The Vampire Diaries: Season 4 Roundtable Interview

The count down continues! We’re now just 4 weeks out from the season 4 premiere of The Vampire Diaries and I’m having a hard time thinking of anything else. Luckily I have incredibly intelligent friends who are willing to placate me and my need to talk about it endlessly by answering a few of my TVD questions. Huge thanks to Kate Welsh and Abby Graham of Vampire-Diaries.net, author Thomas Galvin (read his  TVD recaps here), Melissa Miller of Small Screen Scoop.com, Carrie Raisler of AV Club.com and blogger Melissa Leaman (read her blog here).

What was your favorite moment of Season 3?

[Thomas] This probably won’t come as a surprise to anyone, but my favorite moment was the last scene of the entire season: Elena, “dead” and laying on a slab, wakes up and gasps.

I’ve been down on Elena for a while now. She definitely has her moments – like when she decided to start her Buffy training – but most of the time she’s a mopey suicide monkey in a Henley. I’m hoping that Elena gets the same awesome injection that Caroline got when she became a vampire.

Actually, I hope she turns into a tiny little Katherine. God, I love Katherine.

[Melissa M] The first thing that comes to mind is Klaus telling Caroline “I fancy you.” One, because who doesn’t love the phrase “I fancy you” – I mean really? I’m a die hard Austen girl and basically my dream is for a guy with an accent (anything UK will do) in a waistcoat to say “I fancy you” to me. Sure, I’d prefer him not to be a mass murderer or whatever. But that was still pretty awesome. I also love it for the way those 9 letters completely melted down my entire Twitter TL. For like an entire week.  I love when the tiniest little scene will do that.

Also, because I love a good cry, when Alaric came to Jeremy after he died. Just because his appearance was sort of nonchalant. “Hey. What’s up. I’m dead. I’ll be stalking you from the other side. Cool?”

[Melissa L] I can’t even pretend my favorite moment was anything but Klaus telling Caroline “I fancy you”. For all the reasons Melissa mentioned and more. I also still can’t think about that though without cracking up at the way a few of us were joking, trolling really, that Klaus & Caroline should hook up, just a week before the birthday episode. And then to see everyone’s reaction, including mine, when it became real…I know the main triangle is the big focus but I think that’s the kind of reaction a show should strive for from fans.
But if I pretend to be original, I actually loved Tyler revealing he’s actually Klaus in the tomb with Bonnie. Trevino absolutely nailed Joseph’ mannerisms, down to the little tilt of his head.

[Abby] Klaus’s monologue about the big wide world that’s out there waiting for Caroline. Not only did it make the entire fandom basically explode, it was just so perfectly executed, and so TRUE. The whole series revolves around Mystic Falls being the center of everything, this weird little town where everyone is always in danger and all your friends are supernatural. Of all the characters on the show, I think Caroline is the one who really needs her eyes opened to the bigger possibilities outside of school committees and raiding the Salvatores’ blood stash. Klaus’s age and worldliness comes through far better in that monologue than in any of his disparaging comments about small town life.

[Kate] I agree with Abby here. Many shows are insular, of course, but this one is particularly that way, and I love the idea of Caroline realizing that there’s a whole world out there, and Klaus realizing that Caroline needs to see that.

[Carrie] I have to go with Damon returning to Alaric’s side to sit with him as he died. Their relationship–and Alaric’s character in general–was important to the show in ways I almost didn’t even understand until Alaric was gone, and his entire death sequence just gutted me. I’m talking ugly sobs, sat-in-a-dark-room-once-the-episode-was-over-for-a-few-hours gutted me. So although this is my favorite moment of the season it also is my least favorite, because Alaric is dead and won’t be around to snark with Damon every week.

Were you at all surprised by Elena’s choices in the finale? Do you think getting her compelled memories back will change anything for her?

[Thomas] Not really, either from a character perspective or a show perspective. Elena has said plenty of times that “it’s always been Stefan.” She loves Stefan, genuinely loves him, and her feelings for Damon – which, I think, are also genuine – don’t change that.

But, I expect things to get a lot more complicated when she completes the transition. All of those feelings she has, for both brothers, are going to be heightened. And she’s going to want to bite or bang everything in sight. I think we’re going to see her seriously considering Katherine’s advice: there’s nothing wrong with loving them both. It’s just that I expect her to do more of that loving on her back.

From a show perspective, the producer’s mission statement is to cock tease Team Delena, so … yeah, I wasn’t surprised at all.

[Melissa M] It’s hard to be surprised that Elena would pick Stefan over Damon. All of Elena’s faults aside, she is a fiercely loyal girl. In her mind, her feelings for Stefan come from this innocent and pure place, and most of all, he came first. Damon, perhaps until she gets those memories back, is always going to be associated with guilt. Guilt of being with him when Stefan was gone. Guilt of liking him at all even when she was still with Stefan.

But those memories – specifically the one that was revealed in the finale – will they make the difference? Honestly, probably not at first. It depends on how much of human Elena sticks around with vampire Elena.

[Melissa L] As with the others, “surprised”? No. Nothing Elena’s done has indicated that she would have chosen Damon over Stefan at this point. Not in the sense of a final choice, this is the big one and you can’t go back from it.
I think getting her compelled memories will change her perspective but I don’t think it’s going to be in the way a lot of fans want. Elena’s compelled away memories of Damon are of a guy who’s kind and self-sacrificing and that’s a guy he refuses to be. It’s a guy that won’t take a step because he won’t betray his brother and I think Damon will actually be dealing with just as much confusion over Elena knowing this stuff as she will be.
And if I had my druthers? I’d like to see that Elena hit some Katherine levels of selfish. Once she struggles past having to transition and accepts it, I’d like to see her get pissed off. A lot of her choices have been taken from her and while she has a ridiculous martyr complex half the time, it’s not hard to see why. Everyone around her takes away her agency until that’s about all she has left. So yeah, I’d like to see an Elena who takes her new memories and abilities and does whatever the fuck she wants with them. If that includes a fight with Katherine…I won’t be complaining.

[Abby] I wasn’t surprised by Elena’s choices, I thought they were all very in line with her character as it’s been established to date. I don’t think getting her memories back will change her in any major ways, but I do think they’ll complicate matters for her emotionally. Personally, I hope she goes through a phase where she pushes away from BOTH Salvatores and the love story takes a back seat to character growth as she transitions to her new life.

[Kate] No, I wasn’t surprised at all. I’m not sure her memories specifically will change anything, but since she’s getting memories back while undergoing this transition, I think the whole experience will make her reevaluate everything in her life.

[Carrie] It’s a little sad none of us were surprised, isn’t it? My biggest complaint about Elena’s story in season three is that they completely chickened out on the Elena/Damon thing. This isn’t coming from a shipper’s perspective at all but from a viewer’s perspective, as I’m Team Interesting Television more than anything else. It’s been three seasons of this false love triangle. It’s time for her to make a decision that isn’t the exact same decision she made in episode six of the series, even if that decision is just to be sans-Salvatore for a while.

As for her compelled memories returning, I do think the memories of her first encounter with Damon will affect her actions. But isn’t that a bit of a cop-out on the writers’ part? The Damon who “she met first” is still the same Damon who shortly after that tortured Caroline and murdered half the town. Elena changing her feelings of Damon because of that encounter feels like a cheat, so I hope if it happens they give it far more nuance.

Any thoughts on the season 4 promotions so far?

[Thomas] Put Nina Dobrev in a pretty dress and add an ambiguously creepy / sexy quote next to her and I’m a happy man. Really, the people who advertise this show are just as amazing as the people who write, produce, and star. But more than anything, the promos I’ve been seeing just remind me how much I enjoy this show. I’m a big old vampire slut, and True Blood just doesn’t do it for me anymore. It’ll be nice to have good TV back.

[Melissa M] Man… I love that new promo. Damon is obnoxious in his honesty. Stefan is all broody. Jeremy makes fang jokes. Bonnie immediately goes to “What is the most dangerous witch solution I can think of” mode. Classic stuff. I’ve missed the crazy. I am still getting over the look Tyler gives Caroline when they are having sexy time in the woods, because, I’m assuming, that’s still Klaus in there. So that’s awkward. Mostly, I’m just figuring out the Inception “van going off the bridge”  moment. If this season ends with a top spinning….

[Melissa L] I was laughing at Jeremy’s fang joke pretty hard. Unfortunately I got way too excited about Bonnie’s whole “let me kill myself! That will fix it.” Especially because IT WOULD FIX SO MUCH but it will never happen. Or it might. I wanted Klaus to stay alive in a way that wasn’t pulled out of a hat and I wanted Vampire!Elena and I wanted Elijah to return and all those things are happening so…
I think the promo is fun as it always is and gets me excited and makes me hate that it’s not October 11th.

[Abby] Love the clips! Can’t wait for the season. I approve of Jeremy getting some sass. I’m  not as excited about the still photos so far. I’d like to see a little less posed-in-fancy-clothes and a little more action, there’s not much to set the S4 images apart from the other seasons. They’re attractive, but at this point I’d like to see something bolder and more interesting. I am really glad they did a full set of cast pictures, though, and I like the little props and poses.

[Kate] I don’t really have any specific thoughts, but they have made me remember how much I like the show and how happy I will be to have it back.

[Carrie] The new promo is fantastic, yes, but more importantly there is A PROMO PIC OF ELIJAH HELL YEAH.

What scene featuring Elena the vampire would you most like to see within the first 2 episodes of Season 4?

[Thomas] I want to see Damon begin teaching Elena the ways of the vampire. Stefan, I think, is going to be too busy hating himself for letting her die and too horrified by what Elena has become to be of much help, and when Damon takes a mentor role … you remember that scene where Damon showed Elena the way to a vampire’s heart? That nearly got me pregnant, and I’m a dude.

[Melissa M] First of all, I want Elena to use her new vamp-strength to punch Damon and Stefan. They kind of have it coming, no? But I really want to see an Elena/Caroline girl bonding moment. Remember when these two didn’t like each other all that much? Yeah, I blocked that out too. These two need some much deserved “We are BAMF vampire chics” girl time. Let’s make that montage happen.

[Melissa L] I want her to hug Matt. Maybe that’s more human Elena but I want her to go give Matt a hug and make sure he understands that he better not have any survivor’s guilt. I could care less if she tells Stefan that because if Stefan can’t swim fast enough to save both of them he deserves all the guilt he can heap on himself. (Yes, I’m with Paul on this one). The only two Vampire!Elena moments I’m really looking forward to are the day she gets to rub it in Katherine’s face and the moment she finally jumps Elijah’s bones and leaves the Salvatores behind.

[Abby] Murder! Blood flying everywhere! I want that girl to shove out from under the protective arms of the Salvatores and personally shred the next jerk who gives her trouble. I want her to snatch out a heart and take a bite like it’s an apple. None of this noble self-control stuff, Elena! Bring on the gore.

[Kate] I want to see some playful moments of her exploring her new powers – eavesdropping on faraway conversations, lifting heavy things just because she can, etc.

[Carrie] I’m sorry, I can’t concentrate on this question because Melissa L just mentioned Elena having sex with Elijah and my brain exploded.

Is there anything you are hoping might happen while Klaus is wearing Tyler’s body?

[Thomas] Do. Not. Want. That whole thing is just ick. The scene in the promo, where Caroline is stripping off her shirt and Kyler is leering at her? No thank you.

Basically, I want Klaus to say “hold up there Barbie, I jacked your boy’s body, but don’t worry, Bonnie’s going to hand-wave my old one back, and then we can have a proper, tawdry, consensual, and in no way rapey sex.” And then Sage would be all pouty. You know, if she wasn’t dead. Which she is. Thank God.

[Melissa M] I’m…. I’m not sure. It’s been all summer and I still don’t think I know how I feel about this one. I don’t hate it, but I don’t love it. I am unsure how I want it to go down. Partially, I just want Joseph Morgan back and I think that sort of messes with my opinion. But, not unlike what Thomas said, I don’t want it to completely mess up Klaus/Caroline because I have a feeling Klaus is going to be a creeper about it. As for what I do want, basically a scene of Tyler/Klaus standing in front of a mirror, admiring Tyler’s body. Because, it would happen.

[Melissa L] I only want Klaus to be a gentleman and push Caroline away. I’m worried about this story line to be honest. I don’t care if Klaus isn’t forthcoming about not being Tyler but I for all his murderous sociopathic ways, this feels like a line for Klaus. He wants people to want him. We saw that with his desire for family, for validation, for Stefan to want to be his friend, his attempts at wooing Caroline. A Klaus who suddenly says ‘well screw it, this is my chance to get in Caroline’s pants, let’s take it’? That’s not the Klaus we know. It doesn’t fit him at all and I guess I’m kind of scared that the writers don’t see it this way and will let Klaus push it too far. And from the reaction to Sage, it should be obvious that there are some lines the show shouldn’t cross.
On a more fun note though, I want to see if Bonnie can give him a headache in Tyler’s body. And if so, I’d love to see some banter between those two. When Bonnie knows she has the advantage, she can be a lot of fun. I’d be down to see that.

[Abby] I hope Carol yells at him for tracking mud in the house. Yes, I’m serious. I’m very interested to see how Klaus-In-Tyler handles the Caroline angle but I’m also hoping for a glimpse or two of Klaus having to cope with the reality of Tyler’s life in general. It’s been a while since Klaus was a teenage boy.

[Kate] I absolutely do not want anything to happen between Caroline and Klaus-in-Tyler. I would like it if the experience in general made Klaus stop for a moment and think about the effects of his actions on Tyler and the other people he uses as pawns.

[Carrie] I want something to happen because I’m curious to see how Michael Trevino plays it. But most of all, I want actual Klaus to come back because Joseph Morgan is just too good to waste. If Klaus could refrain from raping Caroline while he’s in Tyler’s body, well, that would be nice, too.

If you could hand pick a guest star for this season (a previous guest or one of your own invention) and choose their character and storyline how would it go down?

[Thomas] I would cast myself as a werewolf, and it would be awesome. My death would be via Damon’s heart rip.

[Melissa M] Jeremy’s MIA dog. That adorable pooch could be the star of the show.

[Melissa L] I want Mark Sheppard. I don’t care how, I don’t care as who, I just want Mark Sheppard on the show. If he  happens to be an insane member of the council who likes to torture vampires with an electric screwdriver (just not Caroline!), I could be very okay with that.

[Abby] More Daniel Gillies, please! I don’t care if they have an entire story arc about him buying a tie or drinking coffee, we just need more Elijah this year.

[Kate] I think this is the obvious next step in Katie Holmes’s comeback. But no, seriously, I’d love to have Gina Torres back – in a flashback, I suppose.

[Carrie] This is more of a guest character than star, but Katherine needs to come back. I don’t care that Julie Plec has basically said she’ll never come around while Klaus is still there, Katherine is far too good a character to sideline for this long. Katherine vs. Vampire Elena must happen.

What character are you hoping will be the superstar of season 4?

[Thomas] One of TVD’s strengths is the ensemble cast; they’re all superstars. But I would like to see:

* Elena become a complete badass
* Bonnie flip over to the dark side and start wreaking havoc
* Damon to be less emo and more neck snappy
* Stefan to continue walking a tightrope between the Ripper and the Hero Hair
* Caroline to not get raped

[Melissa M] Matt. I love that kid. As one of the only humans left I just want him to have his moment. He proved last season that he is not going to just fade away because he is without vampire, werewolf or witch powers. He will drug his ex-girlfriend or drown himself in the school pool. He will do what he has to. I want Matt and Jeremy to continue their “We are human, hear us roar” dynamic duo bromance. Don’t get lost among the supernatural, Matt!

[Melissa L] Matt. I adore Matt. Always have, always will. Just as I want Elena to take her agency back, I’d like Matt to do the same. He’s made his own decisions about getting involved with the supernatural but I’d like to see him start taking charge.
I’d also love for the writers to either figure out how to utilize Bonnie in a way that isn’t as a plot device or a shrill harpy and make her integral to the show again. Give Kat Graham half a chance and she shows so much potential in what Bonnie could be. So I’d like to see Bonnie & Matt get a chance to shine.

[Abby] I’m more interested in seeing new combinations of actors than I am in seeing any one particular one in the spotlight. I’d like to see all the characters interact with people we don’t usually see them on screen with. We’ve proven that every member of the cast is individually strong and talented, now I want the characters to team up in different configurations than we’ve previously seen.

[Kate] Elena. I can’t wait to see her come into her own. And I agree with Abby that I want to see everyone teaming up and working together in different combinations.

[Carrie] It is imperative that the show figures out Bonnie this season. They’ve laid the groundwork for a compelling “dark side” arc. Now the writers need to make it happen, because it’s embarrassing how horribly the character has been treated in the series so far. Bonnie doesn’t need to be the most important character of the season, but what she does needs to be good.

Your most burning TVD question:

[Thomas] The thing I’m most curious about is how they plan to up the stakes (see what I did there?) from last season. They just took on and defeated (or at least stalemated) the most powerful supernatural creatures in the world. So where does the show go from there?

The Mystic Falls Civil War seems like it has a lot of potential. There are a lot of teams forming – Team Human, Team Vampire, Team My Name is Bonnie and I’m Through Taking Your Crap, Team My Kid’s a Monster But I Still Love Them, Team Sorry But Your Kid’s A Monster And I’m Contractually Obligated to Murder Them Now, and so on. Watchin all of these factions go at it – and seeing the emotional fallout – should be fascinating.

[Melissa M] Eek. Such a hard one for me. Mostly, as a writer, I am just constantly surprised with how every episode moves at such an amazing clip and they keep the intensity so high. Every week is sweeps week! So I just want to know how. HOW?? And what is possibly going to happen this season? What’s worse than a family of originals and a burning bridge? A pack of Alpha Werewolves? Wait… wrong show.

But my real burning question, above all others – I want to know all of their high school GPAs. Are ANY of them passing?

[Melissa L] When will the Hale pack to show up in Mystic Falls, kick some ass and steal Caroline away with them? And will there be sassy Peter and Elijah banter?
But yeah I think my most burning question is whether this brewing Civil War & council vendetta will be a legitimate threat. Because I really, really want it to be. Give me humans fighting their own damn battles any day of the week.

I also need to know what kind of blood Elijah drinks.

[Abby] How are they doing to handle the fallout? I’m personally hoping that the “big bad” for the first half of season 4 is just the collective consequences of all the crap that happened in the second half of season 3. I don’t think we need any giant ancient evils when there’s so much freaking clean up to be done. Fingers crossed that Elijah comes in to help neaten things up, nobody else on the show is anywhere near organized enough to put it all to rights.

[Kate] My burning question: Why hasn’t anyone taken in poor Matt yet? There are an awful lot of spare bedrooms in Mystic Falls, and absolutely no reason why a nice kid should be having to try to support himself. I bet he’d be a very considerate, helpful houseguest, too.

[Carrie] Where is Katherine? No, seriously. WHERE IS KATHERINE?

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2 Comments

Filed under Interviews, Television

2 responses to “The Vampire Diaries: Season 4 Roundtable Interview

  1. I second, third, and generally make flaily hands about Katherine. We’re all surprised, I’m sure.

  2. Marcelline Cazz

    I want them to: Get Klaus out of Tyler’s body FAST, Make Bonnie interesting, Matt needs a goal in life (not just working at the Grill). Yes to a Katherine/Elena confrontation! I want there to be more of the Damon/Elena ‘I met her first’ scene. What they showed at the end of last season seems too little, like it wouldn’t make that much of a difference in their lives. Are they graduating this year? Do they have future Plans, Ambitions? Oh yeah, and Elena/Elijah? Yes, Go There!

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