Vampire Diaries Roars Into the '20s With Reveals, Heartbreak, More Originals and a Game-Changer!

If you’ve ever longed to see Stefan Salvatore in a tailcoat tuxedo, this Thursday’s The Vampire Diaries (The CW, 8/7c) will suit you just fine.

TVLine got an advanced look at the episode, titled “The End of the Affair,” which finds our recently reverted Ripper ripping his way through 1920s Chicago — and if ever there was a game-changing episode of the supernatural saga, this is it.

Here’s some scoop on the standout installment from executive producer Julie Plec and cast members. [SPOILERS AHEAD]

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A BROMANCE IS BORN | Stefan (played by Paul Wesley) and Klaus have a much more storied history than what we’ve seen thus far on TVD, and that will be explored further in Thursday’s time trip. “One of the big questions that we left last year with was, ‘Why did Klaus take such an interest in Stefan, of all people?’” Plec muses. But before answering that, we’ll have to delve into Klaus’ past. “What we want to do is show the roots of Klaus’ character as it relates to his family, the people that he has known for a thousand years that we know he’s daggered one-by-one and carted around in coffins.” Ultimately, this episode sheds light on the fact that Klaus is “trying to fill a hole that’s been left inside of him,” says Plec, “as a result of loss of family or desire for family, a desire for that brotherhood.”

A BAD BOY IS REFORMED? | Hardly! Joseph Morgan explains that while “we’re going to see a more human, childlike aspect” of his character in “The End of the Affair,” it’s not a permanent fixture. “We’re peeling away a few of the layers and starting to see his humanity and morality and where that need to be destructive came from. But ultimately the hope is that he’ll stay bad.” That said, the actor is a perpetual nice guy and couldn’t stop gushing about shooting a 1920s ep. “I had tremendous fun,” he tells us with a laugh. “It’s an era that I just love anyway and the costumes are amazing. I opted for more of a ‘Pacino in the Godfather‘ hairstyle this time.” (Wrong era, but cute nonetheless.)

NEW ORIGINALS | Another Original will soon be introduced on TVD, but don’t expect to see a slew of them in Season 3. “That was our intention until we did the math and realized we’ve said there’s seven children, and that’s a lot of new people to bring into the story,” Plec says. “The mother is going to be someone we meet in the past, as well as other siblings — and we’ll see Elijah (Daniel Gillies) again.”

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HEARTBREAK AHEAD | No, this isn’t a 7th Heaven, PSA-esque episode, but Nina Dobrev likens a moment in the ’20s saga to the much-publicized assault on a certain popstar. “There’s almost a Rihanna-like abuse twist with Stefan in the episode,” she tells us. “It has nothing to do with that physically, but emotionally it feels like Elena is abused.” Having seen said moment, we can tell you that it happens near the end of the hour and will break your heart. Minor Spoiler Alert: The scene in question echoes that of many an Angel/Buffy “tell me you don’t love me” tearjerker, however there is a semi-silver lining to the mishap. “Because of what happens with Stefan, she learns how to fight and become a warrior,” says Dobrev. “This is the season where Elena stops letting the boys in her life dictate what happens.”

SILENCE IS GOLDEN | While Damon (Ian Somerhalder) extra supportive of Elena after the aforementioned heartbreaker, there is a moment before it, between Elena and Stefan, that consists of absolutely no dialogue, but is so incredibly moving we may have teared up a bit. So, Stelena fans can look forward to that.

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BLASTS FROM THE PAST | Back in the flapper era, we’ll meet Stefan’s equally devious ex, Rebekah (played by Pretty Little Liars‘ Claire Holt). She’s definitely trouble — and will likely be again when we meet her in present day! — yet oddly enough, she’s likable. As for any returning folk in the flashback (…and beyond), Plec will only say, “We get to learn some old, old secrets and return to play with some old friends-slash-foes.”

VERY BAD DAD | This in no way relates to the 1920s sequences, but the same episode finds Caroline imprisoned by her vamp-hunting dad. Huge props to Candice Accola, who more than delivers in several painful-to-watch torture scenes at the hands of Jack Coleman’s Bill (who is majorly channeling Heroes‘ HRG circa Season 1!). Minor Spoiler Alert: During a bout of sun exposure, Accola’s performance mirrors Michael Trevino’s stellar work during Tyler’s first transition into a werewolf.

SUPER-PRECIOUS JEWELRY | You know that life-saving necklace that never leaves Elena’s person? Well, that thing is crazy important and will become something newbie Rebekah desperately seeks.

Which jaw-dropping moment are you most excited to see on this Thursday’s Vampire Diaries?