Longtime The Vampire Diaries fans might have their suspicions that the CW hit only decided to stage a Christmas episode as an excuse to couple scary mass murder with delightful holiday cheer, but showrunner Julie Plec tells Hollywood.com that the series' first holiday outing in four seasons was more of a happy scheduling coincidence.
"We don't do seasons in Mystic Falls," Plec says. "We try not to be specific about a seasonal timeline, but it felt like we're four seasons in, this is the first time we've had an episode air this close to Christmas -- usually we're on hiatus. Won't it be fun to give a little bit of a holiday flavor to this episode so that we can do our great juxtaposition opera of blood and mayhem against the beauty and nostalgia of holiday music?"
Klaus' rage over Tyler's betrayal certainly played out beautifully, capping off his evil tirade by drowning a drunk Mayor Lockwood in the town square. But in addition to the loss of a beloved character (RIP), "O Come, All Ye Faithful" piled on a lot of mythology and plenty of plot details to think about until the show comes back from its holiday hiatus on Jan. 17. Here's what Plec had to say about our own burning questions, which of course multiplied as soon as we hung up the phone with the TVD boss lady.
What's Tyler's mindset once he finds out about his mother?
Tyler's first order of business actually is to mourn. This is the last thing he ever expected that would happen, and the loss of his mom is a pretty powerful thing for him. When we come back we're going to see he's not actually doing so well. He's got some stuff to deal with before he's going to pull himself together.
Is it safe to say the cure is the last thing on his mind?
Oh yeah, for sure. He's if anything reeling and looking over his shoulder wondering if Klaus is there to chop his head off. Also, I'm sure [he's] trying to figure out if there's any move he can make or anything he can do to regain the upper hand against Klaus, although it looks pretty bleak. It's not without its solutions, but it ain't pretty.
How is the state of his relationship with Caroline?
It's currently a little bit tested because of the events of this episode, but thankfully they were able to make things right with each other before tragedy struck. Caroline's going to be more concerned about him when we come back and really want to reconnect with him and make him open up to her so that she can help him heal from this experience. Ultimately, both of them as we get deeper into the next chapter, will have to finally sort of face the Klaus problem head on and figure out what to do.
Caroline had warmed up to Klaus recently; how has that changed?
Well, I definitely think it's a setback. [Laughs]
Caroline mentioned that "trust is everything," what did she mean by that?
I think that for Caroline, she perceives that Elena is being victimized, and she has every right to believe that -- of course, Elena herself doesn't believe that. But Caroline's point of view is what it is, borne out of her own experience and her own point of view and opinion about Damon. So for her, what's going on between Elena and Damon is just not acceptable, and the idea that Stefan is standing there talking about trust and family and honesty, it's heartbreaking to see Stefan, her friend, being lied to and being betrayed and involved in a situation that Caroline really, genuinely believes is not okay. I think that will serve to bring Caroline and Stefan's friendship closer, but also put a little bit of a block between Caroline and Elena's friendship. It will not be so extreme right away, but it's definitely a chip in the armor of their girl bond.
Now that Damon has sort of let Elena go, will she be able to choose what to do of her own free will?
What Damon could have said is 'Go away, never see me again, stop thinking about me, stop caring about me, go on with your life, go live a happy life.' That's what he had to say to Charlotte when all was said and done. What he instead said was 'Go home, leave this house, I'll do this without you,' so unfortunately even in being noble -- which, it was noble in the moment because he was feeling the guilt of his own betrayal of Stefan -- he didn't quite go full monty as far as what he should have instructed her to do. So now you have two people who really, really, really feel that strong draw and pull to be together, but ultimately she's going to stay put right where he told her to go and he's going to be at that lake house missing her.
How does Stefan feel now that he knows that Damon and Elena slept together?
Stefan is going through a million emotions. First and foremost is he feels his brother lied to him. Second, of course, is jealousy, as would be the honest reaction of anybody who found out the former love of their life had slept with their brother. Third, I think, is just a colossal disappointment in both of them for doing this and not being honest about it. With Stefan there's always this inherent volatility that lurks underneath his calm demeanor that risks him spiraling. And I think there's a slight danger to him that his spiral might go too far and he's going to have to figure out how to keep himself together.
What will the next chapter of this season focus on?
This next chapter is all about that hunter's mark and trying to complete it and trying to get our team to the location of the cure, which the more we learn about it and the more we'll learn about Silas the more we'll recognize there's extreme jeopardy attached to even seeking it out in the first place. Very quickly our teams will be divided and realize that they all have different agendas, different wants, and different motives. It's going to be a little bit of a race to who gets there first. As Rebekah says in the next episode, whoever gets to it first decides what to do with it, how to use it, who to use it on, who not to, how to control it. It's a power play, and she wants to come out on top.
How will April factor in?
April's move in opening that coffin is the catalyst for the story of the next episode, which is hell hath no fury like a Rebekah daggered and scorned. She is going to set out trying to get her petty little revenge in any way she can, and April is kind of her foot soldier in that plan.
What's Klaus' next move?
Honestly, his actions in the next episode are a little bit surprising in that he decides to focus on the task at hand which is making sure he gets to that cure before anybody else does, because now he's sort of mark on his back that he needs to protect himself from. The last thing a great immortal hybrid wants to be is a werewolf again. So he's singularly focused on that.
Does he have any allies left?
He makes strange bedfellows next week in his pursuit of helping Jeremy complete the hunter's mark.
The Vampire Diaries airs Thursday nights at 8 p.m. on The CW.
Follow Jean on Twitter @hijean
[PHOTO CREDIT: Bob Mahoney/The CW]
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