The Originals, Season 2, Episode 12, “Sanctuary”
Written by Declan De Barra and Michael Narducci
Directed by Matt Hastings
Airs Mondays at 8pm (ET) on The CW
On this week’s The Originals, Davina and Kol help Aiden find Marcel and Co., Klaus violently confronts Jackson and Hayley, Rebekah meets Freya, and Elijah makes a cameo appearance.
While not as eventful or informative as last week’s episode, “Sanctuary” is still a decent, but not particularly involving, episode of The Originals. To be honest, the episode feels a whole lot like filler, but there are still some gems to be found among the hour, especially in regards to character development and subtle shifts in power–a lot of new knowledge was shared between characters, if not with the audience.
The most hyped moment of the episode–Klaus and Jackson’s fight–is a bit of a letdown. Though the fight initally begins as an attempt to stop Jackson from discovering the truth about Hope, it quickly devolves into yet another power struggle between Klaus and a potential threat to his leadership. At this point, Klaus’s obsession with power, and especially with keeping it, is becoming an incredibly uninteresting plot point. Instead of evolving, Klaus is simply retreading ground; unsurprisingly, his father is also brought into the fight, along with Klaus’s constant rejection by his werewolf brethren. It’s a shame the episode didn’t focus more on Hayley’s struggles to reveal Hope’s existence to the wolves, because this would be new, and possibly more emotionally arresting, territory than Klaus’s repeated alpha male behavior.
Of course, the fight between Jackson and Klaus did give director Matt Hastings the chance to get creative–one shot in particular sticks out. When Klaus stands above Jackson, there’s a moment when he’s framed in moonlight. He looks downright heroic (The Originals does, after all, like to make their monsters seem far more honorable than they are), and the shot is very striking. And, it also seems to serve as a subtle commentary that Klaus is still a werewolf, even if the pack doesn’t accept him as one of their own. But, what Klaus constantly fails to realize is that power on this show is earned; he will never be a leader, or even a member, of the werewolf pack if he does nothing to earn it–he insists on gaining power by using fear and violence. So, even the shot of Klaus surrounded by moonlight feels a little unearned, because Klaus can only claim an accidental connection to the werewolves by blood. On The Originals, blood isn’t always enough.
Several huge things do occur in this episode: Freya breaks Rebekah out of the witch asylum, and Finn finally discovers the truth about Hope (as does Marcel, presumably). While Claire Holt will definitely be missed, it’s a nice move to put Rebekah in another body so her character can remain on the show. Rebekah’s an excellent character, and Freya shows plenty of promise. Also, Finn now has the ultimate weapon to use against Hayley and the Mikaelsons. With so many threats aimed toward Hope, the intensity of this season is only increasing.
Lastly, season two has lent Hope’s story a very storybook (dark) fairytale-esque twist–in keeping with this tradition, “Santuary” shows Hayley confessing the truth to Jackson with with words “Let me tell you a story…,” and it makes for a very nice touch. For all of the episode’s faults, “Santuary” doesn’t forget what’s come before it or what this season has been building to–if the episode’s slow or lacking in any way, it seems to be because characters are being shifted into position for bigger things to come.