Season 3, Episode 8 (“Ordinary People”)
“When all is said and done, there is nothing more important than the bond of family.” The bond of family is a strong theme in this episode and one that the series touches on often. Through learning about the origins of the Originals and Damon’s attempts to bring Stefan’s humanity, back this episode shows how important familial bonds are to immortal beings. If you have to spend an eternity on Earth, you are going to need someone to live it with. Friends and lovers come and go, but your siblings will always be around in one way or another. Klaus is so afraid of losing his siblings that he carries them around in boxes everywhere he goes. For both sets of siblings explored in this episode (Klaus/Rebekah and Damon/Stefan), their humanity lies in their bonds with their siblings. Even if neither set gets along all that often.
Through flashbacks we learn how the Originals became vampires. Their mother was the Original witch who used magic to turn them into vampires in order to protect them from the werewolves. Mikael, the vampire hunter, was their father. He hated Klaus for his wolf side even before he became a hybrid. He also hated the vampire species that he created, which is why he only feeds on vampires. He just wanted to protect his family, he did not realize he was creating monsters who would feed on humans and turn more people into vampires. Klaus being the most dangerous of them all, he has wanted to kill him ever since he turned him.
But even if his father hated him, Rebekah and Elijah always stood by his side, both when they were humans and after. Even if they hardly ever get along, they have been siblings for over 1000 years, if they don’t have each other they are doomed to spend eternity alone. Similarly, Stefan and Damon are constantly at odds. They fight over what a vampire should be, and of course Elena. But no matter what they do to each other, they are always there to save the other. Damon is a better person when Stefan is a stable part of his life. And this episode showed that the first glimpse of humanity in Stefan came from fear of losing his brother.
We also get a bit of character development for Rebekah beyond just being the mean girl. Elena summarizes her in a statement that could also be talking about herself “she is just a girl, that lost her mother too young, and she loves blindly and recklessly, even if it consumes her”. Parents are pretty scarce on this show (I’m still not sure of the legality of Elena and Jeremy living on their own) and they have all had to grow up pretty quickly to deal with everything. Something that will be bigger for Rebekah later on, but the seeds of are started in this episode, is how much she wants a normal life. She claims to not care about humans but as Elena points out, she cares a lot about what dress she is going to wear to the homecoming dance. She is also on the cheerleading squad and has decided to attend high school for the fun of it. You would think that someone who has been alive for 1000 years would not care about any of this, but if you have never really been able to have those things you will definitely feel like you are missing out.
I think it was this point in the series where I was actually starting to admit that this show was legitimately good. I started off hating it, as is thoroughly documented in my early reviews, then I went to well this is very fun and addicting but I wouldn’t necessarily call it good, and then finally by this point I couldn’t help but admit that the show has depth and that the character development is often just as important as the crazy plots. This is one of those episodes where they use plot to illustrate something about the characters and their relationships with each other which is something the show does a lot more than I ever expected it to.
Episode Grade: A
- An interesting aspect of the Originals characters is how much they draw parallels between them and the main cast – Rebekah with Elena and the Salvatores with Elijah and Klaus. They are much older, and even though time has passed and customs and fashions have change, humanity has not.
- Flashback hair is good for Klaus and Elijah in this episode, they are rocking the long viking hair. Flashback hair is not always so kind (see any episode with 1864 Damon).
- Damon Nickname of the Episode: Papa Original
- Sexual Tension: Two parts in this episode, practicing vampire defense and of course the closing scene.
- Rebekah had a chunky single braid on the side of her head, with that feather tucked in. She is adjusting to the time change very well expect when it comes to hair.
- Stefan: “We should all listen to Elena right? I mean her plans always work out so well don’t they?” Humanity Stefan would never have said this but Evil Stefan says it like it is.
- I feel like Alaric spent this entire episode writing obvious things on sticky notes.
- Damon/Stefan: “Better be careful brother, your humanity is showing”
- Body Count: I guess a lot of people in the flashbacks but I will just mention Henrik, the youngest brother that got killed by the werewolves and Mama Original who Klaus killed (2).