Marcel and Elijah meet up for a drink at the Compound before Marcel breaks the news that Freya and Davina haven’t been able to find a way to save Hope from the Hollow. “There is no miracle fix here,” he says. Triggering her werewolf curse made things worse – no one expects Hope to survive the upcoming full moon. Elijah suggests the binding spell, but Marcel says the power from it would just kill Hope faster. She’s terminal and she should know what’s going on so she can say her goodbyes. Klaus needs to be the one to tell her.
Klaus sits by Hope’s bed as she sleeps. The darkness in her veins has now spread throughout her body. Klaus uses his vamp hearing to listen in as Marcel says straight out that Hope is dying. He goes to them and tells Elijah they’re taking Hope on a trip. Marcel doesn’t know anything, but the Salvatore School might have a solution. Klaus has a plan, and he wants Elijah to look after Hope while he gets everything in place.
Elijah thinks literally anyone else Hope has ever met would be a better choice for that task, but Klaus is only focused on saving her before the full moon crests. “We’ve defied the inevitable for a dozen lifetimes. I am not about to surrender to it now,” Klaus says. Elijah needs to help because he’s the only person Klaus trusts.
The next morning, Caroline gives a tour to some prospective Salvatore School students and their families. Apparently the school is top-notch in academics as well as supernatural stuff. They also don’t segregate, other than during full moons, and everyone lives together peacefully. “Where do you keep the hybrids?” Klaus asks loudly. “In the root cellar?” Caroline excuses herself from the group, saying she needs to help this new janitor, Bob.
She’s not happy that Klaus showed up unannounced, since his presence makes people at the school antsy. He tells her he needs help with Hope. He blames himself for her werewolf curse being triggered. Caroline’s confused, since Crescent wolves are supposed to be able to control their transformations. Apparently the first one can’t be skipped. Klaus needs help from a specific type of witch: a Gemini. More specifically, he needs help from Josie and Lizzie.
Elijah and Hope occupy themselves with a look around the school library. There’s a display case that holds a picture of Katherine and one of Stefan’s journals. The students aren’t supposed to touch it but Hope has read it a bunch. “Spoiler alert: Dad is the villain and you’re the evil henchman,” she tells her uncle. Elijah thinks Stefan is a biased writer, but Hope got a second opinion from a book Alaric wrote about the town. Klaus is the villain in every story.
The whispers are back in Hope’s head despite some pills Davina gave her. Having to spend the day with Elijah won’t make things better. He suggests that they go into town and eat at a place he knows has really good burgers. She says she’s not hungry so he tells her to get a milkshake instead.
Caroline refuses to let her daughters siphon the Hollow out of Hope. Plus, as she points out, they’ll have to put it somewhere. Klaus offers up himself, which just makes her protest even more, because no way is she okay with putting powerful, rage-causing dark magic inside a guy whose temper flares ten times on a good day.
He reminds her that the gang once threatened to chain him up and drop him in the ocean in a block of cement. After Josie and Lizzie have put the Hollow inside Klaus, Caroline should follow through on that threat. She points out that she was a kid back then and didn’t know…well, she didn’t know him. Klaus refuses to let his daughter die, and he promises he won’t endanger Caroline’s. He’s begging her to help him.
Hope and Elijah sit outside the Grill, and she advises him not to use the setting as a place to tell her how great Klaus is, since there’s a plaque inside in honor of “a woman he killed in a moonstone ritual.” He points out a building across the street that’s on land the Mikaelsons used to own. He still remembers what it smells like. Klaus was really into painting back then, doing everything he could to mix vibrant colors. But Mikael objected and hit Klaus with a branch when he tried to turn it into a paintbrush.
Klaus begged Elijah to run away with him, but Elijah didn’t want to leave Rebekah and Kol behind to deal with Mikael on their own. (Heh, of course he didn’t care what happened to Finn.) They stayed, and now they know it was a mistake, but Elijah swore that he would always protect Klaus.
A teenager named Landon Kirby brings Hope a peanut butter blast milkshake with whipped cream on the bottom. He’s served her before and knows what she likes. He notes that she hasn’t been around much lately; he was hoping she would be back. He knows she’s from New Orleans, a place he’s always wanted to go because of how many musicians call it home.
Some Mystic Falls High jocks at the next table throw ice cubes at Landon, and Hope tries to continue the conversation to keep him distracted. Elijah intercepts an ice cube without even blinking. Landon tells Hope that there’s going to be live music in the town square that night and casually invites her to go with him to listen. She can’t go because of the full moon, but she appreciates the thought. He says he’ll probably end up skipping the event and taking an extra shift.
After Landon leaves, Elijah asks why Hope didn’t agree to the date – the full moon won’t crest until after the concert. “Because I’m gonna be dead soon,” she replies.
Caroline takes Klaus to the old mill to talk to Josie and Lizzie. Josie asks what they’ll get if they agree to siphon the Hollow from Hope. “The warm feeling in your heart that comes from helping a friend in need,” Caroline replies. (This will never work; as we learn in Legacies, the twins aren’t friends with Hope.) Lizzie says they need new cell phones. Josie tacks on requests for permission to go to a dance and the removal of a rule about skirt length from the dress code. “It’s anti-feminist and oppressive,” she argues. “And not cute!” Lizzie adds. Caroline says no to the phones, maybe to the dance, and “yes to defying the patriarchy one plaid skirt at a time.”
The girls agree to help, so Caroline gives “Mr. Mikaelson” the floor to tell them what he needs, as long as he does it calmly and politely. But before he can, he gets shot through the back with a stake. Alaric has found the group and has a preemptive response to whatever they’re up to: No.
Elijah asks Hope how she knew the truth about her situation. She figured it out from her dark veins, the pain of her condition, and Freya and Davina’s monster research sessions in the bell tower. He tells her that she probably won’t be strong enough to handle the full moon. But Klaus is looking for a cure, and they won’t let anything happen to her. Hope says it could be for the best.
The jerky teens at the next table taunt Landon and tell him they’re stiffing him seven bucks for bad service. Their ringleader, Connor, drives them off in his classic car. Hope rolls her eyes at their obnoxiousness. Elijah asks if she knows how to drive (she took some lessons from Hayley and Declan) and invites her to practice in his Bentley. He leaves Landon a $300 tip.
Alaric throws Klaus in the basement as Elijah gives Hope a driving lesson. She teases that bad driving can’t kill him, and she’s already dying, so he should stop worrying so much. Really, he just wants to make sure the Bentley doesn’t get damaged. She knows he’s trying to give her reasons to live by reminding her of the small joys in life. She doesn’t see the point, since it’s not like she wants to die. She just doesn’t think she was meant to exist.
Hope knows the details of everything that converged to result in her birth: A thousand-year-old vampire did a ritual to become the only vampire capable of procreating, which happened after a one-night stand with a former foster kid “who was basically hate-banging him.” Elijah would prefer not to hear all this but Hope ignores him. “Can you be a miracle and a mistake at the same time?” she wonders. “No one is a mistake, Hope,” he tells her.
The family has fought with all they have to keep her alive since they learned about her. Hope knows, but she feels like the universe has been trying to kill her for just as long. She’s grateful that her family has done so much for her, but she knew when she took back the power of the Hollow that it could kill her.
Elijah tells her to take a turn, and they end up at Mystic Falls High during a fundraising car wash for the ’90s decade dance. Connor’s car is being cleaned, and Hope asks if they’re going to spend what could be her last day alive watching him “get to first base with runner-up Miss Mystic Falls.” Elijah asks why she thinks Landon didn’t fight the guys bullying him. Hope says it’s probably because he didn’t want to risk losing his job. Elijah replies that the two of them have nothing to lose.
He could compel the jerky jocks to do anything Hope wants. She smiles and says he could also compel them to forget what she’s about to do. Elijah objects to her using her powers recklessly or overexerting herself. She thinks it would be worth it to die while messing with the jocks. She does a spell to turn the water from the hose spraying Connor’s car to ice, then makes his windows break. Elijah no longer objects.
Caroline confiscates Alaric’s crossbow, which he thinks is a bad idea on top of her already bad idea to let “Voldemort” hang out on campus. She reminds him that the started the school to protect supernatural kids. Hope is in trouble, and they need to help her. “He still clouds your judgment,” Alaric accuses. Klaus is a cockroach who can never be killed, and Caroline wants to give him more power. He knows she has good intentions, and he wants to help Hope, too, but they should leave the twins out of it. Can’t they get a witch teacher or Bonnie to help?
Caroline says this isn’t something Bonnie can do – only the twins can. Alaric doesn’t believe that Klaus will actually wind up on the bottom of the ocean after this, considering how many times the gang has plotted that and never succeeded. She tells him that Klaus is on board this time. Alaric doubts it’ll make a difference, since “the ocean isn’t big enough to hold him down.”
Neither was the basement, which Klaus easily escapes from, since it was only designed to hold teen werewolves during the full moon. He agrees with Alaric that the ocean won’t keep him down, but he doesn’t plan to drown the Hollow’s magic once it’s out of Hope. He produces the super-duper, for-real-this-time, no-we-really-mean-it last white oak stake in existence. After Klaus takes in the Hollow, he wants someone to kill him.
He changes into some of Stefan’s old clothes, and Caroline tells him that the previous owner also didn’t warn her before sacrificing his life. Uh, I seem to remember him leaving you a voicemail. Was that not enough? She’s upset that Klaus didn’t tell her his full plan from the start. Maybe he thought she wouldn’t agree to it. Klaus says he wasn’t sure he wanted to know. Caroline thinks they can buy him some time, but he insists on getting the Hollow out of Hope ASAP. They’ll do it tonight during her first werewolf transition, when she’s in the space between being human and being supernatural.
Caroline asks if there’s really no other way. Klaus feels like there could be a secret buried somewhere that will unlock how he can have everything he wants. But he won’t find it today, and today is all he has. She tells him she’ll convince Alaric to let Josie and Lizzie help. Klaus is a good father and a good person, which is all she ever wanted for him. She can’t say no to him now. “This would be so much easier if you’d just stayed the big, bad wolf,” she comments.
Elijah swears Hope to secrecy about her little act of vandalism, knowing Klaus would be furious with him for letting it happen. She’s wiped out from using so much energy and wants to go lie down at the Salvatore School. He tells her not to give up on the fight, but she says it’s too late. She can feel it. Klaus should stop looking for a last-minute fix; he’s been through enough. Elijah says that Hope is the reason everything Klaus has gone through hasn’t been in vain. If she won’t fight for herself, she should at least fight for her father.
“I don’t want to fight anymore,” Hope says. “I can’t save my dad, okay? I’m not a savior. If anything, I’m a murderer.” Elijah thinks she means Bill, but she really means Hayley. He tells her to blame him for that if she has to blame anyone. Hope has tried that but she still feels guilty. Roman and Greta did what they did because they were afraid of Hope. Plus, Hope left Hayley vulnerable, which allowed her to be taken.
Elijah sternly says that the family needs Hope, and she is going to survive. She asks why. She’s spent her whole life trying to reunite the family, but instead, she made things worse. The whispers start back up as she begs Elijah to just let go of her. She’s tired and just wants to see her mom again. She suddenly holds her head in pain, then collapses.
Elijah takes her to the old mill, where Klaus realizes that she doesn’t have a heartbeat. She slips into the world between the living and the dead, where she encounters Hayley. Hope wants to tell her so many things she hasn’t been able to, but Hayley insists that she fight what’s happening to her and wake up. Klaus sends Elijah to get Caroline and the twins as he begins giving his daughter CPR.
Hope and Hayley can hear him yelling Hope’s name from the real world. Hope apologizes for what happened to her, and Hayley says she forgives her. She knows Hope is scared and sad, and that’s okay, but she’s not to blame. Hayley’s death was the result of hatred and ugliness that started a long time ago. She urges Hope again to fight. Hope wants to stay with her, thinking Hayley’s there alone. Hayley promises she’s not.
She takes Hope to an afterlife version of the bayou, which is full of werewolves, including Jackson, Mary, and Hayley’s parents. “I’m not dead because of you – I’m at peace because of you,” Hayley says. Hope asks if she’ll see her mother again if she goes back. Hayley tells her it won’t be for a long time, but that just means that Hope needs to do a lot of wonderful things so they’ll have a lot to talk about. “Make art. Use your voice. Have adventures. And have at least one totally epic love,” Hayley says. “And be every bit of yourself. Because the very best of me is in you.” They tell each other they love each other, and Hayley adds, “Always and forever.” She tells Hope to do something for her.
Klaus revives Hope, who tells him she doesn’t want to die. He promises her she won’t. He found a way to save her, and everything will be better in the morning.
Before the full moon crests, Klaus takes Hope downtown and tells her about the plan to have Josie and Lizzie siphon the Hollow from her. As for what happens after that, he just says he’ll dispose of it later. He wants Hope to have a night that’s all about her. She spots Elijah sitting by himself and offers him a banana split. He tells her that when she was born, he said she would be the family’s savior. That wasn’t fair – they shouldn’t have been her burden. She asks how old Elijah was when he promised to protect Klaus. She figures he wasn’t much older than she is now. She thinks they were both born with responsibilities they didn’t deserve.
Elijah comments that he sees a lot of Hayley in Hope. She tells him that she saw Hayley, who gave her a message: She’s still waiting for their next dance. Hope doesn’t know if the experience was real, but if it wasn’t, at least she got to have a good dream for the first time in a while. Elijah’s speechless, which also hasn’t happened in a while.
He spots Landon and notes that he must not have needed to take an extra shift after all. Look at Elijah, playing matchmaker! “Behave,” he tells Hope as he leaves her. She approaches Landon, keeping an eye on the clock on the bell tower so she doesn’t stay past her “curfew.” He teases her about going to a private school but mingling with “townie riffraff.” She tells him there’s plenty of riffraff at her school.
Landon heard about Connor’s car, so he’s already in a good mood, and he figures he might as well try to keep his good luck going by asking Hope to dance. He warns that he might not be good at it. He’s living in the moment and hasn’t thought this all through. Hope thinks that’s a good way to live.
As they dance, Caroline arrives and joins Klaus as he watches the teens. He promises he’ll behave himself. He thanks her for letting Josie and Lizzie get involved in the situation, and for trusting him. She tells him that years ago, when she was in trouble, she put the twins in the car and started driving. They wound up in New Orleans, looking for Klaus (who wasn’t there, since it was during the five-year nap). “The point is, I think a part of me has always known that you weren’t the villain of my story,” she says. Even when he tried to kill your best friend??
They lean toward each other and are about to kiss when the bell in the bell tower rings. She says they should get back to the school for the siphoning. Also, depending on who’s ringing the bell, hellfire could start shooting out at any moment. Klaus wants to give Hope a few more minutes with Landon.
Caroline can’t believe that he’s not spending what could be her last moments alive saying all the things he might not get to say about life and boys and filing taxes. As if the Mikaelsons have ever filed taxes! Klaus says that Hope will figure it out. He just wants to stay there and watch her dance with a townie. Caroline starts to leave him to it, turning back briefly to watch him watching his daughter.
Later that night, Klaus chains Hope up in the school’s basement and gives her a pep talk for her first transformation. If she gets scared, she should close her eyes and sing. She assures him that she’ll be okay and will see him after it’s over. He doesn’t tell her that she won’t.
As he goes to get something for the siphoning, he runs into Elijah, whom he thought had left. Elijah came to say goodbye – not to Hope but to Klaus. Caroline told him Klaus’ plan. Elijah refuses to let Klaus go through with it, but Klaus says it’s the only option. They fight and Elijah gets hold of the white oak stake. He wants to take Klaus’ place, taking the Hollow into himself and dying instead. Klaus doesn’t want Elijah to take on his burden yet again. Elijah reminds him that Hope needs him, but Klaus refuses to kill his brother. He overpowers Elijah, snaps his neck, and takes back the stake. “Take care of her for me, brother,” he says.
He returns to the basement and removes Hope’s chains. He knows that Hayley would want her to have her first transformation out in nature, under the moon. He gives her a tonic for the siphoning just before her transformation begins. Josie and Lizzie start a spell at the old mill, under Alaric’s watchful eye. Klaus tells Hope that the transformation is going to hurt, so she needs to focus on her breathing and the ground under her. If she fights the transformation, it could take hours. If she lets the pain in, it can’t break her. Hope says she can do it. Klaus tells her to run free when she’s transformed. He’s proud of her.
The twins continue the spell as Hope starts wolfing out. The siphoning works, and the Hollow’s blue light leaves Hope’s body before her transformation is complete. She pauses for a moment when she’s in her wolf form, then runs off. Inside, Elijah revives and hears yelling from the werewolf students who are locked up in the basement. Klaus joins Alaric and the twins, asking where Caroline is. Alaric notes that as a vampire, she can’t be out while there’s a baby werewolf running around. She also didn’t want to watch Klaus die. (To Alaric’s credit, he doesn’t say anything like, “I, on the other hand, want a front-row seat.”)
Klaus steps between the twins to receive the Hollow. Elijah shows up just seconds too late to stop him. As soon as the spell is done, Alaric rushes the twins away. Klaus takes out the white oak stake to kill himself, determined to do it no matter how much Elijah objects.
Etc.: No way has Elijah ever eaten a burger in his entire life. NO WAY.
I bet Landon spent Elijah’s $300 on junk food and hair product.
There’s something so heartbreaking about Hope, who’s considered one of the most powerful witches in history, saying she wants her mom. Magic can’t give you back what you’ve lost. Power can’t make you strong in every way.
Why even bother bringing Nathan Parsons (Jackson) back for one scene where he doesn’t even get to say anything?
There are two great Easter eggs in this episode:
- A woman sits on the park bench that was dedicated to Matt after he evacuated the town.
- An office window (possibly Grayson’s old office; I’m not sure) advertises that it’s the medical practice of one Elena Salvatore, M.D.