The Vampire Diaries 7×17 “I Went to the Woods” – In the aftermath of his brother’s fateful decision, Stefan (Paul Wesley) awakens to find himself thrown into a life or death situation with only his basic instincts to rely on. With time working against him, he sets off on a journey of survival while forced to confront a lifetime of irreversible damage Damon (Ian Somerhalder) has done to their relationship. Meanwhile, desperate to save his brother, Damon follows an unusual lead he has come across, while Matt (Zach Roerig) sends Valerie (guest star Elizabeth Blackmore) to Dallas to enlist Alaric’s (Matt Davis) help in the search for Stefan. Finally, when Rayna (guest star Leslie-Anne Huff) discovers the emergence of a new threat, she sets off on her own mission to find Stefan before the others do. Julie Plec directed the episode with teleplay by Neil Reynolds and story by Julie Plec & Neil Reynolds (#717).