When it comes to The Originals, death has become less impactful thanks to it’s impermanent nature. However, every so often there comes a situation where it can be both shocking and completely expected, as is the case this time.
Consider this your SPOILER WARNING. If you have not see The Originals season 5, episode 6, you should turn back now and return when you’ve watched the events unfold for yourself.
Okay, now that’s out of the way, let’s get back to talking about this week’s tragic loss.
In The Originals season 5, episode 6, “What, will, I, have, left,” we lost our final remaining original female cast member. Hayley Marshall died in a heroic and self-sacrificial fashion in an attempt to save the life of her daughter, Hope.
Due to Phoebe Tonkin’s step back from the series for its final season, this may not have been a huge surprise. Phoebe moved from series regular to guest star for the final season, despite the fact that she still had a large role in the story, and that may have necessitated the writers to find a way to write her out of Hope’s future, especially with Legacies looming on the fall 2018 horizon.
The logistics of contracts and casting announcements always take a bit of the wind out of a truly shocking death’s sails, as more often than not, audiences can sense when a character is on their way out. Hayley’s kidnapping and subsequent imprisonment was one way to keep her alive for more of season 5 than the actress was available to shoot. Knowing that she couldn’t appear in all the episodes due to her guest star status, it seemed logical that Hayley may die before the season finale.
Now that all that not-so-shocking dribble is out of the way, it’s about time we get to the shocking parts.
While the episode basically focused on letting Hayley and Hope have some bonding moments before the big death scene, there is so much more that we hoped to see before Hayley was gone for good. While we had some incredible mother/daughter moments in this episode, it’s hard not to see the moments we didn’t get.
Hayley didn’t get a chance to see Elijah get his memories back and re-dedicate himself to his family (which we continue to hope is coming before this series ends). Hayley didn’t get a moment to remind Klaus of his parental duties in the wake of her death. She didn’t get a chance to say goodbye to her pack, her friends, or any of the other Mikaelsons whom she has come to call family in these last few seasons.
That is why her death shocked me. Not because she was willing to sacrifice herself to save her daughter. She has always been capable of that. It’s because there are so many things left unfinished for Hayley. And especially because Freya was so devoted to making sure Hope had at least one parent who wasn’t separated from her by supernatural shenanigans.
While there may be thoughts of “Is her death permanent?” and “Could we see her again this season?” looming in all our hearts, it’s hard not to see the truth laid out in front of us. Hayley knew that since her werewolf side had been recently bound that she was truly only vampire when she threw herself and Greta out into the sunshine. We saw her body burning on the front lawn. It would be pretty hard for her to come back from that.
But, yet, it truly is a matter of never say never. When The Originals are involved, nothing is impossible.