'The Vampire Diaries' 100th episode: Julie Plec breaks down the Klaroline hookup, Katherine's sneaky twist and more

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Have you picked your jaws up off the floor yet, "The Vampire Diaries" fans? Because we haven't.

The 100th episode aired on Thursday (Jan. 23), and it was chock full of sexy OMG moments (Klaroline has sex in the woods!), shocking twists (Katherine becomes a Passenger possessing Elena's body!), familiar faces returning as ghosts (Alaric! Vicki!), familiar faces returning for a quick romp in the woods (Klaus with Caroline, and Rebekah with Matt!), familiar faces returning as hallucinations (Aunt Jenna! Uncle John minus his fingers! Elijah!), and familiar faces just plain old returning (Tyler's back!). It was one of the series' best episodes, and it left us with so many questions.

So who better to turn to for answers than the executive producer Julie Plec? Zap2it got the chance to pick the evil genius' brain after screening the episode to talk about all the shocking and amazing moments from "500 Years of Solitude," and to find out what's coming next for our favorite Mystic Falls residents. Spoiler alert: A lot of complicated drama, just how we like it.

Zap2it: So Katherine didn't die after all! Not going to lie, it looked pretty dire there for a moment. Did you ever consider killing her, or was her body switcheroo always the plan?

Julie Plec: We were pretty set on killing Katherine when we started, just because ultimately it's a difficult character for Nina Dobrev to play double for long stretches of time. And it felt like, the 100th episode, what better move to make than to really and truly kill off one of our main characters. So we were ready to say goodbye to this person and about halfway through this season, [executive producer] Caroline [Dries] walked into my office and said, "OK. I have a pitch and you're either going to love it or you're going to hate it." So she pitched it to me and I was like, aw man, that's such a good idea.

So how is this going to affect Elena going forward?

What it gives us is so much fun to play with the Damon and Elena relationship and the Damon/Elena/Stefan dynamic because Elena is no longer Elena. It's going to kick that whole dynamic in the a** [laughs].

Klaus and Caroline finally hooked up. And it. Was. Hot. Why did you decide that it was time to make Klaroline happen?

I felt like, and all of us felt like, one of the consequences of us creating the spinoff "The Originals" was that we never got to properly deliver on the Klaus/Caroline journey, you know? We had really taken the audience along on a ride, a good one, and those people who liked that relationship really responded to it. And there were all kinds of reasons not to move forward with that relationship but regardless, it was a journey that they were on so we felt like a good way to give some closure to that story line was delivering on everything we'd promised. And also, having Caroline have a character-shifting moment this episode felt like the right time to do it.

But the only reason Caroline gave in to her feelings and acted on them was because she made Klaus promise that he would walk away and never look back. Is this the end of Klaroline? Or is there still an opportunity for her to go to New Orleans for a crossover on "The Originals"?

I wouldn't say there's never a chance for anything. I think that Caroline is very firmly established right now in the core "Vampire Diaries" universe, and Klaus is very firmly established in the New Orleans/"The Originals" universe. I wouldn't want to make any promises about what happens down the line, but I think she felt comfortable doing what she did because of the finality of it. As for what happens in the future, it's up to speculation. For now, this is for good.

Rebekah and Elijah also returned, but Elijah was just a hallucination Damon gave to Katherine to mess with her mind. Why did Elijah stay in New Orleans instead of traveling with his siblings to say goodbye to his ex?

There was a fine line we had to walk between getting the appropriate closure from outside characters and doing the show with scenes upon scenes upon scenes of another set of characters' journey [laughs]. It felt really poetic for Damon to give Katherine that one moment where it felt like she was getting protected heroically by Elijah and to take it away from her.

As far as Elijah is concerned, we had to think about what it would take for him to go and say goodbye to her. If the other two siblings had left New Orleans, someone's got to stay home and make sure that the miracle baby and the miracle baby mama are protected. I think a little bit of Elijah's heart got closure for Katherine the minute he decided to be with his family and move to New Orleans. As we've seen, the people who watch "The Originals" know is that that is one of Elijah's main ideals, that he will put his family's happiness over his own, repeatedly.

Stefan really stepped up and put on his hero hair this episode. He helped Katherine achieve closure and talked both Elena and Damon through their breakup, helping them come to terms with the fact that they should get back together. What's coming up next for Stefan?

Poor Stefan. He finally comes to terms with the relationship between Elena and Damon and feeling like, "I get to be the big man and take the high road and support my brother and support this young woman who's still important to me." The whole world is upside down. I'll tell you one thing, with Katherine getting down to business in the next episode, Damon is not exactly the Salvatore brother that's the most receptive. She's going to have to clean up some of that right away.

Concerning Stefan's heart-to-hearts with both Damon and Elena, should Delena fans feel hopeful that their breakup might not last?

We should take this as a good sign for them except for the fact that Elena is no longer in possession of her own body. That's the saddest thing. They realize that the breakup that they had was really them working out some of their relationship issues, and there's still a lot of unfinished business and a lot of love between them. But our beloved Katherine is going to get in the way and screw it up.

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And now Tyler's back! I can't imagine Caroline was thrilled about his timing.

[Laughs] Well, let's just say that Tyler's return, the timing couldn't have been worse for Caroline. There's one side of this story between Klaus and Caroline that's really fun and flirty and sexy and beautiful between them, because those two have such a connection. But the other side is that Klaus has done really, truly terrible, horrible things to Tyler, up to and including killing his mother. So when Tyler gets wind of what went down between Caroline and Klaus, I can't imagine there will be room for forgiveness there. Their relationship is going to take quite a hit and their friendship is going to be in question.

Should we be worried about the buckets of doppelgänger blood the group of Travelers stole from Stefan and Elena?

I think everybody should be wondering what exactly those Travelers are doing. Clearly the doppelganger blood means something to them and as we get deeper into the season, we'll start explaining more of that. They've got big plans. We're going to start getting an idea of what's going on slowly from that.

As a fan, I can't even tell you how much it meant to see all the familiar faces like Vicki and Aunt Jenna and Uncle John and most importantly Alaric return. I'm not going to lie, I was crying. What was the thought process behind bringing back all these fan-favorite characters that we've lost over the seasons?

From a particularly personal point of view -- I'll take my storyteller hat off for a minute -- from a personal point of view, as a writer you don't get to 100 episodes very often. Not a lot of people get to have this moment. We have a show that over those 100 episodes, it's been a really special experience largely for the people who have participated and been a part of our family in Atlanta and on the show, but also for the fans who have had a deep connection to these characters.

It just felt like it wouldn't be a celebration without finding a way, a warm wonderful way, to remind our fans of the last 100 episodes of the show by getting these familiar faces and to welcome back all those people we had lost over the course of the show.

This is probably a really tough question, but do you have a favorite moment from the whole series?

I have so many. So, so many. I was just tweeting out some the other night. There is something that will forever stay with me about the moment when Rose is dying and Damon gave her her happy memory and then in grief, his feeling that sense of loss, ended up going out into the road and having an existential crisis that resulted in him murdering that innocent girl. That whole scene was so profound and powerful, and just so Damon. The good and the bad, the shiny and the scratchy, you know? I just loved it so much, and I just cry every time. There are just a million moments that I love but that's one of the ones that really hits me profoundly every time I think about it.

So what's coming up next on "The Vampire Diaries?" Are we still going to be dealing with the Augustine mythology or something completely new?

The Augustine mythology, which at this point they're done since the Augustines were eliminated in the '50s, so it's really Wes' mythology. It does dovetail with what the Travelers want. They've got buckets of doppelganger blood and they're trying to figure out what exactly they can do with it. And he's a scientist in need of financial support or a little bit of magic. So the two sides of their world meet up. We'll start to see what the Travelers' agenda can really do with a person like Wes and what Wes as a scientist can really do with a bunch of wandering magicians like the Travelers.

"The Vampire Diaries" airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.

Photo/Video credit: The CW
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