The Originals recap: The search for Hayley results in a major death
Right now, I feel like Elijah in the final moments of that episode: looking at what is very obviously a tragedy but unsure of how to feel about it. He’s unsure because he doesn’t have his memories, and I’m unsure because of the shock factor. Full transparency, I was made aware of this spoiler back when executive producer Jeffrey Lieber accidentally tweeted it months ago. And yet, watching Hayley die wasn’t any easier because of it. And for those of you who genuinely didn’t know this was happening, ARE YOU OKAY??
I want to dedicate much of this recap to that death and to the character of Hayley, so let me quickly sum up the only real thing you need to know from New Orleans: Vincent and Freya disagree about whether to tell Declan the truth about the supernatural world, and just as Vincent is about to tell him, we learn that Declan is none other than Cami’s cousin. How that will come into play is yet to be seen, but I’m willing to bet it will. Okay, enough with New Orleans, let’s get to the search to find Hayley.
Roman and Hope are the first to find Hayley, mostly because Roman’s mom Greta is the one who kidnapped her. Speaking of Greta, she’s paying her daughter Antoinette a visit in order to convince Elijah that Antoinette’s brother has gotten involved with Hope and therefore needs protecting from Klaus’ wrath. So yeah, it’s all one big manipulation, but it works: Elijah agrees to return to New Orleans to stop Klaus from killing Roman.
Meanwhile, Klaus hits the road with Caroline when he finds out that Hope ran away from school. And yes, she’s with a boy. (So maybe Greta’s manipulation isn’t a TOTAL lie.)
And this is where I want to talk about all of the amazing Klaroline stuff this episode delivers before we get to the Hayley of it all. First up: The coffee stop. After they’ve been on the road for a bit — and while they wait for Caroline’s tracking class to locate Hope — they grab some caffeine and Caroline tries to get Klaus to think about what he’s going to say to Hope when he sees her. But Klaus is too caught up in how awful parenting has been as of late, what with the constant worry, the unimaginable pain. As Caroline tells him, “Congratulations, you just became a father.”
Then we get to the good stuff: Caroline explains that Hope is just a girl who likes bad boys. And Caroline gets it. She was the same way…
Caroline: “If there was a bad boy within a 5-mile radius, I would find him. And some were even way too old for me.”
Klaus: “I’m sure some had very pure intentions.”
HOW ADORABLE IS THIS?! But the moment is interrupted when Caroline gets word on where Hope is, not from her tracking class, but rather from “Find My iPhone.” Because sometimes you need technology to do what witchcraft cannot.
Klaus and Caroline then return to the car, which is where we get our second swoon-worthy moment. Klaus, in a moment of sincerity, asks if Caroline regrets the time they spent together, to which she says no. “When we met I was so young. When I think about it, I was someone else back then. And so were you,” she tells him, before explaining all the ways that Klaus has changed. Back then he terrified her. He intrigued her, but he terrified her. Now, look at how relaxed they are together. Klaus has a follow-up question: Does she regret meeting him? Again, the answer is no. “But I do think that I represented something for you back then, something innocent,” she tells him. “It reminded you of a part of yourself that you lost and wished that you could get back. If we had never met until now I wonder if you’d even notice me.” To which Klaus responds, “It would be impossible not to notice you, Caroline.” And once again I’m smacked in the face with the chemistry between these two. It was amazing when they first met, and it’s amazing now.
Eventually, they find Hope and Roman’s phones — Hope ditched them on the side of the road. And that’s when Klaus discovers that Greta is none other than Roman’s mother thanks to a picture on the teen’s phone. (Also, come on Roman. It’s called a passcode, and it’s probably a good idea when you’re keeping your identity a secret.) But don’t worry, Freya is able to find Hayley thanks to Hope’s plan. (More on that in a moment.)
And that brings us to the Hayley of it all. After Roman takes Hope to see her mom — at which point he puts magic-dampening cuffs on Hope — he reveals that he’s actually just a relatively sweet idiot who genuinely thinks that all his mom wants is for Hope and Hayley to bind their werewolf sides with a spell. Hayley explains that Greta is going to kill them both regardless of whether they do the spell, but poor precious Roman refuses to believe it. “My mom just wants peace,” he says before revealing his backstory. It seems Klaus is the reason Roman spent 50 years desiccating in a cave. And yet, he still doesn’t want to hurt Hope. (Next: Elijah returns)
When Roman steps outside to make a phone call, Hayley tells her daughter that she’d never want her to deny a part of herself. She also tells her daughter not to judge herself by the mistakes they make with the men in our lives. Because Hayley knows ALL about that. Hope, realizing she can’t do magic with the chains on, has an idea: Hayley lets Roman’s witch bind her werewolf side. Seeing as how she was cloaked as a hybrid, becoming just a vampire will allow Freya to use magic to find her. And it works.
Hayley bites the witch and Hope knocks out Roman, but that’s when Hope discovers that Hayley can’t leave the house: It’s daylight out. She’ll burn in the sun now that she’s a vampire. But Hayley knew that all along. She just wants Hope to get to safety. After all, Hope is the one who could finally unite all the factions, an idea that goes against everything Greta believes. That’s why Hope is the one they’re after. And yet, when Hope turns to leave, Greta arrives and knocks her out.
And here’s where things get complicated: Klaus and Caroline arrive in just enough time for Elijah to snap Caroline’s neck and fight Klaus while inside, Roman kneels with an unconscious Hope while Hayley and Greta battle it out.
Just then, Klaus and Elijah bust through the front door and Elijah puts a stake through Klaus’ chest, bringing the immortal hybrid to his knees. As Greta thrusts her hand into Hayley’s chest, time slows down. We see Hayley look around the room: She sees a temporarily defeated Klaus on his knees and her daughter, unconscious in Roman’s arms. In that moment, she makes a decision. With one last bit of strength, she breaks Greta’s other hand, ripping off the finger that holds her daylight ring, and then she drags both of them into the sunlight.
The hour ends as Klaus and Elijah watch Hayley burn.
If I’m being honest, I’m not entirely sure how I feel about this death. I’m assuming that much of the next episode will focus on saying goodbye to Hayley, so maybe I’ll have a better sense by then. I do appreciate a good shocking death, and I also like that she went out saving those she loved. It would’ve been one thing if Greta had ripped her heart out. But instead, Hayley’s final act was taking out the big bad currently attacking those she loved, and for a character as badass as Hayley, it was really the only way she could go out.
The part of her goodbye that I don’t love is the fact that Hayley hasn’t been in this season other than the premiere. If she was going to die, I would’ve loved to have seen more of her. The idea that this one hour had to serve as a reintroduction to the character and her farewell felt a bit rushed but again, I feel like I need to see next week’s hour to really let the weight of everything wash over me. I also really need Elijah to snap out of it! In fact, the Elijah of it all is what I might find the most upsetting. If Elijah was going to snap out of it, that felt like the moment to do it. Even if he didn’t get his memories back, it almost feels like something in him would’ve been protective of Hayley. I realize he’s not the Elijah we once knew, but him standing by and watching her die felt so out of character — not to mention that this will destroy him whenever he realizes what happened.
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.