Sometimes in life you have to get your head out of the clouds and just accept the facts. You will never become a world class yachtsman. Your pop music career will remain third-tier at best. Your pet chimp will never learn proper English. And your second-favorite vampire show on The CW may never become whatever you'd hoped it would be (i.e., your #1 favorite vampire show on The CW). But accepting the facts isn't always a bad thing! The best part about finally shaking off unrealistic expectations is that only then can you truly appreciate what you DO have in life. For instance, The Originals. We definitely have The Originals. I don't know about you, but no matter what feelings I have about the series from week to week, I'm glad it exists in general. Especially this week, as "Fruit of the Poisoned Tree" was a very good and fun episode! Obviously there were too many moments where one of the poor actors had to recite a lugubrious line of exposition or two or three, but that sort of thing is in the DNA of the show now. It's probably time to stop struggling against this and just accept it. So in the spirit of acceptance, I thought I'd do things differently this week. The Originals might not ever be the show I'd expected or hoped for, but what's good is so good that I think I should just focus on those things. So, in chronological order, here are the ten best things that happened this week!
You knew it was going to be a good episode when it began with a pair of thousand-year-old vampires reading thousand-year-old books like a couple of thousand-year-old bookworms. Rebekah called this scenario a "vampire book club," which is why Rebekah is the best. And like any good book club meeting, it had a wonderful spread of hors d'oeuvres. In this case the food was a dead lady, but still. The main thing is that it was wonderful to see Klaus and Elijah just sort of quietly hanging out. I truly don't think we've ever seen that happen before! Love these guys.
As if I needed another reason to like Hayley, she eats ice cream for breakfast. Sure, there was a moment where she complained that the vampires weren't keeping fresh milk in the house (duh, they eat blood), but then Elijah walked in with some milk and made her cereal. Which was nice, but if I know Hayley, I'm pretty sure she just wanted milk to pour into her ice cream and make ice cream soup. Also, check out the counter behind her: Pringles! And not just Pringles, but sour cream and onion Pringles! The best and only kind. Stop complaining about these vampires' shopping lists, they're obviously buying the right items. But a pregnant lady should not have Pringles for breakfast. Pringles are for lunch and dinner.
Uh, excuse me? Since when are witches scary? Since now, because look at these witch thugs who kidnapped Sophie Deveraux! We never got to see their faces, not even after we learned they were working for Agnes. Man, they were great. They reminded me of Lord Zedd's putties from Power Rangers. Nobody punched one in the chest and made it explode, but hopefully that will happen in a future episode.
What's that line from Dirty Dancing? Nobody paves Thierry into a corner? I can't remember, but look, The Garden is one of the coolest things about The Originals. An underground perma-prison for misbehaving vampires! I liked that Marcel sort-of exhumed this guy because it means that Marcel isn't a dummy and he WILL get the answers even if it means reversing a previous decision. Also, you know, Thierry was kind of framed. Plus this show needs more non-Mikaelson hunks in general. But yeah, this image of his face popping out of the bricks really made me laugh. We've all been there right? I'm there now basically.
I love the friendship currently forming between Davina and Elijah. In this episode he kept his promise to share pages from his mother's grimoire, but with the caveat that she had to master this knot trick before he'd let her choose the next spell. This was very smart! For one thing, it was Elijah's way of getting Davina to unbind Hayley from Sophie without hassling Davina too much. Even when Hayley fell super sick after Agnes poisoned Sophie, nobody pressured Davina to get to work; Elijah just trusted that she'd figure out the spell on her own. I liked that. Man, I really like Davina. Team Davina. (Oh, and weren't the special effects in this scene so good? It's rare to see straight-up CGI magic on the show like this, and I found the floating knot effect to be very seamless and borderline beautiful. Good job, computer wizards!)
This was not just because two very hot people got soaking wet and hugged each other. That helped, but the stakes felt real: Hayley was in serious risk of miscarrying and Elijah had to slow her heart by holding her. If that didn't set off fireworks in your ribcage then get back in your pod and go back to outer space, alien. Adding to the pathos, right when Hayley's bind to Sophie was lifted, she and Elijah shared a moment that Rebekah, of course, picked up on. And THAT informed Rebekah that if she'd ever assumed Elijah would want to leave town with her, it would not be happening now. Because of all the tiny invisible hearts floating up off of that swimming pool.
Oh man, this was a tiny moment that was so necessary: Hayley ain't no victim, so when she forcefully threatened to kill Sophie for having bound her in the first place I clapped my hands. (Okay, my one hand and my hook.) Take back the night, Hayley! Also, guys, Sophie just gets worse and worse. I do not like Sophie. Even in this episode when Elijah and Klaus informed her that they'd be unbinding her from a soon-to-miscarry Hayley, she jumped up and shittily whined that then she wouldn't have leverage over them anymore. Uh, duh, loser. That is because you are a terrible witch and this show should not have terrible witches. Terrible witches are so 2009.
Obviously the highlight of this episode was when Elijah promised Sophie that he wouldn't let Klaus kill Agnes, and then he showed up and murdered EVERYBODY himself. First he killed a couple of henchman. (The third one falling down from the ceiling after such a long time in the air? Amazing.) Then he straight-up MURDERED Agnes. All because these witches had messed with his family! (And future boo.) YES. This was the Elijah I'd been missing. The one who will destroy a vampire coffee shop with a handful of quarters. The one who will karate chop off a vampire's head. Don't get me wrong, I like chivalrous Elijah just fine, but it's excessively satisfying to see him reassert his general dominance from time to time. This guy knows what I'm talking about:
Look at how proud he was of his brother! To be fair, this episode suggested that Klaus may be concerned about Elijah's power and influence going forward, but for the time being he seemed pretty thrilled to share Elijah's goals. Klaus wasn't a huge element of this show, but pretty much every scene he had was electric. His tense showdown with Marcel over where Klaus has been sleeping. Or especially when he fulfilled his promise to Cami and informed her that he'd helped murder the witch responsible for hexing her brother. Cami's response was unexpectedly screechy; something about how Agnes' death would implicate her as a suspect or whatever. I mean, I think Cami had a larger moral issue with what had happened, and earlier confession scene with her uncle suggested that she the compulsion Klaus placed on her was wearing her down mentally. But if she really thinks she's going to declare war on Klaus, then I'm going to have to stop liking her. Back down, lady. He just did you a solid. (Which is teen slang for "a favor" just fyi.)
Rebekah decided to leave town now that Elijah's awake and when she tried to say goodbye to Marcel, he mouth-attacked her and then they hugged with their shirts off. But how amazing was it when Rebekah, a creature who eats blood, randomly got an apple out of her purse and offered it to Marcel, another creature who eats blood? I mean, what was that all about? Maybe instead of smoking cigarettes, vampires like to eat apples after sex? I have no idea. Anyway, in my opinion Claire Holt was this episode's MVP of acting because she gave a very stellar monologue about why she needs to leave (because duh, the Originals are too good for this place) and then warning Marcel that a kingdom means nothing if you have nobody to share it with. So sad, but also that is the thesis statement behind this whole show. Rebekah is the best. Did I say that already? Rebekah is the best.
That being said, Rebekah needs to be careful about getting apples out of her purse after sex, because Marcel simply smelled the apple and immediately knew where the Mikaelsons were staying. At the former plantation where he'd been a slave! Which, rude. So by episode's end he showed up at their front door and kidnapped Hayley. Which, mega rude. So as much as Rebekah was hoping to leave town, one panicked call from Elijah and that plan was put on hold. And while I am NOT happy about Hayley being in danger, I truly hope this means all three Originals will be shifting into gear next week for a massive rescue mission. Hayley deserves it and so do we.
All in all "Fruit of the Poisoned Tree" was an elegantly written, forward-moving story with a minimum of flashbacks! Definitely one of the strongest episodes to date. This is a different show than what I expected, but I'm happy for what it turned out to be anyway. Keep it up, nonsentient multimillion dollar television franchise! Kudos.
... Did the swimming pool scene make you feel tingly?
... Would you still watch The Originals if Rebekah left town for good?
... Should Elijah rip out more hearts in general?
... Is there an apple in your purse?
AIRED ON 5/20/2016
Season 3 : Episode 22