Is there anything better than a full circle moment when it’s time for a story to come to its conclusion?
Elijah begged Klaus to see his child as a new beginning, not just an heir to a king, but a journey to his redemption—to all of their redemptions.
The family’s hope.
Fast forward to 15 years later in the series timeline and Klaus and Elijah are back on that same bench, reflecting, and contemplating all that remains for them.
“When the Saints Go Marching In” served as a pre-death funeral for Klaus Mikaelson; a chance for his siblings, as well as the audience, to share a final goodbye.
After last week’s ending, I wondered if there would be a twist. If Elijah would somehow make the sacrifice instead—it’s hard not to expect twists after so many years in this universe.
Technically, there was a small twist; one that was more for Klaus than the audience because we saw the clues sprinkled throughout the hour.
Elijah chose to die by his brother’s side.
He’d guided Klaus to his redemption. He’d earned Hope’s forgiveness as well as Hayley’s. He loved his family.
He saw no future for himself.
We could talk about what kind of message this sends if we wanted to break this story down in terms of the real world. Choosing to die should never be seen as the romantic option.
But here’s the thing: these are 1,000-year-old vampires that have left a trail of carnage and innocent victims across the world. They’re not supposed to have a storybook ending.
And in the Mikaelson world, this is the right ending for Klaus and for Elijah. They’re both dying for family and for the sins of their past.
However, they’re doing it on their own terms because they have grown and reached this full circle moment after all their years together.
That’s the beauty in the tragedy.
Prior to the big scene with its similar ending to a certain movie that I won’t name just in case (side note: shouldn’t they have burned?), the Mikaelson family came together one last time to celebrate and reflect.
Kol needed an extra push from Rebekah (and a nice throwback to middle of the road moment on The Vampire Diaries). He was over the co-dependency and had no interest in saying goodbye to Klaus.
Fair enough, I suppose, although between his siblings being there for him when he died and the fact that he got Davina back after all of that, you’d think some of the bitterness would be gone.
But he wouldn’t be Kol if he didn’t show up at the last minute to join in the family hugs.
As Vincent planned to leave town, Freya had a different ending in mind for her friend: she asked him to be the father of the baby she and Keelin wanted to have.
It may have been on a smaller scale, but this marked another full circle moment. Vincent and Freya’s friendship was one of the best side stories of this season so of course she’d choose him.
And after everything he’s been through—first with Eva—and then losing Ivy, Vincent’s reluctance to bring a child into that echoed Freya and Keelin’s own concerns prior to their wedding.
He agreed in the end and the three shared a hug as they reveled in their new beginning. It’s too bad their kid will be too young to attend the Salvatore School…
As for Rebekah, Kol’s words echoed in her head as she and Marcel struggled with having to say goodbye to Klaus: happiness is a choice.
Rebekah made that choice when Marcel finally, finally said the words I’d wanted to hear all along: he loved her brothers, too.
(Probably not Kol, though, let’s be real).
As Rebekah walked with her brothers to the bench (thank you for giving us the Original three one last time, show), Klaus had one more surprise for his sister: he’d asked Caroline to make sure she got the cure.
Obviously, she’d have to wait a few decades until Damon died, but when a person’s been alive for centuries, what’s a few more years?
Klaus’ ultimate gift—centuries in the making—allowed Rebekah to fully make the choice she’d been afraid to make. She told Marcel she wanted to marry him; as long as he could accept that she’d be human in the end.
Of course Marcel accepted (Bonus points for the throwback to the season premiere with the two envelopes). And before Marcel and Rebekah left town, he handed the remaining vampires train tickets and told them to leave New Orleans.
(Seems a little harsh because maybe they had lives there, but at the same time, the Quarter being vamp free is a nice gift to the city).
Last, but not least, we have Hope.
She stopped Klaus from staking himself in Mystic Falls and she attempted to keep him alive throughout the hour. She didn’t want to be an orphan. She needed him.
Freya, Elijah, and Marcel attempted to intervene, but they all know how stubborn a Mikaelson can be.
As Klaus began to suffer the Hollow’s effects, Mikael appeared to taunt his weakness and hiss suggestions in his ear: kill your daughter.
Thankfully, the angel Klaus carries with him appeared as well. Cami countered Mikael’s hatred. She reminded Klaus that she knew his heart.
And she got through to him long enough for Elijah to snap his neck and drag him back home.
Caroline stepped in next to urge Klaus to say goodbye to his daughter. And given her history of not being able to say goodbye to her mother or her husband, she was a great messenger.
Klaus returned to the family and took the time to share his reasoning with Hope. To express his belief in her and his love for her and why he wanted to do this for her.
Obviously, it’s not going to save her in the long run. Losing both parents at 15 will scar her in ways that will take years to surface (Hello, Legacies).
But in that moment, in all the final moments, Hope accepted her father’s fate with sadness behind her smile as the family shared one last “Always and Forever.”
A beautiful and tragic end to a beautiful and tragic series.
And we may not have seen it onscreen, but there’s no doubt in my mind Elijah and Hayley are sharing that dance while Klaus makes good on his promise to join Cami.
(Your head cannons may vary).
Thank you and goodbye, Mikaelsons.
Always and Forever.
(See you in the fall, Hope).