The Vampire Diaries Season 5, Episode 4: "For Whom the Bell Tolls" Recap/Review

Remember how when the first season started, and I was like, "What is this, am I starting to feel sympathy for Stefan? What is wrong with me?" This affliction seems to have been temporary, though, because after this episode, I'm right back to disliking him the way that I did last season. I mean, I do get that he literally lost like, 164 years worth of memories, which would be totally traumatic for anyone, as well as all involved parties, but UGH, he's even more self-obsessed than he was before. I think part of it is that I used to LOVE Stefan, but somewhere along the way, he became so hypocritical, self-righteous and otherwise preachy as hell that I just couldn't deal with it. The past season or two, especially.

But, enough about that, because there's still quite a bit that happened this week, as well as plenty of nods to 2009, when things were much simpler, and wayyyy more characters were still alive. So, let's hop!

Previously, on The Vampire Diaries: Elena thought she was in love with Stefan, but learned over time that she's in love with Damon. Silas, who has the same face/body as Stefan, locked him in a safe at the bottom of a lake so he could steal his identity and wreak havoc on Mystic Falls, particularly the Scooby Gang. Nadia and her manwitch friend, Gregor, put Gregor's essence in Matt's head, so his spirit could stay alive in case his body was killed. Which, it was. Now, he's still just hanging out in Matt's brain, and comes out to play every once and awhile when someone summons him, which results in some confusing blackouts for Matt. Bonnie died when she tried to bring Jeremy back to life, and now Alive!Jeremy is covering for her absence, since she's still not ready to admit that she's actually dead yet. Qetsiyah, now known as Tessa, who is also alive again, rescued Stefan from his watery coffin and proceeded to fry his brain with a spell so she could destroy Silas' mental powers. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), this resulted in Stefan losing every memory he's ever had, which is probably going to complicate things a little. And this is where we pick up this week!

Stefan is riding shotgun in a car with Damon, and he is trying to figure out who the fuck he is by reading through his old vampire diaries. He reads a passage aloud from his journal covering the 1920s. "March 12, 1922. I blacked out for days. I wake up in a stranger's blood in places I don't recognize with women I don't remember." Was that during the days when he was besties with Klaus in Chicago? I forget. Damon seems to have these entries committed to memory, because he finishes it off for him. "I feel alive again!" Stefan has read enough, it seems, though he still doesn't remember anything about his life. He knows the date, and he knows regular factoids, but as far as his past memories of family, friends, etc, he's got nothing.

He takes a sip from a blood bag, and seems to still be adjusting to the fact that he just re-learned that he's a vampire. He asks if the blood bag is really supposed to fill him up, but Damon admits it's a little complicated. "Well, yes and no. Technically, yeah, because you're a vampire. [...] Realistically, no, because you' know, you." Stefan's apparently been read in on the whole "ripping people apart and putting them back together," Ripper of Monterrey thing. Damon quips that they've only gotten to the 20s so far, which understandably overwhelms Stefan, because that leaves like 90 years left to cover. He tries to throw his empty blood bag out the window, but Damon stops him. This town's people might be pretty tolerant of the vampire population, at least the ones who know, but littering by throwing an empty blood bag out onto the street isn't really discreet.

Stefan's like, "So, let me get this straight. I helped you steal this car. I found out I was a vampire who killed his own father, and yet I don't litter?" I hate to say that I'm glad they committed grand theft auto, but I'm SO happy that they're not driving Damon's Camaro, for reasons that will become evident in a minute. Anyway, Damon exposits about how Stefan is the hero, man of principle, blah blah blah, who had all his memories erased by a prehistoric witch. Stefan gets snarky, and gives Damon shit about driving so slowly. He assumes that he's the fun brother, and Damon's the safe brother, which LOLOLOLOL NOPE.

Of course, this really grinds Damon's gears, so he decides to take that as a challenge. He laughs and puts the gas pedal to the floor. Stefan is like, "What the FUCK are you doing?" Damon asks him if he trusts him, to which Stefan says he really has no choice in the matter. He's right--Damon pulls the emergency brake, which spins the car a few times before it flips at pretty high speeds and lands upside down. A few of the broken off pieces are on fire, and both brothers were pretty much ejected from the wreckage. Stefan groans as he pulls himself up onto his elbows, and concedes with a laugh that Damon IS indeed the fun brother, and Damon chuckles as well. "Whew!" Bahaha! Man, I would not mind being a vampire at ALL if it meant I could be ejected from a car in a huge wreck without getting a scratch. TITLE CARD!

Elena's is pacing through Casa Salvatore's parlor as she talks to Caroline on her cell. She wants reassurance that leaving Damon in charge of Stefan's re-immersion therapy, but Caro doesn't really help assuage her fears--instead, she jokes that they've probably "devoured a troop of Girl Scouts by now," before she spouts off some scientific information about retrograde amnesia and traumatic brain injury. Elena is super impressed, and asks how Caroline became a doctor all of a sudden. I would say it's at least partially motivated by trying to distract herself from Tyler-related drama, but she does have other aspirations. "It's possible I studied up on my chem, biochem, applied microbio, molecular bio, and Grey's Anatomy--the real one, and the television show." 

Elena is shocked that she would do all of that, just to help Stefan, but Caroline says it's also to wow Dr. Maxfield enough for him to let her into his class, so she can figure out what the fuck his deal is and why he's covering up Megan's murder. It definitely doesn't hurt that Jesse is now her newest study buddy, and we can see that she's waiting outside Dr. Maxfield's lab, where Jessie is a research assistant. While she talks to Elena, Dr. Maxfield turns around to look at Caroline suspiciously, which sets off my hinkiness radar. She puts Elena on hold, and brown-nosily says hello to Professor Creepy 2.0 before she asks if Jesse is ready to go. Elena is very pleased to hear that they're hanging out, because he's super cute, super smart, and SUPER into Caroline, which puts him above Tyler at the moment. Caro informs her that she's dragging him to Mystic Falls' "hometown graveyard bell-ringing ceremony." I'm not even really going to call it Remembrance Day, because it's already a holiday that isn't THIS ridiculous excuse to get super drunk.

Elena calls her roomie out on the creepy first date, but Caroline assures her that it's only a study date. "While I'm there, I might as well ring a bell for Tyler and me, considering our relationship is on its deathbed." Jesse says goodbye to Doctor Creepy, who reminds him to stay out of trouble, and Caroline quickly asks Elena if she'll be at Drunkenly-Ring-Bells-For-Dead-Loved-Ones Day. "You could bring Stefan! I mean, it IS ironically called 'Remembrance Day.'" Before the girls say their goodbyes, Elena admits she'd like to go, but it will just depend on how well Stefan is adjusting to learning all the dark and depressing details of his life again. You'd think he'd be better off without that depressive chip off his shoulder, wouldn't you?

The Brothers Salvatore are hanging out at the Grill, where some dude at the bar holds up a shot of liquor and yells, "To Uncle Steve!" as he rings a huge bell. Everyone else in the bar holds up their drinks and mumbles the same before downing their booze. Stefan is a little confused about everyone in this town's upbeat attitudes regarding death, but he obviously doesn't remember that Mystic Falls loses like, ten citizens to (usually violent) death like, every week, so they had to adjust somehow. Damon explains how the holiday started: "Well, in the theme of morbid town tradition, you go back to the 1820s when everyone was so paranoid about the cholera thing that they would occasionally bury a body a weeee bit before it's time." 

The bell-ringing thing is related to how some people requested to be buried with a bell over their graves, with a string that went down into their coffins so if they ended up not actually being dead, they could ring the bell, and their families (who would be waiting anxiously around their grave for ~24 hours) could dig them back up. Now, it's just an excuse to get drunk, which they do. I mean, you've seen this show. Bourbon has pretty much replaced blood in all of their veins, now that they don't have to worry about liver damage.

A cute waitress comes over to take the boys' empty glasses, and Stefan gets pretty distracted by the pulsing carotid artery in the young lady's neck. He's basically salivating. The waitress doesn't notice this creepy behavior, but Damon does, and asks for another round to give the waitress an excuse to go away. Stefan watches her leave, and even strains his neck to keep an eye on her for a moment. Once she has walked back into the kitchen, Stefan shakes himself out of his bloodlusty-daze and asks Damon what the fuck just happened to him. When Damon tells him that it's his body telling him that he'd like something a little fresher and warmer to eat than the blood bags he's been drinking. Stefan's ready to go tap a vein, since he just spent the last 24 hours being convinced that vampires exist AND he is one, himself. For once, Damon isn't so keen on that idea. "Well, unfortunately, Stefan, there are two types of vampires in the world, okay? There are those who can handle moderation, and then there's you."

I mean, I get why they'd all be nervous about it, but I'm pretty sure the majority of Stefan's blood addiction issues are as a result of overwhelming grief, guilt, self-loathing, blah blah blah. Stefan totally agrees with me, and figures without all of his painful memories, the Ripper in him will end up not making any more appearances, but Damon isn't really in the mood to experiment with it, lest Stefan actually end up Ripper-ing someone. Elena walks into the Grill and walks over to their table. "And there I thought catching up on nearly two centuries would be a drag." Stefan has forgotten who she is, again, which wipes the smile right off Elena's face, so Damon hastily informs her that they haven't quite gotten into modern times yet in the Stefan's Life History lecture. Damon takes a deep swig of his drink, and Elena downs a drink of her own as well.

Back at Casa Salvatore, Jeremy is doing the world a favor by working out in the parlor. Shirtless. He's on the floor doing push-ups when he notices Bonnie is there, admiring the view. And what a fine view it is! He stands up and pulls his earbuds out, and Bonnie is like, "Don't stop on my account!" He explains that he just got home from a run, since he's got a lot of extra adrenaline to burn, and asks what she's doing here. "It's not like there's Netflix where I am. You working out is my main source of entertainment." Aw, Bonnie! Although, as far as entertainment goes, it could DEFINITELY be worse! Jer calls her out on making dead jokes while he's been busy avoiding all of their friends to keep her secret. She swears that there's nothing she can do to bring Stefan's memories back, but that's not really his point.

"But they don't know that, because they don't know you're dead. They're waiting for you to help them, because that's what you do. You HELP." Bonnie is a little hurt, since Jeremy promised he would support her in her decisions while she worked on dealing with her death, but Jeremy is having a really hard time hiding this from everyone he cares about. I really don't blame him, tbh. I love Bonnie, and I was so sad that she died, but this plan is so stupid. It's even more stupid when you think about how weird it is that NONE OF HER FRIENDS HAVE NOTICED HER ABSENCE. And besides, it's already been four months, so how much longer can they really go before someone figures it out on their own? How the hell did Jeremy manage to convince EVERYONE to not look any deeper in the first place? Anyway, Jer gets a call from Matt, which puts an end to their argument for now. Matt admits that he's kind of freaking out, and asks his buddy if he can come over to talk.

When Jeremy gets to the Lockwood Mansion, Matt leads him into the late Mayor (Richard, not Carol) Lockwood's study and pulls out a folded cloth than contains Gregor's knife, though Matt doesn't know that. He explains that he woke up the previous night, covered in mud with that knife in his pocket. Jeremy's like, "Weird, bro," and Matt agrees; he admits that he has no idea how it got there because he blacked out, and he's thinking it probably isn't the first time. Jeremy hears the word "blackout" and automatically gets Evil!Alaric flashbacks, so he asks him how many times Matt has died wearing the Gilbert ring. (By my calculations, he's died twice so far; once when he and Damon tried to scare Elena into turning her humanity back on, and again when Silas snapped his neck in the woods like, an episode ago.)

"No, I don't think it's the Gilbert ring that's messing with me, no. Like, it's got to have something to do with why Silas couldn't mind-control me. He saw something, or someone, or whatever that Czech freak put in my head, and I think it's still in there." Jer notices a video camera set up on a tripod, and asks Matt about it. He replies that he's set up cameras all over the house so he can figure out wtf he's doing during all this lost time. I can see why he'd think that's a good idea, but it probably won't be very helpful if he leaves the house while blacked out. Also, I've been wondering this ever since Gregor was put in Matt's head--do you think that when he's in control of Matt's body, he can do magic? Is the magic that witches possess in their bodies, or in their spirits? I hope we find out soon! I'm just glad Matt has an actual story line!

Matt asks Jeremy if he's talked to Bonnie, since she'd probably know what's happening to him, but Jer lies (badly) and tells him that Bonnie's in Washington D.C. Matt assumes he must have done something to piss her off, because he's sent her like 300 emails and he's only received two in response. "Jer, look, I need you to help me get in contact with her, okay? I haven't slept, okay? I'm scared I'm going crazy here, I need her help!" Since Jeremy has no good answers for him, he awkwardly stammers, "I gotta go," and runs off before Matt realizes what's up. Matt is quite confused and more than a little annoyed, as you can imagine.

Elena is sitting at that same table at the Grill with Damon and giving him shit for his less than impressive job at trying to help Stefan get his memories back. Damon reminds her that he didn't ever say he actually knew what he was doing, and really, do any of them know what they're doing? Elena goes to call up Bonnie, since Stefan's amnesia is witch-related, which means a witch could probably fix it, but Damon tells her to chill out. Apparently, he's already called her like, ten times anyway, and he figures that until she calls them back, they should just let Stefan have a little fun without all of his nasty memories making him feel all guilty and sad-sacky. As they speak, he's drinking at the bar and chatting up that waitress from earlier.

"That guilt came from a blood addiction that might still be hard-wired into his brain," Elena reasons, but Damon isn't so sure anymore. "You take ONE philosophy class, now you're the queen of nature versus nurture?" Bahahaha. I love Elena, but that is hilarious and so true--since when do she even go to class anyway? The two of them look back to check up on Stefan again and notice that both he and the cute waitress are conspicuously absent. In the back room of the Grill, the waitress walks in with a tray full of ketchup bottles, which she puts on a table. She goes to wash some stray ketchup off of her hands when she notices Stefan standing behind her in the mirror.

He compels her to not move, or scream, and then gets into his pre-falling-off-the-wagon monologue where he is all, "I don't want to hurt you, you seem really nice. It's not like I want to rip your head off, but I keep being told that if I have one taste, I won't be able to stop..." Wow, he re-mastered the whole compulsion thing pretty quickly, didn't he? Also, this exchange is very reminiscent of Season 1's "Miss Mystic Falls," which makes sense since this episode is full of Season 1 memories. Anyway, he doesn't want to kill the waitress, but he's HUNGRY, damnit, so he whips out his fangs and is just about to sink them into her neck when Damon zoops over to him and pushes him away. "Today, I'm the safe brother."

Damon and Elena's next brilliant plan is to bring Stefan to the Salvatore crypt in order to minimize his contact with humans until Bonnie can swoop in and save the day. (Or not, because she's currently a ghost and can't do shit from the Other Side) On their way there, Stefan sees Honoria Fell's tombstone sniggers at how stupid a name "Honoria" is, but Damon shushes him, since Stefan's the one who killed her. This scene is so fucking hilarious, I giggled the whole way through it. In the crypt, Stefan asks Damon if there is anyone in there that he DIDN'T kill. "Well, we've covered our father, who art in HELL. [rings bell] Uncle Zach? My bad. [rings bell] On the bright side, our mother died of consumption. [rings bell]" BAHAHA.

He gets a text from Jeremy, which reads, "I need to talk to you. ALONE." Damon explains that he's got to "go see a man about a witch" and leaves Elena to babysit. As Elena lights some candles, Stefan says he hopes that Elena's family history isn't so tragic as his, which, AWKWARD, dude! Elena handles this pretty gracefully. "Well, let's see. In the last three years, I lost my adoptive parents, my birth parents, my aunt, our guardian, Alaric, and my brother Jeremy died, although he came back to life, so there's that." ALARIC :(((( COME BAAAAACK. I miss him the most of all the dead characters. And Jenna, I miss Jenna. IDGAF about Isobel or John, though.

Stefan sort of recalls learning about Jeremy, and asks if he's the guy that is also currently living in his house, which Elena confirms. "Yeah...after I had a breakdown and burned my house to the ground." Aw, Elena! I'm glad to see she's joking about, I'm the same way when it comes to traumatic/embarrassing past trouble. That comment gets a chuckle from both of them, and Stefan remarks how crazy it is that he doesn't remember her, because she's gorgeous, smart, and funny, not to mention a warrior princess for making in through all of that heartache. Elena chalks it up to having awesome friends who help her, including Stefan. "So, bonded by death? Please don't tell me that we met in a cemetery," Stefan quips. Elena laughs and says that they kind of did, but they actually met somewhere else first, and she'd like to show him where.

Damon is walking around the cemetery as he calls Jeremy. When he answers, he immediately gets to the point. "Now, tell me you found Bonnie, because I have a hungry vampire who forgot that he's the hero of the story." Jeremy cryptically tells him that he needs Damon to come home and meet him, ALONE, like his text message said. Damon is a little annoyed by how vague Jeremy is being, so Jer elaborates a tiny bit and says that he knows where Bonnie is, but he needs to see him in person to explain.

Meanwhile, over at Mystic Falls high school, Stefan walks down the hall as Elena busts out of the men's bathroom and bumps right into him with an awkward smile. She asks if he remembers anything, and he admits that he didn't. She thinks maybe if he comes from the opposite direction, that maybe it'll unlock them, because she thinks that that was the way it actually happened, but Stefan's pretty sure that recreating his memories will bring them back. She knows he's right, but she just thinks that Stefan without his memories is kind of strange. "I'm strange? You were the one coming out of the men's bathroom. Do I even want to know why?" Elena simply says that she was having a horrible first day, and leaves it at that. It really wasn't THAT bad, Jeremy just came to school a little stoned! He got over it eventually. Anyway, a kid walks in with a bloody head wound, which noticeably attracts Stefan's attention. So, to distract him, Elena tells Stefan that she wants to show him something.

That something is kind of weird--they go outside the school, where Elena instructs him to shut his eyes, and after some sassing, he finally does. She Twilight's herself up onto the roof of the school, and tells him to open his eyes. He's understandably like "HOW THE FUCK DID YOU DO THAT," but she just tells him to push off with all of his strength and join her. He eventually does, and though he's surprised at his physical abilities, he seems pretty happy to have done it. She reminds him of the time that he zooped her up to the top of the Ferris wheel during Season 1, and Stefan points out that it must have been when they dated. She's surprised that he could remember that, but he actually didn't remember it.

"I may have amnesia, but I'm not an idiot. I'm a 164-year-old vampire who went back to high school, so I'm guessing that had something to do with you." Feeling a little awkward, Elena admits that he's right, so he continues to say that they probably broke up because of his little Ripper problem. She kindly assures him that it wasn't that at all--she thinks he's one of the most compassionate people she knows, and that since he never wanted to hurt anyone, he was (nearly always) in control. "So, I bored you to death?" Stefan asks, which: yes, yes you did, Stefan. But, it's Elena, who is nice enough not to tell him that. She says the reason why they're not together anymore is because becoming a vampire changed her, and after that, it just didn't work. He asks how she became a vampire, so she decides to show him that, too.

Caroline and Jesse have set up a little picnic in the Mystic Falls cemetery, where they are surrounded by people drinking and ringing bells and whatnot. Caroline is sprawled out on the blanket, and next to her, Jesse sits in a chair with their microbio textbook, and is quizzing her on things like Togavirus (which causes congenital rubella) and the Red Queen Theory, which is almost certainly a hint; basically, weaker species usually have some trait that will keep them alive. As Caroline explains it, it's the fear of extinction: "The rabbit is faster than the fox because the fox is chasing it's dinner. The rabbit's running for it's life." 

Jesse compliments her on her brains, and asks her how she managed to learn, like, everything about medical science in just a few days, so she tells him that whenever someone tells her she can't do something (like Professor Creepy 2.0), she proves them wrong. AW, CAROLINE. I love you so much! Jesse assumes, then, that the reason why she invited him to Mystic Falls this weekend was because she wanted to prove to Tyler that she's totally fine without her. Unfortunately, though, Tyler is out in the middle of nowhere and she has no idea where he even is, anyway. She invited Jesse because he's nice and smart, and she just wanted to spend time with him. He slyly points out the dude doing a keg stand on his grandpa's grave behind her, so she turns around to look. When she turns back to face him, he kisses her, which shocks the fuck out of her so much that she literally loses her words. He confesses that he has been wanting to do that since move-in day, and then immediately gets back to their studies, and quizzes her on aplastic anemia. Smooth, dude!

Damon has finally arrived at Casa Salvatore, and immediately tells Jeremy to call Bonnie up and get her there, stat. "That's the problem, I can't actually call her. No one can." Bonnie is hanging out behind Jeremy, and pleads with him not to tell them. Jer ignores her, and confesses that he's been lying to everyone all summer, but he can't keep doing it anymore, now that everyone is waiting on her to come fix their problems. Damon has no idea what he's talking about, and tells him to elaborate. "Think about it, Damon. I was dead. I wasn't supposed to come back." Damon: "Yes, EXACTLY. The beauty of Bonnie magic, which is what we need right now!" Jeremy is getting frustrated, and reminds him that magic finds a balance, and that he's not actually supposed to be here. Damn, there goes my theory that Qetsiyah leveraged Bonnie's life to gain her own. Damon's face falls when the reality sets in. This next exchange hit me right in the feels :(

DAMON: "No."
JEREMY: "You can't just bring somebody back from the dead. There is ALWAYS a price to pay for it."
DAMON: "Don't say it, Jeremy, don't you DARE."
JEREMY: "She didn't show up to her dad's funeral, Damon. Nobody has spoken to her all summer!"
BONNIE: "Please, Jeremy."
DAMON: "You say it, and everything in Elena's life goes to crap, do you understand me? Everything changes."
BONNIE: "Do NOT say it, Jeremy!"
DAMON: "Don't."
JEREMY: "Bonnie's dead."
DAMON: "Damn it, Jeremy! You realize what you just did?! [walks away from him] WHY would you say that?!"

Jeremy apologizes, but insists that everyone needs to know. Damon looks super upset. I know that he's mostly concerned about Elena, and at least partially concerned about what the Scooby Gang will do without a witch backing them up, but I also really do think that he actually does respect Bonnie, and have a soft spot for her. He turns back to Jeremy, and I seriously almost thought that he was going to slug him in the face or something, but instead he just hugs Jeremy and looks like he's going to cry. Tbh, Jer looks like he's about to cry, too. This was SUCH A GOOD SCENE, however painful it may be. It's definitely not the most painful scene, though. That comes later.
(via arabian)
Elena has decided to bring Stefan to the quarry, to show him the place that she almost died like, twice. (And actually died twice, too, since the wreck that resulted in becoming a vampire was here AND she was sacrificed to break Klaus' hybrid curse in the quarry, too) Stefan is pretty stunned. "How is it cosmically possible to get into two accidents on the same bridge?" She figures it's probably some kind of Final Destination-style thing where fate brought her back to die where she should have died the first time. Stefan is still confused, because he was there both times, too, so he doesn't get why he didn't save her the last time, so she reminds him that she asked him to save Matt first. "Ah, got it. So, I'm an idiot." Yeah, you are, although I love Matt and Elena, and she still got to live an (undead) life as an eternally young and hot vampire, so I mean, it's really not that big of a deal now, I guess. Elena says he was the perfect boyfriend, and that she loved that he let her make her own choices, even when he didn't agree. That's not actually true though, really, but I'm not going to get into that because I want to talk about Elena instead.

A lot of people got really pissy about Elena "flirting" with Stefan and "messing with him" or whatever during this whole trip down Memory Lane, but I don't really see it that way. I mean, Stefan lost all his memories, which is extremely confusing and probably more than a little traumatic. She's a friendly and charismatic girl anyway, so everything always seems a little flirty with her (I mean, sometimes it's even borderline creepy when she's with Jeremy, you know?), and it's not like she wants to flood Stefan with negative stuff when he's still trying to get his bearings. She knows that their breakup happened because it wasn't working anymore, but she doesn't think that makes Stefan a bad person, so she's not going to straight-out tell him every single detail of the truth about what happened between them; when he forced her to drink his blood and almost KILLED HER IN THE SAME SPOT HER PARENTS DIED, her growing feelings for Damon/the sire bond, how much he disagreed with her choices as a vampire, etc.  I've always been Team Elena, so maybe I'm a little biased, but I think what Stefan is about to do is super out of line, and I'll probably have a lot to say about that too. Anyway, moving on!

Stefan admits it's going to take him a while to process that whole, "accidentally letting Elena die to save Matt on her orders," thing, but he does think that their little chat has distracted him enough to where he isn't hungry anymore, which makes Elena happy. He goes on to say, "Whatever monster I was capable of being, I could see why I was different around you." She assures him that he was never a monster, which, again, not exactly true, (Remember all the people he killed with Klaus?) but okay. Stefan disagrees with her, and points out that when he saw his face in the mirror at the Grill, even HE was afraid of himself. She says that she was never afraid of him, and the first time she saw his vampire face, she touched his face, and told him not to hide it.

She demonstrates for a second, but when she pulls back, he grabs her wrist and puts it back, and caresses her face as well. He leans in for a kiss, and Elena hits the brakes immediately and confesses that she's with Damon. He's super pissed that they didn't think to tell him this little fact, which, HEY, they still haven't really gotten past the 20s yet, what the hell. You can't start a story at the end. Elena swears they weren't trying to hide it, but they just hadn't gotten to that point yet. She apologizes profusely, but Stefan's not hearing it. He steps away and snits, "And just like that, the hunger returns," and speeds away before Elena can catch him. DICK. MOVE. Whatever Elena did or didn't do to his feelings, his addiction/bloodlust issues are HIS RESPONSIBILITY, not hers. Ugh, so gross.

Matt is taking a little nap on the couch in the study at the Lockwood Mansion. It's kind of hilarious to me that he literally lives IN A MANSION and yet he's still sleeping on a random couch. Oh, Matt. Anyway, he wakes up and winces when he notices that he has a cut on his palm. He automatically gets up and walks over to the camera, and plugs it into a laptop on the desk to see wtf he did while he was asleep. He fast-fowards through the boring parts and stops when he sees some action happening. He was apparently woken up by his phone ringing, and when he answers it, someone must have pulled Gregor out of his head, because he starts speaking Czech. "Děkuji, Kristof. Cestování bezpecné." [Thank you, Kristof. Travel safely] 

As you can imagine, Matt is pretty creeped out. Gratt hangs up the phone, notices the camera, and walks over to it. He grabs his knife and stares directly into the camera. "Hello, Matt Donovan. I'm the passenger inside you. I know you have many questions, but all you need to know is that one day, my friends will come looking for this blade. Protect it at all costs...[he slices Matt's palm] or this will be your throat." I STILL don't get why Matt takes on an accent when none of the other body swaps' accents changed, but I have to admit, Matt with an accent is kinda hot.

Over at Casa Salvatore, Damon is drowning his sorrows in a tumbler of bourbon, per usual, and decides to finally bite the bullet and call Elena to tell her what's up with Bonnie. When she answers, she asks where he is, and informs him that he's been calling her. He tells her he's at home, and needs to talk about something important, but there's no time for that now, because Stefan has flown the coop! "I told him about you and me, and he just--he stormed off, and said that he was hungry. Damn, there's an entire GRAVEYARD full of people here tonight!" He assures her that he's on it, and hangs up to rush over.

Stefan is meandering around the cemetery, where he steals a bottle of booze from a nearby picnic basket and starts drinking as he looks around for a target of opportunity. Thankfully, he runs into Caroline, who he instantly recognizes. She asks him if he remembers her, but he doesn't. "Well, I've studied pictures. You're much hotter in person!" He takes another swig from the bottle and apologizes, blaming the forwardness on being a little drunk. She can tell he's obviously about to go on a huge tear, so she asks him if he's doing okay. "Well, if by 'okay' you mean 'heavily spiraling into Ripper oblivion,' then yes, I'm dandy." Jesse chooses the absolute wrong time to show up with a couple Solo cups full of beer he pilfered from the passed-out Kegstand-Guy, so Caroline, who knows shit's about to go down, advises him to give her and Stefan a minute alone.
(via arabian)
Stefan slurs, "Yeah, it's probably a good idea, because I can sense from here that you have a paper cut on the palm of your left hand, and I want to rip your entire arm off." Caroline wisely compels Jesse to go hide until she finds him, and once he has left the vicinity, she turns to Stefan. "Look, I know that you're hungry, but you don't DO people, okay? It just--it doesn't end well." Something tells me that telling Stefan what a murderous Ripper bastard he is isn't really helping to keep him from being a murderous Ripper bastard, but no one ever listens to me on this show. Stefan softens slightly and asks her if she has any blood bags. She tells him that she does, but when she turns and tells him to follow her there, he zoops right out of there. Ohhhh, shit. Someone just vervain that dude already!

Jesse, who for whatever reason chose the Salvatore crypt as a place to hide, calls Caroline to tell him that a) he's in the crypt, and b) he has no reason why. Before he can ask her to come find him, Stefan zoops inside, in full vampire face, and latches onto Jesse's neck. After a moment, he lets go, and is a little proud of himself for stopping before he actually killed him. Jesse is understandably confused about wtf is going on, because who's brain automatically goes to vampire when some random person bites your neck and feeds on your blood? He asks Stefan who he is, but Stefan cuts him off.

"Oh, I'm a Ripper. You know what that means? That means I literally can't stop feeding until I rip someone's head off. But look at us! We're working it out!" I laughed at that line, I couldn't help myself. As much as I dislike Stefan, especially this week, I loooove Paul Wesley and he seems to be having so much fun playing Silas and Stefan this season. Jesse pleads for him to let him out, but no can do, kiddo. Stefan soliloquies that he's supposed to be the good, compassionate person who stays in control despite a raging hunger, but he has nothing to show for it. "I have no memories because my brain was fried. My brother, who's been my brother for 160-some-odd years, stole my girlfriend, and my girlfriend let him, so you tell me," Stefan says, as he sheds one single manly tear. "...what's the point of being good?" So yeah, he lunges for Jesse and sinks his fangs into his neck again. UGH, STEFAN. You've been alive for almost 200 years, don't you know that the whole "so-and-so stole my bf/gf" thing IS NOT ACTUALLY HOW IT WORKS? Guhhhhhh.

Over at the Lockwood Mansion, Jeremy knocks on the door for a while until Matt finally answers. Matt starts to explain what he's learned with regards to the whole Gregor situation, but Jeremy interrupts, because I guess it's time for the "Bonnie's dead" phone tree to be put into effect. He explains that he has something he has to tell him about Bonnie, and Matt asks if she's back, which kind of pains Jer into silence. We don't get to see Jeremy tell Matt what's up, though, because we're off to return to...

...the Salvatore crypt, where Stefan is furiously feeding on Jesse. Luckily for him, Caroline finally shows up and pulls Stefan off of him and talks him off the ledge. "This isn't you, okay? You might not remember, but I do. You are better than this. You are not this person." Caroline, you beautiful soul. She has wayyy more patience than I would at this point. Stefan stops and tells her that he has to go, to which Caroline is like, "What?" He leaves before she can do anything, though, so she turns to Jesse, who, you know, is bleeding out on the floor, and is automatically like, "Aw, fuck." She bites her wrist and kneels down to feed her blood to Jesse, as she profusely apologizes for what happened. "Jesse, drink this. You'll be okay. I'm sorry, I'm sorry I got you into this, and I'm sorry I let you kiss me when I--I'm just sorry."

When Damon and Elena return to Casa Salvatore, they find Stefan crouched in front of the fireplace is the parlor, burning all of his VAMPIRE DIARIES. First Elena's diary, and then Stefan's? How can this show even be called The Vampire Diaries anymore? Not that I'm particularly fond of the diary voiceovers, it just seems silly. But I digress. Damon asks his bro if he really wants to do that, but Stefan's not in the mood for big brother bossiness. "Well, I know what I don't want. I don't want to be the person in these journals anymore, I don't want to live in this house, I don't want to hear my brother's advice, I don't want to hear how I supported you, Elena, and I DEFINITELY do NOT want to continue this conversation." He grabs a duffel that he must have packed off-screen and walks toward the door.

Elena urges him to stop and talk to them, but he's not interested. "Don't worry, I'm not going to go on a Ripper-binge. Besides, Caroline said she'd call me every hour to make sure I was okay, and, uhhh....I actually do trust HER." OUCH. I'm sorry, but I'm having a really hard time feeling bad for him; he doesn't know any details about what happened, nor does he have any context, so he's making this out to be a much bigger thing than it was. Plus, he was the one who actually broke up with Elena first, though she was the one to finalize the break-up. I know he's dealing with a traumatic brain injury and all, but it just seems a lot more productive to listen to what happened instead of throwing a tantrum.

ANYWAY, Stefan leaves and Damon quips, "I think we just got dumped." Elena immediately asks after Bonnie, and wonders why she hasn't called them back, since he can't stay like this. Damon starts to say that Bonnie can't help them, but Elena interrupts him. "Did you talk to her? What did she say? There's got to be something that she can do, I mean, she'll figure it out. She always does." Damon, who has been dreading this conversation since before he knew Bonnie was even dead, walks over to her and puts his hands on her shoulders. He takes a deep breath and softly states, "Bonnie's dead, Elena." Elena can't believe it, as is typical when it comes to grief, but Damon confirms it's true and she starts to cry.

(via ianinadelena)
Stefan is hanging out in the Salvatore crypt when Caroline finds him. She asks how he's feeling. "Hmm. I'm feeling better, which in my world means I haven't committed a homicide since I last saw you." He admits he's been thinking a lot and wandering around and figured this was a pretty fitting place to come. Caroline looks crushed, which he notices, and he asks her what's wrong. She confesses that their friend Bonnie died. He asks what happened, but obviously isn't that upset about it, considering he can't remember her. He asks what happened, but Caroline doesn't want to talk about it. "Please don't ask, because then I'm going to have to try to come up with an answer, which means I'm gonna have to actually think about it, and then I'll start crying, and I'm afraid I might not be able to stop."

She sits on the stone bench in the crypt, and he sits down next to her, though all he can really say is, "Hmmm" and "I'm sorry, I...I wish I could remember her." Caroline admits that she almost wishes she could trade places with him, because it would be a lot easier to handle the grief if she didn't have the memories. He spouts some meaningless platitudes about how it's going to be okay, but it's not. "I'm never gonna see her again, and I have no idea where Tyler is, and I just got so used to them being there all the time, and now what?" She doesn't know how she can move on when she has all of these intense emotions bottling up inside her. Stefan assures her that she has him, and since she was here for him last night, he's going to be there for her now. It's kind of cute, and I have to say I love the idea of Steroline because Caroline actually makes Stefan bearable.
(via arabian)
Elena is going through her clothes in Damon's room, and starts to have another nervous breakdown because she has nothing to wear to Bonnie's funeral. "I have nothing to wear, I mean, I burned my house down with all of my funeral clothes in it." Aw, Elena. :((( She confesses that while this happens to her literally like, every couple of months, she still hasn't learned how to handle it, and she doesn't know how she can keep going to funerals of the people she cares about. "Stefan's gone, Bonnie's dead. She gave up her life so I could have my brother back, and I didn't even know about it!" I totally forgot about that particular implication, actually, and now my heart hurts. Like, I know she gave her life for his, but Bonnie was her BEST FRIEND and she did it just as much for Elena as she did for Jeremy. Damon understands her grief and self-anger, and hugs her as he strokes her hair and apologizes over and over again. Outside the window, Bonnie watches her best friend mourn her death with the saddest face ever.

Out in the woods, Damon, Elena, Caroline, Jeremy and Matt walk toward a tree stump, upon which Jeremy places a framed photo of Bonnie. Caroline, who is crying, places her red-and-black pom-poms on the stump, as a memory of when they were cheerleaders together. Matt places his lifeguard whistle on the stump, as a reminder of when they were both lifeguards at the pool. Elena scatters white feathers from her pillow, which was totally the point that made me burst into ugly, ugly sobs, because do you remember those feathers? That's how Bonnie showed Elena that magic was real, and that she was a witch. It was probably one of the most beautiful scenes from Season 1. She cries and returns to where her friends are standing in a row, and she and Caroline hug each other and cry. Damon places her grimoire on the stump, and he looks like he's feeling pretty emotional too, tbh. I hope they save that grimoire for when Bonnie inevitably comes back to life!

(via morallydubiousprincess)
Bonnie appears behind Jeremy, who looks super sad as well, although he's had months to process her death. Plus, he was dead for a couple months too, so he understands it better than anyone. She tells him, "It's okay. They need this. I need this." Jeremy grabs the bell that he brought, and rings it in honor of Bonnie, before saying that he has no idea what to say. Bonnie helps him out by giving him a message for him to pass along to the crowd. I'm just going to type it out in its entirety:

"Say that I'm not going anywhere. Say that even though they couldn't see me, I've been there the whole time. I've seen you have the summer of your life. [to Elena] And I saw you happy, and I know you think that you can't have a normal life, that you have to be there for everyone, but you don't. Everyone will find their way, so you are gonna pack up your things, you're going to go back to college, and you're gonna live it up! [to Matt] You didn't do anything wrong, Matt. you know I would have sent you 300 emails if I could. I miss you. [to Caroline] I watched you decorate that dorm room like your life depended on it. And I know that college isn't everything you expected, and that you feel like something's missing, but...Tyler..."

She trails off when she sees Tyler, in his funereal best, approaching the crowd. He places a single white rose on the tree stump, and Caroline runs to hug him. Bonnie turns to Jeremy and smiles sadly. "This is good. This is all I wanted. I'll be okay! We'll all be okay." Bonnie and Jeremy hold hands, at least, as well as you can when you're a ghost. Damon holds Elena in his arms, and Tyler does the same with Caroline. Matt stands all alone, which makes my heart break for him. They're all ugly sobbing, and tbh, I teared up a bit recapping this scene as well.
(via arabian)
(via featherycastiel)
Back at Whitmore, Jesse is in Professor Creepy 2.0's lab, where the doctor seems to be doing some kind of health assessment on him. Dr. Maxfield tells him his vitals are normal, and asks about his night. Jesse explains that Caroline took him to a party in Mystic Falls, but then it's kind of a big blur. He blames it on drinking too much, but Dr. Maxfield believes otherwise. "What's causing your memory loss didn't come in a red cup. It appears you have vampire blood in your system, Jesse, which means you were either injured to the point of needing to be healed, or someone wants to turn you into a vampire. I'm guessing the former, and then I'm guessing you were compelled to forget." 

Jesse is understandably like, "Come again?" As you do, when someone starts talking to you about vampires like they're real things that actually exist. Dr. Dickfield says it's nothing to be concerned about. "The good news about having vampire blood in your system is that it's step one to creating a new vampire." He whips out a needle of what I'm guessing is either epinephrine or some kind of medication that causes cardiac arrest, because he says, "This is step two," and jabs the needle into Jesse's forearm. Which, is totally wrong, because if it's an intramuscular injection, it would be in the deltoid, and if it was IV, he would have used a tourniquet and wouldn't have jabbed it in at a 90' angle, it would be more like 30'. AND if it was subcutaneous, it would be in the back of the arm, where all the fatty tissue is. There's that pesky nursing knowledge taking me out of the story again. Anyway, Jesse goes into cardiac arrest, and then he dies on the table. DR. MAXFIELD, WHAT THE FUCK IS YOUR DEAL?

Next week: Damon wants to trade Silas' life for Bonnie's, the gang goes to some kind of costume ball at Whitmore, and Silas wants Damon to kill Stefan. OH SHIT

[screencaps from!]

Click HERE to read my recap of the next episode of The Vampire Diaries!

-So, Dr. Maxfield is a doctor who was obsessed with a one Dr. Grayson Gilbert's work, which begs the question: is he anti-vampire, or pro-vampire? What the fuck was Grayson into? And what motivation would Dr. Maxfield have to turn Jesse? I mean, he literally killed him. Obviously he's going to come back, so it's not exactly the same as killing someone dead-dead. But still, he was willing to kill a completely innocent person just to turn him into a vampire for what I can only assume is for scientific reasons, which is kind of a scary thought. I need to know EVERYTHING NOWWWWW.

-I think I've already talked about this before, but I'm not really into Tyler as a character anymore. I LOVED him in Season 2, when he went from a 'roidy, douchey asshole of a human to a sympathetic, caring werewolf. But now, he's come and gone from Mystic Falls so many times that it really just doesn't have any meaning anymore. In the crude, yet accurate words of my dear mother, the producers need to "shit or get off the pot," where Tyler is concerned. It really makes me sad, too, because Michael Trevino is a sweetheart and I have never seen an interview with him where I didn't find him to be really nice and endearing. But yeah, they need to do something to make his character meaningful again.

-So, now that they know that Bonnie is dead, can we try to bring her back now? They don't stand a chance without a competent witch, and I don't trust Tessa as far as I can throw her to help them out, at least not without something in return. Man, I miss BonBon.

-Can someone nice date Matt already? He deserves someone awesome. Not April Young, though, she's boring and useless.

-I really hope Stefan's attitude improves soon, because at this point, I'm dying for old Stefan again.


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