The Originals episode 11 review: Apres Moi, Le Deluge

Review Caroline Preece 23 Jan 2014 - 09:41

The Originals clears away some of the subplots this week, leaving a leaner, more engaging show...

This review contains spoilers.

1.11 Apres Moi, Le Deluge

We’re only eleven episodes in to The Originals, and the show is already unrecognisable from the one pitched to audiences in that old backdoor pilot. Granted, the real premiere had changed a few things to begin with but, with the turf war between Klaus and Marcel over and, now, the Harvest plotline seemingly done with also, the remaining episodes of The Originals have become a hugely promising unknown. I hate to say it, but the pace of these first eleven weeks have been very reminiscent of the early days of its parent show, and long may it continue.

Apres Moi, Le Deluge addressed the question of whether the witches’ Harvest was a scam or whether the sacrifices would indeed rise again once completed, and the results will have a massive emotional impact on all of the remaining characters. No matter how old, powerful and murderous the Mikaelson family are, they still aren’t in the business of slaughtering children, and what went down at the graveyard was unflinchingly brutal. Our point of emotional reference was, of course, Marcel (and, less effectively, Sophie), but you could feel it in the air that this was the turning point of the season for pretty much everyone and everything.

Davina is an important character to lose and, if this were any other show, I might assume she’d return after about three episodes through some magical loophole. This being The Originals, however, encourages me to believe that she may indeed be dead, and the shock value of her sacrifice will be to this show what Vicky Donovan’s was to The Vampire Diaries. It’s more of a shame here simply because she’s a better, more interesting and more likeable character and, on a show where most of our protagonists are ancient, evil creatures, her innocence and vulnerability will be keenly missed.

The Harvest did result in four resurrections, but they weren’t the ones everyone was expecting. Instead, Celeste (posing as Sabine) and three friends rose up, and we’ll have to wait until next week to find out exactly what they’re up to. The ramifications of Davina’s needless sacrifice will provide the catalyst for more in-group angst and rivalry, but at least now we have an outside threat to surround the undead soap opera at the heart of The Originals. The show did a smart thing by forcing us to invest in the relationships between each character before it introduced the big bad, and the fun lies in watching how each one of our ‘heroes’ reacts.

And the reconciliation between Klaus and Marcel, especially, seems to have reached completion. Rather than indulging in the rage and resentment that Marcel now feels for his old mentor, the show instead decided to relate his grief over Davina to Klaus’ own over Marcel when the Mikaelsons first left New Orleans. Instead of driving them apart, it’s entirely possible that this latest turn of events has brought them closer together. That’s more than we can say for Elijah and Hayley, however, with her betrayal over Celeste providing the desperately needed obstacle for the show’s two lovebirds to overcome.

Though it’s entirely possible that Davina will return at some point, that doesn’t make Apres Moi, Le Deluge any less of a game-changer for The Originals. A big death is always a smart move for a show like this to make during its first season and, having taken enough time to establish and develop its characters, we now care enough about them to engage with a baddie like Celeste. She’s a bit of an unknown right now but, with various threads such as Cami’s revenge and the impending birth of Hayley’s were-vamp-baby to be getting on with, maybe it’s a good thing that the show has cleared out some of its subplots. See you next week!

Read Caroline's review of the previous episode, The Casket Girls, here.

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