The Vampire Diaries Season 7 Episode 1 Review: A Whole New World

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We've been saying it for weeks now, but The Vampire Diaries Season 7 Episode 1 was exactly the jumpstart this series needed. With new faces, new stories, and new loves, this feels a little like a brand new show.

Except we know most of the characters and we've seen them through heartbreak and loss and coming back to life and stuff.

This is a supernatural drama after all, and one of the most interesting facets of this series opener is that with Elena gone, it feels less like a teen supernatural drama and a little more grown up.

When Lily Salvatore first appeared on The Vampire Diaries Season 6, I was apprehensive to say the least. It's always a bit of a shtick when a long-dead character, for whom we have no reason to believe otherwise, suddenly appears as undead and trapped in a prison world, you know? And Lily's return felt a little WTF. But the Heretics might be one of the best things to happen to The Vampire Diaries since the Originals.

This is an insanely intriguing group of witch-pires, who, we now know, can be killed. Just not by a bomb placed in their house by Matt and Caroline. It was a decent enough idea considering our heroes had no idea what they were up against, but yeah, that just didn't work out so well. 

It gave us a pretty great scene with Stefan getting bomb-building advice from everyone's favorite professor, Alaric Saltzman, and a semi-funny moment of an impatient Caroline pretending to be compelled so she wouldn't give away her secret. 

AND it gave us a tiny inkling that Stefan and Caroline wouldn't stay apart for very long. He was concerned for her safety and told her so, and in a "we're more than just friends sort of way." Later in the episode, Steroline (or Staroline as I prefer) became a legit thing, so that couple's ship can rejoice. While there will no doubt be drama for the two of them, and we'll get to part of that a little further down, they are, for the moment, pursuing a relationship. 

It warms my Delena-loving heart. So did Stefan's admission that he cleared the town of humans for Damon. Even when Damon's thinking of no one but himself and his own misery, Stefan is thinking of his brother. Damon will come around (again, more on that later) to thinking about Stefan and everyone else, but for now, it's okay if we let him wallow in his grief. 

Stefan's plan to rid Mystic Falls of humans so that the Heretics can't kill absolutely everyone is an interesting one. It's easy enough to compel the town's citizens to leave and blame it on a gas leak/mining issues, but how does no one else in the rest of the state/world pay attention to that mass exodus? I'm sure this is something we're just not supposed to think too hard about, but I couldn't help it. 

And that brings us back to the closing scene from last season with Matt Donovan (who, miraculously, was the only human to escape his graduation) patrolling a deserted Mystic Falls while Damon Salvatore watches from the clock tower above. I'm not exactly sure what or who he's patrolling since he's the only sheriff in town and also no one lives there, but hey, deputy is an upgrade from busboy.

How long will Mystic Falls remain deserted? Who knows. It's really anybody's guess. Damon and Bonnie, along with Caroline and Stefan, want their town back, but they all have different ideas about how to get there. Damon, naturally, believes in taking the direct approach and he and Bonnie managed to de-heart one of the Heretics in perfectly Damon-esque fashion.

That was a pretty great scene because, even if I should've seen it coming, I didn't see Damon coming to Bonnie's rescue. Not that I expected her to die there, but it really seemed like she was going up against a Heretic alone. I should've known better. I didn't. It's a plus that a show in its seventh season can still surprise me.

Bonnie and Damon are great together, and I don't necessarily want to see them together romantically. Bamon as best friends is great for me because it's a testament to the change we've seen in the two characters over seven seasons. The Vampire Diaries Season 1 and 2 Bonnie would never have agreed with Damon Salvatore on principal, and Damon really didn't mind if she died and openly discussed disliking the "judgy witch."

This duo is comfortable and confident and I like the idea that they're ready to take on the world together because of their shared love of Elena. She unites them and keeps them together. 

HOWEVER, in mentioning Elena, it's time to point out one of my frustrations with the episode: the vampire diaries to and for Elena. She's in a coma. She told them to write. We get it. The journal entries are a great way to show that they're thinking about her and trying to fulfill their promise to keep her apprised of all that's happening while she's sleeping, but this cannot continue indefinitely or it will get very, very boring. Nina Dobrev has left the building. Keep it moving.

I'm super, super, INCREDIBLY curious about the opening and closing flash forwards. I have so many questions I don't even know where to begin. 

Who was in the other coffin? Elena? Where was Caroline? What is that mark on Stefan's chest and why is it also on Beau's neck? 

Clearly, Stefan is being hunted. That's going to throw a wrench into Steroline being together since it's pretty clear this huntress is going to come back sooner rather than later. Damon, for all of his "don't wake me until Elena's alive again" protesting, will obviously rally to help save his brother's life. 

I want to know more. Now. MUST HAVE ANSWERS.

Other intriguing moments:

  • Alaric's quest to bring Jo back to life. 
  • Enzo's double-crossing Caroline.

Kat Graham teased that Alaric was on a "dangerous" path and yeah, I'd say resurrecting the dead is pretty dangerous. This mystical stone he's somehow managed to acquire has piqued my curiosity, especially since Lily wants it. Now I just want to know if Enzo definitely double-crossed Caroline or if he's pulling some Mission Impossible craziness and delivering Caroline to the Heretics to prove his loyalty to Lily and her family so that he can work as an inside man for Stefan.

God, that's confusing. It's also my sincere hope. Don't be a villain, Enzo! #TeamHeroHair

What did you think of "Day One of Twenty-two Thousand, Give or Take"? Are you digging the deserted Mystic Falls? Is Enzo choosing the wrong side? Who was the huntress after Stefan?

Sound off in the comments below and watch The Vampire Diaries online!

And here's your first look at The Vampire Diaries Season 7 Episode 2:

Day One of Twenty-Two Thousand, Give or Take Review

Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.2 / 5.0 (182 Votes)

Miranda Wicker is a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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The Vampire Diaries Season 7 Episode 1 Quotes

Dear Diary, I'm in Hell. It's hard to imagine a place worse than where I've come from but by some spectacular miracle, I've found it. In the weeks since I've arrived, three things are clear. The food is literally made of poison, the air smells like a plague, and everyone wants to know what everyone else is doing. I don't fit in here. The world is not what I imagined.

Valerie

Stefan: New rule. You live your life, you heal, and in the meantime, we're friends.
Caroline: I like that rule.