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How Will The Originals Move Forward After the Devastating Finale?

The Mikaelsons are down for the count

Megan Vick

[Warning: The following contains spoilers from Friday's season finale of The Originals. Read at your own risk!]

Holy smokes! Every main character on The Originals is down for the count heading into the next season -- at least the ones with the last name Mikaelson. It is the first time in the history of the show that all of the original vampires have been incapacitated at the same time, which creates a completely new terrain for the fourth season.

The only hope for the original vampire family now is Hayley (Phoebe Tonkin). At the end of Friday's season finale, she left New Orleans with her baby daughter Hope and four Mikaelson caskets in the back of her truck on the hunt for the cures she needs to bring her family out of the bewitched slumber that is only thing keeping them alive. Executive producer Michael Narducci told TVGuide.com what's to come for The Originals if the Mikaelsons are no longer in charge.

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What is the status of the Mikaelsons going into Season 4?

Michael Narducci: We've talked about the prophecy and how the Mikaelsons would fall. They were trying to stop that prophecy from coming to pass and they didn't stop it. The family fell. Rebekah (Claire Holt) is cursed and she will become a ripper. Freya (Riley Voelkel) is poisoned and she's going to die. Both Elijah (Daniel Gillies) and Kol (Nathaniel Buzolic) have been bitten and there is no cure for that bite. [All of them have been linked to] Klaus (Joseph Morgan), [who] has been stabbed with a dark object called the Tunde blade -- which we know causes immeasurable suffering and agony, putting [Klaus] in a pain induced coma. He's been bricked away in some undisclosed tomb.

At the end of our season Marcel (Charles Michael Davis) and Hayley are the only ones left. Marcel is standing somewhat triumphant, although he's lost people that he loves, including his former family. Hayley, with her daughter, is the guardian of these sleeping vampires and on the run. Season 4 is just packed with story potential...What you can definitely assume is that after a time cut, these sleeping giants are going awaken and they are not going to be happy. There's going to be a reunion of all these characters. As to what happens there, I'm going to leave it to the fans to think about and debate amongst themselves. We've got some great stuff planned.

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Charles Michael Davis, The Originals Bob Mahoney/The CW

Is Marcel a villain now?

Narducci: I have never once thought of Marcel as a villain. He has his own code of honor. He wants what's best for the city of New Orleans even if that means he's got to punish and execute the people that would try to disrupt the peace that he has established. He is a leader. He knows what camaraderie is. He has values that are not completely foreign to any of us. He definitely has perspective and the Mikaelsons kind of messed up. They did something that was, by Marcel's judgement, morally reprehensible. Now he's taken his revenge.

He's claimed his city and he's gained this power. Marcel is not going to slowly be possessed by the power that he has embraced. He's still the same guy. He's just stronger and more powerful. He will never have to back down from anyone ever again. That is just the most exciting prospect for me, to tell the story of Klaus Mikaelson's heir, who has grown in power and is now the most dangerous creature on the planet. We're going to watch him take back his city and become king and how will he behave? How will he avoid some of the mistakes that his "father" [Klaus] made along the way?

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Vincent seems wary of Marcel's new power. How will that tension grow next season?

Narducci: Vincent's (Yusuf Gatewood) job as the kind of sheriff -- as the leader of the witches, as the person who believes in doing right by the city of New Orleans -- is going to make sure that Marcel doesn't just follow in the Mikaelson's tracks. Because of his leadership position, he will never again go to the sidelines and let there be injustice in this city. He's going to protect the city of New Orleans and if that means siding with Marcel, then great. If that means that he's got to stand against Marcel, he'll do that as well.

Phoebe Tonkin and Daniel Gillies, The Originals Annette Brown/The CW

Hayley is trying to cure Elijah, Kol, Freya and Rebekah -- but who is going to rescue Klaus?

Narducci: I don't know you should assume that the Mikaelsons are the ones that get Klaus out. Maybe there's some other person that's going to get Klaus out. Maybe Klaus will get himself out. Maybe someone is going to decide that there's a big problem in the world and Klaus Mikaelson is the only person that can help us deal with it.

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We just found out The Originals won't be back until at least next year. How will the push affect your plans for Season 4?

Narducci: It has absolutely zero effect on the story that we're telling. I think it will be a little bit of a tortuous hiatus for the die-hard fans of the show because we do leave on a bit of a cliffhanger. We are going to have a little bit of a time jump in between when the story ends at the end of the finale and when we pick up in Season 4. That experience in the time jump will be similar to what the audience is feeling. To me, in a way, it actually makes sense.

(Full disclosure: TVGuide.com is owned by CBS, one of the CW's parent companies)