The Originals "The Big Uneasy" Review: Party Foul
Set-up is hard. Last summer when Mama
said she was getting married again, I promised her the biggest and
best wedding ever. For weeks on end I worked morning, noon, and night
to get everything situated for her special day. All those ribbons and
candles and fold-out chairs. They didn't set themselves up! The
fireworks display alone took no fewer than six days of hard labor
just arranging all the genuine Chinese explosives. I filled gutters
with bottle rockets, I tied firecrackers to rose bushes, I fastened
black cat fireworks to actual black cats (taxidermied, don't worry).
I knew in my heart it was going to be the best fireworks display
ever. Sure, it was hard, dangerous work and I may no longer have all
my fingers or even any of them at all, but it was all worth
it just to see the look on Mama's face when it all paid off. Although, hypothetically speaking, I never did see Mama's face because just
before the wedding she stole my catamaran and sailed it directly into
a rogue wave. But on the off-chance she survived and if she ever
comes back, there will be quite a fireworks show awaiting her,
believe me. Anyway, back to what I was saying earlier: Set-up is hard.
And that's what this week's episode of The Originals was all
The reason The Originals has
an undue burden when it comes to set-up is that it attempts
to mask information and state-of-the-character scenes as rip-roarin'
adventure. Sometimes that works, and sometimes it doesn't. The main way
to know whether you're watching a successful set-up episode is if you're
not bored. Sorry if you were expecting a more scientific explanation.
Were you bored during "The Big Uneasy"? I wasn't! It was a
very good example of a set-up episode. By the end, we knew more about
what people wanted and why and how they intended to get it—all of
which was exciting to our brains, even if not much happened. And
do NOT tell me that Thierry's death was a big deal, that guy has had
seven lines of dialogue all season. But Elijah is now officially a
BAMF. Hayley is a legit queen. Marcel is a terrorist. These are
pretty seismic character shifts, and they've only occurred
over the course of two episodes. Yet it all feels both organic and
compelling. Yeah, "The Big Uneasy" was a good one.
I'm not sure I bought it when Klaus so easily forgave Genevieve for nakedly attacking his family in episodes past, but I DID buy it when he forgave her for nakedly jumping into his bed right away. Original vampires gotta rub up on something too! So it was somewhat of a relief to see them outright warring by the end of this episode. Out of the four resurrected witches, Genevieve was my least favorite (rest in peace my beautiful Bastiana, rest in peace my wonderful Papa Tunde), and she did NOT deserve to have Klaus paint her portrait, especially since she was being so stubborn about not fixing Father Kieran's broken brain. But Klaus was feeling uncharacteristically chill in this episode, so when Genevieve proposed that the whole town throw a witch party, Klaus was very cool with it and sent Elijah around to bully everybody into attending. Obviously the party didn't go well, but for once it wasn't Klaus's fault. By the end of the episode he was threatening Genevieve's life and making tearful apologies to Cami for failing her. It was the most human Klaus has seemed in a while, and it was straight-up refreshing to behold.
Elijah, meanwhile, was experiencing a sort of delayed reaction to all of Klaus's shenanigans leading up to and including Rebekah's maltreatment. He had HAD IT. Even though Elijah took seriously his job of keeping the peace and preserving the monster factions' tenuous truce, he was NOT about to take any more foolishness from Klaus. In what must be a turning point for the series, Elijah even pinned Klaus to a wall and informed him that he'd be acting on his impulses from now on. Specifically toward Hayley. Also he ripped out Thierry's heart in order to punish Marcel for his terrorism, and I think that counts as an impulse Elijah wouldn't have honored before, but New Elijah is all about getting results. Unfortunately for those expecting him to carry Hayley off into the sunset right away, he reverted to his more noble ways when he saw her laughing at a campfire alongside Jackson and decided to back off. Ugh, heartache. But welcome back to the game, Elijah.
Speaking of Marcel: Yup, his new
thing was trying to disrupt New Orleans' peace by orchestrating the
vampire version of a suicide bombing! At the witch party (where
everybody had been struggling to remain on their best behaviors), he
sent in a group of African-American gentlemen in white suits and made
them bang on drums and then open their wrists in mixed company. This
obviously hastened a TOTAL BLOODBATH and it seemed like the truce was
officially over. Even Hayley got scraped in the tussle, which
infuriated Elijah, which led to Thierry getting his heart ripped
out. Elijah opted not to kill Marcel so as to not tick off Klaus, but
then later Klaus seemed very ready to kill Marcel himself, so that
was probably a bad call on Elijah's part because Marcel definitely
deserved to die. Anyway, after the massacre, all the surviving
vampires joined Marcel's cause, so his army is growing now. And hopefully
in the finale we'll hear "Zombie" by The Cranberries, because with their tanks and their bombs, and their bombs and their
guns, in your head, in your head, they are crying. Zombie, hey.
Monique's up to no good, obviously.
First her ancestors told her it was time to murder Genevieve
(finally), but then Genevieve stalled for time promising to get the
Mikaelson grimoire for her. Genevieve did not get the grimoire, but
she did get the severed hands of her henchman who'd tried to steal
it, which in my opinion was not a great consolation prize. Monique
spent most of the episode throwing shade at Davina, but Davina had a
nice moment wherein Klaus attempted to make it up to her for having
murdered her first love, the fiddle boy. And his reparative gift was
actually a biggie: the spell to create daylight rings! Which means
Josh is about to get some much-needed Vitamin D. But anyway, at the
end of the episode Monique decided it was time to knife Genevieve
(finally), but the ancestors butted in to spare Genevieve, but only
if they successfully murdered Hayley's child. So, uh-oh. That seems
like a season-finale-type conflict right there. Not a super-suspenseful one, because in my opinion a baby is not about to get
murdered on The Originals. And this is neither here nor there,
but remember at the witch party parade when the three witches
demonstrated their powers by causing AN EARTHQUAKE, among other
things? Easily the least-cool thing Monique did all episode. How is
it possible that the crowd didn't scream and take cover? Earthquakes
are no joke, you guys.
There was also a bunch of other stuff that happened in this episode, but honestly trying to remember it all feels like cramming the night before a test. "The Big Uneasy" gave us so much information! Klaus is mad at Cami for sleeping with Marcel. Hayley no longer trusts Jackson and Oliver. Klaus's new blonde werewolf cousin is handsome. Josh will not stop talking about going to gay clubs. This was a busy episode of The Originals without a whole lot of forward momentum. As I said earlier, a typical TV show can really go wrong with so much info to impart, but this show is getting so good at set-up! "The Big Uneasy" was a good episode, guys, trust me. But personally I'm getting very excited for the real fireworks to begin.
... Do you like Genevieve, or should
she die already?
... Should Elijah make a move on
... Does the witch's hangout remind
you of the abandoned house in The Secret Circle? Be honest.
... Is it rude to cause an earthquake
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