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The Originals S01E04: "Girl in New Orleans"

If you have ever read something called The Internet, then you know that all things are either THE BEST or THE WORST. It's easier and more efficient to just pick one extreme and not dwell too much in the boring middle ground. This aversion to nuance is not because we're all getting brain-damaged; let's face it, all brains are born dumb and stay that way. One hundred percent of brains should wear dunce caps at all times. No, the reason we're all so EITHER/OR when it comes to something's value is a simple matter of equilibrium. Everything ultimately averages out to a medium-okay, so you can either live life with everything being "meh" OR you can live life where some things are truly awful and other things are A+ fantastic. I'm definitely more into the extremes of emotion, how about you? In order to really adore something, you also must despise something. You can't have grape licorice without black licorice. You can't have a Blow Pop without a Tootsie Pop. (If you think black licorice or Tootsie Pops are THE BEST, then go to a hospital, I can't help you.) But in short, hyperbolic opinions are healthy, because one helps sharpen the other and we should all live life to the fullest extent of our emotional spectrums. Which brings me to The Originals

As you know, last week's episode of The Originals was THE WORST. And now this week's episode was THE BEST. Just the best. This is how I choose to live my life. I still have chills.

If we're going in order of importance, then HOLY MOLY: A new character was the best part of this episode. That's right, I am alllll about Davina at this point in time and I did NOT expect to be. I love all three Mikaelsons as much as anybody, but to be honest all their backstory is starting to get on my nerves. Davina, however, was a fresh new mystery to me and this episode saw her not only walking the streets out in the open but falling in love with a floppy-haired fiddle player named Tim, sassing Marcel, experiencing heartache, and having a mega-powered standoff with Klaus before ultimately discovering her own agency and maybe even siding with the Old Ones. Quite an arc! Who would have guessed that the series' most electric scene to date would involve a standoff between a 1,000-year-old man and a 16-year-old girl? Watching Davina alternate between scared child and Carrie-esque rage monster was one of the more thrilling TV moments of recent memory. FINALLY stuff is happening on this show.

But the new-character-related surprises didn't end there. Um, I am as shocked about this as you are, but Cami is no longer useless? Cami is no longer useless. While I've already admitted I'm starved for newness on The Originals, the church massacre plotline would have been awesome either way. As we learned via the newly introduced Father Kieran, that very same church where Davina had been kept in the attic was also the scene of a horrible massacre during which an altar boy murdered a ton of dudes with A SCYTHE before offing himself. That altar boy? Cami's twin brother. So now we knew her main reason for being in New Orleans and why she's so into studying psychology: To figure out what the heck happened with her brother. Unfortunately Klaus had turned Cami into a full-blown compulsion zombie to carry out his wishes with regard to Marcel. But in a clever (and to my mind, new) angle, Klaus' compulsion was unique in that Cami only ever remembered his true vampire nature whenever they were face to face. And in a genuinely lovely bit of nastiness, Klaus refused to let Cami investigate her brother's death (and by extension feel constant, overwhelming angst), instead wiping her memory and vowing to look into it himself. Klaus, you jerk-slash-hero! Anyway, it would be criminal not to mention how good Leah Pipes was in this scene. VERY good. I don't know what it says about me that I'd prefer to see Cami in extreme emotional distress more often, but it was the first time this character has gotten me emotionally involved in her story. Loved it.

Oh boy, and we haven't even gotten to Hayley's plotline yet. ALSO terrific. You didn't have to be an attic witch to predict that the lady helping Hayley was bad news, but after Hayley made the initial mistake of trusting this witch to take her to a shady swamp-side obstetrician, it was this episode's masterstroke to make Hayley so kick-butt about everything. Almost immediately after her sonogram, Hayley's instincts kicked in and never quit: Pretty soon she was jamming syringes into peoples' necks, escaping into the woods, and single-handedly beating the hell out of a pack of attackers. The fact that Rebekah eventually entered the fray to help out was a TV watchers' dream. I am man enough to admit that I jumped up and clapped at my television. But this show simply would NOT stop delivering crowd-pleasing moments, because just when it looked like Rebekah and Hayley were about to be overtaken by the (surprisingly numerous and well-equipped) attackers, their lives were mysteriously saved by what appeared to be a WEREWOLF. (Which, is The Originals retconning werewolves into creatures that are actually dangerous?) AND THEN. And then. When Klaus came to get his two main ladies, Hayley nearly fell down, Klaus caught her saying "I've got you, love. I've got you." And then he carried her to the car as Rebekah walked alongside. If you didn't get heart fireworks from that little moment then are you even okay? Should you be in a facility somewhere? Question is rhetorical: You aren't okay and you should be in a facility. For me that moment was the best moment in an episode full of best moments.

Oh and p.s. ELIJAH IS AWAKE. Not only is he awake, but he has a new super power I guess I didn't know about: Earlier when Rebekah finally found him in the church attic he couldn't get out of his coffin and Rebekah couldn't enter the room, so he totally HOLODECK'D her into olden times where they spoke freely as their present selves while wearing costumes. Now THAT is the kind of flashback I can get into. There, they discussed Elijah's plan to become Davina's bestie and (after Klaus knocked some sense into her) fully make her their ally. Good plan in my opinion. But mostly WELCOME BACK, ELIJAH.

There are so many more amazing things about this episode I didn't even mention. Klaus tossing Tim and his fiddle off the church balcony. The increasingly cool-looking menagerie of vampires who work for Marcel. The complete lack of Sophie Deveraux. So many good things! I did not like last week's episode. I loved this week's episode with all of my heart. Say what you will about the merits of measured, nuanced criticism, but I'm so happy, you guys. I'm just so happy.


... What was your favorite moment in the episode?

... Who is the most improved character since the pilot?

... Who's more likely to become a Big Bad: Davina or Father Kieran?

... Have you ever destroyed a blood-stained church with your brain?

Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 5/11/2015

Season 2 : Episode 22

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