The Originals episode 20 review: A Closer Walk With Thee

War is coming. Isn't it? Maybe next week. Here's Caroline's review of this week's episode of The Originals...

This review contains spoilers.

1.20 A Closer Walk With Thee

In a show about the Mikaelsons, despite the missing sister and dead brothers, it was always only a matter of time before the issue of their father would crop up. We’ve already had revealing flashbacks and endless angry conversations about his lingering influence on the family as a unit and as individuals but, after this episode, A Closer Walk With Thee, the threat of being physically present in his children’s lives is once again a reality. We’ve been trying to guess who might be the season’s ultimate villain, and now it looks as though he had been under our noses all this time.

It makes complete sense for the show’s writers to want to mine these fraught relationships in every which way they can, with Klaus and Elijah’s bond immediately aggravated when the subject of Mikael comes up, and the potential for dead characters to escape The Other Side ties the action in New Orleans to Mystic Falls in really nice, unobtrusive way. No character crossover necessary (except for an off screen phone call to Bonnie), it makes it feel as if these two shows exist in the same world, and that’s never a bad thing for spin-offs.

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Father Kieran’s funeral operated in much the same way as one of Vampire Diaries’ town events, bringing all of the different characters together for one singular reason and making it an inevitability that things will kick off before the night is over. This situation is more urgent than at those school dances, of course, with Elijah’s quest for peace dead and the breakout of war between the factions seemingly inevitable, but the sight of witches, humans, originals, vampires and werewolves all talking about their issues without fear of violence was an interesting one.

Because The Originals is essentially a very talky show, with eloquently delivered monologues and rich history that needs to be aired every fortnight or so, and we were never going to see endless weeks of action. That’s why the show has to keep coming up with reasons for them not to fight, such as Hayley’s pregnancy keeping things civil between the werewolves and vampires or Kieran’s funeral making sure no one can act on their desire for genocide, and it’s done in such a way that it never feels as though we’re simply treading water. That’s largely because the cast are so good, but also because their relationships are so endlessly compelling.

Klaus’ fears over becoming a father aren’t exactly earth-shattering, given that the entire premise of the show was supposed to be about exactly this, but watching another more vulnerable side to the character come out makes for a refreshing change. This will obviously continue, given that Mikael’s return seems like a certainty after his conversation with Monique, and I have to wonder again whether any of this would have worked so well if Rebekah had stuck around. It’s shocking how quickly The Originals has recovered from her absence, even if that probably means it could just as easily reintegrate her back into the action.

Other than Mikael’s return, there were a few things introduced in the episode that are likely to play huge roles in the upcoming finale. The first was Genevieve’s start on her own redemptive path, and the second was the revelation that Cami has a supernatural destiny of her very own tied to the box found in her brother’s tomb. The episode gave us very little clue as to what this might lead to, if anything at all this season, but secret objects like this are never a good sign in the Vampire Diaries’ universe. It’ll be some kind of weapon, but how or on who it’ll be used is still a big mystery. The important thing is that it gives Cami a purpose.

Next week’s episode is called The Battle for New Orleans, which sounds like we’ll be getting down to business sooner than we thought. With Hayley now back under Klaus’ roof and Klaus and Elijah declaring war on Marcel and the vampires in order to help the werewolves, it looks as though the temporary cease fire is well and truly over. See you there for the season’s action-packed penultimate episode!

Read Caroline’s review of the previous episode, An Unblinking Death, here.

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