I feel like I was blindsided by this episode.  I knew viewers were going to follow Elijah through the past seven years.  I knew we would be introduced to his new life and a woman who would help him get through it.

I just had no idea I was going to fall in love, not with Elijah Mikaelson, but with E.  E the piano player.  E the vampire who has no idea what vampires are.  E the romantic.  I’ve always been a fan of Elijah, but this episode felt like meeting him for the first time.  It made me ask questions such as: would this have been what Elijah looked like without his family?  Would this have been what Elijah looked like if he’d never been turned into a vampire?  If the answer to these was “yes,” then can we blame him for one second for not wanting to abandon that life?

Irresponsible Marcel 

Marcel to Elijah: “Always and forever . . . forget it.”

When Elijah asked for his memory to be compelled away at the end of the last season, I understood why.  Elijah has always been loyal to a fault.  He’s loyal even when it requires sacrificing his own happiness, his future, his own loved ones.  Asking him to never see his siblings again, even to save Hope’s life, was tantamount to asking Elijah to saw off his own arm.  He couldn’t do it.  The only way to make sure his loyalty to Klaus wouldn’t endanger Hope, Marcel had to wipe the memories of that loyalty, that history, away.

This made sense to me at the time.  The way it was handled afterward?  Not so much!  How insanely irresponsible was Marcel by sending an Original vampire into the world without any knowledge of vampires?  No experience, no guidance, no way of knowing that he’s starving for blood, not for the fried pork skins in that vending machine?  Most vampires are given directions by their sires immediately after being turned.  Marcel was lucky that Elijah didn’t go on a bloody rampage across the United States!  The very least Marcel could have done was grab a vampire from another city and have them train Elijah in the ways of bloodletting.

Of course, if you stop to think about it, the reason Marcel couldn’t give Elijah any directions was because of one simple reason: plot device.  Elijah needed to be confused, panicked, and devastatingly alone so that Antoinette could help him.

Antoinette: The Woman Who Kills With Kindness 

Elijah to Antoinette: “I thought I was the only one.  I need you to help me.”

While it can’t be said that Elijah is nearly as violent or uncontrollable as Klaus, Elijah has had his moments.  In this episode alone, we see him kill indiscriminately.  He participates in group feeding.  He kills people in alleys and leaves the bodies where they fall.  When he sees Antoinette kill her prey gently, kindly, even soothingly, Elijah is confused.  What’s funny is that, even if Elijah had all his memories, he’d still be confused.  The Mikaelson family does not kill gently.  They are not kind.  They sure as hell do not soothe their victims!

Most viewers might say that Elijah was drawn to Antoinette that night because of the smell of blood.  They might say it was because there was no reason for a woman to be out there at that time of night.  Personally, however, I think he was drawn in by her words.  Elijah, despite not knowing it, had just lost everything he’d ever known.  He was alone and scared and hungry and had no idea what he was doing.  I think he was drawn in by someone who was comforting someone.

Giving Peace to a Mikaelson 

Antoinette to her victim: “You’re doing wonderfully.  Be at peace now.”

These are the first things Elijah overhears Antoinette say to her alleyway victim.  It turns out, that’s exactly what she brings to his life in the following seven years.

The Original vampires are what they are because it was forced on them.  They didn’t choose to be turned.  They didn’t want it.  It can be argued that being vampires has only brought them pain.  For Elijah, the question he asks Antoinette of “what possible gift can you see in this?” is a good one.  She answers it well too.  She smacks the table with her fist.  She describes how a vampire experiences the sound vs a human.  For a moment, she makes vampirism something Elijah has probably never seen before: beautiful.

Because of the people who turned her, Antoinette believes that daylight rings keep vampires from accepting themselves.  The only way to truly embrace what they are, to build a life, is to get rid of the daylight ring.  That’s when a vampire can stop wishing they were human and see the beauty of being a vamp.

Everything that follows is just as beautiful.  A love story unfolds that I know didn’t expect.  I expected even less to love Antoinette.  When she arrives in Elijah’s flat and he promises to have her home by midnight, she laughs.  “Wholesome,” she says, to which he replies.  “If you prefer debauchery, we can do that.”  She’s warm towards him in a way you wouldn’t expect after seeing her drink someone dry in an alley.  He’s warm towards her in a way we’ve only ever seen him treat Hayley and Hope.  It’s strange and it’s wonderful and it’s ultimately heartbreaking because know it has to end.

As I said in the last episode review, a Mikaelson cannot love anyone that isn’t another Mikaelson.

Uncle Marcel 

Marcel to Elijah: “You did this for someone.  A girl.  A kid.  She means everything to you. If you keep going down this path, the one who’s going to pay the price is her.”

In my last review, I talked about how much of an uncle Marcel has become to Hope.  I think that especially shows here.  Marcel rushes to confront Elijah when he gets back into town before anyone else knows Elijah is around.  Marcel threatens to kill both Elijah and Antoinette, but it isn’t said with rage.  It’s said with fear.  He’s afraid for Hope and afraid of the Hollow.

In both of their confrontations, Marcel is careful not to name Hope or Klaus.  He protects their identities from Elijah, not knowing what could trigger other memories to flood in.  However, I don’t think Marcel was there in that butchered club for just Hope’s sake.  Did any other fans see how upset Marcel was when he told Elijah that Marcel wrote the note saying “don’t look back?” Marcel was upset.  This takes me back to the opinion I’ve had since the first season.  Marcel, at the very heart of him, wants to be a Mikaelson.  He loves the Mikaelson family . . . or didn’t you see it in the way he’s trying to protect Elijah from heartbreak?

Losing His North Star 

Klaus to Elijah: “We are your family.  You love us.  You love ME!”

When Antoinette goes to it kitchen to get champagne, I knew there was going to be trouble.  I didn’t expect to find out that Klaus had known about her this whole time.  He knew she was with Elijah and he allowed it.  This means Klaus must have known she was making his brother happy.  This didn’t stop him from telling Antoinette to go out, break Elijah’s heart, and then leave the bar.

If you were like me, you were a little terrified she was going to do just that.  But she didn’t.  She warned Elijah and then she got everybody out of the bar.

As I watched the ensuing argument between Mikaelson brothers, I kept having the same thought.  I expected Elijah to say it, although he never did.  “If you were my brother, if you loved me, you would let me have this life.”  Even if Elijah never said this, it was in Klaus’ face.  In some places, Klaus verged on begging his brother to return with him to New Orleans.  It was heartbreaking to watch.  The worst/hardest moment to watch was during Klaus’ yell “You love us!  You love me!” In that second, fans knew what this was doing to Klaus Mikaelson.

It turns out that Elijah does know about the Mikaelson family.  He throws their names at Klaus bitterly, telling him he doesn’t care about any of them.  Klaus replies quickly, but he is obviously getting close to giving up. “You may have a wealth of knowledge at your disposal, facts, figures, names, and dates, but you lack all the feelings! The love and the loyalty. A thousand years of family!” If Klaus was close to giving up before this, Elijah delivers the final blow and he does it with a smile.  “Elijah Mikaelson spent every moment of his wretched life trying to save you from yourself. From what I understand, that poor bastard was lucky to find any moment of pleasure.”

And it’s when Klaus Mikaelson begs, when he says, “please, Elijah,” that Elijah tells Klaus his brother is dead and snaps Klaus’ neck.  For a moment, Elijah looks shocked at himself, but then he looks up to Antoinette and he’s smiling again.  Smiling over the body of his brother.

An Easy “Yes”  

Elijah about Klaus: “I saw the light vanish from his eyes.  This immovable man, this legendary Klaus Mikaelson, was broken.

At the end of the episode, we have a scene where secrets all come to light.  We find out that Elijah has known who he is for a while.  Antoinette knew who Elijah was the moment she saw him.  More than that, she knows all about his family.  Elijah convinces her that, since he’s broken Klaus, Klaus will not pursue them again.  Antoinette asks about Hayley, but Elijah just tells her she’s somebody Elijah Mikaelson loved.

Elijah pledges himself to Antoinette.  He takes off his daylight ring and puts it in a box with the rest of his belongings.  “If I do this,” he tells her.  “I want you to know I’m all in.”  After that, he’s back to kneeling with the ring box in his hand.  This time, the “yes” is easy.

Elijah takes things one step further by going to the curtains and setting his box down.  He says “I’m leaving my past in the ashes,” and opens the curtains.  The sun sets him and his box aflame.  The show closes on Elijah’s skin burning from his bones.  Some fans think this was just to burn the box.  Other fans think this was symbolic of killing Elijah Mikaelson to make room for the new him.

Bottom-line?  Elijah never lost his loyalty Klaus.  He just found someone else to invest it in.

What Kind of Heart-Breaker is Antoinette?  

Antoinette to Elijah: “This road of yours . . . it’s dangerous.  Who knows where it ends or what you’ll find out along the way.”

Part of me desperately wants her to end up with Elijah in the end.  I want her to get their happily-ever-after.  I want them to continue playing the piano for the rest of their lives.  On the other hand, rumors are already spreading between fans that she might not be as wonderful as people think.  Sure, we fell in love with her fast, but was it too fast?

Antoinette is shunned by other vampires.  She apparently died a really horrible death of being stoned.  She kills gently and won’t use a daylight ring.  This has kept her from having any friends or boyfriends apparently . . . or was I the only person to notice she didn’t have a life before Elijah came along?  It wasn’t just Elijah who built everything from scratch starting that night in the alley.

Could fans be right?  Could Antoinette be a bit more evil than we expect?  If we want to travel down this terrible rabbit-hole for a moment, think about who she is manipulating.  Think about how she’s gotten under the skin of a Mikaelson.  She taught him that the most delicious way to drink a human dry is to make them calm and happy first.  She got him to love her, to abandon his past, his family, even Klaus, all for her.  He got rid of his daylight ring and his entire history in order to live his life with her.  At the end of the episode, it is revealed that she knew Elijah was an Original the moment she saw him.  She has always known.

Most of me wants to believe this is just an amazingly wonderful love story . . . but there is a sneaky little voice in me whispering, “evil, evil, evil.”

When Antoinette is afraid of Elijah going to Marcel and finding out who he is, she says she’s afraid of what “you’ll find out along the way.”  This made me wonder if perhaps she knows it Mikaelson family?  Perhaps that look on her face when they first met wasn’t just her being afraid of a Mikaelson.  Maybe she has plans for them.  Maybe she was seeing an opportunity?

So, will Antoinette break our hearts by making us love her relationship with Elijah, only to be killed off?  Or will she break our hearts by making us love her relationship with Elijah, only to reveal she was manipulating him all along?  After all, wouldn’t the best way to control Klaus be to control the person Klaus heeds most?  Elijah would also be a direct line to the Hollow.  Controlling Rebecca would have been difficult with her dating Marcel.  Klaus is too wild to get close to and would sooner slaughter you than love you.  Kol is with Davina, one of the most powerful witches in the world.  This leaves Elijah.

When Marcel wiped Elijah’s memory, did he realize he was also making Elijah the most vulnerable Mikaelson?

Don’t Leave Me 

Klaus to Elijah: “Such poetry.  None of it means anything without family.”

Elijah to Klaus: “I have all the family I need right here.”

At the close of the episode, the audience is left wondering just who the title is about.  Does it have to do with Antoinette not wanting Elijah to leave her and pursue his past?  Does it have to do with Elijah being afraid Antoinette won’t want to be with him after he discovers who he was?  Fearing she might turn down his wedding proposal at the end?  And finally, could the message “don’t leave me” have to do with poor devastated Klaus, who had to be thinking this very thing as he woke up on the floor of the bar, left there by his brother?

Questions for Next Time: 

Is Antoinette a good guy or a bad guy who will ultimately betray Elijah?

What will a Klaus that has totally lost his brother look like?

Will Klaus hate Marcel for what he’s done to his brother?

Could Hayley be the one to bring Elijah back to himself?  Is there still a chance for them to love each other?  Do fans still want that?

What will Rebecca do when she finds out Elijah has abandoned the family?