'The Originals' boss explains Monday night's shocking death
When we first met Mikael Mikaelson in season 3 of The Vampire Diaries, he was better known as “the vampire who hunts vampires.” We knew that he fed on other vampires, and that the only thing he wanted in life was to kill his (not-so-biological) son Klaus.
Jump forward to season 2 of The Originals, and Mikael still isn’t Klaus’ biggest fan, but The Destroyer has a lot on his plate, what with his favorite daughter returning from the dead and Dahlia coming to town. So when Mikael and Klaus actually teamed up in last night’s episode, fans weren’t quite sure what to do with themselves.
And the same can be said for the moment Klaus killed his father with the White Oak Stake. Just like that, the great Destroyer fell. Now what?
We talked with executive producer Michael Narducci about the shocking twist and what comes next:
EW: Let’s start with the timing of it all: Why now?
MICHAEL NARDUCCI: I think there’s a desperation building towards the end of the season with Dahlia’s arrival. This is the most powerful creature we’ve ever seen on our show. She’s a witch who is a thousand years old and has power the likes of which we’ve never seen, so if they are going to combat her, they need to stand together and yet, Klaus doesn’t trust anyone, [and] Freya is angry that Klaus is being so narcissistic and unwilling to listen to her plan. So Klaus doesn’t go to Freya. He figures out what she’s planning to do, he makes an alliance with her ally—the guy he hates, his father—and they’re going to stand against Dahlia on this kind of suicide mission to make sure that they can wipe her out, and it just all goest to hell. But in the aftermath, Klaus has figured out exactly what he needs to destroy Dahlia, and it requires this Viking ash, and we thought, “Well, if Klaus knew that there was something that he needed, he wouldn’t certainly not honor this tentative alliance if that stood in the way of him getting what he needed.” So it was combination of coming up with this notion of these ingredients that they needed to destroy Dahlia, the realization that one of them would be Viking ash, and the realization that any alliance between Klaus and Mikael would be fraught with a millenium of treachery and betrayal and hatred and it would result in what went down last night.
I want to talk about the final moment between Klaus and Mikael. What did that moment signify for you all, with Mikael admitting that he didn’t know why he always despised Klaus?
On Vampire Diaries when Mikael died, it was just this ferocious battle to the end. Stefan intercepted Damon and that allowed Klaus to get his hands on the stake and then he just killed his father in this moment of brutal savagery. And that was setting up Klaus to be the villain for the end of the season because he had even taken down his own father—how are Damon and Stefan going to stand up against Klaus now? But on our show, because the focus is Klaus, we know that he hates his father, we know his father hates him, they’ve made this alliance because they have a mutual enemy that is very dangerous and they need to stand together against her, but when Klaus realizes he can’t have his father and also have the ash, he definitely decides to get rid of his father.
But in that final moment with the stake pressed to Mikael’s heart, he asks the question that’s been troubling him his entire existence: “Even before you knew I was not your son, you were such a brutal monster to me. Why?” You can debate this for a very long time. I think Mikael has an instinctive sense that Klaus was different from him and was not his bloodline and was not of Viking blood, that there was a weakness in Klaus and this interest in art that Mikael loathed. But at the end of the day, I don’t think Mikael himself knows. He just didn’t love this kid who was his son, and that has led us on the journey that we’re on now and it’s kind of heartbreaking for Mikael to be honest and say, “I don’t know why I hated you but I did.” And for Klaus to have to hear that. I mean, imagine hearing that. This person, who as child you looked up to and wanted so badly for him to love you, and here he is admitting that he didn’t and not even being able to give you a definitive reason for why. I think it was just crushing. And of course that leads the scorpion to do what the scorpion does, and he kills him.
So I assume it’s safe to say we’re done with present day Mikael? There is no Other Side.
Yeah, and I think that’s another part of this season was the notion of the parents have come back—this generation that begat our Mikaelson family, our main characters. Esther comes back, Mikael comes back, we saw Ansel come back for a short time, and now Dahlia is here. This is the season where the children have to deal with their parents and their parents’ attitude towards them, and we just felt like, as long as Mikael was a part of the show, we would always have a conflict between Mikael and Klaus. It didn’t really make sense to us that Mikael could forgive Klaus, that Klaus could forgive Mikael, they could move into the compound and be a happy Brady Bunch psycho family of vampires. I don’t think anybody really thought that would work, so it felt like Klaus had to get rid of him in order to be his own man and to finally drive a nail into the coffin of that relationship.
That said, we love Sebastian [Roché]. He is an incredible actor, and he’s brought so much to that character. I think there’s a few different ways that we might see him again, and I think the biggest one is just in flashback. I think we need to see the story of how he pursued his family for a thousand years and ultimately what led them to flee to New Orleans three centuries ago. But I think there’s also a great amount of pain in the loss of Mikael for Freya, and Freya’s an incredibly powerful witch and while I don’t think she will have the power to bring back Mikael and make him corporeal, I wonder if there’s a way that she can reach out into the ether and have some kind of a seance or some kind of vision or whatever. For right now, he is, in the present, dead.
We’ve touched on Freya and Klaus, but how will Rebekah and Elijah react to Mikael’s death?
Elijah we know had a great amount of regret even in our pilot episode for not killing Mikael himself once he saw that Mikael was abusing Klaus. Elijah is no admirer of Mikael. Even in the second episode of this season, when Elijah and Mikael came face to face, Mikael almost drove a stake into Elijah’s heart, so Elijah is more worried about how the murder of Mikael in front of Freya may jeopardize the alliance between Klaus and their long-lost sister, and they need Freya in order to figure out what they’re going to do once Dahlia comes for that baby.
For Rebekah, I think it’s a little more complicated. Going back to Vampire Diaries season 3 when Rebekah saw her father and he admitted that he was never chasing her, he was always chasing Klaus, and that he didn’t kill Esther, that it was Klaus who killed Esther, all of her beliefs kind of collapsed a little bit and she started to reassess her relationship with her dad. She never had an opportunity to connect with him or mend any bridges, so seeing him die again leaves her with this bizarre sense of loss that she doesn’t quite understand, and I think the way she deals with that is very typical for this character, and you’ll see a little bit of that in episode 19.
So are we launching into a Klaus vs. Freya sibling war now?
I think the question is: Will they be able to overcome their inherent distrust for each other? Freya is making an appeal to the siblings. The question the audience can ask is: Can we trust Freya? Is Freya in this truly to help the siblings or is she just in this to help herself? Klaus obviously doesn’t trust her, so now Freya is saying, “Fine. You don’t want to trust me, then I’m going to build my team to destroy Dahlia with Elijah and Rebekah and you can just be alone.” So the question to ask is: Will Klaus find that going it alone is a dangerous mission, that he might actually jeopardize his daughter’s safety by being a little bit stubborn? And for Freya: Can she actually defeat Dahlia if she doesn’t have Klaus on her side? And how are they going to work through their issues? It’s not what I would’ve expected. As a viewer of this show I think I would be surprised by how this all plays out. Hopefully it’ll be pretty exciting.
I just have a visual of Mikael holding baby Hope and I’m so bummed I’ll never get it.
Yeah, I’ll be honest: Even if he had lived and stuck around, I don’t know if him holding baby Hope is a good thing. [Laughs]
It’s not good for Hope but I would’ve like to have seen it.
[Laughs] Yeah, I hear ya.
The Originals airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on The CW.