The Originals season 5 episode 8 review: The Kindness of Strangers


In an intimate performance, The Originals completes Klaus and Hayley’s atypical love story and Elijah realizes his betrayal.

Watching last night’s episode of The Originals, “The Kindness of Strangers”, was like attending a stage play. The lack of physical action and the single setting invited viewers to share the intimacy of a broken family attempting to reconcile. The actors all followed their entrance and exit cues, ensuring pairs conversed and stitched torn bonds.

Trapped in a witchy representation of the Mikaelson compound, the original family are unable to leave until they find their respective keys required to unlock giant gold padlocks adorning a Willy Wonka-ish door. Hopes of having Marcel elevated to proper sibling are dashed. His role in the “Chambre de Chasse” is more of a social worker, or a narrator of a Jean-Paul Sartre play. He guides the dysfunctional family to cooperate, and assists in the discovery of their keys.

Last week hinted that Ivy may have created the astral prison for the Mikaelsons, yet, it was Hope that knitted the spell. With Freya’s assistance, Hope constructed the prison as a mental diversion so she would have no resistance in releasing The Hollow’s curse from the unconscious physical forms of Kol, Rebekah, Elijah, and Klaus. There were a few askew plot points. Freya made the prison, so it was odd that she needs a key to leave. Yet, she does not need to wait for everyone else to find their keys.

There was no explanation as to where the curse of The Hollow would go after Hope released it. Maybe, there is some unexplained witchy workaround to ensure Hope would not reabsorb the evil power. Freya supported Hope’s choice to wield dangerous magic. If Hope was truly in danger, surely Freya would not have allowed for a teen to risk her young life for a family who has existed for centuries.

Hope hid the keys in places of meaning for each person, yet also to herself. From afar, Hope played matchmaker. Rebekah’s key is hidden under a floorboard where Marcel had once hidden love letters. The reunion between Marcel and Rebekah is solemn. While they admit they love each other, Rebekah’s eternal bitterness over not having a human life is her argument as to why they cannot be a couple.

Kol is the cheeriest of the bunch. He provides comic relief and finds his key in an old Shakespeare tome. Klaus’ key is in the letters Hayley sent to him while in exile that he had returned unopened. Klaus’ reflections on Hayley are heartbreaking and wrap up this season’s ultimate love story — the one between Hayley and Klaus as parents to Hope.

Hope made her feelings for Elijah perfectly clear by hiding his key in a coffin in the basement. She won’t forgive him for her mother’s death. Don’t expect a welcome homecoming for the estranged uncle, as per next week’s trailer.

With keys in hand, the originals unbolt the door and step into a representation of Elijah’s corridor mind. Rebekah, Kol and Marcel leave through their own initialed doors. Klaus helps Elijah leave. Together, they break through the red door which was holding back Elijah’s memories. They wake in their bodies in the church and Elijah’s repressed memories flood back. While Hope’s spell may have abated the typhoon approaching New Orleans, Elijah’s mind is a monsoon of memories.

Elijah’s recognizes that he was responsible for Hayley’s death. It is agonizing. Elijah’s guttural response even moves Kol to tears. With all that Elijah has done, an extra 10 minutes of pure torment would have been fitting. After an awkward nod to Klaus — thank you for the blood for Antoinette, and I’m sorry for being such a prick — Elijah saves and ignores Antoinette, and returns to his old self. Donning a crisp suit along with his composure, Elijah heads to the Bayou to say goodbye to his love.

The Originals’ creator, Julie Plec, has warned that there are plenty of deaths remaining in the final episodes of this last season. The Originals are thinning out potentials visitors for the new spin-off show Legacies.

Fan’s have expressed their outrage at Hayley being killed off, and at her death happening so soon in the final season. At least her early departure provided an opportunity to celebrate and mourn her.

Who else will we be mourning?

The martyr, Elijah, may repay his debt to Hope and Hayley with his life. Freya, as the firstborn Mikaelson, is still in jeopardy according to the prophecy. With a wedding potentially on the cards for Freya and Keelin — based on the luck of newlyweds in The Vampire Diaries universe — it may have a bloody ending.

With itrumoredd that Camille and Mikael are both in the final episode, Klaus may die and see his past love and crazy father in some state of near death or afterlife. If Klaus dies, his sireline dies with him … Caroline and Marcel would just drop dead.

Related Story: The Originals season 5 episode 7 review: God’s Gonna Trouble The Water

With a grim outlook forthe end of the season, thankfully, Damon and Elena Salvatore took the cure in The Vampire Diaries and are enjoying a blissful, non-sired, off-screen human life.