THE TV SHOW: The Originals
THE EPISODE: “An Unblinking Death” (aired April 22, 2014)
THE PAIRING: Klaus Michaelson (Joseph Morgan) and Camille O’Connell (Leah Pipes)
THE MOMENT: Klaus arrives in time to save Camille from her hexed uncle and then selflessly allows Marcel back to give her comfort.
I know I risk huge swarms of wrath coming my way thanks to my ‘controversial’ choice for romantic moment this week, but I can’t say that bothers me very much. Certainly, in the past weeks, I have come to truly appreciate the character of Camille (though I think I was one of the few who loved her from the beginning) and her relationship with Klaus. Is it friendship? Is it more than friendship? Too early to tell but thanks to the past couple of episodes, I’m starting to get a romantic vibe and I admit that I love their journey, more so than all of the romantic journeys from The Vampire Diaries family thus far. Something just feels particularly authentic about it; something unconnected to shipping and everything to do with believable chemistry, good characterization, and an engaging story.
Even when she saw the evil in Klaus, she still had empathy for the monster he became.
While Klaus and Camille’s relationship started rocky (thanks to Klaus compelling Cami for the first half of the season), a trust started to build between the two. Why? Cami didn’t fear telling Klaus what she thought about, well…everything. He liked her honesty, her goodness. Even when she saw the evil in Klaus, she still had empathy for the monster he became. Cami doesn’t judge even though that doesn’t prevent her from telling the truth, telling Klaus the truth. Camile has a backbone AND empathy, an interesting combination that echoes back to the archetype of the ‘Beauty’ character in Beauty and the Beast type tales (having her studying to be a psychiatrist works wonderfully). Even Camille’s metaphorical captivity by Klaus is reminiscent of this tale type. While I also enjoyed Klaus and Caroline and several fans made comparisons to Beauty and the Beast, Caroline never actually had much empathy for Klaus, rather disdain for her own physical attraction for the villain that caused so much hurt in her small circle of friends. Klaus and Caroline never were meant to be this tale because they never could be together (at least not in this century). Klaus and Cami on the other hand? The tale has already begun.
Aside from their connection, Cami will also do anything for family, especially after learning the terrible truth about her twin brother who went on a murderous rampage all thanks to a witch’s curse that ended in his death. Now that her only family, her Uncle Kieran, is also cursed, what will Cami do to save him? That of course, is what the latest Originals episode was mostly about: the attempt to save and later say goodbye to the last of her family.
Reaching the end of her wits, Camille has one last shining idea: shock therapy. Maybe she can shock the curse out of Kieran and bring him back to sanity, to the good man and priest he was. With a call from Marcel (another vampire who seems to be kind of seeing Cami at the moment), Klaus arrives on the scene to dissuade Cami from causing her Uncle pain before he dies. She can’t be persuaded (she definitely has her own mind) and goes through with it.
The plan, however, doesn’t work. Kieran is dying, forcing Klaus to turn the tables and be the one to show kindness and empathy in return for Camille’s own past kindness to him.
With no hope, there’s nothing left to do except as Klaus says, to “let go.” When Kieran goes into cardiac arrest, Klaus massages his heart but even that won’t save him. Camille has run out of time…or so it seems, Cami pulling a total Beth (Moonlight fans know what I’m talking about), asking Klaus to give Kieran his blood, to save him by turning him into a vampire. “Do it,” she says and unlike the nobler Mick, Klaus acquiesces to her request. He does it for her.
Kieran being a priest however, would never actually go through with being a vampire. That’s not what turning him was about. No, as Klaus tells Cami:
KLAUS: Turning him wasn’t the goal; it was to give you a chance to say goodbye.
Cami then asks Klaus to stay, and Klaus knowing that he has other business with Hayley and the werewolves, chooses to remain with Cami as a form of comfort.
“Of course,” he says with a consoling smile and voice, bringing the two even closer.
This is an important moment because it reveals that when it came time for Klaus to choose between Haley (and the baby by extension) and Cami, he chose Cami.
When Kieran awakes, it does seem to have worked, giving Camille time to say goodbye thanks to Klaus’s rare kindness. Thinking it okay, Klaus leaves because he has business with a witch. But leaving Cami alone turns out to be a horrible idea as the hex returns tenfold except this time Kieran is a vampire. Not to mention, that since he died he is no longer compelled to stay in the “protected” room because the boundary spell is now broken.
He wants blood, Cami’s blood, aiming to kill the one he holds most dear. Klaus learns the truth in horror, thus beginning my choice for the romantic moment of the week:
Cami sits alone in the church mourning what she assumes to be the loss of her uncle. But not for long as Kieran suddenly appears to attack her and then drinks her blood on a knife. Bravely, she attempts to escape her now crazed uncle by jumping off a ledge.
But because she has no hope against the speed of a vampire, Kieran easily picks her up and throws her across the room. And just when he is about to kill Cami, Klaus appears just in time to save her.
Once again, it feels like a call back to ANOTHER Moonlight scene (definitely not complaining and for those curious watch the ‘save’ in episode 4, “Fever”) as Klaus saves the girl, she looking up at him in awe.
Klaus, doing the opposite of what he did to Camille for much of the show, asks her permission to kill her uncle. He gives her a choice, Cami now in complete control of her free will. Klaus mercifully ends Kieran on Cami’s say so and Cami collapses from her ordeal.
But the romantic moment doesn’t end with the epic save; it ends on Klaus’s selflessness, a trait typically unknown to this Byronic vampire. He calls Marcel, his enemy that he banished from New Orleans, to allow him to come back for Cami because she needs him.
He once again, does it all for her, all while holding her in his arms.
MARCEL: Why are you doing this?
KLAUS: She woke in the dark. Not knowing where she was.
Klaus walks to the door, his reflection in the mirror (a common visual for our archetypal beasts in the Beauty and the Beast tale type because of their hate for their reflections).
KLAUS: Or who was watching over her.
Marcel stands at the door and Klaus lets him in: “It was your name she called.”
“And if you can grant her comfort….” Marcel comforts Cami as Klaus observes in silence.
“So be it,” Klaus finishes, leaving Marcel and Cami together, while he the Beast is still alone.
What did you think of this episode? Coming around to Klaus and Cami? Enjoying their story at least? Sound off in the comments…
Photo Credits: CW
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