Here’s the thing about The Originals: With 1,000-year-old protagonists, a city rich in lore and traditions, and complicated witchcraft, it’d be all too easy for things to get a little out of control. And yet, the writers continue to take everything their characters and their location gives him and weave together intricate webs that not only make sense, but only ever serve the purpose of enhancing the storytelling, giving viewers the sort of moments worthy of re-watch after re-watch. Essentially, I’m convinced they’re all witches who are constantly perfecting their spells.
And tonight’s episode was another example of such complicated, effortless storytelling.
Act One: Military Marcel
The first piece of the puzzle revolves around Marcel and his vampires. Still locked in the compound by Finn’s spell, and hungrier than ever, Marcel has to find a way to protect Kol while dealing with his own personal issue: the werewolf bite on his arm. Thankfully, that bite forces him to hallucinate a time that could help him in present day.
Flashing back to his time in the army—which he enlisted in despite Klaus’ very loud, very passionate protests—we get to see Marcel fighting the Germans in France in 1918. More than that, we’re re-introduced to record store Joe! Remember when they talked about being old friends? Well, apparently that meant that Joe and Marcel fought together in the Brotherhood of the Damned.
In the flashback, Joe is quick to question Marcel’s ability to, you know, not die, but he’s also quick to let him know that he doesn’t really care about his secret, so long as he leads their men. With that, Marcel steps up to try to care for the group of starving men, an idea that directly parallels his current problem with his vamps. Only, when Gia finds out that Marcel’s hiding the fact that he’s dying from a werewolf bite, she calls him out for his sucky leadership skills and general lack of honesty. She is hungry and not having any of it.
With that idea in mind, Marcel once again flashes back to the war, when all of his men were dying and Joe had the idea for Marcel to turn them all. So he did, and after a pep talk about family being those “who you fight for and who will fight for you,” Marcel’s vamps take down the Germans. #history
And in present day, Marcel gives another one of his pep talks. With Finn about to lower the barrier spell at sundown, Marcel asks his vampires not to feed on the innocent people participating in the parade outside. Instead, he asks them to follow him back to their home, where he can heal himself with Klaus’ blood and feed their hunger. They agree to follow him.
Okay, this is the part where I get that it’s an exercise in self-control and brotherhood and whatnot, but like, couldn’t you take the backdoor out of the compound? Did you have to go directly through the crowd of delicious humans? I know Marcel’s hallucinating, but surely he’s smarter than that.
Regardless, the vamps make it through, with Gia eventually giving a collapsed Marcel Klaus’ blood to heal him. Poll: Is there sexual tension here, or is it just a mentor-mentee thing?
Act Two: The only secret-free marriage in America
So with Marcel dealing with hungry vamps, Hayley and Jackson are trying to get everything in order for their wedding ceremony. After collecting all of the moonlight rings from their furry friends, Jackson informs Aiden that he and Hayley will be tying the knot in approximately 10 days. They just have to perform a few rituals first.
Step one of their happily ever after? Finding an elder who can perform the ceremony. Everyone, meet Jackson’s adorable grandmother, who really couldn’t give a crap about Hayley’s charm (or lack thereof). This wolf is all business, and right now her business is about fasting, purification, and something about a truth-telling ceremony? Fun fact: In this world, married people are supposed to be completely honest with each other. Crazy, right?
Specifically, there’s some plant root that Hayley and Jackson are going to have to smoke in order to link their hearts and minds together. However, it won’t take if there are lies between them. So essentially, Hayley has to tell Jackson about Hope. With that in mind, she bolts.
Or at least she tries to, but a woman is only so strong. Catching up to Hayley, Jackson gives the sort of speech that you feel in your ovaries. He promises that they’ll stop any ritual if she feels uncomfortable. He even offers to open up first, “because I don’t run, and I don’t scare easy.” He then all but (sexily) grunts at her, “Your secrets are my secrets; your demons, my demons. You will never have to fight them alone. I promise you that.” Seriously, what the hell? The vampires are supposed to be the ridiculously well-spoken ones. Where did Jackson come from, and where can I find a man that hairy and heartfelt?!
Not shockingly, Hayley takes his hand. But I’m willing to bet the ritual won’t get too far considering that, by episode’s end, Klaus catches wind of it and begins his journey to have a word with the bride-to-be.
NEXT: The brothers Mikaelson