Every week after The Originals airs, I say "this was my favorite episode!" because every week this show steps up its proverbial game with twists that keep us thoroughly hooked.
The big reveal from The Originals Season 1 Episode 9? Klaus' werewolf family has come to town.
I've watched tonight's mid-season finale twice already, and I'm still not sure where to begin this review. That was one jam-packed hour of television which left us with much to discuss between now and the show's return in January.
JANUARY. Over a month! What are we going to do?
This cast better get some attention from the People's Choice Awards next year, particularly Joseph Morgan, whose portrayal of an "immortal egomaniac" is beyond anything we could have imagined when the character first appeared on The Vampire Diaries season 2.
Back then he was just this, well, immortal egomaniac. Now he's an immortal egomaniac with a soft spot for pony sketches and pretty blondes. And babies. Who knew?
Klaus finally has the reins and is the ruler of the vampire community of New Orleans, but he doesn't know what to do with his new position. As someone who is used to taking what he wants when he wants it, the ideas of subtlety and politicking are lost on him. And he hates rules.
The humans decided to teach him a lesson tonight and, honestly, it was one he needed to learn. It also allowed us to see Klaus and Marcel team up against the humans and even if it wasn't an epic fight like last weeks' Klaus-smash in the compound, it was still great to see Marcel get a little devilish.
(Is it just me or does Charles Michael Davis have THE BEST evil twinkle in his eye? Paired with that smile of his? Wow!)
If Klaus is going to rule the city, and if he wants to earn the respect and loyalty which Marcel has been able to garner in Klaus' nearly 100-year absence from the city they both call home, then he has to learn to play well with others in the sandbox. Or the bayou.
Marcel, it seems, is eager to rule alongside Klaus like the two dreamed they would someday. Now that someday is here, Marcel is pretty quick to choose Klaus over Rebekah. Again.
To be honest, I'm kind of okay with this quasi-breakup.
I feel badly for Rebekah because the girl can't catch a break when it comes to love, but the setup for their relationship was a little clunky and got too serious too quickly despite the fact that they have a century's worth of history together. I might also still be angling for Matt Donovan to leave Mystic Falls and join Rebekah in the Big Easy.
Hey, Cami's in need of a few more humans who know a thing or two about the supernatural world, you know? (Let me have my dream, people!)
Cami's quickly becoming one of my favorite characters. The girl is headstrong and unafraid, but she's also got a huge heart and spirit of compassion. There's nothing about her I don't like right now. Nothing at all.
Her full-on Memento moments to help herself remember all of the things she'd been compelled to forget were great and really seemed to fit with the type of analytical character she's been written to be. She believes in the power of the mind. That's why she's a psychology major. That she would believe in the power of her own mind to overcome the compulsion worked.
Of course, then Klaus compelled her again in what was one of the most fraught with sexual tension scenes to date on this series.
Come ON, man! Kiss the girl, already! Do you need a lagoon of sea creatures to sing to you? What are you waiting for? She's (probably) not going to get pregnant if you decide to make a move!
If admitting he's in love with Hayley will help remove the stick from Elijah's "enduringly stoic ass," then imagine what a good woman could do for Klaus! Maybe it will happen once Cami's free of the compulsion thanks to Davina.
Having Davina and Hayley under the same roof could prove to be Klaus' undoing. He's underestimating just how far the wolf and the witch will go to protect themselves. He himself should know that survival is everything after running from his own father for centuries.
On the homefront, things are intensifying for Hayley. She's protected because she's carrying Klaus' baby, but that protection doesn't extend to her werewolf kin in the bayou as far as Klaus and his vampire army are concerned. He ordered their deaths, but Hayley couldn't allow that.
Elijah and Rebekah trekked out to the bayou to protect the werewolves and in the process uncovered wolves from Klaus' original bloodline. The werewolves are about to move front and center, it seems, and my curiosity is piqued.
Aside from introducing them and supplying the mythology behind their curse, The Vampire Diaries didn't do much with the werewolves. There's room on The Originals for this story to be told.
Klaus going to Father Kieran and asking for his help in protecting the werewolves he has yet to meet says that he's as intrigued as many of us are.
The mid-season finale ended with a familiar refrain: Family above all.
Elijah apologized for thinking the worst of his brother when they learned that the baby's blood could be used to make more hybrids. Klaus accepted the apology by inviting Elijah and Rebekah back into the compound.
Maybe there's hope for the Mikaelson family yet.
What did you think of The Originals Season 1 Episode 9? Are you intrigued by the werewolf story arc coming up? What do you plan to do to pass the time on Tuesday nights until the series returns in January?
Miranda Wicker is a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.