The midseason premiere episode of The Vampire Diaries season 7 revealed a little more about Damon Salvatore's dark past, which he was forced to relive because of the Phoenix stone. However, Damon was able to escape the trauma, all thanks to Bonnie, who (as always) tried a spell which brought him back to the present from his traumatic civil war period.
Damon's brother Stefan was also stabbed with the stone dagger by heretic Nora during the midseason finale and had his share of nightmares inside the magical stone. However, in order to help his brother recover from his past, Stefan chose to keep his sufferings a secret.
The focus of the second part of TVD season 7 is more on the Salvatore brothers, as they deal with Elena's slumber, their mother Lily's death, Julian's torments and their inner demons that they experienced during their time inside the Phoenix stone. Executive producer Caroline Dries hinted at Bonnie's upcoming showdown with Nora and Mary Louise after "they become interested in the same thing".
During an interview with TV Line, she also hinted at Enzo and Bonnie's future relationship during the current season. "Enzo's universe is going to broaden the scope of the show towards the end of the season," she told the website, adding "It's going to enlighten us about Enzo's backstory. We'll get to know him and that's what'll help bring him closer to Bonnie."
The synopsis of episode 11, titled Things We Lost in the Fire, reads:
With the traumatic effects of the Phoenix stone taking a toll on his brother, Stefan (Paul Wesley) attempts to help Damon (Ian Somerhalder) regain his grip on reality, while secretly struggling with his own experience in the stone. Elsewhere, Matt (Zach Roerig) and Bonnie (Kat Graham) deal with the fallout after Julian (guest star Todd Lasance) and his men take over Mystic Falls, leading Matt to spiral out of control and into trouble with an officer named Penny (guest star Ana Nogueira). Meanwhile, Tyler (guest star Michael Trevino) returns to town for Alaric's (Matt Davis) baby shower and Caroline (Candice King) makes an upsetting discovery involving Alaric and his future plan for the babies.
Dries also hinted that even though the Salvatore brothers have escaped their hell, they are in for more troubles while dealing with the deep trauma they suffered during their time in the Phoenix stone. "Even though Damon has escaped hell... [when] you exit that Phoenix stone, you're a changed person. What we get to see in the next episode is Damon really really mess things up. Stefan, who had his own journey that we didn't see — and we're not going to see the way we saw with Damon — has been through that."
Vampire Diaries Season 7 episode 11 will air on 5 February on CW network.