[Esther (still in Cassie's body) lights candles while she prepares a breakfast in the greenhouse. A starling chirps in a cage nearby while Esther begins cracking eggs into a bowl, mixing berries and herbs, and writing an invitation in fine calligraphy. She smiles as she looks at her work, and puts the invitation onto a silver platter with a lid]


[In the courtyard, Hayley is munching on an array of fruit and other breakfast food when Klaus comes down the stairs to join her]

HAYLEY: So, which restaurant's missing a compelled chef?
Klaus: [confused] It's certainly a card I've played in the past, but I had no hand in this...

[Klaus gestures to the food on the table for emphasis]

HAYLEY: Hmm. Well, then, I guess we have Elijah to thank?

[Elijah returns to the compound and joins them in the courtyard, and looks confused when he hears their conversation and notices the breakfast spread in front of them]

Elijah: This wasn't my doing...
HAYLEY: [frowns] Then, where did this all come from?

[The silver lid on the platter suddenly begins to rattle, which startles Hayley and Elijah so much that they jump in fright for a moment. Klaus looks uneasy and lifts the platter, which releases two starlings that fly up toward the ceiling, causing the three to reflexively duck to avoid being hit. They all look puzzled and nervous]

HAYLEY: What the hell was that?

[Klaus reaches for the invitation and opens it. It reads, "Dinner, Your Home, 8PM"]

Klaus: An invitation from our mother.

[Klaus and Elijah stare at each other in concern]



[Inside the Mikaelson cottage, Esther (in her original body) ladles out food for her children in the kitchen, who are all very young and who have all gathered around the table for breakfast]

ESTHER: Now, children, it's very hot! Rebekah, Kol, be careful!

[Finn joins them at the table as they all sit down]

ESTHER: Where's Niklaus?

[The children all stay silent. Elijah gives Finn a knowing look, but Finn looks as though he's dying to speak]

ESTHER: Elijah? Finn? Where's your brother?

[Finn hesitates for a moment before finally confessing what he knows]

FINN: He's in the woods, Mother. [Elijah glares at him] Hiding.

[Esther walks out into the woods, where she finds Klaus hiding behind a tree]

ESTHER: [sighs] What are you doing here?
Klaus: Father says he's to take me hunting later. But I'm no good. Not with him. He gets angry at me.

[Esther looks at him with sympathy and kneels so she can look him in the eye]

ESTHER: I understand. Do you know what I do when I'm afraid? I listen to the starlings.

[In the background, Finn can be seen eavesdropping on them]

ESTHER: When I was a little girl, my mother taught one of them a tune. And, since they mimic each others' songs, it spread, until every starling in the forest sang it.

[Klaus looks up at the birds in the trees, who are chattering loudly]

ESTHER: When we made this our home, I brought these same birds to these woods. Whenever you heard one sing, Niklaus, remember I'm with you. Always and forever.

[Esther takes Klaus' hand and pulls him to his feet. Finn watches from afar and gulps sadly]



[Klaus stares at the invitation while he stands on the balcony overlooking the French Quarter. He eventually turns to head back into his bedroom, where Hayley is laying flat on Klaus' bed]

HAYLEY: It is times like this I'm really glad I never knew my mother.
Klaus: We have enough enemies here. And now, the war for our home is to be fought against my own family.
HAYLEY: Your wretched mother and her disciples tried to put a carving knife through our baby's heart. I will happily add to the body count.

[Klaus smiles at Hayley as Elijah enters the room]

Elijah: You will do no such thing. Esther's a master in the art of possession. We know whose body she currently inhabits. We must decipher her intentions before she finds a new host.
Klaus: Well, her last invitation was an assassination attempt on all her children. I think we can assume her intentions are decidedly foul.
Elijah: [shrugs] Well, then. We have-- [He checks his watch]-- this afternoon to prepare for the worst.

[Elijah leaves. Hayley rolls her eyes, which makes Klaus smile]

Klaus: The bloom is off the rose, I see.

[Klaus follows Elijah out of the room, and Hayley rolls her eyes in annoyance before flopping back onto the bed]

HAYLEY: [mutters] Shut up.


[Marcel and Gia are sorting through books at his loft when Elijah arrives to talk]

MARCEL: I wondered when you'd show up. Your pupil's waiting. it's not like you to shirk your responsibilities.
Elijah: [sighs] As you well know, she is not my... burden to bear. You turned her, you teach her.

[Gia turns toward him, looking hurt. Marcel isn't impressed by Elijah's attitude]

MARCEL: Why'd you come?
Elijah: I'm looking for a cooperative witch.
MARCEL: I don't know where Davina is, and given the fact that she's got your father on a leash, I wouldn't put her in the, uh, "cooperative" category--
Elijah: [interrupts him] --Not Davina. Perhaps another witch? On another leash?
MARCEL: What makes you think I got another witch?
Elijah: Perhaps the daylight ring on your new librarian?

[He points to Gia, who tries to pretend like she's not offended]

MARCEL: [smiles] Good point! My memory's a little shaky. Lucky for you, though, I know someone who can help! Gia?

[Marcel gestures to Gia, who sighs and reluctantly walks over to him. Marcel puts his arm around her and turns back to Elijah]

MARCEL: [to Gia] Why don't you take Elijah to meet our friend Lenore?
Elijah: [sighs] If this is your idea of a joke, I can assure you I am not amused.
MARCEL: Well, there's nothing funny about what's going on. Mikael's back, witches causing chaos. It just seems like you could use all the friends that you can get.

[Elijah rolls his eyes and heads straight for the door]


[Oliver is sitting at the bar, drinking a pint of beer, when Vincent/Finn arrives and sits next to him]

VINCENT/FINN: You're Oliver, correct?
OLIVER: [annoyed] Do I know you?
VINCENT/FINN: No. But, I am, in fact, the person you're meeting with this afternoon.
OLIVER: [rolls his eyes] Look, uh, I'm here to meet Cassie. I don't know who you are, friend, but you certainly are no teenage girl that has magic powers.

[Oliver turns back to the bar and sips his beer, and Vincent tries his best to remain polite]

VINCENT/FINN: [laughs] What a keen observation, friend.

[Vincent's tone becomes colder] 

VINCENT/FINN: My name is Vincent, and, if you speak to me, you are, in fact, speaking to Cassie. [He pulls out a new moonlight ring from his pocket] I offer this as proof.

[Oliver becomes visibly nervous and stares at the ring for a long moment before hesitantly taking it and sliding it on his finger]

OLIVER: So, if I decide I don't want to answer to number two in the chain of command?

[Vincent/Finn looks at him in boredom and sighs. He then blows on his thumb and index finger before rubbing them together, casting a spell that causes Oliver's muscles to seize up in pain]

VINCENT/FINN: I'll make an example of you to show your pack what happens when Cassie's requests are denied. [Oliver continues to groan in pain] Or, we can start again.

[Vincent/Finn looks at Oliver, who is still groaning in pain from the spell, and takes Oliver's response as a "yes" to the question of starting again. He nods at Oliver and rubs his fingers in the other direction, which reverses the spell. Oliver gasps in relief. Vincent/Finn stands and leans over Oliver's head]

VINCENT/FINN: That ring comes at a price, and you'll begin paying for it today.

[Vincent/Finn leaves the restaurant. When he's gone, Oliver looks around to make sure the coast is clear before he pulls out his phone and dials a number]


[Klaus is in the dining room, where he is making arrangements for the evening's dinner with a group of (presumably compelled) caterers. One of the caterers gives him a choice of two different bottles of wine]

Klaus: Skip the salad course. Let's not make this dreadful evening any longer than it needs to be.

[Klaus chooses a wine and dismisses the caterer just as Hayley enters the dining room]

HAYLEY: So, I guess letting Oliver live paid off. He just informed me your mother has a partner-in-crime... another witch.
Klaus: Building alliances in her quest to destroy us, I imagine.
HAYLEY: [confused] Why does she hate you so much, Klaus? She had six kids-- it's not like she doesn't have the maternal gene.
Klaus: Seven, actually. And, I think at one time, she loved us very much.

[Klaus, overwhelmed by the topic of conversation, turns away and anxiously begins folding napkins on the table before speaking again]

Klaus: One died before I was born.
HAYLEY: [slightly guilty] I didn't know that.
Klaus: Years later, my brother Henrik was killed by the werewolves in our village. The loss of another child pushed my mother over the edge. So, she used her magic to turn us into immortals. I think that's when she loved us the most. But, it was her undoing. It triggered a sequence of events that led to the reveal of her long-held secret. My birth father was the werewolf whose pack killed my little brother. Of course, when Mikael found out, he murdered my real father, and so, my mother lost her lover, too.
HAYLEY: [stunned] Wow. No wonder she's crazy. I'm out of my mind having just given away Hope... I can't imagine if she'd actually died.
Klaus: [teary-eyed] You know, my siblings used to tell each other she didn't hate us-- she hated herself for what we've become. I think they believed that even after she tried to kill us all.
HAYLEY: [quietly] What did you believe?
Klaus: I don't know. I just knew I wanted her dead.

[The two stare at each other for a long moment]

HAYLEY: Well, every good story needs a wicked witch.

[She winks at him with a small smile to cheer him up]

HAYLEY: It'll be all the more satisfying when we melt her.

[Klaus seems to feel reassured by this and smiles at her appreciatively. She smiles back at him affectionately]


[Gia and Elijah are on their way to see Lenore while Gia unsuccessfully tries to make conversation with him]

GIA: So, you're not much of a talker, huh? [Elijah just looks at her blankly] No problem. Last guy I hung out with, he wouldn't shut up, so... guess I'm due for a change--
Elijah: [cuts her off] The task is to lead me to someone. Let's just... do that, shall we?

[Elijah walks in front of Gia, and Gia, unimpressed, rushes to catch up]

GIA: You wanna walk in silence? Cool. [She sighs in frustration] But, you're going the wrong way.

[Elijah, visibly annoyed, stops in his tracks and turns back toward her]

Elijah: [impatiently] Marcel believes I can instruct you. First lesson-- do your best not to waste my time.

[Gia glares at him and turns in the opposite direction as she leads Elijah toward Lenore's shop]


[Lenore is behind the front cashier's counter, where she is grinding herbs in a mortar and pestle. Soon, Elijah and Gia arrive to speak with her]

LENORE: Go away, I'm busy.
Elijah: Yes, blatantly practicing magic, I see.
LENORE: Herbal remedies for a neighbor who lost her insurance. But, my guess is an Original ain't here to talk neighborhood gossip.
Elijah: I have a favor to ask you.
LENORE: Quarter's crawling with witches, go ask one of them.

[Elijah sights impatiently and looks around at the shop]

Elijah: I don't typically ask favors of my enemies.
LENORE: So, you come across the river to bother me?

[Elijah changes the subject as he starts wandering through the aisles of shelves full of snacks]

Elijah: It's unfortunate, isn't it? Bureaucracy has not been kind to your community. Those tax incentives on local businesses have been stalling for months. Of course, a persuasive person could potentially remove any red tape.
LENORE: [clearly interested] I'm listening.
Elijah: A certain someone-- let's say a witch-- has a troublesome tendency of jumping into other bodies. [He smiles politely] When she does so again, I would like to know into whom she jumps.

[He drops a coin into her coin jar near the register and looks at Lenore expectantly]

LENORE: Soul-branding. It's a sacrificial spell. I'm gonna need an item that's been spelled by the witch in question, and a python.
Elijah: [smiles] I shall retrieve the enchanted item. My partner will take care of the python.

[He turns to leave the store, but Gia just stops and looks at him incredulously]

GIA: Ew, what?
Elijah: [patronizingly] Second lesson of the day-- acquisition through mind compulsion.

[Elijah leaves. Gia is left behind with Lenore, looking flustered. After a moment, Gia rushes after him]

GIA: How the hell do I do mind compulsion?

[Gia leaves in a huff. Once she's gone, Vincent/Finn enters the store and approaches Lenore at the counter. She doesn't look up right away]

LENORE: [doesn't look up] Can I help you?

[Once Vincent/Finn makes it to the counter, she looks up and seems alarmed by the sight of him]

VINCENT/FINN: [smiles] I'm most certain that you can.


[Marcel is pouring a drink for himself at his bar when Klaus arrives]

MARCEL: Let me guess, you need a favor?
Klaus: I'm paying this one, I promise. There was a necklace I gave you a long time ago. It was a leather strap with a metal bird on the end.

[Marcel turns toward a nearby shelf and grabs a small wooden box]

MARCEL: Yeah, you gave it to me when I turned eleven.
Klaus: You remember?

[Marcel walks toward Klaus with the small box in his hands and opens it in front of him, revealing the necklace in question]

MARCEL: Mikael's back, Elijah's babbling on about family drama, and you're here looking for antique jewelry.

[Marcel holds out the open box to Klaus, who takes the necklace inside it. The sight of it transports him to another flashback to his childhood]


[It is night time now, and Esther has just finished making the starling necklace in the kitchen when she calls young Klaus in to see her]

ESTHER: Come here, Klaus.

[Esther dips the metal bird on the necklace into a pot of a clear yellow liquid before laying it on a small pile of sand surrounded by black stones on her table]

ESTHER: Birds are sacred to the Vikings. It's how we find land. It's how your father and I found our home here.

[Esther leans toward Klaus and ties the necklace around his neck]

ESTHER: Here. If ever you are lost, or scared, or in need of me, just clasp the bird, and I will come.
Klaus: D-do the others get one?

[Esther hesitates for a moment and bites her lip before she finally speaks]

ESTHER: I love all my children. [She takes Klaus' hand and squeezes it] But you, Niklaus? You're the most special, which is why I give this to you, and you alone. Promise me you will wear it always.
Klaus: I promise.

[Later, the village holds a bonfire, where Esther and Klaus join a group of villagers in dancing around the fire while others play music on their various instruments]

ESTHER: Your father may teach you to hunt, but I will teach you to win the heart of the prettiest girl in the village!

[The two spin around happily and laugh, while Finn stares sadly at them from afar, holding a flute in his hand. Suddenly, Esther notices that Klaus isn't wearing his necklace]

ESTHER: [frowns] Where's your starling necklace?

[Klaus looks panicked as he touches his neck and realizes the necklace is gone]

Klaus: It must have fallen off!

[Klaus starts to desperately look around for it, just as Finn slowly makes his way over to them]

ESTHER: You need to find it now! Immediately!
FINN: It's all right, Mother. I found it.

[Finn pulls the necklace out of his pocket and hands it to her. Esther takes it from him and puts it around Klaus' neck]

ESTHER: [to Klaus] You owe a great thank you to your brother, don't you?

[Klaus remains silent, visibly embarrassed, and Esther gives him a hard look]

ESTHER: Don't you?
Klaus: [reluctantly] Thank you, Finn.

[Finn smiles kindly at Klaus, and Esther caresses his cheek with her hand]



[Klaus and Marcel are still in the middle of talking when Klaus comes out of his flashback]

MARCEL: Do I even want to know why you're asking for a necklace that your mother gave you?
Klaus: [smiles weakly] Believe me, Marcel-- you want no part in the latest chapter of our sprawling family saga.

[They both look at the necklace]

Klaus: Thank you for holding onto this.

[Klaus leaves the apartment with the necklace in hand, and Marcel watches him warily as he goes]


[Vincent/Finn and Cassie/Esther are both walking through the cemetery while Finn updates her on their plan]

FINN: I've heard from Kol. He's still looking for the young witch. I imagine he'll find her soon enough.
ESTHER: Shame he'll miss dinner. Although, it is best that his new identity remains unknown. This new witch you've brought me, Lenore. She seems rather stubborn.
FINN: Mother, I'd be happy to open her up to new possibilities.
ESTHER: Have Oliver handle her. Your means of persuasion will be needed for dinner. Have we received any response to our invitation?
FINN: I imagine your message had quite the effect-- both he and Elijah have been on the move all day.
ESTHER: Of course. Ever boys. Be sure you're ready for them this evening.
FINN: I've handled everything exactly as you've instructed.
ESTHER: I'd expect nothing less from you, Finn.

[Esther reaches up and caresses his cheek, just as she did in the flashback. Finn nods at her and moves into one of the crypts, where Lenore is chained up. Her lip has been busted open, and she has several bruises and lacerations on her face and arms. Oliver is waiting inside for Finn as well, and looks appalled by the many injuries that Lenore has sustained]

OLIVER: You torture your own?
VINCENT/FINN: No! I persuade.

[Vincent/Finn opens a small satchel that holds various tools used for torture. Lenore looks exhausted and scared, and already has several wounds on her face and head]

VINCENT/FINN: [to Oliver] I'd like you to do the same.

[Finn walks over to Lenore, who looks at him with loathing]

VINCENT/FINN: She had some visitors earlier today.

[He brushes her hair from her face, and she groans and backs away from him]

VINCENT/FINN: I'd like to know what they wanted.

[Oliver looks horrified as Vincent heads toward the door. He grabs a large hourglass and turns it over]

VINCENT/FINN: Don't dally.


[Hayley is updating Klaus and Elijah on what she knows]

HAYLEY: Marcel's witch is being held captive in the Quarter.
Klaus: Oh, perfect. Mother's a step ahead, as usual.
HAYLEY: Oliver's with her. I'll go, and I'll get her to do the spell. But, I need the necklace.
Elijah: [worried] I don't like this whatso--
HAYLEY: [cuts him off] No. You don't get to ignore me for days and then suddenly act like you're concerned, Elijah. Just, for once, please, will you trust me that I'll do something and it will get done?

[Elijah looks as though he's about to speak, but shuts his mouth at the last moment. Klaus sighs and pulls the necklace out of his pocket and hands it to her. She takes it]

HAYLEY: Thank you.

[Hayley gets ready to leave, but Elijah stops her]

Elijah: Wait.
HAYLEY: [interrupts him] I don't car--
Elijah: [cuts her off] No, there's something else. A disciple of Marcel's was instructed to fetch another ingredient. Ask for Gia.
HAYLEY: [hesitates] Okay.

[She leaves. Once she's gone, Klaus walks toward Elijah]

Klaus: What's going on with you two?
Elijah: Nothing.

[Klaus gives him a look, and he sighs unhappily]

Elijah: She's stronger. That's all that matters.


[Gia has just returned to Marcel's apartment and is telling him about her day]

GIA: A snake! That was my big lesson of the day. Snake-fetching.
MARCEL: [laughs] Hold on-- you compelled yourself a snake?
GIA: [in embarrassment] No! I stole the damn thing! Captain Condescension didn't feel the need to cover the mind-control chapter in today's lesson.
MARCEL: Did you even try?
GIA: I don't even know where to start trying, Marcel.

[Gia walks toward Marcel and gives him a confused look]

GIA: Why Elijah? [Marcel just looks at her silently] I'm not stupid. You want something from him, I just can't guess the reason why you'd think I'm the way to get it.

[Marcel licks his lips anxiously and hesitates before speaking]

MARCEL: Actually, I want something for him, and it's the same thing I want for you.
GIA: Which is what?
MARCEL: This. Us! Our new community! Look, I learned my lesson the hard way. You can't make your way in this town unless you got an Original looking out for you. Klaus is so fixated on those wolves, and Elijah's so wrapped up in centuries of his family's old crap that he can't see it. But, we need him. We need him to see us as family, too.
GIA: [near tears] I couldn't even get my own family to care about me. How am I supposed to win him over?

[Marcel walks over to her and cups her face in his hands and looks her in the eyes with affection]

MARCEL: I've known that man two hundred years. He's cranky. [He laughs] He's fussy. And, he can ride your last nerve. But, he has an Achilles heel, okay? He can't help but fix what's broken. You don't need to be anything other than what you already are-- someone who needs his help.


[Elijah and Klaus are both wearing fancy suits and preparing for dinner with their mother in the dining room]

Klaus: [annoyed] Are these outfits really necessary?
Elijah: Appearance is a way of showing respect, Niklaus. Mother will be more likely to surrender her true intentions.
Klaus: Well, I doubt her guard will drop just 'cause I'm dressed like a bloody lawyer.
Elijah: [lights candles] We need every advantage we can get, Niklaus.
Klaus: You always did excel in diplomacy. Just know, if she tries anything, I'll tear her new body to pieces.

[Vincent/Finn enters the room and laughs dramatically at their conversation]

VINCENT/FINN: You two haven't changed a bit! [He looks at Elijah] Linens and silk to disguise your pathetic self-loathing. [He then turns to Klaus] And you-- despite the arrogant façade, you're still the same paranoid little boy, full of hate and fear.

[Klaus' face turns from amused to offended. Elijah looks at him in confusion before turning to Vincent/Finn and walking toward him]

Elijah: Forgive me, I don't believe I've had the pleasure.
VINCENT/FINN: [feigns offense] Oh, you mean you don't recognize me? So much for the unbreakable bonds of family, huh? Always and forever indeed.

[Klaus begins to scowl when he realizes what is going on, but Elijah remains confused and on edge]

Klaus: [angry] It's been a long time, Finn.

[Finn smirks and spreads his arms out wide in the typical "Mikaelson man" stance]

FINN: Now that the introductions are out of the way, let's eat!


[Hayley has just arrived to the crypt where Oliver is waiting with Lenore, who is still chained up. The python Gia stole has wrapped itself around the hourglass, which is still 3/4 the way full. Hayley breaks the chains binding Lenore]

OLIVER: They worked her over pretty good.
HAYLEY: We need to get her out of here.
OLIVER: [panicked] Huh? Then what? They'll know that I let her go! Look, you asked me to infiltrate Cassie's coven, I'm not gonna blow my cover for some has-been hippie-witch!

[Lenore groans and gives him a side-eyes, which makes Oliver look slightly guilty]

OLIVER: No offense!

[Hayley looks around the mausoleum while she tries to come up with a plan]

HAYLEY: I guess we could always make it look like you got jumped? Tell Cassie that Lenore got rescued by her people?
OLIVER: [sarcastically] Let me guess, you, uh, wanna beat the hell out of me? Make it look convincing?
HAYLEY: [smiles] Well, I can't say I wouldn't enjoy it!

[Oliver laughs weakly and sighs in defeat before bracing himself]

OLIVER: Okay, just... just not the face, okay?


[Elijah pours Finn a glass of wine, which he wafts under his nose]

FINN: [politely] What an aromatic bordot.
Klaus: Well, it was a challenge to find a good pairing. What wine goes well with treachery?
FINN: Don't pout, brother. Tonight is meant to be a happy occasion!

[Finn whispers something in one of the servers' ears, which makes Klaus suspicious]

Elijah: What exactly are we celebrating?
FINN: Why, my return, of course! Remember, I spent nine hundred years-- [He looks at Klaus for confirmation]-- right?-- lying daggered in a box. I'm rather enjoying this new body. Strolling about your lovely city that, uh, you've made your home. But, do tell me-- what'd I miss? Regale me with your contributions to society! Medicine? Philosophy? Art?

[Klaus rolls his eyes, already tired of this conversation]

FINN: Or, have you two merely cut a path of destruction across time?
Klaus: The last time we met, you were helping our mother try to annihilate the lot of us! Let's not throw stones in glass houses.

[Elijah notices that the caterers are placing another two plates, glasses, and sets of silverware at the table and becomes confused]

Elijah: Are we expecting another guest?

[Finn gestures at the other end of the table]

FINN: Mother will sit at the head. And, as for the seat across from me, that's reserved for another of our clan. Care to wager an educated guess? How about a paranoid one?
Klaus: Well, there's no way Kol would listen to anything other than his ego.
FINN: And yet, our mother has made such a compelling argument that even he, the wildest of us Mikaelsons, has seen the error of his ways and accepted his new form with vigor! Change, dear brothers, is inevitable.
Klaus: You would dare face us as a mortal? The only thing inevitable is your death.

[Klaus flings a knife at Finn, but he easily deflects it with magic, causing the knife to instead embed itself into the chair at the head of the table]


[Finn removes the knife from the chair and holds it aloft]

FINN: I suppose the honor of carving should go to the oldest. We have much to discuss.


[Oliver is laying unconscious on the floor of the crypt, where Lenore is checking him over. The hourglass is now almost half-empty]

HAYLEY: He'll be okay, I promise.
LENORE: [confused]What's your dog in this fight? You're not a Mikaelson.
HAYLEY: [hesitates] I sort of am... in spirit.
LENORE: [shocked] The werewolf mother?
HAYLEY: Turned witch-rescuer, apparently. Listen, can we do this spell, or not?
LENORE: After what that bitch and her lackey did to me? I'll do any spell that you want!

[Lenore walks out of the crypt, and Hayley follows behind her]


[Elijah and Klaus are still having dinner with Finn in the dining room]

FINN: I'm rather enjoying my evening.
Klaus: [frustrated] Well, I'd rather enjoy you getting to the point.
FINN: I had nine hundred years to learn to be patient. Although, I am curious why you kept me daggered in a box for so long.
Klaus: You were daggered for being an ever-simpering sycophant. Did Mother bring you back from the dead so you could wash her knickers?

[Klaus smirks at Finn in amusement, but Finn begins to lose his temper]

FINN: [furious] She raised me because I was treated unfairly! Cheated of all but the smallest portion of my life!

[Finn turns to Elijah, looking upset]

FINN: Elijah, I can understand such cruelty coming from him. [He points to Klaus] But I always thought of you as being the compassionate one! What did I do to deserve you turning your back on me? Were you afraid of Niklaus? Are you still?

[Elijah, unamused by Finn's words, remains silent]

FINN: Or perhaps jealousy is what kept me locked in a box? You coveted the duties of the eldest brother, in which case you had near-on a millennium to fix the problems of this family, and instead, produced nine centuries of failure.

[Finn realizes his anger has gotten the best of him and pinches the bridge of his nose with his thumb and stops himself from further exposing his feelings to his brothers. After a moment, Elijah breaks his silence]

Elijah: You might reside-- somewhat parasitically, I might add-- in another body, but I assure you, in nine hundred years, your tedious sentiments remain quite the same. You see, Finn, like Father, you've always despised our supernatural existence. Father, of course, slaughtered and consumed his own, whereas you became pretentious and dull... much like this meal. I will not ask you again-- where is Mother?

[In the background, Klaus is giggling at Elijah's insults. Suddenly, Cassie/Esther arrives]

ESTHER: [to Elijah] Oh, my darling son.

[Finn immediately rises to his feet to greet his mother]

ESTHER: [sarcastically] I've missed you, too.


[Hayley and Lenore have arrived to the shop and are preparing to start the spell in her back room. Hayley watches Lenore as she sets up a small cauldron before handing her the bag with the python]

HAYLEY: So, will this take long?
LENORE: [scoffs] You want me to soul-brand the resurrected spirit of a thousand-year-old witch? It's best I take my time and do it right.

[Lenore looks up at Hayley, and her face softens into a sympathetic expression]

LENORE: For what it's worth, I'm sorry. No one should ever have to lose a child.
HAYLEY: [sadly] No. No one should.

[Lenore lights a bundle of sage and wafts the smoke around the room]

LENORE: You have the talisman?

[Hayley digs the necklace out of her pocket and hands it to Lenore]

HAYLEY: So, how does this work? You brand Esther with the spell, and then what?

[Lenore sets the necklace on top of the cauldron so that it lays across the diameter of it while the ends hang over the rim]

LENORE: The next time she jumps into a body, she'll be marked with a distinctive symbol on the back of her hand. [She pulls the python out of the bag] This way, you'll always know who she is.
HAYLEY: [sighs] We still don't know why she's here. When Esther held you captive, did she give you any idea why she's doing all this?

[Lenore puts the python around her neck for a moment and looks at Hayley with a serious expression]


[Hayley rolls her eyes at this response and chuckles]

HAYLEY: How hard did they hit you?

[Lenore takes the python from around her neck and holds it in front of her with one hand]

LENORE: What besides love can inspire such pain and cruelty? And Esther?

[Lenore takes a knife with her free hand and slices down the length of the snake with it before disemboweling it and squeezing the entrails in her hands, dripping the blood in the cauldron]

LENORE: Her love is very, very strong.

[Hayley watches Lenore, looking both stressed and worried, as she continues the soul-branding spell]


[The Mikaelson family dinner continues on while Klaus questions their mother]

Klaus: Why don't you say what you came here to say, so this wretched night can end?
ESTHER: It pains me that you and Elijah look at me with such disdain. I wish you could see that my every action has been to protect you!
Klaus: [incredulously] You actually believe that, don't you? I knew you were a liar, but now I see you're utterly delusional.
ESTHER: If you can forget the hatred that you cling to and remember all the times I've mended and healed you.

[Klaus laughs sarcastically, but Esther turns to Elijah]

ESTHER: Elijah, do you recall the day Niklaus challenged your father to a duel? Did I leave your brother to die alone? What did I say, when you came to me and asked me to help him?
Elijah: [sighs] That you would rather die than to see any of your children suffer.


[Klaus is older, now, and his pained cries can be heard throughout the forest. Esther rushes toward the sound of his voice until she finds him. He's pinned to a tree with Mikael's sword, which has impaled him through the shoulder]

ESTHER: [worried] Tell me what happened!
Klaus: [gasps in pain] I challenged him.

[Esther begins applying pressure to Klaus' shoulder]

ESTHER: What were you thinking?
Klaus: [weakly] I thought if I could just best him, just once, he would see that I am worthy.
ESTHER: [panicked] You need to hold still!

[She grabs the handle of the swords, and though she struggles, she eventually removes the sword from his shoulder. She then drops it onto the ground and immediately begins pulling bundles of moss from the tree, which she uses as a rudimentary bandage for his wounds]

Klaus: AHHHHH!
ESTHER: Niklaus, calm down! Everything is going to be fine.
Klaus: He laughed at my challenge. He said he would take this from me--[He holds up his starling necklace]-- as a prize, after defeating me. [Esther gulps anxiously, worried about what comes next] We began to fight, and he knocked me down. He cut the bird from my neck, and I grew so angry, I hit him. Again, and again. I cut him!
ESTHER: [terrified] What happened next?
Klaus: The look on his face, I'd never seen it before. And I was so proud. Mother, I held this up-- [He holds up the necklace]-- to show him I kept my prize. And then, he-- Why would he--?
ESTHER: [horrified] Your father, in his rage, struck you with his sword?
Klaus: I wouldn't let him take this from me. It was your gift to me!
ESTHER: [whispers] You're a good boy, Niklaus. You did the right thing.



[Klaus returns from his flashback and comes to a sudden realization]

Klaus: [horrified] The necklace.


[Klaus flashes back to when Esther first made the necklace. Right before she called Klaus into the room, she cast a spell upon it]

ESTHER: [chants] Onon de es sinj unctas, on gu ol de.



[Klaus is glaring at Esther furiously when he realizes what she did to the necklace]

Klaus: It wasn't spelled to protect me. It made me weak.
ESTHER: I sought to protect you from yourself! If you had killed your father in that duel, or anyone else in the course of your life, you would have activated your curse!

[Klaus angrily slams his hand down on the table]

Klaus: You ruined me! You left me to suffer at the hands of a father who valued only strength!
ESTHER: [guiltily] I kept you from becoming a beast for as long as I possibly could!

[Klaus' voice raises to a shout, and he slams his head against the table once again before he rises to his feet]

Klaus: Oh, you lied to me! To hide your own transgressions because of your own fear! My whole life, I sought the approval I was denied by the man I thought was my father! You turned me into the weakling he hated.

[Elijah rises to his feet and paces anxiously, while Esther gulps and looks guilty under Klaus' furious glare, unable to look him in the eyes]

Klaus: Look at me! You rant and you rave about the monster I have become, but you, Mother-- you are the author of everything I am.

[Esther looks flustered, and suddenly begins gasping for breath. Finn looks mildly alarmed as Cassie/Esther faints and slumps over in her seat. Elijah manages to catch her before her head hits the table, and he looks at his brothers in shock]


[At THE CEMETERY, the hourglass Finn turned over has nearly run out]

[At LENORE'S SHOP, Hayley watches as Lenore continues to cast the soul-branding spell]

LENORE: [chants] Aux sa ah ça le vous de le vous l'inspir non do set.

[At THE MIKAELSON COMPOUND, the boys are panicked about Esther's condition]

Elijah: She's gone.

[Elijah goes to attack Finn, but he uses his magic to push Elijah away, which throws him over the table and into the nearby wall. Klaus vamp-speeds toward Finn and grabs him by the lapels]

Klaus: [shouts] Where is she?

[Finn blows on his fingers and rubs them together, using the same muscle-seizing spell he used on Oliver earlier. Klaus falls to the floor in pain while Finn adjusts his jacket and looks around frantically]

[At THE CEMETERY, the hourglass has just run out]

[At LENORE'S SHOP, Lenore finishes her spell and falls forward, leaning against the cauldron to keep her from falling onto the table. Hayley looks at her in concern as Lenore comes to and looks around the room in confusion]

HAYLEY: [worried] ... Are you okay?
LENORE: [dazed] Yes.

[Hayley stands to her feet and walks toward her]

HAYLEY: You sure--?

[Lenore, still leaning against the cauldron, summons her strength and manages to stand up straight as she looks around the room]

LENORE: [quietly] Just getting my bearings...

[When Lenore lifts her hand from the rim of the cauldron, Hayley notices a brand on the back of Lenore's right hand in the shape of a triskelion. The sight of the brand, after being told by Lenore that it is part of the soul-branding spell, startles Hayley so much that she reflexively jumps backwards away from her and yelps in horror. Lenore/Esther looks at her in confusion]

HAYLEY: The mark...

[Esther looks down and takes in her new body]

HAYLEY: [breathlessly] It's you, isn't it? Esther.

[Lenore/Esther smirks in amusement at Hayley's quick thinking]


[In the dining room, Klaus and Elijah have recovered from Finn's attack only to find that Finn has managed to flee the compound. Angry and concerned about Esther and Finn's motives, Klaus and Elijah decide to question Cassie, who is absolutely terrified and confused about what has just happened to her]

Klaus: [furiously] Where's our mother?

[Cassie is so terrified at this point that she is almost in tears]

CASSIE: Where am I? What's happening?
[Klaus loses his temper and grabs Cassie in a choke-hold, and she struggles against his grip as she desperately gasps for breath. A concerned Elijah immediately steps in to stop him]
Elijah: Leave her. She's a puppet. Niklaus, look at her! She has absolutely no idea.

[Klaus reluctantly lets go of her, which only makes Cassie more scared and overwhelmed]

CASSIE: [starts to cry] What are you talking about? Who are you?
Klaus: Shut up! Stop talking right now!

[Cassie gulps nervously and stops talking. Elijah pats Klaus on the shoulder comfortingly before Klaus begins to pace around]

Klaus: Our mother orchestrated this entire evening just to torture us, and then simply vanishes. [He walks back to Cassie and looks at her] Why?
Elijah: [horrified] What if we are not the only minds she was hoping to poison tonight?


[Hayley's phone rings in her pocket, and she pulls it out to check it as Lenore/Esther washes the snake's blood from her hands. Hayley anxiously looks over at Esther, who nods in encouragement]

ESTHER: Go ahead. You can answer it.

[Hayley quickly answers the phone and instantly begins to speak to Elijah, who is still at the compound]

HAYLEY: Elijah? I'm at Lenore's shop...

[Esther thrusts her arm forward and uses her magic to kill Hayley's phone]

ESTHER: That'll be enough!

[A scared and angrily Hayley glares at Esther]

HAYLEY: They're gonna come for me.
ESTHER: [smiles] My darling, that's been the idea all along.


[Klaus and Elijah are determinedly rushing out of the house so they can go rescue Hayley]

Elijah: Why would she want Hayley?
Klaus: To kill her? To punish us? To learn the truth about the child? For one of any number of reasons, all of which will be rendered moot when I send her screaming back to hell.


[Lenore/Esther and Hayley are still waiting for Elijah and Klaus to arrive]

ESTHER: It's so lovely to finally meet you. Tell me, do my sons ever acknowledge the good you bring into their lives? After all, it was you who gave them hope.

[Hayley, not knowing if she meant "hope" or "Hope," her daughter, looks at her suspiciously]

ESTHER: [smiles] The promise of a child shows us all the possibilities of a future that could be. Children are meant to save us from the worst parts of who we are. A truth that makes my own circumstances all the more tragic, wouldn't you say?
HAYLEY: [rolls her eyes] I don't pity you, Esther.

[Esther looks as though she is offended for a brief moment before shrugging it off]

ESTHER: It's a terrible thing, for a mother to fail her child.

[She sees the starling necklace still laying over the cauldron and picks it up so she can look at it closely]

ESTHER: As you well know. [Hayley looks guilty] But now, I offer you freedom. The gift of a new body. Freedom from being a hybrid.

[Hayley looks interested, but tries to hide it as Esther continues her offer]

ESTHER: I have the ability to return to you all that you have lost, Hayley. To make it so that you could have a family of your own. [She smiles] More children of your own. Wouldn't that be nice?

[Klaus and Elijah finally arrive and interrupt their conversation. When Klaus sees Hayley standing in front of Esther, he rushes toward her]

Klaus: I assume you've had the misfortune of speaking to my mother?

[Esther picks up a handful of an unidentified powdery substance and throws it towards Klaus, creating a magical barrier to keep him from coming any closer to her]

Klaus: [annoyed] You hide behind your spells like a coward!
ESTHER: I did not come here to wage war!

[Esther picks up another handful of the substance and throws it sideways toward Elijah, who had just tried to run toward her from behind to catch her off-guard, preventing him from coming any closer as well]

Elijah: Everything you do is an act of war. If you touch her, so help me--
ESTHER: [interrupts him] Hayley is free to go. I've spoken my piece, she knows why I'm here. I have come to heal our family, Elijah.
Klaus: Well, that's a grand sentiment, coming from you. [He turns back to Hayley] Go. Now.

[As Hayley turns to leave, Esther threateningly explodes a light bulb with magic]

ESTHER: My intent was never to harm! Only to heal, as I have already healed your brothers Finn and Kol. For you, I will undo everything that has been done, thereby giving you a new life!

[Another light bulb explodes overhead, and Lenore stares intensely at her two sons]

ESTHER: One without the vampire curse I inflicted upon you.

[Esther starts waving her hand above a cauldron, and the earth begins to shake, rattling all of the inventory on the shelves of the store]

ESTHER: Ask Hayley to share with you my loving proposition.
Klaus: [angrily] You're a fool if you think we'll accept anything that you offer!
ESTHER: Oh, you are wrong, Niklaus!

[The earth continues to rumble below them as more light bulbs explode, and Esther holds her arms open wide]

ESTHER: There will come a time, my darlings, that you will beg for it!

[The glass in the windows shatters inward, and Klaus and Elijah raise their arms over their faces to shield them from the broken glass. Esther lifts her arms over her head as hundreds of starlings burst their way through the windows and descend upon the store]


[Elijah, Klaus, and Hayley are in the courtyard, processing all that they've learned this evening from Esther]

Klaus: Of course she used those damn birds to make her offer!
Elijah: [cuts him off] Besides the offer of rebirth, what else did she say?
HAYLEY: I don't know. She rambled a lot. She blamed the two of you for what happened to Hope, to me...

[Klaus instantly appalled by this response and stops his pacing so he can stare Hayley in the eyes]

Klaus: Well, I hope you're not thinking of taking her offer?

[Hayley, looking guilty, can't bring herself to look at either of them]

Klaus: HAYLEY! I'm talking to you!

[Finally, overwhelmed and feeling defensive, Hayley stands to her feet and stares Klaus in the eyes]

HAYLEY: What do you want me to say, Klaus? I lost my daughter. So, yeah, when your mother offers to wipe the slate clean, excuse me if I'm tempted. [She turns to Elijah] By the way, thanks for your help tonight, Elijah. I'm sorry that it takes me being in danger for you to even talk to me.

[Hayley storms off. Elijah looks as though he's about to stop her, but Klaus calls out to him]

Klaus: Leave her. I need you with me. [He pauses for a moment] Our mother, Elijah-- the woman who brought us into the world, made us what we are-- and the whole time, she lied to me! She made me weak.
Elijah: [sadly] You were never weak, Niklaus. You are-- you have always been-- the most fierce of us all. In a thousand years, I have never seen anyone successfully stand against you. Not even our wicked father. Not one of the countless devoted to your destruction. You'll protect our home, even in the face of an adversary such as our mother, because that, brother... that is what you do.

[Klaus seems both surprised and grateful for Elijah's response, and he grips Elijah's shoulder in a gesture of thanks]

Klaus: You remain ever the wise counsel, brother. The rest of the family could learn something from you.

[Elijah seems shocked at this kindness as Klaus leaves the room]


[Across the river in Algiers, Gia is at the bar of the club, where she is watching a man on stage playing blues guitar. After a moment, Elijah arrives and joins her]

Elijah: [to the bartender] Bourbon, neat.
GIA: [side-eyes Elijah] What? You need another python?
Elijah: [smiles] One can never have too many.

[The bartender hands Elijah his drink, and Elijah turns to address him]

Elijah: Thank you.

[Elijah returns to his conversation with Gia]

Elijah: Are you playing tonight?
GIA: I don't think so.
Elijah: It's a shame. You're rather good!

[Gia looks embarrassed for a moment and hesitates before replying]

GIA: Ever since I turned, I haven't been able to play. I don't know why.
Elijah: It's different for us. Cadence, rhythm, harmony... our experience of the senses is altered. We move faster. We hear things with a greater acuity. Silences are at once longer and more profound. [He touches his ear] Sound is simply different to our ears. And then, there is the emotion. For a vampire, it is extremely heightened. [He pauses] Sometimes, it's difficult to express.

[Elijah takes a sip of his bourbon. Gia stares at him in confusion and surprise at his sudden kindness]

GIA: Yeah, that's, uh... that's exactly it.
Elijah: Your music, the joy you felt when playing... you can learn again. [He takes another drink] I can help you.
GIA: [confused] Why?
Elijah: Because if someone had done the same thing for myself and my siblings, I'm quite certain history would have unfolded differently.

[Elijah smiles at her, and after a moment, Gia gives him a small smile in return]


[Marcel is sitting on his couch with a drink in his hand while the remaining vampires now living in Algiers congregate in groups in his apartment. Some are drinking alcohol and talking amongst themselves, others are feeding on humans. After a moment, Gia returns to the loft and approaches Marcel]

MARCEL: [smiles] Where were you?
GIA: I saw Elijah. [She smiles] You were right. He found something that he wanted to fix. [She laughs happily] He's gonna help me.

[She sits next to Marcel on the couch, and the two take in the party atmosphere]

MARCEL: He's gonna help us all.


[At the LYCÉE, Vincent/Finn and Lenore/Esther are having a heated discussion in the greenhouse, where Esther opens a cage that holds two starlings]

FINN: Now, you must have known they wouldn't give in without a fight.
ESTHER: Of course! Tonight was not an ultimatum, it was an invitation. I just want to get them thinking. After all, only those who know they are lost will ask to be found.
FINN: [worriedly] They're defiant by nature, and they've grown very strong. How do you expect to show them the error of their ways?
ESTHER: [laughs] I will systematically destroy everything they hold dear.

[The camera cuts to the COMPOUND, where Niklaus sits alone in the courtyard while Esther continues to speak in voiceover]

ESTHER: I've already taken the wolves from Niklaus and made them our own. It is time, now, to focus on the prodigal son, Marcel, and his small nest of vampires across the river.

[The camera cuts to MARCEL'S LOFT, where Marcel has handed Gia a drink and introduced her to her fellow vampires]

ESTHER: Now that we have cleansed the Quarter of his kind, perhaps it's time to turn our attention to the outskirts of our beautiful home. We will take their pride, their joy, their love.

[The camera cuts to the COMPOUND, where Hayley sits quietly in her bedroom. She looks over to see the empty rocking chair in the nursery and becomes sad]

ESTHER: We will lay it all to ruin.

[The camera cuts to the COMPOUND, where Elijah has just returned and joined Klaus in the courtyard]

ESTHER: And, when they are at their lowest point, in their deepest despair, they will have no choice but to beg me to release them from their pain. [She smirks] And, because I love them, I will.


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