Seven years might not seem like much to an immortal vampire, but when it’s seven years without your family, time doesn’t exactly fly by. And for a show like The Originals, which has previously featured an unborn child, an infant, and a young kid, there is a shift when suddenly that kid is a teenager who notices when her parents aren’t around and can speak her mind.
“The nice thing about where we ended last season and deciding to do such a significant time jump is you really do feel like you’re starting a new story,” showrunner Julie Plec says of the final season of The Originals. “And that was purposeful, because we wanted to begin the final season in a place where we’re starting new so that we can then bring it all to a close.”
As for where precisely we’re starting the season, Plec says, “New Orleans has been living in relative peace for seven years. Klaus hasn’t been there to cause problems.” Rather, Klaus is off coping with his loneliness in the only way he knows how: with death and destruction. “It’s been seven years since the siblings parted ways, and in that time they’ve all gone on very different paths,” Plec says. “Klaus has seemingly reverted back to his old nasty self as he wreaks havoc across the globe.”
But the other Mikaelson siblings aren’t nearly as destructive. “Rebekah and Marcel have given it a go at trying to be together,” Plec says. “They have made an attempt at actually finding happiness in their relationship. And Kol has gone off and married Davina and is living a blissfully codependent, dysfunctional-family-free era.”
That only leaves Freya and Elijah, who have lived very different lives. Freya’s split her time between trying to find a way to reunite her family and enjoying her relationship with Keelin. “She’s had seven years of a pretty wonderful relationship with Keelin, so as things start heating up again, the question’s going to be, will that put her relationship in jeopardy or will she finally be able to find a balance?” Plec says. Then there’s Elijah, who hasn’t thought of his family once, seeing as how he had Marcel compel away his memories of “always and forever” in the season 4 finale. But what kind of life has Elijah made for himself? (And does he still love suits?)
“We don’t know what happened to Elijah, and that’s part of the mystery of the first episode,” Plec says. “Last we saw, he was having all of his memories of his family put away behind that red door, which means he’s going off to start a life without his own codependency, and we don’t know what that looks like for Elijah, so it will be fun to see in the first episode where he is and what he’s doing.”
All that being said, there is one thing bigger than any individual Mikaelson: the final season’s big bad, which won’t simply be the Hollow again, though its presence is still a problem for the siblings when the season begins. “The magic of the Hollow remains the constant threat, but the threat that will be introduced as we get into the season is actually something much more localized,” Plec says. “Even as the family’s trying to pull itself back together, there are forces in play that really would like to see New Orleans be a completely different place, without the influence or the burden of the Originals.”
The Originals premieres Wednesday, April 18, at 9 p.m. ET on the CW.