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

 

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.

No more words

A Sashurai’s Review: Supernatural – Season 12×16 (The non-obvious obvious bartender)

SN 12x16

 

SUMMARY

Mick travels with Sam and Dean to Wisconsin where a pair of siblings were attacked by a pureblood werewolf. The surviving sister, having been bit begins to turn during the same night that Claire rolls into town working on the same case. Mick returns to the sister and kills her feeling it’s his duty but is injured. After helping Sam and Dean work the case unbeknownst to Jodi, Claire is attacked and bitten by the werewolf as Dean discovers Mick’s secret. Unwilling to allow herself to be turned, Claire agrees to undergo a dangerous blood therapy session that Mick advises has a low chance of success in curing her. The werewolf however finds and kidnaps Claire wanting to rebuild a new pack after losing his old one, presumably to the men of letters. Sam, Dean, and Mick find him and rescue Claire and attempt the blood therapy which succeeds and returns Claire to normal. Claire leaves town having decided to inform Jodi of her hunting activities while Sam and Dean give Mick a second chance at teaming with them.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

Great character development for the newbie, Mick, who, up until now had served a rather shallow purpose as the figurehead of the London chapter. Claire’s return added some extra depth to an already dense plot mainly dealing with monsters and how grey the world is with them. Sam and Dean continue their surrogate brotherhood toward the young hunter who wants more than just to be treated like a child. Together they interwove some great familial elements amidst an old trope of werewolf-ism and the hunger within. Very solid turn out all around.

 

THE GOOD

Claire is making a strong case to be added as a future hunter who can one day perhaps take the mantle from the Winchesters or at the very least, hunt along side them. It might take another few seasons to grow fully into that role, but as it stands, she’s learning at the speed and pace of Dean, which he can only recognize too well. Adding her into this mix was a good balance against Mick’s own personal battle with duty versus conscience and neither flooded the other’s screen time which I enjoyed.

 

THE BAD

Introducing a werewolf cure 12 years after the monsters have been introduced was in some ways convenient for Claire, but in others a rather rigid aspect of understanding what is and isn’t permanent in this universe. Death can be overturned, monsters can change, but instead of creating a new Garth, we’re given a write off for Claire who had all but given up on dealing with the pain and anguish already swelling inside now multiplied by the cursed bite. The show can do a little more with change and a hunter-turned monster dealing isn’t the greatest new thing on this show, but there is consequences to hunting and tonight, those consequences didn’t stick. I think Claire could have learned to handle the curse, but for now she doesn’t have to.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

It’s a bit of the little things, but when Dean when hyper giddy over staying at a 3-star hotel. It was funnier than it should have been and that kind of levity was good for this kind of episode. There will always be moments that bring the inner kid of Dean out and every now and then it makes sense to let him dance and be merry.

 

CHARACTER MVP

Though Claire had more focus toward the end I think Mick did a superb job at wrestling with his role and seeing more how the Winchesters deal with monsters first hand. It fit the theme of the season on how each side deals with evil and makes it very personal. Mick realized the choice he made and offered to be more considerate and not jump to conclusions the next. He may do alright until the time comes when his country wants him to make a choice the Winchesters really don’t agree with. We’ll see then what happens.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

Now that Claire has had a run in with werewolves and Alex has had her share of vampires, we have an interesting pairing that could be thematic for the two moving forward. I’d like to see them share another episode together complete with Jodi and reunite them with the same haunts and curses that has been making them into better characters. Maybe have them share a ghost story and get the trifecta of supernatural monsters going.

 

We were keenly reminded with what Ketch did earlier this season and it makes me wonder if moments like that will actually come back to light and give Dean more ammunition for not trusting the men of letters. Clearly things are going to continue happening behind their backs, its just a matter of time before everything explodes, and we’ll need the grenade launcher in that trunk when it does.

 

Will we get the quintessential “alpha” episode where we rid the world of the first werewolf, or did we already do that? So many episodes, but as it stands, many of Eve’s firsts are still wandering the world. With the colt back in play, how many more will be extinguished this season? How many can or have reformed?

 

The masked werewolf approach was probably the lowest element of the episode given the swerve with the goofy bartenders. I don’t think it was necessary to try and fool us for those fifteen seconds and moving forward it’s probably better if they just give us the story sans the “who is it” unless they really have a tricky way of tricking us.

 

OVERALL SCORE

8 out of 10. Very upbeat with a pair of growth segments for some minor characters, both handling their situations very amicably. Dean recognized how judgmental he used to be and saw through Mick’s subterfuge which was probably one of the more passive highlights. Claire’s inclusion was a welcome one as she continues to build her character and be more independent on the way toward the hunter life. Everything looked and felt very solid given the nature of the werewolf looking for a new pack murder plot and an uncomfortable feeling that the men of letters are being too thorough in America. Things will heat up and maybe Mick and Ketch will see Sam and Dean’s side before the end. Or perhaps only one will and the other will be forced to become a momentary villain. We shall see. Thanks for reading.

 

 

No more words

 

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: The Originals – Season 3×20 (Whose side are you on?)

TO 3x20

 

SUMMARY

While Lucien begins his hunt to find Rebekah’s body, Freya helps summon Davina’s spirit into a protected place as the ancestors close in on destroying her for good. In doing so, Freya discovers an opportunity to capture the magic used by the ancestors to turn Lucien into the monster he became but in doing so will cost Davina her spirit. Though Klaus and Hayley try to convince Freya to find another way, she and Elijah give in and use Davina as a conduit, sacrificing her to the ancestors. With the power, they find Lucien who by this time had found Klaus and Hayley with Rebekah’s coffin. Together they defeat Lucien and Klaus finally kills him. Marcel, Vincent, and Kol however find that Davina is gone and are distraught. Marcel turns from Klaus and Elijah as Vincent shuns Freya for what she did. Kol kills Van Nguyen after he fails to resurrect Davina. Later that night, Vincent approaches Marcel and offers him a vial of blood taken Aurora’s heart that could turn Marcel into a hybrid like Lucien. Together, they seemingly agree to purge New Orleans of the Mikaelsons.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

Powerful and crazy intense are a few words that come to mind. The power of family is strong, but when those who consider themselves family are essentially stabbed in the back, what else can there be but a backlash the likes they’ve never witnessed. The complicated layers are among the finest I’ve seen in all three seasons, and for once, I’m torn on what I want to happen. That’s the best kind of writing there can be, but to be fair, I wasn’t the biggest fan of Davina, and Marcel has more than once fallen off the map of interest. But Vincent has done something devious to bridge the gap between Marcel and Klaus who has always stood his better since day one. Now the prophecy begins to unfold in a way that some probably predicted, but maybe didn’t see coming in quite the way we might have expected. Excellent performance with a few glaring plot holes, nothing to slow down the pace of this strong arc as we near the end of season 3’s journey.

 

THE GOOD

Impossible choices have to be done with care and reflection so that both sides are in the right. As hard as it was, Freya and Elijah went with who was actually blood versus who was considered family. Unfortunately Kol would never have agreed to such a sacrifice, but the choice was made. Davina never stood a chance and Marcel had to experience such helplessness while Freya usurped the magic she needed even at Klaus’s disapproval of such a method. Even better is the irony that Klaus never signed off on it yet Marcel blames him and “the family” because of their nature to destroy everything around them. Marcel isn’t wrong in what he says, he did everything for them and to sell the impact they had Davina admit that she loved Marcel (Like a brother or a father figure I’d presume) and Marcel really took that to heart right before she died again. Wicked scenes to have to film, but the show stuck to their guns and Davina was in fact taken out of the equation permanently.

 

Lucien’s end was bitter for his own sake but I’m certainly glad that monologue-making monstrosity was given a final look into radical despair before his heart was removed by his sire. He had every single opportunity to end Klaus and Hayley and he didn’t because his own pride far exceeded Klaus’s in wanting to see his sire kneel, which Klaus did by the way which couldn’t have been easy. In any case, Lucien is done and dusted and that gives all the thumbs up in my book.

 

THE BAD

A show like this is bred on the possibility of characters switching sides at any point in time. That’s the trouble with neutral characters is that their true loyalties are to those they trust only, good or bad. Supporting characters can influence one way or another, but here we’re seeing characters like Vincent and Marcel who are officially plotting the demise of the Mikaelsons based on losing someone they care about who was sacrificed for the greater good of the city. Any argument can be made that condones or rejects what Freya did, but at the end of the day, anyone can still turn on you in the blink of an eye regardless of the incident that transpired prior to it. In this case, Vincent is very much prepared to ruin the Mikaelson family and to me, his motivation isn’t quite there for me. Marcel’s is and I get his position, but Vincent’s role is rooted in maximizing his benefits and unless he’s trying to get in good with the ancestors now, I just don’t see him actively taking part in their expulsion because he’s almost battling on two fronts and right now we don’t know if the ancestors will support this new cause as they have Davina’s spirit shredded the way they wanted. Maybe we’re missing one key piece of information, or maybe Vincent is too likeable that turning him into a bad guy just doesn’t make sense, either way it’s not the decision I would have gone with.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

The entire moment Davina pours her heart to Marcel to when Freya takes the magic she needs. I thought the “Can you hear me” cover was a bit oddly placed and overshadowing the conversation, but it was building up a very tense moment which after watching I actually really enjoyed watching because there was no true right or wrong as Freya did nothing out of malice or evil, she was protecting her own. And Davina was more than scared out of her mind but she was still taken by the spirits she wronged this whole season and then some. Did Davina deserve it? Marcel wouldn’t agree and neither would Kol, but what’s done is done. It was a very powerful scene to watch.

 

CHARACTER MVP

Tough one, everyone had a part to play, but I think Marcel stood out the most. To finally say what he said to Klaus and Elijah took a lot of courage and anger, but he finally severed himself from the Mikaelsons and is now interested in Vincent’s offer to rid them from New Orleans for good. Marcel looks out for his own and Davina was always someone he wanted to protect since day one and now he’s lost her. The truth is Marcel has lost everyone he’s cared about including Rebekah to an extent and doesn’t have a lot of motivation left except to reclaim the city he took over when Klaus fled. How he manages from this point forward will show if he’s truly a villain or a protector of his city, but for now, he’s convicted to see through what he needs to.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

I’ve brought this up probably a dozen times by now, but seeing as Lucien, Aurora, and Tristan are no longer a threat, why on bloody earth is Rebekah still in a coffin? The dagger isn’t cursed, she doesn’t have to run, there is no translatable reason why Rebekah still resides in a coffin. Please get her back on the show, maybe she can be the one to reason with Marcel when everything goes to hell.

 

Van Nguyen was wrong, everything centered around vampires is magic. He states that the estate is keeping uninvited vampires out and not a magic barrier, but if you really think about it, vampire barrier protection is in itself an effect of the vampire curse which is the result of a spell, so by proxy, magic is very much keeping him out of entering the estate. It’s just very powerful magic that can’t be undone.

 

In theory, Freya should still have access to the same magic that will inevitably change Marcel as it did Lucien. Unless they come up with some loophole where she only the ability for the one time, I can’t see why she couldn’t do it again when Marcel becomes a hybrid monster.

 

Looking back at the flashes from the prophecy, I think I might have stated way back in the season that one particular close-up showed the possibility of it being Marcel who was the “monster” in the making. Now while this hasn’t officially happened yet, I think it’s more than safe to say this will be the result, unless they pull another fast one on us and turn another vampire into a hybrid monster instead of Marcel.

 

If Vincent removed the hybrid blood from Aurora’s heart, does this mean she’s no longer affected by it and if so, is she still alive? I’d imagine they wouldn’t do an off-screen death, but we don’t know enough to understand whether the blood in her system replenishes or if what Vincent did stopped her from changing completely.

 

OVERALL SCORE

8 out of 10. Very intense episode with yet another major character death and a resolution to a season-wide arc involving the second progeny. Now Marcel is at a cross-roads with Vincent as a supporter of the only vampire he respects. Once more, the Mikaelsons have to contend with the last ruler of New Orleans only this time, things are very much in a grey atmosphere. Kol is a bit of a wildcard, but I’m certain he’ll make a play against Freya at the very least considering she was the one who made Davina vulnerable to the ancestors and he’s still controlled by them, more or less. Great build up to the last two episodes and a very satisfying bridge into a much more potent battle. Klaus will again have his hands full, and as we know Klaus does eventually leave the city, is it willingly, or is it because Marcel is simply too powerful to stop? Thanks for reading.

 

 

No more words