We survived the final hiatus of The Originals second season and were rewarded with a fantastic return episode. “Exquisite Corpse” brought us the backstory of Eva Sinclair and Vincent Griffith, a race to save Rebekah as the witches plotted Eva’s demise, the return of Esther and after all this time, a real glimpse into Freya’s motives.
The episode kicked off with a voiceover from Rebekah as we watched little Rebekah running inside Eva’s mind as the determined witch tried to capture her and remove her from “her house.” Eva managed to take over and woke up to knock out Marcel, a werewolf bodyguard and then went toe to toe with Klaus and Hayley as she tried to steal Hope. Klaus prevailed, but Eva got away with an injured leg and it was all hands on deck to get Rebekah back into her own body before the witches killed Eva.
I’ve always been a fan of episodes where everyone works together, but this one managed to raise the excitement level even higher than usual. While the two episodes preceding this one left a lot to be desired, “Exquisite Corpse” was intense from start to finish. The threat of Dahlia continued to loom large and once again we saw a divide between the family members as to how to handle things. Klaus’ paranoia levels continue to skyrocket. And Freya plans to use that to her advantage. Let’s talk about the big moments.
5. Honorable Mentions
I’m a big fan of the way the show has been doing voiceovers this season; alternating between montages and often ending with someone telling a story. In this case, it ended with Eva causing trouble, but I enjoyed the glimpses we got, including Elijah and Gia sharing more hot moments and Klaus and Hayley working together to protect Hope. Also, how cute was that baby with her stuffed wolf?
Another thing I appreciated about this episode was the focus on Rebekah’s portrait as a reminder not only of who she used to be, but it felt like a way to bring Claire Holt back without actually having her onscreen. The portrait and little Rebekah was a nice visual reminder of who everyone was fighting for (not that we need one because we all know Rebekah’s the best).
I felt bad for Marcel when Eva was taunting him about being a bad parent, but she also had a point. The Marcel/Davina relationship has been neglected this season, other than when he tried to protect her from Kol. I hope their reunion hug was the beginning of more scenes between them.
4. Hayley, Elijah and Gia: Party of Awkward
Klaus sent Hayley to get Elijah and go visit Josephine to ask her to extend the witches’ deadline and give them time to rescue Rebekah. Elijah brought Gia along, which did not please Hayley. The shipper in me loved her jealousy over Gia, but Elijah’s response of “What do you want from me?” was both perfect and heartbreaking. There’s no doubt these two love each other, but Hayley married someone else and Elijah shouldn’t have to be alone forever. That doesn’t mean it won’t hurt both of them.
Also, how awesome is Gia? This character continues to grow on me each week (which probably means she’ll die soon), but I especially loved her chat with Hayley once they were back at the compound with Hope. Gia offered to stay and fight if the witches came so Hayley could run with the baby and Hayley didn’t understand why she’d do that for her. Gia made it clear it was for Elijah because she knew how much Hayley meant to him. Then she dropped more truth in Hayley’s lap when she pointed out that it’s long past time for Elijah to stop taking care of everyone else and look out for himself for once.
3. Eva and Vincent’s Tragically Insane Backstory
Yusuf Gatewood and Maisie Richardson-Sellers owned this episode. After watching them play Mikaelson siblings for months, both actors transformed into brand new characters without missing a single beat. There was no trace of Rebekah or Finn in Eva and Vincent. Their mannerisms, their speech patterns, even the cadence of their voices changed and that was beyond impressive. The backstory between the two was also much different than I’d expected. Vincent explained to Marcel that they fell in love, lived a normal life and then the kids started disappearing. No one could track them, but Vincent managed to do a locator spell and got a glimpse of their captor: his wife.
Vincent pretended to switch sides in the middle of the fight and joined Eva as she kidnapped Josephine to complete her new coven plan. She wanted one witch from each of the nine covens of New Orleans so she could link them together and then use their power as her own so she could be the strongest witch in town. Unfortunately, that meant some of the witches had to die. While Eva tended to Josephine, Vincent knocked her unconscious and called Marcel for backup, only to realize that the witches were linked together so if Eva died, they all died, including Davina.
2. Operation Save Rebekah
Klaus was already moving pieces around his personal chess board in order to save his sister. He slapped the anti-magic cuffs on Freya and dragged her down to the tomb to meet Mama Original (more on them later). Klaus compelled Esther to give them the spell so they could get Rebekah out of Eva’s mind, but Freya needed more power and an anchor. She wanted to channel Klaus, but he refused so she left him behind after Elijah volunteered. Freya sent Marcel into Eva’s mind to retrieve Rebekah and sent Vincent in there with a weapon to kill her. Elijah did his best to keep Freya anchored as the spell took everything she had, but Eva continued to fight back. She tortured Marcel and then turned her attention to Vincent.
As the two argued about heartbreak (props on The Godfather reference), Freya could feel them slipping away, but that’s when Klaus appeared. He still wasn’t Tem Freya, but he’d do anything to save Rebekah (I love how proud Elijah looked). Freya grew stronger with the two anchors and just when it seemed like Eva would prevail over Vincent, little Rebekah stabbed and killed Eva (Rebekah Mikaelson, ladies and gentleman, always and forever a badass).
Back at the compound, as Rebekah studied her portrait, Klaus wanted to finish the spell and put her back (even if he had to torture Freya and Esther to make it happen). But Rebekah wasn’t ready to leave yet. She knew the body was still linked to the other witches and she didn’t want to let Davina or any of the others die. She also wanted to keep her promise to Kol (sorry show, I will not get my hopes up on this one). She reminded Klaus that the family needed to band together more than ever and he agreed – anything for her (I think that’s when we all died over how much Klaus loves his sister, right?).
1. Klaus vs. Freya
Sadly (or not depending on whether you’re Team Freya), that love does not apply to his older sister. Klaus doesn’t respond well to change in general, but when he sees a threat to his family, he’s going to murder first and ask questions later. Freya can’t be killed, but he figured the cuffs would be enough to keep Esther save from her. Esther didn’t trust her daughter either because the light was missing from her. She insisted she would be like Dahlia now: willing to help, but for a steep price. Esther assumed that price was being able to see inside Klaus’ mind once she used him for an anchor. Freya tried to insist that she loved her family, but neither of the two was buying it.
I loved all of these scenes. First, it was fun watching Klaus have the upper hand over Esther for a change. Mother or not, this woman is the absolute worst so I can’t blame Klaus for wanting to torture her. I also enjoyed seeing Klaus and Freya bicker like siblings who have been together for years instead of a few days (or weeks?). Of course their bickering ended with a neck snap, but if that’s not the Mikaelson family way, I don’t know what is.
When Klaus woke up, Esther tried to tell him that she’d done all of this so he’d love her again. Klaus was not amused by his mother ‘the comedian’ and planned to keep her rotting in the tomb. In order to save Rebekah, he did end up letting Freya in his head and he’s probably already regretting that considering she was more or less declared the hero and welcomed with open arms into the witch community. Klaus literally seethed with jealousy and then warned his sister that he’s still not buying her act. Freya warned him right back that she’s only giving him a limited time to come over to her side.
But then we learned what was really on her mind when she returned to Esther’s tomb. Freya explained that what she saw in Klaus’ head made her realize that she’d never have him as an ally and that meant she needed to remove him as an obstacle. She planned to turn those he loved against him. Esther wanted to know why she was telling her and Freya said because she wouldn’t be around to see it. That’s when she used the power of her necklace to turn Esther into a flock of birds, which immediately died and Freya stepped on their corpses (Cool scenes, but I wish Esther had survived. I like her crazy).
Next week, Dahlia arrives in New Orleans.