'The Vampire Diaries' Recap: 'Things We Lost in the Fire' Season 7 Episode 11

Empty Lighthouse is a reader-supported site. This article may contain affiliate links to Amazon and other sites. We earn a commission on purchases made through these links.

After an impactful return CWTV's The Vampire Diaries intensifies with Damon struggling once more. In "The Things We Lost in the Fire," episode 11 of season seven, fans learned more about Stefan's struggles while he was trapped in the Phoenix stone.

Stefan is forced to help Damon snap back to reality after he snapped his neck last week. Damon isn't the only Salvatore brother who struggled while being trapped in the Phoenix stone and Stefan's story is finally told. Julian has his reinforcements and they are ruling Mystic Falls and none of that sits well with Matt who loses control.

Tyler left Mystic Falls after losing Liv but makes his return to celebrate the lives that live within Caroline.

As Caroline and Alaric have their baby shower, Caroline figures out that Ric's plans for the twins isn't something that she can support.

This week the madness kicks off in the aftermath of what Damon did, taking out all of his friends in the real world. He rushes over to Matt first and allows him to drink his blood so that he can save him, he does the same to Bonnie next and then admits that he had no idea he was out.

Before he can go further, he is injected with vervain by Caroline.

He wakes up shackled in the house and says he saw it coming. Meanwhile, we get a glimpse into Stefan's personal hell where he is drowning and all he can hear is the voice of his brother calling him.

Stefan wakes up and says he heard his brother the first time and walks over. He said they just wanted to make sure he snaps back to himself. Stefan forgives his brother for what he did but part of the reason seems like it might have to do with his own experience.

He tells his brother that hell does a number on your and Damon says that he is ready for his bro hug. His brother tells him that hell messes with you but post hell is still bad.

Tyler walks in on the two of them and he says he is back for the baby shower. Tyler asks them what's going on out there and Stefan reveals that Damon has been gone for weeks.

In town, Julian and his group are holding drag races, drinking and being quite rowdy. Matt and Bonnie are setting up road spikes likely to stop anyone from wandering into Mystic Falls which has been taken over by Julian. There is a moment when Bonnie is on a singles website and she is actually matched with Matt.

They laugh off the situation and it's shown that the spikes were to take out the two racing heretics that were part of Julian's new crowd.

Damon asks Stefan if he is crazy for letting Matt and Bonnie handle the heretics.

Stefan tells Damon about his time in hell and it starts at a fancy dinner setting with Caroline and while they are celebrating a pregnancy, Damon shows up and Stefan attacks him. It ends up being a waiter and Stefan has to apologize. Damon says he gets it but he has no desire to kill Caroline.

Damon promises that he won't have a psychotic break. Stefan asks that in order for him to be unchained, he has to stay by his side while he drives him around the new Mystic Falls.

Damon is back in the real world and Stefan leaves to get the keys when Damon is plagued by his friend from his personal hell. Stefan returns and now it seems as if Damon isn't sure what to believe.

Caroline is setting up for the shower and on the phone with Stefan. She asks if he is really concerned about Damon or if he is trying to get out of the shower. He tells her not to worry and when he gets off the phone, Damon makes a motion trying to tell Stefan that he's whipped.

When Stefan and Damon walk into the bar, he sees that it has been transformed into a biker bar.

Damon relives his hell with his brother and while doing so he still sees the hallucination. He changes the topic but Julian comes over before Stefan can begin.

Apparently, Stefan and Julian called a truce and Damon is hostile towards Julian but Stefan tells him he needs to play nice. Julian is referring to Mystic Falls as his town and walks off. When he leaves Damon's soldier buddy visits him and asks him if he needs a drink. The hallucination vanishes and Damon walks off.

Julian returns and asks Stefan is he is certain that he is ready to be Damon's wingman. Bonnie and Caroline are having fun at the shower and Alaric, Tyler and Matt are taking part in some of the games.

Caroline and Alaric are talking about the pregnancy and he says he will forever be indebted to her. She makes it clear that she won't be there 24/7 to help with the babies.

Alaric says he understands and then they both get excited when the babies start kicking. Tyler meets with Matt and tells him the best thing that ever happened to him was getting out of town. Then, out of nowhere, Nora shows up and apparently she was invited by Bonnie and Caroline. She even comes baring gifts and says she took time off from studying.

Damon is plagued by the hallucination of Henry who asks him if he is going to surrender his town to the enemy. Damon believing it was a hallucination, rips the heart out of who he thought was Henry.

it was actually one of Julian's new heretics and Stefan shows up just in time for the aftermath.

Bonnie walks back in to the shower and Matt approaches her upset about inviting Nora to the shower. Bonnie says she invited her because she sees her studying alone everyday and felt bad. Just then Nora shows up and and decides to leave.

Matt agrees and Bonnie asks Nora to stay but she says that she isn't wanted and when a threat goes wrong, she ends up using her powers on Matt to make a point.

She stops when Bonnie begs her and then departs the party. Matt is not happy with Bonnie.

Stefan recounts his hell again for Damon seeing him in the water. Then a scene occurs where it looks like Caroline is trying to find out what went on in the hell. Damon shows up and threatens to rip the baby out of her stomach and Stefan loses it. He stops when Caroline tells him it's not real. He continues to tell Damon that he continued to lose it and didn't notice that Julian was taking over town.

Nothing else mattered except making Damon go away. Damon asks him what he did and he said he got a can of gasoline to try to burn Damon's body to get rid of him. He thought it was the only way for him to finally move on.

Caroline comes in and convinces him not to actually go through with it. He was willing to kill his brother for his own well being.

The brothers are attacked and Stefan's window is smashed. He and Damon are still inside but Damon tells him he isn't the one he has to worry about. Damon then tells Stefan he needs to quit trying to save him.

Stefan is pulled out of the vehicle by Julian and he promises to get Damon under control. Julian says he has to find him first and Stefan looks back into the car where he thought his brother was.

Julian tells Stefan that he was talking to himself when he came to the car and threatens Stefan to get Damon under control.

Tyler meets with Damon and Damon wants the coffin. Tyler tells him that when he gave him the coffin he said not to give it to him under any circumstances. Things get a little heated and Damon even threatens the baby shower if he can see his girl.

Things subside and it looks like they might be off to see Elena.

Matt is pulled over after drunkenly swerving in the middle of the road.

He tries to use his badge to help him get out of the situation but the officer asks him to step out of the vehicle anyway, detecting that he might be drunk.

Tyler brings Damon to the site where he left Elena's coffin and opens up the shipyard trailer. Damon pulls it out in and Tyler slowly backs away ask Damon opens it. When he opens it it's actually Henry's hallucination that greets him. Tyler tries to put a tranquilizer of vervain in him but he catches it and puts a swift beatdown on Tyler.

Stefan walks up to the shower and asks Caroline why she didn't answer his phone. Stefan is actually flustered for once in his life and tells her that he can't find his brother.

Caroline says he is okay and that it's okay but Stefan tells her it isn't and neither is her brother.

Damon engages in a conversation with Henry who tells him the Phoenix stone frees him to reborn as his true self. Stefan wants to go find his brother but Caroline says they have to take care of him first. She says that something happened to him while he was in there and that he has to try to tell her. She says he can't go on like that.

He tells her he was living in a repeated world of misery. Damon was dragging him into the quarry and they were drowning each other.

He says every time he keep escaping he swam back down to try to save his brother.

He realized that to get out of the loop he had to let his brother drown. He felt like he abandoned his brother and let him drown so he can save himself.

Caroline says that a faux version of his brother is trying to tell him that he needs to let his brother go. Stefan says that the stone is telling him that he will never be happy until Damon is out of his life.

Caroline asks him if he really believes that and he remain silent. Damon has had enough of his hallucination and sets Henry's body on fire in the casket. Only, it wasn't Henry's body it was Elena's!

Bonnie visits Nora and tells her that it was suppose to be a fresh start. She says she was trying to be nice to her and Nora brings up a postcard that she believed was sent by Bonnie. Bonnie denies it and Nora tells Bonnie about the red X mark which is the mark of the Huntress.

She also told Bonnie that the Huntress used the sword to trap Julian. Nora tells her that it's none of her worries but Bonnie doesn't want to hear it, she decides that she wants to help Nora.

Matt has a heart to heart with the officer that arrested him. He has to spend the night in jail but when it seems like she was playing nice, she presents him with his vampire hunting gear and asks him what the hell he found in the truck. Alaric comes back to the house and Caroline is just trying to find something to keep her busy.

She begins rambling and Alaric asks her what's going on with her. She asks him when he was going to tell her that he was leaving and he says he is not raising his children anywhere near vampires.

He apologizes to her and says he thought it was going to be a single parent sort of thing and she wasn't going to be involved.

It's hard for her to admit but she tells him that he and the baby should get as far away as they can.

Stefan finds his brother back home and asks him where he was. Stefan then admits that he let his brother drown in his hell and has been hallucinating it since. Damon says that he should accept that because Damon's inner self is dark.

Stefan admits that his brother is reckless, selfless and dangerous but he is his brother and he is stuck with her. They stand looking at each other and Damon fumbles over his words trying to tell say something, however, he just tells him he's out of bourbon.

Stefan asks him if that's it and he says that's it.

In the future flash-forward Matt arrives at the news station and finds Caroline duck-taped in a box. He frees her but he is still aiming the gun at her and tells her to leave.

He tells her that he wants to get to Stefan and that Caroline has to stay out of the way until the Huntress gets what she wants.

Matt admitted to having a family of his own that was also destroyed. The mystery of who the woman is causing hell in the future is revealed, it's the huntress.

"The Things We Lost in the Fire" is another emotional episode for the second half of season seven of The Vampire Diaries. There is no way the writers would leave fans hanging without the the second Salvatore brother's story from the Phoenix stone.

Paul Wesley did an exceptional job directing the episode in what was also one of his most emotional performances yet. Fans who can't get enough can head over to The CWTV main page for updates and extras.

Photos that sum up tonight's episode.