Although half of the family, including Elijah, Rebekah, and Kol, got 2 minutes or less (the latter two with no appearance at all), the episode still embodied what makes The Originals one of the best horror, supernatural shows on the CW.
For The Originals’s (likely) last season, The Originals Season 4 Episode 1 was the absolute best way to kick it off. This tantalizing episode was nothing but tactical chess and live-action, super-human fights. I loved every minute.
Hayley, the queen, made an amazing return in this episode that truly flaunted her hybrid abilities. In her quest to bring back the Mikaelson family, she tracked down all the elusive werewolf packs to extract their venoms and create cures for the afflicted family members. After the ever-responsible Hayley Mikaelson left Hope in the care of her grandmother-in-law, in an attempt to thwart the Mikaelson rescue, Alistair Duquesne, a past victim of Klaus and now avenger, sent his soldiers to thwart the mission. With a show of power, the audience saw the Hayley/werewolf trailer scene come to fruition. when she took on not 3 but 5 members of Duquesne’s army and came out successful (with a slight assist from the newly revived Elijah Mikaelson).
This was a welcoming scene as many other fans got to enjoy the reunion of Hayley and Elijah. But the most important part of this scene reflected in how powerful and self-assured Hayley has become as a mother and a member of the all-powerful Mikaelson family. No longer was there an insecure little wolf who ran from her problems. Hayley finally made her evolution into a confident, formidable woman. The Hayley Marshall we witnessed on The Vampire Diaries always had the fire and the heart to be a leader and stand her own. However, this 8-year-matured Hayley is a developed, assured mother, and it’s so satisfying.
The only thing I’m worried about is Hayley’s moral compass. I don’t remember a Hayley that would go back on her word no matter who intervened. I was very sad to see her do this to one of her own, the last wolf of the Malraux pack. Hayley has been to only character to unfailingly stick to her moral code, so I hope this character trait stays with her until the end of the series.
Speaking of character evolution, Hayley wasn’t the only character to flaunt her progress in character development this episode. The audience got to see Marcel in action using his tactical awareness, intelligence, and resources to maintain the peace in New Orleans. Creating a successful plan to subdue Duquesne’s attempted subversion of his power, Marcel maintained his place as New Orlean’s king and did so with a grace and a smile solely his. Klaus, Vincent, and Marcel created a temporary alliance that produced a theatrical display fit for Kol’s amusement (nod to the finally revived Kol).
A future problem I predict in Marcel’s current reign is his information analyst, Sofya. I’m wary of her presence in general, because her information seemed entirely too convenient to break the peace pact between Marcel and the witches. Although she seems to be on the ball by warning Marcel that there is some kind of supernatural threat to the New Orleans current symbiotic atmosphere, there is a sinister aura about her that either predicts her early death by this new big bad or her betrayal. With only one episode to gauge her intent, this prediction can’t be fully supported, but I will remain wary of her and her motives until we get more information on the character.
Klaus Mikaelson was in an unfamiliar position as a prisoner in this episode. Freed from the desolate agony of the Papa Tunde’s blade, Klaus acted as the chained counselor for Marcel when he finally ran into an adversary he didn’t have the background knowledge to defeat. I believe this episode served as a reminder to the audience that although Klaus was a chained up prisoner, he still held power over Marcel. By significantly aiding Marcel in his plan to over throw Duquesne, playing an active part in his defeat, and successfully antagonizing Marcel – Klaus still wielded his sustained control over his past victims well.
Even though Hope only got a small part in this episode, I know she will be a prevalent force in future episodes against the new big bad that has abducted or killed Vincent’s girlfriend to-be’s child. The last scene previewed this season’s big bad with the Ouroboros: an ominous symbol of Egyptian mythology adopted by Greek magician tradition. I don’t know what this foretells, but I do know it does not bode well for our Original’s crew. Hopefully in the next episode we’ll get more information on Hope’s part in the upcoming episodes, and get more hints as to who the new big bad will be.
In regard to The Originals Season 4 Episode 1, it was a titillating introduction for an quickly developing season. Don’t miss the next episode airing on Friday at 8/7c on the CW!