'Vampire Diaries' boss explains that ending, what comes next
fans! What better way to launch back into season 7 than with flashbacks and terrible wigs? Except it’s not exactly a flashback. This is Damon’s prison world, and we’re just living in it.
Damon wakes up in 1863, before he became a vampire, when he was just a soldier in the Civil War. Lily is standing there looking as alive as ever, which should have been Damon’s first clue that something was off. But instead he lets this first version of the day play out: He saves a fellow soldier named Henry, he wakes up in the medical tent, gets a stereotypical over-the-top Stefan letter (“I wish you were here brother to teach me how to survive these endless nights”) complaining about how their father isn’t handling their mother’s death well.
In order to go help his brother, Damon asks for leave. His superior says no, but when Damon pushes, he says that he’ll let him go if he can bring back a couple deserters from a farmhouse nearby. Simple! Damon and his new pal Henry head to the house where three women let the two in for dinner, as it’s their wartime duty. But when the two deserters come out guns blazing from the cellar, everyone but Damon ends up dead.
Damon hears a noise in the cellar, and when he goes to investigate, he finds his mother — still alive. She tells him (and the audience) that his spirit is in the Phoenix Stone and that this is his punishment. Then she shoots him and he wakes up in the present with Bonnie.
Bonnie pulled Damon out of the prison world first, but while she was doing that, Julian stole Stefan’s body from upstairs. While Bonnie does a locator spell to find him, a very pregnant Caroline explains why they chose Damon first: The longer your spirit is in the Phoenix Stone, the more of it you lose. They didn’t want Damon to lose so much that he’d come out and kill Bonnie to bring back Elena. Smart thinking.
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Bonnie’s locator spell works, so Damon heads out to meet Julian at a diner on Route 29. There, Julian has soaked Stefan’s body in gasoline. Julian explains that resisting the pain when you’re in the Phoenix Stone just makes it worse. And then he throws a lighter onto Stefan’s body. As Stefan goes up in flames, Damon sees his mother again. She says “the pain is real, the feeling is real” before Damon wakes up in the medic bed again.
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