Did the Mikaelson family get what they deserve?
Or did Marcel just continue the family cycle of making things worse for everyone else in the name of revenge?
The Originals’ tumultuous third season came to a dynamic conclusion with a relatively low body count in the finale. “The Bloody Crown” did more emotional damage than anything, which seems fitting after the last few episodes destroyed our hearts.
In the Shakespearean fashion the show prides itself on, the long-tortured son finally bested his father. Thanks to Lucien’s serum, Marcel became strong enough to kill Klaus. But first, he took down Freya, Kol, and Elijah.
Thanks to master manipulation on Rebekah’s part and an epic speech declaring himself the winner even in defeat that only Klaus Mikaelson can deliver, Marcel decided not to kill Klaus after all. He’d stab him with Papa Tunde’s blade instead so he can suffer for eternity.
Of course that’s what Klaus wanted. Freya knew they needed more time to cure the wolf bites, Rebekah’s hexed arm, and whatever poison Marcel’s vampire used on her. So she took a page from Aunt Dahlia, linked all their lives to Klaus’, and then everyone went to sleep. Hayley and Hope loaded up the family coffin truck and headed out of New Orleans to begin the search for multiple cures.
Once again, the Mikaelson family is down, but nowhere near out. Marcel might have a temporary victory, but the war is not over. Again, the question becomes: who’s on the right side? Is there a right side?
The answer seems to be Vincent. Despite Marcel’s claims to the contrary, he’s a lot more like Klaus than he can see. He claimed to want justice for Davina and Cami and Gia and Diego and Thierry and for the boy he once was. But he also wanted to put on a show. He wanted everyone to see his power and as Vincent said, it made him sloppy.
While it does seem like Marcel cares more for other people than the Mikaelson family does, he’s shown in the past that he’s not a just leader. Yes, he did what he did to the witches to protect Davina. And way back when, he cursed the werewolves to stop a war. But he still loved being the king because of the power it provided him. He kept his people safe and punished anyone who went against him. How is that different from Klaus? Other than Klaus kept his circle limited to family and a few others who mattered to him (mainly just Cami).
Vincent is the only one seeing the big picture. War will destroy the city they love. Taking back the church and making it a sanctuary for humans, witches, and vampires proves he’s willing to cross faction lines. That’s the mark of a true leader. It’s unrealistic to believe everyone can live in harmony, but it’s more likely people will want to try if they feel included.
But maybe Marcel will realize Vincent is right. Marcel is coming from a place of deep grief. Klaus’ suggestion that Marcel should blame himself for Davina’s death likely hit its mark. And while he might not have been the best messenger, Kol was right too. Davina wouldn’t want this. She didn’t sacrifice everything to bring Kol back just so Marcel could turn around and kill him. I don’t think she’d want the rest of the family to die either. For Kol’s sake, if nothing else.
Circling back to my original question, did the Mikaelsons get what they deserve? Maybe. I know the writers were confident in a season four when they wrote the finale, but this would have made a great series finale. Over 1,000 years later and most of the family remains together. They survive. They endure. They’re cursed. Always and forever.
I like the idea of Hayley being their caretaker. She’s solidified her place in the family over the course of the show. Klaus finally trusting her with their daughter and admitting he’d been wrong to ever think otherwise was a lovely reflection of his growth. And even in the face of his death, Elijah still encouraged Hayley to heal and move on after he was gone. He loves her enough to let her go and she loves him enough to fight like hell to bring them all back.
Freya creating an ideal dream world for them is equal parts perfect and sad. It’s nice they get to be together instead of floating alone in a void. But it’s tragic that this is how Freya finally gets what she’s always wanted. Her love for her family cost her everything, but it’s also what kept her going her entire life. Here’s hoping she gets more than a dream of happiness once she’s out of her coffin.
The same goes for her sister. It’s always a joy to have Claire Holt onscreen, but Rebekah amplified everything about this episode. She stepped between Marcel and Klaus without batting an eye and I love that she didn’t try to justify her family’s actions. She knows they did something unforgivable. They all know they did something unforgivable. But they’re her family and she doesn’t want to lose them.
Rebekah played her part with her usual flawlessness. When she turned on Klaus, I almost believed the curse was getting the better of her. But she wanted Marcel to buy her act and he did. Klaus survived and we got a final glimpse of a tearful Rebekah, brokenhearted over her brother and what he sacrificed for the rest of them.
Because make no mistake about it: Klaus Mikaelson is suffering much worse than the pain of Tunde’s blade. He’s alone. Bricked up behind a wall, disconnected from the family who means everything to him, and unable to see his daughter grow. He doesn’t know how long it’ll take to find the cures or when his rescue will happen. But he walked right into his fate because after all this time, Klaus wants to put others first.
It’s hard to pick a favorite moment of the episode. Klaus and Elijah’s hug rates high on the list as does Klaus and Rebekah’s. Vincent’s speech to Marcel is hands down the best non-family moment. Hayley saving Freya and having the good sense to wake up Rebekah deserves high praise too. Also, it seems like a crime not to mention baby Hope and her moody facial expressions.
Where do we go from here? Specifically, how far into the future? We know Klaus is still MIA in three years. It seems likely Freya will get to wake first since 1) they’ve dealt with this poison before and 2) Hayley will need witchy assistance (or maybe Hope will be old enough by then to do it herself). Time will tell.
(Lots of time—see you guys in 2017!).