A Sashurai’s Review: The Originals – Season 5×08 (This was Haley’s true sendoff)

TO 5x08

 

SUMMARY

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.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

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 GOOD

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.

 

THE BAD

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.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

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.

 

CHARACTER MVP

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.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

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.

 

OVERALL SCORE

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.

 

 

No more words

 

 

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A Sashurai’s Review: The Originals – Season 4×13 (Not quite the end, not yet)

TO 4x13

 

SUMMARY

Vincent explains to the Mikaelsons that in order to save Hope, he needs to divide the Hollow’s spirit and place it forever within each of the Mikaelson vampires with the aftermath being they can never see one another again. Meanwhile, the Hollow resurrects her servant Dominic and together with her acolytes, storm New Orleans, collecting other witches to serve them. Hayley confronts the Hollow but is easily beaten. When she comes to under Vincent’s care, he explains that Klaus can never see Hope which could sway his decision to undertake the spell. Hayley tells Klaus anyway as the Mikaelsons later storm the church and subdue Hope with the help of Marcel and Sofya. When Kol is presumed unable or unwilling to return, Freya decides to become a vampire to be the fourth, but Kol arrives to take her place. After the spell is cast, the Mikaelsons split with Klaus the last to leave, telling Hope he loves her. The next day, Elijah requests that Elijah and Vincent collectively help cast a compulsion spell on him so that he forgets his vow of loyalty and devotion to Klaus and his family. After doing so, he disappears. Hayley takes Hope to Mystic Falls where she and Alaric watch her interact with other schoolmates. In San Francisco, Kol prepares an engagement ring for Davina while in New York City, Marcel declares his love for Rebekah and the two reconcile. In France, Elijah performs on a piano in a club as Klaus watches his brother in the background, proud of his new life.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

Take out the rudimentary plot to once more split the Mikaelsons up, tonight’s season finale garnishes a much more sentimental outlook while never truly saying goodbye to the family that has outlasted time itself. The growth of Klaus and Elijah has seen enough peaks and valleys to take this spin-off and continue to untold tales, but for the first time, I think their final scene together really told the best tale between their birth and eventual ends. As a fan of The Originals, this finale struck the right emotional chord, if not for the idea that redemption is unachievable, but that happiness can exist in their separate lives. It may not be forever, but at least collectively it was at the same time.

 

THE GOOD

It’s easy to dissect, but Klaus’s moments with Elijah, Marcel and Hope at the end really have given the audience an idea of what full circle can mean for the oldest hybrid. His moments of confession and letting go are what we’ve been needing to see since his time on TVD when family and companionship was all he really wanted, and to lift some curses and stuff. In the present though, he wants to be left to his fate which he presumes will be the downfall of his humanity and eventual turn for the worse. Will he simply turn into the villain again, or can he maintain as Elijah’s ever watchful brother? I’m certain season 5 will answer that very quickly.

 

This is honestly more neutral than it probably should be, but the idea is still sound and I refer to Rebekah and Marcel finally joined as they had started all those years ago. Rebekah simply wasn’t buying Marcel’s candid appearance, but his sincerity won her in a heartbeat and now we’re given the proverbial happy ending she always wanted. I like it because that’s what I wanted from her. Since the beginning, she wanted that companionship and love from someone, almost anyone who showed feelings toward her and time and time again, she was parted from that happy ending, until now. The only real downside is not knowing if it will last into season 5.

 

THE BAD

The episode contain almost zero tension and drama regarding the fate of the Hollow. Even after Dominic was resurrected, there was no innate fear that the Hollow was going to be subdued at a real heavy price, and I speak of death not the separation of the Mikaelson family, which we know if ultimately temporary as this isn’t a series finale. The Hollow, in retrospect was just really a tool to get the Mikaelsons to part ways in a very forcible manner that they would never agree to on common ground. There could be some genuine irony if something or someone had to pull them back together because of something worse appearing that only the Hollow or her power could be used against. Imagine the darkness that would need to be in those shoes.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

It’s a combination of Klaus’s confession to Marcel and the last season of the episode when Klaus watches his brother with a smile. Both are his real growth moments, the heavy pieces that we’ve been waiting to see as his story is being told. At the end of the day, he knows he can’t be redeemed and now he has to suffer any ill effects of the Hollow’s damning curse alone. He’ll dabble in quiet solitude and eventually revert back to some old methods to wash away the anguish, only this time, no one will be there to console him. Maybe Freya can see him from time to time, but without his daughter, Klaus can only dream of the future he could have had and that will make him miserable for as long as the earth will have him.

 

CHARACTER MVP

It really should go to all four Mikaelsons with Freya too going as far as to become a vampire to keep Hayley from having to leave her daughter. Everyone shared in the grief but knew the decision had to be made. Rebekah certainly complained the most, but even she understood what had to happen. And for once, it was good to see the siblings outside of New Orleans partaking in what most people could consider a normal life.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

Where does the series go from here? A season 5 has been officially greenlit and eventually this family will have to come back. Will Elijah be boundless and free forever or will something happen to Marcel to erase the compulsion he’s still under? Will he ever recognize Klaus again, and for that matter, does he understand all the aspects of his vampiric life never remembering the family he had? How absent is he eternally?

 

Will Klaus being aound Elijah be a serving point in the next season to bring the Hollow its power to half-strength? I can see this as a tease to that eventual return mainly because Klaus couldn’t help but be his brother’s keeper now that their roles are seemingly reversed.

 

Can the Mikaelsons really be around any witches at all? Freya and Davina are powerful in their own right and could be lured to bring out the Hollow in some odd way. Vincent may not account for what will happen if an Original dies. Let’s say Kol for example, meets some dark and unexpected end. What will happen to the Hollow’s power and the rest of the his siblings? There’s still a lot that can go wrong here.

 

I’d like the next season to jump ahead and put Hope as more of the central character moving forward. She could be at an age where her abilities manifest in some form that maybe she’s convinced that she could bring the Mikaelsons back and purge the Hollow’s spirit herself whether Vincent’s around or not. She could at least have the confidence before finding out how wrong she might be and letting the Hollow reform back again. But at least the family would be back together.

 

OVERALL SCORE

7 out of 10. It was an overtly sentimental finale that if pursued as the true final episode, I would have cheered with thumbs up. But it’s not, and since they didn’t know, we didn’t get a raging cliffhanger that would have certainly been worse if they never came back. What this basically means is, whatever bow they wanted to put on this series, they’re going to have to do this all over again with more sentiments and goodbyes and probably throw in a few cures to boot before we finally shut the coffin on this world forever. I’m still excited to see what they’ll come in store with, but I’m hoping they take the time to really think about a villain base that makes sense and it equally compelling as the family itself. The Hollow was not a very interesting villain and we need likeminded characters challenging the Mikaelsons in ways they’ve never been challenged before. Write those episodes and season 5 will be unstoppable. Thanks for reading. See you next season.

 

 

No more words

A Sashurai’s Review: The Originals – Season 4×12 (Witches need more abilities than just force pushing through windows)

TO 4x112

 

SUMMARY

Hayley avoids Elijah while contemplating how to raise Hope with the violent Mikaelsons. Meanwhile, Vincent attempts to locate Inadu’s mother in the afterlife for information on how to seal the hollow for good, but is attacked by more hollow acolytes. The hollow book is stolen leaving Klaus and Elijah to find it as Rebekah is staked by Hope. With Marcel’s help, Vincent momentarily dies to find Inadu’s mother and discover the spell to lock Inadu away for good. Together, Freya and Hayley discover Inadu is within Hope and subdue her but Inadu’s spirit releases and takes out everyone including Elijah and Marcel who are helping Vincent by distracting Inadu. Vincent arrives and traps her while Klaus enters the realm Hope is trapped in to help keep her fighting against the hollow. Inadu breaks free and again takes Hope, this time burning the book for good before returning to her acolytes. As the family recovers Vincent warns Klaus that in order to defeat the hollow they must prepare to suffer a grim fate.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

The Originals cash in on what may be a heartbreaking finale similar to last season when the family that tries to stay together may once more be separated through the worst of circumstances. As far as penultimate episodes go, this felt a little flat in that they had to focus on entirely too many people at once including Elijah’s return, Haley’s dissonance, Freya’s dark fear, the return of Sofya, and so many acolytes. It wasn’t a mess, but there was a rough way of telling this story and keeping Inadu in a state of advantage. Most of all we’re given Klaus’s reveal that he will return to his old personality if something bad happens to Hope. His growth is anchored by the love he can give another, in this season, it’s his daughter as last season is was more toward Camille and baby Hope. Vincent swears a heavy price with what’s to come and it’s a good foreshadowing, one I am certainly excited to see.

 

THE GOOD

I’m actually glad they didn’t overemphasize Elijah’s return or the impending doom of his relationship with Hayley. Too much was going on and we were only given a few moments between them. Elijah kept it short and simple that he’s on her side, but Hayley of course can’t settle on being around such a violent family even though it’s all she’s ever truly known. As for Elijah, he sees the problem at hand and tells Klaus to take Hope and leave when all is said and done. I do believe he understands what’s at stake with Klaus in that if Hope is lost, Klaus will become far worse than he’s been and that’s too high a risk considering the evil they’re already dealing with.

 

THE BAD

Too many acolytes, too many characters running around trying to make sense of the trouble their in. I don’t like how the stock of evil hollow worshippers is essentially endless. If we took count, it would be somewhere close to 75-100 which may seem small in comparison to the world, but for episodes like these, that’s still a lot of witch-like characters and unless all the witches in New Orleans turned to worship Inadu, it just doesn’t make sense to give us these stormtrooper style minions.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

I think I really like Vincent’s words at the end, the kind of words to the Mikaelsons that really spells what a price looks like should they wish to defeat the hollow once and for all. I like his delivery and his emphasis. It almost works out in his favor ultimately which could always be something he fashioned as a means to kill all the birds with one stone. In any case, he remains one of my favorite characters because of that raw intensity he provides and seeing the look on Klaus’s face says it all, of course he’ll pay that price to save his daughter.

 

CHARACTER MVP

Again, I think Vincent played the bigger role here going as far as to let himself die to seek the answers he needed. He can keep a level head while still sounding completely frustrated and full of anxiety. Marcel comes in a close second for the one on everyone battle against the hollow acolytes. I wish we could have seen more of that devastating spree, but with what we were given, it was an excellent showdown. Though it should have been entirely more one-sided.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

I think the amount of damage Inadu did on Sofya should have killed her. Sofya didn’t strike me as a particularly powerful character, at least in comparison to the others around her and it looked like her days were essentially numbered. But I get that we needed Rebekah to understand that Marcel isn’t in a state of mind to return to her because of his feelings toward Sofya, which, to this day I still don’t understand why he fell for her.

 

This was also one of those moments I thought Keelin would perish as well considering the heavy emphasis Freya took in keeping her safe. That much work usually means in storytelling devices that she’d like fail as an ironic twist or that she’d cause something that would lead to that tragic moment, but from the way they’re building up the relationship, they really do want Freya to have someone to hold onto that isn’t just another sibling she’s trying to keep alive. It’s still tough forgiving her for what she did to Davina last season though. Mostly.

 

When Hope was able to disappear after Klaus console her, it seemed like she was going to be able to take control of herself again, but that didn’t end up happening, so where in fact did she go? Was it so quick between her waking and Inadu possessing her again that we just weren’t given a chance to see it? Seemed like an odd transition and also the fact that the hollow and release and return to her at will. One would think a spell like that would infuse her a bit more securely except Hope is in fact the most powerful witch, in theory, so there’s that.

 

I can see how this is being built as a final episode of the series, but I wonder how it would have played out if season 5 wasn’t green-lit for next year. After this, it’s going to be hard to top a powerful character like Inadu but I’m sure they’ll think of something. We’ve pretty much covered the origin of all supernatural elements on this show and TVD, when season 5 does come around, will be more in-fighting with Klaus and his siblings or another test to see how they’ll band together once more against a common foe. And I’d also expect to see another TVD cameo from someone, other than Alaric since we already got to see him.

 

OVERALL SCORE

7 out of 10. The Originals create a lot of physical and metaphorical circles to trap their problems and deal with a common threat in their city. Klaus’s mental health and many other lives are on the line including a fair warning that stopping the hollow will disband the Mikaelsons for good. At least they’d have skype and cell phones, but will this in fact be the last time the family can be a single unit? Hayley’s dealing with issues on raising Hope that Elijah recognizes and insists Klaus be the one to make sure Hope is raised without the violence. In a way, this result may be exactly what the family needs to maintain a sense of normalcy. An enjoyable episode, but more toward the foundation of knowing that we’re nearing the end of the season and in a way it feels like we just started. One more to go before the long break. But at least we’ll get one more go after this. Thanks for reading.

 

 

No more words

 

 

 

A Sashurai’s Review: The Originals – Season 4×11 (That “damn it” was perfect)

TO 4x11

 

SUMMARY

With Hope’s blood, Freya coats a pair of daggers for her and Hayley to use on the Hollow while Kol is tasked by Inadu to keep a totem protecting her safe. Rebekah is sent after the totem and aided by Marcel, however Kol traps them in binding spell and goes to Hope to help her undo the linking spell between Inadu and Davina. Hayley and Freya track Inadu to a derelict home but are both subdued by powerful hallucinating spells. Freya fights against a form of Keelin who plays at her fears of losing her while Hayley wakes in the bayou with a form of Jackson stalling her from waking. Klaus finds Rebekah and Marcel and learns of Kol’s betrayal then returns to the compound while Hope attempts to help Kol. Rebekah and Marcel burn the house they are in down and during an argument they kiss with Rebekah immediately regretting it. Klaus fights with Kol as Hope unbinds the spell just as Hayley and Freya free themselves and face Inadu. With the linking spell broken Davina is freed just as Hayley kills Inadu with the dagger. Klaus releases Kol who reunites with Davina as they leave the city together. Back at the compound, Freya performs the spell to resurrect Elijah while Hayley drinks at the bayou and laments her feelings for both Jackson and Elijah. She also admits to needing strength to do something hard to keep Hope safe. Later at night, Klaus puts Hope to bed not realizing that Inadu had previously performed a spell that allowed her to take possession of her.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

The Originals fought mostly as a family to put Inadu’s new mortal form to a permanent rest, however, unforeseen by them, she now has taken control of Hope in a last ditch effort to remain in the mortal plane. Hayley’s battle is likely leading her down a new path that may once again put her at odds with the entire Mikaelson bloodline, and Jackson briefly cameo’d, this time as a wicked hallucination paired against Hayley. All this and all my interest was actually on Rebekah and Marcel having their little argument that ended quite predictably in a long overdue kiss. Davina and Kol riding off into the blackened night was understandably necessary if nothing else to give Davina a more dignified ending than becoming the ancestor’s pet spirit. I’m fine with how they ended up given Kol’s strange journey over the seasons. The rest was of course the focus for Hayley which seems to be planting harder over our heads more than usual. Once again she’s turning her situation into an impossible choice, one that probably won’t involve consulting Klaus who will of course react in various yelling ways.

 

THE GOOD

The relationships are always a key element in these vampire stories and while Marcel and Rebekah are busy confusing themselves over what could and should have been, Davina and Kol are very keen on their plan to explore the world now that they’re free from the evil plots within New Orleans. Hayley, is still dealing with some leftover grief regarding her choice to be with Elijah versus Jackson even though she was married to him. It’s really about relationships that help create these conflicting moments, not just the bad guys manipulating events and creating ultimatums. Even Klaus, who went to the dagger as the answer, found a way to forgive Kol in the heat of the moment because Kol relied on Klaus’s feelings toward Camille to stay his hand. Those moments are far more classic than Hayley finding the strength to stab Inadu over and over. Even Freya dealing with a vision of evil-Keelin was to herself an eye-opener that inevitability of death can be anyone’s greatest fear. A lot of poignant moments came out of tonight and we didn’t even need any scenes with Elijah, though we got two.

 

THE BAD

Inadu’s time as herself was very short lived. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised since we only have two episodes left, but I’m not the biggest fan of a spirit swapping from person to person keeping the essence of its core alive. Viewers should invest in an actor or actress as the villain to help understand their madness or their plight depending on how they’re presented. When several people portray the same villain, it can water down the effect greatly where I don’t really care one way or another how this creature manifests because we’ve lost all investment in it. I just think Inadu should have stayed in her true form until the end.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

When Rebekah and Marcel’s argument led to their kiss. It was a very classic style of bickering and infatuation that I think only exists in the confines of television, but it helps lighten the mood and can shift the tone in favor for the characters in question. It was a fun moment, one that I’m glad ended with Rebekah whispering her obscenity as she walked off in frustration. I’m sure Marcel was thinking the same thing.

 

CHARACTER MVP

This shout-out will go to Kol this time. In the realm of family versus love, he tried to balance the scales as best he could knowing Klaus’s wrath was every near his heart. Still, in the end, he managed to get what he wanted and left relatively unscathed for the effort. His was the real victory if not a personal one and if I didn’t know better I’d say this was his final adieu until at least next season.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

While Marcel’s role as king of the city has now been reduced to, which lovely lady does he confess eternal love to? I actually am rooting for him to choose Rebekah, if nothing else to finally get their frustrations from centuries of avoiding each other out. Marcel is the only person Rebekah loved that hasn’t been put to death and while it would have been better if Matt was still in the picture, I’d say Marcel is the next best thing for her if she really wants to try.

 

Vincent will have to come back into play for this final act considering Hope is now possessed by Inadu making this being the most powerful witch of all time. She’ll throw everyone across the room at the same time and not even think twice about it. I’m sure someone will mention some purging spell probably within the book Vincent tried to destroy a while back. Either way, Klaus and Hayley are going to have a field day when they find out what’s happened to their child.

 

I’m not certain the knot representing the linking spell was a good way to throw in something for Hope to do. Clearly, Kol couldn’t explain what she needed to do specifically so somehow he relied on some dark object that when properly straightened unlinked Davina from Inadu. I think we just have to accept the scene as it was and not really question it because it felt like it came out of nowhere. And the effects weren’t very good on screen either.

 

I wonder what the studios are doing to try and write the incoming 5th season since Inadu was really supposed to represent the end-all-be-all villain of the series. Will they skip ahead in time again or will they introduce an even greater foe for them to contend with? And of course, what stylized cliffhanger will they give us this time?

 

OVERALL SCORE

8 out 10. A family united can create the moments they need to succeed and be victorious against a common foe. Tonight’s Originals saw to the bitter end the original form of the hollow before it took refuge within Hope. If there’s still a sacrifice to be had to stop it, then Freya’s threat to use Marcel is still in effect, otherwise they’re in a world of trouble. Within Hayley’s struggle to fight Jackson and save the day, a few other couples shared some very heartfelt and lovingly funny moments, mostly in dealing with feelings that rarely get a chance to be explored. Though they’ve earned a respite and everyone’s well-dressed brother is back in the game, the real final battle is about to begin and the kingdom will once more be in jeopardy. Outside of a few glaring flaws, this was a brilliant episode with temptation and loyalty playing all-throughout. Only two episodes remain and a promise of one more journey in the city of New Orleans next year. Until next week, thanks for reading.

 

 

No more words

A Sashurai’s Review: The Originals – Season 4×10 (Where did the door with angel wings lead, I wonder?)

TO 4x10

 

SUMMARY

Kol and Rebekah return to New Orleans after witnessing several of Elijah’s sire-line die at a club while Freya attempts to find Elijah herself within the broken pendant. Together, Klaus and Rebekah locate and destroy all but one of the thorn-stakes leaving the last to Marcel who needs it to save Sofya. On his own, Kol tries to bargain with the harvest girls to see Davina but they refuse leaving him desperate, meanwhile Freya fails to find Elijah leaving Hayley to try herself. As she searches, Hayley finds the fabled red door which contains Elijah’s darkest aspect of his life during a time centuries ago. The Elijah within chases her but with Hope’s help, Elijah regains his sense of self and Freya stabilizes the pendant back to its full form. Later, Freya tells Rebekah that if they can’t use the Hollow to save Elijah’s body, she’ll sacrifice the only other person strong enough to see it through, Marcel. At the cemetery, Inadu finds Kol and shows him a resurrected Davina now linked to Inadu herself. Kol is now faced with serving Inadu to keep Davina safe.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

A family has mostly been reunited with a sense of familial dread on the horizon. Tonight’s Originals mark their trails that will inevitably lead to a final confrontation with the most powerful witch of all. The bulk of the episode stood for the search and rescue of Elijah’s soul, an act that built a visual landscape of doors and symbols but not really enough glimpses into his shattered past. Most dealt with reused footage of seasons past with the exception of a dark and brooding moment in time where Elijah slaughtered several innocents during a dark phase of his life. Metaphors aside, the episode was a retread into Klaus and Marcel’s symbiotic relationship and Rebekah’s echo of love for Marcel and Klaus’s voice of reason. Her return was the light of the episode while the rest was a bit of mop work in dealing with the remaining stakes with thorns. Kol’s forced allegiance to Inadu will know doubt keep the family on their toes, another decent takeaway from an otherwise sluggish plot.

 

THE GOOD

Both Elijah and Rebekah are the constant reminders that Klaus needs to settle down and focus more on the redemption side of things. With Elijah out of the picture, it’s up to his sister to maintain that delicate thread for the star of this show. While Elijah fights for Klaus’s redemption in a more elusive way, Rebekah is more up front with Klaus and his tired antics for stating the obvious in tumultuous times. Next to Marcel, and Klaus, Rebekah is the only other character dealing with old but necessary conflict when it comes to feelings. Kol’s relationship with Davina will be more fleshed out next week, but for now, we’re given a glimpse into Rebekah’s state of mind regarding Marcel and her love for Elijah.

 

The trip through Elijah’s mind did have a certain elegance that was bright and clean with the exception of a worn and withered red door that more than simplified the direction Hayley needed to go to find Elijah’s spirit. The symbols on each door could have been more exemplified but their meanings were meant for subtle remembrances that he does have moments he’s more proud of than not. It would have been more prevalent of Hayley had to force the red door open to gain entry, but maybe that would have been stacking the situation too much.

 

THE BAD

Elijah’s resolution felt a bit of a mess. I would have liked to have seen more examples of a broken mind and a hallway destabilizing with more weight to the situation. While we’re meant to believe that Hayley was the one person that could and did reach through to him, we missed a great opportunity to include the entire Mikaelson family in helping bring him back. There was a moment in his memories where the siblings had a dinner where everyone, excluding Finn was present and pleasant. That should have been a trigger that maybe seeing them all again would have been a stronger theme to bring Elijah from the brink of feral madness. Instead, it was Hayley alone that more or less handled the situation with a vague threat that somehow Elijah could harm her in this enclosed universe.

 

Inadu only made brief appearances, deciding against making a strong statement against the Mikaelson family. She’s biding her time and creating contingency plans to ensure her survival which suggests that while she’s smart enough to plan, she also desperate to stay alive which means she has vulnerabilities to exploit. She didn’t seem at first the type of person who wouldn’t outright proclaim the city as her own and control the entire populace with her power. Unless she’s holding back I feel she’s being a bit too under utilized giving the Mikaelson family a bit too much breathing room to settle their safety of Elijah and fellow kin.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

Short but to the point, I liked Klaus and Rebekah’s interactions with Marcel during both of their major scenes. While there isn’t much of a reason to care about Sofya what’s important is Marcel does and Rebekah recognizes it. She’ll never truly be over him and that will probably come into play sooner than we think. For now, we’re treated with three alumni cast members putting their differences aside for a common goal, mostly. Klaus accommodated Marcel’s request at Rebekah’s mostly stern expressions and the rest we summed up through Marcel’s speed with chasing the stakes down. I like their dynamic and hope they continue to have more scenes like them in the future.

 

CHARACTER MVP

Klaus had a bit growth when he allowed Marcel to take the stake but Hayley had the most impact in helping to restore Elijah’s soul which was the stronger focus tonight. There isn’t much she won’t do for Elijah and given the circumstances I’m sure the situations would be reversed easily. I think she gave into fear too much when Elijah chased her given she’s a powerful hybrid but the point was she didn’t know how to deal with a feral Elijah but in the end managed to safely bring him back to his suit-wearing personality. And I’m certain she’d to it all over again in a heartbeat for him.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

Kol can be a bit of a wild-card here as he’s in a position to do anything to save Davina. Does that mean he will at least tell his siblings what’s happened or will he outright betray them for the sake of his love? That’s a tough one to decipher given his track record for making brash decisions in the past. I’m banking that he won’t tell them at first until he knows for sure he can trust that they’ll help spare her because right now we have too many damsels in distress and not enough Mikaelsons to care about it.

 

Over the seasons it’s become clear that the only way to pit all these “good” characters against each other is to have them force to serve the villain(s) of the season. That doesn’t always make for epic showdowns when the real threats are always power and control and never really personal. Marcel and Klaus have had the best reasons to hate each other and that’s why their clash in season one worked so well, but over the years it’s become a bit thin with how they make betrayals and hard choices hinge on how desperate the good guys are to save other good guys in peril. This is also why Vincent is such a compelling character because he still makes his decisions based on those strong feelings and not because he’s being coerced all the time like Marcel, Kol, and other characters of the past. Isn’t it more potent when characters turn on eachother of their own accord?

 

The remainder of this season will deal with whether or not Elijah can be returned to his original body as the Mikaelsons battle the hollow and her machinations. Right now we don’t know Inadu’s endgame except that probably still filled with revenge over what happened to her so long ago. What’s really stopping her from going to the Mikaelsons straight up, screaming like a Black Canary and melting all their faces off?

 

It may seem trite, but I’d refrain from doing any more scenes with Elijah until we know for sure if he’s going to be brought back or die. There needs to be some emotional distance and more desperation on the part of his siblings and if we continue to go back and see how comfortable and normal Elijah is in the pendant, we won’t really see that play out. Klaus had a heartfelt moment speaking to Elijah’s corpse, something that was one-way and there’s a bit or honesty there that can only come when people like Klaus are separated from the people they care about most. It will give more time and focus to the characters in reality that can help him and truthfully, I think Elijah has played his part as well as he’s ever going to.

 

OVERALL SCORE

6 out of 10. The main villain bides her time and sets up a chessboard of her own to make sure she doesn’t end up a lens-flare in the bleak of existential luminance. Are two plots dealt with Hayley’s search for Elijah’s fractal spirit and the Mikaelsons searching for the remaining thorns that can kill them. Marcel pines for a character we still haven’t really invested any time in and Kol is once more obsessed with keeping Davina safe. There’s a bit of textbook arcs happening here, some of which are rethreading on familiar ground as Kol is once more the odd sibling out. Rebekah will for the moment replace Elijah as Klaus’s voice of reason and Freya continues to exert her intentions by saying she’ll kill and sacrifice whomever she has to to save her family. The last thorn-wrapped stake may still play a part in the future unless there’s nothing to be gained by threatening another Mikaelson’s life with it. All in all, it was mostly a light trip down Elijah’s memory lane and little else to showcase the real problem which was Inadu herself. Marcel tried but failed to stop her making him realize the alliance he needs, but as always, darker motives will drive these characters to be more combative than allied. We’ll see how far Inady pushes them. Thanks for reading.

 

 

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A Sashurai’s Review: The Originals – Season 4×09 (Trees can be hollow…get it?)

TO 4x09

 

SUMMARY

Inadu speaks with a dying Elijah about her inevitable return and goes to Vincent in an attempt to gain his loyalty. Meanwhile, Klaus, Freya. Hayley, Marcel, and Vincent are at odds over how to plan the hollow’s demise which may require Elijah’s death. Frustrated over no options, Freya remembers the pendant that once held Finn’s soul and speaks of using it for Elijah. Klaus instead offers to be the sacrifice while Marcel plans to subdue Sofya with Hayley’s blood. When Vincent prepares to kills Klaus, coven acolytes stop them and destroy the thorns before being eliminated. Marcel is successful in stopping Sofya but not before handing over the final bone as bait. Hayley and Freya find Elijah but the hollow’s spirit arrives to complete her spell. Klaus finds them and beckons Freya to trap Elijah’s soul in the pendant just as he’s about to die. After a power surge Freya reveals the pendant has been shattered. Later that night, Vincent goes to Marcel asking for the book as a last resort to fight the hollow. Klaus is distraught over the loss of Elijah but with Hope’s help, Freya finds that Elijah is somehow caught in the shattered pendant, but alive. Elsewhere, Inadu frees herself from a tree containing her bones and emerges in her original physical form.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

The race to save Elijah ended with a somber realization that maybe the originals shouldn’t last forever after the extended centuries they’ve been around. Be that as it may, Elijah is not lost to the void as a semblance of his spirit fractured within the broken pendant. Tonight’s Originals episode brought all our allies together in a single way to ruin the return of the hollow, however they failed in every aspect leaving Inadu clearly closer in her next step toward massive revenge. Once again, Hope becomes the saving grace and helps the group understand Elijah’s plight. The fondness for the team grows in peculiar ways as Vincent embarks on probably his most dangerous quest. With Inadu returned, how long can the group last against such a monumental force? Even if Elijah came back, there’s nothing currently available to help them rid the world of the hollow unless Hayley’s bloodline continues to be central to Inadu’s demise.

 

THE GOOD

The highlight for tonight’s episode really comes from Vincent and Klaus standing by their primary beliefs in what it means to sacrifice for the greater good even if they end on opposite sides of that coin. The atmosphere they provide gives their respective sides the kind of hope they need to survive without compromising completely their ideals and sentiments. With Vincent, he makes very solid points about the nature of existing for so long that one can’t continue clinging to life for the sake of it. Klaus showed he wasn’t above his own existence if it meant other in his stead would pay the price and its one of the more character driven decisions he’s made since his sacrifice during last season’s finale. Together, they drove much of this episode’s heart and soul.

 

THE BAD

When entire episodes hinge on a plan to be formed and carried out with precise work and dedication, a lot of those familiar beats tend to surface in consistent fashion. Of course Elijah wasn’t going to survive, and of course Inadu was going to arise at the end, and of course Hope was going to be instrumental in declaring Elijah’s survival. It deflates the overall struggle to ensure Elijah wasn’t going to die in the middle of season 4. I got more sentiment out of Vincent’s talk with Klaus over his decision than I did with anything that came after Elijah’s “death,” and that was really only because we understand how these plots work. Even if Klaus screamed hours into the night, it wouldn’t be enough to convince us that Elijah was truly gone. When characters manage the real subtle goodbyes, then you can start playing with our thoughts on the validity of real deaths on a show like this.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

I mentioned it earlier, but Vincent mentioning a brief history of his upbringing in New Orleans mixed with how he thinks Cami would be proud of Klaus for what he was doing was a really nice touch to give the conversation. Klaus is nothing if not the kind of person who will finish your sentence if he thinks he’s being ridiculed or reminded of his dark deeds, but this time he was surprised by Vincent’s positive feedback. He doesn’t get it much and when he does, he’s often left speechless which in Klaus’s way means probably a “thanks” or a “Huh, didn’t realize that” kind of response.

 

CHARACTER MVP

Klaus made a very selfless call in deciding to die for the sake of saving Elijah. It was assuredly more calculated given his strength and knack for surviving the odds, but he was unsure of Elijah could handle the transfer. Still, he didn’t even flinch as the prospect and certainly didn’t have second thoughts later that night. I’m only half surprised he didn’t rip out his own heart and try to throw it into space to make up for the fact loss of the thorns that would have done the job as well. He had his moments with Marcel that kept him more family orientated and less caring for others like Sofya, but he’s still a work in progress. If somehow he becomes a beacon of stronger hope by saving the people of new Orleans in a strong selfless act, maybe that will finally turn things around for everyone as whole.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

Naturally a lot of people are going to wonder if Elijah’s sired bloodline, Tristan included were mortally affected by Elijah’s passing. The short answer should be yes, all of Elijah’s spawn are dead, however the longer answer is, it doesn’t matter. Last season was about the sired lines and created chaos and intrigue with what an original dying would do to so many vampire characters, but at this point, we’re no longer dealing with other vampires that are necessary to the plot. If a third of the all the vampires in the world suddenly dropped dead, it won’t matter in the pocket of new Orleans. The real twist should be if Sofya was part of Elijah’s line. Clearly she wasn’t “dead” by the end of this episode so if she was part of Elijah’s blood, then we’d know for sure if his death affected others like her, however that’s probably not the case.

 

So if I understand it correctly, the thorns take a while to kill its victim and staking Klaus with normal wood would have accelerated that death? I’m not sure I follow that logic because normal stakes do nothing of the sort. If it was the old daggers used back in the day that would make more sense, but Klaus is so above those kinds of weapons I’m surprised they even came up with it.

 

Since we have a few more episodes I imagine Inadu isn’t just going to show up and earthquake the entire state into a chaotic mess. She’ll either need time to recover her old strength or she’ll come up with some wicked machination to exact a more fitting revenge for her imprisonment on all our characters. She may need help from loyal acolytes, and a base of operations. What I think it important to remember here is that no one actually knows what she looks like, so she could in theory infiltrate the group in various ways without being spotted as the hollow’s original form.

 

Small moments, but I really liked the soft piano melody played during Vincent and Klaus’s scene at the cemetery. It wasn’t muddled by some pop-culture song with background lyrics meant to narrate the somber feelings, but rather help accentuate the scene with some uplifting yet melancholy personality. Kudos for the restraint and score.

 

OVERALL SCORE

7 out of 10. The Originals told the tale of Inadu’s climactic return to the physical realm, all converging with Elijah’s death and subsequent survival in the shattered realm of the broken pendant. The Mikaelson fury will be subdued for another day as everyone will be focused on getting their brother back. Klaus and Vincent were the ones who really gave this episode a voice to be heard as the predictable nature of plans going wrong came into play. The conundrum brought to focus by Vincent was expressively the only passionate theme here in understanding how long should an immortal continue to exist once they’ve experienced everything? Given a few palpable moments, the episode was carefully above average but not quite groundbreaking in the hopes that an apparent Elijah death would be mind-warping. If in fact that’s still in the cards, next week will tell us that for sure. Thanks for reading.

 

 

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A Sashurai’s Review: The Originals – Season 4×08 (Wait, the cursed bone knife is part of the pelvis bone? Not a rib? Wait, what?)

TO 4x08

 

SUMMARY

Klaus contacts Alaric from Mystic Falls about a bone fragment which he locates and agrees to offer up. Meanwhile, Hayley and Klaus are sent by Hope to meet with the ancestors at the church where the harvest girls send them to commune with Davina who relays the history of the hollow’s origin. Centuries ago, a coven marriage brought a child that was given power to unite the tribes but in doing so corrupted her spirit leading them to destroy her, but as her dying act, Inadu, the hollow created the werewolf curse. It also reinforced Hayley’s bloodline to be the only one that can potentially stop the hollow. Marcel and Elijah recover the bone fragment from Alaric after a brief run in with Sofya as the hollow and together they find another bone hidden in a mausoleum. When Sofya finds them, Hayley arrives to stop her but find out that Davina plans to sacrifice Klaus as the final means to trap the hollow for good. Marcel, Hayley and Elijah go to the church to try and persuade Davina against killing Klaus but it is Hope who confronts and stops Davina. Afterward, Elijah returns to Marcel’s home to give him the dagger that can kill him but is subdued by Sofya who stabs him in the back with the thorns that can kill an original.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

Well, there we have it, the official history of the werewolves and the backwards logic that sustains Hayley as the one driving force that can defeat the hollow. I’m certain when she first showed up on TVD that they weren’t planning on this scenario but I do give them points for ingenuity. Witch magic is a finicky thing that is responsible for both the vampire and werewolf creations. I don’t necessarily mind the concept, but how the two relate is very strange and will probably be ripped apart by the enthusiasts who want their shows to make sense. In any case, the marvel really came from Hope’s real entry into the fight and now we are starting to understand how powerful she really is. This is one of those episodes that almost promised to end the life of a mainstay character but couldn’t quite get the job done, giving us a real sense of false tension among who that might be. Of course when dealing with objects and curses that can destroy near omnipotent creatures we have the slow agonizing death effect which Elijah is no doubt going to go through. A sunrise or two later and he’ll be drained of all life unless some loophole of antidote is found. Sound familiar? He all but categorically handfed us his last rites before succumbing to the villains next evil plan. Aspects of this episode were somewhat confusing to follow, but for the most part, it was an enjoyable continuation of the history of the supernatural of this world.

 

THE GOOD

I’m an avid fan of the old crossover effect so when I can see characters cameo from other shows I grin like an idiot. Alaric showed up three times to begrudgingly aid the Mikaelson family and even offers a safe haven for Hope to grow up and learn her abilities in an environment akin to the Xavier school for the gifted. I’m surprised he and Klaus didn’t refine the details of the old days when Alaric was actually a vampire or that he was really close to having a relationship with Caroline. Spin-offs are nothing if not sour over what has to be addressed in their parental counterpart shows and as such, we got a simple regards from Klaus regarding not anyone imparticular but rather Mystic Falls as a whole. It was a nice moment even if he and Alaric really aren’t connected in much except for both being fathers.

 

Bringing Davina back was also a nice touch even if her existence is a bit marred by the fact her soul was supposed to be annihilated, but hey, who cares, right? She’s the lead voice for the ancestors and hopefully it’s not her last appearance as her relationship with Marcel is the only one that matters considering what the two have been through. A lot can be said about how she listened to Marcel’s sorrow toward the end of the episode at her grave. It was probably one of the more tender moments that we needed to see from the old king of New Orleans and help remind us that he’s essentially a good person who racks up the guilt over her loss and others in the past.

 

THE BAD
It should be noted, the content of Elijah’s growth in this episode was well thought out, but the delivery of his scenes all but choreographed his sudden fall at the hollow’s hands. I don’t need to see a character’s rise to accepting their flaws and making changes in their lives for the better if the goal is to make them more sympathetic and then make them die or seem to die shortly after. This goes for his noble sacrifice in offering to take Klaus’s place. It’s too easy for a character to throw the towel in, but it’s another to do it where his or her allies don’t have a choice but to watch. The choice was taken out of his hands because they weren’t ready to end his existence yet but they wanted us to really feel comfortable with his decision about it which makes it harder in the long run if all they’re doing is postponing the inevitable. The same problem came with Katherine on TVD when they really drew out her death scene but that’s water under the bridge. In summary, don’t force-feed us a character’s willingness to make amends and die unless you actually plan to go through with it.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

When Hope stopped Davina from killing Klaus. That was really the moment when we finally saw Hope’s abilities stand out aside from having loose connections to magic scattered throughout the season. Klaus and Hayley are beginning to see what she’s really capable of and how much she understands what’s happening. If the show is smart, they’ll make her be the final element that puts to end the Hollow and not Hayley, who is still floundering in this season in my opinion. Klaus’s relationship with Hope is fairing far better than his with Marcel as a father figure and it’s one of the best connections he’s excelled in given his tendency to hit brick walls with most characters on the show.

 

CHARACTER MVP

Elijah may deserve it, but I rather think Hope is the honored recipient this time. She stood up to one of the most powerful witches ever and is taking an actual role in helping her parents defend against a greater evil. Alaric recognizes her potential and wants to guide her in the future which is a nod to a spin-off that will probably never happen. Her parents are starting to realize that she doesn’t need shielding from the danger but rather an inclusion to the plan in destroying that danger however that plan manifests in the season. I do want to give Elijah credit in his comment about not forgiving himself for ripping Marcel’s heart out last season, something that Marcel probably didn’t expect to hear and honestly, neither was I.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

So Inadu, Esther, Cade, and Silas are the four characters that really solidified all the origins of supernatural nonsense on this show. Somewhere down the road I need to readdress the chronological events of every major superpower in this world and figure out how it all connected. It’s been a little hard to track and remember over the years.

 

I also have to dock Elijah points for not actually giving the blade to Marcel until Hayley told him to. He offered it as a show of trust but kept it even after they worked together to find one of the bones. That’s cold and I refuse to believe he just forgot. He should have given the blade to him outright the second he showed it as a means to gain Marcel’s help or else his gesture would still look more like a threat for having it in the first place.

 

I know Marcel has feelings for Sofya but realistically there’s zero chemistry for them to follow up on. I see no real reason for him or anyone to try and “save” her from the hollow and considering she’s indestructible while the hollow controls her, I’m not really worried about her survival unless the hollow leaving her body somehow transmutates or destroys her body and soul in the process. It really doesn’t matter either way. She had one moment of sympathy when she described her past to Klaus, but they really didn’t follow up on that since so there’s not enough interest to see Marcel save the day for her or her somehow coming out of this alive.

 

So, if Marcel’s blood alone will kill Klaus, then what’s the point with making these thorn-like weapons to begin with? Creating original-style death weapons is never supposed to be an easy task and I thought there needed to be special circumstances surrounding Marcel’s blood to aid in killing the originals and not the blood alone. I suppose it’s a moot point this late in the season, but they really wanted to sell the possibility that Klaus was going to die and as usual we weren’t fooled even for a second that was going to happen.

 

OVERALL SCORE

8 out of 10. Alaric and Davina made special appearances to help escalate the danger of the hollow and we also got the official interpretation of the werewolves which I wasn’t entirely satisfied is seeing but it’s better than nothing and I always thought the werewolves got the worst storylines out of the deal on both shows. Here, they finally have a connection to the big bad and in the end I’m okay with their origin plot even if others aren’t. Hope made a grand save for her father and Elijah is now in peril as a victim of Inadu’s return. The race is on to save an original with the threat of the city in the balance. Oh, and today we received confirmation that The Originals will be renewed for season 5, which means our tales with Klaus and crew will continue hopefully in a grand new direction once this mess with the hollow is resolved. Although, if they only get 13 episodes that will top off the series at 92 episodes. Make it an even 21 episodes and end the show on the 100th episode and we’ll call it square. Thanks for reading.

 

 

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