Warning: This article contains spoilers for The Vampire Diaries.
In “Hell is Other People,” The Vampire Diaries explored the decisions that have tormented Damon Salvatore (Ian Somerhalder) throughout his very long lifetime, settling on one incident in particular. While the episode bordered on the comical with it’s undead parody of Groundhog Day (1993), it wasn’t until the very end of the episode that the real torment began for fans of the series. Having been freed from the Phoenix Stone, Damon was left disorientated and deceived into believing that his essence was still trapped in that self-made hell, so he can hardly be blamed for going on a killing spree that felled many of his closest friends, including his own brother.
The Vampire Diaries Co-Executive Producer Caroline Dries Alleviates Some Of Our Agony
Things are not always as they first appear in Mystic Falls, and such was the case with the last scene in “Hell is Other People,” says executive producer Caroline Dries. The E.P. for The Vampire Diaries assures fans that everyone has not been killed, adding that, if something that catastrophic had occurred, it would have surely meant the end of the series.
As for the bad news, Damon’s hell is just beginning because, although he’s been freed from the prison within the Phoenix Stone, the way it has influenced him has a lingering affect on the decisions he makes going forward.
“It’s teeing up that even though Damon has escaped hell, so to speak, emotionally and psychologically when you exit that Phoenix Stone, you’re a changed person and the decisions that you make as a result of that don’t necessarily reflect the decisions you would’ve made before you go in there,” Dries says.
Stefan (Paul Wesley) will have his work cut out for him, as he takes on the task of helping his brother to acclimate himself to the world again in upcoming episodes of The Vampire Diaries. No one other than Stefan can understand the hell on earth driving Damon mad since being freed. Dries hints that this will present an opportunity for some Salvatore bonding time, as both of them continue to heal.
Where Art Thou, Matt Donovan, Vampire Hunter?
The Vampire Diaries‘ Matt Donovan (Zach Roerig) is telling his own unique story little by little for those paying enough attention to notice. Caroline Dries points out that none of the flash forward segments have featured Matt and that, in itself, is very telling of what might become of the only human character among the major players.
The executive producer adds that Nora, played by Scarlett Byrne, will be source of anxiety for Matt simply because the Mystic Falls lawman is making a real effort to separate himself from the local vampire community. After so much misery and grief brought to town at the hands of vampires, he understandably has fallen into an “us versus them” mentality. Nora threatens that way of thinking for Donovan.
“Nora starts to show other layers of her personality,” Dries says. “She’s still the villain because she’s a little bit selfish and reckless, but at the same time, she’s also very likable because she makes herself vulnerable in that same way that Rebekah kind of used to do. We’ll see her [enter] the fold in our hero group, which will make Matt uncomfortable, because Matt’s trying to stay staunch anti-vampire. So the heretics start to pull at his belief system.”
While Nora seeks to earn acceptance from the entire group, Valerie finds herself becoming a third wheel to the Steroline romance. She still feels something for Stefan, but she also finds herself empathizing with Caroline (Candice King) and her magical pregnancy. In the process, she’s really becoming close to both of them. Dries reveals that this will ultimately lead to themes of jealousy and loss for Caroline, as Stefan and Valerie begin to go off on their own adventures.
The next episode of The Vampire Diaries airs on Friday, February 5 on the CW network.
[Image via CW]