By Mandi Bierly
Updated July 30, 2020 at 01:47 PM EDT

Image Credit: Patrick Ecclesine/The CWFans of The Vampire Diaries have to wait until Dec. 2 for the next new episode, but here’s some scoop to tide you over. Earlier this week, Michael Trevino filmed Tyler’s full moon transformation into a werewolf, which will air Dec. 9. “They shot it over two days. Closed set, special effects makeup guys, visual effects guys, Michael Trevino ready to rip out his soul and expose it bare to the world,” says exec producer Julie Plec. “I think if it’s even half as good as what we want it to be, it’s gonna be amazing. Kevin [Williamson] is the master and the king of the coming-of-age storytelling, as evidenced in Dawson’s Creek. This show is certainly literally not about any of that, but subtextually, it’s all about that. Tyler’s transformation from human into werewolf, it’s the literal growing pains of a boy becoming a man. All of the hell, and the pain, and the agony, and the confusion, and the torture that comes along with it — watching Tyler go through that over an episode will be really beautiful and powerful, and hopefully very harrowing. Seeing how he comes out the other side will define who he is.” Look for Tyler to take a cue from his Uncle Mason. “The old Lockwood cellar exists for a reason, and we’ll be making some very good use out of it for this episode,” Plec confirms.

The Dec. 9 episode will also serve as the midseason cliffhanger (original episodes will resume in January). Will Tyler’s long-awaited transformation be the actual cliffhanger? “Nope,” Plec says, laughing. “The transformation will happen, but it’s what happens after the transformation that leads us to our midseason cliffhanger. It’s what happens when a wolf makes an appearance to people we don’t want to see coming face-to-face with a wolf. It’s gonna really shake up the world of Damon specifically, and our vampires in general, with the werewolf being their natural enemy. It’s gonna start a new chapter of our show. Tyler won’t be the only werewolf in Mystic Falls by the time we get into the New Year.”

That episode features the arrival of Jules (Michaela McManus, Law & Order: SVU, One Tree Hill), an old friend of Mason’s from Florida who comes to Mystic Falls to let Tyler and his mother know that Mason never came home. “She’ll stick around for a little while, and cause all kinds of trouble,” Plec says. Fans have been wondering if/when Tyler would develop the wolves’ natural dislike of vampires. The wait is what’s fun, Plec says. “With our vampires, you have the Old World vampires that we’re slowly introducing that have a code and a set of rules that they live by, and then you have our New World vampires who are like, ‘What? Who? I don’t even know what you’re talking about’ and are much more independent, every-man-for-himself kind of vampires. The werewolves are gonna have the same sort of idea. The newbies are just like, ‘Dude, I just triggered a curse. I killed somebody. I’m a werewolf. I don’t know what the hell to do with myself.’ And when we introduce down the road some werewolves who have been schooled through their family bloodlines for generation upon generation upon generation, they’re gonna have a much darker point of view about the vampires than somebody like Mason and Tyler, who stumbled upon their curse accidentally.”

For now, at least, fans can enjoy the werewolf-vampire bonding between Tyler and Caroline. As Trevino told us, Tyler will continue to lean on Caroline as the full moon approaches.”They’re gonna go through hell and back with each other, and a very, very intense relationship is gonna develop as a result of that experience,” Plec says. “If and when it turns romantic, is one of those wait-and-see kind of things.” Something you can count on: Caroline’s decision to keep from Damon the fact that she told Tyler she’s a vampire will have “some repercussions” in the New Year, Plec says.

One final tease for Alaric fans, as reported in our Spoiler Room, Dec. 9 will see the return of the unlikely (and always entertaining) bromance between Alaric and Damon. “I think Matt Davis as Alaric is so fantastic and so sexy and such a man. His character means and adds so much to the show,” Plec says. “We’ve actually been trying to really up our game in the writers room trying to break a great arc for him and really showcase him.” Something else to look forward to in 2011.

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