Warnings: do we need warnings at this point? Disagreement welcomed but not hate
One thing we learn from reading fantasy novels and watching fantasy movies and shows is that prophecies have a nasty tendency: they will be fulfilled no matter how the subjects involved try to avert or change them; as a matter of fact, they have a way of subtly but actively manipulating their subjects into doing this little bit or that and helping or even speeding up the possible scenarios on their road to become reality. In short, they will definitely happen, otherwise they would be called complete nonsense spoken in poetical and mysterious way instead of “prophecies”. The third season’s twentieth episode is concrete evidence.
Following the devastating wake of Where Nothing Stays Buried which has ignited two civil wars going side by side, it’s fitting that Give ‘Em Hell Kid begins on a morbid note: we are cordially invited to Cami’s funeral which involves trumpets, carriages, street parade and a lethal amount of whiskey at the Russeud’s, and Davina’s funeral, which is held in the cemetery absolutely without fanfare and attended only by her few supernatural friends (where’s her family? Her mother was killed Marcel/Marcel’s loonies so…). This is one juxtaposition made between these two female regulars the fandom lost in the same episode. While Cami’s death somehow united our heroes against Lucien, Davina’s ripped apart what fragile alliance they had formed – now Marcel, Kol, Josh and Vincent are one team and seriously pissed and the rest are another team and burdened with guilt. The tear in their relationship needs much, much time to mend and yet, the plot decides it’s not the time to calm down and reflect on their acts (because it’s the eve of the grand finale duh!) and throws its last punch: the visions come visit again and this time, they’ve been upgraded so that the identity of the true Beast is revealed. Guess what? No other than the adopted son Klaus and Elijah had spent the better part of season 1 fighting against.
No rest for the wicked indeed.
That Marcel has turned out to be the prophesized doom of the Mikaelsons is not that big of a twist – the former vampire king of New Orleans has been on the list of suspects since the very beginning. When Lucien drank the serum and completed his transformation, Marcel’s possibility to become the final boss was overshadowed, but then Lucien was offed three episodes later, thus giving way for other characters to become the true Beast. At so late this point in the season, it would be dumb to introduce an entirely new face and cramp them into the big bad’s shoe, so the writers had to empower one of the old ones. Aurora was the other one who had taken the serum, but most of us agree dearest Rory is entertainingly psychotic and murderous, yet she’s very unlikely to be the ‘chosen one’, far from it even, and after what has happened to Davina, it isn’t difficult to envisage Marcel seeking vengeance on the Mikaelsons.
By the way, in hindsight, the Beast in Alexis’s visions kind of looked like Marcel, right?
At this point it’d be pointless to point the finger at a character and accuse them of setting the prophecy into motion; in my opinion each and every character plays a specific role in bringing together the necessary elements to its fulfillment. You could blame Freya and Elijah for not having destroyed the White Oak in the first place or for antagonizing Marcel by having thrown Davina to the Ancestors. It’s easy to put the blame on them as their roles seem prominent than others. Nevertheless, in hindsight, Vincent is not without responsibility. If Vincent had activated his witchy bomb sooner, like after he had been forced to cast the spell to create the serum, by which time he should have already been aware the Ancestors were villainous, things would be much different now. Lucien would have become a parking lot. Cami wouldn’t have been bitten and died. Kol would have been freed from the hex and wouldn’t have killed Davina. Elijah and Freya wouldn’t have had to sacrifice Davina. Davina would be alive and well and Marcel wouldn’t have become the Beast… Or had Davina not antagonized the Ancestors so much… Still, it’s too late to analyze who was at fault; what is important is how the heroes try with everything on their disposal to avert the crisis.
That said, desperate time calls for desperate means, and it’s quite obvious Elijah is so desperate now he’s willing to go down the darkest path possible. You could always argue that they had another choice when Elijah and Freya chose to damn Davina and perhaps there really was; still, what was running in their heads at that time was their siblings’ lives being severely threatened and there was little to think of something else other than that extreme method. It’s easy to say they had other choices when you’re sitting in front of the screen watching them instead of being them.
It confuses me how some fans seem to possess a notion that the Mikaelsons are “heroes”, that they value life and such. They started out as villains of TVD and becoming protagonists of TO doesn’t really change their nature as ruthless monsters who value their own blood over all others, who’ve made selfish choices and suffer the consequences later. One argument I’ve come across is that Klaus objected to Elijah and Freya’s sacrificial act (but his older siblings went out and did the atrocity anyway). Sure he did tell them to find another way, but that’s when he was safe and talking, Hayley was by his side and Rebekah was also safe wherever she was. A couple of minutes later, Klaus was helpless on his knees, Lucien had Hayley’s heart in his palm and they were lucky either Lucien was so obsessed with Klaus or he still had lingering feelings for Aurora he hadn’t gone for Rebekah first. So yeah, Klaus understood Elijah and Freya’s reason because had the situation been reversed, he would have done the exact same thing. Over the course of three seasons, Klaus has changed, arguably because of Cami, but when it comes to his family’s survival, no number of Cami’s sessions could have changed his beastly nature (isn’t that the recurring theme of this show?). And don’t get me started on Rebekah. I’ve also stumbled across some opinions claiming Rebekah would never want Davina dead just so she could live. Seriously I was so baffled I thought we weren’t watching the same show! Rebekah, from her introduction in TVD, has been as much a monster as her brothers. Who terrorized the Mystic Falls gang for fun? Who killed Elena so her family wouldn’t have to run for another century? Who returned to Nola and flung death threats to the witches? Yeah, she has a few humans she fancies, like Matt or Davina, whom she would protect instead of hurting, but when her family’s survival is concerned, she wouldn’t be the Rebekah we know and love if she didn’t choose her own blood and her own life over a girl she knew for a while. It’s just that Claire Holt isn’t a regular anymore so it’s pointless to have Rebekah make the kind of tough choice Elijah and Freya did because she wouldn’t be around long to deal with its aftermath.
Now, back to Marcel. Marcel was raised by the Mikaelsons like their child and whether he admits it or not, he has absorbed several traits of his adopted family: ruthlessness, cunningness, arrogance, to name a few. He understands their thinking, that’s for sure, and he’s fully aware how exclusive their list of ‘family’ is. Family above all; the saying has a cruel ring to it. Davina they never saw as a family, but Marcel is a complicated case as so far he’s been hovering along the thin line of ally and rival. Part of him has already been convinced that he would be on their kill list the moment he posed a threat to them and that’s why he took the serum when he was offered it, according to Vincent. Yet he didn’t off himself right on the spot. One could say he wanted to test the Mikaelsons, see if they cared for him as a member and then decide for himself. Obviously they failed his test and the result is the prophesied Beast’s coming to hunt them. Still, it’s also possible that he had already decided when he drank the serum, but due to the complex nature of his relationship to the Mikaelsons, he was hesitant in exacting his vengeance. What he needed was the final push so that his last attachment to them was severed. With his death by their hands Marcel was liberated from his bond to them, which at times has become his bondage, and he is now free to hate them and punish them as he wishes for harming Davina.
Marcel may have cut off his link to Klaus and Elijah but what I really want to see in the grand finale is how that affects his relationship with Rebekah, for whom he still has feelings. Would he loathe her too as she’d definitely stand by her siblings’ side?
One thing to say before I conclude this weekly review: Hayley. There’s been criticism on Hayley’s choice to comfort Elijah instead of lashing out at him, bring her previous words “I just can’t keep losing people” as accusation of her inconsistency. On the contrary I believe Hayley’s been written quite consistently in the last two episodes. It’s true she said those words and it’s also true she opposed to the very idea of sacrificing Davina. However, she understood it was thanks Elijah and Freya’s act that her heart remains in her chest now. Hayley is no saint and she’s as selfish as the Mikaelsons when her life is concerned; moreover she wants to live and see her daughter Hope grow up. She understood why Elijah and Freya gave up Davina’s chance of life and she understands why Elijah killed Marcel, someone she sees as a friend; she herself has seen the prophecy and its likely outcomes. Between her friend and her lover and her family, it’s clear she has made her choice. Even an outsider like Josh sees that. So she comforts Elijah when he comes to her and simply breaks (has Elijah ever gone on his knees and wept like that?) because he needs her and she loves him. I stopped shipping this couple centuries ago and still this scene has moved me with its beauty of love and kindness.
Highlights of the episode:
- Davina’s setting the bomb is simply epic! Even if we may never see Davina again, we’ll remember that she went out with a literal bang.
- Klaus and Marcel’s conversation on the bridge
- Will Kinney’s acceptance of the supernatural world seems a bit too rushed and unnatural to me, given how he hadn’t bought into Cami’s talk about vampires before. Either it’s a flaw in writing or our detective slash human token has some big skeleton in his closet.
- Kol’s unnecessary dick words to Freya. He’s mad and grieving all right, but to say that to his sister who has been fighting for her family at the expense of her wellbeing is just…
- Davina’s unnecessary bitch acts to Kol. There’s got to be another way, a better way to grasp your bf’s attention than spooking him and slitting his throat, right?
- Elijah’s getting down on his knees, Hayley’s comforting him and their making out after. Judging by the sadistic nature of our dear writers, something very bad will befall them in the season finale.
- The Ancestors’ connection to the living world is severed so does that means Nola witches’ magic are…… gone?? I remember in season 1 they did say something about the witches’ powers were linked to their Ancestors.
- I’m curious why Marcel bites Kol. Aren’t they kind of on one team?
- Can Rebekah save the day?
- Are the writers going to let Tristan and Aurora fade into history like that because as tension escalates between Marcel and the Mikaelsons, I see no slot for the de Martel sibling?