6:00pm PT by Marisa Roffman
'The Originals' Boss on the Fallout From the Rebekah Twist
[Warning: Major spoilers ahead for The Originals' midseason finale, "The Map of Moments."]
Score one for The Originals' Esther: Rebekah (Claire Holt) is now in a new, non-vampire, body (and played by actress Maisie Richardson-Sellers).
The Originals family matriarch had successfully put two of her sons, Finn and Kol, in new, human bodies, and to hear executive producer Michael Narducci tell it, the writers knew early on that another of the siblings would be joining them.
"I think it's the threat of any of the Originals; going into a new body has been there from the start — that's what Esther's agenda was," Narducci told The Hollywood Reporter. "She started the season by putting Kol and Finn into new bodies, and in order for that threat to have any teeth, it's going to have to work on somebody [else]."
"So pretty early on, we talked about what would it be like if Elijah went into another body, what would it be like if Rebekah went into another body?" he added. "We felt the storyline made the most sense for Rebekah, because she has always been the one who said she wants to be cured from vampirism. She wants to be mortal so she can experience a human life and have a family, and maybe this is the best thing in the world for her. On the other hand, it's definitely a cautionary tale of being careful what you wish for, because after a thousand years, I think Rebekah takes for granted vampire strength, vampire speed, vampire invulnerability and just the safety that comes with being immortal. And now, at the end of this episode, we [found] Rebekah in a very dangerous place, trapped in a body that is all too vulnerable and mortal. And the threats that she is going to be facing, she is going to have to use her wits and her strength of character, instead of her speed, and her vampire strength."
Rebekah's physical safety in this new body will be the primary concern for those who love her when the show returns from its holiday break in 2015, Narducci said.
"She is in a dangerous place and they don't know where she is," he noted. "So, for a little while, it becomes all hands on deck: We need to find and rescue Rebekah. And if they can't find her, and they can't rescue her, will she be able to rescue herself? And I think there's a pretty interesting and satisfying conclusion to that storyline."
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"And then, down the road, you get to the point [where they think], this is still our sister," he teased. "It's not a new [person]. And what are the ways this new body might be able to contribute to the family's [fight] of Dahlia, the witch who is coming for the child? So there are all these questions. But Rebekah will always be a part of the family, whether she takes the child and runs and hides and protects her by moving to some unknown location, or whether she stays and fights on the front line and manages to do so in a different way."
And while Rebekah is now in a new body, the producer is hopeful her original portrayer, Holt (who stepped away from her full-time duties with the show in season one), will remain a part of The Originals.
"There's absolutely the possibility she would return," Narducci said. "We definitely want to continue to use Claire. We absolutely will use her in flashbacks in the way we've continued to use Nathaniel Buzolic in flashbacks, even though in the present day, Kol is in another body."
But could she ever return in present-day? "Rebekah's body hasn't been destroyed," Narducci acknowledged. "Claire Holt ['s version of Rebekah] is lying unconscious in a coffin somewhere, so it will become part of the storyline: How does she free herself from this trap? Once she does free herself, why might she choose to stay in that body, and why might she immediately want to get out of that body? Who was this person prior to Rebekah using the body as a vessel? Will the past history of that vessel have an impact on Rebekah? All of those things are story points we want to play. But I definitely don't think — or hope — we've seen the last of Claire Holt."
Holt, meanwhile, is among the actresses testing to star in CBS' Supergirl, which has a hefty series commitment attached. (Sources tell THR that Holt is not expected to get the part.) The in-demand actress next stars as a series regular in NBC's upcoming Charles Manson drama Aquarius, which has not yet been scheduled.
What did you think of The Originals' big twist? Sound off in the comments section below. The Originals airs on Mondays at 8 p.m. on The CW.