The Originals Season 5 Episode 3 – TV Review
You know, a pitch for a bottle episode in only the third outing of the season, and featuring a main character with explosive amnesia and one of the major disappointments of OUaT’s final (real) season, wouldn’t have gotten a yes from me.
And I would have been wrong.
TL;DR It’s all about Elijah, as we follow his struggles with his amnesia; he falls in love with Jaime Murray, who guides him on being an ethical vampire; Klaus turns up later to try to draw him back; Elijah chooses freedom (and self-immolation) over family.
You’ve made the wrong decision.
So it turns out that slowing things down for an Elijah-only episode was just what the doctor ordered to ease off the blandness of the final season shenanigans we’ve endured so far. Apparently Marcel’s compulsion did more than just erase Elijah’s memories of his family, as he has no memories at all. He luckily happens upon vampire Antoinette (Jaime Murray) in New York, who teaches him how to not only be a vampire, but how to be the friendly, neighbourhood kind of vampire. Marcel runs into him and accidentally lets slip with his name, Elijah, while yelling at him to get out of town (to keep him away from Rebekah), and Antoinette decides to leave as she doesn’t want to get involved in whatever demons from his past could surface. Elijah momentarily devolves into a paranoid hunt for Marcel (arbitrary killings of other vampires ensues), with Marcel reappearing to tell him again to GTFO. So he does, going to live with Antoinette in France. But of course, Klaus eventually comes calling to ask Elijah to return to New Orleans to help find Hayley. And just as Elijah was proposing marriage to Antoinette, too. Awful timing. Elijah fights Klaus off, though, and reveals that after his first encounter with Marcel in New York he researched himself and learned all about his Original vampire history. He defies Klaus’ pleas of Always and Forever and decides he doesn’t want to go back to wasting his life trying to save his brother, and his putdowns are vicious enough to deter Klaus. For now, at least. He chooses to stay in France with Antoinette (who also admits she knew Elijah was The Elijah Mikaelson all along), she accepts his proposal, and the episode ends with Elijah forsaking his daylight ring and setting himself on fire in the sun.
I appreciate the phoenix symbolism, but ouch, man.
After the hokeyness of the past two episodes’ crappy new characters and exhausting plot setups, I was glad to have an episode like this come along to not only fill in what Elijah’s been up to, but also give some important emotional context to the man he has become.
And although I have been complaining about this season feeling like it’s going too slowly, I’m not mad that this episode is the slowest yet. Going slow isn’t a problem when what the time is being spent on has value.
It is a problem when you have to pretend to care about random new vampires or werewolves or magic school students or Irish boyfriends.
Why I hate this episode:
Having said that, we only get to see a couple of weeks’ worth of Elijah’s time between seasons. So he and Antoinette apparently spent years and years after their arrival in France just playing the same piano at the same bar? What about the other times Klaus (and Rebekah) had visited. Where was she, then?
Was Marcel’s compulsion supposed to entirely erase Elijah’s memories? Like, of even being a vampire and knowing what a vampire is? Because that’s just rude to the poor humans Elijah impulsively murdered along the way before meeting Antoinette.
Antoinette plays the “I’m not like other vampires” card by claiming she’s humane when she feeds. She compels her victims to be willing participants in order to avoid feeding on blood laced with fear, which makes you a better vampire. But then she also kills all her prey? Damn, bitch. When even Damon Salvatore’s snatch/eat/erase method is more ethical than your way, you know you’ve got a problem.
Klaus brings up the fact that it’s dangerous for him and Elijah to be around each other during the same conversation wherein he’s trying to convince Elijah to come with him back to New Orleans. It’s not a great plan.
Oh, and if Jaime Murray is going to stick around, let me say: did we learn nothing from Once Upon a Time?
But it’s not all bad:
Unlike OUaT Season 6 Jaime Murray, this Jaime Murray seems more present. I reckon not being buried under all that costuming must help. And not being buried under all those years of terrible, terrible plots and characters wouldn’t hurt, either.
Although I’m still hoping for Elijah and Hayley to get back together before the series’ end (despite her cuntery from last season), it was refreshing for Elijah to have an age appropriate love interest. I believed them as a couple.
The reveal that she knew who he was all along wasn’t much of a stretch. She seemed like a pretty worldly vampire, and any vampire worth their fangs should be able to identify an Original when they meet one. But I also believe she was altruistic in helping Elijah find his way after his amnesia.
I’ve also got to agree with Elijah’s approach to Klaus’ request to rejoin him and become Elijah Mikaelson again. Elijah Mikaelson’s life was ruined by his relentless, noble pledge to redeem his evil little brother. Why would he want to go back to being that? The self-immolation was a bit much, though. We get it. You’re reborn.
If Antoinette isn’t the innocent saint she says she is and was in fact sent after Elijah specifically, and evidently not by Klaus, then I wonder who sent her? Rebekah?
The Elijah Hotness Parade is back, and may it never end. Woof.
Oh, and if Jaime Murray is going to stay around, then Hayley better get that stick out of her arse. Because this is some formidable competition.