The Vampire Diaries went on a road trip to New Orleans for this week's episode, "The Originals." The hour was a backdoor pilot for a potential new fall series that would feature The Vampire Diaries' characters: Klaus, Elijah, Rebekah and Hayley, plus the new characters Marcel, Sophie, and Camille.
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The tone of "The Originals" was both more upbeat and tense than that of a normal The Vampire Diaries episode in Mystic Falls. Even though the small town has seen more than its share of deaths, the dangers of living in Marcel's New Orleans seemed frightening and very real, though surrounded by loud music, dancing, and lots of fun.
The extremes between the emotions and activities in the town were intriguing to watch play out. Those who followed Marcel's rules had a joyful and limitless life, while those who dared to cross him were decimated immediately.
Klaus vs. Marcel
Klaus is used to being the most powerful and feared being around, so it wasn't a surprise to see his anger and even jealousy about Marcel's unwavering rule over the entire city, including the humans, vampires, and witches. Plus, he rid the city of werewolves.
The differences between the two vampires was striking. Marcel oozed with charm and at least initially appeared to be loved by the people. Though it turned out that it was probably a combination of those who love and those who fear him. While Klaus was consumed with darkness.
Marcel showed off his power immediately to Klaus by killing Jane-Anne even though his friend stressed that he wanted to talk to her. The King of the Quarter was not going to let Klaus have his way around town. And, with that a battle between the two had begun.
Klaus was drawn to the power that Marcel wields in the Big Easy and decided he wanted that for himself. After dismissing Marcel's watchdogs, Klaus later demonstrated his strength by using the werewolf bite against one of Marcel's friends. The Original Hybrid proved that he was the one to fear with real power and not Marcel.
Jane-Anne used magic, which led to her death, due to a sensed disruption in nature. The witches grabbed Hayley to confirm Sophie's intuition that the werewolf was with child. And, not just any child, the spawn of a hybird and a werewolf.
Klaus was drawn to New Orleans because of this child. Hayley was having his baby and the witches wanted to use this as leverage to force Klaus to rid the city of Marcel's rule. They were tired of being controlled by the King.
They underestimated Klaus' refusal to be manipulated, even if his child was involved. He abandoned Hayley, the baby and the witches. Even Elijah was unable to talk Klaus into protecting them at first.
Elijah arrived in New Orleans to find out who was meddling in his brother's affairs and he remained uncommitted on what he would do when he found out. Though, when the pregnancy was revealed, Elijah's commitment to family ruled the day.
He tried unsuccessfully to remind Klaus of his familial bond and responsibility. He made a compelling plea, "This is us. The Original Family. May we remain together always and forever. I am asking you to stay here. I will help you and I will stand by you. I will be your brother. We will build a home here together. So save this girl. Save your child."
Klaus forcibly responded with a single word, "No!" The draw of family would not be enough to convince Klaus to protect his unborn child, but all was not lost. At the end of the day, Klaus revealed his willingness to work with his brother to take out Marcel, but it was about power.
Klaus wanted his position of power in New Orleans back. He wants to be King. And, his affection for his child was based on that quest as he said, "Every King needs an heir." And, with that goal in mind, Klaus went to Marcel, healed the sick vampire, and was welcomed into the inner circle.
A perhaps naive Elijah continued to believe Klaus' redemption is possible and agreed to help him in New Orleans. Elijah then insisted that Rebekah join her family in the Big Easy, but she remained committed to the cure and Mystic Falls.
Though, it seems likely she will ultimately join them. And, Elijah made a sacrifice for his brother. He left his Katherine behind.
It's rare that Klaus' humanity shines through. Usually, he only shows that side of him when he's with Caroline and not even all the time with her. There was a moment in the Quarter that he let himself feel.
When he approached Camille and they watched the artist, she revealed the true Klaus even though she was speaking of the artist. Klaus' eyes welled up as he allowed himself to admit to the anger, darkness, and loneliness within him.
Will the child and a renewed sense of family heal what ails Klaus? Or, will his desire for power outweigh everything else and leave him a sad and angry immortal? Would Klaus' journey to New Orleans give him the opportunity to redeem himself as Elijah hopes? Or, is Katherine correct in believing that Klaus is beyond saving?
After only one episode, I'm sold on the idea of the series, The Originals. Outside the small town of Mystic Falls, Klaus has an even better story to pursue. And, while the idea of a werewolf-hybrid baby seems premature, it provides a connection between the Original Family, Hayley and the witches.
Did you love "The Originals" enough to want to see a full season in New Orleans? What about the hybrid baby?
Next Thursday, The Vampire Diaries returns to Mystic Falls and the Salvatore Brothers' plan to torture and use fear to bring out Elena's humanity. The result of their first attempt was for Elena to say "Game on." Who will end up victorious?
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(Image courtesy of the CW.)