Synopsis: A family of thousand year old vampires returns to their former home, New Orleans, becoming embroiled in the power struggles between vampires, witches, and werewolves. The head of the house is the paranoid, erratic, and controlling Klaus–a force to be reckoned with for his allies as well as his enemies, and a newly expecting father (poor kid). The rest of our protagonists have to navigate his moods while trying to protect their own, and bonds holding Klaus and his family together are tested to limit, often by his own actions in the pursuit of his goals.
Series: Third season airing.
I’ve Watched: Up to season 3, episode 4.
Verdict: Quite good.
And the season starts off with the family shattered, as Klaus has finally gone too far for even his ever loyal brother Elijah to tolerate. This was a long time coming.
The first episode serves as an adequate reminder, as well, that none of our protagonists–with the exception of Camille–are good people. Elijah often manages to disguise his own shortcomings under a noble countenance, but even that can’t mask the reality behind an actual slaughter.
Of course, Klaus himself has always been the worst. There were times when he almost wanted to be better, but it quickly becomes clear he doesn’t have the social skills for anything else. And now someone from his past comes back to actively encourage him to fall back into old, worse habits. Sometimes it’s hard to tell whether he’s really the true villain of his own story.
Camille can put up with a lot, and as such she remains the last holdout for someone still willing to tolerate Klaus, though only on a professional basis at this point. And then one moment he presumes too much, as ever thinking about himself, and she just snaps. Even though that probably isn’t the best thing for his good behavior, I have to admit I’m glad to see her finally not taking his BS.
Then Elijah finally makes the argument that I’ve been thinking since last season. That Klaus’ daughter, Hope, won’t always be an infant. She’ll grow up, have her own expectations, and make her own decisions. And if Klaus doesn’t shape up, there’s a good chance he’ll drive away his daughter the same way he drove away everyone else in his life.
Amidst these personal struggles, we find that the entire family is once again threatened. Some of the vampires the Mikaelsons have turned over the years are trying to eliminate their rivals by killing the original vampire from whom they trace their vampirism–an act which will wipe out the entire line of that original.
So enter new characters, trying to convince either Klaus or Elijah of their good intentions, all the while quite possibly being a threat that needs to be eliminated–something both Klaus and Elijah would do easily, if not for the fact that one of them might possess a weapon capable of hurting them. And eliminating potential enemies too soon might still leave that weapon out there, capable of falling into someone else’s hands.
Therefore Klaus and Elijah, despite being both powerful and ruthless, are restricted in what they can do until they figure out what is actually going on.
So the story’s interesting and gripping, as usual. However, it does tend to fluctuate with respect to its representation–not so much as to completely sour my enjoyment of the series, thankfully. The problem isn’t bad characterization, unlike many other representation issues. The show tends to do some things pretty well. Just not consistently so.
For one, it’s got Marcel as a main character, and he’s one of my personal favorites–have to love how the bedrock of his personality is loyalty, and I still say he’s hands down the best leader in the series. But he’s been a bit sidelined so far, this season, and even he’s chafing at it. That, at least, I have hope will change, given that he’s a mainstay of the series. Another black character, Vincent, has become something of a tertiary character. He’s pretty cool, but we don’t get to see him often.
There’s been a healthy and mostly happy relationship between two men, until one of them got killed off. There have also been a number of compelling WoC, but pretty much all of them have been killed off, too.
Ever since Rebekah stopped being a regular and we lost Sophie, the show hasn’t been as good with gender. Season three-wise, Freya has stayed decidedly in the background, and Davina hasn’t gotten to do much yet–there are moments when it seems like she’s taking a more interesting, more independent path. But that’s a separate storyline from what Klaus is up to, and ultimately the focus goes back to Klaus and the Mikaelsons. Apart from a few good scenes, Hayley is generally a cantankerous follower of someone else’s lead.
As for the new additions among the potential antagonists, Aya pretty much exists for the sole purpose of being a badass, and hasn’t gotten fleshed out beyond that yet–though maybe she will be. She’s also the only WoC in any significant role at the moment. Aurora has had more shown about her, but it’s been somewhat uneven. Though I did appreciate her role in A Walk on the Wild Side.
So it fluctuates. I do think the high points tend to be pretty good,though.
“This doesn’t frighten you, brother? That one day, your daughter will know exactly the kind of man that her father is?”