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'Vampire Diaries' Producer On Tonight's Tragedy

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Apr 26, 2012 | 5:04pm EDT

ALTWARNING: If you have not yet seen the latest episode of The Vampire Diaries, "Do Not Go Gentle," then beware -- MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD.

Have your eyes dried yet? Ladies, are you currently cursing Maybelline because your waterproof mascara ended up being not-so-waterproof after all? Well, Julie Plec and co. are right there with you. In case you missed it, the beloved Alaric, who had been struggling with a vampire-hating alter-ego, was turned by Original Witch/Original Vampire Mama Esther. But she didn't merely turn him: She transformed him into a practically unkillable self-hating vampire -- with a goal to kill the Original Vampires, thus ending the entire vampire race. Basically, he's Buffy without the warm and fuzzy. Alaric, in his final moments of humanity, opted to die rather than complete his transformation. But, of course, Esther had other plans.

Hollywood.com screened tonight's heartbreaker on Wednesday in Los Angeles, along with Candice Accola, Steven R. McQueen, Zach Roerig, Michael Trevino, and a very emotional Plec. Hear what Plec had to say about Alaric's death, season four, and the inevitable Alaric/Klaus showdown.

ALARIC NO MORE: Alas, the Alaric we have grown to love will never be seen again. "He's very clearly a badass vampire killer with a pretty magnificent deadly and unburnable stake," Plec said of Alaric. "He's going to be pretty hardcore, which is going to be equally exciting and devastating, obviously. He's one of our heroes who is no longer one of our heroes. We knew he needed to be stronger, resilient, immortal, fast, furious, fierce."

A KLAUS-IAN SHOWDOWN: Alaric's main target is obviously Klaus, and fans won't have to wait very long for the two to throw down. "That's next week episode," Plec teased. "Alaric wants the Originals dead, and the very first thing that we see and the head of the next episode is Alaric in high school, where Caroline and Rebecca are having a little post-dance clean up." This won't sit well with Klaus, being that Caroline and Rebecca are his two favorite ladies. "Things only get worse from there," Plec explained. "They start hot, they stay hot -- it's a very extreme, hard-core episode of Alaric on a tear. No one is safe."

But does this mean that Klaus is now the hero? Not exactly. "We like our villains when they're acting against the best interests of our heroes," Plec explained. "We like our villains to have a deep emotional core that lets us understand them a little bit. When our villains have to work with our heroes for a shared agenda, we love our villains to be especially naughty and violent and bad, because they're partnered with our favorite heroes. Klaus will never be a hero, that's not to say he won't do heroic things. Next week he has a heroic moment that's kind of interesting, and then does something so horrible you're like, 'Man, what is wrong with you?' In the same way Damon will never be a true good guy, and Stefan will never be a true hero all of the time."

ELENA'S FINAL CHOICE: Stefan and Elena clearly bonded at the dance, and Plec said that this will make Elena's upcoming decision even tougher. "Stefan was hanging on by such a very tenuous thread for the first half of the season," she said. "Then he lost his mind for a nice chunk in the middle. He's been terrified of opening himself back up and letting those feelings in. Seeing [Elena] at her most vulnerable, and needing to give her the support that she's been trying to give him all season -- It's finally him saying, 'It is okay to feel. I heard you, all of those times that you told me that it's okay to feel, and it's okay to have hope. I heard you. Now let me give that back to you.' I think that this is illumination for [Elena] in this point of her life, with these two men who are so important to her. She has no one -- she's lost everyone who has ever mattered to her. How do you choose, in a moment like that? The two episodes of the season that follow are really going to be about her asking herself that question and trying to understand how she could possibly let one of them go, when she's already lost so much."

BONNIE UNDER FIRE: Plec said that Bonnie's possession will lead to more witchy problems moving forward. "She was very clearly under some sort of witchy influence, which is really Bonnie's issue now," Plec said. "Like, 'What the hell, man? I've got vampires telling me what to do, I've got other people telling me what to do, and now I have freaking 'my sisters' -- the witches -- telling me what to do? Where is my free will, and where is my choice?' That is going to impact her character moving forward."

JEREMY GROWS UP: After years of pot smoking, trouble stirring, and general teen angst, Alaric's death will finally jolt Jeremy into adulthood. "It's a big burden on him now," Plec said. "He is the man of the house proverbially, and he and his sister are all they have. There's going to be a lot that he's going to have to do to grow and keep himself together, and be a champion for Elena, as she is always trying to be a champion for him.

And even though Jeremy wears the same ring that destroyed Alaric, Plec said don't count on a second ring storyline anytime soon. "The stakes of death and recusitation are possibly not as intense for Jeremy as they were for Alaric," she said. "But there's still always going to be a concern of consequences for cheating death one too many times. It just might not come in the form of a Jekyll and Hyde alter-ego."

GRADUATION DAY: The Vampire Diaries has taken a slow course through high school, but Plec said that next year will finally find our heroes graduating. "Season four will take us through the rest of these guys' final year in high school," she said. "They're all going through some extraordinary changes in their emotional lives, personal lives, romantic lives, and supernatural lives. They are making decisions about their future, and what that will bring. All of those great things leading up to graduation -- The choice of, 'Do I stay? Do I go?' And no, there will be no Mystic U."

Stay tuned for Kelsea Stahler's "Do Not Go Gentle" recap!

Follow Shaunna on Twitter @HWShaunna

[Image Credit: The CW]

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