Reviews

‘The Originals’ Review: What wine goes well with treachery?

Last night, The Originals staged a mini family reunion when Esther invited herself and Finn to Klaus and Elijah’s compound for dinner. Keeping with tradition, tempers flared, threats were made, dirty laundry came out and someone ended up dead before dessert could be served (okay, technically no one died, but a spirit left a body so it counts).

In addition to another vampire dinner from hell to add to our favorites’ collection, “Every Mother’s Son” gave us the best look we’ve gotten into Esther’s mind since season three of The Vampire Diaries. For the first time ever, I actually believe that she loves her children in her unique, incredibly twisted way. And make no mistake, this woman is as twisted as they come, but how did she get that way?

Hayley asked Klaus that very question – how a woman who gave birth to seven children could grow to hate them. In a scene filled with heavy exposition (sorry, I’m always going to complain about the overuse of it on this show – sometimes things we love have flaws), Klaus told Hayley the story that those of us who watched TVD already knew – his younger brother was killed by the werewolf pack of his real father, Esther turned them into vampires to keep them safe, Mikael killed Klaus’ real father, Klaus eventually killed both of his parents.

So where does the love come into play? In flashbacks, we got to see Esther doting on Klaus (something Finn did not approve of) and protecting him from Mikael. She even gave him a special bird necklace that she promised would always keep him safe. I’m a sucker for flashbacks, but these were especially sweet because we’ve never really seen this maternal side of Esther, let alone directed at Klaus. But like all good things, this one came with a catch, one Klaus finally caught onto during the family dinner.

Before we talk about that, let’s jump over to Finn for a moment. If I’m being honest, I never cared much for the version of Finn we saw on TVD. He felt like the boring plot point he was, his entire existence boiled down to 900 years in a coffin and then being alive just long enough to reveal that when an Original is killed, every vampire in his/her bloodline dies as well. Now we’re actually getting to see Finn and learn about him and aside from still being a total Mama’s boy to the creepiest degree (some things don’t change), he’s also super pissed off at his brothers for robbing him of his life by keeping him in the coffin all that time.

Every Mother's SonWhat I loved about this particular scene was that Elijah and Klaus covered all the questions that immediately sprang into my mind – isn’t this the guy who hated being a vampire? Didn’t he willingly plan to sacrifice his life so Esther could kill all of them? Where’s this resentment coming from? Apparently Finn felt cheated and he blamed Klaus for daggering him and Elijah for letting it happen and beneath the anger was a palpable hurt that his own family did this to him (fair enough). Elijah retorted that his entire existence was dull as was the dinner they were having (ha!) and Klaus laughed in the background. And that’s when Esther finally graced her children with her presence.

Esther explained that she’d brought Finn and Kol back because they’d seen the error of their vampire ways and she gave them another chance to live the lives they were meant to have without the vampire curse. As usual, Klaus and Elijah were neither amused nor impressed with their mother wanting to undo everything about them. She insisted she always loved them (always and forever) and encouraged Elijah to recall a memory of a time Mikael ran a sword through Klaus and Esther rushed to save him. As the flashback unfolded, we learned that Mikael had tried to steal Klaus’ bird necklace to teach him a lesson and Klaus fought for it. He exhibited strength after Mikael ripped it off and that led to the sword in his shoulder.

That’s when present day Klaus realized the truth: the necklace wasn’t to protect him – Esther gave it to him to keep him weak. In her mind, she was saving him from accidentally triggering his werewolf curse. Klaus disagreed and raged about how Mikael always hated him for being weak and she’d done that to him. This might go down as one of my favorite scenes ever because I do believe Esther’s intention was mostly good, but Klaus is right too. Being weak made him an easy target for Mikael and Esther never did anything to stop her husband from abusing her son. Plus, as Klaus also pointed out, keeping him from turning into a werewolf was a surefire way to make sure her affair stayed secret. So how much of Esther’s motivation was purely selfish?

Dinner came to a surprising end when Esther suddenly slumped over in her chair. Finn used magic to toss his brothers around and then left them with Cassie, who woke up confused with no memories of Esther. So where did Mama Original go? Thanks to some advance planning from Klaus and Elijah, Hayley was working with a witch (Lenore) outside the quarter to put a tracking spell on Esther so they’d know which body she jumped into (side note: who can I send my therapy bills to after those snake scenes?). Lenore explained to Hayley that the new body would have a mark on the hand – and guess what appeared on Lenore’s hand after Esther pulled her disappearing act?

While I think we all saw that coming as soon as Cassie slumped over, it was still a fun scene. Esther introduced herself to Hayley and tried to bond mother-to-mother. She allowed Hayley to answer Elijah’s phone call so the brothers would rush right over – Esther’s plan all along. As she waited for her sons, Esther offered Hayley a chance to start over and be a mother again, basically the same deal she wanted to give her sons. They could give up being vampires and start life again in the body of witches. Hayley seemed to be considering the possibility and then the Mikaelson brothers arrived and Klaus told her to leave.

Again, the brothers were not impressed with their mother’s offer, but Esther was not deterred. She told Finn this was just the beginning and she planned to systematically dismantle the brothers’ lives. She already took the werewolves from Klaus, she’s planted seeds in Hayley’s head and Marcel is going to be her next target. She wants to ruin any chance they have at happiness because then they’ll come to her, begging her to fix their lives and she will because she loves them. See what I mean about it being twisted? It makes sense that Esther believes turning them into vampires ruined their lives and she wants to try again, but making them miserable seems like a surefire way to get a ticket back to the grave.

Speaking of, there’s one thing I’m unclear on – Esther has to constantly switch bodies. That happened on TVD too – the spell only kept her in a body for so long. Does the same rule apply to Kol and Finn? Will they have to recycle bodies every few days or months or whatever the timeframe is? If that’s the case, Finn’s been back as long as Esther so he should need a new body too. And if it’s not the case – why not? Why can they keep their new bodies but she can’t? Has this been explained?

Two things before we wrap things up – the side plot of the episode featured Marcel subtly manipulating Elijah into agreeing to help Gia. He suggested she use the Original’s need to fix things in order to get him to help her and it worked. Normally, I’d be side eying anyone who plots against Elijah, especially Marcel, but I like that he believes he’s doing the right thing for Elijah as well as himself. Is he right? I’m not sure. Elijah isn’t really the team type so I don’t necessarily think he needs other vampires to play with to feel good about himself. But having allies never hurts in this city so I’m curious to see where this will go.

Finally, it’s normally hard for me to pick a favorite moment in an episode, especially one like this that had so many good ones. But my absolute favorite scene was between Klaus and Elijah. After Hayley walked away and Klaus asked Elijah not to follow her (oh the angst), Klaus blamed Esther for making him weak and Elijah immediately flipped into big brother mode and told Klaus that he’s never been weak, he’s the strongest of them all and he can and will face down every adversary that comes their way. I will never get tired of praising Daniel Gillies and Joseph Morgan for their talent and these brother moments get me every time.

Now it’s your turn. Did you enjoy the episode? Were you surprised by Esther’s backstory? What do you think of her new plan? Do you know why the kids can keep their new bodies (assuming they can), but she can’t? Did you melt during the Elijah/Klaus scene? Share your thoughts, feelings, comments and theories below!

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.