“The Vampire Diaries” Season 7 premiere Thursday focused on some complicated relationships. Damon (Ian Somerhalder) was still mourning the temporary loss of Elena, and it seemed like he was starting to resent Bonnie (Kat Graham). He made his feelings about Bonnie crystal clear while Stefan (Paul Wesley) support Caroline's (Candice King) decision to remain single. Of course, Stefan and Caroline also had to save Mystic Falls. Lily (Annie Wersching) wanted her Heretics to go under the radar, but the vampire-witch hybrids weren’t very good at following orders. They racked up quite a body count in Season 7, episode 1.
The Heretic’s Havoc: Lily is keeping the Heretics locked up in the house. She wants them to coexist with humans. Last time they started killing people, they irritated the Gemini witches who put them in the prison world for a century. The Heretics quickly disobey Lily’s orders and get revenge on teenagers who hit Valerie (Elizabeth Blackmore) with their car. Of course, the Heretics don’t clean up after themselves. They display the bodies.
Stefan and Caroline (Candice King) figure out where Lily is hiding the Heretics and decide to attack. Caroline and Matt (Zach Roerig) plant a bomb in the house, but that doesn’t go as well as planned. When Stefan tells Lily the news, she tells him that her family wouldn’t die that easily.
The Heretics attack Matt’s graduation from the sheriff’s academy. They light the place on fire and start slaughtering everyone. It’s a massacre by the time Lily gets there and stops her family.
After the Heretics kill every one of Matt’s classmates, Stefan comes up with a plan that he knows Damon will hate. They cover up the massacre with a lie about mining fires and force the town to evacuate. They get everyone they can out of Mystic Falls, but they make a deal with Lily’s family. Anyone who stays in Mystic Falls can be killed, and Lily can have the Salvatore house.
— The Vampire Diaries (@cwtvd) October 9, 2015
Damon returns home to find the town evacuated. He hates the plan, but Stefan tells him not to mess it up. Damon accuses Stefan of doing this for Caroline, but Stefan reveals that it’s for Damon.
“You know Elena wanted you to be happy, to live, even encouraged you to date,” Stefan says. “But if she wakes up and everyone she loves is dead, do you think she’d forgive you? I’m not doing this for Caroline. I’m doing this for you.”
Then we see that last image of the Season 6 finale flash-forward with Damon watching the town in ruin from the clocktower.
Damon’s Resentment: At the beginning of the episode, Damon and Alaric (Matt Davis) are binge-drinking in Europe while Bonnie (Kat Graham) babysits them. Damon says that helping Alaric mourn Jo’s death helps him avoid thinking about Elena. He cracks several jokes about Bonnie dying since it’s only her death that can wake up Elena.
When they lose track of Alaric, they start searching for him and a car nearly hits Bonnie. Damon gets her out of the way, but he takes a few seconds to think about it first. Bonnie is angry when she realizes that he almost let her die. “Every time I look at you, all I see is Not Elena,” Damon explains.
Bonnie is livid and tells him that she can’t spend her whole life feeling guilty. “You can resent me or love me, but you’re stuck with me,” she says.
After they go home, Damon goes to Elena and Bonnie’s dorm room. Bonnie says that three seconds was too long for him to consider saving her, but Damon says that that's how long it took him to remember how much he cares about her. “I remembered that you’re my best friend and it occurred to me that if anything ever happened to you, I would lose my mind,” Damon reveals.
He says they’re both stuck with each other. Luckily, they agree about one thing: They want to fight for their town. Bonnie confronts Malcolm (Justice Leak), one of the Heretics. He starts to take away her magic, but Damon rips Malcolm’s heart out.
Alaric’s Grief: Alaric gets away from Bonnie and Damon for a second in Europe when he was seemingly drunk, but Bonnie sips his leftover bourbon and realizes it’s tea. He wasn’t drinking because he had a plan. Alaric went to a psychic to try and talk to Jo, but he realizes it’s a sham right away. Alaric beats up the hack and explains that he has talked to other frauds recently.
When he gets back to Mystic Falls, he goes to the morgue. Alaric hasn’t buried Jo yet. He is paying the mortician to keep her body preserved. He wants to bring her back to life.
Caroline And Stefan: Caroline and Stefan are super awkward at the beginning of this episode, and Stefan acknowledges it right away. “I told you how I felt about you, and now it’s weird,” Stefan says. Stefan makes a rule that they have to stay friends while Caroline heals from the loss of her mother.
By the end of the episode, Caroline says that she doesn’t think she’ll ever stop missing her mom. Stefan tells her that she can’t just wait to wake up one day and be happy one day, and Caroline clarifies that she is happy. She is happy whenever they’re together, so she finally kisses him.
— The Vampire Diaries (@cwtvd) October 9, 2015
Enzo’s Choice: Lily asks Enzo to look for a stone for her, but she won’t tell him why. She says it’s a “family matter,” and she doesn’t trust that he’ll abandon Damon and Stefan. When Enzo talks to Caroline, she tells him the same thing. “Pick a side, Enzo. Us or them,” Caroline says.
At the end of the episode, Enzo goes to Caroline to tell her that he’s made a choice. He seems happy, so it looks like he has chosen the good guys -- until he stabs Caroline with a syringe. He knocks her out and kidnaps her because he chose to side with the Heretics.
Flash-Forward: The episode begins and ends with a flash-forward to three years from now in Brooklyn, New York. Stefan goes to a coffin and wakes up Damon with a blood bag. The older Salvatore brother says he didn’t want to be bothered until Elena was awake. “She’s back,” Damon says after he hears gunshots. Someone is after them. Her weapons leave X-shaped wounds, just like one on the throat of Beau (Jaiden Kane), a mute Heretic.
Also in the "Vampire Diaries" Season 7 premiere:
- Bonnie and Caroline are keeping diaries to inform Elena of what she is missing.
- Matt seems to blame Bonnie for the Heretics escaping the prison world.
- Mary-Louise (Teressa Liane) and Nora (Scarlett Byrne) are the show’s first same-sex couple, but one of them seems quite uncomfortable with a public relationship.
“The Vampire Diaries” Season 7 airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. EDT on the CW.