THE VAMPIRE DIARIES: Julie Plec on Prom, Graduation, the Season Finale, and More
April 17, 2013 by Marisa Roffman
THE VAMPIRE DIARIES has been off for several long weeks, but it’s finally back on Thursday night…just in time for prom!
To find out some details about what’s going down, I spoke with THE VAMPIRE DIARIES showrunner Julie Plec about the big dance, the upcoming graduation, the love triangle shift, the possibility of more death, and more…
Let’s talk about prom!
Julie Plec: Prom is coming!
And they have some lovely dresses, too. What can you tease about the shenanigans that will be going down on prom night for Elena and the Salvatore brothers?
JP: It’s interesting, because on one hand, I think anyone — when you’re doing a high school series — is going to be waiting for that senior prom episode as our characters head towards graduation and wonder who is going to go with who, and how romantic will it be, and with Elena and this love triangle, probably before this season, they thought, “Who will she be with? Who will be her boyfriend at the time?”
Now, she’s in a situation where she doesn’t give a crap, so to speak, about anybody or anything, so it’s actually the brothers who show up — one on each arm — as their way of saying, well, look, if you don’t care about us, we’re going to make you care about something. So they use the prom experience and the night that’s supposed to be so wonderful for her and her friends to try and literally inject some emotion into her. And she doesn’t like that very much. So she gets very feisty.
And funnily enough, as is wont to happen at our school dances, something goes wrong and…in this particular dance, the perpetrator is Elena.
I imagine that won’t go over well with anyone, especially poor Caroline who has been working so hard on prom…
JP: Caroline has waited for this night her whole life — probably only second to her wedding — as she envisioned her perfect senior prom, and very quickly at the top of the episode, she’s miserable. Tyler’s gone, there’s a mishap with her dress, there are things that happen that frustrate her, she’s on the outs with her best friend, Bonnie’s acting weirdly. I think there’s a line somewhere in the episode where Caroline goes, “This prom sucks.” And she gets a nice moment when all is said and done; she gets to experience the perfect prom moment, but it’s short-lived and definitely will get people talking.
Will Caroline have a figurative knight in shining armor at some point in the episode to help things get back on track?
JP: She’ll have an advocate that is helpful to her.
The CW’s teases about Bonnie sound awfully dire. What can you tease about her big discovery and her arc for the rest of the season?
JP: Well, Bonnie’s arc is ramping up at this point towards the finale. She started the season gaining control over herself — or so she thought — by getting a lesson taught to her by the spirits about black magic. And in trying to get her basic sense of magic back, she got sucked into an even worse predicament. All those threats that Shane made before he was Silas-Shane were real: expression magic can consume you; you can lose control over it; it is not good or evil, the magic itself, it’s what you make of it and where you are. And with Silas in her head and wanting her to do that terrible thing by dropping the veil, she’s not in a good place and she doesn’t trust herself. And that lack of control starts to manifest itself in her magic as well.
That doesn’t sound pleasant. Now that the curse is in the hands of the Original family, how will it be impacting the sibling dynamic?
JP: Oh, 100%. The prom episode is each sibling making their case to Elijah. Rebekah wants it for the reasons we know: she wants to be human. Klaus, of course, has been threatened horribly by Silas, and just wants to get this gnat, evil person off his back. They both make a strong case to Elijah, and the decision is ultimately in his hands. And so we’ll see how that plays out.
Hm. Any chance graduation goes off even close to normally?
JP: No, of course not! [Laughs] I think it’ll be a miracle if any of our characters get to show up to graduation at this point.
We’re going to have to have a “Donna Martin graduates” moment for these guys!
JP: It’s funny, because we learn in episode 21 that Matt has been secretly struggling to get to the end of the year because all of these distractions have actually distracted him from school. So we made jokes in the writers’ room, “Donna Martin graduates! Let Matt Donovan graduate!” [Laughs]
It’s basically paving the way for a tumblr and Twitter campaign to make sure he does graduate on time.
JP: [Laughs] I would be disappointed if there wasn’t.
It’ll happen. You teased at the WonderCon showrunner panel that we’ll find out how truthful Elena’s feelings are for Damon by the end of the season. Will that reveal revitalize the triangle again?
JP: Yes. Without a doubt. Without a doubt. It will revitalize the triangle for sure, and as far as the Elena and Damon information, I think what it will do is cement their relationship — or lack thereof — once she comes clean with a sense of at least semi-permanence, if not permanence. It won’t be a little more of, “Oh, I love you, but I have to stay away.” Or, “Oh, I hate you.” There will be something that feels, okay, we’re going to settle in this for a while. And good or bad, how is that going to go?
Interesting. What can you say about Tyler returning in one way or another before the end of the season?
JP: I think it’s been floated out there in the ether that there’s a Tyler moment to be had before the season is over. So I just won’t say when.
How about Alaric?
JP: [Damon] needs his drinking buddy! I won’t comment specifically to Alaric, but given that the mythology of the year involves dropping the veil to the other side, I think we will definitely see a few of our dearly departed faces again, and the question is who, and are they there for good, for bad, does it go well, does it not go well?
And Silas, of course, can take any shape, too.
JP: Yes, Silas can portray anybody at any time, and his big master agenda to bring back all the ghosts.
I know we’ll be seeing Silas’ true face in the finale (he’ll be played by actor Scott Parks). Is the intention to have Silas continue to be a part of next season?
JP: Yes. Hopefully. In success he will be. If our script is good and we like it and the story breaking happens, yes.
That’s fair. There are a lot of variables to play with before next season gets shaped. On that note, because there’s so much uncertainty about the cast for next year (depending on the fate of THE ORIGINALS spinoff), was there any hesitancy about potentially killing anyone any characters as we reach the end of this season? THE VAMPIRE DIARIES has never been shy with death in the past, but you could be losing a big chunk of your cast with the spinoff…
JP: [Laughs] No. I can’t actually say there are no more deaths before the end of the season. Certainly we do take a look at the size of our ensemble and hedge our bets a little, but still, knowing that, I would say that not everyone is safe.
Uh oh. As you look at the year as a whole, how are you feeling about the state of the show?
JP: This year has been very polarizing for some fans as far as Elena is a vampire/not a vampire, Elena’s humanity/no humanity, the sire bonds and what that all means, but for us, we’re really jazzed by this year and are so excited about bringing it to an end and launching the next season. This time of new opportunities and new life and our core group growing up, we’re really excited by it.
Graduation is always a big deal for any show that starts in high school, for sure.
JP: It means change. The more things change, the more they stay the same. We’ll see who comes, who goes, who never comes back. There’s all sorts of questions!
THE VAMPIRE DIARIES airs Thursdays at 8 PM on The CW. And make sure to check back next week for more from our chat with Plec about the potential ORIGINALS spinoff!