The penultimate episode of The Originals is here, and I wept so many times, I barely stopped crying before I started again. Joseph Morgan has spent so much of his time as Klaus being menacing and/or charming, and he’s phenomenal at it, of course. But since Klaus became a father, he’s had the opportunity to play such a different side to the character, to live out profound love, desperation to protect, and the deep terror of failing one he loves so much. This week was another virtuoso performance from Joseph Morgan, and it made me sad again to lose this wonderful series but excited to see what he’ll do next.
The subtle backdoor pilot to Legacies brings us home to Mystic Falls, as Klaus enlists Elijah to accompany him and Hope on a last-ditch plan to save her life from the magic that is destroying her. His plan involves those wonderfully useful magic-siphoning witches of the Gemini line: Caroline and Alaric’s daughters. He asks Caroline to let Josie and Lizzie use their magic to drain the Darkness from Hope and transfer it to him, after which he’ll be horribly dangerous, so he volunteers to be sunk to the bottom of the ocean, encased in cement.
(Ever since I decided to name my daughter Caroline, in honor of the extraordinary Ms. Forbes, I get choked up every time she shows up on The Originals.)
Caroline is conflicted, nominally for her daughters, though she knows they can handle it and believes Klaus is willing to accept the Darkness once siphoned. But mostly, she’s pained at the thought of losing Klaus, once and for all. He was always her maybe-someday, and now he’s about to remove himself from the equation forever.
She agrees to ask the girls to help, and we get a cute little scene in which they attempt to negotiate for new cell phones, permission to attend the Solstice dance, and a change to the school’s dress code (shorter hemlines, ha!). Just as the girls have agreed to help (Caroline’s answers to their demands were, respectively, no, maybe, and yes), Alaric shows up and overreacts by attacking Klaus. (He’s always been jealous of Caroline and Klaus, poor guy.)
When Klaus awakens, he acknowledges Alaric’s concerns are valid, that the Darkness is far too powerful to hope to contain, even with an ocean. He admits that his true plan was to die, and he hands over the last White Oak Stake.
There’s another lovely scene with Caroline, who doesn’t want to let this happen but can’t stand in the way of Klaus being the good man she always thought he could be.
Meanwhile, Elijah has accepted the responsibility of keeping Hope busy all day while Klaus gets the plan in motion, despite both Elijah and Hope separately acknowledging that literally, anyone else in the world would be a better choice at this point. But Klaus’ instincts were good; this day is good for both of them. They’re able to restore their familial bond and find some peace with each other and themselves.
Along the way, we get a glimpse of Landon, the local human boy Hope likes, and some crappy bullies from Mystic Falls High who get a fun comeuppance from Hope for harassing her friend.
But after using her magic and confessing to Elijah how guilty she feels over Hayley’s death, Hope falls into a kind of mystical coma and travels to the Other Side.
Hayley forgives her and shows her that this place is not lonely or sad–Jackson is there!–and begs her to go back and keep living for a long and wonderful life, “with at least one epic love.” And speaking of epic love, she wants to send a message back to Elijah.
Hope awakens, and the look on Klaus’ face as she comes to is one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen. I’d like to give Joseph Morgan all the awards this year.
Hope delivers Hayley’s message to Elijah, and I hope that next week he will acknowledge that he understands the message, because it will confirm for Hope that her experience was true, not just a hallucination.
Rather than waiting around to be siphoned, Klaus takes Hope to the town square and lets her have a dance with Landon. Caroline asks how he can stand this, just watching, not trying to have a final profound conversation and impart all his wisdom. But Klaus is actually too wise to try it. He knows admitting they’ll never see each other again would be the worst thing he could do right now. Hope would fight it, would try to stop him, and their last moments together would be sad and fraught. Dammit, I’m crying all over again just typing about it.
It’s time to prepare for Hope’s first transition as well as the siphoning ritual. Elijah has figured out the plan and begged to take Klaus’ place, to die with the power so that Klaus can stay and raise his daughter. I’m so torn because I love them both so much! I hate losing either of these Original brothers.
Klaus takes Hope into the forest and coaches her lovingly through her first transition. He’s proud of her, and he encourages her to run wild and free. The magic is siphoned away as she becomes a beautiful white wolf. She takes off in a joyous lope, and he goes to accept the Darkness into himself.
Elijah arrives to try again to stop Klaus, but there’s a magical barrier around where the spell was performed. He can only watch helplessly as Klaus points the White Oak stake at his own heart… and I guess we’ll see in the season finale if there’s a final deus ex machina for our favorite Hybrid.