It’s finally here, everyone! The highly anticipated glimpse into the world of The Vampire Diaries spin-off series, The Originals. Those of you who had hoped the backdoor pilot would reveal nothing but Klaus (Joseph Morgan) challenging dudes to Jell-O wrestling contests were heartily disappointed. But those of you with more reasonable, less hot-under-the-collar expectations were gifted with a fabulous taste of what’s in store for Klaus, Elijah (Daniel Gillies), and Hayley (Phoebe Tonkin).
Before we can leap into Klaus’s New Orleans in all its splendor, we ought to check in on the woman of the hour. We should probably say the vampire of the hour. When we last saw Elena (Nina Dobrev), her dual prom date team of Damon (Ian Somerhalder) and Stefan (Paul Wesley) had opted, after an evening of trying to restore her feelings by emotionally manipulating her, for plan b: lock her in the basement and starve her.
Starving she is. To Damon’s bemused wonder, rapidly desiccating Elena refuses to ask for blood, to shriek, wail, or cry out in a rage. But as Stefan explains, to do so would be to express emotion, something she has no intention of doing.
Just as it’s beginning to look like maybe we will have a whole episode of Stefan and Damon staring at each other and waiting for Elena to crack, Katherine (Nina Dobrev) arrives, hair curlier than ever. She’s got a certain bounce in her step that not only comes from being Mystic Falls sassiest doppelganger but from knowing something neither of the Salvatores do: Klaus has fled further south, thanks to the letter she left him. He might just be out of their hair for good.
Klaus isn’t the only one in New Orleans, Hayley’s there too. In fact, she’s been there ever since she and Klaus bumped uglies and he told her post-coitus that a mark on her back belonged to a clan of werewolves he knew in New Orleans. Geez, Klaus. If you want a girl to leave, maybe just say so — no need to exile her to another state!
Hayley is still hunting down the members of her family. She’s befriend the Devereaux sisters, Jane-Anne and Sophie, and it’s Jane-Anne who sends Hayley and her exceptionally used car down to the bayou. Little does Hayley know, this is all a ploy to isolate Hayley and, through the use of a long-distance spell, trap her for specific and witchy reasons that require a lot of dry ice. Why do the Devereauxs want Hayley? We get the sense that outside of collecting the were-girl’s hair, they are pretty harmless folks. Only time and the rest of this episode will tell.
Klaus arrives in New Orleans and swans about “his town.” He asks a street-side witch about the Jane-Anne Devereaux of Katherine’s letter and Hayley-abducting fame. The witch won’t help Klaus, not because he is notoriously murdery, but because all of the witches of New Orleans are under strict watch courtesy of a mysterious vampire named Marcel.
....who apparently loves daytime karaoke with his buddies. Klaus finds him with ease, and just when we think a confrontation is about to break out, Klaus and Marcel are basically so buddy-buddy that they are a step away from playfully tapping each other’s butts like this is right before a big game in Friday Night Lights.
You see, while New Orleans used to be Klaus’s town, it’s now Marcel’s. Marcel is Klaus’s one-time protégé. Klaus tells Marcel who he’s looking for. After assembling a Warriors-style street posse, Marcel takes to the road. He calls out Jane-Anne for practicing witchery without a license and then rips out her throat. Klaus is irritated, because when you want to talk to someone and they suddenly have no throat, that’s not very helpful. He mews his distaste at Marcel, who is basically dancing around singing “How do you like me know?” It is a good thing he didn’t actually ask this, or Klaus would have been forced to answer, “Right now? Not a lot.”
Klaus skulks back off to the bar to find Jane-Anne’s sister, because people are that replaceable when you are as old as dirt. Klaus, not one for formality, approaches Sophie to find out why Jane-Anne was looking for him. Understandably miffed because he just got her sister killed, Sophie isn’t exactly chomping at the bit to disclose all she knows. She points out that she couldn’t say anything even if she wanted to, because Marcel has had two guys following Klaus all day. Klaus deals with this like he deals with almost none of his problems, he buys the stalkers expensive scotch and let’s them live.
Unfortunately, Elijah is not quite so forgiving. When he comes across Marcel’s lackeys getting ready to off the mourning Sophie, he quietly removes their hearts and sweetly asks Sophie to tell him what the deal is. Elijah had trundled off after his brother to find out who is out to get Klaus and why. He lets Rebekah (Claire Holt) know what he’s up to — essentially, seeing whether or not this is a battle worth picking sides over. Rebekah is still annoyed that she will never have child-bearing hips and stands around Mystic Falls in a foul mood with a cute side-braid.
Klaus is even more annoyed with Marcel than he was earlier. The dude not only killed the person he came all the way to Louisiana to speak to, but he’d had folks following him. Klaus finds Marcel in a sexed-up vamp bar, the Vampire Diaries’ answer to Bon Temps’ Fangtasia — only without Pam. Klaus does not take kindly to the attitudes of those around him. He is used to receiving a certain level of respect, after all.
When Marcel senses Klaus is about to break, he takes him to the roof for some air. Klaus notices the hottie bartender from the Devereaux sisters’ place and sends Marcel down to find out if she’s brave or just stupid. With Marcel distracted, Elijah takes a moment to appear. Klaus receives him like an eye-rolling younger brother would, but Elijah insists he come and hear what Sophie has to say.
The meeting with Sophie takes place at a cemetery, because of course it does. Klaus is still unimpressed, and he is in no mood to hear Sophie when she tells him that Marcel is out of control and that he is going to help her stop him. He becomes vaguely more interested when Hayley appears but laughs off her insistence. He is not about to be swayed just because they have a one-night banging history. Klaus isn’t smiling when Sophie tells him the news:
Take a minute to run around your house screaming, We’ll do the same, and then we’ll meet up back here to regroup, OK? OK, go.
Everybody back? Great. Allow us to take the wind out of your sails — Klaus has no time for it. He is beyond freaked out and does what he does best in these situations. He adopts a stance of total denial and says a bunch of stuff that is awful and then runs away into the night to hide his feelings. While immortal, he is still a dude.
It is in this state that Klaus returns to Marcel’s club and loses his mind. Marcel remains the preening cock of the walk, all bellowing how he is king and such. Klaus loses his famous short temper and bites the hell out of Marcel’s friend Thierry. This is why you don’t threaten Klaus, no matter who you are. If you are a vampire, he can kill you, because he is an immortal, easily irritated hybrid who has zero time for your shenanigans.
Elijah phones Rebekah to let her know what’s going on, and Katherine puts in her two cents, having been eavesdropping the entire time. Katherine’s sure Elijah won’t stay tied to Klaus, but Rebekah pointedly reminds her that she knows neither one of her brothers as well as she thinks she does.
Back in New Orleans, there is a montage of painters and parades and music and food and people, and it’s all awesome. It’s so awesome that even sulky Klaus looks around and realizes, “This place is great. I should be on a TV show set in this city.” His spirits are furthered bolstered when he runs into the bartender Camilla, known as Cammi to her friends, and she points out traits she sees in a street painter’s work that strike a chord with Klaus. He blinks away tears and makes a decision: He’s sticking around. He lets Elijah know that he’s in, and they decide the first step is to get back in Marcel’s good graces so they can get him later. As such, Klaus makes the peace gesture of healing Thierry.
With Klaus on board to help put Marcel in check and possibly stick around for HIS CHILD (we still can’t deal), Elijah reports back to Rebekah. He let’s her know that he’s going to support Klaus and that she should pack up and come with him to New Orleans and do the same. But Rebekah is at her limit of how much getting temporarily killed for her brother she can take, and she is staying put in Mystic Falls. Even Katherine tries to get Elijah to reconsider, but he will not swayed by her shiny locks; after smooching her forehead, he gets out of there.
Klaus, in lust with his favorite new-old city, calls Caroline (Candice Accola) and leaves her a sweet voicemail. This is hilarious because you know Caroline was screening her calls. She was probably like “Ugh, Klaus — soooo, not answering.”
Back in the Salvatore basement, Damon plays the old switcheroo on Elena, giving her vervained blood. He hopes this will piss her off, because being pissed off is a feeling! But she won’t bite, literally or figuratively. So there we leave our favorite trio, locked in a basement, waiting to see who will break first.