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Vampire Diaries: Julie Plec talks season 7 finale

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Bob Mahoney/The CW

Bonnie is a vampire hunter. Caroline is in love with one man but engaged to another. Enzo’s scared he might lose the love of his life. And then there’s Damon, who still has a lot he wants to apologize for. Heading into the Vampire Diaries season 7 finale, a lot is still up in the air. And when the mysterious vault is brought into the mix, well, things get even more dangerous.

EW spoke with showrunner Julie Plec about what fans can expect from the show’s seventh finale.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: I always love Julie Plec finales, but I’m interested: Was there anything different about crafting this season finale for you?

JULIE PLEC: This year’s finale was really interesting because we didn’t know when we were shooting this season if we were going to have another season and so we had to set all these character journeys and relationship arcs in play as though this could be the end. And so all the way up to the finale, we were building to a lot of really great closure and if nothing else, a sense of finality to a lot of our relationship dynamics. The burden became, “How do we make this as twisty and turny and as epic as we have in the past when 85 percent of it could have operated as a series finale if it had to?” I feel this internal pride and therefore pressure about the way our finales are always executed and I never ever ever wanna disappoint. I think this episode fits nicely into the group of well-done finales but it was harder than usual for that reason.

So the mystery of the vault carries over into season 8?

Yeah, we very purposefully teased up a question about this vault and what’s inside it at the very end of this season knowing that the answer would actually take us into and be revealed next season. It’s a nice little head scratcher of a mystery that I won’t even say gets resolved before this season’s over, so it’s definitely something that brings us back next year.

I hate the word “fix,” but is the focus of this finale fixing Bonnie?

Interestingly enough, “fix” is exactly what everyone’s doing in the last episode of this particular season: Stefan and Damon’s relationship has been on the rocks, Damon’s very driven to make amends to Bonnie for his behavior and also to repair his relationship with Stefan. Stefan made a huge mistake with Caroline and is paying the price. Caroline has made a bold decision about how she’s going to live her future by getting engaged to Alaric, even though she very clearly still loves Stefan. In addition to just finding a solution for how to make Bonnie not want to murder all of them, they have a lot of fixing to do within all the relationship dynamics, so that’s really what we focused the character journey part of the finale around.

If Bonnie were able to find a way out of this experience, how would it change things for our heroes?

This end game of this episode changes a lot for everybody in big, bold ways. Up until the last three minutes of the episode, our heroes are trying to get the job done and things are looking up, and I can’t really answer it beyond that.

I feel so bad for Alaric…

Poor Alaric. [Laughs] There is a beautiful moment in the finale where we get a glimpse inside his head of how he’s feeling, what he wants from his life and the kind of man that he really is and it’s pretty beautiful. I’m rooting for him to get what he wants too.

What is Matt’s role in this finale?

He made a big decision to try to stick with Bonnie so that he could prevent her from hurting anybody she cared about and that decision backfires on him and puts him in some pretty extreme jeopardy, and all I can say about Matt Donovan in this episode is there is a scene towards the end that is one of the most beautiful scenes we’ve ever done for his character and possibly on this show. Every time I watch it, I cry my head off and I love it so much. It’s just beautiful. Now that I’ve completely overhyped it, everyone will give it a collective shrug. [Laughs] But my god, do I love it.

I didn’t expect to love Bonnie and Enzo as much as I freaking love Bonnie and Enzo.

Oh my god, I love them so much! I think he is so sexy with her. He’s this beautiful knight in shining armor in all the right, politically correct ways. [Laughs] He loves her so deeply and he just has always wanted to have that love in his life and so he doesn’t take it for granted and he will fight to the death, which he may have to do in order to save her.

The Vampire Diaries season 7 finale airs Friday at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.