6:58pm PT by Philiana Ng
'Vampire Diaries': Klaus' Mission to Reclaim His Empire
[Warning: Major spoilers from Thursday's episode, "The Originals."]
Was the trip to New Orleans worth it?
On Thursday's episode of The Vampire Diaries, Klaus (Joseph Morgan) ventured out of Mystic Falls and into the bustling French Quarter, worlds away from the town he's reluctantly called home. The reason for his temporary departure a century ago? A mysterious warning from Katherine (Nina Dobrev) clueing him in on a witch's plan against him. That witch? The powerful Jane-Anne Devereaux (Malaya Rivera Drew).
Klaus gets a harsh dose of reality when he steps into town. Yes, he and his Original family built the town up, but it's his protege Marcel (Charles Michael Davis) who now rules the land. Over the course of the hour, it's reiterated many times that Klaus is no longer the king of New Orleans, so much so that Marcel even has chaperones spying on Klaus' every move.
At the halfway point, a huge bombshell is revealed about Hayley (Phoebe Tonkin) and just how she'll play into the deeper Originals story line: She's pregnant with his baby! And no, it's not a ruse.
The most beautiful line comes from the lips of Elijah (Daniel Gillies), and this episode showed just why the Original vampire is so endearing: "Family is power. ... Love. Loyalty. That's power."
Below are the highlights from the episode:
8:02 p.m.: Katherine makes a little cameo at the top of the hour, transitioning the viewers into the world of Louisiana. After some quips from Damon (Ian Somerhalder) and Stefan (Paul Wesley), we're off!
8:04 p.m.: Where has Hayley been all this time? At a New Orleans bar where Jane-Anne just happens to work. After Jane-Anne reveals just where she should go to find out answers -- somewhere in the woods in the middle of the night, of course -- Hayley follows orders, but things end badly.
8:06 p.m.: New Orleans, known for its free-spirited craziness, is perfectly described as a "supernatural playground" and where "the dead stick around to play." Klaus learns that with his years-long absence the controller of New Orleans is now Marcel, whom he trained to be a mirror image of who he was. And Marcel's entrance into the Vampire Diaries world speaks volumes to who he is: singing karaoke at a local bar surrounded by his followers, appropriately with The Heavy's "How Do You Like Me Now?" First impressions are everything, especially in an episode that's forwarding a story and introducing a new one, and that moment tells you everything you need to know about who this guy is: fun, spontaneous and damn charming.
8:12 p.m.: Klaus sees first-hand just how Marcel's New Orleans works. It's all about rules, rules, rules. He wants to know exactly what Jane-Anne is cooking up. "Rot in hell monster!" she exclaims. Think Marcel has a nice heart by giving her a second chance? Eh, don't believe everything. "I'll give you one more chance ..." he begins, before killing her blind. "Or not." Brutal.
8:16 p.m.: The Marcel and Klaus dynamic is an interesting relationship to explore, should The Originals move forward. (And if it doesn't, bring Marcel into Mystic Falls somehow.) After all, Marcel is simply doing everything Klaus taught him all those years ago. Knowing how much Klaus has changed and evolved over the course of the last few years, is he rethinking the knowledge he's put upon Marcel that's caused him to be this way?
8:17 p.m.: Sophie, Jane-Anne's sister, and Klaus have an encounter. Marcel's minions (or hoodwinks) threaten Sophie after they see her "doing magic," and in what may be the best entrance ever, the beloved Elijah saves Sophie from seeing the same fate as her sister by killing the minions in stylish fashion.
8:26 p.m.: Later, Klaus approaches Marcel and lays everything out. Frankly, he's sick of Marcel's damn rules. "I don't care about your rules, Marcel," he says. There were hints of a power struggle between the former teacher and student but it seeps through tenfold here. In a glimpse into Marcel's vulnerable spot, he takes vervain. "Burns like a b----." His reasoning? To limit his vulnerabilities. Something says this may play into the grand scheme.
8:29 p.m.: Sophie tells Klaus that she has a plan to stop Marcel from continuing to run this town -- and this is where things start to get interesting. Klaus is suddenly reunited with Hayley. That "liquor-filled one-nght stand" that they had? He might think nothing of it, but Sophie drops a bomb that changes Klaus' whole situation. Sophie has a supernatural gift: She can tell when a girl is pregnant. Wait ... what? Is Hayley with Klaus' child?!
8:34 p.m.: We're back from commercial break, and Sophie explains how this is all possible. "One of nature's loopholes," Sophie says, basically telling Klaus that he must work with them (and yes, it's confirmed that Hayley's really pregnant when Klaus hears the baby's heartbeat) otherwise Hayley and the baby die. But what does he care? He's still hung up on Caroline! (See his episode-ending phone call.) It's Elijah who talks it out with his troubled brother and helps him see the light, but Klaus is still in denial. "I will not be manipulated!"
8:44 p.m.: There is a tragic quality to a Katherine or a Klaus, and Katherine verbalizes it here in a scene with Rebekah. They're driven by being alone "and we hate it," Katherine admits, revealing just a tiny slice of honesty.
8:46 p.m.: Marcel cements his territory -- yet again, but Klaus has had it. He breaks one of his rules by sucking the blood out of one of Marcel's loyal followers. Unfortunately for Marcel, he can't be killed. "Who has the power now ... friend?"
8:48 p.m.: Painting makes a return! Camille (Leah Pipes), a psychology major (of course she is), dissects the painter as she and Klaus watch a man paint but really she's holding a magnifying glass up to Klaus' soul: Alone, lost, "wishes he could control his demons instead of having his demons control him." Klaus in a nutshell.
8:51 p.m.: As the episode winds down, Klaus has concocted his mission: To reclaim the city that once was his. And for Hayley's pregnancy? "Every king needs an heir ..."
8:54 p.m.: We see Klaus reintegrate himself into Marcel's inner group, and that's all part of Sophie's grand plan to topple Marcel. There is a lot of story and potential to expand upon and dive into, and what's been set up is certainly intriguing.
8:56 p.m.: Why not have a scene for those Klaroline fans? Klaus wants Caroline to come to New Orleans so he can show her what he built: "Maybe one day you'll let me." Looks like Hayley's pregnancy won't stop him from juggling a few balls.
8:58 p.m.: Are Elijah and Katherine over? And welcome back Damon, Elena and Stefan, whose scene really is a teaser to next week's episode, which feels like a hyped-up version of The Hunger Games.
What did you think of The Originals?
The Vampire Diaries airs at 8 p.m. Thursdays on The CW.