As predicted, the Mikaelsons got their one day of meditation. Now it’s back to the real world with a soul sucking mystical force that is intent on having his sacrifices, including Hope, at any price.
For an episode where there wasn’t much action, a lot of premise, intent, and future narratives were established on The Originals Season 4 Episode 3. I’m not going to tip-toe around it. I cringed when Hope began to describe “bad” things Klaus would protect her from. Adjectives like “mean, selfish, and angry” sounded very pre-Hope Klaus reminiscent. Klaus’s widening eyes showed that he connected the similarities as well, and the desperate way he grabbed and held her also shows everything in him wants to stop being that way for his daughter.
Klaus has never excused (or believed the excuse) that all he’s done in the past was to protect his family. He’s simply used that excuse as a manipulative tool. He knew he was selfish and sadistic, he just didn’t care. Now Klaus does care, because like his co-parent, he wants to keep Hope innocent and good. We got to explore that side of Hayley this episode and I appreciate them revisiting her recent actions. This episode addressed the qualms I had with Hayley being willing to betray her own kind for The Originals.
She admitted as much as I predicted, she was “ruthless,” to which Elijah replied, “you [acted like] a Mikaelson.” And that’s the conundrum, isn’t it? Hayley has always had a morally grey past, but not as grey as she showed in the first episode. I knew she did those things for Hope, but I also knew (as she admitted) she also did those things for selfish reasons.
The best part of the revelations between Elijah and Hayley is she didn’t excuse her actions. Even though she attempted to at first, she didn’t let Elijah pin the age-old excuse, “you did what you had to do,” to justify the immoral decisions she made. She took ownership, and that is the Hayley I missed. I missed the Hayley who protected her first family, the wolves, no matter what. I missed the Hayley who took her title as Queen seriously. I missed the Hayley who would stand up to anyone who crossed the imaginary line she decided was “too far,” no matter the risk it meant to her life. She has not lost herself in the Mikaelsons, and I’m glad we got to see her resurface today.
It’s nice to see Hope spreading this awareness to everyone in the family. Awareness of the difference between doing what you have to do, and what is doing what you want to do, damn the consequences. Unlike Klaus, Elijah and Freya love to put on a face of morality and scream “family” to qualify their evils, but no more. Awareness is beginning to set in and I believe that is what this season will be about: understanding oneself and taking accountability of one’s actions. Even Marcel still uses the excuse, “I was protecting Davina,” to excuse his heinous crimes against the witches. And now we see the backlash of everyone’s selfish actions this season, Vincent’s, Marcel’s, and The Mikaelsons’s, and I can’t wait to see it all play out.
Speaking of Vincent’s depravity, we got to see a side of him this episode we haven’t seen before. Now we can understand why he was so averse to gaining a lot of power and becoming Regent. Now we understand how his wife turned into the horrible woman Vincent couldn’t recognize, willing to sacrifice children. I appreciate the fact they didn’t strip Eva’s agency. Although he blames himself, Vincent didn’t make her evil and neither did this mystic power in New Orleans. We got the see the smart, sweet, and kind side of Eva, but also latent wicked side – willing to go above and beyond what Vincent was willing to gain enough power and end Marcel’s Tyranny.
Don’t get me wrong. I love a good anti-hero. Not everyone needs to function under the same ethical rules, because not everyone falls under the same category to maintain the same morals. When you live for an eternity, pure morality as that shown in Vincent, won’t hold the test of time. A pledge to your family will, though. A pledge for self-preservation will, too. I just put a lot of weight on accountability. Many people make their own decisions, and hiding behind selfless excuses is a weak way to deal with the person they truly are.
Regardless, I enjoy the different levels of morality we see on The Originals: the Mikaelson’s level of depravity, Hayley and Marcel’s level of depravity, and Vincent’s level of depravity. It’s interesting to see our characters waver between these permeable barriers, trying to find out who they really are and just how far they’re willing to go under viable circumstances. Now we have an all powerful force in New Orleans that can reach any and every one to do their bidding. And in this case, that freedom at the cost of Hope’s and the other children of New Orleans’s lives.
How will our favorite characters fare under this new pressure? To find out keep watching The Originals Fridays at 8/7c on the CW.