The Vampire Diaries Damon Salvatore is screwed. Like really screwed.
As Damon (Ian Somerhalder) uttered in the final moments of the last episode, karma has caught up to him and stuck him with the vampire-eating virus. Left alone with his old buddy Enzo (Michael Malarkey), Damon is faced with the battle of how to survive and how not to kill his friend because as of now, there is no cure.
"We knew when we were doing this we wanted to make sure the person that got infected with the virus was the worst person for it to happen to for the story," executive producer Caroline Dries tells TVGuide.com. "We knew what we were doing when we put this in him, but at the same time it's like, 'OK, what do we do now because he actually might not get out of it?' So Damon's objective is: How do I survive without killing all my friends who happen to be the thing I want to eat?"
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Fortunately, Stefan (Paul Wesley) will set out to find his ailing brother, despite telling Damon in their last exchange to leave and not come back. "Stefan is 'the ripper' of our series and so being Damon's brother and loving him unconditionally, he makes a decision that he can't let him go off on a killing spree killing all these people. So Stefan's objective for the episode is Step 1: find him, Step 2: figure out what to do with him after he finds him." And as we've seen in previews, Stefan isn't showing up alone. "Stefan tugs along Elena (Nina Dobrev) not realizing it's Katherine ... and you have this chemistry starting to re-sizzle in the relationship."
But could that chemistry be the thing to snap Stefan into the reality that it's Katherine, not Elena, he's with? And once that occurs, where does the gang go from here to save her?
"Once they figure this out they know they're going against the master manipulator," Dries says. "To play a chess game with Katherine Pierce is a very delicate game and you have to really strategize and catch her off guard. So what happens next is that it becomes Katherine vs. our guys and it's that strategy game, and if they mess up, Elena is pretty much gone for good. "
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Knowing Katherine won't hijack Elena's body for too long, will Stefan's resurfaced feelings for his former love remain after the realization that it was her doppelganger putting the moves on him? And how would he recover from that? "Katherine is doing the meanest thing she can do to a person which is just when they get over someone and are in the first stages of healing she tears that wound open again," Dries says. "She's forcing Stefan to question, 'Was I an idiot for saying goodbye to Elena and walking away?' So we get into his head a little bit with the turmoil she's putting him through. But if I were Stefan and I found out ultimately that it wasn't Elena, there might be some sense of relief in that he doesn't have to go down that road again."
Then there's Damon again who will also realize his more recent attempt to reunite with Elena was also a farce. Wanting to feed on her aside, do they have a chance at reconciliation?
"That's the big question," Dries says. "Now that he has killed Aaron Whitmore (Shaun Sipos), what kind of fallout will that have on the Damon-Elena relationship? And not just Aaron, but everything he's done [lately] is so reckless. So Elena has to take a hard look at herself and say, 'Who am I? How have I changed? I have these feelings for Damon and I think I know who I am, but all of a sudden I'm starting to be OK with things that old Elena wouldn't have been OK with'. What Elena goes through with Katherine will have such traumatic effect on her that coming out of it she's more insular to the Salvatore drama and more substantially to her relationship with Damon. So we don't want to throw that out the window, we want to explore why [the relationship] is facing new challenges. It's not black and white, what they decide; it's confusing."
The Vampire Diaries airs on Thursdays at 8/7c on The CW.
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