* Thematically, horrible boat murders by people in a flashback isn't all that different from Brooke and Darren getting eaten by Damon on a dark road into Mystic Falls. --Actually, no, it's better, because this has Elijah apologizing for leaving a mess re: the crew and all the family's luggage.

* COME ON, KLAUS WITH FANGS IS SORT OF CUTE. LOOK AT HOW HAPPY HE USED TO BE.

* I can only assume Sophie Devereaux is a shout-out to Leverage, or somebody in the clearances office got sleepy pretty early on in double-checking the list.

* I'm not going to lie: I love that the show's Macguffin - the magical supernatural baby inside Hayley - is almost literally going to be named Plot Device. Hayley's pissed she's being held captive by witches who'll kill her if Klaus doesn't agree to help stop Marcel, and Klaus literally could not care less if he has a magical baby or not, he just wants to be king again.

* See, from now on, whenever I take a "spooky" tour of someplace, I'm just going to assume those things are legit. Hiding in plain sight isn't the worst thing to do.

* I love that the re-purposed version of this pilot is basically Elijah catching up on the shit that happens when he leaves Klaus alone for ten goddamn minutes.

* Okay, so this is maybe a dumb question, but why can't witches take over a nearby city the way vampires took over NOLA, and just--I don't know, do it that way?

* So I shouldn't side with Marcel, who is fantastic, but I *should* side with the witches, who are...threatening to murder a baby the universe has deemed necessary to the balance, because Marcel is keeping them from doing magic. OR YOU COULD MOVE. Seriously, the longer I watch either show, the more I realize that vampires are basically big children, but witches? Witches are assholes.

That said, Marcel is also an asshole, and I can't really blame witches for wanting him dead. They're just going about it by threatening a baby. You know, the baby the universe wants to exist for a fucking reason. Just--terrible, terrible idea. The kind of terrible idea that could, I don't know, BRING OUT HORRIBLE REPERCUSSIONS FOR WITCHES?

* No, seriously, I like all the actors so far, but character-wise...I love Elijah, because where Elijah goes so goes my nation, and I kind of love Klaus - SHUT UP I WAS SURPRISED TOO - and I feel bad that Hayley's in a shitty position; Rebekah makes me want to stab her and hug her about the same amount, it goes back and forth. Marcel is charismatic, but he's basically outlawed witchcraft for reasons that are probably going to turn out to involve said witches being assholes; I like Cami fine, but so far I'm calling her Caroline V.2.0, and that might stick. Sophie is great, and I completely get why she's doing this - she would've stayed out of it, until Marcel killed Jane-Anne - but she's still supporting a shitty position; and we haven't met Davina yet, but from the glimpse we see of her in the director's cut (available on the CW's website), she is just awful.

I love the show, but it's sort of weird to watch a series and want to slap the ever-loving shit out of like two-thirds of the characters. Not bad, mind you, just. Weird.

* Also awesome: KIND OF THE WHOLE PREMISE? Like--Elijah's spent I don't know how many lifetimes acting as a priest, trying to be a good person--for fuck's sake, he left Elena a calligraphed letter apologizing for that time they almost murdered her to stop their mom! He's really into saving his brother's soul--whereas Klaus is in a bad place: he's almost out of hybrids, he can't make any more, Elijah's acting like the Pope around him and Rebekah hates him. He thinks he wants power; he doesn't realize, yet, that power is great and all, but that the best part of him is the one with a younger brother who loves him--the guy who likes painting and fell in love with a 17-year-old girl and sketched a picture of her with a horse, and let her boyfriend come back to town because she loves him, and he can be patient. Elijah and Caroline are Klaus's best parts; I don't know that Hayley and the baby will be, but I think he should at least get the chance to try.

Rebekah...we'll see with Rebekah. I'm hopeful.

* "Your dad was a dick." ...You can stay, Hayley.

* Still don't really care about Cami! Still...am not really pissed on the Klaus/Caroline side of things, because A) both Klaus and Caroline have waaaaay too much going on to focus on ~feelings~ and B) Cami is mortal, whereas Caroline is not. Dude's willing to outlast Tyler goddamn Lockwood; Caroline Goddamn Forbes, the World's Best Vampire, can outlast a bartender.

* YOU GUYS WE GET ELIJAH MIKAELSON EVERY WEEK. YES I AM USING CAPSLOCK FOR A REASON. Oh, God, can you imagine everyone's flashback wigs? PUFFY SHIRTS. This is THE BEST.

* And then OH SHIT YOU GUYS I FORGOT. I FORGOT KLAUS WAS A TOTAL ASSHOLE. JUST STRAIGHT-UP DAGGERED ELIJAH. I mean, ten bucks says Rebekah undoes it before the end of next week, but OH MY GOD I FORGOT. THAT'S ON ME. THAT'S MY BAD.

-Overall, it's not anything particularly surprising, considering we'd already seen most of it last season, but it's a pretty good pilot - and it makes me love, love, love the 'verse version of NOLA, even more than the first airing already did.

Next week: Rebekah arrives and immediately gets her Rosalie Hale on, and Klaus sets out to start bringing down Marcel's empire. "House of the Rising Son", next Thursday, 9 PM EST.
.

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