The Originals: I Just Can’t Wait to be King

(note: this post heavily spoils last weeks episode of The Vampire Diaries)

This past Thursday, The CW unveiled a very special episode of their hit show The Vampire Diaries.  This episode, entitled “The Originals,” was meant to serve as a backdoor pilot for a new spinoff series.  The episode focused on the remaining siblings of the original family of vampires, the Mikaelson family: Klaus, Elijah, and Rebekah (even though Rebekah was conveniently absent for most of the episode, still perturbed at Klaus).

Since news broke that the creators and writers of TVD were going to take a stab at a more adult, darker spinoff, I sat idly by, excited over all the possibilities a potential new show could offer.  I was even more excited when they announced this possible show would take place in New Orleans, Louisiana (a city that I’ve been desperate to visit for a long time now).  Not only could the creators explore a new world for these characters, they could incorporate the rich history and culture of New Orleans.

After receiving a tip from fan favorite character, Katherine, that stated witches were conspiring against him, Klaus headed down to New Orleans.  This was the city him and his family members had helped build; they considered New Orleans their kingdom, their home.  Worried that his brother’s confrontation would lead to a witch massacre, Elijah hesitantly followed his brother to New Orleans (Rebekah refusing to even acknowledge Klaus was her brother, hoping the witches had found a way to finally kill him).  It turned out Klaus and Elijah weren’t the only visitors from Mystic Falls though, werewolf Hayley had also been exploring the city, hoping to find information on her family and where she came from.

originals2Unable to find the witch he was looking for, Klaus reunited with his former protege, Marcel, in hopes he could get some friendly assistance.  It didn’t take long for Klaus to realize the hold Marcel had on New Orleans.  He was the one in charge, he was the King.  He controlled all the supernaturals in the city, including the witches, and had convinced the humans of the city to casually look the other way to their shenanigans.  Marcel had banned any and all witches from practicing magic and as soon as he found one who did, he executed her in a vampire filled New Orleans street.  Unfortunately, this witch had also been the one Klaus had been searching for.  He soon conveniently tracked down her sister, but had been followed by Marcel’s men, who were intent on finding out exactly what Klaus was doing in New Orleans.

originals3With Marcel’s men on his tail, Klaus was failing to obtain the information he needed.  But, one person did.  Elijah made his grand entrance (by killing Marcel’s men in a classic, heart snatching, Elijah way) and informed his brother he had found the witches AND the answers Klaus was seeking.  Klaus reluctantly followed his brother to a cemetery.  The witches (led by a young girl named Sophie) presented Hayley, hoping she would help make him cooperate.  Klaus, about to lose it, laughed at the thought of them thinking he cared about Hayley (she was only a drunken, one night stand after all).  That’s when the witches revealed their hold on Klaus and why Hayley was the key: their one night stand had led to a little puppy growing inside Hayley.  That’s right, Hayley was pregnant.  The witches explained that vampires could not breed, but wolves could, and Klaus having been made a vampire by magic and originally born a wolf, could in fact procreate.  Sophie hoped this news would make Klaus want to help them take down Marcel, they would protect Hayley and her child if he did.

Elijah was delighted.  Klaus appalled.  Elijah tried convincing Klaus to stay in New Orleans, help Hayley, and start and rebuild their family.  Klaus was seeking one thing and one thing only: power.  “Family is power,” Elijah relented, but to no avail.

originals4Klaus was upset, angry, and was only interested in taking New Orleans back from Marcel.  In a heated, party filled confrontation  (“What’s mine is yours, but IT IS MINE,” Marcel reminded Klaus), Klaus angrily bit one of Marcel’s men, asserting his power.  In one more, emotional filled conversation with his brother, Klaus lamented that maybe staying in New Orleans wasn’t such a bad idea, especially if he could have the power he always wanted and have an heir to teach.  They decided they would indeed help Sophie and the other witches.  Klaus was to apologize and work his way into Marcel’s world and Elijah would stand by his brother’s side, hoping to find the redemption he knew was somewhere deep within Klaus.  This was their new beginning.

Thursday’s episode was enough for The CW and the very next day “The Originals” was picked up to series.  I may be in the minority of people who enjoyed this episode.  Let me rephrase, I enjoyed this episode EXCEPT for the baby macguffin.  At first I thought the witches were tricking Klaus with magic to force him to take down Marcel, to have something to use against him and that Elijah was really working with the witches and not his brother.  This was not the case and as far as it stands, the little wolf inside Hayley is real. This was a cheap roadblock that I feel could really hinder the series from greatness. I thought the exterior scenes (especially in the historic Lafayette Cemetery) were beautiful and I saw a lot of potential to incorporate different New Orleans landmarks into the show.  The tone of the episode was darker and more mature than most episodes of The Vampire Diaries and as a  23 year old viewer, I appreciated the new direction.

I also fell in love with new vampire Marcel.  He was mysterious, charismatic, and very nice to look at.  Sophie and the witches were also intriguing.  Why couldn’t they practice magic? What did Marcel have to hold over them?  Their potential of an uprising and as characters who could assert themselves could add a new, unseen twist to the show.  One more character, Cami, a human bartender was introduced.  Not much is known about Cami, but she seemed like a strong and independent female character that a show filled with men in power could use.

With only three members of the Mikaelson family remaining, one can only hope that flashbacks would be implemented to show how they built the city and how Klaus and Marcel formally met (they made a reference that Klaus may have saved Marcel from slavery).  Unfortunately, The Vampire Diaries hasn’t been on the forefront of diverse casting and handling people of color and other minority characters.  In the city of New Orleans, with a large African American population, there is a potential to do these previously failed efforts right and with dignity.  The originals continue to be my favorite characters on the show and only time will tell what this new series will bring us.  One thing is for sure, the backdoor pilot sparked my curiosity and I will be tuning in come fall.


The Vampire Diaries Tackle The “Cure”

Since I was young I’ve been fascinated with the world of vampires (I guess you could have called me a morbid child).  I made it my life mission as a child to watch, read, and invest in anything vampires.  My interest was mainly focused on television shows and movies and each new media I watched tackled vampires in a different, unique way.

The Vampire Diaries doesn’t stop short in pulling out all the stops.  The mythology, the powers, the story lines, are unique to the show.  A newly introduced sub-plot is tackling the topic of the “cure.”  This however is not the first show to explore this idea.  Now, the idea of this so called “cure” was only loosely introduced in last Thursday’s episode, The Five.  We can’t say for sure what this “cure” will entail and if it’s even still in existence within their world, but characters Stefan and Klaus (or as shippers refer to them as, Klefan) have now made it their mission to track down and discover what exactly this “cure” is.

As I mentioned before, The Vampire Diaries is not the first vampire themed show to tackle this topic.  I’ve chosen to look at two past television shows that also delved into this moral story line.

Show #1: Forever Knight (1992-1996)

A Canadian television show that ran in the ’90s about a vampire detective and how he himself dealt with vampirism in an ever changing world.  Main character, Nick Knight, was an 800 year old vampire who was desperate to find a cure to make him human again.  Nick, similar to Stefan on TVD, had relegated himself to drinking animal blood in order to curb his thirst for human blood.  He found himself constantly battling his inability to have actual relationships with humans, especially for fellow colleague and medical examiner, Natalie.

In the 3rd and final season, Nick is reunited with his vampire sister, Janette.  Janette it seems has mysteriously turned from vampire to human.  The exact events are never made clear as to how Janette became human.  The process is only described as Janette feeding on her human lover and through the ultimate act of making love, she was transformed from vampire to human.

Through a series of events, Janette is killed but it does not stop Nick’s quest from finding out what exactly this cure is.  In the series finale, Nick makes a decision to try to cure himself by using Natalie as his lover.  Given Nick’s inability to control himself while drinking human blood, the process is deemed extremely dangerous.  Natalie agrees though if it means that she and Nick can be together as humans.  Spoiler alert: The process fails and Nick ends up killing Natalie by accident, unable to control his thirst.  In a grief stricken state, Nick has his maker, LaCroix, kill him so that he can be with Natalie in the after life.

This is a show where the cure ultimately failed for our main protagonist, but gave us the illusion that vampirism isn’t a permanent curse.

Show #2: Moonlight (2007-2008)

Moonlight, similar to Forever Knight, was also a show about a vampire detective (and a show I will never forgive CBS for canceling).  Protagonist, Mick St. John, was an 85 year old vampire who worked as a private investigator.  Mick was forcefully turned by his wife, Coraline, and after murdering her (or so he thought) in the 1980s, lived in a wallowing existence.  He constantly was fighting to be as human as he could (thankfully these versions of vampires could walk in the sun, in fact these vampires were straight up awesome: screw a cure).

In an episode entitled, The Ringer, Mick is asked by his friend (and wannabe lover, Beth) to help find the missing cameras of Beth’s friend, Morgan.  All seems normal until Mick meets Morgan, who bares an uncanny resemblance to Mick’s ex-wife, Coraline.  No, this show did not implore the use of doppelgängers, Morgan was in fact Coraline, masking herself as human using a special “compound.”

In an effort to make up for the horrible things Coraline put Mick through (I won’t go into it, watch the show! It’s only 1 season..unfortunately), Coraline allows Mick to use some of the compound on himself.  This compound isn’t exactly a cure and the ingredients of it aren’t exactly known either.  All that is known is that the compound was created hundreds of years ago for a royal family of vampires to use to mask their vampirism during a purging of the creatures.  Mick is unsure as to how long the compound will last but has Coraline give it to him without hesitation.  What looks like a thick blood-like concoction is placed on an open wound of a vampire and sinks into the blood stream.

Mick becomes human but in the end has his vampire friend, Josef, turn him back into a vampire in order to save Beth from a pack of evil vampires.

It is unclear as to how The Vampire Diaries will tackle this topic.  Will the cure be an elixir, a  spell, a donut sprinkled in unicorn blood?  The show has already tackled witch craft being able to turn vampires human again so I venture to guess this cure will be a little different.  All I know is that The Vampire Diaries vampires are also pretty awesome (eternal hotness, ability to blurry run, and the ability to eat whatever the hell you want without counting calories) and I would probably say “nah, I’m good.” if I was a vampire offered their cure.