‘The Originals’ Season 4: And a Child Shall Lead Them… To Hell?

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As we head into the final run of episodes of Season 4 of “The Originals,” I thought it was high time for a check-in, given all that’s happened these last few weeks. Perhaps needless to say, there will be spoilers!

We pick up where I left off with episode nine, “Queen Death,” which marked a major pivot point of the season with the “death” of a major character: Elijah (Daniel Gillies). I, of course, use death in quotes because, on this show, the dead rarely, if ever, actually stay dead, which is a bit of a cheat. But such is the television world we live in these days. Did anyone really want to see Elijah die, though? Probably not.

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As we begin the episode, the Hollow-possessed Sofya (Taylor Cole, really bringing it this season) absconds with a stabbed Elijah to- where else?- a cabin in the woods. The idea is to trade him to his family for the jaw bone she needs to be “reborn.” Of course, the Hollow is evil, and thus, has no plans to actually do any such thing- if anything, she needs to kill an Original in order to fulfill her dastardly plan in the first place.

To help, she enlists Vincent (Yusuf Gatewood) to recruit the local covens to aid her in her quest. Those who align with her will be spared when she returns in full force- or so she claims. Vincent isn’t having it, so naturally Sofya bashes him around the church to show him she means business.

He relays the message to the Mikaelsons instead, telling them that Elijah’s as good as dead anyway, having been staked with the thorn-adorned piece of wood that is the only thing currently in existence that can actually kill an Original. (The thorns, not the stake, of course.) He tells them that she needs Elijah to die, so an exchange isn’t going to happen. Another plan is in order.

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Vincent says, at the very least, they need to take out the Hollow while she’s still vulnerable, before she can use Elijah’s death to make herself near-un-killable. But Marcel (Charles Michael Davis) is hesitant, as he wants to save Sofya after The Hollow exits her body, which is easier said than done. As per usual, Klaus (Joseph Morgan) just wants to kill everyone and let Satan sort it out.

Vincent suggests they stab Sofya with a dagger covered in Haley’s blood after Marcel presents the jawbone she needs, using the element of surprise as their advantage. Then Vincent will do a spell to put the Hollow down for good. Of course, the problem with all of this is that Elijah will still die, as he has already been scratched by the thorns. Is there a way around it all?

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Freya (Riley Voelkel) remembers how she planted Finn in that necklace that one time and suggests they do the same with Elijah, rather than simply letting him die, though noble sacrifice it might be. The question is, is it too late? Has the poison made Elijah to weak to survive the process? As an alternative choice, Klaus offers up himself in exchange for Elijah, as he is more likely to survive the transition.

Freya tracks down Elijah’s location and it’s off to the races. Vincent prepares Klaus for the plan, telling him that Cami would be proud of him, which she definitely would. Between this and another occurrence in the episode coming up, Klaus is finally stepping up and being the vampire that Cami always thought he could be. Granted, it took him centuries of violence and the death of a multitude of innocents to get there, but hey- better late than never.

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Marcel delivers the jawbone and makes a deal with the Hollow- Sofya’s body for it. She agrees and he naturally stabs her in the back- literally- with the dagger, and hopes Sofya will return. Unfortunately, for it to fully work, Vincent would have had to hold up his end of the bargain, by killing Klaus, but he is rudely interrupted by some Hollow-worshipping witches before he can.

They threaten the life of his girlfriend Maxine (Karan Kendrick), and then go after the thorns, burning them so Vincent can’t complete the ritual. Klaus kills all the witches in one fell swoop, but it’s too late. Meanwhile, Hayley (Phoebe Tonkin) is at the cabin, killing those who are watching over Elijah to get to him, but he has a protection spell keeping her from him.

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The Hollow rises and tells Marcel she will kill him and rule supreme over New Orleans in his wake- but first, she has to take care of the whole Elijah sitch. Freya is knee-deep in attempting to siphon Elijah’s soul (or whatever) into the blue jewel on the necklace, when the Hollow attacks and starts to suck the power it needs from Elijah’s body, as he dies.

The pendant shatters in Freya’s hand, seemingly before the transfer is finished, and the Hollow escapes, leaving a dead Elijah behind, her mission to use his death to bring her life a success. Bummer. The fam retreat, with Elijah in tow, and Freya says she failed miserably as Klaus freaks out and Haley cries.

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Hope begs to differ, claiming she can hear Elijah in the pendant after all- faintly, but still there. But what kind of shape is he in, given the state of the broken necklace? And what does that mean for the Hollow? Did they stop it, or will she still return? As we see shortly thereafter, the gambit did indeed work, and the female version of the Hollow we saw in the flashbacks (Blu Hunt) emerges from the tree in which she placed all the bones, and is indeed reborn.

Vincent demands that Marcel turn over the journal he asked him to hold for safe-keeping, even though he told him to kill him if he tried to take it. But Vincent insists the bad outweighs the good in this case, as it may be their only hope to defeat the Hollow.

A Spirit Here That Won't Be Broken

In “Phantomesque,” we get a variation of the type of episode we’ve seen before on both this show (when Finn was trapped inside the pendant) and “The Vampire Diaries,” in several episodes in which we went inside one of the Salvatore brothers’ minds and saw what made them tick, so to speak. That’s not to say it was a complete waste of time or a total retread, just that, we’ve been here, done this more than a few times at this point.

We begin with a striking scene which kind of reminded me of the opening of one of the “Blade” movies. As Kol (Nathaniel Buzolic) and Rebekah (Claire Holt, returning just in time to plug the hell out of her killer sharks movie “47 Meters Down,” aka “The Shallows” with sisters) party down, vampires start to drop dead left and right around them. But why?

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We obviously know the answer, and Rebekah and Kol soon realize it as well: the vampires dying are those amongst Elijah’s sire line, which means their brother must be dead. So, it’s back to New Orleans they go, naturally, to see what’s what.

What’s what is that Elijah’s mind is fractured and if Freya doesn’t figure out how to get him literally in his right mind, he could emerge a broken, possibly insane, vampire that will only be a shell of his former self. They don’t call her the Hollow for nothing, folks.

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Meanwhile, Sofya is likewise in dire straits and Josh (Steven Krueger) says the only way to fix her is to get a hold of some of the Hollow’s blood and do a spell, which is, needless to say, easier said than done. He suggests they team up with the Mikaelsons to do so, which does not go over well with Marcel, who opts to go it alone. Great idea!

He discovers the Hollows running around New Orleans, killing flowers and slaughtering her followers, because, you know, she’s evil and all, in case you missed that. Still, pretty cold-blooded, to start with those who worshipped her. Bet they wish they had bet on the wrong horse to win.

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Remarkably- or okay, not so much, given that he’s a lead on the show- Marcel faces the Hollow down and lives to tell the tale, though he gets slammed around, and a mouthful of whatever black goop is coursing through the Hollow’s veins for his troubles. Oh, and she tells him Sofya is a goner to boot. This is what happens when you go off half-cocked, people. You’d think everyone on this show would know better by now.

But no, Freya continues the trend by going on a solo journey into Elijah’s mind, where she discovers a lot of white hallways with doors leading to freaky stuff. It kind of reminded me of this, lol- only less corny, obviously. Basically, it’s Elijah’s greatest hits, only with an emphasis on the bad ones. (Though, there is a rare past scene of Mikaelson solidarity at the dinner table, which was nice, so it’s not ALL bad.)

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While this is going on, Rebekah and Kol join Klaus on his mission to track down all the remaining thorns that can kill them, and woe be to anyone who gets in their way. Along the way, Kol discovers from a witch that the Ancestors are back, and not even they can defeat the Hollow.

Kol was unaware of this, and isn’t too happy to find out about it some time after the fact, as it means, of course, that communication with his beloved Davina (Danielle Campbell) might have been possible all this time. Kol takes it out on Klaus, who swears he was just trying to protect him. Besides, only the Harvest girls can bring her back, and thanks to Elijah, they’re all dead. Kol takes off before he gets all the info he needs.

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Marcel gets wind of what the Mikaelsons are up to and realizes he might can save Sofya with one of the thorn stakes, which have the Hollow’s magic in them. Klaus is bemused by this, and Rebekah is decidedly not, realizing Marcel’s heart belongs to another. But despite her protests, he takes off to find one of the remaining stakes and potentially save his beloved.

Freya emerges from the hallways of Elijah’s mind, after realizing she isn’t strong enough to do everything on her own. Glad someone finally came to that conclusion. Have we learned nothing from “Buffy”? Despite Hayley’s understandable protests, Hope (Summer Fontana) volunteers her services for the effort and helps Freya maintain the spell while Hayley takes a crack at Elijah’s never-ending brain maze.

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After inspecting a few doors, one of which contains a memory of her, she finally realizes what we knew all along- time to investigate what’s going on behind the red door. Needless to say, it ain’t good. We see a younger, more rabid Elijah, slaughtering an entire family, and from the looks of things, an entire village to boot. What’s more, he sees Hayley and goes after her, much to her shock.

Marcel finds a stake and Rebekah snags it from him, demanding an explanation, which he gives to her. After realizing his feelings for Sofya are real, Rebekah relents after Marcel promises to burn the stake when he’s done. But will he, really? Whatever the case, he rushes to Vincent to try and save his supermodel GF.

The Originals -- "Give 'Em Hell Kid"

Hayley starts freaking out, and Hope does so in turn, wanting to assist her mother. Freya finally relents and lets her, on the promise she doesn’t look inside any of the doors within Elijah’s mind. Hope agrees and in she goes, where she hears, much to her horror, her mother being attacked by Elijah. Hope calls out, and Hayley manages to get free from Elijah’s clutches and run for the red door, but he catches up to her and lays into her again.

Hayley begs Hope to stay put, and something about the terror in both of their cries awakens Elijah from his trance, as it were, and he realizes what’s going on. Hayley escapes yet again, and this time gets out the door, as Elijah follows. She grabs Hope, and shields her from him, but he insists all is well again. The two leave, mission accomplished, while Elijah awaits Freya’s completion of the spell.

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Freya says the only way to do so is to make a powerful sacrifice- like the Hollow. But Marcel will do in a pinch. The only other choice is another Original, which isn’t a real choice, for obvious reasons. Klaus reminds a shaken Hayley that what she saw was the worst of Elijah, but that he has always been the best of them- which is precisely why he keeps all of the bad stuff so buried.

Rebekah calls Kol to share the good news, but he isn’t having it, saying he’s bailing on NO, while she determines to stay put, to see through this Hollow business. We see a flower die that he places at Davina’s grave, a telltale sign the Hollow is in the area. She confronts Kol and says she can bring Davina back- and remarkably, does just that.

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Of course, there’s always a catch. In this case, it’s that the Hollow has linked Davina’s life to her own- if she dies, so does Davina. What’s more, she keeps the two at arms’ length, making Kol swear his loyalty to her, in exchange for bringing her back. Hmm. Sounds a bit like a certain President I can think of. Only Kol takes the deal, because of course he does, no Comey he.

That brings us to our final episode, “A Spirit Here That Won’t Be Broken.” As we head into this final episode, the Hollow is highly vulnerable, and more open to attack than ever before. The Originals know this, and plot to destroy her, but have no idea that Kol is working against them. To that end, the Hollow entrusts the safe-keeping of a magical object that enforces the binding of her and Davina to Kol, knowing he’ll protect it with his life- or death, as it were.

The Originals -- "The Bloody Crown"

Back at the compound, Hayley notices that the pendant containing Elijah is fracturing, and Freya says that if they don’t get Elijah out of there ASAP, they’ll lose him forever. Unfortunately, Freya also realizes that the only way to defeat the Hollow may be to do the thing they did with Hayley’s blood and the dagger, only this time with Hope’s blood, which is decidedly stronger.

As we’ve seen throughout the season, there’s always been a strange connection between the two, sort of a psychic link. Hope can “hear” the Hollow beckoning to her, and has visions and dreams of her, which she has attempted to replicate via her drawings, which depict a snake eating its own tail, a la Ouroboros. Freya thinks they need to “close” the link, which can only be done via a Crescent Moon wolf, as they are descended from the Hollow, which means that Hayley must wield the dagger in question.

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Though understandably a bit hesitant about the whole covering a dagger in her daughter’s blood thing, Hope, ever the little hero, volunteers herself for the cause willingly. That done, the search is on for the Hollow. Freya tracks her down via a locator spell, which places her in an abandoned house that Rebekah recognizes as a “murder house,” in the grand tradition of “American Horror Story.”

But there’s another marking on the map, and Freya realizes it’s a totem, which must be destroyed, in order to kill the Hollow. Rebekah heads to the location, calling Kol and telling him to meet her there, which he is all too happy to do, for obvious reasons. Marcel intercepts her, chiding her for going alone to take out the Hollow. He’s one to talk, as he just did the same thing last episode!

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They go inside the house, only to find themselves trapped within a magical circle set for them by none other than Kol. D’oh! He leaves before they can get a reason for the betrayal out of him, and goes to Davina, giving her the keys to his car and telling her to meet him later on after he takes care of some business before they blow this pop stand.

Typically, this would be tantamount to a character signing their own death warrant- Kol might as well be doing one last heist before he leaves the thug life, or tackling one last case before retirement- but thankfully, the show opts to buck that particular cliché, as we will see later on.

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Freya begins to worry, having not heard from Rebekah or Kol, and sends Klaus to investigate, while she and Hayley head to the Hollow’s Murder House hide-out. Things do not go well, and the Hollow makes quick work of the both of them, knocking out Freya and snapping Hayley’s neck.

Hayley “wakes up” to find herself back on the dock in werewolf territory, confronted by none other than Jackson (a returning Nathan Parsons, hot off the excellent horror flick “Pet”). Jackson gives her some grief for picking Elijah over him, though she reminds him that she did, in fact, marry him, after all. Jackson says her heart never belonged to him, nonetheless, and he isn’t wrong.

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While all this is going on, we see what Kol was compelled to stay behind for- to dupe Hope into helping him sever the bond between Davina and the Hollow. To do so, all she need do is untie a knotted ball of rope- no biggie for a strong witch like her, right? Though hesitant, Kol reminds her they’re family, and she agrees to do it, once he compares his situation to that of her mother and Elijah.

Back to Hayley, we see that she is being held captive by the Hollow, who is keeping her drugged, but alive, for unknown reasons. Freya wakes up, calls for Hayley, but is distracted by a seemingly dead Keelin (Christina Moses). Naturally, it’s a figment of her imagination, but that doesn’t stop her from freaking out, especially after Keelin opens her eyes and starts talking to her, blaming Freya for her “death.”

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Hayley realizes that Jackson is, in fact, the Hollow in disguise, messing with her. She rips his heart out, which allows her to wake up, but the Hollow is nowhere to be found, and she’s been magically sealed within the room she’s in, inside the murder house. Jackson reappears, looking none the worse for the wear, and attacks her with a knife.

Klaus finds Rebekah and Marcel trapped at abandoned house #2 and is bemused to find them stuck together in the magical circle. Bemused Klaus is swiftly becoming my favorite Klaus. Hey, it beats grumpy Klaus, am I right? But this Klaus soon rears his ugly head when it’s revealed that Kol has betrayed them over a girl- and even more so, when Rebekah says he’s back at the compound- with a vulnerable Hope.

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Klaus takes off, leaving the two alone again, naturally. They determine that the best way to escape is to set fire to the place, which probably should have been done ages ago, anyway. Marcel tears out a gas line to that end, Rebekah flips the flame on her lighter, and things go boom. Free at last!

Meanwhile, back at the other house, Freya is ignoring “dead” Keelin and trying to help a screaming Hayley, who is now fighting off a faux Elijah. But the room, as aforementioned, is magically protected, and even she can’t get inside. At the same time, Klaus arrives at the compound and attacks Kol for his betrayal, smashing the magical object at one point, despite Kol’s protests for Davina’s life.

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This breaks the spell back at the house with Freya and Hayley, and the faux Jackson/Elijah disappears and Freya is able to get into the room in which Hayley is being held captive. The two realize that the totem must have been destroyed, which means they need to find the Hollow and finish this while they still can.

Kol remarkably manages to convince his brother not to kill him by pleading with him that he wasn’t doing anything Klaus might not do himself to save his own beloved Cami. This works, no doubt because it’s true, and Klaus allows Kol to leave, who heads to meet with Davina, who is currently saying her goodbyes to a stunned Josh.

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Freya and Hayley arrive at Hollow central and commence with their attack. Hayley fails, but Freya succeeds by using magic to stab the Hollow in the neck, which has an immediate effect on Davina, who also starts gushing blood, as the link between them has still yet to be severed. Get on it, Hope!

Josh rushes to give Davina his blood to help save her, as Hope finally “solves” the magical rope trick. The effort causes her to pass out, and one wonders where Klaus is, what with his assault on Kol finished. Seriously, couldn’t we have gotten this kid a babysitter? Too late now.

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Hayley seizes the Hollow and Freya springs into action, stabbing her a zillion times. The Hollow doesn’t seem too fazed by all of this, actually shouting “Do it!” at one point. We’ll see why soon enough, but for the time being the Hollow is seemingly down for the count. Rebekah and Marcel say their goodbyes, as do Josh and Davina, who is soon reunited with her love, Kol. The two ride off into the night together, happy ending finally achieved- at least for now.

Freya and Hayley return to the compound, and begin the business of reviving Elijah, though Hayley opts not to stick around, having some issues to work through, in light of everything that’s gone down. She heads to werewolf territory for real, and apologizes to Jackson for choosing Elijah over him. She ominously says she now knows what she must do, if only for Hope’s sake.

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Right around then, Elijah wakes up, finally. My guess is that Hayley has decided to hit the road again, and get away from this crazy family once and for all, Elijah- and Klaus, for that matter- be damned. We’ll just have to wait until next week to see how that goes down. Probably not too well, on either end.

But we’ve still got a few episodes to go, so, of course, it’s not over yet. As the episode ends, we see Klaus finally checking in on his daughter, assuring her that all is well. She turns over to go to sleep, and opens her eyes to reveal… the ghostly blue glow of the Hollow. Whoopsie! Looks like we’re not out of the woods yet after all. But then you probably saw that coming, what with a couple more episodes to go, right?

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This wasn’t a bad run of episodes, even if the show fell back on some of the old tropes of the genre, between everyone going off all half-assed by themselves at several points and the journey through the mind of Elijah no doubt ringing familiar bells for longtime “Vampire Diaries” fans, to say nothing of “Buffy.” (Remember the “Twin Peaks”-esque episode where we saw into the minds of each of the characters?)

Still, we did get some surprises here and there, between Klaus’ continued growth as a character, actually showing his brother some mercy where he probably wouldn’t have before, and the big twist with the Hollow inhabiting Hope. For once, I genuinely have no idea where this is headed. After all, Hope was probably their biggest weapon against the Hollow, and now she’s effectively BECOME the Hollow. Not sure how they’re going to rectify that.

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Regardless, it should be entertaining seeing them try. If I had to guess, I’d say some sort of sacrifice will be in order to get them out of this one. Given Hayley’s frame of mind, and determination to change all of this for the better, I wouldn’t be surprised if she’s the one who ends up getting sacrificed in the process, but we’ll see.

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What did you think of the last few episodes of “The Originals”? Were you pleasantly surprised by the twists, or did you see most of them coming? Any predictions for the final episodes? Sound off down below, and join me in a few weeks for a wrap-up of the season! Thanks for reading!