The Originals Season 2 Episode 1 – TV Review
Move over, TVD.
Your much better successor has arrived.
I’m just happy there’s no Elena, really.
TL;DR Everyone is still rabidly focused on reclaiming New Orleans; Klaus, Elijah, Hayley, Marcel, Camille, and Josh work together to rout Francesca and end her tragically short run as queen of the castle; Esther has indeed revived not only herself, but Finn and Kol (bad move, honey), too; Davina still has Mikael locked up.
Sadly, there’s no UST between them. Because she’s 15 and he’s a billion.
The major plot of the episode follows our heroes as they overthrow Francesca, who has been ruling New Orleans since last season’s finale. They may not all be best buds, but everyone plays their part in dividing and conquering Francesca’s forces, which includes reclaiming and nullifying those pesky moonlight rings. After an impressive body count is racked up, Francesca escapes Elijah’s assault, but is eventually caught and murdered by Hayley in retribution for trying to kill her baby. With the Quarter up for grabs again, Klaus suggests Hayley should unite the remaining werewolves and forge an alliance with the vampires or whatever. Which is probably a good idea, because Esther, still inhabiting the body of Harvest girl Cassie, could bring the witches back around for another rumble. You never know. Meanwhile, Davina keeps Mikael bound and fed while she tries to figure out how to kill Klaus without also killing his whole sire line. Meanwhile, Josh and Marcel are recruiting warrior-minded humans to increase their vampire army numbers. And Rebekah is glimpsed at the start of the episode tending to baby Hope.
Rebekah deserves better than babysitting duty, but after her disappearance last season, I should probably be glad she got a scene at all.
Watching The Originals reminds me of The Vampire Diaries in its prime: everything is mildly epic, important, exciting, and at stake. TVD lost all those qualities after it kept going on and on for 5+ seasons. And I fully expect The Originals to suffer the same pain.
But for now, we’re only in the second season, baby.
Let’s enjoy our golden age while we’ve got it.
Why I hate this episode:
The central premise of The Originals, however, is still pretty tenuous. “Let’s risk everything all the time always so we can live in New Orleans.” The point still to be made is “just move, you idiots.” I’m aware that it’s a necessity that everyone insists on staying in New Orleans (so the show can, you know, exist), but they’re only staying there out of sentimentality or pride. Which are things you might want to reconsider when there’s blood wars and genocide continually raging around you.
Esther joins the stupidity fray this episode, with her goal being to make New Orleans her new home. What happened to your goal being to slaughter all your children, honey? That Esther was way cooler. Though, knowing how much she enjoys child-slaughtering, it could all just be a ruse to get Klaus, Elijah, and Rebekah close enough to end them.
Makes you wonder why she bothered semi-resurrecting Finn and Kol, then. Surely there were better ways to enlist help than to bring back to life the children you spent centuries trying to kill. Especially Kol. He’s untrustworthy as hell, baby.
This episode squashes two of the most vital developments of last season’s final arcs. Namely, Francesca’s rise to in-power mob boss, and the moonlight rings. Francesca is rather unceremoniously killed by Hayley on the side of the road, and it doesn’t take much effort to round up the moonlight rings and neutralise them. Wasteful.
Also, Francesca was cool. Super wasteful.
Jackson is still oddly MIA. Oliver gets some play as a featured goon of Francesca’s. Not that I miss Jackson (at all. Seriously), but, like, what happened to him?
Camille dumps Marcel near the end of the episode so she can go back to living a normal life. Bitch, you know this city is infested with vampires, werewolves, witches, and hybrids. That shit ain’t normal. You need to move.
Hayley and Klaus bitch and moan around like their baby is dead. I remember Marcel got his memories of Hope being alive compelled away, but I’m pretty sure Hayley and Klaus know she’s alive. Relax, you two.
Hayley lets Oliver live. Goddammit.
Oh, and Hayley bitches about how being a hybrid sucks because of the vampire side. We’ve heard it all before. Don’t bother.
But it’s not all bad:
Being a hybrid makes her a complete badass, though. She singlehandedly kills 8 puny werewolves all by herself. And with Klaus depowered due to the moonlight rings, she’s only second to Elijah in the power stakes this episode. She’s a beast. See, Elena? Female characters can be not pieces of shit. Hell, Caroline should have shown you that long ago.
Despite his predicament, Klaus manages to hold his own. He uses paintbrushes as throwing knives and spears two werewolf goons in their throats when they attack him at the compound. Then he casually uses their blood to make a painting. Because Klaus is equal parts homicidal monster and gentle artist.
Elijah earns MVP this episode, though, when he head-on assaults Francesca’s mansion HQ. He splatters most of the guards on the grounds, while Francesca and her remaining posse cower inside. When he comes to the door, Francesca gloats that he can’t get in because she hasn’t invited him. Elijah takes that opportunity to inform her that he successfully lobbied to have her lovely home heritage listed (or something something real estate jargon. You get it), which makes it publicly accessible property, and he don’t need no invitation. Francesca is, appropriately, horrified.
And points to her, she somehow manages to escape him. She doesn’t get far before Hayley rips her throat out. But hey, she tried. I’ll miss her.
Josh is basically the new Thierry now, as he’s Marcel’s little right hand man. Their recruiting process involves picking up tough-looking humans, giving them a vague pep talk about being strong and immortal or whatever, then compelling their memories away. Only the ones truly interested enough will have the instinct to seek Marcel out again to join the fight. A rock chick girl turns up on the doorstep at the end of the episode. So now that Josh is Thierry, it looks she’s gonna be the new Josh. I hope I can hate her as much as I did him.
Camille seems to already be suffering the karmic retribution of her dumping of Marcel. She goes to meet Vincent, the man who will be supervising her residency while she completes her psychology (she’s studying psychology, right?) course. And Vincent happens to be the vessel for Finn. At least Camille proved herself useful in the Francesca takedown plan. Keep up the sometimes good work, girl.
Kol is inhabiting a dashing young man named Caleb, who has taken Davina’s fancy. He better hope he doesn’t end up like her last love interest.
Davina’s leashing of Mikael makes sense now: she wants to find a way around the sire line aspect of Klaus’ death. To protect Josh (and Marcel?), I assume. For the time being, Mikael is brooding in the attic and totally under Davina’s control. He still has the invinci-stake, too.
Oh, and I’m going to take Camille’s dumping of Marcel as a first step towards getting back together with Klaus. It simply has to be.