The Vampire Diaries executive producer Julie Plec talked with TV Line about the emotional episode this week and what it means for the show.
TVLINE | I imagine killing off Jeremy was not an easy choice. Why did you feel it was necessary to kill him?
This whole year has been about the evolution of Elena as a vampire, starting from a girl who expressly claimed it was the last thing she wanted. And then just as she was finally getting a handle on it, the sire bond problem reared its ugly head. We knew we wanted to get her to the darkest place possible, so that Elena, the most compassionate character, would become dis-compassionate and turn her humanity off. So we knew we had to tear someone extremely important out of her life. Everybody is equally important to her, but when you really think about it, it’s her protectiveness of her brother that kept her together. Tearing her brother away from her would be the thing that would make her fall apart.
TVLINE | Obviously, the death of her brother is not something Elena can get over quickly, so is it safe to say she’ll be humanity-free for a sizable chunk of the season?
It’s safe to say that it’s going to be very difficult to bring her back from this place that she finds [herself in], which ironically, in spite of it being relatively emotionless, is actually her new happy place because it is a place with no pain, no guilt, no suffering and no extremes other than just an appreciation for life as a vampire and a desire to feed.
TVLINE | How is humanity-free Elena different from Katherine?
Everything Katherine does is a sexual manipulation, is in her own best interest, for her own survival. She will plead and flirt and tease and lie and mindf—, excuse my language, anyone and everyone in order to fill her own best interest. Elena is more blunt and honest and, “It is what it is, and I am what I am and want what I want. And right now I would like to feed on that girl over there. And I resent you for trying to stop me.” Elena is just more direct about getting exactly what it is that she wants. She doesn’t need to rely on the tricks that Katherine has to pull out of her bag.
TVLINE | How is her new state going to affect her relationship and her feelings for Damon?
That is the big question. What is the truth of what she feels? How does the sire bond play into all this. What is their dynamic going to be moving forward when she’s not driven by a love for him necessarily. A lot of questions come up and get answered in the next couple episodes.
TVLINE | Are they still in a relationship?
We’ll have to find out.
TVLINE | Will the fact that he was the one who told her to do this cause trouble for them later? Or between him and Stefan?
When all is said and done, everybody recognized that in the worst possible scenario, which is what they were in, it truly was the only viable solution. It doesn’t make it good. It doesn’t make it happy. But it really was the thing that needed to happen to release her from her pain. So I don’t think anyone’s going to hold a grudge.
Head over to TV Line to read more of this interview with Julie Plec.