Warnings: spoilers and badly made memes – the usual stuff you find on my half-assed episodic reviews.
Thanks to Thanksgiving, there was no new episode for a whole, long week (which was quite frustrating to a viewer living in a country that doesn’t celebrate Thanksgiving), so I got a bit lazy and decided to postpone this episode’s thought for a week as well. That and I got very carried away by the crossover series between The Originals and Wasted on the Young (good movie, strongly recommended and Oliver Ackland [Tristan] is one of the leads, playing a shy, awkward teenager with a vindictive streak).
I’ve recently realized that I’ve subconsciously comparing The Vampire Diaries’ season 7 and The Originals’ season 3, especially episodes with similar themes, Thanksgiving, for instance. Perhaps it’s because I watched and grown to love TO first that I’m a little biased when it comes to personal opinions about the two shows, but if you asked me, I’d definitely say TO beat TVD this week. While I found myself rewatching Out of The Easy at least thrice (I rewatch every episode of season 3 by the way, much to my family’s chagrin), I watched Mommy Dearest for one time only – although the flashbacks of the Salvatores are quite touching, Enzo and Julian’s swordfight is a bore, Caroline’s pregnancy storyline is plain absurd and Lily’s change of heart is just too abrupt for me to actually feel anything for her sudden returned love for her sons. I understand that they’re trying to paint Julian as a charismatic villain; however, his charm is lost on me and watching him isn’t as entertaining as watching Kai or Silas.
Anyway, I should stop here. Must remind myself that I’m doing a review for TO, not TVD.
So, first, a brief summary of TO’s 3×07 – Out of the Easy: what you get when you bring an Original hybrid, an Original vampire and three ancient vampires, plus a roasted turkey to the same table. If you expect them to happily digest the turkey and everything yummy on the table and call it a successful dinner then perhaps we’re not watching the same show. In TO and TVD’s universe, “party” is synonymous to “disaster”, “mayhem” and very likely “(several) lives lost”. Remember that party in TVD’s season 3 where Klaus killed all remaining hybrids plus Tyler’s mom? That’s a perfect example of a “party” in this supernatural world. Although the Mikaelsons’ Thanksgiving dinner has neither heads chopped or a helpless middle-aged woman drowned, it’s in no way lacking of violence: threats fly, some beatings happen, and by the end of the dinner, someone gets his neck snapped. I once joked with a friend that the Mikaelsons’ problem-solving method was throwing a party, inviting their enemies and torturing/killing them. Simple enough. This is exactly how this Thanksgiving dinner is all about: first, the Mikaelson brothers invite Aurora, Lucien and Tristan, then they expose The Trinity’s alliance and finally, they demand their sister’s return. Despite their estrangement and rift between them, which was thankfully deepened by Aurora, Klaus and Elijah surprisingly, but not too unexpectedly, found a common voice in their plan. Klelijah fangirls everywhere rejoice once more to see the brothers brushing aside their odds and working together to save their family. Family is power after all – divided, they become vulnerable but together, they’re stronger than anything, or anyone for that matter, the writers want to throw at them for the sake of us viewers having something to watch every week. “I against my brother, my brother and I against the infidel,” to quote Vincent Griffith.
Sadly, as the golden rule of storytelling goes, a weak, easily defeated villain guarantees a yawning plot and a likely cancellation. The rule dictates that the villains must be formidable and the heroes must struggle to prevail, with heavy emphasis on struggle. No victory comes too easy. The Trinity proves to be such villains. In terms of intelligence, cunningness and experience, they are quite on par with the Mikaelsons – their survival of The Destroyer Mikael despite being infant vampires is vivid proof. Moreover, they have a huge added bonus of not only knowing very well but also having Klaus and Elijah’s mindsets for a century, thus perhaps making them dangerous enemies than the Mikaelson brothers’ previous ones. Francesca Guerra and her lackeys fell easily to their strategy, Finn, in spite of being their brother, hadn’t been with them for 900 years, and while Dahlia was powerful, she didn’t know them very well. The dinner with The Trinity might be lacking in terms of body count and bloodshed, yet it’s every bit intense as a mind game between the diners, parrying with words and each piece of information they have. Unfortunately for our heroes, Aurora, Lucien and Tristan seem to have the upper hand. The three of them worked well in the past, and they’re working well at the moment. Even when Lucien chooses to spill the information about Cami (out of jealousy, probably), his doing serves Aurora’s later plan well.
Then, Freya strides in, furious in her futile search for Rebekah, and shatters the stalemate. Having been distanced from her siblings for a millennium and despite having read their minds before, she isn’t acquainted to her brothers’ tactics and she practically doesn’t care about all the pleasantries either: to her it’s either returning Rebekah or an all-out war. The daughter of Mikael that she is. The Trinity have no idea how to handle Freya, their well-oiled system stutters and Aurora throws out the crucial piece that she and Tristan have been keeping even from Lucien: Rebekah is drown at the bottom of the ocean.
The very nightmare of the Mikaelson siblings, the reason for Elijah to turn his back from Klaus and help the Mystic Falls gang kill his brother. Things proceed very quickly from words to violence, as they drop their façade of civility and act on their original purpose when they invited their foes to their home: Tristan is effortlessly restrained by Elijah, Aurora gets her neck snapped and The Trinity are interrogated separatedly – Elijah and Klaus against Lucien and Tristan and Freya and Hayley against Aurora.
Now this is why I’m so fascinated with this show: it tears down the gender-appropriate illusion that society has been imposing on men and women. Here in this show, the women are as violent and vicious as the men, perhaps even more, and this is well illustrated in this interrogation parallel. While the guys pick up their earlier mind game, resulting in more conversations rifled with (sexual) tension, the girls opt for an entirely different approach. As Freya makes the room soundproof, she calls in Hayley, who insists on having a part in this homicidal dinner plan, and the two of them engage in a battle with Aurora. There, the actual bloodshed we viewers have been expecting from the beginning of the episode.
On a side note, I’m slightly disappointed that all Freya can do is giving Aurora minor headaches. Come on, how about making her scream – isn’t that reason for making the room soundproof? Strip her off her daylight ring and burn her one part at a time? Or the cool and unusual death she gave Cassie in season 2, by liquidifying the internal organs? Sure that wouldn’t kill Aurora but she’d be guaranteed one hell of a pain. Or how about setting her pretty face or limbs on fire? If Bonnie and the Heretics can ignite things with a simple “Incendia”, surely Freya can do the same and better. I guess the rating of this show (teen?) wouldn’t allow such obscene, but otherwise realistic, level of violence so we’re subject to the failed interrogation of the year and have to watch as Tristan and Aurora emerge with temporary triumph.
Latitude and longitude. Clever girl.
In the previous review, I predicted that Aurora and Lucien would sell Tristan to the Mikaelsons, basing my guess on the stills of episode 3×08. Well, I’m very glad that I was proven absolutely wrong. Like the Mikaelsons, Tristan and Aurora share a deep and profound bond (incestuous aspect aside). The saying “Family is power” applies to them as well and this is what earns them the advantage against their opponents. They are each other’s strength – working side by side, supporting each other – and at the same time, weakness. Aurora doesn’t faze one bit when threatened by Hayley’s threat of werewolf toxin, but when Tristan’s life may be endangered, she immediately loses her cool. She plays the ‘fun’ villain role from the beginning, cracking (somewhat blasphemous) jokes about Rebekah’s having “plenty company down there”, not at all afraid to anger Klaus; nonetheless, when Klaus takes her brother hostage, Aurora becomes immensely furious and vows to take vengeance. The extent of her fury remains to be seen in the next episode, yet it’s already predictable that she intends to make Cami suffer in order to spite Klaus. Hell hath no fury like a woman’s scorn indeed.
Now it all comes down to whether it’s Tristan or Cami can last longer.
Speaking of Cami, our token human, I’ve always liked Cami since the pilot episode and as the story progresses, I like her more and more – frankly I don’t see why people call her annoying and hate her. Because Klaus likes her and the Klaroline ship is utterly ruined? Please, Klaroline is so past tense and both parties have moved far on. As far as I know, she’s one hell of a strong woman though she has no super abilities. It’s easier for Freya, Hayley, Rebekah or even Davina to be strong and fierce because they have their powers, be it vampire, werewolf, hybrid or witch power. In contrast to the supernatural women in this show, Cami has only her head to save herself and damn, doesn’t she put her IQ to good use? This is probably the first time a normal human bests a vampire with no other aid than a beer bottle. Feel free to correct me but this is my very definition of “badass”. What Cami sorely lacks is just luck– she would have escaped had the timing not been so horrendous. Now there are rumors flying around that Cami may be turned in the few next episodes but I don’t believe that’s the case. As many have pointed put before, Cami is TO’s Matt Donovan and Matt still remains human after six seasons of going through various perils and deaths. On the other hand, I’d have no problem with vamp Cami: it’d put her less in the damsel in distress shoe nobody likes to see her in and maybe she’d even kick many asses.
Highlights of the episodes:
- The setting of the compound in this Thanksgiving dinner – wow!
- Elijah’s wearing something a bit lighter for a change
- Did Elijah just imply gay sex and possible threesome with Lucien and Tristan?
- Klaus’s reply to his brother’s shady suggestion is plain LOL.
- Elijah’s flinging threats at Tristan’s face. The Earth must be shifting on its axis for Klaus to be the one to curb Elijah’s threats. Seriously.
- … and Tristan’s not fighting back at all when Elijah pushes him to the wall though he’s only about ten years younger than Elijah as a vampire – Shen Min fought back and he was two-century younger. Is it just me or Tristan is incredibly submissive to Elijah? He may go sneaking behind Elijah’s back but in front of his sire, he utterly… behaves?!
- Not to mention Lucien’s being (kind of) submissive to Klaus too
- A lot of gayness just got past the radar in this episode! Max Raabe’s cover of Supreme goes extremely well with this: “…all the handsome men are gay…”
- Cami’s disfingering that vampire Anton
- Aurora’s friend-zoning Lucien. Poor boy. A thousand years is a pretty long time.
- Davina’s being Regent no longer. I prefer her as a non-Regent witch – she’s way cooler when she doesn’t have political power messing with her head.
- Elijah’s calling Lucien “Lucy” (confirmed by Andrew Lees)
- Aurora and Tristan’s looking out for each other
- Marcel and Vincent’s looking out for Davina
- The Mikaelson siblings working together to save Rebekah. Thanks Elijah for still having trust in his brother’s loyalty to their family. Thanks Klaus for not betraying that trust and choosing to fight together with Elijah instead of doing as his old self would (his therapy sessions with Cami are of much merit).
- Lucien’s looking very sharp in that dark suit
- Jackson’s leaving the house =))). Why not leaving the show altogether? Has he finally realized the error of his way when he proposed to Hayley in season 2, that he wouldn’t get Andrea Labonair but Hayley Marshall Mikaelson? Like Marcel, Hayley is a Mikaelson in spite of her name; after all, the blood that is keeping her alive is the Mikaelson blood. Whether Jackson likes it or not, she won’t give up on that family – she’ll be there for them even when they aren’t beckoning her.
Here’s a bonus ^^