The Originals 401 Recap “Gather Up the Killers” #TheOriginals #FreeTheMikaelsons

Episode grade: 8.

Now here’s something The Originals does that I love: the opening monologues. A different character week by week, inviting us into their world. And just try to resist that invitation when it’s delivered with Yusuf Gatewood’s mellifluous voice. The New Orleans Regent is addressing the covens, reminding them that this is the week each year they must stay out of the French Quarter because Klaus’ many enemies will be in town to celebrate the anniversary of his defeat, and to witness proof that his suffering continues.

As Josh will adorably phrase it, the Eurotrash vampires are “Eurotrashing the city.”

Also keenly aware of this five-year anniversary convergence of immortals with grudges, demands, and rivalries, Marcel has an agent engaged to keep him informed on all the comings and goings. Sofya clues him in about the arrival of Alistair Duquesne, whom she identifies as an immediate problem, but she’s much more concerned about a potential uprising among the witches. Marcel doesn’t discount her instincts or her intel, but he feels pretty confident in his alliance with Vincent.

With Alistair the most pressing concern, Marcel goes to the expert for counsel: Klaus himself. Starving, weak, chained in a cell with a magical boundary, Klaus isn’t in the mood to help. Marcel pulls the carrot-and-stick options; Klaus can have a snack, or he can spend some more time with the blade of psychic torment. Klaus obligingly advises Marcel that Alistair is a fop whose favor can be easily curried with gifts, parties, and compliments.

Marcel throws an appropriately debaucherous event, treats Alistair as an honored guest, and offers him a thoughtful, expensive gift. It doesn’t alter Alistair’s intentions, however. He suffered horrors from Klaus, and he requires two things: proof that Klaus suffers now, and some of Klaus’ blood, which he will use to track down the rest of the Mikaelson family and slaughter them. 

Let’s check in on those other Mikaelsons, shall we? Hayley continues to watch over them in their coffins, and somehow, they’ve eluded danger all these years. I know Hayley’s the ultimate badass, but still, that seems improbable without a witch on their team…perhaps Hope’s inherent magical ability has been quietly helping out for a while now.

Also helping out? Grandma Mary, who’s come to babysit Hope while Hayley goes on a very important mission. To revive Elijah and Kol, she’ll first need to awaken Freya, but the moment she does so, Freya’s magical stasis will start to fail, re-exposing Elijah and Kol to Marcel’s venom that is waiting in their veins to kill them. So she can’t awaken Freya until she’s gathered all the ingredients Freya needs to create the anti-venom. The last piece of the puzzle is venom from the final wolfpack, and she finally has a lead on the sole survivor of that werewolf bloodline: a nice lady named Keelin, who just wants to be left alone.

Keelin is at a bar, celebrating her successful career path because she’s going to be a doctor instead of a werewolf! Except, no, she isn’t, because Hayley’s found her, and the enemy agents are just behind. By the way, nice to see Christina Marie Moses, who was so excellent on the short-lived gem, Containment.

Hayley captures Keelin and obtains her venom, more or less without being too much of a jerk about it, because Hayley isn’t a Mikaelson. She then awakens Freya, who gets right to work on the anti-venom. Hayley is suddenly busy fighting an SUV full of bad guys, so Keelin is left alone with Freya, who very much is a Mikaelson; Freya has no intention of honoring Hayley’s pledge to free Keelin because Keelin is the only source of a precious ingredient that may be needed again. Ouch, I almost forgot how awful the Mikaelsons really are. You know, you think of Klaus as the worst by far, and he is…unless Finn’s around, I guess…or their parents…and hey, Freya’s a cold-hearted witch…the Mikaelsons really deserve to be as hated as they are. Elijah’s a mensch when he’s on his own, and Rebekah has a soft side, and Kol was softened by his love for Davina…but they’ll all throw anyone else to the wolves to defend each other, right or wrong. 

Hayley goes full hybrid in the fight, wolfing out and killing the hell out of all these saps who thought to attack her family. Down to the final two, she returns to human form, naked and covered in the blood of her victims. Of course, this is when Elijah shows up to dispatch the last couple of losers and then, always the gentleman, offer Hayley his jacket. It’s chivalrously hot. She thinks so too.

Back in NOLA, Marcel asks Vincent for a favor. He needs a new boundary spell, and it has to be “Original-strength.” He’s basically looking for a Thunderdome setup: anyone can enter, but no one can leave.

With the boundary spell in place, Marcel invites all the Eurotrash into the ruins of the Mikaelson compound. He tosses Klaus into the Thunderdome circle, then hands Alistair a blade laced with his own super-deadly venom. Alistair can’t resist. He enters the circle, slaps Klaus around a bit, and then draws back to go for the kill…and, of course, is killed by Klaus. A couple of his lackeys jump in and are also quickly taken down.

Marcel has his badass moment over the corpses of his enemies. He reminds the crowd that Klaus is his prize, and he has no intention of giving up possession or control of his prize. That he is the King of New Orleans, and while you’re in his city, you abide by his rules. 

Not to rain on his parade, but Sofya quietly reminds him later that there are witchy symbols being drawn all over town, so his problems are not over. Mysteriously, it turns out that Hope has been drawing these same symbols, obsessively.

Marcel punishes Klaus for insolence with another stab of the blade of psychic torment. I’m guessing this is how Cami will be back next week–Klaus’ regrets coming back to haunt him.

What did you think of the season premiere? Talk about it in the comments!