The Originals, Season 2, Episode 11, “Brotherhood of the Damned”
Written by Diane Ademu-John and Kyle Arrington
Directed by Sylvain White
Airs Mondays at 8pm (ET) on The CW
On this week’s The Originals, Finn gathers his brothers in the Hunt Room, Hayley attempts to forego her first marriage ritual, Elijah name-drops Freud, and Marcel’s skill for leadership is tested.
While “Brotherhood of the Damned” isn’t The Originals at peak performance, it’s still a pretty solid and well-told hour. Though the spotlight is undeniably on Marcel for the majority of the episode, the most intense moments occur when the four Mikaelson brothers are forced into a mental trophy room together; season 2 has already proved unafraid to delve into the psychological struggles of being immortal and 1,000 years old, and “Brotherhood of the Damned” only furthers this theme.
Klaus, of course, has had his psyche studied to death at this point, so right now the focus is more on Elijah, and, to a lesser degree, Finn. Both brothers are uniquely interesting, and all of the brothers play off of each other extremely well. The best villains on this show thus far have all been Mikaelsons, and Finn is proving to be just as big and powerful a threat as his parents–maybe even more so, given the murky nature of his motives; he clearly believes the vampires are abominations, as his mother did, but there seems to be some lingering resentment toward his siblings playing into his master plan, too. It’ll be interesting to see whose side Finn picks–his brothers or Dahlia (a threat still lingering on the horizon). Of course, that depends on whether or not he’ll still be alive when she finally shows her face.
Meanwhile, Marcel finally gets a meaty storyline, and it only serves to prove how much better suited he is for leadership than his sire, Klaus. While Klaus rules by fear, Marcel works hard to gain and keep the loyalty of his men and women; if anything, Klaus is standing in the way of Marcel’s greatness. While the two are getting along now, they’re so much more compelling when they’re at odds. The pair have a fascinating relationship that deserves more dissection, especially considering how, at various times and depending on the current storylines, they swing from family, to enemies, to reluctant partners. And Marcel remains, as he proved in “Brotherhood of the Damned,” the best vampire king of New Orleans because he’s earned it, unlike Klaus, who merely takes what he wants.
In the lesser storylines of the episode, Hayley and Jackson’s struggles still feel a bit forced and contrived. How convenient that Hayley’s first marriage ritual will force her to reveal secrets about her and the Mikaelsons–particularly the biggest one, Hope. By episode’s end, Hayley seems to have chosen to trust Jackson with this secret, but this decision will probably endanger her daughter. While this move doesn’t necessarily feel out of character, the choice doesn’t exactly feel right by her character. In the beginning of season 2, Hayley was slaughtering anyone who was a threat to her daughter. Now, she’s trusting a man she hardly knows, despite her intent to marry him. Luckily, Klaus appears to be stepping in between the ritual, so at least one of Hope’s parents still has her best interest at heart.
And, lastly, Davina has been getting the shaft, story-wise, but at least she gets to be a little sassy. Hopefully better storylines are headed her way, because she definitely deserves them.
“Brotherhood of the Damned” may not be the best The Originals has to offer, but the show still knows how to deliver an entertaining, and informative, hour of television.
Last week’s review can be found here.