Annette Brown/The CW
December 09, 2014 at 03:23 PM EST

In last night’s Originals mid-season finale, not only did Klaus and Rebekah team up to defeat their mother, but Kol then trapped Rebekah in a witch’s body inside some sort of prison. And if that weren’t enough family drama, Mikael is back and he’s teaming up with Finn to take down, well, probably everyone.

EW hopped on the phone with Originals executive producer Michael Narducci to talk about where the show will pick up in 2015, the return of Cassie, and more.

EW: Esther has a big decision to make. When we come back in 2015, will there be a time jump, or will we get to watch that whole thing play out?

MICHAEL NARDUCCI: It’s a tiny little time jump. It’s not so significant that we’re going to miss out on the things we really want to see which is: What does our family believe happened to Rebekah? They know that she didn’t wake up in Cami; where is she? They’re hoping that she’s woken up in the body of this other person who Kol has prepared, but Kol knows that that’s not going to happen, so there’s the mystery of how that plays out. Then there’s the mystery of: Is Esther going to drink that blood or not, and then what’s going to happen with Mikael and Finn, this new alliance of the vampire who hunts vampires and the brother who hates his siblings and wants revenge for what’s happened to his mom? So a lot’s going to go down in that first episode back.

The Finn and Mikael pairing is the thing I’m most intrigued by. We’ve never really seen them together, right? So what can you say about their dynamic and what their agenda might be?

You’re right, we’ve never seen them together except in tiny little flashes from Finn’s childhood but you’re right, I think that’s a big part of the story going forward: Does Mikael have his son’s best interests in mind or does Finn have an agenda? We know from what he said to Cami that he hates vampires. Mikael is a vampire so he’s going to have to decide if he can work with Mikael in order to have the revenge that he wants. At the same time, we know that Finn has always been very loyal to his mother and she’s out there captive, dying and if she decides to drink that blood, she will turn and then she will become the very thing that Finn despises, so what happens next?

Watching the promo, it felt like Finn was trying to force a war between the species.

That’s a very good eye. There’s not a ton of material there, but you picked up exactly on what’s happening. At the same time that Hayley, who’s kind of decided she and Jackson are going to unite the werewolves, Hayley has a pretty good relationship with Marcel right now, and Marcel’s got this burgeoning vampire community in Algiers, so an alliance between the vampires and the wolves—who up till now were kind of in an alliance with the witches—that would be devastating for Finn, so he’s going to have a definite opinion about that.

You brought up Hayley, which brings me to one of the first things I thought when this episode ended: Now that Rebekah is in this prison, what happens to Hope?

That too is a really good question. Esther may be taken care of, but Vincent is still out there and so is Mikael. So it’s not necessarily safe to bring Hope home yet, so you have to imagine that Hayley is probably going to stay put until they know what’s going on with Rebekah. You and I know that Rebekah is trapped in that cottage, but our heroes don’t know that yet. So they’re going to have to figure out what to do, and it’s not going to be an easy decision because they know that New Orleans is a very dangerous place.

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Are we going to learn a bit more about this witch prison. Was that Cassie in the promo?

She has slightly different hair but yes, that is Cassie. She was the harvest girl who resurrected at the end of last season and who Esther possessed at the beginning of this season, and once Esther left her, which would’ve been episode 3, to go into Lenore, Cassie was kind of left in this state of post-traumatic stress—”Oh my gosh, I was resurrected and immediately possessed”—and now we’ll find that she was placed in this cottage for wayward witches that is basically a prison. If you can’t handle your magic, you are taken by your coven and you’re locked into this place where there’s this boundary spell and witches cannot free themselves, so this is where Rebekah is going to find herself at the start of episode 10 and the person who’s kind of filling her in on the rules of this dangerous prison is in fact Cassie.

Does Rebekah’s new body mean we get to see more of her moving forward?

We’re absolutely going to do a storyline where we see Rebekah inside this other body. I think the question is, how long will that last? She can’t be pulled out of that body and put back in her original body until she escapes this prison, and there are secrets floating around inside that prison beyond even what you might imagine from just the weird notion of a witch prison. There’s stuff going on in there that she will find herself in the middle of that she’s going to have to figure out before she can escape. So there’s that storyline and then there’s the quest to figure out what’s next for her, which I think is going to be really exciting. We love that actress very much. Her name is Maisie Richardson-Sellers. She’s been incredible and is so fun to work with and has brought so much to the part. We’re really enjoying it.

That said, Claire Holt is an essential and integral part of this family, and even if this were to be a long-term storyline, in the same way that we have had Daniel Sharman playing Kol and yet have had Nathaniel Buzolic come back and play Kol in flashbacks, this is a family storyline. It’s got a lot of chapters. These people are immortal. They have 1,000 years of history and hopefully a future that the audience won’t be able to predict, so I don’t think we’ve seen the last of Claire Holt if we can help it.

With Esther where she is, what can you say about Davina’s journey? She’s one of the more powerful witches left.

The thing about Davina that’s interesting to me is, she was one of the four harvest girls who was resurrected, she’s extremely powerful, but she’s the one who felt the most betrayed by the larger New Orleans covens and as of the first episode back this season, she told her coven to kind of shove it and she’s gone off on her own. And that’s cool because she’s powerful and she can handle herself. But what’s not so cool is that she’s a young witch and she really doesn’t have a mentor figure. And she’s trying to learn all this stuff as she goes, so I think one of the things that she’s going to have to do is figure out what her place is with regard to the French Quarter, which hierarchy. And Elijah said something very interesting in this episode which was the concept that Hayley and Jackson can run the wolves, the Original family can run the vampires, and Davina, once she kind of comes of age, will be the leader to the witches. And if that’s her eventual fate, that’s a pretty interesting fate. She’s got a long way to go but it almost shows that’s what the Originals would prefer because better the enemy you know and can make an alliance with than something else that’s out there. So we need to answer: What else is out there? And how will Davina deal with that as she grows to become the leader everyone expects she’ll be?

The last thing we need to touch on is Hayley and Elijah. He told her to get married, but then they slept together. What can you say about this relationship?

I think that this relationship between these two people is one that is very primal and there’s almost this instinctive chemical reaction between these two, and yet it is a disaster because of the fact that Hayley has a child, and the father of that child is Elijah’s brother. Elijah’s brother who is paranoid, who is very prone to fits of anger, who is very territorial and who, from time to time, betrays his family members. So if Elijah’s central quest is to help redeem his brother and to cure him of his insanity and bring him back to some semblance of a normal existence, Elijah knows that his interactions with Hayley are not the best thing in the world. So even though they have this incredible attraction, I think they both know that it might not be the best for the baby, it might not be the best for Klaus’ psychology if they were to get together. So they have this kind of forbidden, doomed romance.

Meanwhile, Hayley is also involved in a political marriage, which is going to have some magical side effects, to this guy Jackson, who seems to be such a great man, very honest, forthright, noble. The kind of person who would probably be a good father for her child, so there’s all these different options on the table for Hayley and she has to decide: Does she choose her heart? Does she choose what’s best for her child? Does she choose what’s best for these werewolf people? There’s a lot of different things for her to deal with as she resolves what’s going to happen next.

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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