“Dangerous Liaisons” marks this year’s fancy dress episode, and from a standpoint of bringing the pretty, it succeeded. From the standpoint of bringing the story forward, not so much. But there were a few gem moments.
Note: No Bonnie at the ball, or Liz, or Alaric. Boo. No Liz, either. And we only heard Tyler on a voicemail to Caroline pleading forgiveness and offering consolation.
Beginning immediately after last week’s speedfest of plot, Matt and Elena sequester (an unseen) Alaric at the hospital and head home. Elena’s stopped in the parking lot, first by Rebekah, and then by Elijah, who intervenes and sends Rebekah on her way. He and Elena then have a very civil catching up where he clues her in on Esther’s return. I so like their dynamic together. Like I said last week, I’m sort of amazed that after Elijah was potentially a big bad, now he’s part of the tribe (sort of).
Elena updates the Salvatores on Esther’s arrival and then receives a handwritten invitation to attend a ball at Klaus’s swanky new abode and have an audience with Esther. She thinks it’s a good idea to go. Stefan agrees. Damon doesn’t. We also learn that the Originals’ surname is Mikaelson (get it?).
Klaus invites Caroline, and sweetens the proposition with a stunning dress. She marches over to the Grill and breaks down the “how dare he?” with Elena, where they also clear the air that Bonnie clued Caroline in on the Damon smooch. The girls have to smooth that out as it’s a BFF faux pas that Caroline didn’t hear it firsthand, and Caroline reminds Elena that she was the very first person Elena told when Matt kissed her the first time (which now seems a scoche awkward). They table that when Rebekah marches in and invites Matt to the ball.
The Mikaelson children primp and prep for the party and donâ€™t get any real explanation when they second guess their mother’s generosity. We quickly segue to the party, full of tuxes and ball gowns. The betuxed and dashing Salvatores are each hilariously staking out a corner in wait when Elena arrives on her own in a fairly stunning gown (and a sweeping entrance straight out of Disney). The boys hem and haw about her for a bit before Damon asks her to dance and itâ€™s considerably less hot that the Miss Mystic Falls dance last season.
Caroline gets a late start as she evaluates everything in her closet as a fail before resigning herself to wearing Klaus’s (also stunning) dress. She sweeps in and heâ€™s happy to see her and she’s perfectly Caroline about it, finding the whole thing to be preposterous. When he tells her he fancies her, she tells him she’s spoken for. But she dances with him anyway and spends a little time actually talking to him and they descend back on the topic of him offering her a worldly education (not like that!). The night ends on a harsher note when she puts him in his place about the way he manipulates everyone and goes home.
Elena is taken aside by Kol, who we will learn later is the brash, impetuous youngest Mikaelson son, and he tells her she won’t be allowed to see Esther if she’s not alone. She tells him she will be. So she ropes Stefan into sidelining Damon and goes upstairs to meet her. Esther tells her she’s smudged the room so they can speak freely, and Elena starts with the basics, wondering how she is alive.
Esther explains the Bennett legacy and the ancestor witches and then cuts to the chase that the kumbaya of it all is a big fat ruse and she’s back to finish her children off once and for all, and all she needs is one teeny, tiny drop of Elenaâ€™s blood. The kicker is that this will activate a spell that binds all of the children so that if one goes, they all go. No more super Klaus.
Elena agrees to help and then has to stand elbow to elbow with Elijah while he drinks to his mother’s deadly toast. Sidebar: I find it hard to believe, from a production standpoint, that they’d all get dropped at the same time in the third season, so the suspension of disbelief required here is pretty huge, but it’s a nice move on the chess board even if I donâ€™t buy it.
Rebekah toys with the idea, with Kol’s help, of killing Matt, and then changes her mind when he offers her his coat even though she can’t physically be cold. Kol’s response is to later slink up on Matt and nearly break his hand, a move that gets him tossed off the balcony by Damon and chastised by his mother.
Later at the Gilbert house, Stefan and Damon get caught up on Esther’s plan and don’t understand why Elena is troubled by the idea of seeing them all dead and gone. Damon snits off and Elena attempts another heart to heart with Stefan, hoping he’ll give a little bit, but she gets nothing. Earlier in the episode, after he agrees to detain Damon, she thanks him for trusting her decisions, as he had when they were together.
Damon shows up at the Grill and is half in the bag when he witnesses Matt shooting Rebekah down with the news that her idiot brother (only, thanks to Damon) crushed his hand and he has no insurance and he’d like her to leave him alone. Damon chides her a bit for fully embracing the adolescent angst of being torpedoed by the captain of the football team and then tells her Matt probably couldn’t handle her any way. He suggests that he can, and fairly soon, he does so in a grappling that’s weirdly blocked because they sort of speed-slam each other around Damon’s bedroom while they tear off each other’s clothes.
Caroline arrives home and finds a drawing from Klaus with a thank you for being honest. Back at Mikaelson Manor, Esther confers with Finn (the eldest son, I think), who’s apparently looped on his momma’s doomsday plan. She writes each of her children’s names on a scroll and then chants her curse and the names thread together in the branches of a tree as she seals their bond to each other. And with that, it’s done.
I had such high hopes for this episode, but some reason I didn’t feel a lot of it. I liked that Caroline was all sorts of spun up about Klaus and he knew that, but then she got the upper hand on him.
The reveal that Esther is actually back for major, major revenge was a bit of a surprise that I think would have had more impact after we’d had a few weeks of her wrapping her children up in her faux reunion scheme. To happen now seems too early, but that may be a production timing thing. There are only eight episodes left this season, after all.
I felt the most punch about her plan as it related to Elijah, and I felt like Esther’s castoff remark that he was too moral was true, but how would she know? Has she been ethereally observing her childrenâ€™s’ behaviors over the last millennium? We just got Daniel Gillies back so I’m not ready to bid him adieu (but I do realize he’s shooting another show in Canada, so short of cloning him, we’re limited in how much of him we get).
What wasn’t surprising was Rebekah going straight into revenge mode against Elena and then changing her mind when she saw Matt as more than a meal and a way to hurt Elena. I didn’t have any real takeaway from her strip/tussle/grudge-hate sex with Damon at the end of the episode, other than that it was a disappointing development in the same episode where Damon told Elena he loved her–to her face, no dancing around it. We sort of two-steps-backed it there when he just loaded up and got laid because the evening didn’t go his way.
Elena running after Stefan on her porch to AGAIN try to make him feel something felt desperate and too late and I didn’t want that for her. I was glad Stefan didn’t cave.
I was surprised we didn’t have anyone else in the Council turning up dead. I guess Alaric’s survival caused whoever’s behind that to regroup.
We certainly have an interesting situation for the back eight episodes of the season. I just hope the payoff is more engaging than the setup.
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.
Dennis Heaton Talks The Imperfects
Longtime readers at TV Goodness will know that Motive is one of my ride-or-die series, and as such, I am fiercely loyal to its creator, Dennis Heaton. He followed up that fantastic reverse procedural with Netflix’s The Order and is back on our streaming screens with The Imperfects, which dropped…
Kelly McCormack Talks Favorite Moments in A League of Their Own
[Warning: Mild spoilers for season 1.] Now that you’ve had a chance to watch A League of Their Own, here’s the rest of my chat with Kelly McCormack about her favorite moments of the season. Seeing the iconic Peaches uniforms for the first time wasn’t just a goosebump moment for…
John Griffin and Harold Perrineau Talk From on EPIX Season 1 Finale
[Warning: General spoilers ahead.] How are we doing, #FROMily? In case you missed it this morning, the very good news is that that cliffhanger will be followed by a second season, which was gifted this morning ahead of the linear broadcast of the finale. I always legitimately appreciate when we…
Elizabeth Saunders Talks EPIX’s From
[Warning: General spoilers ahead.] One of the things that makes EPIX’s From such a fun ride is the abundance of Canadian cast members. Elizabeth Saunders, who plays Donna, is a favorite from her turn on the third season of Mary Kills People [streaming on Global TV in Canada and Roku…
Corteon Moore Talks From “Broken Windows, Open Doors”
[Warning: Spoilers for tonight’s episode.] Tonight’s episode of From had us all in our feels as we learned through flashbacks about the Sophie’s Choice Boyd had to make to save his son, and back in the present as Boyd said his piece with Ellis before heading into the woods with…
Pegah Ghafoori Talks From “All Good Things…”
[Warning: Spoilers for tonight’s episode] Tonight on From, Fatima’s anniversary celebration turned into a Colony House of horrors when a misguided Kevin let his monster bae in and she promptly killed him and left the window open for her crew. While the party devolved into terror and sent everyone running,…
Shaun Majumder Talks From “Book 74”
[Warning: Spoilers for tonight’s episode.] Tonight on EPIX’s From, Father Khatri made a bold move, kidnapping Sara instead of turning her in, and then recognizing her as a vessel for some big messages. That startling realization speaks to him on multiple levels–as a man of faith, a man trapped in…
Avery Konrad Talks About Sara’s Struggle in From “Silhouettes”
[Warning: Spoilers for tonight’s episode.] Over the course of the season so far on From, we’ve witnessed Sara’s battle against the voices telling her to to do terrible things, and tonight we saw her unravel further, threatening the Matthews and lashing out in a moment of terror with horrifying results….
Hannah Cheramy Talks From “Choosing Day”
[Warning: Spoilers for tonight’s episode.] Tonight, on EPIX’s From, the Matthews participate in the show’s version of the sorting hat, choosing where to call home–the town or Colony House. At the end of the episode, Julie makes the decision to split from her family and instead settle in with Fatima…
Ricky He Talks From “The Way Things Are Now”
[Warning: Spoilers for episode 102 of EPIX’s From.] Epix’s new series From is two episodes in and it’s already laying the groundwork for a seriously spooky season. Tonight’s episode demonstrated the careful balance of relief and horror that the show hits, with our characters’ worst fears realized, just not when…
What They Said: Three Revealing Conversations from Survivor’s Remorse “Closure”
WARNING: Spoilers for Survivor’s Remorse “Closure” The latest episode of Starz’s Survivor’s Remorse featured conversations that showed characters really digging deep into their thoughts, emotions and motivations.
Two Takes: The Catch “The Knock-Off”
Who can you trust? If this episode of The Catch was any indication, the answer is just about nobody. Betrayal was running rampant as Felicity (Shivani Ghai) arose from the dead to seduce-con Margot, Gretchen (Maria Thayer, Gotham, The Mindy Project) played gold-hearted Alice 2.0 before swindling Ethan, Tessa jumped…
What They Said: Top 3 Quotable Moments from Preacher “El Valero”
Both Quincannon and Jesse refuse to give up on what they each think is rightfully theirs. While Jesse is struggling to face the consequences of his actions, Quincannon has laid his past demons to rest and is hellbent on moving forward and putting Annville on the map again. Despite a…
What They Said: Favorite Quotes from Supergirl “Worlds Finest”
Oh, Supergirl. That ending was cold. But I can’t hate on you because the latest episode has quickly become one of my favorites.
What They Said: Top 4 Quotable Moments from Black Sails “XXIII”
The dialogue in “XXIII” is phenomenal. It’s always a fun ride when Black Sails carries its viewers along without giving them the chance to catch their breath. When an episode moves at this unforgiving pace, there is no chance for a breather nor is there a respite from the information…
What Lucifer Said: Favorite quotes from Supernatural “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”
Supernatural episodes are almost always funny but thanks to the dialogue and a certain man speaking said dialogue, I laughed a lot during “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” You know, when I wasn’t busy fearing for Sam’s life or wondering what in the world was going on with Dean and…
What They Said: The Flash, “Legends Of Today” and Arrow, “Legends Of Yesterday”
Two nights of Arrow +Â The Flash = what more could we ask for?! I don’t know what it is about blending these shows, but I canâ€™t help but feel that every time they come together, they somehow become greater than the sum of their parts. And thatâ€™s saying a lot…
What they Said: Top 4 Quotable Moments from Graceland “Little Bo Bleep”
Shoot outs. Fake outs. And long-awaited revelations. “Little Bo Bleep” was a jam-packed episode that wrapped up some loose ends and totally frayed others. Â It finally gave us one Sarkissian in jail and pulled back the curtain on Briggs’ master plan, but it also set up Jakes for a world…
What They Said: Favorite Quotes from Poldark “Part 4”
â€œWhat have I told you, I don’t require my wife to crochet and sip tea, but I do require her to remember she’s not a beast of burden.â€ No, Iâ€™m not talking about The Rolling Stones! I have to admit though, just for a second, the lyrics popped into my…
3 Moments of Goodness from Brooklyn Nine-Nine “Johnny and Dora”
The most satisfying part of this season’s finale has to the Jake and Amy kiss. Well, they kiss three times but the last one is the best one — and it means something. The Charles and Rosa dynamic was also great. I love how she’s convinced he doesn’t know anything…