This review contains spoilers.
2.6 Wheel Inside The Wheel
How many Mikaelsons is too many Mikaelsons? The Originals veered even further into the ridiculous this week as a few more family members were revealed to be back in New Orleans and begging for a reunion. Not only do we have Esther, Mikael, Kol and Finn resurrected, but now there’s Klaus’ werewolf father and Esther’s evil sister to deal with – Julie Plec really didn’t want to waste the opportunity of The Other Side closing, did she?
As a result of this character dump, Wheel Inside The Wheel was a bit of a filler episode in a show that doesn’t do well with filler. The people on The Originals don’t function like normal characters, only talking in grand speeches and interacting with veiled ulterior motives, and so when we have an episode like this where all anyone does is talk, it can get a little wearing. There’s also the necessity of introducing characters we’ve heard about a lot but never seen – peppering in flashbacks to Ansel and Dahlia as if they were being reused from earlier episodes.
Klaus’ real father has always been an untapped source of angst on both Vampire Diaries and this show, and I’m shocked that the writers would not only think there was room in the story for it now, but also that it wasn’t best to save it for later. The Originals can be like an excited child with too many ideas sometimes, and sooner or later it’s going to run out of situations for its characters. Their existence is inherently repetitive as it is, and I worry about later seasons when so many opportunities have already been used up.
But right now, it’s kind of cool to have so much going on, and so many ghosts competing for Klaus and Elijah’s attention. Though Elijah was asleep for the entire episode (this season’s version of him being daggered, I assume to give the actor some time off), Klaus got to spend some quality time with Esther, and her sales pitch hasn’t changed much. Unlike with her other children, however, Klaus has more reasons to genuinely hate her, and having Ansel return is apparently a mother’s way of coaxing him into their deal.
The deal none of us knew about was the one made between Esther and Dahlia back in the day, allowing Esther to have children as long as she gave up her first-born in exchange. This means that there are potentially still seven Mikaelsons kicking around, as Freya didn’t die from the plague like everyone thought. It also gives Esther a plausible motivation for attempting to kill baby Hope, as she is the first-born of the next generation and so will apparently bring Dahlia back to New Orleans to claim her prize.
We all thought Mikael and Esther would be the big bads of the season, or at least until Christmas, but it’s now looking as though the mid-season finale will see the return of Klaus’ aunt – a witch with significant power and who is after the child everyone believes is dead. It’s getting a little crowded – Kol, Rebekah, Davina, Josh and Mikael weren’t even in this episode – but it’s the sort of craziness that The Originals does well.
They’re even finding a way for Cami to be involved beyond being a love interest for Marcel and Klaus – she’s now also a love interest for Finn! But at least it’s a productive way for her to contribute to the impending war, as she tells Marcel that she wants to embrace her family’s legacy and start fighting back against the evil forces in her town.
Honestly, it’s good that the show is using the groundwork it laid last year at all, and not just forgetting about it in favour of everything being introduced this season. We’re going to have to draw up a family tree for reference at this rate, but tell me the prospect of having another Mikaelson sister isn’t something to celebrate? Bring Rebekah home, and somehow resurrect Henrick, and we’ll have a full set in time for the holidays.
Read Caroline’s review of the previous episode, Red Door, here.
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