How long is “always and forever”? On THE ORIGINALS, the Mikaelson family has lasted over a thousand years. On our television screens, this family has lasted eight years (if you count their time on THE VAMPIRE DIARIES). But, like everything in life, this, too, had to come to an end.
The series finale of THE ORIGINALS picked up at the end of the penultimate episode, with Klaus having taken the power of the Hollow into himself and preparing to commit suicide. Elijah begs his brother to put down the stake and Hope shows up moments later, shocked at what she’s seeing. Unaware that Klaus had planned to kill himself, Hope is upset that Klaus tricked her. Before he can go through with his death, she magically knocks him out. When we next seen Klaus, he’s chained up beneath their New Orleans compound and Kol, Rebekah and Elijah are debating what to do. Kol wants to leave, insisting he is tired of Klaus’ games. Meanwhile, Hope is trying to work with Freya to find a solution. And the situation is desperate, because Freya thinks they need to find an answer that very day to prevent Klaus from giving in to the Hollow’s dark magic. Back in the dungeon, hallucinations of Mikael and Cami appear to Klaus. Mikael is taunting Klaus to discipline or kill Hope for what she’s done to him, while Cami is telling Klaus to run.
On the road, Rebekah manages to stop Kol on his drive out of town, while Hope has realized that Klaus escaped. She takes to the streets during Mardi Gras to try and find him (see clip below), while Marcel advises caution, but she’s desperate not to become an orphan at 15 years old. We next seek Klaus in the French Quarter, still fighting against the Mikael hallucination. When Hope finds him, Klaus is struggling not to kill her…at least until Elijah shows up and incapacitates him.
Soon after Vincent is trying to convince Freya they have no easy answers in this situation. He also tells her that he’s permanently leaving New Orleans. She surprises him with the news that she and her wife want him to be the father to the child they wanted to have, while he distracts her by finding the spells she had been searching for. Out on the road, Kol is still trying to leave. “If this is Klaus’ way of finally bitting the big one, we should be celebrating,” he insists, while Rebekah says that all of this shows that Klaus is growing. Kol isn’t convinced.
Back at the compound, Klaus awakens to find out that Freya channelled some of the dark energy into Elijah so that Klaus could be lucid in his final moments. Elijah insists that his brother owes it to his daughter to say goodbye, but Klaus wants to do all of this alone. “Please, this last time, let me be,” Klaus begs his brother. Elijah silently agrees.
Enter Caroline Forbes, who has come to New Orleans to say goodbye. “I am here to collect a debt,” she says, before reminding him that he once promised to show her the city. Back inside the house, Vincent admits to Freya that he’s terrified about bringing a child into the world, that he doesn’t want to “curse” another generation with their problems. In another room, Rebekah is lamenting the state of her family with Marcel. Thanks to her previous conversation with Kol, she realizes that “happiness is a choice” and gives in to her own desire for happiness and kisses Marcel. Now in a bar, Caroline begs Klaus to say goodbye to Hope so he can give her closure. “If you leave Hope with questions and pain and anger, you’ll haunt her, and I don’t think that’s your endgame,” Caroline explains. But Klaus….he admits he doesn’t know how to say goodbye. As she comforts him, the two of them kiss and then she walks away (you can watch a deleted scene from the finale — presumably meant to air before the bar scene — below).
At the compound, Hope is upset her father left her, while Elijah tries to insist that she is Klaus’ everything. Enter Klaus, who requests a moment alone with his daughter. When she tells him this isn’t right, he replies that he’s doing this because he loves her. He says she made him feel something he never thought was possible — unconditional love. “You’re my heart,” he says as he hugs her. Elsewhere, Rebekah and Marcel are cuddling and reminiscing about Klaus’ past antics. They’re soon joined by Elijah, Freya and Keelin. Soon the group is drinking and laughing about Klaus. Enter Kol, who has returned to the fold with a bottle of bourbon. He admits Rebekah was right and they should honor Klaus’ sacrifice. Said brother soon joins them all. “If this is to be my funeral, let’s get on with it,” Klaus says before the family sits down to one last meal full of laughter.
Marcel tells Hope he’ll never abandon her, while Rebekah initiates a wish-burning ceremony. But Elijah hangs on to the wish he wrote, while Klaus tells his family that they mean everything to him. He tells the others that he believes that they will all come together time and again, even after he is gone. This is particularly important for Hope, who will continue to be cared for. Elijah reiterates that they are all bound together forever and Klaus says this won’t be the end of the Mikaelsons. “Always and forever,” they all intone. Then Klaus heads off for a private chat with Hope, while Elijah tells the others that there is “something else we need to discuss.”
Now outside, Elijah, Klaus and Rekebah head back to a bench where they once discussed the future of their family years before. Klaus tells Rebekah he should never have gotten in the way of her happiness and so he’s asked Caroline to get the cure for his sister and gives her the choice of becoming human if she no longer wants to be a vampire. She gratefully hugs both of her brothers and walks away. With only the two of them left behind, Elijah admits that he has come here to die by Klaus’ side. “This is my heart’s desire,” Elijah says when Klaus begs him not to do this. Elijah insists that their choices were taken from them by their parents and now he’s taking back the choice for them. “The purpose of my life has always been your redemption,” Elijah insists to Klaus. Klaus cannot believe that he is truly redeemed, but Elijah says he is. Elijah also admits he had told their family back at the compound about his plan.
We flash to Hope then, who is painting a portrait of her family as Hayley’s spirit looks on fondly. Freya and Keelin are happy when Vincent returns and tells them he is willing to be their child’s father, while Marcel tells the city’s other vampires that they are leaving town. Rebekah joins him, telling him she’s going to take the cure and live as a human. Then she proposes to him, pulling out that “yes” envelope from the season premiere. “I do,” he says to her happily, as the camera pans to photos on the wall of the bar of the characters who have died.
Elijah hands his brother one half of the white oak stake. “What if there’s nothing after this? No peace, just darkness,” Klaus wonders. “We face it together,” Elijah replies. “As always.”
“I don’t deserve the love you’ve given me, brother, but I am so grateful,” Klaus tells Elijah, who says “It’s been a glorious ride,” in response. The two men face one another and stab each other at the same time, still clutching each others’ shoulders. Moments later, they turn to ash as the title card appears.
And, thus, the story of Klaus and Elijah Mikaelson has come to an end. Hope will live on in LEGACIES, the new spin-off series coming to The CW on October 25 (watch a preview). We’ll have to wait and see if any of the remaining Mikaelson siblings or their loved ones make an appearance on the new series.