Saturday, July 21, 2018

The Originals, Season 5, Episode 11: Til The Day I Die

This day begins with some brief pretence from various people pretending to mourn Josh (even Declan pretends sadness - when they’ve had like 5 minutes of screen time together), but while Keelin and Freya briefly acknowledge, hey, people are dead they decide they’re going to have a wedding. Today

Of course this is doable because Klaus is willing to compel everyone to making it happen and is actually like the best of all the Mikkaelson siblings over this. And well everyone. Freya wants everyone involved in her wedding but no-one seems to be willing to make it a priority. Elijah loses himself angsting about Hayley and can’t pull it together for like an hour to be her best man. Vincent is leaving the city because it’s all too hard and he can’t possibly delay his trip for a bit.

I get that everyone has massive emotional stuff going on at the moment but, given how much Freya pretty much exists to serve already, it’d be nice if everyone spared her an hour or so. It’d be kind of nice.

Rebekkah is supportive and loving at least and then decides to talk kids… to which Freya is clear that she absolutely, completely does not want kids ever ever ever ever. Which is a problem because Keelin really really wants kids and discussing this on the day of the wedding is super awkward. Freya lays down the law and then decides they need to break up because she can’t give Keelin what she needs.

I would be far more into this conflict if, y’know, we’d had any foreshadowing of it or Keelin and Freya spent more than 5 seconds together. Freya is completely unable to spill her grief to Keelin so tells sister Rebekkah about why she’s so anti-child: Mikkaelsons are The Worst

Which, y’know she’s not wrong… basically since Esther and Mikkel were the worst parents ever she’s kind of worried that she will also be the worst parent ever. While Rebekkah very sensibly points out that while they’re all damaged they’re not actually broken and, if nothing else, the Mikkaelsons are (unhealthily) loyal.

Now accepting the fact that she’s not inherently evil she goes to Keelin and they talk and it’s all tearful but what I found most meaningful is that, in addition to professing their love to each other, is that Freya promises that she will seriously consider kids and be open to them. I like that a pep talk from Rebekkah hasn’t just made her declare “ZOMG MY ISSUES ARE OVER!” she still has issues but she recognises she can address them. She doesn’t promise she will have kids or will want kids but she is open to the possibility

While this is going on Elijah is having lots of flashbacks about Hayley, who came to see him in france, pretending to be a woman called Andrea to check up on him. It’s sweet and nice but he even mentions at the beginning that he and Antoinette are together at this time and he is super hard core flirting with this American tourist while Antoinette is out of town - not cool Elijah. I think this whole scene is fanservice to fans who were way way way way more invested in Hayley/Elijah than I was

Hope, meanwhile, is super sad about killing someone, not willing to accept her massacre of the Nazi vampires was necessarily a good thing - yes they needed killing but at the same time they can’t pretend that’s WHY she killed them - she killed them to stop the dark magic, a selfish motive. And already it’s coming back

Hope has a level of self-analysis that her father, uncles and aunts are just completely lacking

So we get Davina come back to town to do some woo-woo, read Esther’s diaries (which are surprisingly not written in norse) and try to find a woo-woo solution with Hope’s tears. She fails terrible and concludes that Hope is definitely going to die. Angst angst woe angst Legacies has already been planned so, no, she’s not dying. Stop trying this. We’re not buying.

But angst angst. And we have Declan, the character no-one needs, who has found his uncle’s old diaries when he headed the human faction. And rather than decide that the ramblings of this man are out of his mind, he’s decided to believe him and believe that vampires et al are real! And he’s taking vervain so Marcel can’t just compel him

Uh-huh he could just be murdered. That would solve things. But instead Marcel knocks him out and chains him up so he doesn’t go to the mayor, police et al and try to rally humans against the supernatural. Not now Declan, the grown ups are talking

So wedding. And Elijah finally arrives belatedly to decide to walk Freya down the aisle with Klaus and I’m sure we have some nice vows - but instead of focusing on the actual brides, we get an Elijah monologue drowning out the whole wedding and even skipping the I dos!

Elijah, your sister is getting married. For five minutes pay attention to her. Five minutes, man! Think of how many weddings we’ve seen on television - how this is a major cumulative character arc for so many and how important it’s presented - and here we have a monologue drowning it out? Could there be greater evidence of how casual and indifferent not just the characters but the writers are about Freya and Keelin’s relationship?

So wedding happens and we then have the party afterwards in which Hope makes a big speech about how happy she is because no-one has told her that speeches at weddings should be about the actually married people, and it’s all sad because she’s dying (no she isn’t) and she will soon be dead (nope) and how tragic (boreeed).

And Marcel takes some advice from Davina and decides to inform and educate Declan so he can represent the human faction properly. Meh, I’d have murdered him.

And Klaus and Hope are all family-like with the big spectre of “noooo she’s dying!!!!”

Let me be clear - despite this I’m not forgiving the murder of Josh on top of both the massacre and general awful treatment of LGBTQ people on this show. Keelin - a character we’ve barely seen and whose defining relationship moment is being kidnapped, and Freya, definitely a more prominent character than Josh but was only revealed as Bisexual after the show was already slated to be cancelled -and their relationship (which has been primarily banished to the plot box with Keelin’s absence) getting married is good. But it in no way absolves the bullshit that has come before it. This does not absolve this endless issue. Having Freya and Keelin open this show basically saying “ignore these dead people, focus on us” is not a trick I’m falling for. Add on to that, the frankly insulting way Keelin and Freya’s wedding was glaring - no-one cared about these characters or their relationship. Some writer has ticked “wedding” on a checklist and they have put minimal effort into actually making it happen.