'Vampire Diaries' scoop: Ian Somerhalder talks this week's episode, Damon's humanity, and his own plan to save the planet

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Today, Ian Somerhalder turns 32, and he’s celebrating by doing some press for his new project, the habitat and biodiversity focused Ian SomerhalderFoundation, and The Vampire Diaries‘ Dec. 9 midseason finale before hitting the show’s set. Because we are Entertainment Weekly, we’ll start you off with theVampire Diaries scoop. Then, we’ll help him save the world. So, what can he tease about Damon’s mindset afterThursday’s episode? "Basically, Damon, as much as he fights it, is starting to feel. And that angers him. It scares him. It’s just different for him, and he doesn’t quite know how to deal with it," he says. "I was talking to my father, and his dog, our family dog, is a rural country dog. She’s never been on a leash, this animal. We’re taking her this winter to our house in the mountains where we’re gonna spend Christmas. We’re gonna bring her. We want our dog with us. My dad is gonna drive across country, and he said [Laughs] he tried to teach her how to walk on a leash, and she flipped out. The dog’s 10 years old. It’s so difficult teaching an old dog new tricks, and Damon is unbelievably uncomfortable on that metaphorical leash of humanity. It’s been so long since he felt like this that it’s freaking him out. Another element shows up to Mystic Falls that again compromises and endangers what he started to love, and so the stakes get raised again. At the end of this episode, it’s pretty heavy for him."

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