The Vampire Diaries

Annette Brown/The CW

Little Jeremy Gilbert is finally getting the hell out of Mystic Falls.

Tonight's episode of The Vampire Diaries will be the last for Steven R. McQueen, and after six seasons of vampires, werewolves, witches, ghosts and other supernatural pests trying to bring him down, his final goodbye will be "a victory."

E! News got the chance to sit down with The Vampire Diaries showrunners Julie Plec and Caroline Dries, writer of the episode Brian Young and McQueen himself after screening the episode, "Stay," early along with a small group of reporters, and they were all proud of the way Jeremy exits the series. And that meant making sure Little Gilbert didn't leave the show via death, but rather something more optimistic. Plec previously told E! News that Jeremy would be leaving Mystic Falls to go to art school.

The Vampire Diaries

Annette Brown/The CW

"Jeremy's died a few times so we just really wanted it to feel special but official, too," Dries says. "We mean it this time. Grown-up closure."

Young is glad they decided to give Jeremy a purpose rather than kill him off. "It feels like a victory, in a way," Young says. "He got out. He made it out and he's going to be great and succeed in the world."

McQueen appreciated the fact that his final days on set were happy, rather than sad—did you hear about the prank the cast and crew pulled on him?!

The Vampire Diaries

Annette Brown/The CW

"It was great having my last few scenes be fun," McQueen says. "I got to joke around with everybody rather than being sad about it. [My last day filming] we were just all sitting around cracking jokes. It was nice."

And just because he's exiting the show, that doesn't mean you won't see Jeremy pop up in episodes at some point down the line. McQueen jokes that he's game to star in his own Vampire Diaries spinoff show, and Plec reveals the door is always open for him to appear on the show in the future.

"He's got a standing invite for weddings, funerals, and whatever else comes around," Plec says with a laugh.

The Vampire Diaries airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on The CW. Be sure to check back with us for more after the big episode.

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