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+.


the promo for next weeks episode looks incredibly boring... I could care less about everything happening in Mystic Falls at this point... I want the originals now !!


WOW !!! this was the best episode ever of The Vampire Diaries. I cannot wait until the originals gets picked up in fact it better get fucking picked up tonight !!!. what little time we spent in Mystic Falls I found myself shouting in my head "get back to New Orleans already damn it".. I do fear that Vampire Diaries may have just shot itself in the foot though. I mean come on when the show was in New Orleans wasn't it just so exciting and awesome because you didn't know what was going to happen or what was goin on ? and then when it went back to Mystic Falls it was boring as hell because apparently Damon and Stefan are going to rape Elena until she gets her humanity back lol. and finally we had a signature epic intro for Elijah,who hasnt had one in awhile....when that heart fell from the sky and. landed onto the floor he was the first person I thought about.... also the essence of time on this show cracks me up, how can these characters travel in what seems less than 5 minutes to New Orleans and back to Mystic Falls ? . next weeks episode looks boring I could care less I want the originals now !!




That episode was crap and if it gets picked up it'll last one season tops.


Ok at first the show wa exactly what I expected and I liked it but then we found out that hayley is pregnant with klaus' child and that was a complete shocker. I didn't like that because to me it feels like there going all twilight with it and I'm not complaining because I hate twilight I actually really like it but I just didn't think this show should go the whole baby route because twilight did that and it was cool but now to me it just seems like there copying off of them. I don't really like marcel he seems like a jerk and doesn't really care about anyone but himself. Canny seems interesting. I kind of thought we would of seen a little more vampire diaries because this was still the vampire diaries it was just the backdoor pilot to the originals technically not even one of there episodes it was a vampire diaries episode. Anyway it was good but I'm not sure I'm going to watch it I'm undecided that baby storyline really took me out of it. Can't wait till the next episode it looks really good.


Ok yes I screamed at the baby plot... Didn't see that coming. Also can we talk about Elijah's commanding entrance! When Elijah is ruthless he is at his best! It will be interesting to see how Rebecca fits in the mix. The actor who played Marcel surprised me during some scenes but he doesn't pull off ruthless convincing enough. The episode did a good job of feel sorry for Klaus and oh wait he is a big bad original. I missed the original crew ... Next week will be interesting.


I loved it , marcel has the most amazing smile - his teeth are just too good , anyone else notice that?


Well, looks like they found a way to keep the Hayley character relevant. As unlikeable as she is....they wouldn't kill her off now. Just my luck...makes the show least for me. I can get my Origina fix off of


FANTASTIC! My thoughts of what should happen.
Kill off Elena & have Katherine follow Elijah to NOLA. Klaus will soften up & all will be due time...
That was Dobrev still has a job but Stefan can move on as can Damon. But better yet, DON'T pick up the show. Have EVERYONE stay in Mystic Falls & let Caroline & Klaus raise baby together!!!!!!!!! LOVE THIS IDEA!


Worst episode ever!

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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.