Now it’s in third season, The Originals really feels like its settled into its rhythm. Each episode is balanced. The pace is well-executed — neither too fast nor too slow. And when you put Elijah in a tux, there’s literally nothing to complain about.
Let’s get to it, shall we?
Act One: You’re cordially invited…
After Marcel returns home from his morning jog to find a tuxedo, a mask — that doesn’t look too different than this one — and a phone call from Tristan, he discovers that he’s officially invited to a gathering of The Strix. After all, how often do you get to celebrate your status as the most elite creatures in the world? (I know I’ve only done it twice.)
Also invited to the party is Elijah, who’s currently letting out his rage at Marcel’s boxing gym when Hayley shows up equally furious. She’s sick of being left out of the loop, and now’s the perfect time to fill her in. So, killing two birds with one stone, Elijah heads home to update Hayley, Freya, and Klaus on the situation. But as soon as Hayley hears about this deadly prophecy, she decides she not only wants to meet Alexis, but she’s going to do it tonight. Well, that’s one way to invite yourself to a party. (If only getting a date with Elijah were always that easy, amirite?)
Brief pause for the sound bite of the night, courtesy of Klaus: “Oh good, it’s my not-so-loving elder brother and my former one-night stand. What a nice, normal family gathering.”
But The Strix aren’t the only ones celebrating tonight. For one thing, this is New Orleans, so there are people celebrating literally all the time, but furthermore, it’s Halloween, which means Lucien is out on the town enjoying all the drinks the city has to offer (both bottled and from the vein).
However, Klaus quickly catches up with his progeny and convinces him that they should pay another visit to Lucien’s dear Alexis to see if her visions have become any more distinct. The problem is that she’s been taken.
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So while Klaus gets Freya to perform a locator spell on dear Alexis, Elijah helps Hayley pick out one of Rebekah’s dresses for the gala. And when Elijah asks if Jackson is okay with tonight, Hayley says he knows she can handle herself.
Elijah: “That’s not what I meant.”
Hayley: “I know.”
You could cut the sexual tension in this room with a knife… But instead, let’s follow it to the party!
NEXT: Our Elijah Moment of the Week
Already at the gala, Aya is introducing Marcel to the world’s oldest secret society of vampires, including any number of celebrated actors, artists, and politicians. And yet it’s Elijah that seems to catch everyone’s eye. When Hayley asks why, we get our Elijah Moment of the Week: “I’m kind of a big deal around here.” (So this gala is basically my recap in party form.)
As the sire of nearly everyone at the party, it’s no wonder why Elijah is the man of the hour. Poor Elijah once thought he was creating an elite brotherhood devoted to a better civilization before realizing that what he’d actually created was a legion of maniacal sociopaths instead. It’s a common mistake, really.
Act Two: Less of a party, more of an initiation
When Tristan finally makes his way into the party, we learn what’s really going on: Aya informs Marcel that they want him in their fancy club. He’d be the first member sired by Klaus, which they think would be a great way to bridge the gap between the sire lines and put this war to bed.
However, this party isn’t just an invitation. It’s an initiation, and step one of that is determining Marcel’s worth. See, sometime during the night, someone stole Marcel’s daylight ring. Marcel has until dawn — a few hours — to determine the thief and then fight them to the death. If he wins, he joins The Strix. If he loses, well, he’s dead. (So it’s a super fancy fight club.)
Leaving Marcel to fend for himself, Tristan takes a reluctant Hayley out on the dance floor to try and prove that he isn’t just some bully that she should hate. He hopes that her evening here will show her what The Strix is all about because, as he tells her, when one refers to the Mikaelsons, they’re also referring to Hayley. And yet, Hayley’s one of a kind. Because she’s a hybrid, she’s the only one here who doesn’t depend on the survival of the Original family. In other words, no matter who wins this war, she (theoretically) comes out alive.
Meanwhile, Elijah is annoyed with Marcel, mostly because Elijah would’ve told him to stay away from this place had he known about the invitation, and now, Elijah might have to step in and save Marcel and ruin the suit he’s had for more than 100 years. But Marcel assures him that he has everything under control, and thank god, because that really is a nice jacket that Elijah’s wearing.
And yet, whether Marcel actually has things under control is TBD, especially after his makeout attempt at distracting Aya doesn’t result in her admitting to having the ring.
NEXT: Freya has a mean right hook
Act Three: Welcome to The Strix
Just when the party seems to be going so smoothly, a highly intoxicated Klaus and Lucien walk in and make things, well, fun.
Lucien: “My god. It’s a room full of Elijahs.”
Klaus: “I had that exact same nightmare once.”
(Yeah, well I had that exact same dream once, but whatever.)
Barging in on the night’s festivities, Klaus and Lucien provide an (amazing) distraction — a bit of which Julie Plec revealed was improvised — while Freya heads off to find Alexis, who claims she’s just seen the “definitive picture of what is to come.” And, long story short, Klaus dies.
Staying focused on the present, Freya tries to get Alexis out of the party when Alexis kissses her and foretells her future: Basically, the family she searched for her whole life will be her downfall. But Freya isn’t going down yet, and with that in mind, Freya knocks Alexis out with a good old-fashioned punch to the face.
Also preparing to punch someone in the face, Marcel is finally put to the test. With dawn fast approaching, he has to reveal the thief who stole his ring. Spoiler: He passes.
After identifying Aya’s combat mentor as the one holding his ring, he nearly loses the fight…until said mentor makes the mistake of biting him. Thinking ahead, Marcel had asked Hayley to bite him earlier in the night, meaning his blood is poisoned with wolf venom.
Just like that, the fight’s over, though Marcel refuses to put the finishing touches on his opponent. He doesn’t kill his own kind for sport. So it’s a good thing that was the real test. As Tristan tells him, “refusal to kill without cause demonstrates a rare integrity.” Welcome to The Strix, Marcel.
After the party, Marcel goes to Klaus for blood to heal him, which Klaus reluctantly gives after offering a word of advice. Klaus understands that Marcel stands with him if only because anyone coming for Klaus is also coming for Marcel. But as Klaus warns him, they might also come through Marcel.
Downstairs, everyone gathers to find out Alexis’ vision of Klaus’ death. Read: They want to know what weapon can kill Klaus. But Alexis dies before she can share that information. Seems Aurora is in town and already getting her hands dirty poisoning people while her brother faces off with his sire, who claims he needs “proof” of everything both Tristan and Lucien are claiming.
Ending with a chat across balconies, Elijah and Hayley discuss how they’ll have to explain their family to Hope one day. And Hayley has recently decided what she’ll start with: “always and forever.” As for Hayley’s impression of Tristan, she thought he seemed “incomplete.” (Well, that’s probably because Aurora wasn’t at his side, but we all know that’s about to change.)
Like I said, it was a well-balanced hour full of intrigue, violence, and just enough “cheap” champagne. But what did you think? Hit the comments with your thougths or find me on Twitter @samhighfill.
And be sure to check out Julie Plec’s blog for behind-the-scenes insight on how they came up with The Strix and more.