While the Salvatores are off dealing with the devil, Enzo (Michael Malarkey) is facing a dilemma of his own on The Vampire Diaries this week.
After Bonnie (Kat Graham) turned down Enzo’s offer to become a vampire, she turned the offer back on him and asked Enzo to take the cure and become human. And now, after 141 years on this planet – 114 of which have been spent as a vamp – Enzo must decide which is more important: love or immortality?
Bonnie and Enzo go on a roadtrip this week with the Bell. What do they get up to?
Michael Malarkey: It’s kind of equal parts romantic getaway and also a bit of a bucket list ticker. Bonnie is trying to convince Enzo to take the cure and also wants to take advantage of his immortality before he does that. She’s like, “What are the things you want to do the most?” And so they go on this bucket list trip. We’re going to see him, for example, driving a race car around a race track, which we shot at Atlanta Speedway, which is pretty cool. And he does things like skydiving and all that sh–. It’s kind of a fun, little trip and also romantic, but not without its dangerous hiccups along the way.
Where is Enzo’s mind at when it comes to the prospect of becoming human?
Malarkey: It’s taken him this long to find acceptance and a family environment. This relationship he’s in — this is the most meaningful thing that’s happened to him in his haggard, tortured, long life. And so he wants to do whatever he can to have a normal relationship, I believe. And so I think he feels this is perhaps an opportunity for that to be reality. Although, he loves being a vampire. So I’m sure it’s somewhat hard to digest.
What do you think Enzo would miss the most about being a vampire?
Malarkey: Probably that he could win pretty much any fight. If you’re just in a bar and you’re human and a brawl happens, you could get shanked.
Do you think Enzo is scared of his own mortality?
Malarkey: I think so. He feels very protective of Bonnie and if he were to become a human, there would be a part of him that would feel unable to protect her in certain situations, especially with the crowd that they tend to hang with.
Do you think if Bonnie and Enzo were to both be human, they would be able to settle into a normal life, or would they always be drawn to the supernatural drama?
Malarkey: That’s a good question. I think generally people who are wrapped up in a form of darkness, metaphorical or otherwise, tend to be somewhat addicted to that. So perhaps there would be a part of them wouldn’t be able to stay away from it. But I think they would do everything they could to try and live a normal life after all the sh– they’ve been through.
Is it hard for Bonnie and Enzo to balance such a potential turning point in their relationship with also fighting the devil?
Malarkey: Yeah. It’s a super mutli-layered situation going on here. They’re trying to save the world as well as save themselves and build a relationship while all that sh– is going on. But they’re solid. They’re in a great place and really love each other. We get to see a lot of that in this upcoming episode.
We know later this season, Cade (Wolé Parks) actually targets Bonnie. How does Enzo respond to that?
Malarkey: He’s definitely a really strong and present influence on her to find her own strength in the coming episodes when she goes through all that.
What role does Enzo take in helping to stop Cade as the season progresses?
Malarkey: It’s more about how he’s supporting Bonnie in her fight for that, because she’s much more active in that particular fight. And so his role is for her psychological support and really being there for her and helping her regain her own strength and fight as strongly as she can.
When you look back at how far Enzo has come since he was first introduced, what’s your favorite part about this journey?
Malarkey: I really loved the Armory storyline in Season 7 because it was about his origin. It was his origin story and his family. I quite enjoyed delving into his backstory like that and getting to know him more and flushing out my own story as an actor with a lot more weight to it. I feel like that’s informed a lot of who he’s become and finding all those things out has made him a stronger person and more grounded.
When you first learned Bonnie and Enzo were going to be paired up, did you ever expect they would become such a great couple?
Malarkey: I thought they would be feistier for longer. They seemed to have really completely embraced this relationship, which I think is amazing. I think often times when you get people who have been tortured and been through the mill, they do throw themselves into that and find a loving, grounded support. But no, I didn’t know it was going to be all like that. It’s been fun.
If Enzo is so ready to commit to Bonnie that he’s considering becoming human, does that mean he’s also ready to commit to marriage?
Malarkey: I’m sure that’s something he’s been thinking about. That’s all I’ll say about that.
Nina Dobrev has been back on set for the finale. What’s it like to have her around again?
Malarkey: Nina’s always been like the cheerleader of the show. And I mean that in a good way. She brings a lot of energy, she likes to plan things and do social stuff. It’s really nice to have that energy back.
Is there anything you can tease about what fans should expect from the finale?
Malarkey: There’s blood, sweat and tears. And also a little bit of joy. There’s a little bit of something for everybody. You’ll get to see some familiar faces. There’s going to be a lot of tears shed, I’m sure.
Is it a happy ending or more bittersweet?
Malarkey: It’s kind of different for some of the characters, but I feel overall it’s going to definitely feel bittersweet. There’s always a silver lining, and we definitely get that at the end of the series.
The Vampire Diaries airs Fridays at 8/7c on the CW.