'The Originals' post-mortem: Phoebe Tonkin, producer talk twists
And there you have it. In the first hour of The Originals‘ second season, not only did fans watch as Francesca and the Guerrera wolves met their maker, but we also caught up with every member of the Original family. Every. member. Talk about a welcome back to the world of New Orleans.
We chatted with Phoebe Tonkin and executive producer Michael Narducci all about the premiere and what comes next:
First things first, after four months of driving Francesca crazy with their inaction, the Original family finally got their revenge, and Hayley ended up getting to do the honors. “It definitely is kind of a bit of a teamwork situation,” Tonkin said of Francesca’s death. “As much as it’s hard for both [Hayley and Klaus], that baby was literally ripped out of Hayley to be sacrificed and part of Hayley is just missing right now, and that tiny thing of killing Francesca [could] help Hayley a little bit.”
As for whether that murder will actually help Hayley moving forward, Tonkin said, “I don’t think killing everyone is going to help, but it definitely is making her feel a little safer. She’s trusting her own abilities again. And she’s basically just doing anything in her power that she can to make New Orleans safe and the quarter safe for her baby to come home to her and if that means anyone getting in her way and getting killed, that’s kind of the way Hayley’s dealing with it.”
Now about the rest of those twists? Here’s what Narducci had to say:
On the decision to kill the Guerrera wolves so quickly. “Our hope was that this would be the season about the return of mother and father and as you now know, the return of the brothers as well. They’ve been displaced in these bodies and there is a lot of family stuff that we need to get out. I think that’s the big theme of this season is the past returning to haunt you and enemies who are even more dangerous because they know you intimately, and as awesome as Francesca was, she was the last remnant of what happened last season. [There’s] this great stalemate that they were facing—where is the stake, who’s in charge, what’s going to happen—and we played that out very quickly in one episode so we could see what’s even more evil and terrible than Francesca and her pack of werewolves. What’s Davina going to do with Mikael? What does Esther have planned with these brothers? So that’s the meat of what’s going to be our dramatic focus.”
We will get more Rebekah. “We’re going to see Rebekah; we’re going to see baby Hope and that’s going to be an important thing as to what Esther’s plan for that baby is,” Narducci said. “Esther thinks that the baby died. Esther doesn’t know where Rebekah is. She’s coming back with a definite agenda that we will start to see unpacked in episodes 2 and 3, and obviously, because Klaus and Elijah remained in New Orleans to be the target of whatever would come after the family, they will be the first ones that meet up with their mother and find out what her intention is and have to deal with what Mikael’s intention is and then down the line, that’s going to spread out to wherever Rebekah has herself hidden with the baby.”
Expect more background on both Finn and Kol. After teasing that we’ll finally get a glimpse into why Finn is so “adamantly on Esther’s side,” Narducci explained how Kol is “the Loki of our story.” That being said, “Where does he fall in terms of his loyalties and alliances is one of the great stories we’re going to play over the course of the season.”
The young Mikaelson children will return. We already know the Buzolic will appear in a flashback in episode 2, but Narducci also teased the return of the young Mikaelson actors. “If the first season was The Godfather, the second season is The Godfather 2 and the thing I love about the structure of the Godfather 2 is it takes the story forward and it also explores what happens in the past simultaneously, so there’s going to be even more flashbacks this season,” he said. “We will get to see those characters as they were originally portrayed or if not those particular actors because they’ll be playing different ages— we’ll see them throughout—younger actors playing Finn, Nathaniel Buzolic playing Kol, and we’re really excited to get into where this family comes from, why they are the way they are, what were their relationships [are] like, not only with their parents but with one another even back in the day and how has that lead them to be divided as they are?”
More witchcraft for the family? As Narducci put it, “Because Esther has taken the form of a witch and she’s brought her sons back and placed them in witch bodies, we explore the notion of: Esther was practicing witchcraft throughout her existence, before she turned them, did Rebekah, did Kol have a certain proclivity for momma’s teachings? Were some of the family more inclined to go hunting with dad and some of the family when they were young more inclined to be studying the dark arts?”
Don’t expect a Hayley/Elijah/Klaus love triangle. “[Hayley’s] a mess, and Elijah sees that. And yet at the same time he recognizes, ‘I could only help her so much because I am not what she is, the person who is what she is and understands what she’s going for is my brother.’ Right away, in next week’s episode, you’re going to get to see how that plays out, and I would caution against anyone using the idea that this is going to be some kind of love triangle. I think it’s a little bit more nuanced and interesting from my perspective than that. When you’re dealing with someone like Klaus, you have to wonder, that great big speech that he gave at the end of this episode, was that infused with some desire to connect with this person romantically? Was that a sincere desire to reach out to someone who had fallen and he just wanted to mentor? Or is that maybe a less-than-sincere desire by someone who craves power to manipulate someone else into a place where they can help him get what he wants, which might ultimately be the same thing Hayley wants—safety for the child, safety through numbers of having that werewolf pack on our side. But Klaus is a multidimensional, complex character and I wouldn’t think that he’s necessarily 100 percent motivated by anything as pure as romantic love.”
Kol’s intentions for Davina will come to light soon. “In the second episode of the season, we really kind of explore what he’s doing and what his interests are and it kind of takes off from there. There is this notion that Davina, as a former harvest girl, is one of the most powerful witches in New Orleans,” he said. And considering that Davina is on Esther’s radar, Esther probably has a lot to do with Kol’s decision to target the young witch. “Kaleb, because he just happened to be placed into the body of an extremely handsome and charming British witch, might be the best guy to go and find out what’s going on with Davina.”
Cami’s role going forward? “Coming out of this episode, it seems like she’s made a decision to protect herself and get out of this crazy occult world and to avoid becoming slaughtered by vampires and werewolves and she’s kind of breaking up with this friends-with-benefits relationship she’s got with Marcel,” Narducci said. “We feel like we might not see her for a while, but she is connected by her friendships to Marcel, to Josh, and to Davina, so when any of these characters gets into trouble you can imagine that she might be pulled back into the fray.”
Specifically, she’ll get pulled into the fray by Esther and Finn. “I think that they have one of the coolest reasons possible for wanting to get to know Cami,” Narducci said. “And at first, you’re going to think it’s one thing and then when you find out what it really is, you will be impressed. I was impressed. It was a pitch that came up in the room, and I just sat there and I was like, ‘Wow that’s freaky.'”
Odds are, Mikael will escape. The question of whether Davina’s plan to unlink Klaus’ sire line is even possible will be answered quickly, but is it quick enough? “We would be doing ourselves a disservice as storytellers if we brought Mikael back and just kept him on a leash the entire season,” Narducci said. “I don’t want to be that writer. There’s a lot to come with him, and Sebastian Roche is an incredible presence.” However, that doesn’t mean Mikael’s escape will happen immediately. “It kind of felt like we needed to play with the notion of this all powerful dangerous guy who had hunted for a thousand years, what does it look like when he suffers a little bit? It opens his character up a little bit and gives us some layers I think in a fun way.”
Familial confrontation will bring out another side of Klaus. “We’ll see this notion of [Klaus] trying to get people to do what he wants them to do by pushing all their buttons in the right way. I like that aspect of him, the manipulator. He’s going to have to, at some point, confront his father. He’s going to confront his brothers; he’s going to confront his mother. All of those confrontations are on the horizon and they’re dangerous and deadly, and at the same time, we’ll get to see a different side of Klaus, a side that illuminates who he really is as a person and why he is that way.”
Final tease: Remember Joe, the record store owner? Expect to see him again in Marcel-centric flashbacks.
The Originals airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on The CW.
Additional reporting by Natalie Abrams.
Joseph Morgan and Daniel Gillies star as Klaus and Elijah Mikaelson in this Vampire Dairies spin-off about the first family of vampires, their life in New Orleans, and the witches and werewolves who live there.