Marcel goes for a morning run through the Quarter, which is mostly empty (I think everyone’s still in bed after partying). When he gets home, he finds that someone raided his booze stash and left behind a key, a tux, and a mask. He guesses it was Aya, and when he gets a call from an unknown number, he says something flirty. Too bad the caller is actually Tristan. Marcel finds a black card in the pocket of the tux jacket, this one with an address on the back, above the word “midnight.” Tristan reveals that Marcel’s being considered as a new member of the Strix. This would give him access to resources and power beyond what he has in New Orleans. Tristan doubts that Marcel will give up this chance.
Elijah works out at St. Anne’s, doing to a body bag what I’m sure he’d like to do to Klaus, and maybe Jackson. Hayley finds him there and shows him an invitation she got to the Strix gathering that night. Elijah tries to tell her that that stuff doesn’t involve her, but she orders him, with the help of physical force, to tell her what’s going on. She’s part of the Mikaelson family and thought he, of all people, would keep her in the loop.
Klaus is surprised to see Freya at the Compoound, since last he knew, she was off doing whatever she does when she’s excluded from an episode. (According to Klaus, it’s have lots of sex.) He’d just like to know who’s in his house at any given moment. That’s fair. Hayley and Elijah arrive for a conversation about the friend/foe/family warning. Klaus tells Hayley that Alexis made a prophecy about doom. Hayley snarks that if it’s about his doom, they’re all okay with it. He tells her they’re all in danger, but Alexis’ visions evolve all the time, so who’s to say that he won’t die?
Hayley asks to meet Alexis, so that night, Klaus tracks down Lucien at a Halloween party. Lucien has hired an ex-Navy SEAL as a bodyguard to ensure that Klaus and his sireline remain intact. Klaus and Lucien start drinking together as Lucien says that his company develops technologies that do what seems impossible or unimaginable. Klaus guesses that Lucien values Alexis above everything else. He suggests that they go see her and find out if she can provide any more details about her prophecy. Lucien is more than willing to let Klaus have access to Alexis’ visions, since they’re his best bet for survival. But when they go to Lucien’s Castle, Alexis isn’t there – a rarity, since she doesn’t go outside unless necessary. Lucien says someone must have taken her.
Klaus calls Freya, since the best way to find a witch is to have another witch search for her. Lucien flirts with Freya, who instructs Klaus to tell his “creepy friend” that no matter how attractive he is, she might “turn him inside out and hang what remains from a pole.” When she realizes this is a serious situation and not just an instance where Klaus wants yet another favor, she agrees to help.
Hayley looks through Rebekah’s wardrobe for something to wear to the Strix gathering. Elijah picks something for her and tries to keep his eyes averted as she gets dressed behind a screen. He asks if Jackson’s okay with her plans for the evening. He really wants to know if Jackson’s okay with Hayley hanging out with him. She asks what she’ll be walking into tonight. Elijah warns that the gathering will be attended by the most influential and dangerous group of vampires in history.
The party is your typical high-class masquerade ball, with humans scattered throughout for on-demand feedings. Aya greets Marcel and tells him that it’s an A-list group that consists of celebrities and politicians. Most of the members stay out of the public eye, though. Elijah and Hayley arrive together, and heads turn when he enters the room. He tells Hayley he’s “kind of a big deal” there. She realizes the Strix are all from his sireline. Elijah tells her that he wanted a society of elite, intelligent, civilized vampires. Unfortunately, he wound up with “a legion of egomaniacal sociopaths.” In other words, he wanted a group of Elijahs but he got a group of Klauses instead.
Aya tells Marcel that the party is like a typical New Orleans masquerade. Thanks to their disguises, the poor can become rich (are there poor vampires? Seems like a waste of compulsion if you don’t use it to get everything you need and/or want) and the rich can do whatever they want. The Strix are at the top of the food chain, and they take what they want. Right now, what they want is Marcel. Tristan likes to choose the best of the best and help them become even better. If Marcel joined the Strix, he would be the first member from a sireline other than Elijah’s. Aya says he could bring peace to the warring sirelines. They just need to determine that he’s everything they think he is.
Freya goes to Lucien’s Castle, letting herself in without knocking. Lucien thinks Tristan took Alexis, and he threatens violence if he hurts her. Klaus is more worried about her showing Tristan a vision that could give him insight into what the Mikaelsons might do next. Freya does a locator spell that shows that Alexis is at the Strix gathering. Klaus and Lucien consider their options for fighting their way in.
Aya introduces Marcel to her mentor, Mohinder, who taught her how to do the awesome combat moves she used on Marcel’s crew. He only drinks the blood of vampires he’s beaten in a fight. That means he sometimes goes hungry for weeks, but he’s developed such control of his mind and body that it doesn’t slow him down. Marcel spots Hayley and Elijah, who head to the dance floor together. They spot him as well, and Elijah realizes they’re not at a regular Strix party – they’re at an initiation.
Tristan enters, greets the guests, and singles out Marcel as a VIP. (VIV? Very important vampire?) Before he can learn any of the Strix’s secrets, they’ll have to “determine his worth.” Marcel notes that Tristan approached him like a recruiter. Tristan tells him that someone took his daylight ring, so for his initiation ritual, he needs to figure out who has it and take it back. If he’s successful, he gets to join the Strix. If he fails, they’ll kill him. I hear that’s what happens when you try to join Mensa.
Hayley asks Elijah how Marcel is supposed to beat vampires who are centuries older than he is. Tristan overhears and says it’ll require trickery and courage. The odds aren’t in Marcel’s favor but sometimes new initiates pull it off. Tristan introduces himself to Hayley, who doesn’t hide her disdain for him. He’s surprised that Elijah showed up. He asks what Elijah thinks of Marcel. Elijah calls him stubborn and arrogant, which makes him perfect for the Strix.
Tristan guesses that Hayley and Marcel are friends, since she’s so uncomfortable with the thought of him dying. She confirms their friendship (…eh? Have they talked more than twice?) and adds that she doesn’t like bullies. Tristan wants to let her get to know him better. He invites her to dance, promising to explain the Strix’s “methods.” He asks Elijah’s permission, as if Hayley lets any man make decisions for her, or as if Elijah’s her boyfriend. On the dance floor, Tristan tells Hayley that tonight is her chance to make up her own mind about the Strix. She notes that killing Marcel won’t make a good impression. Tristan says she’ll see the truth, at the very least.
Everyone watches Marcel, waiting for him to start his initiation, as Elijah knocks him for not saying anything about his invitation. Elijah would have tried to talk him out of coming. Marcel says he thought he’d earned the right to be Elijah’s equal, but that’s not how the Mikaelsons do things, so Marcel came tonight to consider his options. At least the Strix won’t see him as a sidekick.
Elijah reminds him that he could easily die tonight. Elijah’s willing to intervene, though he doesn’t like the possibility that he’ll ruin his tux. He’s had it for over 100 years and it’s more reliable than Marcel. Ooh, burn! Marcel says he has this under control. He goes back to Aya and blasts her for not having the same code as his crew. Loyalty means not killing other vampires. She tells him death is inevitable, and acknowledging that makes life more “intoxicating,” even for vampires. After a tense pause, they make out, but Aya guesses that Marcel just wants the excuse to feel her up because he thinks she has his ring.
Tristan knows that Hayley’s a hybrid, the only one who isn’t part of an Original sireline. She’s one of a kind. He flirts with her as Elijah watches from across the room. Just then, a seemingly drunken Klaus and Lucien arrive, along with some costumed dates they apparently went back to the Halloween party to get. “It’s a room full of Elijahs,” Lucien realizes. Klaus said he had a nightmare about that once.
As they call out for Tristan, one of their dates goes up to a room where Alexis is hanging out. It’s a costumed Freya, and she tells Alexis she’s there to save her. Alexis isn’t in need of rescue, though – she’s seen a new vision and knows that Lucien is doomed. She saw Klaus and his sireline die, and she knows exactly how it’ll happen.
Freya tells her they’re in a time crunch and they’re leaving now. If Alexis won’t go willingly, Freya will torture her. But Alexis has already cast a spell to make Freya choke, so she can’t do any spells herself. Alexis has seen a thousand possibilities of what could happen to Freya, none of them good. She snaps her fingers to break the spell she cast, then kisses Freya to show her a vision. It’s of Freya banging on the lid of a coffin, having been buried alive. Her desired connection to her family will be her downfall. Freya, who’s totally unbothered by that warning, just punches Alexis out.
Back downstairs, Tristan tells Klaus and Lucien to leave the party. Lucien insults him for being elitist and boops his nose. Elijah puts on his “this is not how we behave in public” voice and tells Klaus he’s ruining the party and should leave. Klaus mocks all the guests, then heads out.
Aya finds Marcel at the bar with Hayley and takes him for a meeting with Tristan. Even though there was supposed to be an hour left for Marcel to complete his initiation, Tristan has pushed up the deadline to test his flexibility. He needs to name the person who stole his ring now.
Marcel says it was Aya, but she doesn’t have the ring. He knows – after she took it from him, she gave it to Mohinder while Marcel was distracted by Elijah and Hayley. Now Marcel has to take it back by force. And since Mohinder is basically a combat expert, it’s not going to be pretty. Marcel gets thrown through a wall, choked, and pummeled in various ways, but he keeps fighting…at least until Mohinder bites his neck and pushes him up against a wall to be staked.
Mohinder compliments Marcel for his efforts and hopes he’ll “embrace the nobility” of his death. “I will if you will,” Marcel replies. “Or do you still not know?” Mohinder starts feeling the effects of a secret weapon Marcel armed himself with: werewolf venom. Marcel may have failed his initiation but Mohinder is going to lose, too. Mohinder accuses him of lying but Marcel just laughs. A flashback shows that when everyone was listening to Klaus, Hayley bit Marcel’s arm.
Marcel thinks the Strix want Mohinder dead – why else would Aya tell him that Mohinder only feeds on vampires he’s beaten in battle? Plus, Aya showed Marcel a little of Mohinder’s technique the other day. Marcel was observant enough to put things together. But he’s not going to do the Strix’s dirty work and finish off Mohinder. All he’s done wrong is pick a bad group of friends.
As Marcel collapses and Hayley catches him, Tristan approaches Mohinder, pats his shoulder, and rips out his heart. “You chose well,” he tells Marcel. He says that Mohinder deserved to die because he was plotting against the Strix. Marcel demonstrated restraint and integrity by refusing to kill without a motive. This was his real test. Tristan gives Marcel back his daylight ring and welcomes him to the Strix (assuming Hayley’s werewolf venom doesn’t kill him).
Marcel goes to Klaus for his cure, but instead he gets a rant about how stupid he was and how he can’t just walk in and ask for blood now. The Mikaelsons are trying to determine who’s a friend and who’s a foe; meanwhile, Marcel is “pledging a fraternity” of people from another sireline. Marcel says he only took interest in the Strix because of Klaus. He doesn’t get to choose sides – Klaus’ enemies are also Marcel’s. Klaus acknowledges that he’s right and gives him some blood. He adds that their enemies might also come through Marcel, so he needs to be careful.
Everyone gathers in the courtyard, where Alexis confirms that she had a vision of Klaus’ death. Lucien asks about the weapon used against him, and Alexis says it has to be seen to be understood. She offers Hayley and Elijah her arms so they can feed from her and see into her mind. The vision doesn’t give them much other than what the Mikaelsons have already seen, and Hayley and Elijah soon realize that something’s wrong with Alexis’ blood: She’s been poisoned. She dies in Lucien’s arms.
Marcel meets up with Aya in the Quarter and asks when he gets to learn the Strix’s secret handshake. Do they know who killed JFK? She tells him he’ll learn things in time. He asks what she would have done if he hadn’t completed his initiation. She replies that she would have gotten someone to clean up his body and forgotten all about him.
The next morning, Elijah finds Tristan at an outdoor café and tries to gauge whether he killed Alexis. Tristan blames Lucien, since he couldn’t back up his claim that Alexis would have clearer visions that would assist him. The only move he had left to make was getting the visions out of the picture altogether. Elijah tells Tristan that he’s not making a stronger case than Lucien did. He needs proof.
Marcel goes for a morning run again as Elijah and Hayley chat from their respective balconies. She’s concerned about how she’ll explain the Mikaelsons to Hope one day. As Klaus finds a note from Freya telling him she’ll be around all day, Hayley says she won’t lie to Hope, but she’ll start with “always and forever.” Klaus writes a note back to Freya, simply thanking her, as Elijah apologizes to Hayley for not telling her more about what was happening. She guesses that he sired Tristan. He asks her opinion of Tristan, and she says he seems “incomplete.”
Elijah tells her that Tristan has a sister, Aurora. A flashback to the party shows her sneaking into Alexis’ room and poisoning her drink. Elijah’s surprised that Tristan is in town without Aurora, since he has a “pathological” devotion to her. Aurora throws away her mask in the Quarter as Elijah says that Tristan is dangerous. Hayley replies that loyalty doesn’t make people dangerous. Aurora smiles to herself, then walks through the Quarter, no doubt deciding how best to cause trouble next.
Etc.: You just know that Lucien is secretly frustrated that Freya won’t flirt with him. He’s obviously not used to being rejected. Or maybe it just strengthens his attraction to her. It seems like something that would turn him on.
Lucien booping Tristan’s nose was an ad-lib, so props to Oliver Ackland (Tristan) for not even blinking, let alone breaking character.
I like Marcel and Hayley’s tentative friendship. I wish we got to see more of them together.
I also wish we got to see more of Marcel and Aya together, because that would have been a great pairing.
I regret to inform you that Freya doesn’t get much to do this season other than do her siblings’ bidding and disappear for entire episodes.