With three and a half days to digest everything that transpired in the “Vampire Diaries” finale, I finally feel like I have a grasp on where the very solid season ender leaves us and the characters.
Damon is healthy, but in a precarious place now that he’s left to defend The Salvatore name — and lady love — after Stefan departed with Klaus, who is keeping his extended family in cold storage … for now. Meanwhile Jeremy is being haunted (?) by his dead ex-girlfriends after Bonnie brought him back from the dead after Caroline’s mom accidentally shot him, who has in turned accepted her daughter’s newly undead status.
Ya know, just another day in Mystic Falls. So with adequate time spent looking in the rearview, I wanted to turn our attention to season three — and this interview with creator Kevin Williamson, that previews what you can expect from “Vampire Diaries” this September!
PopWrap: How do you feel about the season finale?
Kevin Williamson: I was excited that we got to bring a few of the storylines to a close, so not everything was left as a cliffhanger, while also introducing some new threads for next year. Next season there are several places we can pick up, we don’t have to start right where we left off this time.
PW: Do you like that fans are still scratching their heads over the Vicki-Jeremy-Anna cliffhanger?
Kevin: [laughs] Oh, yes. I’m very excited about that storyline in particular. Right now I hope fans see it as a big question mark, because it should be.
PW: Where did that idea come from?
Kevin: Kayla Ewell. I just loved her. When we made the decision to kill Vicki, it wasn’t an easy one, but something I felt was important to the show because it needed to have a different kind of life. A moment to make people sit back and say, “this show is serious about genre storytelling.” And it worked. But I missed her. Right away I thought, “she can come back.” But then I thought, “dead people have to stay dead or we’re ‘Heroes.’” There here have to be consequences. Especially when people die. In that moment I came up with Jeremy being haunted by Vicky, but that felt stupid. But when Anna came around, everyone fell in love with her too – I mean, the Twitter outrage when she died alone proved that. Then we started playing off the idea that everyone in Jeremy’s life was dying, so I thought, “now there’s a story here!” I was waiting for the right time. It had to be earned. We’ve done werewolves, vampires, we’ve tried to keep it really grounded and now we’re in a place after all the witchy-woo-woo of this year that I think the audience will accept this additional element to our world. So now we’re going to do this whole haunting of Jeremy.
PW: Haunting implies “ghosts” — is that what you consider Vicki & Anna?
Kevin: No. But if you are thinking ghosts, that is the appropriate place to start.
PW: Does it open the door for more people to return, like Jenna?
Kevin: I guess, but we’re not planning anything like that. There still needs to be a consequence to death, even in this storyline we’ve created with Jeremy. It will abide by a set of rules.
PW: Can I ask, how did you keep it secret?
Kevin: For the longest time, only Julie and I knew. Even when we wrote the final script we kept that scene out. We finally engaged Malese [Jow] & Kayla, who were both excited and on board for it – but the thing is, we had to make sure they were not only available for the finale, but also season three to play out the storyline. But we told them, if people see you in Atlanta, here are your excuses.
PW: Which were?
Kevin: For Kayla it was, “I’ve come to visit my best friend Nina.” For Malese, we told her to say that Anna was involved in a flashback. But it never came out, which was nice because we’re a show that relies on those twists and turns to be most effective. I like that the press had embraced that and played ball.
PW: Julie Plec previously called next year, the “Season of the Originals” — talk to me a bit about where that’s going to take us.
Kevin: It was time for a new element. I mean, talk about a spin-off series [laughs]. Elijah explained how Klaus came about being a few episodes back. So we’re going to build from that mythology, but as you saw from the coffins, there are a lot of originals there. And we have a huge twist already planned for the first episode with them that explains why Klaus was so interested in Stefan. There’s another element to Klaus and what he’s about that you don’t know yet.
PW: Suffice it to say, those coffins won’t stay closed for long.
Kevin: It’s one of the big things that’s going to happen next year – this family of originals. We’re going to find out who they are, what they’re about, how The Salvatore’s are intertwined with them – Klaus took Stefan for a reason. There’s a big story here. There’s a whole third season of plot we get to mine through these fascinating characters. They’ll show up and hopefully be just as delicious as Klaus & Elijah turned out to be.
PW: Plus, I’m guessing you’ll get to bring in that female element I know you love so much.
Kevin: Right? Mama Original! I can’t wait till the sister and the mother crawl out of their coffins. Well, whoever … we haven’t exactly figured it out yet. But what The Originals have done for us is make us excited again about a whole new chapter in this story. We got all jazzed about this third season – if we can pull it off [laughs].
PW: The finale also leaves us in an intriguing place for the Stefan-Elena-Damon relationship. What excites you about where that goes in season three?
Kevin: We’re in an interesting place now with Stefan and Klaus – and Damon is in a place where he never wanted to be. If he didn’t like playing hero this year, what’s going to happen when he’s forced to do the right thing and save his brother? [laughs] It’s going to be an interesting journey. It’ll be exactly what we set out for, but of course we’ll twist it and turn it. That’s the goal. I’m excited to see the dynamic shift with those three. For Elena, after two seasons of loving her as a strong female figure, I think the audience will now finally hopefully be receptive seeing her buy into what Katherine said, that it’s ok for Elena to love both Stefan and Damon.
PW: Looking back, what do you feel were the most creatively satisfying elements of season two?
Kevin: Katherine. That is a highlight for me. Watching this character, who we truly planned to never see that much, become so alive and delicious thanks to Nina, suddenly it made us reroute the entire season. Also watching all the supporting characters, who I knew were capable of so much more in the first season, get to shine this year was amazing. Especially Caroline. Turning her into a vampire … I knew Candice had it in her.
PW: That torture scene still gets me.
Kevin: [laughs] It’s very rare that you find an actor who can make you laugh and cry in the same line of dialogue. Candice can do it and when you can do that, you’re gold to me because that’s who I want to write for. People who make me excited to see how they’ll perform the words.
Kevin: I feel like there was too much witchy woo-woo. We put the master witch at the center of this entire curse, so as a result of doing that, I felt like some of the episodes became too much about witchcraft and not enough about vampires. But that was me taking the story there. The writer in me wishes I had dialed back on that a bit.
PW: So … less witches in season three?
Kevin: Oh, no. Don’t get me wrong, I love the witches – and there’s another whole show I’m involved in about witches. I’m glad we told Bonnie’s story – she is another one who I’m so proud of this season.
PW: That was my next question, do you feel like season two became so witch-centric because they were on your brain given “Secret Circle?
Kevin: No. I came on board with “Secret Circle” towards the end, so it was after both storylines had been developed. I think with witches, you’re always in danger of, “if one spell can do this, another bigger one can do this!” You have to limit their powers, the rules have to be very clear with witchcraft or a spell can undo anything. You have to be careful you don’t get sloppy with it. I don’t want to use a spell to write myself out of a corner, the show always strives to make it be real and hard and difficult and clever. As opposed to convenient.
PW: I know you haven’t heard yet, but what are you excited about with “Secret Circle?”
Kevin: [gasps] Brittany and Thomas Dekker are so good! I was shocked because he wasn’t interested in doing a TV show, much less a CW show. He’s an indie, quirky film guy – but Thomas is really, really good on this show. We were on-set saying that he turned out even better than we thought. He and Brittany together have incredible chemistry. It’s fun.
PW: Obviously you’ll hear this week — are you feeling optimistic?
Kevin: I am. I was just reading that “The Ringer” was picked up by The CW … which is funny because when Julie and I were trying to get Sarah Michelle Gellar to play Rose.
Kevin: Oh yea. Originally me and my pipe dreams – the ones that led me to tell you I wanted Taylor Swift for Lexi – had us trying to get Sarah Michelle Gellar for Rose. She was very appreciative but just said no. She was the only stunt casting we’d have ever agreed to [laughs].
For more “Vampire Diaries,” check out PopWrap’s 22 Most Shocking Season Two Moments!
“The Vampire Diaries” airs Thursdays at 8pm on The CW
Photo: The CW; WireImage
Vampire Diaries Boss: A Lot of Our Characters Are at Extreme Risk in the Finale
While last week’s episode of The Vampire Diaries was action-packed, and full of death and rings of fire, Thursday’s season finale will have a different tone. “There’s a lot of emotional resolution,” executive producer Julie Plec says. But don’t think that means anyone is safe. “A lot of our characters, in some way or another, are at extreme risk,” Plec says. “There are some moves and surprises that will make the audience yell at us.”
In Part 2 of our chat with Plec, she discusses plans to dig deeper into the backstory of the originals and why “Delena” fans will love the second half of the Season 2 finale.
You recently said that Season 3 would be about the originals. Was that always the plan?
Julie Plec: We always knew in a perfect world our Klaus casting [Joseph Morgan] would be successful. He’s a very small villain in the book series, but his actions have huge, huge repercussions on the community. We knew there was a lot of territory to mine there, so we built him in and introduced him at the end of this season in hopes that the audience would connect to the character as a villain and we could then explore a lot more down the road about who he is and where he came from. The addition of Elijah [Daniel Gillies] in our world midseason just changed everything. You have Joseph Morgan and Daniel Gillies, two extraordinary actors having these amazing scenes with each other and you just want more of them. We haven’t started plotting Season 3 yet — that happens soon — but certainly it’s in our intention to dig deeply into the backstory of the original family.
Are you going to shy away from present day and go more towards mythology and flashbacks?
Plec: The show is always going to be about Mystic Falls, our heroes, our love stories, and our brothers and Elena as they navigate the real world in a very unreal scenario. The flashbacks are dropped in here and there, so I don’t know that we’ll shift that too extremely in one direction or another. It’s worked well for us, and every now and then we get to go back into the past and really see these people, who they were back then, but I don’t think we’ll suddenly have every episode be in year .
OK, let’s talk finale. Will it be as emotional as last week’s episode?
Plec: There’s absolutely going to be a different sense of tone — it’s not big rings of fire, flaming fire balls and hearts being ripped out. It’s the continuation of Damon and Stefan’s relationship as brothers, Damon’s imminent death as a result of the werewolf bite, and Damon’s continuing desire to get acceptance and forgiveness from Elena.
Damon can’t possibly die, right?
Plec: A lot of our characters, in some way or another, are at extreme risk — Damon of course being the obvious. I, of course, won’t tell you if anybody makes it to see Season 3 or not, but there are some moves and surprises that will make the audience yell at us.
What will Stefan do to try to save Damon?
Plec: Stefan ended the previous episode saying, “I am not going to let you die. I will find a cure.” And, of course, there is no cure. So that’s going to be complicated for Stefan, who feels very responsible for his brother as a result of having been the one who really pushed being a vampire on him in the first place. He also feels responsible for the fact that Damon now believes his wrongs led to his death — that it’s karmic retribution — and Stefan is basically saying, “I don’t accept that because if I accept that this is your karmic retribution, then this is my fault to begin with.” So Stefan sets out on a pretty intense journey to figure out if there’s any way to save his brother and … it’s a really harrowing experience for him. His own life is put in peril as a result of wanting to do anything he can to save Damon.
What about Elena?
Plec: Elena, who is unaware of Damon’s bite, is trying to move forward with her brother and her friends. There’s a speech early on where she says, “We’ve got to get up, we’ve got to get out of the house, we’ve got to breathe, eat, sleep, then do it all over again until it gets better.” That’s shifted when she learns the truth about Damon and sets out to help him as he goes through his spiral. A lot of their relationship and friendship issues are brought to light as he is on his deathbed and is still very much desperate for absolution.
Sounds like “Delena” fans will enjoy the finale then.
Plec: The second half of the episode is very much driven by Damon and Elena — as he’s falling apart — and what she does to try to bring him peace. This is very much an episode of Damon and Elena, and all their relationship issues that they’ve struggled with for two years now coming to a head.
Can we expect a major cliff-hanger?
Plec: Put it this way, there is an out-of-left-field surprise at the end of this episode that tells the audience very clearly what road we’re traveling down Season 3. It’s not a big cliff-hanger episode. There’s a lot of emotional resolution, and then there’s a humdinger or two at the end that basically says: “You thought you knew what this show was. Well, we’re just getting started.”