This review contains spoilers.
1.4 Girl in New Orleans
Last week we had a party, and this week it’s time for an authentic New Orleans music festival – what fun! Of course, if we’re following The Vampire Diaries party rules, then there has to be some kind of massacre – at least the death of a much loved character – but, while you can’t exactly call Girl in New Orleans tame, there’s surprisingly little bloodshed. The hour is pretty much devoted to giving us much needed back-story on Cami and fleshing out Davina a little, which should thankfully improve the series as a whole going forwards.
In general, this was a much better example of what The Originals can be than the previous three episodes, and I’m tentatively hoping that this is the beginning of an upswing that will last us through until Christmas. The new characters are becoming more likeable, Klaus and Rebekah have stopped spouting needless exposition at each other quite so much (though there was that very talky pre-credits scene) and, as of the final moments, Elijah has returned. Words cannot express how happy I am about this, but if they dare to dagger another Mikaelson in the near future, I’m going to have a few things to say.
The episode’s main plot thread involved Davina begging Marcel for a day excursion to a music festival in town. I still don’t quite understand the relationship between these two – is he her captor, or her protector? It sounds as if the witches are after her and, if Sophie and the others turn out to be our antagonists as I’m figuring, then it’s entirely possible for Davina to come join team Mikaelson at some point. They’re going to need a witch, after all, and having Davina on the payroll would give them significant fire power that could well sway the impending war once it’s properly underway.
But Klaus’ way of recruiting her – by throwing her crush off of a balcony and offering to heal him – doesn’t go down too well. With Elijah confronting her at the end of the episode, will he have better luck? It’s entirely possible that the young, impressionable teenager we saw in this week’s episode would be a lot more susceptible to Elijah’s charm that she would to Klaus’ brutish blackmail. And it was interesting to see this characterisation at all, since she’s so far been another annoyingly personality-free magical lady that this franchise does so badly.
Another character who has been vastly improved is Cami, who had a helluva week for development. She’s a pawn in Klaus and Marcel’s game right now, with every scene in which she appears featuring some form of compulsion from Klaus, but I wonder whether she’s going to have a much more important and interesting role to play. How long is it until she joins the supernatural world properly, for example, and how long is it before Marcel discovers her identity as a secret agent? She’s still far too obviously a Caroline Forbes substitute to grab me this soon, but I don’t hate her.
And we learn this week that her twin brother, an inspiring priest with no history of psychological problems, was responsible for a grisly mass murder inside the church Davina is currently living above. Was this something Marcel was involved in? She certainly thinks so before Klaus decides to spare her the misery of mystery solving, and I wonder how long it will be before the secret comes back out. I suspect Cami might become a vampire at some point, which would remove any previous compulsion (unless it’s different for an original’s compulsion?) but, for now, it’s a nice thing we us to wonder about.
It still has a ways to go, but this was probably the best episode of The Originals since the pilot. I like Hayley, Cami and Davina a lot more than I did a week ago, and Elijah’s imminent return bodes well for future weeks’ excitement.
Read Caroline’s review of the previous episode, Tangled Up In Blue, here.
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