A Sashurai’s Review: The Originals – Season 5×13 (Brothers to the end)

TO 5x13

 

SUMMARY

Hope stops Klaus from staking himself as the Mikaelson family must deal with the darkness inside of Klaus. While chained up, Klaus hallucinates his father, Michael who implores him to kill Hope while a vision of Camille stresses that he not and follow his heart. Klaus escapes into a Mardi Gras parade and is continually tormented until Hope finds. Elijah subdues Klaus while Kol departs New Orleans against Rebekah’s wishes that he remain. Meanwhile, Freya asks Vincent to help father a child for her and Keelin, but he refuses over his reluctance to put any future generation through grief and pain. Elijah undergoes a spell to help dilute the darkness knowing it only buys Klaus a little time. Caroline arrives and Klaus takes her on a tour of the city while his family get together to celebrate Klaus and their memories of him. That night, Caroline helps Klaus deal with saying goodbye as he and Kol return to share in a family dinner of laughter and stories. Marcel swears to be by Hope’s side whenever he needs her and the family perform one last wish-burning to commemorate Klaus’s passing. Klaus says his goodbyes and leaves with Rebekah and Elijah. Vincent later returns and agrees to help Freya and Keelin start a family as Hope paints a picture of the Mikaelsons with Hayley’s spirit watching. In the square, Klaus tells Rebekah that Caroline is getting another cure and it’s her if she wants it. Rebekah thanks him and leaves to find Marcel who dismisses the remaining vampires from the city. Rebekah proposes to Marcel and tells him that she also intends to take the cure. Back in the square, Elijah breaks the last white oak stake and tells Klaus that he too intends to leave the world with his brother, having already said his goodbyes. Klaus laments that he doesn’t deserve his brother’s love but the two embrace and put an end to each-other’s lives as they slowly turn to ash and dissolve in the city.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

The Originals brought its family back one last time to say goodbye to not only Klaus, but Elijah Mikaelson as well. Both sacrificed themselves for the future and Rebekah with the others are free to make their futures as bright as they can make it. The course of Klaus’s end was never in question on this night as he fought to take the darkness with him. Cameos were all-present and the tears were very real. Their stories will hopefully live in for the next series to come and start its new course. It’s up to Hope now to carry that legacy into the next arc of the Mikaelsons and their unbridled nature to attract evil and drama. In short, this was the appropriate and fitting end that never lost sight of Klaus’s over-arcing story of redemption. Maybe he was and maybe he wasn’t, but one thing’s for sure. His story and Elijah’s are concluded…for now.

 

THE GOOD

This was a masterful work of sorry and goodbyes, a series of laments and laughter softly echoing in the background as Hope had the most trouble understanding what was going to happen and how to deal with it. Luckily, the writers were kind and gave everyone as much of a fairy-tale ending as they could given the longevity and life-style of these rich and troublesome characters. The most epic for me came in the presence of Rebekah’s happiness and choice to at some point become human. She was always my favorite character and if you want to get really technical the only Mikaelson to never truly succumb to a permanent form of death, although the body switching came drastically close. I think if anyone deserved to finally be free of the drama it was her and now, unless Legacies draws her back, she should be on her way to having a normal-ish life with a powerful vampire as her husband.

 

The choice to end both Klaus and Elijah’s lives together was interesting and while at first I thought it wasn’t necessary, I understand why it happened. With the exception of Hayley, Elijah never really wanted anything for himself that wasn’t some form of helping Klaus. If she were still alive I wonder what choice Elijah would have made here, but it’s possible the brothers might have gone out the same way regardless. It’s hard to film a vampire’s noble death, let alone two at the same time, but hats off to the crew for helping make Klaus and Elijah’s final appearance a heart-felt one…no pun intended.

 

THE BAD

No scene with Elijah and Hayley dancing in the afterlife or Klaus being accepted in an afterlife of redemption. Sometimes it’s best not to know, but in our case, maybe a little assurance that a character like Klaus won’t be stuck in limbo forever.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

Tough to spot. I’d like to say that last moment when the brothers shared their ashen and silent goodbyes, but because Rebekah seemed so happy to hear about the cure that it was her goodbye to Klaus I am going to favorite this time. I’m just glad she made it through this series without dying and there were certainly a few times that seemed like it was plausible.

 

CHARACTER MVP

How can I not give it to the brothers, Klaus and Elijah as together they met their ends by each other’s hands and no one else’s. Klaus learned his last lesson on how to say goodbye and maybe even forgive himself for everything’s he’s done. And even if he couldn’t, Elijah was there to do it for him. Validation and redemption, the two key pieces for these two and they, in retrospect, accomplished what they set out to do, one helped his brother find peace, and the other made sure peace was what he needed. Always and forever, right?

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

I guess I don’t really buy Michael and Camille’s visual showcase of his internal struggle to deal with the darkness inside him. The plot here was a bit off on how the darkness was going to affect him in that he was supposed to get really angry and dangerous but ultimately some voice in his head wanted him to kill Hope while the other voice pleaded not to. I would have thought the darkness would, (Given a 2 hour finale if it were one) be set so that Klaus would become apocalyptic and really put the world, or the city in this case in real danger. The family themselves would be forced to make the sacrificial decision for Klaus but instead the darkness was very much in the background in place for a tidy ceremony of goodbyes. I suppose it was more therapeutic to handle Klaus’s end this way rather than make him a fashionable villain one last time, but the stress of the darkness taking Klaus just wasn’t there at all from my perspective. It felt a bit hollow…no pun intended.

 

I think it’s safe to say Marcel will somehow cameo in the Legacies series given his statement to help Hope whenever she needs it. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if almost everyone on this show at one point or another shows up. I also fully expect Klaus to appear in some spiritual capacity in Legacies as well, if nothing else to confirm that he journeyed to the other side with barely a bump in the road.

 

I’m also not convinced that every vampire is just going to leave New Orleans be considering it’s natural pull to bring the supernatural in one place. I get that there probably won’t be any more stories to showcase there, but Legacies doesn’t always need to be tied to Mystic Falls. After all, which town/city handles daily parties better?

 

OVERALL SCORE

10 out of 10. They didn’t twist anyone’s fate and the show didn’t back down on Klaus and Elijah’s either. Two Mikaelsons died and the world will move on. Every goodbye was heartfelt as were the promises that those left behind will do good by those near and far. After reviewing all five seasons of this neck-snapping, high intensity, family driven, drama I can honestly say it was a fantastic ride and the Mikaelsons got the screen time they deserved after debuting in TVD so long ago. Now it’s up to Hope and the school to see where they can take it from here. Thanks for reading, we’ll be back this fall.

 

 

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A Sashurai’s Review: The Vampire Diaries – Season 8×16 (It was good to see you, one last time)

TVD 8x16

 

SUMMARY

While Vickie continues to ring the bell, Matt evacuates the town as Damon and Stefan confront Katherine who intends to watch the town finally burn. After recovering, Bonnie helps Alaric and the twins return to the armory and discovers Alaric’s “hail mary” plan to destroy hell with mystical energy. She intends to use the hellfire to do the job. After informing the brothers, each of them wants the other to leave town to survive, but it’s Damon who uses compulsion to make Stefan leave, finally atoning for all his past sins. With vervane in his system, Stefan leaves but returns with a syringe of his blood and injects Damon, turning him human. With the help of witches from the past, Bonnie funnels the hellfire back through the tunnels engulfing both Katherine and Stefan. In the aftermath, Stefan encounters Elena within the spell and gives her a message for Caroline before saying goodbye. Stefan finds Lexi in the afterlife as the two embrace. Some time later, Bonnie finally counteracts Kai’s spell and Elena finally wakes up. She reunites with Damon and Caroline as the group move on with their lives. Alaric and Caroline open the school with Jeremy assisting and Caroline receives a check and a letter from Klaus hoping one day they meet again. Bonnie begins a life of traveling and Damon and Elena continue their lives together. Further in the future after lives past, Elena reunites with her parents and family as Damon returns home to find Stefan welcoming him.

 

THE END

 

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

Eight seasons later, all diaries have been written and the group from Mystic Falls have each fulfilled their lives to the fullest. They indeed saved the best for last, marking the way for the spin-off to conclude in ways we’ve yet to see. But for now, Elena finally returned to Damon, and Stefan made the ultimate sacrifice for the good of all. The series finale contained an insurmountable warmth that took its time to carefully examine the pieces that made these characters become the best they could in understanding and in compassion. Everyone said good-bye in their own way, continuing their lives as they should have, and well after. The concluding moments were given a very Lost-esque ending, but those are the ones that matter, when characters and find the ones they’ve lost and be with those they love. Once you make a family, you’ll find them even at the end. A crisp and heartfelt episode, that made every fan lament in happiness and thankful for the journey these vampires, witches, werewolves, doppelgangers, sirens, gypsies, and humans gave us. A damn fine job ending this series.

 

THE GOOD

I have to say, not an ounce of this episode was wasted. Everything leading up to the climactic finale with Bonnie pushing the hellfire into hell was crafted with a lot of care. Right down the witches that came to help Bonnie give her the strength she needed. It culminated in the destruction of Katherine, who maintain the final role of the villain and rightly so. Her plan went as far as it could, the rest was left to the group to turn the plan back on her and so they did. Now that hell is destroyed, all souls are free to roam and move on as intended.

 

Damon and Stefan’s war of brotherly sacrifice had come to a head with Damon seemingly winning that argument only to be undone by Stefan’s guile and ultimate sense of purpose. We knew Damon wouldn’t be the one to go, after all, he had to see Elena again and there was no way that wasn’t going to happen. The moments that led to and from were captivating and drew in the bonds that made them so memorable as characters. Each were willing to be the martyr, but Stefan won the unspoken duel. The rest was left to fate and a hope that one day they’d see each other again.

 

Nina’s dual run as Elena and Katherine scores as usual. She was the original sarcastic villain, always the jealous fit who tried to find every loophole and ability to exist in and around the afterlife. Elena’s return was as though she never left at all. Two seasons and the young actress didn’t skip a beat. Her natural charisma and heart came through complete with Katherine’s raw hatred of both brothers. One would think the two would have crossed paths one last time, but it wasn’t in the cards. Still, Elena returning capped off the show as it was meant to. Welcome back, for the final time.

 

Of course everyone (Almost everyone) returned to cameo in the finale making this a monumental good-bye including Lexi, Jeremy, Vickie, Tyler, Liz, Elena’s parents and aunt, and everyone else who affected their lives. Thank you for giving them a chance to do that, and do it in a way that really capitalized on those tears that likely came for the entire fanbase. It was one of the warmest sendoffs out there.

 

THE BAD

The only no-show was Elena’s biological mother, Isobel, played by Mia Kirshner. I thought she might walk through the door with John, but sadly, I guess she wasn’t available for the scene. That’s okay. Isobel didn’t really play that big of a role in Elena’s life and though she was compelled by Klaus to perform a lot of villain acts, I’d like to think she redeemed herself in some capacity. In any case, I felt there were no other flaws on this episode whatsoever.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

I’ve been saying it for years and when Stefan walked out of the school and saw Lexi out there waiting for him, I had my moment, that necessary moment I wanted since Lexi’s last appearance. She was always my favorite vampire on this show and seeing her one last time was the perfect sendoff I needed personally. Thank you for that. And reuniting her with Stefan was also very appropriate. Excellent goodbye to those who thought she was awesome.

 

CHARACTER MVP

Ever the tough one, but this cast did a lot so let’s give it to all of them. Stefan made the ultimate sacrifice, Damon made the choice to try, Bonnie held off the hellfire, Matt and his father said goodbye to Vickie, Caroline chose to be with her daughters along with Alaric. Everyone played a part to make the best of an ending to this kind of drama and without the cast as they were, none of it would have happened. Thanks to the team of Mystic Falls for delivering that last momentous push to stop evil.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

I would have thought Katherine might have gained some semblance of Cade’s power as the new ruler of hell, but being the new ruler doesn’t mean being powerful as Cade was, since he was a psychic and Katherine wasn’t. I get it, but still seemed strange that she couldn’t actually put up a fight against the Salvatore brothers.

 

Klaus’s letter reads “Dearest Caroline, I have often imagined the paths your life might take, but your chosen future is more noble than I ever fathomed. Please accept this contribution to your virtuous cause. I do look forward to thanking you in person someday…However long it takes, Yours, Klaus.

 

This was our one and only link to The Originals and it does bring some speculation that maybe we’ll see Caroline in an episode toward the end of its final run. I’d like to think someone from TVD will show up in TO, and Caroline is probably the person who it should be. After all, she’s the last vampire standing on this show, very strange considering if I was given a choice on who that would be from way back in season 1, I probably wouldn’t have picked her. Funny how that works out.

 

It’s interesting wondering what kind of occupation Damon would have undertaken now that he’s human. During a “flashfoward” Damon suffered the human fatigue of boredom and longed for the vampire life again, yet as we see him now, grown, mature, and saturated by those he cares for, I can imagine he became someone who Elena was proud of, whatever that thing ended up being.

 

OVERALL SCORE

10 out of 10. The team behind the show did their best to produce a finale that clutched at our hearts and brought finality to the group in nearly every way possible. Katherine’s last note of vengeance of denied to eternity and Stefan finally carried with him the burden of sacrifice he had been longing for. Damon’s return to humanity and reuniting with Elena was the moment everyone needed to see since everyone speculated their coupling and it was given to us along with a multitude of cameos and cherished moments to fill a whole soundtrack with. As this chapter closes, there’s one last story to tell in the world of vampires, but for now, the Salvatores and the citizens of Mystic Falls say their goodbyes to us in harmony and love. Their best episode because they helped make us care and in turn cared back. Thanks for the memories and all 8 years of neck-snapping craziness. Thanks for reading. We’ll see you next time on The Originals.

 

 

No more words

 

 

 

A Sashurai’s Review: Hannibal – Season 3×13 (Compassion is always inconvenient in the eyes of decadence)

Hanni 3x13

Their bodies taste the metal and with it comes the blood-soaked conclusion that closes the book between one profiler and one surrealistic killer. Hannibal takes the known and casts it aside to tell it’s own version of endings that fits the parameters of all episodes that preceded them. When characters plummet, there’s always a chance to rise again, but there’s a healthy assurance that whether their lives continue or not, one thing is for certain, they accepted each other’s strength and weakness for but a fleeting moment, then let go.

The symmetry was for the most part intact. I’m left feeling generally satisfied with how events played out, however the hang-ups I do have don’t detract too much from my overall assessment that we were given a grand finale that made the most sense and was the most deserved. There were no plans to leave thing open for season 4 to handle the “Silence” treatment yet if it snows in hell, then never say never. Some questions do linger most notably the depiction of Bedelia and her insatiable urge to settle as Hannibal’s meal, but I’ll get into that leg of it a bit later.

Francis sets up his death by presumably shooting himself after setting his house on fire with the intention for both he and Reba to die in. Reba escapes believing Francis is dead and converses with Will on the matter. Will says his goodbyes to Hannibal but is later found by Francis who forces Will to help him meet Hannibal face to face. Will returns to Jack and with Dr. Bloom they plan a scenario that sees Hannibal escape from his confines with the intention of dispatching both him and the dragon. While traveling, Will and Hannibal’s car is attacked by Francis, who kills all the cops and drives away. Hannibal takes a cop car and drives to his old home with Will accompanying him. At night, Hannibal treats Will to a glass of wine but is shot through the stomach by Francis. He arrives and intends to film his murder of Hannibal but Will attempts to shoot Francis from behind. Francis stabs Will in the side of the face and shoulder as the three struggle toward the outside of the house. Will and Hannibal work together and kill Francis taking in several wounds. In the final scene, Will and Hannibal embrace by the cliff’s edge with Hannibal saying this was all he ever wanted for the both of them. Will whispers that it’s beautiful and then pulls himself and Hannibal off the cliff toward the ocean hundreds of feet below. In the post-credit scene, Bedelia is seen sitting at a table for three with her left leg dressed as the entree on the table. She patiently waits for Hannibal to arrive and eat her.

Rather than conclude the tale with Francis once more attacking Will with his family, the tale is turned inward and he now wishes to kill Hannibal on his path to changing into the red dragon. While I completely agree this idea was the appropriate way to go, I can’t help but wonder logistically why Will went along with it without tipping anyone’s hand. He never informed Jack or Bloom that Francis was “making” him find a way to join him to Hannibal which I thought was strange. Even their plan collectively to have Hannibal and Francis killed wasn’t spelled out in any discernible way. Jack and Bloom weren’t at the house, and for that matter neither was Chiyo so none of them could have any hand in the plan they were making with Will. Not to mention all the cops who were murdered but I don’t think they intended on Francis to attack while they were on route, which begs the question, where were they actually going? Were they going to pretend stop somewhere and then get attacked? It’s not a huge issue but my main concern was that Jack and Bloom really didn’t have any last scene to wrap up any lingering issues they had. Jack kind of did earlier in the previous episode when he declared Hannibal was the devil. And I suppose Bloom and Chilton’s final scene together was meant to address any mental concerns she had. Something felt underwhelming about getting Francis to make Will pretend to get Hannibal released, but in the end it was to get the three of them alone in that house which happened and that’s what we needed. Logistics aside, the ends justified the means.

The bloody act itself was likened to fighting necessary evil. Will and Hannibal worked together which I think is something fans wanted to see since the beginning. Opposite forces destroy the common enemy and for the time given it was a savage piece of art. I really didn’t expect Will to keep fighting after that first stab wound in the face. I looked at it again and I still think he should have bled out, but he fought on and even sustained more wounds that surely would done him in had he not tossed himself and Hannibal over the edge. I believe Hannibal would have survived his gunshot and other wounds as well. But the nature of these cuts and flesh tears that permeate this show is that the human body is tough and resilient and can survive a lot of pain. Which brings us to the next topic.

Did they actually die from falling into the ocean? Poetry and a flair for the dramatic demands the answer be yes. Will accepted the beauty in Hannibal’s over-arcing vision but still had to put an end to the violence he had done and likely would continue doing. As far as the fall goes. In real life, smacking the ocean at a height like that is just the same as hitting pavement and if you have enough speed to hit terminal velocity, the act is that much more gruesome. Having said that, people have survived falls like that and sustained only broken limbs for the effort. So if the story demanded it, yes, they could both survive. Hannibal could be recaptured and season 4 could continue with the Silence plot, but we all know that’s a non-issue and this ending was the feather in that cap because they knew it too. I choose to believe they met their end mainly because Hannibal accepted Will’s choice to leave that cliff. If Hannibal wanted to live, he would have and this show was always about his driving force. If he gives up, then his body won’t survive. He can always make the best out of a bad situation, but this time, he felt it was okay, because Will finally understood what Hannibal was all about.

FAVORITE MOMENT

That epic final fight. It all built to that moment and seeing Will and Hannibal tear into Francis as a pair was brutal and fierce. It tops out their embrace and suicide at the end because the finale prepared us for that the second they began talking about the cliff and erosion earlier in the day. It was easy to pinpoint what the ending would be, but not necessarily how they reached it. The fight was the payoff and I for one enjoyed the hell out of it.

CHARACTER MVP

Will and Hannibal are the dual winners in this clash and rightfully so. The ending needed to focus on them specifically and together they shared enough true moments that capitalized on their brilliant acting ability. In a way one could argue that Hannibal knew how everything was going to play out when he mentioned the cliff with Will, supplanting the idea in his head that they were meant to topple over after they took out Francis. If only they were able to share their last drink where could the conversation go, but forever in reflection on their lives and what got them there.

ENDING THOUGHTS

In the post-credit scene, Bedelia sits alone with a hopeful look that Hannibal will be in attendance. Then there’s a close-up of a right hand picking up a fork on a plate, but then the next shot shows Bedelia moving her left hand down to her side. The camera focused on the fork suggests that its opposing against Bedelia’s sitting position and the hand picking up the fork looked very male. In essence, either Hannibal is in fact there or she’s imagining him there partaking in the meal that is her left leg. However the chair on the opposite end remains pushed in also suggesting that she is in fact alone.

Something else that makes me wonder is why the leg? I kept thinking that there’s some erotic nature with Bedelia wanting to be devoured, but if her leg is already detached, then the devouring aspect is really just the eating act itself and she just wants to watch and experience it as a spectator rather than be the physical meal. She wants Hannibal to enjoy her more than any meal he’s ever had because she’s above the “pet” or the annoying client or anyone else that Hannibal normally considers to be live-stock. Her devotion to being worthy demonstrates that there’s a mountain of wrong in her mind, yet there she was, ready and willing to be the decadent meal he always intended.

I go back to logistics, but according to the scene, Francis held the body up to shoot it with the shotgun and it somehow stayed standing long enough to drop like a normal living body would when it’s shot point blank with the shotgun. I’m curious how fast Francis had to act to put the key around his neck and stand him up after he leaves Reba’s side.

I’m surprised there were no more scenes with Will’s family. I suppose any sentimental moments would have given away some aspect of the ending and they didn’t want to distract Will with believing he had to make a choice between them and Hannibal. It also doesn’t have to clarify if Will intended to make it out of Hannibal’s house alive originally, but he did carry a gun so there’s that.

OVERALL SCORE

9 out of 10. Some of the logistical nitpicks held this from being a perfect score, but otherwise it was the proper finale with the right characters an the right setting to be had. Hannibal and Will shared more than just a bond of opposing ideals, but the fascination of Hannibal’s killing spirit and Will’s reluctance to tap into that spirit made their relationship super conductive. They could sit down and have layered philosophical discussions from dawn to dusk and as long as there were things to discover within each other, they’d play at those roles with Hannibal the ever guiding hand. I believe they had a strong finish, with Bedelia being left at the table. In hindsight, she represents our own unresolved state that the show was cut before its time and we won’t have our final meal to enjoy. It will just grow cold. I’m satisfied with the ending and with the show in general. Brilliant images cascading through the imaginative and cultivating fine pieces of storytelling that will resonate for some time. I always thought Hannibal Lecter was the definitive villain in all of literature, but now I can see that when translated gracefully, he can be that same unique and elegant villain in all forms of media. Thanks for reading.

No more words