Credit: Annette Brown/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.

It’s Friday, and I’m writing this after a lunchtime gathering at Vampire, HQ. Although you just watched episode 15 of the season, we have just finished up on the finales (episodes 22) in the writers’ rooms. Ergo PIZZA PARTY.

“I Would For You” was written by Brian Young, who, speaking of season finales, just handed in his draft of the finale of TVD. After 154 glorious episodes of television, “Little B,” as I call him, is hanging up his vampire hat. It’s bittersweet. I’ve watched him grow from a writers’ assistant on Kyle XY to staff writer to co-executive producer. He’s all growed up and now he gets to spread his wings and fly the nest. Send him some Twitter love if you get a chance, and we’ll see him again on May 12th for the season finale.

Director Michael Karasick makes his helming debut with this episode. Karasick, who has never been called Michael a day in his life (his own wife refers to him as Karasick), joined us season 3 as our gaffer. The gaffer is the chief lighting technician, a.k.a. The One Who Helps Make It Look Pretty. Working hand-in-hand with the director of photography, the gaffer designs and executes the lighting for the show. Experts in equipment, color, shadow, and light, gaffers often become DPs. In Karasick’s case, he quickly made the transition, and by late season 4 he was one half of our rotating DP team. Now in season 7 he’s directing. A fairly meteoric rise — and well-earned. He’s a true artist. And now, the gaffer who replaced him, Star Berry, gets to be the DP on the episodes Karasick and fellow DP Darren Genet direct. If you haven’t noticed a running theme in these weekly blogs, we like to fertilize, cultivate, and harvest geniuses in our Vampire garden. On our crew, you can start as a seedling and leave as a tree.

A final note on the episode, which catches us up to our flash-forwards. The flash-forwards were the brainchild of showrunner Caroline Dries, who thought of them while we were on set last season shooting the season finale. You’ll find there are certain mysteries left unexplored: how did Stefan and Valerie get together? When did Bonnie and Enzo fall in love? Why is Matt Donovan so pissed? Starting next episode, you’ll get the answers in the form of what we’re calling “Bridge Backs,” a.k.a., a series of scenes that flash back to what happened over the three years that have passed since Damon went into the coffin. It’s been a fun conceit for the season, and we hope you’ve enjoyed it.

There are no tidbits from set this week because most of this episode shot in the weeks leading up to Christmas when everyone was so exhausted and brain-dead that no one could remember anything. Next time!

See you back here on April 1 to celebrate the Ian Somerhalder-directed episode 716.

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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