100 episodes in, and it still has the power to knock the wind right out of us, such is the power of The Vampire Diaries. Warning, spoilers ahead!
The CW hit series hit its milestone 100th episode on Thursday night and didn't rest on its laurels, ending with a major shocker: Katherine (Nina Dobrev), who was on the verge of death the entire hour, proved yet again she's the ultimate survivor, using the Travelers' spell to jump into Elena's (Dobrev again) body. Come on, she's Katherine Pierce. Did you really expect her to just die?!
Plus, Klaus (Joseph Morgan) and Caroline (Candice Accola) fans were finally rewarded for their patience as the hybrid returned for a hot romp in the woods. Too bad her ex Tyler (Michael Trevino) happened to return to Mystic Falls before she could even fix her hair. Oops.
To preview the "painful and wonderful" fallout from the 100th episode, including the impact Katherine's scheme will have on Stefan (Paul Wesley) and Damon (Ian Somerhalder), we chatted with executive producer Julie Plec about what mayhem lies ahead. And she also talked about getting so many of TVD's dearly departed characters to return for the special event. (Oh hi, Alaric!)
We can only imagine the fun Katherine is going to have with the brothers now that she's in Elena's body.
Oh, she's going to be at her best of no good. The thing that's so great is that she's so into Stefan right now and so not into Damon right now, and yet Elena was about ready to reembrace her relationship with Damon and Damon was all ready to win back his girl, so you can only imagine how that's going to go down. Katherine does some of the bitchiest stuff as Elena in the next part of the chapter. It's great. It's Katherine at her most diabolical.
But we will still see Elena trapped inside of her own body, similar to when Matt was possessed?
Yes, the rules of the Traveler possession will be made very clear in the next episode. And it's pretty epic. [Laughs.] I have to say. I love the next episode so much because it's this great fallout of everything that happened in the 100th and it's so much fun. It's so painful and wonderful. I'm excited about the next few actually.
And this really feels like the first time in the series where Stefan is OK with not being with Elena and is ready to move on from their relationship.
Stefan has really come to terms with the intensity of the relationship between Damon and Elena. I think what he said in the finale last year, "I'm not not happy for you," he meant it. He recognized that the two of them have a very, very profound connection with each other. I think a lot of what he's trying to do is move past that and move on with his life. So here comes Katherine, of course up to no good just as Stefan's ready to move on.
Katherine is super-into Stefan right now, and we all know Damon doesn't handle rejection well, so could we see a return of a darker Damon should "Elena" reject him?
Definitely should he end up rejected I can't imagine that he will take it as a man and walk away with his head held high. [Laughs.] That's not the Damon we know and love. He will inevitable go a little bit mental. So we'll see how that plays out.
So Jeremy should just break out the neck brace now, right?
[Laughs.] Jeremy might want to get a hotel.
Stefan and Damon seem like they are in such a good place right now, so what can you preview coming up for them with this body-swap twist?
They are both ultimately equal victims of Katherine's diabolical plan and unaware that they are being played, they each have stories and moments with "Elena" that shift the relationship between the brothers, not necessarily in a good way. We'll have to help them find their way back to each other, if and when the dust settles from when they finally open their eyes wide enough to find out they are being played.
We have to talk about Klaus and Caroline. Why did you decide to have them hook up and was it partly your way of closing the Klaroline chapter?
Yeah. It felt like we've never been able to, because of the spinoff, fully deliver on what the next layer of their story would be. And it was always in our minds to figure out a way to pay that off and the 100th episode seemed like the most appropriate time to do it. Also, in a way, Caroline's journey on The Vampire Diaries this year has been she's got a lot of opinions and she's very open and honest about her feelings about Elena's feelings for Damon, and I think this is a way of making herself look in the mirror and say, "Oh gosh, I understand now."
Will this free Klaus up for a new romance on The Originals?
I mean, look, the thing is Klaus has got a lot going on on The Originals, and somewhere in there there's room for a little bit of romance down the road. Really, this was more about giving that storyline the ending, I guess, for now at least, that it needed, that it didn't have yet.
Can you preview the fallout for Caroline now that Tyler is back in town just after she slept with the guy who murdered his mother?
Tyler walks in the door as she's still fresh from her romp in the woods…so the timing couldn't be worse. And you know when you're a good girl and you do a naughty thing and then you feel like everything in the universe is conspiring to remind you of just how naughty you were? I think she's going to have a lot of those moments as a character and beat herself up about it and be really hard on herself. Certainly, I can't imagine Tyler will take this well. And any anger or frustration or fury that he feels about it is merited, so they're not going to be jumping back into each other's arms happily and living happily ever after anytime soon.
It's amazing how many people were able to return for the 100th episode—Aunt Jenna, John, Elijah, Vicki. But we have to say we just automatically cry every single time Matt Davis is on our TV screens as Alaric now.
I know, isn't that funny? It's like Pavlovian response. [Laughs.] I feel the same way.
Working all of the appearances in organically seems like it could've been a real challenge in writing the episode, but we forgot about the vision trick vampires can use. Was it at all difficult to work characters in?
No, we set out knowing we wanted to work in everyone who had ever been a series regular. And then in addition to that, any fun people that we thought would fit the Katherine story and any people that had been impacted greatly by her character, and so the visions actually serviced it perfectly for us, because we were able to get John and Jenna in there, who technically aren't on the Other Side. We've never really been able to see Jenna outside of flashbacks and we love Sarah so much that's always so nice to have her. We don't have enough excuses to get to use her, so we were happy to hit on that.
Was there anyone you asked to return that couldn't due to scheduling conflicts or timing?
I will say from the list we made and the script we wrote, I sent out a selection of emails to every single person that we put into the script, and every single person said yes. That was really a beautiful moment to see that all these people who had been a part of the family over the years were just as happy to come back and be part of this. Nobody said no, it was beautiful.
What did you think of The Vampire Diaries' 100th episode? Sound off in the comments!