by Chris Lovato
“Always and forever.”
It’s been a wild ride on The Originals so far, and what was really 21 episodes seemed like much more than that; the writers really managed to cram a lot into the first season, so here we go!
MASSIVE SPOILER ALERT (FOR THOSE WHO HAVEN’T SEEN ALL OF SEASON 1)
With Klaus on a mission to wrest control of the French Quarter from Marcel and Elijah committed to keeping his brother from destroying the city, the supernatural creatures of New Orleans start to react to the Originals’ presence…and that of Klaus’ baby.
The witches of New Orleans, originally thought to be repressed by Marcel, have been hiding a dark ritual, the Harvest, to maintain their connection to their ancestors’ power with human sacrifice. Through their dealings with the witches, the Originals learn that Davina was slated to be a sacrifice in the ritual, and that Marcel is using her ability to sense witches using magic to keep the witches in line. With the Harvest deadline looming closer, the witches become more desperate to complete it and kill Hayley’s baby, at the mandate of their ancestors. When the witches make an attempt on Hayley’s life, Klaus teaches them a lesson by killing the last living Elder (and therefore rendering them unable to complete the Harvest).
Although Marcel has established control over the city, his empire starts to unravel when the siblings work to take him down. As they make backroom deals with the supernatural factions in the city, Marcel struggles to keep Davina safe (he saved her from being sacrificed), even when she expresses her desire for more freedom.
Cami (Father Kieran’s niece) slowly becomes drawn into Klaus’ life, although he compels her to forget everything (especially that her brother hadn’t gone crazy at all; he’d been hexed by the Elder Klaus killed); it comes to a boil when the compulsion is removed by Davina.
Through their meetings, we learn of Marcel and Rebekah’s past romantic involvement, and him trying to convince her to turn against Klaus. The Original Hybrid slaughters most of Marcel’s army and forces his protégé to pledge allegiance to him, but his newfound control hits some turbulence when Davina begins to suffer the wrath of the unfinished Harvest.
The siblings must consecrate their mother, Esther, in New Orleans to help Sophie Devereaux complete the Harvest (with the promise that Davina and the three other girls sacrificed at the original Harvest would resurrect), but the power released into the earth from Davina’s death is hijacked by Sabine, who’s revealed to be possessed by Celeste, a powerful witch and Elijah’s former love. She uses that power to resurrect Genevieve, Papa Tunde, and Bastianna, three of the worst witches in New Orleans History.
Bastianna manages to hex Kieran for objecting to the original Harvest (as the Elder hexed his nephew) before she’s killed by Marcel, but Genevieve exacts revenge on Rebekah, who used her back in the 40’s to summon their father Mikael before killing her to ensure her silence; something she only did to drive Klaus from the city so she and Marcel could live happily. Through her revenge, Klaus finds out about her betrayal and sets out to kill her, and Celeste is no help when she traps the siblings in a cemetery.
The Originals work things out and Monique Devereaux, Sophie’s niece and sacrifice in the Harvest, now resurrected, helps them trap Sabine and kill her once and for all. Genevieve takes control of the coven, and Elijah works to try to unite the factions in the city.
While Davina works on her magic with the coven, Camille deals with her uncle’s growing insanity, and Marcel is driven out of town by Elijah. It doesn’t take long for him to hatch a plan to take back the city, and after an attack on a meeting between the faction leaders, things come to a boil.
The werewolves of the New Orleans bayous, driven there by Klaus, reveal that Hayley is “werewolf royalty”, and now freed by a potion from Celeste (who cast the curse to keep them wolves except during the full moon), plot to take their rightful place in the city. Attacks by an unknown party drive the werewolves to revolt, and Klaus, untrusting that the factions’ treaty would hold, plans to help them by asking Genevieve to make the werewolf equivalent of the rings that let vampires walk in the sun, with the added bonus of their bites being lethal to vampires 24/7.
With Kieran’s unfortunate death (which involved being turned into a vampire to stop the hex and being killed when that plan failed), Francesca Correa, the new leader of the human faction, reveals her motives: to take the rings from Genevieve for her and her family, who happen to be werewolves, and kill the rest of the vampires in Klaus’ compound.
The witches finally get their hands on Hayley’s baby, and while they perform the ritual to sacrifice it, Davina resurrects Mikael, who’d been killed back on The Vampire Diaries, and stows him away to be used against Klaus. Klaus and Elijah kill the witches and save the baby, but not before learning that, after they consecrated their mother as a New Orleans witch, she became the leader of the ancestors and demanded that Klaus’ baby be killed as revenge against her family. Of course, the siblings kill Genevieve and the other witches present at the ritual.
Because Hayley died at the ritual after she gave birth and had the baby’s blood in her system, she awakened in transition and is forced to drink some of her baby’s blood to become a hybrid. After this, Klaus sends the baby, named Hope, off with Rebekah, who is elsewhere in the world living the life she always wanted. In addition to the heartbreak plaguing the Original brothers, Genevieve’s death resurrects the last Harvest girl, but taking a cue from Celeste, Esther comes back with another Original sibling, Finn (also killed in The Vampire Diaries), in her body (and Finn in that of a formerly dead Warlock), to become the series’ newest antagonist.
Overall, the writers managed to cover quite a few different story arcs in the first season, and the revelation of the characters’ pasts and secrets from long ago thickens the plot and draws fans in just like The Vampire Diaries. Of course, it’s mostly heartbreak, tragedy, and betrayal, but fans of the show have come to expect that. What most fans didn’t expect, however, was the sympathy often felt towards despicable characters, and that’s what gives them their depth and adds to the intrigue of the show. It’s a love/hate relationship with quite a few of them, that’s for sure.
The effects have gotten much more impressive since the start of the show, especially with magic. Ancestral magic allows the series to show different, darker, and more interesting things, and it definitely speaks to the magnitude of the power the witches possess.
Of course, the sets do nothing to detract from the show, and as they explore the past, they get even more impressive. It seems like they capture the essence of the series perfectly, and each set reflects the tone of the events taking place there impeccably.
Though I may be a tad biased, I’m very glad that The Originals was renewed for a second season, especially with the developments in the last episode. It seems like a sure thing that the show will continue to rip the hearts of its viewers out of their chests, as it’s developed quite the talent for it so far.
The Originals are moving to Mondays at 8pm/7pm Central this fall on The CW. Stay tuned for premiere dates!
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