“He gets to play Stefan and a guy who’s inside Stefan’s body as two completely separate characters,” executive producer Julie Plec, who also directed the episode, explains to TVLine. “His body is being inhabited by a pretty nasty, evil vampire from the late 19th century who’s going to wreak some havoc over the next episode or two.”
Adds Plec, “Paul always loves a good challenge as an actor. He really threw himself into this episode, 100 percent. I’m very proud of him, and I think people are really going to respond to his performance.”
As for how Stefan’s latest body-swapping predicament will continue to shape his ever-shifting dynamic with Damon…
“The whole purpose of this season was to show what kind of man Damon could be in the absence of the girl he believes makes him strong,” Plec says. “One of the biggest lessons Damon had to learn is that it’s not just Elena who makes him want to be a better person; it’s the other people that are important to him — only he hasn’t quite caught up to that realization yet, so he’s making bad choices impacting his relationship with his brother and with Bonnie. The rest of the season is about trying really hard to bring those two very powerful relationships back to a good place with him.”
But because I believe in ending on a hopeful note — at least for all you “Steroline” ‘shippers out there — Plec hints that Caroline and Alaric’s relationship might not necessarily be written in stone. Or even hell stone.
“Interestingly enough, in this particular storyline, we chose not to go back and show you how it happened,” she says, confirming that we won’t be seeing any Caroline/Alaric flashbacks. “We chose to talk about it in the present and understand it through the present. We’ll get a sense of why Alaric thinks the relationship can and will work — and maybe Caroline is still having her own doubts.”
Your hopes for the rest of TVD‘s seventh season? Drop ’em in a comment below.