The Downward Spiral is the sixteenth episode of the sixth season of The Vampire Diaries and the one hundred and twenty-seventh episode of the series.


The Vampire Diaries 6x16 Extended Promo - The Downward Spiral HD00:31

The Vampire Diaries 6x16 Extended Promo - The Downward Spiral HD

IAN SOMERHALDER MAKES HIS DIRECTORIAL DEBUT — After shutting off her humanity following the death of her mother, Caroline gives her friends an unexpected ultimatum. Not knowing how to handle the new Caroline, Stefan's attempt to intervene sets off a dangerous chain of events, leaving him and Elena in a race against the clock. Meanwhile, after seeking answers from Kai about the prison world, Damon's world is turned upside when he learns some devastating news about his mother Lily. Elsewhere, Enzo finds himself becoming increasingly intrigued by Sarah, and Bonnie begins to struggle with the effects of being back in the real world.





Main CastEdit

Recurring CastEdit


  • Antagonist: Caroline Forbes.
  • The title refers to Caroline dealing with her mother's death with her humanity switch off.
  • DEreal Feb 2 I'll take any scoop on Delena and Steroline #SpoilerChat #TVDGet ready to have your minds BLOWN, thanks to Ian Somerhalder's directing debut! "Ian directed some really cool stuff," Kat Graham says. "We're doing some stuff that, honestly, in the last six years we've never done on this show—at least I've never been a part of it. So, I'm super excited to show some for the really cool visuals to happen during the show."
  • Caroline is spotted, getting a little crazy as she reveals that she's switched off her humanity switch to Elena and Bonnie. Caroline is seen, taking a huge bite out of some guy's neck. Damon jokes about Caroline's new crazy condition claiming he knew it would happen.
  • Now that we've met Damon and Stefan's mother, what can you tease about the insanity she's going to bring?I think the key word you just used was insanity. Here's a woman they thought was long dead, having died a totally natural, human death. And there she is, what, 65 years later than they thought she died in prison world. Which means she's either wrongly victimized, or entirely deserving of her incarceration. So those are questions that are going to be asked and will start to be delivered next [episode] when we get to know more about her.
  • How quickly will Damon loop in Stefan about their mother being in the prison world, and how is Stefan going to react to that?Damon has to ask himself, what do I need to learn about this person before I tell my poor little brother that has mourned her since he was 10 that she might be an evil, evil person trapped in bad places. He's got a bit of a struggle at the top of the next episode trying to figure that out.


  • Continues the trend of not featuring Tyler in the 16th episode of each season so far.
    • However, in Bring it On, Tyler did not appear but his voice was heard by a voicemail.
  • Enzo & Sarah were last seen in Stay.
  • Liam was last seen in Fade Into You.

Behind the ScenesEdit

Cultural ReferencesEdit

  • "The Downward Spiral" is a song by Nine Inch Nails released March 8, 1994, on their album of the same name.
  • This term describes a depressive state where the person experiencing the downward spiral is getting more and more depressed, perhaps due to causes unknown. It is called a downward spiral because there is no way to stop it, it's just going to get worse and worse... until the person crashes.








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