“Sinners and Saints” – The Originals

Screen Shot 2013-11-05 at 9.13.02 PMWow. This week’s episode of The Originals has officially cemented the show as our favorite of the season. Not favorite new show, not favorite show on The CW or favorite show about vampires. Flat out, simple favorite show. Why? We’re not even sure we can put our finger on it. We’re inclined to think that, mostly, it’s because The Originals – unlike most other shows on air at the moment – seems to wholly believe that mystery is compelling, but only in small doses. The writers of The Originals know that a good mystery can keep an audience hooked, but also know that dragging that mystery out for too long is as likely to turn an audience off as it is to keep them tuning in.

That understanding couldn’t have been more obvious in “Sinners and Saints” if it had jumped up and down screaming ‘I did magic in the quarter’. One of the more notable aspects of The Originals is that it, somewhat ironically, dispensed with the origin story. We mentioned this before – how the show is likely to be able to make great use of flashbacks because so much is unknown. And that remains true. We got an explanation about why Klaus and the rest of the Mikaelson clan were going to be in New Orleans but, beyond that, we knew very little.

And as the season has progressed, we have more questions rather than fewer, mostly about Davina – who she is, why the witches want her so badly, why she’s so much more powerful than the other witches, and why she’s so close to Marcel. This episode answered those, and Continue reading

“House of the Rising Son” – The Originals

Screen Shot 2013-10-13 at 1.24.41 PMVast improvement over last week’s offering here. Blessedly all new scenes, and what scenes they were.

“House of the Rising Son” showed Rebekah’s arrival in New Orleans and the fairly predictable fallout from it. She’s never exactly been the model of emotional stability. It also gave us some background into Klaus’ relationship with Marcel (Klaus saved a young Marcel from a whipping) and Rebekah’s relationship with Marcel (steamy and, no doubt, something to be more deeply explored). It dealt with the issue of abortion (quite well) and showed us Klaus’ paternal side. It gave us a better look at Davina (Marcel’s resident witch, with Carrie-esque powers of persuasion [relative newcomer Danielle Campbell]). And it amped us up for the thrust of the season – unseating Marcel.

Though it’s likely that that particular eventuality will be quite a long way off. The first step for the remaining (undaggered) Mikaelsons will be rescuing Elijah. The need for a rescue is, of course, Klaus’ fault. Giving the daggered Elijah to Marcel in a show of faith was not only cold, it was a bit dumb. Rebekah, finding Elijah with Davina, sees that immediately and, despite Klaus’ deviously ingenious plan to infiltrate Marcel’s inner circle, the Mikaelson priorities will change.

Perhaps most importantly, “House of the Rising Son” also provided us with one important ingredient Continue reading

“Always and Forever” – The Originals

Screen Shot 2013-10-07 at 6.38.01 PMDisappointingly very little new from this premiere episode of The Originals. It was essentially a rehashing of the backdoor pilot that aired mid-VD last season (which you can read here to save us from having to write it again), but from Elijah’s point of view. This perspective gave us little new to be excited about, retreading old ground with very little imagination. The only new scenes to offer any additional expectation came in the very final moments, as Klaus daggered Elijah to get rid of his weaknesses (typical, power-hungry Klaus. The show can’t have much to do with the Original Family if they’re all daggered, though, so we’re not quite sure where this is going. With any luck, Rebekah will make her appearance next week and we’ll get more of a taste of where this is going) and Marcel’s secret weapon – which is keeping the witches in line – was revealed to be an incredibly powerful witch (or something).

We hope we’re not going to have to watch every episode twice this season, and we hope it regains that same sense of fun it had during the backdoor pilot. We’re doubly hoping that we won’t have to watch this episode again next week from Hayley’s perspective. Maybe that will be the entire first season… watching this episode from every perspective possible. Though as long as they maintain the fantastically New Orleans soundtrack, we’ll probably be happy. – K

Quoteworthy: “There is no power in love. Mercy makes you weak. Family makes you weak. If I am going to win this war I have to do it alone.” – Klaus (in desperate need of a hug)

“The Originals” – Vampire Diaries

Screen Shot 2013-04-30 at 10.31.31 PMWhile we were certainly looking forward to this backdoor pilot for The Originals, we were also somewhat skeptical about the likelihood of its success. Consider us converts to the cause. We’re staunchly pro-Originals now. As pilots go, this sure knew what it was doing. It had intrigue, laughs, drama and twists in all the right amounts. It gave us a taste of what a full-length show might offer, showing us everything from series regulars right down to the potential soundtrack (a hint of edgy indie pop-rock with a sprinkling of New Orleans jazz and blues). It set up the entire run of the first season – which has now been announced as a certainty – by introducing us to potential villains, frenemies and partners. It tantalized us with the prospect of Klaus puppies (how cute would they be?) and a transferral of Klaroline from Mystic Falls to NOLA. Aside from romance and plot, it also gave us the strange feeling that we were watching a better written, less-convoluted version of Treme – embracing the culture and music of New Orleans, without failing to point out that the city is a shadow of its former self.

A little summary of the episode, to set us up for its full season run: Klaus heads to New Orleans to find a witch who is out to get him, but not in the way that he thinks. Here, he meets his old mentee, Marcel (Charles Michael Davis, Grey’s AnatomyThe GameSwitched at Birth), who now runs the city and has turned it into a vampire’s paradise. Through Marcel he finds the witch, Jane-Anne (Malaya Rivera Drew, The L WordER), who is promptly killed. Klaus is wise enough to know that that doesn’t mean the end of anything, and tracks down her sister, Sophie (relative unknown Daniella Pineda). Sophie and the other witches have Hayley captive and demand that Klaus help them to take out Marcel. If he doesn’t Continue reading