by Ryan J. Downey
Man, last night sure put the "origin" in "The Originals"! Plus, two very important secrets were revealed.
Now we know Marcel's backstory! Plus we learned about Klaus' master plan to take back New Orleans, even as Klaus learned about Marcel's secret weapon that gives his former protege control over the town's witches, vampires and law enforcement types.
Let's begin by breaking down the episode's title, shall we? "House of the Rising Son" most likely refers to two different things. One of them involves the relationship between Klaus and "The Originals" Big Bad Marcel. It turns out Klaus wasn't just a mentor, he was a father figure! In a flashback we were introduced to Marcel as a young boy, who was saved from a cruel whipping thanks to a well placed vampiric toss of an apple that knocked a wicked slave master from his horse (and from this plane of existence).
Klaus saw something of himself in the young boy: a cast aside loner who nevertheless is a survivor. Klaus raised Marcel from that point on, denying his request to be sired into the vampire life for many years, until Marcel was a grown, chiseled, six-pack-sporting man.
But don't think the eye candy on "The Originals" is gender specific. Rebekah Mikaelson, played of course by Australian super babe Claire Holt, burst into the series full-bore, speeding from Mystic Falls to New Orleans in a convertible and pausing only to dispatch a bunch of biker vampires who mistook her for the evening's snack. It so happens, of course, that those were Marcel's boys.
The backdoor pilot that launched "The Originals" as an episode of "The Vampire Diaries" was primarily told from Klaus' vantage point. Stuck with the problem of launching the series with a first episode that would explain things to new viewers without boring hardcore fans, the show's writers cleverly retold the backdoor pilot story in the series premiere, but from the vantage point of Elijah.
This week's episode was all about Rebekah. And we definitely aren't complaining!
Rebekah had no intention of joining her brothers in the town the Mikaelson's helped build 300 years ago, but when Elijah stopped answering his phone, she sped down to the land of gumbo to find out what happened to him. It didn't take her long to figure out that Klaus had stuck a dagger in their brother for the umpteenth time, but she couldn't find his coffin, though hers was in the basement.
As executive producer Julie Plec always says, she doesn't mess with flashbacks unless they will tell us something about the present. "House of the Rising Son" delved further into Klaus' penchant for murdering any boy Rebekah dared to fall in love with, including the Louisiana governor's son he threw off a balcony at some point in the 1800s. As Marcel grew older, he found himself falling in love with Rebekah, most notably through a series of sexual-tension-filled fencing lessons, where Marcel was dying to rip her out of that corset.
Klaus angrily forbid Marcel from putting the moves on his sister, but Marcel persisted anyway. When they finally kissed, Rebekah warned Marcel that Klaus would kill him for it, to which the smooth-talking future vamp scoffed, "Then I'll die with a smile on my face."
What happened instead? Klaus shoved a dagger in Rebekah and left her knocked out for, you know, a bunch of decades. Marcel finally became a vampire and agreed to never pursue a relationship with Rebekah.
At the private screening and Q&A this weekend attended by Hollywood Crush and a small group of journalists, Claire Holt pointed out that Matt Donovan has survived all of these seasons of "The Vampire Diaries" despite his lack of supernatural powers, so she was optimistic that Cami (played by Leah Pipes), the new show's resident human and object of Marcel's 21st century affection, will make it.
There was a great scene were Klaus and Marcel sorta seemed like friends, with Klaus acting as wingman to try to get Marcel a date with Cami. We later learned how Cami fits into Klaus' plan (more on that later), though we still have much to learn about Cami herself.
Claire Holt was reunited with her BFF Phoebe Tonkin onscreen, as Rebekah and pregnant werewolf girl Hayley met for the first time. Claire and Phoebe were on a show together back in Australia, are neighbors now and have often run lines together for auditions. The chemistry was real between them as their two characters quickly went from adversaries to pals. With Elijah missing, Rebekah took on the role of protector for Hayley, who returned the favor by giving Rebekah the "antique stake knives" she snatched from Klaus.
Armed with the daggers, Rebekah felt confident enough to defy Klaus' wishes and start looking around town for Elijah. She eventually found him all staked away in his coffin held captive by Marcel's secret weapon, a little girl named Davina. She's easily the most badass witch we've seen in the "Vampire Diaries" universe, despite being just a kid. Marcel seems to have her stuck away in some attic somewhere. She tossed Rebekah around, kicked her out of the room and then wiped her memories of the room's location.
Hayley spent much of the episode decided whether or not to take a special tea that would rid her of Klaus' unborn hybrid baby. Klaus was furious when he learned that Hayley almost did this, revealing to everyone (including himself) how much he actually does care about the baby. An attempted attack from some of Marcel's goons (thwarted by Rebekah) solidified Hayley's own protective feelings, as well.
Rebekah was furious to learn that Klaus had handed over Elijah to Marcel, particularly given Elijah's unwavering belief in Klaus' redemption (a hope revived anew with Hayley's pregnancy). This is where Klaus revealed his master plan to his little sister.
Klaus compelled Cami to start dating Marcel in order to keep tabs on his rival. He also secretly compelled one of the brand-new vampires Marcel turned to replace the biker boys staked by Rebekah (Marcel's pack of vampires take vervain to avoid being compelled). Giving up Elijah was part of the plan, too. It was part of Klaus' twisted version of protecting his family. Marcel wasn't very keen to have two Originals kicking around town. It seemed like it would build more trust for Klaus and ease the tensions to give up his brother. For now.
Make no mistake: Klaus intends to take back the city. The "House" in the episode's title no doubt refers to the Mikaelson's former pad, where Marcel now sleeps. When the Originals fled New Orleans when their murderous father tracked them there, they assumed Marcel had died in the ensuing chaos. Marcel, on the other hand, never bothered to follow them. He just stayed and took over, instead.
Klaus made special note of all of the "M"s Marcel has carved all over town. He is hellbent on making those stand for "Mikaelson" again.
What did you think of last night's episode of "The Originals"?