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Everybody Hates Their Parents, The Originals “Alive and Kicking” 

Photo Credit: Curtis Baker/The CW
Photo Credit: Curtis Baker/The CW

We’ve got some real mommy-daddy issues going on in The Quarter. “Alive and Kicking” brought both Klaus and Elijah face-to-face with either Esther or Mikael, and amazingly both walked away to tell the tale. (Although, Elijah almost didn’t.) One of The Originals’ strongest elements as a show is that they never make you wait long before a big reveal, similar to The Vampire Diaries. Just when you think things can’t be any bigger than Esther and Mikael roaming about, they drop the bomb and everything gets just a little bit darker. Taking on their parents will truly be the Original’s biggest test yet so what’s after this??

This episode clearly could have been called “Parental Issues.” Aside from the unveiling of Esther and Mikael, this was an Elijah-heavy episode (YES!) and we got a glimpse into his relationship with Marcel before he was turned, Elijah and Klaus’s barely reined-in relationship with Kol and Elijah’s constant, clever manipulating of those around him, always for their “good.” With what we know about the Mikaelsons and their upbringing, it’s surprising Elijah wasn’t the firstborn son. He takes on the role of parent figure to anyone he brings into the Mikaelson mix. Not hard to assume that’s to make up for the monster of a father Mikael had to be. Elijah was actually the middle child with brother Finn as the oldest. But it was Elijah who took Niklaus under his wing, even before they were immortal. Elijah’s quest to redeem Klaus has forever been his motivating factor but in “Alive and Kicking,” we start to see that his need to find the good in people really extends to anyone he deems important. Fearing for Hayley’s soul, Elijah steers her towards Klaus with the intent of finding her humanity amongst the wolves. Would anyone else have seen Hayley losing her grip on humanity if Elijah wasn’t watching her, even from afar?

What we see in flashbacks is Elijah’s relationship with Marcel the teenager, back when he first was a ward of Klaus’s. Elijah originally took a keen interest in Marcel, teaching him piano, to read, to appreciate Shakespeare. He saw himself as Marcel’s mentor to a degree and it’s evident he took real pleasure in it. It isn’t until Klaus started to get a little murderous when Elijah played with his things that Elijah took a step back from Marcel. It rings remarkably familiar with how Elijah took a few strides back from Hayley so she and Klaus could bond over Hope and their shared wolf lineage. Elijah not only forgoes the relationships that will make him happier in sacrifice to give Klaus a shred of humanity, but pulls the strings behind the scenes to make it happen. He acts as guardian over them all, chastising when they’re bad and doing anything he can to make them better. I’m not sure if that’s parental or trying to play God. Either way, Marcel gave Elijah the opportunity to openly play father to the new crop of vampires building in the quarter. With new-born vampires in desperate need for a mentor, Elijah has the choice to step up and take care of this new flock or stick to his old ways.

One who is dealing with a serious God complex is Esther. She brought Kol/Kaleb to his knees when he dared question her mighty plan. It’s no wonder Finn is her favorite the way he blindly follows her creed. Esther, posing as Cassie, sat down to tea with Klaus and her vehement speech on the plague of vampires is spoken like scripture. Esther easily puts Kol in harm’s way to get herself a few answers on what secret weapon Davina may hide. (Hint: Kol got a good, long look at Mikael and smartly, kept it to himself.) She is unwavering in her fervor. Is there anything more dangerous than an insane zealot?

Gasp-Worthy and Other Things to Note on “Alive and Kicking:”

• I let out an audible shriek/yell when Davina summoned Mikael and then lost the bracelet that controls him. Watching Mikael tear through a pack of werewolves is akin to watching Elijah fight, a thing of fearsome beauty. Elijah barely had time to register Mikael was back before the white oak stake was at his chest. Davina luckily got the bracelet back in time but her hand is tipped now. Marcel, Elijah and Klaus know Mikael is at back and it’s a matter of time before he’s unleashed like a bomb.
• In the past, Mikael has been little more than Klaus’s most formidable enemy. The one thing that Klaus actually feared. Now that we’re getting more time from him, I’m wondering if we’ll start to see if there is more to Mikael. He’s been so one-note. “Kill my son, blah blah blah.” He and Esther have to encounter each other at some point.
• We always hear Klaus is the worst of the worst, but really, Kol seems more blood-thirsty than Klaus and way more diabolical. The compelled live re-enactment of Shakespeare was pretty disgusting. Will we see if there is someone harder to redeem than Klaus?

Watch The Originals Mondays at 8pm on The CW.

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