It’s clear that the Vampire Diaries brain trust has decamped to New Orleans this season. While the parent show has a hard time remembering who their long-running characters are from week to week, this show pulls off a surprising plot twist this week that no one saw coming.
Oh, sure, the foreshadowing (such as it was) has all been in the last two episodes, and it’s not entirely clear that this reveal was always intended. But it did tie to Camille and her recent losses, it did fit in with her instant dislike of Francesca last week, and it does get the focus in the Battle back where it should be: (I’m going to reveal the spoiler now so stop reading if you haven’t watched your recording yet) on werewolves vs. vampires, with witches as the wild card and humans irrelevant as usual.
This show has barely had the time for the human faction since day one, especially when it comes to those who collaborated with the supernaturals. They’ve all been cannon fodder, until Francesca — that she is in fact a wolf too explains that pretty well, and she blew the plot apart this week in ways that keep it from being a redux of Marcel’s last failed coup. She’s been giving us world class Whitney Frost/Madame Masque for weeks, but no one saw her as anything more than a gangster, not even the immortal Originals or the other wolves.
She strikes when the time is nigh, having already won Genevieve’s loyalty (whereas angry, threatening Klaus has lost it in his usual overbearing way). Hayley is too inexperienced to effectively lead her people, or even protect her baby, whom the witches have wanted all season as a pawn in a game they’re still invested in, something about consecrating their power in the Earth or other mumbo jumbo.
It’s actually a pretty amazing set of cliffhangers we get in this penultimate episode. Now that Klaus is linked to the rise of all the wolves using his moon-rings (shades of Bonnie being dependent on the dead who use her as a doorway), he’s finally weaker than some of his foes. Elyse Levesque doesn’t sell every nuance of Genevieve’s complexity, but she does let us feel her need for real love from the Originals (whom she’s been crushing on since Prohibition, even after Rebekah killed her so cruelly). Her twinge of regret at leaving Hayley a screaming victim on the altar of the deconsecrated church with her unborn baby about to be sacrificed is clear.
But evil witches sacrificing a baby in a blood-covered church? C’mon, that’s always where this show wanted to be!
Will Josh recover from Klaus’ bite with Klaus so compromised? Will Davina bring Mikael back to life in order to defeat Klaus? Will Mikael being more than a ghost finally give Sebastian Roche the part in this mythology he deserves (“I have my own reasons for wanting to punish my son, it’s true.”)? Will Elijah run in at the last minute to save Hayley and his nephew? Only if he wakes up in time from the double wolf-bites he didn’t see coming.