I don’t know if you have ever heard of the term ‘breakout character’. It happens when someone’s role on a TV show stars as a minor performance, maybe only a two or three episode arch, but he or she ends up becoming so popular that becomes almost the main character, overshadowing the rest of the cast.
It has happened, for example, with scene-stealers such as Sheldon Cooper, Barney Stinson, Schmidt or one of my favourites, Benjamin Linus. And sometimes, the success is so overwhelming that there is the need of a spin-off.
And that is what happened with Joseph Morgan’s Klaus Mikaelson, my favourite character form the CW show The Vampire Diaries.
In a show that had begun to lose fuel this past couple of seasons (too many loose ends and inexplicable plots), the Mikaelson siblings were what held TVD together, being one of the main reasons I watched it every week. Since Klaus arrived in the end of season 2, he had been my clear favourite. Yes, he is a mass murderer sociopath, and yet he was the one I loved the most, so that says something -although I don’t know if it says something about the show or about my personality, though.
And if Klaus – and Joseph Morgan’s powerful acting – wasn’t enough, more Originals ended up showing up at Mystic Falls. Rebekah and Elijah were instantly as amazing as Klaus. Truth be told, Elijah showed up before Klaus, as a way of introducing, and I instantly liked Daniel Gillies’ performance quite a lot – let’s not forget that time he broke a window with a bunch of coins, the Mikaelsons do love throwing objects. They were both scene-stealers every time they were on screen, making me root for every single one of their plots. Then Claire Holt arrived at the beginning of season 3 and it was clear as the sky: there was a world of possibilities that couldn’t be explored if they stayed in the show.
The point I am trying to make is that these three siblings were way too interesting and compelling to be the eternal villains of TVD, and if they had switched to the ‘good’ side, well, what was the point? The audience had to delve into the originals’ past and hanging around Mystic Falls forever was not going to bring that up.
They needed their own version of good and evil, and sending them to New Orleans with their own show was the perfect solution. And oh, is that show good.
I can safely say now, after 16 episodes, that I find it better than TVD, or t least different in a way that I prefer. It is darker, more profound, with deeper motivations. The flashbacks have a more interesting use, and Marcel and Davina, among others, are great additions to the story.
With their own setting, the Mikaelson siblings are showing us all the layers of their personalities, of their past. We get to see all the stages of Klaus, from the evilest of evil to redeemable vampire of the year -what the fans liked about him in TVD but could not be developed. But the beauty of it is that, even when he (or any other character) is at his worst, you can still feel sympathy. That is what is called good writing and an even better acting.
Don’t get me wrong, the acting in TVD is very good – Nina Dobrev is being a hell of a showstopper this season. After all, Morgan, Gillies and Holt were part of it. But they need to create plots that don’t get dragged. The Silas story was going nowhere, and that is just the latest example.
If there is something the mother ship would need to learn from its child is that, when the newly made plots are not working, the focus should be on the characters. They are the reason we invest our time in a TV show. We care about them, and we want to see how they interact with each other.
In the end, I don’t worry about what was that thing Rebekah -I hope you come back someday – did to Klaus 100 years ago: I worry about his pain because he feels betrayed by his sister and the consequences that come with it.
My hopes for the future are humble. I just want the show to continue improving, because if that is what happens, it has a long, bright future ahead. And maybe, bring Kol, back*. Anything can happen.
Not always and forever, but at least five or six season would be great.
* Kol was mean most of the time in The Vampire Diaries, but I found him interesting -maybe just because he was an original?- and there was not enough time to develop his character, something that could happen in The Originals. Besides, his dying scene was heartbreaking, if only because of Klaus impotence while watching it happen and the consequent -and justified -anger. That was one devastating look in Klaus’ eyes.