Vampire Diaries who? That's what I find myself thinking while watching The Originals. Aside from a callback here or there, the two shows exist completely in their own worlds. I love both of them, but those worlds are different. (Except they both have werewolves, witches and vampires?? So maybe not so different after all.)
If there's one thing I love, it's a good flashback. The Originals has used them well to show the rich past of the original siblings and separate this series from its originator. "House of the Rising Son" filled in some of that history, and oh, what a history it is.
Here's one of the things that makes The Originals work: These characters were created on The Vampire Diaries but couldn't really breathe there because the Originals were never supposed to be the central story. When they did come to the forefront, the overall plot suffered because too many stories were competing for the spotlight. By separating out the two groups, there's an untapped mine of new stories to be told.
Starting with Rebekah.
Who knew Rebekah could be such a badass? Baby sister rolled into town tonight with fire in her eyes and vampire hearts in her fists and never even chipped a nail! We've seen her get her hands dirty before but never quite like this.
Here, she wasn't whiny or pining after a boy. Probably because she spent the summer having threesomes with Matt Donovan and mystery women all over Europe.
The flashbacks also helped solidify just why she's always looking for love. Klaus has never, ever let her be happy. The minute she gets close to someone, he tears them apart.
Maybe it's because the first man she loved turned out to be a hunter hellbent on killing them. Maybe it's because Klaus is a controlling older brother who truly believes there will never be a man good enough for his baby sister. (Or maybe it's slightly incestuous? Nah, let's not go there.)
He has a history of tearing Rebekah away from men she falls in love with, including Marcel.
I didn't expect Marcel's history with Klaus to be so familial, but Klaus rescued Marcel from a life of slavery and raised Marcel like his own son. Marcel wanted to become a vampire and made the choice to be turned instead of saving Rebekah from another daggered slumber. When Mikael rolled into town, Klaus, Rebekah and Elijah believed Marcel died and the fact that he didn't die and thrived in New Orleans while Klaus spent 100 years running from his father is but one reason Klaus wants to ruin Marcel.
Hell hath no fury like a hybrid scorned, you know?
Since Klaus' debut, he's grown on me. He's the guy we hated and then he drew pony pictures and bought pretty dresses and showed that under the henley shirts and necklaces and slightly grunge-punk look, he's got a heart. He wants to care. He wants to be cared about. Suddenly he became the guy we loved and hated.
No matter how bad he is or how much he spouts off about not caring, he's lying. He cares. He absolutely does.
He's a tortured, damaged soul who hurts others because he hurts. He's never going to be the hero, but from time to time he will do the right thing. He pays attention when people talk, and whether it's so he can use what they say for good or ill, he's listening.
He's a giant jerk who will dagger his own siblings and massacre his own hybrids if it helps him get ahead, but he's a listening jerk nonetheless.
Daggering and undaggering the originals has long been an annoying plot device. Now that Rebekah has them in her control, thanks to Hayley sniffing them out (see what I did there?), here's hoping we can bury the, um, dagger. All except the dagger currently in Elijah's chest, that is.
As it turns out, in order to gain Marcel's trust, Klaus handed over Elijah's body for safekeeping. And to keep that body safe, Marcel handed it over to Davina. (Bonnie should have taken notes from Davina on how to tap into the dark magic without being consumed by it and she might not be dead right now.)
There's a lot to learn about Marcel's witch, but what we've seen so far is intriguing. She's quite the force to be reckoned with and has been given the task of finding out how to kill an original. I'm guessing she doesn't know about the indestructible white oak stake.
What I'm loving about The Originals is the chance to see old characters in a new light. And to see new characters in a new light. Basically, I'm just loving The Originals a whole lot.
What about you? Are you loving The Originals? How did "House of the Rising Son," as the first episode in the current timeline, compare to the previous renditions of the Pilot?
Miranda Wicker is a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.