By Samantha Highfill
Updated January 29, 2016 at 08:53 PM EST
Credit: Annette Brown/The CW

Spoiler alert: If you haven’t watched the Jan. 29 episode of The Originals, you might want to stop reading.

In its first hour back in 2016, The Originals didn’t hold back. Not only is Tristan spending his days drowning at the bottom of the ocean, but Cami’s a vampire, and Jackson’s dead. If your tear ducts have survived the evening, executive producer Michael Narducci is talking about the big changes and what comes next.

Jackson’s death

Our favorite werewolf hunk lost his heart to Tristan. It wasn’t the death fans expected, and that’s one of the reasons why it was so memorable. “I think thematically season 3 is about how people who come into the orbit of this family are just as cursed as the family,” Narducci tells EW. “Nobody’s safe. And everybody went into the episode thinking, ‘Gosh I hope Cami’s not dead,’ and not expecting that they had to worry about one of their other favorite characters not making it. So even in the midst of life, we are in the midst of death. Yes, Cami managed to find a way to survive but we lost somebody else, and it’s going to get worse before it gets better.”

Cami’s choice

Fans of this show are no stranger to the human-to-vampire transition, but Cami’s was a bit different in that she decided to stick around to save her city. “We’ve explored transitions on Vampire Diaries and we’ve seen on our show [that when] Josh was made into a vampire, he reacted in a certain way. Hayley was made into a vampire, and she reacted in a certain way,” Narducci says. “And Cami is someone who has some dark impulses and we’ve talked about how maybe that’s what led her to be fascinated by psychology and to be fascinated by Klaus and maybe those are some of the reasons why she stayed in New Orleans to begin with. And now that that side of her is heightened by being a vampire, I think that’s something she’s going to want to explore. I think she’s in for a long transition into discovering who she’s going to be as a vampire.”

Cami’s dark side

Speaking to Cami’s “dark impulses,” Narducci explains: “She’s still going to love the people that she loves. She might be more inclined to take what she wants because she can. She might be less inclined to be afraid of people who are stronger than her because now she’s going to have power. She knows that there are enemies out there and she’s going to want to have to deal with them and not play any kind of victim card but be a little bit more physical and relish in being a vampire.”

And in terms of seeing Aurora again, “She will have an absolute clear perspective on her feelings toward Aurora going forward and it’s not the kind of feeling that human Cami would’ve had,” Narducci said.

Klaus’ influence on Cami

Yes, Klaus might not be the best role model, but how will he choose to influence Cami now that she’s immortal? “I don’t think Klaus is genetically engineered to be a good influence,” Narducci says. “We’re talking about morally good. Sure, I think he will be a good influence on her in terms of teaching her things like how to feed and how to compel and how to vamp. Is he going to be worried about her slaughtering her way through an orphanage? Maybe he will be because he knows that that’s not who she is and maybe he doesn’t want her to have to deal with the decades of spiraling that would come from committing an action like that. But I also think that he’s not going to say, ‘Now Cami, I think you should be on a steady diet of rabbits and deer because that’s what’s morally correct.’ That’s not who Klaus is. So there’s a chance that this path might bring out the worst in both of them. And there’s a chance that it might not.”

Should they have just killed Tristan?

“I think that there is a certain element of the Mikaelsons that is cruel and vindictive and enjoys the slow torment of lowering your enemy into the ocean so that they can drown again and again and again for all time and they kind of use that in the same way that Roman warlords would hang crucified bodies around the towns that they conquered as a message to other enemies,” Narducci says, adding, “Sometimes being very vindictive bites you in the ass.”

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The return of Will

We haven’t seen the last of Detective Will, but how will Cami’s new, er, outlook on life affect that relationship? “It’s going to be interesting to see now that a certain person has changed forever and is a vampire what is her perspective on lowly little mortal human police detectives and what might that relationship look like and how does that new change in perspective define the person whose name I cannot mention,” Narducci says.

Klaus will (finally) learn from his mistakes

“I think that you’ll start to see Klaus learning from some of his mistakes which is a little bit unusual for him and I think you’ll start to see some very large consequences for some of the sins of the past,” Narducci says. “As devastating as the second season was — the last several episodes we lost people that we really loved and the family was shattered — I think we’ll see some of that even greater in this season. We’re going to see the return of some people and there will be some great moments of hope and romance and love and even forgiveness and a sense that this family that we think of as cursed will endure, and then we’re going to see some really tragic moments that will shake particularly Klaus to his core. I think the finale will be heartbreaking and tragic, as our finales tend to be.”

The Originals airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET on The CW.

–Reporting by Natalie Abrams

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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