This is coming a bit belatedly (I was traveling last week), but I have to say it. Elijah! Elijah, Elijah, Elijah! So, so glad to see him back. I didn’t really think Marcel would keep him tucked away in the attack for very long, but it’s always good to see him, sort of like a polite out-of-town guest who buys you dinner and washes the dishes. We also learned that stabbing and re-stabbing an Original too quickly is not effective in activating sleep mode. So, Originals are just like iPads, but more dangerous and much sexier!
This week’s episode was chock full of information. If there’s ever an AP class on “The Originals,” this would be the show to memorize. I love that we’re finally digging into the truth behind the battle between the vampires and the witches, which is suitably dark and yet twisty as a Twizzler (sorry, Halloween candy in the house is affecting my focus). I had previously dismissed Sophie as a sweet but inoffensive helper-witch, but now we know that’s far too simple — and while the truth is less innocent, it’s impossible to shove her easily into the bad guy camp. Kudos to “The Originals” for giving us a war in which both sides are painted in shades of grey.
Davina’s story comes out – We finally find out why Marcel has a witch stuffed in an attic, and it’s a relief to realize she’s not just the supernatural equivalent to a loaded gun under the bed. No, Davina was part of a witchy ritual called the harvest, which involves harvesting young witches instead of, say, corn. Davina and three other girls are chosen, and the witchy elders assure the group that this is a great honor that simply involves taking a little nap, then waking up later alllll better. Yeah, not so much. What follows the harvest is the reaping, which is basically all about slaughtering the girls like pigs.
Davina survives because Marcel and a group of his vampires bust up the party, causing the witchy energy of the other three girls who are murdered to flow into Davina, making her a super witch. But there’s a twist (Twizzler-iffic, maybe? Go away, Halloween candy)! Though Sophie had been staunchly against the ceremony, when she arrives on the scene to break it up, she sees that what she had assumed was a silly, meaningless ritual actually seemed to be working. Thus, if she wants to bring her niece Monique back to life, she needs to make sure Davina is killed. But wait! We’re not done with Sophie yet!
Sophie has lots of secrets You know what’s better than a soapy shower sex scene? One between two people you would never think of hooking up with one another! It took me a while to be sure that it was really Sophie who was in the shower with Marcel, though we soon learn this wasn’t exactly a romantic encounter. As Marcel puts it, it’s just a hook-up, and I guess that made it a little easier to kill Sophie’s sister Jane-Anne. But wait! There’s more!
We dig into Father Kieran’s story, too While Marcel first got the tip off about the ritual from Sophie (who was bitching about it as silly witchy nonsense), the person who sent him to the cemetery to put a stop to the slaughter was actually Father Kieran. Here’s where I have to stand up and applaud Julie Plec and company for casting the woefully underutilized by truly fabulous Todd Stashwick (you might know him from “Justified”). He’s one of those actors whose face is always familiar but he’s usually gone from a show before you remember where you saw him last. I’m thrilled here’s playing Father Kieran, as I think he’ll lend some moody intensity to a role that already seems to be both moody and intense (perfect casting!).
In any case, Father Kieran was horrified when he found out about the witches’ plan to shake the dust off this bizarre ritual (which only happens every 300 years, so no one alive really knew if it worked or not). He told the witches that he’d tattle to Marcel if they were determined to proceed, and what do they do in protest? Sign petitions? Argue forcefully? No, one of the witches curses his poor nephew Sean to go batcrap crazy. How crazy? Oh, he kills all his other aspiring priest buddies then himself. In his grief, Father Kieran tells Marcel about the ritual, and the rest is history. Oh, but wait! The story coils in on itself once more…
Cami is Father Kieran’s niece While I didn’t entirely love watching Klaus dole out information to Cami, then selectively scrub it from her brain like she was a walking dry-erase board, I did love the scene in which you know Klaus is falling head over heels for the bartender. When Klaus, Cami, Davina and Tim (we’ll get to him in a minute) find themselves in the blood-spattered church, Cami (with the tiniest of prods from Klaus) admits she knew the kid who slaughtered all the other aspiring priests — Sean was her brother. It very nicely puts her psych student story into focus.
Klaus tries to convince Cami the world is cruel, but she doesn’t want to believe it. Later, she admits that she’s struggling — she doesn’t sleep and just obsesses over what happened and why she didn’t see the signs. When she learns Klaus is a vampire, she wonders if maybe Sean was literally struggling with demons. As we know, if you want to get in with Klaus, all you have to do is talk about family and loyalty for a minute or two and he’s putty in your hands. Cami doesn’t want him to compel her to forget her mission to find the truth, but finally he compels her to be at peace with her brother’s death. It’s a poignant scene, and yet another reminder that, in small ways, Klaus still has a soft marshmallow center.
Davina likes a boy Granted, Tim and his violin might as well have worn a sign that said “I’m a plot point!” for all he seemed to matter. But yes, Tim showed us how Klaus wins people over — he finds their weakness, exploits it, then makes them loyal to him. While we now know Davina owes Klaus a favor, I’m not sure how beholden she feels to him at all.
Davina and Elijah make friends Elijah’s method of winning people over, however, seems very effective. Not only does he convince her not to tell Marcel he’s out of the box, he seems to be the one Original she wants to trust. He brokers a deal, offering his mom’s grimoires so that Davina can learn how to control her magic. Of course, it seems likely that her powers are going to go away if the harvest rigamarole isn’t completed, but I guess this might take a while so she might as well get a handle on the whole earthquake making, window shattering, blood boiling stuff.
It’s impossible to predict who is right about what’s going to happen next. Yes, Sophie saw magic during the ceremony, but does that mean the dead witches are definitely restored? And if so, are they restored the way we remember them? If the ceremony isn’t finished, Davina thinks all of the witches (including her) will lose their power, but is it that simple? That’s the problem with a ritual that only gets performed every 300 years — no one’s around to tell you how it went last time. I like the idea that both sides of this vampire/witch war aren’t really clear on what might happen.
Oh, in other news (and in the interest of keeping this down to non-textbook length), Hayley escapes a bunch of witches who want to give her what I suspect is an abortion, Marcel has a revealing discussion with Klaus about why he saved Davina (which was lovely and surprisingly subtle) and we STILL don’t know what really went down between Rebekah and Marcel, but MAN, I sure want to see that flashback. This episode of “The Originals” was the best so far (granted, there haven’t been a lot, but still). The big party event (always a go-to on “The Vampire Diaries”) was a small piece of the show, the complexities of plot were driven by character, we learned a lot, and characters we had seen as good or bad became, yes, more nuanced. On the trick or treat spectrum, this episode was all treat.
What did you think of this episode? What do you think is going to happen to Davina? Do you think Hayley and Klaus’ baby will survive?