The Originals is back after its Christmas break and starts off the year with a strong episode, quite literally! The episode runs with the central theme of female empowerment and pushes the story along rapidly. It looks like the rest of the season is going to be an edge-of-your-seat ordeal so you had best make sure you’re ready for this turn of events.
Fan favourite, Claire Holt, is as convincing as ever as Rebekah Mikaelson though the character’s mood swings can become quite irksome. Daniella Pindea (Sophie Deveraux) plays a strong character though her acting ability can be called into question. She always looks and sounds angry, even in the softer moments of the writing. Leah Pipes’ character, Cami, was much improved their episode as she was finally allowed to show her strength and stop being as weak as she has been up until now. Pipes’ acting is much improved when playing this side of Cami. Davina’s character is growing each week and she is one of the strongest written characters in the show. It also helps that the girl who plays her, Danielle Campbell, is a powerful actress and always manages to steals the scene. Davina seems as though she is a loyal, caring friend but a disturbingly dangerous adversary. Davina not only has to learn to control her magic, she has to be a teenage girl too. This is shown excellently through the writing as they seem to really have a good handle on how a normal teenage girl feels and they use this to motivate Davina throughout the entire show.
Elijah and Hayley’s relationship is still developing but she is still pulling away from him as she doesn’t want to cause more strife with Klaus. This will likely cause some problems with Klaus once the baby is born and the couple are free to be together. The family tree will eventually resemble Henry’s from hit ABC show, Once Upon a Time.
Klaus shows that he is always one step ahead of everyone showing that not only is he cruel and ruthless, he also has the subtlety that is often associated with women which is what makes him such a dangerous foe. As brutal as Klaus is, it cannot be denied that he is intelligent and knows what is best for his survival. Klaus causes Davina to lose everything. Is she now going to do something drastic? This could be waging a personal war on Klaus or turning herself over to the witches to be sacrificed.
Joseph Morgan’s acting is normally spot on, though he could do with working on crying techniques, but he only had a small part this week. The writers seem to forget why Klaus is there as they forget about his storyline in favour of others, whereas it should remain an underlying theme in each episode, even if by a small mention.
Marcel’s character is so loveable. Although he’s a vampire and was sired by Klaus, he is a much fairer and kinder individual. He loved Davina and does what he think is best for everyone. Charles Michael Davis has so far shown, in ten episodes, the extent of his emotional acting and he is brilliant. His face is so expressive and his voice can change from calm and sedate to roaring like a lion within seconds when the script calls for it. He is always a pleasure to watch and has to be one of the best actors on this show.
The story for this episode was entertaining and thankfully advanced the story by a great deal but focused a bit too much on the feminist perspective. It was too female oriented so the male side of the story was barely shown, even though they are behind all of the power struggles. It would be better if it was split more equally between the male and female stories.
This episode was all about feminism and the on-going search for power over men. All of the women sided together while the men allied themselves. Feminism isn’t often a huge issue in this show and certainly not to the extent to which this episode was so next week should be interesting to see where this goes.
The strength of this episode relied on raising actual societal issues. It will speak to some viewers more than others depending on their individual stance on feminism. Rebekah, who can be seen as emotional and fickle, stuck to her guns in this episode and used her emotional side to help her win over Davina. It is great seeing Rebekah as a badass but it is also an agreeable occurrence when her more human side is shown, in memory of Matt Donovan who showed her that side of her did exist.
Elijah and Hayley’s relationship is being handled tastefully and although developing slowly, is always a pleasure to watch. The way it is being done means that when they finally get together (which they have to!) it will be all the more satisfying.
The only real downside, not only to the episode but the show itself, is all of the betrayal and changing alliances. Only ten episodes in and it already feels like Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. It’s becoming difficult and confusing to keep up with whom is helping who while betraying somebody else. If you do not give the show your full attention, you will soon get lost with the politics within the show.