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[WARNING: Spoilers ahead from Monday’s episode of The Originals, “The Red Door.”]
Elijah’s (Daniel Gillies) kryptonite was revealed on The Originals, and it came in the form of original doppelganger and his first true love, Tatia (The Vampire Diaries‘ Nina Dobrev).
Chained by Mother Dearest (Sonja Sohn) and forced to confront his biggest demons, Elijah entered unfamiliar territory when he faced his ugly past, revealing that it wasn’t Esther who killed Tatia centuries ago but him. It’s no secret Esther isn’t a fan of vampires, and Elijah is resigned to being one; her solution to turn Elijah into one of her assets — using his own annals of history to prove that maybe her plan is the best option — is a strategy she’ll be intent on using to lure the other Mikaelsons.
“Elijah hates being a vampire, but his defense mechanism is to dress it up — not just a suit and a handkerchief, but a code of honor,” executive producer Michael Narducci told a handful of reporters of Elijah’s potential shift. “If I cling to those rules and if I believe in them even fundamentally, then I can endure this existence as a creature that feeds on the blood of other creatures. That’s his blind spot, his weakness, the thing about him that he has buried away. Esther is attacking that and making him confront that on the notion that that will destroy him.”
Unfortunately for Elijah, this is just the beginning of a long road as Esther sets her sights on breaking him down “completely.” “She’s not done,” Narducci teased, referencing Esther’s final mind trick: having Elijah dream Hayley’s rescue into reality. “What does she intend to do to Klaus? What does she intend to do to Rebekah? If that was Elijah’s kryptonite, what’s theirs?”
One of the main questions remains Esther’s motives for diligently securing her army. When asked whether Esther’s No. 1 goal is to rid the world of vampirism, Narducci hinted that that could be the case. “That’s a really good guess,” he said. There is also a very good chance Klaus may discover the truth about Tatia’s death. (Narducci revealed that more flashbacks revisiting the origins of the MIkaelson family are in store.)
The first order of business for Klaus and the gang is clear following the events of Monday’s episode: Find Elijah safely. Whether they are successful remains to be seen. “They’re going after him pretty hardcore,” Narducci said, adding that Rebekah (Claire Holt) will reappear before Christmas.
Another character to keep an eye on in coming weeks is Kol (Daniel Sharman), who strayed from Esther’s plan and may be an unlikely ally to Klaus and Elijah. How trustworthy Kol is as an ally is questionable; Narducci warned that there are far too many complexities to the inner workings of the Mikaelsons that cloud any judgment in regard to the “trickster” Kol.
“I wouldn’t necessarily say that he’s about to jump into bed with his siblings, but he’s got his own agenda,” Narducci said. “He did not do exactly what his mother wanted, although he did protect that linkage spell. There’s a big hint there. Why does Esther care that Klaus and Elijah are linked to the other vampires that they’ve sired? Kol knows that he is a lesser witch than Finn (Yusuf Gatewood), than Esther — that is by design. Esther knows she can’t completely trust Kol.”
He added: “He’s on a little bit of a leash, and everything he does is going to be a part of his [journey] to break free of that leash. With Davina (Danielle Campbell), does he care about her? Is he using her as a potential ally to get her out of that hot spot?”
Zeroing in on the moments when Davina and Klaus discover that Kaleb is Kol in disguise was a particularly tall task for co-writers Declan de Barra and Diane Ademu-John. “They found pretty smart ways for both Klaus and Davina to come up with Kol’s true identity,” Narducci said of Klaus sussing out his brother on his own and Davina “getting more than she bargained for” while channeling him via a spell.
Also working to Kol’s advantage is his knowledge of Mikael (Sebastian Roche)’s existence, something Finn and Esther still aren’t privy to. For Kol, holding that crucial piece of intel back is strategic. “It’s a game of poker,” Narducci said. “What are the assets that I have? What do I get out of telling them? If it would help him and his agenda, then absolutely, he would tell them. Even if it is as simple as making an alliance with Mikael against Esther, if Esther dies, all of a sudden there’s no one holding a leash on Kol.” (As for the inevitable face-off between Esther and Mikael, “You can expect that to happen this season,” the exec producer promised.)
With Mikael on the run after temporarily killing Klaus with the white oak stake and then getting “his ass kicked,” he’ll take his time to form a new strategy to ensure that the next time around, Klaus won’t be so lucky.
“In this episode, [Mikael] actually defeats [Klaus]. It’s the thing that for a thousand years he’s wanted, and it doesn’t work. I love the frustration that Sebastian played on his face in that moment,” Narducci said of the violent showdown. “Mikael has made an existence out of his desire for revenge, and Klaus has made an existence out of his desire to keep his family, even if he’s keeping his family in coffins with daggers in their hearts. Everyone stood with him, and confronted with that, Mikael had no choice but to flee.”
Expect Mikael to return in the near future. This time, it’ll be more calculated on his part — by way of him not in possession of the desirable white oak stake. “I’m sure he’s going to regroup, I’m sure he’s going to be back, but importantly, he doesn’t have the white oak stake anymore,” Narducci hinted. “It’s not like he can barge in at any point. He’s going to have to come up with a plan — and he’ll have an interesting one.”
The Originals airs 8 p.m. Mondays on The CW.
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