“This town was my home once. And in my absence, Marcel has got everything I ever wanted: power, loyalty, family. I made him in my image and he has bettered me. I want what he has. I want it back. I want to be king!”
When you tuned in tonight to the series premiere of The Originals, you may have expected a Director’s cut version of what you saw during the backdoor pilot that aired in April as part of The Vampire Diaries. What you got instead was something entirely different. The CW chose to slice up the pilot, which was originally shot mainly from Klaus’s (Joseph Morgan) perspective, and give us a well-rounded version of the premise from a different set of eyes.
In this new version of the pilot, the biggest surprise that fans had in store was the shift in focus. The character of Elijah (Daniel Gillies), Klaus’s older brother, took center stage to introduce us to the supernatural underbelly of New Orleans, a tour that was originally narrated by Klaus. Up until now, Elijah has only been a periphery character stepping in for short arc’s here and there, and leaving the picture until the narrative called for another Original.
Even though technically we met him before Klaus, he never quite had the same impact on the storyline that Klaus did – until now it seems. Elijah is stepping out from behind Klaus’s shadow and has taken a vested interest in his brother’s unborn child and Haley (Phoebe Tonkin), the mother-to-be, who is entirely more tolerable this time around. For some reason her performance in this episode of The Originals doesn’t seem to require my berating her to quite the same degree as it did when we were introduced to her on TVD. I’ll attribute this to her character’s lack of backstabbing, manipulative traits at the current junction.
Although this change in viewpoint from Klaus to Elijah doesn’t completely kill the curb appeal of The Originals, it does take away from it, temporarily. Fans have been waiting for the last two seasons of The Vampire Diaries to see Klaus shine. They wanted to see him as something other than the villain, and with Elijah stepping in as the tragic hero set on saving the damsel in distress, it sort of diverts our attention. Ultimately, it looks like Klaus will still be able to steal our hearts, but not before crushing them one final time.
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Klaus’s claim to fame has always been that he was an island of one – or, at least in his own opinion. Emotions have been an inconvenient accessory that he chooses to let gather dust on a high shelf and only pull out for special occasions. Yet, we’ve seen him cave more than once in the interest of family, or loved ones – er, loved one, since that category is pretty much reserved for just Caroline (Candice Accola).
Elijah himself said that when their younger brother was killed, pre-vampire, by the werewolves, no one was more affected than Klaus. He loves the shock value of dismissing people that others make the mistake of assuming are important to him, but it’s hard to forget that this is the same guy who spent centuries toting his siblings around in coffins because he couldn’t lament the thought of losing track of them.
If you came into this show already a fan of The Vampire Diaries, none of this probably seems remarkably new to you. What was new were all the events happening behind-the-scenes during the original pilot in a very ‘Edward’s version of Twilight’ way. If you haven’t watched an episode of TVD before, then you may not get the entire “closet sensitive guy” aspect of the character right away, but it’s only a matter of time before it eclipses the narrative of The Originals.
Even as you watch Klaus put Elijah in his place, in a matter of speaking, viewers are privy to a vulnerable side of Klaus that isn’t always apparent on the surface. He may have been speaking to Elijah, but he’s really talking to himself. Klaus isn’t fooling anyone now. He is clearly emotionally invested in this entire situation; otherwise, he would have tucked his tail between his legs in the cockiest way possible, and ran back to Mystic Falls claiming that Marcel (Charles Michael Davis) wasn’t worth his time. He is exactly where he wants to be.
Even without Caroline around to nudge his moral compass in the right direction, Klaus will probably do alright on his own. The strange choice to have Elijah take the helm on The Originals premiere was just that, a strange choice, meant to shake up what you thought you knew. The stage has clearly been set for Klaus to redefine himself as one of the good guys, and I for one look forward to seeing his redeeming qualities broadcasted episode after episode, all season long. The Vampire Diaries has found its replacement villain, and The Originals have found a new reason to put family first.
For the most part I really liked what The Originals tried to do in this episode by changing up the perceptive. It threw me off because it wasn’t what I expected, but ultimately it gave viewers what they wanted without being repetitive to the point of wasting anyone’s time. I think there’s a little something for everyone within the confines of this show. Viewers, regardless of whether or not they were already fans of the Originals, won’t be disappointed.
Was the official series premiere of The Originals everything you wanted it to be? Let us know in the comment section below!
Until next episode.Previous