'The Originals': Joseph Morgan & EP Michael Narducci Tease Season 4 Premiere

When “The Originals” returns with its Season 4 premiere this Friday night on The CW, Joseph Morgan’s character, Klaus Mikaelson, won’t be where Marcel left him.

He’s still suffering, but the werewolf/vampire hybrid is no longer in unimaginable torture behind a wall of bricks. Instead, he’s stuck in a dungeon, inside a salt circle. But, despite the irritating neck and wrist chains, he’s in good shape, which had us wondering – who has been brushing his teeth (and fangs), and bathing him?

“Listen, he has been in the same pair of socks for five years, so no one’s brushing his teeth,” Joseph jokes, when AccessHollywood.com poses those two need-to-know questions to him. “Thankfully, Marcel has the common decency to come down and trim his beard, so that’s groomed. The rest of him — his hair’s got a little longer. Sure, Marcel’s rubbed some product in it, of course, but he doesn’t trim it neatly. So, yeah, no one’s brushing his teeth, no one’s changing his socks, no one’s changing his clothes. They’re barely grooming him. It’s a disgrace really. Quite horrible, horrible treatment.”

As the season premiere opens, it’s been five years since Klaus was found guilty (by self-appointed judge Marcel) for his crimes against those he turned. And he’s spent most of it in that dungeon.

“[A]s a fan of the method, what I did to prepare for that was I just stayed in the dungeon from the end of Season 3,” Joseph adds, as we continue to joke about what happened for his character off-screen. “We said, ‘That’s a wrap guys. Have a good time everybody. Enjoy your break and everything,’ and I thought, ‘I’m staying here. I’m just going to stay here until we start again.’ And that’s what we did … for the first hour or so. And then I got bored and left.”

Season 4’s five-year time jump was introduced to “The Originals” for a couple of story-driving reasons, Executive Producer Michael Narducci told AccessHollywood.com.

“I think the top 2 reasons for the time jump are 1 – to show that there were actual real stakes to what happened at the end of Season 3 and it wasn’t going to be like, ‘Oh, and the next weekend everybody was fine,'” Michael said. “And, I think also, Hope Mikaelson was born at the end of Season 1 and we saw her go through the first two years of her life [with] intermittent glimpses of this little baby growing into a toddler and … we longed for the opportunity to have Klaus Mikaelson and Hayley interact with a child who could ask them questions about their nature and their family. And we had talked repeatedly about doing a much longer time jump and ultimately, with some feedback from our esteemed colleagues at The CW, we landed on the idea of trying to make a 7-year-old Hope. So, five years have passed and in fact the episode begins on the fifth anniversary of the downfall of the Mikaelsons.”

Hope has got some powers, but not everything she can do has been explored on the show due to her previous age. Expect to learn more as Summer Fontana plays the role of Hope Mikaelson in Season 4, the producer said.

“She is definitely the granddaughter of Esther Mikaelson and we know from our depictions of Esther and Esther’s sister, Dahlia, that there is a powerful magic that runs in that bloodline. She is also inheritor of the werewolf curse, both from her mother and her father’s side of the lineage, and so there’s a lot going on with this kid. And absolutely yes — we will explore going forward what does that mean, both in terms of what she can do, what power she has and how having that power will affect a child,” the producer said.

Christina Moses as Keelin in 'The Originals' Season 4, Episode 1 -- 'Gather Up The Killers'

Christina Moses as Keelin in ‘The Originals’ Season 4, Episode 1 — ‘Gather Up The Killers’ (The CW)

Beyond a grade school-aged Hope, Season 4 introduces a new character – a werewolf named Keelin, played by Christina Moses, an alum of Julie Plec’s “Containment” series.

Keelin is someone the Mikaelson family will be interacting with a lot this season. 

“Without giving away too much plot mechanics, it will become very clear that Keelin’s role on our show — at first — is to provide something that only Keelin has access to and because she has a resource that is of paramount importance to our family, they’re going to kind of keep her under protective custody, and I think the emphasis is on ‘custody,'” Michael said. “She basically begins as a prisoner because she has something that the Mikaelsons need. And then of course, over time, it becomes clear to Keelin that the best way out of her predicament is to work alongside the people that have kind of devastated her life and come in and done these awful things to her. But, over time, that forced alliance is going to lead to some interesting [perspectives] on the Mikaelsons.” 

Another person who has his own take on the Mikaelsons is Marcel, who is king again in New Orleans, after turning into a super-being at the end of Season 3. But, should we be worried about that old saying about power – “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely” – when it comes to Marcel? 

“Let me put it to you this way – there’s no supernatural demon that is resting inside Marcel and corrupting and making him lose his mind. It’s not an addiction metaphor; it’s not a possession metaphor. Marcel is the same Marcel he has always been, for better or for worse. If you are a fan of his moral perspective or if you think that he is wrong for what he did to Klaus and the Mikaelsons, he is Marcel, he’s just a version of Marcel who will never again be shorthanded in a fight,” Michael said. “He is, for all intents and purposes, as strong and as lethal and as dangerous, and as immortal and indestructible as any of the other characters in this series because of what happened to him at the end of last season. So then, the question becomes, is he corrupted by having that power? Is he going to become arrogant? Is he going to exercise compassion? That’s the journey that I’m interested in exploring as Marcel.”

One hint at who Marcel is in Season 4 comes from how we’ll find Klaus. Not only is he not behind a wall, but he’s no longer writhing in agony due to the Tunde blade.

“[F]or an indeterminate amount of time, Klaus was suffering unending torment, as one does when one is stabbed with the Tunde blade. But, when we meet him at the top of the season, Klaus does not have that blade in his chest, so he’s still captive, which to me means, at some point, at some time after the events of our season finale, sometime in between those events and the start of our Season 4, Marcel decided, ‘I can’t abide my mentor, my savior, my sire, in a tomb, writhing in unending agony. I’m gonna take that blade out and I’m going to put him some place and I’m going to make sure he can’t escape and I’m gonna hold him captive, because I know, letting him free is going to be bad for me. Eventually, he will find a way to wreak havoc and have his revenge, so I’m going keep him prisoner because I have to,'” Michael said. “But at the same time, Marcel does show Klaus a certain level of mercy and I wonder if Klaus would do the same to an enemy if the tables were turned. So that, I think says a little bit about who Marcel is.”

What has happened with the man he thinks of as a son – Marcel – will affect how Klaus approaches his daughter, Hope, whom he hasn’t seen since she was 2, Joseph said. Klaus will start to feel, “‘Wow, I really failed Marcel. I can’t fail her’, which is definitely acknowledged in the season,” Joseph said. 

Joseph Morgan as Klaus Mikaelson and Charles Michael Davis as Marcel in 'The Originals' Season 4, Episode 1 -- 'Gather Up The Killers'

Joseph Morgan as Klaus Mikaelson and Charles Michael Davis as Marcel in ‘The Originals’ Season 4, Episode 1 — ‘Gather Up The Killers’ (The CW)

 “The Originals” returns with Season 4 on Friday night at 8/7c on The CW. 

Jolie Lash