This review contains spoilers.
1.18 The Big Uneasy
It only took 42-minutes for Elijah quest for peace and inter-species party times to go belly up but, boy, was The Big Uneasy fun to watch. Exhausting, but fun. I’ve said it before but, if there’s one thing The Originals seems to have inherited from its parent show, it’s the fast, breakneck storytelling pace; able to explore a potentially season-long arc in just one brilliant episode and then just moving onto the next like it’s no big deal. That might have meant that we’ve seen allegiances change in this first season more times than we can reasonably keep track of, but, with The Vampire Diaries currently parked on its laurels and refusing to move, it’s a good thing.
After coming back from a lengthy hiatus, The Originals didn’t bother with much catch-up and went straight into set-up for the upcoming string of episodes leading up to the finale. Elijah is standing around looking smug about his brilliant plan to achieve peace in New Orleans, Klaus is scheming with the werewolves, Marcel is scheming with Thierry and Hayley has settled into her role as Queen of her pack quite nicely. If anything, everyone has a little piece of the power pie but, as is almost always the case when different factions try to co-exist, no one is happy with just a little piece.
The party was an ingenious way of getting everyone together, with Elijah still determined to instil peace to his family’s city and not anticipating that exiled former monarch Marcel might try to sabotage his efforts. This was actually a big episode for Elijah, as his moralistic determination was given a kicking throughout, finally imploding when he found out that, not only are the werewolves, witches and humans passively aggressively fighting against his plan, but Klaus has also chosen to side with a family not perceived to be his own. It’s with Elijah that Rebekah’s absence can be most keenly felt, and his shift this week puts him on his own.
His plan failed and, smelling failure, the vampires have come running back to Marcel to see if he can do any better at restoring their previous levels of power and control. His trick at the party might have cost him his only friend and ally, Thierry, but with Diego, Josh and a lot of faceless minions back in his corner, he’s no longer the underdog. Saying that, I wouldn’t object to seeing Elijah laying down the law with more of those supporting characters, as it’s always a treat to see him well and truly lose his rag. He’s the big question mark right now, without Klaus or Hayley to back him up and potentially mutiny coming from all sides.
The werewolves seem pretty innocuous at the moment, especially with Hayley tying them to Klaus and the originals until she gives birth, and it’s the witches that pose the most immediate threat. Whatever wicked ancestors Monique might be talking to (are we sure she’s not just crazy and obeying the voices in her head), they have chosen Klaus’ child to die in Genevieve’s place and, while I doubt the show would go in for this given that the entire mission statement of the show surrounded the prospect of a new Mikaelson heir, it does mean that they’ll be coming after Hayley – everyone’s new favourite gal.
Hayley is definitely becoming a great character, and a capable female lead in a strangely male-dominated show, but she’s also very serviceable to the plot in that she’s valuable to almost every faction. The baby is power and, even without the child, Hayley has become a force to be reckoned with. She’ll soon see the true colours of her pack and come running back to the eternally open arms of Elijah but, right now, it feels right that we have a series regular heading up each individual group currently circling each other. It gives weight to the conflict and, for a show with a lot of talking a relatively little action, it’s wonderfully exciting.
Read Caroline’s review of the previous episode, Moon Over Bourbonville, here.
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