By Samantha Highfill
May 14, 2015 at 12:00 PM EDT
Tina Rowden/The CW
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After six years, it’s finally time for Vampire Diaries fans to say goodbye to both Tyler Lockwood and Nina Dobrev. But with one hour left, we still don’t know how they’ll go or what it will mean for those left behind. 

In advance of the finale, we spoke with executive producer Julie Plec about Jo’s fate, Kai’s revenge, and all those goodbyes.

Things don’t look good for Jo (or Alaric). As far as Jo is concerned, Plec said, “it’s pretty bleak. I would save my prayer candles for others who might have more of a chance of survival.” And as for what losing Jo will mean for Alaric, she teased that he “is not going to handle it well.” More specifically, Plec said: “[Alaric’s] parting moment with Elena is really sad and sweet as she tells him that he’s got to fight his way through the pain. So we’ll see as we move into next season if he’s able to take her advice or if he’s collapsing. It’ll be a good journey for him.”

Don’t believe everything you see in the promos. When a promo for the finale seemed to reveal Elena’s fate, fans immediately started sharing their opinions online. But Plec promises that there’s more to come in the final hour. “If the literal content of that promo had been exactly the way the episode played out, I would be so pissed,” she said. “It tees up a scenario that when you see the episode you’ll understand what it all means, but I think fans can still expect to find some surprises and that everything is not what it seems if you were to look at that promo at face value.” 

Expect some seriously nostalgic moments. For Plec, writing Elena’s goodbye speeches, specifically to Stefan and Damon, was an exciting task. “[They] are so great! The best part of being a writer and being on a show that you love with characters that you love is you know what they’ve gone through so intimately, and you have your favorite moments between them. And so for us, it was like we got to page back through the yearbook of our “best-of” scenes that Elena had with all our characters. Then we tried to pay homage to those moments or reflect those moments in tiny ways in the goodbyes she had with those particular characters.” 

Tyler’s goodbye could be more dramatic than Elena’s. “His journey in the final episode is life-altering and extremely dramatic, and will set him on a path that we’ll understand why he feels he probably needs to leave Mystic Falls and hit the road,” Plec said. “It doesn’t mean it’s the last we’ll see of him, but it does give him a new point of view in his life that he needs to go explore.” 

Kai wants revenge, especially on Bonnie. For Kai, this finale is about vengeance. “He’s angry at his family, and he’s angry at Damon, and he’s angry especially at Bonnie,” Plec said. “Because in Kai’s brain, [he had] a little crush on her and feels extremely betrayed by her even though, let’s all be honest, he totally deserved it. But he’s pissed and he is going to go down fighting, and he is going to make sure that every single person that has hurt him pays the price for that.” 

The heretics are reminiscent of the Mikaelsons. The new wampires in town pose a completely different type of threat to Mystic Falls, and it’s one that will carry over into next season. “They’re creatures that are unexplored. They have abilities that they shouldn’t have. We’ve said repeatedly that you can’t be a witch and a vampire because nature would never allow such an abomination. Well, guess what? Nature found a loophole, and this abomination does in fact exist as a result of the kind of witch that Kai himself was, a siphoner. We are about to come face-to-face with enemies that we don’t know how to deal with.” 

The Vampire Diaries finale airs tonight at 8 p.m. on The CW.

Episode Recaps

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