The trouble with vampire shows is that someone is always dying or getting their heart ripped out. In this case, the latest victim to the supernatural war in New Orleans was Aiden (Colin Woodell). It was even more painful watching him dying so brutally and cruelly after such a tender and sweet episode showcasing Aiden and Josh (Steven Krueger)’s love for each other. As much as it would have pained to watch Aiden and Josh bail on New Orleans and run away together, that seems preferable to the bloody and hellacious fate that befell Aiden. It is small solace that Josh and Aiden did manage to find each other and experience love together before fate dealt them such a death-blow. That wicked Dahlia (Claudia Black) just couldn’t resist ripping Aiden’s heart out and framing Klaus (Joseph Morgan). But the most surprising part was Klaus allowing himself to be framed from Aiden’s murder. Klaus’ rationale for allowing such a terrible lie to be tied to him is a bit hard to swallow. No matter whether Klaus did or did not kill Aiden, only the foolhardy would not fear Klaus. Klaus is a man of action and ruthlessness. He would have killed Aiden if it had suited his purposes. He is just more savvy in knowing that Aiden was more useful alive. Only Dahlia was served putting that death on Klaus and attempting to drive a wedge between him and all his allies. Can I just say how disappointed I am that everyone was so quick to believe Klaus killed Aiden?
At a special press screening, executive producer Michael Narducci talked about the necessity of killing Aiden and what lies ahead for Klaus and if Dahlia can actually be defeated.
WHY KILL AIDEN
MICHAEL: It’s a tough question. We knew off the bat that we wanted to tell a beautiful Romeo and Juliet type-story between a vampire and a werewolf. Our goal was to created a complicated, layered person who was put in many dilemmas with regard to his loyalty to the pack, outside sources putting pressure on him, the difficulty of being a werewolf loyal to the Crescents and dating a vampire, but also has a belief that maybe he should be Alpha. Aiden being an ambitious person and questioning the leadership of his own friend led him to being vulnerable to Klaus and his own Klaus-ian machinations. Once we had that story in motion, we really felt like we really put this guy in a dilemma. Simultaneously, as we had that story going forward, we had another story, which was Dahlia comes to town and her goal should be to divide the Mikaelsons — to ruin the vow of “always and forever” so they would be easier to take down — and we thought if Dahlia was smart, she could use someone’s death the way that she says she is going to use Aiden’s death as kindling, it would lit a fire that divides the Mikaelsons. . . All the story points collided in a way that the idea really seemed like it would be the thing that would happen — even though every one of [the writers] loves Aiden and everyone is sad to see Colin Woodell go because he was such an incredible actor, such a beautiful performer and a star in the making — we felt like that was the best story. So like any death, you arrive at it, you think about it, you debate it and if it’s right, then that is what you have to do.
MICHAEL: It’s a big part of the next episode. . . He’s wrecked. He has said in the last episode, “You cannot stand against Klaus Mikaelson ’cause then I’m going to have to get revenge against Klaus Mikaelson when he hurts you, and then I’m going to get killed.” That is his sentiment. The reality is “no matter how much I’m angry, and no matter how a vendetta I want to carry out against Klaus Mikaelson, I’m just a couple year-old vampire and that is Klaus Mikaelson.” But his rage is no less and I think the first thing he needs to do is wrap his head around how he is going to recover from this grief and that is something we absolutely explore in the next episode. . . I love the moment where Josh and Aiden decided to run off together and declare their love for each other and that beautiful kiss. I think those guys did such a perfect job with that performance.
WHY KLAUS TAKES BLAME
MICHAEL: Klaus couldn’t just say he didn’t do it for many reasons: (1) it is a sign of weakness, and (2) he wants the Crescents to be questioning loyalties so that Hayley doesn’t have the freedom to run.
ANYONE DOUBT KLAUS KILLED AIDEN
MICHAEL: I think it is very believable that Klaus would do it and I think it is very telling that in that moment Jackson (Nathan Parsons) completely believes he did it, Hayley (Phoebe Tonkin) is shocked but believes he did it, Elijah (Daniel Gillies) believes that he did it and still defends him — and Rebekah (Maisie Richardson Sellers) and Marcel (Charles Michael Davis) — nobody is thinking, “Well, he was clearly framed.” It is a Klaus-ian thing to do. And yet, he has confessed the truth to Cami (Leah Pipes). So now Cami knows the truth. Once that truth starts to get out, our characters are going to have to react to the question of “who could have done this and why?”
BRING DOWN DAHLIA WITHOUT KLAUS
MICHAEL: That is the million dollar question that everyone is struggling with. In the final seconds of this episode, once those bells start to toll, Daniel Gillies does something I have never seen him do on this show, a phenomenal turn — his expression of grief, sadness and also fear at what is to come is just incredible. If you ever have a doubt that Daniel Gillies is not a world class actor, take another look at that shot. You see everything that is playing in his expression on his face. It is chilling what is going on because that child is certain in danger and could be taken and they are never going to let that happen. So they are going to stand up to someone who is the most powerful thing that we have ever seen in this universe and they are going to have to find a way to deal with her without the most dangerous member of their family.
FREYA AND KLAUS SIMILARITIES
MICHAEL: There is an element to the both of them where both of them were raised by people who not their biological parent and who maybe didn’t treat them the way you want a parent to treat you — in a loving and caring fashion — and that has resulted in both of them being very dangerous and lacking a certain base-level compassion. But both of them are smart enough to realize their similarities. That was something we explored in Episode 216 with Klaus saying, “Of course you told me the sad tale of Mathias and the child you lost. You’re trying to manipulate me. That’s exactly what I would do and, therefore, I don’t trust you.” Even in this episode when he is talking to Cami and he says, “Are we not raised by our parents? And if I am a product of Mikael (Sebastian Roche), clearly she is a product of Dahlia. You can’t trust her.” So that is something we are going to explore as long as Freya is a part of this show and a part of this family and how can they possibly ever bridge that divide. There is obviously a lot of work to be done if that is ever going to be a conversation.
MICHAEL: This is the beginning of the storm. This is the storm that will take us through the end of the season. The family begins the episode in a little bit of a slightly humorous conflict, “I can’t believe you killed Mikael. Yes, he’s a jerk. Yes, he hunted us for centuries. But you killed him in front of our sister Freya and risked this unity that we need to fight Dahlia.” And over the course of this episode, you see the family disintegrate more and more and by the end of it, they are a house divided. And I don’t think anyone is suspecting when Klaus and Elijah are standing united against the wolves that by the end of the episode, the divide will be what it is. When you see Rebeka and Freya standing there with Elijah over the desiccated, daggered corpse of Klaus Mikaelson, that is shocking and it is puts the people we care about in the most jeopardy than we have ever seen them — and that is the story we are going to tell in the last three episodes. . . Nobody on our show has an easy go of it for the rest of the season. The question is: will they be able to survive, who is going to live and who is going to die, who is going to be changed forever, what relationships are going to be destroyed, what relationships have a chance at being healed. Things are going to get worse before they get better. But there is a ray of hope. . . The fundamental thesis of this show is how we draw strength from the people we are born with and who we choose to be our family — and if there is any hope for these people, it comes from that — and that is the story that we are telling and we will make that story manifest in the finale. Strength drawn from the people who we love and we are bound to in family.
MICHAEL: I don’t know if we have a quota of one death per episode. This was the season of the parents coming back. Ansel (Lloyd Owen), Esther in the body of Lenore (Sonja Sohn), Mikael and now Dahlia is back. It feels that for our show to continue and for these children to grow up and become adults and the captains of their fate, they have to deal with that first generation. So there will be a showdown with Dahlia that will be definitive and I think along the way some people are going to not make it.
HAYLEY & JACKSON
MICHAEL: I think they are reeling from the loss of the guy who was in effect the vice president/top lieutenant — the most trusted number two — and Hayley has to honor the very threat that Klaus made in his conversation with Cami: “How can those wolves be trusted to protect Hope, given that I as Hope’s father killed [Aiden]?” The point being: “How can we possibly trust the wolves to protect Hope given what Klaus has done?” And Hayley, as a leader, is going to have to work with Jackson to find a way to earn back that trust. Those wolves really need to be loyal to Hayley and Jackson and want to protect that baby. Because, as we saw in this episode, that person coming for that baby is not going to stop. It’s going to get really bad.
SEE MORE HOPE’S POWERS
MICHAEL: Going forward, yes. In the immediate future, the key story point is that to keep Hope from being hunted by Dahlia, they have literally put was is in effect one of those manacles that disrupts witch-power, they have put it into Kol’s (Daniel Sharman) bracelet that he gave to Davina (Danielle Campbell), that Davina has now spelled and given to Baby Hope. So Hope is walking around with Uncle Kol’s bracelet, which is keeping her from having access to her power so that Dahlia cannot find her. So we are not going to see Baby Hope levitate any bows and arrows to use against Dahlia any time soon. That’s is really going to make it so that everyone else has to work together to protect her.
MICHAEL: That’s a bit part [coming up]. You saw [Davina] still working on it when she tells Marcel, “Get out. I need to get back to work.” In the next episode, there are some pretty important witch shenanigans going on and that will keep her from definitively moving forward with the spell. But she will get one ray of hope, a possibility of what she might be able to do, a very surprising kind of twist might aid her in her quest to resurrect Kol and then she has to decide if that is the path she wants to follow and what it is going to cost her.
GONE FOR GOOD
MICHAEL: [Klaus] is daggered. We have seen characters daggered before and they are never gone. With Klaus, you haven’t seen the last of Klaus Mikaelson. Aiden is gone. Josephine LaRue (Meg Foster) is gone. Oliver (Chase Coleman) is gone. I could go through the list of all the people we have killed. There is no Other Side in this show because the Other Side was dissolved in THE VAMPIRE DIARIES last season. On this show, if you are a witch and you die and your body is consecrated, you could go into what we have called the Ancestral Spirit Well. So if you are a witch, there is the possibility that we will see you again in a vision or the possibility that like Celeste last year or Esther this year, you might be able to come back in somebody else’s body. Finn has been ejected from Vincent’s body and Freya keeps him in a little necklace. I think we may see Finn again some day. But, right now, we are having so much fun exploring the character of Vincent (Yusuf Gatewood). Eva Sinclair is dead, which gives Rebekah the right to own that body. But for how long, we don’t know. I think our goal is to make the drama count by making these deaths as permanent as they can be on a show like this. We won’t be seeing a corporeal Mikael anytime soon. He’s dead. So that death in that episode was meant to be the definitive finale between Mikael and Klaus and that last conversation between them was meant to put everything on the table and it was intentionally left inconclusive when he says, “I don’t know why I didn’t love you.” I think that is more hurtful for Klaus to hear that than if he had said, “Yeah, I didn’t like you because you weren’t my kid.” It was before that that Mikael started to dislike Klaus.
MICHAEL: I wouldn’t say I regret it, but I do wish — I love these characters and the actors who play them — in particular, I would have like a little bit more time to get to know Ansel. Lloyd Owen is an incredible actor and I think he was amazing. But for our story, it felt like Esther’s ultimatum: “You can be happy and here is your real father” and, if Klaus allowed himself to enjoy that too much, it didn’t seem true to who Klaus was. Klaus is the kind of guy that if you are trying to woo him, and if you offer him a beautiful sandwich, he takes it and throws it in your face and says, “To hell with you. I don’t make deals with people I hate.” So that is kind of what he had to do with Ansel in order to send a message to his mother.
CAMI AND MARCEL ROLES MOVING FORWARD
MICHAEL: I think this episode has my favorite Cami/Klaus scenes of the season, maybe of the series. That final scene is heart-breaking, and Leah Pipes and Joseph Morgan are exquisite. Just perfect in that scene. We will see Cami in every episode for the remainder of the season. She has stuff that I’m really excited for everyone to see. If Marcel and Cami were side-lined, I think it was our intention to really tell the story of the return of Kol, the return of Finn, the surprising revelation of this long-lost sister who we thought dead is actually not dead and is back, the story of Rebekah being in this new body, the story of Dahlia returning for Hope. All those things are very Mikaelson-centric. So these are kind of family issues and Klaus needs his connection with Cami because it provides him with a certain calm and a certain solace. She is, in some ways, the one person who has been able to understand and to sympathize with him and to show him the forgiveness that he craves, but can never admit. So she is a very important figure, not only to Klaus, but to this family like we saw with her ability to kind of help Elijah deal with his Red Door situation when they were staying at that safe-house. So she will continue to be a big part of the show and a big part of the family throughout this season and, hopefully, beyond. Marcel has some very difficult scenes coming up and he will have to decide the part he wants to play in all of this. We know he has a rule about protecting kids, and we know he has a fierce loyalty to the Mikaelsons in general, but especially to Rebekah — and some choices are going to have to be made, that I would call impossible choices. I love his character. We’re going to see more of Marcel, for sure.
MICHAEL: This is a show about vampires and vampires are immortal, and in order to understand the gift of immortality and the drag of being immortal, you kind of have to juxtapose that with the story of mortals whose lifespans are all too finite. That is one of the reasons that there is so much death on a vampire show — because you love someone and then they are gone. That is something that Josh will actually be faced with as he grieves Aiden. These characters have a big struggle coming up. But there is absolutely reason to believe that not only their family bonds, but their romantic bonds will bear the kind of beautiful moments that we want from those romances. The other thing to remember is that it is not the end of the novel. We are very fortunate that the CW has picked us up for Season 3. We are already in the room breaking it and talking about it, and one of the things we are really excited about is the ability on our show to have even more romance on it. So family is the core, but romance leads to family. So I think that is a big part of it as well. . . There are some bad things coming, and at the end of it, you will be — I hope, if we have done our job correctly — devastated. But you will see that these people are not yet defeated. You can be destroyed, but not defeated. Season 3 is the story of them figuring things out and coming back together. . . There is the argument that Josh would have lost Aiden no matter what. It goes back to the vampires are immortal and mortals have a finite lifespan. So this idea of [Josh and Aiden] having a happy ending — nobody really gets a happy ending. . . What you have to do is live for those beautiful moments as they come and life in the now. If that is the metric by which we judge Josh and Aiden, they had one of the most beautiful and happiest stories of anybody on our show. They did have romance and love and beauty and they got to a place that I think we all want to get to. Then his life was taken from him and now Josh has to continue, which is a universal story and we want to tell that story.
MICHAEL: I thought Claudia Black was bone-chilling and terrifying, and also delightful. Like she enjoyed it. She makes a clear argument as to why “I’m not the bad guy. I’ve made a deal and I’ve come to collect.” And those villains are the most terrifying and dangerous — the ones that think they are absolutely in the right.
MICHAEL: With magic, there is always a loop-hole, and the source of someone’s magic seems to be a bit part where those loop-holes come from. The same way Esther founded her spell to create the Originals on the white oak tree and low-and-behold, the white oak trees is the thing that can be used against them. So we knew that there was this built in logic to our magical-science. We talked a lot about where Dahlia would draw her strength from — and we will see more of her origin story as well — but she seems to be a witch who is channeling power from her relationships with these other witches: Esther, Freya, and now she desires Hope. Why? Because she wants Hope’s power. So we came up with this idea that (1) the soil where she born, the land where she was born, (2) the ash of the Vikings, the people who were terrible to her and were the source of her hatred, (3) and the blood for the very witch who was her love. That’s what we said was the source of her power and that is what we are saying will be, when combined, her weakness. . . But how that is used and are all those ingredients 100% useful, and is there some twist within that equation, that remains to be seen.
HAYLEY & JACKSON VS. HALEY & ELIJAH
MICHAEL: Hayley made a decision to marry Jackson. It was the right thing to do for her child and it was the right thing to do for the people that she cares about. It is also clear that [Jackson] loves her, and it’s also clear that he is a really good guy. Over the course of preparing for that marriage, she found herself having legitimate feelings that “this could be the right thing for me.” Over the course of these next episodes, we are going to see where that relationship is going. We are going to see just how far both of them are willing to go to stand up for one another. At the same time, clearly she had strong feelings for Elijah for a very long time and he told her that was not going to happen and he suggested that she go off and marry Jackson. I think we all know that Elijah is someone whose principal focus is family above all, always and forever. It’s a very difficult situation for him to be in, to be in love with the woman who is the mother of his brother’s child. I think also though that it is clear that he still loves her. It is clear the way he looks at her, the way he protects her, the way he wants to safeguard her. He may suppress that and bury that and maybe that will be one of the things he has to hide behind his Red Door, but the pain and the conflict of loving this person who you can never be with is very present in that character.
All new episodes of THE ORIGINALS air Monday nights at 8:00 p.m. on the CW. (Only 3 more new episodes ’til THE ORIGINALS Season 2 finale on May 11th.)