The Originals: A Ghost Along the Mississippi

"Death dances silently in everyone's shadow, and she doesn't give a damn."

Death on a show about the supernatural... it can mean so many things.

I know I like a character when she gets very few storylines to call her own and her decision to live with pointy teeth or die with her manners and morals intact overshadows the brutal death of one character and a brilliant takedown (supposedly deathlike) of another. For me, this felt like a set-up episode for what we can expect from Cami this season but I'll save that until end.

Poor Jackson. Right before Tristan pulled his heart from his chest, I was thinking how odd it would be if Jackson died this way. At the hands of a non-Mikaelson. I mean, Klaus has threatened his life more than once, and while Elijah wouldn't do anything to hurt Hayley, there is a part of him that wants Jackson out of the way, at least subconsciously. Plus, I very naively thought that his re-acceptance of Hayley as part Mikaelson was going to reinforce his place on the show. So I really, really, REALLY did not see his death coming. And I didn't expect it to break my heart the way it did. That's impressive writing to get a viewer that was never even sure that I liked Jackson to mourn his death. Very well done.

Of course, a lot of it had to do with the acting too. The way Jackson very tenderly said goodbye to his wife, Hayley's visceral reaction to watching him die and subsequent apology speech. Very, very well done. The audience got slapped in the face with all the feels every time these two were on camera. So much so that I realized how often they've been used as pawns recently. By Klaus, last year, as part of his trick Auntie Dahlia campaign. By Davina when she needed murderers for hire and knew that Hayley was desperate enough to be taken advantage of. And now by the Strix to send a message. Hayley has earned a beach vacay. Someone get the girl a hammock and umbrella drink.

One down, two to go on taking down the anti-original family campaign. Now that's progress we like to see, but because this is The Originals and progress is always two steps forward and one step back, they lost Aurora. Plus, as many vampires that have come before him can tell you being tossed to the bottom of the ocean in a box isn't necessarily a forever solution. In fact, as far as anyone can tell, it's been proven quite ineffectual.

Opening the episode by flashing between Klaus' reaction to Cami being dead and Klaus and Cami's thoughts about how he handles loss was almost poetic. It flowed like a song. At the time, she couldn't have realized what she was saying by hoping it was a long time before she was proven right. And, of course she was right, Klaus is greatly affected by the deaths of people he cares about. He did, after all, dagger his siblings when he could have outright killed them. Even Finn got a dagger.

Klaus and Cami got to me twice. First in her apartment when she decided not to feed and took Klaus' face in her hands and told him that she made her decision and he will either accept it or they can spend her final day fighting. I felt like she was saying 'I want to spend my last moments with you. Love me good, please.' She wasn't running off to say goodbye to Vincent or Davina. She just wanted to enjoy Klaus' company. So telling. And again, after Tristan had been trapped. Klaus literally begged her not to leave him.

I spent the whole hour panicked that Klaus would force Cami into drinking the blood. I was more worried about that than actually losing her, because I just couldn't believe that Klaus would ever let her make a choice that he would have to live with. In her apartment, she made a point of throwing away dead flowers because dead things shouldn't stick around (hi, symbolism). She admitted that she doesn't really believe in an afterlife and that fact was making it harder to accept dying, and finally she admitted that she doesn't want to risk turning into a monster. Klaus, very sweetly, trying to tell her that she'd be the same "strong, understanding, brave" Cami O'Connell tugged on so many heart strings. In fact, my heart string might need medical attention. Even that didn't comfort her, though, and she decided she wasn't going to transition...

...Until she met up with Vincent in the cemetery and did a complete 180. Huh? Sure, she rationalized that she might be able to finish her uncle's good works and that she couldn't do anything from the grave, but it came so out of left field that I'm left feeling confused. Am I missing something? Or was it the lazy writer's way to appease Cami fans?

Do I have to rate this one? How many soon-to-be-dead flowers out of 4? 2?

Bites and pieces

Elijah didn't tell Klaus about Rebekah. Tsk tsk. Sharing is caring, Elijah.

Vincent doing the ritual shirtless to activate the weapon literally made me laugh out loud for a few minutes. I had to pause the show.

Isn't it interesting that Cami's hair was different than usual through this entire episode? I wonder if vampy Cami is going to prefer curls or if the hair and makeup trailer on set lost the hair straightener?

Who was babysitting Hope?

Cami: "I think you're far more affected by this world than you care to admit. You want to control it rather than allow it to control you. The inevitable, unavoidable parts of life make you uneasy."
Klaus: "Some might say death is inevitable and yet here I am a thousand years old sipping an exquisite aged whiskey while a beguiling muse sits across from me. I am the perfect picture of health and vitality, a master of my fate, a conqueror of death itself."
Cami: "See, that's my point. You make some glib throwaway comment about death as if it means nothing to you, but it does, if not your own then at least the death of others."
Klaus: "So beneath the devilish banter and charming wit, Klaus Mikaelson bears the burden of a deep seated psychological trauma about death. I'll tell you what I know about death, Camille. Death dances silently in everyone's shadow, and she doesn't give a damn. So, why give a damn about her?"
Cami: "You do give a damn. Why else surround yourself with immortals if not to avoid the agony of loss? You disagree. Fine. I hope it's a long time before I'm proven right."

Klaus: “Vampirism is by definition an afterlife.”
Cami: “Which one is it, Klaus? Heaven or Hell?”

Cami: “Better I die as someone I’m proud of than live as someone I despise.”
Klaus: “No, it’s better a flawed life lived than wasted rotting in clay.”

Hayley: “I never met anyone who was always just there for me. You let me feel what it is to be loved. But I will make them suffer for this, I promise you. I will make all of them suffer.”
Them is Tristan and the Strix, right? Right?

RIP. Don't worry, Elijah will take good care of your wife.

3 comments:

Billie Doux said...

I liked this one, mostly because I like Cami and I didn't want to lose her. I honestly thought Klaus would force her to drink because he was so devastated at the thought of losing her. Maybe he really is evolving.

I thought Cami finally decided to do it because it all eventually wore her down -- Klaus begging her to do it, thinking about being the last of her family, all of the things she still wanted to do with her life, the fact that she didn't believe in an afterlife. I liked that she made the decision while she was with Vincent, and he just helped her choose. I'm fond of Vincent.

Poor Jackson.

Like you said, Laure, I also think the storage container was a mistake. If he ever gets out, there they are with an implacable enemy again. They should have just staked him. Okay, they couldn't cross the threshold, but how about arrows? Jackson's arrows would have been karmic, if they were made out of wood.

Katie Hart - Freelance Writer said...

It seemed like a good portion of Cami not wanting to become a vampire was due to her feeling like she shouldn't. And probably a large part of that was feeling like her uncle wouldn't want her to. After everything surrounding her uncle's death, she probably made up her mind that if she was ever in transition, she would die rather than become a vampire. So that was her mindset from the moment she realized what was happening. And she's stubborn, so she wasn't going to change her mind, especially not when Klaus was trying to force her to change it. But her comment about not believing in the afterlife like her uncle was very telling. She's not exactly like her uncle, maybe her choice about transition can be different. And so when she talks to Vincent, she tries to justify staying for her uncle, but it's really all about her - will she stubbornly follow through with the decision she made before this all happened, or give in to the doubts she's having about that decision? And she gives in.

I assume Jackson's grandmother was babysitting Hope. Speaking of, where was she during the funeral?

Yeah, the bottom of the ocean storage container doesn't seem to work very well in TV shows, does it? Though this seemed to be more about getting rid of the medallion thing than just getting rid of Tristan. I wonder if it needs someone inside for it to work. Has it never been used before? If they shot Tristan with Jackson's arrow, would it fall off the side of the container and be able to be used again? If so, then it makes perfect sense for Tristan to be kept in continual torment.

TheShadowKnows said...

I thought Cami changing her mind was pretty realistic. It's one thing to talk tough when you're not staring straight down the barrel, but when it comes to it, how many people are going to actually make a conscious choice for death? I'm guessing not that many.