In the Kingdom of Norway, 972 A.D. a young blonde woman walks through a snowstorm to a house in which she interrupts a woman chanting a spell with a rosary. She acknowledges the woman inside as her sister but she doesn’t acknowledge her back, prompting her to say she’s come to beg for the woman’s help. This gets her attention and she asks what for. The blonde tells the woman who was chanting she knows she’s always wanted children of her own, provoking her to reply “then go, have your Viking children”
. The blonde woman continues to inform her that it’s been almost a full year since she marries and she is still not withchild and her in-laws fear she may be cursed and begs that the woman, Dahlia, help her with her magic, making Dahlia angry that she would dare come seeking favors from her, implying that the blonde woman herself was a witch and had previously abandoned the witchcraft practice and could’ve helped herself otherwise, but she replies that she was never as strong as Dahlia and she knows that as much as she knows that Dahlia wouldn’t turn her away in her time of need because whatever issues they may have they will always be sisters bound by blood, visibly touching Dahlia. She tells her that what she asks requires great sacrifice and the woman replies she will do anything she asks her to do and Dahlia hugs her, admitting she could never refuse her little sister, revealing her to be Esther Mikaelson
Present day, Oliver has been captured by Esther and Finn and chained up. He demands to know why they don’t just kill him and be done with it and Finn replies that if he ever speaks to Esther again, he’ll feed him his own tongue. He then instructs the werewolves to spread the word that Oliver’s treachery will be rewarded and he will be put to death at midnight. Esther commends her elder son’s behavior and reminds him of his meeting with Camille O’Connell while she goes to “tend to” Elijah. She finds him still asleep and notes that he is still too wilful to accept her offer. She reminisces that she remembers him as a little innocent boy who was kind and would’ve leapt into her arms and begged him to save him if he knew what he’d become and she says she would do anything for that little boy as she would him and then slits his throat, casting a hex on him.
Back at the compound, Klaus has been torturing and killing witches relentlessly. He’s discovered that Esther has Elijah captive and he plans to draw her out as she is too powerful to be found easily. He refuses to let Hayley help him because Esther will use her against him.
In Marcel’s apartment, Gia and Marcel have been searching for Elijah with no luck. Hayley enters the room and informs them that she needs their help saving Oliver as she cannot help save Elijah and Klaus is on the saving Elijah mission. Hayley reveals that she’s heard Oliver’s to be executed and will save him and discover where Elijah may be. Marcel tells her that he can’t let her go up against an army of werewolves alone since she may die and he will be killed for letting her die. Hayley reveals that she is not going in alone and needs Marcel and Gia to keep Finn busy while she finds Jackson and gets his help as an Alpha against the wolves.
At Rousseau’s, Camille and Vincent have a conversation concerning her relationship drama with Klaus. Camille tells him she has a professional obligation to help Klaus, but Vincent warns her not to put herself in his line of harm. Camille quickly decides not to talk about therapy and work as it is happy hour. Vincent agrees and orders her favorite drink, frightening Camille as she has never told him about it and she promptly decides to leave without notifying him.
Outside the former Mikaelson Plantation, Klaus has dug up Esther’s corpse and plans to desecrate it by burning it and informs one of her watching starlings as much before Elijah appears and directs him back into the house, telling him that in a thousand years of murder and mayhem, Esther believes she can still save their souls and wants to talk and maybe they should listen. Klaus is immediately altered that this is not Elijah, but an illusion and after it disappears, demands to know where Elijah is and Esther (as Lenore) appears, telling him that she’s presently helping him find his way but she will return him, all she asks is that Klaus hear her out and admits that although she has lied in the past to her shame, she will now tell him the truth. She notes that Klaus never intended to build a true home out of the plantation even as Rebekah and Elijah fought for him and Hayley carried his child all he cared about at the time was his conquest of the Quarter and asks how that went. Klaus replies that she should feel free to choke on her “motherly critique”, but Esther only mentioned his failure to make a point, that he’s stuck in a perpetual cycle of despair and that causes people suffering to even his own blood. Klaus is angered by this as it is hypocritical of her, his hatred breaking her heart as she loves him, but Klaus believes her love is a curse and she is no better than the recently resurrected Mikael, which shocks Esther, much to Klaus’s joy, who milks it by revealing that Kol knew that Davina had recently resurrected the “Destroyer”.
Elsewhere, Camille goes through her family’s records of the Griffith Family, a family of powerful witches. Marcel informs her that he has been possessed by Finn Mikaelson and Camille decides she is not done with him.
Back at the plantation ruins, Esther tells Klaus that if Mikael has returned, they will have to deal with him together, amusing Klaus as he does not want to abandon his centuries-old hatred of Esther only to join her in “besting” the very evil she herself created. Esther replies that she is not evil, she is his “salvation” and that Mikael was never a demon. She reveals that when they were young, Mikael was kind and happy, having a love of his son Finn, but favoring his eldest child Freya, who was the “apple of his eye”. Esther believes Klaus has gone mad from centuries of hating his parents but that she has returned to grant him peace if he joins her and that if Mikael returns with the intent to harm Klaus, she will destroy him herself. Klaus admits it’s quite the offer, but he’s never needed any help killing his parents in the past. Esther realizes he rejects her offer out of hatred, but she has something stronger: the truth of his real father.
In the bayou, Hayley finds Jackson with fellow werewolf Ansel after a brief confrontation with the latter and Jackson reveals to him that he knows Hayley as she was meant to be his wife.
Esther recalls that Klaus had killed her in a fit of rage a thousand years ago and asks if he remembers why. Klaus notes that she turned them to monsters, cursed him, denied him his hybrid nature and denied him his true father. Esther tells him that the latter above all is the reason he hated her so much, but Klaus claims to not be able to tell which of her acts made him made and that maybe he just hates that he’s the product of a whore’s lechery, provoking Esther to slap him, reminding him she is still his mother. She then informs him that she never once regretted her affair with his father and that he has never known the truth of how that love came to be and what happened in the months after Freya had died and there are no words to describe the loss of a child as he well knows.
Jackson, meanwhile, informs Hayley that after Francesca Guerrera’s brothers had beat him up and left him out in the wilderness for dead after he refused to call her alpha. By the time he had healed, word had spread about what happened to Hayley and her baby and he just drifted. Jackson then met Ansel, an old school werewolf who has been teaching him the old werewolf ways and what it means to be a wolf. Jackson tells her that her kind makes Ansel awry and Hayley replies that no matter what he and his new friend think of her, her kind are still the werewolves and even if they’ve pledged their allegiance to the witches, all they need is an alpha and so does Oliver. Jackson reveals he knows that Oliver’s been taken and doesn’t care since Oliver betrayed him and sold out to Francesca. Hayley promptly leaves and decides to save Oliver herself and is joined by Ansel, who doesn’t want to let one of their own be killed by a witch.
Esther reveals that after Freya succumbed to plague in the Old World, Mikael was inconsolable and his pain and hatred would drive them apart and make their marriage suffer and that’s when she first met Klaus’s father and powerful and wise man loved by his people and that is when her affair with him began. Klaus asks why her “Adonis” abandoned him if and theorizes that perhaps he was as ashamed of his bastard as she was, but Esther was the one frightened and told him – who loved Klaus greatly – to stay away as if Mikael found out he would’ve destroyed them both in his rage and to protect him, she told his father not to claim him.
Camille elsewhere, decides to take matters into her own hands and she will now use her family’s legacy to help keep Finn occupied while Hayley deals with saving Oliver. Camille believes that it is her responsibility to do so as if she had accepted her lineage and her connection to it sooner, she would’ve uncovered Francesca’s family secret sooner and Klaus’s baby would still be alive.
Esther informs Klaus that when she learned she was pregnant she told Mikael and he didn’t show any joy, but didn’t suspect his true parentage and once he was born, Mikael had renewed hope and they rekindled their marriage and had Kol, Rebekah and Henrik, and because of Klaus’s birth, they were a family again. He was her secret joy and to protect that secret she denied him a relationship with his father and she can make up for it by, instead of placing him in the body of a witch like Finn and Kol, she would cure him of his vampirism by placing him in the body of a werewolf to experience a life of mortality, starting over and have a family of his own in peace. Klaus has heard enough and threatens to kill her and any other body she jumps into from now “until bloody Armageddon” if she doesn’t tell him where Elijah is and before he can kill her, Esther uses her powers to throw Klaus away, telling him that she had hoped that he might be willing to turn away from his murderous ways but if he’s so willing to be violent she will have to accommodate him and telekinetically snaps his neck.
Later, while unconscious, Klaus remembers the day he found his werewolf father killed by Mikael after he discovered that Klaus was a hybrid. The man is revealed to be Ansel, the man who is helping Hayley save Oliver. Upon awakening, hours later, Esther asks him if he was dreaming, and he tells her he was remembering the day he discovered who his father was only hours after Mikael slaughtered him, which Esther admits to be her darkest hour and she would never have recovered had Klaus not killed her soon after. She had anticipated him to be unconscious longer but decides to let Klaus go to Lafayette Cemetery to find his brother and has lifted the cloaking spell that hid him and that when he awakes he will be free to make his own decision. She adds that everything she’s told him is the truth and whether he chooses to believe it is up to him.
Back in the city, Marcel and Gia watch over Camille as she keeps Finn company. Camille asks him double sided questions that apply to both Finn and Vincent while outside, werewolves find Gia and Marcel, threatening to kill them seeing as werewolves are now forbidden in New Orleans. Marcel tells Gia to flee and she does as he fights off the werewolves.
Back in the Lycée, Hayley and Ansel find Oliver still alive, but before they can escape, a horde of werewolves begin to enter the cemetery and Ansel has Hayley leave with Oliver as he cannot have his people killed by a vampire. As Hayley escapes, Ansel kills several werewolves.
Camille continues to make small-talk with Finn while Marcel fights the werewolves and successfully keeps up her façade of making him believe she doesn’t know who he really is. Meanwhile Gia returns to help Marcel fight the werewolves, who bite them both, but they still manage to kill the wolves.
Hayley and Oliver run into more werewolves, lead by Aiden, but Oliver manages to appeal to their sense of loyalty to the pack.
Back at Lafayette Cemetery, Ansel is still holding his own against several werewolves when Klaus kills the last of them. When they come face-to-face, both men are shocked to see one another, Ansel more joyed than shocked and Klaus more frightened. He calls for Esther to erase the “charade” as he believes Ansel is just a phantom of her creation. Ansel tells him to look at him as he is flesh and blood, Klaus’ flesh and blood and during his time on the Other Side he watched as Klaus let the world fall apart until he woke up in land full of wolves like himself. Klaus continues to believe Ansel’s an illusion made to sway him to her side, but Ansel says he doesn’t speak for Esther, but he’s real and doesn’t take any part of her devises. Klaus realizes he’s real after seeing his tattoo and says that he means nothing to him regardless, abruptly leaving Ansel behind.
Elsewhere, Gia and Marcel arrive back at his apartment where he has a stash of Klaus’s blood that would heal their werewolf bites. While they drink it, Marcel commends her returning to fight for him and Gia says she’s not going to run and has found her home. Camille calls Marcel to let him know that Finn likes her and she can use that weakness to take him down.
Back in bayou, Hayley has returned to Jackson with Oliver and Jackson doesn’t show any relief and hates what Oliver did. Oliver, tired and battered, tells Jackson he’s sorry for betraying him and can’t make up for it, but also tells him he’s the alpha and the werewolves need him and weren’t meant to be slaves, not moving Jackson. He then starts to cough uncontrollably and falls only for Jack to catch him and realize he doesn’t want him to die after Hayley realizes the witches have hexed him to die at midnight. Oliver subsequently dies in Jackson’s arms as Hayley watches on, much to their despair.
In Lafayette Cemetery, Klaus finds and unshackles Elijah but can’t wake him, giving Esther enough time to further discuss with him their offer. Esther assures him that her offer stands and he can take Elijah home once they’re done talking and confirms that she resurrected Ansel before the Other Side collapsed and used the execution of one of his own wolves to draw him to the cemetery so they could be reunited to the ends of being the father he never had and to teach him to be the man he always longed to be. Klaus, though, is adamant that his return changes nothing, but Esther disagrees as his return changes everything as it is her gift to him and it is his last chance at salvation and if he rejects her now he will out his days cold and alone and she attempts tell him that he shouldn’t refuse her out of some ancient spite, but Klaus corrects her that it is not “spite” but a hatred that’s greater now than the day he killed her a thousand years ago. Esther pushes to find out why he still hates her as she has spent the day telling him the truth of her love and Ansel’s as well as being fully honest with him, but before she can finish speaking, Klaus pushes her to a wall and chokes her, crying “because you came for my child! My DAUGHTER! YOUR OWN BLOOD!” when Esther tries to tell him that he doesn’t understand, Klaus chokes harder, “MY CHILD!” Seeing no other way, Esther uses a strong aneurysm against Klaus which temporarily phases him as she tells him that she had to, but he ignores it and continues to choke her telling her that she declared war when she came after his child and for that, he will make her suffer as only he can, because “after all, I am my mother’s son” and throws her to the drops her to the ground and takes Elijah. As Esther gathers her air, she mentally flashes back to the Kingdom of Norway, 972- A.D. in medias res. Esther is begging Dahlia not to take Freya and Dahlia replies that Esther wanted a family, but Fate said otherwise and so she came to Dahlia seeking help and for a price, Dahlia granted her wish. Esther warns that when Mikael returns but before she can finish, Dahlia interrupts that she will tell Mikael that Freya denied of illness and that she was forced to burn her body to stop the spread of plague, Esther begs Dahlia – who already has Freya in her grasp – not to take her child, but Dahlia reminds Esther that she’s already given her more than just Freya, but every firstborn of each generation that’s too come for as long Esther’s line will last. Esther, angered, threatens that if Dahlia does this, she will return to witchcraft and grow in power and dark magic and make her pay, but Dahlia dismisses this as her power is nothing in the face of Dahlia’s and that she knew the bargain she made and should she defy her, Dahlia would come back for all her children, including Finn and at the time unborn Elijah, with that, Dahlia takes Freya leaves Esther behind.
Back in present, Esther tells Finn that Niklaus refused her offer and Finn calls him a fool since if Hope had lived, Esther laments that Dahlia would return and would come for them all.