By Troi Watts
Every TV show has its ups and downs. Ideally a successful show is consistent with its interesting plots, believable character development, and overall entertainment. The Originals is not one of these shows. If you’re considering watching this Vampire Diaries spin-off, you should be aware that it is a rollercoaster with examples of both brilliant plots and annoying inconsistencies, causing certain seasons to be less exciting than others. However, the majority of the show is worth these downhill moments. Need more details on which seasons to look forward to and which to just bear through? Keep reading! But be warned that there may be spoilers for each season of The Originals so far.
#1. Season 1
The first season of any spin-off is crucial to its overall survival. The Originals does not disappoint. While the pilot may feel repetitive due to its similarity to its soft opening episode in The Vampire Diaries, things pick up as more details about the Mikaelsons and the supernatural world in general come to light. For some fans, the Mikaelsons were the reason we kept watching The Vampire Diaries past Season 3. These fans should be satisfied with the focus shifting to Klaus and Elijah full-time. The suspense brought on from Hayley’s pregnancy and the idea of Klaus being a father propel the premiere seasons. Before this point, fans have only seen Klaus as a villain in The Vampire Diaries, but even in the first season of this show, we see him becoming more controlled and mindful of his actions. These first layers of character development set a consistent pace for the rest of the show, which seems to have held nicely. In the end, things come together in an emotional and action-packed finale that sets the bar very high for future seasons and leaves fans wanting more!
#2. Season 3
It’s common for television shows to start to run out of steam as they near Season 5 (just look at Arrow or Pretty Little Liars), but instead The Originals seems to have moved uphill with its third season. Fans of backstory are satisfied as we learn about the first vampires that the Mikaelson siblings ever created. This backstory leads to some interesting new characters, romances, and conflicts. These conflicts aren’t the easiest to handle either as their answers don’t seem to exist and the stakes are set high. With the introduction of a brand-new monster with the power to kill the Mikaelsons, fans are unable to predict possible solutions and dread the only foreseeable outcomes. This is not to mention that now fans are able to worry about Klaus, as he is not protected by his sire line. This vulnerability shows a completely new side of the arrogant immortal and keeps the show interesting. The writers don’t shy away from the consequences of these new problems either. In the end we are left to wonder what will become of the dying Mikaelsons and baby Hope as Marcel comes to power and brings the hammer down on his former family. Realistic and intense, Season 3 of The Originals is certainly memorable.
#3. Season 2
Coming off of the excitement left over from Season 1, Season 2 of The Originals does not disappoint. However, problems that would continue to plague the show do start here. In particular, some of the Mikaelsons return from the grave in the bodies of others. This is an issue because Esther, Klaus’s mother, has already been killed and brought back to life in The Vampire Diaries. Therefore, these new resurrections detract from any suspense the writers might have wanted to create using deaths in the future. One redeeming aspect of the show is the introduction of a seemingly all-powerful foe. While this creates some interesting plot twists and explains aspects introduced in the first season, the overall defeat of this foe seems ridiculous. This new adversary is Klaus’s aunt, one of the oldest and most powerful witches of all time, and yet, she is inconsistent with her magic. Witches have used spells to break the necks of vampires (thus leaving them unconscious until they heal) many times throughout the show so far, but when it’s obviously inconvenient for the writers, the witches appear to forget that they can do this. This does bleed into future seasons (as you will see). In the end, this season’s finale does not live up to previous standards as there is no real cliff hanger and therefore no hint as to what Season 3 will be dealing with.
#4. Season 4
The Originals seems to have stumbled after three exciting seasons. The most recent season is flooded with inconsistent magic use, more resurrections than any other season, and a general lack of luster. The new threat of the Hollow seems to be in line with the usual impossible-to-defeat enemies that we have seen in the past, however the Mikaelsons find several ways to stop it only to be undermined at the last second. This pattern gets very old very quickly. This seems to be the theme of this season: certain events happening over and over again to the point of dullness. Specifically, this comes in the form of the dead coming back to life. Davina’s death at the end of Season 3 was a high tension point in the season’s end and was seemingly final. While some fans may welcome back Davina, her simple resurrection takes away from the seriousness her recent death was supposed to have. And that shocking death of Elijah? Did you hope that the writers were committed to the idea of killing off a star of the show? Bringing Elijah back within two episodes of his death has the same effect as Davina’s resurrection. So after a whole season of annoying repetition and seemingly lost plot actions, we aren’t even left with a satisfying look at what lies ahead in Season 5. The Hollow situation has had a pin put in it and looks like it will continue to be the overall conflict of Season 5, but hasn’t that dead horse been beaten enough?