Cast: Joseph Morgan, Daniel Gillies, Phoebe Tonkin
Release Date: Now Available On Blu-ray & DVD
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Disc Rating: 7.5/10
As Original vampire-werewolf hybrid Klaus Mikaelson returned to the vibrant, supernaturally charged city of New Orleans in season one, he was stunned to learn — along with his siblings Elijah and Rebekah — that Hayley, a werewolf, was pregnant with his child, and his vampire protégé, Marcel, whom the Original siblings had thought long dead, was ruling the French Quarter. Soon, a bloody war escalated between vampires and witches — the stakes raised by powerful teenage witch Davina and by Klaus’s bond with Cami, a student with a painful past — and a ruthless pack of wolves seized the opportunity to stage a violent coup. Now, in season two, a new status quo must be adjusted to, as the newly empowered werewolves control the city. Klaus struggles with weaknesses as Elijah desperately tries to save Hayley — now a hybrid — from a vicious spiral of self-destruction. Meanwhile, with the re-emergence of several Mikaelsons, “family is power” takes on new meaning.
The sophomore season of ‘The Originals’ picks up approximately three months after the events which occurred in the first season’s finale; everyone now under the impression Klaus’ child is dead, while in reality she remains hidden and under the protection of his sister Rebekah. After months of awaiting an attack from the Mikaelson clan, the werewolves who now control the quarter are becoming anxious. Yet Klaus along with his family and friends have merely been awaiting the perfect opportunity and attack the wolves full force when they least expect it, in addition to destroying the moonlight rings in their possession. Unfortunately, the witches take this opportunity to rise up and offer the remaining wolves an irresistible deal of their own, and just when things appear to be at their worst, Klaus and Elijah soon discover that the remainder of their family has returned from the dead, including their dreaded mother and sadistic father, setting events in motion for what will undoubtedly become one of the bloodiest family reunions in New Orleans’ history.
‘The Originals’ has only improved itself as it tears through its sophomore season with a relentless and fast-paced fury, providing no shortage of double crosses, twists and bloody fights on an epic scale, taking the concept of family squabbling to new heights. The series manages to continually escalate events drastically, while never appearing to lack the ability to seamlessly place its characters in a new and subsequently more threatening situation time and again. The inclusion of the remaining Mikaelson family members in the second season also does a great deal to compliment one of the most powerful aspects of this show, the constant confliction and loyalty occurring between this ancient family of nearly indestructible beings. The season begins with a bang and will leave you gripping the edge of your seat until its explosive conclusion, sure to leave fans itching for the third season which is set to premiere on the CW this October.
Fans of ‘The Originals’ will almost surely want to make certain to pick up a copy of ‘The Complete Second Season’ Blu-Ray release to add to their collections. While many fans will surely be disappointed at the decision to squeeze all 22 season two episodes and the bonus content onto three discs for this release as opposed to the standard four disc releases, notably comprising the video bitrate, the Blu-Ray release nonetheless delivers the usual impressive lossless audio presentations, and still provides pretty solid high definition video presentations, in addition to a number of great extras including ‘Deleted Scene(s)’ from multiple episodes and more(more detailed information regarding the bonus content can be found in the special features section of the technical specification coverage below) making this a definite must own for the fellow fans.
The Blu-Ray release of ‘The Originals: The Complete Second Season’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the show’s original 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio on all of the second seasons episodes. These high definition video presentations look pretty decent as a whole. The quality is noticeably less sharp and distinctive than that of the first season as a result of the decision to contain all 22 episodes and the extras onto three BD discs for this season release, as opposed to the standard four disc releases we are more accustomed to (and which other season releases such as ‘The Vampire Diaries’ among others are still receiving). Even with the notable drop in the video bitrate resulting from this decision, the video presentations still look pretty great, delivering a sharp and detailed presentation on each episode, holding up quite well during the regularly fast moving and darkly lit sequences and never causing anything occurring on screen to be rendered indiscernible; nothing more than mild hints of video noise noticeable. Overall, these high definition video presentations look pretty decent, yet are certainly a noticeable downgrade from the first season Blu-Ray release.
The Blu-Ray release features a lossless 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on all 22 Season Two episodes. These lossless multichannel soundtracks sound fantastic, delivering clean, discrete and consistently aggressive presentations on each episode, regularly utilizing all five available channels to surround the viewer with any number of perfectly suited action-oriented auditory effects, along with the series’ wonderful soundtrack and more; never resulting in any dialogue which may be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or inaudible. Overall, these 5.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtracks are hard hitting and impressive, they should not disappoint.
The Blu-Ray release of ‘The Originals: The Complete Second Season’ includes a number of enjoyable extras. Included on the release are Deleted Scenes(s) on a number of episodes, in addition to the four-part web series ‘The Awakening’ (running approximately 2 minutes each) along with a Behind the Scenes Featurette on the making of the web series (approximately 5 minutes). We are also treated to the cast and crew discussing the series in ‘The Originals: Always and Forever’ (13 minutes), plus a ‘Gag Reel’ (5 minutes), ‘The Originals: Comic-Con Panel 2014’ (30 minutes) and a ‘Come Visit Georgia PSA’ (3 minutes).