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Friday, July 14, 2017

'The Originals' S3 BD: Friends, Foes, and Allies Oh My!

As the Unreal TV review of the Warner Prime S2 complete series DVD set of the CW series "The Originals" states, a series of reviews of Warner home-video releases of this "The Vampire Diaries" spin-off is leading up to the Warner Archive August 29, 2017 Blu-ray release of the 2016-17 S4 of this program. Aptly for this show and its ilk that take long mid-season breaks, this review of the Archive complete-season Blu-ray release of S3 is being broken into two halves. The review on the second-half of S3 is scheduled for mid-August 2017.

S3 picks up in the aftermath of the chaos of S2 of this series about the Mikaelson clan that literally is the mother of all vampires. This comes to being as a result of arguably the toughest love of all time.

The three primary Mikaelsons of Klaus (who has especially strong daddy issues), not-so-good anymore brother Elijah, and highly emotional sister Rebecca are trying to come to terms with the drama related to siblings Freya, Kol, and Finn (as well as Mom and Dad) asserting themselves in S2. The secondary characters who have not learned the lesson of the folks who get involved with the Ewings of the '80s prime time soap "Dallas" also are feeling the impact of largely being collateral damage in the War of the Mikaelsons.

In the typical fashion of the always compelling supernatural-based CW (and predecessor WB) series, S3 brings new related season-long threats. Early episodes reveal the original days of the newly turned Mikaelson siblings wandering the European countryside of 1,000 years ago both trying to adjust to their new reality and seeking to end their nomadic existence. Their meeting nobles and their servant Lucien, who volunteers to serve as beard for the trio in exchange for not becoming their dessert course, is a game changer.

Meanwhile back in 21st century New Orleans, grisly murders that violate the code regarding that feeding ground coincide with Lucien reuniting with his old friend Klaus after a long absence. This development brings NOPD detective Will Kinney into the action as both the investigator on the case and as a friend of longtime witch/temporary Mikaelson meat suit Vincent.

Zombie Will being manipulated into cooking, mutilating himself, and otherwise providing Lucien (and the audience) perverse pleasure is a highlight of the first part of the season.

Related newcomers Tristan and Aurora, who are the children of the nobles who unlive to regret hosting the Mikaelsons back in the day, stir up additional trouble. Tristan is out for literal and figurative blood regarding mischief of Klaus that extends beyond an especially callous dirty trick; this blue blood having the powerful vamp frat the Strix to back him up give the threats that he poses some muscle.

For her part,  mentally unstable Aurora is eager to rekindle her relationship with Klaus. Beyond Klaus being the baby daddy of married werewolf royalty/vampire hybrid Hayley, his having human Cami as the object of his affection does not amuse Aurora. For his part, the inappropriate feelings of Tristan toward Aurora increase the odds of Klaus suffering at the hands of his former host.

All of this centers around the aforementioned core Mikaelsons learning of a vague prophecy that an unspecified one of them will fall at the hands of a friend, the second at the hands of a foe, and the third at the hands of a family member. The above recap provides a partial sense of the numerous possibilities regarding how that may go down. The lack of specificity and the fact that just about every character is a prime suspect regarding any harm that Klaus and his sibs experience keep our originals on edge even more than usual.

A notable S1 P1 episode revolves around a Thanksgiving episode that has the Mikaelsons and those in their inner circle sit down for a tense dinner that becomes more intense as the evening goes on. Learning that a Mikaelson who is believed to be relatively safe literally is sleeping with the fish does not help matters.

The writers keep the perverse take on wholesome holiday specials with a mid-season ending Christmas special that concludes with a shocking cliffhanger that shows why the Mikaelsons cannot have nice things.

These events make one glad that having the BD (or DVD) set does not require waiting six months to see what happens next. One spoiler is that the second half of the season is even more exciting and compelling (pun intended) than the first.

Anyone with questions or comments regarding "Originals" is encouraged either to email me or to connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.