The Originals Season 4 Episode 7 – TV Review
They stole Josh’s bit. What use does he have anymore, then?
Be afraid, Josh.
TL;DR Freya and Keelin finally kiss after Freya momentarily dies during a scheme; Marcel protects Hope from a Hollow cult attack, leading to an Enemy Mine between him and Klaus; Elijah murders children in a desperate ploy to harangue Vincent into reestablishing the ancestral plane link; the Hollow possesses Sofya.
So we are getting more female characters, but they’re also condensed down to be twofers. Eh, I’ll take it.
Let’s start with Freya, because bitch is getting shit done this episode. She installs a barrier spell around the compound to protect her family from the Hollow’s cult while they try to find a way to destroy it. Upon noticing Witchy out, about, and alive in town, Freya bullies Josh into helping her dupe the cult and leads Witchy into a trap to interrogate him. It turns out he doesn’t know where the other Hollow witch bone parts are (apart from the Papa Tunde knife, which she is already aware he has). But when he starts threatening Freya’s lady love, Keelin, her judgement lapses and he kills her, dismantling the barrier spell. Luckily, Keelin pops in just in time to doctor her back to life, and they later kiss. Aww. Meanwhile, Witchy and his goons attack the now-barrier-less compound, but Klaus kills him. Properly this time. The goons go after Marcel, who has been bonding with Hope in the dungeon. But Marcel wastes them, and protects Hope from seeing the carnage. Klaus and Marcel admit that they still care about each other, and propose an Enemy Mine to defeat the Hollow. Meanwhile, Elijah suggests to Vincent that they perform the Harvest ritual to reestablish the link to the ancestors, which will help eradicate the Hollow (the severing of the link was a major reason the Hollow was able to get loose, remember?). Vincent refuses, so Elijah just steals the ritual blade and murders four witch tweens, anyway, and then forces a horrified Vincent into completing the ritual so that they will be resurrected. The ancestors combat him, so Vincent desecrates Davina’s remains to tap into her power, and through her, he is able to complete the Harvest ritual, reviving the slain tweens. However, he makes sure to utterly dress down Elijah for his child-murdering ways. Later, Freya uses the scrap of a clue she was able to glean from Witchy to determine that one of the missing Hollow bones was being watched over by the Lockwoods, so it looks like a trip to Mystic Falls is imminent (think of the cameos!). And the episode ends with Sofya, having been earlier Tunde knifed by Witchy for her lack of commitment to the cult, being revived and then possessed by the Hollow.
If you’re going to be forced to walk the earth in a body, Sofya’s snappy little ride is a good choice.
This week’s episode of The Originals is doing all the things The Originals does best. It’s keeping the actual plot arc bubbling, while ensuring our characters are still getting the emotional beats they need to stay compelling. Remember, they are all mass-murdering villains, so this is necessary.
But we’re now at the halfway point of the season, and with cancellation almost certain, I can’t help but feel we haven’t really achieved anything yet. In seven episodes, what status quo changes have properly occurred?
Don’t waste your time, The Originals. Be better than TVD.
Because you usually are.
Why I hate this episode:
I truly am miffed about Freya and Keelin’s obscured kiss in bad lighting. When Riverdale is giving us some daylight Kevin-on-Joaquin action, I expect better from the CW. And everyone knows lesbians kissing is hot, not icky like boys. Come on, show. Be proud.
Also, what the fuck was up with Freya’s death? Her heart was stopped for an undetermined amount of time, but the editing implies it was longer than a few minutes. And then Keelin comes in and just does some basic bitch CPR and voila, Freya’s up and at ’em? Get out.
Hayley is unfortunately sidelined this episode. When the show is crying out for female characters, it’s disappointing that a legacy character like Hayley is just stuck sitting around looking at photos.
I’m undecided on how I feel about the ancestral link being reestablished so simply. On the one hand, I loved the callback to the Harvest. So Season 1 chic. But on the other, the ancestral link being severed was such a monumental action last season that it felt insulting for it to come back after some hokey, “magic does what we say it does” weasel of a scheme from Elijah.
And having Davina as the link worries me that she’s going to come back. And I refuse to accept a world where Davina gets to come back, but Camille doesn’t. Still holding out hope for Sophie, though.
Oh, and in the scene where the Hollow possesses Sofya, I at first thought she sounded like Davina. Which wouldn’t have made any sense. But then we get a reverse shot of her that shows she has a Crescent birthmark. But as far as I can remember, we haven’t met any Crescent wolves who are also witches on The Originals, meaning this is a new character. After the Sirens debacle over on TVD (and fuckin’ Cade. Ugh), that’s not what I want.
But it’s not all bad:
It’s not a big thing, but the way The Originals reminds the viewer of the Crescent birthmark earlier by showing it on Hayley and Hope is clever. I like it when a show remembers how to tell a story visually and use its tools.
Also, what the hell? How can a Crescent wolf also be an ancient murder witch? I’m keen to find out.
The juiciest revelation about the Hollow, though, is that one of her bones has been under the protection of a certain werewolf bloodline that has now died out. Its last surviving member? Tyler Lockwood. Elijah then mentions Mystic Falls by name, and despite my ambivalence over the possibility of cameos since TVD’s conclusion, I have to admit that I’m so bloody excited. I don’t care if it’s going to be awful and stilted.
Speaking of awful and stilted, I’m glad to report that Hope’s actress must have been having a good couple of days filming this episode, because she’s perfectly fine in her scenes. Her subplot about finding Marcel’s toys and then going down to the dungeon to give one to him and ask him questions about Klaus is handled with more nuance and maturity than anything involving TVD’s twins ever had. And when she calls Klaus “dad” to his face, I melted.
Marcel’s admission to Hope that he doesn’t hate Klaus also warmed my heart. When the goons attack, Hope is determined to help protect her family, so takes off her anti-magic bracelet. Marcel instead asks her to use her magic to break him out and he’ll protect her. Which he does. Unf.
And Klaus and Marcel’s alliance is the best thing for the show. Marcel’s opposition to Klaus has always been a bit daddy issues-y. Now that they’ve both admitted they still kind of love each other, this is the best way to move forward. But will Marcel also be okay to sit at a war table with Elijah?
Oh, Elijah. His nobility in the face of the evil he frequently had to do to protect Klaus always revved my engine, but I’m warming up to this new, reckless incarnation. Elijah just doesn’t give a fuck. The old Elijah wouldn’t straight-up murder a bunch of children offscreen as part of a scheme-of-the-week. But he does now. It’s disturbing, but in a good way.
His adversarial relationship with Vincent is also quickly becoming a highlight of the show. Vincent is similarly pious in the face of having to perform questionable actions for the greater good, so I appreciate the parallel. And when Vincent, at the barely-successful conclusion of the Harvest, calls Elijah a soulless monster, and expresses his regret that Hope will grow up with him as her family, it really lands.
Josh is still only just above the level of a plot device as a character, but his handful of scenes with Freya, a fellow gay, are surprisingly impactful. The best one is, of course, when Freya uses a spell to morph him into Marcel as part of the ruse against Witchy, and Josh surreptitiously feels up his new body. Oh, you.
But it’s when Josh insists that he should stay with Freya while she interrogates the trapped Witchy that I remembered that he isn’t just a cardboard cutout. Even after what she did to Davina, he still wants to do the right thing. Sadly, and effectively, Freya self-flagellates about what she did to Davina and convinces him to go. But I’m glad to see things that happened in seasons past do have consequences.
I’m not totally opposed to a return from Davina, by the way. If this is going to be the last season, she might as well.
Keelin is surrounded and beset by a group of Hollow cultists, but she wolfs out and minces them (sadly, offscreen). Cool.
Witchy gets the upper hand in his battle with Klaus at the compound. But then he presses Klaus’ berserk button by threatening Hope, and Klaus smacks his damn head off. Yes, Papa Wolf.
Klaus plays pragmatist and tries to destroy the Hollow jawbone, but is unable. I appreciate the effort.
Oh, and I was mostly convinced that Freya’s death this episode was real. So although her resuscitation was preposterous, I’m grateful they didn’t cut her short before she got to kiss Keelin. Don’t bury your gays again, The Originals.