Warnings: ranting tendency, inappropriate comments alternating between grim, serious mood and blasphemous jokes
Again, unlike many other viewers, I wasn’t the least excited about the whole crossover business as The Originals and The Vampire Diaries seem too completely separate shows to me now. I’m never a Klaroline shipper, you see, and their supposed ‘reunion’ gives me nothing but a frown because it provides (false) hope for their persistent shippers, not to mention sort of undermines the relationship between Klaus and Stefan − it appears as if Klaus, after throwing Stefan out of the bar, comes to his rescue only because he promises Caroline to keep Stefan safe, not because he wants Stefan safe, which he should since Stefan is not merely his “old friend” but one of the few Klaus couldn’t bear to kill no matter how Stefan crossed him. I don’t know whether the writers are aware or not, but the way they handled it makes it so cheap considering Klaus and Stefan had a history dating way back before Caroline was conceived.
Anyway, sorry about my irrelevant The Vampire Diaries ranting; sometimes I can’t help it. Back to The Originals. More than chipping the beauty of Klefan friendship, the crossover would also get viewers who watch only The Originals tremendously confused by a throe of questions that cannot be answered without watching six seasons of The Vampire Diaries (and telling themselves to stay calm and endure its fuck-logic logic and tedious teeny love drama every few minutes):
Who the hell is this Stefan character?
What’s his relationship with Klaus?
Why they keep talking about that Caroline character?
And what the hell is the whole ‘Huntress’ thing that could fight a horde of ancient vampires? If she is so powerful and threatening to the vampire race (that Aya has to leave the de-siring scene to deal with her herself), how come she never got mentioned in the entire expand of two seasons and a half? What happens to her after Aya ‘kills’ her?
I imagine they would be my very frustrating questions if I hadn’t decided to use the tedious teeny love drama to kill boredom while waiting for the new season of The Originals one lovely day (the fuck-logic logic came as a bonus).
In terms of boosting the ratings, the crossover aspect has done a good job as it has satisfied fans watching both The Vampire Diaries and The Originals; nevertheless, I don’t think it merits much to the plot of The Originals in general. Stefan’s leading Rayna to The Strix’s mansion is a crucial plot device, but it’s not as if it is completely irreplaceable. Instead, they could have had Hayley and Marcel bursting in The Strix’s mansion with an obscene amount of guns and explosives (too Quentin Tarantino?) or planting dynamites under the mansion using the various tunnels and secret passages Marcel claims to know like the palm of his hand. Explosives would have caused as much trouble as one Rayna Cruz and don’t tell me Marcel, as current king of the city, can’t gather some (remember all the bombs he used near the end of season 1?). And frankly speaking Stefan doesn’t contribute much to the rescue plan besides being Rayna’s bait. Or, instead of relying on a one-episode character, they could have had Lucien, the CEO of a big corporation slash leader of his sire line, doing much more than just being Freya’s magic battery, like rallying the vampires of Klaus’s sire line to battle The Strix and giving us viewers the epic war we’ve heard so much but never witnessed. Since it’s their sire’s existence is endangered and so are theirs, they have every reason to answer the call. Sadly, due to budget (probably), Luci’s resources are severely reduced to just himself and his amazing “stamina”.
Crossover aspects aside, this is one brilliant episode filled to the brimmed with emotions of all sorts and action (don’t I just love action?). Klelijah shippers are treated to a hefty delicious chunk of brotherly love between Klaus and Elijah. I don’t doubt that the scene where Elijah rushes to his brother and embraces Klaus in the pool has given many fangirls/shippers a sleep-deprived night. A few months ago I was once such fangirl and the abundant Klelijah moments would have made me squee in a manner that was very disturbing to surrounding people but not now. While I still experienced a tingling warmth to watch those two caring for and protecting each other, I was too occupied with the emotional train wreck, which I will elaborate later, to react like a proper fangirl should. I do not intend to write much about Klelijah in this weekly rant because I feel it’s already been analyzed by many on Tumblr and I don’t have anything new to add in. Although it isn’t officially stated but I guess, judging how Elijah jumps to fire insults after insults at Aurora and Tristan to defend Klaus, he has forgiven Klaus’s murder of Gia and his cursing Hayley. Also, he has revealed Rebekah’s fate (quite an unexpected and anti-climatic reaction from Klaus’s side, not to mention off-screen) to Klaus so it appears the chinks in their relationship have all been smoothed out and the two brothers are on good terms once more, hopefully for a long time before the writers decide to stir the stew. “Dangers bring the brothers closer,” the essence of the Mikaelson relationships holds true as always. While a make-up kiss is a pipe dream that is only realized in slashy fics, fangirls are pretty much content with the pool hug, which is, from my point of view, may be even sexier and more intimate than a kiss.
Mostly because of the water, duh.
One significant plot point of this episode is the use of representational magic. This sort of magic is nothing too new, of course, as Finncent already executed a similar spell in season 2. But instead of the animal motif, this time it’s object motif that is used. Stuck in the mental world with Tristan and Aurora, Elijah and Klaus must find what represent them in a vast chambre full of things, big and small, in order to burst themselves out. Sounds like finding a needle in a haystack, doesn’t it? But not to worry, Tristan and Aurora, like any villains who are always kind enough to explain to us ignorant viewers what kind of trap they’re using on the heroes, are there to provide clues that ensure said heroes will be able to solve the riddle. Honestly, much as I love the de Martel dysfunctional siblings, all I want while watching was smack them in the head and tell them to shut up and go play the violin or anything. I don’t underestimate Klaus and Elijah’s intelligence but even with their combined IQ, the task to find the right objects would have been impossible, or at least never in time to break the ritual, without Tristan and Aurora’ incessant supply of hints. Klaus doesn’t come remotely to the answer (katana and later, King pieces) and Elijah is only slightly better (the chessboard, the Knight pieces). Aya’s truly clever to represent them with the Queen pieces, playing their masculine thinking into her advantage. Too bad she didn’t take into account those siblings’ mouthy tendency: Tristan and Aurora, especially Aurora, just cannot shut up…
More than what represent Elijah and Klaus in the chambre, I’m interested in what represent Tristan and Aurora. My speculation is that the violin is Tristan’s anchor. It should have had some other purposes than showing off Tristan’s musical ability (and Ollie’s), ‘torturing’ Elijah and jabbing his sire’s chest. The chambre and objects were designed by Aya and Aya, as someone who has known Tristan for centuries and had much respect for him, would have chosen something of elegance and style, something he would be pleased with. Based on that description, what comes to my mind is the violin, which resembles Tristan in some ways. Tristan exudes an air of nobility and it’s very easy for people who don’t know him to have an impression that he’s a gentleman who wishes them no harm and drop their guard around him. Ollie’s boyish look adds to this as well. Back when he was first introduced, some shipped him with Hayley, thinking he was mini-Elijah and thus perfect for her. However, he’s merciless and deadly to those he considers his enemies, or those defy him and hinder his schemes. We all know how he dealt with Hayley after those sweet words praising her beauty and exquisiteness. Similarly, the violin seems a harmless instrument and then we’re reminded that Dahlia killed Josephine with the violin bow; with the right use and the right hand, it could be deadly − push the right buttons and Tristan will show his sociopathic side.
As for Aurora, I believe Aya sees her as a katana (one of those swords she used to practice with Tristan). A katana is a sharp, dangerous weapon the Japanese are proud of. In a clumsy hand, it’ll be the dead of the wielder. Dealing with Aurora is pretty much the same: one careless step and she’ll turn on you in a heartbeat (unless you’re Tristan, of course, but even Tristan has to tread carefully). She could sleep with Klaus, whispering only sweetness to him and at the same time, sink Klaus’s sister at the ocean and believe nothing was wrong about that. Aurora is also like unsheathed blade: she doesn’t give the impression that she’s harmless − just hearing her laughter and you can tell there’s something not okay about her. In fact, her appearance, voice and personality remind me too much of Blood+’s Diva, who is deemed insanely dangerous by every character who comes across her. It’s interesting in an ironic way that in Tarot, the sword represents the mind and Aurora’s mind is chaos at best.
Last but not least, I want to write a few words about Aya’s death. I was sorry to feel a little happy when I was spoiled her death by the hand of Hayley − I hadn’t watched the episode, merely picking up spoilery scraps on Tumblr. I had been thinking that she’d betrayed and abandoned Tristan and I had hated her because treachery of any kind doesn’t sit well with me. Then into a few minutes at the beginning, my attitude towards her took a 180-degree turn: back to my initial impression of her − fierce and loyal, thus I dreaded thinking she would have been dead before the credit rolled. Different than the gut-wrenching pain I felt with Tristan and Aurora, Aya’s death caused me a painless but deep sadness. Hayley had every right and reason to kill Aya and still, I was a little angry at her when she did. The sad feeling I felt towards Aya’s end, on my recollection, resembles the one I felt for Xandrie’s and possibly Darren’s death in Wasted on the Young: to choose death when her plan was shattered and all hopes lost was understandable, yet to choose it over life seems wasted, utterly wasted. As long as you remain breathing, there’s always hope (which is my optimistic thought about Tristan’s and Aurora’s situation) and a chance to change things, especially in a world like The Originals, where no victory nor loss is permanent.
Highlights of the episode:
- Finally we learn where Luci disappeared to. Did he somehow lose his company while tucked in the closet? He’s going to have his hands full with trying to rescue Kingmaker’s stocks values once he comes back.
- Aya’s not abandoning Tristan. I was overjoyed and relieved to learn that she retained her loyalty/friendship/whatever relation between them. I dread to think I would have to rewrite my Trilijah Collection and edit her out if she had truly betrayed him.
- Tristan’s playing the violin and it’s really good (bonus point: Ollie plays). Anyone sees Elijah tapping his foot to Tristan’s music? I mentioned it once and I’m going to say it again: Tristan’s sooooo Elijah’s type. Here’s why:
- Tristan’s kind of torturing Elijah with his music
- Tristan’s poking at Elijah’s chest with the violin bow. Someone’s just trying too hard to be mature and fails utterly.
- Now it’s official that Tristan is Elijah’s bastard son. He says it himself!
- And Elijah’s referring to himself as dad!
- Elijah’s sounding like a teenage mom with unwanted pregnancy
Is ‘you’ here singular or plural? My take is singular because 1. Tristan and Aya are two vampires canonically sired by Elijah. The rest of The Strix could have been children of those two and those children’s children, 2. Elijah implied in Dead Angels that he turned Aya out of choice so it’s unlikely he’s “shackled” by her existence and 3. He likes to dress Tristan down so saying Tristan’s existence is a burden to him is not out of character.
- Their conversation at the chessboard. I believe deep down inside Elijah thinks what Tristan says is true and may feel regret for abandoning Tristan and Aya; that’s why he doesn’t outright deny Tristan’s accusations. He wouldn’t be Elijah Mikaelson if he hadn’t put his family before anything or anyone else.
- Elijah’s seeable pain and reluctance to end Aya’s life. No wonder Rebekah didn’t kill her when she had the chance in Beautiful Mistake; she wouldn’t want to cause her dear, good brother pain.
- Klaus’s being Klaus as he buries Aurora like Damon and Stefan did Katherine
- Kol’s permanent, naked return to the land of the living
- The nexus vorti created by Klaus’s stolen energy − could it be something also comes back alongside Kol? We’ll see.
- Freya and Lucien’s blatant flirting
- Lucien’s being endless entertainment
- Hayley and Stefan (Hayfan? Steley?) − the most crack couple and yet it feels so right to ship them (￣▽￣)
- Tristan and Aurora looking like a happy married couple
- Tristan’s using his last breath and thread of consciousness to tell Aurora he loves her. Kudos to Rebecca and Ollie for their stunning performance, which would give me gut-wrenching pain for days to come. I don’t do incest shipping with the exception of Mikaelcest; don’t make me change my principle, please.
On a side note, now I know why their scene strikes me so hard. This whole thing about saying heartbreaking farewell as the world crumbles and shatters around them is too familiar for me to not be hurt. Two of my ships that I will definitely go down with − Alicia x Rufus in Valkyrie Profile: Silmeria and Saya x Haji in Blood+ − both have their last scene together in that manner.