by Dianna Berrian
Welcome to “The Abattoir ”, a club for those who travel to New Orleans seeking thrills, excitement and a little danger. It’s here, in his domain, that Marcel reveals his secret to keeping the vampires in the city in check with a feeding frenzy in the club at the stroke of midnight. But how could he possibly deal with so many victims at once, Klaus wonders. Easy. Just heal them with vamp blood, erase their memories of the night, and send them on their merry way. “No muss no fuss.” And it’s a good way for the loyal night-dwelling subjects to earn their own daylight rings. Oh to be king…
Tonight’s episode finally brings the long awaited return of Rebekah. After numerous unanswered calls she finally shows up in New Orleans, in search of the assumed missing Elijah. But not before a little homocidal pick me up in the form of 6 nightcrawlers that belong to Marcel. What’s a lost, helpless little girl to do when she’s surrounded by six surly men who could easily overpower her? Pfft…
She’s greeted by the ever friendly Hayley with what’s becoming her trademark salutation, “Who the hell are you?” Gotta love those pregnancy hormones. (Sidenote: I think it’d be a kind of funny ongoing joke for the series if she greeted every new character she met that way.) So yes, Rebekah meets the infamous hybrid-spawn-carrying cast out that is Hayley, who just so happens to fill her in on the fact that Elijah up and vanished after promising to take care of her. Boo hoo, now she’s stuck with Klaus. And she also happens to slip out that it was Klaus who told her Elijah left. Of course, Rebekah knows better and that this doesn’t bode well for Elijah. Experience has taught her that her brother is capable of far worse things than imaginable.
And here we have a flashback to 1820 to give us an example of just how cruel Klaus can be. Back then they had the Governor wrapped around their fingers, keeping their vampiric secrets in exchange for gold. Rebekah, the bleeding heart, immediately fell for the Governor’s son, begging Klaus and Elijah to let her turn him into one of them. In an unusual display of overprotective love for his baby sister, Klaus tosses the poor boy over a railing and to his death just for speaking out of turn when Klaus objects to Rebekah’s plea. His reasoning? “He wasn’t good enough.” That’s…strangely…cute and brotherly.
Down in the basement of the mansion, Rebekah introduces Hayley to the resting place for insubordinate originals. It’s where Klaus keeps their coffins on standby, should he want to put any of his siblings back to sleep for a while. Here is where we, viewers, are given an explanation as to what Klaus really did to Elijah when he stabbed him. The ‘enchanted’ (sorry, what happened to white oak dipped?) daggers do kill Original vampires, but only temporarily. Once they’re pulled out, the Original will come back to life, likely with a vengeance. Not an enticing prospect for the soon to be teen mom. Rebekah spares her a bit of advice, telling her to run while she can because Klaus is more than likely planning a box for her too once the baby is born.
Making her first and last pointless cameo of the night, Sophie is seen at the bar alone hearing phantom whispers of wind and expecting a vampire to pop out at any second. Rebekah obliges, filling her in on Elijah’s whereabouts. But what she really wants to know is how did Marcel get so powerful? He was nothing but a peasant boy when they left him! No, really. He was. Another flashback to the 1820s proves it. The Governor, it seems, had another son from a mother “that he owned” – meaning slave, for those who aren’t adept to Julie Plec’s writing style. Klaus comes across the young Marcel being whipped and comes to his rescue, killing his abuser. At the time, Marcel had no name so Klaus dubbed him Marcellus, deriving from Mars, the god of war and calling him a “little warrior”. I think without Rebekah’s voiceover we could have guessed that Klaus saw himself in the abused boy. But what the hey, let’s reiterate for the sake of reiterating – Klaus, too, is a bastard child. And together, they are two long lost souls. D’awww!
Keeping up friendly appearances, Klaus joins Marcel for a midday drink and finds he is in pursuit of the bartender/psych major. Seeing an in, Klaus pulls her over and uses his charms to try to sway her to take a chance on Marcel. Unfortunately she’s smarter than your average bloodbag – I MEAN human, and declines with a little sass. Ultimately we’re learning here that Marcel has a thing for Cami. And Klaus will use it to his benefit.
In another part of the French Quarter, a lonely werewolf asks a witch if she has any wolfsbane handy. But wolfsbane is poisonous and fatal to werewolves! Well, she just wants to kill a little werewolf… Translation: Hayley’s taking Rebekah’s advice and aborting the baby so she can get her run on. Hurrah, the general consensus cheers! Little does the “mumsy” know, the witch who gave her her out also gave Marcel the heads up about a werewolf being in town.
After their drink and failed wooing attempts, Marcel takes Klaus out back to see the remnants of the part the night before – a blonde and her gay best friend who ODed on vampire blood and now will either die or become vampires, depending on whether they drink human blood or not. To make their decision easier, Marcel tells them whoever picks up the coin first gets to live forever. He places it on the body bags still wrapped around them and the blonde snatches it up, backstabbing her BFF. But just when she thinks she’s got it made, Marcel snaps her neck and kills her for good. See, he’s “got a thing for people who betray their own friends.” Hint, hint!
Rebekah has another flashback to the days with Marcel, when he was young and she was teaching him to fence. There’s a slight budding romance in the air, promptly made obvious by young Marcel’s declaration that he will marry Rebekah someday. Sure enough, time flies and he grows into the scrumptious man we see now, and just before the sexual tension could get any thicker, Klaus shows up to cockblock. Big brothers, I tell ya… Of course Marcel appears just in time to stir Rebekah out of her reminiscing. Turns out the last time they saw each other, she was fleeing New Orleans with her brothers because Mikael was after them. (There’s a long history of this, but I guess the writers don’t want the new audience to know or care about anything that happened to the Originals in “The Vampire Diaries”. For shame.) She confesses she thought he was dead, but he retorts that she never looked back to check. She tells him she’s looking for Elijah, and suspects Klaus, but he wants nothing to do with their quarrels. Take it from Marcel, ladies and gents: Don’t get in the middle of family feuding. It doesn’t end well. To prove his point, we get another flashback giving us an example. Essentially, it shows a desperate Marcel, begging Klaus to turn him. But Klaus says only when he’s ready. He also tells him to stay away from Rebekah, or else! Okay, he didn’t say or else. But it was implied!
Later that night, Hayley chills out on a park bench out in the open, making her little wolfsbane cocktail. I’m thinking something about this breaks one of Marcel’s unspoken rules. Ah, but who am I to judge? Just as she’s about to say goodbye to baby hybrid, three vampires Marcel sent ambush her. The wolfsbane gets tossed in the face of one, apparently burning and incapacitating him, and Rebekah magically appears to dispose of the other two. Quick question. Wolfsbane gets its namesake from being deadly to wolves, right? Then how did that work against a vampire? Hold on. Let me go check the TVD Wiki. Aha! Just as I suspected, only affects wolves (and hybrids). Julie Plec, your sloppy writing is showing.
Soon after Rebekah begins escorting Hayley inside, Klaus appears to stomp his feet and berate a little. And since Rebekah – and the general audience – doesn’t buy that he has a plan, he goes into detailed explanation of how his plan is already in motion. First, he made the new vampire (the gay guy from the coin trick before?) his, before he could be put on vervain by Marcel so he wouldn’t be immune to Klaus’ compulsion. Next, he approached Cami and turns on the charm to compels her to give Marcel one chance. And…to tell him everything she finds out, like where he goes and who he sees. When he’s through, he takes the wolfsbaned vampire inside to drain him of vervain so he could compel him to “believe his mates found religion and moved to Utah so he can explain to Marcel why he lost 3 more vampires tonight”. But before he can do that, he asks Hayley what the hell she was doing! Strangely, when she tells him that she was trying to abort, he grabs her in an infuriated a choke hold. Wait, Klaus, what? Rebekah talks him down, telling him it’s okay to care about it. To want it. It’s all she and Elijah ever wanted for him. For a brief moment it looks like he’s caving, but as any “Vampire Diaries” viewer knows, this is never the case for Klaus. Instead, he reveals where Elijah is – he gave him to Marcel. WHAT?
He explains that Marcel was nervous and he wanted Elijah gone, so Klaus gave him a peace offering. But he’s plotting to gain his trust, dismantle his empire and honor Elijah’s wish that the baby be born. He’s just executing the plan the only way he knows how. And if she doesn’t like it, she can leave, adding a biting but powerful quip, “see if I care.” So I’m a sucker for little jabs like this. Sue me.
As a newfound friendship has been hinted at throughout the episode, Hayley and Rebekah finally have a legitimate bonding moment. Well, as legitimate as it’ll get. She thanks the Original for saving her and Rebekah indulges with a little mantra: “us girls gotta look out for each other”. No, Bekah. No, you don’t. You’re supposed to hate all other females because you are a goddess and they are all peasants. Or maybe I’m just biased because I’m just not a fan of Hayley, no matter how hard they try to get me to be. Anyway, Hayley wants to know how she could have stuck by Klaus for so long if he’s such a big jerk. But family is family, even after a 1000 years of torture and enduring his murdering of almost all of her boyfriends. In Klaus’ eyes, no one was ever good enough for her, until one day…
Flashback alert! We finally get to see Marcel and Rebekah makeout, but it’s shortlived because, of course, Klaus catches them. Rebekah pleads with him not to kill her beau, reminding him that he raised him, protected him. So he lowers his weapon and let’s Marcel go with a warning. Rebekah, however, doesn’t get off so easy. Klaus daggers her for 52 years. When she’s finally reawakened, Marcel is immortal after making a choice between his love for her and vampirism. Thems the breaks, baby girl.
When story time is over, Hayley begs the question that’s on all our minds – why doesn’t Rebekah just go get back Elijah from Marcel herself? Because she’d rather not be daggered for an indefinite period of time again. Duh! Except it turns out Hayley did some snooping and found the set of daggers in the basement. She turns them over to Rebekah, giving her a powerful upper hand for once in her life. Now if that isn’t friendship, I don’t know what is! Pillow fights? Movie nights? Shopping trips? Nah. Be more original. Oops!
Take two on Marcel wooing Cami, alone in the bar. And it’s going well…until Rebekah barges in in a hissy fit. She wants Elijah and she wants him now. And in a strange moment of mirroring Klaus’ mannerisms, she promises she won’t kill him, but threatens to kill Cami instead. Well that won’t do. Conceding to her demands, Marcel compels Cami, promising he’ll make it up to her and she heads on out, no worse for the wear. I wonder how a psych major feels about having her memory messed with. Makes for a great thesis, don’t you think?
Keeping to his word, Marcel takes Rebekah to see Elijah. His coffin is in the same room Davina is being kept in. Once invited, Rebekah rushes to pull the dagger out of Elijah but Davina stops her, thrusting the dagger back in with mere magic. Little ol’ Davina decides she doesn’t like Rebekah and magically throws her out of the room. Kay, so, dafuq is a Davina and why is she so powerful?
For some reason, Klaus peeks in on Hayley sleeping and finds what’s left of the wolfsbane in her bag. She wakes up because it’s too hot in the mansion for her, and tells him she didn’t use it. What stopped her? Well, you know, the usual cliché reasoning. When she was fighting off the vamps – let’s be real, she threw a drink in his face – she realized she was also protecting the kid, not just herself. And as an orphan whose parents abandoned her and whose foster parents kicked her out, she realized she didn’t want to do the same to her kid. Sounds like something out of a Lifetime movie. But now Klaus thinks they’re both alike because they’re both cast offs who fight when backed in a corner. And now, it’s time to fight. He goes on a short rant about how annoyed he is that Marcel survived Mikael’s attack on the city and instead of seeking out his family (the originals) he stayed in the city, rebuilt what wasn’t his to begin with and thrived. He took everything and made it his own. And Klaus wants it all back.
After listening to Marcel schpeel about how everything is “mine, mine, mine”, Rebekah makes it back home to tell Klaus she’s discovered Marcel’s secret weapon. The 16 year old witch, Davina. But she’s something beyond powerful, as they learn she wiped Rebekah’s memory of where Marcel is hiding her, something that shouldn’t be possible to do to an Original. If she could do that, what could she do to Elijah??
With one more quick view of Davina and Marcel, we can clearly see something is off with the witch. She’s painting thick, nonsensical black lines, and raving about how the originals don’t belong here. But more importantly, Marcel wants her to focus on figuring out how to kill an Original, i.e. Elijah. Say what now? First of all, you don’t kill the most perfect tailored suit wearer in all the land. Second, Klaus you idiot you should never have given him up! Family above all! Go to your room and think about what you’ve done and don’t you dare think about painting, mister!
While this episode definitely surpassed the premiere, the one thing that really still irks me about the show as a whole is the writers’ ignorance of all of the progression made on “The Vampire Diaries” for these characters. There are moments that are crucial to who these characters are that came from TVD that haven’t yet been incorporated into “The Originals”. For those who came to the spin-off from TVD, are we supposed to sit tight and hold our breaths, waiting to see some of those elements pop up? If so, I’d hope the writing staff bears in mind that not everyone has lungs of steel.[This review brought to you by the letter M. Which stands for Mikaelson, not Marcel.]