Warning: this post contains major spoilers about Friday night’s midseasons premiere episode. If you haven’t watched yet, read at your own risk! You’ve been warned.
Well that didn’t take long. After waiting months to finally learn if Cami (Leah Pipes) was really dead on The Originals, the midseason premiere, “A Ghost Along the Mississippi,” answered that definitively in the opening scene.
She’s not alive. She’s not dead. She’s undead.
Turns out Aurora (Rebecca Breeds) compelled Cami to drink a vial of her blood the moment she had a moment of love with Klaus (Joseph Morgan), so after their emotional make-out session, she did just that. And then slit her own throat. When Klaus woke up moments later to find her blood soaked and throat slit, she healed before his eyes and woke up in transition to become a vampire. After deciding she wasn’t going to feed and die a human, Cami changed her mind moments before she died and fed on her friend Finn (Yusuf Gatewood) to finish her transition.
Of course, her worries about what kind of vampire she would be were totally on point. Cami’s got a dark side that she’s always fought to keep on the inside. And now that all her emotions are heightened, she’s gone dark—maybe even too dark.
“We’ve explored transitions on Vampire Diaries, and we’ve seen on it our show,” executive producer Michael Narducci says. “Josh [Steven Krueger] was made into a vampire, he reacted in a certain way, Hayley [Phoebe Tonkin] was made into a vampire, and she reacted in a certain way, [she] started to get closer to her wolf side and dealt with becoming a vampire by turning into a wolf and running through the woods killing witches, and kind of embracing that savage side of herself.”
So what does this mean for Cami?
“Cami is someone who has some dark impulses, and we’ve talked about how maybe that’s what led her to be fascinated by psychology, and to be fascinated by Klaus, and maybe those are some of the reasons why she’s stayed in New Orleans to begin with,” Narducci says. “Now that that side of her is heightened by being a vampire, I think that’s something she’s going to want to explore. In every instance of somebody on any show becoming a vampire, you see that transition: they swing wildly one direction, and then they swing wildly back, and then slowly there is an equilibrium that is found. So I don’t think that Cami’s final resting character place is going to appear right away. I think she’s in for a long transition into discovering who she is going to be as a vampire.”
Cami has always been seen as the good ying to Klaus’ bad yang. And while she might be exploring what it’s like to walk on the wild side now that she’s a vampire, don’t expect her to become a straight-up villain. At least not right away.
“She’s going to swing in the way of exploring her impulses and embracing the newfound power that she has,” Narducci says. “I think she can be very good, if we’re talking about morality. She’s still going to love the people that she loves. She might be more inclined to take what she wants, because she can. She might be less inclined to be afraid of people who are stronger than her, because now she is going to have power. And I think she’s always been crafty and cunning, and she will continue to be so. She knows that there are enemies out there and she’s going to have to deal with them, and not play any kind of victim card, but be a little bit more physical, and relish in being a vampire.”
Klaus seemed more than delighted that Cami chose to feed on blood and complete her transition. But will he be a good influence on her as she adjusts to her new life, or will he egg her on to lean into her dark impulses?
“I don’t think Klaus is genetically engineered to be a good influence,” Narducci says with a laugh. “What’s good for Cami as a vampire might not be what you and I believe to be good in terms of truth, justice, and the American way. Sure, I think he will be a good influence on her in terms of teaching her things like how to feed and how to compel and how to vamp.”
He continues, “Is he going to be worried about her slaughtering her way through an orphanage? Ehhh, maybe he will be, because he knows that that’s not who she is, and maybe he doesn’t want her to have to deal with the decades of spiraling that would come from committing an act like that. But I also think that he’s not going to say, ‘Now, Cami, I think you should be on a steady diet of rabbits and deer, because that’s what’s morally correct.’ That’s not who Klaus is. So, there’s a chance that this path might bring out the worst in both of them. And there’s a chance that it might not.”
Of course, Cami wasn’t the only character to lose their “human” hat in the emotional hour. Jackson (Nathan Parsons) was tragically murdered by Tristan (Oliver Ackland) to get revenge on Hayley for that time she tortured him.
“Thematically, season three is about how people who come into the orbit of this family are just as cursed as the family,” Narducci explains of why they chose to kill off Jackson. “We see that manifested in Lucien [Andrew Lees], Tristan, and Aurora and how messed up they are, because of their interaction with the family. We see that in how Hayley’s getting messed up by being close to this family. Cami is getting messed up being close to this family. What’s in store for Marcel [Charles Michael Davis], for Davina [Danielle Campbell], for baby Hope, as part of the family? Nobody’s safe.”
Narducci reveals the purpose of this episode was to hammer that point home. Even fan-favorite characters can get killed off with no warning.
“Everybody went into the episode thinking, ‘Gosh, I hope Cami’s not dead,’ and not expecting that they had to worry about one of their other favorite characters not making it through the episode,” Narducci says. “Even in the midst of life, we are in the midst of death. God giveth and God taketh away. Those are all the kinds of emotional responses we wanted to get out of this. Yes, Cami managed to find a way to survive, but we lost somebody else, and it’s gonna get worse before it gets better. That’s what we’re struggling to deal with, with the return of these ancient sired vampires.”
How angry are you about Jackson’s death? How relieved are you that Cami’s still in the land of the (kind of) living? Tweet me your thoughts @SydneyBucksbaum!
Images: The CW
The Originals airs Fridays at 9 p.m. on The CW.
And while we’re at it, why not hear what Daniel Gillies has to say about this season: