‘The Originals’ Season 4: Always and Forever? Or Not.

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As “The Originals” came to a close this season, it was pretty clear that the writers weren’t entirely sure as to whether the show would be coming back or not. As such, the finale definitely had the feel of one that could double as a series finale. Fortunately for us fans, the show was indeed renewed, so we’ll get a chance to find out what happened next, which is good, because where we left things was sort of heartbreaking.

Let’s pick up where we left off with the penultimate episode, “Voodoo Child,” which is a great title, especially if you’re familiar with Jimi Hendrix, who wrote not one, but two songs with that name, both of which are awesome. In this case, of course, it refers to Hope Mikaelson, who was the poor, unfortunate soul unlucky enough to have found herself the recipient of The Hollow.

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Little Summer Fontana has been killing it as Hope, in a season that has seen her go from innocent child to evil leader hell bent on complete destruction. Pretty heady stuff for a kid to tackle, but I thought she did a pretty good job by underplaying it to a certain degree. Obviously, it would be difficult for a child to understand exactly what is going on here- sometimes I have trouble with it myself, lol- but I thought that Fontana did a solid job of selling it. She was genuinely creepy in her “evil ruler” scenes.

When the episode opens, the Originals are celebrating the seeming defeat of The Hollow, but we know better. As everyone makes plans for what comes next- will they all leave New Orleans, as per their agreement with Marcel, or will they weasel out of it somehow?- Vincent continues his quest to investigate The Hollow’s origins for a way to defeat it. I guess no one bothered to give him the memo that The Hollow was “defeated.”

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Rebekah talks to Marcel about her family maybe staying, and perhaps the two of them rekindling their relationship after that kiss in the prior episode, but he says they still need to leave, for the sake of New Orleans, and that his heart now belongs to Sofya- yeah, right. Whatever the case, he successfully brings Sofya out of her coma or fugue state or whatever and she quickly informs him that The Hollow is still out there, which he passes along to the Mikaelsons.

However, they forget to tell Hayley, who is currently alone with said Hallow, via Hope, though she doesn’t know it. She’d be a pretty terrible mother not to notice something was a bit off about her daughter, though. I think it’s safe to say she does, but what that might be she doesn’t know yet, because, once again, she’s left out of the loop. Communication, people!

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Marcel and the Mikaelson bros pay a visit to Vincent, who confirms that The Hollow is still out there. He says he thinks he knows a way to defeat it, but they need the book he wrote to do so, and her acolytes stole it, so someone needs to get it back ASAP. Meanwhile, Hayley voices her concerns about Elijah to Rebekah, who tells her to hang in there, while Klaus finally clues Hayley in on The Hollow still being out there.

While waiting on the book, Vincent tries to channel Marcel’s powers to figure out the spell they need to take down The Hollow without it. It doesn’t work, but Vincent comes up with a better plan- he’ll “kill” himself with a potion and have Marcel “resurrect” him, “Pulp Fiction” style with what amounts to an adrenaline shot. However, he can only stay “dead” for a brief period of time, so Marcel must be there to deliver the injection at a certain time or Vincent will stay dead.

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Rebekah catches Hope throwing her necklace into the fire and Hope plays it off as her frustration about not being able to do magic to help her family. Then Rebekah tells her not to worry, as no one has ever defeated their family in centuries, so she thinks they’ll be okay. This angers The Hollow, who breaks off a piece of wood from the wall and stakes Rebekah in the back. Guess the cat’s out of the bag now!

Klaus and Elijah head to the house where Elijah was “killed” by The Hollow, and he tells Klaus that he wants him to take Hayley and Hope and flee New Orleans when all of this is done- without him. Elijah can tell Hayley’s disposition towards him has changed since the pendant business and things will never be the same between them, so he wants what’s best for her and Hope.

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Klaus and Elijah confront The Hollow’s acolytes, who brush them off, saying that they can kill them, but it’s all too late to stop The Hollow. One of them tells Klaus that he will never kill the person The Hollow is occupying at this moment, and infers that it’s Hope, much to Klaus’ chagrin. Needless to say, Klaus and Elijah kill everyone for good measure.

Hayley finally puts two and two together and realizes that Hope is possessed by The Hollow. She has Freya do a spell to confirm it, using hair from Hope’s hairbrush. That done, Freya goes to her girlfriend Keelin’s and spells her to make her pass out and puts a protection spell on her room to keep her safe. Hayley talks to Hope and tries to act all nonchalant, but The Hollow immediately knows she knows and taunts her, showing her the tattoo on her arm. When the circle of the snake is complete, The Hollow will have full control over Hope- forever.

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Freya bursts in and blows a sleeping potion into Hope’s face, rendering her unconscious before she knows what hit her. But that doesn’t stop The Hollow from exiting the body in cloud form as we’ve seen her do before, though Freya and Hayley miss it. Speaking of missing things, Marcel also almost misses injecting Vincent with the adrenaline shot when the hourglass runs out when he is set upon by some Hollow worshippers. Fortunately for Vincent, Sofya shows up at the last minute to help and Marcel just makes the deadline to resurrect Vincent on time.

Klaus and Elijah arrive with the book, and Sofya tells them that the longer Hope is under The Hollow’s influence, the worse it will get for her. Sofya was barely able to fight her off as an adult and Hope is just a child. Of course, Hope is no ordinary child, so there’s that. Nonetheless, Vincent says Klaus need to reassure Hope and tell her to keep fighting off The Hollow or all hope will be lost- literally. (See what I did there?)

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Freya tries to do a spell on the pendant to allow Hope to safely reside in there the way Elijah did previously, but The Hollow intervenes and destroys the pendant before she can complete the spell. She then knocks Freya out, as Hayley attempts to attack her. Of course, she is just a ghost-like figure when she’s not within someone, so this doesn’t go so well. The Hollow throws Hayley into a door, impaling her on a piece of metal. Ouch!

Klaus talks to Hope via a spell by Vincent and tells her to hang in there and fight, like the Mikaelson she is in a great scene that once again shows how far Klaus has come over the years. He admits the kind of person he used to be and tells her she inspired him to better a better person for her sake, to be the kind of father she deserved. Aww.

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Everyone else heads to the compound. Sofya and Elijah are taken out in short order, with the latter distracted by the sight of Hayley being impaled, but Marcel fares better, fighting her just long enough for Vincent to arrive and trap The Hollow in a ring of salt magic circle. Vincent starts the spell, and it looks as if The Hollow will be defeated, but we still have one episode left so we know it’s not going to be that easy, and it isn’t.

At the last minute, The Hollow tosses Vincent back and escapes the circle, returning to Hope, who disappears from Klaus’ side. The now-woke Hope gets up out of bed, goes downstairs and promptly sets fire to the book, thus getting rid of what would seem to be the last way of killing The Hollow for good in the process. She heads to Hollow HQ and has her followers bow down, because what’s the good of being an evil ruler if you can’t do that?

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Everyone else regroups and Vincent laments the loss of the book, and points out that, even if they were able to get The Hollow out of Hope, now they don’t have anywhere to put it. Hayley storms off to find Hope, rebuking Elijah’s offer to help, much to his dismay. Klaus returns, determined to do anything he can to help save Hope. Vincent says he might know a way, but it would mean the end of the family as they know it.

In “The Feast of All Sinners,” we discover what that is. It seems that, in order to somewhat defeat The Hollow, he’ll need to Horcrux the situation, which, for you non-Harry Potter readers/watchers, means that he’ll need to divide The Hollow into several parts- four to be specific- and then have those pieces placed inside four willing vessels, all of which must have Hope’s blood running through them, aka The Originals.

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However, Freya doesn’t qualify, so that means they need Kol back, who is off on his honeymoon phase with Davina and isn’t answering any calls. Klaus, Elijah and Rebekah all readily volunteer, even though it renders their whole “Always and Forever” thing moot, as once the spell is complete, they will need to get as far away from one another as possible, so The Hollow can’t force a reunion of itself.

In other words, if the four of them ever get together in one place again, The Hollow could return, so to keep that from happening, they will never be able to see one another again, at least in person. I assume they can still Skype or whatever, lol. Unfortunately, that also means that Klaus will have to leave his daughter to Hayley’s care and never be able to see her again, since, as we saw with Sofya, there will always be a connection between The Hollow and Hope and to do so would be too dangerous. Not liking this plan too much.

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Back at the church where Hope holds dominion over her followers, she resurrects Dominic, in a display of her power, which has a suitably awe-inspiring effect on them. Dominic serves as a sort of go-between for communicating Hope’s words to the masses from then on. He starts recruiting witches to the cause and eliminating any vampires that get in the way. That includes Josh, but fortunately, he manages to survive the ordeal by being simply knocked out rather than killed outright.

As Hope and her followers wreak havoc throughout New Orleans, killing anyone who gets in their way, Hayley tracks them down and confronts Hope, who swiftly levitates her and snaps her neck. That’ll teach Hayley for sending her to bed early and not letting her use her magic all those times! The Hollow’s acolytes are impressed by this display of power, but the rest of New Orleans, not so much, who run for their lives as this junior league Carrie continues her reign of terror.

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Vincent rescues Hayley and tells her the plan, and to pack a bag because she and Hope will be leaving ASAP, just as soon as the spell is done. Elijah asks if he can help and she tells him to find Hope, but not much else. It’s obvious she’s still none too happy with Elijah, but he does what she asks.

Marcel and Sofya find Josh and a roomful of dead vampires and he tells them what went down. Sofya wonders if they should align themselves with The Hollow, just to be safe. Josh says a big old nope, and Marcel agrees that they should instead continue to bet on the Originals to save the day, as they always seem to manage to do. Sofya is dubious, but agrees to this. Marcel grabs some magical dark objects, and they head to Hollow Central.

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Marcel approaches Hope and offers up a truce between the vampires and the witches. He’ll serve her and make sure they do if she stops killing them all. Hope wants Marcel to bow down before her as proof of good faith. He does. Say it ain’t so, Marcel! Obviously, it isn’t. He blows that sleeping powder into Hope’s face, she passes out, he grabs her and sprints out of there, super-vampire style.

Meanwhile, Sofya stabs Dominic, and Klaus comes in, with that look on his face that says this is not going to end well for anyone present, which is to say, smiling ear to ear. He declares that he has a dark object that can seal anyone within a room and proceeds to smash it, doing just that to all of Hope’s acolytes. Elijah arrives with a Molotov Cocktail and tosses it into the room down below, burning them all alive. Guess they bet on the wrong horse.

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Klaus later talks to a still-out-cold Hope and tells her to hang in there. Hayley overhears this and tells Klaus what he already suspected- that when this is all over, all of them will have to go their separate ways, and Klaus will never see Hope again, in addition to his siblings- though as we see later on, that isn’t entirely true.

Kol still hasn’t answered anyone’s calls, and Freya, in a panic, begins to contemplate taking a rash action to get around things. If she has one of the Originals’ blood in her system, then has Keelin kill her, then she will revive as a vampire and be eligible for the Save Hope/Defeat The Hollow Jubilee. Of course, in doing so, she will give up her magic, which is, you know, her whole identity, so… that isn’t good.

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We have yet another emotional Klaus moment when he confesses to Marcel that he was a pretty shitty father, when all was said and done. He even goes so far as to admit that Marcel was the better man, and that he failed him entirely. Marcel is a bit skeptical at first, given that it took things coming to this to elicit the apology in the first place, but eventually accepts it.

Elijah also confronts Hayley and tells her they were doomed from the start. She was always going to find out who he really was at some point. He tells her he loves her and they kiss one last time, after he promises to disappear after all this is over. Lots of goodbyes all around- see what I mean about this seeming like a series finale?

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Just as Freya is about to have Keelin medically induce death after she drinks Rebekah’s blood, Kol arrives, just in the nick of time. Way to cut it close, bro! You couldn’t have picked up a phone? Freya almost sacrificed her magic for this! I guess since the writers weren’t sure if this might be the last episode ever, they decided it would be a bridge too far if Freya sacrificed her magic, only to have Kol arrive after it was too late, so we should probably be grateful they didn’t go there.

Everyone meets up at the Compound and continues to say their goodbyes, as they will need to separate from one another immediately after the spell is completed. Klaus asks his brother Elijah not to come to his rescue when he inevitably relapses when left to his own devices and becomes the “old” Klaus once again, as to do so would endanger Hope. Elijah agrees, albeit a little too reluctantly.

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It’s spell time, finally, and Hayley sits within a circle, as per usual, holding a still-unconscious Hope in her arms. Actually, it’s more of a square, really, as each of the Originals surround her to make four corners: Klaus, Elijah, Kol and Rebekah. Vincent and Freya begin with the chanting, reminding everyone to get as far away from one another as possible once the spell is done.

It succeeds, with pieces of The Hollow going into each of the group and everyone but Klaus takes off. He stays just long enough to make sure that Hope is alright, then says he loves her as he also takes off to her screams of “Daddy!” Pretty heartbreaking, that.

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Marcel and Elijah meet in an abandoned house, where Elijah asks Marcel to compel him to forget his bond to the others. He knows that if Klaus is ever in trouble- or any of his siblings, for that matter- he will never be able to turn his back on them. To lower his defenses to make compulsion possible, Vincent naturally does a spell on Elijah. It works, and we see Elijah’s memories of the past, good and bad, dissolve away one by one in rapid succession.

The goodbyes at the Compound continue, as Freya gives Hope a necklace Rebekah gave to her to give to Hope and reminds her the importance of family, as her own is seemingly dividing for good. Freya hugs Hope and Hayley one last time and they’re off as well.

Then we get a time jump to see where everyone ends up. Rebekah is in New York, where Marcel catches up to her and tells her that he and Sofya are done. He thinks they have been apart long enough and wants to pick things up where they left off. He kisses her before she has much time to protest.

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Kol presents a diamond to a jeweler- a really big one- and tells him to fashion it into some earring, a necklace and an engagement ring. Looks like he’s going to pop the question to Davina! Lord knows they earned it at this point. Hope is in Mystic Falls, enrolled in Alaric and Caroline’s own personal Hogwarts/School for Mutants, because of course she is. She seems happy, as does Hayley.

Elijah is in France, having gotten rid of the suits- say it ain’t so!- and plopped himself behind a piano, where he is playing for tips. Someone puts a hundred in his tip jar and we see that it is Klaus, having thrown caution to the wind to check in on his brother. Elijah glances up to see who left the tip and sees his brother there, but doesn’t seem to recognize him. Clearly, the spell worked all too well.

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That is where we leave things, for now. Had this been the final episode, period, it would have been a decent enough series finale, if a bit on the sad side. As a fan, I’m sure I’m not in the minority of not liking that it’s implied that The Originals will never see one another again, this bit with Klaus and Elijah notwithstanding. Of course, it’s NOT the end, so I’m assuming that such will not remain the case for that much longer, which is good.

My only fear is that the show will fall into the trap that has befallen more than a few “team”-based shows, such as “Arrow” or “Agents of SHIELD,” in that we will spend an inordinate amount of time dealing with this team split and dealing with how they are going to get back together, when all the while they are apart. Granted, this is not entirely new to “The Originals,” given that the actors that play Kol and Rebekah have long since retired from being regulars on the show, but still.

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What with every last character being split apart to a certain degree, it will take some doing to work our way back to everyone being in the same place again, and that worries me a little. I feel like if it isn’t handled a certain way, then it will take a good half a season, if not more, to rectify everything and set things straight again, which could be a problem.

We shall see, especially with Julie Plec assuming showrunner duties moving forward, but on the plus side, it means drop-ins from “Vampire Diaries” alum are likely, which is a good thing and could help in the transition from the family being apart to the family being together again. Hopefully, they will do things in such a way that everyone gets a happier ending the next time around, right?

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Until then, this was a fairly solid season overall. Yes, the whole Hollow thing dragged a bit in places, and for a mere 13-episode season it felt quite a bit longer than that, but all in all, she was a pretty formidable foe, IMHO. A lot of times the Big Bad in these shows isn’t as bad as they try and make it out to be, but The Hollow proved herself a pretty viable threat throughout, not in the least in possessing Hope. I also liked her back-story and the way it tied into the werewolf mythos.

It will be interesting to see what the show comes up with next, in terms of what the next big threat will be. Will it continue to be The Hollow, who, after all, wasn’t really vanquished, but merely displaced, which means she will need to be dealt with for real at some point? Or will it be something else? Or, more likely, a combination of The Hollow and other things? I guess we’ll have to wait and see until next season.

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Until then, some great work on the behalf of the cast, with Joseph Morgan and Daniel Gillies in particular doing some stellar work this season- in some cases both behind and in front of the camera, which is doubly impressive. I’m glad the show gets at least one more season, as it would have sucked to have left the story where it was for good. Hopefully, they’ll come up with something better next season.

What did you think of the latest season of “The Originals”? Were you happy with the way it ended? Would you have been upset if that was the “real” end? What do you think the show could do moving forward to improve? Are you glad Julie Plec is going to be the new showrunner- or wary? Any predictions on what will happen next? What would you like to see happen? Sound off on this and more down below and see you next season!