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The Originals boss breaks down Klaus' sacrifice, what comes next

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Bob Mahoney/The CW

Spoiler alert: This post contains plot points from the season 3 finale of The Originals.

The Originals season 3 finale saw Klaus Mikaelson do the unthinkable: He put his fear of being alone aside in order to sacrifice himself for his siblings. No, he’s not dead. But he is in excruciating pain thanks to Papa Tunde’s blade, which Marcel buried in his chest. And thanks to Klaus, his siblings are hanging out in a safe place created by Freya while Hayley tries to find a way to cure them all of their ailments.

We spoke with showrunner Michael Narducci about the show’s finale and what comes next.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: I’m a little obsessed with the choice to link all of the siblings back to Klaus, the man who has daggered pretty much all of them at one point, and have him be the thing that keeps them alive.

MICHAEL NARDUCCI: Yeah I’m obsessed with that too. That was a Julie Plec special. I left the room for a short trip to Atlanta to be there for the filming of episode 19, and I remember Julie called me and said we have this idea, what do you think? I heard it, and I just loved it. I thought it was brilliant. And of course it just makes sense: Elijah and Kol and Rebekah have all been daggered by Klaus, so he is benefited by putting them to sleep and putting them in a kind of time-out, and now they are relying on one of those time-outs, which will force him to be put down and to suffer greatly and to be alone and to be not with his family. One of the things that’s at the core of Klaus’ being is his desire to be with his family. Now, going into our hiatus, Klaus is alone, and it’s terrible. It’s the ultimate sacrifice, and it’s something I don’t think Klaus Mikaelson may have been capable of prior to the person we’ve started to show him to be on our series. 

And that points to a greater arc on this show. You all have always talked about this show being the story of Klaus’ redemption. I’m not saying this is it — I’m sure he’ll make mistakes — but what is the significance of this moment in the show’s overall arc?

I think one thing to keep in mind is, we’re not at the end of our series, so as you said, there’s going to be steps forward and then there’s going to be steps backward. This season was all about Klaus recognizing that last year he may have gone too far — taking down Dahlia involved betraying his family, making Elijah suffer, hurting Marcel, killing Gia, and hurting Hayley. That was a brutal, savage, monstrous thing to do, and everybody called him on it. And then over the course of the season, not only was he confronted by Hayley and Elijah and Lucien, but he also was going through these intense interactions, both therapy sessions and ultimately a romantic connection to Cami — Cami, who proved that someone can become a vampire and still retain their soul and still cling to their values and what makes them human. Klaus saw all of this, and with Cami’s dying words, she told him that he had to be a better man for his daughter. I think all of these things touched a nerve, and we have Klaus in the finale do this selfless thing. 

But now he’s going to be suffering unendurable agony for who knows how long, and when we see him again, will that choice to be selfless, which resulted in so much pain and agony and solitude — the thing that he fears most — will that actually make him even more of a monster? And remember, he won’t have Cami to help him. That’s going to be one of the great things to play. I’m not saying that we’re going to see Klaus backslide to his most terrible version, but I’m saying that threat exists, and I’m very curious to see who Klaus will be when we see him again. 

I know this is a decision he makes for a lot of people for a lot of reasons, but I’ve always loved the Elijah-Klaus dynamic, and the idea that after years of Elijah sacrificing himself, Klaus has this opportunity to return the favor. That’s such a huge moment in their journey.

It’s pretty massive, and I have to say, one of the scenes that makes me cry every single time I watch the cut is the last scene between Elijah and Klaus. I think it’s two actors really taking the material to another level, and they’re phenomenal. 

In terms of Hayley, you’ve been building throughout the season that she’s a part of this family, but I’m interested in the decision to put so much responsibility on the shoulders of a person who’s not necessarily a Mikaelson.

My feeling is, the story that we told in season 3 was really Hayley becoming definitively one of the Mikaelsons. Hope is absolutely a Mikaelson, and Hope’s mother is a Mikaelson, not maybe in name. She’s not an Original vampire. But she is a part of this family. By the definition of what a family is, Hayley is a part of this family. I think that there’s also a beautiful moment between Klaus and Hayley in the finale — the look that these two give each other of desperation and fear and knowing that they’re hopelessly outmatched, and yet it’s a mother and a father looking at each other and saying, “I’m going to go do this thing, I need you to protect our child, and I know that there’s no one on this planet who will do a better job of protecting this child.” It gives me goosebumps. To go from where we were last season, where they really despised each other and Hayley wanted nothing to do with this family and Klaus was paranoid that she was going to take Hope away and raise Hope to hate him, now we see a completely different dynamic, and that is a story arc that I’m extremely proud of. 

I don’t know what you have planned for season 4, but can I request we get to see some of the siblings, without Klaus, in that room? In an odd way, Klaus links so many of them, so I’m always intrigued to see them interact without him around.

I hear you for sure, and that’s definitely something we want to continue to do, and that was something we did in episode 16 when Klaus and Hayley were on a road trip, and Elijah, Freya, Kol, and Finn are all locked in the compound. So you get these great interactions, and again, I know he died, but Finn had some great scenes with Elijah. I really felt their connection as brothers, and then he made that sacrifice to save his brother, I think we will continue to see that as we explore what’s going on with the Mikaelsons who are in this dreamscape that Freya has created as they lie in hibernation, and how are they going to save themselves? What’s going to be their status once they return? Where is Rebekah? Where is Freya? Where is Kol? Where is Elijah? We definitely want to tell those stories and show those interactions. I also think that all of those siblings know their brother Klaus made the ultimate sacrifice for them; they’ve got to get together and go get their brother, and I love that. I love that for once the siblings deciding, we can’t let our brother Klaus down. He actually did the right thing, and now we’ve got to go find out where he is and what’s going on with him.

After season 2, the landscape was wide open, the canvas was blank. We could’ve done anything, and I really love what we did. But going into season 4, we have stories we still need to finish, and I’m very glad that we have the opportunity to do that.