‘The Vampire Diaries’ Producer: A Lot of People Might Not Make It to Season Four

Nina Dobrev as Elena and Paul Wesley as Stefan in The Vampire Diaries (Photo: Bob Mahoney/The CW)

*Note: this article contains spoilers for the April 26 episode of “Vampire Diaries”*

No television character has been more persecuted this season than “Vampire Diaries” Alaric (Matt Davis). First the vampire slayer developed a serial killer alter ego and unwittingly killed several people. Then, when he tried to heal himself, a 1000-year old witch turned him into a vampire expressly so he could kill all of the Originals. Then when he decided to die nobly instead, he was forced to complete the transition against his will. Executive producer Julie Plec explained why she took the character in such a shocking direction and how Alaric, the vampire hunting vampire, will shape the rest of the season.

“We knew he needed to be stronger, resilient, immortal, fast, furious, fierce, and the idea of the ironic symmetry of this witch who is desperate to eradicate vampires and this alter ego of Alaric’s who hates vampires and knowing that becoming a vampire your darkest moments and your greatest wants are magnified to such a degree,” Plec explained. “It felt like it was this way of bringing the original witches part in this whole mythology full circle and her passing the baton to a villain who could actually succeed at the task she’s been failing at all season.”

Now the stage has been set for a battle between Alaric and Klaus (Joseph Morgan). “Alaric wants the Originals dead. And the very first thing we see at the head of the next episode is Alaric in the high school where Caroline [Candice Accola] and Rebekah [Claire Holt] are having a little post-dance clean up. So things only get worse from there. They start hot. They stay hot. ” But his villainy has emotional component. “He’s going to be pretty hardcore, which is going to be kind of equally devastating and heartbreaking obviously because he’s one of our heroes who is no longer one of our heroes.”

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Bonnie (Kat Graham), possessed by the spirit of Esther, forced Ric to transition.”She was very clearly under some sort of witchy influence, which is really Bonnie’s issue now,” says Plec. “She’s like, ‘What the hell? I’ve got vampires telling me what to do. I’ve got other people telling me what to do. And now I’ve got freaking my sister, the witches, telling me what to do, and where’s my free will, and where’s my choice?'”

The scene of the other characters saying goodbye to a dying Alaric was one of the most moving in the show’s history — but it almost ended up on the cutting room floor. “It’s funny because when you hand the script over to production and they read a script that’s too long with too many scenes and impossible to shoot in the schedule and then they see a line that everyone gathers to show their respects , which is two lines of a fifty page script, that’s the first thing that they say, ‘Oh you’ve got to get rid of that. ‘” says Plec. “I don’t do this very often where I pitch the ‘I’m the boss, shut up,’ fit, but I was just like “Guys, I’m telling you, this is the heart and soul, this little two liner thing is the heart and soul of this episode and one of the heart and soul moments of the season.”

The episode also featured an emotional breakthrough for Stefan (Paul Wesley) as he danced with Elena (Nina Dobrev) and offered her support. “In this moment sort of seeing her at her most vulnerable and giving her the support she’s been trying to give him all season, it’s finally him trying to say it is okay to feel, and I heard you all those times  you told me that it’s okay to  feel and it’s okay to have hope,” shared Plec. “I heard you and now let me give that back to you. “

Elena’s feelings for both Salvatore brothers will drive the rest of the season. “She’s lost everyone that ever mattered to her. How do you choose in a moment like that? The last two episodes of the season are really going to be about asking herself that question and really trying to understand how she could possibly let one of them go when she’s already lost so much.”

The season finale will feature a flashback of Elena’s relationship with her first love, Mat (Zach Roerig). “Matt is one of the vestigial representatives of this life that was clean and simple for her. Their friendship dates back to when they played in the sandbox together.”  However, it will not be mere nostalgia for her pre-vampire life. “They were themselves in a troubled relationship so even if she’s remembering a simpler time, their problems were just as complicated.”

Plec warns that there may be some actual deaths before the finale. “There’s going to be a lot of people you aren’t sure if one way or another they’re going to make it to season four.” Unlike last year, the final episode will not be a quiet season wrap up. “The penultimate episode is very, very adrenaline infused and there are some big, big mythology moves that happen, whereas the finale is definitely more emotional, but it is by no means the epilogue to the season.  If anything, it’s like closing the lid on one year then blowing the freaking lid open to the next.”


The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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