Credit: Quantrell Colbert/The CW
Best Starting Point: ''Growing Pains'' (401) — A lot changed in last season's lead-up. It's probably best not to miss this season opener, which shows…

Welcome to Julie’s Diary! Every week during the season, Vampire Diaries showrunner Julie Plec will add an entry to her diary. From answering burning questions to giving behind-the-scenes stories and more, this is a place for fans to hear directly from Plec about the episode they just watched.

Thanks for watching “Age of Innocence,” a.k.a. episode 703 of The Vampires Diaries. This episode was written by Melinda Hsu Taylor & Holly Brix, and directed by Michael Allowitz. Michael used to be the 1st AD (assistant director) of the show, and started directing for us in season 4. An assistant director, for those who don’t know, is not a coffee and dry cleaning-fetching PA job like I used to have. The AD is basically the facilitating producer of the episode. They build the schedule, direct the extras, facilitate all the meetings in prep, keep track of all production elements — special effects, props, locations, etc., manage departments and people and timelines and personalities. They are the heart and soul of the show, and they are also responsible for the most important element of all: safety. In television, it’s also a job that can put you on track to becoming a full-time director, as it did with Allowitz.

Tidbits from the episode:

  • Goodbye, Porsche. Hello, Tyler.

    The best part of these flash-forwards is giving a fun hint at the future of the characters we know and love. Even though we said goodbye to Michael Trevino’s Tyler Lockwood at the end of last season, the writers were very excited to welcome him back into the world by showing that in 3 years, Tyler Lockwood is still kickin’. It was great to have him back, and this isn’t the last we’ll see of him.

  • Flashback City

    We were so excited to return to 1860’s Mystic Falls. Those were our favorite flashbacks from early seasons. Shooting in Atlanta, we have an abudnance of access to gorgeous 19th Century homes, Civil War reenacters, and hoop skirts. You’ll notice a lack of many male extras at the Fair, because at that time most men were off at war while the women stayed behind and had kissing booths. I didn’t write history, you guys, I just follow it.

  • The Sixth Heretic

    Tonight we finally met Oscar, played by The Mentalist’s Tim Kang. Tim is truly hilarious, embodying Oscar with his best Lebowski stoner party-boy vibe. We also met Julian, played by Todd Lasance. Since Todd started, at least three cast members have texted begging us to never kill him. He’s the most fun guest star we’ve had since David Anders’ run as Uncle John Gilbert.

  • Naked Visual Effect Shot of the Week

    Three words: “Treasure Trail Removal.” I’ll let you figure out where that was done.

Episode Recaps

Best Starting Point: ''Growing Pains'' (401) — A lot changed in last season's lead-up. It's probably best not to miss this season opener, which shows…
The Vampire Diaries

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

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