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When the Saints Go Marching In
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What’s a mid-season finale good for if not a little family reunion? That’s exactly what viewers will get from tonight’s Originals, in which Klaus and Hayley are finally reunited with their daughter, while Mikael finds his way back to New Orleans.

Though executive producer Julie Plec admitted to EW that fan favorites Josh and Aiden won’t share any heartwarming #Jaiden moments in the episode, she did promise an ending that viewers won’t soon forget. “We’re launching a great new chapter with the vampires and the werewolves,” Plec said. “There’s a big twist at the end of the mid-season finale that opens up a door to a whole new story that’s really fun.”

Aside from shipper moments and twists, we also talked with Plec about Esther’s plan for Rebekah, the potential return of Dalia, and more.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What can you tell me about Klaus and Hayley’s reunion with their daughter?

JULIE PLEC: What’s great about this episode is, in addition to being our mid-season finale, we’ve also taken a little bit of a holiday leap with it. It airs in early December, and we’ve pulled on this New Orleans tradition that’s called Bonfire Season. Basically, back in the 18th and 19th century and even somewhere out in the bayou today, people build bonfire pyres and light them up so that they burn like Christmas trees.We’re saying that our Originals brought that tradition over with them when they moved to New Orleans. So it’s Hope’s first Bonfire Season. Our three siblings, the always-and-forever siblings, really come together, along with Hayley, to figure out what they’re going to do about their mother and her relentless assault on them. The war between the kids and the mom has sort of reached its peak, and this is them coming up with their ultimate plan of how to try to take her down.

Going into the finale, have we set aside the Mikael battle for now?

Mikael, last we saw, ran off and disappeared. We will get to see the return of Mikael—so it’s not just Esther that’s now going to be a problem. The other thing is we still haven’t quite figured out what Kol’s agenda is, and where his loyalties lie. So a lot of the episode is about exploring his backstory and his beef with the family, trying to both earn his way back into the center of the family but also protect himself so he doesn’t end up the daggered brother that he’s been.

So is this mid-season finale going to give us a full Mikaelson family reunion?

Not quite. There’s still more to tell in that chapter, but what it does give us is the beautiful reunion with the baby. Then it brings Rebekah and Klaus face-to-face with their mother in a pretty big showdown.

Might Esther and Mikael face off?

Esther and Mikael, I can say, do finally come face to face in the mid-season finale.

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And we also now know Esther’s plan for Rebekah—to use Cami’s body.

Esther’s thing is she’s not an idiot. She’s been very smart about how she’s come at each of her kids individually. Obviously with Finn and Kol they didn’t have a choice—she just snatched them back from the other side. But with Elijah, she came at him from a place of humanity and of trying to erase the damage that he’d done, and give him a more noble place in life. With Klaus, she tried to come at him with the one thing he always wanted and never knew he could have, which is a father—a proud werewolf warrior that could be a good influence and perhaps undo all the damage that Mikael did. Unfortunately for her, that failed right quick. But with Rebekah, here she is, finally saying, “This is everything that you’ve ever wanted. I’ve watched you want this. We’ve talked about you wanting this. I know what you want from your life, and here’s the perfect opportunity for you to get it.” So in a way she’s making the best case of all to Rebekah. The problem is that there’s not a single person in our heroes’ universe that’s going to want to let Cami be victimized in such a way, most specifically Cami. So her concern about what’s going to happen to her body and her own life is very deep as we start the episode. The episode is very much about what these people are going to do to prevent this from happening.

Now that Finn is a series regular, will we be getting more of his backstory?

He’s definitely the least explored of the Originals, and also the most righteous and evil depending on whose side you’re on. I think it’s going to be about exploring his point of view, why his commitment to his mother is so almost perversely consistent, how he will respond to his siblings’ efforts to take their mother down. As he gets stronger and stronger and angrier, his aggressions will become as ruthless—if not more so—as what his mother’s are. It’s almost like he’s graduated from being mother’s little minion. He is so rigid in his beliefs that it’s actually a bit of his downfall.

You’ve also planted this amazing Dalia seed. Will she come back into play further down the line?

That’s something we’re going to continue to speculate about. Our heroes don’t necessarily know what to believe or what not to believe, and as we get into next year and we start unraveling the threads of that mythology, we’re going to start to learn what of it is truthful, what it means for the family, what it means for the baby. And we’re going to learn whether Dalia is in fact a foe that they should be worried about or if she’s just legend.

What will Davina’s role be in this Original family war?

The issue with Davina is, as she’s learning this stuff from Kaleb/Kol, is she working for the right team or the wrong team? And when all is said and done, is Kol only looking out for himself? Or is he actually doing what’s right for the family? We explore his backstory with his family and his place within that always-and-forever triangle that we know so well as being Elijah, Rebekah and Klaus. How much does he want to be part of that, and what’s he willing to do to win their trust?

You dropped a big bomb with Hayley and Jackson in the last episode. How will their maybe-wedding play into the finale?

She has to carry that into the next episode as she’s thinking about what she’s going to do, and coming face-to-face with Elijah for the first time in a while, wondering if [she should leave] Elijah behind or if she should even tell him what this possible marriage would be. Or if she should do the marriage at all. It’s great relationship stuff.

Will she come to a decision in the finale?

There will be a discussion about her decision in the finale for sure.

The Originals mid-season finale airs tonight at 8 p.m. on The CW.

Episode Recaps

When the Saints Go Marching In
The Originals

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.

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