In continuation of my “Highlights and Lowlights” series, I’m next taking a look at The CW series The Originals. Up first, the Highlights! In no particular order, here are ten things about the season that got me excited and will definitely keep me watching for season 3.
I’m going to have to dig back into the Vampire Diaries lore to see if a lost oldest sister was ever mentioned (I know we saw the death of a brother), but hey, it worked. I accept she was introduced to fill that strong female void in the family left by Claire Holt abandoning her role as Rebekah, but this risk seems to be paying off. I love what Freya brings to the table, carrying on the gift of an almighty, super powerful witch inherited from her mother. For one, she has the strength and skills to keep Klaus in check, but not enough to overpower him. I didn’t like it when she whined about the horrors of living with Dahlia, but suppose past exposition is necessary. Now that she has this new life and Dahlia is dead (spoiler alert!), she can overcome all that and not only be a force in the Mikaelson clan, but give Davina and all the other witches a run for their money too. She brings balance where there has been none so far and plus, she can be kind of badass when she wants to be. I was thrilled to see actress Riley Voelkel was added as a series regular for season three. There will be plenty more Freya to come.
2. Klaus and Elijah’s dysfunctional brotherhood
Elijah really didn’t have much of a story this season other than spending a lot of time licking his wounds (a subject in the lowlights) and screwing Marcel’s right hand vampire Gia, who we knew was marked for death as soon as this happened since everyone he loves dies. His back and forth with the always unstable Klaus though is still very damned fun to watch. It’s kind of like a train wreck. I loved how he got his chance to stake his brother for once, even it if didn’t last. This time Elijah had to bridge the peace between new sister Freya and Klaus, as well as maintain it with all the other family members suddenly coming back from the dead. He did all this while struggling with letting Hayley go, watching her marry another man for the sake of her Werewolf pack. While I wish he would man up and move on from Hayley (I’ve been wishy-washy with them as a couple), I definitely loved him choosing to save his family above all else and then cutting his ties with Klaus in the season two finale. Always and forever his ass! Way to forge his own identity. Of course that could easily flip-flop in season three, but I like that I have at least all summer to cling to this.
3. The unpredictability of Klaus Mikaelson
Klaus just enjoys shooting himself in the foot all the time, doesn’t he? Klaus constantly make us wonder what he’ll do next even if his actions don’t make any sense in their randomness. I love that Klaus has a reason now to protect something other than himself. He has become so protective of his daughter that he’ll do absolutely anything, including turning her mother into a wolf so that she can’t run off with their child (sorry Hayley, you had that coming). But Klaus constantly reminds us that he is not a redemption story. Killing Gia was pretty damned cold and unnecessary and we know that he would have killed Aiden if he weren’t beaten to it. He’s constantly turning his back on his family even when they are moving time and space, at great risk to themselves, to save him.
Just when we think all hope is lost with Klaus we get that simple reminder that there could a beast that tames him and that person is Cami. Control him no, but be just enough of an influence to take the edge off. We both hate him and love him. He is the anti-hero personified.
4. Josh and Aiden, until that death thing
I know that The CW wants to push limits and one way to do so is to introduce an openly gay supernatural couple – as in kissing, flirting, dewy eyes of passion, hanging out naked in bed and everything. Matching Marcel’s right hand Vampire Josh with Jackson’s right hand Werewolf Aiden was a match made in Heaven! It was the supernatural version of West Side Story. It was so wrong but it was so right. Both were likeable characters and struggling to find their place in this world. Watching them take that journey together turned out to be very compelling.
I was very aware what show I was watching though and I watched their romance every week on pins and needles wondering which one of them would meet the tragic end and when. There’s no happiness allowed! Sadly, Aiden met his demise and I really think it was too soon. They should have explored this pairing further and dug into the complications more of what happens when two guys from different sides of the world (and species) fall in love. But hey, Josh lived and I honestly might of given up the show if they killed him off. May he live long and find another suitable man wolf.
5. Kol (even if it was a different body)
I love Nathaniel Buzolic as Kol, and always thought Kol was a misunderstood character is his defiance against his brothers (and humanity). But Daniel Sharman was great too! Pairing Kol with Davina was inspired simply because it humanized Kol more and showed us more of that tender side that we rarely saw with Kol’s other brief appearances. I’m still clinging to hope that Davina will revive him and he can finally become a character that remains in this crazy Original family mix for a long time.
6. Yusef Gatewood, both as Finn and Vincent
When Finn was introduced in The Vampire Diaries, he was so weak as a character he catapulted to the first Original sibling we wished to meet a horrible death. He was and we never really missed him after that. While this whole body swap with Original siblings coming back as witches thing is a mixed bag, putting Finn in the body of Vincent was inspired. He actually had a personality! Yusef Gatewood rocks and made Finn very entertaining, but with Vincent he was incredible! I wasn’t sure where they were going when Finn died and Freya revived him, putting his essence into a necklace thus giving Vincent life, but turns out Vincent is an even better character to be left with! Finn better go find someone else when he comes back, and when that happens I look forward to Vincent kicking his ass.
7. Dahlia and Esther, who’s the most powerful witch?
I never bought into the whole “Esther was the most powerful witch in creation” stuff. In all the times we knew her, she seemed rather short sighted if not dumb. She contradicted herself a lot that’s for sure. She didn’t seem very menacing every time she wanted to kill one of her children, and then suddenly comes back in a black woman’s body wanting to save her children (huh?). Plus she was afraid of her sister, who was the real wicked witch.
Enter Dahlia who was evil and dark and black hearted and dammit she meant it! She never strayed in her purpose and it was all about world domination. Using innocent five year olds to become more powerful and retaining immortality; frightening everyone psychologically with her mere presence as well as her terrifying and gruesome acts. That’s how you do a villain! Still, she failed to see, that the love of family conquers all. It was the love of her sister than ended her reign and really that was the only way to do it. Hmm, come to think of it, that did make Esther more powerful, didn’t it? Ah well, Dahlia was more fun to watch.
8. Solid and consistent storytelling
While The Originals season two did go rather dark, they at least maintained that tone as well as the twists and turns consistently. It was a very evenly paced season, something most serial shows with 22 episodes cannot say. I won’t say it was always fun to watch, nor did it always make sense, but at least I know that I was in for a ride each time I turned on an episode.
9. I still love Cami
I don’t think season two was Cami’s defining season by any means, but she still remains the rational one in all this madness. She accepts everyone for who they are, even Klaus, and she is about the ONLY one. Even with his savagery she still took time to figure out his mommy and daddy issues and confessed to falling for the beast. I want her to remain human always because it’s her humanity that adds dimension to her character and sets her so far apart from everyone else and their scheming. Now show, give her something to do other than babysitting.
10. Hope remains our hope
I’ve got to give this show credit, when the blank stare of a baby at just the right moments gives you chills, it does make you wonder exactly what sort of force will need to be reckoned with when she grows. She does seem like a looming threat, or perhaps, will she be the one that actually sets things right? Will she bring everyone together and finally bring peace to the Quarter, as well as all the restless creatures in this Originals universe? Will she be the savior, living up to her name? Or will she go like Great Aunt Dahlia and decide to inflict horrible pain and suffering on all that cross her path? Either way, I love how the mystery behind this child and her abilities remain, and that they are saving that card for just the right moment. It’ll be spectacular, whatever happens. Or maybe I’m just spitballing because I needed to come up with something for highlight ten. You can’t lose with a baby picture!
Coming up next, the lowlights of season two. What were your highlights?