I'm kind of a sucker for happy endings when they're well done. That's why I almost wished The Originals had just ended with the Season 4 finale, with all our friends in a decent life. I mean, Klaus was kind of an open question, but he had a chance at happiness if he just didn't give in to his worst tendencies...and it seemed like his moment of seeing Elijah happy might have been a hint toward optimism.
But the problem with happy endings is that they're always a lie. We leave any characters in their "happy ending" moment, and deep down, we know there's a bunch of real life that will follow. Wait long enough, and every happy ending turns to crap. (Maybe not When Harry Met Sally; those two suffered enough during the story we saw that they earned some true marital bliss, and that's part of the genius of that movie.)
But I digress. We're here for The Originals. And there's a lot of unhappiness brewing seven years past the "happy ending" we saw last year. Klaus is on a bloodthirsty rampage in France, taking back the moniker "Klaus the Mad," and wearing it with pride. Between ripping out hearts and eating them in front of screaming civilians, he stops by Elijah's piano bar for frequent chats. (When Elijah sees Klaus and starts playing "Mack the Knife," that's fricking genius.)
When Klaus stays too long at the bar, it causes bad omens all over the world, and his siblings reach out to beg him to stop screwing with the potential apocalypse he tempts every time he gives in to his loneliness. Flowers wilt like they're in a nuclear winter, and blood pours out of faucets everywhere a Mikaelson is.
Where are they all? Well, Kol's in Belize, still adorably honeymooning with Davina; Freya's still in New Orleans, helping Vincent run the Quarter and having a serious long-distance relationship with Keelin via magical facetime; Rebekah is still in NYC with Marcel, who’s ready to put a ring on their immortal romance at long last. He pulls off this incredibly romantic proposal, and she hesitates. In her heart, she can’t commit to a life without her family, and that’s what this feels like.
And then, of course, there’s Hope. A Mikaelson is living under her mother’s maiden name, but showing signs, she’s inherited her father’s lack of judgment. She’s selling blood to some kid at the Salvatore school, and it’s mysterious at first. Is she selling vamp blood to humans? Where’s she even getting it, and most of all, why?
But no, it’s quickly revealed that the dumbass kid we just saw plunge to his death and resurrection was a werewolf, and Hope sold him her blood to make him a Hybrid. I will allow that this is less insane than it feels at first. We know that Hybrids are a terrible idea, but Hope probably doesn’t. She knows two: Hayley and Klaus. Hayley’s a smart, resourceful badass, a great mother, and role model. Klaus is unhinged, but she’s heard all the stories about her father; by all accounts, he was that way long before he got his hands on the Moonstone. She can’t truly know what she’s doing and how seriously stupid it is. Boy is she about to learn.
Speaking of dumb stuff that is 100% in character, Kol reassures his niece that she hasn’t ended the world, and everything will be okay. Kol casually mentions that she shouldn’t worry about never seeing her whole family again, because some crisis or another always seems to happen in New Orleans and bring them back from wherever they are.
My theory is that all the bad shit that then goes down springs at this precise moment. Hope is an incredibly powerful witch, but more importantly, she’s a dumbass kid who misses her father. I believe that Kol’s reassuring words inspire her, and her subconscious acts out to cause massive mayhem that will bring her family home.
Speaking of Hayley, she spends most of this season premiere being a badass Alpha and a smart, strong, loving mom. She’s also dating a guy named Declan, and I’m tempted to say don’t worry about this obvious placeholder pending Elijah’s return, except that the tradition of this show dictates he’s destined to die horribly or be secretly evil.
Ultimately, Marcel gets fed up with Rebekah’s always choosing her family over him, and he gives her an ultimatum, which dude, you should know better than that. Obviously, she bails on him. Surprisingly, she heads straight for France to see if Elijah’s piano man skills will make her feel better…putting three Mikaelsons nearby, apocalypse be damned.
But I’ve left the best for last. As everyone freaks out about Klaus’ whereabouts, Rebekah asks Caroline to check up on him! It’s the #Klaroline reunion we’ve been waiting for, and as always, Caroline sees right through Klajuse, and he can’t resist her.
She points out that everyone else seems to think his rampage is random, but she can tell there’s a pattern, a purpose; he seems to be killing his way through specific bloodlines. He says that he’s taking out every enemy the Mikaelsons have ever had, plus any heirs, just in case they know about their family’s grudges. He says it’s for Elijah’s safety since Elijah wouldn’t recognize anyone from his forgotten past if they came after him. As far as excuses to let yourself go on a killing spree, it’s not bad.
Finally, my favorite hot-as-hell witch, Vincent, is still running the Quarter like a boss. He’s a genius, a badass, and a good friend to Freya, giving her permission to abdicate because he needs her, but she needs to go. (Not that she’s likely to after all that immediately happens, but still, points to Vincent.) He gets the honor of delivering the closing monologue.
“How will we know if we’re at the end of the beginning or the beginning of the end?” he ponders just as the blood rain begins to fall. Asked and answered.