“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

Joseph Morgan’s Klaus to get Vampire Diaries Spin-off

        Image copyright The CW (2012)

It’s been reported that Vampire Diaries is about to join the host of TV shows that have spawned their own spin-offs. 

Us Weekly reports that VD villain Klaus (played by Joseph Morgan) is expected to be the central character in The Originals. The show will follow Klaus as he returns to New Orleans to reunite with a former protégé. 

Fellow VD alum Phoebe Tonkin is attached to reprise her role as werewolf Haley. 

The big question, though, is how many of the VD central characters will be guesting. Can we expect crossover episodes à la fellow TV vampire behemoths Buffy and Angel?

Here’s hoping!

“My Brother’s Keeper” – Vampire Diaries

       Image copyright The CW (2012)

We had to laugh, this week, at Elena’s assertion that she would never hurt Jeremy, a scant fortnight after she stabbed him in the neck and he died. We don’t really have much else to say about this week’s episode – it was typical Vampire Diaries fare, and included the traditional ‘let’s have a twist for the sake of it’ – but I suppose submitting a three-line review wouldn’t do so we better forge ahead.

It’s that Miss Mystic Falls time of year again. Woo. Everyone’s lecturing Elena again because apparently she’s not capable of making her own decisions. Caroline’s a raging control freak and (unrelated to that and because she couldn’t not) she brought Klaus to Miss Mystic Falls as her date. They get on like a house on fire, prompting many jealous glares from Tyler (who brought Hayley). Hayley wore the trampiest dress she could find. Jeremy’s Hunter instincts are kicking in and he’s tooling up to take on Elena (who he’s been dreaming of killing – but then, haven’t we all?). Damon finds out from Prof Shane that when Jeremy’s tattoo is complete they need a Bennett witch to access the cure. Of course. Because no other witches did anything ever. Hayley is working with Prof Shane and is breaking Klaus’ hybrids as part of his plan. We’re so confused. Elena can’t stay at home with Jeremy the Vampire Slayer so she moves out and Matt moves in. Elena goes to the Salvatore place. Caroline remains Stefan’s sober sponsor and is the person he goes to when he can’t stay at home. Why do we feel like they’re going to hook up? Damon and Elena do hook up. Then Caroline has a lightbulb moment – Elena’s newly-discovered obsession with all things Damon? It’s because she’s been sired to him. Oh, whatever.

Caroline’s logic doesn’t really hold through, though. Accepting that Elena is indeed sired to Damon, and using that as our metric – i.e. Elena only does stuff Damon says she should because of a sire bond – we posit that her feelings for him, her attraction to him, is still real. As far as we can recall (do let us know if we’re wrong on this score), Damon never told Elena she should love him. So this one? This is all free will. You may argue that the sire bond necessitates closeness and instills feelings of love and lust but to that we counter with ‘Do you remember that time Tyler and Klaus got hot and heavy? No? Oh yeah, because it never happened.’ Maybe she can’t help agreeing with his choice in dresses or stop herself from calming down when he tells her not to worry, but we’re fairly certain she could still resist his strange smirk and overacting eyes.

We feel like the writers are trying to have their cake and eat it. Give Delena fans something to slaver over while reassuring Stefan fans that it’s all a silly misunderstanding and we’ll be back to regularly scheduled broadcasts soon. It’s a cop out, and they should have the balls to just say ‘Y’know what? Elena’s better with Damon than she is with Stefan. Deal with it.’ Because she is. Better, we mean. She enjoys life, she enjoys undeath, she is less uptight and less concerned about whether or not she’s doing the right thing all the time (which any dime-store psychologist could tell you is a healthier viewpoint). And she still doesn’t lose her intrinsic Elena-ness. She still cares about her family, her friends. She tries to make Damon better. She’s his moral compass. So if nothing’s changed but her happiness, what’s the big deal? Just let her, and Delena fans, be happy!

And while we’re on the subject, we don’t understand why everyone thinks Elena and Stefan are soulmates! He pulled her out of a car and she thought he was cute. And then the relationship never developed past that point. Not in any meaningful way, anyway. That’s the entire basis of their love. He saved her life and she thinks he’s wonderful. On the other hand, her relationship with Damon has been growing constantly and consistently since the very first episode. We think we know who the writers want her to end up with. Or, at least, which relationship they find more interesting… The only reason to keep pushing her back with Stefan despite all the signs pushing her toward Damon is to keep Stelena fans happy.

Okay, maybe we did have a little bit to say about this episode. We got a little ranty there, sorry. We promise, back to normal reviews next week.  B+K

 

Quoteworthy: “Jeremy can’t live with me, Stefan wants to fix me, and Caroline flat-out admitted that she doesn’t like me this way. I think it’s safe to say that I’m not so great at this vampire thing.” – ya don’t say, Elena!

“We All Go a Little Mad Sometimes” – Vampire Diaries

       Image copyright The CW (2012)

Okay, we know she’s the main character but how about once, just once, Vampire Diaries isn’t about how miserable Elena is? Seriously. Everyone else can cope with being a vampire. Why is she finding this so difficult?!

The whole episode revolved around Elena’s hallucinations. They’re pretty bad and, at one point, she stabs Jeremy in the neck. Klaus knows about the hallucinations and kidnaps Elena to stop her from killing herself. Of course. Drama, drama, drama. They realize that the only way to stop the hallucinations is for the dead hunter’s replacement (Jeremy) to start killing vampires. Which he does. Elena’s cured. Fucking awesome.

Shane is suspicious as all hell. Matt found out that April’s dad knew Shane, and called him ten times on the day of the explosion. Sketch. Shane also tells a story about an ancient witch called Silas. You know what we bet? We bet he’s Silas.

He also tells Bonnie to come see him when Jeremy’s tattoo is complete. He seems to be implying that if she doesn’t, Jeremy will do something horrific.

Caroline and Tyler are pretending that they broke up so Klaus won’t cotton on to the fact that Tyler and Hayley are trying to break all of his hybrid’s sire bonds.

To save Elena’s life, Klaus says Jeremy can kill one of his hybrids (the one who let Elena escape). In exchange, Caroline has to go on a date with him! Yes! Finally. We’re all about the Klaroline (making up couple names is hard, okay?).

Damon tells Elena about the cure, showing – once again – why he’s so much better than Stefan.

Also, big news: Stefan broke up with Elena! Woo! Said he couldn’t deal with the fact that she has feelings for Damon. Which she finally admitted. Excellent! This is a great day for Delena hopefuls… – B+K

 

Quoteworthy: “I’m not happy Elena. I’m dead.” – Connor hallucination has a sense of humor

“The Killer” – Vampire Diaries

     Image copyright The CW (2012)

Oh. Our. God. A diary entry. TWO diary entries!!! What have we done to deserve this honor?

Okay so there was a little bit of drama on last week’s Vampire Diaries (“The Killer” – we’re still a little behind, but we’re getting there.) Elena was the eponymous killer. After a hostage standoff and a lot of Stefan deceiving Damon and Elena, the Hunter (hostage-taker extraordinaire) was caught and released by Stefan, and killed by Elena. Snapped his neck. If she wasn’t shame spiraling before she sure is now! That WTF ending with the blood hallucinations? That’s nice and special. They better find that cure soon or she’ll be a gibbering wreck. Oh. And despite what some commenters from last week seemed to think, we neither condone killing nor think Elena should enjoy doing it – we just make a distinction between killing and feeding. Feeding is just the vampire equivalent of not being a vegetarian. We do genuinely feel for Elena now that she has to deal with having the death of a human being on her hands.

Connor the Hunter wasn’t the episode’s only casualty either. In the midst of all of this hostage drama, one hybrid and one cell phone lost their lives. Since we knew that Matt, Jeremy and April would all make it out alive (it’s far too early in the season to start killing off main characters) and everyone knows killing supernatural beings doesn’t count as a real death, the demise of Jeremy’s cell phone was the real tragedy here. It was just so cruel and needless. And while we’re on the subject of Jeremy’s cell phone, how many Stefans can Jeremy possibly know? Is there any need to have him saved in his phonebook as Stefan Salvatore?

Klaus spends the episode overseeing a dig in Italy, presumably at the site of that church in which Rebekah and her Hunter were to marry. He finds the sword. But he also threatened to throw the sword in the Mediterranean if Stefan told anyone about it, so now that Damon knows what will Klaus do?

Bonnie has her witchy magic back. Though that Professor is well shady and the fact that he had her hypnotized and she passed out for seven hours without knowing does not bode well. What, pray tell, has she been hypnotized to do…?

Werewolf Hayley is back in town. Caroline, overhearing a conversation between Klaus and Tyler, assumes what we all did – wolfy affair. But Tyler assures her (and us) that that’s not the case. He’s letting Klaus believe that because the real reason Hayley’s there is to help him free all of his hybrid brothers and sisters from the sire bond.

Either Jeremy has a soft spot for April or he’s just fed up of all the vampires compelling everyone all the time, because he gives her his vervaine bracelet. Girl is suggestible as hell though. It doesn’t take much more than an assertion from Matt and Jeremy that it suits her for her to decide that she likes the it. We wonder if there’s something to that. And the Connor the Hunter mentioned that she and her father are tied up in this whole saga, so the mystery of April is thickening every week.

Speaking of Jeremy, and in the majorly predictable twist of the episode, with Connor the Hunter dead, Jeremy has been chosen – his Potential-status has kicked into full-on Chosen One-of-Five and that awesome tattoo is starting to appear already. Wonder when his uncontrollable desire to kill his sister and all of their friends is going to kick in… — B+K

 

Quoteworthy: “Is that where you’ve been all morning? Out buying bossy pants?” – Damon 

“The Rager” – Vampire Diaries

       Image copyright The CW (2012)

In “Rager” we learn that when Elena’s really, really sick, she has Damon hallucinations. Oh she wants him so bad… Other stuff happened too. A lot actually.

Klaus is back with a group of his hybrids so that he can protect Tyler from the hunter. All because the hunter paralyzed Tyler and stole his werewolf venom. Worry, worry, worry. Damon’s planning to take the hunter on and then leave town. There’s been a curfew imposed on Mystic Falls because of Tyler’s shooting. We find out that the hunter’s tattoo is invisible to everyone but other hunters and people with the potential to become hunters. So Jeremy is a hunter in waiting? Interesting… the hunter tells Jeremy to find a vampire and bring it to his place in the woods.

Matt is Elena’s human blood bank because she still can’t keep anything else down.

Caroline has a new romantic rival in Hayley, a werewolf who Tyler (or Lockwoof) ran with when he was off breaking his sire bond. Ran with and more. He had a wolfy affair and still hasn’t told Caroline (we love how genuinely disgusted and wounded Klaus looks when he figures that out). She leaves before episode’s end, but we suspect she’ll be back… Hayley is ably played by Phoebe Tonkin, making this the second Secret Circle alum to pop up on a CW show this week. Hopefully an appearance somewhere by Chris Zylka won’t be far behind.

The hunter attacks Matt at the school, forces him to give the name of a vampire. Matt gives him Rebekah’s (he’s still a little bitter about that whole running him off the road and leaving him and Elena to die thing).

Rebekah’s having an anti-curfew party at her new place. When Jeremy shows up at the hunter’s trailer (having sent Damon there earlier in the day), without a vampire but with a line on a doctor at the hospital who’s a friend to vampires (obviously Meredith, obviously a trap), the hunter comments that as long as people are drinking beer at the party, the vampires will be dead by sundown. Werewolf venom in the beer. Everything would have been fine if Elena hadn’t done that keg stand (famous last words).

At the hospital, Damon and Klaus have teamed up. Trap the hunter with arrows and bombs, a trick he’d used earlier on Damon (and which was the most ridiculous scene in the episode because why wouldn’t Damon just walk closer to the bomb then cut the string? Hello. Common sense.). Before they kill him they want to talk a little. When Damon mentions tattoos, Klaus puts two and two together and realizes that the hunter is one of the Five. Who are the Five, you ask? Good question. Klaus never says. But we’re willing to be bet they’re not these guys. Hunter detonates bomb.

Klaus saves Elena’s life because apparently he needs her again now that the Five are involved. Doppelgängers. Useful in every situation. Curfew lifted. Elena nearly kills Matt. Damon stops her just in time. Good guy, Damon. Promises to help Elena to be a good vampire. Stefan wants to help her to have fun, but is scared to go full Ripper. Caroline promises to help him with that. April and Rebekah are friends now. Kindred spirits because they’re both all alone. Rebekah offers to help April find out what really happened to her father (April doesn’t believe it was an accident). And Klaus must’ve been in a real save-y mood because he got the hunter away from the explosion. Why does he need him alive? So many mysteries… – B+K

 

Quoteworthy: “For future reference, one voicemail is just as effective as nine.” – Klaus, to Stefan