The Originals 1.04 “Girl in New Orleans”A tv review article by: Shawn Hill
This show is revealing its weaknesses too early. They are, unsurprisingly: Klaus. When the most memorable thing about an episode is how cruel he is to someone he actually wants to love, you’re on shaky ground already. There’s also another classic tale for him to Pygmalion this week, not quite Romeo and Juliet this time, but instead the one about the teenage girl with the awkward crush that goes horribly wrong. Maybe it’s because I just saw the film, but it’s sort of Carrie, actually, with Klaus as her more evil mom.
Exposition alternates with juicy plot lurches this week, as we learn that Davina lives over a desecrated church where an altar boy went all serial killer for no reason. Said boy happening to be psychology student Camille’s brother. She’s in the Big Easy to solve this inexplicable crime. Shouldn’t we have known that already? We would have, were she a main character, rather than just Klaus’ latest victim. By the time he finds out about her sob-story, he’s already begun compelling her. And he just keeps on doing it, sacrificing her quite valid goals and needs to his own agenda to defeat Marcel (who also likes her). Making her forget her pain this time is not an act of kindness. Somebody needs to tell this one about vervain.
Since Camille is just a lowly human, he can make her do whatever he wants (though he promises to solve her brother’s crime for her later, condescendingly). With uber-baby-witch Davina, he has to get rough, so he endangers and nearly kills her precocious teen musician crush object, which is barely one step away from torturing children. Really vile. Her raging hormones make Davina’s powers unfocused (lucky for Klaus, as she should just boil his blood until he goes up in smoke).
Whereas Marcel treats her with kid gloves, Klaus offers a better alternative by bludgeoning her with a hammer, more or less. How does that make sense? Thankfully, Elijah is awake and decides to make his own deal with the distraught Davina, which is sure to be more productive than those lobbed at her by either of her other would-be protector/captors.
In other news, Hayley’s medical checkup in the swamp looks legit but isn’t, so she wolfs out slightly and protects herself from attackers, eventually with Rebekah’s help. And also the help of some unknown ally we don’t see. That would be cooler if we knew what was going on, but it’s all faceless bodies ravaged in the dark at this point.
I don’t know which parts of this mish-mash should be developed to improve the season, but I will say the only truly cool and eerie part was the psychic communion of Elijah and Rebekah, where he transported her back to a lovely old memory that had nothing to do with Klaus in order not to control her, but to enlist her willing aid in his own unfolding plan. I don’t know about you, but I’d prefer more Dark Shadows, less Near Dark for this franchise. More spooky vamp costume drama, and much less creepy mind rape.
Shawn Hill knows two things: comics and art history. Find his art at http://cornekopia.net.