You guys, this episode is a doozy…I’ll get that out of the way here at the top. Not a lot actually happens but what does happen, HAPPENS. I’m still debating whether or not I believe it’s for real or forever, but we’ll get to it.
The episode starts off with idiot Greta showing up super disheveled at Antoinette and Elijah’s apartment. As per usual she acts super strange. Going so far as to tell Elijah that it’s nice to finally meet him. He’s slightly suspicious which feels like a good sign, but he fully disappoints by the end of the episode.
Jumping over to Hope and Roman, Hope continues to be my literal hero as she gives Roman shit for his “emo” taste in music. Though in fairness Taking Back Sunday is pretty good. They talk a lot about this ritual that’s meant to remove Hope’s werewolf side until she feels someone tracking her and she has to do a spell. Roman takes the time to call Greta and she tells him to take Hope to a specific location. He seems a little uneasy about it but agrees.
For her part, Greta is having a nice dinner with Elijah and Antoinette though there’s a little tension because Greta has a daylight ring. There’s a lot of not very veiled Nazi propaganda. And then Greta does the actual worst thing. She lies about how and why Roman was at the Salvatore Academy and then delivers an overly earnest monologue about how he’s gotten too close to Hope which is when she springs the news that she’s really in France to recruit Elijah to kill Klaus. Yawn.
Back in New Orleans, Caroline is at the Mikaelson compound to tell Klaus that Hope ran away with a boy. Klaus reacts exactly how you’d expect…by threatening to kill the boy. Caroline just rolls her eyes. In my opinion, the worst thing about this episode is that it’s not a bottle episode of just Klaus and Caroline on a search and rescue road trip.
— Shuffle 🔜 #ATXTVs7 (@shuffleonline) May 31, 2018
Roman and Hope arrive at an abandoned farmhouse where the witch he knows is supposed to be. Before they go in Roman asks if Hope knows he likes her and says there’s going to be some things he has to explain once they go in the house. It was at this moment I knew that Hayley was inside the house. And wouldn’t you know it, there’s Hayley tied to a chair! Before Hope can demand any answers Roman has her bound in magic dampening chains.
Back from commercial, there’s a scene here where I feel like I finally get answers about Antoinette. She explains that she knows Greta’s views are “extreme” and then how Greta saved her and turned her into a vampire. I mostly believe that Antoinette is decent at this point and throughout the episode we learn that Roman is THE MOST brainwashed which makes me think he can be saved. Really the only one who’s straight up horrible is Greta, though the argument can be made that since Antoinette let Greta live and keep being a horrible Nazi all these years she’s definitely complicit…I’m still on the fence.
— Shuffle 🔜 #ATXTVs7 (@shuffleonline) May 31, 2018
This is also the scene where New Elijah really starts to grate on my nerves. He is almost immediately completely on board for killing Klaus or Hayley or Hope or all three. Whatever it takes to “save” Roman, a kid he’s never met. Either he’s playing a hell of a long game this season or he’s still totally compelled and these Season 5 writers really ruined my favorite character.
Meanwhile, in New Orleans, Vincent is acting like a little bitch to Freya who rightly tells him to ease up. That’s when Declan and his brogue saunter over with a missing person sign for Hayley. Declan claims he’s the only one trying to find out anything about where Hayley went and Freya tries to tell him about the supernatural things happening in the city. Vincent is against this decision and starts the most humongous fire in the kitchen in order to distract Declan. Honestly, Vincent has a good point about telling Declan the truth, but so does Freya… He does come around later, with the help of Ivy, and almost tells Declan until he realizes that *groan* Declan is related to Cammi…The fact that Declan and Vincent or Declan and EVERYONE haven’t already met is too far for me to suspend my disbelief.
— Shuffle 🔜 #ATXTVs7 (@shuffleonline) May 31, 2018
My absolute favorite parts of this episode are all the moments with Caroline and Klaus. I enjoyed their banter on “The Vampire Diaries” quite a lot and hoped that after it was over Caroline might jump to this series. I’m so glad she finally has because the scenes between her and Klaus are next level amazing. They have such a lived-in relationship where they’re able to convey a long acquaintance even though they haven’t seen each other in years. Caroline is especially good at bringing out the best in Klaus. Whether that’s because he wants to impress her or if they really just compliment each other that well is still TBD but I certainly hope it’s the latter.
Caroline also seems to make Klaus a lot more contemplative than he usually is. During their long drive to find Hope and Roman he asks no less than three times whether she regrets the time they’ve spent together. It speaks a lot to his level of insecurity despite being basically the king of vampires and werewolves. Caroline answers beautifully, explaining that when they met she was so young and such a different person and so was he. Klaus seems to think he hasn’t changed much at all but Caroline assures him he has, he’s a father now and he seems to understand a little better that his actions have consequences.
She also manages to sum up both the toxicity and possibility of their former and current relationship. She says she never felt safe when they were around each other in Mystic Falls. She believes she represented an innocence to Klaus that he’d lost over the years and if they met for the first time today he’d never notice her. He’s mostly quiet up to this point when he disagrees with her as completely as possible by saying it would be impossible for him not to notice her. And I swooned for the next six hours.
Caroline: "If we met now, I wonder if you would ever notice me"
Klaus: "It would be impossible not to notice you Caroline"
THEY REALLY DID THAT, I WILL NEVER EVER RECOVER #TheOriginals pic.twitter.com/rjzqnM4au2
— you and i (@clairehltt) May 31, 2018
The rest of the episode happens pretty rapid fire until the final scene. Caroline and Klaus find the kids’ cell phones and Klaus realizes who Roman is and also that Hope is in real danger. We find out Roman is the one who led the kidnappers to Hayley in the church attic because he’s been brainwashed by Greta to believe hybrids are an abomination. Somehow he doesn’t believe that Greta is definitely going to kill Hope and Hayley which makes me so so sad for Roman. Despite being, at a minimum, like 100 years old he’s such a dumb kid.
— Samantha Highfill (@samhighfill) May 31, 2018
This brings me to my biggest issue with this episode/season/show in general and honestly the whole “The Vampire Diaries” universe. At a certain point, I don’t care anymore about what bad things the Salvatore’s or the Mikaelson’s have done. The Mikaelson’s especially have been alive for over a thousand years, that’s bound to leave some time to do some pretty heinous shit. But they are our heroes and so I’m very willing and able to forgive the terrible things they do because their characters are nuanced and “different” than they were in the past, they’ve grown. The same is not true for the villains of any given season. They’re drawn as very one note and almost always pure evil which leaves their motivations, however, justified in reality, very boring. So Klaus killed a Nazi vampire back in the 30’s and I’m supposed to feel sympathy for Greta because that was her husband? I’m sorry, I can’t.
There’s a lot of movement after this where Hayley agrees to the binding spell. We see the spell which is 100% more hellish than I ever imagined which leads me to believe we’ve never seen it before? I think I would remember watching that previously. As soon as the werewolf side of her is removed Freya and Vincent can tell where Hayley is and they presumably call Klaus and Caroline. It turns out the binding was part of the “bad plan” Hope had because Hayley bites the witch who performed it and Roman’s neck gets snapped. Hope runs for the door before she realizes Hayley can’t leave because she’s just a vampire now and can’t go out in the day. Hayley explains that Hope is the one they want or they would have killed Hayley immediately, she was actually like bait to get Hope there because she could finally unite all the factions which goes against all their hate-based Nazi ideals.
She seems to finally convince Hope to leave but it’s too late because stupid Greta arrives and blows some kind of powder in Hope’s face which knocks her out cold.
The episode ends with a showdown at the farmhouse and Elijah immediately jumps to the bottom of my favorite characters list by snapping Caroline’s neck and then saying he’s “protecting his family.” New Elijah is treading on my last nerve. Greta and Hayley get locked in a fight, ditto Elijah, and Klaus. Elijah gets a stake in Klaus and then doesn’t recognize Hayley.
— Positive Vibes (@Dxkiwi) May 31, 2018
Hayley’s heart gets ripped out, Greta gets her daylight ring ripped off and then they both burn.
Klaus looks legit devastated that Hayley is dead – Elijah looks less so, but still unsettled.
— Naomi (@Iamnotonfire9) May 31, 2018
If it feels like I really rushed through the end of that, it’s because I did. So many things about it irritated me because they could have been good if they’d only been handled differently. Hayley could have died if only she’d been in more than one episode this season. Elijah could still be terrible if only there’d been more buildup than just like three episodes this season or if there were any indication he was going to change at all any time soon. Will he ever regret what he did? Maybe, but it will be too late. I can’t help going into the back half of this season convinced that every single Mikaelson (except maybe Klaus) will die in order to give Hope a super tragic backstory for her spinoff show next season “Legacies” and that just feels lazy for a show that’s pretty much always trafficked in subverting expectations.
HAYLEY MARSHALL DESERVED BETTER THAN TO BE KILLED OFF TO GIVE HOPE A TRAGIC BACKSTORY FOR THE SPINOFF #TheOriginals
— gee (@hybridqueens) May 31, 2018
Like I said, I’m not sure Hayley’s death will stick, The Hollow is still going strong, but it was a wholly devastating episode of “The Originals” for reasons besides that. I’m not willing to write off the whole show this close to the end. But it seems that they’re not really playing to their strengths in what they knew was going to be their final season and that’s very upsetting.