Vampire Diaries EP on Tyler's Return: He's 'One of the Success Stories'

Vampire Diaries Tyler Returning

Show of hands: How many of you audibly gasped when Tyler Lockwood showed up — during a flashforward, no less — on Thursday’s Vampire Diaries?

Well, I can’t see your hands, but I’m going to assume there’s a lot of you — myself included.

“We wanted to remind the audience that Tyler’s still very much a part of [the show’s] universe,” executive producer Caroline Dries tells TVLine. “When you’re fortunate enough to leave Mystic Falls — and not because you died — we try to exploit and embrace that. Tyler got away, so to speak, and just seeing a little glimpse of him in the show told the audience, ‘Look, three years from now, the guy’s still alive. So there’s some hope.'”

But the question is: What (and who) has Michael Trevino‘s character been up to during that three-year interim? “What is he, working on Wall Street?” Dries proposed when asked about Mr. Lockwood’s power suit in the flashforward.

“Tyler is one of the success stories of Mystic Falls,” Dries concedes. “Him having been able to escape the supernatural politics of the town is what that [appearance] was all about. Also, him letting Stefan know that he’ll always be there as an extension of their group.”

And even though further details are being kept under wraps, Dries confirms, “We will see him again.”

OK, time to play the Wild Speculation Game: What do you think Tyler’s future holds? And could he be Caroline’s mystery fiancé? (I’m starting to get that feeling, myself, and I’m kind of OK with it. There are far worse options, if you think about it.)

Whatever you’re theorizing and/or feeling, drop it in a comment below.