The Originals, season 1, episode 9: Reigning Pain in New Orleans or as I'd like to call it: The Sopranos with Vampires and Werewolves
Welcome to the weekly review of The Originals. In this episode:
- Klaus throws a family dinner to establish his rule
- Marcel pretends to be the new leader’s best friend, up to the point he starts believing it
- He screws Rebekah (in the non-romantic way) because of that
- Rebekah and Elijah go out to save the swamp people
- Davina continues to get charmed by the guy who likes guys
- Cami re-enacts Memento
- The human factions and Klaus re-enact the Godfather.
- The great Elijah finally picks his girl (that we saw from miles coming.)
- Klaus continues his martyr act
- Davina leaves, Cami rebels, good things might come out of this
We start the episode with Klaus celebrating his newly established leadership of the vampire community by ordering a witch hunt on Hayley’s family. Hayley, who’s only seen one member of this family, and not a particularly friendly one, takes it on herself to protect them. She recruits Elijah, and of course Rebekah comes as part of the package, because Elijah only has to say how high to jump for her to do it.
Through Rebekah Marcel realizes Klaus' weakness, his need for loyalty and friendship. Rebekah tells him to play along and all will be forgiven. Just pretend he's Klaus' friend. She knows Klaus would rather have a friend who's a potential snake than no friends at all. She doesn't know however that this advice would turn into a snake later on and bite her in the metaphorical ass.
Elsewhere Cami continues to impress by gaining more personality. I’ve gotta admit, I didn’t care much about Cami in the earlier episodes. I thought she was only a vehicle for the plot, either to fill the slot for innocent human girl caught between the forces of evil, or love triangle material for Marcel and Klaus. I’m glad they didn’t do either. Cami is smart, and has got spunk. I love how every time they have a row she reminds Klaus that she’s a therapist and is onto him. This time she lives up to her psychology degree by leaving clues around her apartment so when Klaus compels her to forget their encounter she has a recording of their conversation in her purse and notes that remind her of it.
Meanwhile Elijah and Rebekah waste the entire episode walking through the forest looking for Hayley’s werewolf family and the vampires who want to kill them. Is it just me or do these werewolves look a lot like characters from a New Age colony reality show? Elijah stays in the wilderness till it gets dark to ensure the safety of every hippie. This prompts Rebekah to point out the real reason he’s there, and we get our first semi-confirmation of the Elijah/Hayley pairing. If she doesn't die, now or after the birth of her child, Elijah is officially spoken for. Sorry ladies.
My favorite part of the episode involves the human faction. I always love it when supernatural shows provide an explanation for how so many bizarre things could happen in a city without the authorities getting wind of it. The Originals does it perfectly by showing humans made a deal with Marcel to coexist peacefully. They stay out of the mob’s business and the mob promises not to feast on their species. But now Klaus is the leader and he finds all of it hilarious. This is the first time I like Klaus. He reminds me of the Stephen Dorff character in the first Blade movie. “We should be ruling the humans, not running around making back ally treaties with them. For fucks sake, these people are our food, not our allies.” I could almost hear Klaus quoting Deacon Frost in his head.
So he laughs and leaves but it backfires on him because the Italians, sorry the humans, attack one of their joints and kill a bunch of vampires, causing both Klaus and Marcel to get pissed and reduce the human numbers to one. Father Kieran is spared because he is Cami's uncle and his name appears on the show’s IMDB page, so he's kind of important.
He begs Klaus to let Cami leave the city. I don’t blame him. New Orleans is becoming too hot for someone with no powers. So Klaus goes to compel Cami to go away but Cami has had enough of his circus so she fires back and demands he shows her the real him. Klaus of course skips over all the centuries of slaughter, tyranny and abuse he committed and goes right to the good stuff (for him), as it's his modus operandi to paint himself the martyr. Cami sees what happened to Klaus over a thousand years ago at the hands of his father and feels sorry for him, right before he compels her to leave.
Davina finds out Marcel has been lying to her about still being in danger from the witches and decides to leave too. Meanwhile Marcel has had so much fun killing humans with Klaus that he decides to be his BFF, forrealz, and dumps Rebekah. Poor Rebekah becomes the victim of her own political game. I knew Marcel wasn't going to be the gentleman considering power was his number one mistress, but I didn't expect him to choose Klaus.
One thing about Marcel’s backstory this episode confused me. When he and Klaus were playing “my dad was worse than your dad,” game, he said Klaus saved him from his father’s shadow. Didn't Klaus and co find Marcel when he was a child being abused by slavers? Was his unseen father overshadowing him then? If so his father must have been a slave himself. How much of a shadow could a browbeaten slave cast?
Elijah comes back to share a Bollywood kiss with Hayley, you know the ones when you get your lips real close without actually touching. He also apologizes to Klaus for mistaking his intention about the baby, which Klaus drinks up like milk from his mother’s breast, just as he did Cami's sympathy, and Marcel's loyalty. He proves once again that more than power, more than wanting to be on top, or taking back his city, he craves people to love him, and feel sorry for him. Whatever he didn't get in last episode, he gets in this one.
What he loses though is Davina, and possibly Cami. Because Davina goes to Cami and finally saves her from Klaus' mind control so she wouldn't leave. I hope with Davina on her side, Cami could finally get out of these creatures' supernatural claws and flourish as the smart woman she is. Maybe taming Klaus and kicking his ass into shape could be on her 'to do' list.
Next episode’s (January 14) promo: The characters set out to cram every cliché TV show/ movie line in a 20 second preview. "Everything is about to change," "What did you do?" "Something is coming," "It’s time for a little payback." They leave out "Believe in yourself," and "I am your father." Maybe those will come up in the episode.
Let me know about your thoughts.