Like the first episode, this one centered around an original. This time it was Rebekah's turn. And just like the director's cut of the pilot, this episode opened up a lot of history and cleared up some interesting facts about Klaus and Rebekah's tangled and horrible sibling relationship.
First off though, we learned quite a bit about Marcel's fiefdom. He has a secret-ish uber-powerful witch named Davina locked up in some sort of barn or attic. He gives relatively free reign to his vampires, but doesn't let them feed flagrantly except during the special parties he throws. At those parties, when midnight rolls around it becomes an all you can eat feast. How they mitigate the police and media interest is that they compel most to forget, kill a few and plant those bodies in innocuous places, then on the occasion when a slot in the organization is open, they turn one. Marcel prizes trust and loyalty above all. His inner circle gets day rings, new recruits are loyalty tested and anyone who would betray someone close to them for self preservation is rejected.
That's an interesting aspect to the story, since Klaus constantly betrays those close to him for self-preservation or for petty, selfish reasons. Since Klaus essentially raised Marcel, is Marcel's whole personal code of ethics formed by Klaus's evil tendencies? It's telling that Marcel's mark is actually the Mikaelson mark. Though I wonder if all of Klaus's family is affected by Klaus? I doubt any of them are more so than Rebekah. Her entire existence is based on Klaus' whims. Every single man she has ever had an interest in (except for Matt, thankfully), Klaus has killed or maimed. The big exception is, of course, Marcel.
Klaus daggering Rebekah for 52 years because of her interest in Marcel completely explains everything we know about Rebekah. She is selfish and petty and violent. She holds grudges, and doesn't give her trust easily. Except there have been numerous glimmers of good shown by her actions. She doesn't want to be what Klaus has made her. She wants to love and have a family. She just doesn't know how to have that, and still keep her brother in her life. This is an extremely dysfunctional and disturbing relationship. I wonder how old is Rebekah, really? How many times has she been put under? I know it isn't as much as Finn or Kol, but still -- could she have spent centuries in a box?
Hayley's reaction to Rebekah was telling. Hayley seemed genuinely upset and sympathetic towards Rebekah. Sure, she has proven to be duplicitous in the past, betraying Tyler and Klaus. However, I get a real sense of potential kinship between Hayley and Rebekah. Their relationship could be a real strength for the show going forward, and could be a way to help rebuild Rebekah's fractured ability to trust. Unfortunately, the first thing Hayley tried to do is abort the pregnancy, even though by episode end she had decided to commit to it, and to her new, twisted family. Let's hope Rebekah can keep her alive after the birth. Or maybe Katherine can have a cameo and Hayley can become a hybrid.
Sophie's hex on Hayley also keeps her tied to New Orleans.
"Marcellus" means "Little Warrior". Interesting that Klaus keeps referring to Hayley as "Little Wolf". Does that mean deep down he does have some feeling towards her, even if it is just a sense of obligation or protection?
Marcel has witch informants.
The bartender character played a bigger part in this episode. I'm not entirely sure what her purpose is in the overarching plot.
The Marcel intro narration was a nice touch
The new silver title card was all snazzy.
Klaus trading Elijah to build some trust with Marcel actually makes a bit of sense. That it was part of Klaus's master plan also makes sense. Still, I'm pretty sure Elijah will be a bit pissed when he's finally awakened.
Marcel asked Davina to find a way to kill an Original. I hope that doesn't mean we'll lose one of them by season's end.
Hayley: "So if a couple of antique steak knives were the only thing stopping you from getting Elijah back, then here you go."
Rebekah: "Niklaus has done something dastardly and Klaus-like. Klaus, get out here and tell me what you've done with our brother, you narcissistic backstabbing wanker!"
Rebekah: "I expected to see some kind of supernatural miracle baby bump... I guess you're not showing yet."
Marcel: (about Rebekah) "Maybe it was her who killed my guys?"
Klaus: "Unless that biker bar is frequented by small town high school quarterbacks, I doubt she'd be interested."
Marcel: "You're my guest. Keep your sister in line."
Klaus: "I'd have a greater chance of draining the Mississippi with a straw."
Klaus: "Now I'm going to compel him to believe his mates found religion and moved to Utah so that he can explain to Marcel why he lost three more vampires tonight."
I think this was a good follow up to the first episode, and a good introduction to Rebekah.
3 out of 4 Antique Steak Knives.