Reviews

‘The Originals’ Review: Keep Your Guard Up

One of the few complaints I had about The Originals first season was that it sometimes felt silly or contrived that people (supernatural or otherwise) could defeat the Original siblings since they were basically the strongest creatures on Earth. Granted, loses were always temporary before our ‘heroes’ came roaring back stronger than ever, but it tended to push my suspended disbelief to the edge of its rope.

Starting season two by bringing Mikael and Esther (and Finn and Kol) into the fold to be the ‘villains’ has been the best thing that’s ever happened to this show since the producers initially came up with the idea to create it. The Mikaelson family has spent 1,000 years together in one form or another, sometimes watching from the Other Side, sometimes working as a team and plotting each other’s deaths more often than not. These people know each other inside and out and that’s why it’s so believable that Elijah and Klaus keep failing because their parents and brothers know exactly how to stack the deck against them.

Live and Let Die” was a fantastic episode from beginning to end. It had a little bit of everything – friendship, romance, teamwork, unresolved sexual tension and two major battles that made my heart stop a few times and left me anxiously awaiting the next episode (even though there’s nothing I hate more than having a reason to look forward to a Monday). So let’s talk about it.

In an excellent parallel, Elijah and Mikael were each training mentees in the art of combat and it all came down to head vs. heart. Elijah taught Gia how to take down a foe and he ended up with his back against the wall and her hand on his heart (side note: who knew staged attempted murder could be so hot? Hayley certainly didn’t, judging by her reaction to the scene). Meanwhile, Mikael taught Davina to use her mind to overcome injury and be stronger than the pain.

Sadly, heart couldn’t save Elijah in the end. After helping keep a group of young werewolves safe from Finn and Esther’s plan to turn them, Elijah was left to faceoff with the werewolves along with Oliver (side note: I’m not sure when Oliver started to become tolerable, but I like it. His staying behind to fight alongside Elijah earned him so many points). Elijah killed the werewolves (major props for him politely offering to reason with them because he promised his ‘good friend’ he’d try not to hurt her people), but he wasn’t prepared for Finn.

New and improved Finn (sorry original recipe plot point version) used his magic to toss Oliver and Elijah around, but Elijah still managed to get him by the neck and quipped about how he hoped his next body would last longer. And that’s when Esther arrived to stake her son to keep him down long enough to get him to the cemetery and chain him up so she could purify him. Elijah is unamused and I’m outraged on his behalf (but also seriously looking forward to what comes next so I’m not all that sorry he got kidnapped. Please don’t take away my fangirl card).

x05Meanwhile, Klaus was out and about in the quarter and overheard Cami on the phone with Davina (Cami’s back, you guys!). Their reunion was everything I love about them: Klaus using his charm and ‘crooked smile’ and Cami refusing to take any of his games because she wants to talk about what’s really happening (even though she was happy to see him too). Klaus filled her in on Davina bringing Mikael back and then suggested Cami come with him to talk some sense into Davina because she wouldn’t like his alternate plan (road trip!).

Cami left Klaus in the car because she needed a drink (just think about that scenario for a moment: she left him in the car and he actually stayed for a little bit. It’s hilarious) and then she tried to get Klaus to open up to her about Mikael. Here’s what I love about Cami (besides everything), she acknowledges that Klaus’ childhood was the absolute worst and he has every right to hate his father and want him dead. But she also knows that hatred and anger is ruining Klaus’ life and he needs to find a way to live in the little moments (like dancing with a girl in a bar – and excuse me while I make giddy squealing noises over their dance).

But even though Cami is right, Klaus is right too and Mikael needs to be stopped. He ditched Cami and headed to Davina’s cabin. Klaus still enjoys throwing things at people’s houses so he broke the window and shouted for Davina to bring Mikael out, but she’d fallen unconscious so Mikael demanded that Kol release him (another good parallel that the Finn and Kol were both the ones that basically delivered their brothers to their parents) and then Mikael went outside to greet his ‘boy’.

I could watch Klaus and Mikael scenes all day and never be bored. Joseph Morgan and Sebastian Roche are both intense and they make their characters’ loathing for one another palpable. Morgan never fails to inject just enough hurt and betrayal to make sure we never forget the young boy Klaus once was who wanted nothing more than for his father to love him and be proud of him. Now he just wants him dead or as close to dead as he can get, which is why when he managed to briefly get the upper hand, he plunged Papa Tunde’s blade into his chest instead of the white oak stake.

Cami was happy Klaus made the decision to listen to her and after ensuring Davina’s continued safety, Cami hugged Klaus and the look on his face broke me because this is not a man used to being on the receiving end of affection (my heart hurts). Unfortunately, after Klaus put Mikael in the trunk of his car (of course he did), the head vs. heart lesson came into play once more because Mikael simply removed the blade from his chest because pain doesn’t rule him. Hopefully Klaus hides that white oak stake somewhere safe before Mikael can grab it again.

Before we go, let’s talk about a few more things from the episode (so much goodness in one hour of television). I loved seeing Elijah, Marcel, Hayley and the rest of the vampire crew teaming up with Aiden, even after he caused trouble for vampires. Teamwork is the best, but it’s also a reminder that these ‘monsters’ are in touch with their humanity and don’t want to see innocent victims falling in their war if they can help it. Of course it’s very unlikely Esther actually wanted to turn the werewolves since her goal was to kidnap Elijah, but they didn’t know that when they were playing Vampire Rescue Squad (side note: I miss Rebekah).

While I do enjoy Davina and Kol’s flirtation, I’m wary of it because it’s Kol and it’s impossible to know if any part of him is being genuine. I hope he is because that will make things so much messier when Davina learns the truth. As for the budding romance between Josh and Aiden, that has disaster written all over it as well, but all romances on this show are going to end in disaster (the writers like to see us cry) so I’m going to go ahead and enjoy any and all cute scenes they give us between Josh and Aiden in the meantime.

Next week, we’re going way back in time to meet Tatia (Nina Dobrev), the girl who Elijah and Klaus both loved and who Esther used against them in the worst way possible. If you’ve been with these characters since The Vampire Diaries, you know how long we’ve dreamed of this moment and it’s sufficed to say our excitement levels are off the charts. If you never watched TVD (you should, it’s awesome), you should get excited anyway.

About the author

Mandy Treccia

Mandy Treccia has served as TVSource Magazine’s Executive Editor since 2016, formerly as Editorial Director from 2012-2016. 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.