Damon and Stefan Salvatore's family got a little smaller last week when their mother took herself out in an attempt to rid the world of Julian.
But with Lily now out of the picture on "The Vampire Diaries" (the woman Damon was originally hoping to make pay for taking Elena away from him), what's driving Damon now?
"That's an interesting question because what you're saying is he basically lost his drive, and so what we'll learn in Episode 9 is that Stefan has not lost his drive," "TVD" Executive Producer Caroline Dries said, when Access Hollywood spoke with her on Wednesday afternoon. "He wanted to kill Julian and he's recruited his brother to help him do that. But as the brothers are hanging out and trying to track down Julian to make their move, Stefan realizes that [maybe] Damon is a little bit more hiding his feelings about saying goodbye to Lily the way he did and not resolving things with our mom the way he should've and maybe it's just weighing on him a little bit. And so the episode becomes less about Damon having like a very specific drive and more about him deciding [whether] he's going to face what his true feelings are or not. And of course, it's Damon, so it's like pulling teeth when it comes to him facing his demons."
As Lily passed on, Damon had little to say to the mother who abandoned him.
"He's definitely going to go through a journey where he comes to terms with his real feelings about everything that happened with his mom, and all the reasons he has held on to this resentment, and all the reasons he still hides it and how he kind of stands in his truth, which is like, 'I deserve to be able to hate you because you did all these things to me.' And so he will have to face that, I think, before he can move forward," she said.
While Damon will need some time to figure things out, someone who has to start figuring out her own situation immediately is Caroline Forbes, who is pregnant with Alaric and Jo's twins.
"She going through sort of like the routine of being a pregnant lady, but of course she has these added things that she's a vampire and mostly, that she didn't ask for this. And so now she's literally carrying around like Alaric's hopes and dreams inside of her, and so the burden of that -- even though she's providing such a beautiful gift -- the burden of her internally is like, 'I don't know what I'm doing. I didn't ask for this, this is not part of my life plan, and she can't exactly talk to him about it,'" Dries said. "She doesn't want to bother Stefan with it, because Stefan's all, 'Oh, I gotta kill Julian.' So she's spiraling a little bit and doesn't know where to turn. And so in this episode, we'll watch her kind of go through that emotional roller coaster."
Candice King, who plays Caroline, is pregnant in real life, and her happy personal news influenced her latest Season 7 story line.
"It was a group idea," Dries said of giving the Caroline character the pregnancy twist, after they learned Candice's news.
"We had already been planning a pregnancy story – basically, this exact story -- but with another character, just like a random character… who was going to show up on Alaric's doorstep and say, 'Hey, I think I'm pregnant with your children,' and then I was like, 'You know, this is going to sound crazy, but wouldn't it be more interesting if it were one of our main characters that that happened to?'" Dries said.
Once the "TVD" writing staff decided to add pregnancy to the Caroline Season 7 arc, there was just one thing left to work out.
"Then, the trick was just figuring out how a vampire could get pregnant. Once we figured it out, it was like, 'Oh my God!' Everything just fell into place,'" the EP said.
Thursday night's episode of "TVD" is poised to be a big one. It will also feature scenes between Bonnie (Kat Graham) and Nora (Scarlett Byrne), but one of the cliffhangers from last week will be remain a cliffhanger – Matt putting Enzo in the cage.
"That kidnapping is a mystery for now," Dries said.
"The Vampire Diaries" midseason finale airs Thursday at 8/7c on The CW.
-- Jolie Lash