Michael Ausiello
January 09, 2010 AT 12:00 PM EST

The spoiler’s a foiler! That’s the word from Vampire Dairies producers in response to a report that Elena will transition into a vampire when the hit drama returns on Jan. 21.

“It’s fake,” maintained exec producer Julie Plec. “It’s completely not even close to what the episode is.”

So what is happening in the first episode back? Exec producer Kevin Williamson reveals that Damon and Elena will go on an adventure. “[They will] have some alone time,” he said. “There’s no Stefan, so we’re going to explore how their relationship develops on its own terms without Stefan there to guide it or get in the middle of it.”

Other spoilery highlights from the VD panel at Winter Press Tour:

* Williamson confirmed that Vicki is really dead. Jeremy, meanwhile, will begin to learn the truth about the circumstances surrounding her murder.

* An upcoming flashback will feature a first-ever kiss between Damon and Katherine.

* Later in the season, Damon will have to “step up” and act like a big brother to Stefan. “We’re going to explore the flip-flop of the dynamic between the brothers,” said Plec, “because, for the first half of the season, it’s been very much about Stefan managing Damon and dealing with Damon, and Stefan is going to go through something that is going to put Damon in a situation where he suddenly has to finally step up and act like a big brother and take care of Stefan.”

* Elena and Bonnie’s relationship “will be tested,” said Williamson. “[Bonnie] has to decide whether she’s down with vampires or not.”

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