'The Vampire Diaries': Candice Accola promises a 'strong' Caroline leading up to the finale, teases what's coming next

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tvd-candice-accola-interview-rescue-me.jpg Caroline's going on a road trip for her first college spring break on "The Vampire Diaries," but she's not heading to some boozy beach town with plans to party all night and sleep all day. Nope, she's heading to Atlanta with none other than Enzo to track down Stefan's doppelganger and kill him, ensuring that the Travelers don't kill her BFF. That's a lot of pressure for someone who just wants to make it through her first year of college unscathed ... and maybe get some good grades along the way.

Zap2it got Candice Accola on the line to talk all things Caroline, including what to expect from her road trip with Enzo, whether she can really kill a Stefan doppelganger in cold blood, whether or not she 'ships Caroline with Stefan, and much more. Plus, Accola promises we'll get to see a "strong" Caroline leading up to the big events of the season finale, and we all know a strong Caroline is the best Caroline. Check out Zap2it's full Q&A with Accola below.

Zap2it: First off, I cannot even begin to tell you how excited I am to see Caroline and Enzo's road trip this Thursday (March 27).
Candice Accola: Oh yay! Yeah, it's really fun. We actually get to see them go on a road trip, we don't just hear about it. We go on this road trip and we learn more about Enzo and why this doppelganger is so important to the Travelers.

All that time cooped up together on the road, that's definitely going to affect Caroline and Enzo's shaky alliance, right? How might their dynamic change?
I think that it's going to give Caroline a deeper understanding and a better understanding of who Enzo is, along with the audience. There's definitely going to be very heated banter. Not heated like in a romantic way, though. More heated in just a challenging way. It's challenging banter. I think it's also reflective of Caroline's disdain for Damon. Considering that Enzo is Damon's sidekick and buddy, I don't think Caroline trusts Enzo too much at this point. She's going to keep her guard up while she continues to understand and figure out who this person is and what he's doing in Mystic Falls.

I have to say, I was extremely shocked at how nonchalant Caroline was telling Stefan about how she agreed to kill his doppelganger in cold blood. Not only is he some innocent (I'm assuming), unsuspecting guy, he also looks identical to her BFF! Can she really go through with it?
I think what's going through Caroline's mind is that of course she can do this. She's willing to do anything and everything to save and protect the people that she loves. And Stefan has become one of her friends who she cares about, and she'll risk everything to keep him safe. I don't think she's really put it into perspective of who this doppelganger is, what his story is, however. Her attention is really focused on Stefan, whereas Stefan is more in the perspective of what the audience's perspective is, like, "Okay Caroline. You've never really killed someone just because you needed to, so why would you start now?" It will be interesting to see in this week's episode how Caroline handles meeting Stefan's doppelganger.

So just to be clear, we will be meeting the doppelganger in this episode, "Rescue Me," right?
Well, we are on a journey to find him.

Hmm, okay, cryptic. So can you tease or reveal when ... or, I guess, if we'll meet the doppelganger?
No. [laughs] Just to be safe, no. Sorry!

tvd-rescue-me-caroline-stefan.jpg Fair enough! Changing gears a little bit, I hear there might be a major, juicy "Steroline" moment in the episode. Do you want to see something romantic happen between these two BFFs?
There's been speculation from fans from all the way back in Season 2 when Stefan took Caroline under his wing after she turned into a vampire. I think it's really interesting that viewers and fans have had theories to back this relationship even though Stefan and Elena were so madly in love and now they're all comfortable pairing Stefan and Caroline together, because that would be the ultimate betrayal of a friendship and an ex. Personally, I really love what this friendship has become and what we're going to see from this week's episode is a really raw moment between them in their friendship. It will give us all a glimpse at really how close they've become. What's in store for them in the future, that's all in the writers' hands. I just think it's so interesting that a lot of people have been supporting the progression of that friendship turning into something romantic.

It's been said before and I'll say it again now, that's because you just have chemistry with every male co-star you share a scene with. Do you ever get tired of Caroline constantly being "shipped" with every other guy on the show?
[laughs] I'm completely flattered to be the driving force behind a character that gets "shipped" as they say with all these other characters. As a fan of television myself, I love when I get super into the romantic tension between two characters. It's fun! It's fun to cheer them on. And to be on the other side of that, as the character, it's really cool. That means that at least they're enjoying what's happening on screen and they see possibilities for where these different characters can go. It's funny how much it happens with Caroline but I'm really happy to be a part of a character who that happens to.

Yeah, and people are already shipping Caroline with Stefan's new doppelganger, if you can believe that. What do you think about that fan theory that a relationship between Caroline and the doppelganger would be a "safe" way of paying off the Steroline chemistry without ruining their friendship?
I think that's a really creepy theory [laughs]. That's very creepy. All those fans will just have to wait until they see this week's episode to see if that happens or not.

You said earlier that Caroline's going to get to know Enzo better this week on their trip, and his progression this season has been really interesting. He started off as a loose canon, then kind of saved the day with the ripper virus antidote, but I'm hearing that he will become a big bad by the end of this season. What can you tease about how his motivations might change or how he becomes a villain?
What I love about what the writer's have established within the series is that there is an immediate suspicion to anyone that joins the show. I think that's so fun and it's a part of what makes this series so nail-biting. So I say run wild with your suspicions and keep watching to see if they're true or not.

Well put! Okay, now looking ahead to the season finale -- and I honestly can't believe we're talking about the finale already. I feel like we just started this season.
I know!

[Creator] Julie Plec has revealed that everyone will realize that The Other Side is "disintegrating." What can you tell me about how that might affect all of our favorite characters?
I can tease that all of the characters are going to band together leading up to the finale. As opposed to the past when you'd see different groups separate and try to accomplish their own end result, we're really going to unify these characters and they're going to come together to accomplish what they set out to do. Leading up to the finale over the next couple of episodes, it's going to be really important to learn the mythology not just of the Travelers but also The Other Side and whether that is as strong as we always thought it would be or need it to be, or if it's much more frail than we ever expected it to be.

Interesting. So what are you most excited for fans to see from Caroline as we gear up for the finale?
What I'm excited for fans to see leading up to the series finale for Caroline is how strong she's become in her own convictions to protect the people that she loves. It's kind of been a running theme for her over the season but there's a more rooted strength this time around, and that's been really fun to play.

And looking ahead to next season, what do you want to see from Caroline in Season 6 of "The Vampire Diaries?"
As far as next season goes, I have no idea. After nine months of working, I can't even fathom what the writers have in store for us next year.

"The Vampire Diaries" airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.
Photo/Video credit: The CW