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‘The Originals’ Review: A Deadly Upgrade

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Lucien Castle deserves to be at the top of the food chain.

Why, you might ask?

Why would I throw my Mikaelson family love out the window and root for their enemy?

Because they’ve earned this mess—their arrogance, their selfishness, their inability to see beyond their own wants, needs, and beliefs—Lucien is the living embodiment of their sins and he’s going to team with Aurora and make them suffer until they die.

And they deserve it, if for no other reason than their constant failure to KILL THEIR ENEMIES WHEN THEY HAVE THE CHANCE.

Seriously.

Now that that’s out of the way, obviously I want the remaining siblings to prevail and I assume they will because that’s how TV works. But just like I praised Aurora when she used their weaknesses to come out on top, I have to tip my imaginary hat to Lucien as well. He played to win and that’s exactly what he’s on track to do.

While the last few episodes of The Originals have been hit and miss and in last week’s case, borderline unnecessary filler, “Behind the Black Horizon” (directed by Joseph Morgan) will go down as one of the season’s standouts.

Not only did we finally get to learn the ins and outs of Lucien’s plan, we learned the consequences of Davina’s risky actions, and we witnessed the Mikaelson family at their best: when they come together for family above all else.

We received more good news off the bat: while Vincent is helping Lucien, it’s only because the ancestors are threatening to kill him. So we don’t have to start rooting for Vincent’s death like we do other people who screw over the Mikaelson family. He managed to tip off Davina and she and Kol started the family phone tree to bring Elijah, Finn, Klaus, and Hayley up to speed.

As everyone set out for their individual tasks, Kol continued spiraling out of control. But it wasn’t just his normal vampire antics. Cami pointed out his behavior reminded her of her uncle’s—after he’d been hexed. Davina denied it at first, but when Kol remained the worst, she decided to test his blood. Later, she told Vincent it was infused with magic. The ancestors were punishing her through him.

Vincent and Davina plan to team up and bring the ancestors down once and for all. I can’t say I blame them considering how much trouble those ancestors cause. But given how much power they seem to have, it sounds like it will be a risky mission.

That being said, did the show forget its own mythology? In season one, a big deal was made out of ancestral magic and how it can only be practiced in New Orleans. So how were the ancestors able to torment Vincent all the way in Mystic Falls and how did Vincent have magic to do that spell? I’m all for loopholes and suspended disbelief, but not when it comes to major plot lines. This feels sloppy.

Aside from that pesky detail, Lucien’s plan borders on genius. While the Mikaelson family spent centuries fighting with each other and causing havoc everywhere they go, Lucien’s been plotting revenge. He became a powerful business leader, researched, experimented, and conned his way back into the Mikaelson good graces. Not even the good graces—he worked with them when they needed a hand to the point his presence barely registered as they went from crisis to crisis.

When he arrived in NOLA, he bargained with the ancestors. He wanted a regent to carry out his spell. He needed Freya for the Mikaelson blood and as Hayley discovered, he collected werewolf venom from each of the werewolf clans. Once Vincent mixed the ingredients together, Lucien created two vials. He drank one and held onto the other (Klaus later deduced it was for Aurora). The final step in his plan—being “killed” and reborn an upgraded Original.

the-originals-317-behind-black-horizon-02Elijah and Finn played right into his hand when they arrived on the scene. As Lucien threatened to kill Freya before their vampire speed could save her, Finn pulled the classic action movie move: he used Matt’s gun to shoot the hostage. The wooden bullets went right through Freya and into Lucien. Elijah healed Freya and then she told her brothers Lucien would rise again and they were screwed (I’m paraphrasing, but you know that’s what she meant).

Lucien woke up and threw the Original brothers around like they were stuffed toys. He waxed poetic about his internal debates as to whether to kill Elijah or Klaus first, but since Elijah was there, he won. Then, Finn stepped in to try and save his brother so Lucien sank his newly powered fangs into his neck. Freya managed to toss out a quick barrier spell to prevent any further damage and Lucien left with the promise to bring more death later.

The siblings returned to New Orleans so Klaus could feed Finn his blood. Kol hung around the house to make some snide comments about Finn dying (which is probably only 1 percent hex and 99 percent Kol). Klaus showed up, cured the bite, and the family relief turned out to be short lived. After Finn finally got his first taste of always and forever, his body began to desiccate. With his siblings gathered around him, he died.

Here’s something I never thought I would say: watching Finn die hurt. Even when he died the first time on The Vampire Diaries, I wasn’t all that broken up about it because the show never let us get attached to the character. When he inhabited Vincent’s body last season, Finn was mainly the guy who killed my favorite version of Kol and tried to murder Hope (Dear Writers: do you remember that? Because it doesn’t seem like the characters do).

But this episode gave us another version of Finn. He told Elijah how much he felt being daggered for centuries. We saw how far he was willing to go to protect Freya. We even saw him come through for Elijah. More than that, we saw Freya, Elijah, Klaus, and that tiny part of Kol, coming to grips with the notion of losing their brother to death. Not just again, but for good.

I loved the mini funeral scene. No one pretended Finn was the greatest brother ever. Except Freya, but she didn’t need to pretend. While I distrusted through most of season two, I’ve come to love Freya (and Riley Voelkel deserves all the gold stars for this episode). All Freya’s wanted her entire life was to have her family back. Finn was the only sibling she knew before Esther gave her away and my heart broke all over again when she called him her first friend.

Klaus vowed to avenge his brother’s death. I expect no less from any of the siblings. But Lucien’s made himself more powerful than the Originals and it looks like he plans to give a freed Aurora the same treatment. I have no idea how the siblings are going to get out of this one, but here’s hoping they remember to kill Lucien, Aurora, and anyone else who crosses them from this point forward.

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.