A Sashurai’s Review: The Originals – Season 5×09 (Klaus is more of an Apache helicopter parent)

 

TO 5x09

SUMMARY

After the storm, Klaus and Freya attempt to hold the dark magic within Hope at bay with her old bracelet but it fails to work leaving Hope to take matters into her own hands. Emmett contacts Vincent after a meeting with Marcel and attempts to sway him to their side. Meanwhile, Elijah visits Declan at the bar to help cope with Haley’s passing. That night, Emmett’s vampires send a compelled human with a bomb that detonates in a building killing three werewolves including Licina. Vincent sides with the werewolves and marches with them in the wake of the tragedy. Hope tries to find ingredients to create a spell against the dark magic’s hold on her but runs into Elijah and Declan. She has a violent outburst but leaves after realizing it quelled the voices inside. Elijah later deals with Declan by telling him the truth about vampires and Haley but then compels him to forget and be at peace. Klaus tells Hope that if rage is what stops the effects of the dark magic that he is the perfect father to help. Freya later proposes to Keelin who accepts. During the march, Emmett and his vampires confront Vincent but disappear showing they had a witch create a projection of them. Vincent realizes Ivy is in danger but arrives too late as she and her witches die from being poisoned.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

This is considered the fallout plot and a bit of a soft move into the next stage of the season’s story as Hope is now the holder of all the dark magic once held by the Mikaelson siblings. Try as they might, most of the poignant moments didn’t reflect as elegantly with perhaps Declan and Elijah being the only standout pairing that showed how devastating it was to lose Haley. Klaus’s nature to hover over Hope is more than pointed out but with good reason as he can do little to stop the madness that surround her. Emmett’s charge almost seemed horrifically lack-lustered until it was revealed they had a witch on their side helping out. My guess is that the witch in question was who poisoned Ivy and the others. Someone I’m certain Vincent will be hunting down in the next episode.

 

THE GOOD

Elijah is essentially back to his basics, doing what’s best for others and trying not to interfere with Hope who has the biggest reason to hate him. The blame game worked for the time being, but in the future, I’m hoping Hope finds a way past Elijah’s involvement since he’s the only one left even remotely involved with Haley’s death but if Klaus is forgiving then it stands to reason Hope should eventually forgive him as well. Still, he has a lot of conflict to deal with and I’m surprised Antoinette wasn’t around to feed into that confusing dilemma of who to love and support. Maybe she served her purpose but I think considering the nature of their relationship that she’ll be back. Hopefully not as someone siding with Emmett and his vampires. Unless she felt too scorned and had too.

 

THE BAD

I might have said earlier that this season will be the cause of many characters dying this season and while it’s staying true to that template, I feel the wrong characters are being pushed out too suddenly. The characters introduced in season 5 have so far been at best, par for the course, so as they pass it’s fueling the main characters and their struggle to make sense of their dissolving society, but Haley is the only true casualty we’ve been faced with. Basically, with the exception of maybe Declan, there hasn’t been enough time to connect with anyone else. Ivy has shared some good moments but they’ve all been with Vincent, so we care over the fact that he’s going to be in pain and anger from here on out, but everyone else is just the same, a catalyst to push main characters into worse situations. Maybe that means more mainstream characters will meet their demise later and this is just the beginning, but it didn’t feel as emotionally driven this time around.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

When Elijah told Declan the truth and then made him forget. It was blissfully sad yet necessary to spare Cami’s relative any similar fate. It’s also ironic that the same thing happened to Elijah yet Declan won’t be in a situation to regain those memories and one wonders if Elijah actually feels like it’s the right call. Still, it has layers even if it was a short scene as they mourn for the woman they loved.

 

CHARACTER MVP

This week is tricky. Most characters went down a very straightforward path without much growing or evolving in their nature or direction. The biggest impact could probably be from Vincent as he chose to side with the werewolves, even though that seemed like a given. He knew there was a risk and tried to prepare for it and it eventually cost Ivy her life. I think with that prologue into his next phase we’ll see a much darker Vincent handle that fallout with some vengeance for sure.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

There still seems to be a missing main villain for this season. Chances are they could put Hope in that role which would really impact the Mikaelson family and I really doubt Emmett and his crew will be much of a threat soon after Vincent retaliates. There doesn’t seem to be much time to grow a new evil character unless they surprise us with Antoinette or go further outward and bring back past characters long thought dead.

 

Now that Freya and Keelin are engaged, expect one of them to be the target of the next major death on this show. If they manage to hold off the wedding until after the finale, then they might be okay, but weddings never go well on supernatural shows, just look at TVD…twice. I don’t think they’re ready to end Freya’s time on the show yet, but who knows.

 

We need to get Rebekah back on the show stat. Marcel needs her to have a meaningful plotline carried out, he seemed to flounder a bit tonight, making some wise calls but otherwise a little bored in the background. When those two are together they just sing more. Plus Rebekah is always great to have on the show.

 

OVERALL SCORE

7 out of 10. This episode was more set up and fallout than a compelling story piece. Much of Hope’s atmosphere revolved around the eventual side effect of absobring all that dark magic and the heavy toll it will cause in the long run. Emmett is at least showing he’s capable of fooling Vincent and Marcel so it’s not a complete lopsided battle, but he’s simply not a great villain. At least Greta had a major motive of revenge on her hand. Klaus and Hope continue to have a meaningful struggle over the single-parent trying to do what’s right and I think that will grow out of expectancy. Elijah is back where he belongs, but he needs more screen-time with Klaus now that the pair are on terms again. The show is on a two week break, but hopefully when it comes back, the real destiny will begin for the Mikaelson family and their counterparts. Thanks for reading.

 

 

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A Sashurai’s Review: Game of Thrones – Season 5×09 (The Dance of Dragons, A Dance with Dragons, same diff)

GOT 5x09

While some roads lead to circumstantial sacrifice, another takes to the skies as the mother of dragons dawns her title and sees her city of Meereen from a dragon’s point of view. Tonight’s penultimate episode places each front running player into an uneasy position where choices become harder and vengeance is but an eyelash away. The only moments left are the one’s that almost guarantee lives will be lost. Who’s lives will it be this season? Only those who have read A Dance With Dragons know for sure.

For the last few episodes, they’ve managed to truly capture some spectacular storytelling moments in the last twenty minutes of their broadcast. Last week it was Jon Snow and the whitewalker horde. This time it was both the lasting battle of Jorah Mormont and the ambush from the Sons of the Harpy. Each creative in their own way yet, this venture had the flair for the fantasy and managed to ease the tension with a dragon’s roar. Aside from a desperate decision made by a cold-hearted king and a gladiatorial climax, this episode carried with it a calm not usually expected during such a critical point in a season. Now a girl must decide if her training will be used outside of the orders given to her.

Jon Snow returns to the wall with a sense of defeat only having saved a few hundred wildlings. Stannis sends Davos back to the wall for reinforcements after Ramsey’s men lay siege to Stannis’s supplies. He later gives in and has his daughter Shireen put to sacrifice by flame to help Melisandre call on her godlike forces for aid against the Boltons. Doran Martell releases Jaime and Bronn and sends Myrcella and Tristane with them in the hopes of maintaining their alliance with King’s Landing. Arya is on her way to assassinate the thin man when she spots Mace Tyrell and more importantly, Meryn Trant who she remembers killed Syrio. She follows him to a brothel and spies on him. In Meereen, Daenerys watches the games take place in a grand arena. In the second match, she watches Jorah fight and eventually win the round. He stops a Harpy from striking the queen as the Sons of Harpy ambush everyone. Jorah, Tyrion, Daario, Missendei, and Dany flee to the center of the arena where Drogon arrives and helps kill many of the Harpies. She then climbs Drogon and rides to the sky as the others watch in awe.

King’s who whisper “forgive me” are often put to the most harshest of trials in claiming what they seek. Stannis fought against Melisandre’s simple solutions to win the oncoming battle. To her, sacrifice is simple and necessary, yet in the end, Stannis relented and watched as his daughter burned to death. Will this in fact help Stannis beat the Bolton’s in the finale? The truth is, she hasn’t been proven wrong yet and that’s a scary track record considering how magic, dark or otherwise is used. Obviously sending Davos was just so he wouldn’t try and stop Melisandre because he would have. It will be interesting to see if Davos is the kind of character who will stay subservient after finding out or actually go after Melisandre yet again regardless on the outcome of the war.

Arya’s tale is very basic and after nearly five seasons later she finally has a chance to exact another piece of her revenge, this time on the vile Meryn. It’s not so much a matter of if, but rather how Arya will take his life. Will she have the ability to change her face, or will it be just a few stabbings or poisoning when he eats next? I’d say it’s too early for her to be establishing any abilities, but rest assured, she’s cunning and smart enough to find ways to get those she wants killed. In fact, my money is her using needle to get the job done. Just use the pointy end. Odds are she’ll get caught in the attempt or execution and possibly punished.

Jaime and Bronn got off easy, but it’s more about how Doran handled the situation. He’s a king who has his people and lands to worry about and knows the point of having an alliance. Whether Ellaria is truly swayed by the act of a second chance or whether she’ll try once more to exact revenge remains to be seen. The sand sisters have barely any screen time this season, so there’s hope they have more to offer in the next season. There isn’t any danger of them expiring, but then there is one more episode left.

For a seasonal show, a lot of effort went into the effects of tonight’s episode which I think was absolutely flawless. The fighting itself was decent considering the movements of people in armor, and the gore was rather limited, but the point was to showcase Jorah’s absolute devotion which paid off in the end as he defended her from the creepy Sons of the Harpy. They came out droves but Drogon’s appearance was abundantly telegraphed especially when they were surrounded in the arena. Rather than end the dragon’s life which could have been any other writer’s prerogative, they instead followed suit from the book and had Dany take flight. There’s no guarantee she’ll land near Tyrion and the gang, but for now, she’s safe. Tyrion’s moments were few but each line was delivered with the usual care and gusto as only he can deliver. Overall, the scenes in Meereen have been better considering most of Dany’s adventures as of late keep her walled up and bored. At least Tyrion’s around to make light of the queen’s stony demeanor.

FAVORITE MOMENT

I think it’s safe to say that the final arc of the episode had the most to offer in terms of action, suspense and of course a fire-breathing dragon. Everything from the start to the finish was a very well articulated segment. The sheer volume of the Harpies was a good choice because we’d only seen them in small skirmishes, and clearly the games did not sway them from trying to take back their city. And Drogon’s thrashings were a grand sight in both CGI and backing soundtrack. Well performed all around.

CHARACTER MVP

As a send off, I’d like to give the MVP to Shireen Baratheon. Her stories to both Davos and Stannis showed her innocent nature at recounting the massive history of Westeros and both cared for her in their own way. She was essentially the last bit of light in Stannis and now she’s gone. But even from her affliction, she remained a courageous character and tried her best to be a good daughter to Stannis. What happened to her was a despicable act, and hopefully Davos doesn’t let her lie in ashes as just a bitter memory.

ENDING THOUGHTS

Who is really going to mess with that giant at the wall? I hope he’s a mainstay, because he’s survived some wicked battle scars and should be a clean ally for Jon.

Judging by how the books went down, I’m not expecting Jaime to return to King’s Landing quite yet. His relationship to Cersei is very different in the written world and this Jaime is still very much in care of his sister, which makes anything he does from here on out very interesting and possibly questionable.

Will Dany discover Jorah’s greyscale and how will she react after trusting him again so soon? Or will she even find out at all. His days could be numbered, but that’s for the seasons to decide. Shireen survived it after all and it’s just an arm.

How exactly will sacrificing Shireen help Stannis? Will men and supplies suddenly appear or will the snows do the Bolton’s more harm than good? Maybe the snows will cease just enough for Stannis and his army to make it to Winterfell. Since Stannis is still the lesser of two evils, he has to be the one to be victorious, for Sansa’s sake if nothing else.

Speaking of Melisandre, what would a character like her say to Daenerys if the two ever met? Considering who she’s serving with such loyalty, has she really considered what a Targaryen would do when she lands in Westeros? Is she like Varys, actually biding her time with the safest enemy because she knows what’s really going to happen, of does she know even more dangers than just the whitewalkers, if she even cares about them at all.

OVERALL SCORE

8 out 10. It was in the realm of being a lower number but the last act stayed the course and kept it in the high eight range. We understand everyone’s final storylines for this season with the exception of Sansa, Jon, and Dany. Sansa could be rescued, or she could be taken away by Ramsey if he’s been defeated. Jon is on thin ice with his own men still and keeping the peace with an even larger wilding group could prove to be most difficult in the finale. And where will Dany land? In the books we know exactly where she lands, but enough things have changed, she could be dining in Meereen just as easily, except that her city is being overrun yet again by her enemies. She has to save it or leave it, and she’s not the kind to leave anything abandoned. Very good episode at the end, and I look forward to seeing yet another finale rip the hearts or freeze the eyes of it’s fiercely loyal audience.

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A Sashurai’s Review: The Vampire Diaries – Season 5×09 (Why would Damon care about revenge if he turned his emotions off?)

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The odds are beginning to stack against Damon in his ongoing relationship with Elena. It’s not much, but his confession might have begun to set a chain of events between the two. Will she remain true to her words and not judge Damon for what he’s done since 1958? For what could be considered a “filler” episode, The Vampire Diaries stuck to their roots and realigned the Salvatore brothers, each gracing their natures and dealing with past suffering. Like the taijitu symbol, each brother, at different time periods, dealt with their mental and physical scarring, setting them on past and present paths.

There’s a bit of simple poetry mixed with some shifts between doppelgangers and for once, both brothers have a Nina to embellish. If Damon and Elena can escape their captors, time will tell if their long-standing love will prevail. We are also introduced to a new vampire catalyst who’s distant sure-grabbing accent will likely keep him neck and neck with Damon’s wide-eyed glare. Thank goodness for female doppelgangers.

(RECAP)

THE PAST

In 1953, Damon returns to the Salvatore home where Josef Salvatore tries to inject Damon with vervane, only to be killed. Whitmore finishes the job and captures Damon. Damon is dissected partially and then placed in a cell where he meets a neighbor inmate, Enzo, who Whitmore captured five years prior in Europe during WWII. Whitmore experiments on both vampires for years as they plot their singular revenge. Every year at new year’s eve, Whitmore throws a party where he displays both vampires and showcases their healing blood by cutting guests and having the, drink the vampire blood.

Enzo devises a plan to escape by having one of the two drink both rations of blood for a year straight allowing for the one vampire to have enough strength to break out and free the other. Damon wins a Ro-Sham-Bo contest and drinks both rations for year. In 1958, Damon has enough strength to break his bonds and he kills Whitmore and several guests during the party. A fire breaks out and even though Damon tries to save Enzo from the vervane-laced cage, Damon realizes he’ll regret leaving and turns his emotions off to be free from the guilt of abandoning his friend. Enzo seemingly is consumed by the fire. Damon’s vengeance from then on included killing all members of the Whitmore bloodline, save for a single member throughout each generation.

THE PRESENT – DAMON AND ELENA

Damon wakes in his old cell where Wes plans to take his research to the next level.

Elena goes to Aaron’s for help in searching for Wes who was with Damon before they disappeared. When they reach the Whitmore house, Aaron explains that he is a Whitmore and technically owns the house. Wes surprises Elena and knocks her out with an dose of vervane.

Elena wakes in a cell next to Damon who says he’s been there before.

Wes reveals to Aaron that Elena is a vampire and that vampires killed his parents. He shows him a watch passed down to him as well as a book of clippings and his Whitmore legacy. When Wes asks for his help, Aaron knocks him out, steals a pistol and searches for Elena.

Damon reveals most of his past when he was captured and how he escaped including when he turned his emotions off. Aaron finds them and prepares to shoot Elena, believing she’s the vampire who murdered Megan and possibly his family. Damon confesses that he was the one who killed Aaron’s parents and the entire Whitmore bloodline including his aunt Sarah only a few months ago. Elena realizes that this was at the start of their summer together. Aaron shoots Damon in the head and leaves.

When Damon wakes, Elena is gone from her cell. When Elena wakes, she is strapped on a table and sees another man strapped and humming next to her. He introduces himself as 12114, Enzo.

THE PRESENT – STEFAN, KATHERINE, AND CAROLINE

Katherine tries to write her thoughts and feelings in a journal but is frustrated. She questions Stefan’s mental and emotional state as Caroline arrives with the safe Silas locked Stefan in. Together, Caroline and Katherine try to rehabilitate Stefan by returning him inside the safe.

Stefan begins having similar panic attacks as before and pleads to be released. Katherine realizes that he’s more likely to recover if he’s forced to help/save others so she locks herself inside with him. When Stefan realizes what’s happening he again pleads to be released as Katherine confronts his emotional turmoil in dealing with Elena’s love for Damon and how he’s stayed in Mystic Falls because of her. Stefan tries to choke Katherine but she consoles him and he’s able to fight through the pain. As they are about to kiss, Caroline opens the safe and Stefan has returned to normal.

Later, Stefan admits to Katherine that he has to move on from Elena. Katherine goes to him and they embrace in kisses. Caroline leaves a message for Elena and hears what Stefan and Katherine are doing and is mortified.

(END RECAP)

As much as a lot of fans want to see Damon and Elena continue their struggle together, I’ve been waiting for the moment when I felt they would begin to fall apart. It’s little but it’s a start. I think Damon does better when he’s forced to care but retains his complete and utter disdain for all things with sarcastic retort and bitter loneliness. Could any of this be a sign that Damon’s emotions will eventually be turned off again? It’s happened to Stefan over the last few seasons, it could be time to switch to the other brother. It’s a theory, but a distant one at best. I think I’m more surprised that after all these years, Damon has stuck his vengeance and continued to kill the Whitmore bloodline even after getting together with Elena. It goes to show that he’ll always be a sneaky, self-absorbed character, and that’s not saying it in a negative way. I think those are his strengths as an enduring vampire. Being thoughtful and caring all the time is not the best thing for Damon and any lasting development. It can come in spurts, but not consistently.

Stefan’s emergence from Elena’s shadow will hopefully solidify his growth and he can finally move on….back to Katherine. Hey, it’s a step away even if it’s a step back. I don’t mind Katherine and Stefan reuniting through sloppy lip-lock. They’re designed to need each other now, and it’ll be awkwardly awesome to see Elena and Damon handle their coupling. Caroline’s reaction was priceless and appropriate and I’m also glad Katheirne shoe-horned the question with whether Stefan and Caroline ever did it. That seed had been planted a bit last season-ish and I think it was high time someone tried to call them, on it. Of course they didn’t, but now Caroline’s thinking about it. They made a movie once about these inception things.

Of course Enzo was going to still be alive. What surprised me is that he’s still strapped up and maintains the same hair length. Did we establish vampires don’t grow hair? I guess they wouldn’t since they’re dead. Never really thought about it. He seems like a decent guy, but naturally he’ll hate and want to murder Damon for subjecting him to more experiments for another 50 years. What’s another Damon hater amongst scorned vampires? Maybe he can be Elena’s new crush when Elena’s heart begins to crack over Damon’s secrets. He’s bound to have more than one.

A lot of missing cast this episode, Jeremy, Bonnie, Matt, Klaus, Elijah, Reb–oh wait. I do wonder if any Original cast members will bounce to VD for a cameo or two. Crossovers should go both ways. If anyone should show up and wreck house, it might as well be Rebekah, Matt would appreciate that.

Overall, the inclusion of Enzo and Stefan’s therapy were good parts to the episode. Katherine isn’t manipulating Stefan beyond her need to survive. They’ve officially helped each other “suck it up” and they’re appreciative for it. Is Katherine truly doomed with her mortal shell drying up? I hope not. Damon is going to have to face some serious demons soon, but not before somehow saving Elena. If Enzo were to instead, will that put Damon in a bad spotlight with her? Will Aaron come to his senses and save Elena. I’m not so sure of that. He’s painted to be a sympathetic character, but if he continues doing what Wes says, he’ll be nothing more than vampire cannon fodder and a tragic end to the Whitmore family name.

And, is there another vampire running around that isn’t Enzo? If Megan was killed by a vampire, was it Enzo that did it? Is he the “Augustine” vampire? You’d think yes, but then, why would Enzo ever be let out? Wes likely created another vampire, but then, why would that vampire be let out? Something else hasn’t been revealed yet and we have only one more episode until the holiday break. Let’s hope our answers come next week.

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