While we've been prepping our tissues for the Vampire Diaries finale -- and Nina Dobrev's official exit -- for weeks, one star warns you might just not need them.

"I don't know if it's a sad thing. Change for a lot of us, for anyone, is very difficult, but I wouldn't say the episode is going to leave you sad," Kat Graham tells TVGuide.com. "I think, I'm hoping, people will be excited for what's next and our journey as a family together. I'm actually happy [because] I think there is some risk-taking in the finale. Even if one chapter closes, sometimes people don't really deal with things and they don't end things how they need to, and I'm excited for the fans to see that."

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With just three episodes remaining this season, Bonnie says it's time she put herself first -- even if that causes a further rift with Damon (Ian Somerhalder). "Even though [fans] want to see Bonnie and Damon in a very loving relationship, [she] finally put her foot down and said, 'Absolutely not, I'm not going to just hand this [ascendant] over to you and risk my life again and everyone else's life when I just got back. I'm not going to let you do this.' That's not something she would have probably done a couple of seasons ago."

Graham continues, "When she was stuck in the '90s, she really felt left and there were a bunch of failed attempts to rescue her where she had her hopes up. She sacrificed herself until she literally had nothing. So after dealing with that ... something clicked within her." But what does this mean for her and Damon, who only a few episodes ago had the mostheartwarming reunion? "I haven't been given any inclination [the relationship] will be deeper than what it is now, but I'd be surprised if theydidn't have a stronger friendship moving forward," Graham says. "In a lot of ways they're all each other has."

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With this new attitude, Graham admits Bonnie isn't even that concerned that Kai (Chris Wood) is still out there, albeit in the 1903 prison world she left him in. "It's not that she's not thinking about it, but worry is not the right word to describe any emotion Bonnie is having right now," she says. "She's the most powerful she's ever been, she has her powers back, she's nobody's doormat. I don't think she's 'worried' about anyone."

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As for what is on Bonnie's mind -- that cure for vampirism -- Graham says she'll make it clear to Elena where she stands on the issue in this week's episode. "You'll definitely see a perspective," she says. "But Bonnie has always wanted Elena to be happy in her choices."

And while much of Thursday's episode focuses on Elena's decision to become human again or not, there's one scene that had Graham and Dobrev in stitches: Jo's bachelorette party! "It was so much fun," Graham says about filming. "There's a scene where there's a stripper, and he uses a very cool prop as a speaker. We've never shot anything like that on The Vampire Diaries. It's always super serious. Nina and I had a freakin' blast. We didn't need that many takes of it, let's just say."

The Vampire Diaries airs on Thursdays at 8/7c on The CW.

(Full disclosure: TVGuide.com is owned by CBS, one of The CW's parent companies.)

Check out executive producers Julie Plec and Caroline Dries talk about Bonnie's return: