The Originals Series Finale Recap "When the Saints Go Marching In" #TheOriginals #Always&Forever

We've come to the end of another beautiful television journey, and it's time to say goodbye to characters we've loved for years now. The Originals delivers an incredibly cathartic finale that is literally about goodbyes and how to say them properly, for those lucky few who can see it coming and have that chance to do it right. 

Thank you to The CW, once again, for giving your showrunners that chance whenever possible. It's one of the things that makes me such a devoted fan. For real, I've been all-in on The CW since back when it was The WB, and one of the reasons I am so fierce in my fandom is that I trust this network to do right by its shows and fans; rarely do they unceremoniously cancel a show. The awareness of a final season is a gift to both creators and fans. 

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But remember how it all began? We started hearing about this big bad named Klaus on The Vampire Diaries, and he turned out to be irresistibly wicked and charming. But before we ever even laid eyes on him, there was Elijah. And wow! From the moment Daniel Gillies showed up, we were mesmerized, and the fan reaction was so intense that he went from a henchman who got staked in his only planned appearance to a more-immortal-than-vampire creature who couldn't die just from being staked after all! 

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What I'm saying is that the thrilling spin-off of TVD all started with Elijah and Klaus, and there's no other way it should have ended than with those two brothers. I've seen a lot of online griping about the subsequent scenes we didn't see, but come on; they're implied; we know they're going to happen, and we don't need actually to see them--the proper ending is to stay with Elijah and Klaus.

The series finale starts right where we left off the week before: Klaus has taken the Darkness into himself and is preparing to plunge the White Oak stake into his heart. As Elijah pleads with him not to do this, Hope returns from her brief wolfed outrun (remember, Crescent wolves are helpless to prevent their initial transformation but otherwise exercise complete control, so she must simply have chosen not to stay in wolf form for long). She sees what's going on, gets royally pissed at her father for what he was about to do, and magically snaps his neck.

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They bring Klaus home to New Orleans, and Hope immediately dives into finding a cure, but Freya won't play along or indulge this fantasy. She makes it very clear that there is no solution, and that Klaus is right that he has to die, so don't waste his final hours fighting this; use the time to find peace and say goodbye properly. To that end, she has an idea for a spell that will at least keep his mind clear for his last day on earth.

Of course, she'll need to consult with the ultimate Darkness expert, Vincent. She goes to him for help, and he misunderstands at first, thinking she's on the save-Klaus track as usual. When he realizes the true plan, he softens and is ready to support her. Freya notices he's packing, and he says he's bailing forever, getting out of NOLA once and for all after all that's happened. 

Since time is short, she jumps right into another topic she'd been planning to bring up at a later date: She and Keelin have agreed to have a family, and they want Vincent to father their child.

Y'all, this is beautiful, and I start getting weepy at the thought, because I love Vincent, and he totally deserves to be a father and to be part of the kind of fearlessly devoted family he's been peripheral to all these years. But he doesn't quite take it as well at the moment, because he's been through so much, lost so much... just like he wasn't ready to be there for her at the wedding; he's not ready to believe in a future worth being a part of now.

Kol is also not into the family devotion today. He basically says, So what if Klaus finally bites it, because I'll believe it when I see it, and anyway, I spent centuries in a coffin because of that immortal dick. But ultimately, he comes back, of course, because Always & Forever.

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Klaus' mind is clear, thanks to Freya's spell, but he's having trouble getting to peace with Hope. She's still raging at him for abandoning her, after all, she went through to get him back in her life, and leaving her now an orphan when she's still freshly mourning her mother, and disappearing when she'll need his guidance in so many things to come. 

But the one person who can soothe him right now shows up: Caroline. She plays back the voicemail Klaus left her back when he first returned to New Orleans in the backdoor pilot and reminded him that he promised to show her his city. Klaus is as touched as we are that she has saved that message all this time. (Btw, check out The CW app for a deleted scene with Klaus and Caroline!)

They wind up at a bar together, and they share a final kiss. He asks her how he is supposed to say goodbye to his daughter, and she demonstrates to him one version of a loving goodbye, making it clear this is their final moment. Then walking away with determined finality, resisting the urge to turn back, to waver in her commitment to the decision, to leave on any note besides the one she chose. I'm getting all weepy again.

Finally, Klaus and Hope have their moment, and he gets her to understand why this is the right choice. The whole family gathers for Klaus' funeral celebration, and it's sweet and sad, knowing this is the last time we'll see them all together. Marcel gets a private word in with Hope, essentially promising to guest-star on Legacies, and I'm so down with that!

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The end is here, and it's down to the original three, Klaus, Elijah, and Rebekah. They go together to a quiet area in the town square (considering it's nighttime during Mardi Gras, they must have compelled a city's worth of people just to clear this block!). 

Klaus gives Rebekah a final gift: He's asked Caroline to set aside the Cure for Rebekah decades from now, at the end of Damon and Elena's natural lifetime. Rebekah will finally have the human life and death she's dreamed of. She embraces him and goes away filled with hope, then finds Marcel and proposes marriage with the full understanding that her life is now finite. He accepts, and I'm so happy they're so happy.

Also, Vincent shows up to say he's changed his mind about having a family with Freya and Keelin. He says that Klaus' sacrifice inspired him to take a risk and believe in a future worth being an active part of.

And now it's just Klaus and Elijah. Elijah pulls out the White Oak stake and breaks it in two. Klaus impatiently points out the stake still has plenty of killing ability, so Elijah hasn't stopped this from happening. Elijah explains that he isn't trying to stop Klaus but to join him.

His entire, incredibly long life, Elijah's focus has been on Klaus. Klaus' humanity, Klaus' redemption. Sure, briefly there was that amnesiac dalliance with Antoinette, but other than that, Klaus has been his world. Now that Klaus has become a man who willingly goes to his own death in service of others, Elijah feels complete.

Klaus angrily accuses Elijah of making a big deal about the importance of goodbyes but then sneaking off to die without telling anyone, but of course, that's not what happened. Today was about Klaus, and Elijah got his goodbyes in quietly, on the sidelines. He made his peace with everyone, and they understood and supported his choice. I'm crying almost as hard right now as I was while actually watching it.

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Together, they share a final moment and look into each other's eyes as they plunge the stakes into each other's hearts. The end. The Originals, out.

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And yes, after this moment, we know Elijah and Hayley have their dance. And we know Cami is waiting to greet Klaus in the afterlife, too. But I don't need to see those moments to know they happened. Just as TVD ended with Damon and Stefan, it was right for The Originals to end with Klaus and Elijah. 

I'm grateful for the journey we got to go on with these characters. I'm in awe of the acting talent we were lucky enough to enjoy throughout. I'll be watching Legacies for sure, and I'll be looking for whatever Joseph Morgan, Daniel Gillies, and Yusuf Gatewood do next, among others. Thanks for a glorious ride, Julie Plec et al. 

10/10 Always & Forever