In this week’s episode of The Originals, “Every Mother’s Son,” Esther arranges to have dinner with Klaus and Elijah. Vincent’s true identity is exposed. Elijah turns to a witch for help. And Esther makes Haley an offer she may not be able to refuse.
Martha Stewart doesn’t have a thing on mama Mikaelson. When she invites her boys to dinner, no ordinary phone call will do. Just a bit of magic and a hand-delivered invite complete with live animals.
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Flash back to a more loving Esther, before the children were grown and she turned them into vampires. She’s called all the children to the table, but little Niklaus is hiding in the woods. He’s avoiding spending quality time with Mikael hunting. It seems papa Mikaelson had anger management issues long before he became a lethal vampire hunter. He also had issues with Klaus even though this peek into the family’s past takes place long before Klaus’ wolf side is exposed.
Esther tells a charming story about how when she’s afraid she listens to the starlings. When she was a girl, her mother taught one a tune, and since they mimic each other, it spread. I think the writers killed time watching The Hunger Games cause this has Mockingjay written all over it.
She says that when they moved to the new world, she brought those same birds with her. Esther tells her son that whenever he’s afraid to listen for those birds and know that she’s with him, always and forever. So it turns out that phrase did not originate with Beks, Elijah and Nik after all.
Hayley is all about laying Esther out, but Elijah says they must find out her intentions. She’s been trying to kill her children for years now, so it’s probably safe to assume that’s what she intends. Klaus assumes their lives are in danger, and Elijah says they have a few hours to prepare for the worst.
Although it appeared that Elijah and Marcel had struck a deal during the previous episode to work together, apparently that’s not the case. Elijah goes to see Marcel, but when Marcel mentions tutoring new vampire Gia (Nishi Munshi), the Original brother declares her to be Marcel’s burden, not his. Then he asks for a favor. He needs a cooperative witch. Of course, Marcel wants to turn this into a quid pro quo situation.
Ollie is at Rousseau’s throwing back a cool one waiting to meet with Cassie. He gets Vincent instead. Vincent gives Ollie a moonlight ring. Oliver mouths off, indicating that he might not want to deal with Cassie’s number two, something he regrets when Vincent practices some magic of his own. He also threatens to make Ollie an example to the rest of his pack about what happens to disobedient pups.
Now that Ollie has a ring, he is indebted to Cassie, and she has every intention to collect.
Ollie reports back to Hayley, as he promised he would. She tells Klaus that Cassie has a partner in crime, news he doesn’t find surprising.
Hayley questions why his mother hates him so much, and Klaus fills her in on how turning him into a vampire exposed her infidelity. He does leave out the part where he killed her. Instead, he blames her anger on Mikael killing her lover.
A New Witch
Gia takes Elijah to meet with Lenore (Sonja Sohn). Elijah wants to figure out when his mother decides to jump into a new body. Lenore tells him there’s a sacrificial spell called soul branding. All she needs is an item enchanted by the witch in question and a really big snake.
After Elijah and Gia leave, Vincent arrives.
A Mother’s Gift
Another flashback reveals that Esther gave young Nik a very special gift: a necklace adorned with a bird. She tells him that while she loves all of her children, he is special to her.
Ollie proves useful yet again when he informs Hayley that Lenore is being held captive. Ollie is supposed to be torturing her to find out what Elijah wanted. It’s tough being a double agent.
Hayley says she’ll take the necklace and get Lenore to do the spell. Elijah begins to object, but any sway he once held over her is, at least temporarily, gone. She asks the brothers to trust her to get the job done. Klaus questions why the bloom is off the rose, but Elijah offers no explanation.
A New Family
Gia’s less than thrilled with her new mentor. She questions Marcel’s motives in pairing them up. He explains that he wants to build this new community of vampires and for Elijah to be a part of it. Marcel understands the value of having an Original in your corner. He also knows Elijah is a sucker for a damsel in distress, and while Gia may be a vampire, she’s hardly equipped to handle it.
Dinner at 8
Vincent arrives for dinner first and exposes his true identity to his brothers. This version is far nastier than the more stoic Finn of TVD. He also lets his brothers know that Kol is back as well. But he’s off searching for Davina and not at this dysfunctional family function.
Finn has some serious issues to try and work out with both Klaus and Elijah. He spent 900 years daggered in a box. Klaus claims it was because he was a mama’s boy (which he is). Finn asks why Elijah didn’t come to his aid and questions whether he wanted to usurp his place as the eldest. Elijah says that Finn came to hate their supernatural status, much like their father. But instead of killing and consuming his own, Finn simply became tedious.
Finally, Cassie shows up, and swears that everything she’s ever done is to protect her children. She brings up a time when Mikael nearly killed him, and she immediately came to his aid. Even Lenore, who Hayley rescues, feels that all that Mikaelson family cruelty and pain is the result of love.
All this reminiscing causes Klaus to realize that the necklace Esther gave him wasn’t to protect him, it was to weaken him. She says she wanted to keep him from activating the curse. Klaus is convinced she only did it to protect herself and her dirty little secret. He becomes enraged, blaming Esther for turning him into the weakling that his father despised.
Suddenly, Cassie collapses. It appears Esther has jumped ship. Both brothers turn on Finn, demanding to know where she is, but he takes him down with his own magic.
Lenore does complete the branding spell, which she tells Hayley will leave a distinct mark on the back of the person’s hand whom Esther inhabits. Well, guess which lucky witch is housing Esther now? It’s Lenore, and when she makes the transition, it puts her alone and in very close proximity to Hayley.
It doesn’t take the brothers long to realize their mother has an agenda, and they rush to Hayley’s aid.
Esther/Lenore offers Hayley the chance at a new body so she’ll no longer be a hybrid. She tells her she can have a family of her own, more children. Way to hit on a really sensitive area, since not one episode has yet to pass where Hayley hasn’t expressed her grief about Hope.
The brothers arrive to save the day, but there’s no need. Lenore says Hayley is free to go, that she’s spoken her peace. She claims that all she wants is to heal the family, not to harm. She wants to do for Klaus and Elijah what she had done for Finn and Kol. Esther wants to give them lives free from the curse.
Mommy starts to get a bit wound-up and goes all Carrie. Windows break, the floor rattles and, all the while, Klaus swears he will never accept anything she offers. Wrong, kiddo, Esther swears that one day he will beg for it.
The Bloom is Off the Rose
Hayley admits to Klaus that she is tempted by the offer. She’s also still riding Elijah’s ass like Zorro. Not content to be rescued, she lets him know that it sucks that her life has to be in danger for him to even speak to her. Is this about the wolves? Is her accusation that he only sees her as a monster true? What really is the crux of their issues?
There is no way that any female viewer didn’t just fall a little deeper for Elijah when he explains how vampires perceive music. Filled with regret at how his family turned out, he decides to help Gia. Esther has managed to get under everybody’s skin and start tearing at already tenuous bonds.
Esther has big plans for her boys, and like any good mother, her endgame is to release them from their pain. It just so happens that she will be the orchestrator of their misery.
The Originals airs Mondays at 8pm on The CW.
(Image courtesy of The CW)