6:00pm PT by Philiana Ng
'Vampire Diaries' Boss Explains the Mysterious Final Scene
[WARNING: Spoilers ahead from Thursday's season-six premiere of The Vampire Diaries, "I'll Remember".]
Wait ... what?
The Vampire Diaries pulled a 180 when the season six premiere closed with a head-scratching final scene that likely elicited a flurry of "WTF!"s and "OMG!"s on Twitter: Damon (Ian Somerhalder) and Bonnie (Kat Graham) — looking as alive as ever (and dressed in flannel!) — enjoying some fang-tastic pancakes. So, where exactly are they? The question was posed to executive producer Caroline Dries, who was coy in her explanation.
"That's the mystery," she said, promising that it will begin to unravel soon. "You'll find out. It's just supposed to be a tease. They're somewhere, and we'll find out in the next episode." Dries later reiterated that "it will be very clear what's happening."
Though Damon's presence was felt throughout the episode, albeit through Elena's hallucinations thanks to ancient herbs, the closing moment was meant to reassure viewers that Damon and Bonnie still had a substantial place in the series. "We wanted to tease people and be like, 'Don't worry, we haven't forgotten about them,' " Dries said, adding that the scene is supposed to pose more questions. "You're supposed to be like, 'Wait, what?' "
Landing on the scene didn't come without lengthy discussions — and for the record, the writers didn't know where Damon and Bonnie were at the end of season five. "We knew that they were going to be whisked off someplace together, and we didn't want to create a notion of the Other Side, since we bent over backwards to get rid of it," Dries admitted. "That was our challenge: What will feel fresh and new, but won't feel like exactly what we just did last season?"
At the moment things aren't looking good for Damon, with Stefan giving up on finding his brother and Elena desperate to rid him from her consciousness. But there may be one last hope: Enzo, who isn't about to give up on his best friend. "Damon dying obviously took a toll on Enzo, which we never actually saw," Dries said. "His point of view on Damon is in direct conflict with Stefan's point of view of it. He's going to continue to be [in] this love triangle with Damon, Enzo and Stefan, where Enzo and Stefan continue to be at odds."
Where do you think Damon and Bonnie are? Take The Hollywood Reporter's poll below and tell us what you think of the developments below.
THR answers five questions raised by the premiere, and don't forget to check out 10 more season-six teases.
Will Alaric honor Elena's request to compel her to forget Damon ever existence?
The gut-wrenching moment ended just before Alaric's response and that question will be further explored in next week's episode, "Yellow Ledbetter". It won't be easy for Alaric to come to a decision, to say to the least. "What she's asking of him isn't just — Damon is his friend too. For her, it's a hard decision, but for him it's, 'I don't know if I can do this to my friend,' " Dries said. "That will be his emotional journey in the next episode."
What is Tripp's significance?
Tripp (Eureka's Colin Ferguson), introduced as a member of the Mystic Falls defense squad Matt is a part of, was created to show Matt — the main crew's lone human — "thriving ... without supernaturals."
"Every episode, Matt is having his life in jeopardy, or somebody is threatening to kill him, so what is Matt's life like when he [doesn't] have a death threat every five minutes?" Dries said. Initially viewed as "a father figure type, coach kind of guy," Dries hinted that there's far more to Tripp than meets the eye. "He'll ultimately become an interesting, layered, dynamic character who isn't necessarily a good guy or bad guy," she said. "He represents a normal person's point of view on the whole vampire world."
Will Tyler let his rage consume him?
The threat of Tyler returning to wolf form once the curse is reactivated looms large this season. "It continues to be this threat that's out there. He's gone through the process; he knows what the stakes are now; he's lived it. Him dealing with these rage issues ... it's something that's bubbling inside of him. Whenever he picks a fight with somebody, we're reminded of the stakes to that," Dries said. Tyler's new love interest, Liv (Penelope Mitchell), will help him sort out his issues and serve as a guide "helping him through his resisting of indulging in his rage."
Is Jeremy headed on a dark path?
Yes and no. "He doesn't get dark, he's feeling — rightfully so — betrayed that Bonnie lied to him for all these episodes and said, 'I'm dying, see ya,' over the phone," Dries said of the young Gilbert's arc. "He's going to try to find some meaning in the first few episodes. He hasn't hit his rock bottom yet, let's put it that way."
How do Liv and Luke's story play into the overarching mythology?
"We get little pieces of it for a while," Dries said of the reason behind the twins' continued presence on Vampire Diaries. "We're trying to pepper in the mythology as opposed to ramming it down [people's] throats. The last scene with Damon and Bonnie, to us that's more the mythology and less about Silas and the Originals. It's more about what the heck is going on with those two. Slowly but surely everything will weave together in an elegant way toward the end of the season. Liv and Luke will play an important part of whatever we're doing [for] this season's big, juicy mythology stuff."
The Vampire Diaries airs 8 p.m. on Thursdays on The CW.