As the present catches up to the future on The Vampire Diaries, Damon Salvatore, played by Ian Somerhalder, faces a new, fresh hell of his own making, but, as the actor reveals, he won't be facing these new trials alone. After being exposed to the Phoenix Stone, Damon is going to need help from brother Stefan (Paul Wesley) to come back.
While last week's episode was primarily about learning why Damon became the man he did, this week's episode will deal with accepting the past and coming back to the real, tangible world.
The Vampire Diaries' Ian Somerhalder reveals what it means for Damon to be back in the real world
Mr. Somerhalder says last week's episode was much more than just another series flashbacks. In "Hell is Other People," Ian says the events Damon was forced to relive helped fans to understand just why he buries things, as he has done for the past six and a half years. Somerhalder adds that those Civil War events have been holding Damon back, emotionally, but he now will have to face the feelings stirred by those memories.
"He's f***ed. The PTSD of what has happened to this man outside of the stone is I think more harmful than what was actually in the stone," Mr. Somerhalder says. "This is going to be a very, very, very trying thing for this man."
For the eldest Salvatore brother, the first obstacle he'll have to face will be to figure out what's real and what's illusion. As the character tries to make sense of what's happening to him and what it all means, Somerhalder's alter ego will lose control, and although this is a condition common for Damon, The Vampire Diaries actor says it will be different this time.
"There's some big thing that's so monumentally important to him that it causes him to spiral out of control," says The Vampire Diaries actor. "This one I think though is different. Now, you see what really happened to him and then you realize this is why he is who he is. That I think is very unique in and of itself. It begs the argument I think this is probably one of the most important things you could ever know about this man."
A forever-changed Damon Salvatore is just one of the things the future brings
The Vampire Diaries' Ian Somerhalder says that these experiences will result in a very different Damon and that he will recognize how essential it is for him to reach out for Stefan's help. In the past, he would have relied on Elena (Nina Dobrev), but with her gone, Stefan is really the only one he has to turn to for something as monumental as this.
"It's going to force Stefan to be much more involved with his brother. And it does bring them closer, honestly. Adversity brings you closer. There's some cool stuff coming, but ultimately I just think Stefan's gonna pay over and over again for Damon's s***."
As the present slowly catches up to those leaps into the future, fans finally see that Matt Donovan (Zach Roerig) has survived the current happenings in Mystic Falls, including Damon's initial assault upon being released from the Phoenix Stone.
Eventually, Matt teams up with the Huntress, who is mowing down so many of Donovan's friends. It seems the Huntress has taken possession of the same sword that was responsible for imprisoning Damon and Stefan in the Phoenix Stone in the first place and that sword has marked Matt's friends. This leads us to the future of which The Vampire Diaries has been giving us glimpses throughout season 7.
The Vampire Diaries airs Fridays on the CW.
[Image by CW]