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‘The Originals’ Season 4 Premiere Review: Waking the Family

Annette Brown/The CW

A world without the Mikaelson family sucks.

That’s how The Originals kicked off its fourth season. Vincent began the hour with the show’s trusty exposition to fill in the gaps for the audience.

It’s been five years since Marcel took down Klaus, and Hayley carted the sleeping siblings out of New Orleans with Hope by her side in search of multiple cures. In the time that’s passed, Marcel’s resumed his king status, Vincent’s head witch in charge, and random vampires show up every now and again to cause trouble.

For me, “Gather Up the Killers” started out slow. Not because of the exposition, but due to the lack of Original family members. I didn’t wait 10 months for the show to return to see what’s new and exciting in Josh’s world. All he does is remind me that he lives while Cami and Davina died.

(No, I will never be over the show killing half its female cast in one episode).

Annette Brown/The CW

Thankfully, we’ve still got Hayley to remind everyone who’s boss. Along with a now seven-year-old Hope (seven!!!), the hybrid queen was ready to take the last step to bring back the family. All she needed was one last ingredient in the form of the venom from the seventh werewolf family (she’d collected the other six).

Mary, Jackson’s grandma, arrived to serve as babysitter, and to attempt to discourage Hayley from following through on her plan. Seriously, no one asked you, Mary. She also warned Hayley that someone else is searching for the werewolves, too. Most likely to stop Hayley from brining the family back.

And this is where we tie the two main stories together. Alistair, a disgruntled former member of Klaus’ now fractured sire line, believed there was a spell keeping the Mikaelson family alive. He wanted to hunt them down and he gave Marcel grief for keeping Klaus alive. Again, who asked you?

Why Marcel didn’t just kill him circles back to what will always be frustrating about this show: it’s hard to take any of these people seriously as THE most powerful beings ever when someone is constantly showing up to threaten them. But, fine. Marcel had his reasons for wanting to keep NOLA safe so he turned to Klaus for advice.

Annette Brown/The CW

At some point during the five years, Marcel fished out Papa Tunde’s torture knife, and started to be a little nicer to Klaus. He’s still in chains and food deprived, but he and Marcel chat from time to time. Marcel also figured out right away that the rest of the family was alive, and connected to Klaus’ life. He doesn’t care if most of them live or die, but he’s not risking Rebekah’s life.

Again, this is part of what makes The Originals frustrating. Marcel wants to be part of the family, he wants to love Rebekah; they all want him to be part of the family, but there are fresh obstacles in their path each season. If everyone would sit down for five minutes and hash out their feelings, they’d all wind up on the same side. Too bad Cami’s dead and can’t be their therapist.

(Bitter forever, party of me).

Okay, I know that’s not how TV works so let’s move on. Klaus wanted to protect his family so he suggested Marcel let him fight Alistair. Marcel and Vincent put their petty bickering aside, and created a fight circle for Klaus. He killed Alistair, bit some of his friends, and then Marcel put him down again. He used the show of force as a justification for keeping Klaus alive—in case he needed cure to werewolf bites.

It was a solid plan, and a chance to find some common ground. But then Klaus threatened to kill Marcel and Vincent as soon as he was freed (sigh). Vincent played the Cami card (my heart) to shame Klaus, and then Marcel ended up jamming Papa Tunde’s blade back into his chest (rude).

But there’s a bigger problem. Some weird witch circles are popping up all over New Orleans. And Hope’s drawing them after having nightmares. I’m guessing this will be a big mystery for the season. It’s too soon to make any guesses or judgements about this one so let’s wait, and see what happens.

Annette Brown/The CW

Back to Hayley—she tracked down the werewolf, Keelin (hey, Christina Moses! I still miss Containment a lot). Keelin’s trying to live a normal life, but Hayley assured her she just needed her venom. Then, she knocked her out to make things easier since Alistair’s vamps were on their tail. Hayley had already found the cure for Freya, and Rebekah, so the werewolf venom was the last step.

First, she woke up Freya, who in classic form, immediately wanted to get to work. But the vamps found them. Hayley headed out to take care of business, and went into full BAMF. She ripped out hearts, bit a few people, and then turned into a wolf to finish the job. Freya did her thing, pausing to melt the brain of a vamp who annoyed her with the snap of her fingers, and then the cure was ready.

I’m not even going to pretend what happened next wasn’t my favorite part of the whole episode: Hayley switched back to (naked) human form, but there were still two vamps left to fight. She didn’t have to though because Elijah emerged from the shadows, and took them out. Then, because he’s a gentleman, he covered Hayley with his coat. She turned around and kissed the hell out of him. Of course they’re still in love five years later. Heart eyes everywhere.

Kol and Rebekah disappeared off screen and Freya declared she would take Keelin hostage despite the deal Hayley made to let her go. And this is why Freya deserves to be head of the family. Is it the right thing to do? No, of course not, but she’s not going to risk her family’s lives. They need more venom in case Marcel comes after them again (which we all know he will).

All in all, a solid premiere once it got going. I enjoyed seeing Hayley in full BAMF. Her brief scenes with Hope were perfect. The two have a strong bond after five years on their own. It’ll be interesting to see how Klaus, and the other Mikaelsons, fit into their dynamic going forward.

Now, they need to rescue Klaus. Easier said than done, no doubt. But here’s hoping it’s not dragged out for too many episodes.

Mandy Treccia
Mandy Treccia has served as TVSource Magazine’s Executive Editor since 2016, formerly as Editorial Director from 2012-2016. She is an avid TV watcher and card carrying fan girl prone to sudden bursts of emotion, ranging from extreme excitement to blind rage during her favorite shows and has on more than once occasion considered having a paper bag on hand to get her through some tough TV moments. Her taste in TV tends to rival that of a thirteen-year-old girl, but she’s okay with that.

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