There’s one clear way to perpetuate one’s fan base on the premiere of a young series. Simply put, expedite the finale’s weaker plots and concentrate on more prominent ones rolling into season 2. The Originals completes that with bloody style as Klaus, Elijah, Hayley, and Marcel make werewolf Franchesca and her moonlight rings a thing of the past. “Rebirth” brings together a our anti-heroes in an effort to retake the French Quarter and satisfy a bit of vengeance for both Hayley and Klaus over their child, Hope being forced into hiding under Rebekah’s care.
Hidden from their perspective viewpoints are two sides who are biding their time to strike. On one side, Davina still has bound vampire Michael, father of all the Originals save for Klaus himself. Her plan is to decipher a way to unlink her vampire friends from Klaus’s bloodline through Ester’s spell book. Once done, she plans to release Michael so he can exact his revenge on Klaus. On the other side, Ester is in the body of Cassie, Davina’s witch friend and has the help of Cole and Finn, the deceased brothers of Elijah, Klaus and Rebekah. They’re in new bodies and already placing themselves in strategic places for Ester to begin her plans to control the witches and werewolves of the city.
Rebekah’s only cameo served to remind us how events shaped back in season 01 before she was given Hope to care for. She does so lovingly which means her role in the near future will be absent from the main stage, until the time comes for her to return with baby Hope in hand. There’s always the chance an unforeseen force threatens her and the baby forcing changes to be made, but I don’t think it’s terribly likely this early in the season.
Camille, our resident only human character on the show has kept her relationship with Marcel as casual until she finally ended it for the sake of her continued existence to survive without supernatural impediments. I think it was a good move on her part. Not just to give Marcel the space he needs to flaunt over new possibilities, but because her role is severally dwindling with purpose. Only once was Father Kieran’s closet of goodies mentioned, but it was a ploy to lure the werewolves to an old building where Marcel helped to recover the 12 moonlight rings that sapped Klaus’s power. It was a clever idea to end the season with originally, but I suppose the writers didn’t want to make it an arc. They wrapped up Franchesca’s werewolf plot and did away with the character with Hayley herself making the final cut.
Josh is also allied with Marcel as he helped bring in a group of humans who are sort of compelled to return if they feel they want to subconsciously be a part of something they can believe in. It was a weird angle and I’m not sure I buy it, but it introduces a new female character who we don’t know yet, but obviously she’ll be important-ish and also a vampire relatively soon. Josh isn’t a good fit for Marcel’s crew. He even stated he doesn’t know what the war is all about and can’t find his own placement. How very meta of him. I don’t think the character should die, but if they don’t remind us soon that he and Davina are good friends and are better seen together than separately, Josh won’t last much on his own as a compelling character.
The storyline had it’s usual flair for pacing and well peppered with the sights and sounds of New Orleans including the overtones of brass and violins spread throughout exterior scenes. Once the plan of attack picked up, the graceful brutality of the team went to work ripping limbs and fingers while Klaus gained his strength back and found his ability to paint again. I did think it was a bit silly that Klaus was frustrated he couldn’t paint because of the rings making him weak near the full moon. It wasn’t quite abstract enough and only served to show us in a very “Hey look at this” way so we understand that Klaus was getting strong again. I’m certain there could have been other ways and I wouldn’t have tied it so genuinely to his ability to paint, but it’s not a huge gripe.
The episode completes with Ester plotting future schemes with Cole and Finn letting us know the incoming arc will be savagely set on a family reunion of sorts. The upside is this will be a great plot and once more deals with Klaus, Elijah, and Rebekah’s (when she comes back) on-going struggle to keep their family secure but battle those that were once truly family of the past. It’s textbook but appropriate. On the downside, this could shatter if it doesn’t outperform previous plots that stemmed from their parent show VD. Michael and Ester have been enemies to their children before and couldn’t seal the deal. How will this be different? I do want to find out, because it’s more interesting setting up this kind of tale than more supernatural newcomers who want to settle in and control aspects of the city. I’m sure that will still happen at some point.
This week’s favorite scene was the delivery of all werewolf traps created by Elijah and Klaus’s plan. True it’s a ‘hybrid’ of scenes but it also took those moments in detailing their ferocious nature. Marcel having used wolfsbane in the fire sprinkler system to subdue his foes show his tactile approach. Elijah and his finesse at tearing his enemies apart along with a clever loophole that allowed his entry into Franchesca’s home. Hayley was just angry and burrowed through the werewolves at the plaza. She spared Oliver, not sure why, he’s not a necessary addition to the cast currently and is grade B class villain at best. I enjoyed it as the eye candy it was. The show needed these moments to remind us how brutal our ‘family” can be when necessary.
Little tough at first to come up with but I’m giving it to the lead of the show, Klaus. Every now and then he gets to sit down and truly contemplate the sheer stupidity of his moves and king-like antics. He did so again lamenting regret over his acts in season 01 and how they’ve caused a rift for him, Hayley and their daughter, Hope. Klaus gets very complainy when he wants what he can’t have, but he can also step aside and understand his choices with some fragrance of understanding and sympathy. He also tried to comfort Hayley in a genuine way that wasn’t hollow or deceitful. It may not last because Klaus’s greatest enemy tends to be himself, which means it’s only a matter of time before he finds a reason to screw everything up for the immediate family. We’ll see how that plays out.
LONG TERM THOUGHTS
Poor Joe. He seemed like a decent character. At least they could have given him an onscreen death instead of being passively mentioned as dead. Marcel even shrugged it off, casually explaining to Josh that Joe knew it was going to happen.
Camille broke up with Marcel half-naked in bed. Seemed slightly cold. Granted she said they were no-strings-attached, but at least make it less awkward when you put your clothes back on.
Is Franchesca really dead? Let’s hope so. She wasn’t very interesting.
What are the witches planning and who will be introduced as their new spokesperson? Cassie (Ester) will be regaining control through her own means, but is there anyone left from season 1 that could make a power play on her own behalf? Or will we get a fresh new supply of actors/actresses?
Will the outside werewolves follow Hayley now that she’s a hybrid? I can see that causing a few rifts between tribes. Certainly in Oliver’s case because he’s not done being a DB.
Is Ester’s spell book the answer to everything? Does it truly contain magic that if people want an impossible thing to occur her spell book has the means to explain how to succeed at it? I just can’t fathom a spell that unlinks vampires from their principle bloodline. Is it really that far-fetched? I guess maybe no, but still wouldn’t that kind of spell have been mentioned a while back? I suppose that puts the Originals in a state where they are just as vulnerable as any other vampire in the world. And if one of them inevitably perishes, our heroes of VD won’t suffer the consequences…which means crossover soon!
I enjoyed the premiere more than VD’s. It gets a solid 6. There weren’t any wasted characters but there also wasn’t any point when our heroes were in any actual danger. Klaus was more annoyed than anything at his predicament, rightly so. The tone of the show stays the same but with a new sense of purpose and a promising arc to come. They’ve weeded out the weaker threads and hopefully will stick with the stronger ones including Michael and Ester. I want to see those two meet again and understand what exactly Ester wants. Michael is easy to figure out. Stay tuned and thanks for reading!
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