|“|| Matt: So, that's it, huh? You're just gonna give up? We grew up there, Ty. That is your town.
Tyler: Was my town. Now it's a cesspool that's not worth getting killed over. Getting out was the best thing that ever happened to me.
MICHAEL TREVINO RETURNS TO MYSTIC FALLS IN THIS EPISODE DIRECTED BY PAUL WESLEY — With the traumatic effects of the Phoenix Stone taking a toll on his brother, Stefan attempts to help Damon regain his grip on reality, while secretly struggling with his own experience in the stone. Elsewhere, Matt and Bonnie deal with the fallout after Julian and his men take over Mystic Falls, leading Matt to spiral out of control and into trouble with an officer named Penny. Meanwhile, Tyler returns to town for Alaric's baby shower and Caroline makes an upsetting discovery involving Alaric and his future plan for the babies.
|Damon is standing among the bodies of his friends and family. Luckily it doesn’t take him too long to realize this might be real, so he gives blood to the mortals in the room. And just as he’s apologizing to Bonnie, Caroline stakes him. When he wakes, he’s chained up in the Lockwood mansion. Damon starts yelling and wakes up his brother from a strange dream.
Damon expects to get the regular “repent for what you’ve done” speech from his little bro, but Stefan says because of what Damon had to endure in the Hell Stone, he gets a free pass. And then he shares this little tidbit from his own experiences: “Post-hell is much worse.”
Stefan explains that even once you’re free from the Phoenix Stone, its effects bleed into the real world. Stefan is haunted by Damon, and Damon is haunted by Henry. And if the Phoenix Stone effects weren’t enough, Julian has converted Mystic Falls into a haven for the extras of Sons of Anarchy. Damon is not going to like this.
When Stefan frees him, they head to a bar, where Julian “welcomes” them. He says that this was Lily’s home, now it’s his, he’s not going anywhere.Julian has been through this whole Phoenix Stone rebirth before. maybe he has some tips? These two clearly aren’t handling it well on their own.
Damon wanders out of the bar when he sees Henry, but Henry just follows him out. Damon doesn’t want to hear what he has to say, though, so he just rips out his heart … and then sees that it’s a total stranger. Stefan walks by and gives his characteristic “you should be better” look to his brother.
But what’s that they say about glass houses? Stefan finally opens up to Damon, explaining to his older brother that he saw him everywhere when he woke up from the Phoenix Stone. He couldn’t think of anything except Damon. He was so consumed with it, he didn’t even notice Julian taking over the town. He thought the only way to rid himself of Ghost Damon was to burn up the body of Real Damon. So he doused him in gasoline and was about to light him up when Caroline saved them both. It’s a touching story … except he’s been telling it to no one — a fact he realizes when Julian busts his window with a baseball bat and tells him as much.
Damon calls Tyler, who’s back in town for the twins’ baby shower, and asks him to see Elena. Tyler says no for a hot second, but then drives him to a nearby shipping yard. Damon pulls Elena’s coffin out of the container and opens it, only to find Henry. Tyler tries to shoot Damon, but Damon puts him to sleep instead. Nothing good is going to come of this. While the brothers are trying to get a grasp on their new lives, Caroline and Alaric are having a baby shower. But Caroline wants to make very clear that these are Alaric’s babies, and she won’t be helping after they’re born — they’re his responsibility alone. Later she finds out that Alaric is moving; he wants to raise the babies far from all the supernatural. Caroline is clearly upset but plays it off as nothing, as she’s so good at doing.
Norah stops by the shower — apparently she’s been in classes at Whitmore, and she and Bonnie have struck up an unlikely friendship. She even helped get Stefan out of the stone. Bonnie wants to be kind to her, but Matt is rude. Norah strangles him for a little bit and then leaves. It’s a little disappointing that Matty doesn’t see she’s pulling a Rebekah — she just wants to be your f-r-i-e-n-d.
Norah later proves her friendship by giving Bonnie plot-advancing info: The huntress is after the heretics. She tells Bonnie that her weapon is what put Julian into the Phoenix Stone, and once you’ve been marked by it, like Beau, she’ll come after you.
Unaware of all of this, Caroline is blissfully enjoying her Alaric’s shower when Stefan pops by. He needs to finally explain to her what happened to him in the Phoenix Stone: He was drowning in the quarry with Damon on an endless loop. He couldn’t save himself and Damon, so eventually he let his brother go. Only then was he able to let go of the hell world and be pulled out by Bonnie. He thinks the stone is trying to tell him that he will never be truly happy until Damon is out of his life for good. Caroline asks if he truly believes that…
Damon dousing “Henry’s” body with gasoline and SETTING IT ON FIRE. Ghost Henry appears behind him, and in that moment, Damon sees he’s burning up Elena’s body, but there’s nothing he can do to stop it.
The next we see him, he’s sitting back at the Lockwood Mansion staring into the fireplace. Stefan comes in and asks him where he’s been. Damon explains that he’s been dealing with his demons: “My true self is dark.” Stefan explains that his demon is Damon, but that he won’t let him go: “You’re also my brother. I’m not going to give up on you. Not now, not ever.”
Flash Forward : The episode ends with a very angry Matt Donovan helping Caroline out of captivity at the news station. Turns out he’s working with the huntress, and when Caroline pleads with him to think of her family, ice-cold Matt just says, “Your problems don’t mean anything anymore” .
Special Guest Star
- This episode marks the first appearance of Penny.
- Damon and Stefan are still experiencing the after effects of being contained inside the Phoenix Stone with Damon severely suffering far more than his younger brother.
- Bonnie invites Nora to the baby shower telling Matt having a Herectic for a friend is better than having one as an enemy. Nora is also revealed to be the one who helped Bonnie get Stefan out of the Phoenix Stone, Matt reminds Bonnie it was also Nora who put in there.
- Nora threatens Bonnie believing she sent her the postcard with a red X on it. She thinks Bonnie knows about The Huntress (Rayna Cruz) by her weapon the Phoenix Sword.
- Bonnie tells Nora she doesn't know anything about this Huntress but if her friends are in danger she'll do anything to protect them. She tells Nora there must be something they can do about her.
- This episode reveals that Kai's "Sleeping Beauty" spell on Elena doesn't protect her from being killed, as in Damon setting her on fire to kill her. Though it's later revealed the coffin was a decoy and that it was empty.
- For the first time this season the body of Elena Gilbert (stock footage with CGi fire) is seen in this episode as well as her coffin which Tyler took possession of in I Carry Your Heart With Me.
- This episode marks the 134th physical appearance of Elena Gilbert in the series by re-use of stock footage from Season 6 finale.
- In this episode Damon, Stefan and Julian are having some kind of a turf battle over Mystic Falls. In The Originals Season 3, episode: For the Next Millennium, Lucien Castle, said that because the world is a finite place, the territories are limited, and so even ancient vampires are not above vicious turf-wars. This was proven to be true, as Julian and his vampires took over Mystic Falls.
- This is the first episode this season to show a flash forward scene at the very end.
- Damon burns Elena's body.
- This likely had no effect on her as Kai's spell was to keep her in perfect health until Bonnie's death.
- It could also explain why Lily saw no trouble placing Elena's body into the river near Mystic falls before she changed her mind.
- Elena's coffin is seen in the first flash forward in Brooklyn with Damon telling Stefan he only wanted to be revived after she woke up.
- It is revealed by Enzo in This Woman's Work that he didn't burn her body, it was an empty coffin. A decoy by Tyler and Enzo because they knew Damon was seeing things. Her coffin is in already in New York under the protection of Enzo's new friends.
- Tyler was last seen in I Carry Your Heart With Me.
- Elena was last seen in I'm Thinking Of You All The While.
- Alaric and Nora were last seen in Cold as Ice.
- Jo and Alaric's twins Josie Saltzman and Lizzie Saltzman were last mentioned in Cold as Ice.
- This is the first and only episode in which Nora appears without Mary Louise.
- Mystic Falls, Virginia
- Restaurant (flashback)
- McKinley, Virginia
- Greensboro, North Carolina
- Grove Hill
- Police Department
- Dallas, Texas
- KQBC Channel 3 News Studio (flashforward)
- Two street racer vampires - gunshot wound with a wooden bullet; killed by Matt Donovan
- Ellis - heart extraction; killed by Damon Salvatore
- Elena Gilbert - burned; presumably killed by Damon Salvatore
Behind the Scenes
- It was Paul’s idea to have Tyler’s doll’s head fall off during the baby shower diaper-changing race. Matt’s comment on his own poorly diapered doll (“Looks like a helmet”) was actually an ad lib from Zach during his in-character reaction while we rolled that take.
- The underwater sequence was shot on our stages. In season 4, we built a small tank in order to drown Carol Lockwood for Christmas. By season 7, we’re up to a 12,000-gallon tank. If we hit season 9, we’ll be able to film Titanic 2. Directed by Paul Wesley, written by Julie Plec.
- This episode’s title is based on one of my favorite scripts of all time, a film written by Allen Loeb. That script is an extraordinary piece of material and a must-read for any budding writer.
- Hashtag during the airing is #SexyWesley
- Things We Lost in the Fire is a 2007 drama film directed by Susanne Bier and written by Allan Loeb, starring Halle Berry and Benicio del Toro. Julie Plec said that she based the title on this movie. 
- "Things We Lost in the Fire" is the eighth episode of the twelfth season of the American television medical drama Grey's Anatomy, and the 253rd episode overall. It aired on November 19, 2015 on ABC in the United States.
- "Things We Lost in the Fire" is the sixth single by British indie rock band Bastille from their debut studio album Bad Blood. The song was released on August 23, 2013 and was played in the twenty-second episode of the fourth season of The Vampire Diaries.
- Things We Lost in the Fire is a 2001 album by Low, their fifth full-length release. In 2006, the album was performed live in its entirety as part of the All Tomorrow's Parties-curated Don't Look Back series.
- Stefan: "Hell messes with you. Post hell is much worse."
- Damon: "I'm a hundred percent okay."
- Henry: "Peak-A-Boo."
- Caroline (to Stefan):"Something happened in that hell world!"
- Damon (to Henry): "Can't you find someone else to haunt!?"
- Caroline (to Stefan):"Something that you won't admit!"
- Stefan: "If wanted to survive. I had to go on without him. So I let him go."
- Caroline: "Hey. How did you do that?"
- Alaric: "Well it's a diaper, not a bomb. Though I could dismantle a bomb blindfolded if I needed to."
- Caroline: "Ha. Ha. There's nothing funnier than newborns and C4."
- Alaric: "So I shouldn't store my explosives in the nursery? I think I read that one in the 20 parenting magazines you left in my office."
- Caroline: "Okay. Okay, I get it. I'm the overprotective no-fun surrogate."
- Alaric: "No. No. Actually, you are...and incredibly generous friend who I will forever be indebted to."
- Caroline: "Well it's not about debt. As long as you understand. Once these babies are born, I will not be on call 24/7 to burp and bathe and feed and diaper...."
- Alaric: "I get it, Caroline. I don't expect that to be your problem."
- Caroline: "Well it's not a problem. It's just that there's...Ooph! Baby A just kicked!"
- Alaric: "What she did? Really? Oh damn! My daughter's in it!"
- Caroline: "Oh yeah. There goes Baby B."
- Alaric: "What you can tell them apart?"
- Caroline: "Of course!"
- Alaric: "Oh..."
- Damon: "No vervain this time? Are we switching up the menu?"
- Stefan: "I just wanted to make sure you had a chance to calm down."
- Damon: "Oh I'm calm. No. No. No. You're going to say to me, you're going to say that I screwed up so bad and nearly killed all of our friends because I thought I was stuck in that...fake hell world."
- Stefan: "You don't have to explain. It wasn't your fault."
- Damon: "Huh?"
- Stefan: "It was a honest mistake. You're getting a pass."
- Damon: "Wait...You skipped a bunch of stuff. First I say that I see the error of my ways and then you tell me that that's not good enough then you judge me harder and I say something mean but true. Totally throws you off balance."
- Stefan: "You came out of the Phoenix Stone but you thought you were still inside of it. Everybody understands."
- Damon: "Huh. That's pretty generous considering I just....stabbed your pregnant girlfriend in the chest."
- Stefan: "Yeah, well....Hell does a number on you."
- Damon: "Yeah..Yeah it does. Well I'm here...and it's real. Ready for my bro hug. I wouldn't until you unchain me brother."
- Stefan: "Here's the thing Damon....Um...Hell messes with you. Post hell is much worse."
- Damon: "Huh."