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The Vampire Diaries Review: Til His Kingdom Comes

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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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Honestly, I thought Klaus being a father was genius. What a great way to make a redemption arc for him and around the core of the vampire diaries and the originals: family. I'm sorry, I know a lot of fans but I thought it was brilliant. LOVED Marcel, Camille and Sophie. Elijah was fantastic as always. So excited !

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As long as Elijah is around most of the time, the Originals spinoff will get an A in my book, don't care much for everybody else. What I'm most happy about is that this will mean that the Orignials will be gone from TVD for the most part, the thing was already so heavily focused on the Originals that it was turning into "The Orignial Show" as it is.

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i was not open at all to the concept of a VD spinoff. i even dreaded watching this episode knowing my salvatore brothers would barely appear on screen. but holy crap. i changed my mind. i actually OMG'd out loud. crazy. amazing. unexpected. actually really excited to get stuck into this series!

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The thing I am most excited about is that I will get my show BACK! I know that most fans loved the originals and that there were Klaus fans and Klaus/Caroline fans BUT not me! I loved the original TVD characters and HATED how the originals took over the show. So, I get Tyler/Caroline, Elena/Stefan/Damon back on the show I once loved.... Win Win for me:)

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Best ep of the season so far was 4x18, I've gone back to watching older episodes from season 2 mainly because this is when Elijah was at his best and most ruthless. I always like seeing Elijah in an episode and he was brilliant in 4x18 but in the last two eps I feel like they've softened him up too much. We've never really seen his vampire face, I would love to see him lose the plot for once and knock seven shades out of Klaus. Plus I'd like to see Katherine square off against him for taking his brothers side and helping him hunt her for all those centuries and kill her family, strange behaviour for someone who supposedly loves her. Same with Elena anytime Elijah made a deal with her he usually ended up screwing her over for his brother so I'd like to see her have it out with him as well, because neither doppelganger have been treated well by him. I don't think Elijah should be going anywhere else just yet when he clearly has unfinished business in mystic falls.

Neejan

Good episode. The Joseph Morgan parts were amazing.

Blu

The only thing I absolutely abhorred about this was Hayley. No offense to Phoebe Tonikin but Hayley just isn't an interesting character. Not at all. I felt like they were forcing her to be relevant just because of who played her and now, now I totally did a facepalm. Daniel is amazing. Always. Elijah is easily my favorite character of the show and he could sell me on anything. As much truth and character introspection that came tumbling out of his mouth he could never convince me to be okay with this supernatural pregnancy. He just can't. The Mikaelson quest for love and family has always been what I've adored about them but using that to make us accept this Hayley stuff feels manipulative. I loved everything else though. Joseph Morgan's talent is unparalleled in my eyes. He takes me places and makes me feel things when I watch him. I loved the intro to Marcel. I feel like this can be a darker, deeper, more mature series compared to its origin. That's refreshing. I look forward to more.

Soapjunk

They must pick op The Originals, not only for Klaus but for absolutely HOT Elijah!
The thought of a baby never occurred to me. I am totally team Klaus on this one altough i don't mind seeing Marcel on my screen every now and then. When this gets picked up I will definitely be watching!

Sarah-silva

This was a pretty good Pilot! I never thought I would root for Klaus but when he is up against Marcel then I am Team Klaus!
I too was not expecting Hailey to be pregnant, such a great twist.
Elijah was looking dapper in his 3 piece suit, when I saw how he was dressed I said DAMN Daniek Gilles looks hot.
I am glad that we still had some Elena, Stefan and Damon in the mix too!
I was not 100% sure I would like a show centered around the Originals but I am hooked!

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It was Ok. Favorite characters were the witches, Elijah and Marcel. I like the idea of someone like Marcel having the upper hand on Klaus. The Hayley character is a big mistake. They should get rid of her. The human blond woman is too much of a walking cliche. Still not a big fan of Klaus or Rebeccah, but it looks like they'll both be the central part to this story. I'm more excited about them being gone from Vampire diaries, and since Elijah was barely featured before, his absence won't be felt much.

The Vampire Diaries Season 4 Episode 20 Quotes

Stefan: Katherine??
Katherine: The one and only... sort of.

Klaus: What an entirely unwelcome surprise.
Elijah: And what an entirely unsurprising welcome.

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