The Originals, Season 2, Episode 8, “The Brothers That Care Forgot”
Written by Charlie Charbonneau and Michelle Paradise
Directed by Michael A. Allowitz
Airs Mondays at 8pm on The CW
On this week’s The Originals, Rebekah and Hope run from Esther, Elijah becomes increasingly unstable, Hayley and Jackson find a solution to the werewolves’s enslavement, and Klaus enlists Marcel to help deal with Finn and Kol.
“The Brothers That Care Forgot” is one of the best episodes of the season, and not just because Rebekah and Hope make a rare appearance, though how many vampire dramas can beat the sight of an ancient vampire as handsome as Daniel Gillies cradling a newborn? Baby cuddling aside, the episode does an excellent job shifting the character dynamics around–several new teams are formed with surprising players.
One of this season’s most interesting developments is the subtle but divisive way the werewolves are differentiated from the vampires. The werewolves are very earth-y and nomadic; even the clothes they wear are in shades of deep brown and green, as opposed to Elijah’s formal wear and Klaus’s preference for black and leather. On The Originals, Hayley operates as a connection between the two factions–she is the rare character that can function at ease in both groups; even Klaus, a fellow hybrid, can’t boast the same ability. Marcel and his clan of vampires don’t really fit into either groups; as exiles, they interact with both groups when necessary, and their housing and clothing is mismatched–they’re a combination of vampire and werewolf, balancing earth tones with leather, and a beat-up loft with a refined style of living. The asethetic differences are just really well done, and “The Brother That Care Forgot” really highlights these differences, as Jackson’s return gives insight into his home and lifestyle.
The only real weakness in the episode is Hayley and Jackon’s sudden intent to marry. Sure, it makes sense that a ritual could bind two werewolf clans, but the plan breaks down when more information about the ritual is explained. The ritual is an awfully convenient way to force Hayley and Jackson’s relationship to develop, and, because it doesn’t unfold organically, the Hayley/Jackson pairing is nowhere near as compelling as the Hayley/Elijah pairing. Even though Elijah has been deliberately avoiding Hayley this season, little moments like his small smile when he sees her name on his phone carry far more emotional weight than any declaration of affection that Jackson gives Hayley.
Another fun development in the past few episodes is Elijah’s slow descent into madness. Even Klaus is noticing how reckless and violent Elijah is being, and that’s a pretty huge warning sign that Elijah’s normally controlled and polite psyche is cracking. While a bit disappointing–Elijah’s always been the good brother to Klaus’s bad, and his morality was reassuring and heartening–Elijah is perhaps the best candidate to unravel as he is. Elijah’s struggles work because he is normally so composed–other characters on the show frequently give in to their darker impulses, but Elijah has always been a bit of a moral compass for his siblings and Hayley.
Ignoring the werewolves’s strange marriage rituals, “The Brothers That Care Forgot” is a very good prequel to The Originals‘s midseason finale. Also, the looming threat of Esther’s sister Dahlia is adding quite a bit of tension to the series–hopefully she lives up to the hype.
Last week’s review can be found here.