‘The Vampire Diaries’ Is Time-Jumping Its Way To Cancellation

The Vampire Diaries is two episodes into its seventh season and each of those two episodes has started off by sending TVD fans whizzing three years into the future, telling a tale where Damon (Ian Salvatore) is hibernating in a coffin presumably stored besides Elena’s coffin, and Caroline working as a new producer in some out-of-the-way Texas town. That’s just the first five minutes of each episode of The Vampire Diaries with everything after the opening montage taking place in present day Mystic Falls — except for the occasional flashback to the Salvatore’s early years.

What Do Those Time Jumps On The Vampire Diaries Really Mean?

The Vampire Diaries

Each time jump on The Vampire Diaries is three years, implying that some great event may be happening in that time period that will explain everything happening in present day Mystic Falls. This new format for The Vampire Diaries seems confusing at first and makes only a rudimentary sense by second glance, but, ultimately, it all begins to come together, as one realizes that it’s a new way for The Vampire Diaries to add mystery to its first season without Elena Dobrev and all of the doppelganger stories that are no longer possible without her.

“There’s an evolution of this show, and this is the time to change it up a little bit,” Ian Somerhalder told Entertainment Tonight of the time jumps. “This new format is just giving us the ability to sort of look into the future three years, which allows us to see these other characters that we love so much and it breaks it up, and makes it really interesting, But also too, you get to see how Damon is dealing with the loss of Elena three years into the future, which is cool.”

Julie Plec Teases A Vampire Diaries Mystery And Unknown Villains

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While it may have taken a couple of episodes of The Vampire Diaries‘ seventh season to make it clear just what is going on with these time jumps, which Ian Somerhalder revealed would be an ongoing aspect of the show throughout the season, it now has become an intriguing plot device. Certainly, there is a segment who loathe time jumps enough to migrate away from The Vampire Diaries, most fans are now compelled to tune in to The Vampire Diaries every week for another piece of the puzzle.

“We are going to spend this season catching up to the three years from now. These flash-forwards are a lot of fun, because they give you little pieces of mystery, and it’s going to leave you wondering what the big story is,” said The Vampire Diaries E.P. Julie Plec in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “How did these people get to where they are? There should be a flash-forward in almost every — if not every — episode this season.”

Ms. Plec added that the flash-forward scenes revealing attacks on the Salvatore brothers and, more recently, on Caroline are meant to fuel the greater mystery. Who is this new villain, or are there more than one? Plec assures TVD fans that this mystery won’t go unsolved forever. The Vampire Diaries executive producer says the answer will come, probably late in the season.

There is one other mystery facing The Vampire Diaries‘ fanbase and, for some, it’s even more important than an unnamed new villain. In the first time jump, we see Stefan waking Damon in a self-imposed hibernation and, as he wakes, Damon demands to know why he had been brought back before Elena had awakened. While this scene does reveal that the brothers somehow defeat the Heretics and get Elena back from Lily, it presents another question: What could have happened to drive Damon into hiding in the first place?

“This entire season’s journey is taking us to the place where Damon makes that decision. He starts the season trying his best to live his life without Elena Gilbert,” Plec says. “And over the course of his run, he’ll have a lot of highs, a lot of lows, and ultimately, in a very sad and strange and poetic — and probably selfish — decision to put himself down. We’ll get to see what happens along the way to that point.”

The Vampire Diaries returns Thursday, October 22, on the CW network.

[Featured image courtesy of CW/The Vampire Diaries]