‘The Originals’ Review: ‘Dance Back from the Grave’ with a Vengeance


The Originals has been on fire ever since the series returned from its holiday hiatus. “Dance Back from the Grave” raised the bar even higher last night and was the best episode to date. A lot happened in the span of an hour and I loved watching every moment of it so much that I don’t even know where to start.

How about with the first surprise of the evening? Celeste has been ‘alive’ the entire time. After her death, she started jumping from witch to witch and Sabine is just her latest vessel. So she’s had quite a bit of time to plot her plot her revenge, which makes me that much more worried about the Original siblings. This witch is bad news (and it’s awesome because there are finally stakes!).

After we learned Celeste’s secret, we got to meet Papa Tunde, one of the witches who came back thanks to Celeste hijacking the harvest ritual. In a flashback to 1919, we saw Papa Tunde leading his followers and explaining that in addition to ancestral magic, he also practiced sacrificial magic and then he killed a snake to harness its powers of pure evil. Then it was time for him to meet the Mikaelson brothers.

I could spend the entire day gushing about how perfect it was to see Elijah and Klaus running New Orleans like a mob organization. They were making deals and reminding people that they could not be killed so it was best to fall in line with them (and the flashback suits and hair! I am in love). As they were waiting for Mayor O’Connell (hmm…a distant relative of Cami’s?), Papa Tunde showed up instead with his twin sons and wanted to make a deal to benefit the witches…and he brought the mayor’s head with him in a box.

Of course Klaus only pretended to be intrigued because he’s Klaus and that’s what he does. He brings his enemies into his circle before he kills them, at least that’s how Marcel explained it to Cami. How awesome was Marcel in this episode? He’s taking Davina’s death hard and he is not the slightest bit impressed by Klaus’ need to be king and run the quarter like nothing has happened (although he did notice that his friend was in a good mood after returning to Mystic Falls. Well played, Show). Marcel was waiting for Sophie, but it was Cami who sat with him and listened to his stories.

I’ve gone back and forth with how I feel about Cami, but in this episode, I loved her. She’s finally 100 percent in control and she really has nothing left to lose so she’s not going to back down. But as Marcel pointed out, she certainly asked a lot of questions about Klaus for someone who claims to hate him. I think Cami is intrigued by Klaus and a part of her is drawn to him, but if I had my choice, I’d rather see Cami and Marcel become a thing. Not only because he would be better for her, but Cami and Klaus are all pain. Marcel is devastated now, but at least we know he has a fun, easygoing side.

While they were commiserating, Papa Tunde had grabbed Rebekah and channeled all of her power. But since she was an Original, she couldn’t die so it made him very strong and his plan was to channel the remaining Originals as well. Thierry saw him take her, but instead of warning someone, he just went back to the compound and started drinking (ugh, this guy). Luckily, Elijah was concerned when he couldn’t get a hold of his sister and demanded answers from Thierry, threatening him and then throwing him around like a ragdoll for being a piece of garbage that left his sister in the hands of a crazy person.

And now it’s time for me to fangirl gush over Elijah and Hayley (so if you’re not a fan, just skip two paragraphs). I was expecting things to be awkward between them after the almost kiss, but Hayley took it in stride, even though she seemed hurt that he was avoiding her because of Klaus. Elijah felt bad about it and then when Hayley insisted on going with him to find Rebekah, he agreed, but she couldn’t leave his sight (happy sigh). They found Rebekah, but the witch’s circle kept them out so Elijah called Sophie for help and she said they needed to ‘add an ingredient to the recipe’ to break the circle. She rattled off suggestions, but Elijah had one of his own: the blood of a witch.

Elijah said he needed a favor and Hayley realized he was talking about the baby (who has Esther’s blood in her veins, making her one quarter witch). So she offered her wrist to Elijah and he bit her to open her vein and it was 100 million times hotter than any kiss would have been at this point. We’ve never seen Elijah bite anyone and The Vampire Diaries has taught us that blood sharing can be very intimate and that’s exactly what that moment felt like and I loved it so much. There’s a solid chance the slow burn between these two will kill me.

Papa Tunde showed up at the bar and his plan was to torture and kill Marcel because back in the day, Klaus killed his sons (the source of his power) and then killed him and he wanted to return the favor by hurting Klaus’ son. Cami showed off her brave bartender side when she hit him over the head, but Papa Tunde dispatched of her quickly. Cami called Klaus and demanded he get over there. He rushed in, ready to kill Papa again, but since he was channeling Rebekah, Klaus was no match for him and it was his turn to get thrown around like a ragdoll.

My favorite scene continued and after Elijah sprinkled Hayley’s blood on the circle, he was able to get Rebekah out, which broke the link to Tunde. Klaus managed to overpower him before he could hurt him, tossed him aside and immediately ran to check on Marcel. Between last week’s hug and this, I’m pretty sure Klaus and Marcel’s father/son relationship is becoming one of my favorite things in this universe. Marcel needed blood and Klaus ordered Cami to grab someone off the street, but she wanted to do it herself. She offered Marcel her neck (damn, girl doesn’t mess around) and Marcel’s going to be okay.

But everyone can only breathe temporary sighs of relief. Rebekah is furious with Elijah for siding with Klaus, Elijah feels guilty because of his growing feelings for Hayley, nothing matters more to Marcel than bringing Davina back, some of the vampire kingdom followed Thierry out the door and we finally learned the big secret Marcel and Rebekah have been keeping and it turns out to be twofold.

First, Marcel was the one who brought Papa Tunde to New Orleans back in the day. He wanted to break Klaus’ hold on the city so he’d go away and leave Marcel and Rebekah free to be together. Naturally Rebekah was impressed by him putting her above power and she had a better suggestion, the one person Klaus was truly afraid of: Mikael. She told Marcel that they just needed a witch to help them find Mikael. I was a little disappointed that the secret was predictable, but I’m willing to let it slide since everything else about this episode was fantastic and I still think the fallout from the secret (which hopefully will include Mikael flashbacks) will be worth it.

Finally, Papa Tunde had lost the battle, but the war was definitely not over. He found the garden and sacrificed all of the vampires that were chilling in there (too bad he didn’t get traitorous Thierry too). Then he told Celeste that all of the power that he’d channeled into his weird-looking knife was enough to make the Originals suffer. But there was one sacrifice left to make and he said it was his honor as he handed Celeste the knife and let her slit his throat. So now she is in possession of all that power (and hopefully since Papa died, one of the dead teenage witches can come back).

I loved this episode from start to finish. It’s exactly what I’ve been wanting for the show: higher stakes, more flashbacks and the constant focus on family (Also, can we take a moment to celebrate the fact that Elijah was back to wearing a suit?). I cannot wait for the next episode. Check out the preview below and then hit the comments and share your thoughts on the episode with us!

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.

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