Get ready to read the word “finale” a lot. But ’tis the season, folks!
And as our favorite shows begin signing off (Go On) and others film their final installments before summer vacay, make sure you send in your burning questions! (SpoilerRoom@ew.com is still the best way. I can’t always comb the comments!)
‘THE VAMPIRE DIARIES': PAUL WESLEY DISHES ON STEFAN’S FUTURE
In the last new episode of The Vampire Diaries, Stefan (Paul Wesley) told Damon it was time they break their cycle of loving the same woman. To that end, Stefan said his plan is to 1.) Help Damon shove the cure down Elena’s throat and 2.) Get her out of his life so he can find a new one for himself. That last bit sounds pretty good to Wesley as he looks ahead to season 5. “I think that Stefan should go off and explore another town,” he tells EW. “I think Stefan is really interesting when he separates from the pack and explores his own demons. I think it’s time for him to maybe go off, and then come back later to Mystic Falls and see how that impacts the relationships that he has with Elena and Damon. I could just be saying that selfishly because I’d love a different storyline, but I also think just objectively it would be good for the show.”
Executive producer Julie Plec confirms that someone will take the cure in the May 16 season finale, which Wesley would love to see be one of the core TVD players. “I like to think [next season] will maybe get a little less hectic and go back to some of the less complex days of just building character,” he says. “Maybe one of us ends up being a human, and we see how we all have to deal with that on a much more grounded level.” Plec also says that we will get an answer to whether the love Elena expressed for Damon is real. Is Wesley ready for that? “God, yes,” he says with a laugh. “I can’t imagine Elena ever definitively saying, ‘Oh, I’m not in love with you; it’s just Stefan,’ because then I think, where does the show go from there? But her intense feelings for Damon during the sire bond — I can’t imagine that they were true 110 percent. I’m curious myself what’s going to happen.”
After sharing a dance in the April 18 prom episode, Stefan will continue to ask himself for the rest of the season whether, if Elena were to want to come back to him, he’d say yes. “That’s not to say that it’s Who will she choose? all over again,” Plec says. “But there is the question of, where does her heart really lie? What is the truth? And what direction is the next phase of this love triangle going to go in?” The answer could be love square.
Even though Rebekah (Claire Holt) would leave Mystic Falls for New Orleans if the Originals spin-off gets picked up for The CW’s fall schedule, there’s still Candice Accola’s Caroline, who even No Humanity Elena has started shipping with Stefan. (She’s on Stefan’s dance card at the prom, too.) “I do think that when an audience vocalizes their like or dislike for something, it usually has an impact — in general, but specifically for this show,” Wesley says. “The audience is very loyal. We don’t necessarily give them what they want, but I notice that we definitely take things into consideration and toy with them, keep them on the hook,” he adds, laughing again. Plec doesn’t exactly rule it out: “All I’ll say on the matter is I’ve been shipping them since episode 2 of season 2, when Stefan took her in the bathroom and told her she is going to be okay. So if I’M shipping them,” Plec says, laughing herself, “then maybe one day it’s a road that we can travel down.” — Mandi Bierly
‘CRIMINAL MINDS’ RAMPING UP TO THE FINALE
The Replicator is going to rear his ugly head in the season finale of Criminal Minds, and, with a two-hour finale in store, you know it’s going to be big. Shemar Moore tells me he’s excited about the upcoming clash.
“I think the idea that there’s somebody out there who watched our every move and can imitate us and has the audacity and the boldness to reenact these crimes to make us look vulnerable, I think that’s interesting,” he says. “We are the super team, we are the heroes — we got the guns and the badges — and even though we’re saving lives, somebody’s playing us at our own game. And I think that’s pretty creative.”
The show is currently filming episode 23, the first part of the finale, titled “Brothers Hotchner,” which brings back Hotch’s (Thomas Gibson) brother Sean (Eric Johnson). “It’s a Hotch-centric episode,” previews Moore, who last week had his own shining hour. “I know it’s going to have some depth [and] we’re going to delve into Hotch’s psyche. It’s going to be an opportunity for Thomas to do his thing, and all the while we’re going to build up to the Replicator, which we’ve been teasing the audience with all season.” (Possibly related casting: Mark Hamill is set to guest star in the finale. Hmm..)
‘THE FOLLOWING': ‘HORRIFIC’ THINGS IN STORE
I can already hear your response to the above headline: ‘No s–t, Sandra.’ And yes, we should expect lots of horror and carnage as The Following cruises toward its finale episodes of the season. But for better teases, let’s turn to some of the show’s stars:
* ON DEATH “There is something that happens in the season finale to one of the characters that is so horrific, I think it’s the worst way to die,” teases James Purefoy. “It’s really, really awful, and it makes me nervous and slightly sweaty just to even think about it.”
* ON THE FUTURE “What I felt when I read the last episode is that it’s really satisfying. It leaves a season 2 wide open to go in a million different directions. It’s the cliffhanger everyone wants,” says Shawn Ashmore. “But the thing that’s sometimes tough with season finales is that it’s so open you don’t feel like there’s any closure — you just want something satisfying to happen — and there are certainly those moments for certain storylines and certain characters.”
* ON POSSIBLE FAREWELLS Asked if any of the finale carnage will claim any of our favorites, Ashmore admits there was at least one death that was hard to read. “[There are] huge consequences in the finale. Huge, huge events happen.”
* ON CRYING Okay, this isn’t a tease. But THIS VIDEO is definitely the cutest thing you’ll watch this month.
NEXT: Side Dishes on Glee, Revolution, HIMYM, and more!