Originals S5EP8 The Kindness of Strangers Review

I went into this episode with a lot of expectations.  I wanted a lot more from this one than I have the rest of this season so far.  I was excited to see the Mikaelson family all together for the first time since last season.  I wanted to see what would happen when (if, really) Elijah remembered everything.  The fallout from that would be . . . catastrophic, but also highly anticipated.

The episode opened quietly enough with narration from Klaus about how New Orleans doesn’t bury its bodies.  It groups them together above ground in tombs.  During this, we got a little slideshow of said tombs with the names of characters long lost.  There was even a brief glimpse of a box with Marcel’s full name, Marcellus, on it in the basement of the Mikaelson home.  (I still personally hold out hope that he will be officially made part of the family by the end.  He deserves it).

Rebecca to Klaus and Kol: “What I wouldn’t give to go just a decade without being dragged into a godforsaken Chambre de Chasse.” 

Indeed, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen characters in this cast dragged into one of these mind-trips.  For the most part, these magically created spaces are used to force characters together who wouldn’t normally be together.  (Loyalty or geography issues, often).  The Mikaelson family has been in these a lot.

Here are a few from Examples:

Episode Brotherhood of the Damned: Finn dragged his brothers Klaus, Kol, and Elijah into one of these.  It was short lived.

Episode A Streetcar Named Desire: This time it wasn’t just Mikaelson’s stuck inside the magically created space.  Tristan and Aurora were there as well.

Episode Bloody Crown: These magically created places don’t always have to be evil evidently.  Freya created one for her and Klaus to rest and recuperate from their wounds.

Episode God’s Gonna Trouble the Waters: This most recent example saw only Klaus and Elijah trapped.

Despite how familiar the Mikaelson family might be with these Chambre de Chasse’s, they still struggle to escape this one.  For the most part, all the previous ones they had been trapped in were escaped via outside help.  This time, they need to escape from within . . . by working together!  Surprise, surprise!

Weird Highlights 

I actually enjoyed some unusual subtle stuff this time around.

The hug between Klaus and Rebecca, for instance, was really genuine to me.  In the world of the CW and more so, shows with young pretty people, it can be hard to strike the “sister and brother” tone of hug rather than the “boyfriend and girlfriend” hug.  Here, the two nailed the hug perfectly.

Kol joining the party entirely naked was a nice moment of levity.

The Way Out is a . . . Door?  

So, the only way to get out of the magically created space (I refuse to continue spelling the name of it and having my computer underline it as incorrect) is to open a big white door.  It has five locks on it that all require keys.  The Mikaelson’s all agree that, without Elijah knowing who he is, he won’t be able to find his key.

Via Freya, most of the group agrees that Vincent must be responsible for getting them stuck here.  I have my doubts about this.  The last we saw the inside of Elijah’s head, he was staring down his personal Red Door.  We have seen this door in the past.  Elijah keeps everything bad behind that door, what he’s done and what others have done.  How could Vincent know that?  Or is it a coincidence that Elijah uses a Red Door to protect himself for evil things and this magical place is using a white door as an exit?

While the siblings begin the hunt through the building, the effort is made to keep Klaus and Elijah as far apart as possible.

Odd Ones Out 

As close as Elijah and Klaus have been through the years, the same cannot be said of Kol and Elijah.  After all, Elijah was part of the effort that resulted in killing Davina Clare.  One of the interesting moments from this episode is when Elijah asks Kol if he (Elijah) ever apologized for getting Davina Clare dead.

“In your peculiar way, yes,” replies Kol, showing Elijah journals to help jog his memory.

Hayley to Klaus “Don’t Let Us Down.”  

Man oh man, flashbacks can be heart-breakers.  In this episode, we get to see the day that Klaus showed Hayley their home in New Orleans.  She tells him she wants to believe this child means something to him, wants to believe IN him.  She tells him not to let her down.

She also tells Klaus that she can be his hostage, (which she did begin as) or they can be better.  They can work at some kind of a friendship.  What’s beautiful and sad is that they succeeded.

This knowledge obviously doesn’t comfort Klaus as he beats the relic that reminded him of bringing Hayley here to pieces.

Later, Klaus flashes back to the Skype calls he’d have with Hayley when Hope was 11.  He tells Hayley she isn’t a Mikaelson.  He tells her that she did a good job with Hope and that she can continue to do that, without his involvement.  This is during the time when Klaus and Hope aren’t speaking.  This is also probably during the time when Klaus began to go off the rails and kill again.

Choosing When to Love Her 

Marcel tells Rebecca he thought he could choose when to love her.  Each time it wasn’t working out, he’d fall back into the arms of New Orleans . . . but that isn’t working anymore.

He tells her that he loves her.  He isn’t Cami or the others.  He isn’t going to die on her.  She says she isn’t worried she’ll kill him.  There are worse ways to destroy him than killing him.

“I know,” he tells her.  “You’re doing a good job of that right now.”

 

Exasperated Elijah 

He wants to save Antoinette.  That is the only reason he is trying to remember who he is.  To that end, he does try to ask questions.  He even asks Klaus what his relationship with Hope was.  Klaus ends up telling him that he, Elijah, helped name Hope.

Around the time Hope was born, she and Hayley were almost lost.  Elijah apparently said “we thought we’d lost our only hope.”  This inspired Hayley with the right name for her daughter.  She also told Klaus she knew he had fought for them.

These flashbacks are fascinating, as they are showing a friendship between Klaus and Hayley that never quite got to see enough sun.

Hope is Her Father’s Daughter 

Sometimes, it is easy to forget just who’s daughter Hope is.  She has her father’s wildness, his recklessness, and most of all, his desperate driving need to protect his family.  This is why they are where they are.  She wants to take back the power that was divided between them.  If she does, the Mikaelson family can be together.  The firstborn children won’t die.  The plagues will stop.

The problem?  It will destroy her.

Marcel tried to stop her, but instead, got thrown into the trap with the Mikaelson family.  Yay for awkward Marcel/Rebecca times!

But wait!  There is a room in the house that was destroyed many years ago.  Hope couldn’t have known about it, which means she couldn’t have created it.

Turns out that Freya has been helping Hope.  She wants to fix this too.  She wants to put everything back together and believes Hope has earned the right to make her own choices and take her own risks.  Freya disappears.

My Favorite Scene 

If I had to have a favorite, it would be the scene when Klaus finally unleashes his misery on Elijah.  He tells him that Elijah was his brother and his best friend.  Elijah was what made Klaus worthy of Hope.

“And you killed him,” Klaus tells Elijah.  “And I hate you for that.”

Because Rebecca was right.  Elijah chose to erase his memories without the say-so of his siblings.  In doing so, he took away the person that most comforted and oriented Klaus.  Klaus isn’t angry at Elijah.  He’s devastated.  He’s grieving.

The acting in this scene was amazing.  The moment that Rebecca and Klaus are unloading on Elijah, trying to make him remember . . . but before fans see if it is working, Hope succeeds.  The power is sucked out of the Mikaelson family and out of the house, causing the family to collapse to the floor.

The Keys are All Located!  

It turns out that the keys were all placed based on gifts Hope received from her family or on her associations with them.  For example, Klaus’ key was in a box of letters Hayley wrote to Klaus, but never sent.  Elijah’s key, the last to be found (by Marcel) was in a coffin the the cellar.  This was because Hope knows Elijah’s involvement in the death of Hayley.

The keys are inserted into their locks.  The door opens and the family steps into the White Maze of Elijah’s Mind.  At this point, Kol steps through a door with his initial on it and wakes in a church.  Marcel does the same and wakes there too.  Together, the two look down at the still sleeping bodies of Rebecca, Klaus, and Elijah.

Rebecca has to persuade Klaus to help Elijah because Klaus wants to leave, abandon Elijah to open his own door.  Rebecca reminds Klaus of their own mother, whom Klaus was involved in killing.

“We are capable of terrible things, but we are also capable of forgiveness,” she tells him.

Klaus tells her to go and that he and Elijah will be right behind her.

The Showdown 

Klaus begins to lay into Elijah.  He tells him that he did love Hayley.  Hayley believed in something better for the Mikaelson family and she fought for it.

“I don’t know who you’ll be on the other side of that door,” Klaus tells Elijah as they walk away from the Red Door.  “But you need me.”

And they run at the door together.

Grief Scene 

I keep track of grief scenes in TV shows and movies that are astounding.  This rates in the top five.  I have wondered since the start of this season what would happen when Elijah got his memory back.  I wondered how he would apologize to Klaus for everything he said to him, for abandoning him.

And then, I wondered what losing Hayley and doing nothing to stop it would do to him.

The grief scene begins with Elijah opening his eyes, but he doesn’t move.  He stays on the floor and stares upwards, seeing his memories.  He sees his family, his parents, the vow.

He sees Hayley and falling in love with her.

He sees her die, sees her look at him first, sees her catch fire.

He stumbles to his feet, falls onto a church pew, and falls to pieces.  No words.  Just screaming, sobbing, heart-rending grief.  His siblings watch, all of them pained, all of them sorry, because in a way, they all wanted to protect him from this.

I wanted so badly for someone to go hug him, especially Klaus.  Instead, awhile later, (after the commercial break) Klaus gives Elijah the blood to cure Antoinette.  He also gives his blessing if Elijah wants to leave his past behind him, still, and run away with her.

As he walks away, Elijah calls him Niklaus.  You can see by the look on both their faces what this means to them.  It means everything.  It means I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it, I missed you, I take it back, I love you.

Rebecca to Marcel “I Won’t Let My Sadness Destroy You.”  

Looking down on a street in New Orleans as a black couple embrace, Rebecca finally tells Marcel why she won’t marry him and it’s more profound than I expected.

She wants to grow old.  She wants to have kids.  She can’t have that and it makes her angry.  She knows it will always make her angry and she doesn’t want to destroy Marcel with that.  He chose being a vampire, but she didn’t.  She can’t be with him when eventually, she will resent him just as she resents her life.

She tells him she DOES love him and she kisses him, then she runs away from him.

Poor Antoinette 

I wanted Elijah to get his memory back.  I did.  I also felt terrible for Antoinette.

Elijah gives her Klaus’ blood and heals her from the bite.  There is such vulnerability in her eyes as she looks up at him, takes his hand, then the crestfallen, heartbroken look sets in as he says “forgive me” and leaves her there.

I am glad that the show isn’t making light of Elijah’s return, of his loss, of his actions, but I also ached for the sweaty, exhausted, heartbroken woman he left there in that bed.

Closing 

Scenes interchange of Klaus crying quietly over letters Hayley wrote to him about Hope with scenes of Elijah putting his suit back on and walking down to the bayou.  It is heartbreaking, in both places, for both men.

Questions for Next Time 

How is Elijah going to cope with what he has done?  What will Hope do when she sees him for the first time?  (If the promo says anything, nothing good).

Have we seen the end of Marcel and Rebecca’s chances at love?

What will happen to Hope now that she has that evil inside of her?

Are we ever going to see Davina Clare?

 

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Author: Nicole Orr

Freelance writer and digital nomad.

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