The Originals, Season 2, Episode 18, “Night Has a Thousand Eyes”
Written by Ashley Lyle and Bart Nickerson
Directed by Jesse Warn
Airs Mondays at 8pm (ET) on The CW
On this week’s The Originals, Dahlia finally shows her face, Hayley and Jackson attempt to escape with Hope, Elijah makes a deal with Josephine, and Klaus teams up with Mikael and Davina.
After several long weeks of hemming and hawing, The Originals finally makes good on their promise of Dahlia’s arrival, and she absolutely does not disappoint. “Night Has a Thousand Eyes” is the best episode the show has offered in a while, as The Originals finally feels like it has some genuine momentum going forward.
With so much build-up to her arrival, Dahlia had a lot of pressure riding on her introduction to modern-day New Orleans; luckily, actress Claudia Black delivers a powerhouse performance. Black is threatening and impressive as she easily diminishes all attempts to defeat her, and that’s no small feat, considering she faces four different Mikaelsons during the hour. A formidable threat against Hayley, Hope, and the original vampires has been lacking since Esther’s whimpering exit, but Black fills that void with startling ease and grace–anyone who is capable of scaring both Klaus and Elijah is undoubtedly a dangerous, and stake-raising, antagonist.
Dahlia’s arrival does bring one unexpected, and thoroughly delightful, development–the team-up between Klaus and Mikael. When these two work together, they play off each other so well that its a shame they’ve never before teamed up (and, unfortunately, never will again). At one point, Klaus blatantly asks his father why he’s never loved him (even before Mikael knew Klaus wasn’t his biological son), and Mikael’s answer is both heartbreaking and revealing: “I don’t know.” Though, watching the pair fight Dahlia and her minions together offers one possible reason: the pair are just too similar in their bloodlust-fueled, dominating ways–they’re both too headstrong and desirous of leadership to ever stop butting heads. And, after this episode, it’s a shame, because it’s fun to watch them play allies, even if it would never work out long-term.
The episode also does an excellent job incorporating Aiden and Josh’s relationship back into the story, as well as giving them more screen time together than they’ve ever had before. They’re a charming pair, and one of the few examples of a stable and genuine romantic relationship the show’s had. They’ve always felt like a very realistic pairing in a show plagued with supernatural creatures, so their struggles with loyalty feel especially human. Well done, writers (and actors!).
Another great (platonic) relationship is the one between Josephine and Elijah. Those too are so good at politely and charmingly delivering veiled threats back and forth that it’s a shame Meg Foster’s run on the show is over. Seriously, she was a highlight of the entire second season, so much so that her exit is slightly more devastating than the episode’s other big (though unsurprising) death. Surely she can come back as a ghost or something, right? Right?
Anyway, Cami remains absent (humans tend to get the shaft on supernatural shows, so this isn’t surprising, but it’s still disappointing), but Davina’s infrequent and temporary appearances are still a treat. Her response to Klaus threatening Aiden and Josh is on point, because Klaus’s number one tool against everyone around him has always been to target loved ones, and Hope changes everything for him. He’s more vulnerable now than he’s ever been before, which only serves to make Dahlia that much more of a threat to Klaus. Oh, and Davina’s eye roll at Klaus and Mikael’s bickering is just funny. More of Davina, please.
The one weakness in the episode is Freya, and not because of her character, but because of how her character is treated by the others. Everyone (save Klaus) is very finicky where Freya is concerned, and, though she seems sincere in her attempts to help her siblings protect Hope, as well as in her fear of Dahlia, Rebekah and Hayley were willing to turn on her immediately and banish her from the house. It’s a strange response, if only because they appear to trust her for most of the episode, but are almost eager to get rid of her instead of hearing her out, or offering to help her shield Dahlia’s influence. Plus, Freya does not end the episode in a high place–if Klaus and Co. aren’t careful, they are going to have another antagonist against them.
“Night Has a Thousand Eyes” is an episode The Originals has been building to for a very long time, and it does a brilliant job delivering on the promise of Dahlia’s arrival and more. The stakes are so high that no one feels safe, and it’s an excellent place for the show to be when the finale is only a few weeks away.