|“||I suppose it's a family trait... Everything we love, we turn to ash.||”|
EVERYTHING WE LOVE, WE TURN TO ASH — With time running out, Klaus’ ultimate plan to protect baby Hope at all costs continues to take shape. As tensions between the siblings come to a head, Cami reveals a vital piece of information that causes Elijah and Rebekah to reconsider their plan of attack against Dahlia. Davina finds herself one step closer to fulfilling the promise she made to Kol, while Freya is forced to take drastic measures to protect herself against Dahlia. Elsewhere, Marcel has to put aside his fury at Klaus in order to protect himself and everyone in their sire line. Meanwhile, Vincent finds himself torn between the prospects of a magic-free life away from New Orleans and a personal obligation to protect Davina. Finally, with their risky plan in place, the Mikaelson siblings prepare for the fight of their lives.
Special Guest Star
Key: * Eva Sinclair does not appear as herself, but her corpse is seen at the start and end of the episode.
- Antagonist: Dahlia.
- Title meaning: The swap of Kol and Esther's ashes, Esther's resurrection, and the subsequent death of Dahlia and Esther, two of the oldest and most powerful witches in the TVD/TO universe.
- After Dahlia links herself to Klaus, he daggers himself, taking Dahlia with him. However, her magic is powerful enough to melt the golden dagger, even while she's incapacitated by it, and break her link to Klaus at the same time.
- Camille tells Elijah that their plan would have failed because Freya was not the witch who had broken Dahlia's heart-- Esther was. It is because of this that the Mikaelson siblings decide to resurrect Esther to use her blood for the weapon to use against Dahlia.
- Freya finally meets Hope for the first time in the flesh, nine episodes after she first heard about her niece's existence from Finn in The Devil is Damned.
- However, it is possible she had met her earlier off-screen.
- Davina plans to use earth magic to resurrect Kol, which requires a large amount of dirt and the ashes of the person to be brought back, which are mixed together with water in an empty stone tomb that is surrounded with a circle of salt. A spell is then used to turn the ash into flesh and bone. However, access to a large amount of magical power is necessary for this particular spell, which is why Davina was unable to perform it until after she became Regent of the nine covens.
- Vincent is surprised that Davina knows about earth magic, and when he asks her who taught it to her, Davina replies that it was Kol, who was the closest thing to a teacher she's ever had when it comes to witchcraft.
- Realizing that they needed Esther's blood to defeat Dahlia, the Mikaelsons sabotage Davina's attempt to bring Kol back by replacing his ashes with Esther's. Davina then cast the spell, not realizing that she was resurrecting Esther until after the spell was already finished.
- Though Rebekah did reluctantly help Elijah swap out the ashes, she made it clear that she liked Davina and didn't want to betray her, and that she didn't want to break her promise to resurrect Kol, as she believed that they would be better off resurrecting him and gaining his magical assistance than raising their mother from the dead.
- Freya tries to kill Klaus with the white oak stake when he is still daggered so that Dahlia will die, too. However, they awaken before she can do it.
- As Freya is about to kill Klaus, she tells Marcel that she doesn't want to kill him because he is the family she has always wanted. When Klaus awakens, he seems to have heard her and he finally accepts her as his sister.
- In their final confrontation, Dahlia causes the White Oak Stake to explode into a shower of sawdust, which she magically forces Elijah, Klaus, and Rebekah to inhale. The sawdust then irritates their lungs and veins, causing them to begin to burn up from the inside while Esther was forced to watch. However, Esther, who was bound with the cursed shackles, wraps the chain connecting them around Dahlia's neck, which temporarily neutralizes her magic and allows Klaus to run them both through with the dagger that was bound with Norwegian soil, Viking ash, and Esther's blood, killing both witches in the same strike.
- Esther and Dahlia's bodies then turned to ash, and Esther brought Dahlia's spirit to The Bright World with her to find peace. The sisters were then able to live in the afterlife's version of 10th century Norway as they would have if the Vikings had never attacked their village, and Esther had never married Mikael and had her children with him. Dahlia then forgives Esther and embraces her tightly.
- With the stake destroyed by Dahlia, the only known method of killing an Original vampire that remains is through a witch who has harnessed an exceptional amount of magical power.
- As the resurrection spell was her one chance to bring Kol back, the Mikaelsons' intervention to resurrect Esther turns Davina against them. She promises to use the power of the nine covens to destroy the Mikaelsons in retribution for their betrayal.
- Vincent is convinced by Camille to stay in New Orleans to advise Davina into becoming a force for good, not like the witches in his lineage, who Vincent described as being "the wickedest witches this city has ever known."
- Klaus tells Rebekah that he has no interest in ruling New Orleans anymore and has instead agreed to return the leadership of the supernatural community to Marcel. He then states that his only interest now is to raise his daughter with the help of his sisters.
- Rebekah decides to leave New Orleans once again. But, before she leaves, Freya tells her that she has healed Eva's body so she could use it again if she wished to do so. Rebekah ultimately decides to live as a witch in Eva's body until she finds a way to bring Kol back and does everything she wants to do as a human.
- Elijah promises Hayley that he will find a way to break the Crescent curse but, until then, Hayley asks him to watch over Hope because she doesn't want Klaus to be the only thing she knows. Despite his anger at his half-brother, Elijah returns to the compound for the sake of his only niece.
- This episode ended with Hope being told a fairy tale about the supernatural community of New Orleans by Klaus, just as the first episode of the season began with Rebekah telling Hope a similar fairy tale.
- New Orleans, Louisiana
- This is the second season finale to feature Klaus, Elijah, Rebekah, Hayley, Marcel, Camille, Davina, Vincent, Esther and Hope, and the first to feature Freya and Dahlia.
- This is the last appearance of the indestructible white oak stake created by Esther in The Vampire Diaries Season Three episode Do Not Go Gentle, when Esther used the protective magic within the Gilbert Ring to make the last known white oak stake indestructible.
- Josh Rosza is mentioned by Marcel to Davina when she is talking about taking her revenge on the Mikaelsons. He was last seen in City Beneath The Sea.
- This is Esther Mikaelson's 20th appearance.
- Esther was last seen alive in her original body in the Season Three episode of The Vampire Diaries, Do Not Go Gentle, when she was killed by Alaric.
- This is the last appearance of Esther in the season and, quite possibly, the series. If she appears again, it would be in flashbacks.
- Kol was mentioned; he was last seen in I Love You, Goodbye possessing Kaleb Westphall.
- At the end of the episode, Klaus calls Hope "littlest wolf." This nickname was first said in a flashback in From a Cradle to a Grave when he is talking to the then still-pregnant Hayley.
- Hayley McCarthy and Kristin Erickson are seen as Young Esther and Young Dahlia. The actresses last played the younger versions of their characters in City Beneath The Sea.
- Freya references killing Esther while talking to Elijah in this episode. This occurred in Exquisite Corpse.
- This is the second time Hope is separated from her mother, the first time being from From a Cradle to a Grave until The Map of Moments.
- Esther - stabbed with a dagger; killed by Niklaus Mikaelson.
- Dahlia - stabbed with a dagger; killed by Niklaus Mikaelson.
Behind the Scenes
- This episode was dedicated in loving memory of Andre Perreault (1953-2015), TVD and TO's sound re-recording mixer.
- Alice Evans returns as Esther in this episode.
- Claire Holt returns as Rebekah Mikaelson in this episode.
- This is the last episode to bill Riley Voelkel as a guest star. From this point onward, she is officially a main cast member.
- This episode had about 1.19 million viewers in the USA.
- "Ashes to Ashes" is a song by David Bowie released in 1980 as a cut from the "Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)" album.
- "Ashes to Ashes" was the name of a British science fiction and police procedural drama television series, as a sequel to "Life on Mars".
- "Ashes to Ashes" is a British action movie released in 1999.
- "Ashes to ashes, dust to dust", a phrase from the Anglican Book of Common Prayer burial service
- Vincent: "Earth magic. Ah. Who taught you this?"
- Davina: "Closest thing I had to a teacher-- the guy I'm bringing back."
- Vincent: "Now, when you became Regent, our ancestors gave you a one-time-only access to their power. Now, are you sure you want to use that on Kol Mikaelson?"
- Davina: "I've already made up my mind. The spell's almost done, I just use the power of the spirits to turn dirt and ash into flesh and bone. Though, maybe I should have worn an apron..."
- Vincent: "Look, Davina Claire, you want my advice? As someone who has just been put through the Mikaelson meat-grinder... Be careful."
- Davina: "Kol's not like his brothers. They all turn on each other."
- Vincent: "'I against my brother, and my brother and I against the infidels.'"
- Davina: "What does that mean?"
- Vincent: "It means that families fight. But when push comes to shove, you can always trust a Mikaelson to back another Mikaelson. So, you watch your back."
- Elijah: (to Camille) "So now that you have healed, what do you mean Niklaus had a plan? We had a plan! A plan he has mercilessly destroyed!"
- Camille: "Your plan wouldn't have worked, Elijah! When Klaus got into my head, he said your plan would fail. So, he had to enact one of his own."
- Elijah: "And what might that be?"
- Camille: "He has to get her to link to him."
- Dahlia: [chanting a spell]
- Camille: (to Elijah) "This! All of this. It's a trick!"
- Elijah: "You've lost your mind."
- Camille: "He told me her secret. "I know how we can kill Dahlia."
- Elijah: (to Camille) "What do you mean Niklaus had a plan? We had a plan!"
- Marcel: (to Rebekah) "He compelled me to hurt you because he knows what you mean to me."
- Dahlia: (to Klaus) "I will only need a single drop of her blood, and then her power shall be mine also."
- Camille: (to Elijah) "All I know is that Klaus will do whatever he has to do--"
- Elijah: "Klaus will do whatever he has to do for Klaus!"
- Elijah: (to Klaus) "Now, we have fought together for centuries. And once again, to break your enemy, you broke your family!"