The Originals Season 4 Episode 1 – TV Review
With The Vampire Diaries, at long last, dead and buried, it’s time for The Originals to see if it can stand on its own.
Oh, honey. It’s been doing that just fine since last season.
TL;DR Five years after last season’s finale, and Marcel rules New Orleans with his pet demon Klaus in the basement; some visiting European vampires try to stir up trouble but Klaus and Marcel deal with it; Vincent is apparently in charge of the witches or something; Hayley gets what she needs to cure and awaken the dormant Originals.
And a mysterious witch threat looms over them all. As per usual.
So let’s kick off in old New Orleans. Marcel is back to his preferred status as vampire king, while he secretly keeps Klaus chained, but no longer Papa Tunde knifed, in the basement of the now-abandoned compound. A fleet of European vampires led by an old nemesis of Klaus’ (who isn’t?), Duchannes, demands to see and kill their sire, having deduced that his life is linked to the other Mikaelsons. Klaus plays Marcel by feeding him bad intel, but in the end Duchannes ends up dead thanks to Klaus, and Marcel remains in control. For now. Meanwhile, Vincent is the preacher/leader of his little church sanctuary. He flirts with a hot single mum, but is pestered by Marcel to help with the Duchannes thing. He also fields enquiries about an ominous emblem that’s been appearing all over New Orleans and seems to be connected to the witches. As evidenced by Hope, now a little girl, drawing it unconsciously. And Hayley has made good on her pledge to revive the Mikaelsons. She has found a cure to Freya’s poison, had the hex siphoned out of Rebekah (Ginger Spice?), and tracks down the last remaining werewolf of the seventh werewolf bloodline to complete a potion, that Freya whips up, to heal Kol and Elijah. Elijah and Hayley reunite sexily and proclaim that they will rescue Klaus to restore their family.
Fuck, Marcel just barely took care of one Eurotrash ordinary vampire. Is he ready for a full-on Mikaelson siege? I know I am.
God, it’s good to be back in the TVD-verse and actually care about the characters. The Originals has historically swung up whenever TVD swung down. And there’s no bigger swing down than cancellation, so I expect The Originals could have its best season yet.
Still miss Camille, though.
Why I hate this episode:
As an early sidebar, I’m worried that the Camille appearances shown in the trailers will amount to nothing more than ghostly nags while Klaus is hallucinating or something. Although, I assume The Originals must have learned from Arrow that disrespecting a dead female lead is not a recipe for success. I’ll stay cautiously optimistic for the moment.
But I think it’s fair to say that this moment may be all The Originals has left. It’s always rated lower than TVD. And if we’re being honest, it would be odd for it to exist in a world without TVD. I think this could be the final act for The Originals. Let’s cross our fingers that it doesn’t fuck it up as hard as its parent show.
Jana from Containment (remember Containment? Nobody does) plays the werewolf from the seventh clan that has the blood Hayley requires. And despite Hayley’s promise to release her once the Originals have been revived, Freya reneges on the deal and intends to keep her around pragmatically to manufacture more elixirs for Marcel’s super venom. Teacher from Containment popped up in TVD’s final season, and did not do it any favours. Oh, dear.
With Hope now a child, it’s going to be harder to find reasons to excise her from episodes. Given how the twins turned out on TVD, that’s not comforting.
We don’t get to see Kol or Rebekah wake up. Aww.
I couldn’t tell whether Marcel’s aide was a vampire or not, which kept distracting me whenever she was on screen.
Josh is a DJ. Who cares?
Oh, and Vincent’s status is poorly defined. I think he’s the witch leader still, but is he also the leader of the other factions? Because his sanctuary is non-supernatural-being-denominational. Huh?
But it’s not all bad:
It’s a miracle that after his tumultuous Season 2 outings that I actually don’t hate Vincent, anymore. His role remains nebulous, but I’m kind of into his little flirtation with Maxine, the hot single mum. When her son got abducted (?), my first thought was Eva, which I suspect he will mention at some point once the son’s disappearance is confirmed.
Vincent also delivers the mention of Camille this episode to a chained Klaus. He reminds Klaus that Camille believed there was still good in him. Along with the thousands of years of mass murdering and betrayals and stuff, but good nonetheless.
The relationship between Marcel and Klaus has found new purpose. Marcel pouts and struts that he’s only keeping Klaus alive to use his blood to heal werewolf bites. And just in general, because having a WMD on hand could be useful. But Klaus asserts what is probably closer to the truth: that Marcel is weak, and seeks approval from Klaus, in whatever twisted way he can get it. I mean, why else would he have removed the Papa Tunde knife and made Klaus comfortable in his prison?
And he does need Klaus. Klaus is his first course of action to take out Duchannes. You are weak, Marcel. And Marcel knows it, because he reacts to Klaus’ speech by sticking the Papa Tunde knife back in. At least Marcel stabs you in the front.
I also enjoyed Klaus’ manipulation of Marcel by lying to him that Duchannes’ weakness is pride. So when Marcel attempts to prey on that, Duchannes is unimpressed and escalates the situation. Ya burnt.
Klaus and Duchannes and Marcel may get to chew the scenery, but Hayley is the true hero of this episode. In the intervening five years, she’s found everything she needed to cure her family. Because as dangerous as they are, and as bad as they might be to the world in general, they’re the only ones strong enough to protect Hope. It’s a solid plan.
Hayley also gets to put the beatdown on a goon squad of Duchannes’ men who go after her. She even wolfs out to finish them up.
Which is when Elijah arrives at the perfect time to see her naked after transforming back. Steamy.
I don’t hate Jana. Yet.
Hope’s actress seems much more competent than the bloody TVD twins. Thank God. And Jackson’s Grandma is still around to babysit, so maybe Hope won’t be an obstruction to the plot.
Unless she’s actively involved in it, as her drawing of the ominous symbol suggests. It looks to me like an ouroboros (thanks Resident Evil 5).
Vincent mentions that the witches of New Orleans are still unable to access ancestral magic thanks to the severing of the link. It’s refreshing to see a TVD-verse show stick to continuity.
Aurora is not brought up. I’d say that’s a continuity problem (she was dormant in a coffin when Marcel raided the compound last season, but it has not been explained what happened to her after the compound was trashed). But I also don’t want Aurora to come back, so I won’t complain.
Oh, and get ready for the Elijah Hotness Parade to start back up. Yes, I’m pathetic.