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'The Originals' post-mortem: EP on family secrets, Rebekah, and more

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The Originals Nina Dobrev 04
Annette Brown/The CW

Surely you didn’t think the Original family was out of secrets, did you? Because as Tatia’s appearance on the show proved, even the noblest of Originals has skeletons in his closet. And from what executive producer Michael Narducci had to say about the hour, there’s more where that came from:

On Kol’s allegiances moving forward: “I wouldn’t say he’s necessarily about to jump into bed with his siblings,” Narducci told EW. “But he’s got his own agenda. With Kol, he knows he is a lesser witch than both Finn and Esther, and that is by design. Esther knows she can’t completely trust Kol; she thinks she’s given him an opportunity for a new life and expects some loyalty, but she wouldn’t put him into a super powerful witch because Kol’s a little bit of a trickster. So when Kol refuses to answer that phone and then two seconds later his nose starts bleeding, you know Finn’s like ‘Don’t mess with me. I own you.’ He’s on a little bit of a leash and everything he does is going to be a part of his agenda to break free of it. So with Davina, does he care about her or is he using her as a potential ally to get himself out of a hot spot? That’s one of the great questions with him.”

On Mikael piecing together a new plan: “He just got his ass kicked. Two episodes in a row, he goes head-to-head with Klaus, and in this episode, he actually defeats him. It’s the thing he’s always wanted for a thousand years and it doesn’t work,” Narducci said. “It was this notion that Mikael has made an existence out of his desire for revenge, and Klaus has made an existence out of his desire to keep his family—even if he’s keeping them in coffins with dagger in their hearts, family is very important to him. And because of that, his son Marcel, his baby mama Hayley, the adopted daughter of his adopted son Davina, Cami, who’s kind of the family therapist, everybody stood with him. Confronted with that, Mikael had no choice but to flee. I’m sure he’s going to be back, but he doesn’t have the White Oak Stake anymore, so it’s not like he can just come charging in at any point. He’s going to have to come up with a plan and I think he’ll have an interesting one.”

On why Kol hasn’t told Finn or Esther about Mikael: “It’s just a game of poker. What are the assets I have? What do I get out of telling them? If it would help him and his agenda, then I think absolutely, he would tell them. But it’s just one more thing, even if it is as simple as making an alliance with Mikael to turn against Esther, and if Esther dies, all of a sudden there’s no one holding that leash on Kol.”

On whether Alaric is on Esther’s radar: “Maybe down the line it would be a remnant she would have to address if ultimately the most important thing in her drive is to deal with vampires, but right now, the most important thing is to deal with her children. I liken her to someone who realizes that her children are all alcoholics and knows she was the one who gave them their first drink and now is basically kidnapping them and forcing them into rehab. That’s really kind of what she’s trying to do. We’ve seen how she’s addressing Elijah. We’re going to see what she has in mind for Klaus and we’re going to see what she has in mind for Rebekah, so to me those are the stories that I’m most excited about and yes, if everything were to remain the same, she would have to deal with Alaric because he’s something special and unusual and unique under the sun that she is responsible for.”

On what’s coming up for Josh and Aiden: “It’s very important to us that these two characters are not defined by their relationship. They have to be real people. What we’ll see going forward is Josh is struggling because the vampires are absolutely in a crappy place—they are under attack; they are diminished in power; they are exiled to Algiers; they are the opposite of the vampires that we met in New Orleans at the start of the first season, and so Josh has to figure out where his allegiances are. Does he trust Marcel? Is he part of that group? Will he fight for them?”

As for Aiden, “The werewolves started off as exiles in the bayou and in order to have power, they took those kyanite rings. Now they answer to this witch Lenore who turns out to be Esther and who has a very specific agenda. So Esther and Finn are kind of the two witches in charge of this army of werewolves and they have no choice but to do what they say.

I want Josh and Aiden to have dilemmas and challenges. Aiden having to realize, ‘Do I want to lead a revolution against or be a part of these werewolves freeing themselves? What is our option to be a free people?’ At the same time, can they find comfort in their budding romance and in the companionship and their love and their friendship. We want to have both of that so you may see stories going forward that are all about Josh and Aiden and you may see stories that just have Aiden—his struggle with what to do with the wolves—and may have just Josh and what to do with the vampires.”

On whether Klaus will find out if Elijah (not Esther) killed Tatia: “Great question.”

On Nathaniel Buzolic’s likely return: “There’s a very high possibility that there will be more flashbacks, and any flashback to, say, the early 19th century around the same time [as the upcoming web series] would need Nathaniel. So it’s a pretty good guess, yeah.”

On more family secrets to come: “We’re going to get into stuff with the family history and the origin of Esther and Mikael as we unpack those secrets,” Narducci said. “It’s no secret that the next episode after ‘Red Door’ is called ‘Wheel Inside the Wheel.’ We chose that title because, in the past, we’ve said there’s these cycles of violence and they just keep repeating. But within every cycle of violence, there is an origin story. I like the notion that every single person you meet is dealing with secrets that you cannot possibly know about—and if you did, you might have more sympathy for them.”

On the return of Nathan Parsons: “It’s one of the things I’m most excited about. He’s been through a rough time. He was making a play to be alpha and then was totally usurped by Francesca. Now that Francesca’s gone, the witches have filled that vacuum so he’s a leader without a people and that’s where we find him and he’s got an interesting journey to kind of get back on track. He plays it so well.”

On the possibility of more characters switching bodies: “Inevitably, that can only work out so many different ways. Will we be seeing anybody else from the past? Will we ever see the original body of Finn come back? Will we ever see the original body of Esther come back? All those things are possible. It’s definitely something we talk about a lot.”

On Rebekah’s return: “You won’t be doing much Christmas shopping without having gotten a glimpse of Claire Holt.”

On the biggest clue of the episode: “[Kol] did not do exactly what his mother wanted, although he did protect that linkage spell and there’s a big hint there: Why does Esther care that Klaus and Elijah are linked to the other vampires that they’ve sired? I thought she was just focused on her children. So there’s a little bit of an interesting clue there.”

When asked if Esther wants to rid the world of vampirism, Narducci teased “That’s a really good guess.”

Other tidbits: Yes, there will be a search party of sorts for Elijah and yes, Esther and Mikael will come face-to-face this season.

The Originals airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on The CW.

–Reporting by Molly Smith

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