The Originals started as a show about three siblings, a thousand years of family history, and Klaus’ desire to regain control of New Orleans. But in season two, there are more Originals than ever, and Klaus is less about the city and more about revenge. “This [season] is about trying to clean up [season one’s] mess and the hope that they can create an environment where they can bring their child home,” executive producer Julie Plec said. “Only what they do not yet realize in the beginning is that the new mess is in the form of their old family.”
Quickly, Klaus’ revenge mission will get a lot more complicated. “In the beginning, it’s vengeance against the wolves, but then slowly as more details start to appear to them and they realize oh our mother’s back, our father’s back, one brother at least is back, suddenly they realize, ‘What would happen if we all worked together against this entity that is here to cause us harm,’” Plec said. “And so we get to have a lot of fun with two species that shouldn’t necessarily get along, that shouldn’t be in cooperation with each other but trying to bring them together in all the different ways they can in hopes of building an alliance that is powerful enough to defeat the nasty side of the Original family that’s really in town causing all the trouble.”
That being said, don’t expect Mikael and Esther to be the only villains this season. “The family drama is the centerpiece of the season, but that is by no means the only outlet for enemies,” Plec said. “We have enemies brewing in the present; we have enemies brewing that are coming from the past. We’ve got all kinds of good additional problems to dump into the melting pot of New Orleans. And it’s just going to keep getting worse and worse as far as who’s coming into town to do what, and not all of them are going to be aligned with Esther and Mikael either, so they might find themselves up against an enemy of their own.”
As for what that means for the characters, get a rundown of their agendas below.
Where we left off: Klaus had given baby Hope away to Rebekah, and Genevieve had cast a spell that would weaken him on every full moon.
What’s next: Aside from all of the revenge, Klaus will find himself in a new position this year: Mentor. With Hayley now a hybrid, “they can can be honest with each other,” Phoebe Tonkin said. “They do come up against each other, but at the end of the day, they both want their daughter to come back to two parents that don’t completely hate each other, and so they bond over their daughter and the hope that they can see her again.”
Where we left off: After thinking he’d lost Hayley, Elijah finally realized the depth of his feelings toward her before helping to fake baby Hope’s death.
What’s next: Ever the gentleman, Elijah will put aside his feelings for Hayley in order to get her the help she needs. As Plec put it, “Elijah decides he has to make certain sacrifices in order to make sure that Klaus and Hayley have each other to lean on, and that means him giving up a little bit of his time with her and his relationship with her so that he can ensure her future stability and happiness for her.” As for Elijah’s facial hair? It wasn’t necessarily scripted, but as Plec put it, “It’s hot is what that is.” And yes, it’s more than welcome to stay for all of eternity.
Where we left off: Hayley gave birth, and then the witches killed her. Only, she came back as a hybrid, rescued her baby, killed Genevieve, and then had to give her baby away.
What’s next: Not only will Hayley see Elijah’s kindness as him “blowing her off,” according to Plec, but Tonkin added that the new hybrid is on a rather violent “revenge mission” when the show catches up with her. With Klaus helping her along, Tonkin said his “coldness has rubbed off on Hayley. She doesn’t really have any room for love right now.” Instead, Hayley’s main focus will be getting her daughter home and getting her pack to trust her again. “They really do resent her because now she’s technically part enemy,” Tonkin said. “She definitely has to prove she’s still their leader, but it definitely takes a while for them to be loyal towards her again.” Finally, expect more action scenes this season for the no-longer-pregnant Hayley.
Where we left off: Mikael killed Marcel’s vampire army, and Marcel helped fake Hope’s death to get back on Klaus’ good side. Klaus then compelled the memory of baby Hope from Marcel.
What’s next: Marcel is fully focused on rebuilding his vampire community away from the Original family. But this isn’t the first time Marcel has had to rebuild, and executive producer Michael Narducci teased that fans might finally get a flashback to the days after the Originals first fled New Orleans. “There’s some really interesting stuff to be played with the history of New Orleans and whose Marcel’s guys are and how he rebuilt the city. We have a really good idea for a Marcel flashback that’s going to tie in a lot of our past faces,” Narducci said. And in terms of new alliances, expect one between Marcel and Hayley.
Where we left off: Cami found Kieran’s closet of supernatural weapons.
What’s next: Cami, who still believes that baby Hope died, feels a bit of responsibility. If only she’d gotten involved earlier and helped to stop the Guerrera wolves, maybe the child would still be alive. And as a result of that, expect her to step in more willingly from here on out, and not just with her closet. As Narducci put it, “What better person to have on your show with all these disparate conflicted family members than the ultimate family therapist?” On that note, Cami will find herself a new friend in Hayley.
Where we left off: Davina brought Mikael back to life and then trapped him in the church attic.
What’s next: Davina is still looking for a way to unlink Klaus’ bloodline so that Mikael can kill him without him killing everyone Klaus has ever sired (especially Josh). But Davina will find herself mixed up with some new people with Kaleb shows some interest in her. And then there’s Esther, who Narducci said has Davina on her radar as a “potential asset.”
Where we left off: The Guerrera wolves had “won,” and Francesca was taking control of the quarter.
What’s next: “Francesca is without a doubt target number one and she knows it,” Plec teased. “She has not left her house in weeks. She’s surrounded at all times by about 15 body guards. What’s driving her crazy—and it’s all part of Klaus and Elijah’s master plan—is they have not made a move. So it’s actually driving her crazy, which is our strategist Originals at their best.”
Where we left off: He was brought back to life but then trapped by Davina.
What’s next: Sebastian Roché teased that we might get to see a softer side to Mikael this year, and that could have to do with the fact that he’ll eventually come face-to-face with his wife. But first, flashbacks! “We’re going to see an episode where we first understand what they loved about each other and where it all went wrong back in the day with their marriage and how they conspired in the name of protecting their children to turn their children into these supernatural beings and how that basically triggered terrible things for their marriage, for their family, and specifically for Klaus for the next thousand years,” Plec said. “So when those two come face-to-face, there’s going to be a lot to work out.”
Where we left off: Josh was the last survivor of Marcel’s vampire army.
What’s next: “It’s very interesting to me why Josh is sticking around New Orleans,” Narducci said. “He’s kind of Marcel’s last guy from that old community, and he’s trying to figure out, ‘What am I fighting for? What is this all about?’ Very quickly we’re going to realize, ‘What do we fight for if not a home, if not our friends, if not the people that we love?’” And yes, Josh has a “really great” romantic story coming up.
Where we left off: Klaus handed Hope off to Rebekah for safe-keeping.
What’s next: No, we have not seen the last of Rebekah (or the baby). “Claire [Holt] has expressed to us interest in appearing as often as she can,” Plec said. “Anytime she’s available, she wants to be considered for a story, and we constantly have story pitches for how to see her. We’re working on two episodes that, with luck, will involve her. She’s mentioned constantly and is very much a part of the storytelling universe, whether she’s on screen or not.”
As for the newcomers…
Let’s just say that Esther has a definite agenda in coming to town, and when she finally sees her husband in present day, Plec said, “There’s going to be some resentments, some hate, some long dusted-off nostalgia, and a deep-rooted concern, if not completely misplaced concern, for the fate of their children. And as we’ve seen, often for them, fixing the problem means eliminating it.”
As for which brother she brought back with her? You’ll find out in the first episode. And in regards to seeing Nathaniel Buzolic’s Kol in the season-two trailer, Plec said, “It is possible to see Nathaniel Buzolic again. In fact, we will see him again as early as the second episode in flashbacks. As to whether or not Kol as a character will exist in the present day world, I think we’ll have to see just how crafty Esther was when she was yanking people over from the Other Side.”
We know Aiden is a werewolf and the leader of a new pack. “He’s part of the group of wolves that have gathered over the time that’s passed to step up and say, ‘Please sir, may I have that moonlight ring,’ not realizing that in taking it, they’re basically making themselves completely controlled by and loyal to the witches,” Plec said. “So we’ll learn a little bit about his history and what pack he comes from and more about his character.”
“Kaleb is a little f—er,” Plec said. “He is mischievous, and he is duplicitous, and he is manipulative, and he is charming, and he is so incredibly cute, which means he’s basically bad news bears for all things female. And of course he sets his sights very early on on Davina, and she is the girl who spent part of her teenage years being locked in an attic [and] is very easily susceptible to his kinds of charm. But there’s also something kind of wonderful and honest about him where he just kind of tells it like it is whether you like it or not. So he’s a great character. We’re really excited about him. And Daniel Sharman is just so interesting and such a thrill to have in the mix.”
The Originals returns tonight at 8 p.m. on The CW.
Additional reporting by Natalie Abrams.