The Originals “The Axeman’s Letter” Review (Season 3 Episode 5)

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On the latest episode of “The Originals,” Aurora was in town and it wasn’t long before chaos ensued- and then some- in “The Axeman’s Letter.” The title refers to the fabled “Axeman” serial killer, a real-life killer in New Orleans who supposedly would spare you if you played jazz in your home, as stated in a letter sent to the press. If this sounds familiar, then you probably watched “American Horror Story: Coven,” which featured a fictionalized version of the killer, as played by Danny Houston.

Here, the title and mythos was used as sort of a metaphor for a letter than Klaus sent to Aurora, seeking to break off their relationship after she discovered what he and his family really were. Rather than being disgusted, Aurora actually saw it as an opportunity, and asked Klaus to turn her, which he refused to do. So, she attempted suicide at a time during which she knew Rebekah would be around and sure enough, Rebekah came along to save her from certain death.

However, she refused to turn Aurora, instead offering up her blood to heal Aurora. So, naturally, after sending Rebekah away, she promptly jumped off her balcony, thus killing herself for real, but this time with Rebekah’s blood in her system, which allowed her to essentially turn herself. Unfortunately, shortly thereafter, the family got wind that their true nature was becoming common knowledge, and that it was only a matter of time before their father also found out and came after them.

This meant that the family needed to leave town sooner than later, and Elijah had no intentions of taking Aurora with them, not matter what her relationship with Klaus was. As a means of proving how much she meant to him, Aurora let slip to Elijah that she knew Klaus’ deepest, darkest secret: that it was Klaus who had killed their mother, not their father, which she told him after he compelled her to. Furious, Elijah demanded that Aurora break up with Klaus, once again, compelling her to do so- a spell he never undid, as revenge for what Klaus had done.

This was huge, of course, as it was that heartbreak which set Klaus on his path of self-destructiveness that would cost untold amounts of lives over the years. It also explains why Elijah was always so quick to rise to Klaus’ defense, as he was essentially the reason for Klaus’ behavior and felt guilty about it. Needless to say, Klaus was furious over this revelation and promptly went to Elijah to confront him, and he didn’t deny it.

Cue the knock-down, drag-out fight, ending with a draw- for now- but also a full-on declaration of war against one another. In short, this is a slight that I’m not sure the family will recover from, ever. This also means that Alexis’ prophecy that one member of the family will end up killing another is looking more and more like a distinct possibility. The question is: which will it be? Will Klaus get the best of Elijah, or vice versa?

Of course, we all know by now that Klaus is his own worst enemy and near-dominated by his emotions, which tend to be all over the place at the best of times. Now that his emotions are in the worst place imaginable, what will be the end result? I honestly don’t know, but it certainly won’t be good.

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I must say, coming as it does after “The Vampire Diaries” now, though it made perfect sense to do, and I wholeheartedly supported the move by CW, all this move does is expose how much better a show “The Originals” is than its sister show, at least nowadays. While “TVD” is desperately trying to recreate that “Originals” magic by formulating a “new” family of baddies, via the “Heretics” and Lily, “The Originals” packs more drama into a single episode than the show it spun off from manages over the course of several. It’s just that good.

What’s impressive to me in particular is the way in which the show manages to figure out ways to ramp up the drama, just as it seems like there’s nothing left to ramp up. Granted, it got this from “TVD,” admittedly, but it just plain does it better as of late. I don’t know if it’s that the better writers from “TVD” jumped ship to “The Originals,” or if said writers are just having more fun with the material on “The Originals,” but either way, this show is so much better than “TVD.”

I hate to say it, but I’m beginning to wonder if maybe they shouldn’t have quit while they were ahead when Nina Dobrev jumped ship. The funny thing is, it’s not as if Dobrev’s character was that interesting, anyway, in the first place. To me, she only really got interesting when she started taking on other, polar opposite roles, notably Katherine, Elena’s evil doppelganger. Once they killed Katherine off, though, things started to swiftly go downhill, and the show has yet to recover entirely, aside from the occasional decent episode.

Meanwhile, despite killing off all sorts of juicy characters, including both of the Originals’ parents- technically more than once, if you include past events- “The Originals” has managed to come up with unique villains and twists that keep a viewer guessing. There’s also typically a point to all of the flashbacks, which “TVD” has lost sight of, aside from a current plotline involving Stefan’s first love.

There, more often than not, the flashbacks are just there to give the show an excuse to play dress-up with the main characters. Not so with “The Originals.” The flashbacks we’ve gotten this season have all directly informed the current plot. Not only that, but they’ve served to completely upend and change the dynamic of the show. Before, Klaus and Elijah always had a contentious relationship- now there’s a direct reason for it.

What’s more, now we have a reason for all of Klaus’ bad behavior over the years, and it traces directly back to his own brother. Now that’s just plain good drama. “TVD” could stand to learn a thing or two from the new kid on the block. It’s time to shake things up, big time, and I don’t mean from outside the main family- but from within it. The best thing the show could do is to go back to that original dynamic of pitting the two Salvatore brothers against one another. It just worked. The irony is, if they did, they’d probably be accused of ripping off their own spin-off. (Not that they aren’t already with the “Heretics” storyline, but I digress.)

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Getting back to the show, even the lesser subplots took interesting turns this week. On the Davina front, she learned a hard lesson about forcing people to kowtow to her and opted to take the high road for once, not only breaking the curse against Hayley and her people for good instead of continuing to force Hayley to do her bidding, but also giving Kara’s son a choice: stop railing against her and start helping her make a change for the better with the witches that forged a new path, instead of repeating old mistakes. Granted, the son turned her down and chose to leave town, but Hayley did not, and Davina ended up with a genuine friend instead of a lackey forced to serve her. Not too shabby a lesson to learn there, either: you win some, you lose some.

Meanwhile, the whole serial killer situation came to a head when Camille was essentially framed for the latest murder and arrested by the detective on the case, Kinney. Even worse, he had a search warrant for her property, which included her family’s stockpile of magical knick-knacks, which can’t be good.

It would be one thing if Kinney legitimately thought Cami was guilty, but I’m convinced he’s totally up to something, and just used the opportunity to take advantage of the situation. Not sure what that might be yet, but I’m almost positive he’s dirty, and might even be in the pocket of Tristan. Whatever the case, now he has access to an awful lot of magical mojo.

This was yet another solid episode, in what is shaping up to be a great, unpredictable season. I legitimately have no idea where all this is headed. I mean, it seems as if the family is going to be in tatters by the end of the season, possibly even with some casualties. But who is doomed, and who will survive? As much as I feel Klaus and Elijah are bulletproof, are they really? Or will they go the secondary route and kill off, say, Freya or Rebekah? Seems more likely, but who knows with this show? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see, and I, for one, am fine with that.

So, what did you think of “The Originals” this week? Are you digging this new plotline, with Lucien, Tristan and Aurora? Or is it not working for you? If not, what do you think they could do to rectify it? How do you think it will all end? Will they take out a major character by the end of the season? Or will the Originals manage to sneak out relatively unscathed yet again? What is that shady detective up to? Will Davina manage to regain control over her covens? Sound off on this and more down below, and see you next week!