Vincent ends this hour by wondering how we could ever know if, at any given point in time, we’re at the end of the beginning or the beginning of the end. But for Originals fans, we know our fate: This episode is quite literally the beginning of the end. This season is the end of a story that began eight years ago, when Elijah Mikaelson — and his amazing hair — sauntered into that abandoned house and first laid eyes on Elena Gilbert, the latest Petrova doppelganger. Later that season on The Vampire Diaries, we’d go on to meet Elijah’s brother, Klaus, and from there, the story of the Original family was born. Now, after countless betrayals, deaths, and one very dramatic birth, we’ve reached the final story, and it all begins tonight.
The season premiere picks up seven years after the season 4 finale — which saw Rebekah, Kol, Elijah, and Klaus part ways in order to separate the Hollow’s magic and keep Hope safe. So far, it seems they’ve kept their vow to protect Hope, though it has taken its toll. There’s Klaus, who now goes by “Klaus the Mad” as he wanders through France ripping out hearts and traumatizing passersby.
Then there’s Hope, who’s living life at Caroline and Alaric’s Salvatore School for the Young and Gifted, and I’m not going to lie, just seeing the Salvatore house (and knowing that Stefan and Damon aren’t inside) made me tear up. Furthermore, seeing its hallways filled with teens in uniforms was…weird. (Imagine all the snarky comments Damon would have about that.)
Regardless, it’s now the school that Hope has called home for seven years. And it seems she’s made a friend. Oh wait, just kidding, she’s selling her blood to some werewolf named Henry so that he can kill himself and become a hybrid. So apparently we’re finding Hope in that rebellious teen stage. She asks Henry to be discreet, but when he jumps out of a window, she’s suspended, and that means one thing: Hope is going home to New Orleans.
Speaking of New Orleans, it’s currently living a peaceful existence. We find Vincent leading a mardi gras meeting with Hayley representing the wolves, Josh representing the vampires, and Freya representing the witches. Together, they’re making sure the celebration will once again go off without a hitch. At least that’s Vincent’s plan, but Josh’s phone keeps buzzing with texts from Marcel. The man might be miles away in New York, but he can never really let his city go. Vincent, however, doesn’t want Marcel anywhere near this city, because Marcel = Rebekah = Elijah and Kol = Klaus. And if even two of them are in the same place, the magic inside of them is essentially a ticking bomb. And that’s why they’re not together…that’s also why Hayley has found herself a new man.
With Elijah off in what Josh calls “amnesia land,” it seems Hayley’s been seeing a very cute, very human chef named Declan, and they’ve got a date tomorrow night. At least, that’s the plan before Hayley gets the call from Hope’s school.
Sitting in the hallway awaiting her meeting with Alaric, Hope runs into Roman, a very pretty classmate with pretty hair and a pretty face. And he seems rather impressed that Hope Marshall of all people got suspended. As he puts it, it’s “cool.” So yeah, meet the “bad boy” that Hope clearly has a crush on.
Henry then sits next to Hope and apologizes, and that’s when we learn that no one at school knows that Hope is Klaus’ daughter. The only reason Henry knows is because he’s a crescent, and seeing as how Hayley’s their alpha, it’s kind of hard to keep that secret. Henry asks, “Your dad’s not going to kill me for getting you suspended is he?” But Hope wouldn’t know because “he can’t bother to be a dad.”
Back in New Orleans, Freya is creating what’s essentially a magical FaceTime so that she can talk to Keelin, who we learn is in Lebanon. Keelin has a trip home in five days, but she’s trying to convince Freya to join her on her next six-month stint. After all, Freya doesn’t need to be in New Orleans to figure out a way to reunite her family, something she hasn’t been able to do in seven years. Keelin asks Freya to give her seven months in Lebanon — one month for every year she’s spent trying to reunite her family. Freya doesn’t agree immediately, but she’s certainly thinking about it.
However, Keelin and Freya aren’t the only couple that’s found happiness over the years. When we catch up with Marcel and Rebekah, he’s playing what he calls “four objects and a question,” which is what you’d typically call A PROPOSAL. The first object is a wedding dress that he saw Rebekah eyeing. The second is the drawing of the house he designed for them all those years ago. The third is her sword, because it was after their first duel that he told her he was going to marry her. And the fourth object? An engagement ring. And here’s where he presents his question: “Rebekah Mikaelson — delicate as lace, elegant as a fine home, tough as polished steel and love of all my lives — will you marry me?” I MEAN COME ON!!
At this point, Rebekah’s crying, but Marcel anticipated that. He’s prepared two envelopes — “If you say yes” and “If you say no.” All she has to do is pick one. But she can’t, not yet. Not with her family in the state it’s in.
And what state is that you ask? A really bad one, especially now that Klaus has decided that it’s a good idea to talk to Elijah. For the first time in seven years, Klaus sits down at Elijah’s piano for a conversation about his “geographically challenged” family. Klaus reveals that he hasn’t talked to Hope in five years, something that Elijah thinks “sounds like a recipe for regret.” Klaus responds, “Now you sound like my brother. He was my lone star.” And now I’m definitely crying. Klaus tells Elijah about his brother, saying, “He’s been away and I’ve only just realized how far he’s gone.” Just then, more flowers start to die, and all the way back in New York — where Rebekah is bathing and arguing with Marcel about how she hasn’t given him an answer — her bath water turns to blood. Rebekah quickly calls Klaus and tells him he has to leave…now.
In New Orleans, Hayley explains to Hope why she wasn’t supposed to draw attention to herself, and furthermore, why making Henry one of three hybrids in the world was a bad idea. And in all the drama, Hayley forgets to meet with up Declan, who runs into her on the sidewalk later and pretty much refuses to be dumped. She might not be comfortable calling him her boyfriend, but he’s not giving up until she dumps him formally: At a bar, with bourbon. She agrees to meet him later. For now, she has her hands full.
While Hayley heads to the bayou — where the crescents are concerned about Henry’s safety — Hope FaceTimes with Kol, who’s oddly her best uncle right now. It seems Kol is enjoying married life with Davina in Belize. He tells his favorite niece not to worry, some crisis or another always seems to bring the Mikaelsons back to New Orleans eventually. (Next: Enter Caroline)
But for now, Klaus is still overseas, and when he stops answering phone calls, Rebekah calls in back-up by the name of CAROLINE! Just after Klaus finishes killing off an entire family, Caroline pins him against a wall and tells him, “Why don’t you pick on someone your own size?” His response: “Hello, love.” And in those two lines, we’re reminded of the unbelievable chemistry between these two.
It seems Caroline was already in France on business when Rebekah called her, and now, Caroline doesn’t have time for Klaus’ crap. At this point, she’s a mother of twins who was married and widowed on the same day — RIP Stefan — and is now responsible for a school full of kids, including Hope. Speaking of Hope, why is Klaus avoiding her? Caroline tells Klaus that his daughter is beautiful and probably too smart for her own good, at which point they both say “like her father” in unison (and my heart flutters).
Caroline informs Klaus that Hope has heard the same rumors they’ve all heard, that Klaus has gone bonkers, and yet, as Caroline looks at him now, he only seems “normal crazy.” Caroline, always realizing what Klaus is up to, figures out that he’s not just killing random people. Rather, he’s methodically picking off all members of one family. So why?
Well, once Klaus stops smirking at the woman who always sees right through him, he explains that he’s killing the families of his enemies. Sure, it’s a way to pass the time, but more than that, it’s the only way to protect Elijah. In Elijah’s current state, he wouldn’t know an enemy if he/she sat down next to him. And for once, Klaus is the one having to look out for Elijah.
Caroline, forcing Klaus to clean up his mess because “it’s a historical building,” asks if Klaus has really lost it. “I find I’m not good without Elijah,” he admits. “This is worse than if he were dead.” Caroline reminds him that he still has a daughter, but he’s convinced that Hope is better off without him. After all, he knows what it’s like to be raised by a monster. And cue Caroline calling him on his crap. Mikael is dead, and she tells Klaus, “Get over it. Stop using Mikael as an excuse to be a bad father!” Caroline, on the other hand, knows what it’s like to grow up missing your father, which is precisely why Klaus should call Hope. She tells him to call his daughter before he loses her and she loses him, “because I happen to think that you’re someone worth knowing.” And now I’m reminded of what these two can do with the simplest line. I have missed this.
With that, Caroline heads out, and as for Klaus, well, we’ll get back to him.
First, we revisit New Orleans, where the town seems to be itching for a fight in the midst of all this Henry madness. But despite it all, Vincent tells Freya she should go to Keelin. He doesn’t know how this is all going to shake out, and one of them deserves a chance at being happy. And yet, before Freya even makes it home to pack, Henry makes a mistake…
Back at the compound, Hayley realizes that Hope was selling her blood in order to buy a passport so that she could see her father. Their conversation is interrupted when Henry shows up with the bartender’s dead body. He just killed a vampire, and this isn’t going to end well.
Almost immediately, the city is divided with the vampires wanting to get their hands on Henry. And things only get worse when Hayley calls Declan to move back their date and is knocked out by some magic. By the time Freya gets home, the fountain is running red, and that’s just the beginning. It seems Rebekah decided to pay her brother a visit.
After Marcel gave Rebekah an ultimatum — marry him now or walk away — she had a messenger deliver him an envelope at City Hall. It was the one that read “if you say no.” From there, Marcel sent Josh a text: He’s coming home. As for Rebekah, she went to have a chat with Elijah. “Is it odd having strangers confide in you?” she asked, to which he responded, “I guess I just have that kind of face.” Rebekah, speaking for all of us, told him, “I think it’s a nice face.”
Across the globe, Vincent — who’s journaling in a cemetery — is talking about tipping points when Klaus calls Hayley’s phone, which was found outside the compound. Hope picks up and tells her father that Hayley’s missing. “I’m on my way,” he tells her just as the city starts to rain blood. So yeah, I’d say we’re at a tipping point. And if this is only the beginning of the end, what is the end going to look like?
All in all, I really liked this premiere. I definitely had to get used to seeing the Salvatore house as a school and realizing that baby Hope is now experiencing the teenage flirtations that I’m used to seeing between Stefan and Elena or even Caroline and Klaus. But once you get used to it, it does work. Danielle Rose Russell is extremely likable as Hope, and the cliffhanger of Klaus coming home and what that could mean feels like a good note on which to launch the final season. Let’s just hope raining blood is as bad as it gets.
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