The Vampire Diaries 7.01 – Day One of Twenty-Two Thousand, Give or Take

By Mandy Carr

The Vampire Diaries is back and without Elena, but you hardly notice she isn’t there. There’s so much talk about her that it’s hard to miss her and there’s a whole lot going on to distract you from the fact that our leading lady is gone.

Elena is still a big part of the show. Her presence is very much felt. The season seven premiere proves Elena will always be a part of the show, but life goes on.

***** SPOILERS BELOW *****

All seemed pretty well, considering the way we last left Mystic Falls. Of course, the fallout had yet to happen. Everyone was keeping to their promise of writing everything down for Elena — well, almost everyone. Damon and Alaric weren’t writing down their every move. At first it appeared that the boys were just drinking their sorrows away while Bonnie was keeping a watchful eye over them, and writing it all down for Elena.

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Damon is in a pretty bad state, but Alaric is much, much worse. He was faking being drunk for their European excursion. He’s been trying to get Jo to come back to life, but at the same time going to fake psychics and calling them out on it. This is a very dark place for Alaric. He still believes his wife can be brought back and he’s keeping her body on ice while he figures it out.

Now that Alaric doesn’t have Elena or Jeremy to take care of he’s falling off the rails and it’s a very different look for him. Were three dead girlfriends just too much to handle? He does seem to be cursed, but he’s messing with some pretty dangerous stuff.

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While Damon isn’t doing well, he’s doing a lot better than Alaric. He had a brief moment when he could have just let Bonnie die and his love would return to him, but he remembered that Bonnie is his best friend and he would lose his mind. This will be a very interesting relationship to watch. He wants more than anything for Elena to come back, but he doesn’t want to lose Bonnie in the process. It’s a lose-lose situation. Damon has never been very good at coping, which is probably why he put himself to sleep.

We got to see a flash forward three years into the future where Damon is having a nice long sleep waiting for Elena and Stefan wakes him up, because “she” is back. We don’t know who this she is.

This really intrigues me. We are seeing what happened to Mystic Falls to get it to be the ghost town that it was in the season finale, but now we know the future holds dark things, too. When and, exactly, why did Damon decide to go into a deep sleep himself and will we get to see both of these storylines unfold at the same time? That is what I’m hoping for.

The main issue at the moment is the Heretics. When we meet back up with our Mystic Falls gang, the Heretics haven’t wreaked havoc on the town just yet. Lily is keeping them in check, but that all changes after Valarie gets hit by a car and left for dead. She was angry that she wasn’t allowed to defend herself. This made Valarie and the other Heretics retaliate on the town, right in the middle of Matt’s graduation ceremony. Matt is finally a cop, but there’s no longer a city to protect.

The Heretics killed a lot of people and Lily was furious. She wanted them to live differently this time so they weren’t hunted and trapped again. Unfortunately, her family wasn’t having it.

Caroline came up with the idea of handing over their city to protect the people. They told everyone there was a mining accident and the town wasn’t safe.

Through all the gloom there was some happiness in this episode. We got to see a steamy Steroline kiss! Despite everything, Caroline is happy when she’s with Stefan.

If they are hoping to get their relationship started, it’s going to have to wait. Enzo finally chose a side and it’s Lily’s side, but that came at no surprise. He’s proving his trust by kidnapping Caroline! I guess Caroline is stepping into Elena’s shoes really quickly. She’s already the one needing to be saved.

Caroline probably wouldn’t have to be saved if it wasn’t for Bonnie and Damon setting the Heretics off. Bonnie distracted Malcolm while Damon took his heart and now he’s started a war, but since when did they roll over and let their enemies win?

What do you think of TVD without Elena? Do you like the new direction the show is taking? Let me know in the comments below?

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