By Mandi Bierly
March 22, 2012 at 05:11 PM EDT
Quantrell D. Colbert/The CW

If you missed Caroline (Candice Accola) in last week’s return of The Vampire Diaries, you’ll be happy to know she’s back tonight. She’s been busy helping Bonnie’s mother, Abby, adjust to her new life as a vampire. “We’re gonna see Caroline step into the role of the mothering mentor. We’re gonna learn about what happens when a witch does transition into a vampire and what that means and what she loses,” she says. “We’re gonna get to know Jamie [the young man Abby took in while she was estranged from Bonnie] a little bit better. I can say he’s chopping wood in a very revealing tank top, ladies. So get ready, because those arms are chopping wood like no other.” (Another reason to tune in: EP Julie Plec will cohost our weekly live blog tonight at 8 p.m. ET.)

Looking ahead, Accola says the March 29 episode, “The Murder of One,” is not to be missed. “That is a very big game-changer and will set the tone leading up to the finale.” SPOILER ALERT! That episode’s official synopsis:

Damon and Stefan focus on a new project that will bring them closer to destroying Klaus, and they quickly bring Elena, Caroline and Matt in on the plan. After Klaus threatens someone close to Bonnie, she has no choice but to work on the spell he needs.

Meanwhile, Klaus and Rebekah find the perfect motivator to convince Finn to cooperate with them, but Rebekah is more interested in her own brutal plan to take revenge on Damon. Stefan’s emotional turmoil leads him to a dangerous confrontation with Klaus and, later, to a heartbreaking moment with Elena.

And speaking of TVD‘s May 10 season finale… we know from Twitter that the cast now has the script in their hands. “I won’t reveal if I cried or not… Okay, fine. I totally cried. But in really unexpected moments,” Accola says. “It really is so great. I think the viewers are gonna be so happy with it.”

Since she can’t share more than that, we ask her to name her favorite TV season finale ever: “When Meredith and Derek finally got together at the hospital prom,” she says, choosing Grey’s Anatomy’s season 2 ender, “Losing My Religion.” That’s also the first episode that comes to mind when we ask her to name a TV moment that made her cry: “Denny. Denny, Denny, Denny. Denny made me bawl my eyes out,” she says. “And Dawson’s Creek, when Pacey told Joey he was gonna kiss her in 10 seconds, and then there was that space, and then he counted ’10’….”

Accola admits to being “very involved” in the Joey-Pacey-Dawson love triangle when she was younger — which is a nice segue for us to bring up Caroline’s admittedly lopsided love triangle with Tyler and Klaus. “We will see Klaus and Caroline continue to interact as the season drifts on, but I think it’s so funny because he’s an evil, evil guy and everyone is so excited for them to be together just because he’s batting his eyelashes and speaking that British accent all up and down Caroline,” she laughs. “But we’ll see how the rest of the season plays out, if she is inevitably wooed by him. What she really wants is for him to relinquish Tyler’s sire bond to him. That’s her main goal.”

She also says Caroline will take notice of Matt’s possibly resurfacing feelings for Elena at some point, but don’t expect a love triangle to develop there. “I think Caroline has feelings for Matt in a very protective way. At this point, she’s in a full-fledged relationship with Tyler, who used to be his best friend. There’s really not much going back to that,” she says. “Although it is high school, so it’s a little bit more acceptable.”

You might be surprised to hear the TV love triangle she’s currently obsessing over: “I’m just starting to watch Ally McBeal. I’m still in season 1 of that, and I was like, ‘Geez, am the only one that does not want Ally and Billy together at all? Like AT ALL?” she laughs. “I don’t like where it’s going. I like him with Georgia. Right now, that’s the relationship that I’ve been very glued to…. Can you tell I still need to call Comcast to get my cable re-set up from moving?”

Read more:

‘The Vampire Diaries’: Join executive producer Julie Plec to chat about tonight’s episode — LIVE

More from Candice Accola in The Spoiler Room

Kat Graham in The Spoiler Room

‘Vampire Diaries’ EP Julie Plec on the big Alaric twist

‘Vampire Diaries’ preview: Cassidy Freeman and Paul Wesley tease upcoming episodes