If you thought we were going to ease into the second half of The Originals Season 2, think again.
As you know, The Originals Season 2 Episode 9 left all our characters in unexpected places, with more threats than ever hanging over their head and struggles over who is in power... a variety of manipulative plans spinning... and one character (Rebekah) thrust into a new, human body, trapped in an asylum.
Where could things possibly go from here?
Executive producer Michael Narducci sat down with me recently during the CW day at the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour to tease what's to come, including developments between Josh and Aiden and what looks to be a huge episode to come for Charles Michael Davis's Marcel.
Let's see what he had to say, shall we?
TV Fanatic: How would you describe this next group of episodes that are coming?
Michael Narducci: It’s one of my favorite runs that we’ve ever done. These next five episodes are going to air back-to-back from mid-January to mid-February and it’s just really great stuff. I mean, every single one of our characters is in a really difficult position and they’re going to have to react to adversity on a lot of different fronts.
Esther is trapped and we have to find out what happened to her and what she decided to do. Klaus was very ingenious in the way that she was trapped, in the way he trapped her but he kind of lost Rebekah by trusting Kol. So is Klaus going to suss out that Rebekah’s missing, that Kol was a part of that and in the meantime, what happens when Finn finds out what has been done to Esther? So all those are pretty big questions which we’re going to tackle right away.
Meanwhile, where is Rebekah? What’s going on with her? She’s not only trapped in a different body but she’s trapped in a kind of mental asylum/prison, so who was this person that she was in a mental asylum/prison that Kol has slipped his sister into? That Rebekah is now wearing as a vessel? And how will Rebekah get out of the situation she’s in? And right away, there’s a kind of twist to this place that she’s in and there’s a secret buried inside that house and when you find out what it is, it’s been hinted at for the very, very careful viewer. We’re going to explore it right away. Something is in that house, and Rebekah’s going to have to make use of that, much to her own life-threatening danger, in order to try to send a message to her family, to try and escape.
TVF: Is it something or someone?
MN: Well, I don’t want to answer that.
TVF: So Esther’s not gone. I don’t know if Esther is going to be played by Sonja [Sohn], who has been great, or somebody else?
MN: We’ve definitely not seen the last of Esther. We’ve not seen the last of Sonja Sohn. We not have even seen the last of other actors who have played Esther in the past. I’ll leave it at that.
TVF: You know the show could drive you insane. I’m sure it drives the writers insane because there are so many pieces and with body-jumping…
MN: What’s interesting to me is in a way, this isn’t even just a vampire show. It’s a show about people who have found a way to immortality. The vampires found it by giving up their humanity and becoming vampires and feeding on others. The witches have found immortality, as we showed this last year, with Celeste jumping from body to body to body, as Sabine, and now Esther, Kol and Finn have found a way to do it and it has been thrust upon Rebekah. She didn’t choose it, but now she has it, and she kind of has what she always wanted in being in a mortal body and capable of giving up the curse of being a vampire and living, as Esther said, for a brief time, a happy life, as opposed to an endless existence and being miserable.
So Rebekah’s going to have an interesting choice to make, coming up. Does she even want to undo what has happened to her, assuming she can get out of that insane asylum, assuming she can reunite with her family and be free? Maybe she’ll, like Kol, prefer being a witch and I think that’s one of the interesting journeys of the season.
It was kind of a discovery that we made. We had always referenced that Kol was into witchcraft and into dark objects and had spent a lot of time with witches and Silas. And so, to be brought back from the dead and to be in a witch’s body and to find that he actually was a really good witch and preferred that is kind of an interesting exploration of his drives. And he’s a different character, slightly, as a witch. He’s less bloodthirst and more manipulative introspection and trying to jimmy the system in order to come out on top.
TVF: And with Claire Holt busy with other projects, it does keep the character alive even if she’s not always there, right?
MN: For a time, we can put her in a new body because we love the character of Rebekah. I love Claire Holt and I love Claire Holt’s portrayal of Rebekah but we also have some other routes to explore and we wanted her character to be a part of this next run because as Hope’s primary caregiver for all those months, she’s going to have a definite perspective on what is coming down the line and how to handle the problem of “How do we protect this baby from everything that’s coming?”
TVF: Yeah, because the baby’s still in jeopardy, very much so.
MN: A hundred percent. That’s a big part of this run of episodes.
TVF: What are we going to see with that, now that Hayley has baby Hope? Safe to assume that makes things complicated?
MN: Yeah, the baby, right now, we left her with Elijah and Hayley in the safe house and what they have to decide to do is, we want to keep her someplace we know she’ll be safe. At the same time, Hayley has to make this political alliance with the werewolves and perform this wedding ceremony with Jackson. And so, she’s got to leave her child in the safety of the safe house, and who they leave her with is very interesting. And what goes on in that safe house, once Hayley leaves, is pretty exciting.
I also think that Hayley and Klaus are in an interesting dynamic, because they’re parents to this child. They’re not married, but they both want what’s best for the child, and yet, they may have differing perspectives on what that is. Interestingly enough, Klaus absolutely is in support of Hayley marrying Jackson because it will allow them to take a werewolf army away from Finn. So he’s not emotionally connected to this decision, other than he wants to get power, which I think is very true to who Klaus is, and so there will come a point when Hayley wants to make some decisions about protecting the child, and Klaus may or may not agree with those decisions, and that puts these two parents in conflict with one another.
The other question to ask is, if Hayley marries Jackson and Jackson becomes a stepfather to baby Hope, how is Klaus going to react to that? Is that a challenge for his supremacy as the parent to this daughter who he will do anything for? Does he see that as maybe a good thing? Does he see that as maybe a bad thing? Does he want to have complete control over the situation, and is he paranoid about it? It’s all tied up together.
TVF: Where does Elijah fit in all this?
MN: Always, with Elijah, he comes from a vantage point of wanting to do what’s right for the people he loves. Primarily, he wants baby Hope to be protected. He also wants Hayley to have what she wants, which is a connection to her people, and a marriage that will protect her, make her a queen, allow her to reconnect with the people that she was never allowed to be a part of because she was given up for adoption. He knows that this is the right decision to make.
It’s just incredibly hard for him and what he wants emotionally. At the same time, he also knows that his brother, the manipulator, is going to find some redemption as a father to this child. So he wants Klaus to have this family, and it’s going to become difficult when Klaus is, as I’ve described him earlier today, he’s kind of like the protective father from hell.
You know, and so, if there are threats on the horizon, be it Finn, whatever it is that is coming down the pike, in terms of the Dahlia of it all, Klaus is going to have a perspective on that and might not trust anybody else to make the decisions. Elijah’s going to step in and say, “Hey, sometimes you need to forge alliances,” and I really love the dynamic between Elijah and Klaus, and between Klaus and Hayley, in terms of what is the best thing for our child.
TVF: Let’s talk Jaiden a little bit. What’s up with Jaiden?
MN: Really cool stuff. I told you, from the beginning, we wanted to put them together and to show their romance in a supernatural setting where each of them belongs to a group of people who are in conflict. And right away, [The Originals Season 2 Episode 10] is all about the vampire/werewolf conflict. Can there ever be a peace between these two disparate peoples, and Marcel and Hayley are going to try and form an alliance, but also Aiden and Josh are going to prove that werewolves and vampires can be together, and that’s going to result in some difficult situations, because as we know, werewolves’ bites are lethal to vampires, and we’re going to see some examples of that.
And vampires need to feed, and sometimes the only food available is werewolf blood. So both of those situations are going to make things very difficult for Josh and Aiden, but they’re going to find a way for their love to overcome those obstacles.
TVF: Do we see how far they’ve taken their relationship? I mean, have we seen that they’re going to be in bed together?
MN: There’s a really great moment where we definitely see some physical affection between them. Their circumstances are such that they’re not going to have the luxury of going to their apartments and having a nice romantic night. They’re going to be all hands on, full-court press dealing with threats [and] there’s a nice moment in an upcoming episode where we realize that they have kind of moved in together. And some characters react to that in a way that I really enjoyed.
TVF: I hear Marcel has a big episode coming up…
MN: Marcel has one of the biggest episodes of the series in [The Originals Season 2 Episode 11]. It’s called “Brotherhood of the Damned,” and it’s based on the true-life story of an all-black regiment that fought for America in World War I called the Harlem Hellions. And we know from past episodes that Marcel, conflicted by Klaus’s refusal to let him be with Rebekah and feeling like he needed to prove himself and see the world, left New Orleans for a time, joined the Army, and fought in World War I. We will see those flashbacks and we will see what I think is the birth of Marcel as a leader, in the trenches of France. And it’s one of my favorite episodes, it’s beautifully shot. I mean, it feels like a movie.
You are in the trenches. You’re dealing with a person from Marcel’s past who you’ll recognize when you see him, and you’ll also see what Klaus’s perspective on his adopted son going off to fight in a war, which I think is hysterical, and really awesome. But it’s a defining moment for Marcel, as he’s got to lead his vampires out of the danger that they’re in because of Finn. He’s also kind of flashing back to what happened in World War I, which is him stepping up as a leader.
TVF: Sounds like a good acting challenge for Charles [Michael Davis].
MN: Amazing. He does an amazing job. Charles is phenomenal, and seeing him in his uniform, covered in mud, bullets flying, explosions all around him, giving the “Braveheart” speech, “We’ve got to do this!” It’s just incredible.
TVF: I am a fan of Davina and Kol together but, as usually happens on the show, it’s complicated.
MN: Davina has basically decided to look past the fact that Kol has really conned his sister and betrayed her. She understands that this is something that is a thousand years in the making, and there’s family history. Kol told her, “I didn’t kill Rebekah. I didn’t bury her alive. She’ll be fine, but I need to teach her a lesson,” and Davina’s like, “Well, you know what? You’re the only person who’s been honest with me. You’re the only person who I’ve been able to form an alliance with, and you actually defeated one of the Originals. So if I want to take down Klaus, if I want a chance for my friends and to live in peace, you’re the guy that I want to align with.”
And so, Kol and Davina are going to proceed with this plan to forge a dagger that would work on Klaus. At the same time, when there’s more threats on the horizon, Davina’s going to have to decide, “Is it in my best interest to forge ahead with this plan of the dagger, or do I have to figure out a way to team up with my own enemies in order to stop what is threatening our city?”
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.