One of the reasons The Originals works as well as it does is because the Mikaelson family is so captivating — both as a whole and as individuals. They’re so vibrant and full of fire (at least, in theory — looking at you, original Finn), and they could honestly read the telephone book (those still exist, right?) and make it sound interesting. So even when someone as new as Freya makes her way into their life, she has to bring her A-game from the get-go.
And boy has she. Freya is absolutely fantastic. And honestly, Riley Voelkel deserves such a role after that whole “Sorority Girl” thing on The Newsroom. We all deserve a little something after that. Freya is the perfect mix of righteous anger, coolness, innocent, tainted … she’s everything she needs to be at every single time. She fits into the family she was disconnected from for a thousand years like a glove.
Which is why I really hope her declaration of war on Klaus — to turn everyone against him, as though they haven’t all turned on him in one point of their lives — doesn’t end up with her untimely demise. Unlike Yusuf Gatewood, Riley isn’t a regular (yet), so if there’s a way to get rid of her, it’s a possibility. I don’t want it to be a possibility.
So the reason Freya turns on Klaus is because, well, Klaus is easy to turn on. Klaus wants Freya to work the magic to get Rebekah back into her real body, but that’s difficult considering how powerful Eva is (more on that in a bit). That’s when Klaus cuffs her (dark objects, yo) and takes her to a witch (well, a former witch) who could know the spell needed to do it all: mommy dearest herself, Esther. This is the family reunion Freya has been dreading, and it doesn’t help that Esther almost immediately tells Klaus (right in front of Freya) that the little girl she had to give up to Dahlia is dead, and there’s no trusting Freya. It doesn’t help that Klaus had already compelled Esther to tell him the truth beforehand. So when the spell needed to get Rebekah back in control of her body is prepared, and Freya informs Klaus that she’ll need a powerful anchor for the spell (him), Esther throws out an “I told you so” about the whole thing, saying there was always going to be a catch to Freya’s help.
This leads to Elijah volunteering to do it, but it ends with Klaus also helping anchor Freya to get Rebekah back in control. So now, Freya knows Klaus’ memories and inner thoughts, though she confesses all she really got out of him was his paranoia, his “anger issues and a questionable taste in women.” It’s the culmination of a whole episode of Klaus snarking at her, with her finally having the upper hand — and the Treme witches accepting her as one of their own, finally giving her what she’s so greatly wanted for centuries, a home — and then confessing to Esther that she also learned that she and Klaus can never be allies (before killing Esther dead). The thing is, Freya’s realization about Klaus is what every family member has realized about Klaus … except, they also realize that, when the chips are down, he’ll be there for them. That’s literally what happens in this episode when Klaus gets over his childish sniping long enough to be an additional anchor. Freya doesn’t really understand the unhealthiness of the Mikaelson family yet, but hopefully she will. She’s great. She’s also a mirror image in Klaus in a lot of ways, which totally explains his problems with her.
You know who else is great? Yusuf Gatewood. And Maisie Richardson-Sellers. They are fan-fucking-tastic. Obviously I have sung their praises before, especially as Finn and Rebekah, respectively. But as Vincent and Eva? Holy crap. It takes a lot to make a compelling, heartbreaking love story, but to do so in the span of one episode? That’s not just good writing — that’s terrific acting. In the span of 40-plus minutes, these two sell the toxic love story of Vincent and Eva (“a wild beauty practicing a wild magic”). They sell how he was blind to the darkness within her, within their whirlwind romance. They sell how she could possibly convince him to join her in her endeavor to create a more powerful witch line. They say the mental, physical, and emotional pain of their relationship.
They are now my OTP (yeah, I said it), and if I don’t get a flashback to some of their previous times, I’m going to cry. (They already made me cry when she started talking about how his “damn sexy eyes” betrayed her, so there would be a precedent.)
It’s all so good. Good acting! Good writing. Oh hey, where’s Cami?
I haven’t really wanted to say it, because she’s definitely been a better character this season, but I really feel like Cami has outlived her use. Honestly, any character in this show can do her brand of pop psychology, and (who is, unsurprisingly, absent from this episode) as far as audience proxies go, no one is really watching The Originals for a stranger in a strange land narrative — they’re watching a drama about a regal supernatural family and the chaos that happens around them. Cami having her family’s books and gear about the supernatural has only really worked in terms of MacGuffins, and the longer she stays around, not really having anything to do (besides be a love / lust interest), the more it’s obvious Father Killian should’ve been kept alive (or someone similar, since Todd Stashwick is always working).
I’m not saying The Originals shouldn’t have a human — I still think that’s one of the more important things about the show, the fact that there are these factions, including the humans — but if you’re going to be the representative of the human faction, you have to be the representative of the human faction. You have to be a leader. This is a show about leaders. And Cami. Cami is not a leader. She’s a sounding board for supernatural psychoses. And the only way to fix that is to go right back to the drawing board. And no, going right back to the drawing board doesn’t mean turn her into a vampire. If she doesn’t want to be a leader, the show really needs a human that does. Before Cami decides to become a cop or whatever.
Cami or not, LET’S NEVER STOP TALKING ABOUT FREYA, VINCENT, AND EVA.
A few more things …
- Josephine has a Grunwald-esque vision and tells Hayley that something dark is coming for her, and I know we’re supposed to think it’s Dahlia (or Klaus), but I’m thinking Jackson, because I’m always thinking Jackson. Either that, or he’s dead by the end of the season. I am pleased either way.
- Speaking of Hayley, she spends the majority of the episode being rude to Gia because of the new Gia / Elijah bone zone team-up. She even says she and Gia aren’t friends, which is actually in direct contradiction of what she said a few weeks ago (before Gia and co. accidentally killed all those alphas). You know I love my Hayley / Elijah and Hayley, in general, but she has no leg to stand on. She married Jackson. The end. But props to Gia for both making it clear she won’t keep this pettiness from her protecting Hayley and Hope and that she understands Elijah is still hung up on Hayley … but he needs something where he doesn’t have to be the shoulder to cry on. He needs something “fun.” Honestly, I hope all of Hayley’s behavior really ends up stemming from the fact that she assume Gia and Marcel were going to be a thing. Like we all did. (All four of them need a Big Love scenario, to be honest.)
- Elijah Mikaelson has satin sheets, I’m never going to get over this.
- Hayley: “I’m just glad that you found someone so … multi-faceted to spend your time with.”
Elijah: “What exactly do you want from me?” Seriously.
- Klaus: “There’s always one family member in need of a good shackling.” And so begins Klaus spending the whole episode making people ship himself and his other sister.
- So what was Eva’s endgame? She believed that sacrificing three prodigy witch children of each of the witch lines for the Rite of Nines would create a new witch order, making her more powerful than any elder or Harvest girl.
- According to Rebekah, Eva is completely gone, meaning this is now (technically) 100% Rebekah’s body. There goes the usual consent problem. Also, she can’t leave the body, because it still is linked to all of the children who Eva channeled — so Eva’s body dies, Davina and all of the other kids dies.
- Esther Mikaelson is a bad mother.
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