The Originals episode 8 review: The River in Reverse

If there's one thing The Originals could never be accused of, it's being predictable. Here's Caroline's review...

This review contains spoilers.

1.8 The River in Reverse

The thing we’ve been aiming towards all year happened in this week’s episode of The Originals – Marcel gave in to Klaus and gave him back control of New Orleans. Though we do have other stuff to be getting on with, what with Tyler’s continuing presence and the matter of the miracle Mikaelson baby, but it’s still a surprising move for the show to pull this soon. And it’s not even the mid-season finale! The Originals has just stolen the mantel of one of the most surprising and fast paced show on telly from its older sister, and I’m loving it.

We began the season with hopes of seeing the siblings come together to protect Hayley and her child, and we then continued to watch the three of them flake away from each other to opposite sides. This episode feels like some kind of breaking point for that, and Klaus basically winning his own personal war with Marcel means that a new thread is going to have to emerge to bring them together. My guess is that the thread will be Hayley and the baby, as Klaus has taken them with him to his new castle/mansion – she is the only thing aside from each other that all three characters care about.

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But they’re not the only ones, as Hayley has become quite in demand. Tyler, in full villainous mode, is intent on eradicating the problem altogether to prevent Klaus from making a second hybrid army, and has enlisted the help of Marcel and his vampire posse to do so. The only issue is Rebekah who, while agreeing that Klaus should be imprisoned for a taste of his own medicine, doesn’t want any harm to come to Hayley or her niece. It was a smart move for the show to introduce something that the siblings would value above themselves, and all three Mikaelsons want to keep her safe for different reasons.

My issue with this storyline is the overstated danger of hybrids. Tyler tells Marcel that ordinary vampires don’t stand a chance against a hybrid army but, as far as I remember, we’ve already seen a hybrid army and all of the vampires in Mystic Falls are still alive and kicking. If I were them, I’d have worried a little more about having three originals in town. Klaus had no trouble slaughtering his entire hybrid pack as soon as they betrayed him, and Marcel’s own army of vamps got the same treatment at the end of this episode. He proved his point just fine without any army at his disposal, and Rebekah and Elijah are going to feel the effects of that.

There were a lot of brilliant monologues in this episode – Marcel’s speech about loyalty to Klaus and Klaus’ subsequent telling off of his brother and sister – and the reason they’re such a good watch is because these characters and their relationships with each other have been so lovingly and meticulously worked out. Even Cami got more interesting this week – her cleverness at creating a code while she was compelled instantly makes her into a character I want to root for and, if she continues to make smart decisions and push back against the madness surrounding her, then I wouldn’t even mind her being around a bit more.

We have one episode left before the mid-season break of The Originals, and this isn’t at all where I expected us to be. It might a symptom of a late full-season pick-up but, even so, at least the show hasn’t gotten predictable. A series-long war between Klaus and Marcel over New Orleans would have gotten boring pretty quickly but, this way, there are so many more fraught relationships to watch tangle and untangle across the rest of the season. I had high expectations for the series when it began and, although it had a shaky couple of weeks right at the start, it’s turning into a fantastic series in its own right. See you next week!

Read Caroline’s review of the previous episode, Bloodletting, here.

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