When last we left “The Vampire Diaries,” Bonnie and Damon were holding hands and stepping into The Light.
Oh no, right?
Well, Ian Somerhalder and Kat Graham are still on the Saturday, July 26 San Diego Comic-Con panel for “The Vampire Diaries,” so we somehow suspect they'll be back.
Click though and follow along with my live-blog as Julie Plec teases us with hints about the new status quo in Mystic Falls and how long it will last. And we'll get a sense of how fans felt about last year's overdose of dopplegangers and Travelers.
3:50 p.m. The last panel was for NBC's “Grimm” and while it filled the room, there was ZERO crowd interest. “Grimm” is a show that probably could have been in 6A or 6BCF without any problems. It's a Friday success for NBC, but that doesn't mean it's a good Comic-Con show. Apparently.
4:08 p.m. We're a bit late, but… “Vampire Diaries” time!
4:09 p.m. We're starting with a video that the show's publicist promises we'll love. And why would he lie? It begins where we left off with Bonnie and Damon facing The Light. Not gonna lie, that hand-holding moment was kinda sweet, all things considered. Then the clip goes into a joke reel. “Did we just get written off?” Graham wonders. “I've been killed off a TV show before. This isn't how they do it,” Somerhalder says. Graham asks Ian if he was a jerk on set this season. Ian says he was well behaved and that Paul loves him. “Does this mean I get more money?” Paul says in a cut-away. Candice Accola tells a story about Kat stealing her favorite turkey club. She's very cutely bitter about it. “It's as if they don't have room for us anymore. How can that be?” Ian wonders. Cut away to Matt Davis and The Guy Who Plays Enzo. And Nina Dobrev is already knocking down the walls to Kat's dressing room, with her Teen Choice Awards in the background. “I've died like a thousand times on this show and I've come back every time. I guess Kat and Ian weren't so lucky,” Steve McQueen says. Finally Kat and Ian decide that they were written off because everybody loves them so much and they're getting a spinoff. They call… JOSEPH MORGAN to tell him. He's displeased. “I will kill you and everyone you've ever met,” Morgan tells them. “There's only one thing that can save us now… The Fans,” Ian says. “We need you to make some noise.”
4:15 p.m. The first actors on the stage are Ian Somerhalder and Kat Graham. We're very pleased. I'm glad the room was able to wake up after “Grimm.”
4:16 p.m. Out come Nina Dobrev, Paul Wesley and Julie Plec. I've seen pictures of Matt Davis around Comic-Con today, so I'm assuming a special guess is coming.
4:17 p.m. What will Julie Plec say Mystic Falls is in for? “Anybody who's ever died before no longer has the opportunity to come back and visit us,” Plec says. “Fortunately, we were able to bring a couple of them back,” she teases.
4:18 p.m. So what will Kat and Ian be up to? “I definitely think Bamon's better than Donnie,” says Somerhalder of their shipper name. Kat promises a new dynamic.
4:19 p.m. It will be a four month time jump when we return. Everybody is dealing in different ways.
4:19 p.m. “He's still in my hotel room I think,” Somerhalder says of the absent Matt Davis. No. He's actually in the crowd with a microphone. “How much did you miss me?” Davis asks Somerhalder. “Wait a minute? Is that Matt Davis?” Ian asks. This is strange, because Davis isn't actually on the screen. And finally Matt Davis just comes out. I wonder if that was supposed to be orchestrated better.
4:20 p.m. What can Davis say about Alaric and how he's doing? We find Alaric working outside of Mystic Falls having conned his way into a university teaching gig. “If anybody deserves a little naughtiness, it's probably Professor Saltzman,” Plec says of loving for Alaric.
4:22 p.m. They all love the fans. “I'd be so bold to say that there's been a massive evolution in these characters,” says Somerhalder, crediting Plec and Kevin Williamson for helping change Damon from the baddie he once was into the guy he is now. Kat says that she was just “a little girl” when Julie and Kevin discovered her and that Bonnie has helped her grow up and “showed me what a strong woman looks like and Julie Plec showed me what a strong woman looks like.” Wesley remembers asking to get Stefan more flaws, which led to the creation of The Ripper, which he calls his favorite storyline. “He's taken quite the turn in many different ways, so I'm very grateful for that,” Wesley says. “I feel like she's gone through such an evolution. That's what's so beautiful about television,” Dobrev says. “Elena has so much depth, so much love, so many crazy things happen to her. So many dopplegangers. She's really gone from girl-next-door to a strong woman who doesn't take anything,” Dobrev says.
4:27 p.m. Will Elena be having grief/rebound sex when we return? “If she did that, I feel like that'd mean that her experience and her love for Damon wasn't reel,” Dobrev says, but she hints that Elena has a strange way of dealing with grief.
4:28 p.m. Would Elena call a Girl Code violation if Caroline-Stefan happens? “How could she? That'd be so hypocritical,” Dobrev says.
4:28 p.m. The call for questions leads to an AVALANCHE as the audience pours up to the mic. Wow. That was crazy.
4:30 p.m. Somerhalder says Damon isn't noble, but he's fiercely loyal to loved ones. “It's interesting and beautiful to see him have this other side,” Somerhalder says. He's wearing Damon's ring and the prop master was OK with him taking it as long as he cleans it after the weekend. Ummm… Ew.
4:30 p.m. What skills of theirs have been integrated into their characters? Wesley says he got one motorcycle scene, but Plec didn't like it. Nina got to speak Bulgarian. Nina also wants to do a backflip in an upcoming episode. She goads the crowd to get Plec to let her. “Julie finally let me use my setting-things-on-fire talent,” Kat jokes. “I don't really have any other hidden talent. I mean, I can write in perfect cursive with my toes,” Somerhalder says, suggesting he could write Elena a letter from the other side with his toes.
4:33 p.m. Do the stars have any say in the music on the show? Plec says “kinda,” that the editors add the music, but that the actors have been encouraged to suggest songs from musicians and bands that they love. “Ian has sent me songs over the years,” Plec says, claiming that Somerhalder sends her iTunes downloads.
4:34 p.m. A questioner calls Ian “so gorgeous” and asks what would still surprise his fans? Ian apologies for being corny. “That any profound love that they think they have for me, my is exponentially greater. I love you guys more than you can possibly imagine,” Ian says. AWWWWWWWW. “That and the toe thing,” Plec adds.
4:35 p.m. “Breath, smile, repeat.” Ian tells a fan who wants to know if Elena or Stefan will ever get back together. “It's already in the cards,” Wesley says, before admitting he knows nothing. “Right now the love between Damon and Elena is so strong and the friendship between Stefan and Elena has grown strong,” Plec says, claiming that Elena's grief or whatever will be taking space on the show. Are the actors jealous of each other? “I'm only jealous of Nina,” Paul says. “Paul. We agreed we weren't going to declare our love for each other in public. You idiot,” Ian says. “Paul and I share everything,” Ian adds. Hmmm…
4:37 p.m. “This question is for Ian and his beautiful eyes…” says a questioner. She wants to know if Ian will ever open one of his foundations in Texas. He encourages her to start it and he'll help her.
4:38 p.m. Will we be seeing any “Originals” characters coming to Mystic Falls? “Yes, we're always taking about different paths we can take to bring different characters from one show to another,” Plec says, but repeats that it's a logical nightmare. “We're talking about stories right now even as we speak,” she teases.
4:39 p.m. Could a Jeremy-Bonnie relationship still exist? “He's pretty forgiving, right?” Kat says of Jeremy and her abrupt phone call to him at the end of last season. Ian suggests that Bonnie is stuck on the other side with “the horniest guy on television.” Plec says that everybody is telling Jeremy to move on, but he thinks they don't know what he went through. And since Alaric and Elena can't enter Mystic Falls, this makes it hard for them to console him.
4:41 p.m. How is Alaric going to feel about Enzo? “He'll be very jealous,” Davis speculates. Plec says that Enzo has the ability to charm people, but he also has the ability to piss people off. Plec suggests that Alaric might fall in the latter column.
4:42 p.m. What is their favorite Southern food? “I've gotta have my grits,” Ian says. Nina likes fried chicken. Davis likes pimento cheese. Kat likes mac and cheese and “anything deep-fried.” “What people don't realize is that you can't have that every day. You will die. Fat,” Somerhalder says of his enjoyment for fried food. Somerhalder says the writers said, “We're gonna keep you guys naked just enough so that you eat just a couple leaves of lettuce a day. Enjoy that steam-room, buddy.”
4:44 p.m. If they had to choose, would they be Team Stefan or Team Damon? “Does no one realize that this woman should not be with either of these guys?” Ian says, listing the awful things that have happened to Elena because of these guys. “I think she should end up with Matt,” Wesley says. “She dated him already. He wasn't that good in bed,” Dobrev cracks. Ouch! They all agree that they're Team Elena.
4:46 p.m. What is Elena's freshman GPA? “1.7,” Wesley suggests. They agree that she'd actually compel herself better grades.
4:46 p.m. “Oh, you cried in line!” Paul says, recognizing a questioner who starts crying again. How did Somerhalder and Graham react to seeing they were being killed off? “First thing I thought was, 'Vacation,'” Ian says, but he jokes that if he had to go, he might as well go with a beautiful woman. Then he more seriously says that this will help the show by forcing different characters to interact. “It's exciting for us. Change is good,” Somerhalder says. “I really like that when she went out, it was her choice,” Graham says, noting that it was a choice of the character and she was empowered by the choice.
4:48 p.m. Julie Plec is asked to give her actors/characters hashtags: Paul Wesley gets #HeroHair, Nina gets #TripleGanger, Davis gets #Bourbon, Somerhalder is #BourbonBuddy and Graham is #Fierce. Now you know.
That's all, folks…