The Vampire Diaries “The Originals” Review
By Mandy Treccia
The Vampire Diaries did things a little bit differently this week. “The Originals” was more than just a normal episode. It was the backdoor pilot for what could potentially be a new series focused on the Original family if the network decides to pick it up for next season.
Last week, Katherine (Nina Dobrev) told Klaus (Joseph Morgan) that witches were conspiring against him in New Orleans. While she gloated to Stefan (Paul Wesley) and Damon (Ian Somerhalder) that Klaus was gone, we got to see the man in question walking the streets of the French Quarter. Elijah (Daniel Gillies) and Rebekah (Claire Holt) were talking about their brother too; Elijah wanted to go to New Orleans to investigate and a bitter Rebekah was rooting for the witches.
Throughout the episode, we got to meet new characters that will be series regulars if the spinoff is picked up. The first (and most intriguing) person Klaus tracked down was Marcel (Charles Michael Davis). Marcel was Klaus’s protégé hundreds of years earlier when the Mikaelson family ruled New Orleans and now Marcel has inherited the throne. Marcel is charismatic and the life of the party, but he’s also super powerful and he promised Klaus he would find out why the witches were after him.
But Marcel’s solution was to kill one of the witches. When Klaus attempted to seek out Sophie (Daniella Pineda), she explained to him that no one goes against Marcel and lives. Klaus wanted to test that theory and he pushed Marcel’s buttons and bit one of his vampires to remind his old friend that he’s the one with the real power. Marcel pointed out that New Orleans was his town and Klaus was only welcome there if he said so.
The dynamics between the two vampires was fascinating. Morgan and Davis have an easy chemistry that feels like they could have been friends for hundreds of years. But the tension between them is even better. Klaus has made it clear that he’s the alpha male, but Marcel is used to being in charge. He has to walk a thin line because he doesn’t want to look foolish in front of his kingdom, but he’s obviously smart enough to know that Klaus could kill him in the blink of an eye.
Elijah tracked down his brother and brought him to see Sophie. She explained that she wanted Klaus to bring down Marcel because he’s stopping the witches from doing magic and she’s not okay with that. Klaus wasn’t interested in her plan until they brought out Hayley (Phoebe Tonkin) and told Klaus that Hayley was pregnant with his baby. Elijah saw the baby as an opportunity for Klaus to have a family and find redemption, but Klaus wasn’t interested. He told the witches to kill Hayley and the baby.
But Elijah wasn’t giving up yet. He urged his brother to reconsider and reminded him that New Orleans is one of the few places they’ve lived where the family was happy. Klaus told Elijah that he wanted everything that Marcel had – he wanted to be king. Then he returned to Marcel and healed the vampire he’d bitten. Since Klaus decided to stay in New Orleans, he called Caroline (Candice Accola) to tell her how beautiful it was and how he hoped to show it to her someday.
The baby twist was unexpected and I’m not a fan at all. There’s a part of me that thinks that it’s not real; that this is all part of the spell the witches are doing to control Klaus. We’ve seen witches wake the dead on this show so it’s not out of the question that they could fake the sound of a baby’s heartbeat. It was a polarizing moment and it was all anyone was talking about last night, which is exactly what a potential show needs as the network decides whether or not to pick it up – buzz.
It was also an interesting twist since the Originals have always claimed to be about family above all else – always and forever – as Elijah reminded Klaus and Rebekah. Klaus listened to his brother, but Rebekah wasn’t ready to forgive and forget. She told Elijah that she was staying put in Mystic Falls and living her life there the way she wants to. Elijah hoped she’d change her mind and then he left Mystic Falls once again to be by his brother’s side.
For me, the episode did exactly as it was supposed to: it left me wanting more. I already love the Original family, but now I love Marcel too and I’m intrigued by Sophie. Camille (Leah Pipes) was the new human character introduced and she had chemistry with Klaus and Marcel, even if her scenes were a little too short to get a real feel for her. I’m curious to see what will make Rebekah change her mind about joining her brothers in New Orleans (Holt has signed on for the spinoff).
As for our favorite Mystic Falls trio, the episode ended with Stefan and Damon rousing Elena (Nina Dobrev) from the dungeon so they can begin their latest plan to torture her humanity back into her. That’s what next week’s episode will be focused on and truthfully, it’s hard to care after seeing “The Originals.” I’d much rather spend the last few weeks of the season in New Orleans than dealing with an emotionless Elena and Silas.