Did you expect all that from last night’s episode of The Originals?
Esther played games with a captive Elijah’s mind. A free Mikael used Cami as a pawn to finally drive the white stake into the chest of Klaus. Kaleb was discovered to be Kol. And, of course, Nina Dobrev guest starred as Tatia, Elijah’s love from his past.
But The Originals Season 2 Episode 5 also seems to be ramping up to even bigger things, as Elijah continues to be held captive and Esther plans on taking away his vampire-ness, thereby making him a witch.
I had an early peek at the episode late last week and then Executive Producer Michael Narducci was present to field questions about what we’ll be seeing next. Here are the highlights:
Tatia: With a deep mythology between this show and The Vampire Diaries, Narducci offered up a refresher as to how Tatia figures into the lineage that includes doppelgangers Katherine and Elena:
“Tatia did have a husband prior to her relationship in the past with Elijah. He died in battle and through that marriage with the man that died, she had a child. That child would have begat the line and after generations and generations, bloop, there would be another doppelganger and after generations and generations there would be Elena.”
Double Duty Dobrev: With a front-burner storyline on TVD, how did Nina Dobrev have time to come play with the cast of The Originals? “This was a true origin story in some ways,” said Narducci. “Elijah falls in love and his vampire side gets to him and because he gets obsessed and because he's overwhelmed with bloodlust and love, these women get too close to him, he can't help himself and he kills them. But it just felt like if we were going to do that we needed to do it right out of the gate. Right after he became a vampire. And in order to do that we established that the woman he loved was Tatia.”
Good thing Julie Plec is someone with the ability of freeing up Dobrev’s schedule so she could make the appearance.
Elijah vs. His Vampire Self: Esther was wise to choose Elijah to try to change first since he already has a disdain for vampires. “Going way back to season one, when Elijah walks into [The Originals Season 1 Episode 7] the Fight Club that Marcel is throwing, you can see the way he looks at other vampires, as though they’re scum,” Narducci said, adding:
"He doesn’t like other vampires. He’s fallen in love with Katherine and he’s had moments where he’s respected certain other vampires but when he saw Elena in The Vampire Diaries he said how much she reminded him of the goodness of being human.”
However, as poised and postured as Elijah tends to appear, the producer also reminded us that Klaus shared some interesting insight into that last year.
On The Originals Season 1 Episode 16, “Klaus and Elijah are at each other’s throats. Klaus says, ‘You wear a mask of civility when we both know you are just as bad as I am if not worse.’ And the notion is that Elijah hates being a Vampire but his defense mechanism is to dress it up and to have a code. Not just a suit and handkerchief but a code of honor. That’s why he says ‘I give you my word’ and he keeps it.”
Who Is Next? Esther has a master plan and it involves all her children, not just Elijah. Narducci previewed that Esther is “wants to break [Elijah] down completely and she’s not done. That notion is a big part of Elijah’s story going forward. Confronted with [killing Tatia] by his mother, how will he react and what will he do? I think it’s very smart and, by the way, what does she intend to do with Klaus? What does she intend to do with Rebekah? If that was Elijah’s Kryptonite, what's theirs?”
But is Esther’s ultimate plan to get rid of vampires altogether? Could be, though Narducci would not confirm nor deny.
The Allegiance of Kol: As we saw this week, Kol doesn’t necessarily do what Mom wants him to all the time “I think [Kol] knows he is a lesser witch than Finn and he is a lesser witch than Esther and that is by design," Narducci teased.
However, Esther is very aware that Kol is more of a wild card: “Esther knows she cannot completely trust Kol. She thinks that she’s given him an opportunity for a new life and she expects some loyalty but she wouldn’t put him into a super powerful witch because Kol is a little bit of a trickster.”
To that point, should we trust that he cares about Davina? Or is Kol just using her for his own plan?
Mikael's Revenge: Defeated again this week,, we saw Mikael take off... but why do I feel as though it won’t be for good?” I'm sure he's going to regroup. I'm sure he's going to be back,” said Narducci. “But, importantly, he doesn't have the white oak stake anymore. So it's not like he can come charging in at any point. He's going to have to come up with a plan. And I think he'll have an interesting one.”
Where Were The Gays? After a nice start to a potential romance on The Originals Season 2 Episode 4, Josh and Aiden were missing from this week’s episode. What gives? Narducci explained that it’s tough getting everyone in every episode, which makes sense.
He also explained that he and the writers don’t want Josh and Aiden defined merely by their relationship.
“They have to be real people and I think what we'll see going forward is that Josh is struggling because the vampires are absolutely in a crappy place. They are under attack, they're diminished in power. They are exiled to Algiers. They are the opposite of the vampires that we met in New Orleans at the start of the first season. And so Josh has to figure out where his allegiances are…and Aiden has to realize that the werewolves have kind of gone in the opposite trajectory from the Jewish myth of old.”
“I want for Josh and Aiden to have dilemmas and challenges. Aiden having to realize 'do I want to lead a revolution against or be a part of the revolution of these werewolves freeing themselves? What is our option to be free and to be a free people?' And at the same time, can they find some comfort in their budding romance and in the companionship and their love and their friendship, which we want to have both of that.
"So you may see stories going forward that are all about Josh and Aiden and you may see stories that just have Aiden, kind of his struggle with what to do with the wolves and may have just Josh and what to do with the vampires.”
Later This Season... With Esther pulling a lot of the strings in the first half of the season, what else is on tap going forward? I asked Narducci that very question and he replied by saying a lot of secrets will be coming out soon that will drive story.
“I like the notion that every single person that you meet is dealing with secrets that you cannot possibly know about,” he teased. “And if you knew those secrets, you might have a little more sympathy for them. And so the secrets buried within the secrets of this family are going to start to come out, and they are fraught with the same kind of complex conflict as what we have shown so far. There's a lot more coming."
The Return of Jackson: We haven’t seen much of him lately, but Narducci also promised we’ll be getting Nathan Parsons back sooner rather than later: “I love that guy. He is so cool and handsome [and Jackson’s] been through a really rough time. If you'll remember what happened at the end of last season, he was kind of making a play to be Alpha to his werewolves and then he was totally usurped by Francesca.
"Now that Francesca's gone, the witches have filled that vacuum. So he's a leader without a people. That's where we find him. He's got an interesting journey to get back on track.”
Rebekah? Without giving up much in terms details, Narducci simply offered up the following: “We have a run of nine episodes before Christmas. You won't be doing much Christmas shopping without having gotten a glimpse of Claire Holt.”
The Originals Season 2 airs Mondays at 8/7c on the CW.
Jim Halterman is the West Coast Editor of TV Fanatic and the owner of JimHalterman.com. Follow him on Twitter.