The Originals Series Premiere Review: “Always and Forever” (Season 1, Episode 1)


“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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