At this point, fans of The Originals know what Esther’s plan is: She wants to help her children escape the curse of vampirism she once brought upon them by placing them in the bodies of witches. But Klaus and Elijah don’t exactly trust their dear old mother—and after she took Elijah captive in last week’s episode, it doesn’t look like that’ll change anytime soon. So what happens now?
As executive producer Michael Narducci tells EW, “Esther’s drive is: I knew when I made my children into vampires, I was trying to save them. I had no idea that they would become these beasts that would live for 1,000 years, feed on innocents’ blood, and create a disease that is vampirism that would spread all over the world.” Now that Esther has died and come back, she’s ready to move forward. She’s thinking, “I want to save my children from this hell on earth that I have created, and I want to save them from this horrible existence that they are enduring. In order to do that, I need to make their lives miserable,” Narducci continued.
The next step: Convincing her children that her way is the right way. “She needs to make a case for why being a vampire is the worst thing,” Narducci said. “And she can save him by putting him into another body and giving him one mortal lifespan to know peace, and to have happiness, and to have a family of his own, and live a semi-natural life. Being a vampire is unnatural; he can go into the body of a witch and have a more natural life, according to Esther. And so to convince him of this, she needs to confront him with the very thing that is—if I can borrow from the DC mythology—his kryptonite. What is the thing about Elijah that we’ve always said that is his weakness?”
Considering that tonight’s episode is a crossover—in which Nina Dobrev will appear as original doppelganger Tatia, a.k.a. the woman both Elijah and Klaus fell for before they were turned into vampires—the answer seems clear: Elijah’s kryptonite is directly linked to Tatia’s story. But how?
“[Elijah] doesn’t like other vampires,” Narducci says. “He’s fallen in love with Katherine, and he’s had moments where he’s respected certain other vampires. But when he saw Elena in Vampire Diaries, he said how much she reminded him of the goodness of being human. And in episode 16 last year, [when] Klaus and Elijah are at each other’s throats, Klaus says, ‘You wear a mask of civility when we both know you are just as bad as I am, if not worse.’ The notion is that Elijah hates being a vampire, but his defense mechanism is to dress it up and to have a code—not just a suit and a handkerchief, but a code of honor. That’s why he says, ‘I give you my word,’ and he keeps it. ‘There are certain rules. And if I cling to those rules and if I believe in them fundamentally, then I can endure this existence as a creature that feeds on the blood of other creatures.’ And that’s kind of his blind spot. His weakness.
“Esther is attacking that and making him confront that,” Narducci explains, hoping that this will destroy Elijah: “Like a kid who joins the Marines, you get broken down, and then you get built back up. She wants to break him down completely. That notion is a big part of Elijah’s story going forward. Confronted by his mother, how will he react and what will he do?”
Furthermore, Narducci teases, “By the way, what does she intend to do to Klaus? What does she intend to do to Rebekah? If that was Elijah’s kryptonite, what’s theirs?”
The Originals crossover airs tonight at 8 p.m. on The CW.
–Reporting by Molly Smith