Credit: The CW © 2012 The CW Network, LLC. Photo: Damon in Season 3, Episode 22: “The Departed”

When you end a season as shocking as The Vampire Diaries just did, you have to make yourself available to answer a lot of questions. That’s just what Julie Plec did, and she cleared up a lot of mystery surrounding the last episode in Season 3.

Wondering if Elena (Nina Dobrev) is definitely a vampire now? Worried about what the future holds for Damon (Ian Somerhalder) and Stefan (Paul Wesley)? Suspicious about who Caroline (Candice Accola) was talking to right before Tyler (Michael Trevino) died (and if he really died)? Read on for answers to these pressing queries and more.

Is Tyler dead or just trapped in his own body with Klaus (Joseph Morgan)?
“No, he's not dead. In fact, if you look at the times we've used the spell in the past with Klaus and Alaric and Esther and Rebekah the magic is the same,” Julie Plec promised TV Guide.

How will Stefan’s choice to save Matt (Zach Roerig) affect the Salvatore brothers?
“The first episode is a lot of people feeling a lot of guilt, a lot of torment and Elena having to manage all of that in the midst of realizing she has a big decision to make,” says Plec in the TV Guide interview. “That is a decision that's going to haunt him and infuriate Damon, but probably lead Elena to explain even more to Stefan why she chose him because of that … This could drive a pretty severe wedge between the brothers.”

Whose blood turned Elena?
“That will be a good question to ask and answer when we come back,” Plec told Zap2It.

Did Matt make it?
“I think for Matt to not survive that after everything would be just too damn tragic,” Julie Plec told Entertainment Weekly.

Is Joseph Morgan gone for good?
You know, I myself did not see his entire body burned to bits. So I can’t say 100 percent that we’ve seen the last of him,” Plec said in the Entertainment Weekly interview.

Will Bonnie (Kat Graham) turn against Elena?
"Their relationship is probably going to be so strained because of that. Her best friend, the one person she's been fighting to protect, is now what she's been fighting against all this time," Nina Dobrev tells Us magazine.

Will TVD fast-forward through Elena becoming a vampire?
"We're definitely going to see her whole transition into becoming a vampire. We're not going to skip over it, as we have with others," Nina said in the Us magazine interview.

Did Klaus and Caroline just kiss?
“Yeah. We definitely were hinting at that with the ‘you're beautiful and you'll have a great future’ line. That was a classic Klaus-Caroline line, so we wanted to give a little hint there. All that smooching and all that emotion wasn't Tyler at all, in fact, was Klaus,” Plec said in the Zap2It interview.

Why did Bonnie do that?
It's definitely a result of being kicked around all season. It's Bonnie saying, ‘I'm not the pawn anymore. Don't underestimate me and don't tell me what to do.’ I think the witches sending her to Alaric really burned her,” Plec tells Zap2It.

What will happen when Elena remembers she met Damon first?
Plec tells TV Line, “It’s just more information. I don’t think anything is going to make her sit up and say, ‘Oh my God, I made the wrong decision!’ and change her mind in Episode 1 [of next season]. But in the ongoing journey of her point of view about how she feels about each of these brothers, it’s going to impact her feelings for Damon and her understanding of Damon.”

Why, why, why did you kill Alaric (Matt Davis)?
“What was really important to us was that Elena lost everything, as far as adult parenting [and] that she as a human had no support structure in her home,” Plec said in the TV Line interview. “Alaric’s character, in my opinion, could have been sitting in that bar next to Damon for the next four years, every episode, having a bourbon, and we all would have been perfectly happy. But Matt Davis is better than that and deserves more than that.”

Sources: TV Line, Us magazine, TV Guide, Zap2It, Entertainment Weekly