Last season, when it was announced that Nina Dobrev was quitting The Vampire Diaries, there had been plenty of doubts about the show’s ability to survive. There were some who believed that the show wouldn’t be able to move on without its leading lady as Elena Gilbert was the glue who kept the characters together. Others believed that it was exactly what the show needed to get back to being the fun it was as Elena’s story had been played out too long and there wasn’t much left for the character. Suffice it to say, the season 7 premiere of The Vampire Diaries had a lot of things to prove.
It seems that the first episode titled ‘Day One of Twenty-Two Thousand, Give or Take’ is exactly the jumpstart the show needed. It came off as a brand new show with new faces, new loves and new stories. It was also a pleasure to see some of our old and favorite characters return and see how they were coping with the loss and heartbreak they had suffered in the previous season. It is a supernatural drama so it is quite common to see the dead come back to life. However, not every return is welcomed and the same can be said for Lily Salvatore.
Her character was long dead and it was a sticker to realize that she had been the undead all along and just trapped in the prison world. While the return of the Salvatore family matriarch may not have been that great, the introduction of The Heretics could possibly be the best thing to happen for the show since the Original family left town. The Heretics are a unique group of witch-pires, who aren’t invincible; yes, they can be killed, but not by bombs as Caroline and Matt’s attempt to place one in their home backfired.
It was a decent idea as our heroes weren’t aware of who they were fighting, but it didn’t provide the results they wanted. Nonetheless, it paved the way for some great scenes like when Stefan gets in touch with our beloved professor, Alaric Saltzman, to get some bomb-building advice. Another sort of funny moment was when Caroline pretends to get compelled so she wouldn’t blab her plan. It also gave us the indication that Stefan and Caroline wouldn’t be apart for very long as he clearly told her that he was worried about her safety.
Steroline fans have been patient and their patience was rewarded later in the episode. They made out in a very relationship type of way, which was nice to see. Obviously, they are going to have their share of drama, but for now it is not that complicated. Every Delena fan was touched when they saw Damon’s state and his reaction to losing the love of his life, albeit temporarily. Stefan’s admission that he got rid of all humans in town for his brother was also heartwarming. Stefan is thinking of Damon even when the latter is too busy drowning in his misery.
Eventually, Damon will come around, but for now he should be given time to wallow in his grief. It was interesting to find out about Stefan’s plan to get rid of all humans in Mystic Falls. Compelling the residents of the town to leave because of mining issues or a gas leak is easy enough, but isn’t this mass exodus going to attract the rest of the world’s attention. The show probably doesn’t expect us to think too much about it. This brings us to the flash forward that we saw at the end of last season when a deserted Mystic Falls was being patrolled by Matt Donovan while Damon was standing above at the clock tower.
Matt is the only one of the humans to survive his graduation and he is the only sheriff left in town. But what or who is he patrolling when no one lives there? This is yet to be seen. No one knows how long the town will stay deserted. Stefan and Caroline, Bonnie and Damon and everyone else want their town back, but each of them have different ideas on getting there. Naturally, Damon believes in taking the direct approach and he and Bonnie were able to de-heart one of The Heretics in typical Damon fashion.
This was an excellent scene as it came as a total surprise when none other than Damon showed up to rescue Bonnie when she went one-on-one with a Heretic. Bamon is great together and not in a romantic way. Their friendship is what makes them interesting because the characters have changed and evolved so much since the first season when they absolutely hated each other. This new duo is confident and comfortable with each other because of the love they share for Elena. This leads us to pointing out that Elena’s shadow still looms over the show even if she isn’t there.
The characters have now taken to writing in journals as Elena requested them to do so in order to keep her apprised of what was happening while she was gone. However, this couldn’t or shouldn’t continue because it would get really boring. The flash forwards at the beginning and end of the episode are also inciting curiosity. Whose coffin did we see other than the one Damon was in? Why does Beau, a heretic and Stefan have the same mark? Clearly, someone is after Stefan and that’s going to cause trouble in Steroline land and Damon is going to have to make an effort.
Alaric’s future is also uncertain as he is clearly on a dark path. He plans to resurrect his dead wife whose body he is keeping in the morgue. Another curious point is the mystical stone he has acquired because Lily also wants it. Enzo is another character whose path is uncertain as he is unable to decide the side he is on. He delivers Caroline to the Heretics, but we don’t know who he double-crossed and who he is working with. Guess we’ll have to wait and see.