We start with Keelin moving the wedding all the way up from "some time" to today! This will set into motion a truly irritating on/off, will they/won't they subplot for the episode. To summarize, Freya has never admitted to Keelin that she's unsure about having kids, and she kind of hoped they could be happily engaged for a while so she wouldn't have to deal with it, and hey, maybe eventually, Keelin would get over wanting that? But whatever, Freya flat-out tells Keelin she will NEVER want kids, and they break up. Then Freya begs for another chance and says she MIGHT consider having kids, and they get back together. Keelin makes an excellent point along the way about how she'd always been averse to passing on her werewolf gene... until she fell in love, that is, and like, what about adoption, you two? Anyway, I have zero patience for this utterly manufactured conflict that pads the runtime of an episode in the final season of one of my favorite shows...have kids, don't have kids, I couldn't care less, but Freya's wedding day confessions and extreme declarations are a bit over the top.
But that's the lame part of the episode. Let's move on to what worked.
Hope's edgy about her first transition, nervous but also excited because, after the incredible, bone-crunching pain, there's the wolfy freedom she's heard about all her life. Right now, it sounds like an escape from being herself, and she's fine with that. The Darkness is eating her up.
Klaus is terrified of what's happening to her, so he seeks out the advice of a powerful witch who's neither mourning his lost love (Vincent) nor prepping for a wedding (Freya)...he goes to Davina! Good to see her again, looking stunning as ever. She and Kol are heading to NOLA for the wedding anyway, so she meets up with Hope for a heart-to-heart...and surreptitiously collects a vial of Hope's tears to use for a spell.
The spell is a complete disaster, unfortunately, and Davina is forced to deliver the bad news to Klaus (who thankfully at this point in his life has overcome the impulse always to kill the messenger). The Darkness is consuming Hope utterly, and she will not survive it.
Klaus can't bring himself to burden Hope with this death sentence on top of everything else, so he carries the pain of the knowledge for her. Joseph Morgan's performance in this episode is truly exceptional. The moments of loving agony as he smiles with her in her happiness, knowing what hangs over her, swallowing his own pain. His eyes shine far too brightly with the lie of it, but only someone in the know would see that. It's a beautiful performance and honestly heartbreaking.
Speaking of heartbreak, we finally get the Hayley and Elijah story we've been waiting for. Just as Klaus and Rebecca visited Elijah during his years as a piano man, Hayley once did as well.
Introducing herself as Andrea, she spun a story about randomly choosing Manosque on a map in the depth of her pain after a relationship she couldn't get over. She and Elijah instantly sparked, of course, and they spent a few lovely hours together, talking, even dancing.
This is the secret pain Elijah finally admits to Klaus: When he'd burst into that farmhouse and seen Hayley, she hadn't been a complete stranger to him. He had no memories of who she truly had been to him, of course, but he recognized her from that one evening in France, and under the circumstances, he assumed that meant she was an agent of the Mikaelsons, sent to spy on him. It's just another layer in the complex prison of self-loathing he's building for himself.
But he finds a letter Hayley had written and never sent, and in it, she says a proper goodbye, tells him their evening together gave her what she needed to let go. Somehow, that helps him to forgive himself.
The wedding is upon us, and the guest list is quite small...Vincent's in too much pain after Ivy's death to be best man when Freya asks him, and Elijah initially declines to walk Freya down the aisle, because of his own pain. But in the end, Elijah at least gets over himself and shows up, and he and Klaus share the honor of giving Freya away.
Rebekah and Marcel have a nice moment together, and Davina convinces Marcel not to murder his way out of his latest conundrum: Declan is now completely clued in, and he wants to revive the human faction's authority in New Orleans. He's on vervain, so Marcel can't compel him. Instead, swayed by Davina, Marcel offers to work with him and educate him, help him become the leader the human faction needs. It's a nice moment, and like Hope's releasing Roman last week, it demonstrates real growth on the part of the character.
Hope has had a wonderful time at the wedding, aided by several glasses of champagne. Klaus puts her to bed, that too-bright smile burning tears in his eyes, and then he and Elijah finally embrace again, reunited as a family once and for all.