|“||My daughter has an advantage Klaus never had. She will never, ever know you.||”|
A CELEBRATION OF LIFE — Hayley confronts a surprising enemy as she and her unborn baby fall into peril during a celebratory wake to honor a fallen member of the community. In order to save Hayley, Klaus and Elijah enlist the help of Genevieve who struggles to maintain control over Davina and the other young witches. Camille tells Marcel that Francesca is determined to find a mysterious key that may unlock a family secret. Meanwhile, as Klaus suffers from nightmares of his father Mikael, he is forced to examine his troubled relationship with his own adoptive son, Marcel.
A Closer Walk With Thee, an episode that demonstrates some of the best of what The Originals has to offer when it focuses on the adults, and struggles when its handful of kids are around. The chief evidence of this: Mikael, the Original patriarch, is finally an active participant in the shows proceedings. Hes had some important flashback scenes with major revelations earlier in the season, but hasn't been an active participant yet. But thanks to something going on in Mystic Falls involving Purgatory haven't been keeping up with The Vampire Diaries but it sounds like its Bonnie's fault Mikael can influence the present, disorienting Klaus and Elijah, attempting to kill Hayley, and convincing Davina to resurrect him.
The idea of generational conflict pervades A Closer Walk With Thee, well beyond Mikael. At almost every turn, the older characters attempt to deal with younger ones, and the elder characters are far more interesting. So, after Mikael appears in a dream, we immediately see the witches talking. Genevieve is delivering exposition, but Horrible Monique starts sneering and criticizing. It takes some doing to turn Genevieve into the more sympathetic character, but having Monique be as antagonistic as she is to everyone does the trick.
A far better form of the generational divide occurs shortly after, at the wake for Father Kieran (a convenient title!). Klaus, the youngest sibling, is petulantly nursing his drink when Elijah, the eldest sibling, comes along. And Elijah is on fire in this scene: Far better than your process of grief, Niklaus. Denial, rage, and hoarding coffins in basements.
This is followed by a confrontation between Cami and Francesca, the casino owner who now runs the Human Faction. Francesca doesn't have many scenes in this episode, but she controls each of them. Actress Peta Sergeant is clearly reveling in playing the sort of forthright, dominant character who can take over a scene by motioning for a drink, or raising an eyebrow at a rival. Shes older than Cami and Hayley, those rivals in this episodes scenes, and that gives her power that she may not physically possess as a mere human.
Hayley, meanwhile, finds herself trapped by paternalism. Klaus keeps on demanding her presence in the Original household after the terrorist attack, and Hayley rejects the idea. But after confronting Francesca, and after being stricken by Monique, and after fighting with Mikael, Hayley returns to Klaus control. I understand the narrative value of such a move have your main characters near each other but the question of how much agency Hayley actually that has plagued the series for so long, and seemed at least partially resolved, now rears its ugly head again. Is she actually a character, or is she a vessel for the baby and a love interest for Elijah?
Meanwhile, the episode is also fraught with paternalism from the Cami/Marcel pairing. This isn't a quality issue both actors and character read as roughly the same age but its got power and mythological age issues. Marcel, the centuries-old, powerful vampire, wants to help Cami but cant help but use his knowledge, in order to attempt to manipulate her. But she knows it, and initially rejects, then attempts to embrace on her own terms.
But the main motivator of A Closer Walk With Thee remains the Original patriarch. Mikael's background has hung over this series since its beginning, and his presence has grown increasingly important since the major flashbacks at the heart of the Rebekah arc.The Originals simply has to confront who Mikael is and what he means to the series concept. Based on the events of this episode, it knows this, and is working directly toward it (possibly with Mikael's resurrection in the season finale?) Based on Sebastian Roché's sheer presence, this will be a very welcome change indeed. Between Mikael, Elijah, and Francesca, this was a great episode for the elder generation.
- Antagonists: Mikael and Monique Deveraux.
- Narrator: Hayley Marshall.
- Title meaning: a reference to Mikael's plan to return from the dead and pursue his plans to destroy Klaus and his daughter.
- This is the first ever The Vampire Diaries/The Originals episode to be directed by French director Sylvain White.
- Furthermore, this is the first ever episode to be written by Carina Adly MacKenzie.
- Mikael appears in this episode, marking his first present-day appearance on The Originals.
- A funeral for Kieran was held at St. Anne's Church, followed by a wake at Rousseau's.
- Hayley confronts Francesca, as she suspects she played a part in the Bayou bombings, a suspicion that ends up being correct, despite Francesca's protests to the contrary.
- The events occurring on The Vampire Diaries begin to affect the characters on this show as The Other Side continues to disintegrate.
- Hayley and Elijah kiss for the first time after Hayley almost dies.
- Mikael meets with Davina and asks her to bring him back from The Other Side, as he knows she possesses the power necessary to do it. In exchange, he promises to kill Klaus in order to get revenge on him for all the hurt he's caused Davina.
- Genevieve reveals that she is beginning to get cold feet about sacrificing Klaus and Hayley's child for the coven in exchange for her life, and she pleads with the Ancestors to not make her a monster by forcing her to kill an innocent baby.
- This is the first and the only episode of The Originals in which the Other Side is seen. The imminent collapse of the Other Side frayed the veil between the dimensions enough to where Hayley and Mikael can physically interact with each other during the brief amount of time Hayley spent there. It also makes it possible for Mikael to physically interact with the living world as well.
- The flashbacks of 1820-1835 that were seen in this episode were originally filmed for the second episode of the series, House of the Rising Son, but Julie decided to use them for this episode instead.
- Bonnie Bennett is mentioned for the first time in the series in this episode. She was last seen in Man on Fire.
- Mikael was last seen in Farewell to Storyville on TO and in Homecoming on TVD.
- Timothy was last seen in The Casket Girls, when he was poisoned by Klaus. He's seen only in archive footage in this episode.
- Davina Claire, Monique Deveraux, Abigail, and Francesca were last seen in The Big Uneasy.
- The events of TVD episodes Rescue Me and Resident Evil are referenced in this episode.
- Mikael asks Davina to resurrect him, which she does in the Season 1 finale From a Cradle to a Grave.
- New Orleans
Behind the Scenes
- This episode had about 1.77 million viewers in the USA, which was 0.27 million more than the previous episode.
- Just a Closer Walk with Thee is a gospel song and is one of the most frequently played tunes in traditional New Orleans jazz funerals.
- Just a Closer Walk with Thee is an LP album of spiritual songs sung by Patti Page, released by Mercury Records in 1960 under catalog number MG-20573.
- Mikael: "Greetings, boy."
- Klaus: "My father is literally mocking me from beyond the grave."
- Klaus: "The spirit world is crumbling."
- Hayley: "I'm dreaming. This is a nightmare."
- Mikael: "On the contrary, this is very real."
- Elijah: "She's not breathing."
- Hayley: "The baby!"
- Mikael: "There is no saving that atrocity festering in your womb."
- Klaus: "I won't lose that baby."
- Elijah: "I won't lose that girl."
- Hayley: "No!"
- Mikael: "Welcome to my hell."
- Mikael: "Greetings, boy."
- Klaus: "The dead are being torn away, and they are not interested in going quietly."
- Elijah: "Our father, faced with permanent extinction, is tormenting us. How delightful."
- Marcel: "Kieran rolled into town on a rusty old Cruiser after his daddy died twenty-five years ago. And dammit, that guy could party! That was, of course, before he took his vows. But even then, he was committed to the Quarter. He knew that this town needed him. And, we still do. To Father K!"
- Audience: "To Father K."