Give ‘Em Hell Kid – The Originals 3×21

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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  • 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…

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  • 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?

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  • 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?

Where Nothing Stays Buried – The Originals 3×20

Warnings: spoilers, ranting tendency, disagreement welcome but not hates, never hates

It’s been a while since an episode of The Originals stirred me enough to beat my terminal laziness, and instead of delaying the review till the weekend like usual, I feel compelled to express my thoughts as soon as I could.

… Maybe not as soon as I could as I was caught in a plethora of new fanvids and fanfics dedicated to a couple I ship. Me being… me, once again I delayed writing my review.

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The Originals‘ writers be like…

Perhaps in celebration of the newly released Marvel movie Captain America 3: Civil War, the CW wanted to do something similar and The Originals became the subject. Thus we are treated to not one but TWO civil wars going side by side: one going on between our tormented Mikaelsons (plus or minus Kol) and Marcel and Vincent (also plus or minus Kol), and the other going on between fans who rage against Freya and Elijah in Davina’s name and those try to justify their action and defend them. In the past few days I’ve encountered many hate posts bashing Freya and Elijah that browsing their tags kind of make me cringe. Elijah used to be my fave (but my fave has kind of shifted to his first progeny, who is now wooing some mermaid (or merman) with his dead seriousness – I’m aware that I’m fickle, thank you) and Freya has always been the type of female character I want to see in a movie/TV series/novel/manga/whatever: strong in personality and fiercely loyal to those she loves; still, let me make myself clear before continuing: I’m not taking either side; what I want to discuss in this post is how Freya and Elijah’s decision is understandable given the situation – not noble, not good, just understandable, that they don’t deserve the flaming insults (you may loathe them and flood their tags with posts expressing your bitterness but saying that Marcel should rip Freya’s heart and shove it down Elijah’s throat is too uncivil), and how the fandom have been seething over their ‘evil’ deed and promptly ignoring another evil deed committed in this same episode.

(Please note that I have talked a little bit about it on Tumblr and received some responses expressing disagreement, and I’m now using this review to indirectly reply to them because if I answer them on Tumblr, I feel like repeating myself and more importantly, it’d be tedious to write/read the same contents.)

There’s a controversial ideology in the Fate franchise (games, manga and anime in case you’re interested just what the Fate franchise is about) that I think would apply perfectly to the major conflict of this episode: if you save someone’s life, you simultaneously abandon another because it’s basically how the life scale balances. Freya and Elijah choose to save Rebekah, Klaus and Hayley, so at the same time they have to abandon Davina. It is a tough choice, bordering on sadistic, and they visibly struggle with it before the situation gives a final push and that’s it – they will grasp this super rare chance and destroy Lucien, saving their siblings or they will lose it, lose their siblings and their lives. Lucien has made it very clear that he won’t rest until the Mikaelsons are history; it’s only a matter of short time before the Ancestors help him penetrate the compound. Freya and Elijah are not dumb to see the possible scenarios that come out of their decision; moreover, they are the most devoted to their family out of the Mikaelsons and it’s never a question who they will pick: their own flesh and blood over an outsider. Family is all Freya has, according to Michael Narducci, and Elijah holds the “Family Above All” almost word for word – he has been known (and loathed) to abandon his lovers and ‘children’ for his family.

With that in mind, Elijah isn’t hypocritical when he says Marcel is family, but we all know the Mikaelson family has a terrible habit of backstabbing, betraying and hurting their own family, deliberately or not. Still, at the end of the day, they will keep each other alive and safe no matter the cost. Sacrificing Davina will severely antagonize Marcel and Kol; Freya and Elijah know it, yet it will keep them alive and that’s worth it.

Besides, has Freya and Elijah ever considered Davina family? No. To them she’s a witch kid who has antagonized their family more than helped, many a time adding trouble to their already gargantuan heap. I have a feeling that they tolerated her because of her close relationship with Marcel and Kol rather than real affection.

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Some fans say they could have opted for another method that somehow saves their siblings and preserves Davina’s soul. It’s too good to be true and one thing we know about The Originals’ writers is that they don’t favor such idealistic solution. Everything comes with a price and more of than not, the loss is bigger than the gain. Perhaps, had they had more time to spare, they might have come up with something else, something less desperate. Nevertheless, time is precisely what they don’t have: neither Klaus nor Hayley answers the phone and with Lucien on the way to find Rebekah, it’s unlikely the two Hybrids have dropped their phones or turned them off. In the worst scenario, Lucien might have already gotten his fangs on Rebekah and torn Klaus’s and Hayley’s heads off – fortunately for us our heroes’ plot armor is thick enough for the actually killing to happen. Time is of the essence here and rather than wasting precious time by summoning the scattered Marcel, Kol and Vincent to discuss a solution, whatever of which wouldn’t be able to defeat a Lucien with enhanced powers and a legion of dead witches behind his back anyway. What choice is left for Freya and Elijah but to take matter into their own hands and act quickly?

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Speaking of choice, on a hindsight, Freya and Elijah have saved the others from having to choose. Imagine for a second that Vincent, Marcel and Kol were put in the same situation as Freya and Elijah. For Vincent the choice would be easy – Davina – as he has little love for the Mikaelsons; nevertheless, how about Marcel and Kol? Marcel would have to pick between his adopted daughter and Rebekah, whom he has loved and always wanted to protect no matter what. And Kol, he would be torn between saving the love of his life, his savior literally, and his siblings. Personally I believe it would be much crueler for everyone involved if the writers decided for the choice to fall on Kol; he would break, undoubted. It may sound condescending but it’s a mercy for the other two that Freya and Elijah are the ones to choose (and bear the burden afterwards) because it’s easier for them to pick their family over Davina.

Kol murders a young man out of wrath and nobody bats an eye.

Freya and Elijah sacrifice a young woman to save their family and everyone loses their mind.

(To use an infamous Joker meme)

I know I wrote this on Tumblr on the spur of the moment, but for the sake of argument, I bring it here and elaborate on it a bit more, otherwise my review will be missing a significant point.

People loathe and curse Freya and Elijah for what they’ve done to Davina, which robs her off her chance of life and damns her to an eternity of suffering (which is so far theoretically; we have yet to learn of her true, final fate). It’s atrocious, I’m fully aware. Davina was nineteen and lost her future. But if we pay a little more attention to a minor character who is portrayed by a guest star with a one-season contract, we’ll see Davina is not the only life loss in this episode. Van Nguyen was probably a few years older than Davina, twenty-something, and he also lost his future the moment Kol sank his fangs into his neck. Whether Davina deserves such harsh treatment remains debatable, but what has Van Nguyen done to earn his fate? He lost his mother and perhaps some of his relatives/acquaintances (as they were killed alongside her) but unlike some other characters in this show, he sought justice, not vengeance. He didn’t attempt to kill her, merely exposing her crime so that she was shunned from the community, which implies his moral compass was rather strong and he wasn’t an evil man. He aided Lucien and attacked Vincent, sure, but he was following the Ancestors’ instructions (at this point it’s safe to say the Regent is the Ancestors’ puppet to intervene with the living world) and because he believed in their vision of a vampire-Nola, which is a good thing for the human faction because honestly what good do the vampires bring to humans anyway? You could argue that he agreed to previously help Tristan and then Lucien for money, and it’s true. It isn’t noble or a right thing to do, of course, but it’s something he had to do in order to support his younger siblings thanks to a certain teenage witch’s murdering their mother out of paranoia. “Life’s a bitch in the ninth” according to Vincent and Van Nguyen had to struggle to “put food on the table for his sisters”, implying his family was in a dire state of poverty after Kara’s death. If you think what happens to Davina is horror, try imagine the life of Van and Kara’s family after they lose not only their mother but also their brother. While Davina’s state is a kind of ‘fantasy’ horror, having her soul destroyed, the other horror is very real and it happens all over the world every day. Just because the showmakers only had a brief talk about it and never dwells on it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist and therefore not worth discussing.

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Killing Van is an atrocious act since he dies for absolutely no purpose – he wasn’t responsible for Davina’s suffering, his death won’t bring her back, and he was hardly a threat to our heroes. Kol puts an end to him simply because he’s in pain and he inflicts pain on others as a kind of counter-mechanism, which is what he’s been used to pre-Davina. It’s neither Kol’s nor the Mikaelsons’ morality that I’m arguing here because frankly their morality is gloriously screwed; what disturbs me is the writers’ treatment of a character who is deemed minor and how the fandom just entirely let it pass their radar.

On a side note, I don’t get why Van just stood there like a helpless, non–magic person while he should have uttered a spell the moment he heard Kol. What good can come from an Original vampire who has just lost his love and is visibly seething with rage?

03

I have to strongly disagree with Vincent here because Davina WASN’T good. Not at all. She could use others for her advantage (summoning and using Mikael as a means to destroy the Mikaelsons, for instance) and she already tainted her hands with blood, and all of these make her NOT a good person following normal moral standards. So, either Vincent is consumed with grief and rage that his judgment is a bit clouded or he has really warped moral standards as he’s fully aware Davina murdered a fellow witch and indirectly caused the deaths of a few more (he was the one to expose her crime, wasn’t he?). Anyway, Davina was not good, nor was she evil; she had, like most other characters in this show, her good sides and her bad, which makes her a complex, relatable character worthy of being one of the female leads. I truly appreciate some of her fans who acknowledge both her light and her darkness instead of insisting she was an innocent child and did not deserve such cruel fate, which unnecessarily positions her as a victim she was never be; she was a player and she lost the game. Although I think ripping her soul apart is too harsh a punishment, I believe Davina somehow deserved it. The Ancestors are overzealous, extreme and whatever; however, they don’t hate her and want to wipe her out for no reason. When she died the first time, they isolated her but didn’t destroy her soul despite what she had done (helping Marcel to subdue the witch community); they didn’t try to murder her the entire season 2, and they even allowed her ascension to regency. They punish her for the crime she committed; why else they made Kara her punisher and not someone else? Kara never meant to kill her, not in broad daylight and in the presence of other witches – killing a witch is after all a severe offence of their law; furthermore, Davina, with her Regent status, had more powers than Kara, so Kara wasn’t a big enough threat that she must have resorted to extreme method to deal with. Out of many other (wiser and less brutal) options, she went with elimination like a tyrannical ruler. Anyway, it was the choice she made as a young adult, not a child, which she stopped being the moment she chose to get out from under Marcel’s wing and left the attic. From then on any choices she made were her own and she was well aware of their consequences – “I’m a New Orleans witch. I was born with blood on my hands.” She even told Marcel that she had grown up. If the character saw herself as an adult, I don’t get it while some of her fans insist that she was a child who was treated unfairly by adults.

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Highlights of the episode:

  • The music in this episode is spectacular. The song used in the scene where Freya breaks the circle and Davina is sent to the Ancestral plane is simply haunting, especially as the crescendo is in sync with Davina’s scream.

  • The Hybrids’ bantering and then Klaus’s giving Hayley’s love advice. I may ship Klayley but never romantically, just close friends raising a child together.

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  • The Haylijah It’s been quite a while since the last time anything Haylijah-related stirred me. But this scene is marvelous: neither of them speaks a word, merely sharing the pain and burden in silence.

02

  • Marcel and Davina’s heart-to-heart conversation
  • The Civil War is truly happening.
  • How many cars are the staff allowed to trash each season? I’m pretty impressed by the car crash.

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  • The fighting sequence is bloody awesome.
  • I’m not the only one who feels uncomfortable watching Lucien’s execution, am I? I mean, is the face mutilation necessary?
  • On the other hand, look how Klaus and Elijah work in perfect tandem when they torture and murder someone.
  • I.P Lucien. You’ll be missed as the world’s first non-Original vampire and a very entertaining villain. Also, your “abs of a laborer”.

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  • Forever lament that he won’t stick around and we won’t get to know him better.
  • What should we call Tristan and Aurora now as the Trinity is no more?
  • At this point, I don’t think I would feel pain if they killed Tristan or Aurora or both in the last two episodes; I have become quite numb. If the writers could kill main characters who have gone through three seasons, I don’t see why they would show mercy towards two minor villains.
  • Klaus’s jealously over Elijah and Rebekah’s sharing secret is weirdly adorably Klaus-ish.
  • If my memory serves, Marcel joined the “stupid cult” out of his free will: he could have ignored Tristan’s offer but instead, he wore the tux and came to the Strix’s party, resulting in his membership. Elijah never asked him to join; in fact, he was uncomfortable seeing Marcel hanging out with his new ‘buddies’. Or he could have left the Strix after Aya’s death if he didn’t like it.

04

  • I’m gonna put this blame to his overwhelming grief.
  • The way Freya pulls Elijah to a corner as she divulges with him her newly discovered method to destroy Lucien really shows how close the two of them have gotten over the season. She trusts him to aid her with the plan when the time comes. Now they’re going to bear the weight of the sin together.

No More Heartbreaks – The Originals 3×19

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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.

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  • 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.
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Lyrics from Lee Ann Womack’s I Hope You Dance
  • Davina’s daggering Kol, which fulfills the “One by friend” part of the prophecy

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  • 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.

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The Devil Comes Here and Sighs  ̶  The Originals 3×18

Warnings: No more warnings because if you’re here reading this, I bet you’ve far passed the ‘spoilers alert’ state.

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So much bondage…

So much screaming…

So much blood…

So much agony…

Those are what stick in my head after finishing the third season’s eighteenth episode of The Originals  ̶  The Devil Comes Here and Sighs like, three times in a row (please don’t condemn me; I just had too much free time on my hands and little to do during the extended weekend); besides them, the episode didn’t leave much impression on me. I’m not saying it’s a terrible episode or anything  ̶  I will never deem an The Originals episode of any season terrible; it just doesn’t give me a lot of thoughts to compile into this half-assed episodic review, which takes a not-so-tiny part in my delay (the out-of-nowhere hiatus and my terminal laziness contributed another part). Maybe Beyond the Black Horizon was so well-done, so heart-wrenching and set such a huge milestone in the plot line, maybe The Devil Comes Here and Sighs serves as a transition to lead our tormented main characters into another phase of …well, torment, maybe both or something else altogether, I fail to get excited watching it. In other words, it is decent but definitely not extraordinary. If I were to give it a rate (which I have never done before by the way), it would be 6 out of 10.

Last week, I thought although heartbreaking and sudden as Finn’s death was, it would be the much needed glue to bind the remaining siblings together as they are facing their biggest threat yet. For all my expectations I am disappointed that the Mikaelsons are still as divided as they were before such crucial turn of event. Elijah and Freya sort of stick together, which is common since Freya’s been closest to Elijah, her “little Thor”, besides Finn, Kol is stuck with his seemingly out-of-the-circle status and Klaus decides to take on Lucien, the uber-creature whose weaknesses haven’t been discovered yet, with Papa Tunde’s blade as his sole companion. While this familiar aggressiveness is typically Klaus-ish, this plan propelled by wrath isn’t his wisest plan, if not his dumbest one so far, and once again the need to showcase just how insanely powerful a being Lucien has transformed into is reinforced: without so much as breaking a sweat he bests the duo of Klaus and Papa Tunde’s knife, even turning the blade against its owner. For the first time in his immortal life Klaus has experienced how it feels to play the ‘damsel in distress’ role, or should I say ‘hybrid in distress’. Who (hasn’t read the synopsis beforehand) is surprised by this twist please raise your hand?

If you’re one of a few viewers who aren’t too surprised by how easily and pathetic a bested Klaus is (like myself), seeing how he uses his tongue to ravage Aurora’s sensitive spots (okay, no innuendos intended here) and save his ass is quite jaw-dropping. I guess I’m too familiar with the action Klaus to fully embrace this talking/stalling/negotiating side of him.

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Every individual in distress needs a rescuer (or several, for that matter). In Klaus’s case, it’s Cami and Hayley that come to his aid. This is indeed brave, I admit, but bravery isn’t always synonymous with wisdom. By that I mean Cami and Hayley could have taken a moment to reflect on the likelihood of Aurora’s having taken the serum (come on, it’s been more than a day since Lucien broke her out of her prison), and rather than saving Klaus, they might end up getting killed in brutal manners right before his eyes. It’s still not clear what effects a post-serum Aurora has on an Original Hybrid and whether her bite could really kill him  ̶  surely it killed Finn but Finn and Klaus are biologically different; one thing is sure, however, is that Aurora could easily decimate them both. And yet, and yet they stride boldly into Lucien’s place, armed with only hybrid’s venom, an antique dagger that we never get to know its use till the episode ends and a syringe of vervain, purchased right from the local pharmacy.

Okay, it may not be vervain but something else, something strong enough to knock Aurora out in one shot. Anyone cares to enlighten me on what it is, pretty please?

Anyway, back to the topic. Fortunately for the rescuing pair and unfortunately for common sense, Cami and Hayley’s scratchily prepared plan still works, mostly thanks to Aurora’s grievous tendency of being a chatterbox. She talks and talks non-stop without a slightest sliver of realization just how many times her mouth has ruined her plans. Back in The Other Girl in New Orleans, she provoked Cami into spilling her dark truths, giving Klaus enough time to arrive and save her. Maybe that one time she actually had a gambit to back her plan A but the second time, when she couldn’t help giving Klaus hints to solve Aya and her brother’s (mostly Aya’s though) cleverly crafted game, there was just no backup plan and she ended up being imprisoned in the tomb. This time, if she hadn’t wasted the time and just offed herself right after taking the serum, or earlier, when Lucien offered her the bottle on one knee with heart-shaped eyes, Hayley and Cami wouldn’t have a chance. Surely all the taunting could wait a minute or two, could it?

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For a vampire who has literally a thousand years of practice and was introduced engaging in a sword fight with her brother, our darling Aurora is surprisingly and frustratingly lame at fighting barehanded, and she allowed Hayley to get the upper hand. I had to roll my eyes: did they just empower Hayley more in the last few episodes without me knowing? And Cami too, who is having her head smashed against a supernatural wall (just look at her face, hear her scream and you can tell how painful it is) and still retains enough consciousness to pull out her hidden syringe. Empowering two female characters by disempowering another female character, sorry if I find this girl power nonsense too ridiculous to buy.

Before my lazy blood hits again, allow me to express my admiration to Lucien’s long-lasting love for Aurora. Seriously, where could we find a guy on this earth who has been in love with a girl for a thousand plus years, despite all the separation, mental problems and betrayal she’s pulled on him? Lucien’s hopeless love for Aurora is both his redeeming quality and his severe downfall, which makes me wonder if the Mikaelsons would exploit to take him down. It’s truly intriguing and exciting how Lucien would treat Aurora if they were to meet again. Would he rip her throat or would he find his affection strong enough to forgive her yet again? We shall see about that.

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Still, much as I adore Lucien’s romantic side, I can’t help asking myself whether the guy has a peculiar spot in his brain that has been insanely erasing all the blatant sights that Aurora absolutely DOES.NOT reciprocate his feelings. Not a millennium ago, not in those long years as vampires and certainly not after he offered her an almighty transforming serum. She’s taking advantage him, that’s for sure, but it’s partly Lucien’s fault for being delusional and basically giving her the chance to use him.

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Highlights of the episode:

  • Let’s congratulate everyone for not dying: no head torn, no heart ripped, no body crisped by the sun or withered by wolf’s venom. I previously thought only Game of Thrones (which has just premiered its sixth season, in case you haven’t known) was the only series where I have to be constantly on edge with the whole who’s-gonna-perish-this-episode suspense; now The Originals is following its (bad) example.
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From Galavant S02e09
  • The Cami and Hayley vs Aurora cat fight doesn’t get me as excited as I thought it would, probably because Hayley’s free, very plot-convenient entrance into Lucien’s penthouse. Anyone cares to tell me when Lucien invited her in because I couldn’t remember? If my memory serves, Lucien’s barrier only lets vampires of Klaus’s sire line in, that is if he hasn’t erected another barrier. Either way, could he be so careless as to allow such a big, hybrid fallacy in his system?
  • Aurora’s looking very pretty
  • The Elijah and Freya plus the Strix vs Lucien fight, which is good and all until Lucien wipes the floor with them. Bad news.

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  • And the Ancestors’ being the true big bad of the season. Now I see why The Travelers had to blow up the Other Side in The Vampire Diaries; some dead souls just can’t stop meddling with the living business.
  • Is it just me or Kolvina’s romance seems a little out of place?
  • Van Nguyen is back after several absent episodes to become the Ancestors’ loony, sorry, Regent, no need for voting or ceremony. The regency business is becoming pretty cheap these days.
  • Van Nguyen’s ascendency was Tristan’s original plan as well, which leads to my previous question if Tristan had a hand in Lucien’s upgrading-to-the-Originals-better gambit.
  • Where are other witches when their voices are needed? Come on, Nola must have other living witches other than Freya, Vincent, Davina and Van Nguyen. Are they all chilled with this sudden shift in political power?
  • Come to think about it, Vincent hasn’t used his chance to revive someone, and now he’s lost it or what?
  • If being shunned by the Ancestors doesn’t result in magic lost, Davina and Vincent being two examples, what is the point in shunning in the first place, except from staying out of the Ancestors’ annoying radar?

08

Beyond the Black Horizon  ̶  The Originals 3×17

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Warnings: major spoilers

Sadness is only a part of my feelings after this seventeenth episode of The Originals. More than just being sad, teary and miserable, I am enraged by the grievous truth that once again, Finn Mikaelson is used as a plot device. First time is in The Vampire Diaries, where he was killed, unexpectedly and unfairly if I might add, for a groundbreaking revelation: if an Original dies, so does every single vampire sharing his or her blood. An example had to be made but who would be the sacrificial lamb? Klaus was the big bad and it would be foolish to write him off before the season finale  ̶  everyone understood that. Rebekah was popular and she had grown to earn the fans’ love, so killing her would be a mistake. Elijah was also favored by fans, considering the whole ‘Original family’ concept came into being thanks to Daniel Gillies’ outstanding performance when Elijah debuted. Kol, new to the fandom as he might be, was a cute psycho and most fans love a cute psycho. And Mikael, who probably had had no sireline, had been already killed in the previous season. That left Finn, the Original that had been placed in an unfavorable light since his introduction, who conveniently had a sireline. Naturally, reasonably, Finn would die to further the plot  ̶  no argument needed. Viewers knew very little about Finn besides his devotion to Esther, his hatred for his siblings and perhaps his affection for Sage, who also died alongside Finn and added to the character waste, and thus it was wisest to waste Finn. When Finn was brought back in season 2, he appeared in another body and was quickly built to become a minor bad before the big bad’s arrival, meaning we had already known at some point he would be put down before that was aired. Woe is the villain’s fate. Finn has remained with the show, of course, in sporadic flashbacks and modern-day soul conjuring. Still in no better light than when he made his first appearance  ̶  full of spite and uncooperative. His resurrection invoked mixed feelings from fans, many of whom just wished him to remain dead, or in soul form, whichever caused less damage to the family. However, to those who favored Finn’s character in general and Caspar Zafer’s portrayal of him in specific, it was a sign of hope for Finn’s permanent return to the living world. They harbored even more hope after Finn was locked in his vampire body by Davina  ̶  no more body-jumping and a huge chance for Finn’s character development as he would struggle between his physical urges and his firm moral compass. Finally a chance for Finn to fight along his family instead of against them. Has it happened yet? It has, and Finn is allowed an opportunity to voice his mind, adding more depth to his already layered characterization. All is good and well for his fans until Finn is once again killed, the purpose for which is to show just what sort of madness Lucien has evolved into. One has to go for the threat to the Originals to have real weight and that’s Finn. Klaus and Elijah are the pillar of the story, Rebekah is currently unavailable and Kol has just gone through a lot of trouble to be standing here  ̶  killing Kol right now would generate so much hate that the show risks collapsing. Harshly speaking, the one death that would not cause much damage and as the same time further the plotline is Finn’s. Naturally, reasonably, Finn Mikaelson has to go.

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That’s what he wishes for as well, one may argue. And I cannot retort because it’s the truth, a very sad truth indeed.

Aside from the unfair treatment, I’m angry that the writers have chosen the easy way to deal with Finn, just like what they did with Jackson. Neither Finn nor Jackson had garnered a large fan base for themselves; as a matter of facts there were some who wished for their leave. In order to soothe the fans, the writers had Finn and Jackson incorporated more with the Mikaelsons’ affairs, redeeming their unfavorable past actions, before writing them off the screen. In a way such strategy has worked wonderfully: the circumstances and suddenness of their deaths by the enemies’ hands have earned much sympathy from fans, perhaps even from those who used to hate them. Yet that’s why I say it’s the easy way. The harder way is, in my opinion, would be to keep them in the show and make them more likable by exploring their growth in thoughts and actions  ̶  Jackson to have less prejudice about the Mikaelsons’ actions and Finn to truly become a part of the “Always and forever” oath. Unfortunately, too much effort and too little screen time for such to come true.

Nonetheless, unfair as Finn’s depart from the show as it may be, it is not meaningless. His death tightens the remaining siblings, giving them a real, pushing motivation to fight for the survival of their family. Never before have they faced such a lethal threat. Mikael was frightening and in possession of the White Oak, but his stake could only kill one of them, and they had been successfully evading him for centuries (I wonder why they never tried to outnumber him instead of scattering like scared little birdies). Alaric was created to be their hunter, yet he had a major walking, talking weakness which came in the form of an 18-year-old mortal girl; disposing him was a single-handed task performed by Rebekah. Silas messed with their mind a little but never was hell-bent on decimating their lot. Francesca was basically a joke, while Esther, as well as Finncent, was put down relatively easy. Dahlia was extremely powerful, but to kill them she had to rely on the White Oak; plus she had a weakness they could exploit to defeat her. And lastly, the White Oak has been a constant threat; still it hasn’t grown fangs to give them a fatal bite nor has it moved with vampire speed and subdued them with superior strength. Lucien possesses all of these and is capable of creating another vengeful, insanely strong being just as himself. Moreover, his weakness hasn’t been shown while the only thing that might put an end to him, the White Oak bullet that created him, is destroyed. The Mikaelsons are no strangers to dangers and death, but witnessing the death of their flesh and blood in front of their very eyes, which they were utterly helpless to avert, has an entirely different effect on them. A true and real death, no more body-jumping, no more resurrection spell or soul-storing pendant. Never before have the Mikaelsons been more vulnerable; never before have them been more united. Finn’s death brings them fear, pain, rage and a burning desire for revenge, and all of these penetrating emotions could wipe away the siblings previous differences and conflicts to work together. “My brother and I against the citadel,” now is exactly the time for that saying.

All the heartbreaking dealt by Finn’s death gives me enough reason to loathe Lucien; however, for all of what he’s done, I cannot find myself hating the newly promoted Original Hybrid (is he?) in town. He’s brilliant and patient, which makes him a formidable, even admirable, villain. There’s this Chinese character 忍 for “patient”, compiled of a weapon “刃” hanging above a heart “心”. To be patient is to suffer – such is the meaning of this character, and Lucien embodies its very essence. In order to execute his plot, he has disguised himself as a helpful friend that quickly submitted to the Mikaelsons and gave away the hard-earned Seraturra once his alliance with Tristan was foiled, and sided with them against the de Martels. In this regard Lucien is smarter than the de Martel siblings; instead of calling an all-out war with the stronger, immortal enemies, he opts to go undercover, patiently waiting for the best chance to strike. He has had us viewers as well as them, the cunning, ruthless Mikaelsons, completely strung by the nose, and that itself is an impressive, praise-worthy feat (again with the villains outsmarting heroes trope). It’s not yet made clear whether this crazily clever scheme is The Trinity’s original idea, that the three of them have been working on it since the beginning, or it’s Lucien’s own brainchild after the Seraturra and sireline-breaking plans have failed. If it’s his idea, then he does deserve his newly gained powers and immortality (even though I hate the fact that Finn has to die).

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On a less significant note, any flimsy hope for the Frucien ship has been utterly smashed in this episode. There is absolutely no way a romance is possible between Freya and Finn’s murderer. Freya isn’t Rebekah, who had some feelings for Matt, the human who stuck a White Oak stake into her brother’s heart in an attempt to destroy all five of them (her affair with Matt really cheapens her character in my opinion). Freya is Dahlia’s daughter and disciple and whether she likes it or not, she has inherited traits of her godmother in her person, one of which being extremely vengeful. Not only Lucien has betrayed her, he has also taken away her beloved brother, thus forever robbing her off her wish for a family whole and united. In short, Lucien is past redemption in Freya’s eyes; what’s left between them is a hatred so deep I doubt any fanfic writers would have a tortuous time trying to mend their relationship without the OOCness should they want to keep this ship floating. And one thing I would like to watch in the remaining episodes is Freya’s battle against Lucien, although that seems a bit too dangerous for her considering what Lucien has become. Still, being overpowered by her enemies did not stop Hayley from venting her wrath on the Strix; why should it stop Freya?

Highlights of the episode:

  • Matt’s extremely relevant appearance in this episode. I guess since Elijah and Finn have to set foot on Mystic Falls, it would be nice for them to be warmly welcomed by the local right?
  • Shouldn’t Matt be more surprised by the sight of someone he killed walking and talking than the mention of another Original sister?
  • Matt’s here to provide the gun. Save the five-minute trouble of having to find a wooden stake in the woods.

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  • And Cami’s here to provide the plot-required dark object and a feminist aspect ̶  no-one can take her stuff from her without her consent, even if that’s a 1000-year-old Original vampire who’s notorious for being a psychopath.
  • Thanks to her now we know Kol’s hexed like Father Kieran. Terrific news. Kol’s returns to the living seem to be never free of hex.
  • The “Oh shit” moment. Shit just got truly real.

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  • No? Wait until he bites Finn.

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  • Still no? Wait until how that bite turns out.

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  • Klaus and Hayley’s teaming to massacre of the Kingmaker’s staff. Anyone who feels a wee bit sorry for the humans?
  • The enigma of Lucien’s transformation. “Puzzling” is a serious euphemism. Shouldn’t he need Elena’s blood?
  • Lucien’s redeeming quality is his eternal one-sided love for Aurora. Sigh.
  • Now, it’s Vincent and Davina vs. all Nola witches.
  • Finn’s description of his “black horizon”. I never hate Finn for what he did ̶  anyone who gets 900 years robbed off them wouldn’t take it so nicely once out. Don’t try to imagine the mental toll and trauma resulted from being imprisoned in your own head; it’ll drive you crazy. Hearing him describe that sensation only makes it more tragic and heartfelt.
  • Finn’s desperate hallucinations of being left alone
  • The siblings gathering around and holding his hands on his deathbed so that he won’t feel abandoned. This is by far the most bittersweet scene in this series.

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  • Kol’s tear and Klaus’s pained and helpless expression. Although they never seemed to be on good terms with Finn, the death of their brother is still much agonizing.
  • Finn’s funeral where the remaining siblings bid him farewell. It’s a shame Rebekah never gets a chance to say her farewell to him.

At least he’s free to pass on the afterlife now, where Sage is waiting for him.

Alone with Everybody  ̶  The Originals 3×16

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Warnings: spoilers alert

The sixteenth episode of the third season features……

  • Klaus’s version of On the Road, depicting his (maybe-not-so) merry trip with his daughter and his not-wife as they run from New Orleans to somewhere the reviewer might not have paid enough attention to pick out that piece of detail
  • The remaining Mikaelson siblings (mainly brothers) taking the term ‘Sibling Rivalry’ to a whole new Mikaelson-ish horizon, which results in a lot of shouting, furniture smashing, bodies being thrown around and finally, a hex ̶  ‘tis another peaceful day at the Mikaelson household
  • The vampires demonstrating their tech-savvy, modern side, thus proving further that they are not just a bunch of ancient bloodsucking, witchcraft fanatics

The episode’s title, Alone with Everybody, once I’ve finished watching, I can’t help but wonder whether it refers to Kol and his negligence syndrome  ̶   for a lack of better word to describe his condition within the Mikaelsons. Kol’s fans believe he is the one who has always received the least attention from his family and their opinion is quite justified. Not much was shown about his human life but my guess is that he wasn’t Mikael’s favorite; as a matter of fact, he might have been detested by his father, who placed emphasis on strength and fighting skills, those of which Kol probably didn’t fare so well because he was more interested in witchcraft. During his long years as a vampire, he didn’t receive much care and attention from his siblings either, perhaps just a little more than Finn, but then Finn was daggered for most of his life. Klaus, Rebekah and Elijah sort of formed a tight circle concerning the three of them, and more often than not, Kol was left out to hang around with witches, who might not feel entirely comfortable with his presence due to his vampirism and bloodthirsty reputation. Always the odd one out. It still much surprises me how Elijah went through seasons 3 & 4 of The Vampire Diaries without speaking a word to Kol, as though he didn’t acknowledge this little brother’s existence, as though Kol was more or less a burden to him. He pretty much repeated the whole no-talking-directly-to-Kol when the latter lived in Kaleb’s body, only a few short words near Kol’s death. Elijah’s detachment to Kol remains a big enigma of this series that needs elaborating on. I’d consider it great progress that Elijah actually spoke to Kol, not only referred to him, once Kol was resurrected and returned to the family. Klaus needs help from his siblings, always and forever, but so does Kol. More than a thousand years and still he struggles with his bloodlust; that’s some real issue demanding proper treatment and aid from none other than his vampire siblings, but sadly there hasn’t any so far: Kol has returned and appears fine while they have their hands full with the big White-Oak issue.

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On the other hand, Kol doesn’t really open up to them. Sure he expresses his fear that he may hurt the girl he loves (who’s also literally his savior so haters, please stop saying Kol should waste her), but he evades the direct, tangible cause of his fear  ̶  his untamed thirst. Perhaps he doesn’t want to add to the already worry-heap his siblings are shouldering; perhaps he’s still burdened by their past rejection to completely opens to them: telling them about his condition may be heavily judged or even shunned (as it has happened before), so why not keep it to himself? If Bex were here, would she be his trusted confidant, or would he coil even from her in fear of being sold again? “We hurt those we love whether we want it or not”  ̶  the Mikaelson syndrome.

If there is one person who will take his side no matter what (and has proven it from time to time), it’s Davina, but even with her Kol isn’t comfortable about sharing his tight-held secret. She’s a witch, not a vampire and she cannot truly comprehend what it feels like to crave for blood like heroine, however much she’s heard about it, or seen it. It would be a true test for their budding romance the moment she witnesses for herself what atrocities Kol could commit and I guess that day isn’t far, seeing how this show loves to squash romantic relationships…

… which is demonstrated in another shipwreck in this episode. Lucien’s turning out to have shady agenda isn’t a surprise to me  ̶  all the time I’ve been anticipating this act of betrayal while hoping he wouldn’t. Villains don’t fare so well in this show and Lucien is the last active member of the Trinity. Although the door is open for Tristan and Aurora’s return (maybe in the next season), if Lucien goes down the path we think he’s going  ̶  becoming the season’s big bad, the chance that he survives is quite slim. Please keep in mind that I never wish for his eradication since I’m fascinated by all three of them and their dynamics, and The Trinity wouldn’t be The Trinity without one of them. And yet, besides their tendency to wreck ships and tear apart fans’ hearts, the writers seem to determined to wipe out most of the new characters in a season. The Vampire Diaries poses a dire example: so far Valerie and Rayna are the only new characters to still walk the earth while the rest have been killed, the most recent life losses being Mary-Louise and Nora. Even so, Rayna doesn’t have much chance in surviving, considering how she’s built to be the ‘villain’ and no-one, save the filmmaking staff, can guarantee Valerie’s life. It’s a truly gloomy aspect to think that The Originals may not be any more merciful with their characters.

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On a lighter note, Frucien shippers shouldn’t give up their hope yet. The stills of the eighteenth episode show Lucien and Freya speaking, or arguing for that matter, with one another. We’ll soon find out what happens in the seventeenth, but if they’re still on speaking terms instead of trying to rip one another’s heart, that’s a hopeful sign.

If Lucien succeeds in becoming an Original, there’s a chance the last White Oak bullet will be used to send him to the other side.

Finn’s return causes less ruckus than I imagined  ̶  merely a fight with Kol, which by any means is still less intense and destructive than Klaus and Elijah’s when the truth regarding Aurora was revealed. I honestly expected a hot clash between Elijah and Finn, considering the last time Elijah did literally blow Finn up. But raging is Klaus’s expertise, not Elijah’s, so that maybe postponed till the Hybrid’s return (has Elijah informed him about Finn’s resurrection?). Speaking of the oldest Original, I’m intrigued as to what they have in store for Finn’s character. Other active Mikaelsons have quite a clear motive: Freya  ̶  protect her younger siblings; Klaus  ̶  survive his hoard of enemies and protect his family; Elijah  ̶  survive and protect his family; Kol  ̶  protect his family and not to hurt Davina. Finn’s motive is, however, vague as best. On the outside, he appears not to want to mess with the other brothers, saying “Things have changed,” but exactly how is unclear. Has he really let go off his resentment of having been daggered? Also, he proposes to possess a witch body and goes somewhere far with Freya (his Tristan-sister-obsession is showing), yet for all the time he’s spent in the pendant, he should know it’s almost impossible to pry his sister away from the rest of the family  ̶  they’ve gone through so many life-and-death situations, which no doubt beats Finn and Freya’s short childhood memory. I wonder how he is going to convince her, or if he still plans on leaving now that he’s stuck with being a vampire. It’d be interesting to see Finn’s struggles with his vampirism, his at-odd relationship with the others, and his character development. Hopefully all of these would redeem Finn and shed a better light on him.

Lastly, what I’ve seen the most these days on Tumblr is how stupid Elijah’s decision is. Jumping on the bandwagon is very tempting (and with good reason); still, if you inspect Elijah’s facial expressions closely, his seemingly unwise act is understandable. Finn’s words move him because he sees the truth in it: anyone of them could grow tired with their immortality and that bullet may be their salvation. In that instance he does not think only about Finn, who loathes his vampirism and his vampiric siblings, but also Rebekah, who once begged him for the Cure and chose to live in her witch body, and of course, himself. Though Elijah’s immortal burden is rarely shown, it exists, running beneath his impeccable manners and eloquence like undercurrents. It is suppressed partly by his love and devotion to his family and partly by the ceaseless troubles they get into on a daily basis, but who knows what sort of consequence it would have on his psyche once it surfaces. Being unable to die is a tragedy Elijah would not wish on his siblings and himself, so he goes against his rationality and keeps the bullet. I’ve read some arguments that the bullet can be used to kill only one Originals and I don’t share that idea: even a splinter in the heart can cause death (remember Damon’s mother, Lilian, was killed by only a splinter), so that one small bullet can be split to give all of them the mercy of death should they want to. Elijah’s mistake is that he gives it to Freya instead of guarding it himself, like he’s been hiding Rebekah so well. By making Freya the guardian, he has undeliberately made her the target, which happens only hours later.

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Highlights of the episode:

  • Elijah’s playing the piano. He and Tristan should play a duet.

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  • The “Mother Trucker” cap Hayley gives Klaus

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  • Lucien’s tactics in lowering the Mikaelsons’ guard. You can see how they work.
  • Finn’s still looking fine. Why nobody asks him how he came back? He couldn’t just materialize out of thin air, could he?
  • Kol and Finn’s fight. And Finn’s physically stronger than Kol?
  • Well, Kol hasn’t fared well in the physical department.
  • The Strix members’ playing Elijah’s guards

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  • Sofya’s being a Rebekah-lookalike

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  • And hey, she fares better than Cortez!
  • Josh’s shining in this episode, or rather, his IT skills.
  • Who allows Davina to wander freely in the compound and freely rips a page from Esther’s grimoire?

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  • Vincent’s turning on them – maybe the true big bad is not Lucien but actually the ancestors?

An Old Friend Calls  ̶  ‘The Originals 3×15

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.

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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.

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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.

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Highlights of the episode:

  • Kol and Davina doing it – when two ships go down, one floats. For now.

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  • 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.

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  • 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

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  • 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.

A Street Car Named Desire − The Originals 3×14

Warnings: ranting tendency, inappropriate comments alternating between grim, serious mood and blasphemous jokes

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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?

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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”.

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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.

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Like, unofficial title
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…

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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.

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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.

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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.

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  • 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:

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  • 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.

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  • Now it’s official that Tristan is Elijah’s bastard son. He says it himself!

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  • And Elijah’s referring to himself as dad!
  • Elijah’s sounding like a teenage mom with unwanted pregnancy

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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

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  • Kol’s permanent, naked return to the land of the living

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  • 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

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  • 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
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They don’t even need to get married to have the same last name
  • 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.

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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.

Heart-Shaped Box − The Originals 3×13

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Warnings: heavy spoilers, ranting tendency and inappropriate comments, nothing out of the usual

A quick update of last week’s highlights:

  • Hayley was still busy moaning.
  • Marcel bopped to the top of The Strix (whose members just went from wise and mighty owls to sitting ducks btw) thanks to his Best Actor’s performance, with Elijah as Best Supporting Actor.
  • The deadly White Oak toy fell into Aurora’s hand via the guest-star-of-the-week witch and the petulant obduracy of certain you-know-whos.
  • Freya was supposed to be there but since she was relatively off-screen, she could have been in Hawaii…
  • …which is where dear old Luci had flown to, and hasn’t come back. For freaking FIVE episodes.
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Images not mine. If you happen to stumble upon this blog, Andrew Lees, accept my sincerest apology… and blame Google.

Before this episode was aired, while most viewers would be worried about Klaus’s or Elijah’s or Freya’s fate (as the preview showed she would be trapped in a box − again with the boxing up people trend this season has been following), I was worry-free. It’s not that I harbor a grudge against the Mikaelson siblings or anything − I adore those terrible wretched murderers a little too much to be appropriate, but released stills have dropped a gargantuan spoilery muffin that all three of them would definitely survive whatever of Aurora’s wicked tricks, hence no need for unnecessary fretting. On the other contrary, Aurora’s was the life I was afraid would be snuffed since there hasn’t any sign to indicate Rebecca Breeds’ role in later episodes and frankly speaking, Aurora has kicked the Mikaelson beehive a couple times, thus earning herself a number of both in-show and out-show enemies. If the poor girl would get a penny every time someone wishes her a frigging brutal death… Anyway, she survives the hate and this contributes hugely my enjoyment of this episode. Yeah, yeah, I do like Aurora despite her antics and hope she makes it to the next season (if there’s going to be one), together with her psycho brother and her forever-friendzoned friend.

In a perfect world the three of them would have their own series and it would be no less awesome than The Originals. Possibly the only triangle love I’m willing to endure.

Overall, Heart-Shaped Box is an excellent episode. The plot and twists are intriguing, the action is delicious and the acting is on point − everyone does a better-than-good job on their role, especially Rebecca Breeds. There have been two of Aurora’s moments that incite a lot of emotions from me, making me feel for her and sympathize with her (and even provoke my anger towards my usual favorite Elijah for his cruel words and deeds to her): the first one is in Beautiful Mistake, when she revealed to Klaus a glimpse of what The Trinity had been through, and the second is her scene with Elijah in Heart-Shaped Box. Words hurt far worse than weapons and none can say Elijah isn’t a linguistic master; the pain he inflicts on Aurora is visible in the trembling of her voice, her hands lowering the gun and the tears pooling at the corners of her (very pretty if I might add) eyes. The desire to hurt your enemy is fair and all, yet in this very moment I can’t help wondering who is really the bad guy here. Aurora is far from innocent or good; however, can Elijah come out clean of playing a major part in the wretched person she has become today? Not really. His denial that he wasn’t the architect of her heartbreak is to me the most hypocritical thing he has said so far, perhaps second only to his claim “No one hurts my family and lives” (but this one was obviously an enormous fault in writing so I may biasedly overlook it).

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The relationships between the characters receive a highlight this week and I’m not talking about the romantic one, namely Kolvina, which is as lovely and precious as a teeny love gets − unstrangely enough, their scenes could be clipped from this supernatural macabre setting and put into a romantic movie that would give the likes of Twilight a run for their money. Although I adore Kolvina, it’s other relationships, friendly and familial, that I want to talk about. First of all, there’s the small Klayley scene where Klaus offers some comfort for the widow Hayley. His words are superficial at best since it’s been made quite clear that he doesn’t think so highly of Jackson, but it’s the fact that he tries to that counts. Frankly speaking, I never ship Klaus and Hayley romantically; still, I prefer seeing them being friendly instead of hostile to each other. No child would wish to grow up watching their parents warring, wouldn’t it? Then there’s the whole Cami and Hayley’s woman bonding I hadn’t thought I would enjoy but then I did. Blowing up some steam is definitely what the newbie vamp Cami needs and Hayley, who went through similar transition not too long ago, is being a better guide than Klaus, who has so far been plumbing more frustrating steam in the bloodsucking bartender than helping her release it. Heck, any other vampire, even Josh, would be better guide than the Original Hybrid, but since others are sucked in the deadly weapon and prophecy drama that Hayley is taking a short break from, she is the best candidate at the moment. Helping Cami serves as a distraction from her grief, so it’s a win-win for both. Plus, it’s been a long time since the girls last had any significant interaction and seeing them rekindling the friendship is rather pleasant.

One thing I love about The Originals is the stress the show places on the importance of family. The love between members of family particularly shines in this episode, which should be in my opinion titled “Let’s stop being dick to Freya and act like her little brother.” It’s in Klaus’s blood to boss around everyone, even his own siblings and whether or not he realizes it, his treatment of his sisters, be it Freya or Rebekah, isn’t exactly exemplary of a good brother. Aurora’s abduction of Freya gives him an opportunity to redeem his behaviors − giving her orders and chastising her as if she was his servant witch − as he’s the one to find and save her (thanks to magically perfect timing and his Hybrid sniffy skill). In a Kleya moment later, he delivers short but otherwise touching lines that further cement Freya’s position as irreplaceable in the Mikaelsons, no longer a long-lost sibling straying at the perimeter of their family. Being a good brother isn’t that hard at all, isn’t it, Klaus?

In spite of my immense enjoyment, if I have to summarize this episode in a single screenshot, it would be as the following:

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From Galavant S01E02

There’s quite a big scoop of new information dropped in this episode, which has me quite baffled not because there’s so much to take in but because the logic the show creators are following is, by all means, not very logical. Some questions pop up and here I’d like to discuss them.

❶ How can Kol perform magic, or at least, lend his power to Davina? Last time we’ve been informed that Kol’s soul is that of a vampire and since when a witch can channel a dead vampire’s energy? (Not talking about Finn here because I have no idea what category he falls into now – vampire? Witch? Something in between?). I get that he’s linked to the candle and somehow through that, Davina can use him to cast a spell that renders her unconscious and their date the worst date ever. It would make more sense if she took the candle’s magic itself and she wouldn’t need Kol (besides providing her with the incantation). What’s his role in this but to provide a dash of romance because lovebirds performing a ritual to save a life are damn romantic?

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❷ It’s said that once Davina has joined The Strix coven, she’s linked to other Sisters, and this is proven by knocking Davina down (for a while, luckily), other Sisters fall with her. It’s indeed cool, especially in dire situations like Hayley’s being attacked, but anyone is wondering how this whole linking business works? So when Davina loses consciousness, so are the other witches; nevertheless, when Arianne or that witch Aurora killed died, nothing happened to the coven. They were still in service the time of their death, weren’t they? Were they less linked to other witches than Davina? Weird.

❸ It takes bloody long to rip a heart. The Strix witches seem to take forever to extract Hayley’s heart although Dahlia and Finncent only needed two or three seconds. I know those two were super witches but The Strix witches are powerful in their own right; moreover they have numbers and numbers mean they could channel one another. I don’t sincerely wish for Hayley’s departure from the show but in the two occasions when she’s been witch-attacked, she’s been saved by the delaying of the hearty business. Plot armor is necessary to rescue major characters; just don’t make it too bloody obvious, will you?

❹ Again with Hayley. I nearly rolled my eyes when I heard Jackson’s heart, a werewolf’s, can substitute a hybrid’s. The unification ritual or whatever joined them to some extent, yet it didn’t make them the same: Hayley’s still a hybrid while Jackson remained a wolf and Jackson’s death did not cause Hayley to die. If they are not the same then how are their hearts identical to one another? Besides, technically Hayley isn’t an unsired vampire; she’s sired to Hope. If there’s someone that is truly unsired, it should be Hope, since she was born, not made, and is a vampire that hasn’t experienced death – one of her kind. Or, it should be a Petrova doppelgänger’s heart that is the key to unsire the sireline (since Tatia’s blood gave birth to the vampire race in the first place), which would make a more plausible crossover than having Stefan running to his ex-enemy to escape his current enemy. Seeing that the writers are determined to keep Hope out of all these adult conflicts and Nina Dobrev is unlikely to return as Elena, it seems another (not very logical) option is in order.

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On a slightly unrelated note, in some cultures, it’s considered immensely cruel to separate a part of the deceased’s body with the rest, as what Hayley did to Jackson. She should have just cremated his heart along with his corpse and this unsightly twist would never have happened.

Highlights of the episode:

  • Klaus’s threatening a human while holding a tea cup is just Britishly Klaus-ish.
  • Klaus’s ‘releasing’ said human per Elijah’s order
  • Freya’s “Nine thousandth time’s a charm”
  • The Hand of Glory candle − anyone wants it for house decoration?

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  • The Aurora vs. Freya battle that is sadly not shown. Again, for the sake of plot, Freya has to wear the weak, victim shoes whereas she could have snapped Aurora’s neck or robbed her daylight ring.
  • I’m sort of upset The Devil’s Playground isn’t used in the episode. It gave such a good creepy vibe to the preview.
  • Finn’s willingness to save Freya although he was kind of mean to her for wanting to save Rebekah last time he was seen. It’s a different matter with Freya. I’m not surprised he befriended Tristan; they both share an obsession with their own sisters.
  • Aya really knows how to shut Kol up, doesn’t she? No wonder she and Elijah used to hook up.
  • Aurora’s gun is a piece of art.
  • Aurora’s admirable effort

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  • Marcel’s getting his ass embarrassingly handed to him by Aya. Guess who isn’t too pleased about his ascension to leader?

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  • Klaus’s being good brother to both Freya and Elijah and the Klelijah moment. Then I’m reminded that is because Klaus hasn’t learnt about Rebekah…
  • The Mikaelson siblings’ toast as they vow to take down their enemies

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  • The teaming up of The Ex-vengers to have their revenge against The Inglorious Boyfriends

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Dead Angels – The Originals 3×12

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Warnings: ranting tendency, spoilers and more sarcastic remarks than usual

Let’s begin a bit differently, with a little speculation…

Freya wasn’t in the 12th episode nor the 11th, which is plain strange considering the big fat revelation of the lethal secret weapon that could send her remaining siblings to Lucifer (oh wait, Lucifer isn’t there; he’s gone to L.A.), to hell and beyond. And Elijah’s mention of her aid in finding Marcel isn’t really valid; they could have had a prior agreement on the location and thus, don’t require Freya’s aid.

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Oh, thanks for reminding me this… But she could perform the spell while lounging on a pool bar or something. The point is, Freya is nowhere to be seen (or heard for that matter).

Lucien has been absent in FOUR consecutive episodes for whatever reason we viewers may never get to know. Seriously, after showing up to comfort Aurora in The Other Girl in New Orleans, he just booked a ticket to Hawaii, ignoring all the bloody events (that very likely concern his own existence) happening in Nola?

So, all these lead to my conclusion that Lucien took an untimely vacation (maybe tickets are discounted this time of the year) and he phoned Freya later to ask her to join him because why not? She sure needed a vacation after the constant drama at home.

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Other than this, I have no idea how his inexplicable absence could be explained.

Normally I’d praise the brilliance of each episode’s plot, how it’s twists and turns keep us viewers at the edge of our seat; still, I find it a tad more difficult to write a few compliments on Dead Angels, and if I am to be honest, it is ridiculous how the plot unfolds and how the characters act and react in the turns of event. First of all, there’s the continuation of the tug-of-war between Cami and Klaus. It was amusing at first to see Cami do a payback to Klaus (because all the Original Hybrid needs at the moment is more trouble); however, when it drags to halfway through another episode, involving a third party (Vincent) and ultimately culminating in the weapon’s falling into the enemy’s hand, it has become rather absurd. Childishly absurd. Okay, I get that Cami’s less-than-appraising behaviors are due to her new vampire blood − Tyler, Elena, Hayley and every other character of significance in both shows have undergone this annoying transition (Gia and Josh didn’t because frankly speaking, they’re minor characters and since I didn’t watch season 1 of The Vampire Diaries I have nothing to say about Caroline’s case). Yet the absurdity is that Klaus should know it as well and instead of acting a little wiser and giving her the damn toy box so that he would have more hand to deal with more pressing matters (and those are many), he opts to lower himself to the same level of newbie vamp’s nonsense, even though a thousand years of living experience should have taught him a thing or two about what the current priority is. Guess it’s either his big, fat Hybrid ego is celebrating its Ego Day or Klaus is suffering from the dreadful trend of “Heroes of the show make stupid mistakes so that villains can have the upper hand and further the plot twist.”

Speaking of stupid mistakes, the villains sometimes fall into this trend too, and this week’s victim is the witch working for Aurora (Madison?). It’s safe to assume it could be her rather than Lucien who rescued Aurora (which further begged the question: Where the hell has Lucien been?). For all the clever tricks she has pulled to wring the knowledge of the weapon from Davina’s head and even outsmart Vincent and Cami, she’s rather dumb to trust Aurora to release her from her lifetime servitude to The Strix. She has enough trust for Aurora to do all the dirty works for her and yet she doesn’t know Aurora’s personality? Moreover, as a member of The Strix, shouldn’t she have leant that Tristan is no longer the leader and what could a not-leader’s sister (who isn’t a member by the way) do to free her? I’d say her naivety and horrible judge of character are her deserved undoing.

Following the absurdity of having Marcel sit at the Strix’s VIP table in the last episode, this week he’s having a seat at the Strix’s Leader Competition sparring match, and a very convenient one from which he can easily snatch the Charter, deliver a speech about leadership and whatnots and flee while a number of (nameless) Strix members are playing their designed roles of sitting ducks. Really? Of all the ancient vampires present, there is not one who could have retrieved the Charter from Marcel’s grabby hand? None at all? Shen Min would be crying bloody tears in the afterlife if he saw this.

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I feel you, Shen Min
Marcel’s first-class performance as Elijah praises deserves an Oscar nomination and all; nevertheless, the critical thinking ability of The Strix members in general and Aya in specific is seriously doubted if even after all that have happened, they still haven’t a slightest doubt of Marcel’s loyalty. I mean, there have plenty ominous signs of his playing double agent that someone smart like Aya should have noticed waaayy back: his failure to stake Elijah and loss of said stake, his claim that the Mikaelsons were after his head but visibly they weren’t, Davina’s timely shunning, the timely abortion of Van Nguyen’s ascension to regency (right after Tristan told Marcel about him) and his perfect timing to get the thing that determines who should lead, etc. Perhaps Aya isn’t as sharp as the character she’s built to be.

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Speaking of Aya, in this episode we learn that she and Elijah used to be a thing ways back in days of old (took this phrase from Galavant) and then Elijah left her as well as Tristan and the rest of The Strix, which is no surprising news considering the not-so-subtle hints scattering in previous episodes. What intrigues me instead is her history with Tristan. Tristan saved her (how he did it is frustratingly not elaborated on); that’s a fact. Elijah says it. Later Aya confirms it. Yet for all the good words she uses to describe Tristan, she abandoned him when he needed her most. If her act wasn’t an act of utmost betrayal (Tristan’s facial expression and tone implied he never expected it coming from her of all people) then someone please explain to me what it is because I can’t comprehend it at all.

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Anyone interested in how Tristan managed to save them?
Since we’re talking about Aya and Tristan, let’s talk a bit more about The Trinity. I feel that they are severely underrated and underdeveloped while they have so much room for complexity and character development, or rather character revelation. They have lived almost as long as and are as problematic as the Mikaelsons and surely they deserve a bit more screen time (flashbacks perhaps) and so far they’re little more than the psycho bitch, the psycho bitch’s psycho brother and Klaus wannabe/ Mr. Gone-too-long-on-vacation. I’m saying it not because I’m fond of all three of them, Tristan in particular, but as an amateur writer, I would say The Originals writers are wasting the greatly potential characters they’ve created, which seem sadly to be their habits judging from all the deaths of interesting characters since The Vampire Diaries. Remember how Silas and Quetsiyah could have become magnificent big bads but were killed off and replaced by bland Marko (who was also killed off far too quick)? Although there’s a chance that Tristan may be freed, Aurora may survive the next episode and Lucien will come back from wherever he is, my hope that The Trinity survive this season is getting slimmer and slimmer, especially after watching the latest episode of The Vampire Diaries in which Julian dies swiftly and sort of unexpectedly (I did expect him to wreak some more chaos). I just can’t shake the feeling it’s foreshadowing that The Trinity may be subject to the same treatment in the near future.

Highlights of the episodes:

  • Vincent’s annoyance at getting caught between Klamille bickering

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  • Hayley’s unnecessary presence other than to show her displeasure (disgust?) at Elijah and Aya’s past romance and Klaus’s making noise in the house

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She’s a baby for crying out loud
  • Tristan in the flashbacks. Why can’t we have a little more of past Tristan?

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Anyone is reminded of this?

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  • Aurora’s looking hot and villainy

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  • Marcel’s amazing ability to read the Charter which was written in what, old Latin? Old French? Runes? Either Elijah used the Charter as reading material to teach young Marcel or he told Marcel about the Charter’s contents beforehand.
  • Klelijah moment at the end of the episode

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  • Another test of Marcel’s loyalty to the Mikaelsons

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