[Warning: Major spoilers from Thursday's episode and beyond.]
Just when a cure for vampirisim was introduced on The Vampire Diaries, it was taken away -- for the time being, at least.
The death of vampire hunter Connor (Todd Williams) by Elena's (Nina Dobrev) hand was poetic. Not because he marked her very first kill, but his death stunted any movement of Stefan's (Paul Wesley) quest to find the cure, so she could be turned back into human form.
"Just in the shadow of giving the first glimpse of hope for Elena's predicament and situation, she herself was the one that broke that," executive producer Julie Plec told reporters. "She literally and metaphorically killed her hope without realizing it, so the consequences of that first kill are pretty profound."
Here are the most notable revelations and teases from Plec, episode writer Michael Narducci and guest star Todd Williams about the impact of "The Killer" and beyond:
1. Why have Elena's first kill be Connor and will he reappear?
"We knew it would happen in [episode] five and that it would be Connor," he said. "Something that I struggle with is I want Elena to do more things. I want her to not be a damsel in distress, I want her to go out and protect her brother." The episode also showed how unpredictable Elena has become. "She's dangerous now," Narducci said. "There are something about vampires; they do go off. Elena is one of them, so we have to show that dark side of what it is to be a vampire." And believe it or not, there is more of the hunter to come, Plec teased: "We have not seen completely, totally the last of Connor."
2. Will Elena forgive Stefan after finding out about his team-up with Klaus?
"She's mad at him. She definitely starts next really super mad at him," Plec said. "Forgiveness and understanding and learning the truth of what he's up to and what he was up to, all those things are ahead and we'll see how she handles it."
3. What are the effects of Elena's kill and how do her visions play into it?
Killing someone is one thing, but killing a hunter opens up a can of worms. "We learn, for the first time, that killing a hunter comes with a price," Plec teased, adding that viewers will discover the repercussions next week. "There's a weird consequence to it all that she's going to have to deal with that takes her to some dark, dark places."
4. Now that Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) has the mark on his hand, what does that mean for him?
"Right now, it's just the beginning of him being awakened," Plec revealed. "This is a hint that perhaps Connor was speaking the truth. We'll see where that goes next too." The question of what it means now that Jeremy has the mark and how it affects The Five will be addressed. "Professor Shane (David Alpay) starts to cross paths with our group next week with some answers," she said. "Whether they are legit or not remains to be seen."
5. Is this the beginning of Tyler's (Michael Trevino) quest against Klaus (Joseph Morgan)?
"What you saw is the beginning of a story for Tyler that we're excited about," Plec said. "After all this time, it pays off." Expect to see the beginning stages of Tyler "incit[ing] a revolution" for the remaining hybrids to break away from Klaus as he did. Adds Narducci: "Hayley (Phoebe Tonkin) is someone who helps [Tyler] act on that heroic desire."
6. Though Connor's story ultimately ended on a tragic note, was there more to him than meets the eye?
"From what I've come to understand, he's actually a victim of the tattoo," Williams said. "He's in search for so many things. There was a level of desperation that you can see in 'The Killer,' just because he was like, I just want to know. I want everything that I've done to be worth it. He's not able to be compelled by vampires but [the tattoo] compels him to do what he does."
7. Will Elena and Jeremy ever turn against each other?
"They're supernaturally predisposed to be in conflict and that's going to make Sunday dinner a little awkward," Plec joked.
8. What's April's (Grace Phipps) purpose?
"April is a fun little human follie, because when we first started the season, we wanted a character that -- now that most, if not all, of our 'heroes' are supernatural -- [is] a reminder that this town exists and there are people who know nothing and can get caught up in this ... She's a fresh set of eyes," Plec said. Adds Narducci: "Elena's swimming in this big ocean and April is this marker to how far she's gone from when she was human. You look at April and that's what Elena was season one, and Elena is absolutely not there anymore. It's shocking." There will be more to April's story as the episodes unfold; she is "a vessel to start getting some answers about that surprising twist of events at the end of the first episode" about the town council and her father.
9. What about April's friendship with Rebekah (Claire Holt)?
"It will all pay off down the road -- with a vengeance," Plec teased.
10. What are the consequences if the vampire cure turns out to be real?
Though the cure "died" when Elena killed Connor, the reversal for vampirisim will raise many flags for gang. "It's going to make our characters ask a lot of questions about themselves, about what would they want, would they want it, what would they do in order to get it?" Plec said. "Who would go to great lengths, ultimately, to make sure it doesn't fall into the wrong hands." The cure, she said, is "equal to Katherine wants a moonstone" to "Damon looking for a crystal." "It's the beginning of a lot of roads that you can travel down," Plec reassured. When asked whether an Original is cured could a whole line revert back to human form, Plec was coy: "That's a question our characters are going to be asking at a certain point."
11. What is coming down the pipeline for Matt after being held hostage by Connor?
"Matt and Jeremy are going to become closer," Narducci teased. "Matt as the singular last man standing human is going to come in handy as Jeremy's struggling his supernatural urges to kill vampires and as Elena's going down the rabbit hole of the consequences of having killing someone in the next episode. Matt's going to be that reliable voice of reason," Plec said.
12. Will the Salvatore brothers be on the same team in the near future?
"We will continue to hope and pray that they'll be able to find those moments together all season long, but there is going to be a lot conspiring against them, as really all the aftershocks of the events of this episode start to do their damage," Plec said.
13. Why revisit the Diaries?
It's been a while since Diaries took a page out of its title. "It is the title of the show so we always knew that we wanted to exist out there in the ether," Plec said. "Right now [Elena] feels more lost and alone than she ever has and it felt like the right time for her to need to have a voice for that because she doesn't feel like she can admit this to her friends and loved ones that she hates who she's become." But, don't expect the diary to return in the near future.
Other hints for the season and beyond:
- Elijah (Daniel Gillies) will likely return around the 16th/17th episodes of the season. "The scripts aren't written, the stories aren't broken but our game plan is to have him come in as we get closer to the last chapter of the year," Plec said. Original Kol (Nathaniel Buzolic) will also return.
- The Miss Mystic Falls event, which takes place in a couple weeks, will bring levity to the town, which has been entrenched in dark and grim matters. "It's a nice refreshing change of pace," Plec said. "It gets us back to a little bit of romance, a little bit of good Mystic Falls events at their finest. It invokes a memory of season one, very deliberately, of what was going on in the triangle back then."
- Diaries will get into the holiday spirit in an upcoming episode, set at a charity event with a "Winter Wonderland" theme. "The episode is very much about loyalty and relationships and some betrayals," Plec teased.
- Bonnie's dad will be introduced after the holidays.
The Vampire Diaries airs 8 p.m. Thursdays on the CW.