By Samantha Highfill
Updated May 11, 2015 at 12:00 PM EDT
Credit: Annette Brown/The CW

Another Originals finale has ended, and once again, the always-and-forever Mikaelsons have come out on top. Well, by “on top,” I mean that they defeated Dahlia. Other than that, things are a bit of an emotional mess.

But that’s why we chatted with executive producer Michael Narducci, to dissect the season’s final hour and talk about what it all means for season 3:

On why they decided not to end on a traditional cliffhanger: “We had something in mind, [but] looking at it and really enjoying the final moment between Klaus and his story to his daughter and the parallel between that and the very beginning of the season—which was Rebekah telling a fairy tale to baby Hope—we just felt like we might be pushing a little bit too much in terms of twists and new information. It felt a little bit like a betrayal to the beauty of the moment, so we made a decision as a group to just end it as we did, and I’m very proud of that decision.”

On what this means for the White Oak Stake: “The White Oak Stake as we have known it for many, many seasons is destroyed forever. The question now becomes: Does that mean that there’s no more White Oak in all the universe? Does that mean that there can’t be a witchy workaround where magic will always find a way and there might be some new sapling as there was on Vampire Diaries? And then we have also said in the mythology of Vampire Diaries that a strong enough witch can kill anyone, even an immortal all-powerful Original, so I’m not suggesting that our heroes are without threat, but the same White Oak Stake that we have seen time and time again is now gone for good and we will be addressing that going forward.”

On what’s next for Davina: “Davina has been chosen as the emissary between the witch community and the spirits of their ancestors. She is their defacto leader. She is the head of the nine covens and what she has to do is be an advocate for the goals and the causes of her covens, and it feels like that will put her at odds with vampires in New Orleans… even Marcel—who Davina cares for and has a friendship with and who has been good to Davina. When we met him in the pilot, he was assassinating and executing witches in the streets, so Davina is going to have a really difficult choice to make going forward. But yes, she’s definitely going to be standing up for herself and for her people.”

On introducing a brand new big bad and mythology for season 3: “That’s what we’ve been talking about in the writers’ room for a very long time now. I think when we are finally able to reveal what’s happening, it should make a lot of sense and feel like the next stage in what this family will need to go through and deal with. It’s pretty frightening and we’re having a lot of fun with it.”

On the possibility of more Claire Holt: “Claire is awesome. We love her very much and we want to have her on the show whenever she’s available. I know that we plan on using her in a very interesting flashback story that we have coming up, and I know that we would love to see her at some point reclaim Rebekah’s original body. But for right now, it feels very fun and natural for us to see Rebekah go off in a mortal body where she can have all those things that she wanted going back as far as Vampire Diaries where she said she wanted to be cured and wanted to live a human life. Maybe she’ll meet a guy and maybe she’ll have a family or maybe she’ll just have a child of her own, maybe she’ll adopt. She can do all these different things and she can also practice magic and she will perhaps make good on her promise to help Kol or perhaps become a very powerful witch.

“The big thing with Rebekah is we wanted her to have freedom and very importantly we wanted there to be one final moment between Rebekah and Freya, where the sister that we didn’t trust and who came out of nowhere does this really beautiful thing for the sister who trusted her first. It was a really beautiful moment for Freya to give Rebekah something and it feels very nice for Rebekah to be able to go off and have a life while Freya stays and does what Rebekah always did, which is try and keep these two brothers united.”

On what Freya looks like without Dahlia: “She was on the run from Dahlia for a very long time. Before that, she was enslaved by Dahlia and forced to be the witch whose power Dahlia was channeling and now, for the first time, she’s free and she has been connected with the thing that she always wanted: her family. But it’s a very difficult family to be around, one that is fraught with emotions and problems and conflicts and feuds. It’s kind of like she inherited this damaged property and so she’s going to spend a little bit of time trying to make that property whole, and she may be forced to realize that it’s not going to be whole again and she might have to choose one brother or the other.

“But what she is also going to do is she is going to make good on her promise to help that child grow and have control over herself. Even though Hope is a first-born Mikaelson and has a lot of power as a witch, Freya too is a first-born Mikaelson and might be just the person to help Hope figure out who she is and how to grow up and be a healthy person.”

On why Klaus didn’t kiss Cami: “It’s not that he doesn’t have courage. This is someone who hates himself and is afraid of himself and is the product of abuse and self-loathing. The only people that ever mattered to him always looked at him as someone who is a shameful, unworthy wretch. So he has a pretty messed up psychology. I honestly think that Cami looks at him with just as much sympathy as she does any legitimate romantic affection. Sometimes some people have an instinctive need to help people, and I think if you’re someone who goes to graduate school to be a psychologist, you’re one of those people that has a desire to try and help and fix people, even when you know that maybe it’s a lost cause. I think that there is a very interesting connection that these people have, the two wounded souls.

“But right now, I think it would be premature to have them each dive bomb into some kind of hurried romantic relationship. I think first Cami wants to see if she can get him to explore other sides of himself. And for Klaus, I think he knows that if he were to become a good person, that would only put the people he cares about most in danger because he protects them best when he is his savage self. That’s not going to change because there are a lot of people out there who hate the Mikaelsons and there are a lot of enemies. So it’s going to be a hard time for Klaus to change.”

On Vincent’s wicked family: “We’re definitely going to explore a lot of stuff with Vincent. We’re going to see his past and where he’s from and why he’s such an interesting character: What led him to walk away from magic, why he feels obligated to remain in New Orleans and be a part of everything that’s going on in his city. And I really love the connection that Cami and Vincent have, the idea that these two people who have both been manipulated and abused and hurt find friendship and solace in one another and a shared obligation to try and do right by the innocent people that live in the city. I think they’re very similar in terms of what their moral obligation to New Orleans is and I find that fascinating. I love to see those two play off each other.”

On Marcel’s future (and a new arrival in town): “I think Marcel dealt with a lot of abuse from this family over the course of the season. First he was tortured by Finn, and in his efforts to find a peace between vampires and werewolves, he was bitten and we flashed back and showed his life when he first learned to be a leader in the trenches of WWI. Going through the season, he became ensconced in everything that was going on with Rebekah and wanting to help her because she was the love of his long life and at the same time, because of who Klaus is and because Klaus is a monster, Marcel was tortured and compelled to hurt the person that he loves most.

“And now, his adopted daughter Davina is becoming the regent of the nine covens of New Orleans, and she’s going to have a definite perspective on vampires that’s going to perhaps put her at odds with vampires in general and perhaps Marcel, who’s going to reclaim his leadership position. Klaus is seemingly retiring to focus on caring for his family, but of course that’s not who Klaus is, so Marcel’s going to find himself in a really tricky place, caught between Klaus Mikaelson the manipulator on one hand and Davina and the witches on the other hand. And then there is going to be a new arrival into the town of New Orleans, and I think that it’s going to highlight Marcel’s special relationship with this family in a way that’s going to bring Marcel back to the forefront.”

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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