Matt Davis, Candice Accola Matt Davis, Candice Accola

Where exactly are The Vampire Diaries' Bonnie and Damon? Viewers are finally about to get that highly anticipated answer.

"We'll figure it out in the next episode," executive producer Caroline Dries told a small group of reporters following a screening of the Season 6 premiere. "They're discovering it along with the audience. [The final scene was] to tease people [and say], 'Don't worry we haven't forgotten about them.'"

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But before that glimpse of Damon (Ian Somerhalder) and Bonnie (Kat Graham), the premiere picked up months after Season 5's fateful events: Elena (Nina Dobrev) began a hallucinatory hobby, Caroline (Candice Accola) was out of college while Tyler (Michael Trevino) began, Alaric (Matt Davis) was teaching at college — blood bag now in tow — Matt (Zach Roerig) took up a new sport in Mystic Falls, Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) made out with a new girl and Stefan (Paul Wesley) was a mechanic down South. Although some of the gang has attempted to move on with their lives, it's clear that others are desperately holding onto the past. For Elena, the pain is too much to bear, and by the end of the season opener she asks Alaric to compel her to forget that she ever loved Damon. Will he actually grant her wish? Read on for Dries' answers to that question and more.

How will Alaric respond to Elena's request for compulsion?
Dries: That's a big part of the next episode. Damon is his friend too, so for her it's a hard decision, but for him it's like, "I don't know if I can do this to my friend." So, that will be his emotional journey in the next episode.

What's going to develop between Alaric and Jo (Jodi Lyn O'Keefe)?
 What we wanted to explore is that he is a vampire hunter who was turned into a vampire and went crazy and died. Now that he's back, he'll have some emotional baggage. But he's also an adult figure in the show. So, as Elena is going through her drama and Jeremy [goes] through his drama, he can't just sit there and mope about his problems. So, he internalizes a lot of stuff. One of the conflicts he's having is he hates being a vampire ... so how [does he] go on a normal date or be a normal guy again? She's going to bring that side out of him and that's what the struggle is going to be. And I like that he's so overtly flawed. We're not going to play a blood lust story for him. It's more [an] "he's uncomfortable in his own skin" story.

What's the deal with Tripp (Colin Ferguson)?
 He came about because we wanted to show Matt thriving in Mystic Falls without supernaturals. Every episode Matt is having his life in jeopardy or someone is threatening to kill him. So, what's Matt's life like when he can not have a death threat every five minutes? We wanted to give him a father figure, so that's where Tripp came out of. But it's Mystic Falls: Not everyone is who they say they want to be, but he'll ultimately become an interesting, layered character that's not necessarily a good guy or a bad guy, but represents a normal person's point-of-view unlike the whole vampire world. 

Where is Enzo and what's his role now that he's a a series regular?
 We'll answer that in the next episode, but he is up to something that's on point with what's going on in the Damon-Stefan story. Damon is his best friend. He's Damon's soul mate, so Damon dying obviously took a toll on Enzo, which we never actually saw. We saw Stefan has given up — [Enzo] won't give up on [Damon]. His view on Damon is in direct conflict from Stefan's view, so it's going to continue to be this love triangle with Damon, Enzo and Stefan, where Enzo and Stefan continue to be at odds. [As for Caroline], Enzo is super charming. We'll continue to have that dynamic between the two.

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What will we learn about Stefan's new lady Ivy (Emily C. Chang)?
 Ivy is a potential love interest and she opens the door into this world of Stefan's we've never seen before. We get to learn his process ... of starting over and living a different identify because we've only seen him as Stefan Salvatore, high school student-turned-Elena's boyfriend. This is Stefan Salvatore as a guy who works as a mechanic in Savannah. So, that will open us to a new world for a little while.

How much about Luke (Chris Brochu) and Liv (Penelope Mitchell) will we learn?
 We're trying to pepper in the mythology as opposed to ram it down your throats. The last scene with Damon and Bonnie, that's more the mythology, and it's less about Silas and the originals. It's more about what the heck is going on? Slowly but surely, hopefully everything will weave together in an elegant way towards the middle of the season. Liv and Luke will play an important part of that. What we're doing this season is big juicy mythology stuff.

Is Jeremy headed down another dark path?
Dries: He doesn't really get dark. He's feeling, rightfully so, betrayed that Bonnie lied to him for all those episodes and then said, "I'm dying "over the phone. So, he's going to try to find some meaning in these first few episodes. He hasn't hit his rock bottom.

With Stefan and Damon gone, is the love triangle gone too?
Dries: I can tease we definitely keep the love stories alive. They may not play out in a traditional way, but they'll feel very satisfying. I think it's done in a way that feels fresh for a show in Season 6 that has had the same characters and this love triangle for a long time. I don't really call it a triangle because Stefan has become more of a soul friend to Elena, but those two are still very connected. It's more how do we maintain Damon and Elena's love story while he's not present? I think we do a cool job of it.

Will Caroline and Stefan ever get together?
Dries: Caroline's not even realizing how deep her feelings are. She feels hurt and lied to and ignored, so she'll continue to do that. But Stefan is dealing with it in his own way. He's cut all ties, and is moving on with his own life. I think he can't even process or fathom the idea of another emotional connection. So, in his brain, he hasn't opened up his mind to the notion of dating someone or actually having a true romance with someone. It's a very slow build for them.

Who's this season's Big Bad?
Dries: The actor's name is Chris Wood and [the character] is a crazy person, very charismatic and charming and psychotic and likeable and unlikable in all the right ways. We meet him in a few episodes, and he'll stick around for a while hopefully.

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

Additional Reporting by Kaitlin Thomas

[Full Disclosure: is owned by CBS, one of The CW's parent companies.]

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