There’s one huge reason to be excited about the return of The Vampire Diaries this fall, and that is the on-again, off-again, will-they-won’t-they romance between Stefan and Caroline. And a lot currently depends on whether Stefan can step up his game and win Caroline over, after a tepid showing last season.

So when we caught up with Paul Wesley at San Diego Comic Con, we got one minute with him, and we had to ask, what the hell, man? Is Stefan really going to blow it?

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Wesley says the ball is in Caroline’s court. “Stefan’s put his love out there for her. He told her he was in love with her, and he’s waiting to see how she reacts. Right now, she’s sort of giving him the cold shoulder. But hopefully, that will change. As most women do, with men.”

But shouldn’t Stefan step up his game? It took him like all season to admit that he had feelings for Caroline last year, and even then he was kind of a wet blanket. “He’s a little bit of a hero, and he likes to play the good guy,” says Wesley. “Maybe he needs to get a little ‘bad boy’ sexy with her.”

Speaking of Stefan being a hero, his latest attempts to fix everything and everyone have led, indirectly, to his vampire mom being back, along with her whole crew of psycho vamp-witches. Will Stefan ever just realize that every time he tries to fix things, he only makes everything worse? “Please,” says Wesley, “I would love to see that have translate onto the screen. But somehow [Stefan] tries to fix everything, all the time. Seven years deep, you think he would finally learn his lesson and take off and be a vampire. But no. He’s a hero.”

The Vampire Diaries season 7 starts on Oct. 8 on The CW.