The Originals Season 5 Episode 8 – TV Review
Wait, so you’re telling me an episode that features meaningful conflict and stakes between established main characters is better than wading through suddenly-prophecies and nobody vampire Nazis?
TL;DR It’s a party in the Chambre de Chasse, as all the Mikaelsons (and Marcel) are trapped within and must find a way out; while also bickering; it turns out Hope is responsible, and she reforms the Hollow within herself to find the power to undo the prophecy; Elijah regains his memories; Marcel and Rebekah address their relationship drama; Kol mostly sooks about; Klaus reflects on the loss of Hayley.
Ol’ Tonko getting that flashback scene coin, honey.
The plot picks up immediately where last episode left off, as Klaus and Elijah find themselves in a Chambre de Chasse (hunt room thingo. You remember). They must find some magical keys that represent themselves to escape, and things are complicated when Rebekah and Kol also show up. They are joined shortly thereafter by Freya and Marcel, who announce that Hope is responsible for the spell, as she’s trying to bring the Hollow back into herself to intervene on the doomsday prophecy (the monsoon from the list of events is also occurring while all this is going on, so the clock is ticking). There’s some squabbling, the most important of which being Klaus and Elijah’s ongoing animosity towards each other. Keys are found, Freya is revealed to have helped with the spell at Hope’s urging, Marcel and Rebekah dance around her refusal of his proposal, and Kol is there out of contractual obligation. Eventually, Hope does take the pieces of the Hollow out of the Mikaelsons to return to herself, and everyone gets what they need to leave. But on the way out, Elijah struggles to accept his old memories returning (they had been slowly seeping in, but the Red Door kept the biggies out), and Klaus has to man up to help him break down the barrier. He does, and we get our delicious sobbing meltdown that we were so promised. Klaus does give Elijah blood to heal Antoinette, though. And he does. The episode closes as Elijah suits up superhero style; Rebekah explains to Marcel that she’s too broken to accept his love; and Klaus, spurred by a realisation he had in the hunt room, reads a bunch of return-to-sender letters Hayley had tried to send him over the years.
Bitch, haven’t you heard of email?
Apart from a few potholes (which we will get to shortly), this episode was a welcome reprieve from the trudge of Who Cares vampire Nazi, Antoinette, Elijah-not-being-Elijah bullshit we’ve been enduring for a large part of this final season.
It is in no way a coincidence that a good episode like this one also happens to be the episode when Rebekah and Kol show back up. It baffles me how the people who make The Originals didn’t realise that they should be doing something that actually has meaning with their established characters in their final season, rather than strapping in for a slew of arbitrary, paper-thin new villains and magical garbage.
Again, did we learn nothing from TVD Season 8? What the hell?
Why I hate this episode:
We’ve still got a bit of that going on here, too, though. The most egregious of which is the monsoon from the list of prophetic events happening entirely offscreen. The hunt room has some ominous lightning and wind as a representation of what’s happening in the real world, but it’s pretty fuckin’ weak for the show to build up this total armageddon-level disaster last episode, and then the next episode to have the penultimate cataclysm be told, and not shown.
Also, way to build up your armageddon-level disaster prophecy for it to then be waved away (again, offscreen) by Hope in the very next episode. It’s shockingly inept.
Nobody seems too concerned with the fact that Hope has reassembled the Hollow within herself. This very thing was the reason everyone has spent the last seven years avoiding each other and living in grim isolation. But Freya just says she seems fine (again, this is told and not shown), and Klaus observes that she’s asleep. Maybe you should start making preparations for when she wakes up?
Freya’s choice to help Hope assemble the Hollow is hideously out of character.
The show is also weirdly continuing its quest to not mention the Hollow by name. Am I the only one who is confused by this?
Oh, and Elijah’s breakdown after getting his memories back isn’t long enough, goddammit. I wanted anguish for the ages!
But it’s not all bad:
But holy shit, even the tidbit we did get was divine. Unless another death happens and more tears are to flow, I think Elijah can keep his grip nice and tight on that well earned Hot Guy Crying trophy. I was eating it up.
The Elijah/Klaus relationship, always one of the cornerstones of this show, gets a thankfully decent amount of play this episode. Klaus takes more time to bemoan Elijah’s betrayal with the memory wipe, but I was impressed with how he contextualised it: Elijah was always there to bail him out over the centuries, and Klaus denounces Elijah for making him dependent as a result. It’s selfish and shifts the blame solely to Elijah, but I believe Klaus believes it. And that makes it powerful.
Which also makes Klaus’ decision, after such betrayal, to help Elijah break through the Red Door all the more affecting. Klaus and Elijah have see-sawed constantly, so it’s nothing new to the show to have them reaffirm their bond. But it’s always welcome.
Also doing a good job with some well worn territory is Rebekah and Marcel. At first I was rolling my eyes along with Marcel at Rebekah’s excuse for turning down his proposal being that she wanted to spare him more Mikaelson drama. But she makes good at the end of the episode, by finding the honest truth within this: she’s too mad at her cursed immortal, barren life, and refuses to burden Marcel with having to live with that. She nails it when she rebuts Marcel’s “ain’t immortality grand, tho” comment by pointing out Marcel chose to be vampire, whereas Rebekah had it forced upon her. True.
She also admits she was jealous of Hayley for being mortal (ish?) and pregnant. Points for self awareness, baby.
With the Hollow reformed, there’s no reason for the Mikaelsons not to be around each other. So I hope this means they’re all sticking around for the final run of episodes. Maybe not Kol? And would you really miss him?
I can cease my salivation over a Sophie reference, as her grave is included in a montage of graves early on in the episode. Eh, it’ll do.
Rebekah gets the best line of the episode when she says what we’ve all been thinking about Elijah’s love life: “How can Antoinette possibly hold a candle to Hayley?” Your response, Julie Plec?
Hayley gets to appear in a couple of short flashbacks that don’t really build to anything, but it’s nice to see Tonko still around (kind of like when they would do Laurel flashbacks in Arrow. And hey, they brought back that character sort of, so there’s still hope). One of them includes when she and Klaus were deciding a name for Hope, and Hayley mentions “Katherine” as an option. Klaus nervously laughs and nixes it, and I loved it.
They apparently did name her Hope, though, on the back of a comment Elijah had made about the child being the Mikaelsons’ only hope. Cute.
Elijah delivers the cure to Antoinette, but his love for her has noticeably chilled. Good.
Rebekah’s hair is flawless, as always.
Oh, and Elijah may be The Originals’ sex god, but Klaus is always right there, too. He may not look as good crying, but don’t ever count him out.