Episode Grade: 10
Vincent's plan is based on the original spell that contained the Hollow. Centuries ago, her essence was trapped in four of her own bones, which were then separated geographically. So, he will now draw her out of Hope, split her into four pieces, and place those pieces in powerful containers that are essentially indestructible: the Original vampires.
From the moment the spell is complete, the Originals must be separated, lest the Hollow find some way to reconnect the parts of herself. After a millennium of togetherness, give or take various periods of being daggered, the siblings must say goodbye once and for all. It's the end of "always and forever."
The Hollow/Hope resurrects her dead acolyte, that dick, Dominic. The two of them lead a mob of followers through the French Quarter, terrorizing the rest of the witch community to join them. Along the way, they run into Hayley, and she gets taken down easily.
When Hayley awakens, she's with Vincent, who fills her in on the plan...including the part he hadn't told everyone else. Not only can they never see each other again, but they must also be kept far from Hope (damn, that name resonates in all kinds of sentences) because the Hollow's power within them will be a threat to Hope. He tells Hayley to pack her bags and be ready to run off with her daughter as soon as the spell is done.
Back at the compound, the team is preparing to take the fight to the Hollow. Elijah tries to talk to Hayley, and she seems to be pretty cold to him still, but this time I'll cut her a break since her coldness might be at least partially self-preservation at the moment. She knows she'll have to give him up forever, and she can't afford to let him know that yet.
Marcel, Josh, and Sofya are also making plans to deal with the Hollow. Josh doesn't pass up a chance to remind Sofya that Dominic, the dick acolyte, was her old buddy. He also suggests to Marcel that the best plan for dealing with unstoppable evil might be to team up with the immortal family that is also trying to take on that evil. Thank you, Josh, for talking sense!
We cut to Marcel offering himself as a servant to the Hollow, even bowing before her...but we know this isn't legit. Sure enough, he blows the sleepytime dust in her face, and Sofya rips Dominic's heart out (this is the most I have ever liked Sofya). Klaus saunters in to reveal the dark magical object that is being used to trap the Hollow's followers in the church, and then Elijah sets the place on fire because he's done with their nonsense! It's pretty awesome.
Hope is sleeping in her own bed, bound with the magical manacles. Klaus speaks to her softly, and it's incredibly touching. Hayley feels the same way about it, and she realizes she can't keep this truth from him. She knows he'll do the spell anyway because he would do anything for Hope...even give up being part of her life.
Because Klaus is aware of the many losses he is about to suffer, and the magical coma prevents him from sharing this final time with his daughter, he is feeling contemplative. He seeks out his surrogate son, Marcel. He admits to his every failing as a father. He admits that he drove Marcel and Rebekah apart to make sure they both loved him most of all because he feared ever being second best in their hearts. It's a lovely scene, and Joseph Morgan is so wonderful throughout this episode, baring Klaus' heart in a series of painful farewells.
But there's a hitch still with the spell: Vincent needs four Originals, and Kol isn't answering his phone. Freya goes to Keelin and begs her to understand that if Kol doesn't come back in time, she has no choice but to become a vampire and take his place in the spell. Keelin is wonderfully supportive, and she even prepares the injection of the drug that will stop Freya's heart and trigger the transition.
Freya has drunk a glass of vampire blood and is about to take the shot when Kol shows up! Way to keep everyone hanging, Kol. Good to see you.
It's time to do the spell, and the Originals are clearly failing to process the reality that they'll part ways in mere moments. Klaus takes Elijah aside and begs him to accept the separation. Elijah was always the heart of the family, the one who truly embodied the pledge of always and forever. He has always made Klaus' redemption his own purpose in life. Klaus acknowledges that without Elijah and without Hope (there's that name again!), he is likely to sink to lows Elijah would not be able to withstand. For Hope's sake, he begs Elijah to leave him to it.
They do the spell. It works. It's over so quickly. They all lock eyes and flee in sorrow, each taking a different direction.
Elijah doesn't go far, at least not yet. He asks Vincent and Marcel to help him keep his promise to stay away. Klaus was right; it's hardest for Elijah to accept this loss. He begs Marcel to compel him (with a magical assist from Vincent).
In a heartbreaking sequence of memories being stripped away (not unlike Alaric wiping Damon from Elena's mind), Marcel compels Elijah to forget his family, his vow to them, his love for them. Let it all go, leave it behind, live your own life.
And then we skip ahead to check in on our friends at some unspecified point in the not-too-distant future. Rebekah's in New York City, and Marcel surprises her with a visit. She gives him attitude at first, but he points out that they are free. No one will ever tell them they can't be together. No one will ever insist that either of them choose another loyalty over their love. She smiles, and they kiss.
Kol is in San Francisco. He's got that massive diamond that used to be a magical object, but now he's handing it over to a jeweler to cut it down and make a set of gifts for Davina, including an engagement ring. I always love seeing Kol happy.
Hayley and Hope have come to Alaric's school in Virginia. This is a great choice, and I'm always happy to see Alaric again.
In France, Elijah is playing piano in a little bar. He looks thoroughly satisfied with his work, engaged as an artist. It's wonderful to see him without the weight of the world. Someone tucks a hundred-dollar bill into his tip jar, and he looks up, surprised. It's Klaus, and it's obvious that Elijah doesn't recognize him. He nods his thanks for the generous tip, then turns away. Klaus smiles beautifully, genuinely happy for his brother, and I wipe away a tear.
So that's the end of the season...I hate to say it, but I almost wish it had been the series finale. Not that I don't love the show, obviously, but right now, everyone is happy. Everyone is in a good place. To continue the story would require ruining the happiness of some or all of them. I guess I'm a sucker for a happy ending, and this feels like the best-case scenario in so many ways. So, see you next year, Mikaelsons, when your world will be shaken by tragedy, I expect.