ASHES TO ASHES
Borrowing from fairy tales and folklore left and right, last night’s season finale of The Originals was easily one of the best episodes of the season and my personal favorite. What I find personally compelling is that most of the characters are influenced from various folk and fairy tales. Klaus is the Beast, Cami Beauty, Rebekah is Hans Christian Anderson’s The Little Mermaid (and at times Sleeping Beauty) who longs for a human life, Freya is Rapunzel, Hope Sleeping Beauty (the wicked witch only needs one prick of blood) and Dahlia and Esther the wicked witches and overbearing mother types. And while Elijah is another beast, the story between him and Hayley is clearly influenced from Animal Bride folklore as well as The Quest for a Lost Bride (especially after tonight’s episode).
So with good storytelling and fairy tale motifs in place, in “Ashes to Ashes,” The Mikaelson family work together to defeat Dahlia which brings about a surprise return and reunion, Davina raises up the dead, Cami admits to having feelings for a monster, family quarrels come to a head and Rebekah has an important decision to make.
With just a touch of mad genius, Klaus’ plan unfolds. By linking himself to Dahlia, she will be free from her sleeping curse, but also fated to Klaus. So as soon as they are linked, Klaus pulls out the dagger and stabs himself. This puts him to sleep, which then in turn puts Dahlia into a temporary slumber. There is a catch, however. Knowing his siblings could then come up with another plan, or even leave them there to sleep for who knows how long, he puts a timer on the dagger. They quickly discover that the dagger is melting. When it finishes melting, they will both wake up. Elijah, Rebekah, Marcel and Freya then have no choice but to follow his plan.
But, what is Klaus’ plan? With the help of Cami, they piece it together. Elijah and Freya’s plan would have failed because Freya was not the witch who broke Dahlia’s heart (so therefore Freya’s blood would not hurt her), Esther was. So they need to trick Davina into resurrecting Esther instead of Kol. It’s her blood they need. Plus, Dahlia seeing the sister who betrayed her might work as a distraction.
With time running out, they work quickly to put his plan into action.
Before the fight begins, Rebekah wakes up back in her original body. It’s probably a good thing since she’s definitely safer in vampire form. But she’s angry (though not as angry as Elijah) at Klaus for controlling the situation…again. Still, her and Marcel connect further, their feelings for each other deeper than ever.
A SURPRISE RETURN
Without a hitch, Elijah and Rebekah trick Davina into helping them. They deceive her into believing that she’s resurrecting Kol with his ashes, when it’s really Esther’s original remains. So Davina has quite the surprise when in a Frankenstein like moment, Esther in all her original glory raises up her hand and sits up in the wooden box. No one was more thrilled than me to see the return of the very talented Alice Evans, who is awesome in this role and absolutely gorgeous (later wearing the perfect shade of red lipstick).
Elijah then brings his mother back to the Compound where they prepare her for the fight – reminding her that she will once again die. Poor Esther!
Freya discovers the location of the white oak stake and contemplates using it on Klaus while he and Dahlia sleep. Marcel tries to stop her knowing that it would kill him and everyone else in their vampiric line. But she’s desperate. In tears, she holds the white oak stake over Klaus. But she hesitates, not wanting to kill her own brother. Just as she tries to go through with it, Klaus wakes up and stops her. In this moment, it appears Klaus finally finds some compassion for his sister who doesn’t want to “be alone.” They connect. He could hear her cry over him. He even calls her “sister” with some affection.
Unfortunately, Klaus is not the only one who is awake. Dahlia is up, angry and quickly grabs a hold of the white oak stake. Still, Klaus believes he has the upper hand, that is until Dahlia reveals she was able to unlink them with her magic. She takes Freya, leaving Klaus safe for the time being.
LOVE AND MONSTERS
Afterwards, Klaus brings Hope to Cami so she can watch over her where there is no magic. Cami reacts angrily to Klaus at first for what he did to accomplish his plan, including hurting her. Based on Klaus’ reaction of deep sorrow and regret, hurting Cami was the worst part of his ruse to fool Dahlia. And in a shocking moment of emotion, Klaus actually apologizes, leaving Cami stunned.
Later, Vincent pays her a visit and asks her why she stays. Cami finally admits that the real reason she stays is that she has complicated feelings for a monster and she believes he has complicated feelings for her as well.
With Freya captured, Dahlia makes sure to let her know how little she meant to her. Every time she looked in Freya’s eyes she saw her mother, “the sister who turned [her] heart to stone.”
Soon, Klaus, Elijah and Rebekah show up for the big finale fight of the season. Dahlia remains unfazed until she sees their surprise weapon: her sister Esther. It’s clear she was definitely not ready for this reunion.
Angry by the reminder of her sister’s betrayal, she takes out the white oak stake to kill Esther’s children. But in a fight of 1 against 4, she doesn’t really stand a chance. Or so they think. She then turns the white oak stake into ash and sends it all flying into their lungs in a surprise attack. And it works. Klaus, Elijah and Rebekah collapse to the ground as they slowly burn from the inside. Dahlia wants Esther to see the last of her children die (Freya choking to death from a magical attack). But Esther isn’t going to give up so easily.
She takes her chain and wraps it around Dahlia’s neck. Released from the magic, Freya uses her own magic to reverse the ash that flew into her sibling’s lungs out, saving them. Perhaps Klaus should have trusted Freya after all! Elijah then stabs Dahlia and Esther simultaneously, putting blood onto the dagger and therefore creating the weapon that can defeat her.
But it isn’t a horrible death for Dahlia and Esther. In fact, it’s rather poetic – even if they get everything they deserve. They were once good and two sisters who loved each other. Esther (with magic) takes Dahlia to a field where they appear to each other in younger form. Esther confesses that her worst sin was that she did not stand beside her sister. And that’s what she does now. They die together in each other’s arms, forgiving each other for all their sins and misdeeds.
In a haunting moment of pure artistry, the two women cling to each other, dead. For a moment, they appear as a statue of sisterly love, before they fall to the ground in a pile of ash.
DAVINA THE WICKED WITCH
Enraged by the deceit of the Mikaelson family, she works with the nine covens to get her revenge. Will Davina be the big bad next season? Vincent’s “wicked” family he mentioned? Or both? Vincent forebodingly hints that Davina could either become great or the wickedest of them all. As of now, it seems like she’s leaning toward the latter. Cami helps convince Vincent to stick around to help mentor Davina.
HAPPILY EVER AFTER
In a surprising turn, there were no more shocking deaths, unless you count Esther and Dahlia. In fact, the ending was a little bit…happy.
Our maiden in the tower, Freya, is finally free from her prison and becomes a full-fledged member of the Mikaelson family. For now, she’s going to enjoy what it feels like to not be connected to her wicked aunt who held her captive for a thousand years.
Meanwhile, Rebekah leaves town again, but not before receiving an offer from Freya to return to human form if she so chooses. For now, Rebekah decides to not decide for now and instead temporarily inhabits her human body. Rebekah and Marcel also come together for a long anticipated kiss before she leaves.
Elsewhere, Klaus visits Cami in the bar where she works and the two almost kiss. But he leaves in a hurry, afraid of his own “complicated feelings.” Somehow, I think we should all expect to see a Klaus and Cami romance next season of some kind. I’m personally loving the slow build and hope that it continues.
Later, Elijah visits Hayley in the Bayou, where she sheds her werewolf skin and embraces Elijah in the moonlight. She makes him promise to help take care of Hope, which means he’ll have to let go of his hatred for Klaus and join him back at the Compound. He promises to find a way to help her.
The episode closes out with Klaus telling Hope the fairy tale version of this story, with Klaus left alone like the Beast hidden away in his castle. But “hope” returns when Elijah comes home, showing the audience once again that the most important relationship of the series is between the brothers Klaus and Elijah. So this chapter closes. But what will the next chapter bring?
STANDOUT ROMANTIC MOMENTS
There were quite a few in the season finale, but I want to focus on two: Rebekah and Marcel’s kiss (though that moment when Marcel picked Rebekah up out of the coffin was INCREDIBLY memorable, proving just how much chemistry Charles Michael Davis has with both Claire Holt and Maisie Richardson-Sellers) and Cami and Klaus’ intense almost kiss.
Marcel and Rebekah
In the aftermath, Rebekah plans to leave town and walks to her car to drive away. But Marcel is waiting. She asks him what he plans to do with her gone. In which he replies that he’ll try not to start a war with her brother.
And then the romantic moment begins…
“Some things change. Some things never do,” Rebekah remarks.
Marcel then flips her comment around to what he’s been wanting to say, giving her words a new meaning.
“Well, here’s one more constant.”
And after a season of build up between these two (no matter in what form), he kisses her.
After over a hundred years of on again and off again, it’s nice to know Marcel’s feelings for Rebekah remain constant. Rebekah then leaves town, but not before she and Marcel exchange longing glances.
These two aren’t over…not even close.
Klaus and Camille
Klaus pays Camille a visit at the bar where she works, reminding the audience of the beginning of their story as the song “The Night We Met” by Lord Huron plays fittingly in the background. I admit, I love when writers go back to the beginning. It brought back memories of Mick and Beth and how he remembered the exact outfit she wore when they first met because he loved her.
What was great about the Klaus and Camille scenes in this episode was how vulnerable Joseph Morgan became in these moments.
“You have to stop compelling the customers. I need the tips,” she says as Klaus smiles and $100 bill on the counter. She laughs. (These two as different as they are seem to actually have a similar sense of humor. They both find humor in wit rather than in vulgarity. They also both appreciate art and music.)
“When I first got into town, you handed me one of those. I had taken a shift from another girl. If not for that, it could’ve been someone else standing here right now instead of me,” Camille says in response to his “generous” gesture. Klaus gives her a look, amused, but knowing. He clearly doesn’t agree.
“You know, I prefer to see it the other way. If it wasn’t that night, this bar, that $100 bill, it would’ve been Jackson Square staring at a painting or Frenchmen Street listening to jazz,” Klaus explains leaning in closer to her. And then he gets serious and stops for a long, intense pause. He pulls her nearer to him and whispers:
“I would have found you.” They stare at each other, contemplating what will happen next. He breaks the silence with a simple “thank you…”
And then he stops himself and continues… “for the drink.” Klaus then rushes out of the bar leaving Cami behind. He stops outside to think, perhaps tempted to go back in.
But alas, he leaves and we will have to wait until next season to see what happens between these two next.
Esther: Let me guess, you brought me back from the dead to torture me.
Elijah: My dear mother, we simply need your blood, but in the event that you should suffer horribly, I can’t promise I won’t enjoy it immensely.
Cami: You want to know why I stay in town?Because against every ounce of my better judgment, my sanity and my common sense, it turns out I have complicated feelings for a monster.
Vincent: And does this monster have complicated feelings for you?
Cami: I think it’s entirely possible that he does, yeah.
Vincent: We’re gonna need another bottle.
Klaus: Once upon a time, there was a Wolf King who fought a war for the most precious treasure in all the kingdom – his beautiful, little princess. But victory came at a price. Allies lost…New enemies made. And so the wolf king stood alone. Happily ever after it was not, but sometimes even the worst endings are not really endings at all…And you should know, my littlest wolf, that even when all seems burnt to ash, in our story, there is always another chapter to be told.
THOUGHTS AND QUESTIONS
I, for one, am thrilled that the writers are following through with the love stories that were built from the beginning of the series. Whether that is Klaus and Cami, Hayley and Elijah or even Marcel and Rebekah. They all work because they are organic and built on a solid foundation that has nothing to do with the whims of loud fan-bases and everything to do with good storytelling and good old-fashioned build up. How do you feel about these three love stories? Personally, I can’t wait to see how these stories develop into next season.
I know Alice Evans and Claudia Black are probably very busy, but I would have loved keeping them around for another season. Anyone else?
The finale didn’t end on much of a cliffhanger. Were you surprised and even a bit happy by the quiet, peaceful tone of the final few minutes? I loved how it felt like this part of the fairy tale was over. In fact, I found the episode as a whole to be quite well written. I appreciate that the writers didn’t go for cheap thrills and instead opted to focus on character development rather than shock value. It reminded me of TV shows in the ‘90s and early ‘00s. And that is a VERY good thing.
Any theories on what the “next chapter” of The Originals’ fairy tale will be?
Well, what did you think of “Ashes to Ashes?” Let me know in the comments!
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