By Samantha Highfill
Updated May 08, 2015 at 05:32 PM EDT
The CW
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The Originals‘ Rebekah Mikaelson has always wanted one thing: to live a normal human life, maybe even with a white picket fence. And when Kol trapped her inside a witch’s body during season 2, suddenly, Rebekah’s dream felt like it could become a reality. At least until Klaus decided that he needed his vampire sister back.

Last week, Klaus forced Rebekah to kill herself, thereby transferring her back to her original body. Was it mean? Yes. But for fans, it’s mostly exciting, because it means the return of the beloved Claire Holt.

In honor of the switch, we talked to Holt about how Rebekah’s changed since she last played her, what will happen in the season 2 finale, and more:

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So you’ve been away from the show, but Rebekah hasn’t. How do you catch up when this happens?

CLAIRE HOLT: We have this amazing coach on the show who really helps me to understand everything. She sat with me when I first got there for about 45 minutes and just went through everything, all the plot points and the storylines and the reasons that my character had been doing certain things. So when I first read the script, I understood about half of it. And then after I spoke to her, I understood the full thing.

Speaking of your time away, how has Rebekah’s time as a witch affected her? How might the character have changed since you last played her?

I think it definitely changed her. Rebekah’s always wanted family, and she’s always wanted children and a life, and so I think she sort of started to see that there was some of those things that were possible in her witch body. And Klaus had other plans for her. He felt that she was more durable in the original body, in my body. It was a decision that was made for her, and she understood that there were reasons behind it. But I think she’s feeling conflicted as to what she really wants to do and how she wants to lead her life, and [in] which body that would be.

When I spoke to Daniel Gillies, he said that he believes Elijah has finally reached a point where he’s unable to forgive Klaus. Is Rebekah in a similar situation? Can she forgive Klaus for what he’s done?

Rebekah and Klaus’ relationship is so layered and so complex and deep, and I think she’s sort of in a different boat to Elijah. Elijah has had so much taken from him [by] Klaus of late, and I think that their relationships are different. I wouldn’t say that this was the end for [Klaus and Rebekah]. I think she’s definitely frustrated with the way that [Klaus] behaved, but I think Elijah has more reason to disconnect with Klaus after all of this.

Do you ever see Rebekah giving up hope of her mortal life?

I don’t think so. I think that’s what’s so nice about this character. She’s real and she’s relatable, and she wants the things that most humans want. She wants love, she wants a family. And so while she commits atrocities at times, [her desire for a mortal life is a] redeeming factor. And I think it’s something that she just doesn’t know how to give up.

Marcel and Rebekah 2.0 had a great moment last week, and it’s evident he still has feelings. Do you think she still has feelings for him?

I believe so. They have such a history together; it’s really difficult to imagine those feelings dissipating. So I think they have chemistry; they have a connection. It’s undeniable and I’m not sure it’s something that goes away so easily.

I can’t blame a girl for wanting Marcel.

It’s true. It’s not hard! [Laughs]

What is Rebekah’s relationship with Davina like, now that that Davina is regent?

Well, the plan in this episode is for the Originals to use Davina’s magic to help take down Dahlia. And while it’s difficult for Rebekah to know that she needs to use this young girl, she also needs to unite with her family for a more pressing issue, which is Dahlia. And so I think it’s difficult for Davina in this episode to understand why they would work against her, and she’s frustrated and she’s angry, but it’s a necessity and it’s the plan that has been laid out to lead to the epic battle at the end of the episode.

In the finale promo, Elijah says that the Mikaelsons are past redemption. Do you believe that?

I don’t think so. Well, who knows? [Laughs] There’s been many, many, many, many years of horror in their wake. I think Elijah is particularly beaten down by the vampire life, and this existence, and his brother, and his family, and their circumstances, and I think he feels that this is it for them. There’s no way back around. And he’s always been the brother that searches for good and the moral brother, the strong one of us all. So I think for him to break like this, it’s really a big moment. Although I’m not sure that it’s necessarily the truth, there are so many paths that this story can head down. I think it’s definitely difficult for them all to redeem themselves after so many years of all this behavior.

When I talked to [executive producer] Michael Narducci after the last episode, he mentioned Klaus wanting to get Rebekah back in her original body because it’s easier to stake. So how worried should we be that Rebekah is going to end up back in a coffin?

I think we should always be worried about Rebekah being daggered, because Klaus has proven it’s something he loves to do and he does it with great frequency. That’s definitely a fear. But I think that he needs Rebekah in this body and he needs the family to work together to bring down Dahlia, so that’s more of his concern right now than sticking a dagger in her and putting her in a coffin.

This show has had so many epic battles and big episodes. How does this finale compare?

I think if there’s one thing that you can always expect from The Originals, all the way back from The Vampire Diaries, [it’s that] the finales are always epic. There’s a huge showdown at the end of this episode, and the outcome will be totally unexpected. We shot it over the course of two very, very long nights. There’s a lot of action; there’s a lot of drama. I think the audience will be on the edge of their seats the entire time, which is what you expect from a show like this. I’m excited for everyone to see it.

Regardless of what might happen in the finale, if it’s possible, I assume you’d want to return in season 3?

Hell yeah! I’d love to! I’m on another show right now, Aquarius, and it’s about to air. Obviously the fate of the show in the future is uncertain, but I would love to be able to do both if possible. Rebekah is so special to me, and anytime I get to go back and visit that world and New Orleans and my family there, I’m on that plane ready to go.

The Originals finale airs Monday, May 11 at 8 p.m. on The CW.

Episode Recaps

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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