It's the reunion The Originals has been building to all season long.
On Monday's midseason finale, Klaus (Joseph Morgan) and Hayley (Phoebe Tonkin) will finally get to see the child they gave up to protect in the show's first season finale. And that's not the only big reunion of the night. The episode will also feature Original parents Esther (Sonja Sohn) and Mikael (Sebastian Roche) coming face-to-face for the first time in 1,000 years. But while the first of the two meetings will be filled with joy, it's also fraught with the terror that looms if and when Esther learns the Mikaelson firstborn is alive and well.
What lengths will Klaus go to protect his daughter? And will Esther ultimately unite with Mikael in his quest to take Klaus down? Plus: Will Hayley proceed with plans to wed Jackson (Nathan Parsons) or finally re-address her feelings for Elijah (Daniel Gillies)? TVGuide.com turned to executive producer Michael Narducci to get the scoop.
Will Hayley and Klaus' reunion with Hope be a tearful one?
Michael Narducci: It's the moment we've been waiting for since the end of last season when Auntie Bex (Claire Holt) had to take the baby into hiding and the world had to believe that the child is dead. But now that Esther has been able to take them down and they're on the run, the whole family has reunited in a safe location, and they need to have a big family discussion about what is the best thing to do to protect the baby and take down Esther. So it's a happy reunion, everyone is safe and healthy, but it's also the eve of a great and challenging battle. What do they do to prevent their mother from finding about this baby? If that advantage were taken away from them and if Esther knew the baby was alive they'd be in a lot of trouble so they'll have to work hard to figure out what to do.
But at least Klaus looks happy!
Narducci: I think it's wonderful to see him smile [but] the moment you actually have something to lose is the scariest. Now that he has found some sense of joy and happiness, he has to make some tough decisions about what he'll do to protect that.
Could seeing Hope bring Hayley and Klaus together in a way we haven't seen?
Narducci: There's a really interesting connection that they have, and Klaus will [learn] what Hayley is going to do in order to help and free her people. Klaus is a strategic, visionary master manipulator, and I think he knows that Hayley marrying Jackson and these werewolves gaining power and forming an alliance and Hayley having control of those werewolves is a much better situation than Finn having control of the werewolves. So, it's to the benefit not only to the Mikaelson family, but his child, if Hayley goes through with this wedding. At the same time, Klaus and his devious way knows Hayley might be a little reluctant to engage in that wedding because of her lingering feelings for Elijah. So I think Klaus' perspective... is wanting the mother of his child to not have another husband because that husband might be a threat to his role as sole father to Baby Hope. But he knows that strategically there are alliances to be made.
How long will Hayley struggle with her duty to the pack vs. her heart?
Narducci: I think this is the episode where we're going to see her struggle with that and the first thing she has to do is decide whether or not she wants to be honest with Elijah. Then we have to see the scene, if there is one, where Elijah and Hayley come face-to-face and talk out the pros and cons of what she's thinking of doing. Then it becomes a situation where Hayley says, "What's more important, my heart and my instincts and my love for one of these men? Or is it a clear opportunity to provide a defensive asset we can use to protect that baby [which] is the most important thing to me? So for honor, for duty to protect my people and save them from enslavement and to have a werewolf army I can use to protect my child, maybe I have to really consider going forward with this."
With Elijah, we're seeing the lasting effects of being tortured by his mom. Will he unravel?
Narducci: There's a big storyline going forward for Elijah where he's having a hard time keeping control of what Esther has unleashed within in him. True to form, Elijah realizes this red door, this capacity to violence, is something he's been able to control for 1,000 years and he might not be able to control it anymore. So he has to figure out how to control it, if there's a way to control it, and if there's a way to his benefit to let that door swing open and use his ferocity as an advantage against those who have threatened his family. What cost might that have if he were to do so? Elijah will always behave in the most noble way, but he is a vampire and there's a cost to that existence which Elijah will have to explore.
Esther seems to have no one left by her side. How will she carry out her plan?
Narducci: Does she have no one left on her side? Finn (Yusuf Gatewood) has been captured and Kol (Daniel Sharman) has betrayed her, but she knows Mikael is out there. The truth is Esther's goals and Mikael's goals are not completely dissimilar. Mikael wants to take down Klaus and Esther knows that Klaus will never take her deal. He rejected that offer quite harshly when he not only killed Ansel but left Ansel's body for Esther to find. So, she knows that as long as Klaus is rejecting her and in control of the family she won't be able to save Rebekah or Elijah either. So, now she has to decide if it's worth making an alliance with Mikael, who would take care of Klaus and then she can maybe save the remainder of her family.
How much more will we learn about Esther's first child Freya and her deal with Dalia?
Narducci: There is a huge storyline coming up that's going to address that very thing. There will be subtle hints of that in [this] episode for the careful viewer who really watches the show and asks the right questions.
Cami has been marked as a vessel. How will she try to escape Esther's plan?
Narducci: As we learned in the last episode, Cami (Leah Pipes) is the perfect vessel for Rebekah because she's smart and talented and insightful, but also someone who doesn't have a lot of friends and family. And we know Klaus would never let anything happen to Cami, so it's [not] just a matter of killing the vessel and Rebekah going back into her original body. So, it's a win-win for Esther. And realizing this Cami is now desperate to find a way to save herself. [This is] going to lead to one of my favorite scenes, which is a confrontation between Cami and Finn. Finn is now outed as the master manipulator who has been setting Cami up for this, and Cami the psychologist, Cami the student of the human soul, has an opportunity to say, "Why are you doing this?" Finn's response really helps define how, in Finn's mind, he is the hero of this series. He believes absolutely, with almost a fanatical zeal-like way, that he's doing the right thing and you kind of pause like, "Wow, he actually has some strong points." It's one of my favorite moments.
What's your final tease for the finale and the second half of the season?
Narducci: There is definitely a resolution ... but there's definitely a cliff-hanger that will launch into a series of storylines coming up. You'll be shocked by how the status quo is completely different by the end of the episode. Right now we are preparing to shoot Episode 14, and so much of what we hint at in [this episode] is coming to fruition in such a strong way. So, I'm really excited for this run from Episode 10 to 14, which is really stellar and people are going to go crazy.
The Originals midseason finale airs Monday at 8/7c on The CW and returns on January 19.
(Full disclosure: TVGuide.com is owned by CBS, one of The CW's parent companies.)
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