Note: Do not read on if you have not yet seen Season 4, Episode 15 of The CW's "The Vampire Diaries," titled "Stand By Me."
It's clear fans are going to see a very different Elena (Nina Dobrev) when "The Vampire Diaries" returns with "Bring It On" on Thursday, March 14 at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.
"She's numb to everything that makes her who she is," Damon (Ian Somerhalder) explains in the "Bring It On" preview below. But "Vampire Diaries" executive producer Julie Plec told Entertainment Weekly that Elena without humanity won't be like Katherine, though she will be "brutal."
Read on to find out what Elena's doing in her cheerleading uniform again, how "turning it off" will affect Elena's sire bond to Damon, whether or not we'll ever see Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) again, what's next for Bonnie under Silas' spell and much more.
Why Elena Is Not Katherine 2.0
When Elena couldn't cope with losing her brother in this past week's episode, Damon told her to simply "turn it off." But Elena without humanity will not turn into a straight-haired Katherine Pierce, Plec told EW. "It’s Katherine minus all the machinations and the sexual manipulations and the Katherine survival tools," the "Vampire Diaries" EP explained. The difference between Katherine and Elena has always been this, she said: "Everything that Katherine says is a lie and everything Elena says is true.” So, Plec explained to EW, "The beauty of Elena with no humanity is that she’s speaking the truth all the time, and it’s brutal and not fun for the people who have to listen to it."
As an effort to create some normalcy in inhumane Elena's life, the self-destructing vamp goes back to high school. In the preview above, she's also back in her cheerleading uniform.
"The first thing Elena does -- hilariously -- is take her spot back on the cheerleading squad," Plec told EW. "As she says ... 'It’s not like the moves are that hard, and it’s not like I’m going to sit at home and do nothing all day.' But it turns out that she’s got a little bit of an ulterior motive, which involves the fact that there is no vervain-free locals to feed on in Mystic falls anymore."
Elena's no dummy: The opposing team and cheerleading squad offer some fresh blood. But Caroline (Candice Accola) doesn't seem to like the game plan, asking Elena in the preview, "You're feeding on the competition?"
Does All Of This Spell Trouble For Damon?
TV Guide asked Plec: "With Elena's emotions shut off, is the sire bond gone since that's emotionally based? " The EP replied, "We do deal with it right when we get back.
"The question of 'How does she really feel?' and 'At what point are we going to know?' is still very vivid and front and center ... it is very humbling for Damon who is more used to the love and adoration he's been given from this girl, sire bond or no sire bond, this season and now she's like, 'eh,'" Plec explained to TV Guide.
And will everyone be upset at Damon for telling Elena to turn off her humanity? "Everybody recognized that in the worst possible scenario, which is what they were in, it truly was the only viable solution," Plec told TVLine. "It doesn’t make it good. It doesn’t make it happy. But it really was the thing that needed to happen to release her from her pain. So I don’t think anyone’s going to hold a grudge."
What's The Deal With Shane/Silas?
Bonnie (Kat Graham) is being very strongly manipulated by Shane (David Alpay) and/or Silas, but we don't know exactly how yet. "What we’ve seen about Silas in the caves is that he can appear as a hallucination," Plec told TVLine. "So the question is: Is that what’s happening here? Or is he physically standing before her? Does he look like Shane? Is he taking on Shane’s form? What is going on? What is this guy capable of?"
And when will we find out the answers to those questions? "We very, very quietly slow-play it in the next episode, but in the one after that, we start to see what his plan is with Bonnie and if he’s going to be successful in getting her to do what he wants to do," Plec told EW. "Stefan [Paul Wesley] and Caroline -- and Klaus [Joseph Morgan], of all people -- figure out what going on and and try to put a stop to it."
On The Road Again ...
With the Gilbert house burned down to the ground, Plec told EW that Elena will be shacking up in the Salvatore mansion, but not before a little road trip. "We go on the road a little bit in the next two episodes after ["Bring It On"]," Plec explained. "We head to New York and we head to small down Pennsylvania ... [In Episode 17,] while our hometown heroes are dealing with what Silas is up to, Damon, Elena and Rebekah [Claire Holt] take off to New York as Damon relives a time in his life in the ’70s when he was not so well behaved, either."
Do the hustle, Damon!
Is Jeremy Gone For Good?
Sure, we saw his body and sneakers go up in flames, but this is "The Vampire Diaries!" "Just because somebody is dead doesn’t mean you’ll never see them again, which, I think helps temper some of the grief when all is said and done," Plec told EW. "But his body is burnt so he is no longer on this Earth."
Was Jeremy's the big death or are there more to come? "I can’t promise that the answer is no," Plec told EW with a laugh. "But I definitely will try not to shatter everyone’s souls as deeply as what they went through last night."
Read the official episode description of "The Vampire Diaries" upcoming episode "Bring It On," which airs on Thursday, March 14 at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.
THE NEW NORMAL -- Elena’s new outlook has everyone concerned, leading Stefan and Damon to agree that going back to the normal routine of high school would be the best thing for her. Caroline is pleasantly surprised when Elena decides to rejoin the cheerleading squad, but her pleasure turns to shock when Elena’s behavior proves dangerous. Not giving up on their search for the cure, Damon and Rebekah work together until his unwanted advice catches her off-guard. Klaus tries to use Hayley to get the information he’s after and makes an intriguing discovery in the process. Meanwhile, a bored Elena throws a wild party and gets into an ugly fight.