The Originals Season 2, Episode 3: "Every Mother's Son" Recap/Review

Continuing on the streak of amazing episodes of The Originals in this fabulous second season, this particular episode features an awkward family dinner (which are the best kind, let's be real), some awesome chemistry between Elijah and our newest baby vamp, and an introduction to a new witch Lenore, who lives and works across the river in Marcel's new neighborhood, and who, for reasons that will become obvious as I get into this recap, we will probably be seeing for quite a while.

Considering this is the third episode out of EIGHT that have aired as of my writing this introduction, I'm just going to cut the chit-chat and just dig in, because I have a LOT of words to write. So, vamanos, babies, because "Every Mother's Son" is fantastic!

Previously, on The Originals: New Orleans used to be the Mikaelsons' home, and Klaus wanted to get back control over it like he had from the 1700s to 1919. Unfortunately, all his scheming and power-grubbing resulted in getting double-crossed by the witches (led by Genevieve) and the newly-triggered werewolves led by Francesca Correa/Guerrera. Because of this, Hayley was killed and subsequently turned into a hybrid, and she and Klaus were forced to send baby Hope off with Auntie Beks to live in safety while everyone else pretended she was dead. So, in order to bring her back where she belongs, Klaus, Hayley, and Elijah believe that they need to regain control over the Quarter so they can ensure that she will be protected at all costs. To do this, Klaus and Hayley decided to start working on making allies with the werewolves again, while Marcel has been trying to get Elijah to ally with his own kind, the vampires, whose community is in the process of being rebuilt. Hayley and Oliver made a deal where Oliver will pledge his loyalty to Casther and Finncent and then keep them apprised on everything that he learns in her service. Marcel fed a gorgeous musician named Gia his blood and turned her into a vampire before Elijah's eyes before insisting to him that Elijah should be her mentor when she wakes up. Finally, Klaus and Elijah figured out that not only is their mother back from the dead, but their father is as well, which means we're three episodes into the season and they're already fighting a war on two fronts. Little do they know, their deceased brothers Finn and Kol have also returned in the bodies of two witches, which is where we pick up today!

We begin this episode with Esther, who is still possessing Cassie, and who is preparing a very fancy breakfast in the lycée. She lights candles in the makeshift kitchen, and smiles at a starling in a nearby bird cage while she misses berries, herbs, and sea salt in a bowl. Once she's done, she dips a fancy calligraphy pen into an inkwell and writes a note onto a card before she sticks it on a silver platter and sets a lid on top of it. Cut to the Mikaelson compound, where Hayley is in the courtyard, picking grapes from the fantastic spread Esther sent over and generally enjoying herself. When she hears Klaus approaching, she quips, "So, which restaurant is missing a compelled chef?" Klaus frowns in confusion and concedes that while this is totally something he's known to do, he's not actually responsible for this particular breakfast, leading Hayley to assume that it was all Elijah's doing, then. Of course, Elijah walks in to join them just as she says that, and points out that he had nothing to do with it, either.

Unnerved, Hayley asks where all this delicious-looking food came from, if none of them did it, but before anyone can answer, the covered silver platter rattles, startling them. Klaus is definitely suspicious now, and lifts up the lid, inadvertently releasing several starlings that fly up toward the ceiling. The three of them all duck reflexively, which is hilarious to me, since they're all powerful immortals who shouldn't fear BIRDS of all things, but whatever. "What the HELL was that?" Hayley asks incredulously as Klaus snatches the invitation from the platter and opens it. It reads, "Dinner, Your Home, 8PM," which is pretty rude, in my opinion-- who invites themselves to dinner at someone else's home like that? Esther has been dead tooooooo long, apparently. The brothers realize that their being summoned to speak with their mother, which causes all of them to sigh in concern. Shiiiiiit, this is going to be a mess. TITLE CARD.

When we return, we are transported to the late 10th century Mystic Falls, where OG Esther is ladling out porridge for the Mikaelson children, all of whom seem to be under the age of fourteen or so. She warns the kids that their food is hot and mentally takes roll call as they all sit down at the table. When she realizes she's missing a child, she immediately asks them where Klaus is; they all remain silent as Elijah gives Finn a knowing look, but, naturally, Finn is the tattletail of the Mikaelsons, so it takes him all of about a millisecond to confess that Klaus is hiding out in the woods. We catch back up with her once she finds Klaus sitting on the floor, leaning against a tree, and she kneels in front of him so she can look him in the eyes and ask him what he's doing out there. "Father says he's to take me hunting later," Klaus says in a small voice. "But I'm no good. Not with him. He gets angry with me."

Esther looks at him sympathetically and licks her lips, clearly feeling quite guilty about how awful she KNOWS Mikael is to her children, and admits that when she's feeling afraid, she listens to the starlings, which are basically this universe's mockingjays. "When I was a little girl, my mother taught one of them a tune," Esther explains, as Finn lurks in the background and eavesdrops. "And, since they mimic each other's songs, it spread, until every starling in the forest sang it. When we made this our home, I brought these same birds to these woods. Whenever you hear one sing, Niklaus, remember I'm with you. Always and forever." OH SHIT. She holds out her hand to Klaus, and when he takes it, she pulls him to his feet so they can return to their breakfast. Ohhhh, Esther and the creative ways that she inflicts torture on her children.

In the present day, Klaus is standing on the balcony outside his bedroom, and when he returns inside, he finds Hayley laying flat on her back on his bed. "It is times like this I'm REALLY glad I never knew my mother," Hayley pipes up. Klaus, however, is in the midst of a freak out, namely because it's one thing to have a shitload of enemies, but its another for those enemies to be two of his three parents, who have recently been resurrected. Hayley, who has quite rightly not forgiven Esther for ordering a coven of witches to put an athame into Hope's heart, assures Klaus that she has no problem adding his mother to the list of people who need to die, which hits Klaus right where his own heart lives. Seriously, you can see all the little cartoon hearts fluttering around his head when he looks at her. Unfortunately, that's when Elijah waltzes in to kill their buzz. "You will do no such thing," Elijah clips. "Esther's a master in the art of possession. We know whose body she currently inhabits. We must decipher her intentions before she finds a new host."

Klaus points out that the last time they were given an invitation by their mother, (which, if you don't remember/don't watch the Vampire Diaries, was in Season 3's "Dangerous Liasons") they were part of an assassination attempt which involved Esther using Elena's magical, mystical doppelgänger blood to link Finn, Elijah, Klaus, Kol and Rebekah together so she could more easily kill them at a future date, using Finn as the sacrificial lamb. "I think we can assume her intentions are decidedly foul," Klaus adds, but Elijah just shrugs and states that they have the remainder of the afternoon to prepare for whatever this family dinner night will entail before he swans off to continue his plans. Hayley just rolls her eyes in annoyance, which again, makes Klaus chuckle as he follows Elijah out. "The bloom is off the rose, I see," he quips before he takes off, leaving Hayley to mutter, "Shut UP." I LOVE THEM ALL SO MUCH, OMG.

We follow Elijah over to Marcel's loft, where Marcel and Gia are sorting through books. Today the Moon, Tomorrow the Sun's "Powerline" plays, as Marcel immediately takes him to task for his tardiness and remarks that it's not like Elijah to flake on his duties. Elijah's not really amused, though, and to prove it, he channels those same words he said to Klaus and Marcel in the flashbacks in "Alive & Kicking"-- "As you well know, she is not my... BURDEN to bear," he says with an impatient sigh. "You turned her, you teach her." Marcel is not at all impressed by Eli's attitude, especially when he notices just how hurt Gia looks to hear that, so he asks him why he even came, then. Why Elijah is there, it turns out, is because he's looking for a "cooperative witch" to help him out with a little favor. Marcel assumes that he means Davina, and instantly replies that she's not going to be an option. "I don't know where Davina is, and given the fact that she's got your father on a leash, I wouldn't put her in the 'cooperative' category..." Elijah interrupts him mid-sentence and assures him that it's not Davina in whom he's interested, but another witch, preferably on another leash.

Marcel has really grown on me the last season or so for so many reasons, not the least of which is the fact that he is a seriously smart guy-- running the city for all those decades must have really taught him a lot about how people work, because he knows how to play politics with the best of them. That might also be a side-effect of growing up in the Mikaelson household, too, though, now that I think of it. Anyway, he immediately plays coy and asks Elijah why he would think he had another witch who was willing to help him, but Elijah wastes no time pointing at Gia (who he refers to as Marcel's "librarian") and reminding him that he can see her daylight ring all the way across the room. "Good point!" Marcel replies with a hilariously cheesy smile. "My memory's a little shaky. Lucky for you, though, I know someone who can help!" He calls Gia over, who reluctantly joins him and Elijah near the door as Marcel puts his arm around her. He asks Gia if she would take Elijah to go meet their friend Lenore, but Elijah can tell in his demeanor that he's got some kind of plan cooking. Elijah reminds him that if he's trying to play a joke, Elijah is NOT interested, but Marcel swears up and down that he's not. "There's nothing funny about what's going on," Marcel insists. "Mikael's back, witches causing chaos... it just seems that you could use all the friends that you can get!" Elijah just rolls his eyes and leaves without giving Gia nor Marcel a second glance. Nice behavior, there, Elijah!

Meanwhile, at Rousseau's, Oliver is sitting at the bar, drinking a huge pint of beer, when Finncent strolls on in and sits next to him. He asks him if he's Oliver, but Oliver doesn't seem to be in the mood to make new friends. When he asks if he knows him, Finn smiles and insists that no, they don't know each other, but he IS the person with whom he's meant to meet this afternoon. "Look, uh, I'm here to meet CASSIE," Oliver retorts with a roll of his eyes. "I don't know who you are, friend, but you certainly are no teenage girl that has magic powers." Finncent can't help but laugh (albeit in a way that has no personality, which is about right where Finn is concerned) and concedes that he is definitely not Cassie before he pulls out a moonlight ring and shows it to Oliver. "My name is Vincent, and if you speak to me, you are, in fact, speaking to Cassie. I offer this as proof." Oliver is VERY nervous to see this ring, both because he knows it will most certainly come at a ridiculous price and because he remembers Hayley threatening to kill him if she ever saw him with one again. However, he seems to also know that he is a double agent, so after a moment, he takes the ring from him and puts it on, but he just can't help but poke the bear a little bit as he does so. "So, if I decide I don't want to answer to number two in the chain of command?"

Finn, clearly bored of this conversation already, just absentmindedly blows onto his thumb and forefinger before rubbing them together, which casts some kind of pain-infliction spell that causes all of Oliver's muscles to seize up. He starts to grunt and groan in pain while Finn answers his question. "I'll make an example of you to show your pack what happens when Cassie's requests are denied," he sneers coldly, letting Oliver stew in his own pain for a moment before adding, "Or, we can start again!" Oliver nods desperately, so Finn unwinds his fingers, allowing Oliver relief from the spell. While he's catching his breath, Finn stands next to the bar and leans over Oliver's head to inform him that his payment for his ring will begin to be paid back that day before he takes off. Once Finn is out of the building completely, Oliver nervously pulls out his phone so he can call up Hayley and let her know what just happened. I'm glad he at least seems to be playing on the right team for once-- it makes him a lot more likable as a person, don't you think?

Back at the compound, Klaus is consulting with a (likely compelled) sommalier, who is holding up two bottles of wine from which to choose and is helping Klaus make arrangements for their family dinner that evening. He instructs the sommalier to skip the salad course, because he has no interest in letting this sure-to-be nightmare of a dinner go on any longer than necessary. Once he dismisses the man, Hayley waltzes in with news she just received. "So, I guess letting Oliver live paid off. He just informed me your mother has a partner-in-crime-- a witch." Klaus assumes that she's just building alliances in her mission to destroy her children, which gives Hayley pause for a moment until she summons up the nerve to ask what she's probably been dying to ask for a while-- why does Esther hate Klaus so much? She brings up the fact that she had six children, so it's not like she doesn't have maternal instincts, but Klaus corrects her on that point.

KLAUS: "Seven, actually. And, I think, at one time, she loved us very much. [beat] One died before I was born."
HAYLEY: [stunned] "I didn't know that."
KLAUS: "My brother, Henrik, was killed by the werewolves in our village. The loss of another child pushed my mother over the edge. So, she used her magic to turn us into immortals. I think that's when she loved us the most. But, it was her undoing. It triggered a sequence of events that led to the reveal of her long-held secret-- my birth father was the werewolf whose pack killed my little brother. Of course, when Mikael found out, he murdered my real father, and, so, my mother lost her lover, too."
Hayley is completely overwhelmed by the details of this story, since she really only got the Cliffs-Notes version from Elijah, and she quietly replies that she gets why Esther's so crazy now. "I'm out of my mind having just given away Hope... I can't imagine if she'd actually DIED." Klaus, who is teary-eyed from recalling these horrible memories, turns away from Hayley and busies himself with folding napkins on a nearby table while he continues the discussion. "You know, my siblings used to tell each other she didn't hate us. She hated HERSELF for what we've become. I think they believe that even after she tried to kill us all."

Hayley approaches him from behind and gently asks him what he believes, but Klaus has no idea-- all he knows is that he wants her dead. He looks over at Hayley, and the two stare at each other for a long moment before Hayley says something so beautiful to Klaus that it just makes me love her even more than I already do. "Well, every good story needs a wicked witch!" Hayley says with a wry smile. "It'll be all the more satisfying when we melt her." Klaus looks so thrilled to hear this that he could kiss her, and he smiles at her, which earns him a smile in return. HAYLEY KNOWS HOW TO DEAL WITH KLAUS SO WELL I DON'T EVEN HAVE WORDS. Remember back in "A Closer Walk With Thee," when Hayley "died" for a few minutes and got attacked by Mikael? And afterward, Klaus and Hayley talked and he asked her what Mikael said about him and Hayley replied, "Nothing true?" She is seriously the best thing that ever happened to him, whether they like it or not. Ya'll know I'm a huge Haylijah shipper, but I can't help but adore these two losers and their awesome friendship. It's the BEST.

(via huntingpeople-savingsam)
Across the river, Gia and Elijah are walking to go see Lenore, and Gia is a bit overwhelmed by the awkward silence. "So, you're not much of a talker, huh?" she asks, but Elijah just gives her some major side-eye and says nothing. "No problem..." she replies awkwardly. "Last guy I hung out with, he wouldn't shut up, so... guess I'm due for a change..." So, that had to be Josh, right? BAHAHAHA. (PS: Josh, my love, where the fuck are you???) Anyway, Elijah cuts her off and points out that her orders were to lead him to Lenore, and suggests that they just do that before cutting in front of her and walking away. Gia, annoyed and frustrated by Elijah's fuddy-duddiness, stops in her tracks and snaps, "You wanna walk in silence? Cool. But, you're going the WRONG WAY." Elijah is NOT thrilled, mostly because he's ancient and has no patience for these youngsters and their lack of respect for their elders, so he turns back to her and reminds her that Marcel claimed he could instruct her on how to be a vampire. "First lesson-- do your best not to waste my time." Gia glares at him and rolls her eyes before turning in the opposite direction and leading him to a convenience store on a street corner.

Once inside the store, the two see Lenore, an old-school, salt-of-the-earth witch who is grinding up herbs with a mortar and pestle at the front register. "Plus Je T'embrasse" by Blossom Dearie plays as she takes one look at them and claims she's busy before telling them to go away, so Elijah is, like, "Yeah, I can see that from the fact that you're blatantly practicing magic in your shop." Lenore just shoots him a look and rolls her eyes before explaining that she's working on an herbal remedy to help a neighbor who lost her health insurance before she points out that she doubts an Original vampire is there to hear about all the New Orleans gossip. When Elijah admits that he's there for a favor, Lenore reminds him that the French Quarter is literally crawling with witches who could help, but Elijah points out the fact that he's not usually keen on asking his enemies for help, especially since he needs help AGAINST them. Lenore is still clearly not in the mood to do any favors for them, so Elijah wanders around the shop, running his finger along a shelf and rubbing dust off his fingertips while he breaks out the big guns.

"It's unfortunate, isn't it?" he states conversationally. "Bureaucracy has not been kind to your community. Those tax incentives on small businesses have been stalling for MONTHS. Of course, a PERSUASIVE person could potentially remove any red tape..." Lenore's interest is definitely piqued by this, so she tells him to spill already. "A certain someone-- let's say a witch-- has a troublesome tendency of jumping into other bodies," Elijah explains, before smiling widely. "When she does so again, I would like to know into whom she jumps." He drops a coin into her coin jar near the cash register just as Lenore comes up with a spell that could help them. It's a soul-branding spell, which requires sacrificial magic, so in order for Lenore to do it, she's going to need something that has been enchanted by the witch they're trying to brand and a python to sacrifice to get the mojo to do it.

Elijah seems pleased by this outcome and assures her that he'll get the spelled object, and leaves the python to be obtained by Gia. Gia is understandably, like, "Ew, WHAT?" which leads Elijah to her second lesson of the day, otherwise known as "Acquisition through mind compulsion." Of course, Gia has been a vampire for all of five seconds, so she groans as Elijah peaces out and yells, "How the HELL do I do mind compulsion?" She begrudgingly follows after him, and once she's gone, Finncent enters the store and approaches the front register as Lenore returns to her herb-grinding. When she sees him, she asks him if she can help him, but Finn just smiles widely, which instantly makes Lenore nervous. "I'm most certain that you can," Finn replies. OH GOD.

Over at Marcel's loft, he's pouring himself a drink at his bar when Klaus shows up out of the blue. Marcel takes one look at him and correctly guesses that he needs a favor, which, to Klaus' credit, he doesn't deny. "I'm paying this one, I promise," Klaus assures him, before bringing up a necklace that Klaus gave Marcel back in the day-- it has a metal bird pendant on it, and is hung on a leather strap. Fortunately for Klaus, vampires are total pack-rats and never throw out anything, since they never know when it's going to come in handy, so Marcel walks over to a nearby shelf and pulls out a small wooden box that is very similar to the one that Stefan used to keep the necklace that belonged to Ayana/Esther/Rebekah that he gave to Elena. He mentions that Klaus gave him the necklace on his eleventh birthday, which surprises Klaus, as he didn't think he would remember. "Mikael's back, Elijah's babbling on about family drama, and YOU'RE here looking for antique jewelry," Marcel replies, before handing the open box with the necklace inside to Klaus. The sight of it transports him to another flashback to late-10th-century Mystic Falls.

In the flashback, Esther is in the kitchen of their cottage, and is standing in front of a cauldron that is surrounded by sand, salt, and herbs in varying runic symbols, as well as some small black stones. She calls bb Klaus into the room while she takes the necklace in her hand by the string and dips the bird on the end into the cauldron full of yellow potion. When she takes the bird out, she dips it again in a small pile of sand in front of the cauldron. "Birds are sacred to the Vikings," Esther explains, and MAN, I miss OG Esther, because her voice/accent is amazing and I can listen to her talk all day about witchy stuff. "It's how we find land. It's how your father and I found our home here." She takes the necklace now that it's cooled and ties it around bb Klaus' neck. "If ever you are lost, or scared, or in need of me, just clasp the bird, and I will come." Klaus nervously asks her if his siblings get a necklace, and you can tell something shady is going on, because she anxiously licks her lips and thinks for a moment before giving him her answer. "I love ALL my children," she replies, as she squeezes Klaus' hand in her own. "But you, Niklaus? You're the MOST special, which is why I give this to you, and you alone. Promise me you will wear it ALWAYS." Klaus, confused, but happy nonetheless, promises that he will, and Esther smiles.

Later on, a bonfire is held in the village, and many of the villagers are playing music on their various instruments so the rest can dance around the fire. Esther and bb Klaus are dancing around the fire, spinning in circles, as Esther gleefully crows, "Your father may teach you to hunt, but I will teach you to win the heart of the prettiest girl in the village!" I'm sure that's not at ALL foreshadowing the OG doppelgänger Tatia making her first appearance in a few episodes, is it? ;) Anyway, in the background, Finn is watching them bitterly as they spin and dance, until Esther suddenly notices Klaus' bare neck and stops in her tracks. She immediately asks him where his starling necklace is, which makes Klaus freak out anxiously. He guesses that it must have fallen off at some point, so Esther orders him to find it ASAP. Luckily, teenage Finn is already on it, and comes over to inform his mother that he already found it. He pulls it out of the leather pouch around his waist and hands it to her so she can put it back around Klaus' neck. "You owe a great thank you to your brother, don't you?" Esther says to Klaus, and Klaus seems to have some little brother resentment going on right now, because he's silent for a long moment until he begrudgingly thanks his brother for finding it. Finn seems quite pleased to get the attention, because he gives Klaus a kind smile before Esther walks over to him to stroke his cheek with her hand.

In the present, Klaus and Marcel are still in the middle of talking when Klaus breaks out of his reverie. Marcel, looking concerned, asks Klaus if he even wants to know why Klaus is asking for a necklace that he knows Esther gave him, but Klaus just smiles weakly and replies, "Believe me, Marcel, you want NO part in the latest chapter of our sprawling family saga." They both glance at the necklace Klaus is holding before he thanks Marcel for holding onto it and takes off to prepare for the upcoming dinner-from-hell.

Meanwhile, Finncent and Casther are taking a leisurely stroll around Lafayette Cemetery as Finn updates his mother on the plan. He informs her that he heard from Koleb, who is still looking for Davina and who believes he'll find her soon. Esther remarks that it's a shame Kol will have to miss their with his siblings that evening, but she wants to keep his new identity a secret for the time being anyway, so it ultimately works in their favor. She then turns the subject to Lenore, who Finn has brought to her, and who Esther believes to be "rather stubborn." Finn replies, "Mother, I'd be happy to open her up to new possibilities," which is SUCH A WEIRD AND CREEPY THING TO SAY, JFC FINN, but Esther instructs him to have Oliver handle her instead, as Finn's methods of persuasion will be put to better use at the family dinner. When she asks him if they've received an RSVP to their rude invitation to dinner at Klaus and Elijah's own home, Finn responds that he imagines it lit a fire under Elijah and Klaus' bums, because they've both been rushing around all day. She doesn't seem at all surprised by this news and simply insists that Finn be prepared to meet with them that evening, which prickles Finn's ginormous mommy-issues. "I've handled everything exactly as you've instructed," Finn reminds her desperately, but Esther just smiles and caresses his face with her hand. "I'd expect nothing less from you, Finn."

Finn nods at her and turns to go into a nearby crypt (or maybe it's the downstairs/basement of the lycée? I have a really hard time telling these sets apart tbh), where both Oliver and Lenore are waiting for him. Lenore is chained up by her wrists, which are suspended by the ceiling, and Oliver looks absolutely appalled at how she's being treated. "You torture your own?" Oliver asks incredulously, but Finn corrects him. "No, I PERSUADE." He opens a small roll, which holds various torture implements, the sight of which does nothing to make Lenore less scared or horrified. She's already been beaten pretty well as it is, because her lip is busted open and she has several lacerations on her forehead, cheeks, and temple. Finn turns back to Oliver and instructs him to persuade her to tell him what she knows, as she had some visitors earlier (Elijah and Gia, obviously) and he's very interested to know what they wanted.

Oliver looks absolutely disgusted by the task he's just been assigned and watches as Finn heads toward the door, stopping only to turn over a large hourglass on the nearby table before he does so. "Don't dally," Finn adds, before taking his leave. Yusuf Gatewood is suuuuuch a good actor, but man, I really don't like Finn. I was pretty indifferent to him on the Vampire Diaries because we didn't know that much about him, other than the fact that 1) he was a mama's boy, 2) he was a self-loathing vampire who was willing to kill himself if it meant killing his siblings and the rest of the vampires in the world, and 3) he was madly in love with a woman named Sage to the point that he even turned her into a vampire, despite his hatred of them, so they could be together forever. Oh, and he was super attractive. Other than that, he didn't have much of a personality back then, but now that we're getting to know him better, I am not at all a fan, and I doubt that'll be changing any time soon.

Back at the Mikaelson compound, Hayley has just joined Elijah and Klaus in the wine cellar so she can update them on what she's learned from Oliver-- Marcel's witch Lenore has been snatched by Esther and is being held in the Quarter. "Oh, perfect," Elijah drawls in annoyance. "Mother's a step ahead, as usual." Hayley assures them that Oliver is with her, and offers to go to them and get her to do the spell they had agreed upon. When she brings up the fact that she needs the necklace, Elijah insists that he completely hates this plan, but Hayley just cuts him off. "No. You don't get to ignore me for days, and then suddenly act like you're concerned, Elijah. Just, for once, PLEASE, will you trust me that I'll do something and it will get done?" Elijah looks as though he's about to object, but he ultimately decides to keep his mouth shut about it. Klaus, too, seems unhappy with this plan, but he pulls the starling necklace out of his pocket and hands it to her anyway so she can get the spell underway. She thanks him as she takes it, and is about to leave when Elijah stops her. She figures he's once again trying to protect her, so she instantly replies that she doesn't give a fuck, but that's not actually what he meant-- he brings up the fact that Lenore needed another ingredient for the spell, and instructs her to go pick it up from Marcel's new associate, Gia. Hayley nods and takes off, and once she's gone, Klaus approaches Elijah and asks him what the fuck is going on between them. "Nothing," Elijah replies quickly. "She's stronger, that's all that matters." UGH YOU TWO LOSERS YOU CUT THAT OUT RIGHT NOW.

Across town, Gia has just returned to Marcel's apartment, where Gia is recounting her afternoon with Elijah. "A SNAKE?!" she shrieks incredulously. "That was my big lesson of the day. Snake-fetching." Marcel can't help but burst out laughing, and asks her if she really did compel herself a snake, but nope, Elijah (who she refers to as Captain Condescension) didn't teach her how to use her compulsion powers, so she literally STOLE a snake from a pet store or something instead. That is absolutely hilarious to me, and does nothing to dampen the huuuuge crush I have on this girl. Why can't all my favorite badass female characters be real live people? And preferably bisexual or lesbian so we can be together 5eva? Life is cruel, I guess. Marcel pulls out the whole, "Well, did you even TRY?" thing, to which Gia has no tolerance whatsoever. "I don't even know where to START trying, Marcel," she replies glumly as she walks closer to him. "Why Elijah? I'm not stupid. You want something from him. I just can't guess the reason why you'd think I'M the way to get it."

Marcel licks his lips nervously before he admits that he not only wants something for Elijah, but he wants the same thing for her, as well. When she asks what that happens to be, he reveals his entire plan from the last few episodes. "This. US! Our new community!" Gia just looks at him in confusion, so he elaborates a bit. "Look, I learned my lesson the hard way. You can't make your way in this town unless you got an Original looking out for you. Klaus is so fixated on those wolves, and Elijah's so wrapped up in centuries of his family's old crap that he can't see it. But, we need him. We need him to see US as family, too." Gia, near tears at this point, reminds him of the fact that she couldn't even make her own family give a shit about her, so how the fuck is she supposed to make some stodgy old vampire consider her family? Marcel, who has become one of the best comforters EVER, just walks up to Gia and cups her face in his hands and drops some truth bombs about Elijah fucking Mikaelson. "I've known that man two hundred years. He's cranky. He's fussy. And, he can ride your last nerve. But, he has an Achilles heel, okay? He can't help but fix what's broken. You don't need to be anything other than what you already are-- someone who needs his help." God, when did Marcel get so awesome? I'm loving it so damn much. I'm sorry that all this recap is is basically me going "GODDAMNIT I LOVE THEM SO MUCH THEY ARE THE BESTTTTTT" but it's true, you know? These characters have totally grown up into the best versions of themselves and it is a joy to behold.

Back at the Mikaelson compound, Elijah and Klaus are both dressed up in fancy ties and jackets and are putting the last touches on the dinner table. Klaus is clearly not thrilled about the monkey suits and keeps tugging at his tie and collar while he complains about whether the outfits are really necessary. Elijah, who rarely ever is in anything less than a three-piece suit, reminds him that cleaned-up appearances are a sign of respect, blah blah blahhhh, Esther will more likely to give up her intentions if they take this seriously, blah blah blah. "Well, I doubt her guard will drop just 'cause I'm dressed like a bloody lawyer," Klaus says with a scowl, but Elijah insists that they need whatever advantages they can get. Klaus concedes that Elijah is the best of all of them when it comes to diplomacy, but makes it clear that if Esther tries anything hinky, he'll rip apart her new body in a blink. Which, of course, is right when Finncent shows up, also dressed up in a fancy suit.

"You two haven't changed a bit!" Finn exclaims with a wide smile, before turning to Elijah. "Linens and silk to disguise your pathetic self-loathing," he says, and turns over to Klaus. "And YOU-- despite the arrogant façade, you're still the same paranoid little BOY, full of hate and fear." OUCH, those are both some low blows, especially coming from Finn! I mean, I'm pretty sure he's the one that actually has the market cornered on self-loathing, don't you think? And calling Klaus "boy" in that bitter voice is basically ripping off Mikael's greatest hits, so if Finn is trying to shake them up, he's definitely succeeding. Also, has Finn even seen Elijah wear linens and silk before? Pretty sure he was daggered in the 1100s, when Elijah was likely wearing leather and maybe some velvet or something. Unless Finn, too, stalked his siblings while he was on the Other Side. ANYWAY, naturally, Klaus and Elijah are both confused as fuck, since they're just seeing some stranger who claims to know them, so Elijah approaches him and is politely like, "Forgive me, I don't believe I've had the pleasure." Finn feigns offense and clutches his non-existent pearls and sarcastically replies, "Oh, you mean you don't recognize me? So much for the unbreakable bond of family, huh? Always and forever, INDEED." Elijah remains confused, but Klaus immediately realizes what's going on here and starts to scowl even harder. "It's been a long time... Finn," Klaus spits angrily, which completely stuns Elijah, but Finn just smiles even wider and replies, "Now that the introductions are out of the way, let's eat!" Ohhhhhh jesus.

Meanwhile, Hayley has just arrived to the crypt where Lenore is being held at Lafayette Cemetery. Oliver is standing by, waiting for her, and Lenore is still shackled up. Hayley seems to have brought the python, because it has wrapped itself around Esther and Finn's hourglass, which will definitely be important later. "They worked her over pretty good," Oliver remarks, as Hayley breaks the chains off of Lenore's wrists. She reminds Oliver that they need to get her the fuck out of there, but Oliver is not that pleased with this idea. "Huh?" he asks incredulously. "Then what? They'll know that I let her go! Look, you asked me to infiltrate Cassie's coven. I'm not gonna blow my cover for some has-been, hippie witch!" Lenore, who still seems to have a bit of a sense of humor, just scoffs and gives him some major side-eye, to which he adds, "No offense!" Hayley brainstorms a bit and looks around, and decides the best idea is to make it look like Oliver got his ass handed to him by Lenore's coven when they came to rescue her, but again, Oliver isn't exactly thrilled about the prospect of Hayley beating the shit out of him to make it look convincing. "Well, I can't say I wouldn't enjoy it!" Hayley replies with a smile, so Oliver, in a pretty awesome show of personal growth, just laughs weakly and insists that Hayley not bloody up his face too badly. Look at Oliver and his redemption arc! I'm digging it.

Back at the compound, Elijah has poured Finn a glass of wine, which he wafts before complimenting his brothers on their choice of such an aromatic bordot. "Well, it was a challenge to find a good pairing," Klaus replies coldly. "What wine goes well with treachery?" Finn tells Klaus to stop pouting and reminds him that this is supposed to be a celebration of his return to the land of the living. "Remember, I spent nine hundred years-- right?-- lying daggered in a box. I'm rather enjoying this new body, strolling about your lovely city that, uh, you've made your home." He then changes the subject to his brother, and asks them what they've been getting themselves into the past one thousand years or so. "Regale me with your contributions to society! Medicine? Philosophy? Art?" Klaus rolls his eyes, but Finn isn't done insulting them. "Or have you two merely cut a path of destruction across time?" Klaus takes great care to remind him that the last time they saw each other, Finn was working with their mother to kill the lot of them by linking them together, turning Finn back into a human so they would ALL be human and would then all die when Finn was killed-- her reasoning was that they had all lived too long, which is kind of hilarious now that Esther's trying to reunite them again.

Elijah, tired of this conversation, asks Finn if they're expecting more company, since the servers have added another two place settings to the table after Finn whispered something to one of them earlier. That's when Finn informs them that their dear mother will be sitting at the head of the table, and the other place setting is meant for another member of their "clan," Klaus and Elijah both look confused and suspicious, so Finn invites them to hazard a guess as to who it could be. "Well, there's no way Kol would listen to anything other than his ego," Klaus remarks, but as we know, he's at least partially wrong about this, considering Kol has reluctantly joined Esther's side, but most likely just until he can figure out a better plan. "And yet, our mother has made such a compelling argument that even HE, the wildest of us Mikaelsons, has seen the error of his ways and accepted his new form with vigor!" Finn gleefully explains, before adding that change is inevitable. Klaus is appalled that Finn would dare threaten them in his new, weak, mortal form, and retorts that it's actually his DEATH that is inevitable before he lobs a knife right at his head. Fortunately for Finn, Esther seems to have taught him quite a bit of magic, because he easily deflects it and sends it toward Esther's seat at the table, "Oh!" Finn exclaims, as he reaches over and pulls the knife out of the chair and holds it up. "I suppose the honor of carving should go to the oldest. We have MUCH to discuss."

At the crypt in Lafayette Cemetery, Oliver is laying unconscious on the floor of the crypt, and Lenore is checking him over while Hayley bags up the python. The hourglass on the table is now nearly empty. Lenore looks over to Hayley and asks her why she's even getting herself in the middle of this mess, since she's clearly not a Mikaelson, but Hayley just gives her a small smile and admits that she is, in spirit, which warms my heart so damn much. I've been saying that Hayley has been a Mikaelson since before Hope was even born, and this just confirms it, tbh. "The werewolf mother?" Lenore asks, clearly shocked at finally meeting the woman she's surely heard rumors about over the past months. "Turned witch rescuer, apparently," Hayley replies, before desperately asking Lenore if she's still willing to do the soul-branding spell for them. Lenore just smiles a wicked smile through her busted lip and cut up cheeks and replies, "After what that bitch and her lackey did to me? I'll do any spell that you want!" Man, I really like Lenore. It's really too bad about what ends up happening to her at the end, but I'll get to that in a bit.

Back at the dinner from hell, Finn is just smirking away and crowing about what a great evening he's having, but Klaus would prefer it if he'd just get to the bloody point already. Finn reminds him that patience is a virtue, blah blah blah, and one he learned after nine hundred years, blah blah blah. That's when Finn demonstrates the fact that he's still VERY bitter, even after all this time. "Although, I am curious why you kept me daggered in a box for so long." Klaus, not impressed nor amused, points out that he was kept daggered because he's always been an "ever-simpering sycophant," and hilariously asks him if he was brought back to life by Esther so he could wash her knickers, which is such an old-school insult that I couldn't help but burst out laughing. Klaus, Elijah, and even Rebekah are so old-fashioned that it kills me. Anyway, this comment is the last straw, and Finn suddenly loses his composure and ends up giving an outburst of rage that he's clearly been holding in for centuries.

FINN: "She RAISED me because I was treated unfairly! Cheated of all but the smallest portion of my life! Elijah, I can understand such cruelty coming from him, but I always thought of YOU as being the compassionate one! What did I do to deserve you turning your back on me? Were you afraid of Niklaus? Are you still? Or, perhaps JEALOUSY is what kept me locked in a box? You coveted the duties of the eldest brother, in which case you had near-on a MILLENNIUM to fix the problems of this family, and instead, produced NINE CENTURIES of failure!"
Fortunately for Team Sort-of Good, Elijah is not a bit offended by this insult, which is actually pretty great of him, considering how seriously Elijah takes his role of being the big brother to the siblings with whom he is close. Instead, he just smirks, and quietly replies, "You might reside-- somewhat parasitically, I might add-- in another body, but, I assure you, in nine hundred years, your TEDIOUS sentiments remain quite the same. You see, Finn, like Father, you've always despised our supernatural existence. Father, of course, slaughtered and consumed his own, whereas YOU became pretentious and dull, much like this meal. I will not ask you again-- where is Mother?" Klaus sniggers hysterically at Elijah's insults, but they don't have to wait for an answer, because in true Esther fashion, she has arrived, still wearing Cassie's meatsuit. She stands behind her seat at the table and croons, "Oh, my darling son," as Finn scrambles to his feet to respectfully greet his mother. "I've missed you, too," she adds with a smirk. OHHHH SHIT IS GETTING REAL.

Across town, Hayley and Lenore have just returned to Lenore's convenience store, and they walk to the back of the shop, where all of her inventory is kept. It seems that she does a lot of magic back there as well, because she has a small altar set up with a cauldron and various herbs. Hayley hands her the bag with the python and asks her if the spell will take long, but Lenore points out that since she's being asked to soul-brand the resurrected spirit of a powerful, thousand-year-old witch, it's probably best if she takes her time to make sure she does it correctly. She looks up at Hayley while she sets up her supplies, and adds, "For what it's worth, I'm sorry. No one should ever have to lose a child." Hayley winces a little at the reminder of Hope's "loss" and replies that no, no one ever should. She watches as Lenore lights a bundle of sage and wafts the smoke around the room before asking Hayley if she has Esther's talisman, which she quickly pulls out of her pocket and hands over. Lenore sets the necklace over the rim of the cauldron as Hayley asks her how the spell works after Esther's soul has been branded.

"The next time she jumps into a body, she'll be marked with a distinctive symbol on the back of her hand," Lenore explains patiently as she pulls the python out of the bag. "This way, you'll always know who she is." Lenore wraps the python around her neck for a moment as Hayley asks her if Esther gave her any idea why she's doing all of this shit, since they still have no idea why she's here. Lenore exclaims, "Love!" which makes Hayley roll her eyes and ask her how hard they hit her. Lenore removes the python from around her neck and explains her reasoning. "What besides love can inspire such pain and cruelty?" She takes a small knife and uses it to gut the python, so she can disembowel it and squeeze the entrails in her hands so the blood drips into the cauldron. "And Esther?" she continues. "Her love is very, VERY strong." YIKES! That is actually really gross. I don't usually have problems with blood and gore, since I'm a nurse and that's shit I see all the time, but for some reason, seeing ANIMALS get killed/butchered is horrifying to me. I guess I like animals more than people. ;)

At the compound, Casther has finally seated herself at the head of the table, and Klaus wastes no time ordering her to get to the point so they can finally end this horrible evening. "It pains me that you and Elijah look at me with such disdain," she starts off, frowning. "I wish you could see that my every action has been to protect you!" Klaus proclaims her to be delusional, if she really does believe what she's saying, but Esther, as always, has an argument. "If you can forget the hatred that you cling to and remember all the times I've mended and healed you--" she continues, but Klaus cuts her off with a loud bark of sarcastic laughter. She turns to Elijah to have him help her plead her case. "Elijah, do you recall the day Niklaus challenged your father to a duel? Did I leave your brother to die alone? What did I say, when you came to me and asked me to help him?" Elijah sighs, knowing that his reply will only support her claims, and responds, "That you would rather die than to see any of your children suffer."

This transports them all to a flashback to the late 10th century/early 11th century in what is now Mystic Falls. Klaus is older now, and it seems that this must have been shortly before the Mikaelson children were turned. Esther rushes into the forest, having heard Klaus' pained cries, and finds him pinned to a tree with a sword that has impaled him through his shoulder. YIKES! This alone is more than enough evidence to explain Klaus' sociopathic tendencies, although being a victim of abuse doesn't give you an excuse to abuse others. Still, it's a horrible looking wound, and my shoulder hurts just looking at it. Esther is just as horrified as the rest of us, and instantly rushes toward him and gently instructs him to tell her what happened. Klaus admits that he challenged Mikael, to which Esther cries, "What were you thinking?" Klaus insists that he thought if he could win against Mikael just once, he would see that Klaus is worthy, but if anything, we all know that it would just piss off and embarrass Mikael to the point that he would just get even more angry and violent. Esther, panicked, orders Klaus to hold still, and though it takes some struggling on her part, she manages to pull the sword out from Klaus' shoulder so he can sit down on the ground. She grabs many handfuls of moss and presses it against his wounds to staunch the bleeding and assures him that he's going to be fine.

"He laughed at my challenge," Klaus rambles, still in shock from the injury and the fact that his own father just about nearly killed him. "He said he would take this from me--" Klaus continues, as he holds up his starling necklace. "--as a prize after defeating me." Esther gulps anxiously and nods at him to continue. "We began to fight, and he knocked me down. He cut the bird from my neck, and I grew so angry, I hit him. Again and again. I cut him!" Terrified, Esther asks him what happened next, so Klaus confesses that he saw the look of fear on Mikael's face and was so proud of himself that he held up the necklace as proof that he kept his prize, but becomes so choked up when he recalls what happened next that he can't even finish his story. "Your father, in his rage, struck you with his sword?" Esther asks, clearly appalled at her husband's behavior, and Klaus nods, adding that he wouldn't let Mikael take the necklace from him, because it was HER gift to him. Relieved to know that Klaus hadn't actually killed Mikael, she whispers to Klaus that he's a good boy, and that he did the right thing, which just makes me so torn on Esther. Like, it's obvious that she really does love her children, but she gets so caught up in that love that she makes all the wrong decisions on how to deal with it, and then ends up punishing them for her own behavior and the consequences that come from it, and that's definitely not a good look whatsoever.

Anyway, back in the present, this stroll down memory lane has caused Klaus to have a dawning realization about the necklace, and why Esther had elected to give it to him and none of his siblings. He flashes back to when Esther made the necklace, and we can see that before she gave it to him, she cast a spell on it under her breath. In the present day, Klaus glares at his mother with the force of a thousand burning sons and growls, "The necklace. It wasn't spelled to protect me. It made me WEAK." Esther looks super guilty and begins to insist that her intention was always to protect him from becoming a werewolf as long as she possibly could, because if he had actually killed Mikael or anyone else over the course of his life, he would have activated his curse. Of course, as Klaus points out, this was a TERRIBLE idea if only because Mikael valued strength in his children, and since the necklace weakened him, that was likely why Mikael hated him even before he found out Klaus wasn't his son in the first place. "I kept you from becoming a beast for as long as I could!" Esther continues to insist, but Klaus isn't buying it, and rightly so-- we all know that at least part of Esther's motivation was to keep Mikael from finding out that she had an affair with Klaus' biological father.

KLAUS: "Oh, you lied to me! To hide your own transgressions because of your own fear! [He slams his hand against the table and stands to his feet] My whole life, I sought the approval I was denied by the man I thought was my father! You turned me into the weakling he hated. [Elijah rises and paces around the room, while Esther continues to shoot guilty looks at Klaus, who glares at her] Look at me! You rant and you rave about the monster I have become, but YOU, Mother-- you are the author of EVERYTHING that I am."
Esther is so overwhelmed by the metaphorical truth tea that Klaus is spilling EVERYWHERE that she suddenly begins to seize in her seat and gasp for breath. Finn seems to know what is happening, because he's only mildly alarmed by this sight. Suddenly, Cassie/Esther slumps over, and Elijah only barely manages to catch her before her head hits the table. He turns to Klaus, who is staring at her in shock. As much as Klaus is totally right about Esther and her motives and how she hardly has any room to talk about him being a monster when she quite literally set the game board that led to Klaus being who he is today (with help from Mikael, of course), I think that there's still this part of him that wants parents who love him. Of course, he's been abused so much (and abused others so much) that he has no idea how to deal with people actually giving a shit about him, so he's just torn about how he's supposed to act. Like, remember when Klaus killed Mikael in TVD? He was both relieved and horrified at what he had done, and that speaks volumes to me about his state of mind where his parents are concerned.

ANYWAY, moving on! This next part gets kind of tricky, because it cuts back and forth from Lafayette Cemetery, Lenore's convenience store, and the Mikaelson compound, so hold on tight! At the cemetery, the hourglass Finn turned over in the crypt when he left Oliver to torture Lenore only has a tiny bit of sand left in the top. Over at Lenore's shop, Lenore is continuing the soul-branding spell and I can't understand the spell she's doing so I'm not even going to bother trying to transcribe it. Meanwhile, Elijah and Klaus are both panicked about Esther's condition, because we all know that Klaus didn't just guilt her to death. Elijah informs them that Esther seems to have vacated the premises before he turns to Finn to attack him, but Finn uses his telekinesis to push Elijah backward, which throws him across the room, over the table, and into the wall behind them. Klaus zoops over to Finn and grabs him by the lapels, but Finn just does that weird muscle-seizing spell he did on Oliver earlier by rubbing his fingers together, causing Klaus to fall to his knees as all of his muscles cramp up. Finn looks around frantically as he tries to figure out a getaway plan.

Back at the cemetery, the hourglass has finally run out. Lenore has just finished the spell at the convenience store across the river, and Hayley looks at her in concern when she suddenly slumps forward, leaning against the cauldron to keep her from falling fully forward. She looks around, clearly confused, as Hayley worriedly asks her if she's okay. Lenore quietly remarks that she is, and insists that she just needs to get her bearings. However, when she pulls herself to full height, she uses the cauldron to keep her balanced, revealing that her right hand has a TRISKELION BRAND ON THE BACK OF IT. I'm so glad Teen Wolf taught me all about Celtic symbols and whatnot. Hayley notices the brand, too, and is so startled by it that she jumps backward and yelps in shock. Lenore looks at her in confusion, but Hayley knows whats up, especially when Lenore starts taking in her body as though she's just seeing it for the first time. OH SHIT OH SHIT. "The mark..." Hayley murmurs, not believing what she's seeing. "It's you, isn't it? Esther?" Lenore/Esther just smirks back at her, clearly pleased by her dramatic entrance. POOR LENORE. First she gets the shit beat out of her by Esther and Finn, and then she gets POSSESSED by her when she tries to help Elijah, Klaus, and Hayley? That is so damn brutal. And that's not even getting into what's coming for her later on...

At the compound, Klaus and Elijah are finally up and at-em after getting their asses kicked by Finn, but Finn seems to have fled the coop in all the chaos. Also, at some point, Cassie seems to have come-to, which must be an unbearably confusing and terrifying experience for her. Klaus turns to her and demands to know where their mother is, but, of course, Cassie has no idea, because up until this point, she was floating around limbo with the Ancestors after having been sacrificed in the Harvest ritual what feels like an eternity ago. "Where am I?" she asks fearfully. "What's happening?" Klaus completely loses his temper and grabs Cassie in a choke-hold, and after a moment of Cassie's eyeballs bursting out of her head as she gasps for breath, Elijah steps in and states the obvious-- "Leave her. She's a PUPPET. Niklaus, look at her! She has absolutely no idea." When Klaus lets go, Cassie takes some deep gulps of air before asking them who the fuck they are and what the fuck they're talking about. Klaus isn't really in the mood for manners, though, and yells at her to shut up, which she totally does. Elijah pats Klaus on the shoulder comfortingly, even though I'm pretty sure that Cassie needs that comforting pat more than he does. "Our mother orchestrated this ENTIRE evening just to torture us, and then simply vanishes!" Klaus exclaims angrily as he paces around the dining room. "Why?" Elijah suddenly gets a not-at-all good idea and asks Klaus if it's possible that they were not the only people whose minds Esther was planning on poisoning that evening, which leads them to realize that she's gone after Hayley.

Over at Lenore's shop, Hayley's phone rings in her pocket, and she nervously pulls it out of her pocket and looks over at Lenore/Esther while she washes the snake blood off of her hands. Esther smiles and nods, giving her permission to answer the phone, but Hayley is only able to yelp, "Elijah? I'm at Lenore's shop--" before Esther uses her magic to blow up Hayley's phone, cutting the call off and insisting that that's more than enough. "They're gonna come for me," Hayley replies anxiously, clearly fearful of Esther's wrath, even as an "invincible hybrid" as she so eloquently put it in this season's premiere episode. However, Esther totally knew that, and takes great pleasure in responding, "My darling, that's been the idea all along." YIKES! Esther may be nuttier than my grandma Phyllis' fruitcake, but damn, if she isn't an evil genius. Who would have guessed what she would become in all of those old school flashbacks to the 10th and 11th century? Not me, that's for sure.

Klaus and Elijah, having received Hayley's message, are rushing purposefully out of the compound so they can start their rescue mission. Elijah asks why Esther could possibly want Hayley, but Klaus has more than a few ideas. "To kill her? To punish us? To learn the truth about the child?" he lists off, before adding, "For one of any number of reasons, all of which will be rendered moot when I send her screaming back to hell." AWWW YISSSSS I LOVE IT WHEN THEY ALL BAND TOGETHER LIKE THIS. Give me moooooore!

Back at Lenore's shop, Esther is attempting to make pleasant conversation with Hayley while they wait for the boys to get there. "It's so lovely to finally meet you," she begins kindly. "Tell me, do my sons ever acknowledge the good you bring into their lives? After all, it was you who gave them HOPE." Hayley looks at her suspiciously, because that could very well be a hint that she knows what has really happened with her daughter, but Esther just continues on. "The promise of a child shows us all the possibilities of a future that could be. Children are meant to save us from the worst parts of who we are. A truth that makes my own circumstances all the more tragic, wouldn't you say?" WOW, that is some self-absorbed bullshit. Hayley agrees, and retorts that she doesn't pity Esther whatsoever, but that doesn't stop her from her dramatic monologuing. "It's a terrible thing, for a mother to fail her child... as you well know," she says, as she picks up the starling necklace she made for Klaus from the cauldron. Hayley looks both guilty and a little offended, and gulps nervously. "But now, I offer you freedom. Freedom from being a hybrid." Hayley perks up a little, clearly interested, though she tries her best to hide it. "I have the ability to return to you ALL that you have lost, Hayley. To make it so that you could have a family of your own." She smiles at Hayley before adding the best part. "More CHILDREN of your own. Wouldn't that be nice?"

I have a slight issue with this, though-- wasn't it technically on Esther's orders that Hayley died and was turned into a hybrid in the first place? Kathleen and I have been talking about it, and we're pretty sure that while the witches were intending to kill Hope to gain power (and while killing Hope certainly would have given more power to the witch ancestors for the living witches to draw on as they'd like), that definitely wasn't Esther's reasoning for killing her, as we will learn more about in a couple of episodes, when I finally catch up. So, why kill Hayley at all, then? Did she think she would just die? Did the witches really just do it of their own accord because they figured it would be way easier to kill Hope if Hayley was out of the picture? (Obviously, they would have been right to think so, considering the fact that it was Hayley, Elijah and Klaus that eventually thwarted their plans.) I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm really confused about Esther's motives. On their own, they make plenty of sense-- she's spent tons of time watching her children and finally wants to have her family back together and mortal again, so they can have their own children and it will all be happy. BUT, when you look back on her previous plans-- first trying to link her kids, turn them back into humans by reversing the adapted immortality spell that Esther ganked from Qetsiyah, her BFF's ancestor, and then kill them all because they've lived too long; AND, when that failed, creating an enhanced Original vampire in Alaric to hunt them down and kill them with the indestructible white oak stake she had just made like Mikael had in the past. SO, what changed to make her want to be a big happy family again? I just don't get it.

ANYWAY, I digress. Again. So, Klaus and Elijah finally arrive to the shop, and Klaus growls, "I assume you've had the misfortune of speaking to my mother?" to Hayley as they each lunge for Esther. Of course, she's prepared for that, and she uses a handful of some kind of herb or powder to throw at Klaus, creating a kind of barrier between herself and her son to prevent him from coming any closer, kind of like mountain ash in Teen Wolf. Oh shit, that just kind of gave me a mental image of Lenore going to emissary school with Julia Baccari/Jennifer Blake, Marin Morrell, and Alan Deaton and learning how to manipulate mountain ash and other druid-y stuff, and now I kind of want someone to write a fic about it. ANYWAY, Klaus straight-up calls Esther a coward for hiding behind her spells, but Esther insists that she didn't come to wage war on them. Uhhhh, yeah right! Elijah retorts, "Everything you DO is an act of war!" and rushes toward her, threatening grievous bodily harm if she so much as touches Hayley, but Esther just throws another handful of what I'm just going to call mountain ash toward him, which prevents him from attacking her as well.

Now that Esther is protected from all sides, she assures them that Hayley is free to go, since she's informed her of her offer and Hayley now knows why she's there. "I have come to heal this family, Elijah," she maintains, but Klaus is understandably not buying it. He orders Hayley to get the fuck out of there, not like she needs to be told twice, and once she's gone, Esther uses her magic to blow up the light bulb above them in a small explosion of sparks. "My intent was never to harm!" she continues to explain. "Only to heal, as I have already healed your brothers Finn, and Kol. For you, I will undo everything that has been done, thereby giving you a new life! One without the vampire curse I inflicted upon you!" Another light bulb explodes overhead, and she waves her hand above Lenore's cauldron, which causes the earth under their feet to rumble as though it was an earthquake. All of the inventory on the shelves of the shop rattle so hard that they fall onto the floor, and both Mikaelson boys look very unnerved. "Ask Hayley to share with you my loving proposition," she adds, but Klaus argues that she's an idiot to believe that they would ever take one of her offers, since it's clear that they can't trust her whatsoever. "Oh, you are wrong, Niklaus!" Esther exclaims loudly, as the earth starts to rumble even more intensely, exploding more light bulbs and knocking shelves over completely.

"There will come a time, my darlings, when you will BEG for it!" she finishes off, as she opens her arms wide. Suddenly, all of the windows in the shop shatter, forcing Elijah and Klaus to raise an arm over their heads to shield their faces from all the broken glass and debris that is forcefully blown their way. When Esther raises her arms above her head, the shop is suddenly overrun by hundreds of starlings, who descend upon them, their wings beating furiously as they all flood the room. HOLY SHIT. I know that I've already referenced Teen Wolf a shitload in this recap, but I'm getting major vibes of the season 3 premiere "Tattoo," where Jennifer Blake's classroom was overrun by ravens. NUTS!

Elijah and Klaus return to the compound, where Hayley is waiting for them, and they're all discussing the events of the evening so they can figure out what exactly they're up against. Klaus is not at all surprised that Esther would call on the starlings to make her offer, but Elijah is more concerned about the offer itself, and asks Hayley what Esther said to Hayley, aside from the offer of "rebirth." Hayley replies that she rambled a lot, but does recall that Esther blamed both Elijah and Klaus for what happened to Hope and herself in "From a Cradle to a Grave," which isn't EXACTLY untrue, though I would say that Klaus bears more blame than Elijah does-- Elijah supporting Klaus' ridiculous power plays was not a good move whatsoever, but Klaus was the one who had all the ideas that led to the Battle of New Orleans. Klaus notices the hesitation in her voice and rudely replies, "Well, I hope you're not thinking of taking her offer?" Hayley, clearly feeling guilty, can't meet Klaus' eyes, so he yells at her to answer him. "What do you want me to say, Klaus?" Hayley snaps as she rises to her feet. "I lost my daughter. So, yeah, when your mom offers to wipe the slate clean, excuse me if I'm tempted." 

On a roll, she turns to Elijah, and adds, "By the way, thanks for your help tonight, Elijah. I'm sorry that it takes me being in danger for you to even TALK to me." Having said her piece, Hayley storms out of the courtyard, but when Elijah looks as though he's about to follow after her, Klaus hilariously stops him and insists that Klaus needs him more than she does. Oh, Klaus, I'm glad to see that your self-obsessed nature hasn't changed, even if you are more reasonable and responsible and less murdery. Klaus once again brings up the necklace, and how Esther lied to him for years and made him weak, in addition to making them what they are today. Elijah knows exactly what Klaus needs, though, so he gives it to him. "You were never weak, Niklaus. You are-- you have always been-- the most fierce of us all. In a thousand years, I have never seen anyone successfully stand against you. Not even our wicked father. Not the countless devoted to your destruction. You'll protect our home, even in the face of an adversary such as our mother, because THAT, brother... that is what what you do." Klaus, after hearing this kind speech, visibly perks up, and he gives Elijah a small smile before gripping his shoulder gratefully and reminding him that he has always been a wise counsel. "The rest of the family could learn something from you," he adds, before leaving the room. Welp, that was exactly what Klaus needed to hear, and exactly what Elijah needed to hear, so yay, progress! It is great to see Klaus using his words instead of just killing everyone in his general vicinity. Such personal growth on both sides!

Across the river, Gia is at a place called Old Point Bar, where she is watching blues guitarist and singer Jon Harris playing "Left Handed Voodoo" on stage while she stands at the bar. Suddenly, Elijah arrives and joins her there, ordering a bourbon from the bartender before turning to her. Gia, not in a good mood, asks him if he's there because he needs another python, but he just laughs and replies, "One can never have too many!" before asking her if she's planning on playing that evening. Gia frowns and replies that she doesn't think so, which Elijah admits is a shame, since Gia is a very good musician. Realizing that Elijah's entire demeanor towards her has changed, Gia decides to throw him a bone, and confesses that ever since she turned, she hasn't been able to play, and she can't figure out why. "It's different for us," Elijah explains, as he steps closer to her. "Cadence, rhythm, harmony... our experience of the senses is altered. We move faster. We hear things with a greater acuity. Silences are at once longer and more profound." He touches his ear in emphasis and continues. "Sound is simply DIFFERENT to our ears. And then, there's the emotion. For a vampire, it is extremely heightened." He suddenly becomes bashful, as though he's said too much, and admits that it's sometimes difficult for him to express.

Gia, shocked at his sudden openness, replies that he totally put it in words, which is when Elijah pulls out the big nice guns. He assures her that her music, as well as the joy that she felt when she was playing it, can be learned again, and he takes a quick sip of his bourbon before adding that he can teach her how to do it. Confused, she asks him why he'd offer, so he replies, "Because if someone had done the same thing for myself and my siblings, I'm quite certain that history would have unfolded differently." He smiles at her, and after a long moment, Gia smiles widely at him in return. YESSSSS! Not only is this going to do a lot for Gia, but I think helping her is going to help him out as well. Also, as die-hard of a shipper for Haylijah that I am, I can't deny that I'm totally shipping Gia and Elijah, too, because DAMN, they are a good looking pair of people, don't you agree?

After spending some time at the bar, Gia returns to Marcel's loft, where the small group of vampires Marcel has created are hanging out. "Beggin' for Thread" by Banks (which is an incredible song that is one of my most-listened-to songs on my iTunes) plays as the vampires congregate into small groups, some drinking booze, other feeding on random humans. Marcel is sitting alone on the couch, watching his new community get to know each other, when Gia approaches him. He smiles and asks her where she's been, so Gia reveals that she's been hanging out with Elijah, and smiles. "You were right. He found something that he wanted to fix." She laughs, as though she can't believe it, and adds, "He's gonna help me." She sits down next to Marcel on the couch, and the two look around the room and the new family they've created. He puts his arm behind her over the top of the couch, and replies, "He's gonna help us all." YESS! More Marcel/Elijah/Gia team-ups, please and thank you!

In our closing montage, Finncent and Lenesther are in the middle of a heated debate at the lycée. Esther opens a cage that holds two starlings, and allows one to hop onto her finger. Finn points out that she had to have known that Elijah and Klaus wouldn't give in to her offer without a struggle, but Esther reminds him that of course she did. "Tonight was not an ultimatum, it was an invitation!" she replies. "I just want to get them thinking. After all, only those who know they are lost will ask to be found." Finn isn't convinced that they can succeed, though, and reminds them of the fact that they're pretty much the most physically powerful people in the world, since they're Original vampires who have been alive for over a millennium AND they're naturally defiant men at that, and asks her how she expects to "show them the error of their ways."

ESTHER: [laughs] "I will systematically destroy everything they hold dear! [Cut to Klaus, sitting alone in the courtyard] I've already taken the wolves from Niklaus and made them our own. It is time, now, to focus on the prodigal son, Marcel, and his small nest of vampires across the river[Cut to Marcel, who has brought Gia over to get to know the other vampires at his gathering] Now that we have cleansed the Quarter of his kind, it's time to turn our attention to the outskirts of our beautiful home. We will take their pride, their joy, their love. [Cut to Hayley, who is sitting alone in her bedroom, and who looks over at her empty nursery] We will lay it all to ruin. [Cut to the courtyard, where Elijah has returned and joined Klaus for a drink] And, when they are at their lowest point, in their deepest despair, they will have no choice but to beg me to release them from their pain. And, because I love them, I will."


Next episode: Hayley, Oliver, and cutie new werewolf Aiden go to Marcel, Elijah and the vampires for help; Klaus searches for Davina and Mikael with Cami; and, Koleb continues his quest to woo Davina.

[screencaps via Screencapped]

-Now that we know Esther's plans, what do you guys think will happen? As much as I know Esther is super smart and is often several steps ahead of them, I think in the end, her war against her children is going to cause them to end up banding together and fighting for each other. It's like Esther wants to reunite them as a family (under her control, of course, and having them do exactly as she says), but in the end, they'll end up creating their own family without her. And honestly, she'll have no one to blame but herself for that.

-As always, this episode needs way more Josh. Where the hell is my favorite gay club-kid vampire?

-I'm going to need some better Elijah/Hayley interaction soon, because this cold tension between them is making my heart SO SAD. Stop being distant, Elijah!


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