Mandi Bierly
November 11, 2010 AT 07:13 PM EST

Every episode of The Vampire Diaries on The CW is a big episode thanks to the pace set forth by executive producers Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec. But tonight’s promises to be extra revealing: We finally learn about Katherine’s diabolical master plan. “After nine episodes of that question — ‘What are you doing back in town? What is it that you want? Why are you here?’ — finally, she explains herself,” Plec says. “We are incredibly proud of this episode, mostly because the work Nina Dobrev does is unbelievable. She plays Katherine as a human in Bulgaria with a Bulgarian accent, she plays human Katherine pretending to be English in the English countryside, she plays Katherine as a vampire in present day, she plays Elena. And a good portion of the episode is Elena and Katherine having a conversation, so she’s essentially acting opposite nothing, a stand-in or air. This is her episode to shine.” We chatted more with Plec, a master teaser, to find out what’s going down tonight (including who will be shirtless — you’re welcome!) and what’s to come. Check it out below. 

• We won’t be meeting Klaus, but we will be hearing all about him: “This episode gives us a lot more information: Who he is, how desperately afraid people are of him and have been since the beginning of time, how Katherine crossed his path and drew his ire, and how her experience with Klaus shaped who she is today,” Plec says. “We get to learn that all through some pretty amazing flashbacks that take us from Bulgaria, to the English countryside, back to Bulgaria — all set against the stuff that’s happening in the present day. The mystery of Klaus and when we’ll see Klaus is going to be the same question of ‘When will we see Katherine?’ from last season. We’re gonna learn a lot about him and be hopefully very afraid of him before we ever lay eyes on him. That’s gonna be a nice, big, long healthy tease. It’s so funny, the way we dropped the bomb of his name last episode [Rose said The Originals, the oldest vampires, will be coming for Elena, and they’ll be doing it for him, Klaus], Kevin and I were laughing. We’re like, the book fans are gonna lose their freakin’ minds in this moment, and the rest of America is gonna go, ‘Huh… Alright. Who’s that?’ [Laughs] But it’s one of those moments that you’re like, I don’t care because I know the million book fans are gonna be so excited that it’s worth it.” We found out in last week’s episode that Katherine was the first Petrova doppelgänger. Does that mean we could, conceivably, see Dobrev playing three roles in an episode at some point? “I think there’s always a chance — not this year. We have our little Charlotte Petrova character in our heads that we laugh and joke about in the writers room,” Plec says. “Whether we decide to go back to year 1200 and meet her, or maybe she was trollin’ around World War II Germany or Woodstock in the ’60s, who knows. It’s something that we have fun with, but it’s not in our canon as of yet.”

• Another slow tease: The story of The Originals and what powers they have will be a good portion of the rest of the season, Plec says. “It’s gonna be a big surprise for all of them [Damon, Stefan, Elena, Rose] when they come face-to-face with Elijah again, and then the question of ‘Well, how do you kill an Original?” is a big one that they’ll have to seek out answers to, and that’s gonna give us a lot story for upcoming episodes.” Tonight, we learn of one power that an Original vampire has that is unexpected.

• We’ll see how Damon’s decision to walk away from his love for Elena influences his next move. Plec loved that scene — and Damon’s single tear — as much as fans did. “We did that for the first time, compel somebody through tears, when Caroline compelled her mom. We all thought it was so beautiful, and so simple and sweet — this vampire ability that is occurring during a very real human moment. Being able to have Damon express his humanity in that moment was really wonderful,” she says. “I think that Damon compelling Elena to forget [that he said ‘I love you’] was actually the true hero moment. It wasn’t saying, ‘I don’t deserve you, my brother does.’ It was saying, I don’t even want you to know this because I don’t even want you to think about it. I don’t want it to even be out on the table as an option or a possibility. I just need to get it off my chest. I need to have said it once, and then we’ll both go on like it never happened.” We know that Rose likes bad boys and will be an unlikely ally to the Salvatore Brothers now that Elijah has killed her best friend, Trevor. Could Damon’s next move involve sex with Rose? (Pretty please!) Plec wouldn’t say, but we have hope for two reasons. 1) She says Rose and Damon go off on a little adventure to track down more information on Klaus and his whereabouts. “As much as she talks a big game, she’s actually missing her best friend and is really a scared, frightened, sad, sweet person who, much like Damon, covers up her own vulnerabilities with a tough exterior. So she and Damon connect on that level of realizing that caring can often be painful, so why bother. They have a nice kindred spirit connection.” 2) Later in the conversation, when asked when we’ll see more skin on the show, she said, “I can tell you that there is some bare chest action courtesy of one Mr. Damon Salvatore that happens in this episode.” [Did I actually cheer hearing that? Yes, I did. Professional!]

• Someone comes between Bonnie and Jeremy. “We’ve got some good story brewing with the arrival of this new kid in town, Luka, and what he has to offer her and how they connect, and how it disrupts the sweet, growing romantic chemistry between Bonnie and Jeremy,” Plec says. “I’ve said it before, this season is about watching Jeremy grow from a boy into a man. One of the best ways to show that is to show someone who always looked past him because he was her friend’s little brother starting to maybe, possibly, slightly, the tiniest bit consider him as a peer. He’s, of course, been through hell and back and tends to fall pretty hard and love pretty intensely, so watching him pursue her and her fight that will be some good stuff. And Luka drops right in the center of it. Poor Jeremy’s gonna have to figure out how to change his game a little.” Tonight, we meet Luka and his dad, Jonas. “We meet Jonas very quickly, but they’ll become more present in the episodes that follow. As is true with pretty much anybody who enters Mystic Falls, they have a secret. What that secret is and how it connects to Bonnie will be part of the mystery,” Plec says.

Think that was good stuff? Come back to tomorrow when we have scoop on Tyler and Caroline.

Follow: @EWMandiBierly

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