Bob Mahoney/The CW

Vampire Barbie, oh we've missed you.

Caroline Forbes (Candice Accola) returns to the CW's Vampire Diaries in a big way in tonight's episode: She's turning 18! And aside from blowing out birthday candles, Caroline will be dealing with the fallout from her breakup with (newbie) hybrid Tyler (Michael Trevino). But will fans be happy with what goes down next?

We chatted with Accola and executive producer Julie Plec about tonight's episode, that recent epic kiss between Damon (Ian Somerhalder) and Elena (Nina Dobrev), Jeremy's (Steven R. McQueen) exit and more...

Prepare for Caroline like we've never seen her before: not in the mood to throw a party. Yes, Ms. Forbes is not looking forward to turning the big 1-8. 

"Whereas everyone would think Caroline would throw herself a fabulous party and she would be on cloud nine, Caroline's actually really bummed out. She's not excited for her birthday at all. The is the first time she's realizing that even though she's turning 18, she's not really turning 18," Accola explains. "This is the first time she's realizing that her being a vampire will hold her back from a lot of firsts in her life and first and foremost, turning 18. Everyone's excited to celebrate and she's the only one who's not really looking forward to and it and she just wants to be alone for her birthday."

So will fans be getting some awesome party favors in the form of a Caroline and Tyler reunion? Probably not. "Caroline and Tyler will talk," Accola teases. "It is acknowledged that it is her birthday. We'll see if they can talk their way through sustaining their relationship because they didn't really leave off on the best of terms."

While Accola's answer gave us a bit of hope for the couple, Plec's answer deflated it real quick. "Tyler's in a bad place and the first thing he has to do is recognize he's in a bad place and then he has to figure out how to get himself out of it. That is going to be a long journey and not an easy one for him. There's going to be a lot of dips in his relationship with Caroline and his own relationship to himself before he comes out the other side. We'll see if he comes out the other side and how he does."

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Of course, we had to ask Plec about that thing that happened at the end of last week's episode, you know, Damon and Elena having their first kiss. No big deal or anything. "The kiss happened. It was beautiful. I was very happy with the execution of that kiss," Plec says of the big moment fans have been waiting three years for. "We were very clear in the writers room about wanting it to be Damon's cowboy moment. Was it the nicest thing to do to his brother? No. Was it the best move? No. Did he want it and did he go for it? Yes."

So, to borrow a line from Buffy, where do we go from here? Well for Elena, who's dealing with Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) leaving town, ex-boyfriend Stefan (Paul Wesley) actin' a fool and her feelings for Damon, she's understandably overwhelmed. 

"Elena is confused, frustrated, trying to focus her energies away from herself and the questions she's having in her head about her feelings for each brother individually and she channels that into wanting to help shake Caroline out of her funk on her 18th birthday," Plec explains. "But in the process, she gets into a pretty bad situation with Stefan that shatters her soul a little bit."

Plec teases that a scene at the end of the episode will shed a lot of light on Elena's state of mind: "There's a nice scene at the end of the episode where Elena reflects where she is and how she's gotten there and who she used to be versus who she is now. It's a really nice moment for her that will let the audience a little bit inside her head on how she feels about everything."

Here are a few other interesting nuggest of information Plec talked about with us:

Road to Redemption: "Certainly if Paul Welsey had his way, he would never find redemption because it's more fun," Plec says of the big bad Stefan currently wreaking havoc on the show. "Stefan is definitely about to do one of the worst things he's done and he's not going to get past that very easily. His road to his eventual redemption, not necessarily recovery, but redemption is going to be bumpy, but he's on it. He's definitely on it."

Jeremy's Exit: While Plec says it was not an easy decision to send Jeremy away from Mystic Falls, "it actually felt like it was the right thing to do for the character." While the writers have yet to decide when Jeremy will return to town, Plec tells us, "I'm excited to see what this time away does for Jeremy the character and what will happen to him when he's gone and when he comes back. No, we have lots of conversations about what his life must be like in Denver."

Elijah's Encore: Obviously, we had to ask when our beloved OG Original would be returning to us. Sadly, Plec's response was less than ideal: "I'll never tell, but he is coming back." We'll take it!

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