The fourth season of ‘The Originals’ just came to a close and it had been, up to a point, the best season the show has had storytelling wise. The Mikaelson siblings had all been on the same page for the first time in so long, Hayley and Elijah were finally being given their chance to truly be together and grow as a couple, Klaus was finally finding his place as a father, Vincent was finally being treated as the powerful ally he is, Marcel had broken free of the constant cycle of pain caused by the Mikaelson’s and Freya had finally been granted a dynamic love interest.
The Hollow and all the drama that came with it had been genuinely entertaining and interesting to watch at all points. Then episode ten came (which in and of itself wasn’t actually a bad episode, just a catalyst for the lackluster end of the season) and you could almost pinpoint the very scene where Julie Plec returned to a more active role in the show instead of strictly focusing on the final season of “The Vampire Diaries.”
Tonight’s finale felt less like a season finale and more like the end of a series. And if it were just the end of the series I’d probably have loved it. No, the concept of the Mikaelson’s (especially Klaus and Elijah) being separate forever doesn’t sit that well with me, but if it were the end I could learn to live with it. However, the beautiful emotions of the finale were sullied by the fact that it is coming back next season.
Splitting them up is actually a devastatingly beautiful end for this show, but now it’s no longer an option. Because they’ve done it and the emotion of it will be lost when the series returns next year finding an inevitable way to reunite the Mikaelson’s together again in New Orleans; all curses, spells and amnesia broken.
Instead Plec has opted to use what could have been a suitable series finale as a season finale that justifies yet another time jump. Time jumps have become a crutch for Plec, so much so that by the time “TVD” came to a close I didn’t even know what year it was supposed to be.
A time jump for this show now means years lost of Rebekah and Marcel’s epic romance, heartbreaking separation we won’t see any of and most notably the loss of young actress Summer Fontana. Considering their casting for a love interest for Hope, it’s doubtful Fontana will be returning next season seeing as seven-year-olds don’t have love interests. Child actors coming into a show in the middle tend to not go well, but Fontana stood out all season long as a stellar performer and will be missed.
And then there’s Elijah. Beautiful, kind and flawed Elijah; again were this the end of the series I could be pleased with him getting to start completely fresh, even if it’s technically the worst trope in the world amnesia, and have a peace this life has never granted him. I’d be at peace with it even though it means splitting up Klaus and Elijah, whose relationship has been the ultimate standout of the shows entire run for me (nothing quite gets me in tears like the two of them sharing an emotional brotherly moment). Instead he’ll only experiences a few years of peace till it all comes crashing down around him.
And then of course there’s his relationship with Hayley. The relationship ending is one thing, Elijah wasn’t wrong they truly were doomed from the start, but Plec’s reasoning behind splitting them up, the hypocrisy of her calling it toxic after an incident that was entirely out of Elijah’s control while she allowed so many other actually toxic couples to receive happy endings (i.e. Delena, Kolvina, Klaroline one day inevitably). She did to them the similar thing that she did to actually healthy couple Josh and Aiden a few seasons back and to Steroline and Bonenzo on “TVD.” She allowed them to be given endless foreshadowing to a happily ever after, a way out and then blew it up for no actual apparent reason. But instead of killing off one half of this couple, she called him a monster and gave him amnesia. Elijah as a character deserves better than that.
But you can’t not give props to Daniel Gilles for working with the material he was given. That man never ceases to act the hell out of all he has, even if it’s nonsense.
The season was incredible to a point, but then Plec’s focus came back and Michael Narducci was already halfway out the door and instead of the story he spent all season crafting Plec set up a finale that felt too final for her fifth season. Narducci will be deeply missed next season that’s for sure.
I won’t quit watching it, I’ve loved too many of these characters for too long to do that, but I do hope that next season is its final. The end won’t be as satisfactory as this one could have been as an end, but at least then it’s only 13 more episodes where Plec can bulldoze over everything that’s good.