It’s the morning after the Mikaelsons rescued Klaus, and Kol is eager to get out of the country and go somewhere fun. Rebekah wants to stick around for Hope, but Freya thinks they should get far away from Marcel. As usual, Klaus makes the final decision: They’re staying. He wants one peaceful day with Hope before they make her go on the run with them. The house, which is in the middle of nowhere, is cloaked, so Klaus isn’t worried about them being found. Also, he will not be taking comments or critiques at this time.
As Klaus is growling at his siblings, Hope comes outside. Well, it’s fitting that her first encounter with her father after five years is letting her see him in his normal, angry state. She’s timid around him and runs off as soon as she can.
At St. Anne’s, Vincent burns the book he retrieved from the confessional floorboards. The process sends him into a flashback.
Eight years ago: Eva comes home to her husband with takeout from Rousseau’s and exciting news. Vincent chastises her for going into the Quarter, since that’s Marcel’s territory. She tells him there’s nowhere safe in the city; there are vampires everywhere. They should move somewhere else. Vincent refuses to leave his hometown, as he’s told her many times before.
Eva says this is bigger than just the two of them. She went to the Quarter to see Sophie, who happens to have a gift for detecting pregnancies. Vincent’s going to be a father! Except we know him now and he doesn’t have any kids, so…! Anyway, Eva doesn’t want to raise a child in New Orleans. Vincent notes that their kids will be part of his bloodline, and if they’re separated from their heritage, they won’t be at peace. Eva reminds him that that heritage could get them killed. But he thinks he can find a way to keep Marcel out of the Treme and restore it to the New Orleans he knew as a kid. He asks Eva for six months to do it.
Present: Marcel comes to the church and tells Vincent that he has people out looking for Adam. He’s curious about Vincent’s message saying that the whole city was in danger. Vincent tells him it has to do with Eva. She wasn’t always the way she was when she was wreaking havoc a few years ago. Something evil “twisted her up” and left darkness behind. He thinks that same darkness has returned. Marcel remembers that Eva wanted to sacrifice nine children. Vincent thinks Adam is the first, and they’re going to face more disappearances.
Klaus asks Hayley what horrible things she’s told their daughter about him. Hayley says Hope just knows that Klaus is a very old hybrid. She’s only seven; she doesn’t need to know any more than that. Klaus guesses that Mary told her bad stuff. Hayley says she’s shielded Hope from all of that, and she knows Klaus as a protector. Klaus complains that Hope’s afraid of him. Hayley’s like, “Well, maybe you should stop acting scary, then.” Klaus used to be Hope’s “fairy-tale prince,” and now that he’s real, his challenge will be living up to the stories his daughter has heard about him.
Rebekah wants to know if Elijah’s going to stick by Klaus’ side or go off and live his own life. Elijah isn’t sure. Rebekah still wants true love and a family, but so far both have eluded her. She decides to use their day of peace to decide what kind of new beginning she wants.
Hayley goes to an old barn on the property, where Keelin is still being…would “milked” be the wrong word here? She’s basically being milked for her werewolf venom. Hayley’s apologetic about her being a hostage. She notices that Keelin has wounds that aren’t healing. Keelin says she always felt like something was wrong with her, but compared to Hayley, she’s normal. Hayley’s the one who “betrays her own kind” for vampires. Freya comes to the barn and complains about Hayley giving Keelin a break from having her venom removed.
Klaus tentatively approaches Hope, who’s painting in the garden. She knows he’s a painter, too, and she wordlessly offers him a piece of paper so he can join her. He smiles to himself, looking like this is the thing he’s wanted to do most in his entire life.
Will goes to St. Anne’s to give Vincent the bad news that Adam is just one of four missing kids. He thinks Vincent should keep his distance, since this doesn’t seem to be a supernatural situation. Vincent tells Will to keep the cops out of it – he and the vampires will handle this. Will doesn’t trust Marcel, but Marcel arrives just then and says he’s the only person accomplishing anything here. One of his guys spotted signs of life at the abandoned-five-years-ago Strix headquarters.
Vincent tells Will again to leave this alone; it’s for his own protection. Will gives in, but he warns that once news of the disappearances gets out, they won’t be able to keep things quiet. Vincent starts to hurry off to investigate with Marcel, who notices that the book he burned earlier is back, barely singed. Vincent tells Marcel to keep it away from him. If Vincent tries to get it back, Marcel needs to kill him.
Kol complains to Rebekah that after five years trapped in a house together, the siblings are again trapped in a house together. (On the plus side, they can drink real blood here.) Kol’s sick of spending so much time with his paranoid, violent, traitorous family. It’s not normal. “Well, we’re undead, so if it’s normal you’re after, I don’t fancy your chances,” Rebekah replies.
She doesn’t get why he’s so down – he couldn’t have expected all their problems to be magically solved when they came out of the chambre de chasse. Kol says that it felt like the world stopped while they were in there, but it didn’t. Now it’s been five years since Davina died. He thinks she would have made the world better if she’d lived. What are the Mikaelsons doing in her place?
Freya mixes up something in the barn, telling Keelin that she’s not being punished – this is a “necessary evil.” Keelin replies that most people who do evil things convince themselves they’re necessary. Freya puts her mixture on Keelin’s wounds, noting like Hayley did that she’s not healing on her own. Keelin explains that she scared off an orthopedic surgeon she was dating when she broke her ankle and it healed overnight. Keelin did something science-y to basically hack her cells and suppress her werewolf traits.
Vincent and Marcel go to the Strix’s former headquarters, discussing how the recent disappearances are connected to the past. Eight years ago, Vincent wanted to take Marcel down for scaring so many witches. He looked into kinds of magic that have no defense. He couldn’t find anything until one night when he came home and found the book. It’s full of sacrificial magic Vincent had never seen practiced anywhere.
Eight years ago: Vincent does a spell with a snake and conjures blue light.
Present: Vincent says the magic made him feel invincible. Marcel doesn’t get it, since plenty of witches used to make sacrifices to the ancestors. Vincent tells him this wasn’t ancestral magic – it involved something older. The book never gave it a name. Even though Vincent doesn’t know where the book came from, the writing inside was his. He doesn’t remember writing any of it.
Hayley and Elijah get a rare moment alone, and he guesses that she’d like the world to disappear so she can get some peace. She tells him he and Hope can stay, and Klaus can visit on the weekends. She laments that she had to do a lot of things she’s not proud of in order to protect Hope. “I was ruthless,” she says. “You were a Mikaelson,” he corrects. “You did what you had to do.” Hayley would do it all again if she had to. It was partly for Hope, but she also had her own selfish reasons. When she wasn’t with Hope, all she thought about was Elijah.
He kisses her hand and she tells him she should be happy right now, but it’s hard when they’re hurting Keelin. Elijah tells her to release Keelin, even though they need her venom in case Marcel bites another Mikaelson. Hayley shouldn’t keep sacrificing her morals to help the Mikaelsons. She’ll just lose herself.
Klaus walks Hope back to the house, telling her about how he painted on animal skins and bark when he was a child. The family lived in a hovel together, and though it was nicer than it sounds, Kol snored. Hope thinks it must have been nice to always have other kids to play with. Klaus says it was, but he still felt alone, since he was different from his siblings. He was the only artist, and he made his own paints from berries and flowers. He points out some flowers nearby and says the orange ones are the most vibrant. Hope tells him she likes orange.
She spots a butterfly and they realize it has a broken wing. Hope takes off her gold rope bracelet and hands it to Klaus, asking him not to say anything to Hayley. Then she uses magic to heal the butterfly.
Hayley takes off Keelin’s extraction mask and tells her she can leave. She warns that Keelin will be hunted the rest of her life, so she can’t go back to her old life. She hears someone coming and sends Keelin off before Freya comes in and sees that she’s gone. Freya wants to go after her, but Hayley holds her back. Freya flings her away with magic, threatening to do worse if Hayley keeps trying to stop her.
Hayley tells her they have enough venom and can be on their way. Freya notes that Marcel could be handing out venom to a ton of people, so they could be facing a bigger threat than they thought. Hmmm, here’s an example of that Mikaelson paranoia Kol was talking about. Hayley doesn’t want Keelin to suffer for them, but Freya doesn’t think Hayley gets to decide what’s right and wrong. Hayley says things are different now – she has a daughter who uses her magic to heal fireflies. They can’t risk Hope finding out that they have a hostage.
Freya says they can tell her the world is a bad place and sometimes we have to do bad things to survive. Hope will be safer if she learns that early. Hayley argues that it’s her job – and the Mikaelsons’ – to protect Hope. Part of that is preserving her innocence. Freya replies that, as a Mikaelson, Hope can live without her innocence. What she can’t live without is her family. Elijah interrupts and tells Freya to hush before she says something she regrets. She starts to leave so she can chase down Keelin, but Elijah orders her to let Keelin go.
Walking around the Strix’s old property, Marcel says that he didn’t know Vincent eight years ago. Vincent was very aware of Marcel, though, because of his stranglehold on the witches. Marcel guesses that Vincent blames him for what happened to Eva. But Vincent says it was his own fault. He’s reminded of it every day.
Eight years ago: Vincent’s up late doing a spell he can’t figure out. Eva urges him to get some sleep, but he tells her this is for them. If he can make the right sacrifices and get enough power, they’ll never have to worry about Marcel. They could teach their child magic just for the joy of it instead of for protection. Eva asks Vincent to show her what he’s been working on, but he says it’s too powerful. She reminds him that they’re a team. She notes that a true sacrifice would probably need to be something loved. She kills their pet bird and uses its blood for Vincent’s spell. He teaches her the incantation and they conjure the blue light together.
Present: Marcel connects the dots: Eva sacrificed children because of how much they were loved. Vincent says that he got spooked when he realized how far she was willing to go to get power. They both agreed to stop, but one day babies started disappearing.
Hope looks forward to learning spells from Freya when she’s older, as promised by Hayley. She admits to Klaus that she can’t always control her magic. He tells her that she’ll be the greatest witch the world has ever seen, and nothing will ever scare her. She says she knows who he is – the strongest person in the world, who can keep all bad things away. At seven, though, her idea of “bad things” is monsters and people who are mean and selfish. Klaus promises that nothing will ever hurt her. It won’t even get close to her. Hope hugs him, then takes him inside to show him her artwork. As he carries her to the house, she sees blue lights starting to shine in the woods.
That night, Klaus looks through Hope’s art, bragging to Rebekah that she’s a “prodigy.” She tells him that Kol asked her to say goodbye. Klaus isn’t that surprised that Kol wants to split from the rest of the family. They know he’ll return some day. Klaus thinks he’s being selfish, but Rebekah notes that he died twice and then spent five years “trapped in Freya’s beige dreamland.” It’s reasonable that he wants to go off and do something fun now.
As for Rebekah, she’s planning to do the same. She tells Klaus that he doesn’t need her anymore. She wants to find love and have her own family. She’d like them to say goodbye on good terms for once, without her being daggered or banished. Of course they’ll see each other again. Klaus tells Rebekah that she’s the only one who never treated him like a “misfit.” They spent centuries at each other’s sides, but now Klaus belongs at Hope’s side. Rebekah deserves to find her own place in the world.
Elijah has set up a date for himself and Hayley somewhere on her property, but he can’t focus on spending time with her when he’s still thinking over what Rebekah said earlier about new beginnings. Klaus doesn’t need him, so what does he want to do now? Elijah used to want more out of life, but he’s “lost the feelings beneath blood and chaos.”
Hayley doesn’t want him to feel defined by the bad things he did in the past. He’s a good person. Elijah tells her that she’s the good one. He was wrong to call her a Mikaelson earlier. She doesn’t have the heart of a Mikaelson. He loves her because of all the good in her. She loves him, too. And with that, they skip their date and go right to her bedroom.
Keelin makes it to a bar and is about to steal someone’s car when Freya catches up to her. A magic migraine puts Keelin down, and Freya threatens to do more if Keelin doesn’t come back with her voluntarily. Freya, this is really not a good look for you.
Adam and the three other missing kids are in the part of the Strix’s headquarters where the Sisters used to do their spells. They’re in a trance, being controlled by a man just known as the Zealot. Marcel enters and tells the Zealot to get away from the kids. The Zealot magically sends an iron rod flying through the air to impale him. Vincent sneaks up behind the Zealot and knocks him down.
The Zealot recognizes Vincent, saying that Vincent has been him. “It is happy you’re here,” he adds. “It wants you here.” Vincent’s confused. The Zealot continues, “It is that thing, the thing that resides within this city, within all of us. It is in you, loving you as it loved your wife.” Vincent tackles him and punches him, but the Zealot just laughs. Vincent tries to do a spell but the Zealot resists it and knocks him out.
He reaches for a knife and slowly approaches Vincent. When Vincent regains consciousness, the Zealot asks which eye he would prefer to have cut out. But Marcel’s conscious again, too, and he stabs the Zealot from behind with a big piece of wood. The Zealot gives him a magic migraine, then makes all the kids collapse.
Klaus finds Hope’s drawings of the ouroboros and looks unsettled. Hope comes to him and says that she thinks something’s wrong. Vincent grabs the Zealot, who’s magically torturing Marcel, and makes him drop his spell. “Did you think you were unique, Vincent? That it had chosen only you?” the Zealot asks. Hope tells Klaus that she had a dream about a bad man who was hurting kids. She thinks he hurt her, too.
The Zealot tells Vincent that he freed “it,” and now it has to be fed. The kids all convulse and the Zealot laughs. Vincent slits his throat. As he rushes to check on Adam, Hope says she feels dizzy and has a headache. Seeing that her nose has started bleeding, Klaus calls out for Hayley. No, leave her alone! She’s getting some! Vincent tells Marcel that the Zealot’s spell is draining the life out of the kids, leaving them cold. Hope is cold, too.
Vincent realizes that the Zealot used the kids’ personal items as totems, binding them to his spell. Vincent knows the magic he used and can reverse the effects. He does, and the kids all wake up, seemingly fine. But Vincent sees that there are five totems gathered and only four kids. Marcel picks up a hairbrush and turns it over, finding the Mikaelsons’ M insignia on the back.
Kol wants to steal a guy’s car so he can leave town in style, but Rebekah has gotten there first. She wants to tag along on Kol’s next adventure, supposedly to keep him from getting in too much trouble. Considering she just killed a guy, I don’t think she’s going to be a very good chaperone. Back at the Strix’s headquarters, Marcel praises Vincent for saving the kids, who are on their way to a hospital to get checked over before being reunited with their families. Vincent worries that Hope will die if she’s linked to the spell. Marcel doesn’t want to bring the Mikaelsons back to New Orleans, but Vincent isn’t about to let a child suffer just because of who her family is. He notes that Hope is practically Marcel’s sister.
Freya examines Hope and determines that whatever’s wrong with her is magical. Hayley suddenly feels something appear in her pocket. It looks like Vincent used the same note-sending spell Bonnie once used to send Hayley a message saying he can cure Hope. Marcel agrees to let Vincent meet up with the Mikaelsons in New Orleans, but they need to keep the visit quiet so no one knows Marcel let them come back. He wonders why Hope was targeted, especially since she could be anywhere in the world right now. Vincent guesses it’s because of her bloodline and her power. If a witch sacrificed her, they would get a big reward. Marcel tells Vincent not to let anything happen to her.
He remembers that Vincent talked about Eva being pregnant. What happened? Vincent says that by the time he found out Eva was kidnapping children, she was too far into dark magic to tell anyone where the kids were, so Vincent had some healers cleanse her. It turned out she wasn’t possessed by demons: “She had become her demons.” Vincent isn’t sure what happened to the baby, but he doesn’t think it matters. It’s his fault no matter what.
Freya goes back to the barn to ensure that Keelin can’t escape. She knows Keelin probably sees her as the villain in her story, but this is for her protection. Well, also because the Mikaelsons might need her venom. Freya realizes that there’s another way to solve their problems. Keelin was able to weaken herself through science, so maybe her medical skills combined with Freya’s magic can weaken Marcel. Once they kill him, Keelin can have her freedom.
Elijah wants to take Hope to Vincent so Klaus doesn’t have to risk running into Marcel. This could all be a trap. Hayley announces that both of them are coming with her and Hope – they’re family and need to stick together.
At St. Anne’s, Vincent has another flashback.
Eight years ago: Eva tells Vincent, “What lives in me lives in you. Emptiness. Bitter hunger, clawing at your insides. It’s still there. And you’ll be the one who gives it breath. You got away because it let you. Because it needs you for later. And it’s still churning in the soil of this city. It’s beating in the hearts of your people. It will be fed and it will be set free. We will all be set free.”
Present: The ambulance taking the kids to the hospital stops at a police roadblock set up by Will. The driver gets out and approaches Will, who slits his throat. Will assures the kids that everything will be fine, then drives off with them.
Etc.: I like the callback about Sophie being able to tell when someone’s pregnant, which was first mentioned when she detected Hayley’s pregnancy.
Considering future events, Freya’s treatment of Keelin is gross. Well, even without considering future events, it’s gross. But those future events make me wonder some things about Keelin.
Teenage Hope is obviously more complicated, and we’ll get into her characteristics later, but I adore seven-year-old Hope.
Keelin’s ex sucks, not as a girlfriend but as a doctor – she met someone who could heal rapidly, but instead of being fascinated, she ran away. What happened to medical curiosity?
This episode contains one of my favorite moments from the whole series: When Klaus is walking Hope back to the house, they pass some downed trees and logs. She instinctively takes his hand to steady herself as she steps over one of them. It’s just a little signal that she trusts him. Klaus doesn’t say anything about it, but he looks down at their hands, first looking like he’s thinking, “This is strange,” then, “I’ve always wanted this.”
I wish we saw the message-delivering spell more. It’s so useful! Teen witches could use it to pass notes to each other in class! Spies could use it to pass each other coded messages! No more waiting for someone to answer their phone or listen to their voicemail!
The twist at the end with Will is great – definitely unexpected.