The CW doesn't ask reporters to come by to watch an upcoming episode of "The Vampire Diaries" (Thursdays at 8:00 p.m. ET on the CW) and chat with Ian Somerhalder (Damon Salvatore) and executive producer Caroline Dries every day, so I had reason to believe something big was in the works for the show this week. No spoilers here, but I wasn't wrong.
After we watched an episode (which we were mostly told to forget), Somerhalder and Dries fielded questions -- some about Damon's best pal Enzo, played by Michael Malarky. It's a big week for Enzo, and that nagging Maggie question just might be addressed. Somerhalder gushed over for Malarky's acting commitment and "Johnny Depp" looks, noting how deeply he portrays Enzo's heartache over Maggie. "Ian pulled me aside and said, if you kill Enzo, I'm gonna quit," Dries said, laughing.
As for Enzo's feelings for Maggie, Somerhalder said, "I think it's the same trajectory as with Damon and Katherine, that deep, deep love... it's a delicate thing. I wish Damon could shake him and say... let it go. Let's go have some drinks and go to a strip club and be done."
Oh, and speaking of great loves (not strip clubs, though Somerhalder joked that the season finale would take place in Vegas), Dries talked a bit about what we'll be seeing between recent exes Damon and Elena in upcoming episodes. "We wanted to see them not interact... we throw them in a cabin-in-the-woods story where they can't be away from each other, and they can't be close. It's that weird purgatory of how do we act."
Somerhalder is just fine with playing up the angst with Nina Dobrev (Elena). "The push and the pull; it's always been that way with Elena... it really does make a very dynamic component to their relationship. It creates chemistry, all this cool stuff. It's pretty evident and it's there to stay for a while. It's always uncomfortable."
And just because the relationship is off doesn't mean these two characters aren't sparking. "They don't have to say anything, but the chemistry exists. Even the storyline of them not dating, there's chemistry," Dries explained.
"The lesson is, when you're 173 years old, don't date an 18 year old," Somerhalder joked.
If you've found the Travelers storyline to be less convoluted than that of other Big Bads, Dries says that's intentional. "We were trying to give the Travelers the simplest goal in the world, of [them saying] we just want a place to call home. We usually get criticized for making it so confusing."
Somerhalder added, "It's the audacity of life. Everything needs a place to live, whether it's a coral or a squirrel or a person. [The Travelers] are determined. There's a scene with lots of Travelers wherein you really get a sense, you're sympathetic toward them. And they're cool and grungy and a lot of them are hot. It looks like my weekend."
Getting a home (basically, Mystic Falls) won't be as simple, of course, and as Dries said, "They have a slightly violent way of doing this... in episode 21 is when it all plays out."
A great deal is at stake, especially with the afterlife crumbling in the background. While Dries referred to the place where supernatural beings move onto as being a "storage facility" for characters who could then be dusted off and dragged back into the action, she admitted, "I can think of three [permanent deaths]" by the end of the season.
"Pushing toward the finale, [Elena and company] have a united cause because the Travelers are coming for their home. Meanwhile, the other side is crumbling, so we'll see what happens to Bonnie. Things are spiraling out of control around them. Hopefully what you'll feel when you see the finale, you'll see this giant thing happens, and then season six will be a lot of bringing people back together," Dries said.
We'll also be seeing Tyler (Michael Trevino) becoming a more integral part of the plot. "He's been missing Caroline and going through all this relationship angst, but he's a good actor who needs to be more front and center, so what happened to Katherine will kind of happen to Tyler. We wanted to play that out so it reaches a climax in the finale episode. You'll [also] see Damon make a promise under extreme duress, and have no idea what he's promised."
Oh, and if you've wondered whether the writers of "The Vampire Diaries" and "The Originals" sit down to hash out mythology, the answer is no. "Even though we share a kitchen, I have no clue what they're doing while they're doing it," Dries said. "It seems like from paying a little attention to their mythology, they don't use our mythology. I don't get where they're pulling from."
As to what's happening with another favorite character, Caroline, she won't stay single forever. "I think she's got a little relationship/crush feeling for someone that's going to come to the surface and create a rift with one of her friends," Dries said. "Moving into season six, we're going to see her set her sights on someone."
Who do you think will die before season's end? Are you ready to see some characters go?