This review contains spoilers.
1.10 The Casket Girls
It’s been a while since we spent any time with the Mikaelson family on The Originals, and it looks as though Rebekah has been building her own little feminist army while we’ve been away. Casket Girls was all about girls (and Josh) versus guys in the battle for the New Orleans throne but, as is the way when you recruit volatile teen witches and very confused human beings in a war involving a variety of different beasties, the message Rebekah was trying to deliver got a little bit lost in the shuffle.
Despite both being aimed squarely at a female audience, neither The Originals nor The Vampire Diaries have ever dealt much with female empowerment, but that’s probably because they never had Davina as a character before. Initially just a plot device to trade for Elijah in Klaus and Marcel’s original rivalry, now she’s a contender for queen of New Orleans and the unfortunate fate of love interest Tim is only going to add fuel to her fire. I’m not entirely sure the show needed to split the genders so bluntly in order for this new shift in power to work, but then again everyone will probably change places again in a couple of weeks.
Which is the strange thing about The Originals – the cyclical patterns of trust and distrust are starting to become as repetitive as the love triangles in its parent show. It’s a heck of a lot more interesting, of course, but there are only so many times the siblings can split off and go against each other before it stops mattering to the audience. Right now, Klaus, Marcel and Elijah deserve to be put in their place by the ladies they’ve abused and taken for granted and, short of a bigger big bad entering the frame before the seasons over, I’d wager the girls are going to come out on top.
But aside from the A-plot, there was a lot of other great stuff introduced in this episode. The return of Sophie Deveraux promises to mess with the Elijah/Hayley romance when she successfully brings back the ex-girlfriend (and witch), and Cami’s rage at Klaus might just be the thing to topple the empire. Then there’s the imminent return of Thierry who, while still hanging out in his lovely brick wall, is gaining strength from the daily blood fix helpfully provided to him by Rebekah. There are so many different factions with all of their individual loyalties and grudges that it should be hard to keep track of but, to the show’s credit, it’s not.
That said, we are suffering a little from an overstuffed cast, and that means there are now entire episodes that don’t feature half of the players. Where is Tyler right now, for example? Are they just keeping him on ice until he proves useful to one particular side of the war? And then there’s the looming threat of the witches and the humans, taken down in the mid-season finale, and I can’t believe they aren’t both going to be a major thorn in the side of whoever rises to the top over the next few weeks.
As a scene setting episode, Casket Girls was as fun and exciting as we could reasonably expect and, with the personal battle between Klaus and Marcel seemingly on pause, it’s nice to have a different set of rivalries to explore for a while. It won’t last, of course, but it’s the fast pace of The Originals that makes it so compelling from week to week. Until the game of musical chairs starts again, I’m more than happy to watch Rebekah and her ladies vs. the world.
Read Caroline’s review of the previous episode, Reigning Pain In New Orleans, here.
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