Welcome to the final stretch of episodes for season 1 of The Originals. There is plotting galore, a death, a statement of independence, and lots of family drama.
One thing I love about The Originals is how completely political the show is. Not like Scandal, but more like a royal court. You have a king (Marcel and then Klaus), his chief advisor (Thierry and then Elijah), assorted nobles (humans, witches, and vampires), the damsels (not in distress, ok sometimes in distress) (Hayley and Cami), and the outcasts looking to get in (werewolves). Each group is jostling for position in order to get as much power as they can.
Another way to look at the show is as an extended version of the prisoner's dilemma. Basically, the prisoner's dilemma is a problem wherein two people are taken in for a crime. If both remain silent, they get a short sentence. If one stays silent and the other talks, the one who talks goes free and the one who doesn't gets a long prison sentence. If both talk, they both get medium prison sentences. In The Originals, you have 5 groups (humans, vampires, witches, werewolves, and Originals [who are splitting on their own]) who are all trying to grab power. If they cooperated with each other, they would be able to share power more or less evenly (basically what Elijah tried with the treaty). If they work against each other, they may be able to grab some power, but they will also have to be constantly looking over their shoulders. The problem is that none of the groups really trusts any other group, so there can be no lasting peace.
In the center of everything is Klaus. He is working his way into the various groups, trying to play each one off of the others in order to keep them off of his back. He has made promises to the werewolves, Genevieve, Davinna, and Cami. He is also making enemies every time he turns around. Elijah wants to work with Klaus, but is constantly being betrayed. Marcel has already been betrayed and is out for vengeance. The witches don't trust him, but he has something they want (Esther's grimoire), so they are reluctant allies.
Elijah is trying to hold everything together without resorting to Klausian methods. He seems to genuinely want to have peace in the French Quarter, even if it means losing a little bit of pride. He is not Klaus or Marcel, so his methods aren't working as well. Marcel had Davinna to keep people in line and Klaus is quite possibly the supreme manipulator when he puts his mind to it. Elijah is too honorable to use either tactic, so he is forced to resort to force to keep the peace, as Marcel found out when Elijah ripped out Thierry's heart.
Genevieve is trying to help out the witches however she can. Whether it is sleeping with Klaus in order to get close to him, not so subtly putting Davinna down, or trying to steal esther's grimoire, she is dedicated to the power of the witches. Unfortunately for her, Klaus sees right through her and Monique is convinced that the ancestors want Genevieve dead in order to revive the final harvest witch.
Monique scares me. That girl is not entirely sane. I don't know if the ancestors are really speaking to her or what, but she has some definite issues. She is so devoted to the witches that she has become a fanatic who will not tolerate any deviation from the path that she believes the ancestors have talked with her about, not matter whether the person is her aunt or her best friend. I have a horrible suspicion that Esther has something to do with what is going on with Monique.
Davinna is definitely starting to grow a backbone. She is quite obviously tired of being used by people, but she doesn't see that Josh is using her at Marcel's command. I have no doubt that he thinks he is doing what is right, but it is incredibly obvious that Josh is completely under Marcel's thumb and is using Davinna to further Marcel's plans.
Hayley was on the fence, but after what Marcel pulled, she is ready to throw her lot in with the werewolves. The problem is that that means that she needs to work with Klaus, which she so does not want to do. So how far can she trust him and work with him?
My Vampire Diaries review this week will be delayed because I will be traveling for a wedding and won't be able to watch the episode until Sunday (at the earliest).
Until next week!