How can you sum up The Vampire Diaries' fifth season in one word? Enzo.
Michael Malarkey's introduction as Damon's former torture buddy has breathed new life into the CW hit drama and fans can expect to see even more of the charming and sexy in tonight's episode, "Rescue Me," and throughout the rest of the season, as executive producer Caroline Dries calls him the new "mini-bad." Yes please!
We chatted with Dries, as well as stars Paul Wesley and Nina Dobrev, as well as executive producers Julie Plec, on the red carpet at PaleyFest, where they dished on Damon (Ian Somerhalder) and Elena's (Dobrev) upcoming dilemma, Enzo's awesomeness and more...
Domesticated Delena: What's next for Damon and Elena after their breakup sex? Jeremy's (Steven R. McQueen) parent-teacher conference, natch.
"That was a really funny sequence and a fun episode to shoot, because it was such a weird dynamic," Dobrev spills. "It's a parent-teacher meeting and yet they're not the parents and they're not together…the dynamic was just very fun and strange and cool because it was one of those things where you're like, ‘I want to strangle you, but I want to kiss you!' That's what the characters were thinking so it was a funny and a cool sequence."
Dries adds, "It's super complicated because Elena, she's just got her brain working for her, where she's like, ‘I know this is not the right relationship for me, but I'm just obsessed with you and I want to rip your clothes off.' I feel like the audience can relate to that."
Enzo FTW: Guess what? Viewers aren't the only ones in love with the bad boy from Damon's past. "Enzo is the best new character on the show," Wesley gushes. "He's the best character on the show. He's also one of, if not the best actor on the show."
And Dries teases "good stuff comingup" for Enzo, saying, "We get to understand what the heck he's doing in Mystic Falls, like he has a very clear drive. He's one of those guys who's willing to do whatever he needs to do. He's going be our mini-bad coming up in the next few episodes."
But just because he's a "mini-bad" doesn't mean fans should start saving eulogies in their Twitter drafts, as Plec admits, "It would be very hard to say goodbye to him, let's put it that way."
No More Mr. Nice Guy: Tonight's episode will find Enzo and Caroline on a mission to find and kill the latest of Wesley's doppelgangers, a paramedic in Atlanta, with Wesley teasing, "Caroline is stressed out about it because he's such a nice guy and Enzo just wants to murder the son of a bitch."
But is Tom too good to be true? "He's a good guy. I always think it's funny how good a guy he is," Wesley says. "I think that it's kind of hilarious, because he's so kind of, 'Oh, I'm a nice guy. Hi!' I feel like he maybe does weird things when he comes home or something."
But which one of his three characters, Stefan, Silas and Tom, would Wesley most want to grab a beer with? "Ripper Stefan," he says without hesitation. "He's the man."
The Vampire Diaries airs tonight at 8 p.m. on the CW.
P.S.: Make sure to check out this hilarious moment from the PaleyFest panel on Saturday night, in which our very own Kristin Dos Santos, who moderated the fun chat, "accidentally" spilled water on Ian's leg!