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‘The Originals’ Review: From Victim to Vampire Vigilante

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Vampire Cami’s got quite a chip on her leather-clad shoulder.

Kudos to The Originals’ writing staff—“Wild at Heart” zigged where we expected it to zag. Based on last week’s ending and accompanying promo, it seemed Cami would revel in her bloodlust, and more than likely, give in to the three seasons’ of sexual tension she’s built with Klaus.

Instead, Cami rebelled against those who offered to help and set out on her own mission. She protected a fellow bartender from a sexist frat boy (with compulsion rather than beer bottle to the head), she recruited Detective Kinney to retrieve the dark objects Lucien stole from her (more compulsion), and she made off with one hell of a bargaining chip: Hope’s knight a.k.a. the only thing left on Earth that can kill an Original vampire (this time via emotional manipulation).

the-originals-wild-at-heart-leah-pipesNot going to lie—that last part felt like a stake through my heart. Because Team Mikaelson always and forever. But Cami’s not going to hurt Klaus or Elijah (and certainly not Rebekah). She just wants back what’s hers. So much has been stolen from this woman because she was human and couldn’t compete with the strength of monsters. Now she can and she’s asserting her power. No one can f@%k with Cami O’Connell anymore. She’s risen to a level playing field.

Expect it’s not level by a longshot. She’s a baby vamp—Josh could kill her if he chose. The power’s gone to Cami’s head and this is The Originals so something is going to go terribly wrong. It’s a brilliant setup for the inevitable crash and burn—so different than what we’ve seen with other vampire transitions, both here and on The Vampire Diaries.

What does this mean for Cami and Klaus? Angst. Pain. Suffering. The staples of any ship on this show from familial to romantic to friendships. Klaus is hurt by the betrayal, but Cami’s hurt too. She’s questioning whether Klaus can accept who she truly is. Remember last week when she warned he didn’t know her? Only parts of her? Maybe he won’t love the entire package and Aurora was right all along. I don’t believe that’s true, but that’s where Cami’s at right now.

It’s fascinating to see Klaus on the other side of a familiar scenario: now he’s the one watching someone he loves spiral and make bad choices. Drinking blood and having fun—Klaus can handle that in his sleep. Deep rooted emotional pain and trauma? He’s going to have to get past his own feelings and reach out to Cami in order to pull her back from the ledge. Of course that’s assuming he wants to after this stunt.

Cue the angst music and pass the tissues and wine.

the-originals-wild-at-heart-phoebe-tonkin-leah-pipes-joseph-morganSpeaking of—we need to talk about Phoebe Tonkin’s performance. Grief poured off her in waves even when she didn’t speak. Hayley looked so vulnerable when she arrived to ask if she and Hope could move back home. When Cami mocked her pain, Tonkin kept Hayley in control. She could have snapped Cami’s neck and I wouldn’t have blamed her, but she just sighed, and gave her a warning. Hayley’s been where Cami is so she gets it. Now, Hayley’s just exhausted.

The final scene of the episode will land on the list of my series’ favorites. After awkward, uncomfortable looks all day, Elijah sought out Hayley, and found her crying in the kitchen. Talk about tragic. They know they love each other. He wants to be there for her. She wants him to be there for her. But they can’t just fall into each other’s arms. Because Jackson. And guilt. And loss. They don’t know how to act, but they also can’t stay away from each other.

Tonkin made another great acting choice as Hayley talked about her journey through the stages of grief. Daniel Gillies’ silent reaction shots were phenomenal. Everything he wanted to say but couldn’t shone in his eyes. Then, Hayley reached acceptance. Jackson died because he loved her. “And loving any of us is a death sentence, isn’t it?”

Truer words may never be spoken.

Miscellaneous Musings

-Why are the Strix still in town? Shouldn’t they just kill Lucien and Aurora and then move on with their lives? They’re the most powerful vampire society ever. Handle it.

-Did Haley Ramm have the greatest few days at work ever or what? She got to do that hot pool scene with Elijah, she swooped in to save Davina (and doom her at the same time), and then Elijah killed her with a swift bite to the neck? What a way to go…

-I love this show. I love the writing, the acting, the directing, the setting, and the subtle ways the writers weave clues together. All of this went out the window with Hope’s toy being the weapon. I cringed at the heavy handedness—they might as well have had Hope throw it at them. Also, how’s that little toy going to kill three Originals?

-Kol’s return fell flat for me. I understand why the writers chose to go with Original recipe Kol, but since Daniel Sharman handled all the redemption scenes, it jarred me to watch Nathaniel Buzolic putting Davina above himself. I half-expected him to stab her in the back, leave her with the ancestors, and head back to the land of the living in her place.

-Here’s hoping Josh’s warning to Marcel sends him racing back into Daddy mode. Seriously, show, give him more to do. He’s one of your best assets.

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.