A Sashurai’s Review: The Originals – Season 5×10 (Warriors fall, spirits rise)

TO 5x10

 

SUMMARY

When Klaus is unable to quell Hope’s violent impulses, he kidnaps Roman and let’s her unleash her fury on him. Marcel spies on Emmett but is captured and his venom is removed to use against the Mikaelsons. Antoinette convinces Elijah to help save Roman while Vincent deals with the poisoned witches who revive with vampire blood in their system. He shows Ivy what the ancestral well will be like for her but she refuses to become a vampire. In response, Vincent and the other witches remove their magical bond to the well and free their ancestors as Ivy perishes by choice. Josh finds and rescues Marcel but is mortally wounded. He admits that Marcel was his family and dies but finds Aiden in the afterlife. Antoinette and Elijah lure Emmett and his vampires to the church where Klaus brings Hope to eliminate them and subdue the power within. Unbeknownst to them, she accidentally kills a man helping Declan in the attic which triggers her werewolf curse.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

This was going to be a somewhat fatalistic ride but another cast member has fallen and now Hope has to deal with the next stage of her powers and curses. This was indeed a life changing event for a few characters as Vincent deals with his loss but also severs the witches power line to the ancestors. With Emmett and his crew finally out of the way, the show can now focus on Hope and the devastation she potentially brings as we near toward the final chapters of this saga. I’m not surprised by these turn of events but they were done with the right care and passion that I would expect from the writers in that those who have moved on did so with peace in mind. I can’t say for certain any more deaths will have the same delivery, but if there are any more it’ll likely be one of the big names and who knows if we’re prepared for that.

 

THE GOOD

Just when Josh was really starting to showcase his maturity on the show is when they decide to give him the swan song, but he did so in Marcel’s aid and even found solace with finding Aiden who he had missed since his departure last season. Josh almost lasted through the entire series and was one of the more survivable sidekicks though often used in small capacities. He single-handedly freed Marcel and was given a proper send-off. He was one of those characters that in the end deserved more development but never quite got enough of it except at the end. I also didn’t realize he owned the bar which actually makes sense when you think about it.

 

I’m also glad we’re moving on from Emmett and his cliché’d approach against Klaus and the Mikaelsons. Using Marcel’s venom as a key to destroy them is probably the last weapon left that can do away with an Original, but it simply wasn’t meant to be as Hope decimated the entire crew much to Klaus and Marcel’s watchful satisfaction. They were never going to be the prime villains in this plot so it’s best we get to the one who is. Is it Hope herself, or someone more elusive. Hopefully we’ll find out soon.

 

THE BAD

Bringing back dead characters in the guise of becoming vampires has been done a few times before and by now it’s become a bit senseless and tired. Vincent was able to say goodbye to Ivy but the road to get there was a bit second to Hope’s primary plot. The significance is what lies in store for him and the witches now that their ancestors are presumably free to pass on. Does this mean that there won’t be enough collective power to stop Hope if she digresses into something unstoppable? Is this just another sign that Vincent’s number will be up soon? Hopefully not.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

When Marcel had his drink to send Josh a farewell along with Josh’s trip to the afterlife. I would have preferred Klaus join Marcel in a drink since he made Josh into a vampire, but the sentiment was still there and done well. No one is truly safe on this show but Josh got a sorrowful but peaceful exit and Marcel appreciated everything Josh had done to call him family in the end.

 

CHARACTER MVP

Josh’s heroic act and sense of peace at the end I think earned him the spot this week. He may not have been a difference maker in the grand scheme of things but he did affect Marcel in such a way that there will certainly be a mourning phase and he does owe him one after the save. It would have been nice if somehow Josh could have said goodbye to Davina but she’s been missing since last season.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

The small twist at the end with Hope’s curse getting activated was a solid cliffhanger to bring us into the next fold of the show. It’ll be interesting to see how it interferes with the power she absorbed from the Mikaelsons and whether it’ll conflict with her nature or just compound it further into darkness.

 

Where was Freya during all this? And will she have anything to say to Vincent about his decision to undo their ties to the ancestral well? Probably not, but Vincent’s conflict from here on out has to be in consequence to this action. Something broken or undone because of this act will surely be a background subplot moving forward. Using magic of this magnitude always comes with a price.

 

There shouldn’t be any more real rivalry between Klaus and Elijah at this point. The two should be on relative good terms after what Elijah did, unless Antoinette proves to be some undoing but I don’t think there’s any more room to include that drama from here on out. The prime focus should be on Hope and what she’s going to turn into now that she’s on her way to becoming a werewolf-witch-hybrid-hollow person.

 

OVERALL SCORE

8 out of 10. There was permanent death and real change in the show’s dynamic, a fitting rise in action and closure as the oldest family nears the end of this tale. The next act should be more personal but also dangerous for the rest of the cast who intend to save Hope no matter the cost. And as always, how far will Klaus go to make sure his daughter is safe? Good episode and delivered promises of things to come. Until next time.

 

 

No more words

 

 

A Sashurai’s Review: Game of Thrones – Season 5×10 (To be fair, I threw the book when I read what transpired in the final scene back then)

GOT 5x10

I never thought the writers would try and cram two books into one season since it took two seasons just to cover book 3 (A Storm of Swords). Yet, here we are on the eve of A Dance with Dragons and the final act was like onto the end of Caesar’s reign, only instead of “Et tu Brute?” it was simply “Olly?” And like a band of self preserving troglodytes, they turn greek tragedy into the next sad moment in Westeros. Except Caesar didn’t have a witch like Melisandre to bring him back from the dead like the red priest has done with Beric Dondarrion. After 3 seasons, you’d let us simply forget that people can be brought back from the dead? Yeah, we’re onto you writers.

Like all GOT finales, everyone who had a speaking role needed either closure or events setting up the next stage in their lives and for the next season. Is everyone where they should be? The truth can be very subjective considering the hot tempers that will flair from events taking place tonight. I for one was as prepared as I could be, but that doesn’t change the fact that we don’t have the omniscience we once did anymore on who will live and who will die. Most of what transpired was not fun in the slightest, but more masochism and cringe-worthy moments that did little to answer but more speculative than anything. When the one moment where things seemed decent was when a dwarf and a bald guy reminisce and one says he missed the other, there needs to be a new bar on dismal and sullen finale’s. In any case, It’s done and now as a whole fanbase we can move on as one group, not just the two groups where one laughs on the outside but cries on the inside because they have to relive through this tragedy twice.

Melisandre leaves Stannis once he finds out half his army deserted him over Shireen’s death. Stannis trudges onward to Winterfell and meets the Bolton army. He is defeated and found by Brienne who seemingly executes him for the murder of his brother Renly. Theon helps Sansa escape Winterfell (That or they just committed suicide by jumping off a wall) Arya murders Trant and is later punished when her eyesight is removed. Cersei confesses to only sleeping with Lancel and is allowed to return to the red keep by walking from the church naked and scorned by the townsfolk. Jaime and Bronn leave Dorne with Myrcella and on the moment Jaime and Myrcella come to terms on him being her father she suffers fatally from a poisonous kiss given by Ellaria. In the North, Sam requests to leave with Gilly and the baby to learn to become a maester. After he leaves, Davos attempts to enlist Jon’s help when Melisandre arrives with little to say on Stannis’s fate. That night, Jon is led into a trap where several members of the watch stab Jon including Olly. Jon Snow is left for dead.

I’ve read the theories for years and I’m not truly an expert, but I can give my perspective on the events as they’ve been printed on film for us since season one. Whether Martin and the show writers truly intend for Jon’s swan song to be this moment, I am in denial because of certain pieces of evidence. Unfortunately none of that evidence is present in the finale save for Melisandre herself. She abandoned Stannis after supporting him for so long and as a red priestess, she has the ability to resurrect people, assuming of course if they deserve it. For now, it’s hard to say whether she will or won’t but it’s the best shot we have to saving Jon’s life and for those who think being resurrected completely ruins the character in question. Dondarrion is the only proof that you can be normal if you are properly resurrected pretty much at the moment of death. Otherwise you end up with a Lady Stoneheart in the making and the show just won’t do that to Jon. Is it a done deal that Jon will return? Of course not, but if they don’t they run the risk turning the north into a laughing stock of the whole series. If Jon isn’t there to help at least fend off the whitewalkers then Westeros is completely screwed until Dany comes and even then, there’s no telling what will happen. I’m confident Jon will be back. If they really wanted to kill him, they should have cut his head off like Ned. You don’t come back from that.

By not showing us what happened to Theon and Sansa I’m left laughing at the sheer incredulous cliffhanger that made me wonder just how much snow must they fall into to survive a drop like that. Clearly they didn’t die, but Sansa didn’t end up with Brienne either which was a very interesting way to go. So now, you have Theon, who actually helped Sansa and escaped which is unheard of. I have no doubt Ramsey will be searching for them in no time. Does this mean that Sansa will now be looking for her two little brothers in season 6? If so, she’ll only find Rickon if she gets to find him at all. This show has a way of saying “Noooooope, you don’t get to be happy for 1 second, back to Ramsey with you”. But we’ll see. And a fine farewell to Myranda, she got what she deserved.

I have no love loss for Stannis either. Was it fitting that Brienne took his life? Eh, it doesn’t matter to me. He was the lesser of two evils, but it wasn’t enough to take out the Boltons. What’s done is done. Brienne is very noble and continues to find ways to stay true to her convictions. Now that Sansa escaped it would be nice if the two ran into eachother because it’s highly unlikely that She’ll run into Littlefinger. Brienne’s purpose does seem a bit floundered at this point, but at least she’s still alive.

Arya’s revenge was very quick and to the point. She’s crossed over into a new brutal nature and used what she learned to get the job done. And now it’s at least for the time being cost her a bit of sight, or rather, all of it. This is mostly a book to show translation and for a while she’ll deal with the consequences. I’m not that worried about her because she has more story to fulfill. I liked that she was able to use a face and I absolutely loved that the character who everyone thought was Jaqen wasn’t and that any assassin could look like him. This leads to the possibility that the original Jaqen is on his mission still which in the books leads him on a path around Sam.

Jaime and Myrcella shared a nice moment where he finally felt some small measure of comfort in revealing his truth even though his daughter basically knew. And then she died. That’s what this show is known for doing and it was easy to realize that Ellaria would have the last word in this struggle. What’s important is understanding the calamity that will ensue including Trystane’s fate as well as backlash against all of Dorne. Will Jaime keep this from Cersei? Probably at first, but odds are this will strain their relationship and match it more with how Jaime sees Cersei in the books. Then again, they don’t have to do that if they don’t want to.

Now onto Cersei. That was brutal scene to watch. I read about how the creator’s had to get special permission to film a scene of that magnitude and all the points in the world to Lena Heady for taking the plunge and knocking that awkward scene out. Even as a villain, she had things coming to her, but this was vastly different than a poisoning or any physically hurtful thing she could have gone through. But she swallowed her pride and managed to get back home in the arms of an undead Mountain, who will be her next champion should she need one to fight for her in trial by combat. They could have cut that scene down at any point, but the resonance was so thick that it’s hard to believe she deserved anything remotely pertaining to that walk of shame. Even I thought the mother needed some comuppance because of it. Cersei is no doubt planning it and I’m glad she is, if she is.

Dany’s scenes were relatively unchanged except for it not being in a desert and her not suffering from hunger and, well other issues at hand. But she found more Dothraki and that was the point. She can’t get back to Meereen and now she’s surrounded by people that seemed to have dropped off the map since season two. One notable moment is when she dropped her ring which I assume means she doesn’t want them to know she was married because she in fact was already married to Khal Drogo and I’m certain these dothraki are aware of it. Will they follow her back to Meereen or will she be in for the fight of her life? I’m certain she’ll weave their loyalty while Darrio and Jorah seek her out.

FAVORITE MOMENT

Arya’s scene after the murder of Trant. It was more for her to understand she couldn’t just use her talents to do with what she pleased and further more confusing her on who and what the faceless men really are. They don’t just control faces, but body types as well. They can appear smaller when they are generally bigger and a true face is lost in the myriad of others. Does this mean Arya will eventually lose her true face? I hope not, but it’s certainly a possibility.

CHARACTER MVP

Cersei, hands down. She lost her hair and walked through an entire city naked with bloody feet and the muck of the populace coating her skin. No matter what she would not confess to sleeping with Jaime and stuck to her guns on the matter. Now she’s in full planning mode which she will no doubt act when the time is right. Does she have to play through the High Sparrow’s trial though, or can she just leave the city whenever she wants? She endured a lot to get back to her son and she deserves the credit for it.

ENDING THOUGHTS

Bran will be in season 6 and somehow he has to know what happened to his brother, Jon. If anyone else could help in this problem, it should be him along with Melisandre.

Davos is now free to murder Melisandre after everything she’s done. Even so, he’s without a king now, assuming Brienne murdered Stannis. If she didn’t, then keeping him alive would only mean she has other plans we’re not aware of.

Maybe now that they mentioned Benjen we’ll get a look at Coldhands next season. Then again, we didn’t get Lady Stoneheart, why would we get Coldhands? It’s a conspiracy to remove mostly dead resurrected characters. Only fully resurrected characters are allowed to be on this show…and the whitewalkers.

I’m very glad Tyrion and Varys are once more together. This show suffers a lot on great characters that don’t get to interact with other great characters, but for once they put Tyrion in a great position, that is until Dany left, but now Varys is back and soon those two will get to share scenes together and I can’t wait for that.

Where oh where is Littlefinger at this stage? Does he regret having left Sansa to deal with Ramsey? Will he have a plan should he find her again, or will he betray her as Cersei wanted him to? I highly doubt Peter will betray Sansa but even for that to have a sliver of a chance, he has to find her first, and I really don’t want him finding her.

OVERALL SCORE

8 out of 10. Not the strongest finale from the franchise and the end was entirely bittersweet because book readers knew what was coming. But for consistency of shots, beautiful landscapes and luscious atmosphere, GOT still manages to remain epic and large on a scale to well known after five years. Everyone is out of their element now, and some are dead for the effort. Every season it’s safe to say nothing is the same for anyone. And that’s the great thing about this type of storytelling. Nobody is expected to do what they must and as a result, so many different things can happen. This isn’t the story where the good guys win and the bad guys win, it’s people going through the motions and dealing with choices and consequences regardless of karma or a god’s will. The whitewalkers are that much closer and for now, the commander of the watch is dead. But dead isn’t forever in GOT and I do believe Jon will be brought back with Melisandre’s help. For now, it looks like the show watchers will find out before the book reader’s do and that has to sting knowing how loyal the book fanbase has been since day one. It’s an exciting time even though it’s equally frustrating. Will L + R = J even matter if Jon is dead at this point? That’s why he can’t be dead, because we have to know, and Jon has to know. But really, we need to know. Until next season, thank you for reading.

No more words

A Sashurai’s Review: The Vampire Diaries – Season 5×10 (Enzo has free reign in the daylight?)

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This week’s episode was a mixed bag of high-school-style breakups and dreary sentiments leaving everyone with the semblance of a cliffhanger that most characters, save for Stefan and Nadia, won’t give too much of an interest in. Even I found the last scene a bit winded and dry and I’m a huge Katherine fan. Something was missing in this episode even though tensions early on gave us a cool premise but decidedly stuck on an old formula. In order to get to our winter break, the Salvatore duo must rescue Elena from the clutches of evil Wes, and I swear Stefan looked rather bored to be along for the ride. Joining the side of casual revenge is (Lor)Enzo, whose score to settle with Damon barely stung the latter, who made a personal choice at the end I think we all saw coming.

As far as epic confrontations go, Enzo and Damon reuniting was the equivalent mixture of friends getting irritated because one of them squelched on a bet. Enzo began his premiere appearance with longing, charisma and gusto, and somehow lost it by throwing a tantrum because nobody would listen to his sob story. If he were a season two introduction, I think his plot and direction would have had more merit and depth. Right now, if we never saw him again, I don’t think he’d be remembered much.

(RECAP)

Damon escapes from his cell and enlists Stefan’s help in finding Elena. They track down Aaron who calls Wes. Elena is stuck in her father’s basement below his old office with Wes preparing her by removing her blood from her body. Wes injects Enzo with a poison and releases him, promising to give the antidote if he finds and kills damon.

Katherine, after sleeping with Stefan, physically trains with Matt in fear that her body is deteriorating further. Nadia returns and slaps her for trying to leave by suicide.

Aaron leads Damon and Stefan to a classroom where Enzo greets them and explains how he survived the fire that Damon left him to die in. Aaron offers to give Stefan files that could help find Elena and Enzo confronts Damon about the past. They fight until Enzo weakens from the poison and begins to desecrate.

Wes intends to inject Elena with a serum that will force her to crave vampire blood, but Stefan arrives and breaks Elena free preventing the injection.

Nadia offers to help Katherine with a Traveler spell that could switch her spirit with another body and survive, but Katherine refuses based on Stefan’s renewed interest in her. Nadia gets upset and leaves. Later on, she meets with Matt and gives him the Traveler knife and he agrees to help Katherine should she change her mind.

Damon saves Enzo’s life and declares they are now even. Enzo states that Damon will always be a monster before leaving him be.

Back at the Salvatore house, Elena reviews her father’s journal about his experiments with vampires as Damon confronts her about his nature. Even though Elena accepts who he is, Damon is frustrated and ends their relationship because he won’t change who he is and won’t force Elena to. Distraught, Elena throws her father’s journal in the fire.

Katherine realizes the previous night with Stefan won’t lead to anything and tries to leave. Stefan warmly apologizes to her about her condition. As Katherine leaves, she calls Nadia and agrees to undergo the Traveler’s spell but faints and falls down the stairs, suffering from more of her body’s deteriorating condition.

(END RECAP)

I don’t have a lot of positive pieces to insert for this episode except for praising what they “could” have done. Had Wes been able to inject Elena with the serum, that could have set the stage for some wild moments, but I do understand that there would be a senseless repeat with Elena’s personality reverting to the time she shut her emotions off. Diabolical Elena is likely similar to Ravenous Elena and her current role this season isn’t quite as substantial as it’s been in the past. With that said, I would have enjoyed the concept of Elena forcibly feeding on all the vampires she came into contact with and the brothers making a terrible choice on their hands.

Enzo’s involvement felt extremely lazy to me and their bromantic moment near the end was considerably awkward even though Enzo should have torn Damon’s heart out regardless of being saved. Under the right kind of plot I think Enzo’s character can be salvaged, but so far, his second appearance isn’t proving to be worthwhile and I was expecting something more sinister and creative with the Augustine vampire.

I enjoy Katherine’s character a lot, but she’s carrying herself in a way that’s almost pitiful considering all she’s done to stay one-step ahead and a true bad ass. I understand the complexity with giving her vulnerability and a familial chance at redemption. I’m all for that kind of storytelling. What I think is missing is a real sense of self-preservation. Her desperation isn’t genuine and her training with Matt made zero sense to me at all. It was completely counterproductive and only served to squeeze Matt in an extra scene just in case we forgot about him. Agreeing to do the spell will allow for her character to survive in another form, and I agree with that direction. Give her personality to a new character and end the doppelganger premise once and for all. Unless of course she actually died when she fell down the stairs. In that case, to hell with it.

I think Aaron story is about wrapped up. For some unknown reason everyone keeps leaving Wes alive when all he’s going to do is return to his experiments and fish another vampire from somewhere to continue the work. I expect another single, or many vampires to undergo the serum injection and spark a vampire war which I think could have some fiery results. Either that or kill Wes and be done with it. Human villains shouldn’t last long against vampire heroes.

Onto the breakups. Damon’s sudden return to his old self-loathing seemed a bit overdue and although I expected this to drag out further with Elena finding reasons to leave him, I find that this works better. When Damon is reminded how awful he is, he tends to believe it and lash out. Elena won’t truly give up on him and there will be plenty of episodic fallout until they reunite, through another tragic moment or another town party-dance routine. Damon works when he hates himself and lashes out and tries to not care by caring hatefully. Should Elena and Damon remain together? I don’t want them to, but I don’t think Elena should get back together with Stefan either, at least not until the final season plays out. Stefan is definitely unintentionally playing with Katherine’s emotional state. There’s deeper longing somewhere to be found considering how they’ve manage to help each other in the last few episodes. For Stefan to truly care and prove it to Katherine, he’ll need to pursue her when/if the Traveler spell works. Katherine is practically willing to die because of the physical attraction Stefan has with Elena’s image, even though Katherine came first. If they can break that mold, then Stefan and Katherine can push forward into something better for the both of them.

Overall, the drama didn’t feel nearly as effective as the last episode. Damon was the centerpiece and the fallout didn’t encapsulate the revenge factor it could have. Enzo can be a good rival to Damon, which I think he needs more than relationship drama. Stefan and Damon aren’t very capable of battling each other over the same woman and, if anything, they’ll need to follow separate paths to build on their unique natures again. Katherine should survive and swap to a new body while Elena should try and move on with Bonnie and Caroline by her side. See you after the holiday break and the 100th episode!

No more words

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