|“|| Stefan: You don't get it, do you? You tell yourself that you're protecting Mystic Falls for Elena. You convince yourself that you're keeping her safe by any means necessary. You justify punishing Lily for Elena's sake. Did you ever once think, "What would Elena do?"
Damon: I never got a chance to ask her, thanks to Lily.
Stefan: Ah, so you had to ask! Is Elena's influence on you so weak that you can't tell right from wrong without her holding your hand?
DAMON’S PERSONAL HELL — After finding himself on the wrong end of Julian's plan to avenge Lily's death, Damon awakens to find himself trapped inside the Phoenix stone, tormented by a traumatic experience from his time in the Civil War and forced to face his darkest demon in order to get out. On the outside, Bonnie is in a race against the clock to get Damon out before the effects of the Phoenix stone take over and leave him changed forever. Stefan, Caroline and Matt also appear.
|Damon's soul is trapped inside the Phoenix Stone, where he’s stuck reliving his own personal hell in the middle of the Civil War, with his dead mother wandering around creepily. He wakes up to a groundhog day amidst war and receives a sad letter from Stefan asking him to return. According to higher orders, in order to take leave Damon has to arrest deserters and union sympathizers. So he and his pal Henry, round up deserters — and they end up shooting all of them. Its all weird until Lily shows up and he starts to realize that nothing is real. In the next moment, Bonnie is shown to bring back Damon who wakes up only to realize that his brother is also stuck in the stone and his body has disappeared. Bonnie does a locator spell figuring out that Stefan's body is with Julian. Damon rushes to Julian who's miffed with Damon & thus scorches Stefan’s body – Lily shows up again. Damon quickly realizes he’s still stuck in hell. He keeps shuttling between the war day and real life on a loop unable to save the deserters. Eventually, Damon is exhausted and under the influence of Stefan, he realizes that he needed his mother the most. Finally, as he returns back to the very first vision of hell he had, he sees Lily. Overwhelmed by emotions, Damon starts sobbing and apologizes to her saying that he missed his mother when he needed her the most and how angry he has been at himself for not bidding her goodbye the way she deserved in the last two chances. He begs her to give him one last chance to serve her and receive her love but death intervenes. Lily dies in his arms and Damon is left devastated.
This time he actually comes back to real life, broken and perplexed, unable to believe that he lost his mother again and begs Bonnie to send him back. As Stefan tries comforting and explaining to him that all of it was hell faux, he loses it completely and goes on an attacking spree over Stefan, Caroline, Matt & Bonnie, killing them all. As the show ends, Damon is mentally & emotionally drained as he staggers to stand still, looking around and realizing that this time... this was real.
Special Recurring Guest Star
- This is the first episode to air in 2016. It's also the first mid-season premiere not to feature Elena Gilbert.
- This is the first episode of the show to air on Friday. The previous 142 episodes aired on Thursday.
- In 1863, Damon and Henry started to round up deserters to get home to Mystic Falls. Damon to see Stefan after receiving a letter from him while Henry was doing it so he could be with his girl Olive. They go to a house and everything goes wrong when they encounter deserters, they cover up what happened at the house never speaking of it again.
- In 1863 or 1864 after the farm house Henry is turned into vampire by Katherine before she arrived in Mystic Falls. Henry may also be how Katherine learned of Mystic Falls in the first place.
- Inside the Phoenix Stone, Damon is caught in an endless loop of during his time in the Civil War and sequences of him getting out.
- Damon sees Elena's coffin in his personal Hell with a version of Stefan telling him that he's lost without her.
- Lily only appears as part of Damon's personal Hell.
- Julian only appears as part of Damon's personal Hell where he's seen burning Stefan's body.
- Between Stefan and Damon, Bonnie was able to summon and bring back Stefan out of the stone first.
- Title card appears after eleven minutes - the longest in the series.
- This is the first episode of season seven not to include any of the Heretics: Valerie, Nora, Mary Louise and Beau.
- This is the first episode in the season not to have a flashforward scene.
- This episode is Damon-centric.
- Damon has the most screen time in this episode.
- Matt was last seen in Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me.
- Henry was last seen in a flashback in Memory Lane.
- Lily was last seen alive in Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me.
- Elena was last mentioned in Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me, her coffin was last seen in I Carry Your Heart With Me and Elena herself was last seen in I'm Thinking Of You All The While.
- Deserter #2 - Gunshot wound; killed by Henry Wattles
- Woman - Gunshot wound; killed by Henry Wattles
- Young Girl - Gunshot wound; killed by Henry Wattles
- Grandma - Gunshot wound; killed by Damon Salvatore
- Deserter #1 - Gunshot wound; killed by Damon Salvatore
Behind the Scenes
- On January 28, 2016, 1 day prior to the episode's release, the episode has been available on the internet since CTV Two still schedules The Vampire diaries on Thursday. 
- "Hell is other people" is a famous quotation from a play by Jean-Paul Sartre.
- Hell Is Other People is an album of Dynamite Boy recorded in 1998.
- Hell Is Other People is a comedy movie. Released in 2010.
- Matt: "Damon!"
- Bonnie: "Damon? Hey. Please tell me you know who you are. Damon! Say something!"
- Damon: "I know who I am Bon-Bon."
- Bonnie: "Good. It means I actually got the spell right for once. How do you feel?"
- Damon: "Like I just lived a day in a life of young Damon Salvatore."
- Bonnie: "A day. Damon, you've been dead for three months."
- Henry: "Hi there hero! You've been out a long time."
- Messenger: "Mail call."
- Henry: "News from home?"
- Damon: "My brother....."
- Stefan: "Dear Damon, They tell us to only send good news but I cannot. The days grow darker in Mystic Falls, and my heart darken still. Valerie left and never came back. Father drinks himself to sleep nightly. As the anniversary of mother's death approaches, I find myself unable to sleep. Paralysed by a waking dread that I cannot shake, and dare not name. I wish you were here, brother, to teach me how to survive these endless nights."
- Stefan: "That stone is punishment for every bad thing you've ever done. This is Damon. I don't even wanna know what he's going through."
- Female #1: "He can survive this!"
- Female #2: "Even if he can, he'll be different."