Stuck in the psychic recreation of the Mikaelson compound, Elijah, Klaus, Freya, Rebekah, Kol, and Marcel search endlessly for keys to unlock their escape. The family bicker and squabble over their predicament as Kol and Marcel locate two of the keys. When Freya is revealed to be partly responsible for their entrapment, she disappears letting Klaus know that she intends to help Hope absorb the evil darkness from them all to save the city. Klaus later finds his key as Marcel locates Elijah’s who has been continually repressing his past memories. As the family escapes the compound and into Elijah’s maze, Klaus remains behind to help Elijah open the red door while the others escape back to reality. Once through, Klaus and Elijah wake up with Elijah grief stricken over Haley’s death and his involvement of it. He retreats to give Antoinette Klaus’s blood to cure her as Rebekah reveals to Marcel that she doesn’t want her sadness of being cursed as a vampire to destroy him. The next morning, Klaus revisits a chest full of letters by Haley which emotionally affect him as Elijah goes to the bayou to say goodbye to Haley.
For any fan that has endured the cursed might of this series, I’m hoping they feel the same way I do in treasuring this episode as one of if not the best of the entire series. There’s a simplicity in letting characters rummage around a single set piece and flush out their emotional constructs so they can effectively deal with their problems head on. Each family member, Marcel included dealt with their issues in familiar but genuine ways that gave pause to the wild antics of hateful vampires and studied their own core beings which is hopefully what this episode meant to do all along. Now that Elijah has returned, the wait for it was perfectly situated into the final segments leaving us with the same heartbreak that came only a few episodes before when Haley dashed out into the sunlight, forever ending a life that touched so many. Catalog this into the top tier best storylines in the show and prepare for the rest as Hope now must contend with the hollow’s old darkness by herself.
The psychic construct has been used plenty in the past, but its structure and implementation had far better results this time around coupled with the right characters which is always the entire Mikaelson family, sans Freya who at this juncture is the odd character out. Everyone had an issue to bring up and deal with, even Kol who hadn’t forgotten what Freya and Elijah did to Davina back in the day. But even he had enough growth to know when to move on, something Rebekah and Marcel had a bit of trouble with, but they finally dealt with it which was always on Rebekah’s mind, she just couldn’t articulate it until now. When a show about a vampire family is comprised of yelling fits and threatening gestures, it just extenuates the writing in positive ways. Everyone performed admirably tonight including the memory-ridden Elijah who at last can come to grips with his overall grief over the last seven years.
This was a much more fitting episode to mourn for Haley than last week as the funeral motions were naturally sidetracked by wasted enemies who don’t really matter in the realm of the Mikaelsons. This time, everyone had a very proper send-off, most notably Klaus who had been avoiding a series of letters that he finally began reading in tears. The flashbacks were chosen in specific patterns that detailed very real and tender moments that Haley appeared in way back in season one which reminded us how this fight for Hope came to be. They didn’t over do it and knew when to pull back to the present and handle the issues at hand. Well directed and a surrounding storm is always a plus to add to the tension on screen.
There’s barely a drop of negativity to recognize with the exception of perhaps Freya’s inclusion into the psychic prison. She was there as a quick slight-of-hand to distract from her involvement with Hope’s spell in the real world. Once that was out, she disappeared, yet it seems like she wasn’t necessarily helping or further hindering the situation which almost fits her profile as a whole. She was the odd character in the group and while it was necessary to get her out of the compound, I think it would have been just as fine to have Marcel enter and state that both Hope and Freya were involved in their imprisonment. Also, Marcel should have had his own key once he was inside.
When Klaus opened the first letter and lamented over it. Seeing the prime “ex-villain” break down like that is the sincere example with how Haley’s death was meant to be taken. It was mixed with close-ups of Elijah’s suit being put back on, a symbol of his comfortable cloak which didn’t necessarily need that much of a focus, but it’s what we remember and his mannerisms are all coming back including one hand in the pocket. Just a great scene all around.
It looks like Klaus should take this easily just for the letters alone, but I want to give it to Rebekah tonight. It was her final words that helped Klaus decide to stay and open the door with Elijah and it was also her reveal to Marcel that finally put to words her feelings on why she keeps running away from him. It takes a lot to admit that kind of core feeling and with Klaus, he opened those letters but he did so alone, which is still a bit of a flaw for him against a need to be with his family in all things. They are still growing though, even after five long seasons.
If Hope has the power, should there be an even worse event on the horizon? It stands to reason, her attitude toward Elijah will subject her to the kind of pain which can only create an unstable atmosphere where her intentions grow into true destructive means. Either this or all those vampires that Greta formed will try and start something. I hope not though.
How will the family treat Freya now? It seems she barely got away with a warning by Klaus who seems to be preoccupied, but once that ends, will he be in a vexing mood or will Hope’s newfound power captivate the Mikaelson audience and draw more pressing concerns to the horizon?
Then there’s Antoinette. I’ve no doubt she and Elijah will have more words to go over considering their feelings in the past. She shouldn’t just return to France and I imagine she’ll want to stick around and fight for Elijah’s love again, however I can also see her leading Greta’s army if she truly feels there’s no hope for his return. It’s a toss up at this point. I’m not certain which way it’ll go for her.
10 out of 10. This kind of score comes from how well this episode resonated both in core fans and any casual observer that can understand how this family functions out of raw pain. This was a classic tale of introspection for half a dozen characters who have grown immensely over the years and still find time to yell at one another because that’s what families do sometimes. Well written and well executed, tonight’s episode showed there is plenty left to discover from the Mikaelsons and hopefully plenty more before this season ends. And finally Elijah’s memories have returned. Will Klaus revert into a state of need or is he well enough to look beyond the help that only Elijah tends to provide for him. Time will tell. Thanks for reading.
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