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?


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+.


Why didn't Klaus kill Marcel?


I'm in the minority but I prefer them in Mystic Falls. I like Klaus and Elijah reacting with the other characters. I can see Klaus loving his child, turning good blah, blah, blah. I think it has the danger to become the predictable redemption type story . I prefer Klaus unpredictable, the wild card that cares about no one (although deep down he still has ties to his family) and comes in and breaks necks, but you still feel sorry for him because he's so darn damaged and twisted and kind of charming. Also I liked to see the development between him and Caroline, not necessarily romantic, and where that would have led. I will give it a chance but I think it'll take away some of my favourite moments in VD.


Also, Elijah rocks! The episode would not have been the same without him.


Easily the best episode of this season... can't wait for the spinoff. Klaus is a riveting character and the actor is just magnificent.


WOW!!!!Forget TVD it is totally boring compared to this fabulous new show!Klaus and Elijah are such captivating characters and even Marcel had me riveted.When it went to TVD all I could think was this is the end for them.I will be definitely be watching.Now all we need is Caroline to join and it will be perfect!


Yes I'm on board. I still don't know if I buy the baby plot (all I could do when I saw was laugh LOL) bit I can't wait to see more *.* But really? I worry about TVD now. I know Plec can make it work, but somehow I don't see TVD as exciting as The Originals... Who is going to be the villain now? I don't think there is anyone better than Klaus. I don't believe Silas... Whe is NOT Klaus!!! LOL


At first I thought I couldn't possibly sit through an episode where the main character and story of vampire diaries are sideline but I have to say I like the episode. New Orleans is an amazing place and I would like to see more of the story I hope the Original get picked up. And Klaus heir? I never seen it coming as pregnancy is not really something that would ever come up on vampire diaries.


I would like to see the relationships for Stefan and Damon be more stable if stefan is a lover he needs to have just one woman not shared with his brother and I would like to see their romance blossom. Damon is the ultimate bad boy and he needs to remain that way with a little soft side to him so he needs his own woman for that he can have the best of both worlds bad boy Damon and lover boy Damon, and why are people complaining that the show is like Twilight hello the show was an idea from Twilight so a baby would not make it exactly like Twilight. VD is more exciting than Twilight I would love to see Stefan as a father and a husband with Elena or Damon as a father and a husband to Elena whichever way but these boys need to stop Sharing women and get their own its gross yuck and why isn't anyone talking about bringing Jeremy back I'm still waiting for Jeremy hello please stop taking away our eye candy!


i dont care who marcel is but he needs to kneel before klaus. And is it me beccause i was happy to see the origional cast ( elene stephrn damon) cause it felt like forever.


WOW! can somebody please direct Klaus to the Maury show! Hahaha..... this was one of the most amazing introduction to the pilot of the new show the originals. I did not see that baby plot mouth was open and I was like what!! Love it! Seeing Elijah in that suit did it for me I could never ever get enough of Elijah yum yum yum! the riders did not disappoint this time I was getting so sick and tired of spoil bratty Elena and mean bitchy Katherine! I still want to see the storyline of Caroline and Klaus and their relationship develop more

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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.