Damon is not in a very good place when we see him at the start of The Vampire Diaries season eight. (Okay, that might be a bit of an understatement.)
As we saw in the season seven finale, "He's super possessed by an enemy that we essentially don't know what it is," Ian Somerhalder explains to E! News on a visit to the show's Atlanta set. "Damon's a bit of a loose cannon. His girl is in a box, he's been through hell and high water, and so him being susceptible to this sort of new energy just sort of feeds into the times."
It sounds a lot like the Damon we used to know, which Somerhalder recognizes. "He does a lot of stuff that is very much in the vein of the old Damon, but instead of being based in what was love now it's just this sort of weird obsession that he is doing a lot of evil stuff and he's conflicted."
Put simply, "it's very heavy and very dark." And that's not going away any time soon—we'll see both Damon and Enzo (Michael Malarkey) struggle with the possession, and Stefan (Paul Wesley) might even come into the mix. "As we get deeper and deeper and deeper into the seasons Stefan comes into the fold in a big way, and you just have a s---ton of mayhem," Somerhalder says.
Meanwhile, "Caroline, Stefan and Bonnie are trying to find Damon and Enzo," explains Candice King. "They know that [the boys are] causing mayhem wherever they go and they're trying to get to the bottom of why they've fallen into such a deep, dark, thoughtless spell."
While we'll have to wait until the show premieres to learn more about what this evil might be, Matt Davis tells us that it might be a familiar story. "It's a pretty epic twist and take on an old mythology," he says. "We're updating that, and Alaric, being the head of the armory now, is employing his knowledge and his wisdom and the resources of the armory to help try to track down who the big bad guy is and how it specifically relates to him and his kids."
The Vampire Diaries' eighth and final season premieres Friday at 8 p.m. on The CW.