This review contains spoilers.
2.3 Every Mother’s Son
Flashback episodes of The Originals are always a heck of a lot more interesting than flashback episodes of any other show. There are various reasons for this, but chief among them is the fact that the flashbacks always have the same thematic throughline as the modern-day action, without it ever being forced – this show is about a supremely, mythically dysfunctional family, and the flashbacks are there to demonstrate that it’s always been that way, vampirism and magic aside.
Every Mother’s Son was one such episode and, after focusing on Kol (strangely absent here) and his role in the Mikaelson clan last week, it’s now the turn of Esther and Finn. That ‘always and forever’ mantra crops up again, this time from the family matriarch (played by original actress, Alice Evans, in flashback), and the show reiterates the cruelty that Mikael always showed towards Klaus during childhood.
A twist in the tale came with a pendant given to Klaus by his mother, which actually drained him of power rather than protected him, as he was told. This is interesting, especially with the relationship between Klaus and Mikael being as ingrained in Vampire Diaries DNA as it has been, and offers further explanation as to why Klaus acts as petulantly and wounded as he does. He was weakened in an attempt to stop his werewolf curse from being activated, which to be honest is something Tyler could use right now.
Many fans have complained in the past that Finn has never really been offered anything in the way of personality or motive before, but The Originals fixed that long-ingrained problem in just 42 minutes here. This Finn is a whinier, more neglected version of Elijah, just as Kol may be to Klaus, and thus his self-righteousness and loyalty has manifested itself in much less ‘noble’ things. He is loyal to Esther, but not in the careful, self-aware way that Elijah is loyal to Klaus. He doesn’t seek to stop her from murdering her family, but is just glad to be included.
Everything in The Originals lives in a grey area, and just as we’re encouraged to sympathise with Finn during his dinner table speech, Hayley’s connection to Esther as a fellow mother leads us to look at her plight in a slightly different way. Unlike when she was just trying to murder her children for becoming monsters after she created vampires, she’s now trying to convince them to switch over to human bodies, cleansing themselves of their past deeds and monstrous natures. She’s still a psychopath, but her motives are clearer than they have been before.
But she’s not the only one with a secret agenda, as Marcel is also manipulating Elijah into joining his team. It’s a definite turnaround since the early days of the show when he wanted nothing more than for the brothers to leave town, but now he’s realised that having an Original on your side is the best kind of protection. Enemies are everywhere, whether it’s Mikael and Esther, the witches or the werewolves, and he wants some assurance that Elijah will fight for him and his vampire army when the time comes to do so.
His tool for getting this to happen is Gia, the guitarist we saw him turn last week. She batted her eyelids at him and, as Marcel astutely predicted, Elijah couldn’t resist the urge to fix what had been broken. It’s fun to see someone pull something over on Elijah, as perceptive and powerful as he is, and even more interesting following the backstory we got on those two earlier in the season. Clearly Marcel knows both of them (and Rebekah, if anyone’s still on that ship) better than they realise, and he’s using that advantage.
Will the family take Esther’s offer and become human? Definitely not, as then there wouldn’t be much of a show to watch, but it’s certainly an interesting carrot to dangle in front of them, as self-loathing as they all are.
Read Caroline’s review of the previous episode, Alive And Kicking, here.
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