The Vampire Diaries kicked off its seventh season with one of their best season premieres ever. “Day One of Twenty-Two Thousand, Give or Take”, a not-so-subtle nod to Damon’s countdown to Elena’s return, showed us what life in Mystic Falls looked like without Elena Gilbert at its center. Thanks to the diaries her friends kept and the accompanying voiceovers, we never forgot that an important piece of the puzzle left the board (at least for 60 years or so).
But life still moved forward and that meant new villains, rekindled romances, and brotherly bonding (or in this case, arguing over the best way to get rid of Mommy Dearest and the stepsiblings from hell). Amid the chaos, all the characters seemed energized as the show tackles a new chapter. A lot happened over the course of the hour, so let’s jump into the top five biggest and best moments.
5. Alaric’s in a Dark Place
If anyone has a reason to be devastated, it’s Alaric. He lost his fiancée and their unborn twins on his wedding day so it’s understandable that he would choose to drown his sorrows day drinking with Damon. But it turned out Alaric pretended to get wasted while secretly visiting psychics so he could connect with Jo and tell her he found the shiny red stone (something Lily also happens to covet). The psychics are shady though so Alaric used his fists to take out his frustrations and then headed to the morgue where he was paying to keep Jo’s body on ice. Oh, Alaric, honey, I would love to have Jo back too, but you’ve gone to a scary place. And of course by scary, I mean super interesting because I need to know more about this stone and what it can do.
Okay, fine, this one came with a bomb, but still. Even before Caroline and Matt showed up on their doorstep, Valerie disapproved of their new surroundings (to be fair, she did get run down by a car). Aside from her determination to find the rock, Lily seemed genuinely interested in making Mystic Falls a home and getting her witchpire family to not eat the locals. We met each of the Heretics in a scene that felt a lot like the introduction to the Mikaelson family in season three. But these guys seem less interested in having lavish balls and making friends with the food source. They’ve proved they’re willing to kill for the fun of it and they have no attachment to Lily’s actual children (granted, neither does she) so it’s not going to be easy for our heroes to rid their town of the latest villains. I’m intrigued to watch this story unfold and get to know some of them better.
Damon, being Damon, felt the need to make snide little remarks to Bonnie about how she could die at any moment and he’d get Elena back, even going as far as to hesitate before stopping a truck from running her down. But of course Damon saved her and Bonnie, being the BAMF she grew into last season, told him exactly where he could stick his remarks because he’s stuck with her. And to the surprise of no one who’s been paying attention, Damon was more than fine being stuck with Bonnie because she’s his best friend and he’d lose his mind if anything happened to her (also are they officially roommates again?). Once that nonsense was behind them, they decided that Stefan’s plan sucked and teamed up to take out the heretics themselves, starting with Malcolm. Bonnie played the bait and let him attempt to steal her magic and then Damon arrived to rip out his heart (awesome teamwork). I applaud their ability to get things done, in true BAMF fashion, but I have a feeling all they did was fire the first shot of a war that they’re not able to win at the moment (or ever judging by the future, but we’ll get there).
Stefan meant it when he told Caroline he would wait until she was ready, but that didn’t stop him from looking at her like she hung the stars. It made for some adorable and awkward moments. But understandably, Caroline is still grieving her mother and wasn’t quite sure she’d put herself back together enough to move forward with Stefan. Planting bombs and narrowly escaping a police massacre led to Stefan making the deal with Lily that they could have the town. Stefan and Caroline went around compelling everyone to get out of Mystic Falls and then contemplated whether they were making a mistake (not probably, Stefan, definitely). Caroline realized that she couldn’t wait around to be 100 percent healed because she’d never stop missing her mom, but Stefan made her happy. They sealed the declaration with several kisses and then at some point, Stefan left and Enzo arrived. Earlier, Caroline and Lily both ordered him to pick a side, so he did: Lily’s. Enzo stabbed Caroline with a syringe and officially became interesting. Don’t get me wrong – I’m obviously Team Hero and don’t approve of Caroline getting kidnapped, but Enzo as the bad guy works better than Enzo as the dull good guy with nothing to do other than hate Stefan.
1. Brooklyn, New York – 3 Years From Now
As promised, the show began the hour by jumping ahead into the future. Stefan, who appears to have learned something from Klaus about carting family members around in caskets, opened up Damon’s coffin, gave his brother a blood bag and told him they needed to move. Damon didn’t appreciate the wake-up call and reminded Stefan he didn’t want to rise until Elena did. But they had another problem on their hands. A female hunter was after them, determined to kill Stefan, who had a wound that bled when she got near. And then she showed up and started shooting at them. How did this happen? Who’s the hunter? Why did Damon decide to take a long vamp nap? How does a vampire get a wound that reopens itself? Where’s everyone else? After this premiere, I’m even more excited about this show than I normally am and that’s saying something. One more question – is it next Thursday yet?