After season 6's bloody finale of The Vampire Diaries
, during which doppelganger turned vampire turned human Elena Gilbert was literally laid to rest, due to star Nina Dobrev's exit from the series. Fans were left wondering how the series, and Elena's true love, Damon Salvatore, would move forward in her absence. There's no doubt that Dobrev's character will be missed, but her departure wasn't necessarily unwelcome. Along with Elena, there was a mass exodus of characters (Liv, Tyler, Jo, Kai), enabling The Vampire Diaries
writers to give the series a creative face lift, some supernatural Botox, if you will.
There was a familiarity about the season 7 premiere of The Vampire Diaries
that illustrates the show's creators are going back to some basic storytelling elements that have worked so well for the series in the past.