The Originals Season 5 Episode 1 – TV Review
Much like Caroline is no Camille, present day The Originals (or anything post-Season 3, really) is not at the same level as its previous highs.
And dear God, did we learn nothing from TVD’s problem of geographically separating the characters? It doesn’t work, people.
TL;DR Klaus’ inability to leave Elijah behind puts everyone at risk of the Hollow’s return; a teenaged Hope returns to New Orleans from her time at Mystic Falls magic school; Rebekah turns down a marriage proposal from Marcel; Hayley’s got a new boyfriend; Freya and Keelin are still together; Caroline tries to knock some sense into Klaus.
And calm down, they’re not romantic. Yet, anyway.
So despite a seven year time jump from last season’s finale, not much has really changed for everyone. We’ll start with Klaus, who has mostly dropped off the radar, save for ominous reports of insanity and violence. In truth, he has partly fallen off the rails due to the absence of Elijah’s guidance, and kills time by murderously working his way through his extensive list of enemies. His visit to see Elijah sets off a reverberation of Hollow magic, putting everyone on edge, and forcing Rebekah to sic Caroline on him to get him straight. They have a decent chat about how he shouldn’t neglect his daughter, despite not being able to by physically near her. It’s nice. Meanwhile, Rebekah and Marcel’s happy couple time in New York is shredded when he proposes marriage to her, expecting the answer to be obvious. Awkwardly, it isn’t, and Rebekah turns him down to leave and be with her family. Ouch, dude. Meanwhile, a now-teenaged Hope causes trouble at magic school by giving a werewolf friend the means to turn himself into a hybrid. Hayley drags her ass back home, but news that another hybrid is out in the world (and also back in New Orleans, because he’s a Crescent) riles up the city’s supernatural denizens, who had otherwise been kept peaceful by Vincent, Hayley, Josh, and Freya. Hayley is upset to discover the reason Hope did this was to earn money to go travel to find her father. But hey, Hayley gets abducted at the end of the episode, so Klaus is coming home, anyway. The plan worked, kid. Meanwhile, Freya feels the strain of being apart from Keelin who is doing some Doctors Without Borders thing, and struggles to choose between leaving her mission to fix this Hollow rubbish or be with her beloved. Meanwhile, Elijah remains a happy amnesiac pianist. And Hayley has a new man in her life, played by blandly attractive white guy and Reign refugee Torrance Coombs.
The Irish accent is a choice, though.
I can appreciate that this episode has a lot of place-setting to do. Our main characters are still necessarily kept apart due to the whole “pieces of the Hollow can’t be in the same place” thing.
But man, it just feels like The Vampire Diaries Seasons 7 and 8 all over again. And that is most certainly not a good thing.
Why I hate this episode:
I suppose starting the season with our characters already converged on New Orleans would require a lot of expository dialogue to explain why. But I would have preferred to suffer a couple of talky scenes and then get on with things, rather than sit through this entire season premiere, which hasn’t even gotten them back together, yet. If you’re gonna do a seven year time jump, slap an extra couple of days on that and get a move on, show.
Rebekah suffers the most from this, as her life in New York is constrained to one interior set with only her and Marcel. If you can’t afford to globetrot, CW, then don’t globetrot.
Did Rebekah explain why she refused Marcel’s proposal? How would being married to Marcel affect what they have to do with the Hollow? Again, you’ve been together seven years already. How does a marriage change this?
And even after the scary effects of Klaus’ visit to Elijah, Rebekah then decides that she wants to risk another Hollow-quake and visits Elijah herself. What the hell?
Other Intern gets a cameo as staff at the magic school. Who cares?
Irish Chef Boy is no Elijah, Hayley.
Oh, and I hope Henry the werewolf/hybrid boy is not going to become an important character. Just die like the plot device you are, please.
But it’s not all bad:
I’m impressed that The Originals followed through on the repercussions of Hope creating another hybrid, as the vampires and werewolves of New Orleans get up in arms about her being so blasè in making a super being. If this was TVD, it would have just been ignored. But I’m glad The Originals seems to be self aware enough to recognise when consequences are important.
And Henry gets an extra few threads to his subplot when he frenzy kills someone and runs to Hope for help. If we’re going to be made to suffer him, then at least the show is trying to do something to establish him.
Still on the subject of Hope and her magic school friends, I can’t tell you how relieved I was that we got out of there pretty much immediately. It was kind of cute to see the old Salvatore House set again, but this didn’t need to be Charmed. We don’t need no magic school. Now let’s not return.
Even Caroline feels the same way, as she drops by Klaus in France to find out what the hell is wrong with him. I’m glad they didn’t have any romantic moments; they were believable as old friends who have been through some shit. And if we’re going to get gratuitous TVD cameos for what will be the final season of the TVD-verse, Caroline makes sense. But here’s hoping the CW can also convince Nina Dobrev to glue in her Katherine weave one more time.
Caroline’s talk with Klaus also gets right to the point. Klaus bemoans how his neglect of Hope is what’s best because he didn’t want to be a father like Mikael, his own father, to her. Caroline shoots that bullshit right down and verbally bitch slaps him into getting over his pathetic excuses and demands he do what’s right. I concur.
The signs of doom that occur when the pieces of the Hollow get close to each other are menacing on their own, but given Hayley’s abduction and the seemingly disproportional escalation of them (it literally rains blood on New Orleans at the end), I suspect there’s more at work. I’m keen.
Kol appears briefly to video chat with Hope. He mentions he’s still together with Davina, but she is not seen onscreen. Let’s keep it that way.
Marcel is returning to New Orleans now that Rebekah has refused his proposal.
Keelin still being together with Freya but not actually being involved in what’s going on is the best of both worlds. I don’t want to deprive Freya of her lady lover, but Keelin is a bit of a wet blanket. This is ideal.
Oh, and when Klaus visits Elijah, he tells him a tale of his brother, and refers to Elijah as his “lone star.” I melted.