The Originals began in September to fans delight, a spin-off of the hit CW series The Vampire Diaries; it garnered impressive numbers in its premiere. The continuing story of the 1,000-year-old Mikaelson clan is of great interest to many fans, plus the show has the added bonus of being able to cross over characters between the two shows. The possibilities are endless, and hope for deeper stories, connections between the two; The Vampire Diaries set in Mystic Falls, The Originals set in New Orleans also has a lot of promise. Now as the freshman series begins its drive toward the season finale, fans have mixed feelings about the supernaturally charged show.
The season begins by introducing the factions within “The Quarter” in New Orleans: the vampires, ruled by Marcel (Charles Michael Davis) who was made vampire by Klaus; the witches, whose powers are stifled under Marcel’s rule, and the humans, governed by Father Kieran (Todd Stashwick). The story goes that the Mikaelsons founded and once ruled New Orleans until the early 1900s, a time when Klaus (Joseph Morgan) believed Marcel to be dead, and having no more ties there, they left.
Unbeknownst to Klaus, Marcel had been alive, regaining power of “The Quarter.” Once Klaus realizes that Marcel is in fact ruling, he wants his empire back. Ultimately he accomplishes this goal.
Now that the werewolves have been introduced, led by Jackson (Nathan Parsons), betrothed to Haley (Phoebe Tonkin) who is pregnant with Klaus’s hybrid child and the tone is set for an all out war between the factions.
While The Originals story begins in Mystic Falls, there has been little reference to it. Executive Producer Julie Plec told the fans during the recent Paley Center Pane that it is important the show stand on its own. However, I fear she has done the show no favors by her insistence, as the ratings have continued to decrease at a rapid rate. Last week the ratings according to TV by the Numbers, dropped to 1.52, an all-time low, and should the storylines stay their course, I can’t see how the show will survive. So what is the answer? Executives need to put aside their vision and listen to the fans, because after all, we are their audience! Without viewership the show is sure to go the way of many that didn’t make their debut seasons.
I’ve spoken to many within The Originals fandom, and the number one complaint is the lack of crossovers between the two related shows. Not only do the storylines not cross over, but there is no mention of any Mystic Falls connection. The Mikaelson’s were introduced in Season 3 of The Vampire Diaries, when Elena (Nina Dobrev) and company get wind that an original vampire named Elijah (Daniel Gillies) was pursuing her due to her doppleganger status. Once Elijah proves to be on our heroine’s side, the storyline expands as we learn the story behind the original vampire clan.
A thousand years ago, the Mikaelsons were living their normal human lives, until a werewolf killed a sibling. Fearing for their children, Mikael (Sebastian Roche) orders his wife Esther (Alice Evans), the very first witch, to cast a spell upon her family making them creatures of the night–vampires! None of them wanted to be cursed to a vampire’s eternal life but they had no choice.
All vampires other are their descendants. The only way to neutralize an original is to use a silver dagger dipped in the ash of the white oak tree that had given them life; the only way to kill one is to use a dagger made from the white oak tree.
Niklaus is different. Since he’s a hybrid, the silver dagger doesn’t affect him, his death can only come from the white oak dagger, which is one of the reasons he has feared his father, and spent many years on the run. Upon hearing of his wife’s affair and learning his son is a bastard, Mikael abuses Niklaus. To make matters worse, it is his mother who had cast the hybrid curse on him, effectively creating the first hybrid of vampire-werewolf whose blood able to cure a vampire of a werewolf bite.
As the Mikaelson clan meanders their way into Mystic Falls, it becomes clear that Klaus has numerous issues with his siblings, never feeling like he truly belongs. He embodies a deep-rooted hate as the plots have unfolded.
One thing that has surprised fans (and the writers) has been the sexual tension and chemistry between Klaus and Mystic Falls vampire babe Caroline (Candice Accola). “Klaroline,” as the fandom calls the couple, steames up the screen when they finally, after months of tiptoeing around their attraction, hit the sheets (or should I say woods) during The Vampire Diaries 100th episode.
Fans were screaming for more, and although many hoped this could open the door for more crossovers between the shows, this apparently is not the plan. What I don’t understand is why not? It’s what fans would tune in to see, whether Caroline needs Klaus for some emergency or somehow gets caught in New Orleans. Fans want to see them together!
Instead, the show introduces Camille (Leah Pipes), Father Kieran’s niece, who over the course of the season, has come to learn more about Klaus, and even asks for his help in last week’s episode. I feel that although I understand the need for Klaus to have a leading lady, the character of Cami really doesn’t have the complexity to handle Klaus. In my view, the characters of both Father Kieran and Cami add nothing to the essence of the show, and we’d rather see our favorites from The Vampire Diaries. I get that the idea is to have different factions within The Quarter: vampires, werewolves, witches, and humans, but these characters aren’t adding enough for the audience to care about them. The idea is to get the audience emotionally connected so that we care about the peril in which they get into. Unfortunately too many fans haven’t made that emotional investment.
Another huge issue for the fanbase is that the writers have used Hayley’s one-night-stand with Klaus and her pregnancy as a bse upon with to build the show. Has the storyline pitted brother against brother? Yes. Upon their first meeting, Elijah and Hayley’s attraction for each other is palpable, and Klaus’s jealousy has grown to an all-time high as their relationship has blossomed.
Klaus feels like he is again left out, unloved, and doomed to watch Elijah raise his son. Elijah finally admits his feelings for Hayley, and is ready to go after her, which Klaus loathes. Time after time, it has been Elijah that Hayley goes to in her most desperate moments, and with the big finale coming and the baby’s delivery lingering, he’ll be more protective of her than ever.
However, once the baby is born, how much can they really do with the storyline? Arcena, who runs The Originals fans website and the Originals AA&F Twitter account is really concerned. She explained, “I do feel like it’s killing the show a bit. I mean, really, how many cliffhangers once this child is born are gonna end with ‘we have to kill the baby’? That would get old after a couple of episodes. It already did.” I agree. Of course, after last week’s episode we learned that the witches want to (surprise, surprise) kill the hybrid baby to save their witch Genevieve (Elyse Levesque).
Ultimately, this will be an ongoing dilemma should the baby survive. Personally, I don’t feel a baby is necessary in this type of show. But I digress.
Arcena further stated that the new audience has no idea of the Mikaelson’s history and should be brought up to speed. “The new audience needs to see what happened in Mystic Falls, i.e., how Klaus killed Esther and defeated her once she came back same with Mikael.” Again, I agree. The idea is to keep the audience that initially began watching them on The Vampire Diaries, and reel in a new audience. Unfortunately, they are losing the old audience, and need to better utilize the history of Mystic Falls, as well as crossover characters between the two shows.
The Originals has done a few good things this season. First by casting Nathan Parsons (Jackson) as leader of the werewolf faction and betrothing his character to Hayley. He has proven his worth in spades, able to stand against Joseph Morgan and Daniel Gillies in their scenes. I think he’s the best addition to the show this year. Many fans hope he is added as a series regular for Season 2. The show has also done well defining each faction, introducing the witches, their motives, as well as the feud within the vampire clan.
This week, the audience will get a glimpse of Mikael Mikaelson, Klaus’s father from hell, who is set to invade his nightmares! Klaus will see parallels between his relationships with his own father and Marcel. Hopefully some of their history will be addressed for the new audience. The episode titled “A Closer Walk With Thee” begins as the werewolf clan says goodbye to those who have fallen victim to the attack at their camp. Genevieve will struggle to control teenage witch Davina (Danielle Campbell), and the young witches, with a little help from Klaus and Elijah. Meanwhile Francesca (Peta Sargent) is hell-bent on finding Cami’s family key that Marcel has, in hopes of unlocking secrets.
As the season comes to a close, it all culminates with the big delivery of the hybrid baby. The witches need it for sacrifice, and, so far, Klaus only wants the baby so he can continue to build his hybrids using the baby’s blood. Elijah has sworn to protect the baby at all costs, and interestingly, Hayley’s betrothed Jackson, however much he seems to be supportive, may have no problem giving the baby up to the witches. During “Crescent City” when Jackson reveals himself to Hayley, he slips up and says he doesn’t care about the baby, but then backtracked. Could his have spilled his real feelings? It all remains to be seen.
Don’t miss The Originals every Tuesday at 8pm on The CW and the Season 1 finale May 13![amazon template=iframe image&chan=default&asin=B00F55JE52,]