‘Vampire Diaries’ Producer Julie Plec on the Bromance That Changes Everything

Paul Wesley on 'The Vampire Diaries' (Photo: The CW)

Paul Wesley on 'The Vampire Diaries' (Photo: The CW)

Thursday night’s episode of “Vampire Diaries,” “The End of the Affair” was one the show’s best episodes yet. Finally, there is an explanation for Klaus’s (Joseph Morgan) fixation on Stefan (Paul Wesley): They were best friends during the 1920s until Klaus compelled him to forget he ever met him. Klaus just wants his bro back!

It would be touching if he weren’t hellbent on killing numerous innocent people and building an army of werewolf-vampire hybrids. Even more shocking, Stefan had a romance with Klaus’s sister Rebecca (Claire Holt.)  By the end of the episode, Klaus had resurrected Rebecca because a witch, Gloria, told him she was needed in order to contact the Original Witch, who could explain why Klaus has been unable to create any new hybrids. Technically, it turned out that what Gloria really needed was Rebecca’s necklace, which now belongs to Elena. Klaus also gave Stefan back his memories of their times together. Stefan seemed to have genuinely softened toward Klaus. For Rebecca, who has spent the past 80-something years in a coffin, it was like no time had passed for her and Stefan. The Stefan/Elena/Damon triangle just turned into a polygon.

Executive producer Julie Plec explained why this episode is so pivotal to the show. “One of the big questions that we left last year with was why did Klaus take such an interest in Stefan, specifically, and what we really wanted to do was show the roots of Klaus’s character as it relates to his family, the people he has known for 1000 years, and been with off and on for a 1000 years, that we notoriously know, of course, that he’s daggered one by one and carted around in coffins. So this notion of a big, bad evil hybrid d*ck who like everyone else on this show is, in his own way, trying to fill a hole that’s been left inside of him as a result of loss of family or desire for family, a desire for that brotherhood. It’s the beginning of our glimpse into Klaus’s life, the beginning of our glimpse into Rebecca’s life. It’s not the last we’ll see of their story and their family’s story.”

It was also a devastating episode for Elena (Nina Dobrev). She finally came face-to-face with Stefan for the first time this season, only to have him cruelly dump her after explaining that her continued existence was the only thing preventing Klaus from creating more hybrids. He told her that their chapter of his life was over, and that it would take him decades to recover from all of the horrible things he has done with Klaus. “This is a big deal for the Stefan and Elena relationship, this episode, because I think in her plucky little heart, while she’s very realistic, she understands the realities of the world. She’s this overly compassionate savior of her friends, of her loved ones, and I really do think she believed that it was as easy as getting him out of that environment and what he made very clear to her was that’s just the beginning. Your life will be spent taking care of me, worrying about me, and that’s not a life I want for you.”

As if Stefan did not already have his hands full, the episode marked the return of Katherine, who has followed him to Chicago. She tipped off Damon (Ian Somerhalder) to Stefan’s location. She was also seen in the 1920s flashbacks, right before the appearance of a vampire hunter played by Sebastian Roche. This guy is so scary that Klaus left town, compelled Stefan to forget him, and daggered Rebecca because she wanted to stay with Stefan instead of leaving town with him. Plec gave a few hints about his character, “This was a little taste of that character which will get Stefan asking the question, now that his memories have been refreshed, who is this guy and why are they afraid of him? People who should be afraid of nothing are afraid of this person so he’s going to start wondering a little bit about that.”

In the episode’s B storyline, Caroline (Candice Accola) was tortured by her own father, Bill (Jack Coleman). He kept her chained to a chair in a cell. He burned her with sunlight while dangling a bag of blood in front of her. His goal is to get her to associate vampirism with pain so that she will repress all of her vampire urges. It seems like a pretty clear metaphor for the therapy intended to make gay people go straight. Said Plec, “I think that it’s a story about a parent thinking they know best for their child. I think you can apply that to a lot of different sociological situations. I think if you said to Bill Forbes that’s what you were doing and you of all people, when you’re gay, he’d say, “Please tell me you’re not implying there’s any connection between gay and vampire.” I think he would mock Sheriff Forbes for saying that. I think, more importantly, what we wanted to show was this idea of trying to rescue someone who ultimately doesn’t need to be rescued.”

Fortunately, Tyler (Michael Trevino) and the Sheriff (Maurgerite MacIntyre) soon rescued Caroline from Bill’s clutches. Caroline realized that her mother is now the parent who truly understands her. This storyline is not over yet. Plec reveals that Bill will be around for one more episode. “There’s a couple juicy council moments coming up next week, for those of you who follow the moves of the council and their glorious incompetency…. It’s who on the council is not somehow carrying a secret for their child that are supposed to be the very people that we’re fighting against?”

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