The Vampire Diaries episode called "The Killer" just aired on the East Coast -- come talk about it on our forum! -- and Elena has left it smelling like blood, having had her first kill, which should change things up a bit. Although the notion of Elena killing someone is shocking for viewers, it is something that has been planned by the show's writing staff since April.
Big spoilers for tonight's episode within - DO NOT READ THIS if you haven't watched yet!
"We talked in April about what it would be like for Elena to become a vampire, and that very question - what would her first kill be? - we kind of knew that it would happen in [episode] 5, and that it would be Connor," Michael Narducci, writer of "The Killer," told us in a special Q&A hosted by The CW. "I really wanted to write this episode. I had been on the show a little while, and something that I struggle with is that 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. So there are all these things that we thought... if Jeremy's in jeopardy... it's very important that we have Matt, who was her high school sweetheart, in jeopardy. What's Elena going to do? Is she going to wait for other people to get involved and save everyone for her, or will she get involved and do something?"
"There were some key moments that I really liked in this episode, like when she turned to Damon and says 'I'm a monster too.' And she is now," Narducci explains. "She's dangerous. I don't think she goes into those tunnels with the intention of killing Connor. I think she goes into those tunnels with the intention of saying 'stay the hell away from my family.' Connor never gives up. Connor's ready to kill a vampire at any moment, and when he stakes her, she loses it in that moment. There's something about vampires... they do go off, and Elena is one of them, and so we have to show that dark side, too, of what it is to be a vampire."
TVD Executive Producer Julie Plec added a few more reasons why this worked for the story. "We also liked the idea that, 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. She literally and metaphorically killed her hope without realizing it. So the consequences of that first kill are pretty profound," Plec says.
So what will this mean for the Stefan-Elena-Damon triangle? "I think that when you say 'how is it going to impact the triangle down the road' you need to just ask 'how does it impact the triangle next week.' I'm just going to leave it at that," Plec says. One thing is for sure - it won't be smooth sailing for "Stelena" after this week. "Well, she's mad at him," Julie laughs. "She definitely starts next week really super mad at him, so forgiveness and understanding and learning the truth of what he's up to, what he was up to, and all of that, I think... all of those things are up ahead, and we'll see how she handles it."
"Everything's about to change in some way or another. Those changes will have a ripple effect through the entire season. I'm not saying it's all going to change next Thursday at 8:00, but there are some pretty big moves next week as a result of this," Julie teases. "Killing a hunter comes with a price."