A Sashurai’s Review: The Originals – Season 4×10 (Where did the door with angel wings lead, I wonder?)

TO 4x10

 

SUMMARY

Kol and Rebekah return to New Orleans after witnessing several of Elijah’s sire-line die at a club while Freya attempts to find Elijah herself within the broken pendant. Together, Klaus and Rebekah locate and destroy all but one of the thorn-stakes leaving the last to Marcel who needs it to save Sofya. On his own, Kol tries to bargain with the harvest girls to see Davina but they refuse leaving him desperate, meanwhile Freya fails to find Elijah leaving Hayley to try herself. As she searches, Hayley finds the fabled red door which contains Elijah’s darkest aspect of his life during a time centuries ago. The Elijah within chases her but with Hope’s help, Elijah regains his sense of self and Freya stabilizes the pendant back to its full form. Later, Freya tells Rebekah that if they can’t use the Hollow to save Elijah’s body, she’ll sacrifice the only other person strong enough to see it through, Marcel. At the cemetery, Inadu finds Kol and shows him a resurrected Davina now linked to Inadu herself. Kol is now faced with serving Inadu to keep Davina safe.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

A family has mostly been reunited with a sense of familial dread on the horizon. Tonight’s Originals mark their trails that will inevitably lead to a final confrontation with the most powerful witch of all. The bulk of the episode stood for the search and rescue of Elijah’s soul, an act that built a visual landscape of doors and symbols but not really enough glimpses into his shattered past. Most dealt with reused footage of seasons past with the exception of a dark and brooding moment in time where Elijah slaughtered several innocents during a dark phase of his life. Metaphors aside, the episode was a retread into Klaus and Marcel’s symbiotic relationship and Rebekah’s echo of love for Marcel and Klaus’s voice of reason. Her return was the light of the episode while the rest was a bit of mop work in dealing with the remaining stakes with thorns. Kol’s forced allegiance to Inadu will know doubt keep the family on their toes, another decent takeaway from an otherwise sluggish plot.

 

THE GOOD

Both Elijah and Rebekah are the constant reminders that Klaus needs to settle down and focus more on the redemption side of things. With Elijah out of the picture, it’s up to his sister to maintain that delicate thread for the star of this show. While Elijah fights for Klaus’s redemption in a more elusive way, Rebekah is more up front with Klaus and his tired antics for stating the obvious in tumultuous times. Next to Marcel, and Klaus, Rebekah is the only other character dealing with old but necessary conflict when it comes to feelings. Kol’s relationship with Davina will be more fleshed out next week, but for now, we’re given a glimpse into Rebekah’s state of mind regarding Marcel and her love for Elijah.

 

The trip through Elijah’s mind did have a certain elegance that was bright and clean with the exception of a worn and withered red door that more than simplified the direction Hayley needed to go to find Elijah’s spirit. The symbols on each door could have been more exemplified but their meanings were meant for subtle remembrances that he does have moments he’s more proud of than not. It would have been more prevalent of Hayley had to force the red door open to gain entry, but maybe that would have been stacking the situation too much.

 

THE BAD

Elijah’s resolution felt a bit of a mess. I would have liked to have seen more examples of a broken mind and a hallway destabilizing with more weight to the situation. While we’re meant to believe that Hayley was the one person that could and did reach through to him, we missed a great opportunity to include the entire Mikaelson family in helping bring him back. There was a moment in his memories where the siblings had a dinner where everyone, excluding Finn was present and pleasant. That should have been a trigger that maybe seeing them all again would have been a stronger theme to bring Elijah from the brink of feral madness. Instead, it was Hayley alone that more or less handled the situation with a vague threat that somehow Elijah could harm her in this enclosed universe.

 

Inadu only made brief appearances, deciding against making a strong statement against the Mikaelson family. She’s biding her time and creating contingency plans to ensure her survival which suggests that while she’s smart enough to plan, she also desperate to stay alive which means she has vulnerabilities to exploit. She didn’t seem at first the type of person who wouldn’t outright proclaim the city as her own and control the entire populace with her power. Unless she’s holding back I feel she’s being a bit too under utilized giving the Mikaelson family a bit too much breathing room to settle their safety of Elijah and fellow kin.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

Short but to the point, I liked Klaus and Rebekah’s interactions with Marcel during both of their major scenes. While there isn’t much of a reason to care about Sofya what’s important is Marcel does and Rebekah recognizes it. She’ll never truly be over him and that will probably come into play sooner than we think. For now, we’re treated with three alumni cast members putting their differences aside for a common goal, mostly. Klaus accommodated Marcel’s request at Rebekah’s mostly stern expressions and the rest we summed up through Marcel’s speed with chasing the stakes down. I like their dynamic and hope they continue to have more scenes like them in the future.

 

CHARACTER MVP

Klaus had a bit growth when he allowed Marcel to take the stake but Hayley had the most impact in helping to restore Elijah’s soul which was the stronger focus tonight. There isn’t much she won’t do for Elijah and given the circumstances I’m sure the situations would be reversed easily. I think she gave into fear too much when Elijah chased her given she’s a powerful hybrid but the point was she didn’t know how to deal with a feral Elijah but in the end managed to safely bring him back to his suit-wearing personality. And I’m certain she’d to it all over again in a heartbeat for him.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

Kol can be a bit of a wild-card here as he’s in a position to do anything to save Davina. Does that mean he will at least tell his siblings what’s happened or will he outright betray them for the sake of his love? That’s a tough one to decipher given his track record for making brash decisions in the past. I’m banking that he won’t tell them at first until he knows for sure he can trust that they’ll help spare her because right now we have too many damsels in distress and not enough Mikaelsons to care about it.

 

Over the seasons it’s become clear that the only way to pit all these “good” characters against each other is to have them force to serve the villain(s) of the season. That doesn’t always make for epic showdowns when the real threats are always power and control and never really personal. Marcel and Klaus have had the best reasons to hate each other and that’s why their clash in season one worked so well, but over the years it’s become a bit thin with how they make betrayals and hard choices hinge on how desperate the good guys are to save other good guys in peril. This is also why Vincent is such a compelling character because he still makes his decisions based on those strong feelings and not because he’s being coerced all the time like Marcel, Kol, and other characters of the past. Isn’t it more potent when characters turn on eachother of their own accord?

 

The remainder of this season will deal with whether or not Elijah can be returned to his original body as the Mikaelsons battle the hollow and her machinations. Right now we don’t know Inadu’s endgame except that probably still filled with revenge over what happened to her so long ago. What’s really stopping her from going to the Mikaelsons straight up, screaming like a Black Canary and melting all their faces off?

 

It may seem trite, but I’d refrain from doing any more scenes with Elijah until we know for sure if he’s going to be brought back or die. There needs to be some emotional distance and more desperation on the part of his siblings and if we continue to go back and see how comfortable and normal Elijah is in the pendant, we won’t really see that play out. Klaus had a heartfelt moment speaking to Elijah’s corpse, something that was one-way and there’s a bit or honesty there that can only come when people like Klaus are separated from the people they care about most. It will give more time and focus to the characters in reality that can help him and truthfully, I think Elijah has played his part as well as he’s ever going to.

 

OVERALL SCORE

6 out of 10. The main villain bides her time and sets up a chessboard of her own to make sure she doesn’t end up a lens-flare in the bleak of existential luminance. Are two plots dealt with Hayley’s search for Elijah’s fractal spirit and the Mikaelsons searching for the remaining thorns that can kill them. Marcel pines for a character we still haven’t really invested any time in and Kol is once more obsessed with keeping Davina safe. There’s a bit of textbook arcs happening here, some of which are rethreading on familiar ground as Kol is once more the odd sibling out. Rebekah will for the moment replace Elijah as Klaus’s voice of reason and Freya continues to exert her intentions by saying she’ll kill and sacrifice whomever she has to to save her family. The last thorn-wrapped stake may still play a part in the future unless there’s nothing to be gained by threatening another Mikaelson’s life with it. All in all, it was mostly a light trip down Elijah’s memory lane and little else to showcase the real problem which was Inadu herself. Marcel tried but failed to stop her making him realize the alliance he needs, but as always, darker motives will drive these characters to be more combative than allied. We’ll see how far Inady pushes them. Thanks for reading.

 

 

No more words

A Sashurai’s Review: Vikings – Season 4×10 (The seer cries and a king lies. No wait…a seer wails and a king bails)

Vikings 4x10

 

SUMMARY

Ragnar’s fleet is confronted by Rollo’s forces on the river as the two armies collide, boat to boat. Rollo and Ragnar meet and battle with neither gaining singular victory. As Flocki and Lagertha sustain injuries, Ragnar is separated from his brother as Rollo declares victory over stopping the invasion of the Vikings once more. He returns to Paris and is rewarded as “Caesar” by King Charles. Ragnar disappears upon returning to his homeland. Years later in Kattegat, Bjorn receives word that the settlement that stayed behind near Wessex was destroyed shortly after the Vikings left years prior and Kwenthrith’s son, Magnus, also the son of Ragnar, is alive and with King Ecbert. Distraught and angry, Bjorn tells Ragnar’s other sons who proclaim their hatred toward Ragnar and plans to kill him should he return. Later, Bjorn goes to Flocki and invites him to sail the Mediterranean when their ships are ready. Sometime later, Ragnar returns to Kattegat and faces his children announcing any to challenge him for his role as King. Everyone stands in silence as Ragnar stares intently toward the crowd awaiting.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

If this were the final episode of the season, I think the bloodlust and battle would have ended with a major death, but alas it was not so. What we did see was the culmination of brotherly turmoil met with steel and fist yet neither succumbed to death. When the seer wailed in dismay, I thought for sure someone would meet their fate and for a brief moment I feared it to be Lagertha. Though, she hasn’t been seen since the end of that battle, I’m certain she survived. What transpired was the second longest time-jump since Bjorn became a man and with it the transgressions of Ragnar along with the judgment of his kin. With stories still to tell with our main cast, I expected Ragnar to persevere and live on, but with a decade of roaming the lands underneath his feet, are we given the king set to a new goal, or did he in fact return home to die by the sword of one of his sons? A satisfying breather between this double-sided season, Vikings holds true to the bedlam of war and rewards our thirst with a sea of death with promises of future glory to be told.

 

THE GOOD

Shooting straight out of the gate with the final battle was the right move. We lost almost no time as Rollo and Ragnar met on sea instead of the castle, which I’m sure many thought we’d be returning to including myself. The boat to boat skirmish was an interesting bite to it as both sides utilized similar tactics most notably their collisions, archery, and axe to shield. While Rollo rallied his men to victory, Ragnar pursued only his brother for that final clash. It was marvelous to watch the two throw down as this was meant to be their only scene together all season and what a rush it was. punching faces until they could barely stand, while blades whirled around them. Excellent crafted battle, maybe not the best as Paris holds that honor, but a fine attempt nonetheless.

 

The time jump was a bold but necessary move. By now, Ragnar, Flocki, Rollo and Lagertha have to be reaching ages around the 40’s, and in some cases it’s easily seen, but now we have our first glimpse with Aslaug’s sons who all harbor similar misgivings over their father who essentially abandoned them for those missing years. Yet, when Ragnar returns, he’s as confrontational as ever and allows for any challenger to assume his title. No one can truly say Ragnar is fearful, but at his age, he’s reached a certain catharsis of anarchy that his family may never truly understand save for Flocki. I imagine his sons aren’t ready to shed blood on their own father, but then again, they could swerve us at the start of second half by making a decimate choice.

 

THE BAD

Not giving the brothers a final strike means we’re either bound to see it once more, or one of the brothers will be put to rest first without definitive closure. Without knowing what this show is truly becoming, it’s hard to ascertain if Ragnar and Rollo are meant to drift further apart from here on our or whether they’re destined to fight each other forever. I want the show to continue being about them and it very well maybe, but at the same time, the history of the Vikings so much more that keeping the spotlight on Ragnar could keep other fantastic parts of Viking lore from ever being showcased on this show. For the interim I would prefer the brothers maintain the height of this storyline mainly because I would hope there is still closure to be had, unless history dictates that isn’t the case.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

Easily the brothers meeting one on one. It’s what we’ve been waiting for and when Ragnar called his brother a bitch, you knew just how serious it was going to get. As with most sword fights, they can only last so long before either both warriors disarm each other or one kills the other. They opted for disarmament which was the better call because their punching match far outweighed their test of steel. And as much as I would have been fine with Ragnar winning, it was good to see Rollo finally feel that moment of worth and the support of the city as Charles crowned him in front of the populace. Good fight and I hope they will once more meet on the battlefield.

 

CHARACTER MVP

The brothers meeting and dishing out their two-way assault earned them as dual winners tonight. Rollo reveled in his glory as Ragnar sought solitude to deal with yet another defeat on his hands. As logical as their actions were, what drove them to rage against their faces with bloodied fists brought out that raw hostility only matched once before during the premiere of season two when they were on opposite sides. They’re at their best when they’re fighting and even more-so against one another. It’s a shame it might be some time before we get to see this again, if we do. And points for Ragnar for returning to his home with all but his sword ready to face against the entire town if need be. I’d hope he has some plan, but in all likelihood, he’s honestly looking for someone to send him to Valhalla.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

Unless I’m mistaken, we didn’t get any indication that Rollo knew Ragnar was coming downstream from the north. The fact that he met Ragnar in the river was very surprising and at first I thought it cheated the epic battle that would have come from the castle, but at the same time, Rollo had something to prove and prove it he did.

 

On that note, hearing him rally his men with his own speech really helped turn the tide. It’s amazing how far he’s come as both a warrior, a leader, and as someone who isn’t just looking for glory, but a place among those he protects. If I had only just started with this episode, I’d have thought Rollo was the protagonist and Ragnar the villain.

 

Props for young Ivar, he has his father’s speech pattern and inflection down to a T. There’s a sinister expression mixed with a calm voice that calls to attention his thought process as very different from his brothers. He didn’t grow up to be psychotic, but that remains to be seen what he will represent in the coming season.

 

Charles putting to death the siblings, Roland and Therese was an acceptable means to an end. The king of Paris proves he’s pathological but not without some reason behind it. The image of him putting the golden wreath on Rollo’s head and calling him Caesar has definite symbolism which could spell a strange doom for Rollo if he doesn’t understand what’s to come. If Rollo becomes too beloved and popular, Charles could feel the pressure of his position and be forced to act accordingly to save his name and title. With Rollo’s son now a relevant part of the storyline, it’ll be interesting to see how Charles reacts if he’s in fact still alive by this point.

 

It’s unlikely to have happened, but I wonder if perhaps Ragnar and Harbard met during the decade that took place between the present and the battle on the river. I’m sure the two would have had an interesting conversation about the gods, Aslaug, and who knows what else. Maybe such a meeting can still occur.

 

OVERALL SCORE

8 out of 10. They gave us a battle that took half of the episode, but none of the expected casualties. Our eyes glued on the brothers as they flung every fiber of their might and though they meant to kill with every strike, both survived to live on. A lot of beats came and went with the thrill of anything manifesting as the shock moment, but none came. What came after the time jump was a father who raged for his town to make good on their distrust of their fallen king or to let him once more lead them to some unspoken victory. The seed has been planted for the Mediterranean a new target for the people of Kattegat as Flocki and Bjorn marvel at the prospect, but will Ragnar be joining them, or will one of his sons put him to the blade. Instinct says Ragnar still has a role to play as the main character and that’s easy to accept if that’s the case. Or it’s possible Ragnar will linger on Paris and Wessex but if so, it better include Rollo and he crossing paths again. All in all, it was a fun episode to watch and our cravings to watch the crew battle was satiated for the time being. I know not how long this break will last, but we’re promised to get 10 more episodes out of this season, and it sure beats waiting a whole year to see what happened next. As always, thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed the season as much as I have thus far.

 

 

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