[Warning: This story contains major spoilers from Thursday's Season 2 finale of The Vampire Diaries. If you've yet to watch, avert your eyes...now!]
Having far surpassed its “number of deaths per season” quota last week, Thursday’s finale of The CW’s Vampire Diaries managed to do what it does best: Pull long and hard on the heartstrings while nailing those jaw-dropping shocks at every turn. As a courtesy, I’ll offer up one last spoiler alert before letting executive producer Julie Plec fill you in on how the season-ender successfully achieved countless OMG moments, and tease what’s to come in Season 3.
TVLINE | Excuse me while I lift my jaw up off the floor…. OK, let’s start with the biggest surprise of the night: the returns of Vicki (Kayla Ewell) and Anna (Malese Jow). How and when did that twist come to fruition?
That is something we’d had in the works for a really, really long time — in fact, almost back to beginning of this season — and it was born out of two things: Kayla was so much a part of the Vampire Diaries family in the beginning and we missed her terribly, and Malese made such an impact last year as Anna. Killing her needed to happen for the Jeremy character, but it certainly wasn’t a trigger we were happy to pull. So, when we start thinking of how we can bring back people that we love, and how can we give the audience the gift of seeing them again, that started spinning lots of ideas around, and we landed on this one pretty early. We’re really excited about it.
TVLINE | Can you talk at all about what this means for Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) and his dearly departed exes, moving forward?
I can’t say much about where it’s going, but it is born out of this idea that Bonnie (Kat Graham) went against the laws of nature when she brought Jeremy back to life. As we’ve learned a lot this season, witches, as servants of nature, have a lot to say when you abuse your magic. And they said to her in that scene that there will be consequences. We have now seen the beginning of what those might be.
TVLINE | Will this new development directly impact Bonnie and Jeremy, if only because both entities he saw at the end of the episode were women he once loved?
It will certainly have an enormous impact on Bonnie and Jeremy if Vicki and Anna stick around — whether they’re in his mind or haunting him, or whatever outlet they turn out to be. Talk about awkwardness in a relationship!
TVLINE | Is it safe to assume that this twist may propel Jeremy into a bigger solo storyline next season?
You can never say anything until it’s written, but Jeremy’s frustration has always been that he’s not supernatural and everyone’s always having him sit in the corner while they do the dirty work. Now suddenly he’s having some supernatural experience that’s going to put him right in the center of everything… however it plays out. This season was about building Jeremy from a boy to a man — and now it’s a man with a problem. [Laughs]
TVLINE | That was a very sweet moment between Alaric and Jeremy. Are you perhaps setting up Ric to be the Gilbert kids’ new parental figure?
We made a promise to Matt Davis to take Alaric and give him a good kick in the ass, and really make better use of that character. We wanted to give him a stronger point-of-view and a richer on-screen life, and this is just one of many things that we hope to be able to do. Matt’s a terrific actor and very valuable part of the show, and to finally be able to have Alaric in the midst in a way that we can really do some great emotional and supernatural stuff with him is really exciting.
TVLINE | Bad Stefan finally arriving was another standout moment. Was it exciting to take this character to such a new place?
When we talked about the series as a whole, we always knew there would be a period in which Stefan (Paul Wesley) would have to journey through his dark side. Early in the season we decided that would be the path we’d take by the end of the season, so everything we did with him was trying to lay the groundwork for the shift in his journey. We are beyond excited about the opportunities here. For Stefan, it’s never as black-and-white as “Good Stefan” and “Bad Stefan”; it’s Stefan struggling with this thing that overpowers him so significantly, that no matter what he tries to do to break himself out of it, it still rules him. And it rules him in a way that it never really ruled Damon (Ian Somerhalder). Watching Stefan fight that, and perhaps continue to get overpowered by it, is a story that story could go on for a long time. There’s a lot of great opportunity there.
TVLINE | Also on the list of “wows” from the finale is the tender “goodbye” between Damon and Elena. What made now the right time to explore this relationship? And what does it mean moving forward?
It felt very much that it was earned for Damon to finally get some kind of acceptance and compassion and reciprocation to the feelings he’s made very clear. He needed it, and Elena (Nina Dobrev) needed to give it to him. She obviously cares about him in a lot of ways, and that’s going to be a big struggle for her next year — for all three of them, actually. What did that moment between them mean? How do they recover from it with Stefan? And where do those relationships lead?
TVLINE | Since you’ve revealed that Season 3 is the “Season of the Originals,” I think it’s appropriate to ask: Are Joseph Morgan and Daniel Gilles now series regulars? Also, will we see Elijah above ground?!
The decisions on the extent of the life of those characters haven’t been officially made, but in our show there are flashbacks all the time. And if we’re going to be exploring the history of the originals, I can guarantee that we’ll be seeing Daniel Gilles again in the past. And when we see him again in the future is part of the fun we’ll have when we start talking about next season.
TVLINE | And finally: Klaus (Joseph Morgan) appears to be pure evil. Would you like to write a more sympathetic side to him next year?
We certainly don’t want to make him any less evil. [Laughs] We love him as our unflinching villain. But if we’re going to start learning about the past and his family, it’s going to be really hard to at least not to have a perspective of Klaus that is somewhat compassionate. It will be interesting to dig into the side of who he was. But by no means is he going soft.