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The Originals is the twentieth episode of the fourth season of The Vampire Diaries and the eighty-six episode of the series overall. This episode provides as a backdoor pilot for the new spin-off, The Originals.
KLAUS RETURNS TO HIS PAST IN NEW ORLEANS - Acting on a mysterious tip that a plot is brewing against him in New Orleans, Klaus makes a trip to the town he and his family helped build. Klaus’ questions lead him to a reunion with his former protégé, Marcel, a charismatic vampire who has total control over the human and supernatural inhabitants of New Orleans. Determined to help his brother find redemption, Elijah follows Klaus and soon learns that Hayley has also come to the French Quarter searching for clues to her family history, and has fallen into the hands of a powerful witch named Sophie. Meanwhile, in Mystic Falls, Damon and Stefan continue with their plan for Elena, while Katherine reveals a surprising vulnerability to Rebekah and asks her to deliver a message.
|Klaus, at Katherine's suggestion, returns to his former home of New Orleans to find a witch with ties to him. He instead finds a former protégé, named Marcel, who is ruling the city with an iron fist. As Klaus continues his search, he finds that the witches who live there are trying to overthrow Marcel and that they plan to use Hayley, who is, for some odd reason, miraculously carrying a child that is Klaus'. After Elijah arrives to help out and persuades him to stay, Klaus decides to stay in New Orleans and return the city to his command with his brother by his side. Rebekah is offered a spot in Klaus' new domain, but she turns them down. Back in Mystic Falls, Damon and Stefan begin extreme measures to return Elena's humanity by imprisoning her in the basement of the Salvatore house.|
- Main article: Pilot (Director's Cut)
- The almost same episode was aired as an episode of the fourth season of the mother show The Vampire Diaries working as a planted pilot. While some scenes are the same, this episode has both unaired and alternate material working as an episode on its own without being affected by The Vampire Diaries.
- Due to this being a pilot, no cast member is credited.
- This episode is numbered as episode 0 due to not being an official part of the first season.
- All ties (like the origin of the letter) to The Vampire Diaries are cut due to the show being meant to be able to stand on its own feet.
- This is the first episode to feature The Originals title card.
- None of the main characters from The Vampire Diaries appear.
- Elijah reveals the source power for the witches who live in New Orleans (Ancestral Magic).
- Elijah and Hayley have a family moment. It could be considered the basis for their relationship going forward.
- Davina is shown to be an immensely powerful witch, more so than any other witch in the city despite only being sixteen years old. However, she cannot leave her room in the attic of St. Anne's Catholic Church per Marcel's rules in order to keep her, as his secret weapon, safe.
- Marcel flirts with Cami.
- Antagonist: Marcel Gerard.
- This episode serves as a backdoor pilot for the spin-off series The Originals, revolving around the eponymous Original family and taking place in the French Quarter of New Orleans.
- In Always and Forever, it's revealed that Klaus daggered Elijah and gave him to Marcel. This explains why Elijah isn't there to help Elena regain her humanity in She's Come Undone, as well resolve his relationship with Katherine.
- Filming started on March 5, 2013.  and ended on March 21, 2013. 
- This is the first Klaus-centric episode and therefore the first episode where he gets the most screen-time.
- Elena, Stefan and Damon only appear in two scenes (the beginning and the end of the episode).
- This is the first episode where only five main actors appeared (Klaus, Katherine, Elena, Stefan and Damon).
- This is the lowest main actor count in an episode and will be tied with I Went to the Woods.
- Caroline, Bonnie, Jeremy, Tyler and Matt don't appear in this episode.
- It is revealed that Hayley is pregnant with Klaus' child from their one night stand.
- When Klaus finds out about Hayley, at first he tells Elijah to kill her and the baby. But at the end of the episode, he changes his mind about killing them and begins to warm to the idea of having a child and a family.
- Damon mentions the events between Family Ties and You're Undead to Me when telling Stefan that he remembers when he kept him locked up in the basement for three days without blood and weakened by Zach's vervain.
- Katherine was last seen in American Gothic. Her voice was last heard in Pictures of You.
- Hayley was last seen in Bring It On.
- Mikael was mentioned by Klaus. He was killed in Homecoming.
- Klaus made a phone call to Caroline. She was last seen in Pictures of You.
- This episode marks the first and only appearances of Marcel, Sophie, Camille, Jane-Anne, Thierry, Diego and Agnes.
- Mystic Falls, Virginia
Behind the Scenes
- The episode had about 2.24 million viewers in the USA, which was 0.10 million more than the previous episode.
- 75% of the show was shot in the French Quarter of New Orleans with almost the entire The Vampire Diaries crew on location. 
- Three exterior scenes were shot in Conyers, Georgia. 
- The tour guide who appears after the title card is the actual tour guide, Jonathan Weiss, who gave Julie Plec and Michael Narducci a tour on their first research trip. He's wearing his own real clothes, hair and makeup in the episode.
- The drummer in the scene where Klaus talks to Cami is Julian Addison. He is a musician that Paul Wesley, Torrey DeVitto and Julie Plec saw play when they were in town for the Super Bowl.
- The painter that is featured has his own gallery on Royal Street in New Orleans.
- The location where Klaus and Elijah have an argument is Pirate's Alley.
- The vampire party was shot at the Hotel Royal on St. Patrick's Day weekend, much to the chagrin of the hotel's partying patrons. Daniel Gillies almost took a punch from an angry hotel guest.
- The brass band in the parade sequence is the famous band Rebirth and their high-steppers, one of New Orleans' oldest musical traditions.
- Joseph Morgan and Charles Michael Davis were former poker-buddies well before Charles was cast as Marcel.
- One scene was filmed in Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 where the film version of Interview with the Vampire was shot. 
- The Ninth Ward is the largest of the seventeen wards of New Orleans, located in the easternmost downriver portion of the city. It suffered catastrophic flooding from Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
- Katherine: "Klaus is gone."
- Stefan: "Wait, what do you mean Klaus is gone?"
- Tour Guide: "Welcome to the dark side of New Orleans, where the living are easily lost and the dead stick around to play."
- Marcel: "Niklaus Mikaelson; my mentor, my savior, my sire."
- Klaus: "Marcel has got everything I ever wanted. Power, loyalty, family. I want what he has. I want it back. I want to be king."
- Rebekah: "New Orleans? What the bloody hell is he doing there?"
- Elijah: "Evidently there are witches conspiring against him. So, knowing our brother, this was a mission to silence and slaughter."
- Rebekah: "Well the French Quarter witches are not a lot to be trifled with. You don’t suppose they found a way to kill him once and for all, do you?"
- Elijah: "Rebekah, in the name of our family, you might try to dial down your glee."
- Rebekah: "What family? We are three distrustful acquaintances who happen to share a bloodline. I, for one, hope they found a way to make that traitorous bastard rot."
- (Elena is gasping for breath after having been locked in the cellar of the Salvatore boarding house without blood for some time)
- Damon: "That's the calmest desiccating vampire I've ever seen. I remember when you starved me down there for three days-- I would've wept at your feet for an orange peel."
- Stefan: "Look, she's not going to beg for blood. Begging means desperation, emotion; she's still in no humanity zone."
- Damon: "How hungry does she have to be before we can torture some feelings back into her?"
- Stefan: "A lot hungrier than she is now, apparently."
- Damon: "So, what are we supposed to do in the meantime?"
- Katherine: "Maybe I can provide a little excitement."
- Stefan: "Katherine?"
- Katherine: "The one and only... sort of."
- Elijah: "You want to know what the witches have in store for you? Follow me."
- Sophie: (to Klaus) "I'm going to stop him, and you're going to help me."
- Marcel: (to Klaus) "What's mine is yours, but it is mine!"
- Marcel: "I'm the king!"
- Katherine: "Klaus won't be able to walk away from this."
- Klaus: "No. It's impossible. Vampires cannot procreate."
- Sophie: "But werewolves can. Magic made you a vampire, but you were born a werewolf. You're the Original Hybrid, the first of your kind, and this pregnancy is one of nature's loopholes."
- Klaus: (to Hayley) "You've been with someone else, admit it!"
- Hayley: "Hey, I've spent days held captive in a freaking alligator bayou because they think that I'm carrying some magical miracle baby. Don't you think I would've fessed up if it wasn't yours?"
- Sophie: "My sister gave her life to perform the spell she needed to confirm this pregnancy. Because of Jane-Anne's sacrifice, the lives of this girl and her baby are now controlled by us. If you don't help us take down Marcel, so help me, Hayley won't live long enough to see her first maternity dress."
- Klaus: "For a thousand years, I lived in fear. Any time I settled anywhere, our father would hunt me down and... chase me off. He made me feel powerless, and I hated it. This town was my home once, and in my absence, Marcel has gotten everything that I ever wanted. Power, loyalty, family. I made him in my image and he has bettered me. I want what he has. I want to be king."
- Elijah: "And what of Hayley and the baby?"
- Klaus: "Every king needs an heir."