Bob Mahoney/The CW
Mandi Bierly
January 18, 2013 AT 05:00 AM EST

SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t seen this week’s “After School Special” episode of The Vampire Diaries, stop reading now. The central love triangle took another interesting turn. We asked showrunner Julie Plec for a hint of what’s to come. 

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Compelled by Rebekah to tell the truth about why she slept with Damon, Elena said it wasn’t because of the sire bond — it’s because she loves him. Then Elena phoned Damon and told him it felt real to her, and she said, “I love you.” Does that settle the debate, or does that question still exist?

JULIE PLEC: I think the takeaway, ultimately, is that Elena believes it so fundamentally that in that moment, it’s enough for Damon to let himself believe too. Yes, of course, the question is still gonna exist and always gonna exist. This isn’t necessarily the end-all, be-all now that that word [“love”] has been spoken. The doubt is still gonna be there. And it’s gonna continue to eat at Damon for the next few episodes. Elena’s gonna continue to have to fight for it in how much she believes it. But in this moment, it’s these two people who have been trying so hard to do the right thing and stay away from each other, and after two really long horrible days, they just need to touch base with each other. Just letting himself allow it to be real for one small moment is enough for Damon. And by the way, that song [Snow Patrol’s “New York,” playing during the phone call], that was the song that we wanted to use during the Damon-Elena kiss in episode 10 last year, and we lost it a week before we were going to air it. So I had that song in my back pocket for a year waiting for the right moment to use it again.

Stefan and Rebekah teaming up is a nice twist.

We’ve seen Stefan self-destruct in many different ways, and they’re usually pretty dark and pretty violent. We thought that an interesting take on his response to losing his girl, to feeling lied to and betrayed, to having his heart shredded, would be to become singularly focused on getting that cure to put an end to all this misery — whether it be for himself and Elena, or maybe he just wants to shove it down Damon’s throat, who knows [Laughs] — and to align with probably the most self-destructive partner. He’s proverbially getting into bed with Elena’s mortal enemy. So we just got excited about the juicy opportunity for that partnership.

Rebekah made a point of saying that Klaus had erased how Stefan felt about her from Stefan’s mind. Are those feelings going to resurface? Is that a new question to add to the mix?

Well, you know, we had this magnificent chemistry that we hit on when we first introduced her character, and then each of their individual stories took them in a different direction, so it’s something that we’ve never been able to revisit. And yet, it did exist, even though Stefan was a much different person. Now I think there’ll be a little bit of a nostalgia attached to a time when they were both in a much different place. I don’t see a world where Stefan wakes up and says, “Ohmygosh, I’ve been with the wrong girl all along.” I don’t think that’s the case at all. In fact, I think he pretty much loathes Rebekah and everything she stands for. But, there are some good memories there that will resurface and give them pause.

Read more:

‘The Vampire Diaries’ recap: Truth or Dare

Julie Plec talks potential ‘Vampire Diaries’ spinoff, ‘The Originals’ (and Klaus’ ‘hard-partying’ protege Marcel)

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