When Season 1, Episode 16 (“Farewell to Storyville”) of The Originals began, we knew that we were in for an intense hour of TV. Not only were the Mikaelson siblings trapped together in a graveyard, but there was a white oak stake in the midst. But just when we thought everyone had escaped unharmed, Klaus (Joseph Morgan) told Rebekah (Claire Holt) to leave and never come back, that she was free.

Credit: Bob Mahoney/The CW © 2013 The CW Network Photo: Rebekah in The Originals Season 1, Episode 5: “Sinners and Saints”

As Rebekah drove off into the distance, we began to wonder if we’d ever see her smiling face around New Orleans anytime soon — and then we got our answer.

According to The Wrap, sources close to the show have confirmed that Claire is officially exiting the Vampire Diaries spin-off as of tonight’s episode. Apparently, the show's executive producer (ahem, Julie Plec) and Warner Bros. TV decided that Rebekah’s storyline had taken a direction making her character non-essential for the series going forward.

But will we ever get to see Rebekah again? An insider tells The Wrap that there are good intentions to bring Claire back to play Rebekah as a guest star later in Season 1 or perhaps Season 2, but that no deals have been finalized as of now.

We have to say that we’re severely disappointed that Claire is leaving the show. Hopefully we’ll learn more about the decision in the coming days.

Are you shocked that Claire Holt is leaving the show? Will you miss Rebekah? Hit the comments and let us know!

Source: The Wrap

Carson Blackwelder is an Associate Editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow him on Twitter and Google+!