Kat Graham Kat Graham

It's holiday time on The Vampire Diaries, but with Bonnie gone and a crazy psychopath on the loose, there's not much to celebrate.

Although Damon (Ian Somerhalder) and Elena (Nina Dobrev) came thisclose to getting their girl Bonnie (Kat Graham) back, the two were brought back to reality when Kai (Chris Wood) forced Liv (Penelope Miller) to stop her spell and destroyed the ascendant. Instead of a long-awaited reunion, Bonnie was left once again alone on the porch where the three had planned to meet.

But with Christmas around the corner, Bonnie refuses to give up — at least until she realizes how hard the holidays are without her friends. But with Kai wreaking havoc, are her chances of a return over? Or will the rest of the Gemini clan find a way to defeat Kai and save themselves from merging? Plus: Will Stefan (Paul Wesley) find a way to give Caroline (Candice Accola) a good holiday away from home? TVGuide.com took all of those questions to executive producer Caroline Dries, who shared scoop from Thursday's midseason finale.

On the Set: The Vampire Diaries stars share behind-the-scenes secrets from the holiday episode!

The end of last week's episode was heartbreaking. Has Bonnie finally lost hope?
Caroline Dries: We'll see her super happy in the flashbacks, and the first thing we shed light on is that Bonnie really loves the holidays and it reminds her of her best friends Caroline and Elena. So, she is stuck in this prison world, but is going to try to make the best of this situation. But as she goes through this, she'll realize it's a lot easier said then done and it's a reminder of how lonely she is. Even though she's in this horrible situation, she's actually developing into a much stronger, harder, bigger badass and she's learned how to take care of herself.

Bonnie has brought out a new side of Damon. Will he continue to fight to get her back? 
Dries:
 I would say one of the most successful character dynamics we've had this season is the Bonnie-Damon relationship. She does soften him in a way, but he doesn't become a weaker, good guy. He still has his edge and his snark ... but they have this prisoner-at-war bond. He's going to continue to try and get her back, but what Kai did in that last episode really cut off their access, which will make it much harder.

How much will Kai and the Gemini mythology continue to play a role in the season?
Dries:
 It will continue to be a pretty big part of the season as Kai tries to complete his goal, which is to merge with his sister Jo (Jodi Lyn O'Keefe). In Kai's mind, Liv and Luke (Chris Brochu) aren't enemies because they all want the same thing — Liv and Luke don't want to merge with each other — so he's smart to use Tyler (Michael Trevino) to do his bidding for him to get Liv and Luke on his side. Of course, it'll come with complications, the biggest being that Jo doesn't have magic and you need both sides to have magic. So, the first step is to get Jo reunited with her magic.

On the Set: Take a tour of The Vampire Diaries (Damon's bedroom included!)

Have we seen the worst of Kai yet? 
Dries:
 What I love about this episode is that Kai will ultimately show what a true badass he is, and he makes a huge move that will have massive effects moving forward. All he's done is killed that cab driver. He has a lot more up his sleeve.

Elena and Damon haven't established where they are in their relationship. Will she come to a firm decision about their future? 
Dries: She admitted she has a hard time shaking these feelings that keep cropping up inside. Even though she's forgotten she loved him, it's still there and she's wrestling with that at the beginning of this episode. Elena also will go through something in this episode that makes her realize our time here isn't forever — even as immortals that's not guaranteed — so why waste another second of it?

You said Stefan had a lot of stuff to clean up, yet he hasn't done it just yet. 
Dries: 
That is his goal in this episode, and he's going to make it his mission to redeem himself in the eyes of Caroline and try to mend this friendship. He's put to the test and he passes the test, so their relationship is going to get stronger and stronger as we move into 2015. I'm very excited about the Stefan story moving forward as he grows closer to Caroline.

Check out photos from our trip to the The Vampire Diaries

When I was on set for this episode, Paul said the two hadn't kissed yet. Should we put the romantic stuff with them to rest?
Dries: It can be romantic without them kissing. I said at the beginning of the season we were going to slow-play it to make it really strong. At the beginning she also said, "I hate you" and broke up with their friendship. But even as that's happening, there's still an undercurrent of sexual tension, at least on her end, and just because you refuse to look at somebody doesn't mean you don't like them. Sometimes it means the opposite. It's still there even if they're not jumping in the bed together.

Matt wants to kill Enzo. Does he have a shot?
Dries: 
What we saw with Matt (Zach Roerig) since the beginning of the season is that Tripp had been training these kids to be vampire hunters. We've never actually seen his skills, but we may get to see what a bad ass he actually is. And if you recruit vampire hunter Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen), you have a pretty good chance at being able to take one out. They make a pretty good team.

Go behind the scenes of this week's episode with Nina and Candice below:

On the Set: Vampire Diaries stars share behind-the-scenes secrets

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.)