The Originals Cami Dies

Performer of the Week: Leah Pipes


THE SHOW | The Originals

THE EPISODE | “No More Heartbreaks” (April 29, 2016)

THE PERFORMANCE From the moment Camille O’Connell first appeared in Season 4 of The Vampire Diaries to the moment she bid farewell on Friday’s The Originals, she never stopped looking for her purpose — and, ideally, herself in the process. In fact, during her three-season transformation from bartender to psychologist to vampire, the only constant was Pipes’ commitment to the under-appreciated role.

But she never played into her character’s insecurities. In spite of her dark surroundings, Pipes always infused Cami with a sense of optimism that only made her untimely death all the more heartbreaking.

Well, that and Pipes’ killer execution — so to speak — of her final scenes opposite Joseph Morgan. Every phase of Cami’s death was excruciating, and Pipes sold the hell out of ’em, from her initial strength (“I’ve made my peace with dying”) to her eventual breakdown (“I wanted to be brave”). And don’t even get us started on her “Maybe that’s just how you know you love someone” line, spoken to Klaus. Much like Cami after receiving Lucien’s fatal bite, our tear ducts never stood a chance this week.

Of course, the other tragedy of the episode was that we were given a glimpse into what could have been, but ultimately would never be, between Cami and Klaus. With their characters finally willing to drop all pretenses, Pipes and Morgan’s chemistry — previously inhibited by Klaus and Cami’s inability to make sense of what they had — got to shine for several glorious minutes.

We may never know Cami’s full potential as a character, but like ol’ Niklaus said, we’ll carry Pipes’ performance with us for a nice long while.

unnamed-3HONORABLE MENTION | Arrow’s Quentin Lance mourned his daughter Sara twice only to lose her a third time when she left town. And in his experiences with Team Arrow, he has witnessed the impossible, often. So in the wake of Laurel’s tragic death, Paul Blackthorne alternately illustrated the despair and desperation of a father who doesn’t know which way is up anymore. (Just look at his face searching for any alternative when Nyssa nixes the Lazarus Pit notion.) It was a painfully sobering exchange with Oliver, though, where Blackthorne made the surreal too real, as Quentin explained, “When I became a drunk, when no one else believed me, she did. She’s been my rock.” He then corrected himself, “She was my rock,” before crumpling to the pavement in sorrowful acceptance, us alongside him.

New GirlHONORABLE MENTION | Hannah Simone has repeatedly proven herself to be an undervalued part of the New Girl ensemble during the Fox comedy’s nuptial-heavy Season 5. Her stealth comedic talents were never more apparent than during Cece’s bachelorette outing in “A Chill Day In,” as her stoned alter ego attempted to shoplift a bread maker, momma-bear a mall cop and figure out why we’d ever need shoes if socks had been perfected. Also perfect? Her delivery of the line “I can not deal with Derek right now.” We, however, can’t get enough of Simone.

Loretta Devine carmichael showHONORABLE MENTION | Where does depression hurt? Surprisingly, on NBC’s Sunday-night comedy The Carmichael Show — thanks to a layered, heartbreaking turn by Loretta Devine. As family matriarch Cynthia came to terms with her months-long and very secret case of “the blues,” Devine managed to make her character’s deeply rooted denial both funny and poignant. When Maxine finally broke down in front of her entire family — admitting her own desires were so consistently put on hold in service of her family that she didn’t even know her own fast-food preferences — it brought a pin-drop hush over a studio audience that spent most of the installment in a state of raucous laughter. Later, though, as Cynthia hilariously learned the joys of unburdening to her therapist — slapping a wad of bills on the table to “keep the meter running!” and finish a tale of smoking cigarettes during both of her pregnancies — Devine underscored her versatility, and her comic timing, too.

Which performances knocked your socks off this week? Hit the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. silverpetticoatreview says:

    Well deserved! Leah Pipes was amazing in those scenes. It was such an honest reaction to facing death. The denial. The acceptance. The fear of not having truly lived. And then the optimism there at the end mixed with a bittersweet sadness. So much nuance presented in just a few minutes. Cami is an underappreciated character for sure as is Leah Pipes as an actress. And the chemistry between the two actors was palpable. She will be missed.

    • Lambsilencer says:

      To be honest, this episode clearly showed what a bunch o fine actors “The Originals” has when given good material. Aside from the truly deserving Leah Pipes, I think Joseph Morgan, Danielle Campbell, Phoebe Tonkin and Charles Michael Davis are very much on the same level here. I know many people don’t like Davina, and it often sure seems like she’s just a little girl trying to play in the adult world, but Danielle clearly showed her acting chops here. Her trying to stay strong with the underlying pain and grief trying to break free, she really made me feel for Davina. And Joseph Morgan was, as always, just phenomenal.
      So, yeah, Leah deserved this, but she had great help from all sides to make this a really memorable episode. I’ll sure miss her.

      • Shru says:

        Good lord not Phoebe Tonkin. She’s absolutely terrible, the worst actress on the CW, which is a network that wins in bad acting.

  2. Dude says:

    Hell yes to Leah Pipes and Loretta Devine! They were both phenomenal this week. However, I disagree about Paul Blackthorne. He’s usually great and I was expecting him to knock this out of the park but it felt really forced. He failed this episode.

  3. Bwhit says:

    She was great the whole episode but it was her last scene with Joseph Morgan (he was no slouch himself) talking about Klaus’s daughter that blew me away. I also like her choices in her will, a little something she shared with a few characters throughout the series. Great choices with Leah Pipes and Paul Blackthorne

  4. Brenda says:

    Yeah not so much. The whole episode was one of the corniest I’ve seen in awhile and that’s saying something with The Originals. Cami and Klaus’ chemistry was nonexistent. Hope Leah finds work quickly so she can prove she’s a better actress than she was on the originals. So happy Cami no longer exists in TO universe. Sorry not sorry!!

  5. Jen says:

    First of all, THANK YOU for giving Leah Pipes the recognition she so deserves.
    Leah Pipes was just amazing and I felt for her in every scene.The show has lost an amazing character and an even more amazing actor because the writers thought her character had “run it’s course”.Frankly, I’m not buying that excuse because they changed her character arc this season and anyone who watches the show could see a potential SL with the dark objects and human faction. I don’t know if it was the shipper hate or budget cuts that led to this decision but I as a Cami fan feel extremely disappointed in the writers and the showrunners. I have lost ALL my interest in this show and I’m never watching this show again.
    I really wish with all my heart that Leah lands a role in one of the networks meant for mature audiences where her character is not “under- appreciated”.

    • Trista says:

      I totally agree with you! There is no way her character had run its course! Why even have her turn into a vampire if that was the case. I’m not pleased at all that they killed her off.

    • Luci says:

      I agree with you all the way I’m done with the show

    • Sam says:

      I completely agree here. The character did not run it’s course, just as Cami was reaching a higher potential in the series the writers kill her off. For what? Shock value? Heartache on Klaus? To appease the crazed teen fans obsessed with “Klaroline” mess? It was a waste of a wonderful character, strong leading lady. There were so many other ways they could have taken this character with a story of her own.

      They’ve killed off one of their strongest female leads. Leah’s performance was amazing throughout the series. Saying this character will never return to the series? It’s a huge mistake in my opinion. Anyone with a sense of maturity would have respected the character for what she was, even aside from her love connection to Klaus. She was strong, brave and compassionate. Klaus wasn’t the only one she was connected to and aided throughout the series.

      Everyone I know loved Camille O’Connell and Leah Pipes on the series, this last episode has brought nothing but disappointment for us and a loss of fans who no longer care to even watch it.
      It’s a shame that Cami is gone.
      Needless to say, I won’t be tuning in to watch this series anymore.

  6. spindae2 says:

    Yesterday two very talented but highly underused actresses on TO left us. Leah was extrairdinary. The whole energy she brought to the table was just a ray of sunshine. I loved every tidbit of it. Just excellent.
    Danielle’s Davina also died and she proved yesterday how amazing she was. Davina had so much potential but the writers made so many wrong choices with her after resurrecting her back in S01.
    I wish both girl a bright future and hopefully for me projects in I will check out.

  7. citizenlen9 says:

    Much well deserved honor. It was Cami’s Swan Song and Leah gave it her all. I will miss the Brave Bartender and will follow her in all her endeavor.

  8. Leah Pipes has proved to be great as she already had so many times. Amazing actress

  9. Shru says:

    Absolutely agree with this! I didn’t think that Cami’s death would sting this much! That last scene where Cami was dying was so heartbreaking and Leah’s performance proved that she truly was one of the most under-appreciated characters on the show. It’s a shame that they got rid of their strongest performer keep probably the worst performer on TV (Phoebe). Also Klaus and Cami’s relationship was so sweet. Gonna really miss Cami.

  10. Jbj says:

    Leah was certainly under-appreciated and I bid her a fond farewell. I will miss her scenes with Yusuf Gatewood. They had the tendency to layer their characters’ conversations so well that I really came to appreciate S2 Cami and Finn-Vincent more than I had S1 Cami and Finn-Finn. Some of their scenes were like watching Tony Soprano and Dr. Melfi.

  11. I’ve liked Leah since her Life is Wild days and will miss Cami

  12. Pam says:

    I was never a Cami fan. I believe that the writers never explored her true potential as a character. Last night episode, made me to a true Leah Pipes believer. She really did give it her all. Yes there was some corny moments, but I love the range she has from optimism to denial. I wish her all the best. Sadly even I am starting to think the writers on TO really have nowhere to go with this current storyline.

    • EAB says:

      There are so many directions the writers can pursue. I, too, agree that Leah Pipes was outstanding in the final scenes. Very believable and her range of talent truly shone. I actually felt like I was there in that moment with coming to terms and demonstrating what we all will feel when it’s our time. Joseph Morgan was also outstanding. As far as the writers developing the storyline for future episodes – there is so many directions that could work well. Let’s see if we are are pleasantly surprised.

  13. AppleEye says:

    Well deserved! Gonna miss Leah/Cami. And while we’re celebrating Leah’s nomination, may I suggest Julie Plec for the Razzie Award 2016? If you’re female, black or gay you may find yourself on her ‘Run Its Course List”, but TVD’s Matt Donovan is still alive and kicking. I’m telling you, if that isn’t brilliant tv making, I don’t know what is.

    • Cathie says:

      Matt Donavan does nothing. Really, I mean, what does he do? I don’t understand Julie Plec.

      • ChrisGa says:

        Exactly. I think of all the characters that have bitten it–in this case, pun intended–and, yet, Matt is still kicking. Unfreakingbelievable.

    • Shru says:

      UH SO TRUE. I like Matt but for god’s sake he has had nothing to do! Along with Enzo and Ric. But hey Plec can’t get rid of them, she needs the eye candy right? I mean why shove off a talented actress with potential when you can keep eye candy around eh? Alec should be criticised for this, but the originals isn’t relevant so nothing’s gonna happen

    • Luci says:

      Lol I agree

    • Shantel says:

      I’m still pissed about them killing CAMI… I got a SL they could left her human she could been a hunter like useless matt.. Being Klaus sire line is broken all these things coming she could been useful in that way well as giving him true happiness or body jump up until Lucian was dead idk hmmm what if CAMI and Klaus had sex since he half wolf could she have gotton pregnant as well how she have handle that well guess we never know would we cause her SL had it run why the hell is Vincent still on the show or josh really oh maybe CAMI dark objects could let them go to the other side see who behind them dumbass ancestors which if I was a writer I have it then out to be the child that was killed that forgot about he would been a witch when he died he on the otherside some how pissed they not only lived a full life they immortal that along makes him hate them hate his mom for not saving him well I’m stop giving out great SL for these idiots not be paid for my SL I’m no longer a fan of T.O. been not a fan of dumb T.V.D I stop looking at that show long ago it full of dumb SL and dumb crossovers for no reason at all

  14. Patrick Maloney says:

    I would love to see the cast of Daredevil get some appreciation from this column, especially Elden Henson!

  15. Cathie says:

    Julie Plec ruined something spectacular. Leah Pipes is an incredible actress and her character had so many possibilities. Congratulations to Leah for shining in her moment. Julie Plec, find another career.

    • Joy says:

      Cami (the fictional character) wouldn’t have existed at all without Julie Plec. They are telling a story, if you can’t deal with the way the story is being told because they aren’t doing what you wanted, stop watching. It’s super simple. Alternately, become a writer and a show runner, make your own show, tell your own story and then, if it happens to be a success, see how many people tell YOU to find a new career because they didn’t care for your choices. Grow up.

    • Stacey says:

      I wouldn’t blame Julie. If you want someone to blame, blame Narducci. He’s still hiding from twitter. He’s the one who wrote the episode and didn’t give Cami any development. Poor LP, hope she finds a much better role!

  16. Katie says:

    Her performance was so good. She went through all the stages of facing death and I’m glad they wrote that in because it made Leah’s performance all the more stirring. Those last lines she delivered, holy crap I was in tears! I cannot say enough about Joseph Morgan-he is phenomenal and played off of Leah so well. I also liked the part where Cami has Klaus writing out her will. Poor Vincent. He really was feeling the guilt this episode. Actually, Yusuf Gatewood’s performance was just as palpable as Leah’s and Joseph’s last night. I loved Hayley expressing how much the Mikealson’s and herself owed so much to Cami. Fantastic episode.

    • Bwhit says:

      Elijah got me too when he shut down Vincent and Freya talking about body swapping her and letting her go with grace.

  17. Maryann says:

    Cami was my favorite character on The Vampire Diaries. Why on earth would they kill her off? I wanted her character to get back on an even keel and watch her moving forward.

  18. Tiffany says:

    She was never on The Vampire Diaries.

  19. Spence says:

    I know she was already featured, but Alison Wright as Martha on The Americans was phenomenal this week. So heartbreaking.

  20. Steven says:

    Someone is really underrated : Emily Hampshire on 12 Monkeys. She’s really great in the role of Jennifer Goines. Between fragility and crazyness. Her work on this week episode was great

  21. BrianR says:

    Done after this season.NoLeah no reason to watch since Claire Holt isn’t on anymore.

  22. Kayla says:

    Paul Blackthorne’s performance was phenomenal !!!! 😍

  23. Hege says:

    I think the acress playing Martha should get the recignition. She was awesome this week.

  24. Nate says:

    Leah’s an amazing actress and her character of Cami O’Connell too was amazing. To just cut her out like that was disappointing to say the least. She was the only woman that ever really belonged with Klaus, someone who accepted, unconditionally loved and understood him.

    Let’s hope the writers get some sense and someday – bring her back.
    They did it with enough characters on TVD. So Writers for The Originals, how about we never say never and give the fans some hope of seeing this lovely character and talented actress again.

    I’m reluctant to even watch this show anymore. It has so quickly lost its appeal to me.

  25. Judy says:

    I love Leah Pipes. She’s amazingly talented and truly deserves more credit for her work! I really hope the Originals writers reconsider and will bring her back to the series in the future.

  26. Trish says:

    Well done Leah. I have loved Cami throughout TO. She was the heart, light and moral compass of the show for me. I now wish they had let her die in ep 10 as Cami wished. It would have felt more organic and true to the character choosing to die rather than transition. They could have done a similar vision scene then with Klaus at her side. I hope Leah finds a new job soon where she will be appreciated in the way her talent deserves. Right now I feel I’m done with this show.

  27. How on earth did you not pick Amir Arison from “The Blacklist?” This week’s scenes with Aram were a quietly powerful portrayal of grief from the character who’s quietly become the beating heart of the series.

  28. am not all happy to see Leah pipes leave the show. A bit disappointed I mean to some point in time she’s the reason I watch the the show. Great acting.

  29. fiberlicious says:

    What does James Spader have to do to get a POTW nod from you?????

  30. Angus says:

    Notice all the great performance by CW actors, Last week Morgan’s on the 100 was stellar and Pipes this week. The CW needs more recognition from the MSM. But alas this genera is not well received by award shows.

  31. Amy says:

    Well deserved by Leah Pipes. I always thought she was one of the best actors on the show. Her scenes with Joseph Morgan in particular were always top notch. That’s why I can’t figure out why Julie Plec thought it was a good idea to let her go instead of one or two others. But then when have any of Ms. Plec’s decisions made sense? I have decided to give this show a miss in the future because I feel as if the writers have thrown in the towel and will give in to Klaroline shippers and completely destroy the show’s credibility.

  32. Patrick Maloney says:

    Scott Glenn… He deserves it every week but his performance on Daredevil deserves it this week specifically!