The Originals recap: 'Every Mother's Son'
A family dinner reunites Finn with his brothers and reveals Esther's plan for Elijah and Klaus.
You know a writer is good when they can take what was previously a character known for being dull and, quite frankly, unnecessary, and make them the most compelling part of any story. And you know a show is good when it’s full of so many great characters that there’s nothing more entertaining than watching them sit around a dinner table and … talk. That’s the power of having 1,000-year-old protagonists, 1,000-year-old antagonists, and all of the weight that comes with the ties of family. That’s the power of The Originals, and it was never more evident than in this week’s family reunion.
Act One: The invitation
It seems Esther has stepped up her invitation game from the days when a simple envelope would suffice. Then again, inviting Elena Gilbert to a ball is pretty different than inviting yourself to your sons’ house after previously trying to kill them. Also, I don’t know how things worked in Viking days but you can’t just invite yourself to a dinner at someone else’e house, Esther. All of your big awful plans aside, that’s just plain rude.
Then again, maybe we’re so far past being rude that it doesn’t matter, because Klaus and Elijah start preparing immediately. As Klaus meets with a chef—they’re skipping the salads, obviously—Elijah heads to Marcel in the hopes of finding another witch. You know, one who isn’t his mother. Gia, whom Elijah does not feel like mentoring at the moment, takes the sexiest Original to visit Lenore, where he (and his scruff) ask what’s necessary to track a witch. In other words, the next time Esther jumps bodies, they want to be able to tell where, or in whom, she lands. The answer: an item the witch spelled and a python, because why not?
Back at the compound, Klaus takes Hayley through the family history, a.k.a the story of how Esther went mad. For those of you who need a refresher, Esther lost two children and then decided she couldn’t lose anymore so she turned the rest of them into immortal beings. That eventually led to the reveal that she’d slept with a werewolf when she had Klaus, which is why Mikael killed her werewolf lover and so on. Basically, Klaus wants her dead.
But no story time is complete without a flashback, and this one takes us back to the days when Klaus didn’t want his mother dead but rather went to her when he was feeling scared (namely of his father). We find baby Klaus hiding in the woods so that he doesn’t have to go hunting with Mikael only to disappoint and anger his father yet again. As a result, Esther uses magic to create a necklace for Klaus. She says that it will protect him and that when he clutches it, she will come to him. As she tells him (in a moment that no parent should mimic), “I love all my children, but you are the most special,” which translates to either: “I love all my children, but your father hates you the most” or “I love all my children, but you’re the best because my werewolf lover is way hotter than Mikael.” Take your pick.
In present day, Klaus heads to Marcel’s to retrieve that very necklace—which he handed down on Marcel’s 11th birthday—because Lenore needs it to perform the spell that will track Esther’s movement. As for the python, Elijah leaves that up to Gia. The bad news? They don’t leave anyone to protect Lenore, who is quickly snatched up by Finn, owner of the world’s largest hour glass. He wants to know what Elijah asked of her, and Finn assigns Oliver to witch-torture duty. The catch, of course, is that Oliver is secretly loyal to Hayley, and therefore hands Lenore right back over to the honorary Mikaelson.
Act Two: Family dinner
After Elijah forces Klaus to dress up “like a bloody lawyer” for dinner, Finn arrives. Elijah and Klaus can’t quite figure out who he is at first. From the looks of him, he’s just a stranger with very sharp cheekbones and an even sharper tongue. After years of being presented as the “boring (and mostly silent) Original,” suddenly, Finn has much to say. He tells Elijah that his linens and silk “can’t disguise your pathetic self-loathing.” As for Klaus, he’s still the same “paranoid little boy full of hate and fear.” Brief pause here while we bask in the greatness of Elijah’s “Scuse me, who are you?!” face. But Klaus has it figured out within moments.
With the introductions out of the way, the brothers are back to family business as usual. We get to hear Finn’s thoughts on the wine—it’s an “aromatic Bordeaux”—and Klaus explains that it was a difficult pairing—”What wine goes well with treachery?” Seriously, who knew bickering could be so entertaining?
After sitting down, we watch as Finn blossoms before our very eyes. In celebration of his return, Finn wants to know what he missed. What have his brothers contributed to society? Or have they simply left a path of destruction across time? That’s when Finn reveals that even Kol, the wildest of them all, has seen the error of his ways and chosen Team Esther/Team Witch. And after showing just how great things are on Team Witch, Finn decides he wants answers. He understands Klaus’ issues with him, but what were Elijah’s reasons for leaving him daggered in a box for 900 years?
And cue the Elijah moment of the week, in which he replies to a screaming Finn by barely raising his voice above a whisper and telling his older brother that, “You might reside, somewhat parasitically I might add, in another body, but let me assure you, in 900 years, your tedious sentiments remain quite the same.” Finn’s great failure? He despises their supernatural existence, and because of that, “you became pretentious and dull, much like this meal.” And Elijah drops the mic.
NEXT: Esther’s plan
Act Three: Here’s mommy!
Esther’s arrival takes the focus off of Finn and puts it back on Klaus. Esther reminds her son of all the times she healed him, such as the time Klaus challenged Mikael to a duel and ended up with a sword through his shoulder. As she told Elijah all those years ago, she’d rather die than watch any of her children suffer. However, during the trip down memory lane, Klaus realizes something about the necklace Esther made him all those years ago. It wasn’t spelled to protect him but rather to weaken him so that he couldn’t kill anyone and activate his werewolf curse.
Of course, Klaus believes Esther ruined him. She might’ve been keeping him from becoming a beast, but as a result, she turned her son into the weakling that Mikael hated. And in a line that perfectly demonstrates the brilliance of this show, Klaus yells at his mother that she might see him as a monster but “You’re the author of everything I am!”
And I wasn’t the only one knocked out by that line. Just like that, Cassie flops over. It seems Esther was ready to find herself a new body.
Across town, Lenore finishes the spell just in time for Esther to take over her body, a fact that Hayley recognizes by the new mark on Lenore’s hand. She calls Elijah—who buttons his suit jacket while heading out to kill his mother because he’s amazing—and then gets her first taste of the Original mother. Esther gives Hayley a beautiful “the children are our future” speech before offering to put Hayley in a new, non-hybrid body that would allow her to have a family of her own. It’s a nice thought, but it gets cut short when the Wonder Twins show up.
With the help of a little magic, Esther gives them the same speech. She healed Finn and Kol by giving them new life without the vampire curse she inflicted upon them all. She’s willing to do the same to Klaus and Elijah. And if they don’t want it—spoiler: they don’t—then she’ll sic 1,000 birds on them and promise them that one of these days, they’ll beg for it.
Sidenote: I would totally still watch this show if the entire Original family were all witches. That’s how interesting I find them. Also, witches rock.
In the wake of Esther’s promises of rebirth, Hayley is considering the offer—though she’s still more hung up on Elijah’s ignoring her—and, once again, Elijah and Klaus come together for a session of brotherly love. Elijah assures Klaus that he’s never been weak. “You have always been the most fierce of us all,” he tells him. There’s a reason no one has ever successfully stood against Klaus. Elijah trusts that he’ll protect his home. As for Elijah? “You remain ever the wise council, brother. The rest of the family could learn something from you,” Klaus says.
It’s a line that gets Elijah thinking, and as a result, he winds up at a bar with Gia, where he begins mentoring her about life as a vampire. Why? Because if he and his family had had mentors, he thinks history would’ve unfolded differently. And with that, Marcel has Elijah on Team Vamp.
But in all honestly, Team Witch is where it’s at, because Esther has only just begun. She claims tonight was simply an invitation. After all, “Only those who know they’re lost will ask to be found.” And now? She destroys everything her children hold dear—including Marcel and his vamps—until, in their deepest despair, “They will have no choice but to beg me to release them from their pain. And because I love them, I will.” Oh Esther, that is one twisted mind you have. This woman’s parenting skills would make for a highly entertaining Lifetime movie.
All in all, it was a spellbinding hour crafted of nothing more than intricate relationships and beautiful dialogue. When your characters are this rich, you don’t need a ton of action to keep viewers invested. In one hour, Finn became someone worth rooting for, and the Original family became even more complex than I thought possible. I love these dynamics so much that I’d happily watch a spin-off called “Dinner with the Originals,” where they do nothing but bicker about wine selections and reminisce for hours on end. So long as Klaus dresses up like a lawyer, of course.