Hostages, Hayley (Phoebe Tonkin), and homemade explosives. Vampire Diaries Season 4, Episode 5, “The Killer” is a wild ride. While we can’t give you all the details, Wetpaint Entertainment did attend a Q&A session with executive producer Julie Plec, writer Michael Narducci, and Todd Williams (Connor Jordan). The trio discussed the hunter’s inner torment, April’s (Grace Phipps) role in the group, and why trying to figure out the calendar in Mystic Falls will make your head explode. Warning: Spoiler-y goodness ahead.
Would you consider killing vampires to be an addiction for Connor, because it gives him more tattoos?
Todd Williams: Well, from what I've come to understand, Connor, he's actually in a way a victim of the tattoo. People assume that that's all that Connor wants to do is kill vampires, and he derives some kind of pleasure from it, but it's quite the opposite. He's a very tortured man, and he has a lot of questions. And he didn't even know his origins and his background, and he's in search for so many things that there was a level of desperation that you could see in “The Killer.” I just want to know that everything that I've done to be worth it, and this tattoo, he's not able to be compelled by a vampire, but it kind of compels him to do what he does.
Alaric was introduced as a vampire hunter — but this is obviously a different thing. Will we go into that distinction?
Julie Plec: Yeah. I mean this is the mythology of the Brotherhood of The Five, and this mark and what it means and where it leads. This is the origin story of the vampire hunter told to its end, as opposed to Alaric [Matt Davis] who's really pissed off and had a good stake.
What purpose does April serve?
Julie Plec: Well, April, for us, is like a fun, little human folly because when we first started the season, we wanted a character — now that most, if not all of our heroes, as we call them, are supernatural — a reminder that this town exists. And there are people in this town that know nothing and that can get caught up in this the same way that Elena [Nina Dobrev] and her friends got caught up in it Season 1. So it's a nice fresh set of eyes. She's the Aunt Jenna [Sara Canning].
Does she have a connection to Connor? Can you talk about that and what her father was really up to when he blew up the Council?
Julie Plec: Well, when all is said and done, April is our vessel to start getting some answers about that really surprising twist of events at the end of the first episode. So that mystery is yet to be solved, and she will be a part of putting the pieces together.
Michael Narducci: I think it's tough to play that role. You're a normal person in a show that's all about vampires, but it's important too because Elena's swimming in this big ocean, and April is a marker to see how far she's gone from when she was human. And you look at April, and that's kind of what Elena was in Season 1, and Elena's absolutely not there anymore. So it's kind of shocking to hold that mirror up and see where you are.
You guys planted the seeds of a friendship for April and Rebekah, then you took Rebekah away. Can you talk about if she's coming back, and how that friendship is going to play out?
Julie Plec: That will all pay off down the road with a vengeance; that's the best I can do for you there.
The search for the cure, obviously, is a personal story even though Elena doesn't know it yet. But obviously, the consequences of it existing would be huge for the entire universe of the show and every character having the decision to make whether they want it or not. Are we going to start to see that filtering out, the idea of just what the major consequences would be if that was real?
Julie Plec: Here's what I'll say about that. First of all, everything you said is a hundred percent right, in that it's going to ask a lot of questions. It's going to make our characters ask a lot of questions about themselves, about what they would want. Would they want it? What would they do in order to get it? It's going to make them realize, "Wait a second. Klaus [Joseph Morgan] is an immortal hybrid who's been relatively indestructible. Is there some way to make him destructible?"
There's going to be a whole lot of questions asked about what could happen if this cure were to be uncovered, and who would go to great lengths to make sure ultimately that it didn't fall into the wrong hands. That all being said, our mythologies, season to season, always have a nice sort of beginning. And right now, this announcement of the cure, at this point in the narrative is equal to Katherine [Nina Dobrev] wants a moon stone, is equal to Damon’s [Ian Somerhalder] looking for crystal. It's just the beginning. It's the beginning of a lot of roads that we can travel down.
When you kill an Original and that whole line of vampires dies, in that same vein, if an Original takes the cure, the whole line of vampires are cured? Is that something you guys are delving into?
Julie Plec: That is without a question what our characters are going to be asking at a certain point. What the answer is, I can't tell you, but that's definitely a valid question.
I think some major deaths have been teased. Is there anything you can elaborate?
Julie Plec: You know, that's what Nina said. Nina gets on Ryan Seacrest and is like, ‘Two people are dying this year.’ And like, statistically, yeah, maybe. We do tend to trim the ranks of the family once a year, but she doesn't know what she's talking about, so I can't really comment on it.
Look, here's the thing. We don't look at death as gratuitous on this show in that we like to kill characters with very profound purpose. And profound purpose is one of those things that we like to do a lot. I'm not saying that everybody's safe. I'm just saying that that number she sort of threw out there was based on incomplete information.
What can you say about the Miss Mystic Falls dance. Is that your musical episode?
Julie Plec: I wish. No, the Miss Mystic Falls event is actually a nice — I mean we've had a pretty dark run of it for these last couple of episodes. Elena's certainly been in a pretty dark place. Next week, we kind of hit dark, rock bottom, and then, the episode that follows is like this episode of light and pretty and sun.
Michael Narducci: Still pretty dark.
Julie Plec: Yeah, I mean it's always going to be f***ed up and twisted, but it's a nice refreshing change of pace. It gets us back to a little bit of romance, a little bit of good Mystic Falls events at their finest. And it evokes a memory of Season 1 very deliberately of what was going on in the triangle back then, too.
Is this going to be the fifth dance that Rebekah's missed?
Julie Plec: Yeah. It's not really a dance. They do the thing with the bow and the curtsy, the art of the non-touch.
Michael Narducci: It's interesting, because a lot of your questions are things we do talk about in the writer's room. We to talk about Rebekah missing all these dances, and what do we do about that and what's the best way for that character.
What can we tease about the holiday episode that's coming up?
Julie Plec: Yeah, it's not Christmas. People who try to follow time on our show, their heads will explode in rapid succession, one neuron at a time. So we try not to be too specific about the timeline of the show, but this is the first time in four years where we've actually aired close enough to Christmas where we thought, ‘Well, gosh. Wouldn't it be fun to have at least a little bit of holiday spirit woven through the episode?’
So it's a charity event that the town is throwing with a winter wonderland theme that gives us that feeling of holidays have come to Mystic Falls. And the episode is very much about loyalty and relationships and some betrayals and all that kind of drama that tends to come around family holidays.