah’s wrath over the incident was completely warranted and, while watching Tierre’s death was unfortunate, Marcel had to have known the consequences of his actions. Every move Marcel makes will likely be more calculated from here on out, and they’ll need to be since both Elijah and Klaus will kill him on sight if he arises too soon. Without Rebekah, I fear Marcel’s importance may begin to fade unless he can insert himself directly in the path of Klaus’s agenda. His love interest in Camille isn’t necessary to continue and hopefully Marcel won’t dwell on it as he moves forward.

Elijah stood up to Klaus in a way that should give some worry to the hybrid. Keeping Klaus balanced in life should be the true definition of insanity, but his passion to see Hayley happy keeps Elijah grounded, for the time being. Klaus did what he could to play to his truth about keeping his wolf family close to home. Even Elijah had little to say on the matter except to wound Klaus with forsaking his dominant bloodline. It was a fascinating argument, one of many bound for future episodes. Is Klaus speaking the truth about his wolf-kin? Either way, his plan will continue uninterrupted.

As for the witches, Genevieve’s charisma continues to thrive while Monique’s zesty but rigid personality takes another dive. Their road to solidifying the power of the coven isn’t mutually exclusive, but Monique’s drive is all over the map. She wants Genevieve dead for no other reason then to return the harvest power but constantly undermines Davina even after she’s shown to have real witch power within her. She seems to blame everyone for what’s happened but focuses her energy on Davina alone. Her character is too youthful to be that crazed and eccentric. It could be the influence of the ancestors causing her mental mess, but either way, she’s not an effective villain in my eyes at the moment.

Hayley assumes more control over the wolfpack, deservedly so, and with a month left to go in her term she’s beginning to understand what it will take to keep the pack on better ground than the other groups. It’s still hard to believe after all this time that she even slept with Klaus, feels like ancient history. Elijah watches her from a distance now, which means unless he makes his move during labor, their eventual coupling will be saved for after the pregnancy. My guess anyway.

Josh is turning into the socially awkward penguin of the group.

There doesn’t seem to be anything left to do with saving Kieran. End the sub plot, he’ll be better off for it and Camille can move on.

If Klaus has his way, will the wolfpack survive and take center stage in the French Quarter? I’m not completely sold on his earnest help to keep Jackson and Hayley at the helm, which suggests an obvious ploy, one better served if the moon ring becomes a reality and necessary bargaining chip to whoever wants it. His goal should include not completely turning Elijah against him. Both brothers are destined for at least one more rough fight before the finale sinks its teeth in.

Overall, “The Big Uneasy” kept a steady pace and skipped any monotonous plot with the treaty acting as a realistic device to keep the peace. Every group shared an equal role in this episode, with neither having any true advantage over the other. The vampires falling prey to feeding on Marcel’s drummers was a bit odd, considering they should have more willpower than that, but it served it’s purpose and now Tierre is dead. Sometimes vampire deaths are the only one that really get to stick. With Hayley’s child now an official target, I expect the witches will be in considerable danger of their plan is tracked by either original. The entire coven could be burned alive if they fail, or worse, if they succeed.

 

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A Sashurai’s Review: The Originals – Season 1×17 (Unless Franchesca is swimming in vervane tonics, Elijah should have compelled the living hell out of her)

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A new arc begins as Elijah attempts to bring the supernatural factions together and create a lasting peace that Klaus believes will not last. For the first time, Klaus fondles with his werewolf lineage and offers Jackson something that will give Hayley’s kin the edge against the witches, vampires, and humans of the French Quarter. New relationships are formed and others sprinkled about while Marcel works to return to form and take back his city.

This will likely be the final arc of the season and deservedly so. While teased periodically within the 20’s era of New Orleans, we now have a present day faction of four equal sides all willing to subscribe for peace, but secretly scheming for their side to emerge the true rulers. Many elements were missing previously, whether it was worn out characters, run-around plots, or uninteresting innuendos, such as Klaus and Camille’s on-again, off-again, never-again, connection. Everything feels fresh and appropriate this time with only a handful of questionable remnants.

To start with the witches, Genevieve is the prime and correct choice for their current leader. Her past is no longer of concern and she has evolved into a character fitting the current day and age. Whether she’s a leader the other witches will follow remains to be seen. What I don’t agree with is how they quickly threw her and Klaus together without an ounce of screen time development. I disagree for the sake of believing in relationships. It could be a strategy in disguise but Klaus, the primordial star of the show, deserves more with his on screen romances. True, it’s understandable that Genevieve doesn’t truly mean anything to Klaus as two powerful characters look to each other for their own advantages. They’re each other’s play things for the time being, but it feels more filler romance than anything meaningful. I don’t expect Klaus to come running to the rescue should she be a damsel in distress.

In the werewolf camp, Jackson has retained his allure as alpha of the pack. His interest in Hayley remains and so far, she’s not backing away, leaving Elijah to make the moves he has to to stay in her radar. In this triangle, the question remains, will Elijah catch Hayley and Jackson in loving embrace, or will Jackson catch Elijah and Hayley locking lips? I guarantee one of these two scenes will transpire.

Diego has now been elevated with a back-story on how he was turned. His hatred over the werewolves that murdered his family will likely cause further disobedience that Elijah will have to continually correct, until it gets someone killed. Ollie’s moves toward Davina were there to give her a relevant plot in the field of supernatural romance. I wouldn’t be surprised if this escalated with Monique’s jealousy growing dark and bitter over Davina’s use of magic and Ollie’s interest in her. Monique is clearly the bad egg of the pair. She’ll lash out and I expect it to be sooner than later.

Camille and Kieran continue their disgruntled dynamic and I’m left wondering, what’s the point? There are no sure signs that Kieran will be saved and it may be left to Camille to bring him down in the end. I’m not truly expecting a scene like that, and if anything, Marcel would be the one to do it. Kieran was never a consistently interesting character and his hex is dragging on more than it should. Wrap up his plot and move onto Franchesca or other humans to develop.

Marcel and Camille have now shared their first passionate night together. That could inevitably spell an awkward disaster if Klaus finds out about it. Not that it should matter considering Camille’s free will to do as she pleases. Adding any womanly jealousy between her and Genevieve is a bit laughable because it’s the plot continually trying to reinforce that there’s something there between Klaus and Camille. There isn’t. The only way it can truly move forward is if Klaus offers an altruistic solution to Kieran’s plight. Until then, I shall roll my eyes at them.

Marcel and Klaus have now completely switched roles with some of the empathy returning to Marcel and his down and out situation. He promises to find and build an army and for the moment, I want to see where it develops. Tierre remains the loyal friend but he’s proven time and again he’ll leap out of danger if he has to. I’m not sure if there’s a traitorous element here, but it’s possible.

Back to Klaus and his emergence with the werewolves. He’s returning to some old habits with offering Jackson a chance to become a hybrid and even going so far as to give his kin a chance at more power in the moonlight ring. He’s standing his ground that the new treaty Elijah has created will not last. It obviously won’t if Klaus is the one dipping poison into the well. There’s a sense of mixed feelings on whether the crowd should be on Klaus’s side in this, or if it’s all a standard rule with keeping him the dual protagonist/antagonist role of the series. His dichotomy needs a little work and focus, but as long as he’s not mindlessly causing havoc, so far his machinations are still proving to be diabolically clever.

Overall, the tone and character dynamic of the show has now been solidified. Each character has a proper set of goals and troublesome relationships to contend with and all the turmoil in the world to follow. There are good and bad characters for each faction which also spreads the wealth of inheritance on who deserves the right to rule the city. With Rebekah no longer in the picture, her outcome and placement on both shows has yet to be determined. Wherever she ends up, she’ll make an impact.

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A Sashurai’s Review: The Originals – Season 1×16 (Elijah sure loves that T-pose)

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Elijah and Rebekah are forced to deal with Klaus’s wrath while mystically trapped within the cemetery. Marcel bargains a deal with Genevieve who has taken control of the coven and offers to remove the barrier in exchange for Davina. Camille tries to console Davina while Elijah reveals to Klaus that Rebekah once tried to kill Michael when they were human. Rebekah and Klaus come to terms over their paranoia and fear and he agrees to let Rebekah leave the city on her own. Marcel chooses to stay and confronts Klaus when Elijah returns and exiles Marcel from the city.

This is as close to a “warm-hearted” episode as we will probably get on this neck snapping, stake driving, cross-manipulating tale. If it wasn’t for all those fashionably-placed cliffhangers, I’d suggest book-ending the season with this episode, but there’s still plenty left to tell.

There’s a strong sense that Klaus may finally be on an outward path toward some small piece of personal redemption, as long as he doesn’t torture or maim any more innocent people. There’s still a witch coven for him to deal with and Marcel won’t be easily swayed by Elijah’s exile. Genevieve is now the coven’s strongest leader left standing and if Davina becomes a willing participant in her agenda, there’s no telling how strong the witch coven will become. I’m a bit worn from all the witch plots and hope this last arc coming up will be more werewolf centric. I can even see a bit of a time skip just so we can end the season with Hayley giving birth.

Like a lot of anti-hero themed shows, there’s a constant message that most, if not all, villainous characters start off good-natured. Bad parenting can effect or even reverse a character’s alignment and Klaus is befitting the primary reason for such an event. Even if the audience does, Klaus will never see himself as the villain so long as characters like Michael exist in his view. It was well placed to have Rebekah and Klaus be the two to settle their differences even though Elijah was pressured to deal with Klaus alone. Again, logically speaking, there was no fear that Rebekah was going to be slain, she’s too important of a character to be taken out of this world so early in the show’s birth. Ending with her smiling and free to leave the city gives hope to her next adventure. She could be the one character to crosses between TO and TVD, though a return to TVD would make me wonder what they’d have in store for her. I’m not certain she’s entirely familiar with the Travelers.

With reminders of Kieran’s eventual fall to madness, it’s best if they wrap up his situation and fast. A hex like that shouldn’t take days to run its course. He should be going bonkers any time now. If Klaus intends to win Camille’s favor, real favor, he needs to try and succeed in saving Kieran and it needs to be altruistic. Anything less and they’ll need to drop that forced infatuation. because it won’t make any sense anymore.

It’s interesting to know that the white stake and dagger are still very much in play. There still exists a weapon capable of killing the originals and if/when Marcel gets wind of it, you can beat he’ll try to attain it if he plans to regain control of the city. Davina won’t be an easy ally to convince unless he assists the witches with whatever plans Genevieve has with them.

With the slate wiped clean, Elijah and Hayley can resume their crushes with one another, no doubt leaving their joining to clash with Klaus and his volatile personality. They can’t have Klaus dwell on the past any longer, so they’ll need to create new dilemmas to rattle the brothers.

Overall, it was a tame episode, but settled a few long-lasting issues that Klaus, Rebekah, and Elijah have been letting simmer for centuries. One should never be fooled by a glimmer of kindness from Klaus as he can snap back to heartless king in a matter of seconds. Will Rebekah’s warning to Hayley prove true? Will Klaus’s enemies begin appearing at the doorstep of New Orleans with threats and curses to match? Where will Rebekah go now that she’s free? Maybe those enemies will find her and force her back to Klaus, filled with sinister plans of more betrayal. We shall see.

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