I was recently given the chance to watch a rough cut of “Always And Forever,” the first episode for "The Vampire Diaries" spin-off "The Originals". When I heard it would be the backdoor pilot retold from Elijah’s perspective, I was a bit skeptical. I expected little new material and was worried that this episode would fail to capture my interest. But I was wrong.
About the episode: Just like the first episode of "The Vampire Diaries", "The Originals" starts off on a bloody note with a flashback dating back 300 years to when our favorite family of vampires arrived in New Orleans. For new viewers unfamiliar with the backstory, there is a nice summary consisting of flashbacks previously seen in episode 3.08 of "The Vampire Diaries". Few scenes from the backdoor pilot are repeated, only those necessary to the story. The episode takes us a little further with Klaus, Elijah & Haley moving into a mansion right outside of the city.
About the characters: We already know Klaus, the Original hybrid, his brother Elijah, his sister Rebekah, who even though she was still in Mystic Falls, was featured in this episode through some phone conversations, and Hayley, the werewolf who is pregnant with Klaus’ baby. The new characters are: Marcel, Klaus’ former protégé who is now king of New Orleans; Camille, a human bartender who’s also a psychology major; Sophie, a witch whose sister was murdered by Marcel and the one who lured Klaus to New Orleans; and Davina, a young witch who’s helping Marcel control the other witches.
Compared to Vampire Diaries: I definitely think this show will have a more mature vibe than "The Vampire Diaries". Instead of high school and college we get a power struggle between Klaus and Marcel. "The Vampire Diaries" fans are all too familiar with the love triangles, so far I haven’t seen much of that on "The Originals". There is some spark between Elijah and Hayley, Klaus and Camille and, from what I’ve seen from promotional photos of the second episode, perhaps between Marcel and Rebekah, but so far that’s all speculation. Violence and blood wise it’s been very similar although I do hope they’ll make this show a little darker than "The Vampire Diaries". I mean it is war after all. I think fans of "The Vampire Diaries" will love this show. I can’t speak for those who don’t, but give it try, I think it might surprise you.
Original vampires, werewolves, witches who are sick and tired of being pushed around and a cliffhanger that has me longing for the next episode. "The Originals" is already becoming one of my favorite shows.