Every time Damon takes a step forward with how he treats the people who care about him, he seems to take 10 steps back, as evidenced by the last scene in that episode. What sort of mental state is he in now, and is he even in a place where he can comprehend what he did?
SOMERHALDER: Going forward, the reality of it is that the aftermath of what he went through is actually going to be even worse. What ended up happening is that he killed everyone closest to him. He killed everybody, and now, after what he went through, the guilt he already felt for his mom and the PTSD of going through that experience anyway is going to literally amplify that and it’s going to become worse. Henry comes back and is haunting him saying, “You think you’re done. You’re not done. There’s still a lot more work to be done.” He’s just going to lose his mind.
It’s an interesting parallel to life. Life throws curve balls at you, and if you don’t learn how to hit them or even to bunt, you’re going to strike out. For Damon, it’s amplified by the fact that he’s174 years old. I’m 37 and I think to myself sometimes, when I do something stupid, “You’ve been around for 37 years. Why didn’t you think not to do that?” This poor basted has been around for 170 years and still makes mistakes that a 35-year-old man would be making, or a 12-year-old boy would be making. He’s got a lot to learn, and I think this next little journey is going to be quite interesting for him.
It’s been very impressive how you’ve all kept Elena a part of the show, even though she’s not physically there. How is Damon’s desire to continue to be a better man for her going to be affected by what he’s going through?
SOMERHALDER: It all stems from that and his desire to keep her close. The biggest thing he has to come to terms with is that he’s dangerous and he’s volatile, and he makes really bad decisions. His desire to have her close is actually the most dangerous thing for her, hands down. If he can relinquish that need and abdicate that throne of feeling that he has the power to protect her, and that he is her man and the mighty king of protecting Elena, and if he would just fucking stop for one second and really do the math and look at statistics, he’s put her in more danger than anyone she’s ever known or ever will know. So, this is going to be an interesting journey for him. It’s going to be fun for the audience to see what happens to him, after that crazy journey.
Obviously, seven seasons into a show means you’re likely closer to the end of the show than the beginning. Have you had conversations about when that end point might be?
SOMERHALDER: Not really. It’s so much information to process that I don’t know how we’d even go about that right now. Right now, we’re just trying to get through this season.