Executive Producer Julie Plec Talks THE VAMPIRE DIARIES, Season 3 Finale, and More

     February 10, 2012


On the last episode of The CW drama series The Vampire Diaries, called “Dangerous Liaisons,” viewers learned that the mother of the Original vampires is not quite as loving of her children as she appears. With her nefarious plan set in motion, thanks in part to Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev) and the blood of the doppleganger, things are sure to get more intense, leading up to the Season 3 finale.

During a recent interview to hint at what’s to come, executive producer/writer Julie Plec talked about the Stefan (Paul Wesley) and Damon (Ian Somerhalder) love triangle that Elena is stuck in, exploring Klaus’ (Joseph Morgan) humanity, whether or not any of the Originals will survive what’s been set in motion, where the Klaus and Caroline (Candice Accola) relationship could be headed and where that leaves Tyler (Michael Trevino), the unique position that Matt (Zach Roerig) is in as one of the only humans left in Mystic Falls,  what’s in store for Bonnie (Kat Graham) and her mother, how Alaric’s (Matthew Davis) ring failing is going to be causing some problems, that Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) will return before the end of the season, and that viewers cannot be certain about the fate of anyone. Check out what she had to say after the jump.

Collider: vampire-diaries-julie-plecWould you ever seriously consider doing a spin-off for the Originals?

Julie Plec: Look, we love these characters so much and we have a lot of stories to tell for them, so it’s really more a matter of somebody else’s desire to give them their own forum, more than our desire to write for them.

From a storytelling perspective and from the way you’ve set things up now, would you actually consider killing them all off at once?

Plec: Just mass Original annihilation? I can’t really say too much about that without unveiling the plan for the season, but I think that if the villains in our show have proven anything, from the beginning, it’s that they have a durability that borders on supernatural, with their ability to sense things that are wrong and their ability to survive what seems to be certain doom and death. There are five Originals and an Original mamma, and we’ll see who comes out the other side of it all, to tell the tale.

In “Dangerous Liaisons,” the Original mother says that it’s going to take time to kill Klaus (Joseph Morgan). Why is that? Is there something more to the spell?

Plec: In the episode that follows this, it takes place during a full moon. You’ll learn that, like with most of the big, heavy-duty witch spells, there needs to be some sort of recurring celestial event or element attached to it. That’s what she meant by that. The fact that this isn’t a done deal, by the end of this episode, definitely has a lot of potential for how it could all go. It could all go very right or very wrong, in the next episode. But, some major stuff goes down that will be interesting and surprising for the audience.

What made you decide to show more of Klaus’ humanity? Is that something you’re going to continue to explore?

Plec: I think that you can define “villain” in a lot of ways. Klaus certainly is and will continue to be the provider of much antagonism and some very, very, very extreme jeopardy for our heroes, but no one is singularly just evil. He’s got his own demons, his own wants, his own desires, and the things that he’s never experienced or that he wants in his own life. The two are not mutually exclusive. We can get a glimpse into what makes Klaus tick, as a man, without compromising his ability to wreak major havoc in this town.

vampire-diaries-nina-dobrev-ian-somerhalderHow much of old Damon (Ian Somerhalder) will be coming back, and how pissed will Elena (Nina Dobrev) be when she finds out what he’s done?

Plec: I think Elena is going to be pissed on multiple levels, but also understand that, in a way, she pulled the trigger on that. Damon has every right to be angry with her, as well. I think a lot of people are angry, and are going to continue to be angry with each other, as this unfolds. The thing with Damon, as we’ve seen, is that when he’s hurt, he lashes out. This is the most cruel way he could have lashed out, but yet it also shows a peculiar evolution in him, as a character. Rather than take it out on an innocent human in the middle of the road, he’s striking where it probably hurts the most, specifically for Elena. By no means is it gentlemanly behavior, but it certainly was fun to watch.

When will Tyler (Michael Trevino) return and find out what’s going on between Klaus and Caroline (Candice Accola)?

Plec: Tyler is still going to be away for a little while, doing his journey of self-discovery, and whatever it is that he’s doing. We’ll see him back in the Spring. There’s nothing worse than going away and putting yourself through endless and eternal agony to break a bond to some guy, and when you come back to down, you realize that he’s been putting the moves on your girl. I can’t imagine that that’s going to go over well.

Where is the Klaus and Caroline relationship heading?

Plec: I can’t really say where it’s heading or if it’s heading. For us, it’s fun to explore that side of Klaus, seeing a romantic vulnerability there because it is giving us a window into him, a little bit. We also love watching Caroline who, at the beginning of the series, before she was a vampire, she was just desperate to be chosen by anyone. Now, the king of all evil vampires has plucked her from obscurity, in his mind, and said, “I bestow upon you my affection, my gifts and my flirtation,” and our girl, who has come so far, is like, “Talk to the hand, buddy.” So, to see her take that stance against him and in defense of Tyler, is a really big deal for her. We find Klaus to be irresistible, on a lot of levels, and presumably some of the audience does, too. It will be interesting to see how that moves forward.

vampire-diaries-nina-dobrev-daniel-gilliesCan you talk about the evolution of the relationship between Elena and Elijah (Daniel Gillies)?

Plec: The whole character of Elijah has been such a glorious surprise to us, as writers. It’s really been as much Daniel Gillies and what he’s bought to the character that has fed what we want to give to the character. So, when we decided that there needed to be a big, bad, evil vampire, in the middle of last season, that paved the way to the introduction of Klaus, in a million years we never would have said, “Oh, and then, one day, he’ll have this magnificent and lovely relationship with Elena.” And yet, that has evolved over the course of a season and a half worth of stuff, for Elijah and for Daniel. We like to watch it, as it happens, more than we even like to lay the map for them because they bring so much to it. And then, we are able to play with that a little bit. Next week, is definitely very much rooted in the foundation of this compassion that Elena has for Elijah, and her concern that, in signing his death sentence, maybe she’s made a mistake.

Is there any possibility that maybe Elijah didn’t swallow his drink?

Plec: Zero [possibility]. Everyone drank. I’ll put that to bed now.

Will viewers continue to see more of Matt (Zach Roerig)? Were is he headed, for the rest of this season?

Plec: Matt is in a wonderful situation right now, where he finds himself right smack in the epicenter of everybody else’s business. There he is, the guy who’s always been on the periphery, finding the fact that he’s the human, the good friend, the nice guy, and the gentleman with the varsity jacket. He’s right there, in the middle of a lot of attention from a lot of people. I think that, ultimately, the power of his ability to be a friend and to be there, certainly for Elena, in times of need that are even yet to come, will keep showing us that part of Matt that, screen time be damned, makes him one of the most fundamentally important characters on the show, in what he represents. He is that guy who is just trying to get through life and maybe get out of this town, one day, and have a normal life, free of vampires and ghosts and supernatural stuff. That’s what we wish for all our characters. It’s just that not all of them are going to achieve it.

Will viewers see Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) before the end of this season?

Plec: We will see Jeremy before the season is over. That’s about all I can say about that.

vampire-diaries-steven-mcqueenWhen will you resolve who is stabbing people around Mystic Falls? How long will that take to play out?

Plec: The next wave of story that we have to get through is seeing the outcome of the mother’s plan to kill her babies. But, as we move forward into that, we also are going to dovetail very nicely into not only an answer to that question, but a fairly big set of reveals about just who is behind it.

Do we already know the person?

Plec: I will say nothing.

How long can all of this death and destruction go on in Mystic Falls before somebody on the outside notices it?

Plec: Truth be told, we’ve had the “FBI agents come to town” pitch on the board since about Episode 3 of Season 1. We’ve always said, “At some point, somebody is going to have to come into town and be like, ‘What the hell is going on here? Sheriff, you’re fired!’” I hope that we don’t actually have to get there, anytime soon, because that opens things up to a lot of things going on outside the walls of out town that I don’t know that we’re ready to explore. We’ll just keep it on the board and do our desperate best to avoid it. That’s when you can be like, “Remember the day when Julie Plec said, ‘If the FBI comes to town, the show is dead’?”

What can you say about Cassidy Freeman’s character?

Plec: I haven’t seen it yet. I’ve only heard that she’s awesome. Cassidy Freeman’s character is a vampire that we’ll met in our 16th episode, which is the first episode back in March. The episode is called “1912,” and it is about a hundred years ago when Damon was still the Damon that walked out the door in a huff of disappointment and piousness, when his brother was out of control in 1864. Somewhere between 1864 and the pilot episode, Damon became the Damon that we know and love. This episode gives us a little glimpse into that, and what this character Sage, played by Cassidy, had to do with it. She’s ballsy, sexy and dynamic. It’s a fun character.

Will viewers also see her in the modern day, as well?

Plec: Yes.

vampire-diaries-joseph-morganWill you show Klaus’ backstory with his brothers?

Plec: As long as the Originals are alive, there are stories to tell about their pasts with each other and how they all ended up in those coffins. We’ll have to wait and see how that works out.

Are you going to bring in the original Petrova, at any point? Is Nina ready to play a third character?

Plec: It’s not something that we have any intentions of exploring this season. If there are any Originals left standing, when all is said and done, maybe that’s a story we’ll tell one day.

What’s going on with Katherine (Nina Dobrev)?

Plec: Homegirl is MIA, man. She’s smarter than to get herself caught up in all this mess.

Where will the epic love triangle be headed now?

Plec: Obviously, we’re at a little bit of a crossroads with Elena and the boys. As she’s starting to understand that Stefan’s (Paul Wesley) whole, “I’m filled with nothing but rage and anger, and have no love and no humanity” wall has crumbled, he’s actually the only one preventing himself from truly letting his feelings back in and becoming his old safe. And Damon, who’s she grown closer and closer to, she put her foot in it with, big time. A lot of what we’re going to start to see is a question for Elena, which is, “Here is this person that I loved and still love, so much, and here is this friendship that I have made that has grown complicated. In the middle of it all, I’m still this girl who is not entirely sure that she is supposed to be in love with any vampires, much less two.” We’ll really be exploring her point of view a lot, for the rest of the season. Certainly, you’re not going to get to the end of the season without all three of them understanding that a choice needs to be made, one way or the other.

vampire-diaries-matthew-davisWhat is going on with Alaric’s (Matthew Davis) ring?

Plec: The very beginning of this season, Bonnie (Kat Graham) realized that no great magic comes without a consequence. I don’t think that a magical eternity ring can be relied upon much longer. Much like the genie in a bottle, at a certain point, it’s just not going to work anymore. Every time Alaric goes out to save the day and be Elena’s champion, or Jeremy gets himself into danger, there’s definitely a sense of the clock ticking on the effectiveness of that ring. That’s going to be a big concern for this girl who has got two very important people left in her life – her new guardian, mentor and friend, and her little brother. She has to recognize that it is entirely possible that neither of them are safe anymore. That’s going to be a big deal for her.

Will there be an exploration of Elena’s parents, at some point? Are they definitely dead?

Plec: You never say never, but if it turns out that Elena’s parents aren’t dead, that will probably happen in the FBI episode. And then, I’ll probably be in retirement on a beach in Hawaii and somebody else will be doing the show. So, I guess it could happen. But no, in my mind, Elena’s parents are dead. It was a human accident and a human tragedy. As we know, it was the night that Stefan pulled her out of the water and saved her life, and the beginning of their love story. I would certainly like to return to that night, at some point, and know more about it, but we’ll see if and when that happens. It depends on if there’s more information to learn there. The great rule of storytelling that seems to work well for us is, “Don’t flashback, if there’s nothing that’s going to change your life, moving forward.” We’ll have to see what we can uncover about that past that would impact us today.

Where are Bonnie and Abby (Persia White) headed next?

Plec: They are going to find themselves enlisted by Esther (Alice Evans), who is herself a witch and one of the servants of nature, to help in this spell that would eliminate Klaus. It’s all coming back around to that Bennett bloodline that originated back a thousand years ago and had a hand in all of this. Now, Bonnie and her mom are actually the keys to being able to see it all the way through. It’s going to bring them closer, and it’s also going to add some emotional consequences into their relationship.

What can you say about where you’re headed for the rest of this season?

Plec: We’ve definitely got a lot to come, for the rest of the season. There are a lot of moves, a lot of chaos and a fair amount of tragedy, as well. We’re just trying to lay it all out on paper and finish our last few scripts, and make sure that we did it right.

vampire-diaries-season-3-castShould viewers expect more deaths coming up?

Plec: You can’t be that certain about the fate of anybody. Certainly, many of our characters are going to come face-to-face with their maker, at some point, before the season is over. The question of whether they meet and shake their hand and get dragged away with their maker is a whole other thing. But, there are going to be a lot of moments where we’re not really sure who’s going to be safe and who’s going to see it through.

Do you feel like you have to kill off characters, before the end of the season?

Plec: Well, Kevin [Williamson] is convinced that you always have to kill somebody, but he writes about serial killers. We don’t kill just because we feel like we should. But, we also don’t let people live just because they’re part of the family. That’s one of the great sad tragedies of our job. We can’t say, “Oh, we love you and therefore you’ll be with us forever.” By no means, is there a rule that says, “In Episode 22, we’re checking one more of these guys off the list.” But, there is definitely going to be some jeopardy, by season’s end.

The Vampire Diaries airs on Thursday nights on The CW.