I had some severe doubts about the latest bizarre plot twist on The Originals, but the show actually pulled out a surprising twist that made it actually quite powerful. Every once in a while, Joseph Morgan brings out a gentle, mournful side to Klaus and it's hard not to be affected. See for yourself. Spoilers ahead...

So yeah, when The Originals brought Klaus' previously unseen werewolf bio-dad back from the dead, I was not that excited. For one thing, this now meant that Klaus had three parents running around, counting his stepdad Mikael, and it also increased the quotient of "old-timey people talking about ancient times," which this show is at maximum quota of right now.

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But actually, this was kind of fascinating. Both Vampire Diaries and Originals have been playing around with questions of memory and identity a lot lately — not surprisingly, in a universe where the most often-used widget is mind-control and specifically memory-wiping. Right now, TVD's big crisis is that Elena asked Alaric to erase her memories of loving Damon, but then Damon came back from the dead and by the time Elena wanted her memories back, Alaric was no longer a vampire thanks to his ex-witch surgeon girlfriend saving him when he temporarily became a human again. (And yes, it's just as wacky as that one-sentence precis makes it sound.)

But where the engine of Vampire Diaries has generally been romance, the engine of Originals is family. And the big arc at the moment seems to be about Esther, Klaus' mom, trying to convince Klaus and Elijah to stop being vampires and accept her "gift" of mortality in new bodies. To do this, she has to break them down and change their identities — she went on a whole rampage of trying to recontextualize and reshape the past for Elijah, showing that he actually killed the Original Doppelganger. And now she's using Klaus' bio-dad to get to Klaus.

Ansel, Klaus' bio-dad, is sort of a noble werewolf fighter-paladin sort, and he seems to be getting through to Klaus at first as they search for the orchid that will cure Elijah's coma. Until Ansel makes the mistake of revealing that he knows that Klaus' baby, Hope, is still alive — something Esther apparently doesn't know yet. And this triggers Klaus' protective nature.

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More than that, this reveal shifts the focus from whose son Klaus will be — Mikael's or Ansel's — towards what sort of father Klaus himself will be. And as Klaus explains to Ansel in the video above, he's going to be the kind of father that Ansel failed to be: One who will do whatever it takes to save his child. In fact, it really is too late for Klaus to choose one father or the other, because once you're already a father yourself it's much more about doing everything for your own child, who still has a chance to grow up happy and secure. Plus, once you're 1,000 years old, it really is too late to have a happy childhood for yourself.

This leads to a bit where Klaus returns to Elijah and snaps him out of his coma while explaining that it doesn't matter if they're monsters or not. He waves aside that whole "are we monsters" line of questioning, by saying that yes, they're monsters — but to Hope, they'll be knights in shining armor. In other words, Esther's whole line of attack is pointless, because they care more about safeguarding Hope's innocence than about some probably chimerical idea of reclaiming their own:

The rest of the episode is mostly taken up with Haley and Marcel going around behind Klaus' back to weaken Esther by taking out both her sons, so they can present Elijah and Klaus with two presents at the end: Kol and Finn, both neatly tied up in the ballroom. (And, I'm guessing, the last white-oak stake. Although that's not shown, which seems possibly significant.)

Haley's takedown of Finn involves a whole crew of underdogs, plus Camille acting as bait. Camille basically seduces her psych advisor so he takes her out for awesome Dixieland jazz, and then pretends to have been captured by mean werewolves, to lure Finn to a church where they lay an ambush using dark objects. But Finn gets the drop on them, and it's only thanks to Jack the Reluctant Alpha Werewolf that Camille is able to tip his hand and put the cuffs on Finn.

And meanwhile, Kol spends a lot of the episode trying to win Davina's trust, even as his mom keeps trying to keep him on a short leash by burning runes into him and stuff. It's a zany witch rom-com! Kol is trying to seduce Davina, who just wants to kill Kol's brother Klaus, and instead of helping Davina de-link Klaus from the vampires he's sired so he can be safely killed, Kol takes Davina inside a secret crypt that only she can open, and shows her a special dagger, which he says they can alter so it works on Klaus. Even Kol seems not to be entirely sure if he's playing Davina, but then Marcel gets the jump on him and he winds up looking like a cad despite himself.

And then just as Camille is drowning her sadness at having to seduce and betray her cute advisor, Esther shows up looking unusually pissed off. Although she does praise Camille's sazeracs, so that's something.