The Mikaelson family reunion is interrupted when an enemy from Klaus' past comes to town

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Credit: Bob Mahoney/The CW

The past is always the biggest threat to the Mikaelson family and the rest of the show’s characters. Last week, the Mikaelson’s fight with the Strix came to an end with the death of Elijah’s past lover/protégé and the severing of Klaus’ link to his sires. You would think everyone would earn some kind of break, but that’s not the case. There is no rest for the wicked or the (relatively) good. As one past foe falls, another one (or many) rises and charges forth to the present in tonight’s emotional and engaging episode (which also does an impeccable job of setting what’s to come in the rest of the season).

As Freya says at one point, “It never stops. Never.”

It’s been three days since Klaus’ link to his sire line was broken, and in that time, his paranoia has slowly started to get the best of him since he’s lost the one thing that was protecting him from all of the enemies he’s made over the years. Luckily, he has a list, or, rather, souvenir letters written to his enemies’ loved ones. (Kind of reminiscent of Stefan’s secret ripper closet in Chicago). Like the good siblings they are, Freya and Elijah suggest their brother see a therapist about this latest bout of paranoia.

Which leads Klaus to Cami, who is boxing with Vincent to prepare for the eventual day that Aurora is released from her prison and decides to kill her. Paranoia afflicts Cami almost as much as it does Klaus, except she probably has even more reason to worry since she’s a newborn vampire and can be easily taken out by almost anyone. At first Cami is willing to listen to Klaus share his concern that all of the white oak hasn’t been destroyed, but she realizes that she can’t do this when she’s still scared of Aurora.

“She has to suffer for what she stole from you,” says Klaus, explaining why he didn’t kill her. Cami responds, “I think you’re more concerned about what she stole from you.”

The calm officially comes to an end when Klaus leaves Rousseau’s after his session with Cami and sees Cortez, one of his past foes, standing across the street. Back in the 1700s, Klaus killed Cortez’s “brute of a father” and “five bloodthirsty brothers” after they burned down his favorite artists’ retreat (#KlausProblems). Someone made the mistake of turning Cortez into a vampire, and he’s been hunting Klaus ever since.

The show makes sure we understand just how awful and vile Cortez is because we see him exit a limo filled with several dead women and order his driver to burn the limo with himself inside of it. Cortez just walks away casually.

You know who hasn’t been worried these past three days? The newly resurrected Kol Mikaelson, who returned to the world of the living as a vampire, much to Davina’s surprise. Kol would like to kiss her, but can’t since a beam of sunlight is stopping him, so Davina goes to him. Midway through the making out, we receive our first of several Kol Moments of the Week when he says, “At the risk of sounding too formal, I need you to put a ring on this finger,” and by ring, he means a daylight ring.

(ASIDE: I’m co-opting your regular recapper, the great Samantha Highfill’s, Elijah Moments of the Week for Kol because he’s quite delightful. END ASIDE)

NEXT: Heads will roll

With Kol busy with family time, this frees up Davina to reluctantly help Marcel out (at Josh’s request) with a small problem. See, several members of the Strix have gone missing, so Marcel enlists Davina to track them down. She performs a locator spells that takes Marcel and Elijah to a dumpster filled with the missing vampire’s bodies, which have been torn apart and are covered in wolf bites. The culprit is pretty easy to figure out once Marcel points out that the dumpster is just around the corner from where Jackson was murdered: Hayley.

Elijah finds Hayley torturing another Strix vampire. Somehow Hayley got her hands on a list of the vampires responsible for kidnapping her and Jackson, and now she’s going down that list Aria Stark-style to avenge Jackson’s death. Naturally, Elijah is horrified and tries to stop her, but Hayley just responds by chopping the vampire’s head off, like a grieving badass.

Meanwhile, Cortez summons Vincent to Rousseau’s and orders him to contact the ancestors and find the location of the rest of the white oak. As added incentive, Cortez compels several bar patrons, who he has silenced because he requires silence in order to concentrate, to kill other patrons if anyone tries to kill him. So, Vincent obliges. Luckily, Cami arrives, figures out what’s going on and texts Klaus before Cortez sends her flying across the room.

Klaus shows up at the bar with a wooden stake in his hand. He flings it at Cortez’s chest and uses his vamp-speed to kill the two patrons Cortez compelled. (A move that horrifies Cami.) Once Klaus empties the bar, he decides to play with Cortez before killing him. In his last moments, Cortez tells Klaus that all of his enemies have found each other thanks to the internet and will now start making their way to New Orleans now that it’s confirmed that there is still some white oak left. (I imagine they stay in contact through some demented subreddit.) And Klaus responds by decapitating Cortez with one swift motion.

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When Klaus returns to the compound, Freya and Kol inform him that all of the enemies they tracked have started moving toward New Orleans, which means their troubles are just getting started. “In hindsight, you could’ve been nicer to people or at least left fewer survivors,” Kol quips. With Elijah’s approval, Klaus decides to do what he did many years ago before we met him on The Vampire Diaries: disappear. Using a spell Kol created, Freya will make every tracking spell report that Klaus is in New Orleans when in reality he has fled the city with Hayley and Baby Hope.

So while Kol and Freya work their magic, Elijah tends to the Hayley vs. the Strix problem. First, he murderers and burns the bodies of the other names on Hayley’s list. Then, he hands over Cortez’s head to Marcel, who tells the Strix that Cortez, a member of a rival sire line, was the one responsible for the murders of their brethren. Marcel also says that more vampires from the rival sire line are coming to New Orleans for the last of the white oak and that the Strix will need to stand by their sire.

NEXT: Another unwelcomed guest

Meanwhile, Elijah returns to Hayley, who is having some feels in front of a burning fire. In a heartbreaking scene, she confesses to Elijah that she loves him, but has to let him go to honor Jackson, who knew she loved Elijah but loved her anyway and died because of their family.

“Well, that seems like the right thing to do,” says Elijah as he fights back tears. He admits he tried to do the same, but it didn’t work. When Elijah cries, we all cry.

Elijah isn’t the only Mikaelson whose heart is broken. In a scene very similar to the beginning of The Vampire Diaries’ fourth season, Cami tells Klaus that the part of her that loved him, that human part that hoped for his redemption, is gone now that she’s a vampire. Later, she reveals to Vincent that she lied to Klaus because she’s scared the reason Klaus didn’t kill Aurora is that part of him still loves her and when Aurora comes back, and she’s certain she will (Cami clearly knows she’s on a TV show), she needs to be ready to fight her without worrying which side Klaus is on.

After Cami leaves, Vincent is hit by visions from the ancestors that lead him to the last remaining white oak bullet.

While Freya performs the spell, Kol returns to the loft for his date with Davina, who is “the best thing about being alive,” says Kol after he tells her she’s the reason he is a better person. So, they sleep together.

Kol wakes up in the middle of the night hungry, but his blood bag is empty. Unable to control his hunger, he heads out into the streets and feasts on an unsuspecting human. As the self-loathing starts to seep in, someone walks out of the shadows: Finn. Yep, the worst Mikaelson is back.

Overall, tonight’s episode was another strong outing for the show. The way in which it delivered those two episode-ending emotional gut punches to Klaus and Elijah are particularly effective, especially contrasted with Kol who finally has the girl he loves, but his own nature threatens to ruin it for him. Also, Finn’s return was surprising, but to be expected because it’s The Originals and you can’t have Kol without Finn, apparently.

What did you think of the hour? Do you think Klaus’ departure from New Orleans explains his absence in three years as was shown in last week’s The Vampire Diaries? Will Finn surprise us by not being insufferable this time around? Hit the comments with your thoughts or find me on Twitter @chancelloragard.

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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