No one does dysfunctional quite like The Originals. The Mikaelson family has been around in one form or another for over 1,000 years and while Klaus, Elijah and Rebekah may vow family above all else, the true family motto should be obey or die. These people have spent centuries trying to kill each other or putting each other in magical time outs or in some cases, attempting to save each other while sacrificing another family member in the process. It’s all kinds of messed up and it’s also the best thing about this show.
“Alive and Kicking” revisited the past and gave viewers a glimpse into Kol’s psyche. As fans of The Vampire Diaries already knew, the younger Mikaelson brother is basically insane and enjoys killing and bloodshed and creating chaos for his personal amusement. While that might be fun for the audience (and it is), his brothers don’t necessarily agree with the sentiment. In the 1700s, one of Kol’s killing sprees led Mikael right to them so Klaus and Elijah daggered their brother to make him bend to their will as they prepared to board the ship that would eventually take them to New Orleans.
The flashbacks also finally gave us an answer as to why there’s so much animosity between Elijah and Marcel. Way back in the day, Elijah doted on Marcel and taught him art and literature and music and Klaus got jealous, took the dagger out of Kol and the two went on one of their terror binges. But Kol took things a step too far (like always) and nearly turned Marcel into a vampire so he got daggered again and put back in his box. Elijah stood over him and gave a speech about needing to make sacrifices for Klaus. Then he pushed little Marcel away so he’d only love Klaus.
Full disclosure for anyone who might be new here, I am an Elijah fan first and foremost, but this noble sacrificing of his is seriously getting old. Klaus behaves badly and Elijah cleans up the mess, forsaking his own happiness in the process, but neither brother ever moves forward or learns from his mistakes. Elijah walked away from Hayley in the present because he believes Klaus can best help her find herself again, even though Klaus is basically making Hayley more like him. And giving up Marcel in the past didn’t benefit Marcel or Klaus in the long run because those two still turned on each other and on Elijah (see what I mean about dysfunction?).
But things might be changing a little, at least for Elijah and Marcel. After spending the episode working together to find Davina and solve the mystery of the white oak stake disappearance, Marcel asked Elijah to join his new vampire team since Klaus was busy being Team Wolf. Elijah coolly explained that he did not do teams (I love him so much) and Marcel sassed him about being a bad parent before snapping Gia’s neck and telling Elijah to be her vampire mentor and do a better job with her than he did with him (ouch). Partnering up might be the first step to healing Elijah and Marcel’s relationship and easing some of the guilt Elijah feels for walking away in the past. Or it could be another disaster in the making, but I’m definitely intrigued by the potential.
Moving on to the rest of the family: Esther has started making new moonlight rings so she can align with the werewolves against the vampires and she’s sent Kol and Finn to spy on Davina and find out what she’s keeping in the attic. Since it’s locked, they don’t discover Mikael in there as he rages against Davina for holding him prisoner instead of letting him kill Klaus. But she’s no closer to figuring out how to free Marcel and Josh. On Elijah’s orders, Marcel asks her to locate the white oak stake and Elijah confirms his suspicions that Davina’s had it all along and that’s why she’s not worried about Marcel’s safety.
These were good scenes, but sometimes, I feel like Davina is a little too much with her teenage witch anger. She has every reason in the world to hate Klaus and some reasons to hate Elijah, but neither man is the root of the anger in her life and I’d like it if she calmed down a bit and maybe listened to reason from Marcel. On the other hand, she is a teenager so it’s probably fitting that she behaves the way she does without fully considering the consequences. Her flirtation with Kol is cute or it would be if I didn’t know that he always has an agenda and he’s super dangerous, even while under his mother’s control.
Now, let’s talk about the most powerful moments of the episode. First, Davina and Kol are attacked in the bar by Esther’s werewolves. Davina’s magic isn’t strong enough to fight everyone off so she has to call Mikael for help. He arrives and starts to do his thing, but in the process, Davina’s bracelet flies off. Mikael grabs her with every intention of killing her and that’s when Elijah swoops in and shoves his father away. His reaction to seeing him, along with Kol’s stunned reaction from the sidelines, is flawless. So many emotions pass over his face and then Elijah’s fighting for his life as his father tries to plunge the white oak stake into his heart, only to be stopped at the last second by Davina, who orders Mikael back to the attic. I don’t think I remembered to breathe at all during that scene.
Meanwhile, after helping Hayley regain some control over her werewolf pack, Klaus heads to the cemetery to chat with the teenage witch making the moonlight rings and the first thing she does is greet him as “Niklaus.” Something registers immediately in Klaus’ eyes and Esther seems to know it and revel in it as she serves him tea and practically dares him to put the pieces together. Klaus isn’t one to be outmaneuvered so he participates in the mental chess game and tells ‘Cassie’ all about his evil mother and how she ruined him and his siblings by turning them into the vile creatures the witches and wolves hate so much. Unimpressed, Esther accuses him of being jealous of the living. Neither one is willing to admit defeat, but they both know it will not be their last meeting.
Klaus and Elijah return to the compound and compare stories about their parents, leading Klaus to ask which one of their parents they should kill first. Again, these scenes were so powerful thanks to Joseph Morgan and Daniel Gillies letting their expressions and mannerisms speak just as loudly as their words. These two play off each other so well that it’s completely believable for the audience to think they’ve spent 1,000 years together dealing with this exact problem. Mikael and Esther have proven resilient (no matter how many times Klaus kills them), so this is going to take a lot more than teamwork to fix. Even with Klaus’ casual murder plans, the actors’ never let the audience forget the underlying mortal peril these characters are facing. And they still don’t know that their brothers are back too.
Speaking of brothers, after watching Kol daggered twice in flashbacks (side note: shouldn’t there be one more? Kol was wearing different clothes the first time he woke up on TVD) and suffer a witchy beating at the hands of his mother, we got to see him get the upper hand. While he was trapped in the bar with Davina, Esther sent Finn to check out the attic and he found it empty so they assumed Davina had the weapon with her. When Esther asked Kol what it was, he played dumb and claimed to be knocked out while the action took place. So now Kol knows something his mother doesn’t that he can keep in his back pocket for personal leverage. Maybe he’ll even go to Mikael at some point if he thinks ‘Dad’ can offer him a better deal than ‘Mom’.
The show is never better than when it’s focusing on the family and their twisted relationships. I’m curious how long we’ll have to wait before Mikael and Esther discover the other one is alive and what’s going to happen when Elijah and Klaus realize Finn and Kol are back and working against them as well. Kol’s the wildcard and can and will change sides in a heartbeat if he gets a better offer. I can’t wait to see how this plays out and I really hope we get the Mikaelson family in the same room before members start dying (again).
Now it’s your turn. Hit the comments below and share your thoughts and theories with us. Did you enjoy the episode? Which family dynamic is your favorite? Do you have a Kol preference or are you loving the best of both? Which Mikaelson parent is more terrifying?