‘The Originals’ Review: Welcome to My Dark Side

Bob Mahoney /The CW

Well. That was ominous.

Freya, Hayley, and Hope ventured inside Elijah’s fractured mind on The Originals. And it turns out the “monster in the suit” moniker is far too understated for what’s going on beneath the surface.

Daniel Gillies directed “Phantomesque,” which also brought the return of Rebekah and Kol to New Orleans.

It’s always fun when an actor steps behind the camera. The lighting gets better and so do the performances.

Thanks to flashbacks to prior seasons, and present day Elijah lying in a coffin, the writers offered Gillies some reprieve for his double duty. But he still had plenty to do behind the red door where Hayley tracked him down after a brief detour to the reunion they shared when she brought the Mikaelsons back to life in the season four premiere.

As a Haylijah fan from day one, I’m having a hard time deciding if it was nice that we got to see them share an extended beautiful moment before everything went to hell or if it was just plain mean.

Bob Mahoney/The CW

I’m leaning toward mean.

Hayley found Elijah in savage mode—killing people for the fun of it, blood dripping all over him, and no sign of the man she loved as he attempted to rip her to shreds. It was hard to watch.

But also impossible to look away from because Phoebe Tonkin gave an amazing performance. We could see Hayley shattering as she realized the depth of Elijah’s depravity. Then, the pure fear and terror when she heard Hope’s voice, and found the strength to fight back as she begged her daughter not to move from the safety of the hallway.

Gillies brought his A-game, too, when the switch flipped in Elijah. Hayley might not have been enough to pull him back from the darkness, but Hope was. The slow walk as he went from savage beast to the clean-cut monster in a suit we love was fantastically shot—and acted. Same with Elijah quietly asking Hayley to forgive him.

Can she? I’m not sure. Certainly not right away because I’m guessing she’s going to have nightmares about what was behind the red door for a while. Klaus’ pep talk didn’t seem to get through to her, and as much as I love Elijah, it’s hard to blame her for that. How does she reconcile the man she loves, the man Klaus spoke of, with the monster who wanted to tear her to pieces?

And this is where I have trouble with this entire storyline. For one thing, we covered Elijah’s darkness in season two. But for another, as someone who’s watched him since season two of The Vampire Diaries, these changes seem manipulative. Plot before character rather than character evolution.

How can Elijah be the best of the Mikaelsons, as Klaus said, if he’s also the man who would kill the woman he loves for sport? How exactly does that fit into the category of protecting the family?

Bob Mahoney /The CW

In other news, welcome back, Rebekah! And Kol, I guess. I loved the opening scene with the two witnessing the vampires dying, and instantly realizing Elijah must have died. The sire line dying with the sires remains one of the greatest twists ever in The Vampire Diaries/Originals universe.

But I worry Rebekah’s going to be wasted (again) on the same storyline she’s had since season one: arguing with Klaus and loving/hating Marcel. Come on, writers. There’s got to be something else for this BAMF to do while she’s in NOLA. Fighting for her family? Awesome. How about letting her bond with Freya and Hayley? Spend some time with Hope?

She did get to be the bigger person, though, by allowing Marcel to keep the thorns in order to save Sofya. I don’t know how that works. I don’t particularly care because the Marcel/Sofya bond happened off-screen. But we all know those thorns are going to come back and bite one of the Mikaelsons. Literally.

They need a big death to bring Elijah back. And sure, they’ll defeat the Hollow, aka the most boring villain ever, but someone’s going to have to die with her. And I think we can safely assume that someone will be Kol. For the third time.

Now that the Hollow is literally dangling Davina in front of him (which would have been a cool surprise if Danielle Campbell hadn’t been listed in the opening credits), Kol’s going to do something stupid. Like agree to be the Hollow’s puppet. But once he learns she’s lying to him or can’t bring Davina back or whatever, he’s probably going to sacrifice himself so that he can be with Davina.

(No, I don’t know how that would work since she’s on the ancestor plain and he’s a vampire, but supernatural rules of death are made to be bent).

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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