Marcel waits underwater as we see flashbacks of Klaus giving him a name and telling him that family goes beyond blood ties. As Marcel surfaces, he remembers Elijah once telling him that practicing the piano will one day turn him into Bach. I don’t think it did, but he has been turned into an upgraded vampire!
Elijah and Hayley wake up in bed together at the Compound, because THEY FINALLY DID IT, Y’ALL! She reminds him that they’re both still there, despite everything they’ve done and everyone they’ve lost. He’s not alone. As they start to gear up for another round of sex, Klaus tells Hope (downstairs, away from any noises she shouldn’t be hearing) that she probably would have had a better life if she’d had a different father: “All those who’ve loved me have lived to regret it.” Not all of them! Just the ones who didn’t die painfully! He promises his “littlest wolf” that he’ll do right by her.
Elijah comes downstairs to try again to plead his case that he had no choice but to kill Marcel. They have to be willing to do anything necessary to protect their family. Klaus knows all about that, but Elijah thinks that this time, he won’t be able to handle the loss he’s just suffered. Elsewhere in the house, Freya tells Kol that her intuition says averting the prophecy hasn’t ended the family’s problems. She reactivates the map she used to track Klaus’ enemies, and it shows a bunch of them heading toward New Orleans.
Marcel and Vincent meet up at Davina’s tomb, where Vincent says she helped cut the ancestors off from the witches. Marcel’s ready to do his part and kill the Mikaelsons. Vincent asks if he’s really sure he can do that. Marcel is – he pretended he hadn’t taken the serum yet because he wanted to see how his “family” would react. Elijah killed him, so the Mikaelsons have earned whatever happens next. Vincent tells him that there are rumors about vampires coming to New Orleans, which means the locals could be in danger. Now Marcel wants to start a war with them around. Marcel promises to do right by the innocents of New Orleans.
Kol gathers up some weapons and tells his brothers that vampires from Klaus’ sireline are on their way. Since the deed to the Compound is still in Freya’s name, the Mikaelsons are safe inside. Kol doesn’t want to hide while their enemies gather at the doors, but Klaus is fine with that. Unfortunately, they’ve forgotten that some vampires have already been invited into the Compound. While Freya’s doing another spell upstairs, a Strix member zooms in and slashes her throat with one of the group’s beloved toxic rings. Vampires immediately fill the courtyard, followed by Marcel. “Never thought it would come to this, but as always, the Mikaelsons made my choice for me,” he says.
Klaus is confused, then eager to find out what happened to Marcel and make peace with him. He asks Marcel to send away the other vampires so they can talk in private. Marcel can tell that Klaus is relieved, but that just makes Marcel mad, since he came close to dying. Elijah accepts responsibility, but Marcel knows from experience that taking on one Mikaelson means taking on all of them. Klaus’ vampires are there to witness “the fall of the Mikaelsons.” The show is already underway.
There’s also a crowd in the City of the Dead, where Vincent tells the covens that their connection to the ancestors has been severed. The witches are upset that they’re losing their strength while vampires descend on New Orleans. Vincent promises that Marcel will be running the Quarter again soon. Whatever happens next is up to the witches. They’re not satisfied with that, probably because the last time Marcel was in charge, he wouldn’t let them do magic. Will is there, still trying to get used to the knowledge that supernatural elements are at play in New Orleans. He tells Vincent that he came across a crime scene, but he’s not sure how to report it. Vincent agrees to go to it with him.
Freya isn’t dead, but the vampire who attacked her is, once Hayley finds her. Freya reports that she was poisoned. As she and Hayley start to leave, another vampire corners them, but Hayley just rips his heart out and keeps going. Will takes Vincent to St. Anne’s, where a bunch of bodies are lying around the fighting gym. Vincent IDs them as Strix vampires and guesses that Marcel killed them. As he’s trying to explain things to Will, one of the vampires proves to still be alive, and he bites Will. Vincent is able to stake the vampire and save him.
Hayley takes Freya and Hope to Kenner Kennel, where Hayley sees herself in the mirror, just like in the prophecy. She thinks there has to be a way to avert it. She gives Freya some of her blood, hoping to keep her strength up. They just have to find the cure Lucien must still have in his penthouse. Freya says it doesn’t matter – she can’t stop Marcel. Hayley thinks of another idea.
Kol tries to talk Marcel down by invoking Davina’s memory. Marcel responds by biting him. Elijah and Klaus jump in to fight Marcel, but his upgrade has made him even more powerful than the formerly most powerful vampires on the planet. He bites Elijah, too, and tosses him across the courtyard.
As Klaus is about to try going up against Marcel again, Hayley’s idea arrives. She revived Rebekah and sent her to reason with Marcel. Rebekah tells Klaus to get their brothers out of there, knowing that Marcel won’t hurt her. She also knows that she doesn’t have much time before her curse rears its ugly head, so she urges Marcel to explain himself quickly.
Hayley, Freya, and Hope go to Lucien’s Castle but can’t find the antidote to her poison. Klaus, Elijah, and Kol arrive, and Freya sums up the situation: She’s been poisoned, Rebekah’s cursed, and two of the three Mikaelson brothers have been bitten. Four out of five of the siblings are in need of help, and there’s no telling how long it will take to find their cures. Freya isn’t sure any of them will survive the day.
Rebekah takes Marcel away from the crowd and tells him to cure Kol and Elijah before anything happens that can’t be undone. He replies that this is a fight to the death, and he’s not going to lose it. She asks why he’s doing this, which he thinks is a dumb question. There’s no way she can defend her brothers for what they did to him and Davina. Rebekah agrees, but they’re her family, and she’s begging Marcel to cure them. He tells her there isn’t a cure. Elijah and Kol are going to die, and before the night is over, Klaus will, too.
Rebekah demands to know who Marcel will target after that – her? He promises that he would never hurt her (as if killing her brothers wouldn’t hurt her), but he’s not going to back down. He’s taking back his home, his city, and his freedom. She tells him that the Marcel she knew and loved would never act like “judge, jury, and executioner.” He’s willing to offer her brothers justice, even though they never gave it to him.
Kol thinks it’s fitting that he and Freya are suffering after what they did to Davina. She tells him Davina didn’t want revenge. Kol begs him to put her out of his misery, or at least put him to sleep. Elijah’s not as sick (or dramatic) as Kol is yet, and he declines Klaus’ offer to get Hayley to comfort him. I think he just doesn’t want her to see him weak and vulnerable. He asks Klaus to take care of Hayley and Rebekah, as if either of them needs to be taken care of. Klaus vows to make Marcel pay, but Elijah says this is his fault. He seems resigned to die if that’s how things go. Klaus says he can’t do this without Elijah. Elijah urges him to be strong for the people who need him.
The vampires at the Compound are tearing the place up. Rebekah calls Klaus to let him know that Marcel wants him to come back and stand trial. Klaus knows the jury will be his sireline, so he’d be an idiot to agree. She warns that if he doesn’t cooperate, the vampires will hunt him down, probably killing innocent people in the process.
Klaus presents the situation to Elijah, Hayley, and Freya. Elijah thinks he’d be walking into his death, and he should leave town with Hope and Hayley instead. Hayley says she won’t leave Elijah. Kol is getting worse quickly, and he’s now hallucinating that he’s with Davina. Freya tells Klaus that she might know a way to save Kol and Elijah, but she needs time to work it out. Klaus should stand trial to buy her time. The trial will be the easy part – the challenge is surviving it.
Klaus slips a letter into Hope’s diaper bag, then turns down Hayley’s offer to go to the trial with him. He apologizes for taking her from Hope and not trusting Hope with her. He asks Hayley to take care of their daughter. Then he goes across the street to meet his fate. Rebekah will have to fight off the madness her curse brings out in her, and Klaus will have to stay alive, so she’s not very confident that they’ll get out of this. He reminds her that she once said he could talk his way out of Hell.
Together they enter the courtyard, where Klaus’ sireline is cheering like they’re about to watch a battle in the Colosseum. He announces that he has nothing to hide and is ready to stand trial for all his sins. Marcel asks him how it feels to be so hated. He orders Klaus to look at all his angry sireline vampires, wondering if he remembers all of them. There’s a guy he turned in 1694 after his wife accused Rebekah of witchcraft. Then he made the guy feed on his wife. There’s a guy from 1745 who had land that Klaus wanted. Instead of just taking it, Klaus turned him and made him burn his village down. And there’s a woman Klaus turned in 1891 just because her mother had pneumonia and her coughing annoyed him. He made the woman watch as he killed her mother.
Klaus dismisses his past sins, saying they taught the world to fear him, which protected his family. Marcel doesn’t want to hear the F word again. He was Klaus’ family once, and it didn’t get him anywhere. Klaus points out that he was nice enough to take Marcel from his miserable life and make him what he is. Marcel says he made everyone there in his image – “angry, paranoid, merciless.” Why did he sire them? Was he just afraid to be alone? It doesn’t matter, though. He made them and abandoned them, and he destroyed the ones who stood up to him. That’s why they’re going to make him pay.
Freya writes out her siblings’ names in runes, similar to the way Esther did when she linked them together so she could kill them. Hayley tries to calm Kol, who lashes out, so far gone that he doesn’t recognize her. Elijah comes to her rescue. Someone should just break his neck and get some peace and quiet.
Back at the Compound, Rebekah steps up to speak on Klaus’ behalf. She asks how he’s different from the others in the room. “The strong fight to determine who’s strongest,” and Klaus is strong. He fights for power like the rest of them do. But his first instinct is to protect his family, just like everyone there wants to avenge theirs. She doesn’t think any of them would do any less than what Klaus has done.
Marcel questions her argument, pointing out that Klaus has punished her in the past simple because he didn’t want her to love anyone more than him. Rebekah’s curse is starting to rear up, so she has to fight to keep her temper under control. Marcel asks if she can really claim her struggles with Klaus were just typical sibling fights when he daggered her for loving Marcel, or when he exiled her from the Quarter. He reminds her that she hates Klaus as much as anyone else there, maybe even more.
Rebekah lets her curse take over and announces that she’s going to give everyone the “brutal truth” about Klaus. The jury is excited for that. She tells them that while she loves Klaus, she’s felt the brunt of his anger more than anyone. He’s lying when he says he does everything for his family. Klaus advises her to be quiet, but Rebekah appreciates the chance to say whatever she wants without the threat of being daggered. The truth is that Klaus destroys everything he touches.
She says that Klaus murdered Esther and both of his fathers. He daggers his siblings and puts them in coffins for decades at a time. He breaks their hearts and won’t let them find love because he can’t find any himself. Rebekah’s jealous of his sireline because they’re free of him while she’s still chained to him by the “always and forever” vow. “What if he could suffer the way I have, the way that we all have?” she asks.
Marcel puts the decision to the jury as Elijah starts suffering more from his bite. He tells Hayley that he had a dream where he was holding her. She assures him that that wasn’t a dream. He asks her to get as far away from New Orleans as possible if Klaus doesn’t come out of this alive. He wants her to be happy.
Klaus blasts Marcel for using Rebekah to say everything he wanted to say. That doesn’t reflect well on his leadership skills. Marcel tells him to just have the last word already so they can move along. Klaus thinks Marcel’s ridiculous for being upset about Davina’s death, given how she betrayed the Mikaelsons countless times and wound up defying Marcel. Maybe he should have warned her what happens to people who cross Klaus. Maybe her death is Marcel’s fault. Then again, Davina’s death let the Mikaelsons take down Lucien, so maybe “the little witch” proved useful in the end.
As for the vampires in the courtyard, Klaus fully admits to killing their loved ones. But they’re all there today because he willed it. The trial is only happening because he agreed to it. The vampires’ immortality is a gift from him, a debt they can never repay. It should more than make up for all his sins. “I owe you nothing,” Klaus declares. They can kill him if they want, but it’ll just be a reprieve. He won’t suffer even a fraction as much as they have. “The scales remain in my favor,” he says. They’ll always remember him and know that he won.
Rebekah yells that death is too good for Klaus, and they should all make him suffer. Marcel looks out at the crowd without reacting, then says Klaus deserves “a fate worse than death.” He holds up the Tunde blade and promises everyone that he’ll suffer way more than they ever have, and for as long as Marcel decides to let him live. A couple of vampires grab Klaus and carry him over to Marcel. “For Davina, Diego, Thierry, Gia, Cami, and the boy I used to be, the one you once called your son,” Marcel says before stabbing him with the blade.
Rebekah calls Hayley to tell her that the plan worked and Klaus is alive. Now Hayley needs to “make his sacrifice count.” Hayley says she’ll be there soon. First she has to help Freya with the spell she’s been planning with her siblings’ names. (Music: “Don’t Fear the Reaper,” Denmark & Winter covering Blue Oyster Cult) Freya uses their blood to put them all to sleep, including herself.
All the vampires have left the Compound, and only Marcel and Klaus remain. Vincent arrives and sarcastically comments, “The king is dead; all hail the king.” He gives Marcel a coin and announces that he’s buying St. Anne’s so he can turn it back into a church. He’s upset that Marcel killed a bunch of Strix there and just left their bodies for someone else to deal with. That reminds him of someone else’s actions. Vincent hoped that Marcel would be different, but now he thinks Marcel is just as bad as Klaus.
Marcel argues that he did what was necessary. Vincent corrects that he just does what he wants to do, no matter the consequences. Marcel thinks it’s fair, since he just got rid of all the Mikaelsons. Vincent tells him that Will was an innocent bystander because Marcel was sloppy. Vincent’s turning the church into a sanctuary for anyone – human, witch, or vampire – who’s tired of everything Marcel and his family “are always and forevering about.” If Marcel has a problem with that, Vincent will respond the same way Marcel would, no matter the consequences. He tosses off a “your highness” as he leaves. But hey, someone finally called the Mikaelsons Marcel’s family!
The final vision in the prophecy was a line of coffins, and Hayley has just fulfilled it by tucking in all the sleeping Mikaelsons. She kisses her fingers and puts them to Elijah’s lips, then closes the coffins up in the back of a moving truck. As she’s about to drive them away with Hope, she finds the letter Klaus left her. Though she doesn’t read it, we get to hear it in voiceover. Klaus isn’t sure how old Hope will be when she finds it, but he wants her to know that he loves her. He did what he needed to save his siblings.
Elijah, Kol, Freya, and Rebekah all find themselves in a chambre de chasse. Freya made them a home in a quiet place where they can be together as a family. She explains that they’re linked to Klaus’ lifeforce with the same spell Dahlia used to keep herself and Freya alive for 1,000 years. They’ll sleep until Hayley can find cures for them, but in their minds, they’ll be able to spend time together.
Klaus asks Hope not to cry over him. Whatever he’s going through, it’s for the people he loves. He only regrets that he won’t be with his daughter. Rebekah realizes that Klaus knew he had to be the anchor for the spell. He saved them. Klaus tells Hope to be good for Hayley. He’s glad to know that she’ll have her mother protecting her. He’s sure Hayley won’t rest until the family can be united. Klaus’ sacrifice will allow Hope to grow up and become the person he imagines she’ll be.
As Marcel bricks Klaus up like he did to Aurora, Klaus voices over that Hope is the legacy the family has always wanted, the promise they fought so hard to protect – their hope. Hayley drives out of New Orleans, leaving it Mikaelson-free for the foreseeable future.
Etc.: The episode title comes from Richard II, as well as Leonard Cohen’s “Samson in New Orleans”:
“So gather up the killers
Get everyone in town
Stand me by those pillars
Let me take this temple down
The king so kind and solemn
He wears a bloody crown”
The first episode of season 4 is called “Gather Up the Killers.”
Freya’s throat-slashing was an unnecessary fake-out in the wake of Cami and Davina’s deaths. Apparently Marcel just had someone foreclose on the property and take over the deed. Dumb!
Hayley reviving Rebekah was a brilliant Hail Mary attempt (Hayley Mary?).
Hope was supposed to do something magical at the end of the episode but the kid playing her fell asleep. Womp womp.