The Originals delivered what might have been its best episode ever with “The Kindness of Strangers.”
Elijah needed a quick exit from the chambre de chasse to save Antoinette. Klaus scoffed at the idea of working together. Antoinette dying was what Elijah deserved after letting Hayley die.
(Harsh, but it’s hard to argue with his logic).
Rebekah dropped in next followed by a (naked!) Kol. Freya completed the sibling squad. She suggested Vincent was to blame for their predicament.
However, when Marcel unexpectedly arrived as the storm outside grew worse, he informed them the witch keeping them prisoner was Hope. She wanted to reunite the siblings so she could take the power of The Hollow back.
Of course Hope had a little help: Auntie Freya lent her magic and memories to the cause. And when Klaus caught onto this and got in Freya’s face about putting herself above the family, she reminded him everything she has sacrificed for the family.
Including being there for Hope—and Hayley—when no one else was. She understands Hope’s behavior and she refuses to allow her niece to become an orphan.
How awesome was her quick, witchy exit after dropping those truths? BAMF.
I’m on Freya’s side here because she’s right. Hope needs her father and she has the right to make her own choices.
No one should ever question how much Freya has done for her siblings. She’d give her life for Hope in a heartbeat if that’s what it took to keep her safe.
Maybe Klaus will remember that eventually. But at the moment, he seems content with pushing his older sister away. I’m not happy about it. Freya deserves better and the family needs to stick together more than ever.
Hopefully the next crisis will bring Klaus out of this spiral.
(And, fine, to be fair, Klaus is right to worry about Hope. That power is not safe. But don’t take your anger out on Freya).
Kol showed a surprising maturity throughout the hour.
He helped Elijah navigate their history and opted not to pick a fight with Marcel. He seems to have let go of his always and forever jealousy now that he’s settled in with Davina.
It was still sad, though, to watch him leave without looking back the second he had a chance.
Not that I blame him.
He’s found a way around the family curse and seized his happiness. But we don’t have a lot of time left with the Mikaelsons. I’d like to see as many family moments as possible.
Rebekah’s return added to the heartbreak.
Marcel—rightfully—wanted an explanation for why she ran. He can’t be content with New Orleans anymore. He loves Rebekah more than the city and wants the same happiness Kol and Davina found.
The problem is Rebekah will never be happy as a vampire. She wants to be a wife and a mother and to grow old and die like a normal person. She never had a choice in becoming what she is, unlike Marcel, who did make the choice.
She doesn’t want to infect his life with her sadness.
No one does beauty and tragedy quite like Claire Holt.
Is there a way for Rebekah to get what she wants? We’ve seen vampires “cured” before on The Vampire Diaries. It wouldn’t be the first time a new magic loophole sprang up out of nowhere.
Or, she could jump into someone else’s body again. Questionable ethics, for sure, but if there’s a way, I hope it happens. Rebekah deserves a real chance to live her life.
Speaking of heartbreak—let’s be real, that’s all this episode was—Phoebe Tonkin returned to give us never before seen moments between Hayley and Klaus.
We learned how Hayley ended up in Kol’s old room, how Klaus and Hayley decided on the name Hope (Hope Andrea Mikaelson) and the moment Klaus cut off communication in his attempt to spare her from the Mikaelson stigma.
As much as I’ve loved Hayley and Elijah’s romance (and always will no matter how much tragedy the show gave them), I appreciate how far Klaus and Hayley came from their drunken one night stand to co-parenting Hope. Even when Klaus couldn’t be there, they stayed in touch and grew closer.
Hope is not the only reason Klaus is devastated by the loss of Hayley. He loved her, too. As his daughter’s mother, as a member of his family, as his friend. Watching him break down as he opened the letters he’d ignored was gut-wrenching.
Now, for the most painful part (because it obviously gets worse).
It didn’t take long for Marcel to realize Elijah did remember something after he called him Marcellus when irritated.
Vincent’s magic hadn’t failed. Elijah couldn’t remember his family because he was too afraid to open the red door in his mind.
Marcel found the key without him. He’s thought of Elijah as death since the moment Elijah tore his heart out on the bridge. And he realized his little sister was feeling the same way since Elijah shares blame in Hayley’s death. She hid the key in his snake-filled coffin.
First, poor Marcel. Even as he’s saving the day by helping his family get the keys, he’s still dealing with his own pain.
Second, yikes. Is there any circumstance where Hope will be able to forgive Elijah? Or even tolerate having him in the same zip code?
Judging by the previews, we’re going to get into Hope’s anger toward Uncle Elijah next week. So we’ll put a pin in that for now.
Elijah couldn’t break through the red door on his own. He needed Klaus.
Klaus, who confessed that he hated this version of Elijah—not just for letting Haley die—but because he’d killed his brother. His ally. His best friend.
Come on, writers. How much pain do you expect us to survive in one hour of television?!?!?
With a nudge from Rebekah—who reminded Klaus she forgave him for killing their mother—Klaus stepped up for his brother the same way Elijah has stepped up for him over 1,000 years.
He broke through the red door with him in a fantastically choreographed scene.
Elijah’s memories came flooding back. His family first—always and forever—and then Hayley. Their love and then her death…as he stood by and did nothing.
In an episode filled with amazing acting and beautiful pain, Daniel Gillies stole the show with Elijah’s slow breakdown. As he cried out, it was impossible not to feel the agony of Hayley’s loss all over again.
Then, Klaus offered his brother an out: a vial of his blood and his blessing to go live his life with Antoinette if that’s what he wanted. Elijah did save her. But then he asked for her forgiveness before he left her alone.
Finally, FINALLY, Elijah slowly put on his suit and tie and cufflinks, and then went straight to the bayou.
My heart aches for these characters and with five episodes left, I’m willing to bet this will only be the tip of the iceberg.
The Hollow is back in Hope. The firstborns might be safe for now, but a 15-year-old should not have that much power inside of her.
Especially when she’s grieving her mother’s death.
One last thing that didn’t really fit anywhere else, but needs to be mentioned: Hayley suggesting Katherine for the baby’s name?
Well played, writers.