A Sashurai’s Review: The Originals – Season 4×06 (Where are the speakers hooked up in Klaus’s place?)

TO 4x06

 

SUMMARY

Elijah and Klaus throw a party to give the illusion that they are in a truce with Marcel while Vincent helps to locate defacto followers of the Hollow. Meanwhile, Freya assists Hayley in recounting the events that caused her parent’s deaths. The memory leads Hayley to a storage unit where she finds a human jaw-bone within a stuffed teddy bear. During the party, Sofia confronts Klaus revealing the thorns as her weapons but Klaus convinces her to give them up in exchange for Marcel’s release. After Vincent discovers that Dominic is a follow of the Hollow, Elijah meets with him and refuses an offer to hand over both Vincent and Marcel to his master. Instead, Elijah kills Dominic in front of the party as a warning to those who follow the Hollow. After Klaus refuses to release Marcel, Sofia reveals that 500 years ago, Klaus murdered her family in Russia including her sister and has sworn vengeance since. Later that night, Hayley returns with the bone and the group realize that the Hollow requires a quartet of bones belonging to the Hollow’s original body including the bone dagger which was stolen under Klaus’s nose. Dominic’s body is later seen being cared for by other minions of the Hollow and with the bone dagger is somehow resurrected as possibly the Hollow itself.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

A bit more of the waiting game comes as the Mikaelsons organize in typical party fashion a plan to fumigate the followers of the Hollow. While Sofia loses most of not all of her thorn-like weapons, she does gain the location of Marcel who she’ll likely break out sooner than later. What pushes the arc forward is the seemingly return of the Hollow through Dominic’s body as probably a temporary means to exist in the flesh until its quartet of bones have been reunited. I like that the bone dagger is directly associated with the Hollow’s original body and I do wonder what the other two bone fragments will consist of. Perhaps a femur and an ulna. Who knows. Not much else moved forward with the exception of Vincent and Freya having a brief discussion of what they gave up and lost and the justifications behind their actions as of late. It was mostly a decent episode that included an old classic of heart-removal by Elijah himself.

 

THE GOOD

One aspect that helps in giving at least some sympathetic qualities is learning an opponent’s backstory. By hearing Sofia’s brief tale, we understand at long last where her vengeance is coming from. Klaus was sarcastically apologetic because he’s never known for remorse of that nature, but given enough time, maybe something can be done that won’t require Sofia’s death, however given the scorecard as of late, I doubt she’ll finish the season in one piece. In any case, we have more emphasis on a supporting villain and it’s better than nothing.

 

Hayley’s past is now justifiably making more sense although hiding a bone inside a teddy bear seems a little off. I think it would have been just as good if it was tucked away inside a coffee jar, but Hayley probably wouldn’t have easily found it there. It gives her a connection to the Hollow although I can’t imagine it’s going to get much more complicated than that. I’d probably make it so she’s the one to find the other two pieces, just so she has viable screentime.

 

THE BAD

The subplot with the thorns I feel was utterly wasted. At this point we don’t know if Sofia gave up all the thorns or whether there’s more to go around. Her comment that she had enough to kill the family ten times over suggests she has another supply, but we won’t know that until it’s revealed. Klaus barely batted an eyelash to her seemingly fatal threat and weapon and if Klaus isn’t scared, why should we be? The show can’t afford to lay a Mikaelson to permanent rest this early in the season so the threat these thorns possess are essentially empty until the show decides to really step up its game and kill its primary cast.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

When Sofia revealed to Klaus why she hates him. There’s humanity in the tears that nearly came from her exposition on her family’s murder by his hands. It will probably be the only time we feel any kind of sympathy for her, but it’s equally important how Klaus handled the information by being jovial and ever the threat caster. Klaus really doesn’t have time to be sorrowful over acts performed centuries ago, but if there’s any chance his ego can take a break he can understand how there will always be moments he needs to face where his past transgressions have caused pain in others. It was a potent moment they shared with us.

 

CHARACTER MVP

Elijah was essentially in control and performing all the marquee decision making for both Klaus and Vincent. He’s shouldering a bit more of the necessary kills and calls because he needs almost desperately to keep Klaus as clean-cut from the violence as he can make it. We’re seeing now more than ever his attempt at keeping Klaus on the straight and narrow path of redemption by alleviating that stress even though it will probably create some issues in the near future. So far, he’s proving to be a very stand-up sibling.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

The unending supply of Hollow minions is getting slightly out of hand. At this point I think we should assume, there are hundreds of acolytes that for some reason want to worship this powerful ghost and there’s no getting rid of them all. I don’t particularly like that style of storytelling mainly because these characters are paper-weights that have no substance or meaning except when one or two rise through the ranks like Dominic but even he couldn’t really stand up to the Mikaelsons except perhaps in this new form assuming he’s still in the driver’s seat.

 

I’m half expecting a scene later down the road where Klaus and Elijah open a door and seen Kol and Rebekah tied up ready to be sacrificed for the return of the Hollow. It probably won’t be that cut and dry, but I think that’s what we can expect to see when they inevitably return. I still suspect at least one Mikaelson won’t make it out of this season alive. And don’t they dare let it be Rebekah.

 

Still no sign of any TVD character cameos and I’m starting to think there won’t be any. Hopefully it’s not a lost cause. Heck, even a phone call to Mystic Falls would actually be a nice nod. Here’s to the possibility.

 

I’m also hopeful we’ll get a nice flashback to the time period in which the Hollow character thrived and was originally taken out. They tend to do their flashbacks pretty well and it helps give that extra context we need to understand a villains situation as most characters are on this show were driven to evil as opposed to being born of it. We’ll see.

 

OVERALL SCORE

7 out of 10. Klaus pulls back on his majestic qualities to wreck havoc in favor of Elijah’s more personal concern as the Hollow inches closer toward its inevitable return. Sofia’s past is revealed as is her knowledge of Marcel’s guarded location. Most of the episode dealt with the discovery of Dominic’s association with the Hollow and Hayley’s familial connection to the bones of the Hollow’s former shell. Most of the character development was handled by Elijah being more of a physical conscience to Klaus as he convinced him to hold back on some necessary violence which could foreshadow some deeper sacrifices in the coming future. Keelin and Freya remain undoubtedly infatuated which was also good to see them taking their time to let their feelings breathe instead of rushing too fast into it. This was the episode that had quality build up and a reveal that fit an old weapon into the mythos of the recent villain. The questions remain on whether Marcel will be freed soon to aid or hinder the Mikaelson’s plan and also whether the return of Dominic is portent of the Hollow or the Hollow itself. Thanks for reading.

 

 

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A Sashurai’s Review: The Originals – Season 4×05 (This will literally become a thorn in their side)

TO 4x05

 

SUMMARY

Klaus and Marcel both encounter the hollow posing as characters they loathe and are compelled to kill the other. Meanwhile, Freya gives Klaus the dagger that was forged to kill Marcel. Elijah and Hayley take hope to Mary who, after finding out about the snake-symbol reveals that her husband was responsible for the deaths of Hayley’s parents under the influence of the hollow. Sofya enlists the help of a witch who helps Marcel manage the hallucinations but ultimately, Klaus and Marcel meet within an empty home and battle. Elijah and Freya break through the ward on the house but Marcel subdues Elijah. Klaus, realizing what the hollow wants breaks Marcel’s neck rendering him unconscious. Marcel is placed under the same warded cell Klaus had previously occupied with a warning from Elijah that if Marcel interferes in Klaus’s road to redemption, bad things will happen. At the empty house, Sofya and the witch witness a thorny vine grow from a puddle of Marcel’s blood signifying it’s power to kill an original is cut by it. Sofya plans an unknown revenge of her own against the Mikaelsons.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

This wasn’t the time to end either Klaus or Marcel which gave the anxiety of their fight little merit. Nevertheless, The Originals regains ground by solidifying the potential of their ghostly adversary, an entity trapped between worlds and darker than anything they’ve faced before. Klaus’s redemption is all but certain given Elijah’s haunting message to Marcel, who firmly believes in his brother’s safety and ability to change for the good. Some moments came unexpectedly, mostly dealing with Freya’s feelings toward Keelin and Hayley’s past connected to the hollow, but otherwise a solid episode built on fear and loss of control.

 

THE GOOD

While Marcel’s journey into committing murder against Klaus wasn’t as affective, Klaus dealing with his estranged “father” was much more gratifying. The history of hate shared by Klaus and Michael dated back to the old days when Klaus was still a child. Watching Klaus try and fool the hollow only to commit accidental deaths of nearby humans was just an inkling of the hollow’s true power, yet it’s true motives appear to be shrouded. Klaus is in every way a turning into a tragic hero who has more to lose than ever before. Strategy still plays a heavy role in his heart, but it’s easy to see how heavy that heart can get when under the harsh condition of love and loyalty.

 

THE BAD

Creating new relationships can be difficult depending on external circumstances and while Freya and Keelin are exploring their feelings it’s odd that they both suddenly showed those feelings at the same time in the same way. Keelin really shouldn’t be falling for Freya so suddenly after being kidnapped and held against her will. I can see Freya wanting to build something but there was no indication that she was attracted to her until just now and it just poured out so nonchalantly. If anything, this will give Freya someone to hold onto but then have to deal with loss because, if you’re not a main or supporting character on this show and you’re in love in with a main or supporting character, that character is going to likely die. Even Camille wasn’t safe and Elijah has lost everyone he ever cared about which makes Hayley the safest bet he ever had.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

When Klaus confronted the hollow only to lose and realize he killed three humans. That was a strong “oh crap” moment for the original Mikaelson who tried to fool the hollow into thinking he was willing to kill Marcel too easily. Plus it’s Michael, or at least the actor and having alumni characters appear is always a plus. They still have good chemistry after all this time.

 

CHARACTER MVP

Klaus was the defining character who knew sparing Marcel was the key to postponing the return of the hollow in their dimension. Marcel of course wasn’t really driven the way Klaus was to begin with, but the fact remains that Klaus has become more receptive and susceptible to the elements that make him feel and care for his family. In short, he’s beginning to trust those he keeps close to heart and that hasn’t been easy for him ever. Elijah spelled out the redemption Klaus is headed toward even if Marcel doesn’t believe in it. It’s safe to say one way or another Klaus will learn mercy and not just in a strategic way.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

Is it really any surprise that Sofya is harboring a grudge against Klaus and the family? Using the hollow as a means to exact that vengeance is a very risky move considering what’s at stake, but we’ll know about what drives her hopefully in the next episode. The witch was obviously another acolyte of some sort, and it’s rather disconcerting that every new character we come into contact serves that hollow in one way or another.

 

Tying the hollow to Hayley’s past may be important to the plot, but I feel that they’re reaching too hard to put Hayley on the important list of characters destined to have legitimacy in the Mikaelson world. What does spark interest is whether the hollow has natural enemies within the werewolves or if they just happen to be Hayley’s parents regardless of their supernatural background. Right now, it’s too easily connected and quite forceful as it stands.

 

If the weed can kill an original and it still needs a powerful character to usurp for its arrival, I’d say it stands to reason one of the Mikaelsons may be killed to see this happen. Considering Elijah and Hayley are talking about their future together, jeans and all, I’d say he’s the highest bet. When two people in love don’t suffer any conflict on TV one of them is bound for an eternal sleep and Elijah has been the strongest supporting character on this show. Imagine Klaus’s grief if his brother were to die to being the hollow into the world. That’d be good television.

 

Bit of an off-note, but what exactly was young Klaus planning on painting with that huge brush and little canvas? It was a good moment to showcase how innocent and wondrous he was even under the thrall of Michael, but it’s not like he actually pulled the sword out of that man’s gut. Michael was vicious from day one, but he also knew where Klaus came from.

 

OVERALL SCORE

7 out of 10. Klaus and Marcel fought for their survival only realizing at the end the hollow’s plan to raise itself through their deaths. Klaus’s journey continues to thrive and show how willing he is to trust and be humble while Marcel doesn’t believe it for a second. Now the tables have turned on both kings as Hayley starts to connect events in her lineage to the hollow. Sofya’s motivation is now known which will begin our second piece of this arc as the hollow gains more support. Michael’s cameos were the highlights of tonight’s episode as we dealt with Klaus’s fears directly. Inserting an age-old enemy never before seen into the history of our characters never goes truly smoothly, but with any luck we’ll get some more missing pieces and allow for the journey of the Mikaelsons and crew to come full circle, that looks like a snake eating itself. The sooner this hollow gets to human form, the sooner they can kill it. Thanks for reading.

 

 

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A Sashurai’s Review: The Originals – Season 4×04 (Taking Blue Light Special to a whole new level)

TO 4x04

SUMMARY

Hayley, Klaus, Freya, and Elijah return to New Orleans and meet Vincent, but he’s unable to cleanse Hope of her illness. When Detective Kinney is found to be allied with the group worshiping what becomes known as “The Hollow” Vincent and Elijah confront him and attempt to locate the missing kids. Meanwhile, Hayley and Marcel visit the bayou and find a member of the group who is a werewolf of the crescent moon pack. Once allied with the group, she takes her life having regretted the path she took in service to The Hollow. After meeting up in the woods, Hayley, Marcel, Klaus, Elijah, and Vincent search for the group and the missing kids while Freya and Keelin break into Marcel’s home in search for his venom. At night, the group is found and killed including Kinney however Marcel and Klaus are lured within a burning circle as their bodies unknowingly become anchors to The Hollow. Vincent transfers the spell holding the kids into Elijah and temporarily kills him to free everyone including Hope. However, after everyone is seemingly relieved at stopping The Hollow Marcel comes to realize he is affected as Hope sees her father is also affected by The Hollow.

INITIAL THOUGHTS

This show certainly knows how to build up it’s cliffhangers with the current music these days. The Originals embarks on manifesting the new big-bad and now it has a name, but does it have a human form that can be killed? Like all powerful forces, this may be a simple case of creating a mortal coil and destroying it to eliminate the threat, but for now we have to contend with Marcel and Klaus, the two more powerful characters on the show and suffer an unseen wrath barely glimpsed by Hope herself. Freya’s subplot was the only sore thumb on this episode keeping to seems like a blood oath toward killing Marcel, an act that coincidentally everyone may need to stop him as he grows more evil in the future. The Mikaelsons are back in town, and I suspect they won’t be going anywhere for the remainder of the season. Another build-up episode to mark the coming of a spiritual evil that is worshipped by some, and feared by the rest. Outside of a few tender moments it was a very run-of-the-mill episode containing a bit more of that soft Klaus. The bad Klaus will probably be making an appearance sooner than we think.

THE GOOD

The introduction to the Hollow is a slow burn, but so far we understand that innocence isn’t what it needs to anchor into the real world but real powerful entities such as Klaus and Marcel. What that entails for the future we can’t be certain as they may still have free reign over their normal personalities and decisions, but deep down, something will compel them to commit horrific acts or at the very least serve as conduits to The Hollow itself which we still don’t know is a single force or a team of evil things. This has a very similar vibe to the last season of TVD where Damon and Enzo were essentially “controlled” by the siren to do their bidding and feed her so they could become more powerful and walk the earth plane. If The Hollow wants to exist in a vessel, it will be interesting to see if it claims Marcel, Klaus or someone new we haven’t seen yet. Vincent is a candidate too since he’s been taken over by spirits before. All in all, situations like this will cause characters to question their loyalties and undermine the situation, which is what compels dramas like these.

THE BAD

Introducing groups and killing them all off in a single episode doesn’t lend much credibility in the force they’re serving, or the people themselves. No names or backstories or anything to tie us into caring much about the conflict put in the episode. At least Hayley had a moment with the werewolf lady, Laura, but even then we’re given so little go on and then she just dies by her own hand. For much of this episode, everyone had a one-track mind and the only real emotional elements were once gain Klaus’s uplifting words to Hope and Hayley asking Elijah that they need to change their ways about putting family first no matter who gets hurt. This show needs more of that personal conflict, and not just a group of vampires and witches on a single mission to lay waste to all that stands in their way. Without that emotional conflict, they’re just shells with dull lines spoken repeatedly. Vincent is the only character so far that will be animated no matter what he does and at least that keeps him more entertaining than the rest of the cast.

FAVORITE MOMENT

Probably the final moment of the episode. Marcel’s vision of the glass cracking mixed with Hope aimlessly wandering the Mikaelson home and seeing her father’s blue eyes was a haunting glimpse into what’s to come. Two kings of the city suffering the same ill affects of a powerful entity and so far there’s little they can do about it but absorb its will and manifest it however it wants. Hope seems to understand what’s happening enough to probably tell her mother and the others what’s happening, assuming she’s not lured into some state where she can’t help at all. It was a nice closing segment to end the episode.

CHARACTER MVP

Vincent had some quick thinking and the most emotional outbreak after losing his friend, Kinney. He’s lost a lot and continues to try and fight the good fight in hopes the city is protected by the right people. At the heart of his cause lies a dangerous truth that he’s still responsible for this Hollow’s presence and may be tied to it closer than we think. He’s putting in the best effort he can and for that, he’s the MVP tonight.

ENDING THOUGHTS

Is Laura’s suicide a sign of more werewolves returning to rectify Hayley’s absence? It makes me think the wolves will make some sort of play since they’ve been given so little to do over the seasons but it would be nice if they had more to offer as they seem to be the one element that’s the least affected by New Orleans and its inner turmoil.

We’re into episode 4 and we’re still given only the smallest of abilities that lie within Hope. Even as a newborn, she had more abilities than what she’s been capable of so far in this season. I’m not expecting the phoenix force to rise out of her or anything, but at some point she has to be the circulating factor that puts an end to all the evil surrounding this city. Everything should point to that unless there’s other cards at play we don’t know about yet.

It would also be interesting to see how far back this Hollow dates itself. Klaus never heard of it and he’s arguably the oldest character this show has ever had notwithstanding other spirits and characters like Silas and other villains of TVD. I think we should be treated with another flashback that deals with the origin of this force once we fully understand what its there to do and how its going to manifest once it takes human form, because all shapeless characters need human form, and a snarky sarcastic attitude.

Hayley asking Elijah what he was prepared to do is an interesting tease to their first real struggle as a couple. If he’s unwavering in his loyalty and stalwart sense of protection, than they may reach an impasse when he’s forced to once again make a hard decision, one that she may not be comfortable with. Just don’t force it and make it feel manufactured. They’re fine a couple right now and do care for each other, that much and get and support. Breaking them up is a normal process for shows like this, but do it so it make sense. So far, I get it and it’s fine. He’s less likely to change unless his character has some more growth to go through.

OVERALL SCORE

6 out of 10.  The Originals doesn’t score too high tonight as the breadcrumbs they followed led to a rather lack-luster climax and a new promise to convert the two more powerful characters into puppets of a stronger evil. Freya’s subplot will either be a significant problem pitting sister against other family members, or the very thing they need to battle an overtaken Marcel who as of now can only visualize what’s happening to him. Klaus himself may already have a better clue since he at least “tried” to ignore the blue light, only failing to do so because Marcel is an idiot. The next arc in this season is taking shape quickly which is a good thing since we don’t have a lot of time to handle this show’s likely final storyline. More weight needs to be added mixed with hard decisions and emotional dilemmas. The more anger and neck-snaps there are, the better this season will get once The Hollow becomes fully realized. Until next week. Thanks for reading.

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A Sashurai’s Review: The Originals – Season 4×02 (Attack of the killer lens flare!)

TO 4x012jpg

 

SUMMARY

Hayley, Elijah and the Mikaelson family construct a plan to free Klaus from imprisonment while Klaus deals with his fears as a father as his conscious conjures Camille to help identify and deal with the problem. Vincent tries to find the young boy, Adam which leads him to encounter a dark magical force tied to the serpent symbol which he recognizes as a strong threat. Rebekah meets with Marcel as Freya, Elijah, and Hayley find Klaus captured in a spell under the city. Unfazed by Rebekah’s threats, Marcel returns to the Mikaelson home and battles Elijah as Freya works on breaking the spell holding Klaus. Hayley intervenes on the fight but it is Klaus himself who helps them escape after forcibly pulling the dagger from his chest. Outside the city, Marcel confronts the family and lets them leave citing his mercy and vowing consequences should they return. Later that night, Hayley brings Klaus to the home where they watch Hope sleep. Klaus watches with a proud smile seeing his daughter for the first time in five years.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

Things are moving along rather quickly as Klaus is now once more reunited with his family and daughter. The Originals have secretly stormed the gates of New Orleans and came out unscathed against a foe who believes he still owns their lives. Marcel is probably correct, but will Vincent’s fear become the new focus for both sides to join in against? I’d say it’s hard to keep the Mikaelson’s out of New Orleans, but until Klaus settles back in his fatherhood shoes, I think we haven’t seen the last of his bloodthirsty and vengeful side. Very ramped episode with enough decent screen-time on all our favorite characters complete with a few noteworthy fights and enough character development for Klaus to stock up for at least a couple episodes before he likely reverts to king Klaus and the kingdom he is drawn to. Let’s hope Hope can turn that around.

 

THE GOOD

Klaus’s fit with understanding his fears and using Camille as a guiding force toward that realization was really well done. Projecting such personas is tricky when the core focus is understanding that all words and actions are provided by both the perception and belief of the person doing the projecting. Klaus always knew Camille to be reliably analytical and would cut to the core of most issues simplistically. This Camille really did help Klaus and didn’t act as a vengeful spirit blaming him for her death. In his mind, there were no wrong decisions, only regretful ones. Still, he gave himself the courage and fortitude to take the dagger from his chest, an act never before done until now. There’s strength to gain in such a moment and if the season is smart, Klaus will continue to build on that momentum moving toward an assured climactic battle with Marcel or something worse.

 

Settling on getting Klaus out of New Orleans now was a bold move considering the season doesn’t have time to dawdle on elongated plot threads. Was it too rushed? I don’t think so. What’s important to note here is family triumphs over the land and the Mikaelsons don’t need New Orleans to be at least somewhat satiated and at peace with the world. That could very well change, but for now, Elijah and the others are past those kinds of boundaries, something Marcel won’t be able to contribute because his loyalty to the city is brick-deep. There are often only a few occasions on this show when all siblings fight for the same cause, and it’s good to see that early now instead of at the end of a season.

 

THE BAD

We’re two episodes deep and still no glimmer of understanding the new threat caught by Vincent as he dusted off an old journal containing the same symbol seen in the city and by Hope herself. We have no name, just an awareness that it’s dark magic and whatever is controlling is has encountered Vincent before. It’s obviously witch-related, but like all witch plots, the division of magic means several possibilities here. What it wants and why we don’t know, but it stole Adam and if Hope can sense it, it might try to capture her as well. In any case, If the season is moving in a fast pace, then don’t sit on mysteries like identifying the big bad for too long. It gets tedious.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

When Camille is able to convince Klaus to finally pull the dagger from his chest. Give Klaus enough incentive and he’ll move anything and everything to protect what he values and for a very long time, that dagger was one of the few things that could bring him down. Does this mean it won’t work on him anymore? I doubt it. That dagger is detrimental to keep any large power in check. Klaus believing that he should be in his daughter’s life is one more reason the light in his soul will continue to flicker until he becomes at peace with all the damage he’s caused over the centuries. Marcel wasn’t joking when he called him out as the worst monster ever made in the world considering the stacks of bodies he’s piled up since the beginning.

 

CHARACTER MVP

This should be given to Klaus for his mental fatigue and conversation with Camille as well as his power to escape with Freya’s help. Given the core of his issues, he’s willing to at least extend an olive branch of peace and that’s a far step than how he tends to treat his enemies. Marcel won’t make it easy, but all Klaus has to do is prove to himself he’s capable of being a good father and the rest should light his path the rest of the way.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

Speculation on the villain, its abilities, and purpose can go for miles in any direction. Right now, after watching next week’s promo I’d say we’re in for a force that is usurping children either because they’re gifted in some way like Hope or because it needs their energy to harness something. It’s also hard to say if this is a single entity or a group of people. The Originals tends to deal with groups or packs of enemies and rarely will we see a single person with enough power to battle them all. Dalia was one such entity, but she was also a family member. This could be vastly different.

 

I briefly spoke of giving Josh a “thing to do” this season, and while he’s not entirely included on the big event he does have a relationship with a human he cares deeply for. This may get repetitive because Josh loses friends and boyfriends quite frequently on this show. Because there’s a human involved I suspect he’ll turn him into a vampire or be put in a position that he’ll need to to save his life against a life-threatening injury. Otherwise, we’re not focusing on the right elements for Josh to increase his value on the show. Josh needs to show he can make strong decisions and stand up against those who would threaten him. Physically, he’s the weakest vampire on this show, but his survivability should mean something since he’s lasted this long.

 

I’m hoping they don’t write Kol and Rebekah into these fits where they both “travel” to do something for find something and end up missing in action for half the season. Claire Holt does have other show commitments but that doesn’t mean she didn’t have the time to film all her sub-plots for season 4. Elijah, Freya, and Klaus are the core, but without everyone, it feels empty and they’re still a sibling short in Finn.

 

The next episode will probably keep the Mikaelsons away from New Orleans until the enemy that threatens them both brings everyone back together. Uneasy alliances are a course for the show and Marcel will never trust his old family again. It’ll be more poetic if Marcel has to seek Klaus out for an arrangement and not the other way around. Those are the moments that Klaus’s real devious smile comes into play.

 

OVERALL SCORE

8 out of 10. Tonight’s episode brought each Mikaelson a moment to capitalize on including Klaus’s mental anguish over being a parental figure in Hope’s life. Now that he’s free to pursue that path all signs point to the unexplained force that Vincent is fearful has returned from his past. Family is and always will be the core of the show notwithstanding the need to protect New Orleans from all villains close and far. The dynamic from here on out is whether protecting one’s own is enough or if that must extend to the kingdom to preserve all life within. Klaus will hold Hope’s care and protection above all, let’s just hope such decisions on that don’t include choosing between her and his siblings. Enjoyable episode and I always love it when Rebekah shines. Thanks for reading.

 

 

 

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A Sashurai’s Review: The Originals – Season 4×01 (Wouldn’t it be grand if this were Millennium season 4)

TO 4x01

 

SUMMARY

5 years after Klaus’s capture, Marcel continues to rule New Orleans with a truce from the witches led by Vincent. A Celtic vampire, Alistair arrives in search for Klaus for both vengeance and his blood to locate Klaus’s kindred. Out of state, Hayley discovers the last werewolf from a tribe whose venom is needed to help with Freya’s spell. After harnessing it, she wakes Freya and protects them from a pack of vampires who found them. Meanwhile, Klaus convinces Marcel to let him fight Alistair on his terms. After killing Alistair, Marcel convinces all vampires to abide by his rule and clarifies why he has kept Klaus alive. After Freya’s spell is successful, Elijah and the others are woken up and freed. Together they plan to rescue Klaus and reunite with his daughter, Hope. Within the city and in Hope’s nightmare, a symbol appears, an ouroboros which signifies the arrival of something dark and possibly witch related.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

It’s ever the tale of the uneasy alliances brought forth by family, loyalty and a deep love for the city of New Orleans. Marcel finds he can’t quite escape Klaus and his pension for giving grade A villain speeches to get the point across. With TVD fresh off their finale, The Originals are now in the spotlight to carry the torch for as long as the CW will have them. The premiere was a spark of the familiar and a fresh reminder that these are the most powerful characters still beholden by human qualities and sentiments. The Mikaelsons may share what we view as good traits and a strong passion for family, but make no mistake, they’re still brutal killers and enforcers of vengeance when crossed. This was a relatively decent opening, nothing super out of the ordinary with exception of the ominous threat that neither Vincent nor Marcel was aware of. Maybe the Mikaelsons have intel on it, maybe they don’t. Until they arrive in New Orleans, we won’t get the scoop. And I suspect one or two characters from TVD will somehow someway show up in this season, Alaric and Caroline being the heavy odds.

 

THE GOOD

By not stretching out the cure Hayley needed to find, we wrapped up last season’s epic closure and can now concentrate on the next big threat, whatever powerhouse the ouroboros represents. It’s probably tied to a group of people, an old power unseen since the days of the Travelers no doubt. Magic has a lot of sway in this world and given the origin of vampires and the like, who knows what this group will do or can do. Klaus is still a prisoner but he’s by no means without a sense of looming irony, drifting in and out of Marcel’s weighing conscience. The dynamic is still strong and our characters haven’t lost any sense of who they are and what they must do. Whether or not they choose to remain in New Orleans or leave for a new life is the big question. I think we can all agree Klaus isn’t going anywhere.

 

THE BAD

It was a bit cheap not to include Kol and Rebekah in the premiere, giving some ham excuse that they went off in super-hungry mode when they woke up. Come on, writers, don’t tease us with these “guest” appearances by the siblings that still have a lot to work out on this show. And it was surprising that Marcel didn’t go red-eyes when Alistair came off with his threats if Klaus wasn’t delivered. We remember how powerful Marcel is, but from a strategic standpoint, I didn’t expect Marcel to give in to Klaus’s request so easily considering Alistair wasn’t shown to be remarkably strong, just conceited. The enemy of my enemy is my enemy routine does get a little redundant after 4 years of it. Still, Klaus showed he can handle himself as only an Original can.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

As much as I loved Hayley tearing into the vampires in her wolf form, I actually found Vincent’s talk with Klaus more impacting. The moment he mentioned Camille, you hear the score soften and Klaus’s eyes water up, knowing how much she still affects him. In some ways he may consider it a visual weakness, but his ability to care and reflect on those who believe him still good is the foundation for what makes his path so erratically complicated. If he could just get over being betrayed all the time, he might actually stand a chance at real redemption.

 

CHARACTER MVP

Gotta give it to Hayley for pulling through and finding a way to bring the family back. Not to mention, her astounding power as laying to waste a whole pack of vampires with her hybrid abilities, notwithstanding the awesome wolf form. She’s come a long way since her debut in TVD. I’d like to see that balance out more with her new role as a mother, but I’d say so far she’s doing great at the job.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

Josh is still a dork, and needs new friends. Davina was always a good companion, but since he’s lasted this long, he might as well have an actual arc or a fitting end if he’s to matter more on this show. Think of Matt from TVD and how they can work out something on that.

 

At first glance, Hope seems more a conduit for predicting these big events that are incoming. One could argue, she could be a psychic, similar to Cade from TVD, but since she’s rooted in hybrid and werewolf origins, she’ll probably be more tied to those abilities assuming she’s straight up not a witch. It will also be interesting to see if she ages in real time or if her abilities make her older than intended.

 

One thing that this show does a bit poorly is introducing interesting vampires that get the one-shot approach and die within their debut. Alistair wasn’t the best new vampire on the scene, but considering some of the unique traits he possessed, I probably wouldn’t have minded if he had at least one more episode to be in. Last season we had the Mikaelson progeny and that was obviously done on purpose, but these one-off appearances make me realize too quickly what the result will be and it’s sadly a bit boring to witness. Make these bad-asses live a little longer or stop pretending to make them powerful at all.

 

In regards to relationships, the only two we’re given are re-establishing Elijah and Hayley and giving Vincent and Maxine a starting point. I’ll be keeping an eye on how many more come and go throughout this season since they probably won’t have much time to flourish given the short season they have. And if it’s the last season, who knows how they’re going to wrap things up. Will Klaus have any more chances to love outside of his grief for Camille? If she hit him hard enough, I doubt it. He’s a wounded king who loses everyone he loves. At some point you just live with that thought and concentrate on other matters, like family.

 

OVERALL SCORE

7 out of 10. Much time has passed, but the vampire and witch citizens of New Orleans will once again trudge the storm that is the Mikaelson maelstrom. Wrapping up last season’s cliffhanger was the best way to go and we’ll get a bit more of Marcel and Vincent tearing house against Elijah and crew before everything is settled and they have to align against a bigger threat, whatever the ominous symbol represents. Hope will be a key to stopping or understanding this threat and Klaus will of course secretly plot the end of all his enemies close and far away, it’s what he does. It’s up to The Orignals to keep this world alive and on-going for at least one more season, as it stands I believe they are in good hands. Let’s make it a great one. Thanks for reading.

 

 

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A Sashurai’s Review: Vikings – Season 4×10 (The seer cries and a king lies. No wait…a seer wails and a king bails)

Vikings 4x10

 

SUMMARY

Ragnar’s fleet is confronted by Rollo’s forces on the river as the two armies collide, boat to boat. Rollo and Ragnar meet and battle with neither gaining singular victory. As Flocki and Lagertha sustain injuries, Ragnar is separated from his brother as Rollo declares victory over stopping the invasion of the Vikings once more. He returns to Paris and is rewarded as “Caesar” by King Charles. Ragnar disappears upon returning to his homeland. Years later in Kattegat, Bjorn receives word that the settlement that stayed behind near Wessex was destroyed shortly after the Vikings left years prior and Kwenthrith’s son, Magnus, also the son of Ragnar, is alive and with King Ecbert. Distraught and angry, Bjorn tells Ragnar’s other sons who proclaim their hatred toward Ragnar and plans to kill him should he return. Later, Bjorn goes to Flocki and invites him to sail the Mediterranean when their ships are ready. Sometime later, Ragnar returns to Kattegat and faces his children announcing any to challenge him for his role as King. Everyone stands in silence as Ragnar stares intently toward the crowd awaiting.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

If this were the final episode of the season, I think the bloodlust and battle would have ended with a major death, but alas it was not so. What we did see was the culmination of brotherly turmoil met with steel and fist yet neither succumbed to death. When the seer wailed in dismay, I thought for sure someone would meet their fate and for a brief moment I feared it to be Lagertha. Though, she hasn’t been seen since the end of that battle, I’m certain she survived. What transpired was the second longest time-jump since Bjorn became a man and with it the transgressions of Ragnar along with the judgment of his kin. With stories still to tell with our main cast, I expected Ragnar to persevere and live on, but with a decade of roaming the lands underneath his feet, are we given the king set to a new goal, or did he in fact return home to die by the sword of one of his sons? A satisfying breather between this double-sided season, Vikings holds true to the bedlam of war and rewards our thirst with a sea of death with promises of future glory to be told.

 

THE GOOD

Shooting straight out of the gate with the final battle was the right move. We lost almost no time as Rollo and Ragnar met on sea instead of the castle, which I’m sure many thought we’d be returning to including myself. The boat to boat skirmish was an interesting bite to it as both sides utilized similar tactics most notably their collisions, archery, and axe to shield. While Rollo rallied his men to victory, Ragnar pursued only his brother for that final clash. It was marvelous to watch the two throw down as this was meant to be their only scene together all season and what a rush it was. punching faces until they could barely stand, while blades whirled around them. Excellent crafted battle, maybe not the best as Paris holds that honor, but a fine attempt nonetheless.

 

The time jump was a bold but necessary move. By now, Ragnar, Flocki, Rollo and Lagertha have to be reaching ages around the 40’s, and in some cases it’s easily seen, but now we have our first glimpse with Aslaug’s sons who all harbor similar misgivings over their father who essentially abandoned them for those missing years. Yet, when Ragnar returns, he’s as confrontational as ever and allows for any challenger to assume his title. No one can truly say Ragnar is fearful, but at his age, he’s reached a certain catharsis of anarchy that his family may never truly understand save for Flocki. I imagine his sons aren’t ready to shed blood on their own father, but then again, they could swerve us at the start of second half by making a decimate choice.

 

THE BAD

Not giving the brothers a final strike means we’re either bound to see it once more, or one of the brothers will be put to rest first without definitive closure. Without knowing what this show is truly becoming, it’s hard to ascertain if Ragnar and Rollo are meant to drift further apart from here on our or whether they’re destined to fight each other forever. I want the show to continue being about them and it very well maybe, but at the same time, the history of the Vikings so much more that keeping the spotlight on Ragnar could keep other fantastic parts of Viking lore from ever being showcased on this show. For the interim I would prefer the brothers maintain the height of this storyline mainly because I would hope there is still closure to be had, unless history dictates that isn’t the case.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

Easily the brothers meeting one on one. It’s what we’ve been waiting for and when Ragnar called his brother a bitch, you knew just how serious it was going to get. As with most sword fights, they can only last so long before either both warriors disarm each other or one kills the other. They opted for disarmament which was the better call because their punching match far outweighed their test of steel. And as much as I would have been fine with Ragnar winning, it was good to see Rollo finally feel that moment of worth and the support of the city as Charles crowned him in front of the populace. Good fight and I hope they will once more meet on the battlefield.

 

CHARACTER MVP

The brothers meeting and dishing out their two-way assault earned them as dual winners tonight. Rollo reveled in his glory as Ragnar sought solitude to deal with yet another defeat on his hands. As logical as their actions were, what drove them to rage against their faces with bloodied fists brought out that raw hostility only matched once before during the premiere of season two when they were on opposite sides. They’re at their best when they’re fighting and even more-so against one another. It’s a shame it might be some time before we get to see this again, if we do. And points for Ragnar for returning to his home with all but his sword ready to face against the entire town if need be. I’d hope he has some plan, but in all likelihood, he’s honestly looking for someone to send him to Valhalla.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

Unless I’m mistaken, we didn’t get any indication that Rollo knew Ragnar was coming downstream from the north. The fact that he met Ragnar in the river was very surprising and at first I thought it cheated the epic battle that would have come from the castle, but at the same time, Rollo had something to prove and prove it he did.

 

On that note, hearing him rally his men with his own speech really helped turn the tide. It’s amazing how far he’s come as both a warrior, a leader, and as someone who isn’t just looking for glory, but a place among those he protects. If I had only just started with this episode, I’d have thought Rollo was the protagonist and Ragnar the villain.

 

Props for young Ivar, he has his father’s speech pattern and inflection down to a T. There’s a sinister expression mixed with a calm voice that calls to attention his thought process as very different from his brothers. He didn’t grow up to be psychotic, but that remains to be seen what he will represent in the coming season.

 

Charles putting to death the siblings, Roland and Therese was an acceptable means to an end. The king of Paris proves he’s pathological but not without some reason behind it. The image of him putting the golden wreath on Rollo’s head and calling him Caesar has definite symbolism which could spell a strange doom for Rollo if he doesn’t understand what’s to come. If Rollo becomes too beloved and popular, Charles could feel the pressure of his position and be forced to act accordingly to save his name and title. With Rollo’s son now a relevant part of the storyline, it’ll be interesting to see how Charles reacts if he’s in fact still alive by this point.

 

It’s unlikely to have happened, but I wonder if perhaps Ragnar and Harbard met during the decade that took place between the present and the battle on the river. I’m sure the two would have had an interesting conversation about the gods, Aslaug, and who knows what else. Maybe such a meeting can still occur.

 

OVERALL SCORE

8 out of 10. They gave us a battle that took half of the episode, but none of the expected casualties. Our eyes glued on the brothers as they flung every fiber of their might and though they meant to kill with every strike, both survived to live on. A lot of beats came and went with the thrill of anything manifesting as the shock moment, but none came. What came after the time jump was a father who raged for his town to make good on their distrust of their fallen king or to let him once more lead them to some unspoken victory. The seed has been planted for the Mediterranean a new target for the people of Kattegat as Flocki and Bjorn marvel at the prospect, but will Ragnar be joining them, or will one of his sons put him to the blade. Instinct says Ragnar still has a role to play as the main character and that’s easy to accept if that’s the case. Or it’s possible Ragnar will linger on Paris and Wessex but if so, it better include Rollo and he crossing paths again. All in all, it was a fun episode to watch and our cravings to watch the crew battle was satiated for the time being. I know not how long this break will last, but we’re promised to get 10 more episodes out of this season, and it sure beats waiting a whole year to see what happened next. As always, thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed the season as much as I have thus far.

 

 

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A Sashurai’s Review: Vikings – Season 4×09 (Yes Aelle, your kingdom is next. Start packing)

Vikings 4x09

 

SUMMARY

While Ragnar and his men continue to transfer the boats across the land, Harald, Halfdan, and his men track down a farm and pillage it, murdering the family who lived there. Meanwhile in Rome, Athelwulf and Alfred meet the Pope, who gives young Alfred a sword in an assembly. In Wessex, Ecbert is officially crowned king of Mercia and he shares mixed words with King Aelle who is doubting their role as allies. In Paris, King Charles humbly asks Roland, now a count, if he can sleep with his sister, Therese, to which Roland agrees. In the forest, Lagertha suffers a miscarriage while Erlendur unsuccessfully attempts to kill Bjorn at night. In Kattegat, Aslaug continues to mope at the departure of Harbard. As the Vikings find the north side of the river and prepare to move the boats back into the water, Erlendur orders Torvi to kill Bjorn, and as she nears him to do so, instead shoots Erlendur above the chest near the heart. Ragnar begins to hallucinate and tells Bjorn he’s saving the remaining drugs he has for when he faces Rollo, who is more important than the taking of Paris itself. On the waters, Ragnar vows to kill Rollo.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

The penultimate episode to the mid-season finale brings about an average sense of danger and politics as Ragnar inches closer toward his intended destination. Erlendur’s presumed demise couldn’t have come sooner as we all knew he wouldn’t be successful. His cowardly act in making Torvi his assassin proved to be the wrong course which robbed us from watching Bjorn dismantle Erlendur himself. Lagertha’s moment in tragedy struck hard, and next to watching Harold’s brutal aftermath of the family at the farm, were the more emotional moments of the episode. What permeated the air was a lack of anxiety over what was building and aside from the last minute of the show, not much escalated into a frenzy of hype and excitement. Ragnar teeters on the precipice of emotional madness as he legitimately thinks he’s seeing spiders, one of the more outlandish hallucinations found in the lore of withdrawal. While I will be gearing up for the bloodbath that’s soon to follow, the build up to it hadn’t been as fulfilling.

 

THE GOOD

Taking care of Erlendur’s vengeance plot before the siege of Paris was the right move, and though I would have preferred a one on one battle between him and Bjorn, Torvi being the one to choose Bjorn did have more significance for her as she was the conflicted and often tormented member of the group. I would suspect that the wound isn’t fatal, but it may not entirely matter at this stage since everyone is on the water and I doubt Bjorn would let him take part in the siege considering the betrayal, and if he did die, then good riddance.

 

It may seen counterproductive, but keeping Ragnar on edge like this helps put him on a wavy course with Rollo, who has been seen as nothing but the prince of calm since Gisla accepted him as her husband. The two will meet on very different terms, almost shadows of their previous personas when they met last. Granted, Ragnar was very physically sick, but now he’s more mentally ill than anything and that paints a contrasting picture. At this stage it’s hard to say if Rollo will subject himself to the savage spirit in order to face his brother again, but at least there’s always that chance.

 

THE BAD

It’s not so much the details as it is the breadth of the European lands that disjoint us from the vision and culture of the Vikings, something that they’ve barely dipped into this season. We’ve learned more about Wessex, Paris, and now a bit of Rome then we have of the show’s namesake. I almost feel like they threw in the family’s murder at the farm just to remind us that sometimes Vikings actually pillage and plunder the towns they occupy. And since it was the Harald and his brother we’re supposed to actively dislike that makes it more of a despicable act. I realize Ecbert has a much larger role to play, but right now, his part in this universe is too far removed from Ragnar and hasn’t made as near an impact as he should have back last season. He’s building his title and lands, I get it, I just want to know where it’s going.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

The set up at the end when they showcased the additional platforms on the ships. We’re seeing another portion of Ragnar’s plans come to fruition as he doesn’t intend to be tricked by Rollo’s chains again. I wish the build up was more, like seeing Rollo’s face when the alarms sound and the Northmen are coming from the north this time. But, yes we’ll see that in one week’s time.

 

CHARACTER MVP

Lagertha went through a traumatic episode with losing her unborn child alone, and how it led up to it and how she persevered through it really shows her strength and fortitude as a shield-maiden on this journey. If she had to, she’d lead the charge on Paris herself, and who knows, that could still happen.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

Sigurd mentioning his finding of Siggy was an interesting throwback to one of the more enduring characters of the past. Whether it was a portent for Aslaug to consider or not is unknown, but Siggy was eventually removed through the presence of Harbard or the gods he allied with. Things are still a bit fuzzy on how that all went down.

 

Now that the seed has been planted, I would expect Ecbert to begin staging his next conquest against Aelle and considering Judith really dislikes her father, I’m sure she would give Ecbert her blessing on the matter.

 

When Flocki rolled his eyes in the back of his head, we’re given some impression that he’s in tune with what’s happening back in Kattegat, or at the very least he’s trying to recreate the same communion he felt only a few episodes ago. Whether he’s somehow connected to Aslaug or whether he’s connected to Harbard at all is presently unknown as we don’t see another scene like this again in tonight’s episode, but they’re still keeping us fully aware of his clairvoyant capabilities which we’re seeing for a reason.

 

With both Harbard and Flocki gone, Ivar has become more aggressive toward his mother which could spell a strange encounter in the finale, considering Ivar’s newly found violent nature. How this will manifest is still up to the gods, but I imagine Sigurd is keeping a close eye on everything as he seems the most level-headed of the family currently.

 

OVERALL SCORE

7 out of 10. A little above average, Vikings dispels with Bjorn’s rather annoying thorn in the side and concludes Ragnar’s trek through the wilderness and onto the river of conquest. All meaningful points that will lead us to hopefully a similar collision as the last time Paris was under attack. Beyond the Vikings, we’re given some time in Rome with the pope, a few segments with Charles and Rollo, and of course our greedy king of Wessex who will likely be devouring more land as the days go by. Leading more on the political machinations of Europe’s monarchy’s tonight’s episode had less build-up and more of a mild sweep of carnage mostly dishing out punishment to the undeserved by Harald and his men. Ragnar’s descent into withdrawal held an interesting merit as he’s purposefully saving his solace for the fight with Rollo, an act that could be very disastrous should be lose composure before the effort is in place. We have a reason to glue our eyes to the TV next week, they just weren’t very glued tonight. Thanks for reading.

 

 

No more words