Welcome back to Mystic Falls everyone! In the season 7 premiere, the gang deals with a post-Elena world, Lily and the Heretics make an immediate mark on Mystic Falls, a deal is struck and then shattered, and in the future, the Salvatore brothers are running from someone….
The premiere was a definite improvement over last season. It seems that the loss of Elena has given the show a shot of adrenaline and new life. It helps that Lily and the Heretics are a very fun and interesting type of villain, much like Kai was. While Lily is trying to get the Heretics to fit in, they are having none of it. It didn’t help that Damon violated the deal that Stefan and Caroline brokered within a few days of returning to Mystic Falls. This war between the Salvatores and Lily and the Heretics is not going to be pretty.
I also love the flash forwards. According to Julie Plec, the flash-forwards will be caught up with about ¾ of the way through the season, so by that point we will have found out why Damon chose to be put in a coffin until Elena returned and who the mystery woman was hunting him and Stefan. A well done flash forward is a nice storytelling tool through which you know where something will end, but the mystery is how the heck you got there in the first place.
Damon is, predictably, not handling the post-Elena world well. I admire that he made the choice to focus on helping Alaric to wallowing, which shows growth. I am also impressed that he and Bonnie are still working so well together. Given that Bonnie’s continued living is the thing separating him from Elena, I am happy that he has not completely returned to the old Damon and tried to off her. Definite growth there. Unfortunately, the old Damon definitely reared his head when he ripped the heart out of the one Heretic. Stupid, stupid move there. Classic Damon, but still stupid.
Stefan and Caroline also made definite progress in their relationship. Stefan is being very patient with Caroline while she works everything out and she has admitted to having strong feelings for him. Unfortunately, her kidnapping by Enzo is probably going to put a damper on their incipient relationship. Their plan to evacuate the town in exchange for allowing the Heretics free reign on anyone who returned was probably the best choice of many bad ones. As was demonstrated at the police graduation, the war would be very messy for all involved, so getting the humans out of the town was smart. I just wonder how the Heretics will handle Matt, since I assume he stayed.
Alaric is definitely not handling the post-Jo world well. He has fallen back into the bottle and is apparently planning on somehow resurrecting Jo. I am not sure how he intends to do that though. It has been months since she died, so I don’t think the whole person swap that Kai did will work. Besides, Kai was very powerful when he did that. The only witch close enough to that is Bonnie, and I doubt she would willingly perform that spell. Unless Alaric can somehow persuade one of the Heretics to perform the spell, which would be interesting to see, I don’t see how Jo will come back.