The Originals, Season 2, Episode 16, “Save My Soul”
Written by Michael Russo
Directed by Kellie Cyrus
Airs Mondays at 8pm (ET) on The CW
On this week’s The Originals, Rebekah struggles with her new body, Freya joins Elijah and Klaus for brunch, Aiden urges Jackson to break free from Klaus, Cami educates Vincent on witch possession, and Davina goes missing.
“Save My Soul” could’ve easily been a lackluster episode, thanks to large chunks of exposition, flashbacks, and slow forward momentum, but, luckily, The Originals keeps the episode interesting by honing in on the various characters’ relationships while simultaneously teasing the arrival of future Big Bad Dahlia. The final result is a highly entertaining and informative hour, complete with the promise of even better storylines on the horizon.
Some of the best storylines are still brewing, especially the tension between Aiden, Jackson, and the rest of the newly-hybridized wolves. With or without Klaus’s interference (though last week hinted he will play a part in any uprising against Jackson), the wolves are poised to experience a change in leadership, be it through new blood or a shift in Jackson’s style. As Aiden, and even Hayley, realize, Jackson and the wolves are essentially Klaus’s lapdogs–they deserve much, much better. The timing of the dissension is coinciding nicely with Dahlia’s coming arrival; Klaus and Hayley need the wolves to protect Hope, and a rift in the werewolf/Mikaelson alliance is only going to make keeping Hope safe so much harder.
Luckily (or unluckily, as Klaus seems to believe), Freya could prove herself to be a valuable ally. So far, she’s a very intriguing character, and “Save My Soul” showcases just how harsh her life has been since being taken by Dahlia; she’s the most tragic–and sympathetic–character in a family loaded with tragic and frequently sympathetic characters, and it’s impressive that The Originals manages to make her so easy to root for in a single episode. Likewise, non-Finn-possessed Vincent is already a fun character (and not just because his presence means the incredible Yusuf Gatewood gets to stick around, though that’s a major part of it) thanks to his bonding with Cami, who quite frankly doesn’t get enough screentime. Cami brings much-needed levity and charm to every episode she’s in, plus she’s a headstrong, intelligent, and downright likable character. Davina, too, has been getting the shaft lately. Presumably this is to give newcomers like Freya more screentime, but hopefully their frequent absences won’t last. Davina and Cami are too good to be ignored.
Meanwhile, Rebekah’s body-sharing trauma is shaping up to be a surprisingly encompassing storyline. Unlike last week, Rebekah’s inability to reign over Eva St. Claire is starting to feel less like a dramatic distraction bridging the gap between Finn’s exit and Dahlia’s arrival and more like a formidable threat in its own right. Also, Maisie Richardson-Sellers is doing excellent work as the tough but endearingly vulnerable Rebekah; at this point, she’s fully proved herself worthy to step into Claire Holt’s shoes, and that’s a hard job to fill.
With so many major players in the midst of decent stories, there’s bound to be at least one who’s floundering. Hayley, unfortunately, is still not being given much to do now that she’s married to Jackson; most disappointingly, she’s allowing Klaus to verbally shut down her requests for the wolves’ freedom. Hayley’s never been one to accept Klaus’s outrageous behavior, so, when Klaus insists that the only person he deems worthy of trusting to protect Hope is himself, Hayley’s silence feels like a very uncharacteristic response. Just last week she was threatening to disappear with Hope if he tried to control her, so what changed? Maybe she’s quietly formulating a better plan of attack, but it’s still hard to watch Hayley choose not to stand up for herself and Hope.
“Save My Soul” is a strong outing, mainly because it allows the audience to spend time with the show’s excellent characters (it’s no coincidence that such a good episode includes Cami and Davina) before Dahlia arrives. Things are presumably going to get ugly, fast, so it’s nice to get a chance to dwell in the semi-quiet before the storm that Dahlia will undoubtedly bring.