Remember when you thought hybrids were just cars? Oh, those were the days! Watching the premiere of "The Originals," I'm a little overwhelmed with the new layer of mythology that has been slapped on top of what I thought I knew from "The Vampire Diaries." While I'm sure it entirely makes sense somehow (Julie Plec wouldn't lead us astray), I can't help but think, man, it's been an awful lot of work just for Klaus to claim dual citizenship.

But let's not get ahead of (or behind -- there's a lot of flashing backward and forward going on here) ourselves. What's great about "The Originals" is that, unlike relatively milquetoast (but scenic) Mystic Falls, the action has moved to New Orleans, where there are voodoo shops and gumbo and vampires that run wild in the street like something out of "The Lost Boys." This we can attribute to Marcel, Klaus' old friend who, even when he's being a bully, is still unnervingly charming.

We start our story not with Marcel, but with the Originals making a splash when they land in New Orleans. A vampire version of making a splash isn't, of course, showing off killer dance moves or rocking a designer purse, but killing people who happen to stumble upon your ship. Still, Elijah always seems so nice about it, doesn't he?

In the present, Elijah (who looks so much better without that dead ferret wig) is back in New Orleans, looking around for Klaus. Camille, the bartender with a brain, suggests he find Jane-Anne Devereaux, but bad news -- she's dead, killed in the street by Marcel for having the temerity to do magic in the French Quarter. What I love is that in this alternate universe, there's a street where only witches go (I'm just imagining a little checkpoint where a guard asks for your witch passport), and where vampires can kill someone and leave their body there for a while. I would think that would be bad for tourism if nothing else.

Elijah gets a chance to see Marcel in action as he tries to bully Sophie into telling him what the hell is up with Klaus coming to town, then holds Jane-Anne's body as leverage. Even though Sophie won't tell Marcel, she's more than willing to blab to Elijah (it helps that he kills some vampires that come to bug her, giving us a nice shot of a severed head glowing gooily in the moonlight). The witches of the French Quarter can't take Marcel's bullying anymore, and Jane-Anne discovered a little something that might lure the Originals back to town -- Marcel is too strong to be taken down by anyone or anything less . Yes, Jane-Anne bumped into poor, preggers Hayley.

Even though Elijah looks like he's going to demand a DNA test to be sure Hayley's spawn is his brother's, he's so quickly entranced by the prospect of a bouncing bundle of joy he's practically ready to run off to Babies 'R Us to shop for onesies. He takes a few moments to talk to Hayley and download his head into her (and us) so she knows exactly how Klaus became a hybrid.

For those of us who watched "The Vampire Diaries," we thought we knew this answer -- Klaus had to go through a ceremony and kill witches and drink Elena's blood and do the limbo AND the hokey pokey, then turn himself around. It was a complex, bloody endeavor. But, apparently, he was already a hybrid, which, if I knew I'd totally forgotten (it's been a while). So, all the hokey pokey stuff was just about lifting the curse his mom put on him to be mean. Really, the Originals may have been the first wildly dysfunctional family.

Sophie makes a deal with Elijah -- get Klaus on board to help them, and they'll make sure Marcel never finds out about Hayley's bouncing baby… something. Hybrid? Mutant? Furball? Anyway, Elijah, who has already decided he wants to paint the nursery in soothing shades of sage and light yellow, runs off to find Klaus, who is not at all excited to see him.

Klaus is, not unexpectedly, not at all happy to be fingered as the baby daddy. While Sophie seems to think she has some leverage by telling Klaus she'll kill Hayley if he doesn't do what she says, I'm not sure that's really a big deal to Klaus, who just thinks that's a way for him to avoid child support. Even listening to the heartbeat doesn't seem to soften him up so much as gross him out. Your stomach's throbbing! Ewww!

It's a chance! It's a trick! It's a chance! It's a trick! It's the peanut butter! It's the chocolate! Elijah and Klaus argue about family and manipulation and whether or not it's better to kill everyone or buy diapers. Since Elijah just wants to check on how doable the whole "let's kill the coven and be done with it" option is for Klaus, since he seems to really like that idea, Sophie reveals she's linked to Hayley. Hurt Sophie, hurt Hayley and vice versa. So, even though Klaus would be fine with any hurting in either direction, she already knows Elijah won't be. What would he do with the stroller?Sophie gives Elijah a deadline of midnight to get it through Klaus' hard head he needs to help her out.

Klaus, however, is busy visiting his old pal Marcel. He asks Marcel to tell him what's going on with him and the witches, and when Marcel to tell him to butt out AND has the nerve to call New Orleans "his town," Klaus' face turns a pretty shade of crazy and just about blows up. It used to be his city! Marcel was just a know-nothing runt! Give it back, waaah! Marcel tells Klaus he's cool with him hanging around, but he'd better be respectful and play by his rules. Rules? Klaus don't play by no stinkin' rules, so he bites one of Marcel's minions, just for kicks. He's broken a rule, but Marcel can't kill him, nyah nyah! Klaus may be hundreds of years old, but really, he's four.

Elijah is stuck on clean-up detail, so he visits Marcel and hints that Klaus' blood could cure the guy he bit. Time to negotiate! Klaus will heal the minion if Marcel hands Jane-Anne's body to him, which he then takes to the witches to buy more time to wear down Klaus. If Elijah were a real boy, he'd be a great politician.

Of course, Elijah is only really talented at negotiating with people who are sane. When he goes to Klaus to argue some more (We can buy pacifiers with little designs on them! The baby can were a cute vampire costume for Halloween next year!), they break into a fight that's like a low-budget version of Superman vs. General Zod, but it must work because finally Klaus agrees to help the witches and give his blood to the minion he bit.

But we still don't know what Marcel has on the witches in town. Answer? A chick named Davina. I'm fairly sure we'll learn more at some point.

So, it's game on, right? Klaus and Elijah are going to stomp around the French Quarter, taking down Marcel's army, linking arms and singing drinking songs as they change diapers at superhuman speed. It's so cute! But Klaus tells Elijah he knows of one weakness Marcel could exploit -- him -- and then he stakes Elijah. "There is no power in love… family makes you weak." Dammit!

I was loving the idea that Elijah was the Klaus' consigliere, taking care of business and looking fabulous doing it. Now it seems Elijah is just stuck in a box, so we won't be seeing him on "The Vampire Diaries" or "The Originals" (unless someone pulls that pesky stake out of his chest, hint hint). Still, he's served his purpose, which seems to be walking us through a pile of exposition and mythology. Thanks, Elijah. See you soon!

Do you like "The Originals"? Were you sad to see Elijah staked? What do you think Davina's story is?