The Vampire Diaries: The Originals

Posted by: Kyle Tetarenko  //  April 25, 2013 @ 8:50pm

Filed under: TV Recaps/Reviews 

In the potential spinoff for Klaus, we find the original hybrid returning to New Orleans where he discovers that the city he used to call home has changed quite a bit in the three hundred years he's been away.

After reading Katherine's note that there is a witch in New Orleans that was plotting against him, Klaus has made his way to the big easy to find that things have changed since he was chased out of town by his father. When Klaus begins his search for the witch, Jane Anne Devereaux, he makes his way to the French quarter to discover that the local witches are afraid of a vampire but it isn't him. As luck would have it, the witches are living in terror of his former protégé Marcel, who runs New Orleans without mercy. Marcel has complete control of the city and knows every move the witches make; he even has Jane waiting for Klaus. Jane doesn't tell them what she was up to so Marcel kills her without a second thought, leaving Klaus without the answers he was seeking. Not willing to let his little brother wander off by himself, Elijah has followed Klaus to New Orleans and quickly meets Sophie Devereaux after saving her from a few of Marcel's lackeys. After Elijah catches up with Klaus, he takes his brother to see the witches who have Hailey. Though they thought it was impossible, Hailey is pregnant with Klaus's child. Klaus doesn't buy it but Elijah knows it is the truth and that this could be new start for their family. In exchange for Hailey and the child, the witches want one thing in return: Marcel's life. Klaus refuses but Elijah sees New Orleans as the fresh start that their family needs. If Klaus can manage to lower his guard and get past his insecurities, they just might be leaving Mystic Falls for good.

As the possible pilot for The Originals, I was left with a lot of mixed feelings about this episode. While the story has potential for something great to develop, this introduction to Klaus's former home and his friends didn't stun me or bring the wow that it needed to. Granted, it did have a lot of groundwork to lay out but the fun wasn't there and although Klaus went to a city that is brimming with culture and history, it felt sedated. Klaus's anger is also nothing having seen it several times before on The Vampire Diaries; the trick to crafting a new show will be giving us a side of Klaus that we have never seen before and telling stories that make us care for the person that has been the shadow of Mystic Falls for the past few years.

Marcel showed his former mentor just how well he has managed to completely take over the city but it felt like the character lacked charm and charisma. Played by Charles Michael Davis, Marcel is the new king of New Orleans but while Davis was commendable for standing toe to toe with Joseph Morgan during the "intense" stare downs, I didn't get the feeling that he had something to lose. Another noticeably absent quirk was Marcel's missing accent. A southern drawl or a bit of Cajun flare would have gone a long ways to make Marcel feel more authentic since he had spent his life in the city. Come to think of it, no one in the episode had an accent. In turn, Davis held his own but I don't see him having the potential to be a regular if the series does get picked up. Granted, for Klaus to stay in the city and keep Hailey and his child alive, something has to happen to Marcel.

While it was the pilot for a spinoff, The Vampire Diaries just couldn't resist having a few moments with Stefan, Damon and Elena. These small moments to check in on Elena's condition did nothing for the episode since they are boring enough on their own. It's uplifting to see that Stefan and Damon are holding true to their plan to torture Elena but the final moments of her wanting to play the games with them was dull. Stefan and Damon have done nothing to demonstrate that they are capable vampires this season and at this point, the brothers need a win. It's become exhausting to cheer for anyone in the show when The Vampire Diaries forces them to fail at every goal they set out to accomplish. There are only three episodes left in the season and if the writers can't come up with something exciting that ties up Elena's story and brings momentum for Silas, they need to rethink how they plot out their stories.

Never one to disappoint, Daniel Gillies continues to be one the most interesting characters on the show. Elijah struggles with his own sense of honor and his eternal pursuit for love but he chose family over Katherine. His need to redeem his brother and give his family a fresh start conflicts with Klaus's desire for power and paranoia of the ones close to him. Gillies and Morgan have a wonderful chemistry that feels familiar and organic. If The Originals does get picked up, Elijah will play a key role in its success.

Overall, The Originals was a good showing for Klaus and Elijah but still has a long ways to go to make a great series. If The Originals can get past how much of Klaus we have already seen and show us a new side of the first vampire, they could be on to something special.

Tags: The Vampire Diaries, Klaus, Elijah, Marcel, Jospeh Morgan, Daniel Gillies, Charles Michael Davis

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