The Originals series finale: An emotional end to an iconic show
The fifth and final season of The Originals wrapped up on Wednesday and to say things have been teary is an understatement.
"I don't know how to say goodbye."
CW's vampire saga 'The Originals' has finally come to a close after a long, fruitful and extremely intense run of almost six years. The fifth and final season wrapped up on Wednesday and to say things have been teary is an understatement. The Mikaelson family, who were at the center of the drama finally found what they were looking for all along - the courage to move on. While the fan in me wanted to hold on to every thread of life in 'When the Saints Go Marching In', a part of me knew deep down that it was time. Still, none of us knew how to say goodbye. Such strange times we live in - this season was the best of the five and yet it was the last.
While Klaus and Elijah's deaths weree not a surprise, it was strangely the most wholesome thing the show has shown us so far. Their turbulent relationship saw an end that none of us wanted but secretly knew about. They stake each other and die as their beloved city of New Orleans dances on during Mardi Gras, cheering on celebrating life. Poetic as hell, the death of these characters is perhaps one of the best moments in 'The Originals' history, not because we dislike them but simply because it is a beautiful full circle.
The two had always been tormented by the fact that they are immortals and even though they killed each other, they finally found what they were looking for - the end to thousands of years of bloodshed and painful memories. This season had been paving the path for this dramatic end with their character arcs slowly and steadily changing and returning to who they started out as. Klaus switched sides from being a merciless murderous monster to a doting father who sacrificed his all for his family and Elijah went from a heartbroken lover to his brother's best friend. They surprised us with the amount of love and affection that they had buried inside and each time they lost, we felt the pain. Their death, however, felt like a rite of passage, like the two brothers were finally free.
There have been a number of deaths so far this season and each of them has been heartbreaking. This is one thing that the show has done right - they have never reduced their character deaths as mere shock value stunts. It has been always respectful and has given the audience time to grieve for them. The characters feel like they are really important to the plot - this is one reason why this show has been such a fan favorite.
The season finale also made a comparison between Hope and Klaus, quite subtly. Just like her father, she is more than ready to go to any lengths to save her father the same way he did in the past. She doesn't even mind letting Elijah die for it. There's also a similar rage in the both of them but unlike Klaus, she's much kinder and patient. The finale also set the tone for the upcoming spin-off called 'Legacies.' Hope tells Klaus that she will live on, fight to see another day and go back to school - the setting of the upcoming show. The spin-off features the kids of Alaric Saltzman. Klaus, when he's off looking for a cure to Hope's madness, runs into Alaric Saltzman (Matt Davis) at the Salvatore School for the Young and Gifted.
The show had been tying up loose ends for quite some time. The central character arcs were all coming together. Elijah's romance with Antoinette (Jamie Murray), which was on the up at the beginning of this season died down. He was back to mourning the love of his life — a pattern that has been crucial to the character of Elijah Mikaelson. It is a sad curve, to say the least. He was finally free from the grips of the "Always and Forever" promise, but his siblings managed to bring him back to right where he started, proving, once again, that it is always family first for the Originals. His short-lived romance in France looked like the better part of his story arc but as we see now, it was Klaus' redemption that actually made him happy.
Rebekah and Marcel's love affair, that had gone on for more than a thousand years also found its way to an engagement. This time, she asked him and although we don't see it on screen, she does talk about changing into a mortal so she can live out her days peacefully with Marcel. She's always wanted kids, so maybe that's the next step for these two? Speaking of babies, Freya and Keelin sort out their differences and tie the knot. Now that Vincent has decided to father their child, the story points to a long and blissfully happy life. Even the city of New Orleans, that was once at peace with all the factions is on its way to going back to the good old days. The Klaroline angle is also sealed with a kiss.
While the final chapter is about all of these things, but it was mainly about something more and that was courage. Each character in the show had one thing in common - they could never bring themselves to choose their own happiness over their family's convoluted past. While it made for good drama, at some point or the other their broken mental state was evident and brought about empathy. This was a bittersweet farewell indeed.
All in all, this series finale was emotional but in some ways, it felt like just a season finale. Perhaps it has a lot to do with the fact that the buildup had always pointed towards this end so it became quite predictable. Nevertheless, it was hard knowing that this was the last time that the Mikaelsons would sway to the tunes of jazz as New Orleans' city lights glittered around them.
"Where is the good in goodbye?"