By Mandi Bierly
May 01, 2013 at 09:43 PM EDT
Curtis Baker/The CW
  • TV Show

The Vampire Diaries season finale doesn’t air until May 16, but the “Graduation” photos have arrived.

“It’s difficult to throw an event in Mystic Falls without it going catastrophically awry, but one of the things that was really important to us is that we do give this event itself its due,” says executive producer Julie Plec, who cowrote the episode with Caroline Dries. “We approached this episode, in its own way, like a series finale because our character’s graduating from high school is a shift in the show to open up a lot of new storytelling opportunities and new environments. So we really wanted to be able to get all the emotion out of this episode that we could before we move on to a different life. We made sure that in spite of everything that’s going on in the midst of it, we still get those great friendship moments and nostalgia moments that I, as a fan of TV over the decades, loved so much on high school shows as you reached that milestone.”

Will there be a death at graduation? “There will definitely be an altercation resulting in some blood loss, but that’s about all I can say,” Plec teases.

From the episode synopsis, we know that Mystic Falls will be “overrun with ghosts intent on settling old scores and fulfilling their supernatural destinies.” They’ll begin to appear in the May 9 episode, appropriate titled “The Walking Dead.” Says Plec, “Part of Silas’ plan to drop the veil — and Bonnie’s effort to either help him or stop him — they kind of blow up in everybody’s face in ‘The Walking Dead,’ and we get our first glimpses of what would happen if this veil fell completely. We start to have some ghosts coming through from the other side. It’s a nice collection of faces that will make us happy, and then some faces that we thought we probably shouldn’t see again because they’re up to no good.” (So they are technically ghosts? “It’s the same way we’ve done in the past when they break their way through from the other side, they have corporeal form,” Plec explains. “It’s just that if you kill them and the veil’s down, they can just walk right back through. So they’re kind of indestructible.”)

Someone will finally take the cure for vampirism in the finale. Plec won’t say whether the third time is a charm for Rebekah. “I will tell you that we started the season having firmly decided exactly who was gonna get the cure, and about halfway through the season, we changed our minds,” she says.

Plec also won’t spoil what Elena decides are her true feelings for each of the Salvatore Brothers, or whether Stefan will head out of town for the start of season 5 — something Paul Wesley has rooted for. “It all hinges on what, if any truth comes out of Elena and Elena’s situation,” Plec says. “Stefan has been pretty clear about being ready to move on. So the question is will he need to?” (We’re sure the shot of Damon above from the finale doesn’t influence Elena, at all).

We spoke to Plec before the most recent episode’s reveal that Hayley is pregnant with Klaus’ child, so we didn’t get to ask her whether Caroline will know the news by the time Klaus makes his surprise return (or if he’ll tell her). But when she told us, “I cried some really beautiful sad tears, and I cried some great happy tears as well” while writing the episode, we have to think the moment pictured above brought on the waterworks.

Read more:

CW orders ‘Vampire Diaries’ spinoff, renews two dramas

The Vampire Diaries’ ‘Originals’ spin-off: Five points to debate — POLL

Episode Recaps

Ian Somerhalder, Nina Dobrev, and Paul Wesley star in the CW’s romance-infused vampire soap opera.
  • TV Show
  • 09/15/11-03/10/17
Complete Coverage