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The Originals 1x01: Always and Forever

Vampires, witches, and floppy flashback hair abound in The Originals series premiere.

The Originals 1x01: Always and Forever

Welcome to October, which means decorative gourds, hay rides, apple cider, Halloween, and of course, pretty people doing pretty, dramatic things on the CW.  I desperately hope the Vampire Diaries spinoff The Originals is good, because it has all of my old favorite things (Klaus, vampires, voodoo, glossy historical flashbacks in which no one smells bad and everyone has all of their teeth), and my new favorite thing (Marcel being hot).

Since this is a new show, the recap formats may change, but for right now I’ll break the show down into a few main categories:

•  The Original Dysfunctional Family Drama: The short version of the plot, or, why do Klaus, Rebekah, Elijah, and company hate each other today?

•  The Original Mythology: Did we learn something new about how the wild and wacky world of our hometown vampires and witches functions?

•  The Original Body Count: Who met their untimely demise (and how satisfying was it?)

•  The Original WTF? A category for when odd things happen – especially odd things that the show doesn’t bother to explain.

•  The Original Joseph Morgan Award for Tortured Hot People: I promise that Klaus and/or Marcel won’t win every week.  Sort of.

Let’s get to it!

The Original Dysfunctional Family Drama

Well, this episode is interesting – we’re thrown into a few different worlds without too much of an introduction.  We learn that Klaus get a tip that a witch named Jane-Anne Deveraux is plotting against him.  He visits, susses the situation out, then decides that he wants to be King of New Orleans again, as he was before when everyone had bad flashback hair.  (I’m sensing possibilities for a Newsies-style adaptation of the song “King of New York” where everyone can carry bloody hearts instead of newspapers.)  The current benevolent dictator, his swaggering protégé Marcel, isn’t exactly okay with being dethroned.   He has rules.  Marcel figures out that Klaus is in town and tries to get answers from the witches.

Also, oops, Klaus has accidentally impregnated werewolf Hayley during a one-night stand, who is being held captive by angry witches because they think Klaus’ main priority is family (when we already know it is throwing gloriously violent tantrums), and they can blackmail him into helping oust Marcel for their gain.  The witches want to oust Marcel, Klaus wants to oust Marcel, Elijah thinks Klaus should step up and be a responsible hybrid father.  Elijah seems way more invested in this baby than even Hayley.  Rebekah spends most of the episode not caring: not caring in the bathtub, not caring with champagne, not caring in bed.  I like this gal.

I’m not exactly crazy about the witches, who attempt to stand on moral high ground by declaring what an awful ruler Marcel is, yet they have no problem kidnapping a young, pregnant woman, not giving her any choice as to whether she wants to keep her werewolf baby, and putting her at the mercy of Klaus and/or Elijah, the Original Overbearing In-Law.  Really

The Original Mythology

Apparently vampires can’t procreate, but werewolves can – so hybrid Klaus and werewolf Hayley are expecting a little bundle of joy in 6-9 months.  (I’m assuming, anyway – the timeline isn’t made clear, and besides, we don’t know yet if this is going to be a Renesmee-style-turbo-gestation.  Google tells me that the gestation period for wolves is 59-63 days, which isn’t a lot of time to get the combination den and nursery together.  I have no doubt, however, that Elegant Uncle Elijah can commission a tiny wardrobe of tasteful, timeless duds for the newborn in any amount of time.)

"A thousand years ago, I swore a vow: to never let my family go a day poorly dressed. I'll be in charge of the baby's wardrobe."

We also learn that a spirit can’t rest until it’s properly interred in a cemetery, vampires can’t go into sacred ground without an invitation, and Elijah can show flashbacks through some sort of physical contact.  If you were watching The Vampire Diaries, it won’t shock you to learn that the werewolf curse isn’t activated until you take a life.  Also, late witch Jane Anne linked her sister Sophie’s life to pregnant werewolf Hayley’s. Ah, sisterly love. 

Finally, Marcel uses a girl named Davina as his supernatural "eyes and ears." Is she a witch? Just psychic?

The Original Body Count

•  3 people on the Flashback Ship of Doom die at the hands of Klaus and/or Rebekah. Side note: it’s amazing: Elijah has a terrible flashback wig, yet excellent manners.

•  Jane-Anne Deveraux is already dead.  Goodbye, you were annoying in the backdoor pilot.

•  Goodbye to two of Marcel’s minions – Elijah rips one’s heart out and stakes the other to a wall. 

•  Klaus bites one of Marcel’s minions to infect him with werewolf venom and basically says, “neener neener, he’ll be dead in days, what are you going to do about it?”  He does heal the guy at the end of the show, however, in a faux show of reconciliation.

The Original WTF?

•  I wonder what the Hayley/Klaus custody and child support battle would be like.

•  Poor Hayley.  Welcome to a family full of overbearing in laws.  Elijah is already insanely smothering.  

•  Elegant Uncle Elijah drinks a martini with two plain ol’ olives. Is it me, or should he AT LEAST get goat-cheese-stuffed olives?  Do you lose your tastebuds after walking the earth for 2000+ years? And why is he pouring his heart out to the bartender?

•  Marcel, calling Klaus "a little bitch" and insulting his paintings is beneath you. Surely you can think of a better insult!  

The Original Joseph Morgan Award for Tortured Hot People

Elegant Uncle Elijah!

Elijah's cleft chin disapproves of Klaus' anti-father shenanigans.

We don’t see much of Marcel in this episode, but he is gloriously good looking, even when he’s basically telling Sophie to get back in the kitchen and quit worrying about pesky issues like her sister’s body.  If they had left in all the scenes where he and Klaus smolder at each other, this week's award would have gone an entirely different direction.  However, this episode belongs to Elijah, who stonily walks around with his chiseled jaw, carefully putting all his ducks in a row.  I am sad, however, that they cut the scene with him wiping his hands off with a handkerchief after removing the minion’s heart.  That was pure comedy.

SO! What did you think?  Will you continue to watch?  Did you understand what was happening, or were you like me and thought it was sort of disjointed?  Did you like this series premiere over the Director’s Cut of the backdoor pilot?

The Originals moves to Tuesday nights at 7/8 central on October 8th.

Jennie's photo About the Author: Jennie Kendrick lives in San Francisco and has an excessive fondness of historical fiction, spreadsheets, turquoise sparkly things, and bourbon. She is also a literary agent with Lupine Grove Creative. When she's not reading, writing, or writing about reading, she cooks obsessively, runs an Etsy shop, and thrifts for vintage everything.