Warnings: ranting tendency, inappropriate comments and spoilers galore
Lately I’ve read an intriguing article about it psychology. While the contents’ plausibility remains to be examined (by experts, not me), it does pose an interesting point: that those who are blessed with a knack for literature, music or arts are more likely to become psychopaths. I can’t say much about those involved with music and arts because of my scarcity of knowledge regarding those fields; still, years of reading novels and watching movies and TV shows lend some evidence to my claim that almost all writers have psychopathic tendencies. They enjoy killing, that’s for sure, but instead of going out and slaying actual people (and then spending the rest of their life behind bars), they stay in, give birth to fictional humans and butcher them afterwards. Even better, they get paid for it. I’ve encountered a few writers who derive pleasure from offing their own offsprings: G. R. R. Martin, the father of A Song of Ice and Fire which is turned into a multi-season TV series, is one such writer. His motto could be summarized as this: “I’m gonna write characters that are incredibly cool that you’ll incredibly like, and I’m gonna kill them. Brutally.” Gulong, another favorite writer of mine, wasn’t any better than Martin in his treatment of his characters as his code seems to dictate: “I’m gonna write characters that are incredibly cool that you’ll incredibly like, and then I’ll turn them into villains and finally kill them.” While The Originals’ writers in general and Julie Plec in specific have yet to make it into my favorite writers list, which is very short by the way, I have enjoyed their writing, mostly the unexpected twists and intriguing characters they’ve created, I find it impossible to appreciate their tendency to enact unnecessary murders of their characters, Camille O’Connell’s death being the most recent and exemplified instance.
Why am I saying Cami’s death is unnecessary? Here’s some reasons.
Being a writer myself, I’d like to think every writer should consider their decision very carefully before committing murder with the tip of their pen, or their keyboard, for that matters. I remember reading a story about an author who came out of his room one day and startled his friends by weeping and announcing the death of Mrs. X, and it turns out Mrs. X was a character in his novel. Characters once created possess their own life and their death almost never fails to leave an impact on readers/viewers, even more so if that’s a main character or one that has been playing a significant role up to the point of their death. Cami is one such character and you can love her, hate her or think her storyline too boring to pay attention, but you can’t deny her role in The Originals. She’s been with the show since the pilot and has grown and changed much since; moreover, she’s considered one of the ‘good guys’, not a villain, thus making her leave an unexpected, shocking strike to the audience. I’m not saying the show’s writers don’t have the right to kill her off – they do by the way as they’re her creator; however, what I want to bring to discussion is whether letting her kick the bucket is crucial to the plot as a whole, and by “crucial to the plot” I mean whether her death truly serves any purpose other than being shock value (and just because the writers can).
The answer is “Hardly.”
When Jackson was killed by Tristan in The Ghost Along the Mississippi, it was to show how wicked an individual Tristan was. All the torture and mutilation he inflicted on Lucien was a well-enacted sample of his cruelty, but it was a thousand years ago, so, in order for his ruthless nature to be relevant to present day, another example was necessary. Moreover, Jackson’s death began a cycle of even those are hovering around the periphery of the Mikaelsons are just as cursed as they are (because clearly Aiden’s and Gia’s death in the last season weren’t enough evidence). Anyway, Jack’s death did serve a purpose and propelled the plot forward.
And then there was Finn’s death in Beyond the Black Horizon, which, as I mentioned in my previous review, was sad, overly soon but otherwise meaningful. His death could have bound the remaining siblings together, yet unfortunately that wasn’t the route the writers planned for our cursed family, as the Mikaelsons were still divided. Other than that, Finn’s loss served not only one but two purposes: it showed just what sort of danger the heroes would have to confront, one that could kill even the unkillable, and it also gave the Mikaelsons a true, burning motive to bring all hands on deck in a supposedly epic battle with ‘the Beast’.
Now, back to Cami’s death. What is its role regarding the general plot? What purpose does it serve? Is it necessary to prove that Lucien has a very twisted personality and possible mental problems? No, as we’ve known from the season premiere there was something seriously wrong with the guy – how lightly he treated a human’s life, the iconic Glasgow smile, and let’s not forget the madness he created in the past, according to Klaus (which we may never get to see what it really was). Does the plot dictate that it’s time to let the audience know what a huge threat Lucien posed, that he could effortlessly kill what, a normal, non-Original baby vamp? Please, he killed one Original with his teeth, subdued one with his fist and forced another plus an ancient witch into retreat. If all of these weren’t enough, I don’t know what is. Finally, do the Mikaelsons need a legitimate motive to seek vengeance on Lucien? Again, a big “NO.” Finn’s death was enough. Even before that, Lucien took the villain seat the moment he stole the White Oak, abducted and abused Freya.
In a nutshell, Cami’s death serves no other purpose than being an episode-long massive tearjerker, which, again, is NOT needed as viewers had just barely recovered from Finn’s departure two episodes ago. Not to mention an entire episode is dedicated to saying farewell to her while it could have been something else, I don’t know, like a flashback episode that dwells deeper into the relationship and conflict between the Trinity and The Originals, one that we were led into believing we would have at some point along the season and we may never.
All the ranting above may leave an impression that I am anti-Camille. Well, if you have followed this blog and read my Originals writings, you know I don’t. I’ve never shipped Klaroline so Cami has never been an obstacle for my ship, nor have I ever seen Cami as a “cheap Caroline knockoff”. Cami was a strong human who was not afraid to speak her mind regardless who’s standing before her – a bloodthirsty ancient Original Hybrid or said Hybrid’s biggest fear; she’s a character aside from Hope that hasn’t committed murders, a pure rarity in this show of supernatural psychopaths. At times I’ve been really annoyed by her irrational behaviors as a newborn vampire, but I’ve never hated her or wished for her leave. When you’ve gotten used to seeing a certain character on your favorite show for three seasons, you can’t help feeling tremendously saddened by such character’s departure since they have managed to wedge into your heart and claim a part, big or small.
That’s what I am now, saddened by this twist of event and feeling betrayed by the writers’ decision. Although I sometimes murder my own characters in cold blood (and quite brutally so, as my friends comment), I’m generally pro-life. A character, especially one with so much potential for story, should be killed only when their death brings forth a breakthrough in the plot, or when death is inevitable and all other options are out of hands. Otherwise it’s just lazy writing – can’t think of anything to do with this character? Just write him or her off and be done with it – which I suspect the writers are being plagued with, considering they’ve managed to off not only Cami but Davina as well. Anyone can die, that, I admit, adds a sense of suspense and keep the viewers on edge; on the other hand, not every show can afford it because not every show has a huge cast like Game of Thrones with plot lines literally spanning every direction. The Originals’ cast isn’t big, not to mention half of it are guest stars who mostly never make it through a season. If the showrunners decide to stick to this butchering tendency, they’ll risk losing a significant portion of viewers.
Highlights of the episode:
- Lucien’s being a Scorpio. Now we know why he’s so vengeful.
- After Tristan, Lucien has claimed the title “Shipwrecker” due to the ships he’s single-handedly sunk: Frucien (by killing Finn and attempting to wipe out the rest of Freya’s siblings), Klamille (by killing Cami), Lucille (also by killing Cami), and to a milder degree, Kolvina (by prompting Davina to discover the truth of Kol’s resurrection).
Maybe he’s secretly a Klaroline shipper.
- Hayley’s bringing Jackson’s death up for what? Spiting Elijah? That’s totally uncalled for.
- Wait a minute, they actually think leaving Hope with an old wolf is safe?! Good thing for our heroes, Lucien possesses enough grace and dignity not to go after a kid.
- I just don’t get why some viewers make such a fuss about Hayley’s using Hope’s blood to cure Cami. She’s a Hybrid (possibly Tri-bid) child born from Hybrid parents with her uncles and aunts being either vampires or witch; blood-sharing is her family’s everyday business. Moreover, she doesn’t suffer any damage from the act, so what’s the big deal?
- Vincent’s farewell to Cami. I feel nothing when Hayley speaks her last words to Cami but Vincent truly moves me. The loss of Vincent and Cami’s friendship is to me even more lamentable than the sinking of Klamille – the partners in (fighting) crime are no more.
- Davina’s daggering Kol, which fulfills the “One by friend” part of the prophecy
- And Kol’s killing Davina – just when we think nothing can shock us more the death of one of the female leads, they give us the death of another female lead. Great.
- Freya and Vincent’s joining hands to unmake Lucien
- Joseph Morgan and Leah Pipes’ exceptional performance – for all the spoilers about Cami’s leave, I was still teary while watching Klaus and Cami spending her last day of living together and finally saying farewell.