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The Originals recap: 'Gonna Set Your Flag on Fire'

Esther gives in to temptation, Finn starts a war, and another Original makes her presence known.

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Bob Mahoney/The CW

The Originals

TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
run date:
Joseph Morgan, Daniel Gillies, Claire Holt
The CW
Drama, Fantasy

If there’s one family I missed the most over the holiday season, it had to be the Mikaelsons. They’re so dark and twisted and poetic and full of passion and full of anger, and most importantly, full of twists (and phenomenal monologues). Honestly, when the Mikaelsons first came to The Vampire Diaries, who would’ve thought that Finn could be one of the most powerful, interesting siblings? And there’s no way anybody could’ve predicted that the eldest Mikaelson was being held in a coffin in some sort of witch prison in New Orleans. That’s right, Freya’s in town! (Does that mean Dahlia’s close behind?)

Regardless, Klaus begins 2015 with a voiceover about how “all love begins and ends with she who gave us life.” He then breaks down the Original family in his own, beautiful way.

Noble Elijah: Tortured by long-buried, shameful secrets

Kol: The wily troublemaker out for no one but himself

Finn: The devoted acolyte, his love all too easily warped by their mother’s sick hate

Fierce Rebekah: Willing to risk everything on the chance that she might one day find happiness

Klaus: The bastard child; his mother’s greatest shame

Freya: ??????

Now that we’ve been reintroduced, let’s get to the action.

Act One: The safe house

Picking up soon after we left off before the break, Hayley and Elijah are still enjoying their postcoital high—that look he gives her nearly earned the Elijah Moment of the Week—when Klaus interrupts by bringing Cami to stay with Hope and Elijah at the safe house while he and Hayley return to the Quarter. After betraying Finn, Cami needs to be kept safe, and because Rebekah is yet to be accounted for, Hope also still needs protection. Added bonus? This way, Cami might be able to help Elijah to, you know, clear that beautiful head of his.

As Elijah so elegantly puts it: “A single violent outburst at a filthy roadside cafe and one never hears the end of it.” But Cami isn’t exactly looking to be Elijah’s therapist. As far as she’s concerned, she has enough problems of her own. So why not get drunk and play board games, right? Well, here’s the thing about playing board games with an Original: They know all the answers because they quite literally lived all of them.

So while Cami tries to wrap her head around Elijah’s wealth of knowledge, Rebekah is busy figuring out where she is. Long story short, it’s some sort of witch asylum, where Cassie gives her a tour. As we know, the place was first created thanks by Klaus’ witches to trap Mary Alice Claire back in the day. But since then, it’s become the coven’s place to send witches who have been “broken by magic.” And ever since a scarred group of individuals known as The Kindred entered years ago–they were obsessed with dark magic at one point in time—they’ve put themselves in charge. But that won’t stop Rebekah from trying to send a distress signal to her brothers.

However, Klaus and company are busy with a witchy problem (or rather, sibling) of their own. With Hayley and Jackson meeting at the compound to discuss all of the trials and devotion rituals that go along with their wedding ceremony, she surprises him by gathering the wolves and Marcel’s vamps to make a peace treaty of sorts. And upstairs, Kol and Klaus are making a peace treaty of their own. That is, until big brother Finn enters and ruins everything for everyone.

Hell-bent on finding his mother, Finn is ready to start a war. His first move? Blowing on his fingers and touching a wall. Okay, it doesn’t sound cool, but considering that it created a boundary spell that trapped everyone inside the compound, it was actually quite cool. In fact, it created a spell so strong that Kol and Davina couldn’t even put a dent in it when they worked together. So how did Finn get so powerful? Oh, you know, just pulling a Papa Tunde on his father and channeling all the power that the destroyer has to offer. Guess we know which one of them is in charge.

Now stuck together at the compound, the wolves and vamps pass the time with a little bit of booze, and for Hayley, a little bit of honesty. After Klaus lets it slip that he knows about her and Elijah—they both have a certain glow about them—he gives her some much-needed advice, especially considering how few poems are written about being the subject of unrequited love. Should she tell Jackson about her night with Elijah? “The truth is, Hayley. It’s not love on which the strongest foundations are built; it’s the decency of merciful lies.” Oh dear God, I have missed this show.

With that beautiful line tattooed on her soul, Hayley comes clean to Jackson, who quickly asks if she’s in love with Elijah. Her non-answer is the loudest answer, and it sends Jackson storming off … onto the balcony. Hey, he can’t exactly go far. They’re trapped remember?

NEXT: Lady is a vamp