How do you solve a problem like the Mikaelsons?
That was the big question on The Originals Season 5 Episode 8 which played out more like a game show.
It was all about the family being trapped and trying to find a piece of a puzzle to return to the land of the living.
Surprisingly it was one of The Originals Season 5's stronger installments, and the reason for that is that it brought everyone together to make sense of what's happened.
With all of the backstabbing, prophecies, and ancestors returning from the dead to try and wipe them out, it's difficult to get to the root of why these characters act the way they do.
The best parts for me were the throwbacks to Hayley's profound effect on all of them, and I can't be the only one who had to rewind when we learned that it was fifteen years ago Hayley walked into the French Quarter.
Time really flies by on this show, and it's a good thing. I've been very critical of the way Phoebe Tonkin's final episodes were handled, but "The Kindness of Strangers" helped me get over it.
There needed to be something to push Hope to the brink and make this family realize they needed to cut out all of the drama and work on finding a pathway to happiness.
While it was ridiculous that Freya would help Hope without consulting the rest of Mikaelsons, it helped advance the plot. Klaus resolved to his passive aggressive comments to verbally hurt Freya when he learned the truth.
What Freya did could be seen as a betrayal of sorts, but she wants everyone to be back together as opposed to fighting against these villains while apart.
I rolled my eyes so hard when Marcel appeared in this dream-like world and confirmed Hope was in on it all along. In Hope's defense, she feels somewhat responsible for a lot of what has happened.
However, she's quite literally playing with fire by messing with the prophecy, and there should have been a whole lot more research into it before bringing everyone together.
I did chuckle a little when it emerged that Hope had Elijah's key to the door inside a coffin of snakes. Obviously, this was brought on by his part in letting Hayley perish.
Oh yes, Elijah officially has his memories back, and there's no telling what he's going to do to get revenge. The most frustrating thing about this is that the only redemption for Elijah now is if he kills himself fighting whoever the final villain is.
It will all be very similar to Stefan's end on The Vampire Diaries. I hope I'm wrong, but it all seems too convenient not to go down that way.
In all honesty, Elijah adored Hayley, and there's no getting away from the fact that he's not going to be able to move on without redeeming himself.
The first part of that was letting Antoinette move on with her own life after getting the blood. There's no way she's just going to disappear into the night.
It's nice that she's been coming across as a nice person, but she's now lost the man of her dreams, and I just don't see her going into the night without a fight.
The return of Rebekah was a welcome one. There was so much up in the air after her departure because, well, she left Marcel at City Hall as he waited to marry her.
I'm done with all the back and forth in the relationships on this show, so it's difficult for me to really care about that kiss. It will be much easier to get on board with when the series is over, and they get their happy ending.
What was eye-opening about Rebekah's return was the sheer vulnerability of the character. She's always wanted to have a normal life, and she went all-out and admitted that she was jealous of Hayley.
Hayley was always full of strength and made the best of bad situations.
Rebekah's confidence was knocked far too much over the years, and that could be attributed to the constant daggering from Klaus whenever she stepped out of line.
The perfect ending for Rebekah will be seeing her happy with a family. Is that too much to ask after everything?
"The Kindness of Strangers" was a solid episode of this CW drama. The stage is set now for the last-ever episodes, and it looks like the action is going to kick into high gear.
What do you think of all the latest developments, The Originals Fanatics?
Hit the comments below.
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Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.