Warnings: shorter than the usual length and contain spoilers. Also, please don’t condemn me because I’m not shipping the same couples as yours.
Before we begin, let’s raise an imaginary toast to ‘The Originals’ renewal aka another year of long hiatus and emotional torments (why are we viewers all masochists?). And so, I took some time to savor the bittersweet news. That’s obviously a liar. The truth is, when there’s a hiatus, I tend to (read: always) get lazy, and when I get lazy, I delay my episodic review. I was thinking to myself after the third time watching this episode: “Maybe I can take a week off. Writing fanfics, reading, watching other series like Lucifer, Damien and Slasher, etc. There’s three weeks left before the new episode is aired. I should have plenty of time.” Little did I know one week would turn into two and then three, and I’m very close to miss my (self-imposed) deadline. Talk about procrastination. So, here I am to repent for my sin with my thought on ‘The Originals 3×15 ̶An Old Friend Calls.
After the emotional train wreck called Tristora separation in A Street Car Named Desire, I thought to myself that unless the writers decided to kill off Tristan and Aurora Game-of-Thrones style, I was pretty OK with whatever they threw at their audience’s faces out of their own sadism, which is translated into my relative apathy towards the sinking of two major ships (so far) since ‘The Originals’ pilot: Haylijah and Klamille. Seeing plethora of posts on Tumblr expressing the shippers’ grief over the dual breakups (the writers obviously did that on purpose, didn’t they?) while holding onto the hope that once the worst is over, things will get better), I was glad I was a shipper of neither ship, and thus, I could watch the episode without experiencing the heartbreak other shippers went through. To me, the reasons for those two couples to strangle their slow-burning romance are rather cliché. The ominous shadow of an ex and Klaus’s visible delaying in putting an end to her are so threatening to Cami that prompts her to lie about her feelings and severe the link with Klaus, using an excuse that is dauntingly similar to Elena’s when she broke up with Stefan ̶ I do not want to compare Cami to Elena so please stop showing signs of their similarities. I guess that her newly gained vampirism is influencing her rationality here because her reasoning is a little difficult to grasp. While it’s not clear whether Klaus spares Aurora’s life out of his lingering feelings for her or his desire for her suffering, one thing is certain: if Aurora managed to break out of her prison and came to Cami again, Klaus would choose her over his crazy ex. Cami is a brave and independent woman who needs no one to protect, so it’s understandable that she doesn’t want to rely on Klaus, but is it wise to drive away the 1000-year-old Original Hybrid to face the battle with an 1000-year-old vampire on her own? Hardly. Does Cami honestly think her dark objects can give her an upper hand against Aurora? Did they work on Lucien last time? Besides, if Cami is so paranoid about Aurora’s escape, why doesn’t she take the matter into her own hand like usual? And by that I mean she could Freya for the location of Aurora, stride in with a gallon of gasoline in one hand and a cigarette butt in another, and voila, problem solved. I doubt being famished as Aurora is, she would hardly lift a finger, let alone fight back. If Cami is smart enough to point out Klaus’s fatal flaw in allowing his enemies to live and be fettered in hatred, why would she do differently: kill Aurora before Aurora gets out (which she is likely to) and kills her, simple as that. Remember when the Mystic Falls gang daggered Elijah and Damon tried various ways to kill the Original (albeit failed)? Thanks goodness Aurora is not Elijah and thus easily wasted. That should have been a better solution to her problem than breaking a Hybrid’s heart. Nevertheless, Cami’s humanity has to be maintained and Klaus needs a good push to hit the road with Hayley so I guess it can’t be helped. On the other hand, I’m deeply grateful to this hindsight that Aurora’s life is preserved and the door is wide open for her to return (and save her brother).
While Klamille’s breakup is a little surprised to me, Haylijah’s is entirely predictable. Jackson proved to be a big obstacle in their epic, sort of star-crossed romance when he was breathing as when he was not, and it calls to my mind the lyrics of Evanescence’s My Immortals, though in a hilarious way. I’d almost held my breath since A Ghost Along the Mississippi, anxiously waiting for the moment Hayley said that she would have to let Elijah out of respect for her late husband. She’s been grieving over Jackson’s and it’s naturally, though still quite cliché to me, that she has to push away Elijah, whom she’s in love with, out of respect for her late husband; she would add up to her anti-fandom, which is already pretty large to begin with, a ton of hate if she were to leap into Elijah’s arms a couple of episodes after the wolf’s death. It would not only terrible but out of character as well. On the other hand, we understand how ‘The Originals writers love to mess up, I’m sorry, challenge couples with a variety of obstacles, a streak that has been picked up from The Vampire Diaries. Even if Haylijah turns out to be endgame, it’s still a long, supernaturally bumpy way to go before happily ever after.
Somehow, the manner in which Hayley disposes of the Strix members just rubs me in the wrong way. Maybe I’m biased, maybe I’m not and Hayley has every right as a mournful widow to exact vengeance on those who were responsible for Jackson’s (arguably) untimely depart, but what really bugs me is that Elijah has to finish and clean up the mess afterwards. Maybe I just do not fancy the unspoken fact that Hayley is the epitome of favoritism and that she gets out of most troubles (which more often than not she’s one-handedly caused) unscathed. Both the heroes and villains in this show have their karma coming back to bite them, the most recent examples being Tristan’s drowning in the sea, Aurora’s imprisonment and Klaus’s being on the run. But not to Hayley, never to Hayley. Although Jackson’s death can be somewhat called her ‘karma’ but I’m pretty sure the show creators didn’t intend it to be interpreted that way: they wanted to demonstrate Tristan’s wickedness in contrast to Jackson’s ‘goodness’. So, there’s still no sort of karma for Hayley despite her level of selfishness, which can rival Tristan’s evilness – never forget the deaths of the twelve Hybrids and the Versailles witches. For once I’d like to see Hayley being confronted by the foes she herself has accumulated due to her acts, not the Mikaelsons’. It would make a splendid scenario if the Strix found out Hayley was the real murderer and a the Strix vs. Hayley war happened. That would contribute more to Hayley’s character development than letting the blame fall on Cortez and the matter sink.
On a side note, it piques my interest on how long Marcel can balance between his sense of being a Strix, his responsibility as their new leader and the lies he heaves upon his subordinates- deceit is no way the wisest ruling method.
Overall, the episode feels like a necessary transition to a new arc after the fourteenth episode’s minor climax; therefore I won’t have much to say besides what I’ve already said above. I wish I could write something about Cortez, whose appearance was much discussed before he was officially onscreen. I was led into an impression that this guy would be the real big bad, like Dahlia in season 2, while The Trinity were decoy ones, or at least a significant character; things turn out to be the opposite: not much is known about Cortez aside from his evil ways, his brief family background, his handsome features and his exotic accent – just another guest star that doesn’t stick around long enough for character development of any sort. Being a walking cliché of the villain trope (disappearing when the car passes, walking away from an explosion, manipulating and using innocent people for his fiendish mind game, ominous threats before death), Cortez serves as an example of the type of enemies that will come for Klaus’s head, justifying his running; besides that, not much. I sincerely hope Sofya will fare better than him when she makes an appearance.
Highlights of the episode:
- Kol and Davina doing it – when two ships go down, one floats. For now.
- Kol’s inability to control his thirst – is his old habit kicking in or there was something fishy in the spell to resurrect him? After all it was Aya that gave Davina the spell and it wasn’t her character to give away a charity spell that does not absolutely contain anything to control Davina.
- Smoking. Hot. Who brought him back?? I thought there was one nexus vorti and Davina took it for Kol. Could Freya have been wrong? Anyway, Finn’s middle name is trouble so love me some Mikaelson fights in later episodes.
- Cortez was fine until we realized he was a one-episode guest star. Bleh. Not even a flashback.
- Did Hayley seriously kill all the Strix? Since when the most power society of vampires became this weak?? Ah yes, since their leader was drowned and their vice-leader was staked.
- Kol and Freya’s bonding time
- Elijah’s speaking t Kol!!! Seriously the number of times Elijah’s spoken to Kol is even scarcer than the number of time Elijah’s shown his vampire face.
- Vincent’s finding the White Oak bullet. Who hid it there, Aya or Aurora?
- Klaus and Hayley and Hope – one happy family. Next thing Klaus can start writing his own version of Jack Keroauc’s On the Road.