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‘The Originals’ Review: The Moment to Live and the Moment to Die

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“This was only ever going to end one way.”

Cami’s words could easily serve as a tagline for anyone who’s ever crossed paths with the Mikaelson family from Tatia to Lucien to Marcel, and all the way down the line to Hayley, Cami, and Jackson.

The Originals will always be more tragedy than fairytale and “A Ghost along the Mississippi” proved no exception. The compelling episode jumped right back into the madness of never ending war. While the midseason finale went for quiet moments and a devastating ending, the winter return raced out of the gate with one twist and turn after the next—and plenty of gut wrenching agony.

We watched Klaus react to Cami’s death with rage as the scene wove together with a flashback to one of his chats with Cami. She tried to make him see that death mattered. Then, Cami woke up gasping. While it’s not surprising that she came back, I am impressed she did so early in the episode. Another flashback provided the how: Aurora gave her blood and told her to slit her throat without making a sound when she knows for sure Klaus loves her.

Klaus calmed down. He’d kill Aurora, teach Cami to be a vampire, and life would continue. But Cami refused. Klaus argued, Cami stood her ground, and Klaus resorted to Freya trapping her in the bedroom with a blood bag. Cami swore she’d never forgive him and Klaus countered he’d never forgive himself if she died.

I praise Joseph Morgan and Leah Pipes a lot for their talent. Once again, they blew my sky high expectations away. Morgan took Klaus through the motions of rage, relief, indifference, and then the rarest of Klaus’ emotional spectrum: desperation as he begged Cami not to leave him. Pipes responded with Cami’s confliction all over her face. Her words were furious as she railed at Klaus for trying to take away her choice, but the look in her eyes reflected the love she carries for him and the agony it caused to hurt him.

Cami made it clear she needed to make the choice for her. She didn’t want to drink human blood. Aurora robbed her of the choice to live so deciding whether or not to die was all she had left. She stepped up to help save the day because that’s who she is, but the fear of losing control to her dark side held her back. She wanted Klaus of all people to understand that, but Klaus embraces his dark side. All the Mikaelsons do to a point and then they wallow in their self-loathing. It’s hard to blame Cami for not wanting to be part of that cycle.

Ultimately, Cami did make the choice to turn. It’s easy to say she changed her mind a little too fast, but human survival instincts are a powerful force. We all want to live. Cami believed she could still do good in the world. Maybe she can and she will, but first, she’s going to have to get past her newly developed bloodlust. Cami enjoyed feeding on human blood on an orgasmic level, which pleased Klaus. If Aurora thought seeing Cami as a vampire would dim Klaus’ love for her, she’s in for an unpleasant surprise.

the-originals-ghosts-of-the-mississippi-charles-michael-davisAs Cami struggled with her transition, Tristan seized an opportunity to put his plan into motion. Aya and the Strix kidnapped Hayley and Jackson while Tristan threatened Vincent with Finn unless he activated the medallion to trap the Originals. Tristan double crossed Vincent, but made the mistake of holding him hostage in the cemetery. Vincent called on the ancestors for help and Elijah swooped in to assist Vincent and reclaim the pendant. But as they plotted, Tristan paid Hayley back for torturing him by ripping out Jackson’s heart.

I won’t pretend that I’m sorry to see him go, but I have enjoyed Jackson more in the last few episodes when he’s been on Team Mikaelson. I also didn’t see this coming, not in this episode, and not so early in the episode.

Having Hayley beside him, unable to do anything, twisted the knife even further. Jackson was a good man. He wanted to do right by his people and Hayley and he fought to the end. Phoebe Tonkin did a great job conveying Hayley’s grief. Her quiet apology to Jackson after he died and her admission that she’d been selfish was one of Hayley’s best scenes of the series. Hayley held herself together for Jackson and for their people at the funeral, but the haunted look in her eyes showed just how close she is to falling apart.

Team Mikaelson managed to score one major win in the middle of all the loss. Thanks to Freya and Vincent teaming up to disguise Cami as Aurora, they lured Tristan into a crate and sealed him inside with the medallion. He ordered the Strix to rise up against them, but Elijah reasoned with them. His speech along with a few whispered words from Marcel to Aya, and the Strix stood down. Elijah’s punishment for Tristan: an eternity of drowning, waking up, and drowning all over again.

Is this really the end of Tristan? I hope so. We’ve got too many people to keep track of this season and it’s time to start weeding out the villains. I forgot Lucien existed until they deduced he rescued Aurora.

Miscellaneous Musings

-Elijah and Marcel trusting each other and toasting to Tristan’s demise was a thing of beauty.

-Even though she wasn’t being totally selfless, I loved Freya’s speech to Cami about how she never had a choice about her own death so she wouldn’t take away Cami’s.

-Can we talk about how gorgeous Cami’s vampire hair is?

-Vincent continues to be one of the many highlights of this show. The car scene tag-team with Elijah and Klaus was so cool.

-Seriously, who was watching Hope?

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.