The Originals recap: 'Brotherhood of the Damned'
Marcel flashes back to his time in WWI to hone his leadership skills, and Finn traps his brothers in a prison world in order to find out what Klaus is hiding. Instead, he finds out what Elijah is hiding.
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
Act Three: How well do you know your siblings?
Speaking of Klaus, he spends most of the episode trapped in a mental prison world courtesy of Finn. But before we get there, we have to catch up with Cami and Elijah at their first official therapy session.
After Elijah name-drops Freud—because he can—Cami informs him of the one thing she has on even Freud: She knows what it’s like when someone takes away your deepest, ugliest pain without consent. So let’s start with the Red Door, shall we?
Elijah informs her that it’s the door to a slaughterhouse, both a memory and a metaphor. He might appear to be in control most of the time, but even Elijah can be consumed by chaos, and what happens in those moments is what goes behind the door. Then, he tells her the special meaning behind that specific door: “This is where the first woman I ever loved told me she loved me in return. It’s also where I laid her body after I took her life.” With tears in his eyes, he tells her that not even Klaus knows that, because Klaus does not forgive. Moments later, Elijah collapses, just like Klaus minutes earlier.
Soon after, Kol is also taken down. All three brothers wake up in what Kol identifies as a “hunt room.” It’s “where witches bring their prey for mental target practice.” Their minds are here, while their bodies remain unconscious in the real world. And enter Finn.
By practicing representational magic, Finn has created a place based upon the brothers he knows, which he’s represented in the four severed heads decorating the walls. Klaus is, of course, the big bad wolf, while Kol is the wily fox, Elijah the noble stag, and Finn the very fitting boar. Klaus finds it “a bit obvious as symbolism goes,” but he lets it slide.
According to Finn, he wants Klaus to feel powerless. And how will he do this? By taking the thing Klaus loves most: His city. At this point, Finn’s plan is to unleash Marcel’s hungry vampires on a parade of innocent humans and out the vampire population of the city—though we know how that ends—which would then force the supernatural community to find a new home. However, Klaus doesn’t seem fazed enough for Finn’s liking. So instead, Finn moves to the issue of Rebekah. How does he deal with that? He sends Kol back to the land of the living, leaving Klaus without any answers. Again, the hybrid isn’t upset enough.
So Finn then moves to Plan C: Talking about Klaus’ birth father and his decision to murder him. Why had he done that? Suddenly, Finn realizes that Klaus must have something he cares about more than the city, more than Rebekah, more than even Elijah. And perhaps his real father discovered what that was and Klaus killed him for it. Just as Finn starts to piece it all together, we get our Elijah Moment of the Week, when he so calmly declares: “I am fighting the monumental desire to mount your severed head upon one of these walls.” Nobody delivers a death threat like that man. Nobody.
But Finn won’t be distracted. He knows that Klaus has a secret. And yet, the moment he brings up Klaus losing a child, Elijah steps in to save the day. The only way he’ll tell his secret and risk losing Klaus forever is if he knows it will save Hope. So he does.
See, the thing with representational magic is that, if anyone involved is misrepresented, it crumbles. And where Finn went wrong is representing Elijah as the noble stag, which Elijah now claims is “nothing more than a deception to myself, to everyone.” If he were truly noble, he wouldn’t have kept a secret from Klaus. As Elijah confesses to killing Tatia, the prison world alters, but it doesn’t break. By confessing the truth, Elijah is once again proving his nobility, so Finn’s magic remains intact.
But Elijah isn’t the only one misrepresented. In what is an equally heartbreaking and uplifting moment between Klaus and Elijah, Klaus tells Finn that there’s one thing he never thought Klaus was capable of—forgiveness. “You, Finn, have remained a boar/bore for centuries,” he tells his brother. And therefore, Finn has “never learned that the bonds of family far outweigh anything else.” They are the very thing “capable of allowing one monster to pardon the great sins of another.” And with that forgiveness, Finn’s world collapses, with Klaus’ final words: “Your magic is as flawed as your perception of your own siblings.”
Moments later, the brothers wake up in the real world, where Klaus is quick to reassure Elijah that he was being honest in his forgiveness. The two of them need to remain focused on their common enemies, and with Finn’s latest move—taking Marcel to discover what Klaus is hiding—they have work to do. But first, Klaus has to go shut Hayley up.
Other important note: Davina and Kol kiss again, and it’s great.
With these Originals, every week is like a family therapy session and yet, instead of unraveling with time, they only become more twisted and complex with each hour that passes. And let’s not forget that these brothers have two sisters who are currently hanging out in the creepiest house in New Orleans. Honestly? The day this entire family reunites might be the day my head explodes.