Monday, October 6, 2014

The Originals 2.01 "Rebirth" Review

After a summer that felt like endless waiting, The Originals came back for its sophomore season tonight and it did anything but disappoint.

Let’s start with the huge end of episode reveal that almost the entire Mikaelson family is in town, including Kol!  It was a no-brainer, despite the producers’ best attempts to deny it, that the son who came back with Esther in the season finale was indeed Finn. So, I honestly wasn’t sure if they were going to bring Kol back into play in the present as well. It’s great to see Daniel Sharman use his real accent as Kol/Kaleb. Hopefully, none of the family members will be killed off (again) anytime soon so we can get to know them all more, which is something that The Vampire Diaries didn’t allow for. Especially because each of the brothers seems to have a new role to play-- Finn impersonating an advisor for Cami all while Kol flirts it up with the very powerful Davina.  

The one sibling who isn’t in town but has hardly been forgotten is Rebekah, who is currently taking care of baby Hope. Her fairytale opening for the episode was a great recap and really set the tone for the series as a whole in addition to the rest of the goings on all around the French Quarter. Time will tell when and if she’ll be heading back to the Quarter, but as long as we keep getting these little glances of her being happy throughout the season, then I can’t complain.

The bulk of the episode was spent dealing with the Guerrera werewolves and getting the rings back that depower Klaus. It was smart to get Klaus back to full strength in the first episode back and deal with the Guerreras immediately, which goes to show the season will be less about taking back the city and more about the complex family relations of it all.  Hands down the best thing about the take down was how each and every character had their part to play. I especially loved Elijah’s sly historic preservationist move that allowed him to waltz into the house uninvited.  While the end of the episode made this seem temporary, I can only hope that they’ll pull together again when the time comes.

This is all also pushing Klaus and Hayley toward working together more as well, with Klaus taking on a mentor role at Elijah’s behest. Despite the smackdown tonight we’re far from finished with werewolves as a good chunk of Hayley’s pack still remains. Hopefully Hayley will be able to take comfort in renewed efforts to restore order to her pack. But can there ever be a way for the wolves and vampires to coexist in this city?

I also want to take a moment to call focus on Marcel and his selection process for vampires.  Since season one his methods for keeping the city under control have stood out from what we’d seen from Klaus himself.  His want for warriors, ones who come back to him by their own free will, is in stark contrast to Klaus’ building his Hybrid army over on The Vampire Diaries.  It’s really apparent how he was able to keep the city for so long all on his own, and I hope to see more of this, including Marcel-centric flashbacks to a time after the Mikaelsons fled the city.  It’s also nice to see him take Josh under his wing, and see Josh call into question his own purpose in everything. This introspection from characters is something I hope we’ll explore as the season goes forward, especially since Josh isn’t the only one questioning his purpose and how he fits into the greater tapestry of the series now that other threats are looming in the background waiting to surface.

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