Okay, “Vampire Diaries” fans, we know you’ve had an emotional evening. Regardless of who you’re rooting for when it comes to the love triangle, tonight’s Miss Mystic Falls pageant was packed with unexpected twists and turns. Elena didn’t hesitate to tell Damon that she and Stefan had broken up because of her feelings for the elder Salvatore brother, and while Damon sympathized with Stefan’s heartbreak, he wasn’t particularly sorry about the whole thing.
That became abundantly clear when Elena decided to crash at Chez Salvatore to get away from her vampire hunter brother. After a little whiskey and a romantic fireside dance, Delena fans finally got their wish when Damon and Elena couldn’t resist any longer, and finally slept together. Of course, it was a bittersweet moment, because on the other side of their tiny town, Caroline and Stefan realized that Elena is sired to Damon. It’s a rare condition for vampires, as Damon pointed out in Season 3, but does happen.
For the record, we haven’t seen any evidence from any of Klaus’ sired hybrids that being sired causes one to have romantic or sexual feelings toward someone, which is worth remembering as the story moves forward.
The sire bond does explain a lot of the curious things about Elena’s vampire transition — most notably the fact that she can’t stomach blood unless it comes directly from a human vein. No other vampire we’ve seen so far has been such a picky eater, and personally, I’m glad that finally makes sense! There are still a lot of unanswered questions, though, so I tracked down executive producer Julie Plec for an exclusive interview to follow up the controversial episode. If there’s one thing you should take from this, it’s that there’s still plenty of hope that Elena’s feelings for Damon are real — so don’t
Zap2it: The sire bond has been highly speculated about over the last couple of weeks. How long has this been in the works? Did you guys know, when Elena turned, that you’d go this route?
Plec: We came up with it back when we launched Tyler’s hybrid story, actually. When Tyler was sired to Klaus, and Damon said, “Oh, s***, I know what this is,” that planted the seed of, when we finally go down this road with Elena, whoever’s blood she drank to become a vampire sired her to that vampire. From there it was a natural conclusion that it should be Damon, so it’s actually something that’s been in the works for a very long time. The reason we kept the hybrid storyline alive this year and kept it sort of front and center was in order to create that context for the audience so that when we found out Elena was sired, it would all make sense.
It’s definitely alarming for fans who have been waiting to see Damon and Elena get together for them to finally hook up, but have it be intercut with evidence that her feelings for him might not be genuine. Is there still hope that her feelings for him are real?
Without taking sides one way or the other, just looking at it objectively from our point of view as storytellers, there is more hope than ever for them. It’s just combined with a lot of very deep questions. Damon is a character who, his whole life — as a vampire and as a human — was looking for love and acceptance, and for someone to finally say, “Hey, you’re good enough.” He finally gets that from Elena, and now he has to question it. He wants to believe it’s real. She truly believes it’s real. But there’s that nagging doubt, as to how much of it is true love and how much is the effects of a sire bond. It’s a question that’s going to take these two people who do care about each other so deeply, and just put the tiniest bit of an obstacle in their path. They have to figure out how to get around it.
I’ve been sort of sad to see people on Twitter calling Elena derogatory names because they feel like she moved too fast, sleeping with Damon right after the breakup with Stefan. Did you guys have any concern in the writers’ room that she was jumping into his arms, and his bed, too quickly?
Plec: What we wanted to do in the writers’ room was to give Stefan and Elena the most human, honest, and respectable breakup between a couple that had been that important for so long, and to put a real end to that, so that there was a freedom for her to now give in to this passion and this interest that’s been brewing for over two and a half seasons. In the real world, would it happen that quickly? Maybe not. But I do think that the punctuation on the breakup is her finally giving in to these feelings for Damon, and then to raise the question of “Oh, God. Is that what she really felt or is it all part of the supernatural link between them?”
I loved Stefan in this episode. He’s really on the edge — particularly in the scenes with Jeremy, when he was really kind of scary. Does his heartbreak over Elena have the potential to push him back into his ripper ways?
Plec: Oh, he’s definitely walking the tightrope on the edge there, and will continue to do so. He’s trying to be reasonable, he’s trying to be rational, but he’s very clearly emotionally driven by a desire to, as she called him out on, “fix her.” To Stefan’s credit, he might be right. He might actually be right, that this is not who she is and this is not who she’s supposed to be, so his desire is to try to correct that at all costs. So the question which we’ll be exploring is: is this who she is? We don’t know.
Before the breakup, Damon and Stefan were in the best place they’ve been, as brothers, in a long time. Is that in jeopardy now?
Plec: Well, it’s been compromised by circumstance, but both of them, to their credit in the next episode, try to take the high road. What comes out of them both trying to take the high road, and to do what’s right by each other, and do right by Elena, actually launches the whole next chapter of the show.
This week, Stefan found a murderer to turn into a vampire and kill, but in last week’s episode, Jeremy’s victim was a hybrid friend of Tyler’s who had just helped them. There’s sort of this disregard for other lives, outside of their immediate circle. Is that something that’s going to be addressed down the line? Obviously, it caused some tension between Tyler and Caroline.
What that served to do was to basically let Tyler be the voice of conscience, and the voice of reason. He’s saying, “Hey, you guys are all doing something in the name of what you percieve to be good, and I don’t approve, and it’s not okay, and it’s not cool.” It’s a little bit of that Jiminy Cricket reminder that our heroes are doing things to protect what they love, but there’s a big shady gray area there. On our show, there’s a very fine line separating hero from villain. We want it to be clear that just because Stefan and Damon think something’s right, doesn’t mean it is.
Next week Stefan tells Damon about the sire bond suspicions, and head to New Orleans for some answers, and we get a look back at where they were in the 1940s. What are you most looking forward to people seeing?
It’s a nice window into Damon and who he was then, and who he wanted to be, especially in relationship to his brothe
r, and how he wanted to do right by his brother back then. It kind of informs his decision about how to do right by his brother today. We revisit our favorite girl Lexi, who has been working hard since the ripper days to get Stefan back on track. She brings him to Damon to say, “Okay, the next step in your recovery is to reconcile with your brother.” It’s a nice moment of insight into where they were at the time.
Do you think Elena’s feelings for Damon will be revealed to be genuine?