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Best Starting Point: ''Growing Pains'' (401) — A lot changed in last season's lead-up. It's probably best not to miss this season opener, which shows…

Heading into The Vampire Diarieseighth and final season, fans don’t know what to expect when they return to Mystic Falls. Aside from the fact that there’s a scary new villain who has taken over Damon and Enzo’s minds, much of the season remains a mystery.

And today, we hand you one more piece of the puzzle: EW can exclusively reveal that Joel Gretsch has been cast in the role of Peter Maxwell. Peter is described as “a blue-collar guy who abandoned his family a long time ago. He is shocked when his grown son walks back into his life to reconnect — and to drag Peter into a world of supernatural dangers.”

The question is: Is his son someone we know? And could his name be Matt Donovan?

Gretsch will first appear in episode 4 and is set to recur.

The Vampire Diaries returns for its final season on Friday, Oct. 21 at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.

Episode Recaps

Best Starting Point: ''Growing Pains'' (401) — A lot changed in last season's lead-up. It's probably best not to miss this season opener, which shows…
The Vampire Diaries

Ian Somerhalder, Nina Dobrev, and Paul Wesley star in the CW’s romance-infused vampire soap opera.

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