For a few months, I was starting to refer to the Vampire Diaries spinoff as The Orthogonals, because it felt purely orthogonal to the parent show, rather than its own lovely entity. But damn if these characters aren't starting to throw off sparks. Check out this actually startling, intense reveal.
Last night's episode was the usual whirl of betrayals and counter-betrayals and counter-counter-betrayals, with Rebekah trying to play the Game of Thrones against her brother Klaus, and Elijah being all stodgy, and Klaus showing yet again that he's really not a very good leader. We met a new super-witch, Papa Tunde, who has a history with Klaus and the Mikaelsons and nearly kicks Klaus' ass — but it turns out that he's just the opening act for Celeste, Elijah's vengeful ex.
But the real hotness in the episode is the flashback to Marcel and Rebekah, when Marcel returns after World War I. Just like nowadays, Rebekah is pissed at Marcel for taking Klaus' side when Klaus keeps daggering her and sticking her in coffins for decades, not to mention killing any man that Rebekah shows a liking for. (Matt dodged a bullet, I guess.)
And then Marcel makes the reveal above — he brought the psycho witch Papa Tunde to New Orleans, hoping Tunde would scare off Klaus or distract him enough for Marcel to try and win Rebekah back. The look in Rebekah's eyes as she contemplates a man being willing to tear everything down for a chance at her favor is really kind of sweet. And then they hatch the plan that winds up bringing Rebekah's scary dad to New Orleans, driving not just Klaus but also Rebekah away. (I'm guessing it goes wrong, somehow, since Klaus thought Marcel was dead.)
Oh, and Papa Tunde keeps calling Marcel Klaus' son, which puts a very different, fascinating spin on their relationship.
In any case, the Marcel/Rebekah romance, which had seemed a bit like both of them playing games for their own ends, is starting to feel a bit more interesting. Also, Cami took a few lurches towards being a real person, standing her ground when Tunde attacks Marcel and generally standing up to everybody. The Originals is showing a few glimmers of hope that it could eventually surpass its aging parent show, the way Angel did in the final days of Buffy.