by Ryan J. Downey
"O Come, All Ye Faithful," tonight's midseason finale of "The Vampire Diaries," promises a major revelation and the death of someone we've known since season one. It could be Matt, Jeremy, Tyler, Bonnie or one of the parents.
Candice Accola couldn't spill that secret when Hollywood Crush caught up with her by phone earlier this week, but she did dish plenty about Caroline's tension with her best friends, tonight's confrontation between Stefan and Tyler, the sire bond, the latest steamy Delena developments and how a character death goes down behind-the-scenes.
Last week, Caroline made her disapproval of Damon Salvatore and Professor Shane pretty clear to Elena and Bonnie. It was frustrating for the audience, because we know her feelings aren't misplaced. "She doesn't trust Shane," Candice told us. "She doesn't know who this Shane is. Shane just kind of came out of nowhere. Usually, Bonnie has had crushes on boys that are within the circle. Shane is just not in the circle. Caroline is from a small town."
The former Miss Mystic Falls knows Elena's beau very well, however. "It's easy to forget that in season one, Caroline was this very weak character. She was desperate to be loved. She didn't have any confidence in herself and Damon gave her attention. She really fell head over heels for the attention that he gave her. But, in doing that, he was also using her and manipulating her, altering her mind and emotionally abusing her."
These days Caroline is much stronger, and she's not about to watch her best friend get kicked around. "It's four years later and now she's like, 'You know what? That guy is an ass----! I have every right to say that. Let's not forget how he treated me. He better not treat you that way. If you're sired to him, it gives him an even easier way to treat you that way.' She will always think he's an ass---- and she has every right to. She has no guilt over it."
Caroline's membership in Team Stefan has been clear for sometime. This week, that allegiance will put her at odds with her own boyfriend as Tyler and the hybrids plans for Klaus will butt up against Stefan and Caroline's desire to keep Klaus alive while they search for that vampirism cure for Elena. "Caroline is pretty conflicted. She wants to support Tyler because she loves him, but she doesn't agree with him. That is something that's very human that is existing within Tyler and Caroline's relationship right now. It's just that they're not communicating. Tyler didn't communicate that he had met this friend, that happened to be a girl, when he was gone. Caroline didn't really communicate the amount of time she spent with Klaus, even though it was manipulating him for the greater good.
"Tyler has this plan that he has and he's not really communicating very well," she continued. "Caroline and Stefan have this idea of a plan where they're very much on the same page but they're not really talking about it. Everyone happens to think that they're right. It definitely sets up this week’s episode for things to potentially not go right."
Despite the fact that Caroline isn't gunning for Mr. Original Hybrid at the moment, that doesn't mean the romance that has been hinted at is going anywhere anytime soon. Executive producer Julie Plec has long maintained that Klaus won't ever turn good, or even goodish, as Damon has. And Candice insisted Caroline will never fall for him.
"There are these really sweet moments and there are a lot of things Caroline appreciates about the idea of Klaus," she conceded. "But I think she knows better. Damon didn't treat her well and she doesn't want that [again]. She wants to be accepted for who she is; as much as she likes to dream about going abroad, she wants to live in Mystic Falls. She wants a simple life. She can dream about those things when she's around Klaus. But it's not something she really wants. You can appreciate the taste of caviar but it doesn't mean you want it for breakfast, lunch and dinner."
Whether or not Tyler is successful in staging a hybrid mutiny that results in the death of Klaus, we've been assured there will be a major character death on tonight's mid-season finale. With so many characters now on the other side, from our favorite vampire-slaying history teacher Alaric to Stefan's platonic BFF Lexi, the cast has grown accustomed to the process. First the writer tells the actor, then the actor decides when to tell the cast, then the cast deals with it.
Candice pointed out that flashbacks have provided a nice opportunity for some characters to return, but not everybody gets to come back for a period episode or a ghostly vision. "Of course, there's always the potential that when a character leaves, that's [really] it. The writers have created a world where they can do whatever they want and we have all known it from day one. Our first meeting in Atlanta started off with: 'This is a vampire show. People will die.' This is what we got into. It's just the reality of the show that we're on."
Candice said the writers generally warn the actors even if their characters death is just being tossed around in the writer's room as a potential idea. "You definitely find out before the script comes out. You know, it's part of the job."
Despite dealing in ghosts, werewolves, hybrids, witches and all the like, "The Vampire Diaries" has been great at addressing real-life human drama in smart and emotionally powerful ways, albeit cloaked in the storytelling device of the supernatural. With that in mind, what is the whole "sire bond" thing on display with Damon and Elena and the hybrids and Klaus getting at? Caroline was happy to ponder the subject and came up with a theory of her own.
"I really love that question. I think the 'sire bond' thing is about losing freewill, when you don't question anything, when you're at your weakest, and your entire focus is on the person you're with. There's a lot of very deep parallels to what it means to be in an emotionally abusive or potentially physically abusive relationship. Without the supernatural cloak, in real life, you have to realize that you do have a say. You have to start thinking about what you want in your life, to break yourself of the sire-bond and you have to be your own hero. It's sad, it's scary, but you do have to break yourself from it and not feel that the end all be all is in this other person or that they hold your happiness. You have to realize that you have the strength and you hold your own key to your own happiness."
"The Vampire Diaries" mid-season finale, "O Come, All Ye Faithful," airs tonight on The CW at 8/7c.
Who do you think will die on tonight's episode?