Now there was a time when you loved me so.
I could have been wrong, but now you needed to know
See, I’ve been a bad, bad, bad, bad man.
And I’m in deep. Yes I am.
I found a brand new love for this man
And I can’t wait till you see.
I can’t wait
So, how you like me now?
-Lyrics to “How ya like me now?” by The Heavy.
How ya like me now? It’s the song that sexy villain vampire Marcel sings in a karaoke bar in New Orleans, to introduce himself as Klaus’ charming, but intensely arrogant, new nemesis, in the early moments of this week’s episode of TVD.
It’s also the question chief in the minds of the TVD writing staff. The crew undoubtedly watched the episode with their fingers crossed, silently praying that you’ll still “like” Klaus, Elijah, Rebekah, and Hayley
(though, let’s face it, no one ever really liked Haley), now that they’ve packed their bags and left Mystic Falls in exchange for a swankier (and much more culturally diverse) NOLA address.
From a strategic perspective, it seems like the perfect time for a spinoff like this. With nearly four seasons behind its belt, TVD is quietly creeping toward middle age. (By this time next year, it will be eligible for syndication!)
And a well-executed spinoff might be just what the doctor ordered to breathe new life into a franchise that’s been struggling of late. Plus, it’s not like these characters are untested newbies. Klaus, Elijah and Rebekah are all TVD veterans, each with substantial fanbases of their own. (Klaus and Elijah have both been around since late season 2, and Rebekah, since early season 3.)
Yes, The Originals certainly has within it the makings of a great show. The question is: did its backdoor pilot deliver?
Let’s review, shall we Fangbangers?
Have Gumbo, Will Travel . . .
Still on the hunt for her dead family, Hayley day drinks at a bar in New Orleans, where the chef notoriously puts a piece of her soul in every pot of gumbo she makes. (You know, kind of like Voldemort and his Horcruxes. And I don’t know about you, but I’d rather not eat a horcrux. Thank you very much.)
“Mmmmm Soul Food . . .”
Bar Tender Jane Anne gets a little touchy feely with Hayley, when she shows her a map to a location in the bayou, where werewolves supposedly used to frequent. We find out why, after the werewolf leaves. Jane Anne promptly walks back to the kitchen were Soul Food Sophie is slaving away. She’s clutching a massive clump of Hayley’s hair, like it’s a trophy of some sort. (Yuck! I hope they aren’t planning on mixing it in the gumbo, with all those horcruxes!)
Then again, they are probably just using it for this spell . . .
Hey, Soon-to-be-dead Jane Anne uses candles and salt to do spells! Just like that OTHER witch we know . . .
I wonder how she avoids those pesky nosebleeds . . .
I guess now we’ll never know . . .
Anywhoo, Jane Anne’s spell is rousing success, in that it gets Hayley’s car to break down, and causes her to temporarily DIE. (Though, I suspect Klaroline fans are wishing that death was permanent, after this episode . . .) Just as she falls to the ground, the witches magically appear just in time to catch her, and drag her into the bayou. Bonnie could use some serious tutoring from these girls . . .
KLAUS: “I’m going to break your neck, and then rip out your spine”
MARCEL: “I’m going to chew off your shoulder, and then eat your face off.”
RANDOM NEWSIE CAP-WEARING GUY: “Geez, get a room you two. Your PDA is making me uncomfortable.”
Upon learning from a witchy fortune teller that Marcel has taken over New Orleans, in Klaus’ absence — rendering the town’s witch population essentially powerless against him — Klaus just has to see this for himself. So, he heads off to a Karaoke bar, where Marcel is auditioning to be on the cast of Glee . . .
“If that Puck guy can play a highschooler, so can I!”
Klaus and Marcel do that thing Alpha Males do, where they threaten each other, than act like it’s all a joke, and they really love one another, when actually the threatening part was closer to the truth . . . Klaus, apparently, is Marcel’s sire, which immediately tells us a few things. (1) Flashbacks are inevitable. (2) Even if Marcel found some magical witchy way to kill Klaus, he wouldn’t be able to pull it off. Because a dead Klaus means, not only a dead ENTIRE TVD CAST, but a Dead Marcel as well . . .
I mean, all vampires SAY this. But Klaus is the only one who can actually mean it . . .
And yet, while Klaus may have Marcel beat in the game of Eternal Living. Marcel has one thing that Klaus has always desperately wanted, but never seemed fully able to obtain (even though he created an ENTIRE RACE OF BEINGS just for this purpose): FRIENDS!
As Katherine astutely notes, later in the episode, Klaus’ Achilles Heel is his loneliness. He has nobody to play with but himself. . .
Marcel, on the other hand, has an Entourage so large that it makes the guys from Entourage look like losers . . .
Marcel is literally friends with the entire city . . . though I guess he’s friends with them in the way girls in high school are friends with that b*tchy head cheerleader. They are deathly afraid of him. But they have to at least pretend to like him, so he doesn’t literally chew off their heads . . .
That said, I instantly like Marcel. I actually think he’d be kind of fun to hang out with, in the way that douchebaggy, evil, sort of people, can sometimes be fun . . . particularly douchebaggy, evil people who like karaoke . . .
Klaus instantly covets this kind of loyalty. But before he can steal all of Marcel’s newsie-cap wearing, hipster friends away from him, he has to deal with the little problem that sent him here in the first place . . . the witches that supposedly want him dead. Marcel, being the generous guy that he is, is more than happy to help his old friend Klaus solve this little problem . . .
You killed Jane Anne! (Bastards)
Death By Tree . . .
Oh Jane Anne, we barely new thee . . . You made pretty designs with salt, and played with Hayley’s hair. And then you died with a goofy expression on your face, after being interrogated by Marcel on a dark city street, in the company of his entourage. Jane Anne wasn’t about to give up her reasons for using the heretofore forbidden magic . . . certainly not to the guy who forbid her from using it. And for that, she paid the ultimate price.
Fear not, Jane Anne. You’ll live to die again . . .
As far as deaths go, being impaled by a tree branch, isn’t the one I’d choose. I mean, on one hand, it leaves you with a pretty pristine corpse, apart from some unsightly neck hickeys. On the other hand, YOU WERE KILLED BY A TREE BRANCH. And that’s just sad, sad, sad . .
Even Klaus seems sad for Dead Jane Anne. Though, I suspect his sadness has less to do with him actually giving two craps about a bartending witch, and more to do with the fact that he feels he might have lost his chance to figure out why these witches seem to want him dead.
Marcel is sorry, but not sorry, about literally killing Klaus’ lead . . .
So, Klaus heads to the Gumbo Bar to ask the grieving Soul Food Sophie about what exactly her sister’s beef with him was . . . Sophie’s well acquainted with Klaus from bedtime stories her mother used to tell her.
Now, I don’t know about your bedtime stories. But mine generally didn’t involve a guy who EATS people. Sophie’s mom must have hated her guts to tell her bedtime stories like that. Maybe that’s why she puts horcruxes in people’s gumbo . . . bad childhood.
Anywhoo, Sophie stays mum about the whole magic thing with Klaus, because they are being watched by members of Marcel’s entourage. Klaus responds to the secret stalking in a surprisingly gentlemanly way, by offering to buy his stalkers expensive Scotch . . .
after threatening to remove their spines. This act of kindness enables him to earn an adorable nickname from the cute new bartender, who conveniently appeared in town, just as the ORIGINAL bartender lost her neck . . .
I hope they enjoyed that Scotch. Because it’s the last they will ever have . . .
A Man Who Knows How to Make an Entrance . . .
Though initially ambivalent about helping his younger sibling . . .
. . . Elijah ultimately decides to do the brotherly thing, by murdering Klaus’ stalkers when they attempt to silence Sophie . . . And no one has a more artistic flare for murder than Elijah . . .
Suave Elijah . . . he sure knows the way to a woman’s heart, doesn’t he? That bludgeoned organ was like a Valentine’s Day card to dear Sophie. All that was missing was a poem, and the words “Be Mine.”
Then, he got the second stalker impaled against a wall! Color me turned on . . .
I wonder what kind of bedtime stories Sophie’s mom told her about Elijah . . .
She’s having my baby!
“Dammit. I knew I shouldn’t have eaten all that gumbo. Is there a bathroom around here?”
In the Big Reveal of the evening, Elijah brings together Klaus and the NOLA witches for a Peace Treaty of sorts. As it turns out, the witches aren’t out to kill Klaus, at all. Rather, they are hoping that Klaus will save them from King Marcel and his tyrannical Magic Free rule . . .
King Klaus, huh? And the witches think this will be a SAFER alternative for them? Seriously? Did they only watch the Klaus/Caroline parts of Seasons 3 and 4 of The Vampire Diaries. Did they miss the part where Klaus brought to extinction an entire RACE of hybrids . . . a race that HE CREATED?
Logic notwithstanding . . . the witches have an ace up their sleeve, one they think will win them Klaus’ loyalty. And out pops Hayley . . .
Klaus scoffs at this. Clearly, the witches didn’t watch the Klaus/Caroline parts of the show either. “I don’t give a sh*t about Hayley!” Klaus says, more or less. “It’s not like the sex was THAT good. And, besides. Everyone knows I prefer blondes.”
“Not so fast, Klaus,” the witches warn . . .
Clear Blue Sophie . . . the only pregnancy test for your knocked up teen werewolf
Detecting pregnancies . . .well, now that’s a nifty magical power! Some might argue it’s even cooler than playing with salt, and lighting candles, without suffering from a nosebleed . . . (Then again, after about three months, MOST people can “sense when a woman is pregnant.” It’s called WEIGHT GAIN!)
Damn straight, it’s impossible! 1,000-year old hybrids and werewolves making babies together? What’s next? Sparkly vampires impregnating humans, who have to be turned into vampires, after they give birth to creepy kids who reach adolescence, by the time they are a year old?
Being a typical guy, Klaus immediately wants a paternity test, accusing Hayley of slutting around with someone else in Mystic Falls. (How hilarious would it be if the baby actually ended up being Tyler’s?)
But Hayley says, “Nope, all you, Big Guy! No one else on TVD liked me enough to sleep with me.”
Klaus uses his vampire hearing to detect the baby’s heartbeat. And he is briefly touched by the notion of an unborn Mini Klaus in the tummy of his one-night stand. But then, he quickly reverts back to petulant child mode. “Kill the girl, and the baby. See what I care,” Klaus shouts, as he stomps off into the darkness . . .
“But Daddy . . . I thought we had a Moment!”
Elijah follows Klaus to try to get him to reconsider. He tells him that a baby can be just what the broken Mikaelson family needs to get a fresh start on life . . . a path back to their humanity. (Silly Elijah, don’t you ever watch Lifetime Movies? The baby never saves the failed marriage . . . not even magical babies, like Mini Klaus.)
But Klaus’ pride will simply not allow him to do the witches’ bidding, not when he feels like they manipulated him, and underestimated his intelligence . . .
In other family news, the Honeymoon between Klaus and Marcel is clearly over.
Furious at Marcel for having him followed, Klaus threatens to bite one of the King’s little boyfriends. And later, when Marcel starts getting all territorial, and calling NOLA his city, Klaus makes good on that threat . . .
Awww . . . Newsie Cap Guy! You’re too pretty to die!
Death by Klausi-kiss. Now, THAT’S a much better way to go than Death by Tree Branch . . .
Message sent and received. Marcel may have his rules. But those rules simply don’t apply to The Original Hybrid . . .
Always a sucker for a spunky blonde and some good artwork, Klaus begins to reconsider the whole Daddy Situation, after engaging in a rather loaded conversation with Bartender/ Psych Major Camille about a street vendor’s art, which seems to literally speak to Klaus’ soul. (Another horcrux, perhaps?) Camille describes the painting as done by someone who is angry, dark, lonely, and doesn’t like to be controlled . . .
It probably didn’t help that the painting in question kind of looked like this . . .
Every King Needs an Heir . . .
Whether it was the poopy painting, or the Caroline lookalike who talked to him about it, something about the experience causes Klaus to have a change of heart . . .
“IT DOES EXIST!”
Klaus and Elijah wax nostalgic a bit, about their youthful days spent in New Orleans. (And by youthful, I mean they were only in their 600s.) Klaus admits to his brother that he wants what Marcel has . . . power, friendship, family, loyalty, and a kingdom to call his very own.
And yeah, if that kingdom just so happens to include Hayley’s spawn, so be it . . .
In his first boldly political move to regain power over the Treme, Klaus makes peace with Marcel. He rescues Newsie Cap guy (YAYYYYY!!), by feeding him his blood, and politely asks his former vampire kid for permission to stick around awhile. Marcel accepts Klaus’ apology, but is smart enough to know that this detente between the two is only temporary, as the town is certainly not big enough for both of their massive egos . . .
Elijah too makes plans for a more permanent stay in Spinoff Land, by boldly cutting off ties with that sex kitten, Katherine Pierce, in the final moments of the episode . . .
What’s the matter Elijah? You have something against getting laid?
Look, I get it, Elijah. Family is important. But I don’t see why you can’t have your family, and eat Katherine out too. Just sayin . . .
Speaking of liaisons . . .
So, remember when Klaus promised Caroline that he’d be her personal travel companion, and willing cosmopolitan tour guide, for all eternity?
Apparently, so does he! A deep appreciation for art and culture is always something Klaus and Caroline shared. Even though Klaus had the opportunity to travel the entire world, whereas Caroline’s existence, up until this point, has been limited to the confines of a sometimes stifling small Virginia town. So, it’s natural that Klaus would think about Caroline, while traveling in a city as rich and culturally unique as New Orleans.
And given the general easing of relations between the two, of late, it’s hard to imagine that Caroline would be able to keep the smirk from her face, as she listened to this message.
I may be in the minority here. But I’m one of those people who think Caroline would be better served as a cast mate on The Originals (with the option to return to TVD, if the series went south, of course). For starters, for the past two seasons, Caroline hasn’t had a solid plotline that didn’t involve Tyler (gone) or Klaus (also now gone). Though her friendship with Stefan is “cute,” I don’t really see a strong character developing future for Caroline on TVD, as the series stands.
Another reason, I’d like to see Caroline head off to NOLA is for the simple fact that girlfriend is GRADUATING HIGH SCHOOL. And given her clear desire to travel, and strong appreciation for art and beauty, it seems natural that Vampire Barbie would want to head to college somewhere outside the bounds of her hometown.
Get on that pony and ride, far, far away, Caroline!
But will she take Klaus up on his offer? Sadly, I suspect not.
TVD has been hemorrhaging characters, left and right, of late. And I suspect the loss of one of its few remaining leading ladies would be too much for the show to bear.
But hey, you never know . . .
So, Fangbangers? Tell me, what did you think of The Originals. Were you relieved to see these ancient jet setters FINALLY seeking out some classier digs? Does Sexy Marcel make for a more intriguing villain than that Identity Thief Silas? Are you glad Gentleman Elijah has started eviscerating people again? And yeah . . . how about that BABY?