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

TO 4x112

 

SUMMARY

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

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

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

 

THE GOOD

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

 

THE BAD

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

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

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

 

CHARACTER MVP

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

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

OVERALL SCORE

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

 

 

No more words

 

 

 

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

TO 4x10

 

SUMMARY

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

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

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

 

THE GOOD

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

 

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

 

THE BAD

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

 

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

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

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

 

CHARACTER MVP

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

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

OVERALL SCORE

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

 

 

No more words

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

TO 4x08

 

SUMMARY

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

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

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

 

THE GOOD

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

 

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

 

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

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

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

 

CHARACTER MVP

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

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

OVERALL SCORE

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

 

 

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.

 

 

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

TO 4x04

SUMMARY

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

INITIAL THOUGHTS

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

THE GOOD

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

THE BAD

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

FAVORITE MOMENT

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

CHARACTER MVP

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

ENDING THOUGHTS

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

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

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

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

OVERALL SCORE

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

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

TO 4x012jpg

 

SUMMARY

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

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

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

 

THE GOOD

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

 

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

 

THE BAD

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

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

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

 

CHARACTER MVP

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

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

OVERALL SCORE

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

 

 

 

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

TO 4x01

 

SUMMARY

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

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

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

 

THE GOOD

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

 

THE BAD

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

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

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

 

CHARACTER MVP

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

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

OVERALL SCORE

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

 

 

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