The second chapter in the Vampire Diaries saga is coming to an end with the series finale of The Originals on August 1. The show is wrapping up after five seasons, concluding stories of characters who have been in the thick of supernatural action since they first appeared on The Vampire Diaries. Fans have known for a while that another spinoff is in the works with Legacies, which will follow the Originals character Hope. Given that Legacies will premiere in only a few months, some fans speculated that the Originals finale would serve as a backdoor pilot, at least in part. Executive producer Julie Plec has revealed why that's not the case, saying this:
Our goal was to really make The Originals finale about The Originals finale and not make it seem like we were saying, 'Hey, it's all going to be fine because there's another show coming! So literally I think there is only one mention of the word school in the whole episode. It's really much more about finding the end result of the journeys of all of these characters that we've followed for the past five and some of them eight years.
Instead of using a large chunk of the series finale to set up Legacies, Julie Plec and the Originals writers chose to put the pieces for the spinoff in place in the penultimate episode, which saw the reunion of Klaus with Caroline (and Alaric) when he visited the Salvatore School for the Young and Gifted. His daughter Hope is set to attend to school and hang out with Caroline and Alaric's twins in Legacies, so the pieces were in place for Hope's story to pick up in the new series. No need to eat up a chunk of the very last episode of The Originals just to send off Hope!
The choice to focus The Originals finale on The Originals should please viewers who don't necessarily intend to tune in to Legacies. Nobody spent the last five years watching The Originals out of the hope that there would someday be a spinoff, and the characters have gone through a lot of ups, downs, and love triangles. They deserve the full hour to wrap things up. Of course, given how The Vampire Diaries ended courtesy of Julie Plec, we probably shouldn't count on an altogether happy ending for all of the Originals characters. Sure, Damon and Elena got a happily-ever-after that is apparently ongoing, but Stefan died, widowing Caroline shortly after they tied the knot. Who knows if anybody other than Hope will survive?
Julie Plec went on in her chat with with Bustle to say this about how Legacies impacted -- or didn't impact -- the end of The Originals:
I think it gave us freedom to make a few of the choices that we made. But it didn't certainly make us make a choice about a character other than Hope surviving [to lead the new spinoff.
The spinoff guaranteed that Hope would live, but it apparently didn't influence how Julie Plec and Co. decided to handle the rest of the characters. Only time will tell who lives, who dies, and who might be able to send Hope off to her next round of adventures when Legacies debuts. Tune in to The CW for the series finale of The Originals at 9 p.m. ET on August 1. To discover when Legacies (and a whole bunch of other shows) will hit the airwaves, swing by our fall TV schedule.