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CW’s “The Originals” returns for Season 3 with just as much family strife and vampire-witch feuding as fans would expect. And to make matters worse, now there’s a serial killer on the loose. As the series prepares to show more vampires descending upon New Orleans to protect their lineage (and possibly stomp out some old threats as well), executive producer and creator Julie Plec talks to Variety about the dangers that await our blood-thristy heroes.
So there’s a serial killer on the loose in New Orleans. Have the writers settled on who the killer is?
Yes. We have figured out [who that is] and I think it’s pretty safe to say that with the arrival of vicious, crazy people in town the odds of someone taking a knife across someone’s cheekbones are pretty strong.
We saw that at the end of the episode, but I didn’t know if that was a red herring.
It could well be. We shall have to see.
You also have a new detective this season, played by “Veronica Mars” alum Jason Dohring, who seems blissfully oblivious to all the supernatural activities in town.
Every now and then when our humans get too deeply in the know, we like to open up the world to humans who don’t know they are living in a supernatural crockpot. Detective Will Kinney is one of the people who is maybe rightfully suspicious and maybe confused in what he finds.
But it is New Orleans, after all. There’s a seedy side to the alleyways and around the corner, regardless, with the supernatural beings. Even when you go visit, there’s vampire tours and tarot card readers and alleged witches. For him, he’s trying to figure out what’s real and what’s not.
There’s no way he’s a pawn in all this and he’s just been compelled to forget what he knows?
We should ask ourselves what he’s been exposed to in the past and if anybody’s compelled his memories away. It’s just fun to see somebody who isn’t really in the loop yet and how they react to things.
Or he’s totally playing us like Alaric Saltzman (Matt Davis) did on “The Vampire Diaries.”
Can we talk about the character of Rebekah this season? We see her in the flashback in the season premiere in her original form, as played by actress Claire Holt, but fans know that’s not how Rebekah is living today.
At the end of last season, Rebekah left town in the body of Eva Sinclair (played by Maisie Richardson-Sellers) to go off and live up to the promise she made to her brother Kol (Nathaniel Buzolic) and find a spell that would bring him back to life. We get to see Claire Holt in the flashbacks at the beginning of the season. I can tease that we will be seeing Claire Holt as Rebekah before the fall is over.
Will Elijah (Daniel Gillies) ever get closure after all the anguish his brother Klaus (Joseph Morgan) has put upon him — particularly after last season’s death?
I think the good thing about Elijah and his resentment toward Klaus and his frustration with the family dynamic — and generally his fury attached to his current standing in life — will come in handy as these new enemies reveal themselves. The children have come back to town to punish their parents.
Klaus, at least, seems to be very selective about who he chooses to make his children.
We want to be very specific about who turns who and why. Over the course of the season, we’ll have nice flashback episodes that tell us more about some of these new — but old — vampires.
“He will eventually fight back [against Max Rager], but it takes him a while to get his bearings,” executive producer Rob Thomas tells THR.
[Warning: This post contains spoilers from the iZombie season two premiere.]
Major (Robert Buckley) is on a mission in iZombie season two… and he’s not happy about it.
At the end of the premiere, Liv’s (Rose McIver) ex-fiance found himself being blackmailed by the evil Max Rager head honcho Vaughn (Steven Weber) to hunt down and kill all the zombies in Seattle, or else Max would take out the one zombie they know of: Liv.
After spying on him, Vaughn found out that since Major was cured of being a zombie, he can now sense when another zombie is around, making him the perfect weapon to take care of the ever-growing zombie population in the city. The hour ended with Major’s first ordered kill, a father of two who hadn’t done anything wrong besides getting turned into a zombie.
iZombie executive producer Rob Thomas spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about Major’s mission this season, how it will affect his already-frosty relationship with Liv, and more.
Last season, Major spent a good chunk of time trying to hunt zombies down on his own. But now that he’s being blackmailed to do it by Vaughn, how is his journey going to look different this season?
The huge difference is that last year, he didn’t even end up killing any zombies until the finale. And they were murderous bad guys. They were killing the teenagers he worked with. At that point, he was just out to find out who was doing it and trying to make it stop. But this year it’s such a tougher position because, through Liv, he knows that these zombies are not zombies of their own free will. They have families and they’re good people. Of course, there are probably some bad zombies as well but the first zombie he takes out is a family man, and his kids are crying on the news after he disappears. It’s tearing Major up. It’s going to be a very different journey for him this year. Last year, it could almost feel like he was on the noble side of things. But this year, he’s struggling. It’s going to be juicy and fun. We have big plans for him this season.
Obviously he’s going to be dealing with the emotional ramifications of this for a while, but is he going to start to fight back against Vaughn and Max Rager at all?
Yeah, he will eventually fight back, but it takes him a while to get his bearings. There’s a good deal of paranoia that comes with it, too. He can already tell that Max Rager is following him, and listening in to his conversations. He needs to find out what they know, how they’re watching him, what are their weak spots, and once he figures all that out, he’ll start to put together a plan.
Major still has feelings for Liv, seeing as how he’s doing all this to save her life. How is his secret mission going to affect their relationship moving forward?
This will send Major spiraling into a utopium addiction, and that runs hand-in-hand with his difficult relationship with Liv who isn’t as aware as Ravi will be to what Major is going through. Ravi doesn’t even know about Major killing zombies but Ravi will at least see the addiction problems firsthand that Liv doesn’t. Major will eventually hit rock bottom and, at a certain point, he’ll have to throw out a lifeline. The question is whether Major and Liv are too far past the point of repairing their relationship for Liv to be there for him when that happens. We have to take him all the way down, but I wouldn’t be a fan if we did that for half of a season. I’d get tired of that pretty quick.
So he will eventually turn to someone for help?
Well, it’s interesting. It’s a hard story to write because there’s really no one he can tell about all this. The network keeps asking, “Well, what’s going on in his head? Why is he doing this? What is he thinking?” Do we make Major start keeping a video journal? (Laughs.) There’s no one he can confide in about this. But eventually, he goes to take out a zombie and it doesn’t go exactly as planned and he gets to have a conversation about it with a zombie who he is abducting, and we finally get to hear a bit about what’s in Major’s head. But it takes a few episodes to get there. It’s written but not shot yet and it’s going to be great.
Where did the inspiration come from for the cure’s first side effect, with Blaine (David Anders) and Major being able to sense other zombies?
There was a lot of conversation about how we depict Major sensing a zombie. For so long, we were trying to figure it out. We can’t have him smell zombies. If we make Robert Buckley play having to sniff a zombie, I mean. (Laughs.) We can’t. It would also indicate that Liv smells, or smells like death. We didn’t want the audience thinking that, or how dumb it would look. (Laughs.) The discussion to get to “hair standing on end” was just days of talking about that and only that.
Are we going to see other side effects start to present themselves?
The cure is not … well, let’s just say that Ravi needs to keep working on the cure. The cure is not perfect in its current form. There will be other stories generated by certain things that the cure lacks that will throw them into the fire more.
Now that Vaughn’s assistant Gilda (Leanne Lapp) is posing as Liv’s roommate, what are we going to see from that dynamic going forward?
You’ll get to learn a lot more about Gilda and who she is and what she wants. Liv certainly doesn’t have the same relationship with Gilda, or even something close, to what she had with Peyton. Gilda’s a wildcard for Liv and she can’t really peg her. Try as she might, Gilda can’t convincingly play “friend” to Liv. There’s also something a little off about her. I’m not sure if Liv will ever take her completely in, but Gilda will still have this mission of being a step ahead of Liv and Major. It will all come to a head at some point, but not for a very long time.
“There’s not going to be ten doppelgängers and all these magic spells,” the actor tells THR. “I want to get away from that. I want to get back to the human elements that made people love this show.”
“This is not, I repeat, not, a total departure from the show,” Ian Somerhalder (Damon) insists to The Hollywood Reporter about the upcoming seventh season of The Vampire Diaries.
It’s understandable why he wants to make the distinction. After all, this is the first season of the long-running CW drama without its original female lead, Nina Dobrev.
But though Elena is gone, she is very much not forgotten — while still allowing for the show to move on in its new form. “There’s still a lot of elements of [the show that was],” says Somerhalder. “We know that she’s there, and there’s still very much the presence of Elena. This is Mystic Falls without her. I think people are going to like it. This is the evolution of this story. And it’s a lot of fun. There’s a lot of great interaction with the brothers; there’s a lot happening.”
The recalibration of the show might also allow the series, in many ways, to go back to the basics. “I’m really enjoying this season, because it is somewhat of a departure. We are going back to finding those very dark season one things,” notes Somerhalder. “There’s not going to be ten doppelgängers and all these magic spells. I want to get away from that. I want to get back to the human elements that made people love this show. Listen, remember when Stefan told Elena he was a vampire? It was like f–ing world news, and it was the biggest moment. Now, to get the same reaction out of the audience and us [as characters], we have to kill three people, blow up five cars, and a house. It’s a weird thing. I want to get that simplicity back. And we’re all fighting and struggling for it.”
When the season kicks off, Damon is on a European adventure with his buddy, Alaric (Matt Davis), who is going through his own grief spiral. “He’s definitely not in a good place,” previews Somerhalder. “But it does open up in really fun way you could imagine Damon and Alaric to be in: getting completely wasted, drowning out their tears in Amsterdam, while Bonnie babysits them. Alaric went through the most horrific thing — shy of dying yourself in a horrific way, what Alaric went through was a worst case scenario, in every shape and form. As a result of that, Damon wants to be there for his friend. He wants his friend to be OK with life. And Damon is hurting. So he’s drowning his sorrows, he’s drowning his fear of being left alone. … He’s also putting all of this energy into Alaric so he forgets his own sadness. It’s really effective because Alaric is pretty f–ed up.”
The Bonnie (Kat Graham) issue — Elena will remain asleep until Bonnie dies, thanks to a nasty, irreversible sleeping spell — is painful for Damon in an increasingly complicated way. “The Damon and Bonnie friendship is wonderful and special,” says The Vampire Diaries co-creator Julie Plec. “Because, secretly, Damon[‘s] every third thought is wondering what life would be like if Bonnie Bennett was dead [and then Elena could be revived]. And yet he probably wouldn’t do so well without her.”
“Bonnie knows that,” she continues. “Bonnie knows there’s that elephant in the room. And she knows it’s not her fault. But that doesn’t keep her from feeling a little bit slighted by Damon’s antics, and reminding him that she loved Elena, too. She lost someone she deeply cared about, too. They’re actually kind of living the same journey. They’re just doing it in a different way.”
Though Damon is in pain now, when the fog clears, “he sees the light,” says Somerhalder. “60 years away — he waited for Katherine for 150. He can wait 60-something years until Bonnie bites the big one, and has the big sleep.”
“He, ultimately, is prepared to do it. She said, ‘Don’t be a saint; don’t wait for me. Live your life… and I’ll see you in a little while,'” he continues. “I don’t think that is anywhere near in his train of thought, but he does know there’s a light at the end of the tunnel — it’s just a matter of getting there. To pass the time, he’s going to help his friends, he’s going to enjoy whatever enemies and foes he has. He’s like, ‘F– it, man. I’ve got to wait all this time. I might as well have fun. I might as well drink like a fish, eat like a pig, travel like a maniac, and do some good.’
An unexpected boost to Damon’s mood? Having an enemy — namely, his mother, Lily (Annie Wersching) and her heretics — to focus on. “When Lily came back into the picture, she imposed herself [and] her will on this town,” Somerhalder points out. “Justly so. This woman has been locked up since 1903 — that’s a long time. She has a family [in these heretics] she deeply cares about. She was put in there a vicious ripper, and she rehabilitated herself. She quelled that urge. She fixed herself. And now she’s coming out and she just wants a place for her family. However, it just so happens to be the town that these guys love and they live in.”
Unfortunately for Damon, Stefan (Paul Wesley) has a different approach on how to handle their mother. “Stefan, much to Damon’s chagrin, has been doing everything he can to keep things from disintegrating [in Mystic Falls],” teases Plec. “What we see in the first episode is, as much as he’d like to rid the town of Lily and her heretics, he’s reached a point where, ultimately, you have to negotiate with the terrorists as opposed to trying to get them out. Which is not going to go over well with Damon, who in a way, is going to feel like Stefan rolled over. But Stefan, as always, is thinking from a place of long-term heroics.”
As well-intentioned (and potentially correct) as Stefan may be, Lily will always be a sore issue for Damon. “It brings up more abandonment issues,” says Somerhalder. “The two women [from his past] he loved more than anything in the world were Katherine and his mom. And they both abandoned him. And left him. And lied about it. And he found out. He’s really in a place where she has inserted herself into his orbit, and it’s highly frustrating. It makes him super pissed off. It makes him frustrated, vengeful. … He wants her gone. And when you see him interacting with her, you really get a glimpse of the fact that she hurt him. She f–ed him up, a lot. It’s not just going to go away.”
Klaus Mikaelson is a lot of things: paranoid, stubborn, murderous, deathly scared of being alone, and of course, a supernatural hybrid, which makes all of these characteristics even more prominent. The combination of all of these things is what led him to drive his family away at the end of the Originals second season. And when season 3 picks up a few months later, there’s been no healing between family members, namely Klaus and Elijah. (A rift tends to happen when you burn your brother’s girlfriend alive.)
“I think there was some discontent with his decision although [Klaus] would never admit it,” Joseph Morgan tells EW. “Elijah doesn’t seem ready to forgive him at the end of season 2 and certainly nothing has changed there in season 3. They are not on even talking terms. It’s very curt and functional, their relationship at the moment, and it’s all to do with looking after Hope. [The compound is] definitely not a happy place to be. Klaus is still clinging on to that idea that he was right in doing what he did. I think that’s something he clings to in general to justify these awful things he does.”
With Hope holding the family together and Freya sticking around to help out with Hope, Morgan did say that Klaus has managed to grow a bit closer with his older sister. “Riley [Voelkel] and I have been playing toward that,” he said. “Although, the truth of the matter is she knows just as well as the rest of his family does that the decisions he made weren’t necessarily the best ones, although he believed in them at the time, so I think she’s a little torn. But at the moment she’s grateful to have a family and she doesn’t want to take sides too much at this point.”
Speaking to how much actual parenting Klaus is doing, Morgan said “he’ll get his hands dirty, but it’s a family affair. He’s trying to do his part.” And yet, “I don’t know exactly how many nappies he’s changing but he’s doing his bit.”
But we all know that changing diapers can only occupy Klaus for so long, and it’s simply a matter of time until he regrets handing his kingdom back over to Marcel. “Well I’ll tell you this: theoretically he’s done that, but I’ve already done lines where he’s referred to it as ‘my city’ so I’m not sure how definite that is,” Morgan said.
However, Klaus might not have time to try to take his city back when a new set of villains comes into town in the form of the Trinity — the first vampires that Klaus, Elijah, and Rebekah sired. “All of the characters believe that they’ve outgrown those relationships, that they left their sires behind and they pushed them out the nest,” he said. “Now the three of them coming to New Orleans and saying, ‘Hey this is going on you didn’t know about and there’s this you should really pay attention,’ it’s a lot for them to take in.”
After all, news of a war between the sire lines isn’t exactly the sort of thing an Original loves to hear considering that if you kill one Original, you kill its entire line. In fact, Klaus’ progeny, Lucien, will be the first member of the Trinity that fans meet, and he has his own idea of who exactly Klaus Mikaelson is. “Klaus’ sire knows Klaus pre-Hope, so his idea of Klaus the self-destructive, volatile playboy is quite different from the Klaus he finds now who had these responsibilities and these people he cares about in his life,” Morgan said. “There’s a sense of one of your old mates coming into town from years ago and going, ‘What do you mean we’re not going out all night? Come on, leave your phone behind, you’re not going to need it, we’re going to have some fun tonight.’ “
And Klaus won’t have the easiest time saying no to Lucien, because if anything creates a bond, it’s being the first vampire Klaus sired. “We learned how to make vampires when my sire was created,” Morgan said. “There’s definitely a bond there. We were friends as well and we have a connection. We owe each other a lot. There’s also this element that it’s not just the three of them but they’re in contact with a lot of the sire line for each of us so it’s like, ‘Hey, remember us? All those vampires that you turned who you’ve now abandoned? Well guess what, we’re not too happy about that and here’s why.’ They come to town with an agenda definitely.”
Combine that agenda with Lucien and Klaus’ bond and the Elijah-Klaus rift, and you’ve got the perfect opportunity to try to pin the always-and-forever siblings against each other. “There’s also the idea of a wedge being driven between the family, Morgan said. “[Lucien] comes to Klaus at a point where Klaus is vulnerable to that because his family pretty much hates him. He turned everyone against him at the end of last season and then in comes this sire who’s like, ‘Hey, I’m your best friend and I’m back. Let’s have some fun!’”
So yes, there will be fun, and there will more than likely be war. But even more than that, there’s going to be a lot of history. “I love playing scenes with new characters that my character has a history with because you learn something about your character,” Morgan said. “It’s a thrill. The vibe going on on set is this is the best season yet. It’s very vampire-centric. It’s very much based in the vampire world now, instead of the witches or the parents or whatever. It’s all about that, which is exciting to me.”