Vampire Diaries Scoop: Can Damon Tame Stefan? Plus: The Love Triangle 'Comes to a Head'

Vampire Diaries Paul Wesley Nina Dobrev Ian SomerhalderThe CW’s The Vampire Diaries invaded the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills on Saturday for PaleyFest12, and one of the big topics of the night was Team Salvatore! The brothers’ relationship was in high display in an early screening of next Thursday’s episode, “1912,” which also features a “doozy” of a cliffhanger and a truly ugly side of Stefan.

“He’s got a terrible darkness that haunts, and is always going to haunt him,” says executive producer Julie Plec of the younger Salvatore. “So now it’s about the path to moderation. It’s about Stefan finding that balance inside him so he can both be a man and a hero, and love someone and be loved, but also function as a vampire.”

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The surprising guru coaching Stefan through that process is none other than his own wayward brother, Damon! They may often be at odds, but “the brothers are sharing a journey,” continues Plec. “It’s just manifesting itself in different ways.”

As Damon learns the pleasures of being a vampire in the “1912” flashbacks and Stefan is struggling to go cold turkey in the present, they ultimately come to each other’s aid. “The brothers are trying to be heroes to each other,” says Plec.

“It’s interesting that there’s a camaraderie [even though] they’re both in love with the same girl,” adds Paul Wesley.

Speaking of that girl, the love triangle between Elena and the brothers is “going to come to a head” by season’s end, which will find “Elena having to ask herself a lot of questions about, ‘Who do I care for? What do both of these men mean to me?’” says Plec. So which guy is Nina Dobrev’s pick for the conflicted Elena? “She needs to go abroad, meet some new boys,” suggests the actress with a laugh. “I’m sure Italy has a lot more Salvatores.” (We wouldn’t be surprised if there was a third option closer to home after this week’s episode.)

Vampire Diaries First Look: Rebekah Tortures Damon, Stefan and Elena Have a ‘Moment’

Other topics covered during the Paley panel:

• The March 29 episode has a lot more to offer than just the image of Rebekah taking a knife to a shirtless Damon. “There’s an amazing bonding moment for both Elena and Damon and for Stefan and Damon,” says Ian Somerhalder. But back to the torture…. “Damon does something really crappy to Rebekah, and she gets mad and decides to stab him up and make him bleed,” explains Plec. Adds Somerhalder: “These Originals have an appetite for destruction, and they act on it.”

• If at first you don’t succeed, try again. “This is not the last we’ve seen of the Originals or of the mother’s plan to try to take out her children,” teases Plec.

• Don’t hold your breath for Katherine’s return any time soon. Even though she’s had romantic entanglement with both Salvatore brothers, “there is no love story that is more important than Katherine and her own self-interest and freedom,” says Plec. Translation: Katherine is a smart cookie and knows when to get out of Dodge.

• Bonnie will be dealing with repairing her friendship with Elena. “I don’t think she really believes that Elena did anything to sabotage her relationship with her mother,” says Kat Graham. “I’m sure that she’s going to eventually have to work through whatever she’s dealing with.” On another friendship front, “You’ll definitely see a lot of stuff with Caroline and Bonnie working together.” There’s also some love on the horizon for the witch!

• There’s talk of a flashback that “shows us Elena’s life before she had vampires in it,” reveals Plec.

• Will Elena turn into a vampire as she does in the L.J. Smith books? “We’ll see…,” replied Plec. “There’s a wealth of stories that have been given to us from these books. There’s things we’ve decided to do and things we’ve said maybe not for us. So I would say I don’t know.”