Ian Somerhalder and Nina Dobrev

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.

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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 [1000].

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.

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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."

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