When The Originals left us last spring, Hope was safe with Rebekah, Esther was back from the dead along with her two deceased sons, and the Guerrera wolves were in power in New Orleans.
The Originals Season 2 Episode 1 picks up several months after the Season 1 finale left off and not much has changed in the time since we were way from the city.
Unless, of course, you count the fact that Cami has found herself a friend with benefit in Marcel. (Bow chicka bow wow!!)
If you didn't watch The Originals Season 1 finale before tonight's premiere, you might have found yourself lost a little more than once in the beginning of the episode. It's okay, you were in good company right alongside me.
I found the first 10 minutes or so of tonight's episode difficult to follow as the writers tried to inform us as to the whereabouts of every single character we've come to know and love. It was too much and not enough all at the same time.
Since losing her daughter, Hayley has spent a good deal of time alone in the bayou in her wolf form, preferring that to her vampire self, a side with which she isn't comfortable and might not ever be. Klaus has been furiously trying to paint while refusing to leave the walls of the compound, but to no avail.
Elijah: I suppose we shall have to call this your white period.
Klaus: I'm missing a crucial color in my palette, that of my enemies' blood.
He's frustrated in every possible definition of the word.
So is the relationship between Hayley and Elijah. In fact, it seems the two haven't been speaking in the months since Rebekah swept Hope out of New Orleans. Elijah prompts Klaus to try to help her and the original hybrid declines saying Elijah's doing a good enough job. Clearly Klaus hasn't been paying attention to the fact that they are BOTH grieving parents right now.
The only two people who seem not to be frustrated, at least not sexually, are Cami and Marcel who've been knocking boots since he was kicked out of the Quarter. It's strictly "no strings attached" sex, you guys. That's all it is.
Uh huh. Sure it is. (Is that the sight of two love triangles I spy on the horizon? Yes, yes it is. Maybe?)
In order to take back the city from the Guerrera wolves and those with whom they have aligned themselves, Klaus and Elijah must track down the twelve moonlight rings Genevieve made for Francesca. Once they locate the final ring, they decide to strike on the full moon. Those werewolves without a moonlight ring will be out of commission and none of the others will see the group coming since Klaus is in his weakest state when they are strongest.
They sorely underestimate Klaus and his ability to plan a massacre.
After almost no fight at all, which was a bit anti-climactic given this show's penchant for well-orchestrated bloodbath scenes, the group was successful in gathering and destroying all 12 rings. I'm not sad to see Francesca go at all, even if her end felt way too rushed and like the writers just went "Oh sh*t! We have a loose end to tie up here! Let's kill them all!"
The entire introduction of her line simply served as a way to further complicate an already (unnecessarily) complicated plot, so one less bad guy on the block is okay by me, particularly when we'll have both Esther and Mikael to deal with in the coming weeks.
It was disconcerting to have Esther be in Cassie's body. Finn-cent and Kaleb were (and are) equally difficult to digest. There's always something weird about watching different actors play cast members we've met before and are familiar with, so while I'm not always a fan of the trope of bringing people back from the dead and resurrecting bodies anyway, I wouldn't be opposed to watching that happen in this instance, if for no other reason than because Esther deserves to be played by a much older person and Nathaniel Buzolic is hot.
Add in Mikael, who's being kept as a pet of sorts by Davina right now, and we have a recipe for one, big dysfunctional family reunion fast approaching.
Family, above all, right? And Elijah's dedication to Klaus--and now Klaus' loyalty to Hayley and acceptance that she's part of their family--is what made this episode, (and this series) work.
While Hayley is struggling with her place in the world now that who she was has been effectively destroyed, Klaus gets to show a different side of himself to Little Wolf and help her in understanding who she is now that she is both vampire and werewolf. There's an understanding between Hayley and Klaus now that leads me to think we might be seeing the brothers fighting for her affection soon, and knowing that Nina Dobrev is coming to The Originals as Tatia, perhaps my suspicions are correct.
(Klaus definitely still has a thing for Cami, and she definitely has a connection to both Klaus AND Marcel, hence my earlier statement that we're about to watch two love triangles unfold. Maybe, okay. Maybe.)
For a premiere episode, The Originals Season 2 Episode 1 did its job, even while parts fell flat, primarily those dealing with the disposal of the werewolf faction controlling the city.
The premiere closed old stories and opened new ones. It set up myriad ways in which there will be conflicts between our main characters. It showed us a struggling Hayley who can't comprehend what it means to live forever.
And it showed us hope for what's to come: Klaus' redemption, Hayley's acceptance, and a little more shirtless Marcel. If we're lucky.
What did you think of The Originals Season 2 Episode 1? Are you happy to have the Guerrera wolves story put to rest? What does Esther have planned for her children? Sound off in the comments and look for The Originals Round Table to come soon!
Most importantly, if you crave more, you can watch The Originals online via TV Fanatic! Have at it.
And here's your first look at The Originals Season 2 Episode 2, "Alive & Kicking."
Miranda Wicker is a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.