Inside the Regression of Damon Salvatore: A Vampire Diaries Report

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Two things have happened to Damon Salvatore over the last couple weeks on The Vampire Diaries:

  1. He's gone shirtless (below).
  2. He's gone dark (more on that, below).

The blood sucker, who has been struggling with his humanity over the course of a season-plus, is taking a break from sentimentality. Producer Julie Plec says a lot of that has to do with watching Elena and Stefan carry on.

"He doesn't have Elena, and he doesn't want to be a hero," Plec tells Zap2It. "When things happen that make him look in the mirror and not recognize himself, he's going to go back in search of that person that he's been for the last 145 years. Unfortunately, that means reverting to some old habits."

Damon in a Bathtub!

Plec also shares fascinating insight into the choice writers made to flip the violent switch inside Damon's head at the conclusion of "The Descent," as an innocent woman was not originally slated to be killed.

"We had ended Damon's journey on that hug with Elena," Plec says of the episode in which Rose died. "The idea came up that maybe he should just completely regress as a knee-jerk response to having too many emotions. That changed everything."

From there, co-producer Kevin Williamson wrote the speech Damon gave, he snapped the neck of a pedestrian and "it really reinvigorated all of us for that character because Damon is all about how deliciously bad he can be and how epically good he can be, and how the two are always at odds with each other," Plec says.

Looking forward, how will this play out? What Vampire Diaries spoilers can Plec tease?

"Damon's continued association with Andie will start to make Elena look at him and wonder... once Elena kind of figures that out and has time to have a heart to heart with Damon, it's certainly something that she's going to discuss with him. He's kind of exploiting this woman and our girl Elena is not going to be so down with that."

What about Elena and Stefan's relationship? Will it be impacted by the former learning some new, disturbing information about the latter?

"The flashbacks have a big impact on Elena, as far as her willingness to trust Stefan and to trust herself when it comes to how to deal with this Klaus situation and her willingness to sacrifice herself, versus his insistence that she really needs to stand up and fight."

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Vampire Diaries Quotes

You want a love that consumes you. You want passion and adventure, and even a little danger... I want you to get everything you're looking for. But for right now, I want you to forget that this happened. Can't have people knowing I'm in town yet. Goodnight, Elena.

Damon

Dear Elena, yes you heard that correctly. Hell has frozen over. I'm writing it all down. Granted, I'm half a bottle in thanks to my 1950 Chateau Cheval Blanc, a bottle I waited 65 years to open. I used to spend nights sitting in my wine cellar convincing myself I could hear it age, tannins growing, fermenting, but appreciating its beauty didn't make time go by any faster. The bottle just laid there on its shelf, torturing me while I waited for Katherine and time stood still. Eventually I convinced myself that no sip of that wine could ever taste as good as I dreamt it would. And that is the story of why I drink bourbon. I don't know who I am without you, but I know that as long as I'm with you, time will stand still. So who is Damon Salvatore without Elena Gilbert? A selfish friend, a jealous brother, a horrible son? Or maybe with a little luck, I'll do right by you. Because you may be a thousand miles away or a hundred years away, but you're still here with me and my heart is right there in that coffin with you. Until you come back to me.

Damon