|“|| I'm pregnant. I used to picture us having this conversation. It looked different, obviously. I was a human carrying my own children, and you... were... you were alive. I know they're not mine... But they're still my responsibility, you know? And I want to... I have to do this right. And I have no idea what I'm doing. And all I want to do is just sit on our kitchen counter while you burn our dinner and ask you a million questions.
God, I miss you.
— Caroline to her mother's grave
SummaryTHE SALVATORES ARE COMING TO TOWN — With the holidays in full swing, a search for Julian leads Damon and Stefan to a small town outside of Mystic Falls. While managing a holiday toy drive at Whitmore College, Bonnie seeks help from Nora and the two strike up an unlikely friendship. Elsewhere, Caroline does her best to navigate her new life as a pregnant vampire, while Alaric grows concerned that the pregnancy is effecting her more than she’s letting on. Finally, after finding himself at odds with Damon, Stefan is forced to take matters into his own hands, setting off a tragic chain of events that leaves their lives changed forever.
|Damon, Stefan, Nora and Valerie put Lily to rest. Later, as Christmas rings in the air, Stefan and Damon's search for Julian leads them to a town outside Mystic Falls. While they search based on Bonnie's locator spell-given address, they end their search at a bar filled with dead Santa's. After a while, Julian appears and there is a tiff between the brothers and him which later aggravates back home. Meanwhile, Nora becomes friendly with Bonnie during a toy drive. Alaric fears that Caroline is struggling with her pregnancy as her blood feeding urges keep her on the edge. Caroline shares a heart-to-heart talk with Sheriff Forbes's gravestone. Valerie teams with Stefan to abduct Mary Louise in order to force Julian to come out in the open and fight. Later, an unseen being whisks the unconsious Mary Louise away. The Salvatore brothers-Julian fight finally leads to Damon being staked by the Phoenix stone-dagger and getting trapped inside his hell. The same happens for Stefan as a revenge-seeking Nora pushes the dagger inside him, after siphoning out Bonnie's magic. It is shown that Damon is reliving his Civil War days while being trapped in the Phoenix stone - where he is gravely injured and scared.
Flashforward: Three years from now in Chicago, Stefan is picking up some stuff from Valerie's place. He burned his Porsche so he has to borrow her car to travel to Dallas to rescue Damon. She wants to go with him, but he refuses to let her come along. Valerie says that if something should happen to him, she will rain hell down on anyone responsible and they part with a kiss.
Special Recurring Guest Star
- Antagonists: Julian and Nora.
- This episode is the seventh mid-season finale of the series.
- This is the seventh mid-season finale to feature Stefan and Damon; the sixth to feature Bonnie and Caroline; the fourth to feature Alaric; the fifth to not feature Enzo; the first to feature Julian, Mary Louise, Nora and Valerie. It is also the first mid-season finale to not feature Elena and Matt.
- This is also the third mid-season finale of the series to end on the 9th episode.
- This is the second season in which Christmas has been the back to back mid-season finale.
- This episode has internal present day time jump after the teaser featuring Lily's funeral of several weeks after as stated by Julian.
- This is the last episode of TVD to air in 2015 while the first episode to air in 2015 was Season 6's Woke Up With a Monster.
- In the 3 years from now flash forward, 2016, Stefan is seen living in Chicago with Valerie who he is once more involved with. Valerie wants to go with Stefan to help him take on the Huntress to save Caroline and Damon but Stefan doesn't want to risk losing her too. She tells him if anything happens to him she will make whoever hurt him suffer.
- Infuriated by Lily's death, Julian goes on a killing spree.
- Julian introduces Stefan and Damon to some of the vampires he's turned. Only one of them is recently turned by him.
- Both Damon (by Julian) and Stefan (by Nora) are killed by the completed sword with the Phoenix Stone. Note: They're restored at some point to their bodies as seen by the flash forwards.
- It's revealed by Julian that the Phoenix Stone is meant as a place to make vampire souls suffer when they are killed with the completed sword in their own personal hell. We see a glimpse of Damon's near at the end of the episode.
- Valerie and Stefan took Mary Louise as hostage to lure Julian.
- This is Caroline's first and Bonnie's second Christmas (as she was trapped in the Prison World during the previous Christmas) in their lives that they won't share with Elena.
- Elena for the first time won't be sharing a Christmas with her best friends Bonnie and Caroline as she is currently under the "Sleeping Beauty" coma spell that Kai placed on her at Lily's suggestion. This is also the third episode in which Elena isn't mentioned since Best Served Cold by Bonnie to Lily.
- This is the second time Stefan died in front of Caroline. The first time was in Promised Land.
- Bonnie and Alaric were last seen in Mommie Dearest.
- This is the third Christmas themed episode of the series and the third time it has been the mid-season finale episode. The first was Season 4's O Come, All Ye Faithful and the second was Season 6's Christmas Through Your Eyes.
- This is the second episode in which both Stefan and Damon have been killed in the same episode the first being in Season One's Children of the Damned. This is also the third time they have died in the series.
- Chicago, Illinois
- Apartment (flashforward)
- Mystic Falls, Virginia
- McKinley, Virginia
- Pregnancy class
- Battlefield (Phoenix Stone)
- Unknown people dressed as Santa in Sunberry - slain; killed by Julian and probably his friends.
- Damon Salvatore - stabbed with the Phoenix Stone sword; killed by Julian
- Stefan Salvatore - stabbed with the Phoenix Stone sword; killed by Nora Hildegard
Behind the Scenes
- In the Santa bar, Todd Lasance (Julian) went to lift one of the dead Santa dummies only to jump when he realized it was an actual person.
- During shooting, one of the dead Santas fell asleep and started to snore, ruining a take.
- In the spirit of the holidays (even though it was October), episode 709 was big on family visits. Both Ian’s [Somerhalder] and Candice’s [King] moms came to hang out and watch the magic happen.
- Did Caroline and Alaric’s hippie birthing coach seem authentic? She should, because in real life she lives on a commune.
- Hashtag during the airing is #SantasSlay
- "Cold as Ice" is a 1977 song by the band Foreigner.
- The song was sampled by hip-hop duo M.O.P. in 2001.
- Toys For Tots founded in 1947 by Major Bill Hendricks run by the US Marine Corps Reserve distribute toys to children whose parents cannot afford to buy them gifts for Christmas.
- SantaCon is an annual mass gathering and pub crawl in which people dressed in Santa Claus costumes or as other Christmas characters parade in several cities around the world. It has been variously also known as Santarchy, Santa Rampage, the Red Menace, and Santapalooza.