A Sashurai’s Review: The Originals – Season 5×07 (Little wolf, big goodbyes)

TO 5x07

 

SUMMARY

Hope is distraught when Freya tells her that Haley has died. Meanwhile, Klaus kidnaps both Elijah and Antoinette as they meet with Greta’s army of vampires. With Antionette bitten, Elijah bargains to return to his previous self in exchange for the cure. Klaus refuses knowing Elijah would not handle Haley’s death. Klaus is allotted by Ivy and the witches to attend the funeral via spiritual transport but Greta’s next in command, Emmett attempts to thwart the proceeding by storming the streets. Hope explodes one vehicle but is taken away by Josh. Back in the cell, Elijah contacts Marcel who gathers with Vincent to perform the anti-compulsion spell but upon doing so creates a mental problem for Elijah who’s new personality gets locked away within the white hallway and red door. Ivy informs Klaus that an old grimoire explains the current bad omens will conclude with the death of all firstborns which compels Klaus to rethink his violent nature toward revenge in the city. At night, Klaus arrives physically to be with Hope as the wolves lay Haley to rest in the bayou. He leaves after the fires begin to consume the bayou water but is later rendered unconscious by an unseen force that puts him within Elijah’s mental prison where he comes to face to face with Elijah’s current personality.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

That aftermath is often an hour long lament to drill home the loss of a main character is real and permanent. In this version, everyone who knew Haley with the exception of the majority of the Mikaelson family have said their goodbyes with a critical moment of Elijah’s true return pending a mental breakdown that has been looked on for almost every season. The dreaded red door is a large and monstrous metaphor that has once again surfaced and will play a major role in next week’s episode as the Mikaelson family returns to witness the rise or fall of Elijah. In all saddened accounts, I found this episode full of tender moments and predictable Klaus tantrums that ultimately saw him trying to find peace with Hope before being rudely apprehended at the end. It’s never a dull moment with Klaus as he must now contend with a brother’s destructive environment. The loss was real and that was the important take away here along with more portents that Hope and the city will be under chaotic ruin as we climb toward the final swansong of the Mikaelson world.

 

THE GOOD

They did their best to treat Haley’s funeral with the appropriate setting from city to bayou giving Hope and Freya enough screentime to truly lament her passing. Klaus had his moments and Caroline’s letter was an interesting echo from when he passed on his own wishes to her back in the finale of TVD. His frustration with how to care for Hope as a single father is among the real quality that helps treat this episode with the ongoing symbolism that family must always be forever. At the risk of creating more signs of doom, he goes to her at Haley’s funeral and does his best to make things right between them. He’s clearly the best part of this show and still pulls off an angry bitter soul with room to improve with surrealistic compassion.

 

THE BAD

The Emmett subplot feels a bit less than threatening especially considering they can’t act very well during the day light. Their attempt to disrupt the funeral march was probably the least interesting aspect of this episode and only served as a catalyst to show what Hope is capable of when pushed to the brink. The promo did a good job of setting up this disruption with the inclination that Elijah would be heading it up, but that wasn’t the case here.

 

The secondary mishap is how long their dragging out Elijah’s true return. I’m certainly not questioning “if” but rather “when” it will happen. I don’t prefer new Elijah anymore because the sympathy just doesn’t carry over quite as well with Antionette and if she honestly succumbed to Klaus’s bite in the next episode, I’d say it’s a tragic but necessary end to get on with the real threat in the city. It’s not going to be a bunch of vampires with no daylight rings, that much is obvious.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

When Klaus was with Hope as Haley was sent off. Everything tonight built the right elements so that the payoff was those two finally spending some time together to mourn Haley. Very powerful moment and you can see the hurt on Klaus’s face when he has to leave too soon to end the fires in the bayou. Really well done moment.

 

CHARACTER MVP

This can be argued for either Klaus or Elijah this time. Elijah didn’t hesitate to lose his new memories in exchange for Antoinette’s life while Klaus made a big step towards doing what he has to to keep Hope safe. I think at the end of the day, Klaus’s sacrifice is more poignant and sympathetic because new Elijah just isn’t as convincing as old Elijah and we all want, presumably old Elijah back.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

I assume Marcel gave Josh a daylight ring to be at the funeral march in the street. Otherwise someone forgot to tell Josh he’s supposed to burn in the sunlight.

 

Will Keelin stick around this time or be off again per Freya’s request. Tough call, but considering the danger looming overhead, I expect the two to part ways again and not much more can be said about it but let Freya move on.

 

I still think it might be worth investing in a Haley ghost cameo later on to help Hope and/or Klaus deal with her passing more easefully. It’s a thing this show does and there’s no reason not to bring that concept back one more time for the sake of closure, especially since Elijah has to come to terms with this as well when he gets back. Maybe she could even show up in Elijah’s mind next week. Possibilities are technically endless.

 

I was also a bit taken back that Elijah would have such a strong current to resist the spell and Marcel’s compulsion given both are very powerful even on their own. Elijah is very damaged but damaged doesn’t necessarily mean overtly powerful and it stands to reason this chaotic bridge he’s building to pull in the Mikaelson family is being helped by someone on the outside, like Ivy or another witch in close proximity. It can’t be Elijah doing all the work subconsciously and hopefully Vincent will be able to track this down either way.

 

OVERALL SCORE

8 out of 10. Haley’s send-off was handled with care and inevitably brought Klaus and Hope closer together even though they can’t be in physical proximity for long. The portent with the death of all firstborns seems like an odd finality to put in this old book that Ivy coincidentally had and makes me feel like we’re still missing a few pieces to this apocalyptic puzzle. But for now the cliffhanger is solid with New Elijah stuck in Old Elijah’s mental prison along with Klaus who must now content with the possibility that Elijah will be forever changed after this event has been dealt with. Haley is officially gone but the story must continue without her. Rest in peace, wolf of the bayou. Thanks for reading.

 

 

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A Sashurai’s Review: Game of Thrones – Season 5×07 (The Mormont who became a gladiator)

GOT 5x07

Every aftermath is positioned carefully so that the most ill-fated characters have some semblance of hope. Yet such courtesies are snatched away again and again for some, and hope turns to confusion and even desperation for others. Tonight’s episode of GOT provides enough sullen waves yet its second half proved more lenient and even gave us a morsel of comeuppance for the so-called queen of the seven kingdoms. From here to the end, there won’t be a fan not glued to their seat to view what comes next.

If the pattern had continued, I would have been hard-pressed to write an objective viewpoint regarding certain villainous and cowardice characters. The straw that almost broke the dragon’s back was Sam’s abhorrent beating at the hands of his own brothers of the wall. Sometimes the wicked thrive because the pores of the earth seep darkness through and through. Luckily an old friend cameo’d and since then the tempo was most deservedly upbeat and even bashfully supportive as a pair of characters are unkindly reunited.

In the north, Sansa is betrayed by Theon when she pleads for him to send her allies a signal. Jon departs with Tormund to find the remaining wildlings beyond the wall. Melisandre tries to convince Stannis to sacrifice his daughter to guarantee victory over the Boltons, and Ghost helps Sam stop a pair of night’s watchmen from taking Gilly for themselves. In Dorne, Jaime unsuccessfully tries to convince Myrcella to leave while Bronn suffers near death at the hands of the sand sisters. Jorah and Tyrion are purchased for the pit fights and Daenerys attends a small event. Jorah see her and rushes into the fight defeating everyone and revealing himself to her. Tyrion emerges by his side as his gift to her. In King’s landing, Littlefinger converses with Olenna which eventually leads to the high sparrow arresting Cersei after Lancel previously confessed his actions with her.

If I haven’t wrote it a few times before, I have to once more punch the keyboard about Theon. He is less of a case of Stockholm syndrome and more of a trial of absurdity in this series. Even from a written standpoint, characters like the Hound, Davos, Yara, and even Lancel at this point deserve more screen time than this fop of a let down. His absolute last moment of choice was when his sister went to break him out. Now we’re utterly forced to endure his broken down and tattered being again and again crumbling to the might of Ramsey. There’s overselling a villain’s stature and then there’s Ramsey Snow. Sansa’s only beacon of hope is Brienne who’s waiting for some kind of sign to ride in and take her away. If there’s a pay off here, it needs to happen. Theon is a joke and now Sansa knows it. Whatever happens next, she needs to be careful because she swiped that tool and she might try and do something with it and of course she won’t succeed because writer’s rub their hands together and cackle when they dangle hope like that in front of a specific fan base. Okay, moving on.

Aemon’s death and Sam and Gilly’s coupling all happened on a boat that was meant to send them way south, but that’s no longer happening at least not in season 5. For the most part that’s okay considering Ghost got to make an appearance and wouldn’t have if Sam wasn’t around. I just hope Ghost doesn’t suffer at the hands of vindictive men. Not to mention, why isn’t Ghost at Jon’s side in all this? He really has the freedom to go where he likes. Sam’s heroic nature is also stumped by the fact that he was reminded his allies are growing short. He and Gilly need to leave and leave fast.

Much of the only real highlight came from Jorah’s one-side victory over the pit fighters on his path to reuniting with Dany. What was strangely observant was Dany’s face when masked Jorah beat those men up. Unless she recognized his fighting prowess, she really shouldn’t have been impressed nor interested in one man’s gallant stomping of fellow fighters. Yet, when he revealed himself, she showed nothing but contempt. And then, there was Tyrion, once more saving his comrade and now we have the fated meeting between Targaryen and Lannister. Something the books never dabbled in because we’re simply not there yet. This is an exciting moment. Although, we can’t expect Tyrion to be propped beside the queen just like that, no there’s going to be a lot of haggling on Tyrion’s end just to keep his head attached. Still, this is uncharted territory and that’s a good thing.

Not much to say about Jaime and Bronn except that Bronn was easily being toyed with by the sisters. a scene like this was interesting because it shows at least one of the sisters isn’t completely heartless although holding that kind of power over a man could very well be the nature of their personalities, or at least one of them. They’re not to be trifled with and now Bronn understands that.

The climactic moment came in the form of situational irony. Whether Cersei had all of her own hand in the making really doesn’t matter. What matters is she’s now in the same boat as Margaery which makes the next few episodes very tricky for mother and queen. Cersei can’t order herself out of this and what’s more, everyone is technically guilty. What happens to the guilty in the eyes of the high sparrow and six other judges. Tommen will be a mess once he finds out his mother is locked up along with his wife. Things are getting interesting, but it was a sweet moment to finally see something happen to Cersei after 57 episodes. That’s a long wait, but so far, worth it.

FAVORITE MOMENT

Tyrion and Dany looking at each other. I would have picked Cersei in a cell, but I already read that and Tyrion has yet to meet Dany in the books. So for me, this was an epic moment to relish. Dany is smart, but Tyrion is impressively gifted in wit, so this will make for an interesting pairing. Where does that leave Jorah though? Hopefully in a better spot considering his greyscale is probably getting worse as we speak.

CHARACTER MVP

Sam gets the top spot this week. He took his lumps, stood up and was ready to face even more at the hands of protecting the woman he cared for. He’s proving to be more confident and hard-spoken even though he can’t quite match his wit with his ability to fight. Right now that doesn’t matter, Gilly recognized the heroism and thanked him in her own way. Hopefully this isn’t the highlight of Sam’s trek through this season with the foreboding that it all goes downhill from here. He shouldn’t suffer such a fate, not for lasting this long.

ENDING THOUGHTS

Sansa’s now suffered several nights of sexual abuse. This is truly a living hell for her considering it’s in her kingdom and there’s no one to help her. One thought that came to me was when Ramsey revealed to her that Jon was the Lord Commander of the night’s watch. What if she tries to send a message to him? Granted it’ll probably never work and even if it did he wouldn’t be there to receive it. But still, if he did, what would a half-brother do so close to home?

Bronn’s also in a tight spot considering he’s locked in a cell while Jaime is just in a room. Oddly enough I can see some kind of kinship with him and the sand sisters and who knows, maybe they could just buy his allegiance, but I know that’s not in their nature. Still, it’s hard to know what lies in store for the sellsword.

Rest is peace Aemon, you outlived practically everyone in around four generations.

I honestly don’t know what Stannis is prepared to do now that Melisandre has put this sacrifice in front of him. It’s sinister but he’s trying very hard to be a victorious king. Now comes a real interesting test for him.

OVERALL SCORE

7 out of 10. There were ill moments as I stated earlier. the kind that treat as though the world isn’t allowed to feel good about itself. And for much of the plot, it seemed like this would be a 100% dismal episode which never resonate well except to crush the plastic cups under aggravation at the water cooler. Though, things did pick up and some sense of balance came through with Tyrion meeting Dany and Cersei being arrested. Those are cliffhanger moments and shouldn’t be the centric of what made the episode good or bad. Sam dealt with proving himself and protecting Gilly and Brienne is biding her time until she comes to Sansa’s rescue. The north is preparing for war and what’s strange is all of the main characters are not in the picture, at least not directly. With three episodes left, it’s time to wait and see if the penultimate is our war episode. And the battle between queens in jail has begun in King’s Landing. Good luck.

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A Sashurai’s Review: The Vampire Diaries – Season 5×07 (You’ve got to appreciate what an explosive element this Bonnie situation is)

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Our first major arc of the season draws to a close as the oldest scorned witch in the world is drawn into one final act of vengeful defiance against those who crossed her, and those who need her help. Three Nina’s share one scene together, marking a record for the most doppelgangers in one shot. Fits and fury dominate the episode which finally pits Stefan against Silas while Elena and Damon devise a plan that can bring Bonnie back once and for all.

What stands as an interesting tale that wraps mainly around vampires is slowly removing them from the cusp of importance and. instead, surrounds their world with older groups and similar drama. There are elements that worked in this episode, yet, at the same time, some of the angst, bitterness, and overall resentment felt very over encumbering even up until the last few seconds of the episode. Even Jeremy’s heartfelt words to Bonnie seemed shoehorned in rather than properly flowing. Emotions were running rampant to say the least, but they came from weird places rather than from the heart. Who is right? Who deserved the last word? Let’s find out.

(RECAP)

Silas slowly makes his way back to Mystic Falls and tortures a couple at a bus stop after telling them his woes with Tessa and Amara.

Stefan awakes in his room and tells Elena that he’s regained his memories again. He proves to Damon that he’s back to normal but accidentally breaks a glass when he remembers his time in the safe under water. Damon shows him Amara in a locked room. She’s stir crazy and tries to injure herself until Damon stops her.

Bonnie wonders if it will hurt to finally be released as Jeremy thanks her for saving his life.

Maxfield informs Katherine that as a human, her aging is catching up with her. She’s visually bothered by the news.

Damon calls Silas and pressures him to return faster. Silas mocks him and thinks Amara should just die which could create a rift between Elena and Damon for not saving Bonnie.

Stefan vows to destroy Silas which bothers Elena.

As Jeremy feeds Amara, she sees and hears Bonnie. This gives Jeremy the idea that Bonnie could become the anchor to the other side. Elena surmises that only Tessa could perform such a spell. Damon goes to Tessa and requests her help. She agrees but requires doppelganger blood to perform the transfer spell.

Nadia locates Katherine at Whitmore college but Katherine doesn’t want to bond with her daughter anymore. Caroline collects Katherine and returns her to the Salvatore house.

Stefan tells Elena that if he doesn’t kill Silas he may end up turning off his humanity switch because the pain he feels is becoming unbearable.

When Katherine arrives, she asks Tessa to find a way to stop her aging in exchange for her blood. Tessa seemingly agrees to help after the spell is performed.

Amara, Katherine, and Elena surround Bonnie’s spell book as Tessa cuts each of their hands. The blood forms into a Celtic triangle on top of the spell book as Tessa begins chanting. Silas is nearby and cuts the electricity, disrupting the spell. Amara and Tessa then disappear.

Tessa and Silas find each other in the library and insults as well as glasses are thrown until Silas impales Tessa in the shoulder with the fire poker. He then gets a call from Stefan who has Amara and plans to keep her alive.

Elena finds Tessa and removes the weapon so she can resume the spell.

Silas finds Amara who pleads for him to kill her. He’s reluctant but begins to as Silas intervenes. They battle until Stefan throws Silas’s knife into his stomach, killing him.

Amara finds the knife and stabs herself just as Damon arrives. He tries to keep her alive but Amara dies just as Tessa finalizes the spell bringing Bonnie back and turning her into the anchor.

Katherine approaches Tessa for her deal but Tessa refuses to help her and finishes ending her own life by cutting her wrists. Tessa’s spirit goes to Bonnie and tells her that she’ll feel every supernatural death go through her and it will be very painful every time.

Katherine gets her things from Caroline’s dorm room and Nadia shows up asking her to join her back home to Prague and Bulgaria. Katherine refuses and leaves Nadia alone.

Stefan buries Silas but still continues to suffer from the memories of being inside the safe and wonders why it’s not over.

(END RECAP)

By the end of “Death and the Maiden” I felt very relieved that Amara, Silas, and Tessa were all finally dead. None of those characters made any positive impact for me or the storyline. Considering how season 4 brought Silas into the fold, I was surprised how unremarkable his situation was with Tessa. They were built as very powerful characters and only managed to be very annoying at best. There’s a tragic love story and those are fine stories to tell, but when both parties are scorned, vengeful and evil, nobody wins. It could be a valuable lesson in how humanity handles the flaws of relationships, but in a realm of evil characters, nobody watching is really invested in an ethical winner. The situation works better with Damon, Stefan, and Elena, and may work again, provided Stefan stops suffering from his pain for a few seconds to remember how much he loves Elena.

Silas’s lingering echoes of how doppelgangers are drawn toward each other will likely continue to wane in on Damon and his disgruntled stare of doom. He’s at his best when he isn’t forced to care, but it’s when he cares that he is forced to do what’s right. Is Elena really bound to one of the Salvatore’s? Vampire love stories often concede to a co-dependency problem with the parties involved. Stefan fought it valiantly, Damon struggles constantly, and Elena made conscious efforts to choose and not regret her choices. But is the story to still maintain that she belongs with either brother? In theory, the second Elena ends up with Damon is the day the show should have ended, unless there’s a stronger message for Elena to learn, in which case, it’s just a matter of time before Elena and Damon call it quits. As much as I imagine Stefan will be a major factor in that problem, I just don’t see him losing himself all over again for her. I’m glad Stefan is back to normal, but he needs to really lose the snarky attitude, that was Blank-slate Stefan and he’s pretty much gone and I don’t want to be reminded of Silas, because that persona just didn’t fit anywhere.

Whitmore college will likely begin the second major arc that involves the August(ine) vampire and the conspiracy surrounding Maxfield and Elena’s stepfather. The struggle against humans and their aggressive roles in the vampire world tend to hold more realistic drama than ancient characters with jaded issues so, I’m looking forward to the switch coming up. Just keep the weekly Whitmore dances/parties to a realistic amount.

I still don’t see Jeremy and Bonnie working as a couple even though Jeremy has matured plenty over the last few seasons. Bonnie’s role as the anchor is interesting enough and I do want to see where they go with it. Will there be ghosts returning to talk to her? Lexi, perhaps? Whenever Stefan is in dire need, ghost-Lexi always seems to be around the corner to help. I don’t mind those scenes, she plays her part well. This also means that there will be plenty of supernatural death coming to keep her ripe with guttural pain. I’m also hoping Matt will have a stronger role this season now that he’s neck deep in Traveler agendas. How are they tied to the witches? Will Nadia return without Katherine? Have we seen the last of Katherine?

Overall, this wrap up to the first arc was done just in time. There wasn’t any reason to keep any of those characters alive and if Silas somehow comes back, keep him out of the villain-rambling-jaded group. The distinction isn’t as noticeable as it could have been and I liked everything Silas was and represented up until his reveal as Stefan. And give Caroline more to do in the plot, her antsy college grip needs to loosen up a tad. When she doesn’t obsess over school related activities and experiences she can manage up some great scenes.

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