Elena's humanity is back, but has the old Elena really returned?
"Without a doubt she's forever changed, but she's on a slow climb back to returning to an Elena driven by love, compassion and loyalty," Vampire Diaries executive producer Julie Plec tells TVGuide.com.
After Elena (Nina Dobrev) acted like a brat — and that's putting it nicely — for the last few episodes, Damon (Ian Somerhalder) and Stefan (Paul Wesley) exhausted all their options before ultimately killing Matt (Zach Roerig). Fortunately he had his life-saving ring on, but Elena wasn't made aware of that until the emotions came flooding back. Now that she can feel again, will she return to being the newbie vamp she was prior to her brother's death? And how far will she go to succeed in her latest mission to kill Katherine? Plec spills below.
Elena's humanity has returned, but is she really back to her old self?
Julie Plec: This next episode she's not quite there yet. She's rage-filled and vengeful. So it's a little hiccup along the way, but the beauty of Elena as a human and potentially moving forward is that she's a beautiful soul who really cares deeply about those around her. We're definitely going to get her back to that.
Now she's focused on killing Katherine. How long will that last?
Plec: Well it's not a very popular mission because, while there are plenty of people who'd be happy to see Katherine dead in the world of Mystic Falls, the fans don't [want to see her gone.] Stefan and Damon specifically are feeling like murder is not the answer to the salvation of Elena. So, they're not exactly on board and they're concerned that Katherine, who's a scrapper and about 500 years older than Elena, most likely will kick her ass and essentially kill her. So there's not a lot of support for the plan.
There are some familiar faces returning this week. Will they stay around for the finale?
Plec: It's definitely a one-two punch. Operation Drop and Raise the Veil hits a bit of a snag so we have some ghosts who linger beyond the one episode. I think they would all like to [stay permanently]. The question of whether or not it's feasible hinges on the plot of the next two episodes.
How great was it to have certain people back?
Plec: Without spoiling who's around, they are some of my favorite characters to write for. And just to be able to have them back in our world for a short time was so nostalgic and sweet and warm and wonderful. The finale has a lot of ups and downs and twists and turns, but when all said and done, it's one of the more nicely and kindly emotional episodes that we've done. And it has a lot to do with these familiar faces that are popping up for everybody.
As the resident witch, Bonnie has risked so much already this season. Will it ever be too much for her to handle both emotionally and physically?
Plec: The season began with Bonnie taking a walk on the dark side of magic and being heavily punished for it. It took her many episodes to even get the courage to get back into magic, and as a result, she tapped into this new kind of magic. Professor Shane very clearly said [if] you don't know how to control it, it will consume you. So the warning signs are there, the consequences are very visible, but we'll see how far she is pushed. Can she walk the right side of the ledge to make sure she remains in control of her own magic?
You said by the end of the season, it'll be clear we haven't seen the last of Silas. So is he next season's Big Bad?
Plec: There are still several mysteries related to Silas that we have yet to reveal. I think as those are revealed it will become very clear what the intention is for that character.
Be sure to check back next week for Plec's preview of the Season 4 finale!
The Vampire Diaries airs on Thursdays at 8/7c on The CW.
(Full disclosure: TVGuide.com is owned by a joint venture between Lionsgate and CBS, the latter of which also owns The CW in a joint venture with Warner Bros. Entertainment.)