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The Vampire Diaries season 7 premiere recap: Day One of Twenty-Two Thousand, Give or Take

This is what a world without Elena Gilbert looks like.

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Bob Mahoney/The CW

The Vampire Diaries

TV Show
run date:
Nina Dobrev, Ian Somerhalder, Paul Wesley
The CW

In case you spent the last year in a coffin and need a Vampire Diaries refresher, here is what happened: Sheriff Forbes died. Jo died. Liv died. That other twin died. Kai died. (RIP all, except Kai.) Tyler left. Jeremy went somewhere…probably to Colorado to find that dog he abandoned. Stefan and Caroline are a thing. Witch vampires called heretics are a thing. Oh, and Elena Gilbert is taking a very long nap.

But we’re not quite caught up yet: I have to point out that I’m not Samantha Highfill. She will be recapping that other CW vampire show on Thursday nights. Two vampire shows on one night is great for viewers, terrible for recappers. So like Damon with Bonnie, you’re stuck with me. Now let’s get to season 7!

“Day One of Twenty-Two Thousand, Give or Take” opens in NYC. Brooklyn to be specific. Stefan is at a storage unit that has two coffins in it, which really has me wondering: How many storage facilities around the world are filled with half-dead vampires? Inside this coffin is none other than Damon Salvatore.

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Before we can process that, we’re thrown back three years to the present. And diaries are back!! It was Elena’s parting gift to us. She asked everyone to write down what happened so that when Bonnie dies she wakes up, she won’t have missed anything.

Caroline kicks off the diary action — she tells us/Elena that Damon is grieving her by helping Alaric, who’s grieving Jo. They are traveling across Europe while damaging their livers, well Alaric’s liver, but they have a chaperone: Bonnie. (I’m not gonna lie: This is a roadtrip movie I would watch.) Matt is about to become a deputy (LOL). And then there’s Stefan. He approaches Caroline as she’s furiously writing. They have an awkward conversation and then talk about how it’s not awkward, but it is. But then Caroline goes back to writing about how things are just peachy keen in Mystic Falls.

Wouldn’t you know it, on the other side of Mystic Falls at the exact same time, is a woman who is saying the exact opposite. She is not loving life: She hates the food, the air, the social media of it all. And then she gets hit by a car driven by two teenagers who leave her for dead.

But when they drive away, she pops up. Looks like we’ve met our first heretic! Valerie tells us that her “family” has been sequestered away by Lily. Also there is Oscar; “stoic Beau”; “Nora, the brat”; “devious mental Mary Louise”; and “Malcolm, Lily’s pet, the brown-noser.” Lily’s keeping them all inside so they can acclimate to life in 2015 without mass murder. She tells them that their “way of life” in the past didn’t exactly help them fly under the radar.

Lily has a plan to help them live their best lives, and it involves going to New York to meet Lorenzo. She leaves her children at home and tells them to stay out of trouble. That lasts about two seconds. The heretic ladies go find the teens who’d hit Valerie with their car. They promptly murder-eat them, and then Nora takes a selfie with the dead girl because 2015. What a strange family.

NEXT: Meet season 7’s MacGuffin