‘The Originals’ Season 4: Hollow Inside

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First of all, congratulations are in order, as “The Originals” was picked up for a fifth season! In addition, former “Vampire Diaries” head honcho Julie Plec will be taking over the reins next season, for better or for worse, depending on your views on how that show ended, I suppose. Personally, I didn’t have a huge problem with it- more so with how the quality of that show declined post-Nina Dobrev than anything else.

Of course, one could certainly make a case that Plec was at least partially to blame for that as well, so there you go. That said, “The Originals” can admittedly be hit or miss sometimes, so maybe Plec can right the ship somewhat moving forward. We shall see. Either way, her more prominent involvement might help recruit some welcome old favorites moving forward, which I can’t say I’d have a problem with.

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To that end, we had a guest spot by Alaric himself, Matthew Davis, as well as the more expected one from Davina, played by Danielle Campbell, both of which were very much welcome. Davis has an amusingly wry quality to his interactions with the Mikaelson clan, and I loved how he safeguarded himself against any tricks they might have had up their sleeve, even if it meant endangering himself, i.e. rigging his car with explosives. Hey, one can never be too careful with this lot.

As for Davina, I always thought her exit from the show was a bit abrupt and not entirely satisfying, with the character reduced to a shell of her former bad-ass self by the end. Fortunately, she came back swinging on the latest episode, determined to have her cake and avenge it, too.

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Sure, she “helped” the Mikaelsons, to a certain extent, but she also purposely left out key information designed to bite them on the ass when they least expected it, which was exactly what happened when the Hollow attacked them, via current host Sofya (Taylor Cole, which, if you’re going to possess someone, you could do a lot worse- how about that dress on episode 6, “Bag of Cobras”?).

Now, Elijah (Daniel Gillies) is in decidedly hot water, last seen being stabbed and absconded with by Sofya/The Hollow. But I’m getting ahead of myself somewhat, so let’s backtrack a bit to where we last left off, episode 5, “I Hear You Knocking,” in which we had a pretty sweet face-off between Marcel (Charles Michael Davis) and Klaus (Joseph Morgan), which was a long-time coming.

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Of course, one can hardly blame both for having their grievances- after all, Marcel kept Klaus chained up in a grimy basement for literally years, while Klaus has treated Marcel pretty shabbily in his own right- though really, it was Elijah that he should have the bigger beef with as of late, being as how, you know, he tried to legitimately kill him and all- and might have succeeded, if not for mitigating circumstances- read: plot contrivances.

Anyway, regardless, both Klaus and Marcel were…let’s say infected by The Hollow, which was compelling them to try and kill each other- not that it needed to do much to do so, really. But the real reason was, naturally, to absorb whoever died’s power, thus helping it- or what we later discovered to be “she,” I should say- to return in earnest.

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To that end, The Hollow appeared to each in the form of that most likely to rile them up: to Klaus as his father and to Marcel as both Elijah and Klaus. In doing so, it nearly makes Marcel kill Sofya, and it does make Klaus kill several innocents, thinking it to be his father. Realizing he could easily kill one of his loved ones, including his beloved Hope (Summer Fontana), he determines to kill Marcel ASAP, with the help of a magical dagger given to him by Freya (Riley Voelkel).

Meanwhile, Hayley (Phoebe Tonkin) realizes that The Hollow might be to blame for her parents’ death, when Mary (Debra Mooney) shows her a journal that would seem to indicate that Mary’s husband was under the influence of The Hollow at around the time he killed Hayley’s parents, likely under a similar kind of spell to the one Klaus and Marcel are currently fighting off.

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Marcel gets some magical beads from Dominic (Darri Ingolfsson) which he instructs Marcel to bury at the place where it has the most concentrated power- the old house where the previous bunch of kids were sacrificed. No sooner than he gets there than Klaus shows up, and despite his insistence that he has a solution that could save them both, Klaus isn’t buying it and the two have a knock-down, drag-out fight, but stop short of killing one another in the end.

Freya ultimately saves the day by intervening with a potion of some sort, but The Hollow won’t be vanquished so easily. She does, however, declare that Marcel and Klaus seem to both be free of residual Hollow remnants, so there’s that. Elijah takes Marcel down to the dungeon where he once held Klaus and inters him there for safekeeping for the moment. He points out that Klaus could have killed him, but didn’t, and he should be thankful for that, noting that Hope was likely the reason for it.

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We discover that Dominic and Sofya were in cahoots, but things obviously didn’t go as planned, what with Marcel taken and nearly killed. On the plus side, Dominic points out that, because Marcel’s blood was spilled they now have the means to kill an Original themselves, courtesy of a thorny vine that has grown from it. Just one scrape from said thorn and it’s lights out for any Original it comes into contact with. So, it wasn’t all for naught, at least.

In “Bag of Cobras,” Vincent (Yusuf Gatewood), a former victim of The Hollow’s shenanigans previously, does his due diligence on the enemy and discovers that it has been resurfacing in New Orleans for ages, duping people into making sacrifices to it every so often, specifically in four key locations. In order to stop it, they need to determine who is under its spell at the moment, so Klaus throws a party in Marcel’s name- despite his still being locked away- in hopes of flushing out the enemy.

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Vincent goes around the party shaking hands to get an idea of who might be in cahoots with The Hollow and susses out Dominic. They go at it until Elijah intervenes, at which point Dominic tries to make a side deal with Elijah: Vincent and Marcel in exchange for the Mikaelsons being left alone. Elijah points out that this would effectively start a war with everyone, including both the witches and Marcel’s followers, but Dominic says better that than The Hollow.

While this is going on, Hayley has Freya do a spell to “re-live” her parent’s murder, in hopes of learning something more about both that and The Hollows. Sure enough, Mary’s suspicions were correct, and The Hollow was involved. Something good does come out of it, though, as Hayley sees her father hide a key underneath the floorboards, which she retrieves. It’s to a storage unit, which Hayley goes through, finding a jawbone hidden inside an old teddy bear.

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Meanwhile, Sofya is at the party with Josh, trying to figure out where the Mikaelsons are hiding Marcel. Josh succeeds, while Sofya keeps Klaus busy by semi-flirting with him, but also pointing out the new weapon at her disposal, courtesy of the thorns she’s sporting as a fashion accessory. But Klaus makes her a deal: if she gives up the Hollow acolytes, he’ll release Marcel. She agrees and Klaus offers the guilty party a chance to join them.

Interestingly, it’s Elijah that goes the violent route, ripping out Dominic’s heart in plain view of the party and telling them that anyone else aligned with The Hollow will meet a similar fate. Hmm. Looks like Elijah has officially taken over the mantle of going overboard with the violence, and Klaus has opted to temper himself in deference to Hope and his new role as a family man. Well, that, and The Hollow driving him to kill innocents, while showing him it could have easily been a loved one, no doubt.

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Elijah and Vincent make an uneasy truce- for now, and all is well for the moment. Hayley returns with the jawbone and tells them that it’s one of four that are needed to truly resurrect The Hollow, and if they can get ahold of the others, they can prevent that from ever happening. Klaus realizes that he has one of the others in his safe, but all too late, as Sofya or one of her cohorts has stolen it while everything was going down.

Turns out that Sofya has a reason for her grudge against Klaus that goes beyond Marcel: Klaus once went all “Red Wedding” on her family about 500 years ago and she’s still understandably miffed about it. The Hollows crew uses the dagger to resurrect Dominic, and the search begins to find the other pieces of bone before they do.

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Next up was “High Water and a Devil’s Daughter.” Klaus, Hayley and Hope are sidelined within the compound, protected by a Freya spell, while Elijah goes out to track down Vincent for help battling The Hollows. He wants Vincent to contact the Ancestors and use them to fight The Hollow, but the only way to do so is the dreaded Harvest Ritual, which would require four witches to die, if you’ll recall, so Vincent balks, not wanting to stir up trouble with the coven.

Freya seeks out Josh for help with a spell to defeat Dominic, in exchange for which she promises that Marcel will not be harmed. If not, Freya will kill him, so not much of a choice there. Dominic turns on Sofya, thinking that she’s more interested in Marcel than serving The Hollow, which is accurate. He shoves the Tunde blade into her to sideline her for the time being.

Working on Sofya’s intel that a body was being transported that was almost certainly Marcel, Dominic goes after it, only to be duped by Freya, who has turned Josh into the semblance of Marcel to lure Dominic in. Obviously, it worked. Josh lies inside a magic circle until Dominic arrives and then Freya traps him and tortures him for info on the other missing bones, but Dominic has an ace up his sleeve: his people have Keelin (Christina Moses) and will kill her if he isn’t released- in fact, she might already be dead.

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This has the intended effect, as Freya goes ballistic and attacks Dominic, removing him from the protective circle in the process, which, in turn, allows him to attack her right back. Dominic seemingly outright kills Freya and leaves to go after the Mikaelsons. Thankfully, Keelin is not dead and comes to her rescue, but the damage is done, as in “killing” Freya, the spell protecting the Mikaelsons is removed and they are vulnerable to attack at the compound.

Dominic and his Hollow-worshipping peeps bust into the compound, snap Hayley’s neck, and go after Klaus with the thorns in hand. When Dominic threatens Hope, Klaus literally knocks his head off in one fell swoop. Not sure if he’s coming back from that one. Hope, in the meantime, has buddied up to Marcel, and perhaps dubiously, agrees to let him go, on the condition that he help them combat Dominic’s goons, which he does. Klaus finds them later and is none too pleased about this new development.

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As all this is going on, Elijah, taking yet another dark turn, opts to get the Harvest party started on his own, with or without Vincent’s help. He steals Vincent’s sacrificial blade and kills off four young witches and confronts Vincent with what he’s done, saying that, if he wants them to return, he better complete the ritual, which Vincent begrudgingly does, but it’s clear the Ancestors are not pleased with this development. Vincent is forced to call on Davina for help by stealing her skull from her grave and using it to contact her.

The ritual is completed, and the four dead witches are resurrected. Connection to the Ancestors activated! Mission complete. Elijah reports back to the compound on this new development, as does Freya with a development of her own- another of the bones may be in Mystic Falls, but its exact location may have died with Tyler Lockwood, whose family was the protector of it- and who he was the last member of. But still, a road trip, or at least a phone call may be in order.

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Freya finally thanks Keelin for, I don’t know, saving her life! They eventually have their “Supergirl” Alex and Maggie moment- took ’em long enough. Though, to be fair, Keelin had been working overtime to make it happen for some time- it was just that Freya was so busy with her never-ending family drama to really notice, or at least act on it. Such is not the case anymore, though the drama is far from over, obviously.

Klaus, touched that Marcel shielded Hope from not only harm, but from witnessing all the mass slaughter, in a manner similar to one he himself used to do with Marcel back when he was younger, offers up a truce to him, at least while all this Hollow business is going on. Marcel agrees, if only for the sake of his people and New Orleans in general. But how will they take his newfound partnership with the Mikaelsons after badmouthing them for all this time?

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We end with The Hollow removing the blade from inside Sofya and inserting itself into her in its place to “hide” from the Ancestors. Sofya gets up, with those telltale glowing blue eyes and leaves the abandoned house to stir up mischief elsewhere, which brings us back round to the most recent episode, “Voodoo in my Blood.”

Here, we finally got the history of The Hollow, which, as it turns out, isn’t an it, per se, as it was a “she,” as in a baby born of the union of two magical tribes, way back in 500 AD. While the union was meant to solidify the power and partnership of the two formerly rival tribes, it actually backfired when the baby turned out to be a power-hungry, emotionless kill machine. Whoops! It happens, I guess.

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Rather than road-tripping to Mystic Falls to look for the Lockwood bone- that sounds dirtier than I meant it to- the Mikaelsons simply call Alaric, who conveniently tracks it down and offers it up in exchange for the Mikaelsons staying the hell out of the Falls, which they agree to, with Elijah going off to meet him. Unfortunately, possessed Sofya overhears all this and intercepts Alaric and she takes it from him, though Alaric does blow her up for her troubles. But, you know, it’s The Hollow, so, indestructible.

Fortunately, Alaric also has a journal he also retrieved, which he read, featuring the names of the other families with the other bones, which have been changed to protect them, so there’s that. He tells the late-arriving Elijah and Marcel- who have begrudgingly teamed up for the meet, with Elijah promising to hand over the dagger that can kill Marcel in exchange for working together- that another of the bones is in New Orleans.

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Marcel realizes where it is, and figures that Sofya will realize it, too, but that she might not know that the gravesite was relocated after the floods and could possibly be headed to the wrong location, so off they go in hopes of getting there first, with the now car-less Alaric in tow. He later suggests to Klaus that Hope might be better off at his and Caroline’s local Hogwarts, which “TVD” fans will recall they started as a safe haven for magical kids like their twins in the finale.

(This might also explain Klaus’ sizable donation to the school, though I’m not sure about the timeline, as this show skipped ahead a few years, so I’m not sure where it is in respect to where Mystic Falls was. Are both shows caught up, or is one ahead of the other? The fact that Alaric mentions the school to Klaus seemingly for the first time, makes me think that we’re just ahead of where “TVD” left off, with part of that show’s epilogue having yet to happen- as in Klaus’ donation. I think.)

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Before this, however, Klaus accompanies Hayley to a church to discuss some witchy business, which Klaus is convinced is a trap. He’s right, of course, as the Harvest Girls are waiting for them, and do indeed end up trapping Klaus and Hayley in a magical circle. The Harvest Girls say they need a sample of both Klaus and Hayley’s blood to combat The Hollow, and that it will hurt. The two are transported to another plane, where Davina awaits them, still none too amused with Klaus.

She tells them she is the only thing standing between them and The Hollow, not to mention the wrath of the Ancestors. Davina says The Hollow is unstoppable, but that Hayley holds the key to defeating it- which is to say, putting it back into hibernation. Davina fills Hayley in on the rest of The Hollows’ story. Once the tribes realized how powerful- and evil- The Hollow was, they joined together again to stop her. They captured her, tied her down, and blessed an axe, with which the girl’s mother was tasked with killing her with.

The Originals -- "Give 'Em Hell Kid"

Unfortunately, as she was about to die, she cursed the whole lot of them, causing them to be bound to the moon to be monsters. In other words, The Hollow created the werewolf curse, the line of which Hayley is obviously a descendant, having the same crescent moon birthmark as her ancestors, including the mother of The Hollow. This, in turn, also means that Hope is a threat, what with her being Hayley’s daughter, and thus, also a descendant.

Davina says that The Hollow has taken a host and that Hayley must track it down and use her blood to stop it. Once The Hollow flees the host, then it will be vulnerable to attack by the Ancestors. Of course, lest we forget, Davina is no fan of the Mikaelsons, so she leaves out a key point: mere blood won’t suffice. No, in order to get The Hollow out of its host, an immortal must die.

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So, when Sofya arrives at the gravesite, she easily defeats Marcel and Elijah and retrieves the bone she needs. Then Hayley arrives, takes the Marcel-killing dagger, slits herself, covering it with her blood, and then stabs Sofya with it. When nothing happens, she realizes she’s been duped and Sofya laughs it off, telling her the mistake she made before taking off, bone in hand. Everyone realizes that Davina must be planning to kill Klaus as the sacrifice in question and rushes back to the church.

But Davina needs the magical vine with Marcel’s blood in it to kill Klaus, so she sends the Harvest Girls after it, buying Klaus some time. He figures out what is going on and cries out, which Hope hears somehow and rushes to his aid. The others arrive in the meantime, including Marcel, and Davina uses magic to obtain his blood and sends it creeping towards Klaus, but Hope intervenes and stops her, saving her father in the knick of time.

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Yep, that’s right. Hope takes out Davina with one magical punch. Boo-yah! Kinda hoping it’s Hope that ends up saving the day in the end. I have a feeling it will be, but we’ll see. When the crew returns to the compound, Hayley lashes out at Elijah, who offered up himself in exchange for Klaus, not wanting Hope to grow up without her father. To make up for it, he agrees to give Marcel the dagger after all, which is the only thing that can kill him.

Alas, The Hollow is waiting for him, and stabs him in the back with a stake covered with the deadly, Original-killing thorns. Elijah collapses to the ground and that is where we leave things for now. Of course, as we see in the preview for the next episode, Elijah isn’t quite dead as of yet. Apparently, there’s some sort of ritual that needs to be done first because there’s always some ritual that needs to be done first, am I right?

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I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens next, but I’m doubting they will kill off Elijah. Or Klaus, for that matter. Freya and Hayley might want to watch their backs, though, as I suggested in my previous article. Mind you, I don’t want them to be killed- it always seems to be the women who are ill-fated on this show- but I can’t imagine them killing off Klaus or Elijah, so…yeah, it’ll probably be one of them. Unless Hope sacrifices herself to stop The Hollow, which seems like a bummer move for the show to make, so I doubt that will happen.

All in all, a decent run of episodes, and definitely a marked improvement over the first round of episodes. I’m always up for a round of cool flashbacks, which we got in “Voodoo” and I like the mythos of The Hollow overall. Yes, there’s been a lot of back-and-forth running around and everything seems to be fixable by a spell of some kind, but the fight between Marcel and Klaus was cool, as is Elijah’s turn to the dark side, and it was enjoyable seeing Alaric and Davina again, so we’ll call it a draw for now.

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A lot depends on how well the next part of the season goes, I suppose. On the plus side, as I already mentioned, the show has been renewed for another season, so regardless of it all, “The Originals” will live on to cast a spell another season, so there’s that. I’m good with that. What say you?