This episode is all about Elijah and how he is dealing with amnesia life - but, more than that, I think this is the episode that is officially writing him out of the series
We know Elijah asked Marcus to blank his memory because his obsession with Klaus was so extreme that if he still remembered his brother existed there would be absolutely no way he’d be able to stay away and then the Hollow would do its terrible bad stuff because they’re too close together.
Elijah, with his memory all fuzzed has not only forgotten he’s a Mikkaelson, but also that he’s a vampire. Which is awkward and involves in him biting and killing people and being all tortured and angsty and scared and confused and generally not good
He’s found by Antoinette who is played by Jamie Murray who is a perfect legend in all things. She introduces him to the world of vampiredom and, awesomely embraces it. She loves being a vampire and really does an excellent job of selling just how awesome it is to have awesome vampire senses et al. And for the first time on every show ever we have a vampire who hears the word “cure” and says “why would I want a cure?!”
Jamie Murray was the vampire we’ve always wanted. Ok, everyone we need a vampire show with Jamie Murray as lead.
She teaches him how to be a vampire, about sunlight and daylight rings which he’s wearing (which, apparently, every vampire basically has. Remember when these things were rare? Is there a factory out there with witches churning these things out) and they change him out of his suit.
Elijah is not in a suit. The world is ending.
Elijah and Antoinette get really close and he tries to surprise her by inviting her to a rave (ELIJAH IS AT A RAVE GUYS! THE WORLD ENDS!) with other vampires feeding in public… which she quickly flees. She’s not into group feeding
Her whole philosophy is very much about living in the now and letting the past go. She was part of a vampire family with very rigid rules about how you should live (possibly Elijah’s bloodline) and she struggled because she couldn’t let go of her human life. She now has left her past behind her, she refuses to wear a daylight ring so she can fully embrace her life as a vampire
Apparently some of the other vampires object to her because of this… but it’s never really explained as to why? Plenty of vampires lived without daylight rings until quite recently. In fact, going by the Vampire Diaries, plenty of vampires live relatively solitary lives as well - groups like Marcel’s in New Orleans seemed to have been the exception going by Damon and Stefan’s various flashbacks
She also feeds by using compulsion to comfort and support her victim so they don’t die in fear and their blood is super tasty and amazing
Wait, did we just decide to run on an Anne Rice style vampires-must-kill-to-feed thing? Because all this “oh look unique non-fear blood” is kind of standard from what we’ve seen so far? Most vampires we’ve seen use compulsion to control their meals and not leave bodies everywhere. Vampires who regularly leave bodies behind (except for now and then) are usually a mark of badness: Klaus, Kol, Stefan going ripper, Damon in his bad boy days. All of this feels like it’s kind of shaking a whole lot of canon here.
Anyway as they explore the edges of Elijah’s memories, like him speaking French, Elijah also runs into Marcel who tells him to get the hell out. Antoinette is all in favour of this but Elijah insists on following this up. And she leaves - she lives her life in the present, she isn’t digging up the past and she’s certainly not digging up Elijah’s when he’s been given an express warning not to do this.
Again I’m applauding Antoinette. She has a whole life philosophy she has embraced and she’s not going to derail it because a hot guy arrives and refuses to listen to her.
Elijah goes on a mad, blood-stained rampage, as one does on this show, until he runs into Marcel again who is very very clear that he needs to leave. He manages to convince Elijah to leave his past alone, that he himself is the one who doesn’t want to dig up his past. Surprisingly Elijah both believes him - and takes his advice, returning to Antoinette.
And he proposes to her because they’re so happy together. So what can derail this? Klaus of course.
He jumps in and compels Antoinette to leave Elijah… which she doesn’t. But she does tell Elijah that Klaus is here and what he wanted so they can have a showdown
With Hayley missing and all things getting iffy Klaus has decided he needs to recruit Elijah back to the fold. Despite the fact multiple Originals together is such a VERY BAD IDEA. Klaus has had Elijah as his comfort blanket for centuries, that’s not changing any time soon. He makes a big appeal about how Elijah totally loves them, honest. Elijah refuses and Antoinette stakes Klaus and they run off
Antoinette warns Elijah that a stake will only delay Klaus because of who he is - but Elijah knows, as he tells Klaus when Klaus catches up. Elijah knows who he is, he’s done some research. The difference is that, though he knows who Hayley and Klaus and Hope et al are, he’s learned it from an academic standpoint, through books and notes. He hasn’t regained his memories, he hasn’t regained his feelings. So, from a completely objective standard, without his familial love and millennium old obsession with trying to redeem Klaus, he can see just how wretched an existence it was. How awful it was to constantly be following in Klaus’s devastating wake trying to pull him to the bright side and just how toxic the Mikkaelson family is
He knows the truth, but doesn’t feel it and has absolutely no wish to jump back into that piranha pool again. He breaks Klaus’s neck and they leave
Antoinette worries about Klaus following them - and honestly so do I. I felt sure Klaus would kill her because that’s kind of Klaus’s MO -kill anyone who is deemed more important to his family than him. But Elijah thinks otherwise - he says his open rejection of Klaus has broken Klaus to his core, and he won’t be following them
Elijah seems to be right - because Klaus calls Feya to tell her Elijah is gone.
Leaving Elijah free to remove his daylight ring and burn it and all his past in a big dramatic sunbathing moment to seal his new life with Antoinette, leaving the past behind and all his history with the broken Mikkaelson clan
Which makes me think that Elijah has been written out of this series. And also makes me wonder if this is The Originals end game. This is the final season after all. Other than annihilating them all, how can you end this series? To me, this seems like the best way - destroying not the all powerful characters, but their pathological need for each other. It’s their toxic co-dependence that is the main issue and I’ve said from the beginning that the prime frustration of The Originals is that these uber-powerful characters are the architects of all their own conflicts.
But with Kol and Elijah gone it’s fairly clear that shattering the family bond, banishing this “always and forever” pledge will be the way to finally bring them all peace: free Freja to leave with Keelin, get Hope away from her growing daddy issues, let Rebekah seek her own life without the shadow of Klaus…
...which brings me to Klaus and my creeping feeling that he will die. Because though there’s a lot of Original Family drama, with mummy, daddy and Finn all dead there remains one source: Klaus. You kill Klaus and Rebekah, Freya, Hope are all pretty much free of their prime source of drama