9:00pm PT by Marisa Roffman
'The Originals'' Latest Victim Speaks: His "Reign" Is Over
[Warning: This story contains spoilers from Monday's episode of The Originals.]
The Originals' Mikaelson family got an infusion of new (and dangerous) blood when Dahlia (Claudia Black) came to town in Monday's hour, "Night Has a Thousand Eyes."
But with Dahlia's introduction came the second traumatic death — in as many weeks — of a parent of the Mikaelson siblings.
The first death came courtesy of Freya (Riley Voelkel), who killed her mother, Esther (Sonja Sohn), during the April 6 hour, "Exquisite Corpse." The recently returned eldest Mikaelson sibling was able to exact revenge on the mother who (unwillingly) gave her away, as well as use the death as a move in her plan against her brother, Klaus (Joseph Morgan).
To finish off the parental homicide, Klaus this week finally killed his abusive adopted father, Mikael (Sebastian Roché). But while Klaus had long wanted his father dead, his ultimate act of killing him wasn't inspired purely by hatred—Klaus took his father's life as part of his plan to defeat his evil aunt, Dahlia.
And though death is often a mere bump in the road for television characters, it looks as if the demise of Mikael — who was first introduced in a 2011 episode of The Vampire Diaries — will stick.
"[The Originals producers] Michael Narducci and Matt Hastings called me in advance to tell me I was going to shuffle off my mortal coil, to quote Hamlet," Roché tells The Hollywood Reporter. "I thought it was really classy of them, and was really emblematic of the relationship we've had over the years. It's amazing — three or four years ago, when I auditioned for the role of Mikael, I never would have thought I'd be lasting into the year 2015. It's been a great run. He had such a prominent role in the family and in the series because of the nature of the character and the nature of the part, being the patriarch of the Mikaelson family."
"As with any character's death, it was a tough decision that we debated carefully in the room," Narducci adds. "We all felt like there was an interesting story to be told by dramatizing the lengths Klaus would go in his fight against Dahlia, up to and including approaching the father he loathes and making an appeal to work with him. We liked the notion that 'the enemy of my enemy is my friend,' but, of course, as with any alliance that Klaus makes, it's going to be on his terms, and the moment that alliance is no longer advantageous, Klaus will choose what's best for his cause. In this instance, knowing that he needs Viking ash, and knowing that such a resource might prove rare, Klaus takes the next logical step without a second thought."
Though the Mikaelson siblings will move forward sans both of their parents, Roché says that Mikael's impact on his children — particularly Klaus, the only one who wasn't biologically Mikael's — will live on.
"He isn't Klaus' biological father but he really put his imprint on his son," says Roché. "Klaus is a reflection on Mikael: his fury, anger, power and strength of intellect. He's a mirror image of his father, and that's what he hates the most. In [this] episode, there is an alliance that is created between the two of them. It could have deceived the viewer into thinking things are going to get better for the two of them, but as history has proved, that is not the case."
"I think over the centuries, Klaus has always needed the validity of his 'father' — he's always wanted his father's approval, and in the end of the episode, Klaus meets his father's approval, finally," Roché continues. "It was a very emotionally intense moment between the two as Klaus finally ends Mikael's reign on earth as a result."
"Neither Esther nor Mikael were particularly loving parents, and so it's safe to assume that the Mikaelsons have a complicated reaction to their parents' deaths," Narducci teases. "Rebekah (Maisie Richardson-Sellers) has a delightful, funny reaction, while Klaus basically throws himself a celebration. Meanwhile, Freya is heartbroken by the loss of the father she yearned to find again after so long — and she mourns Mikael in a way that gives us some sense of her loss, and also suggests her fury at Klaus' treachery."
The nature of filming a death scene can be quite morbid, but Roché appreciated getting to work with his Mikaelson brood in his final days on The Originals.
"I was a little sad to leave, because I loved the character of Mikael so much," he says. "I understand it's for reasons, like the children need to be liberated from their parents' power. But you never know what will happen in the future."
"There was a scene where a lot of my brood was with me: Daniel Gillies (Elijiah), Maisie Richardson-Sellers, Riley Voelkel. … In a way, we would have loved to have a little more," he continues. "I would have loved to have more with my daughter, Freya, or a few more scenes with Maisie, because she just came on to the show; we barely had scenes together. But sometimes you have to die in the name of storyline. It was very emotional: Not only was I leaving the show, but [my character] was also dying, and it was the end of my run on this series I loved so much."
For Roché — who has had arcs on nearly 20 different television shows in the past decade — his next focus will be on his upcoming film, Phantom Halo, and whatever comes his way after that. One possibility could be a return to ABC's Once Upon a Time, where he had a brief role as King Stefan.
"When I signed for [the role], it was supposed to be a recurring character, so you never know," Roché says. "It would be interesting to explore the relationship with Maleficent if they keep on Kristin Bauer's character into next season. Or [he could] have a [history] with another character. He's supposedly a good king, but he has a dark path. I'm open to anything."
And, naturally, he wouldn't rule out a return to The Originals. "I could be back in flashbacks," he notes. "It's something that's entirely possible. I could be rekindled from the ashes by some witch. You never know!"
"I am certain that we will see the amazing Sebastian Roché again in flashback," Narducci echoes. "Mikael chased his children for centuries and we're eager to continue to reveal that long history even as we move forward."
Looking forward on The Originals, the sibling tension will heat up, hints Narducci.
"Freya was more than willing to include Klaus in her plans against Dahlia, but since Klaus has rejected her and insists on leading the charge against Dahlia himself, one has to wonder if Freya's best tactic for alienating Klaus is to just be honest with her siblings, point toward Klaus' narcissistic, isolationist strategy, and warn Elijah and Rebekah that they'd be better off siding with her," Narducci teases. "That said, Klaus has been a manipulative, master strategist for 1,000 years, and while Freya is by far the more knowledgeable expert when it comes to Dahlia, Klaus has more than a few tricks up his sleeve. The conflict between Klaus and Freya is a long way from resolved. They need to trust each other but neither of them can, and that's one of the fun things about exploring this new brother-sister dynamic."
The Originals airs on Mondays at 8 p.m. on The CW. What did you think of Mikael's death?