December 1914: Carolers are singing outside an old New Orleans mansion that belonged to one Dowager Fauline before her recent death. Kol breaks in with two women, Mary-Alice Claire and Astrid Malchance. They find the paragon diamond, the one thing Kol needs to create a dagger that will put Klaus down. But as he’s leaving the mansion, Klaus and Marcel catch him. They’ve been talking to the mayor, who’s been worried about a recent string of thefts in the Quarter. They followed their main suspect, and lo and behold, he’s just stolen the dowager’s diamond.
Kol reluctantly gives it to his brother as a witch approaches, chanting something. She turns the doll’s head Mary-Alice placed on a fence post so that it’s facing the mansion. Mary-Alice and Astrid become trapped inside. Klaus tells Kol that they’ll be there forever.
Present: Rebekah decorates her and Hope’s new hideout (which we’ll later learn is somewhere in Arkansas) for Christmas while Elijah keeps an eye on the baby and tries to act like everything is normal and he didn’t slaughter a diner full of people. He objects to having his neck snapped, but his sister argues that she had to get him out of there. He admits that he’s not sure what happened at the diner. He just knows he needs to keep Hope safe.
At the Compound, Kol and Davina do a spell together to keep Esther from messing with Cami any further. Marcel doesn’t think Kol is taking the situation seriously enough, since he’s flirting with Davina, so he threatens to put Kol in a coffin like Finn. Kol argues that he has time to flirt because the spell won’t work right away. Marcel reminds him that Cami doesn’t have time. Kol points out that they know Esther’s plan is to put Rebekah in Cami’s body, and since Rebekah isn’t around, nothing’s going to happen anytime soon. But he gets why Marcel is nervous – his old ex is about to take over his new ex’s body.
Cami stops Marcel from doing anything to Kol since she needs Kol’s help to stay alive. Davina doesn’t get why Kol and Marcel are always at each other’s throats. Kol says he’s sick of being the odd man out in his own family. Klaus, Elijah, and Rebekah were always a trio, icing him out, but they made room for Marcel. He tells Davina that the diamond he got from the Claire tomb is actually a smaller version of the original, which Klaus took back in 1914. Davina suggests that they steal it back. At the very least, they might find other interesting stuff when they snoop around Klaus’ house.
Mikael has been busying himself killing Esther’s werewolves, which makes it pretty easy for her to find him and talk to him for the first time in centuries. They claim they missed each other, but Mikael isn’t so sure she’s telling the truth, since she brought Ansel back from the Other Side but not Mikael. He threatens to kill every wolf he sees until he gets to Ansel. Esther tells him Klaus already killed him. Maybe he’s more like Mikael than anyone thinks.
Mikael is ready to lash out at the sound of Klaus’ name, which doesn’t surprise Esther. She dares him to hit her, as he’s probably been wanting to do for 1,000 years. When he tries, she disappears. She’s not actually there – she’s using astral projection to appear to him. She wants to have a conversation about their children.
Rebekah gives Elijah permission to hold Hope since she knows he’ll only act out to protect her. Rebekah’s putting together the makings of a bonfire, a Mikaelson family tradition. She wants to take advantage of the fact that the siblings will soon all be together. (Well, her, Elijah, and Klaus. They don’t care about Finn or Kol.) (No one cares about Finn.) Elijah quips that it’s because they’re taking part in another family tradition, fleeing their parents. He wonders why their family always has to be at war. Rebekah’s time away has helped her see that the siblings aren’t that bad after all – they’re not the monsters Mikael and Esther think they are.
Klaus and Hayley arrive, and as soon as the car stops, Hayley races to the house. She pauses before approaching Hope, and Elijah hands her over so Hayley can hold her daughter for the first time in months. Hayley then passes her off to Klaus. Everyone’s all smiles, almost as if this is a regular happy family.
As Rebekah continues arranging the bonfire, Klaus fills her in on Dahlia’s firstborn curse and what really happened to Freya. Elijah isn’t sure the story’s true, considering it came from Esther and Finn. Rebekah says it’s understandable that Finn hates them – he lost the only sibling who actually liked him. Hayley asks if Dahlia is an imminent threat, but Elijah’s sure that she’s been dead for a long time, since this all happened 1,000 years ago. Hayley notes that Esther’s alive all these years later. Klaus says it’s a moot point since no one will find Hope.
He tells Rebekah they have enough wood for the bonfire, but she says they’re still missing one important ingredient. She explains to Hayley that their tradition is to write down their wishes and then burn them for luck. That’s the part Kol liked the most when they were kids. Really, he enjoyed setting something on fire? I never would have guessed! Klaus wants to skip that part of the bonfire, but Hayley insists that they include it as part of Hope’s first bonfire season.
Marcel finds Cami hanging out at Finn’s coffin, which she thinks is a fitting spot for what could be her last hours in control of her body. Finn is the only person who could keep her from being possessed. She wants to talk to him, but of course Marcel refuses to let her. Cami notes that she’s just hours away from having someone else take charge of her body, so Marcel would be wise not to try to control her before then.
Hayley bugs Klaus to write down some wishes, playing the guilt card by reminding him that she went through labor, delivery, and literal death to produce his only child. “I wish you would tell Elijah you’re marrying your werewolf suitor, at which point I will pour him a scotch and congratulate him on the bullet he dodged,” Klaus says as he writes. Klaus 1, Hayley 0.
Marcel has agreed to let Cami talk to Finn, but only if she lets him stick around for protection. Cami knows Finn won’t talk if Marcel’s there, and she doubts he’s strong enough to pose much of a threat (plus those anti-magic manacles will keep him from doing anything to her). Marcel brings him out of the coffin and lets Cami give him grilled cheese. Finn warns that compassion is her fatal flaw and will be her downfall. “Well, that got dark fast,” she quips. He tells her he won’t fall for her beauty or empathy. Yeah, I don’t think she has empathy for you, my man.
She tells him she would appeal to his morals but those don’t seem to be intact right now. Finn points out that she was sleeping with one vampire while half in love with another: “Your morality is a moving target. Mine is not.” He knows Cami believes people can change. She, like Elijah and Esther, thinks Klaus can be redeemed. Finn believes in right and wrong, good and evil. Cami thinks things are only that black and white in comic books. Finn insists that he’s trying to help her. If she doesn’t believe him, that’s on her. When he’s free, he’ll eradicate all vampires in the Quarter, and he won’t show mercy to any of their allies, even Cami. She decides she’s done with the conversation and tells Marcel to put Finn back in his coffin.
Elijah has flashbacks about his dreams about Hayley as Tatia and being stabbed by his younger self. Rebekah catches him trying to keep himself calm and asks what he sees when he’s remembering. He tells her he sees things he’s done and who he was. He can’t turn them off. He guesses it’s Esther’s attempt to convince him to get a mortal body and start over. Rebekah notes that if he took the deal and started a family, his first child would fall under Dahlia’s curse. Elijah replies that it wouldn’t apply if he weren’t in the Mikaelson bloodline anymore.
Rebekah says it’s a nice thing to fantasize about, but obviously Elijah can’t give in to it. He thinks that if he accepted Esther’s offer, she might leave them alone. Maybe she just wants one victory. Rebekah says she can find it somewhere else. Besides, she’ll never get Klaus, Elijah, and Rebekah to all agree to the deal. Elijah thinks having Kol, Finn, and Elijah would be enough for her.
While searching the Compound for the diamond, Davina finds an old picture of Kol, Rebekah, Elijah, Klaus, and Marcel. She asks about Kol’s relationship with his sister, but he says there wasn’t much of one – she was always Elijah and Klaus’ buddy. One time, though, she did something nice for Kol.
1914: Rebekah catches Kol looking for the diamond at the Compound, where the Mikaelsons are hosting a Christmas party. She threatens to tell Klaus, but Kol tempts her to keep quiet by offering the chance to dagger Klaus. She would get to be with Marcel if they pulled it off. Rebekah agrees not to say anything.
Present: Klaus lights the bonfire as Rebekah announces that she found a Polaroid camera. Klaus is hilariously annoyed that she keeps adding elements to the family reunion. Rebekah offers him the camera, telling him to cram all of them into a selfie. “Klaus is the virtuoso of cramming his siblings into confined spaces,” Elijah says. Ooh, that burn is hotter than the bonfire! Klaus takes the picture and Rebekah says she wishes they could always be together and happy like this.
Klaus notes that they’ll have to burn the picture so no one will ever see it. The mood is now much less cheerful, and Rebekah doesn’t appreciate it. She thinks they’ve earned some happiness, and she doesn’t want to let go of it just yet. She announces that she’ll accept Esther’s deal. Then she’ll take Esther down with her.
The Mikaelsons discuss the idea further while Hayley spends some time alone with Hope. Rebekah thinks it should be easy enough to lure Esther out with the hope of winning over Rebekah, then kill her while she’s doing the spell to put her into another body. Klaus notes that she’ll just jump into another body, something they don’t know how to prevent. Rebekah thinks that with Davina and Kol on their side, they can defeat Esther. Elijah disagrees. Plus, if they screw up, Rebekah will be stuck in a mortal body. She’s okay with that, and she points out that Elijah was willing to take the risk, too. Klaus thinks Rebekah’s too willing to take the risk because if they lose, she gets to be mortal again.
Hope is also still an issue, and Rebekah will need to choose an anonymous person to jump into so Esther will never find her. Elijah doesn’t like the idea of her going off on her own. Rebekah says they can put her back in her old body after she’s gotten everything she wants out of a normal life. Elijah’s hesitant to trust Kol, but Rebekah thinks they can if they find the right leverage.
Marcel relays a message from them to Kol, who’s happy to find a new body for Rebekah in exchange for the diamond Klaus took from him in 1914. Marcel wants to know why, and Kol decides to be honest about needing it for a weapon against Klaus. He swears he’d only use it for self-defense and as a last resort. He thinks it’s a fair deal.
Klaus does, too, so he and Rebekah head out to meet Kol. She asks him to be careful with her body if their plan fails; she might miss it. Klaus promises to pull her out if things start going badly. They’ll just have to hurry to take Esther out if she tries to jump into another body. Rebekah smiles over the fact that she and Klaus are on the same side: “It must be Christmas.”
Back at the hideout, Hayley and Elijah are left alone after Hope goes to bed. Hayley shares her bonfire wish, which is actually a hope that her and Jackson’s plan will work out. She hesitantly tells Elijah that to strengthen the werewolves, she and Jackson are going to get married. She promises that she doesn’t love Jackson and this isn’t about him. But she can’t be involved with Elijah if she moves forward with this plan.
Instead of trying to talk her out of it or letting her leave to avoid an awkward conversation, Elijah kisses her and tells her to marry Jackson. The only way to make the Quarter safe for Hope is for each faction to unify. (For the record, Elijah isn’t too worried about the witches – he expects that Davina will eventually lead them, and she won’t be a threat to Hope.) He wants Hayley to do whatever she needs to bring her daughter home. That’s his bonfire wish. They make out again, then start tearing off each other’s clothes.
Kol tells Marcel, Davina, and Cami that he’s found a host body for Rebekah. She was one of Marcel’s vampire potentials, a woman named Angelica, whom he turned down because she was “too lost.” She has no idea what the group has in store for her, since Kol thinks it’s better for her to stay in the dark. Marcel is optimistic that they won’t need her anyway, but Kol knows better than to believe that Esther won’t force them to use everything available to them.
He asks Marcel to let him go to the Lycée so he can get access to an hourglass Esther has there. He can only go back there if he brings along the thing Esther sent him to get – the indestructible stake. Marcel and Davina object, but Kol says it’s just to make Esther think it won’t fall into the wrong hands. Klaus can have it back as soon as Esther’s gone. Marcel doesn’t believe that, and he announces that the deal is off. But Klaus has just arrived, and he’s willing to trust Kol as long as he promises he’s working for the good of the group.
Klaus hands over the stake and Kol takes it to Esther at the Lycée. He pretends he’s been out of touch because he’s been so deep undercover as her spy. Esther tells him that Klaus and Elijah got their hands on Finn, but she’ll help him out. She’s currently searching for Rebekah, who shows up just then. “I would know that smirk anywhere,” she greets her brother. She tells Esther she’s there to discuss her deal.
Davina and Marcel explain to Cami that Kol is going to link the sand in Esther’s hourglass to the sand in one at the Compound so they mirror each other. When it runs out, Esther will try to put Rebekah in Cami’s body. Davina will redirect the spell and basically “jam the signal” so the spell won’t work. Then they can kill Esther. Cami’s still shaky on trusting Kol, but Marcel thinks that he’ll come through since he gave his word.
Rebekah asks for some wine and a sales pitch before she accepts Esther’s deal. Esther knows that attention and control make Klaus happy, while for Elijah it’s music and order. Rebekah is the only one “capable of unfettered joy.” Esther knows she’s happiest when she’s with humans. Kol asks about himself, and Esther says he’s happiest when he’s following orders. Rebekah points out all she’d be giving up if she became mortal again. Esther thinks it’s a simple decision – she can have another thousand years without getting what she wants or a handful of years with it. When she puts it like that, Rebekah can’t turn the offer down (or at least she can’t pretend to). They toast with their wine.
Esther turns over the hourglass, and Kol does his thing to link it to the one at the Compound. The two of them and Rebekah head to the City of the Dead for the spell. Rebekah balks when she sees the indestructible stake, which Esther says she’ll use to destroy Rebekah’s vampire body. She’ll be able to right two wrongs – bringing evil into the world and subjecting her children to it. Rebekah demands that she stop the spell but Esther says it’s already done. It was locked in as soon as she turned over the hourglass.
Davina waits for the sand to run out so she can jam Esther’s spell. Rebekah tries to talk Esther out of seeing this through, but Esther doesn’t see a reason to. She’s chosen a wonderful new body for her daughter. Klaus arrives and orders Esther to stop the spell. He thinks Kol betrayed the group. Kol swears that he didn’t know that Esther would pull this. Esther says she’s glad that the brothers have made up, and this explains what Kol was up to while he was away.
Klaus offers himself in Rebekah’s place, but Esther says his deadline for taking the offer has already passed. Instead, she made a deal with Mikael. He wants the chance to kill Klaus. Esther thought about having Kol take the indestructible stake to his father, but she knows she can’t trust him anymore. Rebekah tells Klaus she’ll see this through. “So you’re feeling murderous again,” Esther notes. She announces that she’s chosen another body for herself already. Kol sees that the sand is almost gone, which means they’re running out of time.
Klaus is ready, though – he springs forward and stabs Esther in the neck. At the Compound, Davina starts the jamming spell. Cami and Rebekah both convulse and pass out. Klaus takes Rebekah to the Compound as Marcel discovers that Finn has escaped his coffin. Klaus guesses Mikael let him out.
Cami wakes up and sets Klaus, Marcel, and Davina at ease by confirming that she’s still herself. Rebekah, however, doesn’t wake up. Marcel hopes that at least Esther’s dead. Klaus tells him that he and Rebekah took “extra precautions” and Esther is where she needs to be.
Davina and Kol meet up for a walk and he tells her the rest of the story from 1914.
1914: Rebekah chats with a woman Kol brought with him to the party. She warns that she shouldn’t socialize with him and that the woman can do better. The woman clarifies that she’s not there as Kol’s date. Rebekah joins Marcel, Klaus, Elijah, and Kol on the stairs to take the picture Davina found.
Klaus invites the guests to join them for their bonfire tradition. He appreciates having family and friends he can trust in a time when “treachery runs deep.” As he toasts to Rebekah, Kol gets jumpy. He goes upstairs but Elijah and Klaus zoom up to keep him from leaving the party. They hold him on a balcony overlooking the courtyard, and Klaus daggers his brother in front of everyone. Rebekah smiles to herself.
Present: Kol tells Davina he’s owed Rebekah for that for 100 years. Today he got his revenge. He promises he won’t hurt his sister, but he also didn’t prep Angelica for her. He explains that Klaus punished Mary-Alice and Astrid for helping him steal the diamond. In the 100 years since they were locked inside the inescapable Fauline mansion, other “odd birds of the witchy variety” have joined them. Rebekah is now inside one of them. But on the plus side, Kol has the diamond, and Klaus will be distracted looking for Rebekah, which will allow Kol and Davina to work on the dagger. Satisfied that Rebekah will be okay, Davina accepts the change in plans. Kol’s having his best day in 200 years, and he’s made a wish for Davina. He kisses her and she happily kisses him back.
Klaus takes a bag of blood to Esther, who’s in a tomb in the City of the Dead. He tells her he followed his parents’ example. He knows she feels weird right now – it’s because she’s in transition. She realizes what the bag of blood he brought means. Klaus gloats that while Esther thought she was a step ahead of her children, Rebekah was two steps ahead of her.
In flashback, we see that when Esther turned her back to talk to Kol, Rebekah bit her thumb and dripped some of her blood into Esther’s wine. Esther died with vampire blood in her system and is now in transition. That means her magic is gone. Her choices are to die or become the thing she hates the most. Klaus leaves her to make the decision, a kindness she didn’t offer her children all those centuries ago.
Back at home, Klaus and Marcel put Rebekah in her coffin until the time comes for her to return to her body. Kol gives Klaus the indestructible stake, as well as the false belief that he can be trusted. At the Fauline mansion, Rebekah wakes up in the body of a woman we’ll come to learn is named Eva Sinclair. She bangs on the front door, which she can’t open, and yells that she’s Rebekah Mikaelson and isn’t supposed to be there.
No one’s listening.
Etc.: Marguerite MacIntyre (Liz) co-wrote this episode.
Hope is so cute and smiley. You look at her and think, “Yeah, this kid could definitely unite a family.”
If the Mikaelsons actually lived in Arkansas at some point, I want to hear their attempts at southern accents.
The thought of a thousand-year-old vampire eating grilled cheese cracks me up.
What if Esther had accepted Klaus in Rebekah’s place and put him in a woman’s body? I want to see a woman play Klaus.
The body-jumping stuff gets really tedious, but putting Rebekah in someone else’s body so they can keep the character around without Claire Holt is pretty smart.