Who here thought Damon Salvatore was really, truly, absolutely dead when he and Bonnie got stuck on the Other Side last season? No? Me neither, not even when they faced that bright white light. Because honestly, the day that Damon or Stefan or Elena dies for real is the day that The Vampire Diaries ends.
The show knows that we know that so it only took five episodes for Damon to return to the land of the living (sorry, Bonnie). Even when he was supposedly dead, we got plenty of Elena's herb-induced hallucinations of Damon and actual Damon who was stuck in his "own personal hell" a.k.a. 1994 Mystic Falls a.k.a. a hellhole specifically made for a sociopath who massacred his entire family.
Thanks to Bonnie's magic and sacrifice, Damon's officially back—only to find out that his girlfriend asked his best friend to make her forget that she ever loved him because the grief was making her do terrible things. Alaric could've given Elena back her memories, but since this is The Vampire Diaries, of course it can't be that easy! A turn of events causes Alaric to become human and lose his memory-restoring powers. (Seriously, it's so hard to keep track of who's a what on this show.)
Moving forward, we'll get to watch Damon and Elena fall in love all over again (or not) (but most probably yes). As Damon says, "Our eyes will meet, fireworks will go off, and the balance of nature will be restored."
Catch The Vampire Diaries every Friday on ETC.