Change is coming to The Vampire Diaries.
The CW show's fifth season wrapped up by executing a plan to save the Other Side. After getting all The Travelers in one place, and Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) and Matt (Zach Roerig) setting up a gas leak, Damon (Ian Somerhalder), with Elena (Nina Dobrev) in tow, crashed through the Mystic Grill causing a massive explosion that killed all parties involved. Once on the Other Side, while Liv (Penelope Mitchell) enacted a resurrection spell, Stefan (Paul Wesley), Elena, Enzo (Michael Malarkey) and Alaric (Matt Davis) were able to cross back through Bonnie (Kat Graham). But when Liv's brother Luke (Chris Brochu) saw it was killing her, he put an end to the spell seconds before Damon could come back to life. During the final moments, Damon and Bonnie were left standing hand-in-hand awaiting their final fate.
Following the season finale, we spoke with executive producer Julie Plec, who answered our burning questions including Bonnie and Damon's future, if Tyler (Michael Trevino) is now a human, why the decision to bring back Alaric (and not Lexi), and more!
The biggest question on everyone's minds: What is the fate of Bonnie and Damon?
Julie Plec: Their fate is a mystery. The best way to sum it up is that all of our characters have had to come to terms with the fact that they are gone and have taken steps to move forward in their lives, for better or for worse, in grief or denial, and the question of when we see them and where are they and what happened is a part of the mystery in Season 6.
Where does Season 6 pick up?
Plec: There's a substantial time jump which we're excited about. It gives us the opportunity to find these people again with enough time having passed that the grief has settled into a reality that is making them either actively move forward with their lives, spiral to a different place or make really bold and rash decisions in how they're going to live their lives without these people in them.
In reaching 100 episodes, were you looking for a way to completely change the series going forward?
Plec: Well, you get six years into a show and the feeling that you have to top yourself can get really strangling. What we all love about the show is the simplicity of tension and mystery and not necessarily needing to outdo ourselves with magic or mythology every year. So we really wanted to tee up the circumstance where we could really blow out the mythology of the series in the way it's represented and begin fresh. With a time jump, we could start telling very simple stories about our characters in a town with no magic, with vampires who have to hide that they're vampires and live their lives under wraps and create very new, powerful, but simple mysteries that take us back to that Season 1 feeling. We're excited about digging into our characters' emotional lives and playing that mystery and suspense and tension and psychological horrors rather than big extravaganza horror. The fun of tuning into the first episode will be to see where all these characters have landed, who they're friends with, who they're using as emotional support, who's not even in Mystic Falls adjacent or Whitmore and has each character has dealt with this.
Exclusive: Matt Davis returning to The Vampire Diaries as series regular for Season 6
Is Tyler now a human?
Plec: Because Tyler had all those elements stripped away from him within the boundaries of Mystic Falls by Markos, he is back to his root self, which is a latent supernatural being, a human with a werewolf gene. He was reborn from the Other Side in that state. Everybody else came back to the way they died so the vampires are just a vampire.
What did Grams (Jasmine Guy) mean when she told Bonnie she made sure she'd have peace?
Plec: It's the biggest clue one can take in the finale as far as the mystery of what's going to happen next year. That was not an arbitrary comment and Grams clearly did something and the question is what.
Why did you decide to bring back Matt Davis for Season 6?
Plec: All season long when we were talking about destroying the Other Side for good we knew that there were people over there we like to visit again and again. So it was our one final opportunity to either say goodbye to certain people or say hello again to certain people. We just did a random poll: "If there was anybody you wanted to see for sure that would devastate you to never be able to see again?" The two answers were Lexi (Arielle Kebbel) and Alaric so we decided to make one devastating and one hopeful. The thing about Lexi is that she did a beautiful sacrifice for her friend which is really what that character was born to be — that rock for Stefan. Alaric was created to be a guardian to Elena and Jeremy and if there's anybody who needs that emotional support right now it's Elena.
So will Elena really lean on Alaric in Damon's absence?
Plec: Him [returning] is a really beautiful circle back to that dynamic where he's going to be there for her as a friend and as emotional support. But also now he has to come to terms with what it's like to live life as a secret vampire. So she has something to teach him too. The Elena and Alaric friendship is something we're really looking forward to next year and I'm super excited to have Matt back. He's not only a fan favorite, but a cast favorite.
And Michael Malarkey is back as well.
Plec: Malarkey is one of the nicest, most enjoyable people you'll ever meet and Enzo is wicked and fun and we're excited to bring him aboard next year. He'll be Enzo — stir up the pot, an enemy to some, friend to others, looking out for No. 1 mostly.
Lexi brought up the obvious "thing" between Stefan and Caroline. Will this be addressed?
Plec: The one thing we know pretty clearly is that Caroline, in her heart of hearts, is starting to accept she has feelings for Stefan. In fact, we cut a scene in the finale where that was even more clear. I think she's finally admitting it to herself, losing him woke that up in her, the question is will Stefan reciprocate those feelings? That's what we'll have to explore in Season 6 and see where we go.
Any final things you're looking forward to next year?
Plec: I'm frankly just really excited to tell good powerful character stories with these people we love so much and see them dramatically change in so many ways, and yet reset and find themselves in other ways. [We want] to really play this mystery of how they are going to live a life when none of them can come together at the Mystic Grill in their hometown without burning to death or whatever might happen to them. I'm excited to see the friends find their way back to each other.
What did you think of The Vampire Diaries season finale? And if you're feeling down after the episode, lighten the mood by watching our "Shag, Marry, Stake: Vampire Diaries Edition" below!
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