The Originals recap: 'Red Door'
Esther forces Elijah to remember what really happened to Tatia, and someone is stabbed with the White Oak Stake.
Since he first arrived on The Vampire Diaries, Elijah Mikaelson has been pitched as the noble Original sibling. When he was turned into a vampire, you know what aspect of his personality was heightened? His morality. There’s a reason that he gives people his word and keeps it every time. And there’s a reason we’d only seen his vampire face in one episode before tonight. Elijah isn’t just the best-dressed Original, but he’s a man of honor. However, tonight we learned that his suit has a greater purpose. It’s a disguise, a way for Elijah to hide… from himself and from this curse that was forced upon him. (And to think I loved it enough when it was just a really pretty suit.)
And tonight was all about the undoing of the Elijah we know and love, which just so happened to feature a flawless crossover with TVD‘s Nina Dobrev. Honestly, this entire episode was our Elijah Moment of the Week and proved to be another very strong hour from the sophomore drama.
Act One: Shirtless Elijah
We start off with a shirtless, bloody Elijah—pause to let that sink in—chasing after who we assume to be Tatia only to bite her neck. Confession: My first thought was “Hey, that’s not a bad way to die.” But it turns out that it’s just a dream that chained-up Elijah is having in the midst of his mother and her wicked ways. According to Esther, she’s brought Elijah here to listen to her and to convince him to let her move him into a mortal body so that the moral son she raised will no longer be a “mask worn to hide ancient demons.” Yeah, I love this show.
Esther continues on her rant, mentioning a number of “butterflies” that she claims Elijah destroyed. Example A: Tatia, the original Petrova doppelgänger that both he and Klaus loved in their human days. Cue the flashback in which we find a dancing Tatia kissing Klaus, all the while looking for Elijah. And when the young hair goddess finds her proper hair god, Tatia informs Elijah that she doesn’t let fate tell her how to live. She might be fated for Klaus, but she chooses Elijah. It’s a sweet memory—and a first kiss that made me swoon, pig or no pig—but it’s only the beginning of Esther’s story time, which I feel is giving us a good glimpse into the stories she’d read her kids before putting them to bed back in the day. (And if it is, no wonder they’re so twisted.)
So with Elijah off with Esther, and Hayley and Marcel beginning their search for the moral Original, Klaus is left to deal with his father alone. Well, by alone, I mean with Cami, Davina, and Kaleb, whose sharp tongue reveals him to be Kol in about two minutes flat. It was the Big Bad Wolf reference, right? Had to be.
Anyway, once Klaus discovers that Mikael is no longer unconscious and has taken Cami hostage, he leaves Kol and Davina behind to once again face off with his father. Around and around we go.
Act Two: The showdown
After a quick reminder to get the White Oak Stake from voicemail-hating Finn, Kol makes his way back into the cabin to try and figure out more about Davina’s spell. But when the young witch wakes and realizes her bracelet no longer works, she enlists Kol to help her unlink her friends from Klaus. That is until she channels him and thereby discovers his real identity, which ends in a witchy bar fight of sorts. But thanks solely to that accent of his—I’m guessing—Davina decides to let Kol help her. When he fesses up about ending her bracelet spell, Kol says he knows a thing or two about dark objects. Hint: The White Oak Stake is a dark object.
Speaking of the White Oak Stake, it’s currently in the possession of Mikael, who’s found himself a HillBilly Halloween—a.k.a. a bonfire—to use as a distraction. Although it seems as though he’s going to feed on everyone at the party, Mikael has another idea: He compels them all so that when Klaus shows up, they talk to him as one big collective Mikael. It’s kind of awesome. Mikael: 1, Klaus: 0 (only in this hour).
Once they’re away from the party, Mikael finally gives Cami, the therapist who can never seem to turn it off, a piece of his mind. He loved baby Klaus and his warrior eyes. It wasn’t until Klaus’ obsession with the wolves got Henrik killed that Mikael was through with him. And then tack on that whole thing where Klaus killed Esther and you might have a better idea of why Mikael hates Klaus (though to be fair, we’ve seen him treat toddler Klaus like crap, too).
After Cami, who has some serious balls, decides to tell Mikael that his violence is pointless, he decides he will feed on her after all. His wounds need help healing and as he puts it, “In times of need, even the devil eats flies.” Mikael: 1, Cami: 0 (in life).
NEXT: We need to talk about Tatia
Act Three: Elijah’s truth
After Mikael bites Cami, Klaus arrives for the final showdown. Spoiler: He loses. That’s right. When Klaus lets down his guard to save Cami from Papa Tunde’s blade, Mikael puts the White Oak Stake in Klaus’ heart. Only it’s not working! And this is where I have to point out Sebastian Roché’s face when Mikael realizes it’s not working the way it should. Magic.
Well, it’s not working because Kol and Davina are using a spell to disable the stake just long enough for Cami to remove it before Mikael can take them all out. And by the time he does, Marcel and a chain-bearing Hayley have arrived. It seems that Klaus “boy” Mikaelson has a bit of a crew. With that, Mikael has no choice but to flee. However, Papa Original isn’t one to leave without the last word. He encourages Klaus to come looking for him when he doesn’t have “fools, women, and children” fighting his battles. Plus, even though Mikael lost, he did win when he gave Cami this line: “You have a warrior’s heart. Perhaps I’ll keep it as a souvenir.”
With one battle down, Davina and Kol leave the scene with the White Oak Stake in tow, but let’s not forget about the Elijah situation at hand. In another flashback, we find Klaus just after his first wolf transition, a.k.a. the moment Mikael realized he was not his son. After Klaus tore through six villages, Elijah assures him that his siblings still love him. However, that sibling love would have to be put on pause when Tatia shows up and sees what Klaus has done.
In present day, Elijah assures Esther that he compelled Tatia to forget what she saw, but Esther explains how Elijah was a brand new vampire at that point. He hadn’t yet learned compulsion. It seems Elijah has taught himself to hide from what he really is, and now it’s time for him to remember how he had caught up with Tatia only to be overcome with the smell of her blood. Moments later, he had killed the woman he loved and brought her to Esther.
Esther got rid of the body behind the blood-splattered door of their hut and after that, Elijah had created a place in his mind to hide all of his victims. His suits and his immaculate appearance are ways for him to hide because no one needs to know what’s behind his red door. Only now, that space in his head is one unforgivable sin away from bursting. Elijah tries to tell his mother that she will not break him, but she assure him that he’s already broken. However, he’s not beyond repair, and that’s what Esther is here for: to fix him—to fix them all.
But the memory of Tatia is only the beginning. Now, Esther is allowing Elijah to remember every atrocity hidden behind that door until he reconsiders her offer. More specifically, she’s left him to dream of Hayley coming to rescue him, kissing him, and then him feeding on her. Only it’s not real. “By the time he wakes, he’ll know the only way to find peace is my way,” Esther says.
Final note: There’s no way that Elijah saying “I crave you” is anything but sexy as hell, real or not real.
All in all, this hour wins. Between the team work making the dream work, the shocking reveal of Elijah’s actions—to both Elijah and the viewer—and all of the family antics to come, this episode was meticulously well-balanced. And watching Elijah battle with the discovery of who he really is promises to be one of the most interesting stories this show has taken on. However, we have to ask the hard-hitting questions: What does this all mean for his suits?
Don’t forget to check out our post-mortem to see what executive producer Michael Narducci has to say about all the twists, what’s next, and what Esther has in mind for Klaus and Rebekah.