When The Originals was first pitched as a Vampire Diaries spin-off, it was to be the story of Klaus Mikaelson’s redemption, with Elijah being the most reluctant to give up on his brother. So when a promo for the season 2 finale showed Elijah uttering the line, “We’re beyond redemption,” it seemed that the Mikaelsons had lost their way.
Yet when fans watched the season 2 finale, that same line was missing. For Daniel Gillies, cutting the scene meant cutting one of his favorite moments of the series.
“That scene was to me one of the most enlightening scenes about the people [and] the show,” Gillies told EW.
The scene, which Gillies acknowledged was cut for time, was re-worked by Originals writer Diane Ademu-John and Gillies himself, and featured an exchange between Elijah and his recently returned mother, Esther. “It was four or five lines,” Gillies said. “It was very heavily written in the beginning, and then myself and the very, very talented Diane Ademu-John decided that we should pair it down. So together we created this very simplified version of the scene, this exchange between the mother and [Elijah] before NiKlaus throws open the doors and says ‘Mother!’ It was beautiful.”
As far as what happened in the scene, Gillies didn’t reveal exact lines, but he did give a general idea of the conversation. “[Esther] said, ‘I can see what you’re doing. You’re becoming more and more like your brother. [Elijah] then all but threatens her, and she comes back with, ‘I know you’re lost and I’ve done my best for all of you but your salvation can’t come.'”
In the original script, Elijah then argued with his mother, but when it came time to shoot, Gillies proposed that Elijah actually agree with his mother. “I wanted to say, ‘You’re quite right, Mother. I couldn’t agree with you more. We’re beyond redemption,'” Gillies said.
“[It’s the] sad and lingering understanding that, ‘You’re trying to wash us clean, but I know that we’re doomed as well. Do you think that I don’t live with that every moment that I’m around?’ That was special to me,” he said.
For Gillies, losing that scene in the finale meant losing the most telling scene he’d ever done as Elijah Mikaelson—and one of the show’s best. “It was certainly one of my favorite moments,” he said.