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

TO 5x08

 

SUMMARY

Stuck in the psychic recreation of the Mikaelson compound, Elijah, Klaus, Freya, Rebekah, Kol, and Marcel search endlessly for keys to unlock their escape. The family bicker and squabble over their predicament as Kol and Marcel locate two of the keys. When Freya is revealed to be partly responsible for their entrapment, she disappears letting Klaus know that she intends to help Hope absorb the evil darkness from them all to save the city. Klaus later finds his key as Marcel locates Elijah’s who has been continually repressing his past memories. As the family escapes the compound and into Elijah’s maze, Klaus remains behind to help Elijah open the red door while the others escape back to reality. Once through, Klaus and Elijah wake up with Elijah grief stricken over Haley’s death and his involvement of it. He retreats to give Antoinette Klaus’s blood to cure her as Rebekah reveals to Marcel that she doesn’t want her sadness of being cursed as a vampire to destroy him. The next morning, Klaus revisits a chest full of letters by Haley which emotionally affect him as Elijah goes to the bayou to say goodbye to Haley.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

For any fan that has endured the cursed might of this series, I’m hoping they feel the same way I do in treasuring this episode as one of if not the best of the entire series. There’s a simplicity in letting characters rummage around a single set piece and flush out their emotional constructs so they can effectively deal with their problems head on. Each family member, Marcel included dealt with their issues in familiar but genuine ways that gave pause to the wild antics of hateful vampires and studied their own core beings which is hopefully what this episode meant to do all along. Now that Elijah has returned, the wait for it was perfectly situated into the final segments leaving us with the same heartbreak that came only a few episodes before when Haley dashed out into the sunlight, forever ending a life that touched so many. Catalog this into the top tier best storylines in the show and prepare for the rest as Hope now must contend with the hollow’s old darkness by herself.

 

THE GOOD

The psychic construct has been used plenty in the past, but its structure and implementation had far better results this time around coupled with the right characters which is always the entire Mikaelson family, sans Freya who at this juncture is the odd character out. Everyone had an issue to bring up and deal with, even Kol who hadn’t forgotten what Freya and Elijah did to Davina back in the day. But even he had enough growth to know when to move on, something Rebekah and Marcel had a bit of trouble with, but they finally dealt with it which was always on Rebekah’s mind, she just couldn’t articulate it until now. When a show about a vampire family is comprised of yelling fits and threatening gestures, it just extenuates the writing in positive ways. Everyone performed admirably tonight including the memory-ridden Elijah who at last can come to grips with his overall grief over the last seven years.

 

This was a much more fitting episode to mourn for Haley than last week as the funeral motions were naturally sidetracked by wasted enemies who don’t really matter in the realm of the Mikaelsons. This time, everyone had a very proper send-off, most notably Klaus who had been avoiding a series of letters that he finally began reading in tears. The flashbacks were chosen in specific patterns that detailed very real and tender moments that Haley appeared in way back in season one which reminded us how this fight for Hope came to be. They didn’t over do it and knew when to pull back to the present and handle the issues at hand. Well directed and a surrounding storm is always a plus to add to the tension on screen.

 

THE BAD

There’s barely a drop of negativity to recognize with the exception of perhaps Freya’s inclusion into the psychic prison. She was there as a quick slight-of-hand to distract from her involvement with Hope’s spell in the real world. Once that was out, she disappeared, yet it seems like she wasn’t necessarily helping or further hindering the situation which almost fits her profile as a whole. She was the odd character in the group and while it was necessary to get her out of the compound, I think it would have been just as fine to have Marcel enter and state that both Hope and Freya were involved in their imprisonment. Also, Marcel should have had his own key once he was inside.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

When Klaus opened the first letter and lamented over it. Seeing the prime “ex-villain” break down like that is the sincere example with how Haley’s death was meant to be taken. It was mixed with close-ups of Elijah’s suit being put back on, a symbol of his comfortable cloak which didn’t necessarily need that much of a focus, but it’s what we remember and his mannerisms are all coming back including one hand in the pocket. Just a great scene all around.

 

CHARACTER MVP

It looks like Klaus should take this easily just for the letters alone, but I want to give it to Rebekah tonight. It was her final words that helped Klaus decide to stay and open the door with Elijah and it was also her reveal to Marcel that finally put to words her feelings on why she keeps running away from him. It takes a lot to admit that kind of core feeling and with Klaus, he opened those letters but he did so alone, which is still a bit of a flaw for him against a need to be with his family in all things. They are still growing though, even after five long seasons.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

If Hope has the power, should there be an even worse event on the horizon? It stands to reason, her attitude toward Elijah will subject her to the kind of pain which can only create an unstable atmosphere where her intentions grow into true destructive means. Either this or all those vampires that Greta formed will try and start something. I hope not though.

 

How will the family treat Freya now? It seems she barely got away with a warning by Klaus who seems to be preoccupied, but once that ends, will he be in a vexing mood or will Hope’s newfound power captivate the Mikaelson audience and draw more pressing concerns to the horizon?

 

Then there’s Antoinette. I’ve no doubt she and Elijah will have more words to go over considering their feelings in the past. She shouldn’t just return to France and I imagine she’ll want to stick around and fight for Elijah’s love again, however I can also see her leading Greta’s army if she truly feels there’s no hope for his return. It’s a toss up at this point. I’m not certain which way it’ll go for her.

 

OVERALL SCORE

10 out of 10. This kind of score comes from how well this episode resonated both in core fans and any casual observer that can understand how this family functions out of raw pain. This was a classic tale of introspection for half a dozen characters who have grown immensely over the years and still find time to yell at one another because that’s what families do sometimes. Well written and well executed, tonight’s episode showed there is plenty left to discover from the Mikaelsons and hopefully plenty more before this season ends. And finally Elijah’s memories have returned. Will Klaus revert into a state of need or is he well enough to look beyond the help that only Elijah tends to provide for him. Time will tell. Thanks for reading.

 

 

No more words

 

 

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A Sashurai’s Review: The Originals – Season 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

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.

 

 

No more words

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

TO 4x13

 

SUMMARY

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

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

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

 

THE GOOD

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

 

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

 

THE BAD

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

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

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

 

CHARACTER MVP

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

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

OVERALL SCORE

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

 

 

No more words

A Sashurai’s Review: The Originals – Season 4×11 (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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A Sashurai’s Review: The Originals – Season 4×09 (Trees can be hollow…get it?)

TO 4x09

 

SUMMARY

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

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

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

 

THE GOOD

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

 

THE BAD

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

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

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

 

CHARACTER MVP

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

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

OVERALL SCORE

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

 

 

No more words

A Sashurai’s Review: The Originals – Season 4×07 (Klaus knows good vinyl when he sees it)

TO 4x07

 

SUMMARY

As a resurrected Dominic prepares to find Marcel, Elijah forces Vincent to perform another harvest spell by sacrificing 4 coven witches. Freya attempts to trap Dominic by using Joshua however after doing so, Dominic escapes and seemingly kills Freya. After surviving an attack, Keelin resuscitates Freya but Dominic infiltrates the compound. Hope, having conversed with Marcel in the dungeon frees him as the two escape while Klaus battles and kills Dominic and his men. Vincent finishes the harvest spell and reconnects with the ancestors by using Davina as a link. Later at night, Klaus discusses an alliance with Marcel after Hope is returned home and Freya shows Elijah evidence of the next bone fragment location, which Elijah surmises is in Mystic Falls. Sofya becomes the unwilling host for the Hollow as we find it is a woman possibly connected to Hayley’s bloodline.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

Our stage is set for Alaric’s cameo next week as the Originals gain the upperhand against the villainous hollow who is forced into hiding. Klaus and Marcel are once again mirrored spirits in the same fight and at the moment at ease with their struggle. This episode showcased how you make the best out of the scenes you can with a lot of multiple characters. Everyone fit collectively well and pushed a little further their emotional agenda with possibly Hayley as the odd person out this time. Poignant moments include Vincent confronting Elijah after the spell and Marcel speaking with Hope who is showing a deeper maturity then her parents have realized. And to top it off, we have our connection tease to Mystic Falls, but who and how will show up to aid the Originals? Will we see the town at all, or just a road leading to it? We’ll see.

 

THE GOOD

The show is finally getting its balance of character interactions right. Klaus does his best when confronting and interacting with Marcel. Freya has given in to her feelings with Keelin, and Vincent continues to showcase frustration and anxiety over helping Elijah. Each of those dynamics played an important role in pushing each of them into uncertain and often questionable places such as Elijah forcing Vincent’s hand in performing the harvest ritual by essentially killing 4 girls with the hope that Vincent can bring them back. We also get a return look at Marcel’s thoughts about Klaus, the innocent and less judgmental kind where he admits that he can’t truly hate his father-figure no matter how hard he tries. He’s spoke of these feelings in the past, but it’s good to remember that he was raised a certain way and he never forgot the care Klaus took in for him even if it was a bit barbaric at times.

 

We now have a form and a mark to add some intrigue into the manifestation of the hollow. If she is in fact tied to Hayley’s bloodline or some werewolf pack in-particular then it makes sense that somehow the packs have been responsible for hiding or keeping her bones separated. It could be the longest play the werewolves have been waiting for for centuries, or maybe they were trying to hide their biggest problem considering a werewolf-witch hybrid would also be something of a chaotic blend, much like Klaus and Hayley being Werewolf-vampire hybrids and she was too self-destructive to remain alive. It’s raising a lot of questions and that makes for good speculation on videos and reviews.

 

THE BAD

Not much to gripe about for this episode with the exception of Hayley being a bit underutilized and set to the task of rummaging through her parents garage boxes. When you feature a cast of 6 or more main characters, it can be bothersome to have everyone play a feature role and sometimes they get pushed in the back. Her personal discoveries are what’s keeping her invested in the ensuing plot as her romantic ties to Elijah have been rather sparse as of late. There’s been very few relationship plot-points aside from Freya and Keelin which is very low for a drama like this. Even Vincent hasn’t had any time to be with the lady he had met earlier in the season.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

When Hope spoke with Marcel in the dungeon. I feel like this moment was the real highlight of the episode, a very casual way of reminding us where this show came from with Klaus and Marcel and in a way how he’s talking to a “sister” in Hope. I also felt this was Hope’s first real breakout moment. Kids written on shows can be quite inquisitive but it’s the statement they make that stand out rather than their wonder and her statement is that her parents have been underestimating her. Plus, Marcel treated her very respectfully instead of trying to be conniving or manipulative which speaks volumes to his personality and state of mind. He’s still a good character at heart even when dealing with a father-figure like Klaus.

 

CHARACTER MVP

Klaus and Marcel returned to their old-fashioned alliance for the sake of Hope and the good of the city, but I think Vincent held a little more value in how he handled Elijah’s forceful hand and the ingenuity with using Davina to link to the ancestors. He’s quick on his feet and very robust but there’s always intensity in his speech and his gestures in how he works. Plus, confronting Elijah about his humanity in the end was bold on his part because Elijah doesn’t really like being talked to in that way. You can always spot the offensive boredom in his eyes as he’s quietly deciding whether to rip someone’s heart out or not, but I think for once, Vincent got to him in a more effective way.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

I think they could have had a little more fun with the scene when Josh was turned into Marcel. There was a couple of jokes, but outside of that, they have a golden opportunity to have “Marcel” try to be more like Josh. It was funny and unexpected and it won’t ever happen…like ever again.

 

Freya is a witch, but she’s also human. Her heart stopped for a lot longer than I think it could have while still being resuscitated by normal means. Something was off there medically speaking, but for show with so much supernatural elements going on, I’m surprised all it took was a simple heart-thumping to get her back again.

 

I almost suspected the hollow for being Davina herself, they sounded so similar in voice and age.  Peeking at the preview next week I’m actually stoked her character is also making a comeback of sorts. I think next week is going to be our most impressive episode to date, just throwing that out there. Klaus will no doubt have some sort of vibe with Caroline should she cameo or he mention her. We all know we want to see it and the Originals may be privy to the events that caused Stefan to sacrifice himself, assuming we’re in the present tense of the storyline here and all that has already happened.

 

The thorns really fizzled out in this storyline. I suppose once you introduce things like white-oak stakes and white-oak bullets, nothing really fazes the Originals anymore. It’s so far back in the confines of the plot when Dominic showed up with essentially a thorn-covered branch, there wasn’t any real fear there. I doubt it will play much of a role moving forward except as a clutch moment when we forget about it and it shows up to take out someone we dearly care about, but that’s the only way I can see it mattering at this point.

 

OVERALL SCORE

8 out of 10. Marcel is free, the ancestors are once more connected to the living and the hollow is now possessing Sofya who will be after the other two bone fragments, one of which is in Mystic Falls. Freya and Keelin have now admitted their real feelings toward each other and Hope is proving to be more understanding of the world surrounding her. This was a total win for team Klaus this time, but as always, a win will come with a steep loss soon enough. Elijah may or may not be in need of some soul searching if he continues pushing Vincent into these dire circumstances that will question his humanity. The hollow is on the run and we know for sure Alaric will be in next week episode. Very exciting times if you’re a TVD/TO fan. Thanks for reading.

 

 

No more words