THE TV SHOW: The Originals
THE EPISODE: “Savior” (aired December 10, 2015)
THE PAIRING: Klaus Michaelson (Joseph Morgan) and Camille O’Connell (Leah Pipes)
THE MOMENT: Klaus and Cami share their first kiss.
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” – John 1:5
Klaus and Cami’s first kiss didn’t come without several obstacles along the way, the biggest one being that Klaus is an immortal vampire and Cami a mere mortal human. But it was Cami’s light in Klaus’s darkness and their soul connection that kept this romantic story slowly progressing, a story very much influenced by classic love stories. The Originals’ Byronic and Brontëan romance definitely needs another moment to shine in this crowded week of several wonderful romantic moments (honorable mentions for the Arrow engagement and similar tragic ending and then the other engagement over on Nashville).
The Build Up
After saving Cami from Klaus’s crazy, jealous ex-Aurora, Cami finds herself under his protection. Not only does Klaus keep her at his home, he follows her around town like her own guardian angel. When she hears from Vincent that Detective Will Kinney’s life has gone out of control since his terrible compulsion, Cami wants to help. She empathizes with his plight. She’s been there before. And because she wishes it, Klaus decides to aid Cami in her righteous endeavor.
Just in the nick of time, Klaus prevents Will from killing himself. With selfless kindness (a trait rarely seen in Klaus), he compels Will to live a better life, to leave the depression of the compulsion behind him. In this speech, Klaus also shares his own thoughts, connecting them to the person he sees as his own light:
Klaus: There is beauty in the courage of the fragile fighter, those who persevere despite all they’ve been through, those who still believe there is good in the world. Us dark things often find we need that light the most.
With a look, Cami knows what he means. It is in this moment, that Cami truly begins to give into her deeper feelings for Klaus, first thanking him for what he did for Will.
With Cami coming around, it’s time for Klaus – the man who once admitted that “love” was a “vampire’s greatest weakness,” – to finally allow love in.
At their family Christmas party, Rebekah readies to leave, Klaus jokingly giving her advice:
Klaus: Run far and fast, stay on the move, and should you happen to meet some handsome fool, know your weaknesses.
Rebekah smartly replies back with her own advice:
Rebekah: Well, perhaps it’s time our roles reversed. I’ll run away from love if you run toward it.
In this moment, Klaus looks over at Cami. Their stares say it all; their soul connection has just become too powerful to ignore.
RELATED | The Originals Savior Recap
The Romantic Moment: Klaus and Cami’s First Kiss
In several TV shows these days, it seems as if love happens too quickly without proper build up. There’s too much instant gratification I think, but occasionally, this isn’t the case. And, for me, these are the romantic stories that work best, stories such as Klaus and Cami. Klaus and Cami’s love for one another has been slowly building for two and a half seasons. No kiss. No hook up. Just a soul connection. It’s about a look, a slight hint in their conversation, a dance here, a hand touch there, clear moments of trust, Klaus and Cami doing anything to save one another, and, of course, several epic speeches along the way.
These two have truly gotten to know the darkest secrets about one another and it has only intensified their feelings as well as their deep connection. Beauty has looked at her monstrous beast and she isn’t afraid of him. In fact, he’s always been there for her. It is in these thoughts that Klaus and Cami finally confess what they are feeling for each another.
Cami worries Klaus sees her as this fragile thing that needs to be kept protected behind glass. He has always saved her after all.
Cami: I’ve lost count of the amount of times you’ve been there for me and everyone you care about, but today, you saved someone who doesn’t mean a thing to you. Why?
Klaus answers with his Heathcliff and Mr. Rochester like speech, revealing just how much Cami’s soul has become entwined with his own:
Klaus: Because you wished it. Because what’s important to you is important to me. What makes you happy makes me want to keep you so. What scares you I want to tear apart. I do not wish to watch you from behind glass, Camille.
“What do you wish?” Cami asks in curiosity and awe, deep down already knowing what they both wish. Klaus stares at her, and then finally with determination, he grabs Cami and kisses her.
It is a sweet and tender moment, a moment that emphasizes a love story based on romantic love rather than one based only on attraction and lust.
From this point on, it seems as if Klaus and Cami’s first kiss was going to lead to more, but rather than consummate their relationship, the two choose to stare into one another’s eyes and then fall asleep. The soul love is emphasized even further when Cami touches Klaus’s heart, implying the two have become one on a deeper and more emotional level.
I think the success of this romantic moment is similar to part of the reason Downton Abbey is so successful. One of the Executive Producers of Downton Abbey, Gareth Neame, had this to say in an interview about Downton’s popularity:
“It’s something to do with it being a show about romantic love, not sexual love. TV is mainly about sex when talking about relationships now. So doing something chaste and non-sexual is deeply unfashionable. On cable TV, they’re almost reveling in the fact that they can cut to the chase. And in the most PBS of ways, we’re going the opposite of that. What amazed me was how female audiences have loved that.…”
This really shouldn’t be all that surprising, considering the timeless appeal of stories like Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre. There are a lot of people who appreciate romantic love in stories – the touch of a hand or the stare across a room. Is a sex scene really more romantic than Mr. Darcy walking at dawn toward Elizabeth out of the fog to ultimately confess, “I would have to tell you, you have bewitched me, body and soul, and I love… I love… I love you. I never wish to be parted from you from this day on”? I personally don’t think so…
And because these types of romance stories are less common in today’s saturated TV world, love stories like these will continue to appeal to an audience who’s looking for it.
Besides, what’s ultimately more memorable in the long run? A bodice ripper? Or a classic love story?
Indeed, the love story between Klaus and Cami has always been influenced by classic love stories whether through the archetypal Beauty and the Beast or through the Byronic love story of Jane Eyre (which was also based on Beauty and the Beast), where Mr. Rochester is drawn to Jane’s goodness in a similar, soulmate kind of way. At the end of Jane Eyre, Rochester can’t help but describe his need for Jane:
“I must have you. The world may laugh — may call me absurd, selfish — but it does not signify. My very soul demands you: it will be satisfied, or it will take deadly vengeance on its frame.”
But the influence doesn’t stop there, not when tragedy stands in the way of Klaus and Cami’s sudden happiness. For the first time in basically ever, Klaus had found a moment of happiness only to have it ripped from his fingers when he awakes next to a very dead and bloody Camille. What happens when a Byronic Hero loses one-half of his soul?
This shocking twist reveals just how much Klaus loves Cami as he screams over her body. He’s just lost the woman he loves, and that’s never a good thing for Byronic Heroes. In Wuthering Heights, we saw what happens with this passionate loss. Heathcliff cannot live without Cathy, so he takes to shouting to her “ghost:”
“Be with me always – take any form – drive me mad! only do not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you! Oh, God! it is unutterable! I cannot live without my life! I cannot live without my soul!”
We do not know just how or if Cami will return. Could she become an ambiguous ghost like Cathy or a vampire like Hayley did? Perhaps they will sense each other’s’ souls even after death.
What I do know is that Klaus isn’t going to take Cami’s death lightly. There will be vengeance against Aurora (if indeed she is the killer) and the Strix. It’s possible that in this path of revenge, Klaus, like Heathcliff will ‘fall’ in a moral and literal way. This choice could even lead to fulfilling the prophecy. Whatever the case, this romantic moment that led to a romantic tragedy will certainly prove interesting when it comes to the consequences of these characters.
But this moment and tragedy are about more than just these consequences that will follow, it is about the essence of soul love, of two individuals uniting in this way. An Emily Brontë web page describes this kind of love rather well, saying:
“Heathcliff repeatedly calls Catherine his soul. Such a love is not necessarily fortunate or happy. For C. Day Lewis, Heathcliff and Catherine ‘represent the essential isolation of the soul, the agony of two souls–or rather, shall we say? Two halves of a single soul–forever sundered and struggling to unite.’”
It’s this struggle that I believe we will continue to see on The Originals whether through life or death. “Savior” was just the beginning of these two souls uniting if only briefly in one of the best romantic moments I’ve seen on television in a while. Still, no matter how dark it may seem, I believe Cami’s lightness in the midst of Klaus’s darkness will continue to shine brightly. Cami will overcome death even if only metaphorically.
What did you think of Klaus and Cami’s first kiss? Cami’s tragic death? Sound off in the comments…Pin this article to read later! And make sure to follow us on Pinterest.