“Rise and shine, Nightwalker Nation!” Klaus yells as he enters Marcel’s loft, where all the vampires have holed up since being forced to give up their daylight rings. He thinks one of them sent him the coin to get his attention, and they now have it. Well, they have his attention to their “impending suffering.” He throws the coin in the air and stakes a few vampires before it stops spinning and lands with the eagle side up. One vampire tries to run but Marcel trips him. He tells the vamps not to look to him for help – they lost their chance to get his protection.
Klaus drags the runner to a window and urges him to confess. The runner claims not to know anything about Hayley’s location, so Klaus opens the curtains and holds the runner in front of the sun so he burns to death. Greta picks up the coin and announces that she’s the one Klaus is looking for.
Instead of sitting down for an informative chat, Klaus takes Greta to the dungeon, bleeds her of vervain, and stakes her through the hand to motivate her to talk. She addresses him in German: “His lack of vision will be his downfall.” Wait, I thought Hope would be everyone’s downfall. How many downfalls can people have? Anyway, Greta says she and Klaus have a mutual friend who always said that about Klaus: August Müller. They knew each other in Rostock, Germany in 1933.
1933: It makes total sense that Klaus has gravitated to a group of people who enjoy art and like to hang out in a club like the titular one in Cabaret. One of them is August, who’s an artist. Klaus laughs at his opinion that art should always reflect life. When things are happy, art should be beautiful. When things are difficult, art should be ugly. Klaus believes that the point of art is “to engage our most primal selves, to inflame our passion, to provoke our insight,” and inspired people drink and fight.
“Derivative,” Elijah sniffs as he joins the conversation. He tells August that his conversation partner is just talking to hear himself talk. Klaus says he’s thinking of his brother, “the pompous, controlling one.” Elijah says he heard that he’s the “enigmatic and charming one.” Guess what – you’re both! The brothers haven’t seen each other in 13 years, and they’re happy to finally reunite.
Elijah warns Klaus that news of him being in Germany is spreading. Mikael is also said to be in Europe. Okay, but it’s a big continent. Klaus goes off to talk to Elijah privately, telling August that he’ll be back soon to continue insulting him and his poor art skills. August returns to his painting, adding in a swastika.
Present: Greta tells Klaus that August is her savior, the touchstone for all her beliefs, and the reason she and her friends took Hayley.
Elijah has remained committed to living like Antoinette, and he’s really enjoying himself. She spots someone watching them as they make out in an alley and wonders if the Mikaelsons sent him to spy on Elijah. But when they snap his neck and check out photos he’s taken, they see that the object of his attention is Antoinette.
Hope and Freya return to the old mill so Hope can show off her skills like she’s auditioning for American Ninja Warrior. Freya’s impressed, and Hope notes that she’s this strong and agile even without yet triggering her werewolf curse. Freya asks if Hayley has ever talked to Hope about turning. Hope knows a little about it from Hayley and her werewolf friends, but not the really hard stuff, like having all her bones break when she transitions. Freya says that’s not what Hayley wanted for her. Hope corrects her, using the present tense.
Greta tells Klaus that Hope is dangerous. He says she’s a child, but Greta notes that she has werewolf blood and can make hybrids. “Her defect must be corrected,” she announces. Klaus warns Greta not to call one of the traits he himself has a “defect.” Greta says it’s a “dirtying” of the vampire species that “diminishes the pure and superior nature of vampires.” Hope needs to submit to the spell Esther used to bind Klaus’ werewolf side. Once she can’t create hybrid “abominations” anymore, Hayley will be released.
1933: Elijah tells Klaus about dozens of werewolves in neighboring areas. Klaus doesn’t think Mikael is responsible. Plus, Klaus has been flying under the radar, so he doubts Mikael has tracked him down. Elijah notes that Mikael could find Rebekah and force her to hand Klaus over. Klaus lies that Rebekah is in Chicago with a guy named Stefan. She writes him letters all the time because Klaus is her favorite brother. Yes, the favorite brother who daggered her 11 years ago and won’t wake her for 90 more. (Still a better brother than Finn, though.) But Elijah buys the story – apparently he knows about Stefan – and thinks Rebekah’s happy. Klaus spots a swastika in a photo from the paper Elijah has been reading and compares it to one in August’s painting.
Present: Klaus tells Marcel that August was a fascist and a werewolf murderer. Marcel guesses Klaus did something to tick him off. Klaus refuses to give in to Greta’s demands, but Marcel thinks it should be Hope’s decision. Klaus doesn’t want Hope to suffer through what he did, so it’s just a bonus that he doesn’t want to do what these “cultists” want him to. Marcel agrees with him, but Hayley’s life is at risk and they need to give Hope the chance to save her. Klaus notes that he could put Hope through the binding and Greta could kill Hayley anyway.
Hope finds Roman waiting for her in her room. He’s curious about Freya’s visit, which makes Hope wonder why he’s so interested in her. Roman notes that her lineage and mere existence are interesting. She doesn’t know anything about him, so she asks him to share something in exchange for her silence about the fact that he broke into her room. Roman confesses that he once ticked people off and ended up desiccating in a cave. He felt time passing and was there long enough to relive the first 16 years of his life over and over. “An ancient bad-boy vampire with a damaged soul,” Hope comments. She finds it cliché. Heh.
Josh takes Greta something to help keep her going during her blood-letting. She repays him by insulting him for following Klaus’ orders, like, he’s trying to do something nice. Say “thank you.” He tries to talk her into releasing Hayley, since she’s a good person and doesn’t deserve what Greta’s done to her. Marcel eavesdrops as Greta says that Hope “sullied the evolutionary pool.” Poppy didn’t deserve what happened to her, either.
Marcel chastises Josh for being nice, but Josh points out that Greta can’t do them any good if she dies. He just gave her something to help clear the vervain from her system. Also, she’s kind of right. Binding Hope will save Hayley, prevent the creation of more hybrids, and allow the Mikaelsons to leave New Orleans again. Marcel already knows all that. Josh urges him to side with the community instead of Klaus. Marcel advises him to stop talking to Greta and keep his opinions to himself.
As Antoinette packs a bag, Elijah asks her about the photographer. She says he’s spied on her before and even tried to take her home. He’s part of the past she doesn’t like to talk about. Elijah thinks they’re in the clear, since they killed the guy, but Antoinette knows “they” will send a replacement. He asks who “they” are.
1933: August confesses to killing the werewolves, calling them “mongrels” and “inferior scourges” who diminish vampires. It sounds like he doesn’t know that Klaus is part werewolf. Elijah holds Klaus back from attacking August and calls August “a runt amidst a species of leviathans.” This is his first and last warning to shut up or be staked. August summons his piano-playing daughter to leave with him. That piano-playing daughter is Antoinette.
Present: Greta cautions Klaus not to “underestimate the movement” because they won’t fail. Klaus has seen plenty of eugenicists fail to accomplish their goals because they collapsed under the weight of their hatred. He doesn’t think this group will be any different. He tries to compel Greta to tell him who she’s working with but she still has vervain in her system. Klaus says that August was weak and small. Greta notes that he started a crusade that lasted a hundred years. Klaus says that she’s just trying to justify her hatred. She taunts that he doesn’t know how many of them there are and how much they’ve infected his world.
Antoinette tells Elijah that she didn’t want to let him know that they’d crossed paths before because she was afraid of how he would react. She wants to go to Shanghai now, since someone once told her it was a safe place to hide. Elijah doesn’t have any interest in tagging along, which is understandable, considering he just found out that his fiancée spent the last seven years lying to him. Antoinette argues that they barely met in 1933, but Elijah thinks it’s significant that her father had history with his brother. She says she knows how this ends. She’d rather lose Elijah than tell him everything and have him hate her forever.
Klaus asks Marcel if there are traitors in their camp. Marcel repledged his loyalty to Klaus two days ago, but when Greta made her demands, Marcel immediately questioned Klaus. Marcel says he’s looking for a way out. It’s going to take a long time to get rid of all the vervain in Greta’s system, which adds to the time Hayley’s already spent as a hostage. Marcel was hoping to find a way to get her captors to give her back. Klaus replies that they’re going to end up giving her back in a coffin.
As Josh joins them, Klaus says that the kidnappers respond to strength. He wants Marcel’s word that he won’t back down. Marcel gives it, but after Klaus leaves, he complains to Josh that Klaus always wants his allegiance, not his partnership. Josh thinks Marcel should have mentioned that he called Freya to tell her what Greta wants from Hope. Marcel doesn’t see a point in filling Klaus in until Hope agrees or disagrees to the binding.
Right now, Hope is heavily leaning toward agreeing. She’ll do anything to save Hayley, who didn’t want her to have to suffer the werewolf curse anyway. Freya knows what it’s like to have something taken away from her – time, in her case – and she thinks Hope will regret giving up her werewolf side. Hope has a number of reasons to want to do the binding, though, including saving Hayley, feeling guilty for the situation in the first place, and not being sure she wants her werewolf side. She’s ready to do the binding now.
Roman meets Hope in the library, having been summoned by a note that suddenly appeared in his pocket. She tells him she has to do something that might not turn out well. Just in case she doesn’t get the chance later, she kisses him now. She explains that she might die while trying to get her mother back, and she wanted to cross some things off her bucket list. Roman guesses that that was her first kiss. She refuses to confirm or deny that.
Driving somewhere, Klaus remembers more about August.
1933: Klaus thinks Elijah should have killed August, but Elijah doesn’t want to draw attention from their enemies. Klaus notes that they can’t kill him. Elijah reminds him that Mikael can, and Klaus shouldn’t give him a reason to round up an army to work with him. They go to a church where August and his buddies have massacred a bunch of werewolves and drawn swastikas on their clothes and the walls. Elijah says this isn’t Klaus’ battle. He’s not “the savior of the wolves” and he can’t change what happened to them. The people who matter accept Klaus for who he is. Oh, come on, Elijah. “It’s not your problem that your kind are being killed because we love you” is not going to make him feel better.
Klaus doesn’t care for his opinion, since he didn’t do anything to stop Esther from binding his werewolf side. Elijah says he did all he could to protect his brother. Klaus thinks Elijah was ashamed of him. He just stood there and watched when Mikael beat him. Elijah yells that he never watched Klaus suffer. He was always at his side, being beaten as well. Klaus is frustrated that Elijah won’t stand up for werewolves when people insult them. He needs to take action, not just talk. When he does nothing, he’s no better than the people who pretend not to see when werewolves are slaughtered. Klaus might as well dagger him and stash his body with Rebekah’s.
Oops, now the truth is out that Rebekah isn’t actually hanging out with Stefan in Chicago. Klaus wrote the letters Elijah thought she’d sent him. Elijah asks if Klaus killed Stefan like he did Alexander and Emil. Klaus says he didn’t get the chance, “but eternity is long and I have an excellent memory.” Elijah asks why the other Mikaelsons even bother standing with Klaus. Klaus spits out that they shouldn’t anymore. He’s tired of being betrayed by the people who claim to love him. Elijah should leave, and the next time he hears that Mikael is looking for Klaus, he should just let him hunt Klaus down.
Present: At the old mill, Freya starts the binding spell (I guess it’s not hard to get your hands on a moonstone), and Hope realizes that she’s going to be branded on her hands, feet, and forehead. She has to stay conscious and breathing the whole time. Hope’s uneasy about the process but still determined to do it. Freya soaks the moonstone in Hope’s blood and heats it over a fire to use it for the branding. Just before she can burn Hope’s forehead, Klaus zooms in and grabs the stone.
He announces that he’s not going to let his past become Hope’s future. Freya thinks that Marcel told Klaus what they were going to do, but actually, Klaus figured out himself that his family would betray him once again. He knows Freya’s aware of how angry he was that Esther bound his werewolf side. Freya points out that she was equally upset to live her whole life without a mother. There are whispers because of Klaus and Hope’s proximity to each other, and Freya tells Klaus he has to go. Stealing the bowl Hope dripped her blood into, he announces that this ends now.
Antoinette approaches Elijah as he plays the piano at their bar. She tells him again that she knew who he was the first time she saw him. Yes, their families have a bloody history, but that was also the moment she fell in love with him.
1933: Elijah goes to Klaus’ hangout spot and asks Antoinette if she’s seen him. She tells him that she doesn’t share August’s hatred. He can’t be reasoned with, though, and there are consequences for defying him. Elijah gets it, considering his own father’s brutality. He warns that sooner or later, August will turn his rage against Antoinette. He tells her he’s compelled ticket-takers at the train station and port to help anyone who uses his name to try to flee the country. He recommends Shanghai as a safe place to hide. They exchange names and he takes her hand, saying, “Until we meet again.” “If we meet again,” she replies.
Present: As Antoinette told Elijah in New York, she ditched her family’s teachings and made her own path. She lives by her own code now. She wants to continue the life she and Elijah have built together. She still wants to leave Manosque, and she hopes he’ll come with her.
Klaus returns to New Orleans and brings a couple of werewolves to the Compound. He explains to Marcel that since Greta’s greatest fear is hybrids, he’s going to give her a nightmare. He took Hope’s blood to create hybrids. He’s mad that Marcel went behind his back, but Marcel won’t apologize – he did what he thought was right for Hope and New Orleans.
Klaus notes that New Orleans rejected Marcel, as did Rebekah, so this is all about him wanting them to take him back. “You just need to be loved, Marcel. That’s your weakness,” Klaus taunts. That’s how he knew what Marcel had done, and it’s how he knows Marcel can never be truly loyal. Klaus gives one of the wolves Hope’s blood and the instructions to spread the word that Greta is responsible for this.
In the dungeon, Greta tells Josh that she doesn’t want to die, but she can’t reveal Hayley’s location or her co-conspirators will kill her. Okay, but if you don’t reveal it, Klaus will kill you, so… Josh says that if she confesses without being compelled, Klaus might spare her. He promises to talk to Klaus and Marcel on her behalf. Instead of telling him anything, Greta pulls her hand up from where it’s been held down by a stake, bites him, and smacks him a bunch of times.
Roman finds Hope in the library again and asks what happened. She tells him she’s on her own now to get Hayley back. She can do it if she loses one of the three parts of who she is. She doesn’t think losing one part would be that bad. Roman offers to help her but Hope says none of the witches at the school is strong enough to do the binding spell. He suggests that they sneak out.
After making sure Josh is okay, Marcel goes to the dungeon, where Klaus is moping because his hostage got away. He feels a little bad for what he said earlier, but Marcel acknowledges that he’s not at his best right now, thanks to having his heart broken by Rebekah. Klaus blames his temper on Elijah’s absence. That’s why things with August ended so badly in the past. Klaus isn’t blameless but August got what he deserved. Less, actually.
1933: Klaus goes to August’s house, where August is waiting with a crossbow. Klaus vows to kill him, then hunt down all his loved ones. He rips out August’s heart and holds it up for the townspeople to see. He holds up the coin next, saying that when they’ve had enough, they can pick it up. He tosses it in the air and starts fighting the townspeople coming after them.
Present: Klaus tells Marcel that some of the people were guilty of hate like August was, but a lot of them were innocent. They all became victims of the part of Klaus that he’d been forced to suppress.
1933: A woman comes out of August’s house, upset to see that he’s been killed. She picks up the coin and asks Klaus to show her mercy. It’s Greta.
Present: “In the end, I was the match that lit the fuse,” Klaus tells Marcel.
1933: Greta asks Klaus for mercy for her daughter, too, as Antoinette steps out of the house.
Present: Klaus’ mistake was humiliating August’s loved ones, which empowered them with hatred and the thing that’s always fueled his own rage: shame.
1933: Greta also wants mercy for her son…Roman.
Present: Roman calls Greta to report that everything is going well and Hope is coming with him. With no reason to be suspicious, Hope drives off with him, believing that he’s going to help her save Hayley.
Etc.: I sure love watching this episode in 2022, when antisemitism is on the rise and people like Greta are still walking around, insulting people for their heritage! People who include me, because I’m half Jewish! Isn’t it great? Isn’t TV such a wonderful escape from the real world? Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha (sob)!
I assume Marcel let all the vampires crash at his place so he could keep an eye on them, but that feels like a punishment for himself.
I like how Daniel Gillies (Elijah) makes some subtle acting choices that differentiate the amnesiac Elijah from the regular one. This also highlights how much of Elijah’s persona is a put-on to distance himself from all the red door stuff.
Do the letters Klaus wrote Elijah pretending to be Rebekah talking about her non-existent relationship with Stefan count as fan fiction?
What’s with Klaus making people pick up coins?
The revelation that Greta was behind Hayley’s disappearance is the exact opposite of surprising, but the twist that Antoinette and Roman are her children is. Well done, show.