The Originals has always had a pretty complicated premise, with vampire infights, a werewolf vampire hybrid baby, and a clan of witches with increasingly weak powers. Over the course of the first batch of episodes, the CW’s newest drama has mostly focused on the various vamps, leaving the mythology of the witches hidden just out of the frame. During this week’s episode, that all changed. The witches and their fight for the family that is their sisterhood came to the forefront with horrific, sacrificial rituals, old superstitions and goals of dramatically increased power. As the “Fruit of the Poisoned Tree” preview shows, the witches won’t go gently into the good night moving forward either. In fact, they are remaking themselves as a frightening and intimidating force capable of wielding bloody influence over New Orleans.

They seem to have a plan for renewing their power within the Quarter and that plan involves Klaus’ baby mama, Hayley, who is about to have a hybrid child. Next week’s episode seems to promise the escalation of tensions that have been slowly boiling for months. More than that, it seems to promise many answers to all of the confusing backstory questions the show’s biggest supporters have been arguing about since the backdoor pilot.

Obviously, it’s likely the creators will withhold some of the secrets. It’s never in a show’s best interest to offer up absolutely everything to fans right out of the gate, but in all honesty, it’s pretty nice to have some kind of indication of where the long-term plot of this show might be going. Davina seems to trust Daniel. Marcel and Klaus will always have that strange enemy/ bromance thing going on, and the witches, especially if they gain more power, could prove to be the perfect wild card, x-factor moving forward. Even the humans, thanks in part to an unlikely romance, could wind up having a very big say in where all of this goes in the future. The options are all there, and enthusiasts of The Originals should be pumped about the potential. A handful of episodes in, there’s not one single thing constricting the program or tying it down. The writers have absolute freedom, and the tools to deliver story arcs we all want to see. Here’s to hoping they actually maximize that potential.

You can catch the show on Tuesday nights on the CW at 8 PM EST.

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