This review contains spoilers.
2.9 The Map Of Moments
Losing a beloved character is tough, especially when it’s on a show as good at creating beloved characters as The Originals. There are plenty to choose from: Klaus has his fans and so does Elijah, but Rebekah always seemed to have a special allure that sucked audiences in and never let go.
Having Claire Holt leave the show full-time was hard last year, but there was a definite sense that she would be coming back, if only for an episode here and there (as has been the case). Now, that’s not a feeling The Originals mid-season finale leaves you with – Claire Holt is no longer occupying the role of Rebekah Mikaelson, and it seems that the whole body-jumping plotline was just leading us to this point.
Setting up the concept that the siblings can live in whatever body they like was a clever one, and one that makes complete sense from a production point of view. Hey, there’s a reason Doctor Who does it, and even Eastenders plonks multiple actors down into much-loved roles of old in order to keep things going. That’s all The Originals has done here, but this one stings the worst.
Rebekah has been around since season three of The Vampire Diaries and, while she never got as much of the spotlight as Klaus, she has been a huge presence ever since. I wrote last week that Claire Holt gives the character something that can’t be replaced, and I honestly don’t know if the show can make me accept another actress as the face of Rebekah. It’ll be hard to keep an open mind, even I’m a little ashamed to admit it.
But the episode was great, with vintage moments for every single character. The long-awaited reunion between Hayley, Klaus and baby Hope didn’t disappoint, for starters, and provided a brief moment of happiness and contentment for a family so often at loggerheads.
The moment in which they took a family photo mere moments before having to burn it should have been jarring and ridiculous, but it was actually the highlight of the hour. Looking back on that knowing what would happen to Rebekah by the end makes it even more heartbreaking, and a little bit of sunshine and happiness, albeit still tinged with sadness, was welcome in a show as dour as The Originals.
Kol continues to be a highlight, also, with Klaus and Marcel correctly predicting that he would help them defeat Esther as long as it benefitted him in the end. The two actors portraying the character seem to have found some overlap that makes it less annoying to pair flashbacks with modern day Daniel Sharman-antics, and seeing him still skew things to suit his own agenda, while largely keeping his word, maintains what’s so interesting about him without relegating him to the villains camp.
The same goes for Finn, who I guess will be our go-to bad guy now that Esther’s been more or less neutralised. The resolution to her plan was brilliantly handled, with the reveal that she was now a vampire – the thing she hates the most – landing perfectly and still somehow coming off as a surprise.
I assume she’ll choose to transition, as Julie Plec didn’t bring her back from the Other Side just for some lengthy monologues about guilt and redemption (or maybe she did, I have no idea), and I wonder how this will affect the awkward relationship between her and Mikael.
Though I did love this episode, that scene between them felt incredibly forced, as if they’re both just too ridiculous to exist in the same space as each other. Then again, I’m not a huge fan of Mikael in the first place.
There was also some stuff for starving shippers to gif over the hiatus, as Elijah and Hayley finally gave into their sexual tension, all while having a conversation about Hayley marrying Jackson when we’re back after Christmas. I don’t particularly like that Hayley’s found herself in the middle of a love triangle, but then this is the spawn of Vampire Diaries, and she does at least hold most of the power.
And Hayley and Elijah have an epic quality that not a lot of the show’s other romances do (besides, of course, Josh and Aiden, who weren’t in this episode), and dragging that out for as long as possible will always elevate their scenes together.
So, as we depart New Orleans, Kol and Davina are now a definite thing, Elijah is still getting flashbacks to his past misdeeds, Klaus and Hayley are left with Hope, Finn’s in his coffin again, and Rebekah is trapped in a weirdly ill-defined house for damned witches (seriously, did anyone understand that?). For one episode that’s a lot to cover and, as always, The Originals did it with the upmost finesse.
And, if losing Claire Holt (rumoured for Supergirl) means that Rebekah is back on the show from week-to-week, then I guess that’s alright.
Read Caroline’s review of the previous episode, The Brothers That Care Forgot, here.
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