The Originals, Ep. 2.05, “Red Door” balances exposition, action with ease

The Originals, Red Door

The Originals, Red Door

The Originals, Season 2, Episode 5, “Red Door”
Written by Declan De Barra and Diane Ademu-John
Directed by Michael Robison
Airs Mondays at 8pm EST on The CW

On this week’s The Originals, Elijah is held captive by Esther, Mikael kidnaps Cami, Hayley and Marcel team up to aid Klaus, and Davina discovers Kaleb’s secret identity.

Though “Red Door” is full of exposition–both visual and vocal via Esther–quite a lot still happens to progress this season’s story forward. Season 2 is very heavy with information about the original family, but a family as old as the Mickaelsons has an awful lot of exciting and emotional and interesting stories to tell, both in the past and in the present. Actually, the present storyline wouldn’t be nearly as intriguing if The Originals weren’t dolling out tidbits of history along the way–the two elements together are weaving into an extremely epic and involved tale.

Somehow, Mama Mikaelson continues to grow scarier each week, even when she’s merely sipping tea and talking at her sons. Of course, this is mostly kudos to Sonja Sohn, who absolutely slays as the family’s disappointed and ambitious matriarch. Seriously, her work is beyond impressive. And, despite the threat she poses to Klaus and Co., it’d be nice if she’d stick around for a while. Sohn clearly knows how to carry a scene, and she’s brilliant at expressing how devoted Esther is to her family without neglecting any of the rage or sadness she feels over what her family’s become. Also, her utter rationality is terrifying–Esther may have seemed crazy before when she outright wanted to slaughter her children, but now that she’s set on “fixing” them, she seems downright sane. Who wouldn’t want to give their children another shot at life after cursing them with monstrous immortality for centuries?

What Esther fails to see is how capable her children are of redemption, even without being reborn into mortal bodies. Klaus–who is famously bad at trusting anyone–literally hands Cami the only tool on earth capable of killing him. The moment is only seconds long, but it holds massive importance, especially in regards to Klaus’s character development up till now. Seemingly nonchalantly, Klaus proves he’s capable of trust and immediately adds a whole new layer of depth to his character. The scene is really wonderful, especially because it’s done so casually and quickly.

Meanwhile, the big excitement around “Red Door” is Nina Dobrev’s appearance as yet another doppelganger. While Dobrev is radiant, as always, her character mostly serves as a chance to strip away even more of Elijah’s nobility and righteousness. Thus far, Elijah has been built up as the “good” brother, who only gets his hands dirty to save his family or those he cares about. However, this new development shows Elijah isn’t quite as in control of himself as he seems. Instead of being upsetting, his slow fall from grace is compelling–he’s being dragged off his pedestal, and it’s clearly going to have an affect on his relationships with Hayley, Klaus, and others in the future. Plus, it opens the door for redemption, which is always a fun thing to watch.

While “Red Door” is loaded with exposition, the episode never feels dull or too slow; it’s the opposite, actually–the new information and the action are fairly well-balanced, and several familial and/or friendly relationships are reaffirmed and strengthened throughout the hour. Overall, the episode is a decent addition to season 2’s impressive line-up.

Last week’s review can be found here.

 

Ashley Laggan

 




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