THE VAMPIRE DIARIES Sneak Peek: 13 Reasons Mystic Fallers Hate Damon

Vampire Diaries cast convention

It has been a rowdy week for THE VAMPIRE DIARIES.

First, Ian Somerhalder announced at WalkerStalkerCon in Nashville recently, that next year, Season 8, would be the last year for the show, saying “We have decided to do one last season to really do the story justice.”

This seems to have caught some by surprise, although Kat Graham (Bonnie) already has announced her intention to leave at the end of next season.

Then, Somerhalder clarified his statement saying that no decision has been made yet about the future of the show after next year, but he has not committed to staying with the show after Season 8.

Somerhalder blamed his misspeak on “foggy brain,” which fans most likely will forgive, given the insanity of thousands of people screaming at a convention.

While Somerhalder easily is forgiven for his “foot-in-fang” faux pas, his alter-ego, Damon Salvatore, definitely will not get off the hook as easily.

The title of tonight’s episode is not “Everybody Hates Damon,” but here are some folks who are taking issue with Big Bro’ Blue Eyes…

Alaric and Caroline

1.  Alaric Saltzman – After taking the twins and Caroline (Candice King) to Dallas to get them out of Rayna Cruz’s path of destruction, Alaric (Matt Davis) has fallen in love with Caroline in the three years that Damon has been in desiccating in his coffin.  Why would Alaric hate Damon?  Damon took his 3-year sabbatical and did not bother to tell his bromance bud his plan in person.  He sent him a letter.

Alaric reconsidersthe vampire hunt

2.   Alaric, Part Deux – Now that Damon is back in action, he shows up at Alaric’s door looking for help.  Alaric fears that Damon’s reappearance will destroy his happiness.  Damon needs Alaric’s help to save Stefan, and he plans to do it by dragging Alaric back into the vampire-hunting business.  It is a long road trip to Memphis, and Damon is going to get an earful from Alaric about the past three years.

Matt and Penny

3.   Matt Donovan – Matt (Zach Roerig) has been on a rampage in Mystic Falls during Damon’s three-year nap,  cleaning the fang-gang out of town.  Enraged over the death of Officer Penny Ares (guest star Ana Nogueira), Matt is going to save this city.  Wait, that’s another show, but we’ll use it anyway.

Stefan and Valerie at herbalist copy

4.   Valerie Tulle – Valerie (guest star Elizabeth Blackmore) was having a great time with Stefan (Wesley) while Damon was entombed next to Elena’s body.  It looked like things might work out for the last remaining Heretic when Damon offered to have the Phoenix Sword scar transferred to himself from Stefan.  When Rayna told him that he would die just about the time that Elena would wake up, Damon backtracked and Stefan was killed.

Stefan and Valerie

5.   Valerie, Part Dos – Damon pressures Valerie into performing a spell that will put Stefan’s spirit back into the correct body, almost killing her in the process.  Not only does Valerie almost die, she realizes that Stefan does not love her as much as she loves him.  After almost dying, she breaks up with Stefan.

Leslie-Anne Huff as Rayna Cruz copy

6.  Rayna Cruz – Rayna (guest star Leslie-Anne Huff) had developed a fondness for Stefan while she hunted him around the world.  Relieved that she was going to be able to kill Damon instead of Stefan, she had no choice when Damon backed out on the transfer spell.  Her nature forced her to go ahead and kill Stefan, and she hates Damon even more.

Enzo at the Armory

7.  Enzo St. John – Enzo (Michael Malarkey) has been pretty testy with Damon ever since the latter left him to burn in a fire back in the day.  Their frenemy status deteriorates even more with the devastating news that Enzo learns from Rayna.  The Armory’s witch poison is made with Rayna’s blood, and Enzo kidnaps her to engineer a cure.  Enzo and Damon lock horns because Enzo will not trade Rayna to help save Stefan, opting to try to save Bonnie instead.

Stefan in Marty's body

8.  Marty Hammond – Marty (guest star Ryan Dorsey) inherited Stefan’s spirit when Mary Louise and Nora blew up the car carrying the Phoenix Sword and souls went everywhere.  Mortal bodies cannot tolerate a vampire soul and poor, drunken Marty was deteriorating faster than a snowball in July.  If only Damon had done that transfer spell, then Stefan/Ambrose would not be killing innocent EMTs and trying to burn Marty alive.

Bonnie and Enzo at Armory

9.   Bonnie Bennett – Bonnie (Graham) has been undercover in a psych ward during Damon’s hiatus where she meets Alex’s sister, Virginia St. John (guest star Aisha Duran), who provides her with some valuable information about what plans the Armory has in store for the Bennett Witch.  She is taking pills that Enzo thinks will hide her from the Armory’s locator spell, but instead are poisoning her.

Bonnie hugs Enzo as she finds out she may be dying

10.  While it is not all bad (she and Enzo fall in love), things are a bit more frustrating.  As Enzo fights to save her, they are forced to team up with Damon to save her life.  Note to Damon…she carries around your unopened “Dear Bon” letter, just to remind her never to trust anyone, just in case you didn’t catch on when she slammed the door in your face.

Stefan as Ambrose

11.  Ambrose – Ambrose, the bloodthirsty killer (also played by Paul Wesley), is running around in Stefan’s body, using his heightened vampire senses to zone in on the next targets of his killing spree.

Alaric and Damon find the carnage at the fraternity house

12.  The Delta Rho Tau Fraternity – The frat boys may not know it yet, but whether Ambrose slaughters them depends upon Damon being able to get the serial killer to leave them alone.  As Alaric and Damon check out the carnage at the fraternity, they wonder if it must be Hell Week.

Paul Wesley as Stefan Salvatore

13.  Stefan Salvatore – Stefan has so many reasons to hate Damon.  After sacrificing himself to save Damon, Stefan is repaid with betrayal when Damon backs out on taking the Phoenix Sword scar from him.  Despite Damon’s attempts to be a good brother, the results always seem to be usurped by his selfish tendencies and self-preservation.

The Brothers Salvatore

But, despite all of his faults, in the end, the Salvatore Brothers seem to find their way back to each other.

And the audience never stops loving Damon.  (Look at that face.  What’s not to love.)

Tonight’s episode of THE VAMPIRE DIARIES was written by Rebecca Sonnenshine (teleplay) and Penny Cox (story).   Rashaad Ernesto Green directed the episode titled, “One Way or Another.”

THE VAMPIRE DIARIES airs tonight (April 15) at 8:00 pm on The CW.

THE VAMPIRE DIARIES Sneak Peek: His Brother’s Keeper

Vampire Diaries photo 717 s7e17 I Went to the Woods

Paul Wesley delivers a tour-de-force in dual roles as Stefan Salvatore and an extremely flawed soul, Marty Hammond, tonight on THE VAMPIRE DIARIES.  Executive Producer, Julie Plec, returns to the director’s chair to helm the episode that she wrote with Neil Reynolds.

Last week, Stefan (Paul Wesley) found out that Damon (Ian Somerhalder) was unwilling to risk his own happiness to save Stefan from death.  Rather than taking the Phoenix Stone scar as he promised, Damon gambled on “having it all,” and Rayna (guest star Leslie-Anne Huff) killed Stefan with the Phoenix Sword.

Mary Louise and Nora escaped with the sword and destroyed it (and themselves) in a fiery car explosion, not realizing that Stefan’s spirit was still trapped inside the stone.  So what of Stefan’s body and soul?

That question will be answered tonight amid the confusion of body switches, alliance crossovers and Damon struggling to take on the role of “hero.”  Nothing is what it seems to be on the surface.

Tonight’s episode, “I Went to the Woods,” has an appropriate title for Stefan’s take on what is happening to him.  He is confused, disoriented and unclear on where he is.  He is alone and vulnerable and trapped in a difficult situation that he must try his best to survive.

He awakens next to a burning school bus.  After failing to save everyone, he is unsure if he is in Hell or totally disoriented.  Most confusing is why his soul is trapped in Marty’s body and how he will survive.  His new body risks deterioration within days and being stranded in snow in a forest adds to the challenges.

Stefan is not the only one stuck in a quagmire of questions.  What circumstances could bring Valerie (guest star Elizabeth Blackmore) and Alaric (Matt Davis), Matt (Zach Roerig) and Rayna to team up temporarily to find Stefan.

Unfortunately for Stefan, Rayna is mystically bound to complete her hit list, and those on the list must die.

Damon, wallowing in guilt over how his own selfishness doomed his brother to the hell of the Phoenix Sword, sets out on his own to try to save Stefan.  Masquerading as “Deputy Matt Donovan,” Damon questions a victim in his search for his younger brother who is wearing the “Marty body.”

Contacting Stefan using the victim’s phone, Damon pushes Stefan to set aside his self-pity, encouraging his little brother to lash out in anger at all of Damon’s shortcomings.  The anger gets Stefan moving through the snow and toward a brother that he doubts will be there for him…again.

THE VAMPIRE DIARIES also stars Candace King, Kat Graham and Michael Malarkey.

THE VAMPIRE DIARIES airs tonight at 8:00 p.m. on The CW.  Immediately following tonight’s episode is a TVD crossover with THE ORIGINALS at 9:00 p.m.

THE VAMPIRE DIARIES Sneak Peek: “Thelma” and Mary Louise

Vampire Diaries photo 716 Days of Future Past copy

Ian Somerhalder, aka Damon Salvatore, takes the director’s chair as THE VAMPIRE DIARIES returns and clears up some of those pesky “three years from now” teases that have been alluded to throughout this season.

Much of the episode, titled “Days of Future Past,” takes place three years in the future, so events may be subject to change based on what happens between now and then.

Stefan (Paul Wesley) has to come to terms with Caroline’s (Candice King) decision to remain in Dallas near Alaric’s (Matt Davis) twins.  In danger from vampire huntress, Rayna Cruz (guest star Leslie-Anne Huff), he goes to Damon’s coffin and revives his brother who has been desiccating for three years.

Stefan and Valerie (guest star Elizabeth Blackmore), have been on the run to escape Rayna, who is driven to kill him by forces beyond her control.  Having run out of the herbs that Freya Mikaelson gave him to shield him from Rayna, he is concerned that Caroline would be the bait that Rayna could use to track him down.

Rayna who had been held prisoner in The Armory, has escaped, supposedly with the Enzo’s (Michael Malarkey) help, but the Augustine Vampire has been framed by Matt (Zach Roerig), who is furious with Stefan that Penny has been killed.  Matt joins forces with Rayna and is determined to rid Mystic Falls of vampires, once and for all.

Angry at Enzo for his perceived betrayal, Alexandria (guest star Mouzam Makkar), is unable to locate the Augustine vampire who may have been shielded by Bonnie (Kat Graham).

To force Nora’s assistance, Alex poisons Mary Louise (guest star Teressa Liane), and then makes a deal with Nora (guest star Scarlett Byrne) to help keep the dying Mary Louise alive.  All Nora has to do is bring Enzo to her. 

Damon and Valerie rush to save Stefan from Rayna.  The elder Salvatore would love to kill her, but if Rayna dies, all who are marked by the Phoenix Sword scar will die, including Stefan.  He also would dispatch Valerie who has been harboring the secret that would remove the curse from Stefan for the three years, but needs her to keep Stefan alive.

Damon has a chance to take the scar from Stefan with a transfer spell, but concocts a different plan that leaves Stefan shot on a tarmac.

Nora and Mary Louise escape with the sword, but the sword in the process marks Nora. The doomed pair decides to do a THELMA AND LOUISE, taking the sword with them.

Will this undo Damon’s chance to save his brother?  How much of this future is set in stone? 

Tonight’s episode of THE VAMPIRE DIARIES was written by producer, Melinda Hsu Taylor.

THE VAMPIRE DIARIES airs tonight at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.

THE VAMPIRE DIARIES Sneak Peek: Dare To Desiccate

Vampire Diaries Photo 715 s7e15 I Would For you

Seems like most people are running somewhere or they have nowhere to run tonight on THE VAMPIRE DIARIES.

Matt (Zach Roerig) and Penny (guest star Ana Nogueira) think they have nowhere to run when they make a mistake while vampire hunting.

Rayna Cruz (guest star Leslie-Anne Huff), wakes up naked from her temporary death and runs toward Stefan who still sports the Phoenix Sword mark.

Damon (Ian Somerhalder) runs to Bonnie (Kat Graham) to ensure that she is safe in hospital.  Bonnie, never one to run from a fight, takes Damon down a notch by refusing to forgive him if he follows through with his plan.

Stefan (Paul Wesley) and Valerie (guest star Elizabeth Blackmore) are running from the huntress, but the magical herbs that kept Stefan cloaked from Rayna are more elusive to replace than he had presumed.

Although Alexandria St. John (guest star Mouzam Makkar), part of Enzo’s Armory family, finds a way to take down Rayna, they will not be able to kill the huntress without killing Stefan, because he still wears the sword’s scar.

Caroline (Candice King) and Alaric (Matt Davis) are running around looking for diapers and bottles or anything that makes the babies stop crying.

Stefan will not be able to be with Caroline as long as the huntress lives and he cannot put the babies in danger by joining Caroline in Dallas.

Rayna offers Stefan a way to move the mark to Damon, thus freeing Stefan to be with Caroline.  Damon, realizing that his bad choices have put many in danger, decides that the best way to free everyone from their pain is remove himself from the equation.

He asks Enzo (Michael Malarkey) for Elena’s coffin, and then tries to run away from all of the people he loves by locking himself in a coffin next to Elena where he will desiccate over the years.

Heartbroken at the thought of never seeing Damon again, Bonnie leaves him with a tormenting thought to take with him as he desiccates.  Since Elena will not wake until Bonnie dies, the Bennett witch reminds them that this would be they’re final goodbye.

What is the answer?  Stay and fight…or run?

Tonight’s episode of THE VAMPIRE DIARIES, “I Would For You,” was written by Brian Young and directed by Mike Karasick.

THE VAMPIRE DIARIES airs tonight at 8pm on The CW.

THE VAMPIRE DIARIES and THE ORIGINALS Crossover Sneak Peeks: Hot! Hot! Hot!

Vampire Diaries photo 714 s7e14 Moonlight on the Bayou crossover with The Originals

Friday night gets a double dose of “vampire hotness” when THE VAMPIRE DIARIES and THE ORIGINALS do a great crossover episode that is full of action, drama and one-liners.

In a move to save Damon (Ian Somerhalder) from Rayna Cruz’s Phoenix Sword, Stefan (Paul Wesley) is wounded by the mystical blade instead.

Since the blade’s mark can track its victim almost anywhere, Stefan heads to New Orleans for sanctuary in a bar that is cloaked to hide its supernatural occupants from hunters.

Stefan is welcomed by old friend, Klaus Mikaelson (guest star Joseph Morgan from THE ORIGINALS), and the two have a heart-to-heart about Caroline (Candice King), her babies and complicated families.

Stephan asks Klaus for some of his hybrid vampire/werewolf blood to help Damon, who has been trapped by Enzo (Michael Malarkey).  Damon is locked in a room with Tyler Lockwood (guest star Michael Trevino) who is on the verge of turning into a werewolf with the night’s full A werewolf bite can kill a vampire, and Damon wants Stefan to bring home some of Klaus’s blood as an antidote.  Klaus is considering the request when the wound from the Phoenix Sword on Stephan’s chest starts to leak blood through his shirt.

Klaus recognizes the X-mark wound and becomes enraged that Stephan would lead vampire hunter, Rayna (guest star Leslie-Anne Huff), to his city.  Rayna, aka “The Huntress,” is responsible for killing several of Klaus’s vampire cronies in the past, and the current New Orleans vampire population is quite large.

Furious, Klaus kicks Stefan out of the bar, leaving his fate to the vampire huntress who is tracking the younger Salvatore to the Big Easy.  Valerie (guest star Elizabeth Blackmore) and Matt (Zach Roerig) do what they can to keep Stefan ahead of Rayna. 

Back in Virginia, Tyler tells Damon that people like them cannot afford to be around friends and family who always opt to rescue them…that they forever will be putting their loved ones in danger.

His prophecy comes true when Bonnie (Kat Graham) shows up to save Damon and is injured in the melee.  As Damon grieves over Bonnie’s hospital bed, it seems as though he may take Tyler’s advice and remove himself from his friends and family.

He may regret that idea.  A heartfelt talk with Enzo could convince him that family and friends are important.   The Augustine Vampire finally finds a member of his family, Alexandria St. John, and they are connected to The Huntress and the mysterious Armory.

Perhaps knowing what happened to his family will relieve some of Enzo’s emotional torture, but how will he feel if Rayna tracks down Stefan and kills him?  Hot on the vampire’s trail, The Huntress wounds Stefan and is going in for the kill when he is saved by none other than Klaus.

What are Klaus’s motives?  Does he still have residual feelings for Caroline and want to save her from the pain of Stefan’s death?  Is there a forgiving heart under all of that bravado?  Regardless of his motives, he takes a detour when driving Stefan to the train station, opting instead to save his friend by offering to take Stefan to a witch that may be able to undo the cursed wound from the Phoenix Sword.

Does Klaus still love Caroline, despite the fact that his situation is already fraught with complicated women?  Is it mutual?  After she learns that Alaric is taking the SMU job in Dallas, Caroline offers to go with them on the trip and finds herself considering her future.

One thing that seems to be certain, she shows up in New Orleans, twins in tow, three years from now, looking for Klaus.  Is she searching for Stefan, seeking safe haven, revisiting a lost love or something else?

Tonight’s episode of THE VAMPIRE DIARIES, “Moonlight on the Bayou,” was written by producers Caroline Dries & Brett Matthews and directed by Jeffrey Hunt and guest stars Scarlett Byrne, Teressa Liane, Mouzam Makkar, Sedona Monet, Lily Rose Mumford, Tierney Mumford and William Ngo.

THE ORIGINALS companion episode, “A Streetcar Named Desire,” was written by Beau DeMayo & Diane Ademu-John and directed by Matt Hastings.

This action-packed crossover starts with THE VAMPIRE DIARIES at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT, immediately followed by THE ORIGINALS at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.

THE VAMPIRE DIARIES Sneak Peek: Dare To Deliver…Twins

Vampire Diaries Photo 713 s7e13 This Woman's Work

THE VAMPIRE DIARIES has a new Big Bad…The Huntress.  Not the one from ARROW.  This one is a decades-old vampire hunter who warns vampires of their impending doom via a postcard marked with an X.

Last week, Bonnie (Kat Graham), Mary Louise (guest star Teressa Liane) and Nora (guest star Scarlette Byrne) tracked down the suspected source of the missives at a hospital for the criminally insane.  Finding a fragile mental patient rather than a ruthless hunter, the witches made the mistake of believing that The Huntress, aka Rayna Cruz, was no threat.

Rumored to have been chasing vampires for over a century, the patient they found showed no physical sign that she was able to hunt for more than her favorite cookie…until she revealed that looks can be deceiving, almost killing Bonnie in the process.  Hard to believe that the fragile, gray-haired woman actually is the young, vibrant Rayna (guest star Leslie-Anne Huff).

When Bonnie and Damon find Enzo (Michael Malarkey) held captive by Rayna, The Huntress takes the Phoenix Sword from Damon (Ian Somerhalder) by attacking Bonnie.  Will Damon take his wrath out on the Augustine Vampire?  Doubtful, since Enzo reveals that Elena is alive, and he and Tyler know how to find her body.

At another hospital, Caroline’s (Candice King) pregnancy is in distress.  Valerie (guest star Elizabeth Blackmore), Nora and Bonnie lend some magic help to save Blondie’s life as she gives birth to Alaric’s (Matt Davis) twins.  As if a complicated delivery is not enough trouble, a furious Stefan has to take Caroline and the babies on the road to hide them from Rayna.  Damon’s choices inadvertently put everyone he loves in Rayna’s path, and he is forced to make things right before it becomes too late.  Rayna is threatening the lives of all of the Mystic Falls vampires, starting with Beau.

Given that the “look ahead” to three years from now finds Caroline driving to New Orleans with two toddlers who call her “Mommy,” is it safe to assume that the relationship rifts are resolved?  What happens in three years that causes Matt (Zach Roerig) to lure Stefan to the television station and render him unconscious?

In that future, will Caroline, Stefan, Alaric, Damon and the twins become an unusual blended vampire/Gemini Coven witch-type family?  Will Uncle Damon be tapped for diaper duty?

Tonight’s episode, “This Woman’s Work,” provides the setup for next week’s crossover between THE VAMPIRE DIARIES and THE ORIGINALS.  When Stefan goes to New Orleans to lure the hunter away from his friends, he will come face to face with Klaus Mikaelson (Joseph Morgan), who is suspicious of his old friend’s arrival.  Being on Klaus’s suspicious side is never good.

Other guest stars on THE VAMPIRE DIARIES this week are Cynthia Evans, Lily Rose Mumford and Tierney Mumford.  Tonight’s episode, “This Woman’s Work,” was written by Chad Fiveash & James Stoteraux and directed by Garreth Stover.

THE VAMPIRE DIARIES airs tonight at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.

THE VAMPIRE DIARIES Sneak Peeks: Dare To Be Rocky

the vampire diaries

Damon (Ian Somerhalder) brings his own version of MORTAL KOMBAT X (Immortal Kombat?) to THE VAMPIRE DIARIES this week.

Emotionally distraught after accidentally destroying Elena’s body last week, Damon decides to climb into the ring as penance.

For anyone who missed it, Damon was hallucinating following his emergence from the Phoenix Stone.  In his confusion, Damon knocked out Tyler and set Elena’s coffin on fire.

Kudos, by the way, to Paul Wesley’s (Stefan) deft handling of Damon’s descent into near-madness last week as he directed, as well as acted, in the complex episode.  Also, Michael Trevino’s brief return as Tyler was a pleasure.

Yes, accidentally burning the love-of-his-life’s body theoretically has wiped away the possibility of her awakening from the Sleeping Beauty curse and set the elder Salvatore brother on the path to self-destruction.

How does a vampire whose self-destructive impulses already tend to dominate his life go on after he demolishes his moral compass?  By becoming buddies with his dead mother’s sociopathic boyfriend, Julian (guest star Todd Lasance) and beating the daylights out of the local vampire FIGHT CLUB.  (Rule 1: Never talk about…well, you know.)

This may be a runaway train that even Stefan’s hero hair cannot stop.

With Elena apparently gone, does that free Bonnie (Kat Graham) from the tie that she had to the Sleeping Beauty curse?  Possibly.  She and Nora (guest star Scarlett Byrne) seem pretty high-spirited as they take a road trip to hunt down the ruthless vampire hunter, Rayna Cruz (guest star Leslie-Anne Huff).

Not so chipper…Mary Louise (guest star Teressa LIane)…who sits fuming in the backseat while her longtime love and the Bennett witch chum it up.

Watch for Rayna to play a role in the upcoming crossover episode with THE ORIGINALS.

Not quite as cheerful as Bonnie…Caroline (Candice King).  The very pregnant vampire is beginning to have some dangerous side effects from her supernatural pregnancy.  She is forced to turn to Valerie (guest star Elizabeth Blackmore) for help.

King must have a huge work ethic.  In tonight’s episode, she looks very near her real-life due date.  Baby Florence May King arrived on January 15.  The Fray’s Joe King is the doting dad.

THE VAMPIRE DIARIES also stars Matt Davis, Michael Malarkey and almost-birthday boy Zach Roerig (February 22).  Back for another episode is guest star Ana Nogueira as Penny.

Tonight’s episode, “Postcards from the Edge,” was written by producer, Rebecca Sonnenshine, and directed by producer, Pascal Verschooris.   Sneak peeks below include spoilers by Executive Producer, Caroline Dries, and Co-Executive Producer, Brian Young, and shots of Somehalder showing off his boxing skills.

THE VAMPIRE DIARIES airs tonight at 8:00 p.m. on The CW.

THE VAMPIRE DIARIES Sneak Peek: Dare To Exercise Control

Vampire Diaries Photo from YT 711 s7e11 Things We Lost in the Fire

There is “in control” and “out of control” and “why bother with control?”  Plus, there is the Type-A who constantly reaches for more control.

Tonight on THE VAMPIRE DIARIES, the guy with “hero hair” is in control.  The (arguably) most heroic guy is out of control.  The guy who rarely exercises control may be wishing he could wrangle some control, and the Type-A continues to try to control the world.

Let’s start with Type-A…Caroline (Candice King).  As the birth of the twins grows closer, she has dragged Alaric (Matt Davis) to childcare classes and birthing classes and swamped him with parenting magazines.  She is very specific about what she will or will not do after the babies are born, but her tone of voice belies her involvement.

Carrying the babies around for nine months will not be the end of her relationship with them.  Those kids had better get used to “Auntie Caroline’s guidance” in their lives, especially when she discovers something upsetting about Alaric and his future plan for the twins.

Next, is “Mr. In Control”…Stefan.  With Damon fighting his way back to reality, Stefan does his best to hide his own inner demons to help his brother.

Side note:  Also in control is Stefan’s portrayer, Paul Wesley, who directed tonight’s episode, “Things We Lost in the Fire.”  The episode reportedly is filled with heavy effects, stunts and action, which is no easy feat for an actor pulling double-duty as a director.

Thirdly, there is the heroic Matt Donovan (Zach Roerig).  Yes, Stefan has the “hero hair,” but poor Matt lives in a town populated by vampires and witches and Heretics, oh my.  Any human who chooses to be sheriff and try to maintain order in a town controlled by supernatural evil must have the “hero gene,” whether or not he sports the hair.

That town-consuming evil is threatening Matt and Bonnie (Kat Graham) tonight.  Julian (guest star Todd Lasance) and his men decide to take over Mystic Falls, causing Matt to spiral out of control and straight into a lot of trouble with an officer named Penny (guest star Ana Nogueira).

And what of the guy who generally could care less about restraint?  Damon (Ian Somerhalder) may reconsider his usual lack of control and wish he were a little more practiced in self-discipline.

Giving in to his feelings may exacerbate the traumatic effects of being trapped in the Phoenix Stone.  Damon is suffering the residual horror of his experience in the stone.  (Is that Evan Gamble as Henry chasing Damon around in his hallucinations?)

Despite his emergence back into this world, his “life after Hell” is no picnic.

If post-Hell was not hard enough on Damon, Tyler Lockwood (guest star Michael Trevino) is back in town.  Will Damon be able to cope with post-Hell syndrome and the aroma of “dog smell” exuded by his werewolf-landlord/frenemy?

“Things We Lost in the Fire” was written by producer, Melinda Hsu Taylor.

THE VAMPIRE DIARIES airs tonight at 8:00 p.m. on The CW.

THE VAMPIRE DIARIES Sneak Peek: Wages Of War

Vampire Diaries photo s7e10 #710 Hell Is Other People

THE VAMPIRE DIARIES takes a delicious bite out of the weekend TV doldrums with its move to Fridays tonight at 8pm.

Partnered again with THE ORIGINALS, watch for some bloody good crossover opportunities during this season.

In the winter finale, the gang found different ways to celebrate Christmas (Toys for Tots, a Santa’s pub crawl, Caroline’s pregnancy hormones), and the December episode ended with Damon and Stefan finding themselves on the wrong side of Julian’s (guest star Todd Lasance) temper.

There were some odd pairings…Caroline (Candice King) and Alaric (Matt Davis) at Lamaze class…Bonnie (Kat Graham) and Nora (guest star Scarlett Byrne) bonding at a charity event…Julian bonding with his “cellular telephone”…Julian bonding with his henchmen…Julian bonding with the sword that held the cursed Phoenix Stone…

But, in the end, it was Damon who bonded with the dreadful stone. When Damon threw himself on the sword to save Stephan, Julian exacted his retribution for Damon’s role in Lily’s (guest star Annie Wersching) demise.

Damon’s act of selflessness transported him back to his time of service in the Civil War, trapped inside the fated stone where he is tormented by his traumatic wartime experience.

Reliving a war in which he was an unwilling participant, forced to serve on the Confederate side by his overbearing father and which he subsequently deserted, the horror of war torments the elder Salvatore brother in the mental and emotional prison of the Phoenix Stone.

Out in the real world, Bonnie races to extract Damon (Ian Somerhalder) from the stone’s power before its horror leaves him affected forever.

Not the only victim of the Phoenix Stone, the winter finale ended with Stephan (Paul Wesley) impaled upon the same sword from which Damon had tried to save him.

Now, there is the threat of Julian torching Stefan’s body, wiping him from existence.

THE VAMPIRE DIARIES also stars Zach Roerig and Michael Malarkey.  Guest stars on tonight’s episode, “Hell Is Other People,” include Evan Gamble (returning as Henry, the vampire from “Blood Brothers” back in 2010), Elizabeth Blackmore and Edgar Roche. 

“Hell Is Other People was written by Holly Brix and Neil Reynolds and directed by Deb Chow.

A new episode of THE VAMPIRE DIARIES airs on January 29 at 8:00 p.m. on The CW.

THE VAMPIRE DIARIES Sneak Peek: Dare To Decorate

Vampire Diaries photo s7e09 Cold as Ice

Decorate in red and green for the holiday season on THE VAMPIRE DIARIES.  Blood red and envy green…

Last week, Mary Louise (guest star Teressa Liane) and Nora (guest star Scarlett Byrne) celebrated their anniversary, then broke up over Mary Lou’s allegiance to Julian (guest star Todd Lasance).

Tonight, Mary Louise confronts Valerie (guest star Elizabeth Blackmore), and finds out that Stefan’s ex has been in touch with Nora.  (Color Mary Louise green with envy.)

Poor Mary Lou…she sided with the wrong Heretic and lost Nora and Lily as the result.

She may be jealous of Bonnie (Kat Graham), as well.  When the Bennett Witch conducts a holiday toy drive at Whitmore College, she approaches Nora for help.  The two spellcasters actually begin an unexpected friendship.

Also unexpected?  Not only is Caroline (Candice King) showing, the pregnancy is progressing so quickly that she could wear a Santa suit with no padding.  Although she tries to hide the pregnancy’s ramifications, Alaric (Matt Davis) notices the changes and becomes concerned.

Meanwhile, Stefan (Paul Wesley) and Damon (Ian Somerhalder) search for Julian in a small town near Mystic Falls.  When Stefan finds himself at odds with Damon, he takes matters into his own hands.  A tragic series of events occurs that will change their lives forever.

What about the “red”?  This being THE VAMPIRE DIARIES, assume that Santa’s “sleigh” is spelled “slay.”

THE VAMPIRE DIARIES also stars Zach Roerig and Michael Malarkey.  Tonight’s episode, “Cold as Ice,” was written by series producer, Brian Young, and directed by Geoffrey Wing Shotz.

The winter finale of THE VAMPIRE DIARIES airs tonight (December 10) on The CW at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT.