In Mystic Falls, the holidays are never what you’d call “typical.” (Let’s not forget the time Klaus celebrated by murdering 12 hybrids and drowning Tyler’s mother). And this year, with Kai roaming around trying to merge with Jo and Enzo roaming around trying to kill Stefan, things are shaping up to be just as festive as fans have come to expect.
In anticipation of the Vampire Diaries‘ mid-season finale, we talked with executive producer Caroline Dries about what fans can expect for Bonnie, Delena, Steroline, and more.
EW: From the promo, it looks like we have two battles happening: Matt and Jeremy vs. Enzo, and Damon and everyone vs. Kai. Is that a fair layout of the episode?
CAROLINE DRIES: Yeah that’s a pretty good summary of it. We saw Matt and Jeremy kind of team up at the end of the last episode and we’ve worked with Matt all season as somebody who has it out for vampires. He’s slowly but surely realizing that even though his friends are vampires, they are bad. They kill people. So when he watched Sarah get her neck snapped, he was like, the line has been drawn. That’s it. So he wisely recruits Jeremy, who’s a fellow vampire hunter, and they make it their mission to kill Enzo.
I’m very intrigued by this darker side of Matt. It feels like we’re getting to see an entirely new Matt this season.
Yeah, I think it’s weird, because we love all the vampires on our show—the main characters, Damon, Elena, Stefan, Caroline—but they are bad guys. We just forget because they’re also good. But they do horrible things. Matt kind of represents more of the moral compass of the show, and he just finally reaches his breaking point. Tripp was kind of the one to shed light onto that and then he watched Tripp die in his arms. So we understand the journey that he’s on and that’s he’s going to continue to be on for the rest of the season and it just gives him a really strong point of view as a human representing other humans. And he has a lot going against him, because he’s obviously not the strongest character on the show.
Jumping to the Kai side of things: The last episode ended with him going to Tyler about saving Liv. Will we learn more about his ultimate plan? We know what he has to do to become leader of the Gemini coven, but I feel like there’s more to him.
Yeah there is a lot to him actually and so his goal is what he’s wanted since before he was in the prison world: To merge with Jo. And now he has a second chance but he has a couple things he needs to do first, which is to reunite Jo with her magic since she wisely got rid of it in 1994 to protect herself. So he’s going to need to recruit people, Liv and Luke, via Tyler to do his work for him which is find Jo’s magic, reunite Jo with her magic and make it so he can merge with her. In the process, as he fortifies his team, he’s going to have to go up against Damon, Alaric, Elena, those people, so it’s not going to be a piece of cake for him to do that.
So if they’re busy dealing with Kai in this hour, is rescuing Bonnie put on the back burner?
Damon is still driven to find her, and so is Elena, but we saw Kai destroy the ascendent in the last episode, so their access to the prison world from their side is cut off. But they’re still hell bent on finding out: Is there another ascendant? Is there a spell we can do? What else can we do to get Bonnie out? So she’s still in the front burner of their thoughts, but at the same time, their hands are sort of tied so we’re just kind of hoping that Bonnie can figure something out on her end.
I have to tell you: I’ve never been a Bamon person, but this season has changed that.
Yeah I think that’s one of our most successful character pairings on the show just because they shed light into each other’s characters without changing the characters and so it shows another side of Damon I think, which we all like.
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From the photos, it looks like there are going to be some flashbacks in the episode.
Yeah so we get to see Bonnie alone in the prison world which we haven’t really had a chance to see yet. I don’t think we’ve ever done a story where a character’s just been alone all episode in their individual storyline. And so we use the flashbacks to show the audience that Bonnie loves Christmas; she loves being around her friends; she loves the holidays. So while she’s trapped in this prison world, she’s genuinely trying to make the best out of it and we’re rooting for her just to have a good day to celebrate Christmas, but ironically, the more she tries to cheer herself up, the more depressing it becomes as she’s reminiscing about these better times. So the fallout from this episode for Bonnie is that her personality’s slowly changing as she’s hardening and becoming this survivor.
Another big tease for this episode is that Caroline gets some upsetting news. The promo shows Stefan holding her, so might this news bring them closer together?
Yeah I can’t say what the news is but, all season long, Stefan and Caroline have had this rocky relationship and it basically culminated when Caroline said, “I hate you; I hate that you destroyed our friendship.” She kind of broke up with him as a friend. And so Stefan makes it his goal, especially in this episode, to be like, “You know what? I’m going to redeem my friendship with Caroline. I’m going to do this right.” And he thinks it’s going to be easy in that he can go and re-do it and she calls him out on it and then he’s challenged with having to give her some hard news to digest. He decides to take the challenge and it actually, throughout the course of the next chunk of the episodes, will bring them closer together.
I’m very curious about this Sarah Salvatore twist. Now that we know there’s a real Sarah Salvatore out there, will that continue to play into the season?
Yeah it’s definitely going to play into this season. It’s going to shed a little bit of light onto Stefan’s character as it’s revealed that he’s known she’s been alive and has been actually looking after her for years and so that to me makes him more interesting. It’s also interesting that he was keeping it a secret from Damon who thought he killed her so there’s some tension there. But really it’s going to amp up the stakes between the Enzo-Stefan relationship where Enzo realizes that Stefan is this guy with all these secrets and he’s sick of him coming out on top and being this hero while everyone views Enzo as this villain. So he’s going to have a bone to pick with Stefan.
Finally, let’s talk Delena. At one point, Elena said she needed Bonnie in order to make a decision, but Damon and Elena have certainly been sharing some moments as of late. Where are they at in this episode?
Elena has admitted to Damon, “I have feelings that I just can’t shake.” Even though she compelled loving him away from her memories, those feelings can’t just go away forever. They’re cropping back up. She will go through something in this episode that will make her realize that, even with immortality, her time on Earth should not be wasted and so whatever feelings she has, she doesn’t want to just question [them]. It’s time to do something about it.
The Vampire Diaries mid-season finale airs tonight at 8 p.m. on The CW.