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The Originals S01E17: "Moon Over Bourbon Street"

You know when you see a child fall down and they freeze for a second while trying to decide if they should cry or not? Like, there's that really long pause when the shock has taken over and if you're fast enough you can run up and wave some candy and treats in the child's face and if you're lucky they won't cry, maybe they'll get up and smile instead? "Moon Over Bourbon Street" was The Originals' answer to waving candy and treats in our faces to distract us from crying. Because ever since Rebekah left last week that's all I've wanted to do. Here is but a short list of the candy and treats The Originals waved in our faces this week: New characters, new sets, a shirtless hunk tussle, a female drug lord, painting-in-anger, a punch-up at a party, dreamcatcher pervin', drunk Cami, Josh, a female vampire with a mohawk. This episode had it all, or at least, it wanted us to feel like it had it all. And while there was not a single moment I forgot what we were losing in Rebekah, this episode left me with the sense that I will definitely continue to love The Originals. It was a very fun and good episode!

Right off the bat "Moon Over Bourbon Street" felt like a massive reset for the series. There was the time jump, first of all, to just after the next full moon. It's almost admirable how little fanfare The Originals expended over Hayley's breaking of the Crescent werewolves curse. It was just one beat in a larger opening montage over which Klaus made some kind of speech about healing and moving on while we saw New Orleans otherwise fall into shambles under his rule. Diego murdering tourists in the street (the spilled Hurricane broke my heart), Monique casually frying a vampire's brain, and perhaps most shocking of all: Klaus and Genevieve are now hooking up. What was this world coming to? That last part was especially galling because if we're to believe that Klaus harbored such an intractible sense of betrayal toward Rebekah, how on earth would he tolerate this witch's assaults on his family (and body)? Ugh, relative morality is the worst. Anyway, yeah, they're doing it now.

Unlike Klaus' junk, what was NOT getting done was basically everything else in town and now that Rebekah's gone Elijah clearly did not feel as passionate about keeping the family together. There were like three or four different scenes of Elijah barging in while Klaus anger-painted to shout at him about how much he sucks (basically). And Elijah was right! Klaus pretty much did suck. Why be the king if you don't want to rule? I was hoping there'd be some reveal that Genevieve had been putting Spanish Fly in Klaus' guacamole or whatever, but nope. Klaus was just being a jerk. All of this caused Elijah to start becoming the lieutenant governor and his first order of business was forging a peace treaty among all the different factions in town. So Father Kiernan pushed aside twenty pews and they set up a roundtable discussion between the witches, humans, and vampires (including a mohawked African-American lady vampire who is my new favorite character even though she didn't talk). The only problem with this situation was that Father Kiernan was dying from a hex (which, who isn't?) and also Hayley was super pissed that the werewolves weren't invited to participate. When she busted into the meeting to shout at everybody, Elijah tersely explained it was because the werewolves lived in the swamp and were too busy taking their shirts off and wrestling, but Hayley wasn't having it.

Round 2 of the Great Give Peace a Chance summit was a party that Elijah threw in the compound's nightclub courtyard. If alcohol and indie pop couldn't win everybody over, what could? A lot of the monsters brought old beefs with them, including Diego who seemed pretty annoyed at the werewolves for having murdered his family. A fist fight broke out between him and Ollie, the blond werewolf that once entranced Rebekah with his naked junk, and a Mexican standoff ensued during which Elijah almost murdered Ollie and also Hayley's former arranged-marriage-fiance Jackson almost killed Diego. But this was a great opportunity for Hayley to come downstairs and double-dare everyone to murder everyone, or barring that, for everyone to just make peace already because can't we all just get along? More than anything else, this episode was remarkable for elevating Hayley's character to a much higher place of importance, both politically, but also on the show itself. If you were worried about a lack of strong female leads all of the sudden, this probably brought some measure of relief. After Hayley's awesome display, Elijah welcomed the werewolves to the table and Hayley as their leader. I just hope all this responsibility won't make her less funny, that's all. Because Hayley can be very funny!

Meanwhile everybody else was scheming behind the scenes, including Klaus! He approached Jackson with some kind of hazy plan to possibly turn Jackson into a hybrid, or at least curry his favor by giving him magical ring to prevent accidental transmogrification. Yep, we're back to this hybrid nonsense again. I mean if we're being real, yes, being a hybrid IS probably better than being just a regular werewolf, so long as you don't want to have kids or be considered technically alive. But hybrids are still soooo weaksauce, sorry. They are all killed so easily by the vampires and the only reason Tyler's still alive is because TVD hasn't reached the right season finale in which to murder him yet. Anyway, it was the moonlight ring that piqued Jackson's fancy and by episode's end he'd gotten Ollie on board also. Similarly scheming was Marcel, who'd been lurking at the city limits (occasionally without a shirt on) recruiting Thierry to his new army and also pep-talking Josh into looking after Davina better. Oh, and Marcel also had drunk sex with Cami and videotaped it with a dreamcatcher so that Genievieve could watch them and perv out and probably also go report back to Klaus about it. I don't know. I feel like that was a violation of Cami's privacy so that places Marcel squarely back into a villainy zone. Which is fine, I like when Marcel gets dirty.

As for Cami, she's still dealing with the issue of her uncle turning psycho. There was a scary moment when she watched him chain himself up in Davina's old attic bedroom only to then suddenly try and attack Cami. That's some psychological horror right there, having your own loved one try to murder you out of the blue. But not even Klaus knows how to reverse this hex and Cami has taken to drinking straight bourbon to deal with it. Speaking of dealing with it, Davina slowly got her magic back this week after a pep talk from Josh about how she can't live in the shadow of her angry family anymore. It was a nice parallel to Josh's experience as a gay kid (he felt he no longer had a family) and that final shot of Davina sitting amongst tons of bouquets of roses she'd brought back to life was pretty thrilling, if only to see the look on frenemy Monique's face. Davina's still got it!

Out of all the new elements introduced this week, the most promising is probably Francesca, the human proprietress of the local riverboat casino and also the leader of the largest drug cartel outside of Miami. Obviously her resume is excellent, but it's her sassy attitude (and wonderful actress) that got me excited. She stood toe to toe with Elijah right off the bat and I'm really hoping she'll be a mainstay on this show and not just a villain of the week or whatever. No, she doesn't replace Rebekah, but nobody will. On the other hand it's nice to see powerful women doing their thing, so a character like this was definitely what the show needed. And not to sound like a creep, but this show also really needed an infusion of beefcake and it got that too. For the first time in a while The Originals has felt as well-rounded as it possibly can and it finally, finally seemed to capitalize on the promise that monsters' politics can be as riveting as their romances. We'd joked that this would be Game of Thrones but with monsters it's actually starting to feel that way! "Moon Over Bourbon Street" displayed a noticeable uptick in stakes and if I'm not mistaken, a noticeable uptick in the budget, right? The show somehow looks bigger and feels bigger and that's a good sign. I had been momentarily frozen with uncertainty about whether I should just lay on the grass crying about Rebekah, but who am I to turn down the treats thie show waved in my face? Grass-stained knees or not, I am nobody to turn down treats. Keep bringing them on, The Originals, and everything will be fine.

QUESTIONS

... Favorite new character?

... Did you find the new elements jarring or welcome?

... Do you approve of Klaus and Genevieve's liaison?

... Should there be more shirtless werewolf tussles be honest.


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 5/13/2014

Season 1 : Episode 22

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