In The Vampire Diaries‘ season 6 premiere, Elena was left to grieve the loss of Damon. Only, her coping mechanisms weren’t exactly conventional. And in a final twist, she decided to use Alaric’s return to her advantage by asking the Original vampire to compel her to forget Damon altogether.
Between that and the image of seeing Damon making pancakes (in flannel!), the premiere left a lot of questions unanswered. We got Nina Dobrev’s reaction to the Elena twist, mixed with a few additional answers from executive producer Caroline Dries.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What was your reaction to Elena asking Alaric to compel her to forget Damon?
NINA DOBREV: I thought it was a little sudden, especially because it is the first episode, but then you have to think it’s been four months since he left. But based on the arc that we’ve witnessed and the things that she goes through that we see in this first episode and how difficult that is for her, it’s almost like asking someone to admit you into rehab, you know? To accept and realize that you have a problem and that it needs to stop and this is the only solution. It maybe wouldn’t have been what I would do if it was me, Nina, in that kind of a situation, but for her, that’s almost a testament of how strong and powerful her love is for him that she can’t live without him.
Do you think this is a quick decision she’ll regret, or do you feel like it’s something she’s thought through and will keep pushing for?
I think both. I think it is a little bit of a rash decision that she will regret, but I also think that she has been thinking about it and has decided this is the only solution.
Technically speaking, if Alaric goes through with it, will he erase entire memories or just take Damon out of memories?
Both. [It’s] situation by situation. You don’t just say one thing and compel them. It’s going to be a long process to alter every memory that she’s had and every experience that she’s had.
So it’s like weekly therapy sessions with Alaric.
[Laughs] Well I can’t say how they do it but, kind of.
Additional scoop …
-As for Alaric’s reaction to Elena’s question, executive producer Caroline Dries said “That’s a big part of the next episode. Damon is his friend too and so, for her, it’s a hard decision, but for him, it’s also like, ‘I don’t know if I can do this to my friend.’ So that will be the emotional journey in the next episode.”
-Damon and Bonnie’s whereabouts will be revealed in episode two.
-Ivy is sticking around, at least for now. “She opens the door into this world of Stefan’s that we’ve never seen before,” Dries said. “We get to learn what his process is as a vampire of starting over and living a different identity. We’ve only seen him as Stefan Salvatore, high school student turned Elena’s boyfriend. So we get to see Stefan Salvatore, guy who works at a mechanic in Savannah. So that will open us to a new world for a little while.”
-Expect Liv and Tyler’s chemistry to be explored further, a.k.a. their flirtation will become a storyline.
-Jeremy hasn’t hit rock bottom yet.
-The love triangle is still alive, though not in the same way. “I don’t really call it a triangle because Stefan has become more of a soul friend of Elena’s,” Dries said. “So he’s dealing with his own stuff, but those two are still very connected. It’s more of ‘How do we maintain Elena and Damon’s love story while he’s not present?'”
-Mystic Falls will be open to supernatural beings again … eventually.
-Stefan’s boss will be back. “He’s not going to have a storyline or anything, but he just kind of represents like the human element of Stefan’s story,” Dries said. “We will see him in the same kind of situation.”
-Enzo hasn’t given up on Damon. “We’ve really only seen Enzo in the context of Damon. Damon is his best friend. He’s like Damon’s soulmate, and so Damon dying obviously took a toll on Enzo. We saw Stefan kind of having given up, and so Enzo is going to turn out to have had a different reaction to Damon’s death. He’s not going to give up on him. So his point of view on Damon is in direct conflict with Stefan’s.”
-As for Alaric, who’s struggling with what Dries called “an uncomfortable-in-his-own-skin kind of story,” she teased, “There’s drinking in every single scene of every single episode.”
The Vampire Diaries airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on The CW.
Additional reporting by Natalie Abrams