‘The Originals’ Review: They’re Vampires; We Get It – Enough with the Exposition

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Bob Mahoney/The CW

Sooner or later, there was bound to be an episode of The Originals that wasn’t completely flawless. Even the best shows have their dull episodes or the episodes that viewers side-eye and wonder what the writers were smoking when they pieced it together. Unfortunately, “Tangled Up in Blue,” was that kind of episode, which sucks since it’s only the third of the new series.

But before people start wondering if I’ve lost my mind or if I’m ready to join the anti-Originals brigade, no; that is not happening. One bad episode does not take away a show’s potential or make me forget just how awesome last week’s episode was. I still have complete faith in this show and there were some good moments in the episode. Unfortunately, the bad far outweighed the good in my book.

Let’s start with the exposition. Most reviewers have been complaining about it since the backdoor pilot, but I didn’t mind it. I understood that they were creating a new show and hoping to draw non-Vampire Diaries fans into the series. Episode one was basically a new version of a pilot episode and all pilots are filled with exposition dialogue, but most people don’t notice because they’ve never met the characters before. People knew some of these characters so they were bored during those scenes – fair enough.

Bob Mahoney/The CW

Bob Mahoney/The CW

Episode two had a lot of exposition too, but it still didn’t bother me. Rebekah was new to town and I didn’t have a problem with them using her entrance to tell the backstory of the Original family and Marcel to Hayley (and the viewers). But we’re in week three now and it’s safe to say that the same people have been watching so there was ZERO excuse for such heavy handed exposition in the opening scenes. I completely tuned it out and that led to a sour start to the episode for me.

I didn’t mind the voiceover from Elijah as Hayley read his journals and I drew hearts on my Hayley and Elijah fangirl card. It was cute that she missed him and I loved the scene where Klaus went to tell her that he was coming back (more on this later). I also enjoyed Klaus questioning why everyone likes Elijah better than him and Hayley’s response that he was kind to her. I am here for Hayley and Elijah, even if it is a one-sided reference for the time being.

So Rebekah and Klaus had this elaborate plan to find out where Marcel was keeping Elijah and it involved getting Sophie to do magic. Long story short: Marcel’s No.1 vamp Thierry was in love with a witch named Katie (the same one who ratted out Hayley last week). Klaus whispered some doubts in Marcel’s ear, which led to Marcel sending his vamps to terrorize the witches. Klaus used his pet vampire (the one he drained of vervain and compelled) to provoke Thierry into killing him, which is an ultimate sin in Marcel’s book. Sophie then convinced Katie that there was a way to stop Marcel from killing Thierry and she’d help her.

Bob Mahoney/The CW

Bob Mahoney/The CW

While all of this was happening, Klaus and Rebekah headed to Marcel’s masquerade party and Rebekah had brought Cami as a bonus distraction for Marcel. Klaus was not amused and this brings me to another issue I have with the episode. Since when does Klaus care so much about Cami? Like seriously, show, explain this to me. He spent last week compelling her, but suddenly he’s jealous? And maybe it was supposed to be one of those ‘wah, Marcel gets everything’ snits, but that is not what it felt like. It felt like he was genuinely jealous and sad that he couldn’t have Cami to himself. Where is that emotion coming from?

It felt like he was jealous that Marcel was with the girl that he wanted and that’s just wrong because there was ZERO buildup for Klaus having any feelings for Cami. I’m not against Klaus being interested (there was definitely heat there), but maybe they should have spent a little less time explaining what compulsion is and more time showing us Klaus warming up to Cami as more than just a pawn. If this is going to be a love triangle, it needs a much more solid base to be believable. And side note: how are we supposed to root for either man when they’re both compelling her? Did the writers learn nothing from the Caroline and Damon debacle?

And while we’re on the subject of love triangles, why is Rebekah suddenly a lovelorn teenager over Marcel? He’s holding her brother hostage, he chose being a vampire over loving her and she’s going to lose her backbone every time he looks at her? I don’t care how much chemistry the actors have (and frankly, I’m not seeing it, but other people do), this story needs more of a buildup as well. Oh and the part where Cami called Rebekah a bitch? It might be true, but that’s another knock against Cami in my book (Granted that could be my irrational Rebekah love talking, but it is what it is).

So back to the plan: Katie comes charging down the street doing her witchy thing (it reminded me of when Bonnie would give the vamps migraines on TVD) and she was prepared to stake Marcel. While this was happening, Sophie was doing a locator spell to try and find Elijah. Davina was woken from her sleep and started drawing a picture of the witch doing magic (props for this, show; I was curious how she knew which witch was to blame when she probably doesn’t leave the attic much). Klaus killed Katie before she could stake Marcel and Rebekah stopped Sophie from continuing the spell because if she got caught, Hayley and the baby would die.

Bob Mahoney/The CW

Bob Mahoney/The CW

Naturally, Marcel was super pleased with Klaus and I was too. Klaus’ layered plan was one of the few good things about the episode. This is the Klaus I remember from season two and three; the master who was always planning five or six moves ahead of everyone else. Marcel agreed to give Elijah back and then he sentenced Thierry to 100 years in the garden (at which point my sister asked if he was the one who buried Kathy Bates behind the house on Coven).

Klaus headed back to Casa Mikaelson and proceeded to get into a needless argument with Rebekah. I get that the Original family can’t be besties all the time because the show needs conflict, but this part was dumb. All Klaus had to do was tell her that he’d brokered his own deal for Elijah, but instead, she insulted him and he got mad because she didn’t trust him. Why should she trust you, Klaus? You’re constantly stabbing siblings with daggers! That was another strike against the episode because I wanted to see them on the same side for a little bit longer.

Before we get into the final thing that made my head explode with rage, let’s talk about the witches and Hayley. Sabine did some kind of trick to see whether Hayley was having a boy or a girl (How cute was Klaus’ face when Hayley told him that it was a girl?). Then we got to see what went down and it seemed like whatever is growing inside Hayley possessed Sabine and started spouting off in Latin (seriously, Hayley, I was ashamed of you for trying every other language first). Thanks to Tumblr, the loose translation is, “it will destroy all things.”

Clearly, Klaus and Hayley’s baby is going to be some massively powerful supernatural entity…like Davina, perhaps? If you frequent Tumblr, you may have seen this theory. While I still can’t figure out how the writers are going to manage to turn a baby into a teenage witch that wants to kill the Originals without completely ripping off the Angel/Connor plotline and angering everyone everywhere, I’m very much onboard with this idea. It’s hard not to wish for Davina’s death, she’s bratty and she hates all my favorite people, but the idea that she could be a Mikaelson is just too awesome to ignore.

However, at the moment, the little brat is insisting that Marcel not let Klaus have Elijah back, which means that he remains daggered in a box and I can’t help feeling like the show is screwing over all the Elijah fans. I get that Daniel Gillies is a busy man who has two jobs, but saying he’s been cast in a lead role and then showing us a glimpse of him in a coffin or wearing a mullet wig does not equal a lead role. I was willing to let this go if the show kept up the momentum that started last week, but since it has clearly failed, I am really angry.

How long is Elijah going to be daggered? Is every week going to be another case of ‘oops, we tried, but hey look at these shiny supporting characters?’ Or worse, ‘look at this vampire and this witch that we’ve met for two seconds and care about their Romeo and Juliet love story.’ No thank you, show, no thank you. I need Elijah back and I need him back now. I don’t even care if he’s still a prisoner and spends all his scenes with potential Baby Klayley. I just want to see him awake and alive and actually being part of the story instead of being a background prop. I don’t think that’s too much to ask for.

Feel free to share your opinions in the comments or come talk to me on Tumblr or Twitter. I’m very curious to see how other people felt about this episode.

About The Author

Mandy Treccia has served as TVSource Magazine’s Editorial Director since 2012. She is an avid TV watcher and card carrying fan girl prone to sudden bursts of emotion, ranging from extreme excitement to blind rage during her favorite shows and has on more than once occasion considered having a paper bag on hand to get her through some tough TV moments. Her taste in TV tends to rival that of a thirteen-year-old girl, but she’s okay with that. Follow her on Twitter at @SourceMandy.

  • Mary

    Can somebody explain the garden to me right quick? I’m a new viewer, so I don’t really know if it’s a pull from something else or what. Also, how long do non-Original vampires live in this show? Because the heads poking out looked pretty darn dead.

  • SourceMandy

    Can I ask what makes you think she’s related to Sophie? That was my initial thought too; that she was the third sister and that was why the witches didn’t want to kill Marcel. But then Davina was so smug about being able to sense when magic was happening that it made me think she doesn’t like other witches. Plus, she told Marcel about Jane Anne’s spell, which means if she was related, she condemned her own sister to death.

  • Jeanny

    I really love the episode. I think The Originals is just getting better and better. Klaus in this show is the one that I love – cunning, selfish, extremely evil, but with a slight hint of humanity left (just like what Elijah said). And I love Cami. I think Klaus has always had soft spot for her since she bravely told Marcel she had black belt in karate and then they saw the painting together. And the way he called her “the brave bartender” really melted my heart (but again, anything Joseph said always sounds bloody good! ;)

    I’m sure we’ll learn more about Cami as the season progresses. I only wish people don’t bash or hate her already because they want Klaroline to happen. I’m going to admit, I also liked the idea of Klaroline back then, because it made Klaus more human. And it made us see the soft side of him. But I’ve moved on. I realise this is another show and I’m going to enjoy it without looking back of what should or shouldn’t happen. And if I’m being honest, the start of Klaus and Caroline didn’t make sense either. One episode he made Tyler bite her and then next he was totally smitten by her, saying that he fancied him, she was full of light etc etc. I mean… since when did he begin to pay attention to her? Just after he gave her his blood on her birthday? thought it was out of the blue, sudden and kind of forced, but since they looked so cute together then it was fine.

    Besides don’t people remember that Caroline went from Damon to Matt to Tyler… and partly Klaus, and it was okay? But wishing Hayley or Cami to die just because they somehow happened to attract Klaus’ attention? Some people take it a bit too far, I guess.

    Anyway, I’m rooting for Cami – as a character. I want to get to know her. Whether she’d be with Klaus or Marcel or anyone, it doesn’t matter (though I love her with Klaus, as I feel that she touched him in some way). I hope she won’t be another Matt or human Elena. And Klaus needs to stop compelling the poor girl ASAP!

  • milla

    If they’re going to do this with Cami and Klaus, can they make it believable? Klaus has never had much to do with humans, now we’re supposed to believe he randomly is falling for the girl because of what? They stood in front of a painting and she described it. Or because Marcel likes her or because she walked in a room with angel wings?. None of this makes any sense. If they are going to do this, do it right. Can we learn more about her than what she majors in?

  • Kirsty

    Forgot to add on the child is not Davina in fact it was sort of hinted Davina might be related to Sophie somehow.

  • Kirsty

    Elijah according to the promo will be undaggered the next episode I think it was just episode 3 he was absent. As for Klamille I think they are building it up slowly. I think Klaus is drawn to her but not in a romantic way although it did look like it. But I think in the next episode we will see where the direction of their relationship and why they are drawn to each other.

    I can’t wait until Elijah does come back full time which if I had to be a betting man…woman would be episode 5 and he will eb undaggered next episode.

  • SourceMandy

    I want to like Cami, I do. I think Leah Pipes is great. But I hate what they’re doing with the character. And I am so bitter about Elijah, but I would have overlooked it again if the rest of the episode had held up. It didn’t. I loved them working together too and I was sad it was over so fast.

  • SourceMandy

    Exactly! That’s not Klaus’ MO at all.

  • SourceMandy

    Really? I didn’t see it that way at all. As I said in the review, I’m not against the pairing at all. I just want to see it develop naturally and without compulsion.

  • Naz

    On everything related to Elijah, an emphatic HELL YEAH. I’m practically violent with his absence thus far. I see the chemistry with Klaus, but Cami is dull. Not feeling it. I also loved the siblings working together for a change. Too bad it ended so abruptly. Oh. And Haylijah. Yes please

  • Marisol

    I am with you Mandy. Klaus hates humans and it takes him forever to trust and warm up to someone. However, now we are to believe that he developed “feelings” for some chick that he met yesterday and doesn’t know from Eve. Talk about some contrived bullshit. I get that they want to attract new viewers, but don’t turnoff the old viewers by changing the script on us in mid story.

  • Theresa

    Oh so you’re a shipper. Klaus always had a soft spot for Cami. Ever since he met her and he had feelings for her during the painting scene.

  • SourceMandy

    Not sure why you think that when I listed several other complaints, mainly the exposition and Klaus having insta-feelings for Cami or the way Rebekah was acting…

  • Theresa

    It sounds like the only reason you didn’t like the episode was because there was no Elijah