By Mandi Bierly
Updated April 11, 2011 at 11:16 PM EDT

He’s been off-screen on Jenna Watch for much of season 2, but Alaric (Matt Davis) will finally get his fair share of screen time next week when he attends the ’60s Decade Dance possessed by Klaus. Producers always knew they’d want to take their time before they introduced Klaus (Joseph Morgan). They actually started the season anticipating having a “Klaus fakeout,” exec producer Julie Plec tells EW, “where the audience would believe that they knew who Klaus was and then our reveal would be that, ‘Ha ha, the trick’s on you.'”

As the writers were breaking the story for last week’s script, trying to make their fake Klaus work, it was EP Kevin Williamson who came up with the Alaric twist. “This is what [Kevin] always does,” Plec says. “He’ll just walk in the [writer’s] room one day, and out of nowhere be like, ‘What if Klaus takes over Alaric’s body in a blood transfusion spell?’ And we all kind of look at him, and our jaws fall to the ground, and then we’re like, ‘Yeah. Hell yeah. Absolutely. Why not?’ That’s the way that Kevin’s brain works. He’ll just pop in like, ‘What it Elena chops off John’s fingers, but it’s really Katherine?’ It’s magical, and so we always go for it when he pitches something that makes us speechless.”

Plec says producers had been trying hard to find Matt Davis a juicy story line. “It felt so good because it lets him show off a bit, because he’s so good, and it lets our audience be shocked by an unexpected development, and it’s giving us a glimpse into who Klaus is before we even get to meet Klaus, which I also love,” she says. But does it mean Alaric will be/already is one of the season’s casualties? We won’t find out this week, Plec teases. “When [Matt Davis] would ask, ‘What are you gonna do with Alaric?’, I always told him, ‘We’re either going to make you a gloriously integral character that the show can’t live without, or we’re gonna build you up magnificently and kill you epicly.’ I won’t tell you which way that goes, but that’s the promise I made to him.”

Since we were on the topic of (potential) Klaus casualties, we also asked Plec whether Isobel set herself ablaze willingly or under compulsion last week. “I love that people debate it, because I think it’s actually fun to think of either way, but very deliberately, we used the same language as in episode 115, with the guy that got hit by the bus,” she says. “At the end of each of them, the person who’s been compelling them says, ‘Okay, you’re done,’ and they say, ‘I’m done’ like they’re grateful. So it’s a compulsion like a suicide bomber. I have done the task that I was compelled to do, and now my reason for existence is over. So we deliberately echoed that same language to imply that her death had been written in the cards by Klaus already. Why I loved Isobel taking [Elena] to the cemetery and finding a work-around her compulsion, where she’s not allowed to say anything, is she was able to apologize for not being a good mother and to give Elena that before she did what she had to do. If anything, Isobel in death was able to give Elena a tiny bit of closure.”

And now that we like Uncle John after he and Elena had their heart-to-heart, is Elena’s birth father going to die, too? “I have been waiting for a year for somebody to say, ‘Oh, I really like uncle John now,’ because we knew that we just had to find that pocket moment where [he and Elena] could connect on a real level, and we’ve been building to that very slowly and very subtly,” Plec laughs. “That, I swear to god, is one of my favorite scenes of the whole season.” Notice she didn’t answer our question…

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The Vampire Diaries

Ian Somerhalder, Nina Dobrev, and Paul Wesley star in the CW’s romance-infused vampire soap opera.

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