REVIEW: THE CAPTIVE

CAST
Joseph Morgan (The Originals)
Matt Ryan (Constantine)
William Troughton (Tina and Bobby)
Al Weaver (Doom)

Self-Contained films can sometimes be hard to pull off but when done right they can be a real surprise. Luke Massey’s The Captive aka Armistice is one such example of a seemingly simple premise having much darker and more affecting themes than what’s on the surface.captive-1Royal Marine A.J. Budd (Joseph Morgan) awakens in a mysterious house. In the kitchen is a sandwich and a cup of coffee. Then the clock strikes 9am and our bewildered star finds himself fighting with a grotesque creature. Then it happens again. The same scenario. It plays out the same way every day. Exhausted, frustrated and puzzled, our hero marine must unlock just what’s going on and why. Who is keeping him captive and why? And what are these beasts attacking him every day?Budd-telephoneOn the face of it The Captive is a drama in the guise of a horror but take a look underneath and you’ll find an intensely thought-provoking story about how war affects a soldier. Morgan makes a somewhat lonely role impressive for the most part – some moments of drama feel a bit overcooked at times and he’s not helped by the odd ropey moments of dialogue but these are small niggles. CAPTIVE-002

As the story develops it become apparent the symbolism and metaphors mean a lot more than first appears. The house, for one, could be a construct created by his psyche. His way of containing everything he’s experience at war. Meanwhile the creatures he battles each day could be seen as the demons he’s facing for the monstrous things he’s done.UntitledWith a tight running time and no fat to trim, The Captive is a thought-provoking tale of the horrors soldiers must deal with played out as a creature feature of sorts.

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REVIEW: MASTER AND COMMANDER: THE FAR SIDE OF THE WORLD

 

CAST

Russell Crowe (Gladiator)
Paul Bettany (Avengers: Age of Ultron)
James D’Arcy (Agent Carter)
Robert Pugh (Robin Hood)
Joseph Morgan (The Originals)
Billy Boyd (Lord of The Rings)
John DeSantis (Blade: The Series)

In May 1805, during the Napoleonic Wars, Captain Jack Aubrey of HMS Surprise is ordered to pursue the French privateer Acheron, and “Sink, Burn or take her [as] a Prize.” The British warship is ambushed by Acheron; Surprise is heavily damaged, while its own cannon fire does not penetrate the enemy ship’s hull. Using smaller boats, the crew of Surprise tow the ship into a fog bank and evade pursuit. Meanwhile, Aubrey learns from a crewman who saw Acheron being built that it is heavier and faster than Surprise, and the senior officers consider the ship out of their class. Aubrey notes that such a ship could tip the balance of power in Napoleon’s favour if allowed to plunder the British whaling fleet at will. He orders pursuit of Acheron, rather than returning to port for repairs. Acheron again ambushes Surprise, but Aubrey slips away in the night by using a clever decoy buoy and ships lamps.

Following the privateer south, Surprise rounds Cape Horn and heads to the Galapagos Islands, where Aubrey is sure Acheron will prey on Britain’s whaling fleet. The ship’s doctor, Maturin, is interested in the islands’ flora and fauna, and Aubrey promises his friend several days’ exploration time. When Surprise reaches the Galapagos they recover the survivors of a whaling ship destroyed by Acheron. Realizing the ship is close, Aubrey hastily pursues the privateer. Maturin feels that Aubrey is going back on his word, and is following Acheron more out of pride than duty.

Marine officer Captain Howard attempts to shoot an albatross, but accidentally hits Maturin. The surgeon’s mate informs Aubrey that the bullet and a piece of cloth it took with it must be removed, but the operation should be performed on solid ground. Despite closing on Acheron, Aubrey turns around and takes the doctor back to the Galapagos. Maturin performs surgery on himself using a mirror. Giving up the pursuit of the privateer, Aubrey grants Maturin the chance to explore the island and gather specimens before they head for home. On crossing the island looking for a species of flightless cormorant, the doctor discovers Acheron anchored on the other side of the island. Abandoning most of his specimens, Maturin warns Aubrey, and Surprise readies for battle. Due to Acheron’s sturdy hull, Surprise must get in close to deal damage. After observing the camouflage ability of one of Maturin’s specimens—a stick insect—Aubrey disguises Surprise as a whaling ship; he hopes the French would move close to capture the valuable ship rather than destroy it. The Acheron falls for the disguise and is disabled. Aubrey leads boarding parties across the wreckage, engaging in fierce hand-to-hand combat before the ship is captured. Looking for the Acheron’s captain, Aubrey is directed to the sickbay, where a French doctor tells him the captain is dead and offers Aubrey the commander’s sword.

Acheron and Surprise are repaired; while Surprise will remain in the Galapagos, the captured Acheron is to be taken to Valparaíso. As Acheron sails away, Maturin mentions that their doctor had died months ago. Realising the French captain deceived him by pretending to be the ship’s doctor, Aubrey gives the order to change course to intercept the Acheron and escort her to Valparaíso, and for the crew to assume battle stations. Maturin is again denied the chance to explore the Galapagos, but Aubrey wryly notes that since the bird he seeks is flightless, “it’s not going anywhere”, and the two play a selection of Luigi Boccherini as the crew assumes battle stations and the Surprise turns in pursuit of the Acheron.

A truly excellent film. Very well shot and scored, it really conveys the atmosphere and feel of the era and situation well. Russel Crowe is well cast, long with the other staple characters. It’s quite an experience, and I would certainly recommend watching it.

REVIEW: ALEXANDER

CAST
Colin Farrell (Phone Booth)
Anthony Hopkins (The Silence of The Lambs)
Rosario Dawson (Daredevil TV)
Angelina Jolie (Tomb Raider)
Val Kilmer (Kiss Kiss Bang bang)
Christopher Plummer (Up)
Brian Blessed (Flash Gordon)
Jared Leto (Requiem For a Dream)
Joseph Morgan (The Originals)
Jonathan Rhys Myers (Dracula)
Neil Jackson (Blade: The Series)
Roty McCann (Game of Thrones)
Toby Kebbell (Dawn of The Planet of The Apes)
The film is based on the life of Alexander the Great, King of Macedonia, who conquered Asia Minor, Egypt, Persia and part of ancient India. Shown are some of the key moments of Alexander’s youth, his invasion of the mighty Persian Empire and his death. It also outlines his early life, including his difficult relationship with his father Philip II of Macedonia, his strained feeling towards his mother Olympias, the unification of the Greek city-states and the two Kingdoms (Macedonia and Epirus) under the Hellenic League,[4] and the conquest of the Persian Empire in 331 BC. It also details his plans to reform his empire and the attempts he made to reach the end of the then known world.
The story begins 40 years after 323 BC, around 283 BC, with Ptolemy I Soter, who narrates throughout the film. We see Alexander’s daily life and the strained relationship between his parents. Alexander grows up with his mother Olympias and his tutor Aristotle, where he finds interest in love, honour, music, exploration, poetry and military combat. His relationship with his father is destroyed when Philip marries Attalus’s niece, Eurydice.
After Philip is assassinated, Alexander becomes King of Macedonia. Ptolemy mentions Alexander’s punitive campaign in which he razes Thebes and burns Persepolis, then gives an overview of Alexander’s west-Persian campaign, including his declaration as the son of Zeus by the Oracle of Amun at Siwa Oasis, his great battle against the Persian Emperor Darius III in the Battle of Gaugamela and his eight-year campaign across Asia.
Also shown are Alexander’s private relationships with his childhood friend Hephaestion and later his wife Roxana. Hephaestion compares Alexander to Achilles, to which Alexander replies that, if he is Achilles, Hephaestion must be his Patroclus (Achilles’ best friend and lover). When Hephaestion mentions that Patroclus died first, Alexander pledges that, if Hephaestion should die first, he will follow him into the afterlife. Hephaestion shows extensive jealousy when he sees Alexander with Roxana and deep sadness when he marries her, going so far as to attempt to keep her away from him after Alexander murders Cleitus the Black in India.
After initial objection from his soldiers, Alexander convinces them to join him into his final and bloodiest battle, The Battle of Hydaspes. He is severely injured with an arrow but survives and is celebrated. Later on, Hephaestion succumbs to an unknown illness either by chance or perhaps poison, speculated in the movie to be Typhus carried with him from India. Alexander, full of grief and anger, distances himself from his wife, despite her pregnancy, believing that she has killed Hephaestion. He dies less than three months after Hephaestion, in the same manner, keeping his promise that he would follow him. On his deathbed, Bagoas grieves as Alexander’s generals begin to split up his kingdom and fight over the ownership of his body.
The story then returns to 283 BC, where Ptolemy admits to his scribe that he, along with all the other officers, had indeed poisoned Alexander just to spare themselves from any future conquests or consequences. He, however has it that it just be recorded that Alexander died due to illness compounding to his overall weakened condition. He then goes on to end his memoirs with praise to Alexander.
The story then ends with the note that Ptolemy’s memoirs of Alexander eventually burned, lost forever with the Library of Alexandria.
An absolute epic. From the critical ravaging of the original release to this glorious masterpiece, it is an essential film for any serious film lover and DVD collector. Brilliant.

12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: THE VAMPIRE DIARIES – THE CHRISTMAS EPISODES – PART 1

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MAIN CAST

Nina Dobrev (Arena)
Paul Wesley (Killer Movie)
Ian Sommerhalder (Pulse)
Steven R. McQueen (Piranha 3D)
Kat Graham (Honey 2)
Zach Roerig (As The World Turns)
Candice King (Juno)
Michael Trevino (Cane)
Joseph Morgan (The Originals)
Matthew Davis (Bloodrayne)
Michael Malarkey (The Selection)
O COME ALL YE FAITHFUL
GUEST CAST
Claire Holt (Mean Girls 2)
Susan Walters (Kill The Messenger)
Grace Phipps (Scream Queens)
Phoebe Tonkin (Bait)
David Alpay (Flashpoint)
Alyssa Diaz (Lie To Me)

The Season 4 winter finale was the first step in bringing everything together in there season arc , bringing Tyler’s quest to use his unsired hybrids to defeat Klaus into the fold as well. What we know about Professor Shane’s ultimate plan is that it involves “expression” magic, a magic so evil it only works with human sacrifice, and Pastor Young blowing up the 12 members of the council in the season premiere was just the beginning. Whatever Shane is up to, it requires at least 12 more sacrifices of the hybrid variety, and Hayley’s job was to deliver them on a silver platter. So while Tyler believed he was unsiring hybrids to ultimately have them rise up against Klaus and defeat him for good, Hayley was working an entirely different agenda, one that ended with her offering up all of the hybrids to Klaus for him to slaughter in a murder montage so incredible. The Klaus presented here , the one who has absolute power but whose soul suffers because of it, the one who kills Tyler’s mother because he knows that’s a much more evil punishment than killing Tyler himself, that’s the Klaus the show needs.

such a wonderful episode set around and an all around classic episode.

CHRISTMAS THROUGH YOUR EYES
GUEST CAST
Penelope Mitchell (Hemlock Grove)
Marguerite MacIntyre (Red Dragon)
Chris Brochu (Soul Surfer)
Jodi Lyn O’Keefe (Halloween: H20)
Chris Wood (Browsers)
With the holidays approaching, Bonnie attempts to replicate her favorite traditions, while reminiscing about happier times with her friends. Not able to return home to Mystic Falls for her favorite time of the year, Caroline is surprised when Sheriff Forbes brings the holidays to her at Whitmore College. Meanwhile, after discovering that Jo has gone missing, Alaric turns to Damon and Elena for help of trying to find her, while Liv and Luke find themselves at odds when Tyler approaches them with a risky plan. Elsewhere, Jeremy helps Matt carry out a plan to take down Enzo but grows concerned when Matt takes things too far. Lastly, Stefan is forced to break some devastating news to Caroline. Alaric and Damon Capture Kai but he absorbs the Travellers spell and escapes, the episode ends with Elena outside the Salvatore Mansion, Kai cloaks her and himself and Damon does not hear or see her as she talks to him, revealing that he has used a clocking spell on them. He then knocks Elena out and abducts her .
Another classic Vampire Diaries Christmas, this episode throws so much stuff at us, The Sheriff having cancer, Kai abducting Elena, its a great episode but with the cliffhanger makes you wait for the next episode to see how it turns out.
COLD AS ICE
GUEST CAST
Annie Wersching (Birds of Prey)
Elizabeth Blackmore (The Road Home)
Scarlett Byrne (Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows)
Teressa Liane (Neighbours)
Todd Lasance (Spartacus)
Damon, Stefan, Nora and Valerie put Lily to rest. Later, as Christmas rings in the air, Stefan and Damon’s search for Julian leads them to a town outside Mystic Falls. While they search based on Bonnie’s locator spell-given address, they end their search at a bar filled with dead Santa’s. After a while, Julian appears and there is a tiff between the brothers and him which later aggravates back home. Meanwhile, Nora becomes friendly with Bonnie during a toy drive. Alaric fears that Caroline is struggling with her pregnancy as her blood feeding urges keep her on the edge. Caroline shares a heart-to-heart talk with Sheriff Forbes’s gravestone. Valarie teams with Stefan to abduct Mary Louise in order to force Julian to come out in the open and fight. Later, an unseen being whisks the unconsious Mary Louise away. The Salvatore brothers-Julian fight finally leads to Damon being staked by the Phoenix stone-dagger and getting trapped inside his hell. The same happens for Stefan as a revenge-seeking Nora pushes the dagger inside him, after siphoning out Bonnie’s magic. It is shown that Damon is reliving his Civil War days while being trapped in the Phoenix stone – where he is gravely injured and scared.
WOW!! a great way to end on a mid season making us all wait till January 2016, just like The Originals 2015 Christmas this one leaves you on a gut wrenching moment not knowing what will happen next.

12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: THE ORIGINALS – SAVIOR

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SAVIOR
MAIN CAST
Joseph Morgan (Immortals)
Daniel Gillies (Young Hercules)
Phoebe Tonkin (Bait)
Charles Michael Davis (Battle Scars)
Leah Pipes (Sorority Row)
Danielle Campbell (Behind Closed Doors)
Yusuf Gatewood (Wonder Boys)
Riley Voelkel (The Newsroom)
GUEST CAST
Claire Holt (Mean Girls 2)
Nathan Parsons (Teeth)
Oliver Ackland (The Proposistion)
Rebecca Breeds (BLue High Water)
Casper Zafer (The Lady Musketeer)
Jason Dohring (Veronica Mars)
merry-christmas-the-originals-season-3-episode-9
We start with Rebekah’s voiceover discussing how whatever they used on her was not your typical dagger. With this one, she feels everything. (In other words, she definitely did pull a Stefan.) But luckily for her, Elijah paid a couple of men to get her off the ocean floor, and because he’s a good brother, he also shows up to finish the job. (Read: Kill those men and wake Rebekah up.) Of course, all Rebekah wants to know is if she missed Christmas.  Back at the compound, Christmas is only getting started, with Klaus letting Cami heal while he compels his staff to feed him and hang an ornament or two 1,000. Checking in on Cami, Klaus is happy with her improvement. He’s not so happy when she gets a text from Vincent that says Kinney is in trouble. Apparently, the detective’s lack of memory has gotten him fired, and he’s not taking anyone’s calls. With that, Cami is off to his house. In town, Tristan has made his way to Marcel’s bar because apparently whatever belongs to Marcel also belongs to the Strix. (Rich people are always the greediest, amirite?) They inform Marcel that they’ve decided that the young boy whose mother Hayley/Davina killed should be regent, mostly because he’ll do whatever the Strix asks him to do. Marcel nods along but quickly runs to Vincent. Marcel hates the idea of handing nine powerful covens over to some outsider of the city, so instead, he pisses off Vincent to the point where Vincent does the one thing he’s been so ferociously trying to avoid: He uses his magic. Even more than that, he informs Marcel that he will be the next regent and Marcel is not going to like what he does with his new position.
Meanwhile, in the bayou, Hayley begs Jackson to come home. He asks if she loves Elijah, to which she very simply tells him, “You knew when you married me.” Poor Jackson thought her affection for Elijah would fade over time, but it hasn’t. However, she did choose Jackson, and she continues to choose him every day. And right now? It’s Christmas, and Hayley’s more than ready to have the first happy Christmas of her life. She promises him a quiet night with his small family if he returns home. He agrees to meet her there and he even brings his trusty ax (at least he used it to chop down a tree first). But before Jackson can make it into the apartment, he witnesses a few members of the Strix — or as he puts it, vampires dressed like yuppies — following Freya. He shows up in time to decapitate a few of them with his ax, but he’s not fast enough: One of them takes the medallion while another stabs Freya with his ring.
It might not sound like much, but said ring was full of a slow-acting poison. Apparently, it’s a Strix signature. But that’s not the family’s only problem. After Rebekah learns what hell really looks like — the inside of a gas station bathroom — she discovers a skull mark growing on her arm.
Actually, first we save Kinney. When Cami makes her way to Kinney’s house, Klaus — white knight/bodyguard — follows her. And it’s a good thing he does because he’s able to bust down the door before Kinney can shoot himself. Turns out, Lucien’s compulsion about feeling worthless is really sticking. In what might be the nicest Klaus scene ever, the hybrid tells Kinney that “there is beauty in the courage of a fragile fighter, those who persevere despite all they’ve been through, those who still believe there is good in the world.” As he looks at Cami, he tells Kinney, “Us dark things often find we need that light the most.” The kicker? “What you do not see in yourself, others see in you. You do matter.” Klaus tells Kinney to visit his sister and enjoy the holidays. He promises that when he returns, his job will be waiting for him. “You will remember today as your darkest day. Tomorrow will be better. And the day after, better still. You will go on.” Sadly, Cami’s thank you to Klaus is interrupted when Elijah calls with news of their sister predicament. Rebekah might be “the prettiest urgent problem you have ever seen,” but she’s still an urgent problem. Klaus and Cami agree to run to Lucien’s apartment. If the Strix has used that poison for years, Lucien’s sure to have crafted a cure. Meanwhile, Freya informs Rebekah that the stake the Strix used on her was cursed. She’s now infected, and as the mark grows, she will go mad. By the end of it, she’ll be a relentless, unstoppable ripper. Despite her condition, Freya tries to help Rebekah by channeling Finn. Of course, Finn does not think that Rebekah — or any of his siblings — are worth Freya risking her life, but when Elijah enters and offers Freya his blood out of concern, Finn is convinced to give Freya his power.
Sadly, it doesn’t work. Instead, Rebekah’s reunion with Hayley is less than friendly. Ripping into Hayley verbally, Rebekah calls her out on how every time Hayley is looking for someone to blame for her unhappiness, she turns to the Mikaelsons. And remember that time Hayley was going to take Hope away from them? Well, Beks does. And she’s pissed. And don’t even get Rebekah started on the agony that Hayley seems to enjoy causing Elijah. Hayley claims that it kills her to hurt Elijah, but Bekah is more concerned with what will actually be killing Hayley. Elijah steps in just as Rebekah’s eyes go black — so perhaps she’s more demon than ripper? — but she quickly snaps his neck. Klaus then arrives just in time and sends Cami to get Freya the cure to the Strix poison…but not until after Cami hears Rebekah say that Klaus likes to keep Cami behind glass because he’s scared he’ll ruin her, like she’s a breakable object.Once Cami delivers the cure, Freya can complete her spell and rushes down to cut the skull off Rebekah’s arm. Just like that, the family is back together and as normal as they’ve ever been. Hayley thanks Jackson for helping Freya. He tells her: “I was born to love you. If that means I have to deal with the Mikaelsons, then okay. I’m in.” In fact, he’s so in that he’s put together a complete family Christmas for everyone to enjoy. And Rebekah’s brought a little something special to the party: A fire pit. As she, Klaus, and Elijah burn their wishes, they come to the realization that it’s best if the Trinity thinks Rebekah is still at sea. In other words, she can’t stay. But she’s okay with it. As she takes the hands of her two favorite brothers, she says her wish has already come true.
Saying her goodbyes once again, Rebekah apologizes to Hayley, who has finally learned what we all learned in season 3 of The Vampire Diaries — even when you hate Klaus, you love him. As for Klaus, Rebekah tells him, “I’ll run away from love if you’ll run toward it.” Yes, she means Cami. And Klaus seems to like the idea. Sadly, Marcel was not invited to the family Christmas celebration.  Instead, he’s left informing Tristan that Vincent is now regent. The bad news for Tristan is that Vincent is not easily manipulated and is ready to enforce justice on all vampires. The bad news for Vincent is that Tristan has gotten his hands on Finn.  As Elijah and Freya have a lovely bonding moment where she admits that she snuck into a Mikaelson Christmas party 100 years ago and was worried she’d always be an outsider, Klaus and Cami have the moment of their own.   After Cami asks if what Rebekah said about Klaus keeping fragile Cami behind glass was true, Klaus gives what might be one of the my favorite romantic speeches ever. Cami wants to know why Klaus saved Kinney, a stranger, today. “Because you wished it,” he tells her. “Because what’s important to you is important to me. What makes you happy makes me want to keep you so. What scares you I want to tear apart. I do not wish to watch you from behind glass, Camille.” So what does he wish? To kiss her, which he does!
From one beautiful image to another, we cut to an incredibly dapper Elijah walking down the street. When he rounds the corner, we discover that he’s meeting with Rebekah. Freya’s spell/skinning didn’t work. The skull mark is back on her arm. And with that, she hands over a dagger and tells him to hide her body and swear not to tell a soul, especially Klaus, whom she wants to be happy. In a beautiful scene between two of my favorite actors on the show, Elijah refuses to dagger his sister. But Rebekah makes a good argument: It will fulfill the family portion of the prophecy, which will allow the remaining siblings to fully trust one another once again. And once the year that the prophecy foretold is over, Freya can find a cure and wake Rebekah up. With tears in his eyes, Elijah fulfills his sister’s wish … and gives us our Elijah Moment of the Week. But he’s not the only one with tears in his eyes. After Klaus and Cami enjoy a quick makeout, we watch as Cami wakes up and looks startled. Just as we panic that she’s regretting kissing Klaus, we cut to Tristan as he checks in on a freakishly chipper Aurora. It seems Aurora thinks today was a “beautiful day,” which can only mean horrible things. Moments later, Klaus wakes up. Sleeping with his arm around Cami, he sees blood on his hand. Turning Cami over, he realizes her throat’s been slit.
That was an amazing that hour and how anyone who watches will  be in tears come episodes end.  a shocking mid-season finale.

12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: THE ORIGINALS – THE MAP OF MOMENTS

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MAIN CAST
Joseph Morgan (Immortals)
Daniel Gillies (Young Hercules)
Phoebe Tonkin (Bait)
Charles Michael Davis (Battle Scars)
Leah Pipes (Sorority Row)
Danielle Campbell (Behind Closed Doors)
THE MAP OF MOMENTS
GUEST CAST
Claire Holt (Mean Girls 2)
Nathaniel Buzolic (Pretty Little Liars)
Sebastian Roche (Odyssey 5)
Sonja Sohn (Shaft)
Daniel Sharman (Teen Wolf)
Maisie Richardson-Sellers (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)
Keri Lynn Pratt (Cruel Intentions 2)
Aleeah Rogers (Django Unchained)
 We start things off in New Orleans in December of 1914, where Kol, Mary Alice Claire, and Astrid—whom you might recognize from The Originals: The Awakening—are looking for the paragon diamond. Only, by the time they find it, Klaus and Marcel show up, with an even more powerful witch in tow. Within minutes, they’ve got the diamond, and they’ve locked Mary Alice and Astrid in the house, from which they will never escape. The lesson:  Back in present day, Rebekah and Elijah are preparing for the holidays with wreaths, patronization, and a bonfire ritual they used to partake in as a family. While Elijah holds the baby—still one of my favorite images in the entire world—Rebekah prepares the bonfire, and Klaus and Hayley practice another family tradition: Fleeing from one of their deranged parents. Just like that, Hayley and Klaus are reunited with Hope, who wins the emoting award for the adorable smile on her face when Hayley grabs her. Well done, small baby actor. Well done, indeed. Once everyone has reunited, Klaus shares Finn’s story about Dalia and the curse of the first born, which sounds like a Harry Potter book, does it not? Dalia and The Curse of the First Born. Sorry, now’s not the time to worry about Dalia. Instead, Rebekah tells everyone to write down wishes for one another, which they will then burn for good luck. And because it’s Hope’s first bonfire season, they all agree. Or rather, Hayley makes the men participate.
So while the Originals come up with wishes, we travel from Arkansas to New Orleans, where Davina and Kol are performing a spell to protect Cami’s body from Esther’s magic. In other words, Kol is protecting Marcel from the awkwardness of having his old ex jump into his new ex. And once that’s taken care of, he tells Davina that Marcel has the diamond they need to create a Klaus-worthy dagger. And suddenly, Davina is blinded by the accent—or is it the eyes?—and practically rushes to betray her sort-of father. And speaking of sort-of fathers, we catch up with Mikael in the woods, where he’s enjoying a classic holiday tradition: Ripping a werewolf to shreds. But what’s a holiday tradition without family? When Esther shows up—or rather, an illusion of her—Mikael immediately recognizes his beloved. Oh, these two. Move over, Romeo and Juliet! But seriously, these two are so much more fascinating. Apparently, Mikael found out about Esther bringing Ansel back from the dead, so he’s been slaughtering wolves to try to get to him.  With Cami at a loss for how to protect herself, Marcel agrees to let her talk to Finn, but only for a moment. Of course, that moment gets dark fast when Finn starts questioning Cami’s morality and the way she slept with one vamp while “half in love with another.” That then quickly leads into Finn’s discussion of Klaus’ redemption and how he doesn’t believe in it. For the most boring Mikaelson, things are black and white, good and evil. That’s why he intends to kill all the vampires in New Orleans (and all those who stand by them).
Let’s head back to Arkansas, where it’s time for Klaus to write down his wish. After Hayley pulls the “I went through labor and literally died to give you this child” card—because labor wasn’t enough?—he agrees. Well, not really. He basically just tells her to confront Elijah about her upcoming marriage to Jackson. But before she can, Rebekah finds Elijah once again having visions. And in a weak moment, the moral sibling is considering taking Esther’s deal, wondering if their mother will be satisfied with three out of five kids and therefore will leave the rest alone.It’s a fleeting thought, one that’s soon replaced with the how-to’s of #selfies. “Do you think you can cram us into a selfie,” has to be my favorite thing Rebekah has ever said to Klaus. I’ve missed these always-and-forever siblings and their banter. But when said rather impressive selfie has to be burned immediately due to the risks of it getting into the wrong hands, Rebekah is ready to fight back. She agrees to take Esther’s deal, but only long enough to take her mother down with her.  From one selfie-lover to another—Davina’s a teen, right?—Davina and Kol get to snooping around Marcel’s room, during which she finds an old picture of Kol’s less attractive—but still very attractive—self. He then tells her a story about Christmas in 1914, the one time Rebekah did him a solid in helping him get the diamond back from Klaus. More on that later
Using Kol and Davina, the siblings come up with a plan. They will distract Esther by making her do the body-jumping spell for Rebekah and then kill her before she herself can jump bodies. And if all else fails, they can put Rebekah right back into her smokin’ hot body later.Well, before they can worry about that, they have to get Kol on their team, which means one thing: helping Kol to help himself. In exchange for the paragon diamond, Kol is in. But also, he needs his mother’s hourglass, which means he needs to visit his mother, which means he needs to show up with the White Oak Stake in hand. The good news? He gives his word that he’ll return the stake, and even the sketchiest of Mikaelson brothers is good for his word.Once he’s on board, Kol is quick to find a new body for Rebekah to jump into other than Cami and head home to mother. And by the time Rebekah shows up, Esther is ready to do some magic. After a quick cheers of red wine between mother and daughter, Rebekah and Esther head outside to do the spell. Twist number one: Esther asked for the White Oak Stake so that she could destroy Bekah’s vampire body after the spell was complete. So that whole “if this all goes wrong just put me back” thing isn’t exactly an option anymore.And at the first sign of this all going wrong, Klaus shows up to try and stop the spell. But just before the plan is set into motion, Esther lets it slip that she made an alliance with Mikael who wanted the right to kill Klaus. Too little too late, mama. Klaus stabs Esther in the neck just at the right moment as Davina uses magic to protect Cami. Suddenly, Cami and Rebekah both collapse.
Brief pause! You’re angry now, but you’ll  thank me later. Because before we get back to our witchy aftermath, it’s time for our Elijah moment of the week, which is all about one thing and one thing only: Sex. Sex. Sex. Elijah has sex. See, just when I thought Elijah holding a baby would be my favorite moment of the hour, Hayley goes to tell him about the marriage ritual with Jackson. When she says, “I have to marry Jackson,” his face might as well be my face because of all the tears. Dear God, he’s such a pretty crier. And he’s an even prettier kisser. Elijah pulls Hayley in for what must be their most intense kiss yet before he tells her to marry Jackson. It’s the only way for her to save her wolves and make the city a safe place for Hope. . After Cami wakes up, it’s clear that Davina’s magic worked. She’s still herself. As for Rebekah, well, Kol reveals exclusively to Davina that she actually betrayed him in 1914. She told Klaus he was looking for the diamond and in turn, he was daggered. So now? He’s stuck her in the same witch prison as Mary Alice and Astrid. As for Finn, Mikael broke him out. And Esther? Let’s just say Rebekah’s time away made her the smartest Original in town. When Esther wasn’t looking before the spell, Rebekah slipped her blood into her mother’s drink. Therefore, Esther died with vampire blood in her system. Now, she can either “be the thing you hate the most or you can be dead … your choice, which is more than you ever gave us,” Klaus tells his mother.
An amazing episode that left viewers hanging till January of 2015. Simply amazing.

REVIEW: THE ORIGINALS – THE HALLOWEEN EPISODES

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MAIN CAST

Joseph Morgan (Hex)
Daniel Gillies (Young Hercules)
Phoebe Tonkin (Bait)
Charles Michael Davis (Battle Scars)
Leah Pipes (Sorority Row)
Danielle Campbell (Behind Closed Doors)
Yusuf Gatewoood (The Interpreter)
Riley Voelkel (Prom)

GUEST CAST

Sebastian Roche (Odyssey 5)
Chase Coleman (The Americans)
Steven Krueger (Goosebumps)
Nishi Munshi (Jane The Virgin)
Sonja Sohn (Luke Cage)
Daniel Sharman (Immortals)
Colin Woodell (XOXO)
Andrew lees (Carlotta)
Oliver Ackland (100 Bloody Acres)
Rebecca Breeds (Home and Away)
Tracy Ifeachor (Doctor Who)

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LIVE AND LET DIE

The werewolves who have aligned themselves with Esther and Finn, led by Aiden, crash a party the newly formed vampire community are having in Marcel’s loft. Aiden gives Marcel a final warning telling him that he and his army must leave the city as their old deal no longer applies. Camille is talking to her advisor Vincent, unaware that he is actually Finn Mikaelson. She tells him that New Orleans is a city of death and that the people party to distract them from the inevitability of death. Finn asks her about her relationships with the people in her life who are still living. She tells him that she’s attracted to the wrong kind of guy. She talks about Marcel and how she was just a rebound girl for him and that they’re not compatible. She then talks about Klaus, how nothing ever happened between them but he got under her skin. She says that in spite of Klaus’ dark past, there was good in him. Finn remarks that Camille wanted to save Klaus; Camille states that some people don’t want to be saved.  Elijah storms into the compound in search of Klaus only to find Hayley instead. After arguing over some of the wolves decisions to choose to side with Esther and wage war against the vampire community; Hayley threatens that those wolves are still her people and if Elijah chooses to hurt any of them, Esther would be the least of his problems.
On a busy street Camille finally manages to get a hold of Davina, who has been missing for a few days after choosing to take Mikael to her family cabin in the woods. Davina tells Camille that she’s fine and that she would return soon before hanging up on her. Unaware that Klaus had been behind her listening to the whole conversation, Camille is surprised when he remarks that it was rude for Davina to hang up, She chastises him because she hasn’t seen him in months and just decides to show up. He tells her he needs to find Davina because she has brought Mikael back from the dead and is controlling him. When Camille says that Davina didn’t say where she was, Klaus deduces from listening in on the phone call that Davina is at her family’s cabin in Terrebonne parish. Camille agrees to go with him to try and reason with Davina.
Elsewhere, Esther and Kol are busy trying to find where Davina is hiding. After attempting a locator spell which quickly goes wrong, Esther remarks what a clever girl Davina is having managed to block their spell. Enter Finn, who quickly begins to argue with Kol over each others failures to keep track of Davina and get information out of Camille. Esther silences them both, then voices her suspicions that Davina holds the white oak stake and encourages Kol to find her and get it back.
At the cabin, Mikael is busy purging himself of the werewolf venom he contracted from the fight in Rousseau’s. He asks Davina how much longer must they have to hide like cowards. Davina remarks that both Elijah and Klaus now know that he is alive so they must remain hidden until she is able to break the link between Klaus and her friends. Mikael retaliates that confrontation is inevitable and her fear would prove to be their greatest weakness. Davina reminds Mikael that while she might be weak, she is still in control having spelled the bracelet, that allows her to control Mikael, so that it won’t fall off again. Mikael scoffs at her, reminding her that magic can only fight half of her battle. Davina then asks Mikael to teach her how to be strong.
Live and Let Die was another high watermark for what is officially one of the best shows on television.
A WALK ON THE WILD SIDE
On the latest episode of “The Originals,” Marcel got the opportunity of his life- literally- when he was invited to a highly exclusive gala thrown by the mysterious Strix from the elusive Tristan (Oliver Ackland) himself, in “A Walk on the Wild Side,” with promises that he could make something more of himself and gain more power and knowledge than he ever dreamed possible.  Meanwhile, the Originals struggled to make more sense out of the elusive prophecy that predicted the downfall of their family. To that end, they sought out Lucien (Andrew Lees), in hopes of getting more information from the psychic Alexis (Stephanie Cleough, “Sleepover Nightmare”). However, much to Lucien’s shock, she was nowhere to be found, leading him to fear she’d been kidnapped, so the search was on. After calling in a favor with Freya (Riley Voelkel, “The Newsroom”), they were able to pinpoint her location, which Lucien identified as the headquarters of Tristan and the Strix, so a party-crashing was clearly in order. However, Elijah had no need to do so, as he was likewise invited to the soiree himself, opting to take Hayley along as his date, after he and Klaus filled her in on everything that was going on. It turned out that was only part of the story, though.
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It would seem that the Strix wasn’t Tristan’s secret society at all, but Elijah’s, who had founded it long ago, as a way of bringing together the best and brightest of the vampires he’d turned over the years. Unfortunately, he’d eventually realized that such elite types could be rather insufferable, and, as such, had abandoned the experiment altogether at a certain point, leaving Tristan to pick up the reins. This, of course, meant that the Strix were strictly comprised of Elijah’s sire line. Given that, then, Elijah wondered, why had they extended an invite to Marcel, who was sired by Klaus? He feared that it was to get to him or, at the very least, to Klaus, through Marcel, by promising him the moon and the stars in order to get him to let his guard down just enough to weaken him, as Klaus’ right-hand man, thus leaving Klaus vulnerable in the process. Or perhaps simply to kill him, as Marcel was the biggest threat to Tristan from Klaus’ side beyond Klaus himself. In some ways, it was a little of both, as Marcel discovered the hard way, when, upon his arrival at the gala, he was told that he had two options: either he played a little game, or he wouldn’t be leaving that night at all. The initiation rite, as it were, in order to become a member of the Strix, was to determine who stole his daylight ring at a certain point at the party. Once Marcel did so, then he would have to fight that person to the death to retrieve said ring, or die in the process. Further, if he couldn’t determine who had stolen his ring, he would also die in the process, so there was no choice but to participate once he had opted to go to the party, despite Elijah’s warnings to the contrary.
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 This last part might have actually been a challenge if the person- or persons, as it were- who took the ring weren’t so obvious. It was clearly Aya (Tracy Ifeachor, “Crossbones”), and since she had made it a point to introduce Marcel to her “mentor” Mohinder (Jaylen Moore, “The Host”), who she noted, had a penchant for not only killing the people he fought, but to bite them as a sort of finishing move, it was likewise obvious that she’d given the ring to him after stealing it from Marcel. So, when the time came to reveal his answer, Marcel had that answer, at least. However, that still left the fight to the death with Mohinder, and the guy was one tough customer, to say the least. Though at times it seemed that Marcel might be doomed, least of all when Mohinder bit him and prepared to finish him off, it turned out that Marcel had a finishing move of his own. Taking Hayley aside at one point, after having determined who the ring thief was, he had her bite him on purpose, knowing that her bite would prove deadly to Mohinder- at least if he didn’t get the proper antidote in time. Of course, the same applied to him as well, but Marcel bet the farm that he’d be able to get Klaus’ help in that matter, which proved ultimately to be true, though Klaus warned him that he would be a keeping a closer eye on Marcel as a result, lest he end up being the friend-turned-foe that the prophecy warned of. However, after informing Mohinder of his impending fate, he also turned to Tristan and informed him that he might join his posh club, but he would not be killing Mohinder to do so. That, he said, would be up to Tristan. However, Tristan had no problem doing just that, as it seemed there was another reason at hand that Mohinder had been chosen for the final fight. Mohinder was apparently plotting against Tristan and the Strix, so it was a two birds, one stone kind of affair. If Marcel lost, then one of Tristan’s biggest competitors on Klaus’ end was out of the way, and if Marcel won, then he would have taken out someone Tristan felt he could no longer trust. So, to that end, Tristan killed Mohinder, returned Marcel his ring, and welcomed him into the fold, as the first member that wasn’t sired by Elijah. All’s well that ends well, it would seem. Or did it?
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 Unfortunately for the Originals, the other element in the party, Alexis, had a far less happy ending in store for her. After Klaus and Lucien crashed the party and diverted the attention of Tristan and company by acting boorish- not that they needed any reason in that department, mind you, but still- Freya tracked down Alexis on the property, only to discover that Alexis wanted to be there, and had no intention of leaving. Indeed, she placed a choking spell on Freya, nearly killing her, but not before kissing her and telling her that her family would be her undoing. Freya was able to sucker punch Alexis, knocking her out, and thus, removing the spell, and abscond with Alexis back to the Originals’ compound. There, the plan was for several of them to feed on her in order to further determine elements of the prophecy. However, it would seem that someone had poisoned Alexis at some point, and she dies before she can relate much of anything to all concerned, nearly taking them with her. Thankfully, Hayley realized quickly enough of the danger and had everyone back off before Alexis could do them any harm. But who did the deed? Naturally, Tristan claims that Lucien actually did it, in order to keep any further information about his intentions secret, while Lucien maintains it was Tristan. Either way, Alexis won’t be imparting any more prophecies any time soon, but as it turns out, it was actually neither Tristan nor Lucien, anyway. It seems that New Orleans has yet another new visitor, and it’s none other than Aurora (Rebecca Breeds). That was about it, really, but it was a fun episode, nonetheless, with the knock-down, drag-out fight between Marcel and Mohinder an undeniable highlight. I also got a kick out of Klaus and Lucien’s party-crashing antics, especially when Klaus told Tristan he lacked the “flexibility” to be in his little club, because “he could never get his head that far enough up his own ass” to qualify! Lol. Good stuff.
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Also, it should be noted that Hayley looked fabulous in her red dress that Elijah picked out for her from sister Rebekah’s private stash, and the gala itself was something, a true feast for the eyes and senses. It was sort of like the “Eyes Wide Shut” party crossed with the kind of shindig Gatsby would throw. Pretty cool stuff, and an enjoyable episode all around. Also very much looking forward to seeing what sort of havoc the psychotic Aurora will wreak, especially once she gets back in touch with old lover Klaus.