The Vampire Diaries Showrunner Teases Bonnie's Return, The Impending Merge & More

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Where is Elena?

Over the past few episodes, we've seen just how evil Kai can be ... and now that he has harnessed a whole lot of power, what’s he going to do with our beloved Ms. Gilbert?

On The Vampire Diaries Season 6 Episode 11, it might take a while for everyone to figure out that Elena is missing, especially considering everything else going on:

Bonnie is still separated from her friends; Caroline’s mother is facing death; Enzo is free and angry; And a merging still needs to take place with either Kai and Jo or twins Liv and Luke.

To get a peek into where we pick up and what’s next, I sat down with showrunner Caroline Dries for a preview of what is undoubtedly going to be a killer rest of The Vampire Diaries Season 6...

Kai Photo - The Vampire Diaries Season 6 Episode 11

TV Fanatic: Moving into this half of the season, I know people are very concerned about Bonnie. Everybody wants Bonnie back. Let’s start there..

Caroline Dries: Yeah. Poor Bonnie. She should come back. She’s been over there and in [The Vampire Diaries Season 6 Episode 10], we actually do what we never really do on the show, is just show a character alone in a storyline.

TVF: Yeah. I noticed that.

CD: It was cool for us, because you tell a story visually and Kat [Graham] is such a good actor that she could carry the weight of that storyline. I don’t know, we couldn’t do that every single episode because it would get a little stale but it really worked for that Christmas episode. So she is kind of going to hit rock bottom and from the ashes will emerge, you know, a Bonnie stronger, badass Bonnie that when she does returns, soon hopefully in 2015.

It will be a beautiful reunion and it will come right at the perfect time when her friends really need a boost of friend energy. She’s going to be really scarred by the emotional trauma of being stuck there for so long, and Bonnie kind of keeps things close to her vest because that’s just how she is as a character, but she’ s going to be dealing with a lot.

TVF: Let’s talk about Kai, who is such a great villain.

CD: We lucked out. We really lucked out with Chris. He’s fun to write.

TVF: The last thing we saw in the midseason finale was Kai grabbing Elena…

CD: He grabbed Elena and we saw him siphon up all of that traveler’s belt, which is a ton of magic and so in a perfect world, he would have all of this magic and be like, ‘okay let’s do the merge,’ but in siphoning up all of that magic, there’s going to be a fall out from that and he’s going to have a hard time harnessing the power rippling through his veins and so he grabs Elena to be like, ‘let me figure this out. How do you use magic? How do I practice on somebody who can’t die?’ And so that’s kind of his plan for the episode.

TVF: So the merging is still present? It still needs to happen.

CD: Yeah, but can you image if you were to merge with Jo and he’s got all of this magic and he kills her accidentally or something like that? So, that’s his concern.

TVF: Will we see a different Jo now that she has her powers back? Do we see her differently as a character?

CD: Actually we don’t. She still kind of puts being a doctor and being girlfriend of Alaric as the main priority in her life. She never really, I think, identified herself as being a witch and so she has this now…she’s going to try to embrace it and try to win the merge, is what she decides she wants to do. But she’s going through her own growing pains as Kai is with dealing with the magic.

TVF: Does everybody know Elena’s gone from the start. Kai used a cloaking spell so Damon didn’t see her.

CD: Yeah. No one knows.

TVF: Does it take a while for people to figure out, where is she?

CD: Yeah, it takes them a little while. Damon’s going to think that she stood him up and so there’s going to be a little, like ‘what the heck, I thought we were going to meet? I put up mistletoe!’ but he quickly kind of figures out, ‘Ah, I see what happened here.’

TVF: Yeah. Enzo got away from Matt…

CD: Poor Matt. I mean Matt really blew it by not killing Enzo. So Enzo is like, ‘look I have the plan in motion and it’s great because I needed a little sidekick,’ so he’s going to put his arm around Matt and say ‘you’re going to be working for me now.’ So he enlists Matt on kind of this mission to get further vengeance against Stefan.

TVF: How much can Matt really do because he’s our human but I guess he can still get information and things like that? Is that his role?

CD: Matt’s superpower is that he’s vulnerable and charming and he is a human and so the thing that we discover that Enzo is curious about is Sarah Salvatore and her real life existence. So, his way of getting back at Stefan will be through Sarah, but he doesn’t want to just throw himself into it, and that’s what he’s going to use Matt for.

Enzo vs. Stefan - The Vampire Diaries Season 6 Episode 11

TVF: I have to say I love the start of Sheriff Forbes’ illness because it’s outside the supernatural realm. Buffy The Vampire Slayer comes to mind in how they did a similar thing but where does that story take Caroline?

CD: Well, I think the reason that story happens to work so well now in Season 6 is because we’re so used to supernatural and ours guys fending off that. Caroline, you kind of say like cancer, didn’t know who it was going up against when it decided to go up against Caroline because she is a control freak. She will get it done. She’s going to do everything in her power to make sure that her mom doesn’t die. And so, she makes it her goal to figure out, by supernatural means or medical means, just get rid of that cancer inside of my mom. So it’s going to kind of drive her a little bit crazy as she’s trying to figure out, ‘how do I stop this? How do I control this?’ And then sometimes you realize it’s like the truth of life is that sometimes you can’t control everything.

TVF: And Stefan kind of squashes the idea right away because she’s says, ‘I’ll just give her my blood’ and he says, ‘that doesn’t work.’

CD: We’re going to continue to explore. She’s not just a dog with a bone. She’s not just going to be like, ‘oh I guess it won’t work.’ She’s Caroline. She’s going to take matters into her own hands.

TVF: Did you and your writers discuss if vampires get cancer? Do they get illnesses like that?

CD: Yeah, we had to discuss it. It was a long conversation, and actually that line that Stefan says, I added that in, in like the last draft. Like the day before it shot, because to us it was so obvious that vampire blood didn’t cure cancer, to the audience, they of course think of course it cures cancer. So, it was just something I was like, ‘oh yeah, let’s explain that right now.’ But it becomes a bigger question in the next episode.

TVF: Are we going forward with Stefan and Caroline being together?

CD: Yeah. I really like them together. It feels like we’re slowly but surely earning a romantic relationship. However, for Caroline, her real concern right now is her mom’s health. Stefan, who kind of pushed Caroline away at the beginning of the season, feels even more of an obligation to step up and be a shoulder for her to cry on. And so, just based on the tension of the situation, they’re pushed together in closer, more emotional situations. So, there will be sort of sparks that emerge but her main concern is really, ‘I gotta fix my mom.’

TVF: What’s happening with our twin witches, Luke and Liv?

CD: Well, Liv is like, “Look, I am in love with Tyler. I have a life here, I know we signed up for this. I know this is our destiny” to Luke, “but I don’t want to do it” and Luke is like, “look, we need to do this for our coven and this is why we were born.” So they’re kind of at odds and Luke ultimately will come around with Liv and try to convince their dad, maybe there’s another way.

Maybe Jo and Kai can do this. Maybe we don’t have to have the burden. So, we’re kind of really rooting for them to survive this and at the same time, we’re rooting for Jo to survive it and to beat Kai, and so they decide let’s put our eggs in Jo’s basket and help her learn how to do magic so she can beat Kai.

TVF: All these things we’re talking about, is that basically driving us to the season finale? Or is there new stuff coming?

CD: Yeah. It is. That’s driving us. There’s going to be, even in the Stefan/Caroline dynamic, there’s going to be so huge twists and turns that are coming up that really push the story into kind of a crazy new direction. We’re really, as writers, trying to learn every season a little bit better of how to keep things simple, and like character driven, and then just sprinkle in mythology and plot when you have to.

The Vampire Diaries airs Thursdays at 8/7c on The CW. 

Jim Halterman is the West Coast Editor of TV Fanatic and the owner of Follow him on Twitter.

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