On this week’s The Originals, Esther plans a dinner with her sons, Hayley helps a witch, and Marcel convinces Elijah to train his new lackey.
The majority of “Every Mother’s Son” is a set-up for future episodes, and the episode is pretty good for what it ultimately is. A lot of grade-A decisions are made during the hour that’ll only make future episodes better and more compelling. After only three episodes, this season seems to be on relatively-solid footing, and “Every Mother’s Son” does a good job fleshing out what to expect in the forthcoming weeks.
Since this season is zeroing in on the sprawling Mikaelson clan, a lot of characters that the audience grew to love in season one have been largely absent or given the short shrift. Mainly Cami is missing, but Davina and Marcel have also been relegated to background characters for the time being. This is especially disappointing given how dynamic a character Cami’s become, as well as how intriguing all three characters are when they’re on screen. Hopefully their roles will increase moving forward with the season, because all of the actors, and characters, deserve better.
Luckily, the episode chooses to move Esther from the body of a teenage girl–one who could never quite sell Esther’s power and obsession with her own children–into the body of a much more frightening and impressive witch. Esther now feels like an increasingly-viable threat under the guidance of actress Sonja Sohn. Sohn clearly understands the myriad of emotions running through the Mikaelson matriarch, and her obvious talent briefly shines through in the episode. She’s going to be a treat to watch.
Actor Yusuf Gatewood is also quite impressive as Elijah and Klaus’s brother Finn. Gatewood is truly scary when his rage slips out during his confrontation with his brothers. Centuries of rage simmer beneath Finn’s well-mannered exterior, and he’s not an easy character to accurately portray by any means. Gatewood sells Finn’s severe emotion with ease and elevates Finn into an adversary almost equal to Esther herself. He and Sohn are real acting powerhouses on this show, and they are definitely worthy of playing such ancient antagonists.
As for the show’s continuing themes of family (particularly family lost), The Originals is really driving home the Mikaelson’s vast familial issues while simultaneously working in Marcel and Hayley’s ties to the family. It’s a really good move, tying the past and the present together so well, because it makes Klaus and co.’s struggle to keep New Orleans their home feel relevant, even when the show delves into flashbacks from nearly 1,000 years ago. The Originals is turning into quite the epic saga, but it has yet to feel like the show is overreaching or treading into ridiculous territory.