Five years after the fall of the Mikaelsons, Marcel is king of New Orleans as Hayley works to reunite the family

By Samantha Highfill
March 17, 2017 at 09:00 PM EDT
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Annette Brown/The CW

The Originals

S4 E1
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At this point, part of me wonders if The CW didn’t make us wait so long for The Originals so that we’d be in a similar mindset as the characters, who’ve waited five years to be reunited. (You know, because five years and 10 months is totally the same.)

Brief refresher: Last season ended with Freya linking the lives of her siblings to Klaus and sending them into an alternate realm of sorts — call it a magical safe house, if you will. Klaus then sacrificed himself to save his siblings, which involved Marcel using Papa Tunde’s knife on Klaus and imprisoning him. That then left Hayley to find a cure for Rebekah’s hex, a cure for Elijah’s bite, a cure for Freya’s poison, AND THEN all of the necessary ingredients to wake the Mikaelsons up. Talk about a big to-do list for a single mother.

As for the city of New Orleans, well, it was left in the hands of Marcel and Vincent, which is where we’ll begin.

Inside New Orleans, a.k.a. What Marcel’s Up To
The hour kicks off with Vincent making sure the witches (and the viewers) are up to speed. Essentially, New Orleans is doing great. The witches and the vampires have lived in peace for the past five years, but with the anniversary of Klaus’ downfall, they should expect some questionable visitors who will no doubt attempt to upset the peace of the city. Every year, the city is visited by those who want to get to Klaus, who, by the way, is imprisoned in the now grown-over Mikaelson compound.

As for Marcel? He’s taken up residence in Lucien’s beautiful penthouse, and he’s even got a new sidekick. We don’t get her name, but there’s a woman who serves as his ears in the city, and today, she has some news: Rumor has it that a few of Klaus’ enemies are working with the covens to try and steal Klaus. There’s even talk of sigils being drawn on walls and secret midnight meetings. But Marcel’s not too worried. If it’s a witch problem, he’ll simply talk to Vincent.

But there is another problem: A particular member of Klaus’ sire line, Alistair, is in town, and not only has he sent his men to find Hayley, but he knows Elijah is alive due to the fact that members of Elijah’s sire line, namely members of The Strix, are still breathing.

With that, Marcel heads out to handle both issues, first stopping by Rousseau’s, where a photo of Cami and Davina hangs on the wall and Josh apparently works as a DJ? In the back, Marcel alerts Vincent to the rumored sigils and asks that Vincent keep the witches in the Cauldron this week so that he can deal with the vampy visitors. Vincent agrees, even supplying the witch community with enough groceries so they don’t have to leave home. (It’s there that we meet Maxine, the hot single mom Vincent has his eye on.)

Marcel then heads to the compound to chat with Klaus. He wants to know how to handle Alistair, and in exchange for some blood, Klaus tells him that Alistair’s weakness has always been his pride. If Marcel throws him a big party, Alistair shouldn’t be a problem.

Spoiler: The party doesn’t work. Klaus might be a weakened version of himself, but he’s still Klaus. He likes to feel powerful, needed. So by telling Marcel to throw a party, all he did was ensure that Marcel would have an audience when Alistair challenged him, and Alistair did just that. After Alistair announced his theory that the Original siblings were in fact linked to Klaus — something Marcel figured out years ago with Vincent’s help — Alistair announces that he wants a drop of Klaus’ blood to prove his theory. And once he does? He’ll kill Klaus, thereby wiping out the entire family. (Quick backstory: Klaus turned Alistair into a vampire and then compelled him to kill his entire estate, including his wife and child — hence the revenge.) Marcel tells Alistair that they will settle things at the Mikaelson compound… at midnight.

Now angry, Marcel returns to Klaus, who’s simply amused at watching someone else deal with the struggles of being a king. But when Marcel mentions how it would only take one drop of Klaus’ blood for someone to track Hope, the big bad wolf caves. Klaus advises Marcel to let him handle Alistair. Apparently, Alistair only responds to one language and Klaus speaks it fluently. (Hint: It’s bloody.)

So after Vincent stops by the compound and creates a magical fighting ring of sorts — anyone can enter, no one can leave — with a boundary spell, Alistair arrives.

Marcel then wastes no time in dragging Klaus out for all to see, chains and all. He then hands Alistair the sword that he earlier gifted to Marcel, only now, it’s laced with Marcel’s venom, which means one slice and Klaus is a dead man.

Alistair willingly steps into the ring, enjoying every second of beating Klaus… until he vows to track down and kill Hope, at which point Klaus fights back. After biting Alistair, Klaus kills a number of Alistair’s men — using the sword, his chains, and of course, his bite. In what might be my favorite line of the episode, Klaus invites others to fight him by saying, “Meet your maker.” (Literally.)

(Also this might be a good time to remind you all that Klaus’ sire line is no longer linked to him, which is why they’re all so willing to kill him.)

But no one else is dying today. Marcel steps up and snaps Klaus’ neck. He got what he needed, and now he can set everyone else straight. He tells them that he keeps Klaus alive for his blood, so that he can cure werewolf bites. He keeps him alive for collateral in case the Mikaelsons return. And he keeps him alive because he can. Marcel put him down and he will keep him down. As for anyone who’s visiting New Orleans, they’re welcome to enjoy the city so long as they follow Marcel’s rules. Now, with all that said and done, it’s time to celebrate. (Anyone else having pilot flashbacks? King Marcel is back!)

With that, Vincent returns Klaus to his life as a captive as he tries his best to ignore Klaus’ threats and see what Cami once saw. As Vincent tells Klaus, Cami believed with all her heart that there was some good left in Klaus, and he doesn’t understand why he’s so hellbent on proving her wrong. Well, because he’s Klaus. That’s also the reason why, when Marcel returns, Klaus hits him where it hurts: Klaus tells Marcel that he’s not keeping him alive solely to save Rebekah. “I am the source of the approval you seek,” the impossible alpha tells Marcel. It’s why Marcel keeps him so close, Klaus says, because he needs him to “keep from becoming the monster you fear yourself to be.” Even though Marcel now technically has more power, he still can’t escape Klaus’ shadow. As Klaus tells him, inside, “you are weak.”

And that’s when Marcel stabs Klaus with the Tunde blade… again.

But with every problem he solves, a new one pops up. Remember those sigils? Marcel’s informant lets him know that they’re popping up all over the city.

Outside New Orleans, a.k.a. What Hayley’s Up To
While all of that is happening in New Orleans, Hayley is this close to waking up the Mikaelsons. After asking Mary to come watch Hope, we find out that she’s found the cure for Freya’s poison and had a witch siphon Rebekah’s hex. She’s also managed to find members from six of the seven werewolf packs, and Mary finally has a lead on the sole survivor from the seventh. So Hayley has to go after her, even if it means walking into a trap, because at this point, Hope is developing a power she can’t understand, and she needs help teaching her to control it.

So, leaving Hope in Mary’s hands, Hayley packs up the Mikaelsons and heads to Austin, Texas. (The worst part of this is poor Hayley having to drive that huge truck for the past five years. What if she just needs groceries? Can you imagine parking that thing?)

Once in Austin, Hayley finds Keelin, the member of the seventh pack. But when Alistair’s men show up, Hayley is forced to speed things up. She kidnaps Keelin and takes her to a warehouse where she can extract her venom. She then wakes Freya up — I love that they’re all still immaculately groomed when they wake up — so that she can perform the spell and save Elijah, Kol, and Rebekah.

The bad news is that Alistair’s men followed them, so while Hayley distracts them by wolfing out – Hope’s parents are badasses — Freya completes the spell and is able to cure the bite on Elijah’s arm. And you know what that means! Elijah’s awake! Even better? His entrance.

After Hayley transforms back into her human form, she has two final challengers, and just as she’s about to take them on — while naked — someone zips in and kills them both in less than three seconds. Then, as he simply stands behind her, she knows he’s there. He then puts his jacket around her shoulders before she turns to kiss him. Talk about a reunion!

According to Elijah, Kol and Rebekah didn’t stick around because they couldn’t control their hunger, but all he wants to know about is his niece. Hayley tells him that she’s perfect and that she made her mom promise she’d get her family back. That means there’s one person left, and as Elijah says, “Let’s go get him.”

But there’s a bigger problem here: After Maxine tells Vincent her son, Adam, is missing, we watch Adam as he wanders into an abandoned building to find the serpent sigil we’ve been hearing about (along with a bright light and something that clearly terrifies him). And when Hope wakes from a bad dream, we realize that she’s been drawing the same thing over and over: that same sigil. This can’t be good.

What did you all think of the hour? Hits the comments with your thoughts or find me on Twitter @samhighfill.

Episode Recaps

The Originals

Joseph Morgan and Daniel Gillies star as Klaus and Elijah Mikaelson in this Vampire Dairies spin-off about the first family of vampires, their life in New Orleans, and the witches and werewolves who live there.
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