‘The Originals’ Midseason Finale Review: Bonfire Wishes


We’re used to Mikaelson family gatherings ending in disaster and death on The Originals, but last night’s midseason finale gave viewers a rare, but much needed, happy moment for three of the siblings before the terror and mayhem resumed.

The Map of Moments” was exactly that – an hour filled with important moments – the game changers we’ve come to expect when watching an episode of The Originals as well as the understated, special moments between siblings and loved ones that make this show so compelling to watch each and every week.

Let’s start with the good – Rebekah, Elijah and Hope waited at a random house in Arkansas that the siblings used as a safe house once before for Klaus and Hayley to arrive. Klaus barely stopped the car before Hayley ran toward her daughter. I loved watching Elijah place the baby in her arms and in turn watching Hayley hand her to Klaus. The entire season has been building to this moment and it felt so right to have Elijah and Rebekah there and I appreciate the writers’ choice to keep the dialogue minimal. The actors’ faces said everything that needed to be said.

Rebekah wanted to revive a family tradition of throwing their holiday wishes for each other into a bonfire – something Hayley jumped onboard with, much to Klaus’ dismay. Rebekah also wanted a group selfie and for a brief moment, we got to put all the drama and danger aside and just watch these people being family and enjoying their time together. As Klaus grumbled, he still participated because his sister wanted him to and we even got to see Elijah smiling. Then they had to burn the picture to make sure it couldn’t be found by their enemies and the happiness turned to the familiar angst and despair we’ve grown accustomed to each week.

The Map of MomentsElijah’s still suffering from his red door issues and for a moment, it seemed like he might be the one to take Esther’s deal after all as he explained to Rebekah that he believed one of them switching sides might be enough to satisfy her since she already had Kol and Finn. Rebekah immediately shot down the idea, but later offered herself up instead. She asked her brothers to protect her body and she wanted to take the opportunity while Esther was distracted to get rid of her once and for all. While Klaus and Elijah initially protested, they ultimately agreed in the name of protecting Hope (and each other).

Speaking of Esther, while her children were plotting her demise, she was stalking Mikael in the woods as he systematically killed random werewolves in search of Ansel. I’ve been waiting all season for this reunion and it did not disappoint. Mikael gave her grief for bringing back her lover and mentioning Klaus’ name and Esther dared him to strike her. It turned out she wasn’t really there so he basically hit the air, but the tension levels skyrocketed and it was impossible to look away from the screen. I was initially worried this reunion wouldn’t be the same without Alice Evans in the role, but the writers were smart to wait until the audience plenty of time to accept Sonja Sohn as Esther (and she’s been fantastic). I loved when she told Mikael they needed to discuss their children.

In order to carry out their plan against Esther, Klaus and Rebekah needed Kol on their side so they called Marcel to broker the deal. Throughout the episode, we saw flashbacks to 1914 that picked up the Awakening storyline from the web series. Kol finally had the diamond he needed to make the dagger and Marcel and Klaus took it from him and put his witch friends in a supernatural prison. Present day Kol wanted the diamond back from Marcel and explained that he wanted a weapon to even the playing field with Klaus. Marcel seemed a little reluctant, but then he agreed and that’s when Kol said he’d also need the white oak stake or Esther would know something was up. Marcel tried to back out then, but Klaus arrived, asked Kol to swear he had the family’s best interests at heart and once Kol did, he agreed to give it to him.

There are a few things I want to talk about here. First, I’m impressed with Kol for being honest about the diamond with Marcel. Perhaps they’ll have an alliance in the future. Second, I’m impressed with Klaus for trusting Kol. It shows how deep their bond truly is, even if neither of them acknowledges it very often. Klaus isn’t just protecting himself – he’s protecting Hope and he’s also trying to keep Rebekah safe so putting his trust in Kol at this particular moment was huge. I will never stop appreciating the dynamics of the Mikaelson family (And that’s why I’m also impressed that Kol followed through and gave the stake back after Esther was gone).

So Kol returned to Esther with the stake and then Rebekah showed up to talk about the deal. While this was going on, Davina was at the compound with Marcel and Cami preparing to do a spell to stop Esther from putting Rebekah in Cami’s body and direct her into the body of a girl who Marcel had rejected from his vampire community. This is when the episode really started to get confusing for me. I was admittedly blinded by terror that Esther would succeed and Rebekah’s body (and Claire Holt in the present timeline) would be lost to us forever so I thought I might have missed a few things the first time I watched. But the second time wasn’t much clearer. I think the writers should have made this a little easier to understand – too many spells were happening at once and throw in the double crosses on top of that and I was more than a little lost.

Here’s the gist of it: Esther made it so the spell couldn’t be stopped so Rebekah’s spirit was going into another body. When Klaus offered to take her place (my heart, you guys), Esther told him it was too late for him – she’d made a deal to let Mikael have him (mother of the year). Davina and Kol did manage to direct Rebekah away from Cami, but Kol pulled a fast one and picked out a different new body for her – one only he knows about inside Klaus’ witch prison (apparently it’s still a thing 100 years later). Cami woke up in her own body or at least she seemed to, but I’m still not convinced someone else (Dahlia) didn’t jump in there at some point or could potentially jump in there in the future. But Rebekah’s vampire body is intact and Esther has been neutralized by my favorite twist of the episode.

The Map of MomentsWhile Kol distracted her, Rebekah slipped some of her blood in her wine. Klaus killed Esther to try and stop the spell and when she woke up in a tomb, Klaus told her that she was in transition. He tossed her a blood bag and told her she could either be the thing she hates the most or she can be dead. He’s giving her the choice she never gave her children. How awesome was that? I never saw it coming and it’s a brilliant way to get rid of Esther for the moment, but still keep her around for future storylines, assuming she chose to drink the blood. I’m also not really sure if Klaus sealed her in the tomb or if she can drink the blood and leave, but I don’t care about the confusion because it was an awesome twist.

Someone busted Finn out of his coffin while everyone was distracted and like Klaus, I’m assuming it was Mikael on Esther’s orders. Earlier in the episode, Finn made it clear to Cami that he saw the world as black or white and you’re with him or against him in his mission to rid the world of vampires. Of course teaming up with Mikael would go against those ‘morals’ of his, but that’s the beauty of this family – they’re very good at using one another when the situation calls for it, whether they like each other or not.

Back in Arkansas, Hayley put Hope to sleep and then she finally told Elijah about her plan to marry Jackson. She assured him she didn’t love Jackson, but she also said that they couldn’t be together anymore if she got married. Elijah kissed her and then he told her to marry Jackson because it was best for Hope – Hayley needed to protect her people and he would protect his. Hayley waited about half a second and then she kissed him again and then the clothes started flying off and out of respect for the non-shippers, I won’t spend three paragraphs talking about how hot it was (so freaking hot I can’t even). Obviously this is going to have major consequences and probably make it harder for her to marry Jackson, but we’ll worry about that at a later date.

Kol filled Davina in on what he did to Rebekah (so much honesty from him this week). He was paying her back for telling Klaus about his plans in 1914, which resulted in Klaus daggering him (while Elijah held him down and Rebekah smirked into her champagne). First, points for putting him in the clothes he was wearing the first time we met him on The Vampire Diaries. Second, I love Rebekah with all my heart, but I don’t really blame Kol for getting her back. Not only are they siblings, but they’re monsters, something we forget sometimes when we’re passionately defending them. They’re the kind of people who put siblings in coffins and witch prisons. But that doesn’t mean they don’t love each other (except Finn – no one seems to love him and vice versa). Kol and Davina shared their first (and second) kiss and maybe it’s my fangirl obsession with height differences, but I thought it was adorable and I like them together (don’t let me down, Kol).

The final scene showed Rebekah in her new body waking up in the witch prison and banging her fists against the door, shouting she was Rebekah Mikaelson and she’s not supposed to be there. I’m going to try my hardest to be open-minded about this new body, but I’m very attached to Claire Holt and her portrayal of Rebekah so I don’t think this ‘recast’ is going to be as easy for me to adjust to as the other three were. I’m also a little disappointed the finale left so many unanswered questions. Don’t get me wrong – it’s a good thing to leave viewers anticipating the next episode when we have to wait over a month, but I wish things had been a little less confusing. I’m looking forward to getting answers when the show returns and I’m curious who will be tasked with keeping Hope safe.

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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