On The CW series The Originals, the aftermath of tragedy has bonded the Mikaelson family together against their enemies. The problem with that is that who their enemies and who their allies are seems to be ever-changing in the city of New Orleans, and things always seem to get worse before they get better.
After a recent screening of the latest episode at The CW offices, executive producer Michael Narducci was on hand to talk to a handful of press outlets about the theme of Season 3, losing characters, vampire transitions, Klaus’ (Joseph Morgan) influence, Hayley’s (Phoebe Tonkin) mental state, and whether we might see Detective Will (Jason Dohring) again. Be aware that there are major spoilers discussed.
Question: Why did you decide to kill Jackson?
MICHAEL NARDUCCI: Thematically, Season 3 is about how people who come into the orbit of this family are just as cursed as the family. We see that manifested in Lucien, Tristan and Aurora, and how messed up they are because of their interaction with the family. We see that in how Hayley is getting messed up by being close to this family. Cami is getting messed up by being close to this family. With what’s in store for Marcel, Davina and baby Hope, as part of the family, nobody is safe. Everybody went into the episode thinking, “Gosh, I hope Cami is not dead,” and not expecting that they had to worry about one of their other favorite characters not making it through the episode. Even in the midst of life, we are in the midst of death. God giveth and God taketh away. Those are all the kinds of emotional responses we want to get out of this. Yes, Cami managed to find a way to survive, but we lost somebody else. And it’s going to get worse before it gets better. That’s what we’re struggling to deal with, with the return of these ancient sired vampires.
Cami is a vampire now, which seems like a huge event that’s going to change her. So, what does that mean for her, going forward?
NARDUCCI: We’ve explored transitions on The Vampire Diaries and we’ve seen, on our show, that Josh was made into a vampire and reacted a certain way, and Hayley was made into a vampire and reacted a certain way. Hayley started to get closer to her wolf side and dealt with becoming a vampire by turning into a wolf and running into the woods, killing witches, and embracing that savage side of herself. And Cami is someone who has some dark impulses. We’ve talked about how maybe that’s what led her to be fascinated by psychology and to be fascinated by Klaus. Maybe those are some of the reasons why she stayed in New Orleans, to begin with. And now that that side of her is heightened by being a vampire, that’s something she’s going to want to explore. In every instance of somebody on any show becoming a vampire, you see that transition and they swing wildly one direction, and then they swing wildly black, and slowly there is an equilibrium that’s found. I don’t think that Cami’s final resting character place is going to appear right away. I think she’s in for a long transition into discovering who she’s going to be, as a vampire.
Will we see Cami go bad?
NARDUCCI: I think she’s going to explore her impulses and embrace the new-found power that she has. She can be very good, if we’re talking about morally. She’s still going to love the people that she loves. She might be more inclined to take what she wants because she can. She might be less inclined to be afraid of people who are stronger than her because now she’s going to have power. I think she’s always been crafty and cunning, and she will continue to be so. She knows that there are enemies out there, and she’s going to want to deal with them and not play any kind of victim card. She’ll be a little bit more physical and just relish in being a vampire.
At the end of the episode, Klaus seemed very taken with Cami’s change in attitude. What sort of influence will he be on her now?
NARDUCCI: I don’t think Klaus is genetically engineered to be a good influence. We’re talking about morally good. What’s good for Cami, as a vampire, might not be what you and I believe to be good, in terms of truth, justice and the American way. Sure, I think he will be a good influence on her, in terms of teaching her things like how to feed, how to compel and how to vamp. Is he going to be worried about her slaughtering her way through an orphanage? Maybe he will be because he knows that’s not who she is and maybe he doesn’t want her to have to deal with the decades of spiraling that would come from committing and action like that. But he’s also not going to say, “Now, Cami, I think you should be on a steady diet of rabbits and deer because that’s what’s morally correct.” That’s not who Klaus is. So, there’s a change that this path might bring out the worst in both of them. There’s also a chance it might not.
Hayley has vowed to make people pay for what happened to Jackson. What will her mental state be, going forward?
NARDUCCI: There is anger, pain, denial and acceptance in the grieving process that she has to go through. Phoebe [Tonkin] is a beautiful, amazing performer and she will show you that grief in upcoming episodes. She will show you the natural inclination of someone who’s lost someone close to them to rely on the strength of the bonds that she has with the living. We’ll see a burgeoning of friendship between her and Cami. We’ll see some really beautiful scenes between her and Elijah, in the aftermath of this, with him trying to comfort her and her wanting to accept that comfort, but knowing its wrong, given their past and given the feelings they have for one another. And then, ultimately, once the dust settles and she manages to be through with her grieving, there will be a pretty definitive and harsh response, on her part, to get back at those responsible for what happened. That’s a very empowered character that I like watching.
Have we really seen the last of Tristan?
NARDUCCI: That’s a good question. I cannot tell you that.
Should they not have just taken care of Tristan by killing him, so that they don’t have to worry about him coming back?
NARDUCCI: That’s a great question. There is a certain element of the Mikaelsons that is cruel and vindictive and enjoys the slow torment of lowering your enemy into the ocean, so that they can drown, again and again and again, for all time. They use that in the same way that Roman warlords would hang crucified bodies around the towns that they conquered, as a message to other enemies. Sometimes being very vindictive bites you in the ass. I love all of those things. It’s because the Mikaelsons are that way, and because Klaus is that way, that there is no chance for peace. Or maybe they’ll change. We’ll see.
Have we seen the last of Detective Will?
NARDUCCI: No. I think it’s going to be interesting to see, now that Cami has changed forever and is a vampire, what her perspective is on lowly little mortal, human police detectives, what that relationship might look like, and how that new change in perspective defines Cami.
How will Cami feel about Aurora now?
NARDUCCI: I think Cami is first going to have to come to terms with who and what she is, and then she’s going to have to decide. She will have an absolute, clear perspective on her feelings toward Aurora, going forward, and it’s not the kind of feeling that human Cami would have had.
The Originals airs on Friday nights on The CW.