Sunday, March 19, 2017

The Originals, Season Four, Episode One: Gather Up The Killers

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The Originals is off to a late start for the season and so it's fitting that the first episode begins after a five year gap. Yes, five years. That's how long Klaus has been a captive of Marcel's and the rest of the family has been asleep. It's been left to Hayley to not only keep the family safe but to find the cure for Rebekah's hex, a cure for the bite Elijah received from Marcel, as well as cure from the poisoned Freya. That's one hell of a to-do list.  During this five years, Marcel has finally become who he has always wanted to be, the king of New Orleans.  In Klaus's absence, Marcel has made peace with the witches and for the first time, things are calm in the city.  This of course cannot be expected to last. 

The Originals begins with Vincent giving the speech from the throne about the state of the cauldron.  The peace between the witches and the resident vampires of New Orleans is strong and holding fast.  The only threat to this is the five year anniversary of Klaus imprisonment by Marcel. It seems that they are expecting Klaus's enemies to stroll into town wanting their own pound of Original flesh. 

Rather than living in the rundown Mikaelson compound, Marcel has made a home for himself in Lucien's former penthouse.  I find that to be a strange choice given how many years Marcel spent coveting everything Klaus had.  At any rate, Marcel may have brokered a peace with the witches but that doesn't mean that he trusts them. Marcel has his own informant, who just happens to have some news to share. The informant suggests that Klaus's enemies have aligned with the witches to steal Klaus from Marcel's possession.  If that were not enough of an indictment, there have been rumors of midnight meetings and sigils have been appearing on walls all across the city.  Could the witches be up to something? Marcel plays cool and decides he'll just discuss the matter with Vincent, since the two have now built up an understanding. 

Unfortunately for Marcel, he must also deal with Alistair, who's in town seeking his own vengeance on Klaus because Klaus forced him to kill his own family. Is there no end to the evil shit that Klaus did?  At any rate, Alistair is convinced that Elijah is also still alive because the stryx are still alive. 

Informed of the issues facing him, Marcel heads out to speak to Vincent. Marcel heads to Rousseau’s where Josh now works as a DJ. Rousseau’s serves as a sort of neutral territory where the supernatural of New Orleans can gather safely and Josh believes that this is just what Cami would have wanted.  Above the bar is a photo of Cami and Davina. Marcel meets Vincent in the back and he brings up the sigils to which Vincent is pretty non committal, saying that the witches will keep the peace.  Marcel then asks Vincent to keep the witches out of the way while he deals with the threat that Alistair poses. 

When we next see Vincent, he's at St.Anne's and he's handing out groceries to the witches so that they have no reason to leave their homes for the next couple of days.  It's at St.Anne's that Vincent gets his flirt on a little with Maxine, who is a single mother to one boy.  It's Josh who has to point out to Vincent that Maxine just might be in to him. 

Having dealt with the witches, it's now time for Marcel to figure out how to deal with Alistair.  Marcel heads to see Klaus who is in chains. Klaus may be beaten for now but that doesn't mean all the bravado has disappeared.  Klaus makes up a story about how arrogant Alistair is and suggests that Marcel throw him a party to distract Alistair from the purpose of his visit to town.  Alistair does enjoy the party because it provides him with a crowd when he challenges Marcel's rules. Alistair is certain that Elijah is still alive and demands Klaus's blood so that he can trace Klaus's family. Left with no choices, Marcel invites Alistair to join him at the Mikaelson compound at midnight.

Marcel is absolutely pissed that he was duped by Klaus and so heads back to see him in a huff.  Klaus enjoys Marcel's frustration and even taunts him until Marcel reveals Alistair's intention to use Klaus's blood to track down the Mikaelson family, which of course includes Klaus's daughter.  This wipes the smirk right off of Klaus's face and so he offers to fight Alistair himself.

Marcel's next stop is to see Vincent, who doesn't like being summoned.  Marcel is forced to tune down the authoritative tone and ask for help rather than demand it. Marcel gets Vincent to create a boundary spell which will let everyone in but no one leave. Klaus is dragged in chains into the circle and Marcel presents Alistair with a weapon which has his venom on it.  If Alistair so much as scratches Klaus, he will not only die and the blood on the weapon will help Alistair to find the rest of the Mikaelsons.  Alistair enjoys the moment of seeing Klaus lowered in this fashion and taunts Klaus about killing Hope.  This is when Klaus goes on the attack. Klaus has no problem killing Alistair and a few of his men before he is stopped by Marcel.

Marcel announces that he is the King of New Orleans and that he expects everyone to follow his rules.  Marcel says that he is keeping Klaus around in case any of his vampires are bitten by a werewolf because of course, Klaus's blood is a cure for that.  Klaus will also come in handy should his siblings ever show up in the city. Marcel makes it clear that he keeps Klaus alive because he can.  The vampires are then informed that they are welcome in the city as long as they play by his rules.

It's left to Vincent to put Klaus back into his cell.  Klaus is absolutely indignant and makes it clear that one day he will kill get justice.  Vincent responds by hitting below the belt and reminding Klaus that Cami once saw good in him and asking why Klaus is so determined to prove Cami wrong.  Damn, who knew Vincent had that in him?  Now that Klaus has been settled, it's Marcel's turn to play a little visit.  Klaus cannot give up his moment in the spotlight and so he decides to taunt Marcel.  Klaus suggests that he isn't being kept alive because of Marcel's feelings for Rebekah but because he wants Klaus to serve as a reminder of what he doesn't want to become. Klaus believes that even now, Marcel is still living in his larger than life shadow. To silence Klaus, Marcel once again stabs him with Papa Tunde's blade.

Alistair and Klaus may be handled for now but Marcel doesn't get to relax because informant arrives to tell him that the sigils are everywhere.  We all know that this is some great big harbinger of doom right?

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, Hayley is the only one around to try and free the rest of the Mikaelsons. Hayley has been busy the last five years and thus far has had a witch siphon Rebekah's hex, has found a cure for Freya's poison and six of the seven werewolf packs needed to cure Elijah.  Mary has come to babysit Hope and to give Hayley information on where the sole surviving seventh pack member is.  Mary is concerned that Hayley could be walking into a trap but Hayley feels that at this point she has no choice. Hope's powers are quickly developing and Hayley feels that she needs someone to teach her how to handle them.

Hayley heads to Austin where she arranges a run in with Keelin in a bar.  Keelin doesn't care what Hayley's problem is and has no interest in helping.  Keelin acts quickly to try to escape Hayley but of course, Hayley is much faster than her. When Hayley hears Alistair's men approaching, Hayley simply knocks Keelin out and takes off.

Hayley takes Keelin back to the warehouse and promises the werewolf that after her family is awakened that she'll release her.  The first person Hayley awakens is Freya so that she can do a spell to save Elijah, Rebekah and Kol. Freya doesn't get far into her spell before Alistair's men show up. It seems that they followed Hayley back to the warehouse.  Hayley leaves to fight off Alistair's men while Freya stays behind to work on the spell. Hayley is outnumbered but is nonplussed and quickly changes to her wolf form.  Freya completes the spell and Elijah arrives in time to take out the last two of Alistair's men. Elijah puts his jacket on a now naked Hayley and the two kiss.  I see that five years apart hasn't reduced the passion between these two.

Now that the Mikaelsons are awake, Keelin thinks that this is her cue to leave. Unfortunately for her, Hayley is the one who made the promise however Freya has no intention of honouring it. With Marcel's bite having the ability to kill, Freya is determined to keep Keelin around in case they need more of her vemon.

Hayley is all cleaned up and she heads out to speak with Elijah.  It seems that Kol and Rebekah were too hungry and went off to feed.  Elijah's first question is about is Hope, who he hasn't seen in five years. Hayley says that Hope is perfect and that she made her promise to get all of her family together.  This means that they now have to go after Klaus because he is the sole missing member.

Maxine rushes to find Vincent at St.Anne's because her son Adam is missing.  The scene switches to Adam roaming around what looks to be an abandoned house. The sigil that Marcel's informant has been talking about appears on the wall and starts to glow. The room turns into a blinding light and Adam starts to scream.

Hope awakes in her bed from a bad dream and is comforted by Mary.  Hope's bed is covered in drawings of the same sigil that has been appearing all over New Orleans.

Given that interesting storylines are easier to write for older people, I must say that I am quite surprised that they only aged Hope five years.  For the purposes of storytelling, I don't think that she will stay that age long though.  I will however say that moving the time forward really matched with the delayed season opener.

I am very glad that Hayley is the one who was spared and had to find the ingredients to free the Mikaelsons.  Hayley has far too often been treated as this fragile thing which is easily overcome.  With the male vampires out of the way, the writers had no choice but to allow Hayley to bring the awesome.  Hayley is after all a hybrid and should have no problem dealing with any threat aimed at her despite her relative youth in vampire years. I hope that now that the Mikaelsons are awake that Hayley is allowed to continue to be this way.

Marcel is once again King of New Orleans and it almost feels like we've returned to the series opener.  I found that I couldn't enjoy this moment because it's only a matter of time before the Originals finds some reason to humble Marcel again. He's always in the role of the uppity Negro who just won't stay in his damn place. You just know that Marcel is either going to lose his power or they are going to find a way to make Klaus more powerful.  That being said, I did enjoy watching Marcel slip Tunde's knife in Klaus.

Klaus's stint as all powerful dark king is starting to get a bit old and this is only The Originals' fourth season.  Sure, I saw quite a bit of it on The Vampire Diaries before The Originals was created.  At this point, it all feels just damn repetitive.  Did Morgan even have to memorise any lines? Surely he said all of this before? The writers are going to have add some more nuance to Klaus because he's become completely predictable.

I found it interesting that Kol and Rebekah supposedly disappeared to feed. It makes me wonder if they are actually going to appear this season.  Claire Holt left as a series regular some time ago and I'm not sure where Nathaniel Buzolic, who plays Kol stands. Will we actually get to see the entire Original family together slaying their enemies?

So the sigil clearly means that something bad is around the corner. So far we don't know enough about the threat to get worked up so I guess we will have to wait and see.