‘The Vampire Diaries’: Six teasers from executive producer Julie Plec

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The CW’s “The Vampire Diaries” returns Thursday with its final two episodes of the year, which will be full of werewolves, love triangles and no doubt a few surprises.

“It’s an episode with a lot of action and also a lot of romance,” executive producer Julie Plec says of this week’s hour. The following week’s episode brings the full moon and lots of change for the residents of Mystic Falls. And since it’s the last new episode before the show takes a brief winter hiatus, we’re betting on a painful cliffhanger.


“Hopefully, it will be just painful enough to keep people excited to come back and not too painful that they forget about us,” says Plec, who offered up the following teasers to keep your mind off that painful break.

1. The wolfman cometh: Tyler (Michael Trevino) will finally wolf out during the Dec. 9 episode. If you think the wait for new episodes will be torturous, the transformation period will be even more torturous for Tyler. “We’ll learn a lot about the mythology and the rules of the transformation over the next two episodes before we actually see it,” says Plec. “You’ll learn that while it gets a little bit easier the more you do it, the first time is not easy.” She adds that the show will not shy away from that painful process. “We wanted to show that in its entirety and really make the most of that because it’s a very, very difficult thing that Tyler is going have to go through and we wanted the audience to be able to experience it with him for the first time.”

The experience will be “pretty life altering for [Tyler] in a lot of ways” and have far-reaching effects. “What happens after that is going to be a big part of what happens in Mystic Falls, and how our other characters get involved in Tyler’s story,” says Plec. “A lot of secrets start to come out and it becomes very complicated after he turns.” 2. And a wolf makes three: One of the relationships that will get more complicated as a result of Tyler’s transformation is Tyler and Caroline’s (Candice Accola) blossoming friendship. “They are sort of biologically destined to be separated because of the fact that a bite from him could kill her, but they are emotionally growing closer and closer as she helps him through this really rough experience,” says Plec. “We’re going to see a lot between them as a result of those two things.”

So what does that mean for Caroline’s ex-boyfriend and Tyler’s best friend Matt (Zach Roerig)? “We’ll start to see Matt taking stock of his feelings about Caroline and starting to notice a closeness that’s growing between his buddy and his ex-girl. He’s going to have a few things to say about that,” teases Plec. If you’re hoping that Matt will finally learn the truth about what’s going on in Mystic Falls, don’t hold your breath. Plec says it’s important to the writers right now that Matt and Jenna (Sara Canning) stay in the dark, but “that can change when it needs to change.”

3. Pick your love triangle: Tyler, Caroline and Matt aren’t the only complicated love triangle in town. “We’ve kind of set a lot of these little triangles in motion,” says Plec. “So the next episode...really gets us deep into all the triangles in the show.”

Even though Bonnie (Katerina Graham) bonded with warlock Luka (Bryton James) in the last episode and forgot all about Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen), don’t count him out just yet. Elena’s (Nina Dobrev) little brother Jeremy will continue to step up and come into his own. “Jeremy kind of does something in the next week episode to let his feelings be known in a very dramatic and risky way,” says Plec, adding, “His actions make his feelings clear.”

And you can’t talk about love triangles without talking about Elena and Damon (Ian Somerhalder). The bad boy vampire has come a long from where he started in Season 1. “We’ve watched Damon’s journey as he struggled with his role as hero and leading man and the knocks that come along with that and the problems that’s given him,” says Plec. “His own personal transformation is a big part of this year and the rest of the season.” He delivered perhaps his most unselfish moment when he told Elena he loved her and then erased her memories of the confession. Plec says there wasn’t a lot of debate in the writers room about whether it was too early for such a reveal. “It felt right,” she says. “We felt like it was exactly the right time given the journey that he had just experienced with his brother when Stefan made a very profound admission. It was time for Damon to make an admission of his own.”

Although Damon is growing and he and Elena have been less combative lately, they’re not quite on equal friendship footing yet. “I think that Elena, given that she doesn’t know that he said that, there’s still a little bit more growth for Elena to return fully to friendship with Damon,” she points out. “But that path is set definitely.”

4. The blood diet: Last time Stefan (Paul Wesley) drank human blood, we saw a not-so-pretty side of him. This time around though, he’s going for moderation and “is approaching this very strategically and very methodically.” But it’s something more powerful than planning that will keep Stefan’s blood thirst at bay: Love.

“One very telling thing that he said two episodes ago was that he has something else to live for,” says Plec. “The difference between last year and this year is last year he didn’t believe he deserved Elena’s love. ... Right now we’re at a place where Stefan has come to terms with some of his demons and is feeling very strong in his love for Elena and is confident that she loves him in spite of their current relationship problems.”

She adds: “For a while, we’re going to see him very functionally manage this consumption because it’s actually a really smart plan.”

5. Klaus is coming to town: And you don’t want to get on the bad side of this powerful Original. After watching Elijah (Daniel Gillies) defy death, one has to wonder if Klaus can even be killed. “As we get into the new year, that’s going to be a big question,” says Plec. The story of the Originals and Klaus’ impending arrival will lead to “lots of interesting developments and intriguing characters.”

6. Death is not the end: Although she wouldn’t divulge details as to the who or when, Plec did answer in the affirmative when asked if we might see a killed-off character again.

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-- Vlada Gelman (follow my TV musings on Twitter at @stayingin)