The Vampire Diaries

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The Vampire Diaries Review: Til His Kingdom Comes

by at . Comments

So... is it too late to change my vote?

When The CW announced a potential Vampire Diaries spinoff in January, I argued that it was a desperate measure by a desperate network. It would dilute the TVD brand, I figured. It would be too much of a good thing. Or too much of the same thing, really.

However, upon viewing "The Originals," I realized that I vastly underestimated two people vital to this project:

  1. Julie Plec.
  2. Joseph Morgan.
Klaus Down South

Granted, the segue into this week's backdoor pilot wasn't exactly smooth. Katherine's note at the conclusion of "Pictures of You" was fairly random and the first half of this episode felt as if we were dropped into New Orleans for no reason related to Mystic Falls at all.

But Plec clearly had a plan all along.

Contrary to what Klaus wanted to believe, Hayley was more than just a "liquor-fueled one night stand." A lot more. A whole lot more. She's the mother of his unborn child! Wait, that requires capital letters: HAYLEY IS THE MOTHER OF KLAUS' UNBORN CHILD!!! Holy. Plot. Twist.

My jaw remains sore from how hard it fell to the floor upon that bombshell being dropped, but it makes perfect sense: Plec is trying to build a show around a villain. And, yes, the whole anti-hero thing has been in vogue for awhile now (Hi, Tony Soprano. How's it going, Walter White?). But Klaus isn't just any villain. He is the villain. He is the Original Hybrid, as he loves to remind people, and he just murdered Tyler's mother in cold, innocent blood a few months ago.

Plec needed a way to soften Klaus, to tear down that evil facade (okay, it's a lot more than just a facade) and to bring out his vulnerability. Enter parenthood, right? Enter tears, profound realizations and and entirely new Klaus, right? Nope. This isn't actually Parenthood.

Klaus won't be swayed that easily, no matter how many intense pep talks he's given by an impeccably dressed Elijah. But power? Control? Heck, mere company, for someone who is alone and hates it? Bring all that on and more, especially when he feels it's been taken by his one-time protege. Klaus has always been fueled by revenge. Just ask Tyler.

So, yes, he'll stay in New Orleans. He isn't sure where to find the keys to this kingdom - what, exactly, is enabling Marcel to control the witches so easily? And is that why they need to conduct a covert plan instead of simply killing him? - but now he's invested in finding the answer and taking the throne. As for the baby?

Unless his name is Joffrey, every king needs an heir.

And every show could use a Joseph Morgan. A mesmerizing performer, we've watched for multiple seasons now how well he can play angry... and hurt... and vulnerable and funny and sarcastic. But every emotion was truly on full display here.

Take note of the scene on the street, in front of the artist, listening to Camille talk about demons and how they can either control you or you can control them. We were treated to utter silence from Morgan. Just a glazed over look that turned teary-eyed and a few jumbled words. I think you had it right the first time. Morgan is a terrific actor, a leading man in every sense of the concept and his talent alone should be enough of a reason to tune in for The Originals.

Because, let's face it: The CW will pick up this series. It will be a part of the fall schedule.

Ignoring the lack of other strong options for the network, there is plenty here to make into a fascinating drama. With Klaus, Elijah and Rebekah, we have three established TVD favorites. With the pregnancy storyline, we have a whopper of an ongoing arc.

With Marcel, we have an intriguing new antagonist. With Camille (sorry, Cammy), we have the obligatory human lead, though it seems clear right away that this one won't be nearly as naive or innocent as Elena upon her introduction. With supernaturals actually running amok in The Big Easy - vampires in control, werewolves pushed to the perimeter, witches forced to follow rules - we have a different set up than in Mystic Falls.

With the history between characters and families, we have the potential for flashbacks galore.

And with New Orleans, we have jazz! And gumbo! And no open container laws! Seriously, it's an awesome city.

So that's it. I change my vote. I'm on board. How about you? What did you think of this special episode? And are you excited for The Originals?

 

Review

Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (2081 Votes)

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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Allison berry barbieri

Joseph Morgan is simply amazing every single time he is on the screen. He is amazing on TVD, he was amazing in Immortals...I just love, love, love him! And he's always been such a perfect "Klaus"...young and angelic looking, but can portray a cold evil that is shocking from a man that looks as he does!
I am somewhat baffled by the baby. I get that the werewolf in Klaus was dormant until a year or so ago (in TVD time), so I understand how he wasn't knocking anyone up for the first thousand years of his life. But, now that he is an official hybrid he can procreate? I mean, he was ALWAYS a werewolf, it was just dormant. And can ALL hybrids procreate?

David and sabrina 2014

The spinoff may have went wild and insane for some original fans but who knows if we'll ever see the show get better again besides liking any favorite events that happened in the show or season so far. ;P =|

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does this mean that klaus wont return to mistic falls as in he wont be back as series regular on tvd.

Leon alexis

Great ep.,Julie! I wish you were my miss SuperStar! Free Klaus looked so great and independent on streets of New Orlean! Everything looked great!
A baby? Unbelievable! I thihk s.7 will be perfect!
Burns like a bitch? You wonder me!
Looks like Klaus will be always loving Caroline and that's why his heart will be always broken.Atleast he has his freedom!
LOVED IT! GREAT JOB!

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You guys, the reason he could not kill Marcel was because a.) the witches warned him there's a reason he can't plus Elijah is on the witch's side.
b.) Marcel is LOVED by everyone in New Orleans and he wants to win over New Orleans , so he can't kill him.

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I am very disappointed with this plot.Marcel is not strong enough to match three Original vampires.He is just an ordinary vampire and I expected older supernatural creature to equal or surpass Originals. Pregnancy story is ridiculous for supernatural show.The introduction of Camille is completely unnecessary at the moment because she is not connected with the main plot. I expected better quality in storytelling and more fresh ideas to keep current and attract new audience. The cast was good but the writers failed for me. I will not be watching, but I expect to watch JoMo in other shows/movies.

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JoMo is the BEST actor of his generation - hands down. I'll watch him read a phone book if I have to. Looking forward to the show

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I was totally against the Originals, i wanted them all to stay in mystic falls, i wanted klaroline to develop, and i wanted Klaus to remain an integral part of TVD...........then i watched this episode. OMG It was BLOODY AMAZING!!!! I was already completely enthralled by the terrific joseph morgan, but seeing him in this episode completely blew me away. If anything, I'm more excited for the originals than for TVD. Never thought I'd say that!!! :D

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@Eileen @aisha I'm hoping they don't try to redeem Klaus. Klaus has done far too much evil over the centuries for a redemption to really be believable. If the writers are smart, they'll go with Evil Vs Evil plots where Klaus turns out to be the lesser. Since Klaus is already incredibly overpowered as it is, they'll also have to introduce much more powerful creatures into the mythos or have Klaus lose a lot of his power in order for the idea that he couldn't just vamprun over and kill them without ever taking a scratch to ever work. An example is Marcel, Klaus can just up and kill him and his vamps anytime he feels like it, the idea that he could be a credible threat is ridiculous.

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I liked the pilot, for the most part. Wish they had picked a different way to showcase Klaus' humanity than his becoming a father ... that's been done already with Angel/Darla and Edward/Bella. TVD is getting stale. Hope with graduation, writers change things up with the story line starting with moving Caroline over to the Originals. Caroline and Klaus are an interesting couple. First, basis of Klaus' attraction is very believable - she's powerful-but not cruel, self-assured, attractive, hard-to-get, and believes he can be redeemed. Plus the two actors have great chemistry on screen. I think if part of the storyline for the new series is Klaus' redemption, Caroline is a great addition to the cast. She would be both means and motivation for redemption. Fingers crossed that Caroline is transitioned from TVD to Originals, and writers shake things up next season on TVD.