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The Vampire Diaries – S7E1 – Day One of Twenty-Two Thousand, Give or Take

Previously on The Vampire Diaries

While The Vampire Diaries is certainly no stranger to flashbacks, it doesn’t often employ the use of flash-forwards. Of course, there was that short scene in last year’s finale but as it turns out, that wasn’t as far into the future as we may have thought. Not compared to where the show took us in this season seven premiere.

Three years ahead of the present day Stefan is in Brooklyn, New York. He’s come to find Damon, who’s asleep in a coffin, and he’s clearly desperate for his brother to wake up.

In present day Mystic Falls, Caroline is keeping her promise to Elena about writing everything down. The diary-entry device hasn’t always been my personal favorite, but it works well here to fill us in on what our main characters have been up to.

Damon and Ric are on a Euro-trip drinking their grief away, while Bonnie watches over Ric’s liver. Matt is about to become a deputy and Caroline’s mother has been memorialized on a bench plaque. As for Stefan, well, things are awkward between him and Caroline. It seems as though none of them are aware, at this point, that Lily and her heretics have been reunited.

Valerie, one of those heretics, is also writing in her diary. She hates her new home of Mystic Falls. She hates the food, the air, and the world’s social media dependency. She hasn’t quite mastered new technology yet, either: Did anyone else notice her frantically pounding the screen of her phone while trying to text? Girl, calm down. Thankfully her insufferable exposition is cut off when she’s hit by a car.

Lily has her family living on rations, 3 sips of blood per day, in an effort to keep them somewhat docile. As Valerie points out, she’s become a pacifist and believes that co-existing with humans is the better path forward, the one that will keep them together and alive.

Images: The CW

This way of life is proving to be divisive. Malcolm is a “brown-noser” and follows Lily happily. Beau is mute, so, uh; he doesn’t have much to say. Nora, Mary-Louise, and Valerie on the other hand, make it pretty clear how they feel. They find the teens that ran Valerie over and hang them in the high-school parking lot.

When Matt and Stefan find the bodies, it’s obvious that both vampire and witch have been involved in the deaths. One body has clear bite marks on it while the other has been scorched; the heretics must be responsible. They fill the Euro-crew in on the news and ask for Ric’s help in building a bomb. This news should be enough to sober them up – evidently Ric doesn’t need sobering up at all – and head home, but Damon isn’t interested, he hasn’t nearly hit rock bottom yet. Cue the meaning of this week’s title: an estimate of how many days Damon will have to wait for Elena. Let’s hope he doesn’t sit around sulking for that long.


Back to Ric, he’s been drinking tea disguised as bourbon and putting on a very convincing drunk act. He seeks out the help of a psychic in order to contact Jo so he can tell her that he has some weird pink stone. The psychic is soon revealed to be a fraud when he pretends to get a reading from a fake wedding ring Ric supplied. Apparently Ric lost the real wedding ring to the first psychic he visited, which makes me wonder just how many of these people he’s sought out and beat up? Needless to say, Ric is not doing so well. By the end of episode we know that he has been keeping Jo’s body cold at the morgue and may be planning to resurrect her. Poor Alaric.

Allegedly, that same weird pink stone used to belong to Lily. She’d thought it was lost forever when she discovered that it was on display in a New York museum. She asks Enzo to track it down for her but won’t divulge any of the details, saying that it’s “family business.” Lily and the heretics don’t know whether they can trust Enzo given his relationship with Damon. Enzo walks out on her, refusing to be her “errand boy.”

When Caroline acts as a distraction for Matt to plant the bomb in the heretics’ house, she acts and sounds just like that peppy cheerleader we met six long years ago. This whole scene was great. Caroline’s cute-sy routine was perfect and the clock ticking down while she was trying to get out of the house was very tense. But c’mon, there’s NO WAY a group of old-ass vampire-witch hybrids wouldn’t hear Matt break into their home.


Meanwhile in Amsterdam, after realizing he’d played them, Bonnie and Damon search for Ric. Damon zones out onto an oncoming truck and after hesitating for way too fucking long three seconds, he pulls Bonnie away from the danger. If you didn’t feel the heat between them when he had her in his arms, I feel sorry for you. Here’s hoping the writers finally utilize their obvious chemistry this season.

Bonnie is initially thankful, but quickly realizes Damon saw the truck coming and didn’t act right away. She’s not here for a lifetime of feeling resented. She understands how Damon feels, she too lost Elena, but whether Damon decides to love her or hate her, he’s stuck with her either way.

Pleased with himself, Stefan tells Lily about the bomb and gives her 24 hours to leave Mystic Falls before they come after her. Lily isn’t worried though and she warns Stefan to run.

It’s good advice too because the heretics crash Matt’s graduation ceremony. At first it seems harmless when they use their magic to set some sprinklers off and then things turn ugly when that water turns to fire. As everyone is fleeing the scene, the heretics have a few human-sized snacks and start to fry Caroline’s brain. Beau is seconds away from killing Stefan when Lily arrives and puts a top to the whole thing. Matt is the sole survivor of his graduating class.


Convinced that their town won’t stand a chance against the heretics, Caroline, Stefan, and Matt make a deal with Lily. They’re allowed some time to evacuate the townspeople but any stragglers are fair game. The heretics also get the Salvatore home.

While I liked this development in theory, I’m not sure how I feel about it in practice. It’s an interesting way to change the climate in Mystic Falls, which has been relatively the same throughout the years, but what’s the point in saving the town if there’s no one there to live in it? Also, why does it look like there was a shit ton of rioting going on? It seemed as though people were leaving quite calmly after Stefan and Caroline compelled them all to do so. Even so, this is how we come full circle to the flash-forward from season six’s finale.

The shakiest part of the whole situation was in Stefan trying to convince Damon that this was all for Elena’s sake. If she woke up and everyone she loves was dead, she’d be devastated. Well, of course. The fact of the matter is however, assuming Bonnie lives into old age (she better,) it’s likely that Elena won’t be around to see Matt, Ric, Jeremy, or Bonnie still alive. Not only that, the heretics aren’t the first and they probably won’t be the last threat posed to our gang so I’m not sure an entire town evacuation was warranted. The point is, Elena is not going to have everyone around when she gets back, no matter what, so let’s not use it as a plot device.

[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”#4a7097″ class=”” size=””]“I want to fight. I want our town back.” – Bonnie[/pullquote]

Unsurprisingly, Damon isn’t happy with these new arrangements and neither is Bonnie. Especially after Matt pretty much blames her for the heretics coming back. After they work through the Amsterdam debacle – Damon admits that he hesitated but that in the end he chose to save Bonnie because she’s his best friend and he’d lose his mind if anything ever happened to her – the two of them decide to take action and win back Mystic Falls.

Now we know that, while bombs are useless, decapitation and ripping out the heart are surefire ways to kill heretics. Malcolm is down, 5 more to go.

Bamon’s move backfires almost immediately when Enzo uses, what I presume is, vervain to knock Caroline out and reveal that he has chosen a side: Lily’s. Of course, just prior to this, Caroline finally made her move with Stefan! She realized that he is the on thing that makes her happy so she might as well enjoy it. Honestly, I expected a good six episodes worth of will-they won’t-they, so I’m pleasantly surprised.

Three years into the future again and it becomes clear why Stefan was so desperate for Damon to wake up: someone is after them. A woman. Stefan reveals a scar – that looks quite similar to the one Beau is hiding – and says it reopened that morning, so he was sure “she” had returned.

It’s going to be fun speculating on whether this woman is a new enemy or someone we already know, who may have switched sides.

The Vampire Diaries S7E1
  • 7.5/10
    Plot - 7.5/10
  • 7.5/10
    Dialogue - 7.5/10
  • 8.5/10
    Performances - 8.5/10
7.8/10

Summary

An impressive start to the new season. If anything, it seems that Elena’s departure only opened up the possibilities for where this show can take us. The flash-forwards give TVD a fresh new edge. The diary-entry and voiceovers work to re-frame this post-Elena world, while simultaneously being a great call back to seasons past. Bonnie is still the best.

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About Jasmin George (185 Articles)
An avid reader of TV Guide in her youth, Jasmin has been a fan of all things television since she can remember. She’s very passionate about story, especially the kinds that use cameras and actors to convey them. When she doesn’t have her eyes glued to the tube, you can find her listening to podcasts or reading reviews about, well, TV. Yeah, Jasmin might have a slight addiction but she’s perfectly happy to coexist with it.
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