The Vampire Diaries

THE VAMPIRE DIARIES Post-Mortem: Find Out Who Stayed and Who Left in “Stay”

The Vampire Diaries -- "Stay

Hope you had plenty of kleenex nearby for tonight’s episode of THE VAMPIRE DIARIES.  Even when you know a death of a beloved character is coming, it is impossible to hold back the tears when the time comes.

“Stay” was supposed to be the episode where Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) goes off to college and gets safely away from the horrors of Mystical Falls and its supernatural inhabits.  Well, as with any good plan, something surely goes awry.  In this case, it was all good though as Jeremy and Alaric (Matt Davis) had cooked up a scheme to appease Jeremy’s overly-protective sister Elena (Nina Dobrev) and made it look like he was leaving for college, when in fact he was headed off to Tucson or other parts unknown to pursue his life-long destiny of being a vampire hunter.  It was apropos that it was Alaric who was there in the end sending off Jeremy to fulfill the mantle of where Alaric had left-off years before once he discovered that perhaps not ALL vampires needed to meet the Grim Reaper.  So as Jeremy rode off into the sunset (on a bus because no airport in the world would ever let him fly with all those stakes and other necessary vampire hunting tools of the trade), it was with a cheery note of fond goodbyes.  Elena and the rest of the world believed Jeremy was off to art school, and Alaric proudly stood there knowing that Jeremy was better off pursuing his true destined calling.  It was enough to make even a quasi father-figure proud.

On the other hand, this was the end of the road for Sheriff Liz Forbes (Marguerite MacIntyre).  No matter how many ways Caroline (Candice Accola) struggled to find to cure and keep her mother alive and kicking, cancer proved to be the ultimate foe.  Vampirism cannot beat cancer and it still remains a quiet killer around the globe.  But “Stay” offered Liz a fantastic swan-song episode.  From the opening scene as she flashed-back to the fateful day of Jeremy and Elena’s parent’s death to the final scene where Caroline wept and shared her special goodbye, this episode made sure to remind us all why she was an extraordinary human in a world filled with supernatural creatures and the unexplained.  But even Liz could not willingly give up until she had wrapped every one of her open cases — many which Damon (Ian Somerhalder) was able to close by ‘fessing up his crimes — and that final one involving that fateful day on Wickery Bridge and the Gilbert’s car losing control on a wet and slippery road.  As Damon told Liz, “Sometimes really terrible things happen to really amazing people.”  There is no rhyme or reason as to why Liz got cancer or why Elena’s parents died in a car accident.  It just happens.  But she sure had a great life with a great daughter and she did her best to protect the town of Mystic Falls, and her legacy will be felt forever in the hearts of those who knew her and loved her.

Knowing that the fans are going to have a few questions about what went down in “Stay,” in a special press Q&A, stars Steven R. McQueen and Marguerite MacIntyre along with executive producers Julie Plec, Caroline Dries and Brian Young provided some answers to the why’s and what’s next on THE VAMPIRE DIARIES.

Jeremy’s Goodbye

Caroline:  “Julie’s whole thing was, ‘Look, we’ve seen Jeremy die a few times.’ So we really just wanted it special, but official too, and that we mean it this time — like grown up closure. That’s kind of why we felt it was the right time for him to become a man.”

Brian: “It feels like a victory in a way.  It’s a victory, like he got out. He made it out and he’s going to be great and he’s going to succeed out in the world.”

Steven: “It also made my last couple of scenes fun.  I got to joke around with everybody rather than being sad about it.”

Julie: “He’s got a standing invite for funerals and whatever else might come along. . . Our decision to say goodbye to Jeremy in the middle of the season was born out of really wanting to feel like his character made a strong decision, in spite of his circumstance. It couldn’t really line up with Bonnie’s because her journey right now is never-ending and we don’t know when she will be back or what will become of her. So he really needed to make decisions for himself — mostly because Bonnie being the final straw.  There will still be a conversation to be had or at least a reunion to deal with once we finally get our Bonnie back. But Jeremy need to get up and get on that bus.”

Jeremy, the Hunter

Julie: “The biggest point we wanted to make is when you come out of Mystic Falls, there is no such thing as a normal life. . . Jeremy is someone who went through so much and needed a purpose.  For Elena, she believed, ‘Oh, just get out and be normal and go to art school and you’ll be fine.’  But Jeremy’s secret is, ‘I’m forever changed.  I’m going to use this change for the powers of good.’ Of course Elena would never go for it because she’s trying to be the protective big sister.  But Alaric gets it.”

Caroline:  “Him being an artist would feel like he’s settling. So it sort of felt like his destiny. Like that’s what he’s good at.”

Julie:  “Ultimately, it’s like a man-secret — or a father-son secret — and I think that what Alaric is giving Jeremy is the gift of being able to go live the life he wants to live.  It is something that when you grow up and when you get that kind of freedom, it is really important.  I think he’ll be just fine keeping that secret to himself.”

Jeremy’s Visiting New Orleans

Julie:  “Sure.  Anything’s a possibility.  For sure, once we get him on his feet and see how he is as a hunter.  You never know.”

Filming Final Scenes

Steven:  “The scenes were kind of fun.  The scene we were all kind of in at the Mystic Grill drinking, that was a fun day.  We all just cracked jokes.  It was nice. And the last day, the last scene I shot was Enzo’s foot on my face and I was like, ‘Alright, whatever!’  And of course, we shot it like a good nine times.  Then finally, they tilt the camera up and they all come running out in these superhero costumes and a big ole cake and I got my face shoved in the cake and they kept filming the entire time, which was cool.  I just saw it. It was just fun.  It was cool.”

Marguerite:  “It was great.  I have to say because I love everybody so much, the hardest thing for me has been that everyone knew it was coming.  So for weeks beforehand people got really emotional with me — and I’d be like, ‘Dudes, I’m fine!’  — especially Ian. . .[Laughs] He’s been very clingy.”

Damon & the Eulogy

Julie: “When all is said and done, Liz was sort of a surrogate mother and best friend to him and a lot of what is talked about in the next episode is how he has been tasked with the burden of writing a eulogy.  He has to stand in front of the entire town in honor of his friend.  But like he’s got a line, ‘This is ridiculous.  This is having to make me a nice person and I’m not a nice person.  I don’t want to be a nice person. Liz is laughing at me from beyond the grave.’  So he’s struggling with hero-Damon as always.  He wants to do right by his friend.  He wants to fix a mistake that he made in his past with regards to his mother.  But it is putting him outside of his comfort-zone in a way that is really messing with his head.”

Alternate Version of Liz’s Final Day

Caroline: “Our alternate idea for the episode was Caroline creates the perfect day with her mom.”

Julie: “We were going to do the perfect day and it was going to be: what would be on your bucket-list?  What would be on the sheriff’s bucket-list?  And Caroline and Liz were going to have a big bucket-list day.”

Caroline:  “Even though people die all the time on this show, we wanted it to feel like a real death. So if Caroline [Forbes] were to have talking conversations with her mom and then she were to die 30 seconds later, it wouldn’t feel like a real death.”

Julie: “So the original pitch was there was going to be a bucket-list and she was going to take a turn for the worst before she could do the last thing.  So Caroline was going to go inside her mind and give her that last thing. But once we broke the investigative storyline involving the parents, we realized the closure of that mystery would be the thing that sort of put her to sleep, so to speak.”

Liz’s Legacy

Marguerite:  “When you think about what it is like for her, she is ordinary.  There’s this woman whose is the law enforcement in this town — and let’s face it — she’s really tried, but she’s lost a lot of deputies and things have been kind of rough.  So her successes are sort of few, except for her relationship with her daughter, and the fact that she loves this town.  It’s a funny thing — as I was working I had no idea that I would last 6 years — I mean, you watch the show, I was a short-timer from the word ‘Go’ — and, initially, I was like, ‘Why doesn’t she run? There’s vampires here. Just go.’  But it’s because she loves this town and she loves these people.  They are important to her and because it’s worth it. . . You see that she is sort of this ordinary touch-stone and she’s okay with it, and she’s somebody who is okay with the fact that she’s dying.  Not happy about it, but okay with it.  She also recognizes what is so special is her daughter.  To me, it felt like the most important thing was for her to know that [her daughter] was okay, that she was extraordinary, and her daughter knew how she felt about her.”

New Sheriff

Julie: “The seat is going to remain vacant for a little while.  I think it is an answer that will come in Season 7.  Her death is definitely going to put a lot of people on new paths and make them make choices about who they want to be and what kind of person they want to be and what they want to do with their lives.  Maybe someone’s path will lead them in that direction.”

Enzo as Possible Sheriff

Julie:  (Laugh) “Oh god, help us all, if Enzo were to be sheriff!”

Sarah Salvatore’s Reaction to Enzo

Julie:  “It’s actually surprising what’s next for her, because Enzo of course has this whole master plan, which you can say is smart or dumb depending on where you stand on it.  But she is going to throw him for a little bit of a loop when he finally comes face to face with her again and reacts to the fact that he is of some sort of supernatural origin. He’s going to be surprised at her response.”

Enzo & the Master Plan

Julie:  (Laughs)  “It’s not going very well for him at the moment.  Ultimately, Enzo is a guy who is deeply rooted in loyalty and we still haven’t scratched the surface of why and what makes him tick.  Why does he feel that way?  Why was Stefan’s betrayal of Damon in Enzo’s mind so profound that it makes Enzo want to go out of his way for sport to do things that will mess up Stefan’s life?  One of the things we do in the final chapter of this season is to start exploring the backstory of Enzo and understanding what makes him tick and why he is the way he is.”

Bonnie’s Return to Present Day Mystic Falls

Caroline:  “Soon. Very soon.”

Stefan & Caroline’s Kiss

Julie:  “You’ll have to wait and you.  That’s the thing:  what’s the first conversation you have after your first kiss?  Right now, something pretty dramatic has happened.  So the next episode is really all about judging what and when and how the first conversation is going to go.”

Matt Donovan Still Standing

Julie:  “Matt is the one that people always joke about — because I always say, ‘I’m never killing Matt Donovan’ and that’s what I said about Liz Forbes and look what happened — but he’s about to embark on a new path for himself.  This experience of what he has had to go through being Enzo’s little b*tch boy, as he calls it, and then watching his friends fall deeper and deeper into their supernatural lives, it is going to make him sort of take a stand and make a clear point of view on who he wants to be.”

Melinda Clarke

Julie:  “She is always invited to come back.  But it never fails, we’ll have a great story for her and she’s in the middle of shooting something else.  We’ve probably tried to write her in ten different episodes over the six years and one of these days I hope we get to see her again.”

Kai’s Future

Caroline:  “We really started liking him as an actor, and he’s so fun to write for, so we were just like, ‘Okay, let’s try to keep him around.’  He’s a great villain.”

Caroline Matched With Nearly Every Male Character on Show

Julie:  “Candice, interestingly enough, as an actress, has chemistry with everybody because she is just so connected and engaged and I think that’s why audiences really respond to her when she gets paired with other characters.  If you remember in the pilot, she was the one who said, ‘Nobody picks me!  Why doesn’t anybody ever pick me?’  And she’s blossomed over the years into the one who may or may not just have caught the eye of our leading man.  So it’s all part of her journey.”

Spinoffs

Julie:  “There’s always talk. . . I don’t have a pitch for one right now.  So there’s not one in the works. But we always kind of chat about it.”

To see what the next crazy and heart-felt journey is for our heroes and villains of Mystic Falls, be sure to catch all new episodes of THE VAMPIRE DIARIES on Thursday nights at 8:00 p.m. on the CW.

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