Sunday, May 24, 2015

The Originals, Season 2, Episode 22: Ashes to Ashes

So, after last week’s mayhem and Klaus’s machinations he and Dahlia are about to become magically linked. Dahlia also plans to kill Freya as she bonds to Hope

Back at the house Cami is telling a very emotional and angry Elijah (very upset over Gia’s death) about Klaus’s plan. Starting with the fact Elijah’s plan, the plan he and Freya had, wouldn’t have actually worked (we learned this last week when Dahlia mocked Freya). Klaus’s plan involves the link. Elijah can’t see how this is a good idea since Klaus’s power will make Dahlia unstoppable – but Klaus needs time to get the RIGHT ingredients to kill Dahlia, unlike the wrong ones Elijah and Freya had.

Klaus and Dahlia complete their link – and Klaus then daggers himself, putting them both into comas. Freya then wakes up.

Marcel faces Rebekah having just killed herself to avoid Marcel having to kill her – the plan being that she would be reborn back in her original (Original) body. After a moment of angst and worry, it works and Rebekah, the Original model, wakes up (and points out if Marcel is still compelled to kill her it’s going to go much worse for him). Marcel makes it clear how much he cares for Rebekah and how terrible what Klaus compelled him to do was.

Cami tries to talk Elijah round but he’s incensed over Gia’s death and, rightly, says Klaus will do whatever he needs for Klaus and Rebekah and Marcel arrive just before he rants at Cami. Of course telling Elijah that Hayley and the Crescents have been cursed doesn’t make him any happier – he zooms off when he gets the message that Dahlia has been incapacitated.

He arrives to find Freya with Hope. Still very miffed. But intelligent – he realised that Klaus was right, their ingredients wouldn’t work. They needed the blood of the witch that Dahlia loved the most – and that is not Freya; that witch is their mother, Esther. Inconvenient since Esther is dead, but they have her body (or one of her many bodies). They will need to revive her.

This is the trouble with Originals, they just don’t stay dead.

Speaking of, Davina is doing her Kol resurrection spell despite Vincent warning her that she is using her one shot to use super ancestor power the Regent gets and she’s using it on a less-than-pleasant person. Hilariously, Davina insists that Kol isn’t like his brothers (HA! Kol the honourable one! HA!) Vincent warns Davina that even while the Mikkelsons fight, in the end they will always support each other.

To those siblings and the complications of Klaus’s plan  – to resurrect Esther to get her blood to kill Dahlia will mean hijacking Davina’s Kol resurrection spell (and therefore lose Kol). Elijah suggests just dropping Klaus and Dahlia in a pit (a good plan), Freya suggests White-Oak-Staking Klaus which will kill Dahlia too (and, as Marcel points out, him and every other vampire descended from Klaus).

And there’s another problem – the dagger is melting. Dahlia/Klaus is not easy to keep down.

So Rebekah and Elijah go grave robbing while Rebekah reflects that she swore she would stay a witch until she brought Kol back and here she is, a vampire, and outright sabotaging Davina’s attempt to bring him back. Bonus angst for her being in a body that has to kill to lie (well, not quite) and can’t have kids. Klaus’s spite has stolen from both of them. Elijah is equally enraged that Klaus killed Gia to make a point. Klaus also took Hayley, though Elijah, naturally denies that that’s a swipe at him or that she is “his to steal”.

Freya and Marcel are looking for Kol’s ashes so they can swap them, Freya being all snarky at them working with Klaus while Marcel tells her this is how it works with the Mikkaelson’s: you love and want to kill each other at the same time. Marcel finds the urn – and Freya finds the white oak stake. But the urn is empty.

Because Davina already has the ashes. Rebekah drops in and Davina see she is back in her vampire body and is quite scathing. Rebekah isn’t having that, archly pointing out she has loved her brother for generations longer than Davina has even been alive. Davina backs down and even apologised. Rebekah then asks for Davina’s help to bring back Esther. Davina refuses and uses magic to break Rebekah’s neck (remember when being an Original meant you were powerful? Oh no, that never applied to Rebekah) while singing the praises of Kol the serial killer

Freya and Marcel try to slow Dahlia’s melting of the knife down – and fail. So Freya draws the stake. Marcel tries to stop her, begging her not to do it as killing Klaus will kill him as well but Freya can see no other choice. Which is when Klaus wakes up and grabs her wrist. Dahlia also awakens and also reveals she’s melted the link between her and Klaus as she claims the White Oak stake. She tries to stake Klaus but Marcel knocks him out of the way. Dahlia and Freya vanish – but likely not without taking a drop of Hope’s blood first

At the crypt Davina completes her resurrection spell and wakes… Esther. Elijah swapped the ash while she was playing with Rebekah. Davina is dramatic and Rebekah quietly chokes her unconscious while Elijah shackles their mother and disappear, leaving Vincent to find Davina. Marcel arrives as Davina is vowing to lead all 9 covens against the Original family until every last witch is dead fighting mighty immortals the family is broken. Marcel asks her to delay and find Dahlia, reminding her yet again that if Klaus dies so do all the vampires he has created and would everyone please remember this before going all gung ho to kill him already?!

Camille decides to put a pause on their desperate battle for survival to chew Klaus out for being unappreciative and Klaus shows all of his massive feelings for Camille by being utterly struck dumb by her – awesome acting.

On to Klaus meeting Elijah and Esther with Elijah being all kinds of snarly and Klaus being in awesome high spirits. Rebekah arrives for a rendition of her own anger at her brother. Klaus hits back that he needs to manipulate and force them because they fought him at every turn leaving him no choice (probably worth remembering here that Elijah’s plan wouldn’t actually have worked). Elijah asks about Gia and Hayley and Klaus puts them down as “collateral damage.” Elijah hits him. Elijah is officially done with Klaus

Victor and Camille look after hope in the magic-less bar and Victor asks Camille exactly why she feels like she owes the Mikaelsons and why she’s even still in New Orleans – pointing out he has the good sense to walk away from his legacy though Camille sees him dumping his legacy on Davina – a teenager who doesn’t know any better. Camille admits the truth, she has “complicated feelings” for Klaus, a monster.

Dahlia drags Freya to an empty yard, lays down her magic circle and continues to talk about how terribad her sister was when Klaus, Rebekah and Elijah arrive. With Esther.

But Dahlia has other tricks – she uses magic to shatter the white oak stake into dust – dust which the 3 Originals then breathe in. They collapse, choking with livid red veins covering their skin; as Dahlia puts it, burning them from the inside out

These leaves Esther to confront Dahlia as Esthers last four children die (Dahlia strangles Freya). Esther distracts her and strangles Dahlia with her chains, giving Freya chance to break the magic circle and purge the dust from the Originals. Elijah throws the prepared dagger to Klaus and he stabs Dahlia with it.

To a vision of a summer meadow and a young Dahlia and Esther together. Dahlia is dying and Esther apologises for not standing by her. They hug and forgive each other – and turn to stone (or so it seems)

Klaus says they’re officially orphans. Because Klaus can drag depressing angst out of any victory.

Aftermath! The statues are reduced to dust. Marcel and Elijah have a little funeral for Gia. Klaus drinks to his victory but only with Rebekah who points out the absence of the rest of the family – and she’s still not over him forcing her back to her real body. Klaus has a further plan – he intends to hand the city back to Marcel and raise Hope with the help of Freya and Rebekah: Rebekah points out the “Elijah sized hole in the room” as well as Hayley. This is not what happiness looks like.

Freya asks to see Rebekah – now Freya has the chance to choose her own fate she wants to offer Rebekah the same – the chance to reinhabit Eva Sinclaire’s body

She chooses to become a witch again (will someone please tell me why there are these people on The Vampire Diaries/The Originals who so hate being immortal, invulnerable and super powerful?). At least, when she explains it to Marcel, she doesn’t seem to think it’s a permanent thing. She and Marcel kiss.

Klaus goes to Camille’s bar for a whole shed load of those Complicated Feelings.

On full moon in the swamp, Elijah meets Hayley on the few nights she gets to be human. Hayley makes Elijah promise to be there for Hope, she doesn’t want Klaus to be the only influence on her.

So we close not just with Klaus reflecting on how everything has not quite worked out – but also with him sharing a drink with Elijah.

Elijah & co, you daggered Klaus and tried to take his baby from him. What did you expect to happen? Frankly, given that and the fact that Klaus is hardly known for his moderation, his vengeance was quite minor, really. There has been a whole lot of bad decision making from the Originals this season. Some of it makes sense because of their endless angsty issues, but a lot of it doesn’t as well. A lot of the later issues these last few episodes would have been a lot more minor if most of the cast had bothered to acknowledge Klaus’s fatherhood rather than casually assuming that separating him from his daughter was an acceptable or reasonable act.

Honestly, I’ll for calling Klaus an evil bastard and insisting that the best thing his siblings and everyone else could do is flee to a different city, perhaps even a different continent. But running off with his daughter? Yeah, everyone should have seen this coming even if Klaus were even tempered and moderate. Which he is not. Ever.

On the whole I think they did a good job of creating some pretty compelling plots for the Original family. Ultimately it’s hard to dredge up an antagonist to face off against creatures as powerful as these, it was one of the main problems of the first season, how do you find people powerful enough to be more than road block for them? The answer is clear – the Originals themselves. Their family drama provided the antagonism

The only thing is, unless they decide to introduce more aunts, siblings and lost 3rd cousins, we’ve kind of run out of evil relatives. And they’ve sorely overused the whole resurrection meme. The white oak stake has also been taken out of play which renders them even more invulnerable

I do think they need to emphasise the emotional instability of vampires, how their emotions are so much more heightened than humans (Kol and Rebekah provided and excellent chance to expound on this). It’s necessary to explain the Originals. The family is a constant train wreck of high emotion, of reckless, short sighted foolishness and a complete inability to think when they’re angry/sad/in-love/feeling any emotion at all. By highlighting this we would have much more reason to follow, for example, Klaus and his endless parental issues. It makes the high drama that afflicts the family make so much sense

This season did something… interesting with POC. But not necessarily good. Three of the Original family – Rebekah, Finn and Esther – were all resurrected into the bodies of Black people. This meant we have Black people in much more prominent roles and wielding considerable mighty power… but ultimately they were black skin on white characters. The actual Black people they possessed received little characterisation and now are all dead except Vincent – and the minute he was back to himself he took a hasty step backwards declaring that the teenaged Davina should lead the covens, not him. Rebekah is back in Eva’s body and Vincent is still around but what role will they play?

Other POC who are not being piloted by ancient White people haven’t been that prominent this season. Marcel has been very much on the sidelines and with little plot of his own and that largely at the beginning of the season. Gia looked like she was going to be introduced as a meaningful love interest for Elijah – before being fridged and it becoming clear the whole point of her existence was Elijah’s pain and, ultimately, more Mikaelson family drama. Josh has been completely separate from the entire cast, connecting only really with Aiden and being completely superfluous from the other storylines.

This leaves me torn over the resurrected POC, they ensured more and more prominent Black people on screen – but POC who weren’t meat suits for white people faded further into the background.

We’ve already discussed the treatment of gay people onthis show – since then it has only been exacerbated by Josh’s absence AND the writers claiming there would be a lot of focus on Josh as part of the grieving for Aiden… which didn’t happen; in fact Josh fell into the plot box once Aiden died which is understandable given that was his one and only plot line and Aiden only had more prominence for the epic fridging at the end of the season.

The women are mixed – we have some powerful women: Dahlia, Freya, Davina, Josephine La Rue – but there’s always a but. Dahlia is evil, Freya enslaved and in need of rescue, Josephine dead and Davina incredibly annoying. She has power but it makes not the slightest lick of sense for her to be Regent of the 9 Covens, for them to choose a teenager to lead them and her decisions are dubious to say the least. All of this is backed by her total obsession over one thing – or one person – Kol. Pretty much all of Davina’s motivations this season crystallised into Kol while singing his praises: not only is the only motivation of this powerful witch her boyfriend (she literally dedicates herself to leading all the witches in New Orleans because it will get Kol) back but she looks ridiculous doing so as she continually puts Kol on a pedestal. Kol – the Original who may actually be the most evil of them all.

Then there’s Hayley, again powerful, influential, a leader of her people – but the label of “mother” has eclipsed all else. She married Jackson for Hope. She tolerates Klaus for Hope. She turned her back on Elijah the man she loved for Hope. Hayley is an awesome character but everything about her has turned into “mother”.

Camille is more complex, but often a tool for Klaus because of the Complicated Feelings and Rebekah annoys me. Why is Rebekah so much weaker than her brothers? As a vampire she was always secondary and weaker for no reason. She’s reborn as a witch and… she knows no magic. Why? Kol and Finn were reborn as witches and were skilled, powerful, experienced and knowledgeable spell casters. Rebekah? Nope, she may as well have been human.

We have a lot of powerful women on this show but there’s always an element that holds me back from waving the flag