A Sashurai’s Review: The Originals – Season 5×07 (Little wolf, big goodbyes)

TO 5x07

 

SUMMARY

Hope is distraught when Freya tells her that Haley has died. Meanwhile, Klaus kidnaps both Elijah and Antoinette as they meet with Greta’s army of vampires. With Antionette bitten, Elijah bargains to return to his previous self in exchange for the cure. Klaus refuses knowing Elijah would not handle Haley’s death. Klaus is allotted by Ivy and the witches to attend the funeral via spiritual transport but Greta’s next in command, Emmett attempts to thwart the proceeding by storming the streets. Hope explodes one vehicle but is taken away by Josh. Back in the cell, Elijah contacts Marcel who gathers with Vincent to perform the anti-compulsion spell but upon doing so creates a mental problem for Elijah who’s new personality gets locked away within the white hallway and red door. Ivy informs Klaus that an old grimoire explains the current bad omens will conclude with the death of all firstborns which compels Klaus to rethink his violent nature toward revenge in the city. At night, Klaus arrives physically to be with Hope as the wolves lay Haley to rest in the bayou. He leaves after the fires begin to consume the bayou water but is later rendered unconscious by an unseen force that puts him within Elijah’s mental prison where he comes to face to face with Elijah’s current personality.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

That aftermath is often an hour long lament to drill home the loss of a main character is real and permanent. In this version, everyone who knew Haley with the exception of the majority of the Mikaelson family have said their goodbyes with a critical moment of Elijah’s true return pending a mental breakdown that has been looked on for almost every season. The dreaded red door is a large and monstrous metaphor that has once again surfaced and will play a major role in next week’s episode as the Mikaelson family returns to witness the rise or fall of Elijah. In all saddened accounts, I found this episode full of tender moments and predictable Klaus tantrums that ultimately saw him trying to find peace with Hope before being rudely apprehended at the end. It’s never a dull moment with Klaus as he must now contend with a brother’s destructive environment. The loss was real and that was the important take away here along with more portents that Hope and the city will be under chaotic ruin as we climb toward the final swansong of the Mikaelson world.

 

THE GOOD

They did their best to treat Haley’s funeral with the appropriate setting from city to bayou giving Hope and Freya enough screentime to truly lament her passing. Klaus had his moments and Caroline’s letter was an interesting echo from when he passed on his own wishes to her back in the finale of TVD. His frustration with how to care for Hope as a single father is among the real quality that helps treat this episode with the ongoing symbolism that family must always be forever. At the risk of creating more signs of doom, he goes to her at Haley’s funeral and does his best to make things right between them. He’s clearly the best part of this show and still pulls off an angry bitter soul with room to improve with surrealistic compassion.

 

THE BAD

The Emmett subplot feels a bit less than threatening especially considering they can’t act very well during the day light. Their attempt to disrupt the funeral march was probably the least interesting aspect of this episode and only served as a catalyst to show what Hope is capable of when pushed to the brink. The promo did a good job of setting up this disruption with the inclination that Elijah would be heading it up, but that wasn’t the case here.

 

The secondary mishap is how long their dragging out Elijah’s true return. I’m certainly not questioning “if” but rather “when” it will happen. I don’t prefer new Elijah anymore because the sympathy just doesn’t carry over quite as well with Antionette and if she honestly succumbed to Klaus’s bite in the next episode, I’d say it’s a tragic but necessary end to get on with the real threat in the city. It’s not going to be a bunch of vampires with no daylight rings, that much is obvious.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

When Klaus was with Hope as Haley was sent off. Everything tonight built the right elements so that the payoff was those two finally spending some time together to mourn Haley. Very powerful moment and you can see the hurt on Klaus’s face when he has to leave too soon to end the fires in the bayou. Really well done moment.

 

CHARACTER MVP

This can be argued for either Klaus or Elijah this time. Elijah didn’t hesitate to lose his new memories in exchange for Antoinette’s life while Klaus made a big step towards doing what he has to to keep Hope safe. I think at the end of the day, Klaus’s sacrifice is more poignant and sympathetic because new Elijah just isn’t as convincing as old Elijah and we all want, presumably old Elijah back.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

I assume Marcel gave Josh a daylight ring to be at the funeral march in the street. Otherwise someone forgot to tell Josh he’s supposed to burn in the sunlight.

 

Will Keelin stick around this time or be off again per Freya’s request. Tough call, but considering the danger looming overhead, I expect the two to part ways again and not much more can be said about it but let Freya move on.

 

I still think it might be worth investing in a Haley ghost cameo later on to help Hope and/or Klaus deal with her passing more easefully. It’s a thing this show does and there’s no reason not to bring that concept back one more time for the sake of closure, especially since Elijah has to come to terms with this as well when he gets back. Maybe she could even show up in Elijah’s mind next week. Possibilities are technically endless.

 

I was also a bit taken back that Elijah would have such a strong current to resist the spell and Marcel’s compulsion given both are very powerful even on their own. Elijah is very damaged but damaged doesn’t necessarily mean overtly powerful and it stands to reason this chaotic bridge he’s building to pull in the Mikaelson family is being helped by someone on the outside, like Ivy or another witch in close proximity. It can’t be Elijah doing all the work subconsciously and hopefully Vincent will be able to track this down either way.

 

OVERALL SCORE

8 out of 10. Haley’s send-off was handled with care and inevitably brought Klaus and Hope closer together even though they can’t be in physical proximity for long. The portent with the death of all firstborns seems like an odd finality to put in this old book that Ivy coincidentally had and makes me feel like we’re still missing a few pieces to this apocalyptic puzzle. But for now the cliffhanger is solid with New Elijah stuck in Old Elijah’s mental prison along with Klaus who must now content with the possibility that Elijah will be forever changed after this event has been dealt with. Haley is officially gone but the story must continue without her. Rest in peace, wolf of the bayou. Thanks for reading.

 

 

No more words

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A Sashurai’s Review: The Originals – Season 5×06 (Did Haley get a haircut in-between kidnappings?)

TO 5x06

 

SUMMARY

Roman takes Hope to an empty house far from the school where Haley is bound and helpless. Meanwhile Caroline helps Klaus track down Hope as Greta travels to France to manipulate Elijah into helping them. Back in New Orleans, Vincent struggles over telling Declan the truth about what happened to Haley and after Ivy convinces him to do the right thing he holds back after finding out Declan is Cami’s cousin and doesn’t want the same thing to happen to him. Hope convinces Haley to do the binding spell so that Freya’s locator spell will track just the vampire side of her. Roman contacts Antoinette and discovers Greta may be working an agenda outside of purging the werewolf lines from Hope and Haley. As Klaus and Caroline find the house Elijah appears and fights him for Greta. After the binding spell is performed, Haley incapacitates the witch and Roman but Greta arrives and mortally wounds Haley. With her last act, Haley breaks Greta’s daylight finger off and thrusts the two of them into the light where Klaus and Elijah watch them burn to death.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

The fifth season casts its first real main cast casualty as Haley has seemingly given her life to save Hope from Greta’s plan. There was a bit of predictive elements this season that suggested it although nothing on The Originals is truly written in stone except Cami’s death so there’s always a thread of odd hope that while this may be Haley’s final appearance in the form she’s been in, she could very well have a future presence in some ghostly aftermath since the show plays and dabbles in the afterlife a lot. Still, I consider it a bold act to take Hope’s mother away like this and wonder how Elijah will handle this loss when (Not if) but when he gets his memories back.

 

THE GOOD

The follow through on Haley’s heroic end was a sad but necessary send off to keep the threat of death active on this show. Almost everyone as of late has had a safe bet even though being on Klaus’s side comes with the threat of violent ends at almost every day. Had this coupled with a Josh death, then this show would be skyrocketing in theories as to who and how things will go down over the last several episodes. This is the kind of investment the show needs to build toward its climax and set up the eventual spin-off “Legacies” which has been greenlit.

 

Caroline and Klaus part II added to the fandom of Klaroline nostalgia that the writers can’t seem to get past, and for some of us, neither can we. While Klaus has a weakness for living in the past he also wrestles with affirmation from Caroline almost every time they meet to make sure that what they had was more than just a fleeting passion. Caroline’s story has been told and she’s not afraid to look back and take the good with the bad that was the sentimental Klaus baggage. The reaffirming is also meant for us to see that Klaus needs people to tell him that he’s a good guy. He’s very incapable of accepting that for himself.

 

The side subplot brought a little bit more interest into Declan who as it turns out is somewhat of a distant cousin to Cami, but don’t let the accent fool you. This was more for Vincent to lament his own fear and loss he’s had to deal with and a bit on the culture of shows where characters try very hard to protect other characters from savage truths or mortal dangers. It can be argued that Vincent keeping the truth from Declan is what’s best for him and now that Haley is apparently gone Declan won’t have any real connection left in New Orleans unless Hope asked him to stay, which I doubt since he’s human. If anything, Haley’s death will only drive the wedge further between Vincent and the vampire world and that’s the kind of personal conflict that can help keep this season lively.

 

THE BAD

The only real element to tackle from a negative light is how this episode played with time between Greta and Elijah’s trip to and from France and that everything basically took place in the same day. Granted it’s nearly a ten hour flight one-way but it just didn’t feel accurate to the tension. It’s a minor scratch on an otherwise great episode but I will say keeping Antoinette on a later flight was silly just because she doesn’t prefer daylight rings. There are ways around that.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

Caroline and Klaus’s drive and conversation. It’s those little moments where Klaus isn’t a worrisome fool and has to take criticism from someone who’s never going to take Klaus’s issues too seriously and again, it’s a bit of nostalgia that’s always safe to throw in every now and again.

 

CHARACTER MVP

Gotta give it to Haley for not lying still for Greta and having the strength to take her out. In a way she telegraphed her demise by telling Hope what being a wolf running in the night feels like. That kind of bliss can only be coupled with true disaster for a character in that state of mind. Still, the slow-mo build up and her finger ripping move really sold those final moments as a bloodied Klaus had no choice but to watch with Elijah never the wiser amnesiac.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

If the seeds are planted as the episode suggests, Elijah will take up the mantel of Greta’s cause and be the instrument that destroys the Mikaelsons from the inside out. I imagine after seeing next week’s promo that Greta’s army will be in full force since she teased earlier in the season that her force was likely legion-size and that they wouldn’t know who they were. I suppose now is a good time for Marcel to retract that legendary compulsion of his, if even he can.

 

My money is on Antoinette being the next to fall before anyone else on Team Klaus. Roman will have to deal with the loss of his “mother” but I don’t think he’ll check out before she does. Although, I do hope to be wrong, because I like Jaime Murray’s depiction of this old school vampire even though Elijah and her won’t last.

 

Now we know that the “Family” aspect of Greta is just her turning humans to vampires. It seemed an odd concept that they’d refer to each other as brother, sister, mother, considering they weren’t really related, but if Greta took care of them the way a family would, that does have the potential to grow, but that was Haley’s explanation to Roman in that a mother wouldn’t manipulate him like that. After several decades Roman didn’t realize it himself?

 

OVERALL SCORE

9 out of 10. The death of Haley isn’t the only thing raising the quality of this episode, but a multitude of segments including Vincent’s nature to keep others from experiencing his grief and loss as well as Klaus and Caroline sharing old memories and reaffirming that Klaus has been an overall good influence for her. Hope realizes the nature of her situation now that Haley has shown her the path that she can take to unite all the different supernatural entities in the world. It’s likely the bridge into Legacies that we’ll see later on where she actively takes on that role. And I’m more than certain she’ll trigger her werewolf gene at some point since Haley’s perspective was more positive than Hope probably thought. Klaus has a lot of explaining to do when he gets back home now that Hope has one less parent to help her through the next trials. Thanks for reading.

 

 

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A Sashurai’s Review: The Originals – Season 5×05 (Spells can be undone, but nobody seemed to ask on the matter)

TO 5x05

 

SUMMARY

After executing several vampires during his interrogations, Klaus captures Greta who admits she’s a part of a group spawned from a vampire named August whom Klaus crossed paths with in the late 1930’s. August had been killing scores of werewolves which Klaus took as an offense against his people. In the present, Greta vows that if Hope doesn’t bind her werewolf nature away Haley will die. Marcel communicates this to Freya who stresses to Hope that a choice under duress won’t help her future but Hope insists on performing the spell to save her mother anyway. Klaus disrupts the spell and uses Hope’s blood to create more hybrids out of spite against August’s vampires. Greta later escapes and wounds Josh while in France, Antoinette dispatches a photographer who has been keeping tabs on her. Elijah discovers that Antoinette is August’s daughter but wanted nothing to do with his legacy. In the past, Klaus hunts down August and kills him and several others but spares his wife, daughter, and son who are revealed to be Greta, Antoinette, and Roman. In the present, Roman convinces Hope to leave the school to find help in performing the binding spell. He calls his mother to relay that he has her in transit.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

There will never be a shortage of villains that want to take revenge on Klaus for the deeds he’s committed over the centuries. While not as compelling as some villains of the past, there’s a score of personal feelings that may help bring this group on some similar level as the Mikaelsons. There must be something more to this game though as Greta put herself in a dangerous situation to all but goad Klaus into reducing Hope’s trinity of power. It has little to nothing to do with the Hollow and it’s continued effects on the Mikaelson family, but for the mean time, there’s a dark pursuit of vengeance that has now captured Elijah back into the fold. He just doesn’t realize it yet. A solid piece of storytelling if not a bit predictable given the amount of new characters that have been introduced so far. Still, they didn’t go the distance and kill Josh like they could have. They’re just not willing to part with any major cast members quite yet, but maybe soon they will.

 

THE GOOD

Vampires far under the Mikaelson power scope have to be smarter in ways that give them an edge. So far we don’t know the full extent of Greta’s influence, but it’s safe to say that there are denizens that have probably been operating under their noses for quite some time. If there’s a chance that other notable vampires are a part of this group then it stands to reason that there can be some more fun twists and reveals to be had, but likely this is written in a way that doesn’t quite compromise the main cast and so any new villain roles will be given to new cast members and the like. Still, putting some pieces together on a villains plan or at least their backstory does serve a strong purpose and now we know at least the fuel that burns their rage. Now we just need to know the extent of Greta’s power and plans that so far have directly locked sights on all werewolves.

 

THE BAD

Roman was a terrible shoe-in for the obvious bad guy boyfriend. We simply didn’t know that he was related to Greta and harbored the same attitude, that we can guess. We don’t quite know if he’s just blindly following orders or if he actually has feelings for Hope that will change his mind later down the road. Hope called out his clichéd past yet it was his dubious role that really stands out as the only bad writing for this episode because altruistic vampires simply don’t exist. If he’s destined to betray his family, then hopefully it’ll be sooner than later. If he isn’t then Hope will have to destroy him herself.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

When Greta tricked Josh and began eviscerating him on the spot. I wasn’t necessarily hoping for his death on the show, he’s survived worse situations, but there was a moment when I thought this show would actually pull it off only to reveal he was going to recover. In a way it makes sense though, Greta isn’t bound to kill other vampires even if they are on Klaus’s side. She hasn’t shown that kind of violent tendency yet. She’s only after the werewolves for now, but if she does have a plan that’s been set in motion, I can’t see why she wouldn’t kill Josh to send a deeper message to Klaus. It was a brutal scene nonetheless.

 

CHARACTER MVP

This episode was befitting for Klaus a bit more than the others because of his stance against the slaughter of werewolves and furthermore how he refused to let his daughter succumb to the same binding spell that he was under for many years. He could have made simpler choices to guarantee Haley’s safety but instead took that decision out of Hope’s hands. It unfortunately will create a stronger reaction from Hope who is very settled on doing the spell anyway but in doing so will play right into the hands of Greta and her son, Roman. In a strange way, Klaus did the wrong thing for the right reasons but that isn’t exactly a conversation he can have with Hope at the moment.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

In this case of “father” “son” and “daughter” I’m not quite certain how this terminology is being expressed here. Clearly August, Greta, Antoinette, and Roman are all vampires and it’s certainly feasible that August had a human family and possibly turned them all, but is that the case here or are we simply saying as vampires regardless of human origin, August is their maker? That doesn’t quite make sense either, so I’m going with they were a human family that all got turned at some point.

 

Antoinette is being regarded as a person with conflicts of interest here. There’s no telling how she’ll react toward her mother and brother once they cross paths and the odds that she’ll betray Elijah are slim, unless Elijah himself is in danger and has to act against him to save him in the usual tough situation spotlight. She has a benevolent nature and hasn’t proven to be false in Elijah’s eyes, so it stands to reason she’ll have to make some tough decisions pretty soon and I suspect she’ll have to do some bad things to keep Elijah safe for her.

 

I wasn’t really buying Freya’s side when she was trying to dissuade Hope from making a hasty decision to save her mother. Freya was very much looking for Hope’s best interests in mind, but their conversation leading up to Hope’s decision all but solidified Hope’s attitude that becoming a werewolf isn’t probably something she needs to do if she can avoid it. When Hope’s mother was hanging off of this choice, Freya trying to make her see better reasoning for performing the spell just didn’t seem to add up and felt entirely forced just to give Hope and Freya some tug and pull on the subject. There wasn’t a backup plan to save Haley and it seemed as though a bit of time was running out in the short term. In the end, It was Klaus himself that stopped the spell which, for him made entirely the most sense based on his experiences and somewhat selfish nature to pick and choose who goes through what kinds of pain.

 

OVERALL SCORE

8 out of 10. The Originals gave us more information and the motives for what’s driving the first set of big bads this season. A family’s vengeance is taking most of the spotlight this time as Klaus once more plays the instigator for the reasons why he and his family are constantly targeted on this show. How these new hybrids will play out in the next part of this storyline is anyone’s guess. It seemed a rampant move on Klaus’s part, but he has machinations and they tend to get results unbeknownst to those who are his allies. Marcel was a bit reserved this time, but I imagine his true vampire abilities will remain a focus of clarity as he still holds most if not all the ranking power in the city. Greta has scores of vampires under her guide, but until we know how many and who they are, we’re still going to have to wait and see. Thanks for reading.

 

 

No more words

 

A Sashurai’s Review: The Originals – Season 5×02 (No, Roman’s not in on it…*rolls eyes*)

TO 5x02

 

SUMMARY

Klaus returns to New Orleans in search of Haley and avoids Hope. While he searches, Marcel returns as well and convinces the wolves to let Henry endure a fitting punishment for murdering a vampire. When Klaus discovers Hope is responsible for Haley’s disappearance, he confronts her. They argue over his decision to disappear from her life but due to the hollow’s power growing when the two are together, Klaus leaves. Meanwhile, Vincent consults with a seer, Ivy who shows him a possible future of destruction caused by Hope herself. Vincent believes he can change that fate as Klaus and Freya discover Haley is missing from where Hope put her. After Henry is put inside Marcel’s garden, someone breaks him out and kills him for all of New Orleans to see.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

If father knows best, then the world may suffer an eternity of darkness after Klaus is through with it. Tonight’s Originals brings forth a partial reunion and a mystery to solve involving Haley’s second kidnapping. In a flashback, Hope witnesses her father’s blood-soaked murder spree he started years ago causing a rift that led to Hope using her own mother to lure her father back to town. Out of the gate, this season is painting Hope to be a very good-natured neutral, yet troublesome character who has yet to truly understand the consequences of using methods that her Mikaelson bloodline used to get what they want. And of course there are people on both sides that want to help her or stop her quick like Josh who knows too easily how storylines like these play out. So far, the intrigue is settled quite nicely in this final season though the direct root of evil hasn’t really been the issue, but rather, what could happen to Hope if all that evil power comes together once more.

 

THE GOOD

We got the Klaus and Hope confrontation out in the open now instead of pushing it to the final moments of the episode. Klaus doesn’t have too many characters to make him tearful, remorseful, and serenely agitated but Hope managed to accomplish all of it in one conversation. I like the dynamic and Klaus is doing a good job easily second-guessing himself into a frenzy, not knowing what to say or even where to look when Hope calls him out. All he sees right now is how awful is own father was and how he’s likely to follow that curse due to his unrelenting nature. It’ll be something hard to fight for, but that’s what this season is all about for him.

 

THE BAD

With the exception of her sort-of break-up moment with Keelin, Freya isn’t really managing a stayful storyline. I enjoy her moments with Vincent, but it’s really Vincent carrying those scenes anyway. She’s the Mikaelson that wants to get away, but her loyalty to stay doesn’t completely work this time. She’s creating her own conflict which can be good if she was a central character, but because she doesn’t have anything to directly be tied to, I’m not seeing how she can be effective in this season. They even gave Ivy those seer-like moments which could have easily been tied to Freya if the story demanded it, like a bad dream or prophetic nightmare. Let’s give her more to do and quickly.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

This goes back to Hope and Klaus talking for the first time in Declan’s kitchen. Declan, by the way earned a lot more points for his charming sentiments that nearly caused him a near beheading by Klaus. It was a good build up to see Klaus avoid her at the house and to have Hope hunt him down. She had good reason to and their interaction was what we wanted to see first and foremost. They’ll sure to have more scenes like this in the future.

 

CHARACTER MVP

Hope had the most interaction with everyone and it’s clear she’s bonded with Freya, Delcan, and Marcel. She’s also interested in Roman and of course has issues with Klaus. I’m certain they’ll be some guilt to deal with in the next episode over Haley’s second disappearance, but she’s making decisions that’s really driving all the plots on this show. Henry’s death was directly tied to her choices as is Klaus returning to New Orleans and it looks like Vincent has knowledge of a terrible evil that will consume the city if everyone isn’t careful. Hope is managing her central character status very well for the time being.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

Is this one person or a group of people terrorizing the city now? Did the same person take Haley and kill Henry? Only witches could handle Hope’s cloaking spell and I’m prone to believing that most unseen evils are new characters and not old ones coming back for vengeance.

 

I have to suspect all new characters on the show as potential starter-villains before the real big-bad shows up. That includes Declan, Roman, and Ivy, who so far has been some genuine interest of Vincent’s and we all know he doesn’t get to have meaningful relationships on this show. Ivy could very well be a witch in hiding, pushing her agenda onto Vincent, and Declan could also be hiding a mysterious past as well. That’s how these seasons generally start, it’s just a question on whether it’s one or all three that are involved.

 

If someone is in league with the hollow or wants that power for itself, it stands to reason that whatever kidnapped Haley also did the same to Elijah and dragged him back to New Orleans in a fancy unplanned reunion that’ll have the whole Mikaelson family in chaos. This probably means Rebekah will have to be lured or kidnapped as well. Only Klaus would have gone back out of no regard of the consequences.

 

OVERALL SCORE

8 out of 10. The Originals holds steady as Klaus realizes just how much he cost his relationship with Hope from years ago. Hope’s trick to bring him back cost her as well as an unseen force has taken Haley and murdered Henry. The two incidents could be unrelated but with only 11 episodes remaining, it’s likely everything’s connected. Klaus and Marcel have no troubles as allies this time around, but Josh and a few others are questioning Hope’s standing among the city as tensions rise and foretellings promise terrible things will take shape soon. As far as relationships go, Freya and Keelin’s is the only one that felt a little flat on the delivery now that Freya has decided to stay behind. Vincent and Ivy will probably get closer until Ivy is either declared a villain or in the villain’s path, because Vincent isn’t allowed to be happy either. He and Klaus have a lot more in common then they let on. Enjoyable episode and a decent cliffhanger to spark next week’s search for Haley. Thanks for reading.

 

 

No more words

A Sashurai’s Review: The Originals – Season 5×01 (Round Five: Hollow Rain)

TO 5x01

 

SUMMARY

7 years have passed. At Mystic Falls, Hope helps a werewolf become a hybrid to gain the finances to visit Europe to find her father, Klaus who has disappeared from her life. In France, Klaus keeps a watchful eye on Elijah who is still compelled to forget. Klaus has been murdering those who may seek revenge on Elijah while in New Orleans, Freya, Haley, Vincent, and Josh maintain their brittle peace. In New York, Rebekah declines a marriage proposal from Marcel and leaves him to check on Elijah. Hope is declared unfit for school and returns to New Orleans where her new hybrid friend murders a local vampire out of impulse. Vampires demand vengeance but Haley sways them down for the time being. Later, she is attacked by an unseen force as Caroline finds Klaus in hopes of convincing him to return home. When Klaus attempts to call Haley, Hope answers and tells him she’s missing. Klaus vows to return to New Orleans as Marcel does the same.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

It feels too long since I last watched this dramatic immortal family high tail it away from New Orleans in an effort to stave off the dreaded Hollow entity. This final season premiere is off to a solid start with everyone making choices that already hurt and help those closest to them. Family is always the core of this franchise and when they’re apart, it’s almost worse when they’re together, but together they must be. We’re given quite a checklist of relationships and the plights in-between, but so far immortal Mikaelsons haven’t skipped a beat given their time away from the CW. Is the Hollow still their worst sworn enemy, or is something else at play here. One way or another, Klaus and Marcel are bound to butt heads like the old days figuring it out.

 

THE GOOD

The balance act between all these main characters means getting to the point and selling their new dilemmas in a way that doesn’t seem tired or cliché. Klaus will always find acts of redemption difficult, but this time it’s layered in fatherhood long graduated since last season when all he had to do was protect his daughter. This time, it seems he’ll have to understand her which probably means lots of arguments between his idea of right and wrong and Haley’s. This relationship between Klaus and Hope should theoretically be the glue that holds this season together, although Elijah’s return to form probably won’t be too far behind. I imagine the four who must never return together will be a lightening rod for disaster and shouldn’t happen too soon, unless someone kidnaps Elijah, or worse, returns his memory.

 

Hope so far hasn’t disappointed as Danielle Rose Russell takes over and apparently has Henry, the hybrid sired to her. Her motives are genuine and it’s good she didn’t grow into someone who became corrupted by her own power. I think more tests of that nature are bound to arise, but so far, her heart is in a good place. It will be interesting to see if Klaus’s violent personality pushes them apart once she sees what he’s capable of to protect her.

 

THE BAD

In a lot of ways, it makes sense that Marcel wanted to marry Rebekah, and at least he tried. Clearly, this is a coupling that wasn’t meant to last even though they lived a rather fairy tale life up until this point. I wasn’t entirely supportive of her decision to leave him mainly because the sacrifice just doesn’t fit. Marcel is in no real danger and knowing she regrets her decision just makes it worse for Marcel who, at this point probably did give up on trying to be with her. Shame.

 

It also doesn’t feel right that Haley is kind of dating a human, who I’m guessing is either a nobody or something evil to tide away the plot until the Hollow returns. I’m not getting the vibe here that Hayley and Declan are going to be a lasting thing, even though he scores points for being a genuine nice guy. That almost makes it worse if it turns out he’s evil. Is Haley really getting on with her life or is she still very much in love with Elijah?

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

Without a doubt when Caroline found Klaus. Them sharing a moment means the Vampire Diaries still has a pulse within The Originals. These two have always shared a rather cathartic chemistry and though they’ll never “be” together, it was a fun moment for the two to share. I don’t expect Caroline to be in any more episodes, but it wouldn’t hurt for the finale, however things may end up. She may be one of the few people left that can talk some sense into Klaus when he decides to truly lose it.

 

CHARACTER MVP

Everyone shared equal screen time, and while this new Hope did a good job introducing herself to the show, I feel Klaus is the focal point on change here. He’s going to drive everything that happens and this premiere needed to settle that quickly. His proximity to Elijah may have sparked the radical signs of the Hollow’s power, and his return to New Orleans will no doubt cascade into a fury of blood and death once the city finds out he’s back. And with Marcel on his way as well, it will be a tale of two kings all over again. Still, it needs to be Klaus’s story for this show to work and maintain its core value of family and his need to keep his siblings and daughter together.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

Can a vampire hybrid be sired to a witch? I feel there’s a rule being broken here, but I don’t want to re-watch 100 episodes to find out that detail. It’s not super important, though if someone out there can recall, I wouldn’t mind a recap.

 

Is Josh really the one in command of the vampire circle in New Orleans? I get that he’s one of the few still alive and he’s probably trained and gotten stronger in the last seven years, but the problem is we haven’t seen that strength my guess is he’ll revert to Marcel and Klaus the second they get back. I would have liked to have seen him grow in a way that wasn’t just character based but actually stronger.

 

Long distance relationships aren’t the best on TV, so either bring Keelin back or get Freya out of there to see her. If neither are possible, then a break-up of some kind is likely to occur because 90% of most tension in this show is couples having a falling out. Like Rebekah and Marcel, who probably won’t share another scene together for likely the next several episodes.

 

Sadly, no Davina cameo. Though we did get Kol and a short story about Davina being his wife, they’re probably too far away to get involved, though Kol gave his premonition of season five being that of calamity that always brings the family back together. Nice moment between Kol and Hope showing Hope has a decent relationship with nearly all the Mikaelsons. Let’s hope she and Rebekah share a scene together at some point.

 

OVERALL SCORE

8 out of 10. The Originals picks up in dramatic fashion and promises to undo the magic that helped set them apart for the last several years. No particular returning character is set to tragedy or a turn to evil ways though Klaus’s acts may set him onto darker paths yet familiar in this franchise. It was the right call to let the family tell their story in separate plights rather then create unnecessary time jumps or point of view plots. Every character had the chance to breathe and be introduced in an ensemble of bickering friends and couples who though supernatural just want to have normal lives. One last season to tell us whether the Mikaelsons will truly live happily as a family or are doomed for a tragic undertaking. Let’s hope Caroline isn’t the only cameo between now and the end. Thanks for reading.

 

 

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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.

 

 

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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.

 

 

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