Well, that escalated quickly.
The Vampire Diaries‘ version of Groundhog Day did not end on a good note for literally anyone, as Damon (Ian Somerhalder) finally gave in to the power of the Phoenix Stone just in time for Bonnie (Kat Graham) to pull him out of his own personal hell. But since “giving in” meant finally accepting his love for his dead mother, he was enraged to be pulled away from her so soon. Thinking he was still trapped in a time loop where nothing actually mattered thanks to the Phoenix Stone, he killed everyone in the room — including Stefan (Paul Wesley), Caroline (Candice
Accola King), Bonnie and Matt (Zach Roerig) — thinking it would reset the clock again, and he’d have more time with his mother.
But when the clock didn’t reset, he started to realize something terrible: it was all real, and he just killed everyone who cared about him, including a pregnant Caroline and humans Bonnie and Matt. Where does this show go from here if literally every character is dead?
“If they did [die], the show would pretty much be cancelled with that last scene,” executive producer Caroline Dries says with a laugh. “But what that means is, it’s teeing up that even though Damon has escaped hell, so to speak, figuratively, he has left. But emotionally and psychologically, when you exit the Phoenix Stone, you’re a changed person, and the decisions that you make as a result of that don’t necessarily reflect the decisions you would have made before you go in there.”
Turns out, escaping the Phoenix Stone doesn’t actually mean that things will automatically get better and go back to normal.
“What we get to see in the next episode is Damon really, really, really messed things up,” Dries says. “Stefan, who had his own journey that we didn’t see and we’re not going to see the way we saw it with Damon, Stefan’s been through that, and we’re trying to create a little bit of intrigue of Stefan has survived it. Stefan’s learned some lessons from it, but can Stefan warn Damon in time with what it means to actually get out of there? It’s sort of like Damon’s hell on Earth now.”
While pulling Damon out of the stone, Bonnie said that it had been three months since the Salvatores got sucked into it. But should fans question that, or take it as fact?
“We’ll question it and it will be answered in the next episode,” Dries says of the possible time jump. “But honestly what happened with that, as producers we are also trying to keep up with Candice’s pregnancy. We were playing it realistically. In past seasons, as you know, the timeline has been, like, 22 days and this season we were like, ‘We are already messing with time, we can jump.’ It actually makes it more dramatic that Damon has been out for that long because it provides a sense that Stefan has also had a full story in that time that we’re going to figure out what did Stefan go through while Damon was down?”
Since it was Nora (Scarlett Byrne) who stabbed Stefan with the Phoenix Stone sword, expect there to be fallout for her and the rest of the heretics, especially Julian (Todd Lasance), who stabbed Damon.
“It’s actually going to be pretty interesting the way the chips fall with the heretics,” Dries says. “Lily’s [Annie Wersching] death basically dropped a bomb in the heretic family. They all dispersed into their own lifestyles. Nora has always wanted to see what else is out there, and Mary-Louise [Teressa Liane] is a little intimidated of the new world and wants to stay home and live their traditional lives. There’s a mini-fissure happening with those girls that will eventually be exploited by Bonnie as they all become interested by the same thing.”
But could Nora actually be initiated onto the good side with our favorite vampires and humans and lone witch? Never say never!
“Nora starts to show other layers of her personality,” Dries says. “She’s still a villain because she’s selfish and reckless, but at the same time, she’s also very likable because she makes herself vulnerable, in that same way that Rebekah [Claire Holt] used to. You will see her part of the fold in our hero group, which makes Matt uncomfortable. He’s trying to stay staunch, anti-vampire, protect my town, but he’s continuously trying to justify that his friends are vampires and there are good vampires. The heretics start to pull at his belief system.”
What did you think of The Vampire Diaries midseason premiere, “Hell Is Other People?” Tweet me your thoughts @SydneyBucksbaum!
Images: The CW
The Vampire Diaries airs Fridays at 8 p.m. on The CW.