Reviews

‘The Originals’ Review: Taming the Inner Monsters

One of the many, many things I love about the second season of The Originals is that it’s impossible to guess where the story is going. Even in today’s internet age where there are spoiler stills and videos and interviews and plenty of fan theories, each episode still manages to pull off major surprises. “Chasing the Devil’s Tail” might just be the episode that’s going to be impossible to top when it comes to shocking moments.

I can honestly say I didn’t see this particular twist coming and I suspect few other fans did either. But it wasn’t the shock factor that made it brilliant – it was the fact that when it happened, it fit so seamlessly into the narrative that it was suddenly the only possible outcome and that made it all the more perfect (in a sad, thanks for breaking my heart again, writers kind of way).

We began the episode with Klaus trying to get through to Elijah, but his mind was buried too deep in Esther’s spell. Hayley noticed a mark on Elijah’s neck that Klaus recognized from his childhood – some sort of plant that Esther used in spells to put Mikael to sleep after battles and there was a specific orchid that she used to awaken him after he healed. Klaus needed to find that orchid, but first, he warned Hayley not to go after Esther. She promised she wouldn’t, but once he left, she told an unconscious Elijah she wanted to go after everything Esther loved instead.

That meant it was time for another group plan, which is my favorite kind of plan. When Jackson still wasn’t interested in helping, Hayley turned to Aiden and brought him to Marcel and Josh to discuss the best way to takedown Finn. Marcel offered up Cami for bait, they called her over, Hayley checked to make sure she was on board and then they put their plan into action which basically involved Cami going on a date with Finn and Hayley attacking her and making it look like she’d been dragged away by werewolves looking to get revenge for Oliver’s death.

Chasing the Devil's TailMaybe it was because there were no Mikaelson brothers involved (aside from the intended victim), but I didn’t enjoy this group outing as much as I have the past few times everyone’s teamed up together. I did, however, enjoy the Cami/Hayley scenes and I think the show needs to make a point to find more time for those because female friendships are important and that’s something that’s been lacking on this show as of late. It did take major teamwork to subdue Finn since he figured out Aiden was in on it fairly quick and he was about to use magic to rip out Hayley’s heart when Jackson showed up to save the day with a bow and arrow, allowing Cami to get the handcuffs on him to subdue his magic.

Later, Jackson and Hayley had a moment, which I can set my shipper bias aside for a second and say was a good moment. She apologized for not being the girl he waited for and he told her that the one who showed up was better. That’s really sweet and it’s nice that it touched Hayley. She’s been feeling super down about herself since she lost her sense of identity (But I am always and forever Team Haylijah so I basically side eyed the whole scene and even now as I relive it for the sake of this review, I’m saying no thank you, let’s move on and send Jackson back where he came from, show).

As for the other witchy Mikaelson brother, Kol told Davina that before he was turned into a vampire, he was a witch prodigy as a child, the only one in the family who had come into his powers. He loved being a witch so much that he even dabbled in it as a vampire and taught the local witches to create dark objects. He just doesn’t know where they are now (but Davina does and I loved the look of recognition that crossed her face).

I really like this backstory. On The Vampire Diaries, Kol always seemed to know things about witches and it makes me happy that The Originals is filling in the blanks for us. It’s also awesome that Kol is the one to truly take after his mother, but she seems to have very little use for him aside from errand boy (seriously, is it any wonder these people have so many issues?). This week, Esther tasked him with bringing the stake back to her, but Kol had other plans.

He took Davina to a crypt (dates are so romantic on this show) because he wants to fashion a dagger that will work on Klaus – he will be put down, but Davina’s friends will be safe since he’ll technically be alive. The two flirted a lot and Davina started to trust him. While I can appreciate the chemistry the actors have and there is a part of me that wants this ship to sail, I can’t help thinking that there’s always another shoe waiting to drop with Kol. As much as Davina gets on my nerves when she’s trying to kill my favorites, I don’t want Kol to hurt her.

Chasing the Devil's TailOf course that’s what ended up happening, but it actually was not his fault. Kol brought Davina back to the attic after she fell asleep and he was eyeing the stake, but he never got a chance to betray her because Marcel was lurking outside. But when Davina woke up, Kol and the stake were gone so naturally she assumes the worse. Now Kol and Finn have been delivered to their brothers at the compound and Marcel presumably has the white oak stake. I suppose that’s better than Davina, but I’d really only feel comfortable if it was in Elijah’s hands – although not necessarily right now (we’ll get to that).

So remember that big moment I mentioned at the start of this review? Ansel was chilling in the woods, wanting to spend some quality time with his son and Klaus wanted no part of that. But Ansel explained he used to get the orchid for Esther back in the day and he could help Klaus, which would mean healing Elijah faster. As they walked, Klaus preferred silence, but Ansel wanted to talk about how things could be different – how they could still be different – if Klaus decided to take on a werewolf form and let Ansel raise him right. Klaus insisted he was not interested and then Ansel played the ‘it would make you a better father’ card, which Klaus scoffed at until Ansel explained he knew Hope was alive.

That threw Klaus for a loop and admittedly, my first thought was this would be how Klaus would finally open up to him. Ansel got the orchid Klaus needed, he told him about how much he’s watched him over the years and it was genuinely nice to see a parental figure who wanted to love Klaus. But Klaus is a father now and his priority is Hope and he believes being an Original hybrid is the best way to protect her so he has no intention of taking Esther’s offer. And since there’s no way he could know for sure that Ansel would keep quiet, Klaus had to kill him.

Ansel didn’t think his son would go through with it (I actually laughed out loud when he said that, which probably wasn’t the reaction the show wanted) and then Klaus killed him, but here’s the part that broke me – Klaus hugged him. He hugged him to his chest and held him as he died and it was beautiful and sad and just awful. Klaus killing a parent is nothing new (he’s three for three), but this time was different because Ansel actually wanted to be there for him and give him the kind of life he’s never had with a parent who loves him and guides him and Klaus wants that, but he wants his daughter’s safety more.

I definitely did not expect Ansel to die by Klaus’ hand in the second episode he appeared in (if anything, I assumed Mikael might kill him again). But as I said earlier, watching these scenes play out was exactly what needed to happen and the only possible outcome. Klaus reminded Ansel that he’d been raised for 1,000 years with Mikael as his father and that made him paranoid and Ansel showed up too late. Klaus would not be too late for Hope. These scenes were absolutely haunting and sad, but absolutely incredible to watch.

Just in case that scene wasn’t heartbreaking enough, there was more pain coming. Elijah dreamt of his younger self and warned him of the monsters lurking in the shadows. Klaus slipped into his brother’s head after he gave him the antidote and explained to the younger Elijah that they were the demons, the fairy tale villains, etc. But not to his daughter – for Hope they were the knights in shining armor. Klaus told his brother that he needed him, that the monster in him needed the monster in Elijah to keep him in check so they could work together to save their family. Then he gave younger Elijah a weapon, which he promptly used to stab his older self and Elijah woke up.

The speech was completely devastating and Joseph Morgan once again proved exactly why he was picked to star in his own show because the man knows how to bring it, even when talking to a child he’s never worked with before and an ‘unconscious’ scene partner. Of course Elijah waking up was not the end of the pain. Klaus shared his tale with his brother, including that he’d killed his father because he couldn’t take a chance when it came to Hope and then he showed him Ansel’s journal and a sketch of a young Klaus.

Elijah understood the depth of his brother’s grief and told him that they had to protect whatever innocence was left – for Hope. He cradled his brother’s head in his hand to comfort him and remind him that he’s not alone in this fight and my heart cannot take so many beautiful moments in one episode. Elijah and Klaus taking care of each other is the absolute best and it hurts so much because all they want is to protect their family, but the cost is taking its toll.

Which brings me back to what I said earlier – Elijah stared at his hands and began to have flashes of killing Tatia. I’m worried about him. I don’t think he’s going to take Esther’s deal, but I don’t trust his mindset at the moment. He’s broken and hating himself and that could be dangerous for those around him. And while we’re on the subject of danger, Klaus left Ansel’s body hanging where Esther had once kept Elijah and she broke down when she discovered him. Then she promptly went to the bar and kidnapped Cami.

I still have no idea what she needs her for, or how she plans to use her against Klaus, but I am dying to find out. I also cannot wait to see how the family reunion in the ballroom turns out. Klaus’ familiar smirk at the end of the episode was so fun (especially after all the sadness).

But nothing is more exciting than the fact that Rebekah will be back next week.

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.