For the Next Millennium – The Originals 3×01

To me, there are two kinds of movies/TV series: the former includes movies/TV series that I watch for convenience, meaning it’s available for grasp while I’m bored and have no motivation to do anything else except being a couch potato so I watch it. With a movie/TV series of this kind, I keep my mind critical and my radar on for any illogicalities that pop out. And once I lose my interest in it, I immediately drop it and go for another. The Sleepy Hollow TV series is the most recent example.

The latter kind includes movies/TV series that are absolute trash to me: rarely are they the best on TV or critically acclaimed, sometimes even mediocre to many people’s standards; however, I’m seriously obsessed with them. I could watch them again and again, I could remember most of the lines, I become part of the fandom and contribute my share of fanworks, and last but not least, I’m devoted enough to drag my lazy ass up and start typing review for the new season premiere. (Note that I’m super lazy and a professional procrastinator.)

…Which is everything that happens to The Originals.

The Originals, as I’ve said in some of my previous posts, are by no means mediocre. The plot is intricate and going at break-neck pace, the cast is a perfect match between physical attractiveness and talent, and the emotions each episode inflicts on the audience is plain gut-wrenching. However, to actually write a review for each episode, as I did with Penny Dreadful – another brilliant show, highly recommended – presents quite a challenge to me (again, lazy). However, since my friend did encourage me to write and if I don’t, I feel like missing out a huge part of the fandom, here’s my weekly rant about the season premiere: For the Next Millennium.

Warnings: spoilers, inappropriate language and zero attempt to make a serious review

For the Next Millennium (very thankful because we audience didn’t have to wait an actual millennium to watch) begins with a flashback, just as the producers promised, when our Original vampires weren’t the well-known versions of present time. We have the Mikaelson we love to love, Elijah, the Mikaelson we love and hate with equal measure, Niklaus, the girl-power Mikaelson (that we adore), Rebekah, all-time favorite Mikaelson, Kol, and finally, the Mikaelson that we hardly know, Finn. To see them all together is a dream come true for most fans; to see them all together and doing “proper family squabbles” like five-year-old kids (minus homicidal tendency) is a wet dream come true. Bonus: actual Caspar Zafer playing actual brooding and snarky Finn.

I’m inclined to believe that I’m not the only one who is happy to see Finn back. I was quite taken by his and Sage’s love in The Vampire Diaries and have been hoping to see more of him (and hopefully, Sage). So far, we have Rebekah’s occasional visits and Kol’s portion in flashback and a web mini-series, but the original Finn (pun very much intended) is nowhere inside the plot. Finncent is fine as hell (all thanks to Yusuf Gatewood’s terrific performance) but let’s admit it, we want Finn and Vincent separately. The more the better.

So the flashback introduces to us a very different aspect of the Originals: before they are the posh, cultured and sophisticated vampires in designer fashion and having great hair we’ve come to love, they used to be runaways in God-knows-how-old clothes and with very bad hair (these wigs aren’t the most charming I’ve seen on TV), who knew next to nothing about fashion and social etiquette. I guess it is to be understandable considering how they’d spent their mortal lives amongst neighbors who went naked and howling on a monthly basis. Aside from their unusual dieting habits, their lack of manners would render them incapable of joining the higher society to enjoy the finer things life, which is what they’ve yearned for after a long period of running from their ax-crazy vampire father. But not to worry, Lucien has come to the rescue!

… Introducing Lucien Castle, a man with a handsome face, a sharp mind, a quick tongue and another bad wig (What’s wrong with all the wigs here?). Let’s not forget the funny last name. Seriously, this guy looks down on humans so much that he didn’t even bother to invent a proper last name to tell the real estate agent.

From a human captive (and dessert, according to Kol) to a helper of vampires, this is how Lucien’s complicated relationship with the Mikaelsons starts, which would later result in his becoming Klaus’s very-firstborn.

Still, Lucien isn’t the only F1 generation we get to meet in this episode. We also have a glimpse of Tristan and Aurora, the other two of the Trinity and let’s say they are a sight for sore eyes (thanks to seeing too many bad wigs): Tristan, as expected in a series full of pretty people, is handsome and mercifully short-haired – how he’s the only one to be spared from the wig disaster is an enigma, while his sister Aurora is “exquisite”, to quote a smitten Klaus.

Hopefully we’ll get to know more about them in the coming episode.

Before writing this review rant, I’ve seen many complaints about this episode being tedious and yawning. Maybe it’s just me but I’m perfectly fine with this episode’s pace. Surely it’s somewhat slow-paced but I’ve seen slower episodes in Penny Dreadful (the entire series being slow-paced, actually) but I still enjoyed them immensely as I did For the Next Millennium. It’s a necessary warm-up after a one-year hibernation and it sets the plot into motion. Certainly not the best but promising for better things to come. Plus, it’s nice to see the familiar faces again and getting to know what they’ve been doing in the six-month time skip.

It’s a fascinating coincidence for American Horror Story: Hotel and The Originals to start in the same month and in the same week, with only one day in between. As I follow both shows, I find some interesting similarities between them: They both have gorgeous and overall good cast who know their characters and what they’re doing; they both start with intriguing murder mysteries; they both include bloodsuckers, though in AHS case, it’s claimed to be an ancient blood disease rather than vampirism; and lastly, blood flows freely in the very first episode of both shows.

Speaking of blood flowing…

I’ve seen a comment that said people kept complaining about the amount of blood spilled in Game of Thrones while The Originals was not any less brutal. I guess it’s true in a way; however, while GoT is graphically violent and doesn’t hesitate to push characters to the guillotine, The Originals is a little more subtle about violence – scarcely are violence and gore portrayed onscreen as they more often than not happen off-screen and are more implied than straightforward. While it’s very clear that Elijah massacres the human hunters who hunted Hayley’s pack, audience don’t really see much of him doing the deed, only the corpses that are strewn on the ground. Similarly, Klaus’s tearing apart the unnamed art critic (a bone-chilling lesson for any art critic before they start criticizing someone’s works) is known to audience by the classic means of shadow. In addition, The Originals’s tried its best to preserve the lives of its main cast. And even if they are killed off, the premise of this series makes it possible to bring them back, meaning we aren’t too despair to hope for an official return of Kol and even Finn (Mikael can stay dead or in flashback, merci).

Although it’s still too soon to state any theory about the prophecy and the “beast that is to come”, I have a hunch that the beast will very likely be Elijah. Last season revealed his “Red Door”, a mental spot where he’s been hiding his monstrosities, and the idea that Elijah has the capacity to go extremely dark has been entertained. It’s only fit that the “Red Door” is exploited in this season, on the setting of a war between sire lines. Perhaps somewhere in the series, Elijah finally snaps and turns off his humanity, introducing to the world the beast that has been caged in him for a millennium! How appalling and thrilling it would be. We all remember well how devastating it was when Stefan went into non-humanity mode and thus Ripper mode; imagine a non-humanity Elijah. It would be apocalyptic to the supernatural world and human world in general.

Highlights of the episode:

  • The Originals’ being an adorable family
  • Kol and Finn’s constant bickerings
  • Elijah’s agreeing with Kol: Am I the only who thinks flashback Elijah acts much like present-day Klaus?

  • Klelijah moment, however brief
  • Rebekah’s cleavage =))))))). Even most powerful vampires aren’t above using honey trap.
  • Elijah’s swooping ass: Kudos for the humans for being able to exterminate a dozen of supernatural, vampire-killing wolves – less kudos for the humans for destroying wild animals in order to build golf courses and condos. I imagine the animal activists would cheer loudly when Elijah snaps that hunter’s neck.

  • Elijah’s doing boxing: poor Marcel and the young vampires become punching bags for one angry Original. He and Klaus aren’t so different after all with their anger issues.

  • Freya’s partying: Nice to see her enjoying herself and blending in just fine with modern life.

  • Elijah and Freya’s bonding: I need to see them get closer in this season. My Freylijah shipping radar is tinkling.
  • Klaus’s being genuinely upset about Cami’s words but doesn’t take it out on her but slaughters an art critic instead.
  • Klaus and Lucien’s being touchy: Nope, this season is totally not gay.

  • Lucien’s very failed audition for the Joker

  • Random naked wolf girl who isn’t shy about showing her wolf assets to a certain Original

  • No Jackson =))))))))

6 thoughts on “For the Next Millennium – The Originals 3×01

    1. I dddiddd recommended this series to you a while ago, didn’t I? 😅😅. Seriously, it’s full of pretty people and it’s set primarily in New Orleans, the land of vampires and witches according to pop culture. More pretty people in this season since they’re going to introduce the very first generation of vampires. I expect a lot of bromance and the season premiere hasn’t failed me one bit.
      Too bad it’s not very appreciated in Vietnam.

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  1. I’m living with a painfully tight schedule until next January (may be longer). After Lang Ya Bang finishes (I can only watch 1 ep/day) I’ll move on another series. Is it appropriate to watch The Originals at work? ‘cuz at home I don’t have free time @@

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    1. Quite safe. No nudity, no sex scenes, only scarce, brief make-out scenes and then fade to black. But it’s a bit violent as characters have a tendency to stab each other or break each other’s neck.

      Like

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