True story: I have started and stopped tonight's The Originals review four times and can't complete an opening sentence because tonight was so good I don't even know where to begin.
Seriously, from the opening scene to the final moments, The Originals Season 1 Episode 20 was just fantastic.
It might be my new favorite episode. Maybe. Why?
HAYLIJAH! And the return of Mikael from The Other Side. Yes, that Other Side.
So that whole "The Other Side is disappearing" storyline from The Vampire Diaries season 5 is bleeding over into New Orleans and it's giving us someone many of us love to hate, and maybe for good.
He's using the disintegration of supernatural purgatory to plague his children with nightmares of their father, preying on Klaus' deepest insecurities that he won't be a good dad. That, coupled with the intermittent flashbacks showing Klaus and Marcel's early days when Marcel was still just a boy, only further Klaus' resolve to prove he's not Mikael.
The opening scene with Klaus at the funeral opening up the coffin to find a baby inside was really ominous given the witches' demand that the baby die if Genevieve wants to live. It seemed like more than just a nightmare and I kept waiting for Klaus to make the connection between finding his baby in a coffin in his dream and the witches wanting her dead, but that didn't happen.
It didn't need to happen, though, because he's determined to protect her at all costs anyway, particularly since Mikael is there to tell him that he can't do this.
Mikael is also plaguing Elijah's dreams, but we don't get to see any of those. We do, however, get to see him go up against Hayley when she collapses and is temporarily dead.
One request, dear writers: Can we PLEASE get more badass Hayley moments in the future? We got two tonight and I demand at least a dozen more! Watching her fight back against Mikael, seeing the wolf in her eyes and hearing the mom in her voice, it was pretty great. I'd have no complaints if she did that on the regular.
Mikael tried to poison her against Klaus, but it didn't work. The girl who grew up with no parents doesn't understand Klaus' loyalty to Mikael and why he allows Mikael to have so much power over him. Klaus telling Hayley that he does want her there so that they can raise their child together following her compliment that she knows nothing Mikael said about Klaus is true might be one of the sweetest moments between the two we've had.
But the sweetest moment, maybe in the history of Klaus' character, goes to his reveal of the nursery he's created for their baby.
Cue all the "awwwwwwwww" sighs from the females in the audience, right? (Right. Because I definitely let one of those out when he showed her what he's been up to while she's been in the bayou.)
And then there's that kiss between Hayley and Elijah that took place in that nursery, no doubt meant to be symbolic of the weird relationship between the three of them. He was frightened he would lose her and she decided that was the time to go for it. AHH!! Perfect.
Hayley and Klaus aren't meant to be together, so there should be no reason for Hayley and Elijah not to be together, but still there's something triangular about the fact that Hayley and Klaus are having a baby together. It's actually quite interesting and the dynamic between the trio is one reason I'm pulling for Hayley and Elijah.
Then there's the hope that we'll get more shirtless Daniel Gillies scenes. I won't lie and say I'm not hoping for those.
But first they have to take care of Mikael.
Given how thoroughly pissed off he's made the three of them, his only hope is that Davina has no lingering loyalty to Klaus for pardoning Josh. Otherwise, Mikael's going to peace out when purgatory does, and the other side is going away, for sure.
It's almost too bad the witches in New Orleans won't perish right along with whatever other supernatural beings are over there because--and I NEVER thought I'd say this--I actually kind of don't want Genevieve to die just yet. I felt really bad for her when she was begging the ancestors to let the baby live and they made her bleed from her face.
Maybe it's the mom in me but there's a lot I'm not loving about Monique being a little murderess trying to kill a baby and I sort of loved Genevieve's tearful "she's just a baby. Don't make me a monster." plea.
Or maybe it's just that Monique is SUPER creepy because I know there's no way they'll kill the baby. Miracle baby is safe. Genevieve, however, maybe not.
All of that and we haven't even mentioned Cami and Marcel yet! (See!? Super packed episode!)
Marcel's furlough allows him to stay in the city long enough to bury Father Kieran and comfort Cami, which he does. But he also ends up telling Cami about the key Father Kieran wore around his neck.
It unlocks something that can be used to rid New Orleans of supernatural forces should there ever be a reason to clean the city.
Francesca wants it, so naturally Cami doesn't want her to have it. (Good girl, Cami!)
While Marcel had hoped to keep Cami out of the supernatural goings-on, it's like she herself said, she just keeps getting pulled back into it. When she realizes that Kieran gave Sean the secret to the city, she knows that she's now the rightful representative of the human faction in New Orleans.
Watching her dethrone Francesca should be fun to watch.
What did you think about The Originals Season 1 Episode 20? What's your reaction to Haylijah? Should Mikael be brought back from The Other Side?
Here is your first look at The Originals Season 1 Episode 21, "The Battle of New Orleans."
Miranda Wicker is a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.