Those who were worried that the sudden presence of Lost alum Alice Evans would lead to an agonizingly drawn-out mystery centered on a frustratingly ambiguous character, much like on that other popular supernatural show, can rest assured. Tonight’s installment of The Vampire Diaries, the oh-so-appropriately titled “Dangerous Liaisons,” ultimately reveals the shocking intentions of Evans’ Original mother, Esther. Esther entered the Mystic Falls game only last week, when a millennium-old spell lifted her spirit from the great beyond to unite her with her vampiric family. Tonight, viewers will learn what’s in store for that family, as they dance and flirt their way through a lavish ball that would put Blair Waldorf to shame.
EW screened the episode with exec producer Julie Plec, who shed some light on tonight’s pivotal installment and teased what’s yet to come. SPOILERS AHEAD!
The matriarch of the formerly estranged Original Mikaelsen family is finally back in town, and what better way to celebrate their reunion than with a fabulous, invitation-only ball? The party is a smashing success, yet by the end of the night, the fate of more than one Mikaelsen hangs in the balance. But don’t count them out just yet.”If the villains on our show have proven anything, it’s that they have a durability,” Plec said. “It borders on supernatural, [their] ability to sense things that are wrong, and to survive what seems to be certain doom. There’s five Originals and an Original mama. We’ll see who comes out the other side of it all to tell the tale.”
Many devoted fans of the Mystic Falls gang would be happy to see the ever-meddling Klaus get what’s coming to him, but his newfound crush on Caroline might change some viewers’ minds. “It’s fun to explore that side of Klaus,” Plec said. “Seeing a romantic vulnerability there is giving us a window into him a little bit. Klaus certainly is, and will continue to be, the provider of much antagonism and some very extreme jeopardy for our heroes, [but] no one is singularly just evil. He’s got his own demons, his own wants, his own desires — things that he’s never experienced, or he wants in his own life.”
Like a certain Ms. Mystic Falls? Unfortunately for Klaus, tonight’s episode proves that the formerly spineless vampire Barbie isn’t so easy anymore. “We love watching Caroline, who at the beginning of the series was just desperate to be chosen by anyone,” Plec explained. “Now the king of all evil vampires has plucked her from obscurity and said, ‘I bestow upon you my affection, and my gifts, and my flirtation.’ Our girl, who has come so far, is sort of like, ‘Talk to the hand, buddy.’ To see her take that stance against him, and also in defense of Tyler, is a really big deal for her.”
Of course, Klaus’ heart won’t be the only one taking punches tonight. By the end of the party, both Salvatores give Elena a reason to pout — especially the one who earned that long-awaited kiss a few weeks back. “Elena is going to be pissed on multiple levels,” Plec teased. “I think that a lot of people are angry, and are going to continue to be angry with each other as this unfolds over the next episode. The thing with Damon is, when he’s hurt he lashes out. He’s striking where it hurts most, probably very specifically, at Elena.”
When asked what this means for Elena’s relationship with Stefan, Plec said it would soon become clear that all three lovebirds were at a major crossroads. “A lot of what we’re going to see is the question for Elena. [She's thinking:] ‘Here is this person that I loved, and here is this friend that I have made — this friendship that has grown complicated. In the middle of it all, I’m still that girl who is not entirely sure that [I'm] supposed to be in love with any vampire, much less two.’ You’re not going to get through the season without all three of them understanding that a choice needs to be made, some way or another.”
If Damon or Stefan don’t work out, Elena could always go for vampire option No. 3: Elena and Elijah have some serious bonding moments at the party, and Plec said that the actors’ chemistry should lead to more to come. “They bring so much to it,” she said of Nina Dobrev and Daniel Gillies. “We are about to play with that a little bit. Next week definitely is very much rooted in the foundation of this compassion that Elena has for Elijah.”
Finally, tonight’s episode finds an oft-sidelined character thrown right smack in the middle of the action. Matt takes the night off from manning the Mystic Grill when Rebekah invites him to the ball, and soon finds himself in jeopardy when his date’s true motivations are revealed. Plec was mum about this perpetual target’s eventual fate, but she did say that the chaos is just beginning. “Matt is in a wonderful situation right now where he finds himself right, smack in the epicenter of everybody else’s business,” Plec laughed. “There he is, the guy that’s always kind of been on the periphery, now finding the fact that he’s the human, the good friend, the nice guy, the gentleman with the varsity jacket. He is a guy who is just trying to get through life, and maybe get out of this town one day.”
And will he be successful? That’s still up in the air, but so is the fate of the entire gang, according to Plec. “I don’t know that you can be that certain about the fate of anybody,” she said. “Many of our characters are going to come face to face with their maker before the season is over. The question of whether they meet, shake hands, and get dragged away with the maker is another question. There’s going to be a lot of moments where we’re not really sure who is really safe and who is going to see it through.”