A Sashurai’s Review: The Originals – Season 4×08 (Wait, the cursed bone knife is part of the pelvis bone? Not a rib? Wait, what?)

TO 4x08

 

SUMMARY

Klaus contacts Alaric from Mystic Falls about a bone fragment which he locates and agrees to offer up. Meanwhile, Hayley and Klaus are sent by Hope to meet with the ancestors at the church where the harvest girls send them to commune with Davina who relays the history of the hollow’s origin. Centuries ago, a coven marriage brought a child that was given power to unite the tribes but in doing so corrupted her spirit leading them to destroy her, but as her dying act, Inadu, the hollow created the werewolf curse. It also reinforced Hayley’s bloodline to be the only one that can potentially stop the hollow. Marcel and Elijah recover the bone fragment from Alaric after a brief run in with Sofya as the hollow and together they find another bone hidden in a mausoleum. When Sofya finds them, Hayley arrives to stop her but find out that Davina plans to sacrifice Klaus as the final means to trap the hollow for good. Marcel, Hayley and Elijah go to the church to try and persuade Davina against killing Klaus but it is Hope who confronts and stops Davina. Afterward, Elijah returns to Marcel’s home to give him the dagger that can kill him but is subdued by Sofya who stabs him in the back with the thorns that can kill an original.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

Well, there we have it, the official history of the werewolves and the backwards logic that sustains Hayley as the one driving force that can defeat the hollow. I’m certain when she first showed up on TVD that they weren’t planning on this scenario but I do give them points for ingenuity. Witch magic is a finicky thing that is responsible for both the vampire and werewolf creations. I don’t necessarily mind the concept, but how the two relate is very strange and will probably be ripped apart by the enthusiasts who want their shows to make sense. In any case, the marvel really came from Hope’s real entry into the fight and now we are starting to understand how powerful she really is. This is one of those episodes that almost promised to end the life of a mainstay character but couldn’t quite get the job done, giving us a real sense of false tension among who that might be. Of course when dealing with objects and curses that can destroy near omnipotent creatures we have the slow agonizing death effect which Elijah is no doubt going to go through. A sunrise or two later and he’ll be drained of all life unless some loophole of antidote is found. Sound familiar? He all but categorically handfed us his last rites before succumbing to the villains next evil plan. Aspects of this episode were somewhat confusing to follow, but for the most part, it was an enjoyable continuation of the history of the supernatural of this world.

 

THE GOOD

I’m an avid fan of the old crossover effect so when I can see characters cameo from other shows I grin like an idiot. Alaric showed up three times to begrudgingly aid the Mikaelson family and even offers a safe haven for Hope to grow up and learn her abilities in an environment akin to the Xavier school for the gifted. I’m surprised he and Klaus didn’t refine the details of the old days when Alaric was actually a vampire or that he was really close to having a relationship with Caroline. Spin-offs are nothing if not sour over what has to be addressed in their parental counterpart shows and as such, we got a simple regards from Klaus regarding not anyone imparticular but rather Mystic Falls as a whole. It was a nice moment even if he and Alaric really aren’t connected in much except for both being fathers.

 

Bringing Davina back was also a nice touch even if her existence is a bit marred by the fact her soul was supposed to be annihilated, but hey, who cares, right? She’s the lead voice for the ancestors and hopefully it’s not her last appearance as her relationship with Marcel is the only one that matters considering what the two have been through. A lot can be said about how she listened to Marcel’s sorrow toward the end of the episode at her grave. It was probably one of the more tender moments that we needed to see from the old king of New Orleans and help remind us that he’s essentially a good person who racks up the guilt over her loss and others in the past.

 

THE BAD
It should be noted, the content of Elijah’s growth in this episode was well thought out, but the delivery of his scenes all but choreographed his sudden fall at the hollow’s hands. I don’t need to see a character’s rise to accepting their flaws and making changes in their lives for the better if the goal is to make them more sympathetic and then make them die or seem to die shortly after. This goes for his noble sacrifice in offering to take Klaus’s place. It’s too easy for a character to throw the towel in, but it’s another to do it where his or her allies don’t have a choice but to watch. The choice was taken out of his hands because they weren’t ready to end his existence yet but they wanted us to really feel comfortable with his decision about it which makes it harder in the long run if all they’re doing is postponing the inevitable. The same problem came with Katherine on TVD when they really drew out her death scene but that’s water under the bridge. In summary, don’t force-feed us a character’s willingness to make amends and die unless you actually plan to go through with it.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

When Hope stopped Davina from killing Klaus. That was really the moment when we finally saw Hope’s abilities stand out aside from having loose connections to magic scattered throughout the season. Klaus and Hayley are beginning to see what she’s really capable of and how much she understands what’s happening. If the show is smart, they’ll make her be the final element that puts to end the Hollow and not Hayley, who is still floundering in this season in my opinion. Klaus’s relationship with Hope is fairing far better than his with Marcel as a father figure and it’s one of the best connections he’s excelled in given his tendency to hit brick walls with most characters on the show.

 

CHARACTER MVP

Elijah may deserve it, but I rather think Hope is the honored recipient this time. She stood up to one of the most powerful witches ever and is taking an actual role in helping her parents defend against a greater evil. Alaric recognizes her potential and wants to guide her in the future which is a nod to a spin-off that will probably never happen. Her parents are starting to realize that she doesn’t need shielding from the danger but rather an inclusion to the plan in destroying that danger however that plan manifests in the season. I do want to give Elijah credit in his comment about not forgiving himself for ripping Marcel’s heart out last season, something that Marcel probably didn’t expect to hear and honestly, neither was I.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

So Inadu, Esther, Cade, and Silas are the four characters that really solidified all the origins of supernatural nonsense on this show. Somewhere down the road I need to readdress the chronological events of every major superpower in this world and figure out how it all connected. It’s been a little hard to track and remember over the years.

 

I also have to dock Elijah points for not actually giving the blade to Marcel until Hayley told him to. He offered it as a show of trust but kept it even after they worked together to find one of the bones. That’s cold and I refuse to believe he just forgot. He should have given the blade to him outright the second he showed it as a means to gain Marcel’s help or else his gesture would still look more like a threat for having it in the first place.

 

I know Marcel has feelings for Sofya but realistically there’s zero chemistry for them to follow up on. I see no real reason for him or anyone to try and “save” her from the hollow and considering she’s indestructible while the hollow controls her, I’m not really worried about her survival unless the hollow leaving her body somehow transmutates or destroys her body and soul in the process. It really doesn’t matter either way. She had one moment of sympathy when she described her past to Klaus, but they really didn’t follow up on that since so there’s not enough interest to see Marcel save the day for her or her somehow coming out of this alive.

 

So, if Marcel’s blood alone will kill Klaus, then what’s the point with making these thorn-like weapons to begin with? Creating original-style death weapons is never supposed to be an easy task and I thought there needed to be special circumstances surrounding Marcel’s blood to aid in killing the originals and not the blood alone. I suppose it’s a moot point this late in the season, but they really wanted to sell the possibility that Klaus was going to die and as usual we weren’t fooled even for a second that was going to happen.

 

OVERALL SCORE

8 out of 10. Alaric and Davina made special appearances to help escalate the danger of the hollow and we also got the official interpretation of the werewolves which I wasn’t entirely satisfied is seeing but it’s better than nothing and I always thought the werewolves got the worst storylines out of the deal on both shows. Here, they finally have a connection to the big bad and in the end I’m okay with their origin plot even if others aren’t. Hope made a grand save for her father and Elijah is now in peril as a victim of Inadu’s return. The race is on to save an original with the threat of the city in the balance. Oh, and today we received confirmation that The Originals will be renewed for season 5, which means our tales with Klaus and crew will continue hopefully in a grand new direction once this mess with the hollow is resolved. Although, if they only get 13 episodes that will top off the series at 92 episodes. Make it an even 21 episodes and end the show on the 100th episode and we’ll call it square. Thanks for reading.

 

 

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A Sashurai’s Review: Vikings – Season 4×08 (So that’s why we keep discovering ships in the middle of the forests)

Vikings 4x08

 

SUMMARY

While Ragnar convinces his people to move the boats across the land to attack Paris from the opposite side of the river, Odo attempts to persuade King Charles to capture Rollo because he can’t be trusted. Therese and Roland devise a plan to ruin Odo which sets Charles to choose Rollo over Odo especially when finding out Gisla is with child. In Wessex, Ecbern returns a conquering hero and proclaims to Kwenthrith that he now rules both lands. Distraught by his turn against her, she attempts to leave the kingdom but is easily captured. Desperate for release, she kills a guard at night and tries to kill Ecbern in his bedchamber, but Judith is there and stabs her in the back, killing her. Back in Kattegat, a distrustful Sigurd shows Aslaug that Harbard has been sleeping with other women. Angered, she confronts him, but Harbard confesses his role as someone who takes away the pain of others. Disappointed, he seemingly leaves town. Near Paris, Ragnar desires more of Yidu’s medicine and when the two argue over freedom and secrets, he drowns her while his sons watch from afar.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

Now the deaths are beginning to seep in like blood to a dry cloth as our fourth season of Vikings draws closer to its first break. One must remember that political servitude barely holds a candle to personal ambition and desperation can lead to no good outcome in this world. Ragnar once again proves how his sparks of brilliance can ignite the will of his people when they’ve all but labeled him the cornerstone of failure. Paris was moderately tame compared to the wicked trappings of Wessex and Kwenthrith’s struggle to remove herself from Ecbern’s reach. There’s a sad story here that escalated for greater than I would have anticipated given the speed of this season’s plot, but change is often welcome if it propels the story forward. If Hardbard’s appearance and departure don’t reasonably give Aslaug a new lease on her issues of trust and power then I can’t say for certain her plot-thread is holding much more meaning either. As a whole though, what we’ve seen tonight is a flash of excellence that finally treats these separates plots as stories that could potentially stand on their own.

 

THE GOOD

Ragnar never quits thinking outside the box, and tonight he’s attempting a very risky move, one that takes the rudimentary functions of land and water and turns them in on itself. How long this will take, I’m certain it will be weeks, but if it plays out, Paris will once more be in peril and Rollo will have plenty more on his hands then a disarmed Odo trying to betray him. The radiant moment is coming, one I very much want to see pay off with the Viking fleet dawning upon the city from the opposite direction. Ragnar’s ability to adapt makes him more dangerous than any character on this show and that’s why he can afford to look crazy every second of the way.

 

Kwenthrith’s demise came at Judth’s expense for the love of Ecbern is quickly turning her into a morbid and ever-evolving character, one that I wonder won’t continue down a darker path as the weeks edge forward. I would think this will have a drastic effect on her, but at the same time, she could write it off as necessary and find the means to dispel it from her thoughts should a guilty conscience make its way to the surface. She’s turning into a very complicated character and one I would think Ecbern will realize he can’t control.

 

THE BAD

While I’m glad Aslaug stood up to Harbard, I can’t help but find the climax of this plot thread a bit disappointing. Harbard is very much an interesting character, but he hasn’t seriously been challenged yet and remains an enigma who appears for reasons truly unknown. He is beyond the realm of the living then they should continue to play off with more strange occurrences and not turn Harbard into a womanizer that has no real power beyond a charismatic smile. In the end, this is on History, so we have to ground as much as we can, but the surreal exist in this reality, and once we’ve established the fantastic, it’s safe to maneuver as much as we want to tell the best story they can.

 

King Charles has these moments where he’s both exceptionally aware of the situation and completely blind. That kind of trait makes him unpredictable to a fault, but right now Rollo’s plight to remain the king’s most trusted servant isn’t shaping up to be anything special right now, which is why they need Rollo and Ragnar to confront each other as soon as possible. Rollo isn’t meant to be politically confident, he’s still a vicious warrior and needs to remind the people of Paris of that even though he’s on their side. And we need to be entertained.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

When Torvi imagined Erlendur killing Bjorn. It was a fine brain-breaking moment because for one, Bjorn is a legend and is essentially safe from death for the time being. And for two, Erlendur is insane if he was actually going to attempt an assassination from such broad daylight in the open. Luckily, it wasn’t a real moment, but it easily could have been as Torvi’s mind played the perfect trick on us. All the while I kept thinking, surely one can survive an arrow through the throat, right? He killed a bear for crying outloud.

 

CHARACTER MVP

Try and she might, Kwenthrith did the one thing every villain is infamously known for, the dreaded monologue. True, words were traded, but Kwenthrith managed to give Ecbern enough fear to contemplate if he made the right decision in keeping her in his capable grip. Kwenthrith had always been an interesting character, it was tragic to witness how quickly she lost her place and her life in tonight’s episode. Resourceful in killing, but not in escaping, she faces Ecbern in that final moment before succumbing to Judith’s stronger ties to the king. I would have liked to have seen Kwenthrith continue, but the truth is, she’s eccentric, but not devious. Still, she gets the MVP tonight in her seemingly last appearance.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

Speaking of, will this inevitably come back to haunt Ecbern when or even if Athelwulf returns to Wessex? I would think this will be something safely tucked away to bring back later in the season after the break, but this does deserve some kind of reckoning, though more for Ecbern and his personal greed than for Judith and her passion to live free.

 

Will Therese and Roland set their sights on Rollo and Gisla and more pawns to dispose of? Or will they shoot straight for King Charles himself? I don’t doubt there are machinations at work here, but I scarcely believe Therese will distract Rollo in such ways as to make him betray Gisla. If anything I’d expect this plot to wrap up before the next invasion by Ragnar and crew.

 

Yidu’s death had a strange dissonance to it. She’s not the first to have a drowning scene on this show, but it definitely felt harsh and raw with how Ragnar treated her moment of defiance. It’s unfortunate the only purpose he ended up serving for him was his drug supplier as their surreal moments back in Kattegat were left in the cold.

 

In a way, Ragnar’s idea for hauling the boats up and over the land gave Flocki more reason to build trust, and though I’m sure he’s still angry and resentful toward Ragnar, Flocki may have been strangely satiated by the ingenuity needed to accomplish such an outlandish task. This could all build up to a scenario where it’s Flocki’s turn to save Ragnar and he indeed does.

 

OVERALL SCORE

8 out of 10. Ragnar proves he’s still able to lead his people into new directions even though he also killed someone who wanted to be free alongside him. That’s a reoccurring theme that came to Kwenthrith and Judith as well, with the former being released from life. Even Harbard gave a harsh tone to Aslaug about not wanting to be or feel possessed. While on the opposite end, Odo wanted to be shackled and became stripped of everything, the dichotomy here is balance between personal needs of freedom and the overt desires of power and how wanting too much or either can lead to death and destruction.  Only two episodes remain until the break and by then we’ll know if Paris will once more be in control of Ragnar or his brother. Thanks for reading.

 

 

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