As The Vampire Diaries approaches the end of its fourth season, things are changing. Graduation in the May 16 season finale isn’t even the start of it. In the episode last month that set the course for Klaus (Joseph Morgan) to return to New Orleans in the fall for the Originals spinoff, we learned that Hayley (Phoebe Tonkin) is pregnant with his child. The idea for Klaus to procreate with a werewolf was something that came up in the writers’ room at the beginning of the season, exec producer Julie Plec says.

“We had always talked about, at some point in the series, dealing with a vampire pregnancy, but we couldn’t really ever figure out the science behind that and also didn’t want to break any rules. And when we started talking about giving Klaus a really powerful journey for season 4 — regardless of whether there’d be a spin-off or not — we thought, well, where’s his character coming from and where does it need to go? What could we do to really, really blow his mind? And we realized, this is a guy who everything he’s ever done — all his ego, all his paranoia, all his anger — is a result of feeling like this family has completely failed him. So what better way to rock his world than to introduce a new element of family?” Plec says. “We came up with the idea that because of him being the Original Hybrid there could be a loophole, and him realizing he got a werewolf girl pregnant. [The writers] were in two rooms: One room was working on episode 2, and one room was working on episode 3. And in the episode 2 room, where I was, I don’t know how it came up, but I leapt out of my chair and ran down the hall and pitched it to the other room. I didn’t even give them a chance to disagree. Who knows if they loved it or hated it? They were so bombasted by my enthusiasm. Everybody was like, ‘Whoa! Whoa!’ So that was a story line we were intending to play, even if there was no spinoff that came to fruition.”

Klaus won’t be mentioning his impending fatherhood when he returns to Mystic Falls in the season finale to surprise Caroline at graduation. “We don’t bring that back around because really, what Klaus and Caroline’s unfinished business is, of course, is his refusal to allow Tyler back into her life. We’ll resolve that before the season’s out.”

As for what we will see in the last two episodes, Plec says in tonight’s penultimate hour, Elena, who has flipped her humanity switch back on, is “still pretty pissed off,” Plec says, “and in fact, her anger and her hostility that she’s gotten directed so cleanly at Katherine bleeds out a little bit onto the boys. But it’s all in the name of her finding her way back to her true self. And in the finale, as she gets closer and closer to really being the Elena that we love, all of those questions come back up — what’s the truth of how she feels and who does she feel it for?

The thing Elena (Nina Dobrev) is clinging to is her desire to kill Katherine (also Dobrev), which yields an epic battle in the finale. “When we stared breaking Katherine’s journey for the season, we knew we wanted to lead to a vampire confrontation between the two. The idea of having Elena finally being strong enough to at least put up a good fight felt like an opportunity we couldn’t miss,” Plec says. “I think Nina, as the hardest-working girl in show business this season, for sure, was just like, ‘Ohmygod, this is gonna be difficult,’ but was really excited about it. She had to shoot the sequence on a Saturday, just her playing both roles, two stunt girls, a film crew, and a lot of knock-down-drag-out goodness.” Will there be a definitive winner? “Believe it or not, yes. There will be,” Plec says. “And it will not be pretty.”

In tonight’s episode, Katherine spends some quality time with Bonnie. “Bonnie’s not very nice to Katherine in this episode — they spend a bit of the episode snarking and being literally and figuratively stuck with each other,” Plec says. “Bonnie is very intent on trying to find a resolution to this Silas problem: What he wants, what she wants, and how she can ultimately use what he wants against him.” As we’ve already reported, tonight, ghosts will also begin to slip through the veil to the other side that Silas wants to completely bring down — and that will bring familiar faces back to the show for next week as well. “Everything we did this season was knowing that by the end of the season, we’d be seeing some of these ghosts again that had their own agenda, their own point of view about whether the veil to the other side should drop, and their dog in the fight as it relates to Silas and whether Silas should be resurrected.”

And speaking of Silas, we’ll learn more about him tonight. “As we’ll see, he’s not exactly all that he claims to be. And he’s been leaving out some pretty important details,” Plec says, laughing. “So by the end of the season, those are gonna be revealed, and we’ll see that he’s definitely up to somethin’ that will lasting impact. The Silas story takes a little bit of a left turn, and once the audience sees what happens there, they’ll start to understand where we might be going with it [in season 5].”

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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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