Family dynamics are inherently complicated and, therefore, inherently interesting. And when you make your family 1,000-year-old vampires, there’s a lot of drama that comes along with it. The risk is that you could find yourself drowning in years and years of mythology, overdone antics, and quite literally, history repeating itself.
And yet, up until this point, The Originals has done a beautiful job of establishing this family, its history, its issues, its triumphs, its darker issues, and everything in between. And the season 3 premiere continues that tradition. In fact, I’d venture to say that it works better than ever before. Let’s recap, shall we?
Act One: Remember when we all had long hair?
This week’s flashback is an Originals fan’s dream come true: All five Original siblings together in one scene, bickering, murdering, and doing everything we love them to watch them do. This time, we are taken back to 1002 A.D. in southern France, where Klaus, Elijah, Rebekah, Kol, and Finn are on the run from their father. They’re traveling around, killing people, hiding the bodies, and keeping moving.
It’s here that we get the first glimpse at the idea that the siblings should split up. Not surprisingly, it’s Kol and Finn who think it might be time to say goodbye to their siblings, but leader Elijah will have none of it. Despite the fact that original Finn just spoke more than he probably ever has in his life, Elijah is sticking to their vow: Family above all, always and forever. (So apparently Kol and Finn were always-and-forever siblings at one point.)
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On to the next topic of debate: Rebekah is sick of living on the run. She suggests they steal the clothing off the backs of their latest victims and masquerade as nobles at the gala at a nearby castle. But other than their stunning cheekbones, nothing about this group screams “nobility.” Thankfully, Elijah finds a personal servant to the count — the count who’s throwing the gala — in the cart. In order to spare his life, the young servant — named Lucien — offers to mentor the Original siblings.
Despite Elijah’s rule that they never leave alive anyone who has seen what they are, Rebekah asks, “Please can we keep him?” And you know what, Finn thinks they should. FINN HAS THOUGHTS!
They put the topic to a vote, with the decision ultimately coming down to Klaus, who votes they keep the boy and give it a try.
There’s something about watching these people, whom we’ve always known to be so poised and worldly, completely out of their depth and amazed at something as simple as a gala that is endlessly entertaining. But Lucien does his job, and the count welcomes them into his home. (One point to the cheekbones…and Rebekah’s cleavage.)
It’s there that Klaus first lays eyes on Tristan and Aurora, the count’s children. And let’s just say that Klaus — like most men — is taken by Aurora.
NEXT: Vampires in a cage…fight
Act Two: Oh, Brother
Back in present day, Freya is writing to Rebekah with both an update on the current situation and a plea for advice. Klaus and Elijah are still at odds, and Freya is at a loss with how to deal with their supernatural emotions.
Elsewhere, Marcel has turned the church into a fighting gym, complete with a cage where
all my dreams come true he tests those who want to join his vampire community. His No. 1 sparring partner? ELIJAH. So yeah, you guessed it: Elijah entering the cage in a tank top is our Elijah Moment of the Week. It’s also arguably the Elijah Moment of My Life, but that’s neither here nor there.
When Elijah’s not fighting, he meets up with Hayley on every full moon so that she can spend some time with her daughter. As for Klaus? Well, he’s yet to apologize for anything he’s done, and he spends his days being a doting father half the time and Cami’s patient the rest of it.
As for Davina, she’s done being seen as a vampire sympathizer, so she’s banned the witches from doing favors for vamps, even something as small as a daylight ring. (Sorry, Marcel.)
Okay, that about sums up Freya’s update for Bekah, which she sends via witchy UPS before returning to Hope’s side.
Cut to Klaus, who has invited Cami to preview his upcoming art exhibit. When he extends a (rather flirty) invitation for a private tour, Cami — clearly fighting the feelings she has for the monster — draws a personal/professional line in the sand before running off to join Vincent at a crime scene.
Ever since everything with his wife, Vincent has worked as an expert in anything occult for the cops, and this time, he’s called in Cami for some psychoanalysis, mostly because the victim had their mouth sliced open like the Joker and propped up on strings like a puppet. And when Cami realizes that the person didn’t so much as struggle, she realizes that they were compelled. Yep, this was a vampire murder. (And without even drinking the person’s blood? That just seems wasteful.)
Cami informs super hot new detective Kinney that the murderer took their time and is likely to strike again. With that in mind, Cami and Vincent head to Marcel’s gym, but he’s quick to eliminate his guys from the suspect list. It’s just not smart business: Leaving a body leads to headlines, which decreases tourism and, thereby, the food supply. Instead, he suggests the cops question Klaus.
Klaus, however, is currently enjoying his art exhibit (even as he seriously considers murdering the critic that just called his work “derivative”). But Klaus is quickly distracted when Lucien, his first progeny formerly known as the servant boy in the flashbacks, shows up. And let me tell you: Time has been good to him.
The two head over to the bar to grab a couple drinks and reminisce about how Kol was a “loon” and Finn was “fine as long as you didn’t actually have to speak to him.” (There really is a least-favorite Original, isn’t there?) But when Klaus asks about Aurora, Lucien says they parted ways centuries ago.
Cami’s arrival breaks up the reunion briefly as she updates Klaus on the murder, but considering that this is no longer Klaus’ city, he heads back to Lucien and leaves Cami to talk to Marcel or Elijah or anyone else, really.
When Klaus asks his old friend why he’s really in town, Lucien informs him that every vampire in the world knows that Klaus has almost been killed a number of times. And considering that Finn and Kol’s deaths wiped out two entire sire lines, there’s a war brewing among the remaining three sire lines. Klaus doesn’t seem too scared, at least not until Lucien asks him if he can say for certain that every splinter of White Oak is gone.
With that in mind, Klaus heads back to Lucien’s penthouse, where he meets Alexis, a cipher. Basically, Klaus feeds on her, she allows him into her mind, and she can sort of predict his future. But, because she’s cool, she does it with poetry:
Drink deep but beware,
What you broke is past repair
All your oaths you betray
Your sacred vows you sever
And now you see that nothing lasts for always and forever
Three yet remain, two already crossed
Yet in one year’s time you’ll all be lost
As your family is undone
You will cede to the beast that is to come.
Not surprisingly, Klaus doesn’t like the poem — he’s more of a Edgar Allan Poe kind of guy — mostly for its indication that he’s weak. Because, in case you didn’t know, he’s Klaus Mikaelson, the man who doesn’t need anyone. “I am the thing that lesser men fear,” he says. Yes, that’s true, but as Lucien tells him, he needs to act like it. (Perhaps fatherhood has made him soft?)
Lucien is here to remind him that he’s the most ruthless beast who ever lived. With a sire-line war brewing, Lucien is the only person Klaus can trust…except for one small problem: Klaus doesn’t trust anyone.
NEXT: Elijah kills a lot of people
Act Three: A lesson in hunting
So while Klaus learns of his family’s future, Elijah handles its issues in the present. Preparing to meet up with Hayley on the full moon, he instead finds himself face to face with a group of hunters. Apparently Kingmaker Land Development has bought the bayou and hired a number of “animal control” groups to get rid of the wolves. And when this guy mentions that he killed half-a-dozen wolves, well, he seals his fate.
In a close runner-up for our Elijah Moment of the Week, Elijah calmly turns Hope’s stroller around before he kills the hunters, pulls Freya away from her night off of dancing on bars, and tracks down the rest of the hunters.
Snapping a bear trap with his bare hands, Elijah begins giving the hunters a quick lesson in hunting. The highlight? A handful of hunters aiming their guns at Elijah and him looking down at all the red dots on his chest only to say, “How precious.” I love this man so much.
At the end of his killing spree, Elijah comes across a naked woman — a wolf — who warns him that if Hayley isn’t with Hope, she’s probably dead. So you can imagine Elijah’s panic when he comes across a truck full of wolf carcasses. (But how would he know which one was Hayley?)
But spoiler: Hayley’s not dead. See, after one of Davina’s witches attacked her, Marcel advised the young regent to respond with a show of force. We’re not exactly sure what Davina’s plan is, but we know she currently has Hayley trapped. Maybe she’ll help her with the curse? We can only hope.
Speaking of Davina, after there’s another murder of the Joker variation, Vincent heads to Marcel’s for a quick workout/beatdown, where Marcel informs him that he was supposed to mentor Davina. Marcel warns that Davina is going to get angry if the witches keep messing with her, and that means it’s time for Vincent to step in.
As for Cami, after she learns of the second murder, she returns home to find Klaus in her apartment. He’s there to give her a painting he made for her in exchange for one of their therapy sessions, but she’s obviously worried that crossing this line will lead to her ripping his clothes off. So instead, she yells at him, calls him an “insensitive disappointment,” and sends him on his way.
So without a “little chat” to calm him, Klaus goes out, finds the critic that hated his work, and rips him limb from limb before feeding on him. How’s that for a little art?
Our final teases: In Lucien’s penthouse, we find Kingmaker stationary before we get to watch him slice his mouth just like the murder victims. So yeah, that’s going to keep me up tonight.
We then cut to a monastery where Aurora is delivered a letter. And I’m betting it isn’t good news, because she screams, kills the monk in front of her, and says, “It won’t be long now.” Yep, this sire-line war is brewing.
Honestly, this hour would’ve been great if only for how adorable Hope was — especially when she fell asleep on Freya — but Hope wasn’t the only thing that worked. There’s something very simplistic about keeping the big bads within not only the vampire world, but also the Original family world. And yet, there’s also something incredibly complex about it. There might be less mythology, but there’s more history. And that’s something worth watching.
What did you think of the hour? Which Elijah moment was your favorite? Hit the comments, or find me on Twitter. And be sure to hear what showrunner Julie Plec has to say about the hour in her new weekly blog!