The fifth season of The Vampire Diaries ended with Damon (Ian Somerhalder) and Bonnie (Kat Graham) seemingly dead, as the Other Side was finally destroyed. Season 6 picks up several months later, with the characters grappling with the ramifications of what transpired.
At a press screening, executive producer Caroline Dries promised this season will feature less of the complicated mythology that bogged down Season 5. The travelers and the doppelgangers are gone and the focus will be on the show’s core characters. Here are six things you need to know about the sixth season of the CW’s flagship show.
No. 6 Yes, Damon and Bonnie Are Still on the Show
Few fans thought the supernatural soap would actually kill off Damon or Bonnie. By the end of the premiere viewers will learn what became of them. The reveal is definitely not what anyone predicted. The explanation for their surprising fate will not come until the second episode.
No. 5 Elena Gets Stoned So She Can See Damon
Elena (Nina Dobrev) lost the love of her life and her best friend at the end of Season 5 She’s understandably a mess, but in the season premiere she seems to be in deep denial.
Thanks to some pharmaceuticals, she’s hallucinating Damon is still with her. The promos have made this look like a drug addiction storyline, but by the end of the episode there’s a twist that keeps it from heading into After School special territory.
Dries explained why the show took this path with Elena, “I remember the premiere of last season when Elena and Damon were in a really good place and it was fun and the music started and there was a fun montage and they didn’t realize Bonnie was dead and I was like, ‘This feels fresh and fun and it has good energy.’ And so when we were starting this season, I was like, ‘Oh, it’s going to be such a downer.’ We were ending it in such a sad spot and we were like how can we reinvigorate the show and keep it feeling fresh and alive without it being so heavy to start with and our solution was to have Elena be in this happy alternative reality.”
No. 4 There Will Still Be Romance
Though the season starts with all of the show’s major couples torn apart, there will still be plenty of love in and out of Mystic Falls. Dries promises, “We definitely keep the love stories alive. We might not play them out in a traditional way, but they will feel very satisfying…. We continue to play out and it’s basically, I don’t really call it a triangle because Stefan’s (Paul Wesley) become more of a soul friend so he’s dealing with his own stuff, but [he and Elena] are still very connected. But it’s more of how do we maintain Elena and Damon’s love story while he’s not present and so that was our challenge as writers but I think we did a cool job of it. “
Stefan has taken up residence in a new town and embarked upon a relationship with a woman named Ivy (Emily Chang). Dries explains, “She kind of opens the door into this world of Stefan that we’ve never seen before. We start to understand his process as a vampire, because we’ve seen him in flashbacks obviously but we’ve only seen him for the three years that the show has been on for in the Mystic Falls timeline. And so to learn what the process of a vampire is with starting over and living a different identity.” But the show will explore the connection between Stefan and Caroline (Candice Accola). “I think Caroline’s not even realizing how deep her feelings are. She just feels hurt and lied to and ignored. So she’ll continue to do that, but Stefan he’s dealing with it in his own way obviously. He’s cut all ties and is moving on with his life. He can’t like process or fathom the idea of another heavy emotional connection. So in his brain he hasn’t even opened up his mind to the notion of dating someone or being with someone or actually having a true romance with someone. What I’m basically saying is a very slow build for that.”
No. 3 Alaric is Back
He was a father-figure to Elena and Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) , a bro to Damon and a sexy, snarky voice of reason to the audience. Now Alaric (Matt Davis) is back among the living.
The good news is he’s been promoted from high school teacher to college professor. The bad news is he now has to adjust to life as a vampire, since he died so soon after he was turned back in Season 3. Said Dries, “A big thing with what Alaric’s going through this season is he was a vampire slayer who got turned into a vampire, went crazy, and died. So now that he’s back, he’s going to have some emotional baggage. But he’s also an adult figure on the show and so as Elena’s going through her drama and Jeremy’s got his drama, he can’t just sit there and mope about his problems which is why he internalizes stuff.”
Fortunately, he will get to have some fun. A doctor named Jo will become his love interest. “One of the problems he’s going to have is how to just go on a normal date and be a normal guy again. She’s going to bring that side out of him.”
No. 2 Mystic Falls – Now With 100 Percent Less Vampires
Mystic Falls is now a supernatural-free zone. A powerful force field prevents vampires or werewolves from setting foot in the city limits. Matt (Zach Roerig), is thriving now that he no longer has to fear being attacked on a weekly basis.
Said Dries, “Every episode Matt is in jeopardy or someone’s threating to kill him. So it’s like what is Matt like when he doesn’t have to have a death threat?” He’s joined a neighborhood watch type organization, run by a mysterious man named Tripp (Colin Ferguson). “We wanted to give him a father figure/coach kind of guy so that’s where Tripp came out of. But he’ll ultimately become and interesting, layered dynamic character that’s not necessarily a good guy or bad guy. I think he represents… a normal person’s point-of-view on the whole vampire word.” In contrast, Jeremy has become an emo slacker. “He’s kind of feeling, and rightfully so, really betrayed that Bonnie lied to him for all of those episodes then kind of said, ‘I’m dying. See ya.’ So he’s going to try to find some meaning in the first few episodes but he hasn’t hit his biggest rock bottom yet.
Tyler Is Only Human
One of the consequences of the Travelers’ spell and the collapse of the Other Side was that Tyler (Michael Trevino) lost his hybrid powers and is, once again, an ordinary human being. That means he is at risk of activating the curse that will turn him back into a werewolf if he kills someone.
That should be easy to avoid, but Tyler has some anger management issues. Says Dries, “It continues to be this thing that’s out there in that he’s gone through the whole process. He knows what the stakes are. He’s lived it so him dealing with these rage issues is kind of funny because it’s weirdly so timely in terms of what’s happening in society of people finally drawing attention to rage. It’s just something that’s bubbling inside of him so that whenever he picks a fight with someone we’re reminded of the stakes to that.” Liv (Penelope Mitchell) the witch from last season, will reluctantly help him through this tough time.