'The Originals' Boss on an "Emotional" Hayley and Elijah Scene, Mysterious Freya, More

"In a show about family, a marriage is the beginning of a new family: it's the birth of a new family," showrunner Michael Narducci tells THR.
Courtesy of The CW

"For better or worse" carries a lot more weight when you're a supernatural being, and during Monday's The Originals, Hayley (Phoebe Tonkin) and Jackson (Nathan Parsons) will tie the knot in an attempt to fulfill an alpha-bonding ritual between their packs.

Although Jackson loves Hayley, her feelings for him are a bit more clouded — complicated by the fact that she has feelings for Elijah (Daniel Gillies). Not to mention the fact that Hayley has a semi-secretly alive daughter, Hope, with Elijah's brother, Klaus (Joseph Morgan).

That's not the only drama going on, either: the last episode saw Elijah blowing up Finn (Yusuf Gatewood) in an attempt to keep him from Hope ... and Hope displayed some freaky powers that ultimately ended up saving herself and her current caretaker, Cami (Leah Pipes). Plus, presumed-dead eldest Mikaelson daughter Freya (Riley Voelkel) is back, and there are a whole lot of questions about what's been going on with her.

To help shed some insight into what's in store on The Originals, showrunner Michael Narducci spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about Monday's installment — "I Love You, Goodbye" — and what to expect from the remainder of the season.

What can you tease about the next episode?

We have this huge day of the wedding celebration, and behind the scenes, there is Klaus, who is pulling strings for his own selfish ends. Then there's Elijah, who, having survived the events of last week's cliffhanger ending, returns home, only to see this wedding is taking place today. He thought it was a good idea when Hayley first brought it up to him, and he's beginning to wonder if this is something Hayley is being cajoled into. He once promised Hayley she would always have a choice, and as she begins to wonder if she's feeling pressured to do this, he has to decide if he's going to take any kind of action; even thought she's preparing for a wedding, if he's going to go after her. There's a lot of emotional stuff going on. There's Klaus, trying to gain control of an army to protect his child, in defense of the various people who are trying to harm her. We also have the story of what is going on with the spell, which Vincent/Finn put on Kol (Daniel Sharman). It was meant to lead to his demise. So we have to deal with Kol's desperate attempt to save himself. All of those things will come to a head in this episode.

It seems like a lot of things are coming to a head at once. Was that a struggle to fit everything in to this hour, and was there anything that perhaps you had hoped to also include that just simply wasn't able to fit?

We talked a lot about what this episode could be. We moved it around a little bit on our schedule [in terms of] where it would fall. There was talk of trying to do the wedding episode around episode 13, [but] there was so much stuff going on.

Fortunately, I work with some amazing writers, a great writing staff, and [The Originals creator] Julie [Plec]'s vision. I got to co-write this episode with Carina Adly MacKenzie, and there was so much stuff we were really excited to do: we made our index cards of the moments we knew we absolutely had to see, and we looked at it, and said, "There's a way to do this." We sat down, and over time — and multiple drafts and multiple outlines — we figured out those key sequence of events we wanted to see. It turned out really beautifully.

It's not a slam-bang, plot, action-heavy episode — though there are some major moves that take place; it is probably one of the most beautifully photographed, cinematic episodes I've ever been associated with. I think the performances from everyone are just spot-on. You really get to see how all these characters are dealing with this special event. In a show about family, a marriage is the beginning of a new family: it's the birth of a new family. I thought that was a very important thing to incorporate into the show about the struggles of an immortal family. It's for keeps, it's not a joke, it's not something we're going to shy away from. Hayley and Jackson get married, and this will be a pretty big story going forward.

Even with the marriage, viewers know that Hayley and Elijah have a complicated relationship, and you mentioned that they have a big scene in this episode — is he going to actually verbalize how he feels about her?

He returns and susses out everything that's going on -- remember, he's been gone for quite a while. He left in episode eight, this is episode 14. He's returning to the compound, and he had a definite perspective of everything he's seen. And there is absolutely a scene with him and Hayley. I don't want to say too much more about it, because I don't want to ruin it, but it is the scene you want for these two characters to have on the day of her wedding. Each of them has a definite point of view, and they're going to each try and get it across. I'm impressed with how it turned out.

Last we saw Finn, he was blown up by Elijah. What will his response be to his brother's drastic move?

Well, the question you might ask is, "Does Finn have a response? Did he survive that blast? Was he completely eradicated? Did he limp away, injured somehow, rescued by the power of his own magic? Did he die, only to be transferred to another body?" All I can promise you is by the end of this episode, you will know the fate of Finn.

Between Hope's self-healing and her preventing the car from getting too close to the soon-to-be-exploding house, what can you tease about what's going on with her powers?

There's definitely a pretty big bombshell at the end of the previous episode, where we saw two kind of small instances of what might be going on with this child. One is after suffering a little boo boo, she heals on her own. Cami, mistakenly, believes that Elijah used vampire blood to heal her, but that was not the case. That little wound just seemed to heal itself on its own. Then, as they were driving towards the house, which was the site of an attack, and would have been incredibly dangerous for Cami to just roll up to, [Hope] had an awareness of danger, and that suggests a prescient of supernatural ability to predict danger, and also, a supernatural ability to keep them from harm's way. She really seems to have stopped that car from moving forward, and ignited the engine again once it was safe and they needed to bail out of there.

What is this child? She's the granddaughter of one of the most powerful witches we've ever seen, Esther (Sonja Sohn). She is the daughter of Hayley, who is a werewolf, and the daughter of the Crescent line of royalty of wolves. And she's the daughter of Klaus who is a hybrid vampire-werewolf. You take all of that into consideration, and there's something very powerful going on with this child, and we're going to continue to explore what that means, not only for her, but the people who are tasked with keeping her safe. When you have a remarkable child, you have to figure out how to raise that child so she has some means of control over what she is. And that's going to be difficult for Klaus who is not a witch, and Hayley who is not a witch, to come to terms with.

How will Freya's reintroduction into the family come to shift the dynamic in the next batch of episodes?

Freya is one of my favorite characters we've created on this show. She's a very interesting person, very mysterious, and I think the question the audience should be asking is "Can we trust her?"

She was hibernating for the past century. She had come to New Orleans in 1914, attended a Christmas party under the cover of being Kol's date, really with the intention of sussing out who her family was, what they were like, and whether she could possibly ever join them and have an alliance with them, and be treated as a sister. And [instead] she saw Klaus dagger Kol, Rebekah rat Kol out, and Elijah holding Kol while Klaus put a dagger in his chest. And the brother she knew, Finn, was nowhere to be found because he had a dagger in his chest, and was tucked away in a coffin in the basement. She kind of had to realize, wow, I came all this way to meet my family, and they're awful.

Now she's awakened in 2014, and she has the opportunity to take a look around, and sees [two brothers in new bodies] and her sister is in a new body. And it seems like Klaus is up to his same old dangerous, terrifying ways. So she has to decide who is my family, if I want to form an alliance with these people, if I want to be a family member to them, how do I do that if I can't trust them?

And yet, we know she was taken by Dahlia. And so if Freya is still alive, that must mean that Dahlia is still out there. And what's the nature of their relationship? All of that is the stuff we want to play going forward. Freya is definitely going to have a drive and a desire to connect with her family. And we're going to have to wonder, can we trust her? And simultaneously, can she trust any of them?

What else has you really excited about what's to come?

Out there somewhere are Mikael (Sebastian Roché) and Esther. They're not dead. I'm really excited about some of the stuff we have coming up for those two characters.

There is the resolve to what will be Freya's next move now that she's gone to Finn in episode 13 and it seems as though this is a brother and a sister reunited. But now that Elijah has made his intentions towards Finn rather clear by blowing the both of them up, she may need to reassess.

I think we're going to continue on the path of telling a story of highly dysfunctional immortal people. And what are the stakes of that familial loyalty when it's stretched out over the course of thousands of years. And Freya is a great example of the estranged long-lost sister coming in and she can help us provide a little bit of insight into just how this family dynamic works. It's an inclusion of a new person who is going to offer up some perspective on each of the siblings. And I really love the notion of getting Rebekah to have interactions with a sister. She's interacted with her brother, but now she gets a sister. All of those things, I'm really excited about going forward.

Speaking of Rebekah, will we be seeing Claire Holt's version of her soon?

Well, I'll tell you what: we haven't seen the last of Claire Holt, I'll tell you that. We definitely haven't seen the last of her.

The Originals airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on The CW. What has you most excited about "I Love You, Goodbye"?

Twitter: @marisaroffman

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