One hour of The Originals later, and not only is Aiden dead, but Elijah has daggered his beloved brother Klaus. So for those of you keeping track, Dahlia’s arrival into town has resulted in two big character deaths and one big character dessication … in two episodes. And we’re still weeks away from the final showdown.
With all that in mind, we talked to series executive producer Michael Narducci about the decision to kill Aiden and what comes next:
Yes, Aiden is really dead—but it wasn’t an easy decision. “We knew off the bat that we wanted to tell a beautiful Romeo and Juliet story between Josh, a vampire, and a werewolf,” Narducci said. “And our goal was to create a complicated, layered person who was put in many dilemmas with regard to his loyalty to the pack, and outside sources putting pressure on him—the difficulty of being a werewolf loyal to the Crescents and dating a vampire, but also his belief that maybe he should be alpha.”
Combine Aiden’s struggles with Dahlia’s arrival, and Narducci said “all these story points kind of collided in a way that the idea really seemed like it would be the thing that would happen—even though every one of us in that room loves Aiden and every one of us is really sad to see Colin Woodell go. He was such an incredible actor, such a beautiful performer and a star in the making. But we felt like that was the best story.”
They did talk about keeping Aiden around. “We had talked about the possibility of [Josh and Aiden] running off together; we had talked about the possibility of one of them being captured and the other having to risk everything to try and save them. We had a bunch of different storylines planned, and I think that this one was really tough,” Narducci said. “We really felt this one in the room. We cared very much for this storyline and for these characters. There is an argument to be made that Josh as a vampire would have someday lost Aiden no matter what [because of Aiden’s mortality].
“Nobody really gets a happy ending. I think what you have to do is live for those beautiful moments as they come, and live in the now, and if that’s the metric by which we judge Josh and Aiden, they had one of the most beautiful and happiest stories of anybody on our show.”
What comes next is Josh’s grief. “He’s wrecked,” Narducci said about Josh, before adding that, no matter how wrecked, Josh isn’t dumb enough to try to take on Klaus in order to fulfill some sort of revenge fantasy. “[His sentiment is], ‘The reality is, no matter how much I’m angry, no matter how much of a vendetta I want to carry out against Klaus Mikaelson, I’m just a couple-year-old vampire and that’s Klaus Mikaelson.’ I think the first thing he needs to do is to wrap his head around how he’s going to recover from this grief.”
Without Klaus, are the Originals screwed? When Elijah took Klaus out of the fight against Dahlia, he put his family in what Narducci described as “the most jeopardy we’ve ever seen them in.” Because a family divided is not safe. “In the final seconds of this episode, Daniel Gillies does something I’ve never seen him do on this show,” Narducci said. “His expression of grief and sadness and also fear at what is to come is just incredible. If you ever doubt that Daniel Gillies isn’t a world class actor, take another look at that shot.”
As for what Elijah’s afraid of, Narducci said, “They’re going to stand up to someone who is the most powerful thing that we’ve ever seen in this universe and they’re going to have to find a way to deal with her without the most dangerous member of their family.”
Freya and Klaus will confront their similarities. The similarities between these siblings don’t end at their hair color and their DNA. “Both of them were raised by people who were not their biological parent, and who maybe didn’t treat them the way you would want a parent to treat you in a loving and caring fashion. And that has resulted in both of them being very dangerous and lacking a certain base-level compassion,” Narducci said.
“But both of them are smart enough to realize their similarities,” he continued. “That is something we are going to explore for as long as Freya is a part of this show and a part of this family, and how can they possibly ever bridge that divide? There’s obviously a lot of work to be done if that’s ever even going to be a conversation.”
The showdown with Dahlia will lead to more loss. “Nobody on our show has an easy go of it for the rest of the season,” Narducci said. “The question is: Will they be able to survive? Who is going to live and who is going to die? Who is going to be changed forever? What relationships are going to be destroyed? What relationships may have a chance at being healed? I think that things are going to get worse before they get better.”
One way they’re going to get worse? “There will be a showdown with Dahlia that will be definitive,” Narducci said. “And I think along the way, some people are going to not make it.”
Davina hasn’t given up on Kol just yet. According to Narducci, the next episode will provide Davina with “one little ray of hope” when it comes to bringing Kol back. But much like everything on this show, it will be complicated. “[It’s] a very surprising twist that might aid her in her quest to resurrect Kol, and then she has to decide if that’s the path that she wants to follow given what it’s going to cost her.”
Cami will be in every episode for the rest of the season. Despite taking a backseat every now and then, Narducci said that Cami will be around in very important ways for the rest of the drama. “Klaus needs his connection with Cami because it provides him with a certain calm and a certain solice,” Narducci said. “She is in some ways the one person who has been able to understand him and to sympathize with him and to show him the forgiveness that I think he craves but could never admit. So she’s a very important figure not only to Klaus but to this family.”
Marcel will face some “impossible choices.” “Marcel has some very difficult scenes coming up, and he will have to decide what part he wants to play in all of this,” Narducci said. “We know that he has a rule about protecting kids and we know that he has a fierce loyalty to the Mikaelsons in general but especially to Rebekah, and some choices are going to have to be made for him that are what I would call impossible choices.”
Jackson and Hayley’s relationship will be tested. Jackson and Hayley’s wedding might’ve been strategic, but Jackson has proved both that he loves Hayley and that he deserves her love. However, their honeymoon phase is just about over … if it ever existed. “Over the course of these next episodes, we’re going to see where [Jackson and Hayley’s] relationship is going and we’re going to see just how far both of them are willing to go to stand up for one another,” Narducci said.
Could those tests have to do with Elijah? “It’s clear that [Elijah] still loves her. It’s clear the way he looks at her, the way he protects her, the way he wants to safeguard her,” Narducci said. “And he may suppress that and bury that and maybe that’s one of things that he’ll have to hide behind his red door, but the pain and the conflict of loving this person who you can never be with is very present in that character.”
Season 3 will bring about a bit more romance. Noting that death is a big part of any vampire show because of the importance of juxtaposing immortality with the finite lifespans of mortals, Narducci said he hopes that season 3 will allow them to add more romance to their stories. “One of the things we’re really excited about is the ability on our part to have even more romance on the show. So family is the core but romance leads to family so I think that’s a big part of it as well,” he said.
All in all, “This was our Empire Strikes Back season, and there are some bad things coming and at the end of it,” Narducci said. “You will be—I hope, if we’ve done our jobs correctly—devastated, but you will see that these people are not yet defeated. You can be destroyed but not defeated. And then season 3 is the story of them figuring things out and coming back together. I hope.”
— Reporting by Will Robinson