Emily Rewatches TVD-- Season 5, Episodes 17-18: "Rescue Me" & "Resident Evil"

Blah, blah, blah-- let's get talking about the Travelers, the witches, the doppelgängers, and the Other Side, because methinks it's gonna be relevant here in the present. You know, just a hunch.


1) Tom Avery
As it turns out, sharing Silas' face doesn't automatically mean you're a huge douchebag or self-hating, self-righteous vampire! Who knew? So, as it turns out, our newest Stefangänger, Tom Avery, who we learned in the last episode is a paramedic in Atlanta, Georgia, is actually a super sweet guy. Unfortunately, that sweetness ended up biting him in the ass, because he took a chance on a sweet girl who claimed to be the friend of a woman he saved from dying of pneumothorax and asked him out to dinner to thank him. The girl, whose name is Hazel, actually turned out to be a witch who was a member of Liv and Luke's coven, whose existence apparently dates back all the way to the Qetsiyah/Amara/Silas-era when the creation of the immortality spell created a schism in the magical community that eventually resulted in them separating into the Travelers and the witches. The witches became the ones who wanted to push the boundaries of magic, while the Travelers were more traditional and strove to adhere to the "pure" earth-based magic they had always practiced.

So, the poor guy went to go pick Hazel up at her home and ended up getting hit with some spell that put him into a magically-induced coma. Hazel must have medical or nursing training as well, because she had put in an NG (nasogastric) tube in which to feed him for the four months that Tom had been held captive. It's no coincidence that Tom was kidnapped right around the time that Stefan killed Silas, either-- the witches anticipated that once Silas and Katherine were gone, the Travelers would be coming Tom, the last doppelgänger who was in the way of their special Elena+Stefan blood combo. SO, Hazel had also spent all of that time that Tom was out doing a cloaking spell to hide him from everyone, which explains why all of the visions Sloan was getting were ridiculously outdated. I bet her joints were probably pretty sore from staying like that for so long. My knees hurt just thinking about it, honestly.

Caroline was about to kill Tom by strangling him while he was still unconscious, but, of course, once Enzo killed Hazel (which I'll be discussing more later), the spell that was keeping him him unconscious lifted. As you could probably guess, Caroline chickened out as soon as he woke up and instead instantly began to feel bad for him. Enzo even offered to do the honors instead so she wouldn't have to put herself through the guilt-spiral, but she insisted that he let her do it her way. She then compelled Tom to believe that Caroline was his best friend and that he meant the world to her, which forced him to trust her when she quickly proceeded to snap Enzo's neck in lieu of killing Tom. From there, Caroline whisked Tom away from Hazel's house and returned him to the diner to treat him to waffles, which is such a Caroline thing to do that it kills me.

She must had had some tiny intention to kill him, at least at first, because she vigorously interrogated him to make sure that he wasn't some evil guy who was just PRETENDING to be a sweetheart, but after she hears about how he got kidnapped (and after he informs her that she's a good person for rescuing him) she determines that he really is the nicest person she's ever met and compels him to run away and start a new life somewhere far, far away. Although, we've all seen this show before, so it wasn't at all surprising that Enzo came out of nowhere and killed Tom before he and Caroline could part ways, because Enzo, too, has some important information riding on whether or not Tom died. So long, Tom. You were my favorite Salvatore doppelgänger to date.

2) Damon and Elena's awkward post-breakup-round-2 shenanigans
When we last saw our favorite toxic twosome, they were having some post-break-up hot sex to make up for all the time they lost when Katherine was playing around in Elena's body. However, once daylight rolls around, Elena is suddenly smacked upside the head with the implications of this newest complication in their on-again/off-again relationship. She tries to sneak out of bed to get dressed and dart out before he notices, but as we're well aware, it's pretty hard to sneak away from a vampire, especially one who has been awake and playing possum for three hours until Elena woke up. Despite Damon's insistence that they "keep making mistakes," Elena insists that they're still bad for each other and still broken up, and thus it would be best if their sexcapades never happen again.

After the two of them have their requisite post-coital confessionals with their respective friends (Bonnie for Elena, obviously, and Matt, Jeremy, and Tyler for Damon) before they meet up again at Jeremy's parent-teacher conference, which is more intense than I have ever seen of a parent-teacher conference before. Do schools actually do them this way, in this whole-day type of affair? ANYWAY, since Damon officially became Jeremy's co-legal-guardian after Elena left for school, they both end up at the conference on Jeremy's behalf, where the guidance counselor starts right off by saying that Jeremy has skipped eleven days of school so far, started three fights, and got caught cheating in math class twice, before straight-up informing them that Elena's relationship and Jeremy's generally-unstable home life is likely a huge factor in Jeremy's issues. Imagine that!

To Elena's credit, she does feel super guilty about how her life has negatively impacted Jeremy's, but Damon insists that she's once again making excuses for the people she loves. Just as Elena snaps at him to stop making everything about them, Damon pushes Elena up against the lockers and whispers, "All I know is right now... I want to rip your clothes off right here in the middle of this hall, and throw you into one of these classrooms and kiss every square inch of your body, while a bunch of people that drive minivans listen, wishing they were us. That's probably a bad idea, right?" Elena's brain is screaming "YES IT IS," but man, her body is vehemently disagreeing with her, so Damon decides to frustrate her even more by walking away and leaving her in desperate need of a cold shower.

Then, in the middle of a very meta lecture by the high school chemistry teacher about attraction and reaction sometimes being beautiful and sometimes being destructive that I'm sure doesn't have ANY deeper meaning to Elena and Damon's current situation, Elena has a very sexy daydream about doing all dominatrix on Damon in a nearby classroom. Elena is practically drooling in class until Damon snaps her out of it. Elena decides to leave and get some air and ends up running into Liv in the woodshop classroom, which I'll get into later. All that's important now is that Damon saves Elena from certain death by stake and promptly gets to torturing Liv for answers, which, naturally, leads to Damon and Elena fighting over Damon's tendency to kill people impulsively until Jeremy eventually shows up to break up their fight.

Later that night, Damon and Elena meet back up at the boarding house, where Elena admits that they can't be a thing because of what the guidance counselor said-- they're not just bad for each other, but they're bad for Jeremy. Of course, that's when Jeremy comes downstairs with some bags and admits that he's moving in with Matt and Tyler, which is the final shove Elena needs to go upstairs and pack up her own stuff so she can return to her dorm at Whitmore. Damon tries to argue that her leaving won't solve anything, especially since Jeremy left and her whole argument was based on the fact that they were a horrible influence on him, but Elena insists that isn't the entire problem. "It's not about Jeremy, it's about us. It's not just that we're bad for each other. It's just that when we're together, we do bad things FOR each other. And I can't live like that." As much as I respect Elena's stance on this, I would like to point out that the entire POINT of this show is all the things they're all willing to do for each other. How many people have they killed to protect each other? And not just Damon and Elena, but Stefan, Caroline, Tyler... even MATT has killed several people (a witch and an Original vampire comes to mind, maybe there are even more than that), all to protect each other. So, that just seems like kind of a silly argument in the grand scheme of things.

Still, Damon concedes to her argument, but offers to at least drive her back to Whitmore, which Elena rejects on the grounds that if they do that, they'll just end up back where they always are; she won't be able to resist holding his hand, which will lead to her not being able to resist kissing him, and making love, and then they're right back where they started. So, finally, Damon walks over to her and cups her face in his hands, which Elena assumes means he's going to fight her on this, but all he does is kiss her on the forehead and wish her a safe trip. UGH MY HEART.

3) Caroline and Enzo's adventures down south
I've made my dislike of Enzo pretty clear, but man, there's just something about characters I hate interacting with Caroline that just makes me love them so much. It's really a compliment to Candice Accola's sparkling personality. Plus, Enzo gets all the good lines, and he's especially light-hearted around our fave Vampire Barbie, so they make a pretty great team. So, they make it to Atlanta, where the two of them sit at a booth at a diner; Caroline is silently reading the newspaper while Enzo immaturely tries to get her attention. It's then that Sloan calls, and barely waits for Enzo to finish quipping, "Atlanta Assasination Squad, how may we be of service?" before she asks them if Tom is dead yet. Enzo: "You told us to find a nameless paramedic at the scene of a car accident in a city of freeways, fried green tomatoes, and terrible drivers. It's not exactly as easy as it sounds." 

BAHAHAHA. Sloan then informs them that she found a name: Tom Avery, who works at Atlanta Metropolitan Hospital. Caroline immediately freaks the fuck out because the deal was that Caroline took out Tom for her, and in exchange, she stops "psychically doppel-bombing" him and risking frying his brain. Of course, Sloan only gives a fuck about Stefan's blood, and threatens to give Stefan a "back-alley lobotomy" unless she kills Tom Avery with a quickness. Caroline is NOT amused, though, and snaps, "Well, I don't fail at things, so do it again, and I'll kill you, too." AW YEAH CAROLINE, TELL HER. Enzo just laughs and retorts, "'I'll kill you, too?' You're like a perky, blonde, Angel of Death. Almost had me convinced."

They then make it to the hospital, where Caroline compelled the receptionist to call someone who knows Tom Avery so they can figure out where to find them. They then sit down in the waiting area, where Caroline picks up a magazine and aggressively ignores Enzo. When Enzo asks her if she's avoiding the mission or just him, Caroline just fake-smiles and chirps, "Well, why can't it be both?" Enzo claims he deserves some good company after he "hand-delivered the antidote that kept Damon and Elena from consuming each other... literally," but Caroline still doesn't trust him, nor does she understand why he's even there to begin with. "Damon's trying to be a good boy these days, which means I'm in need of a new murder buddy," Enzo jokes, but Caroline is not amused, so he picks up his own magazine so they can continue their snark-off.
ENZO: "Ahh, modern women. All bosom, no mystery. Present company excluded."
CAROLINE: "Dear God, please don't tell me that I am the real reason you're here."
ENZO: "Why not? From what Damon tells me, I am your type. Well-traveled, charming accent, dodgy morals..."
CAROLINE: [sighs] "Mmhmm. Arrogant, tactless, completely unable to take a hint..."
LOL. I love all of the Klaus shout-outs, tbh. Enzo then brings up the girl that he mentioned to Damon in the Augustine flashbacks, Maggie, who he claims reminds him of Caroline. Caroline assumes that she was one of the people who tortured him, but he corrects her-- she was a medical student who was only tasked with observing his behavior while in captivity, and he actually grew to like her quite a bit. Caroline is, like, "So, she ~made you want to be a better man~?" but Enzo admits that nope, she didn't-- she just reminded him that he's been good all along. Uh, what? Thankfully, their conversation is cut short by a doctor coming out to see them with bad news-- Tom Avery disappeared four months ago, and nobody knows where he is.

So, Caroline makes the mistake of calling Sloan up and chewing her out about giving her bad intel, which does nothing but make Sloan decide to dive into Stefan's brain-link again, even despite the fact that Stefan confessed that he blacked out after the last time Sloan did it, which indicates that there's some serious brain-damage happening. Still, they manage to get an address, 6643 Peachtree Drive, and the description of the red-headed woman named Hazel with whom he was going to go out, so Carenzo set out for their newest destination.

When they finally get there, Enzo is in the middle of whining about the fact that, since they're in Georgia, every other street is named Peachtree, which is absolutely hilarious to me. They did finally find the correct house, although when they walk up onto the front porch, Caroline finds four months worth of old newspapers strewn about, indicating that someone hasn't been around to get them. After Enzo breaks the doorknob off of the front door (how old is Enzo, anyway? I get the feeling he's a tiny bit younger than Damon and Stefan), they open it to find Hazel inside, kneeling in the middle of a circle made with different witchy designs in salt and blood. Her eyes are pure white, kind of like when Bonnie was being cleansed of Expression magic last year, and it's clear she's in the middle of some kind of protection/cloaking spell. And, naturally, they can't get in the house because Hazel owns it, so before Caroline can say anything more, Enzo takes the doorknob and straight-up kills her by nonchalantly lobbing it at her head. HOLY SHIT! That was actually pretty awesome. See for yourself!

(via arabian)
As you could probably guess, Caroline HATES this newest development, and immediately shrieks at him for killing their only lead. What does Enzo have to say for himself? "Exactly. And, I am a murderous vampire. Surprise!" On the plus side, they are able to enter the house and have a look around, which they do while Enzo insists that he's only doing what's necessary to save Stefan, Caroline's friend. Naturally, she's offended that Enzo doesn't think that she's up for their assignment, because she is the biggest perfectionist EVER, but Enzo reminds her that since she can't even outright say that she's going to kill Tom, he's guessing she's going to have trouble actually going through the deed. That's when Enzo shows that he's got his nice side, even if it's buried down deep.
CAROLINE: "I'm sorry, is this all supposed to be easy? You barely know me, so let me reintroduce myself: Hi, my name is Caroline Forbes, and I am a GOOD vampire, and I don't just go around killing people!"
ENZO: "You've got me all wrong, Caroline Forbes. I'm not judging you. I'm preparing you. I've seen soldiers, men trained to kill, look their enemy in the eye and freeze up on the battlefield-- a hesitation that usually costs them their lives."
CAROLINE: "Well, last time I checked, this isn't a war, and I'm not a soldier. But, Stefan is one of the best people that I know, and when it comes to saving his life, YES, I will do just about anything--"
STEROLIIIIIIIIINE. Anyway, their argument is once again interrupted when they both hear the sound of a slow (but steady) heartbeat, which leads them down to the basement, where they find Tom hooked up to feeding tubes and totally unconscious. I already talked about this part earlier, but I would like to note Enzo's hilarious, "We're angels, mate, come to deliver you to the sweet hereafter" when Tom wakes up and asks them who the fuck they are. So, Caroline snaps Enzo's neck and flees with Tom to the diner for some food and chatting, and they don't meet back up until afterward, when Enzo snaps Tom's neck before she can even object.

She's understandably pissed, especially since she just spent an hour bonding with him, just like Enzo warned her against doing, but Enzo insists that he did it because she's not the only one who cut a deal to save someone's life-- the Travelers told him that they knew how he could find Maggie, if he helped ensure Tom's death. Caroline angrily snaps that if Maggie is anything like her, she just lost any respect she had for him, which doesn't seem to really hurt Enzo as much as you'd think. "No, I'll earn her forgiveness in time. Because, unlike you, Caroline, I'm willing to do whatever it takes for the people I love. The Travelers moved to some junk yard outside Mystic Falls. Feel free to tell Stefan you saved his life." YIKES!

Basically, Candice Accola and Paul Wesley have ridiculous chemistry, so it doesn't matter if it's Caroline and Tom Avery, or Caroline and Stefan, they just always have such adorable interactions that kill me a little inside. They don't get to spend THAT much time in the same location in this episode, but the few interactions they do have are 100% gold. It starts out when Caroline calls Sloan to tell her that Tom has been missing for months, and Sloan decides to start frying his brain again for more information. Caroline can hear that he's in agony, so she insists over the phone that she's there with him, and begs him to focus on her voice and to stay calm. Once Stefan gets the vision of Hazel and her date with Tom, he informs Caroline that he's okay, which visibly relieves her. She promises him that she won't let him down, but Stefan can tell that Tom's a good person and warns her not to kill him, which probably didn't help the hesitation she already had about committing murder.

Then, of course, she's instantly smitten by Tom because he bears such a resemblance to Stefan, both physically and personality-wise, and though she DID compel him to stay calm and not be afraid, he did seem to still like her just as much, especially when she admitted that he reminded her of someone who is very important to her, which, again, also probably didn't help the fact that she REALLY didn't want to kill him, either. BUT, the best part is when Caroline makes it back to the junkyard where Stefan was being held, and finds him sleeping in the backseat of a junked station wagon. She crawls in and curls up next to him, and he's in the middle of asking, "Are you--" when she cuts in and replies, "A big, fat failure? Yup. But, on the bright side, I'm also exhausted and very cranky." <3CAROLINE<3 Stefan just laughs and tells her how happy he is to see her before asking her what happened, so she's forced to admit that she didn't have it in her to kill Tom, not even to save Stefan, which she thinks will make him mad at her, but, HELLO, it's Stefan. He points out that she's actually feeling guilty for NOT being able to murder someone in cold blood, which is silly, but Caroline replies that she's really feeling guilty because he's still being held prisoner.

Stefan reminds her that they were never going to let him go, anyway, because he's clearly too important to them, though he still has no idea why yet, so Caroline admits that he's now even MORE important, because while Caroline didn't kill Tom, Enzo totally did, and now Stefan is the only male doppelgänger left.
STEFAN: "Yet another reason to hate Enzo, I guess?"
CAROLINE: "I should've seen it coming. That flirty, 'Oh, I'm so charming because I want to distract you'-thing? I practically INVENTED that! [beat] What do we do now?"
STEFAN: [closes eyes] "We go to sleep."
CAROLINE: [chuckles] "That's heroic."
STEFAN: "Well, the hero part of my brain needs to recharge. For, you know, being tortured all day while you were off flirting with yet another British man..."
I AM DYING OF CUTENESS I S2FG. Caroline just laughs and tells him to shut up before she turns on her side so she can look at Stefan when he gets serious and informs her that they're going to rest and gather their strength until they get an opportunity to flee-- this time, together. Caroline looks as though she's about to take his advice and get some sleep, but remembers something and opens her eyes again. She realizes that he knew all along that she couldn't kill Tom, which is why he let her go in the first place, but Stefan corrects her-- it's not that she couldn't do it, but he knew she WOULDN'T do it. When she asks him why, he replies, "Because that's what makes you you." Caroline, satisfied, closes her eyes and snuggles up to Stefan, who closes his eyes as well, and the two drift off to sleep. At least, until the voices and screaming cries of pain coming from the Travelers wakes them up and gives them the chance to flee, but I'll get into that more in a bit. Regardless, when they wake up, they've both shifted to their left sides and are basically spooning, with Stefan behind her, wrapping one of his arms around her waist. I JUST WANT THEM TO BE TOGETHER SO BADLY UGH.

1) Liv and Luke and their witchy business
This part did have parts that I enjoyed (mostly the inclusion of Jeremy, Matt, and Tyler, let's be real) but for the most part, I am not liking or trusting the Wonder Twins one bit. And honestly, I don't even quite understand why I feel that way, because the rational part of me knows that they're trying to do what they think is right by going against the Travelers (which I'll get into more when we talk about the next episode), but I don't know, they just really rub me the wrong way. So, the first we see of Liv is at the Grill, where Damon, Tyler, and Matt are being bros and giving Damon shit for his girl problems. She goes to the bar and asks Matt for a bottle of gin, and insists on watching him open a new bottle so she know there isn't, I don't know, roofies or something in it. Damon invites her to join them and commiserate over their issues, but Liv steadfastly rejects them and walks away to join Jeremy at a nearby table, which instantly makes Damon suspicious that Jeremy is cheating on Bonnie with her.

Meanwhile, Luke is at Whitmore, where he is trying (and failing) at covertly keeping his eye on Bonnie, because she totally senses that he's up to something shady and ultimately straight-up asks him why the fuck he keeps staring at her. He claims he's just studying wave mechanics, but his cover is blown when the recently-deceased Hazel's spirit shows up to Bonnie to pass over to the Other Side. Before she does, she identifies Bonnie as the Anchor and gives Bonnie a message to pass on to Luke: basically, she tried to hide Tom with magic, but the Travelers (via Enzo and Caroline) found them and killed her. Bonnie is understandably confused and asks for clarification, but Hazel insists that Luke will know the rest and grabs her arm before she can give Bonnie anymore information, causing her to double over in pain when she passes through to the Other Side. Luke is alarmed, as you would be, but when he asks Bonnie if she's okay, she makes it clear that she'd rather know what the fuck he's up to.

Then we cut back over to Liv, who throws a pinch of salt into the flame of the candle on the table to do a silencing spell so "nosy hybrid types" won't eavesdrop on her conversation with Jeremy, which makes him pretty damn suspicious. From there, Liv explains to Jeremy why she's brought him here-- Jeremy is a hunter, a member of the Brotherhood of the Five, which means he can't be mind-controlled by anyone and cannot be possessed by Traveler Passengers; ergo, she can't trust anyone else in this town. There's also a rumor going around in witch circles that the Travelers have some major plans going on as well, and Mystic Falls is their destination. When Jeremy points out that he though Travelers were witches, Liv clarifies that while Travelers have magical powers, just like witches, they completely differ in their ideology. "They're more like the ugly step-sister. Travelers have a grudge against anyone who draws their magic from nature. Something about witches cursing the land to turn it against them." This isn't exactly accurate, either, is it? Because, as we'll learn later, it's not traditional magic drawn from nature that the Travelers have beef with, it's the ones who practice spirit magic by drawing power from their ancestors on the Other Side. But OKAY, whatever. Moving on!

Anyway, Mystic Falls is where the Travelers are headed next because of the doppelgängers-- Liv claims that it's because the world revolves around Elena Gilbert, but really, it's BOTH of them, so that's kind of unnecessarily mean to Elena. But her business with Jeremy is that she wants him to help her keep Elena safe by finding out what the Travelers are up to. Of course, that's when she gets the text from Luke telling her that Hazel is dead (which, hold up-- if Hazel was in their coven, why didn't they know what she was doing?), so Liv sighs and told him the plan has changed and gets ready to leave. Jeremy is flustered, as you can imagine, because first she was all "help me save Elena!" and now she's leaving him with no explanation, but she just rushes off. Tyler sees their confrontation and zoops to block her way, snarking that it's rude to leave Jeremy hanging, even for a newbie witch, but Liv just uses her telekinetic powers to throw Tyler across the room before snitting, "Not a newbie witch. Just FYI."

So, Hazel and Tom's deaths mean that Stefan and Elena are now the sole remaining doppelgängers of their line, which means the Travelers will be coming for them, which means Liv's coven wants one of the doppelgängers dead so they can't use their blood for whatever it is that they're planning. I don't know if she did a locator spell or what, but she ended up finding Elena at Jeremy's parent-teacher conference and just about staked her dead until Damon stopped her and Jeremy prevented Liv from getting killed by him. The deal they made was this-- Jeremy will donate his time, energy, and hunter skills to helping Liv and Luke stop the Travelers, but only if 1) Matt and Tyler get to help, and 2) Liv and Luke will promise to protect Elena and Stefan rather than killing one or both of them. Luke initially rejects this plan due to the fact that it's a huge conflict of interest, but Liv argues that Jeremy's hunter skills will help them get the upper hand, and he's clearly not afraid to stand up to the Travelers if necessary, to they ultimately agree to the plan.

2) Elena completely forgetting that she has a little brother who is still underage and needs actual parental guidance
I love Elena, you know I do. She's my favorite character and I defend her 99% of the time. And I mean, she's clearly had it rough lately-- she went to college and left the care of her brother to her boyfriend, who, at the time, was very capable at his job. Unfortunately, when Elena and Damon broke up, Damon kind of stopped giving a fuck about Jeremy because he was just another reminder that he lost Elena, and then Elena got bodynapped by Katherine, who DEFINITELY doesn't give a fuck about Jeremy, so he was definitely left forgotten for quite a long time. Then, when they finally got her back, she was all Ripper-y and hallucinating from the werewolf venom, which made it pretty hard for her to be a good sister, and I get it. But still, Jeremy is her brother, her only true family, and I feel like the show has really lost touch with their relationship. Remember when Elena was basically suicidal and the only thing she had left to hold onto was the fact that Jeremy needed her? Remember how Elena flipped her humanity switch because Jeremy died and how happy she was when he was resurrected? WHY CAN'T ELENA CARE MORE ABOUT HER BROTHER?

Him moving out killed me, too, because while I absolutely get why he would want to, for all the aforementioned reasons and more (including his argument that it's not exactly easy for him to focus on school when it's not like he can just bring a note into his teacher telling her that they were under attack by evil doppelgängers/immortal hybrids/ancient witches/etc), it just hurt my heart. And, to Elena's credit, it really seemed to hurt hers, too, so she promised to call him every day and to try to stay more involved now that she's back.

3) The Travelers and their secretive nonsense
I know I said several recaps ago that I was interested in the Travelers' story line, but that pretty much completely disappeared once it became clear that what they're doing is going to be bad news bears for the Mystic Falls Gang. We learned in the last episode that the combination of the blood of the last remaining Salvatore doppelgänger and of the last remaining Petrova doppelgänger (for lack of better names) is special to the Travelers, but it doesn't work if there are multiple doppelgängers walking around. So, first they ensured that Silas, Amara, and Katherine would be killed off, and then they spend the entire day probing Stefan's brain for information about Tom Avery so Caroline and Enzo could kill him. Sloan also mentioned that aside from his blood, she doesn't give a fuck about Stefan, and I'm guessing that goes the same for Elena, too.

As soon as Tom is dead, the Travelers then grabbed their two buckets of blood that they took from Elena and Stefan back in "500 Years of Solitude" and mixed it together before they started passing it around like it was vodka punch at a frat party. As if that weren't weird enough, they all started chanting, as they're wont to do, while Sloan went around with a torch and literally LIT AT LEAST TWO DOZEN TRAVELERS ON FIRE. They all kept chanting until they died, and continued chanting as their spirits touched Bonnie and passed through her to get to the Other Side. Unfortunately for Bonnie, there were a TON of them who died, and all of them grabbed her one after the other, so she was so overwhelmed with pain that she literally passed out and fell to the floor. From there, a dark shadow grew out of her unconscious body and formed a solid, human man. OH SHIT. Hey, Markos. Welcome to the 21st century.

4) Poor Bonnie and her inability to have good things happen to her, EVER
As if it weren't bad enough that Jeremy had been ignoring Bonnie all day in favor of his super-secret team-up with Liv and Luke, but then she ends up getting bombarded by suicidal Travelers passing over to the Other Side? I just want to steal her away and have a non-stop sleepover with plenty of junk food, relaxing, and watching Netflix. She really needs the break, you guys. It started when Damon saw Jeremy and Liv sitting together at the Grill, which immediately made him suspicious that he was cheating on Bonnie. Then, Elena and Bonnie were chitchatting about Elena's post-breakup sex marathon with Damon the previous night when the topic changed to Jeremy and whether he knew about it; Elena informed her that Jeremy wasn't at the house that night, which confused Bonnie, since he never said anything about going anywhere else to her. At the conference, Damon suggested that Jeremy might be cheating, but Elena refused to even consider the possibility, even when Damon reminded her that Jeremy once had an affair with a GHOST, which is why he and Bonnie broke up in the first place.

Still, just because Jeremy isn't actually cheating on her doesn't mean he's not being mean at the worst and thoughtless at best. Bonnie was in the middle of questioning Luke on his shady behavior when Jeremy called her to tell her that he thought Elena was in trouble. He explained that he knows Liv is up to something and briefly mentions that she said Elena was important to the Travelers. Understandably, Bonnie is like, "Liv? Since when do you talk?" but Jeremy just promises to tell her everything in detail later-- for now, he has to go after Elena. And, to make matters worse, after Jeremy unceremoniously hangs up on her, she turns to pick up her conversation with Luke, only to find that he ran off while she was distracted. CAN'T PEOPLE BE NICE TO BONNIE FOR ONCE? GOOD LORD. Despite being treated like crap, she still called Matt and Tyler to give them a heads up that Luke would probably be trying to meet up with Liv at the school, but other than that, everyone pretty much just forgot about her. Finally, after everything else that happened this episode, Bonnie called Jeremy, but, of course, he didn't answer, so she's forced to leave a voicemail. "Hey, Jer. Um, I haven't heard back, and I have a million questions, so... I miss you, and... I'm confused, that's all. Call me?" LET ME LOVE YOU, BONNIE.

1) The MFG and their team-up with the witches
Their attempts to get a handle on whatever is going on was basically separated into two groups: on the one side, you have Liv, Matt, Jeremy, Tyler, and eventually Bonnie, while on the other side, (heh, pun unintended) there is Stefan, Elena, Damon, Enzo, Caroline and Luke. Let's start with the former group first. Liv shows up at the Lockwood Manse, where she explains that the Travelers have officially arrived in Mystic Falls, and that her coven (and now, this little rag-tag group)'s goal is to get rid of them and/or stop whatever it is that they're planning.
LIV: "But, before I put my faith in the Three Stooges, I need to make sure that none of you are harboring a Passenger." [she holds up the Traveler knife]
MATT: [incredulous] "So, you want us to stab ourselves?"
LIV: "This knife is the only thing that will get rid of them."
MATT: "Again, you want us to STAB ourselves?"
JEREMY: [sighs] "Just do it so we can get on with this."
MATT: [scoffs] "Says the hunter with the Traveler-proof head."
TYLER: "I'll do it!"
MATT: "...And the hybrid, who heals."
TYLER: "Dude, you have a magic ring that brings you back from the dead. Quit bitching!"
LOL, God, I love them. Anyway, Tyler stabs himself in the gut with the knife and hands it back to Liv, who unhygenically wipes it off on a towel before walking over to Matt. She sets the knife against his shoulder, citing the fact that it shouldn't hurt too much and won't have to be too deep, but when she offers to help him, he just takes the knife from her and stabs it into his shoulder himself. "So much testosterone, so few brain cells," Liv snarks. Now that she knows they're able to be trusted, she outlines the plan for them: now, they need to take that knife and basically start stabbing everyone in town with it to make sure that if they are being possessed by Passengers, they can get rid of them. She also informs them that her coven has been tracking the Travelers since the very beginning of this mess 2,000 years ago. As it turns out, though they're always on the move (hence the name TRAVELERS), they have been known to stop and gather several times throughout history; and not only that, but no one has ever noticed that they've met, because they always start Passengering themselves into the townsfolk, which, naturally, the Travelers just so happen to be doing in Mystic Falls as they speak. Worst of all, Liz Forbes is one of the poor humans who got Passengered by a Traveler, since they need people who are conveniently placed in Mystic Falls society, I guess.

Meanwhile, Caroline (after witnessing Elena having one of her doppelgänger visions and then being informed by Stefan that he's dealing with the same thing) calls up Damon and Enzo and fills them in on their newest problem. Damon is not at all thrilled to hear about Elena and Stefan's ~romance dreams~, but pushes down his negative feelings and insist that they call up Luke and have him come over so they can figure out what the fuck is going on. Across town, Matt has gone to the Sheriff's station to check up on Liz after Caroline called him and expressed worry that she hadn't shown up to their lunch date. He's looking around her office when Tyler calls him and asks him what's going on, so Matt briefly explains that he figured if he was a Traveler looking to take over a town, he'd start at the top. He's just added that he can't do anything without the Traveler knife when Liz (or, rather, the Passenger inside her) shows up behind him and asks him what he meant by "Traveler knife." BUSTED. Matt tells her that Caroline said she missed lunch and sent him to check on her, and insists that she must have misheard him when she though he said Traveler knife, but Liz, not up for games, grabs a letter-opener off her desk and stabs Matt in the neck with it, killing him. No worries! He's wearing the Gilbert ring.

Luke finally shows up at the boarding house later, and when he informs Damon that he's Liv's twin, Damon hilariously asks, "Is it possible for there just to be one of someone around here?" LOLOLOL. As for the other team, Tyler has just showed up at the Sheriff's station with the knife hidden on his person when he runs into Liz outside. They make small-talk, specifically about Tyler's habit for day-drinking at the Grill, and how though she knows that he's a hybrid, he's still technically underage, so he should probably keep it on the DL. Tyler can sense that something's off with her, though, and gets the super smart idea to test her by adding, "My mom says hi!" Liz's Passenger just smiles and replies, "Send her my best, okay?" clearly not knowing that Carol Lockwood died like, a year ago, so when Liz's Passenger turns around, Tyler zoops up behind her and stabs her in the side with the knife, killing the Passenger inside. Unfortunately for him, he was too distracted by Liz to notice that another Traveler had sneaked behind him to stick a Passenger inside of HIM. NOOOO.

Back at Casa di Salvatore, we walk in midway through an exposition-fest between Luke, Stefan, Elena, Damon, Enzo, and Caroline. Damon is PISSED that Luke can't stop their visions, but Luke reminds them that while he may be a witch, he's not bigger than the actual universe. When Damon asks him why the fuck he's even there, then, Luke informs them that they're pretty sure the Travelers are ready to make their big move, because their leader, Markos, has finally arrived from the Other Side, thanks to the fire sacrifice that allowed him to escape. Elena: "Perfect. An old, dead guy with a mysterious, evil plan. I'll take that drink, now!" HAHAHAHA.

Caroline comes into the study and reveals that she just got off the phone with Stefan, who went back to the scrapyard to look around and who has reported that it's been completely cleared out. Damon correctly assumes that Luke's coven has no idea where Markos is, which is when Luke comes up with an idea-- since they're the ones who guessed that the Travelers were trying to draw Elena and Stefan together to use their blood for some sort of prophecy, it would make sense that they would also be trying to draw them to the Travelers as well. Which means, of course, that Elena and Stefan need to keep having their visions so they can figure out where they are. And, of course, Markos has chosen to hide out in Elena's old, burnt-out shelf of a former home, because he hasn't proven himself to be a big enough asshole yet, apparently.

2) Damon and his weird chemistry with Enzo
Damon, in a fit of post-breakup restlessness, impulsively bought a pool table for one of the many rooms in Casa di Salvatore, so he and Enzo decided to play a couple of rounds while Enzo gave him shit about his current predicament with Elena.
ENZO: "So, you broke up. That, I get. Then, you slept together. Not smart, but again-- I get it. Now, here's where it gets a bit hazy for me: you went to a parent-teacher conference?"
DAMON: [annoyed] "Jeremy was having some trouble at school."
ENZO: "Right. Then, the kicker-- you offer to drive her back to campus, and she says she can't be around you. I mean, I'm just confused even thinking about it. Can't imagine how you feel."
DAMON: [tries to play it cool] "I'm fine. We're just taking some time apart!"
ENZO: "Yeah, of course! A friends phase, where you-- her friend-- watch as she moves on with her life, finds a new boyfriend... perhaps a nice gentleman from a fraternity? Chance, or Brock..."
DAMON: "Does your mysteriously missing girlfriend know how insufferable you are? Maybe that's why you haven't found her-- she doesn't want to be found."
ENZO: "I haven't found her because the Travelers-- ie: my only lead-- decided to play a fun game of Spontaneous Combustion before giving me what they promised."
DAMON: "Right. Now, you're here annoying ME."
ENZO: "We could always go kill people! But, I suppose that's what got you into this problem in the first place."

How can I hate Enzo so much, but love the majority of his interactions with my favorites? I just don't understand it.

3) Stefan and Elena finally making it to the exes-turned-best-friends stage
Stefan and Elena experience their last vision-- that they were married and had several kids and still visited with their respective parents-- together, and when the spell is broken and the visions end, Stefan and Elena are clearly still affected by what they saw. Still, they go and sit in front of the fireplace, where Elena leans her head against Stefan's shoulder. They both admit that they know rationally that the visions weren't real, and that it was just a spell showing them what they wanted to see-- normal, human lives, without supernaturals or dead parents or non-stop danger. Elena even points out that it's a life they never could have had, but that doesn't change the fact that it still felt good to see that kind of life. Stefan, in a surprising display of growth and maturity, replies that the life that they had together was amazing, too, because it was real-- the ups, the downs, falling in love on their own, fighting, and in Elena's case, dying (twice). He argues the fact that they changed and grew and grew apart is just as real, too. Elena, trying to lighten the mood, jokes that she could cook in the fantasy, and they couldn't, which means that it was CLEARLY not reality. Then, Stefan confesses that he will always love her, and Elena assures him that she'll always love him, too. As they sit and watch the fire, Elena asks, "Do you think Damon and I will ever be able to talk like this? Like friends?" Stefan's response? "I think you can either be friends with someone or in love with them. I don't think you can be both."

1) Stefan and Elena's weirdo visions
I'm not saying this as some bitter Delena shipper, either, because, once upon a time, I actually did ship Stefan and Elena together, and if Stefan hadn't done the huge list of not cool things that he did, I would probably still be shipping both Stelena and Delena. But really, the main reason why I didn't like these visions was just because of how absolutely HEARTBREAKING they were for both involved parties. In the visions, Stefan and Elena were living a happy, normal, HUMAN life together, where their families were still alive, they were born in the same era, and there were no monsters trying to kill them. They even got to grow up, get married, and have kids, all things that Stefan and Elena both want(ed) desperately and will probably never get, and all because of that asshole Markos. It just really made me feel bad for them, because their visions felt so real to them that even though neither of them are in love with the other anymore, they were still grieving for the life that they never had the chance to live, and man, it really hurt my heart on a subatomic level.

2) Jeremy continuing to treat Bonnie poorly
Jeremy's shittiness is eventually rectified, but the fact that he was mean to her in the first place just really grinded my gears. I mean, HELLO, she didn't die for him so he could come back to life AND volunteer to go through the pain of being the Anchor just so she could be "alive" again and be with her friends AND her boyfriend so that Jeremy could just lie to her and avoid her, you know? So, Bonnie leaves Jeremy tons and tons of voicemails, the last of which said, "Hey, Jeremy. It's me, Bonnie Bennett, your girlfriend. Just in case you need reminding... which, I'm happy to keep doing until you call me back. So, call me." UGH BONNIE YOU DESERVE SO MUCH BETTER.

After Jeremy continues to ignore her, she ends up just going over to the Lockwood Manse to see him in person. He claims he's just been busy moving and stuff, though Bonnie sees right through that excuse. She eventually just shrugs it off and gets to the real reason why she showed up, which is that something serious is happening on the Other Side-- the witches think someone got out, and Bonnie figured that since Jeremy can see ghosts, too, he might be able to help her out. Of course, that's when Liv comes out from the study and tells Jeremy to get to work, and Bonnie loses any patience she had left. "Liv's here? Are you kidding me?" Liv claims that Jeremy hired her to help him with Matt, but Bonnie is not here for her bullshit. "Right. Was that before or after you lied to my face and tried to kill his sister?" She demands that Jeremy tell him what's going on, but he insists that he can't tell her, though he promises that they have it handled. He begs Bonnie to just trust him on this until it's all over, but Bonnie quite understandably not happy about any of this and just leaves without a word. To Jeremy's credit, he does get into an argument with Liv about how he didn't want to keep any secrets from his girlfriend, but Liv reminds him that the only way they can sneak up on the Travelers is if they DON'T know they're coming, and since she already broke her rule with Matt and Tyler, she refuses to do it again.

Bonnie and Jeremy don't end up getting to talk until later, when they meet up at the Sheriff's office to wait for Matt to wake up. They're both silent when Jeremy starts to chuckle softly all of a sudden, and when Bonnie asks him what the fuck he thinks he's laughing about, Jeremy just cracks, "I just realized you're the only person in this office the Sheriff hasn't killed." BAHAHAHA. Okay, that actually is funny. Still, Bonnie isn't amused, so Jeremy quickly segues into an apology for lying to her/avoiding her regarding Liv, and insists that he was just doing it to protect her. Bonnie isn't even really mad about that, not really-- she just states that while he should do what he wants with regard to protecting her, he shouldn't fall off the face of the earth, and especially not with someone who was just caught lying to her and nearly killed Elena. She tells him not to put her in a position where she has to question him, so he cuts her off and emphasizes that he knows, after the stunt he pulled with Anna all the way back in season 3. However, what Bonnie MEANT was that she chooses to trust him, and wants to be right, which makes them both smile. So, for the moment, things seem to be better.

3) How awful Markos (and the Travelers in general) is
So, once the gang has learned that Markos is squatting at the former Gilbert House, Damon and Enzo head over there to see what the fuck is up with them. Enzo makes a crude comment about Stefan and Elena's "crazy, vanilla vision-sex," but when Damon threatens to staple his tongue to his chin, Markos appears out of nowhere and tells them that they'll kindly do no such thing in "his" house. Damon has three questions for him, "Why are you here?", "What do you want?", and "Why are the doppelgängers having visions of each other?" Markos declines to answer the first two, as they're apparently too complicated, but the third one's answer is much simpler. Basically, he fully admits that the doppelgänger lore has been "misinterpreted" over the ages, and that he totally cast a spell on them during his first lifetime, 1,500 years ago. The prophecy isn't that the Silas' and the Amaras of the world are destined to be together, it's just that their blood can help the Travelers. Apparently, since he had no idea who they were, or where, he cast a spell to lure them together (and to the Travelers, natch) using the power of ~true love~, blah blah blah. He then decides to take a walk with Damon and pretty much tells Enzo to scram if he ever wants to learn about Maggie.

During this walk, we learned a few more things about the Travelers. 2,000 years ago, when Silas and Qetsiyah cast the spell for immortality, it caused a split in the Traveler community which eventually gave rise to the witches. The witches them put a curse on them that kept them from settling down as a community, or even gathering as a group-- whenever they do, disasters (plagues, earthquakes, fires, etc) would strike and wipe them out. Although they did find a loophole in the witches' curse-- they can't congregate together in their own bodies, but if they Passenger themselves into non-Traveler bodies, it's all groovy-- they still need the doppelgänger blood to reverse the curse. So, to prove to Damon that they're not enemies, he gathers a group of Mystic Falls residents who happen to have Travelers in them and have them cast the spell to get rid of the visions. Of course, this isn't really a sacrifice for them, since now they know where Stefan and Elena are, but Damon's just so relieved he doesn't really think about it any further.

At the very end of the episode, "Tyler" talks on the phone to Caroline, who is worried about the fact that her mom hadn't woken up after being stabbed with the Traveler knife, even after Caroline gave her some blood. He insists that she'll be fine, since Matt was apparently out for a while when this happened to him. He then promises that he has the Traveler thing handled before they hand up, when it's revealed that "Tyler" is actually a Traveler named Julian who is a Passenger in his body. Wait a minute, how did Tyler know all that stuff about Caroline and Matt? The Passenger in Liz didn't know that Tyler's mom was dead, plus Katherine needed all of that help from Matt re: trivia about Elena's life, which suggested they can't read the minds of the people they're possessing. Am I missing something?

ANYWAY, Julian joins Markos and raves about how incredible Tyler's hybrid body is-- which, WORD, dude. Markos is a buzzkill, though, so he reminds Julian not to get used to it, since once their plan is over and Mystic Falls is their new home, the body will be gone. I KNEW HE WAS SUCH A LIAR. Markos then changes the subject and asks if Julian "brought it," it being the Traveler knife, which was apparently the last one of its kind. I say "was" because Markos conjures up some magic fire in the fireplace and destroys the blade with it, which means there is officially no way to remove Passengers from their hosts unwillingly. WONDERFUL.

4) The newly-begun mayhem on the Other Side
So, remember how all the Travelers did that spell and set themselves on fire and then continued chanting the spell as spirits when they passed through Bonnie to get to the Other Side, all to resurrect Markos for whatever sinister plan they have up their sleeves? Well, as it turns out, this had some pretty serious consequences for the Other Side. After Bonnie left Jeremy what is probably the millionth voicemail, the world becomes a fuzzy, tinted blue, indicating that Bonnie had switched over to the Other Side, and she turns around to find her Grams waiting for her. Bonnie's thrilled to see her, obviously, but Grams does not look so cheerful, and there's a reason why-- she knows that the Travelers pulled some stunt on her last night.

Bonnie tries to joke about how she must have heard about it in the "Other Side newsletter," but Grams is not at all in a joking mood. That's when Bonnie notices that everything on the Other Side looks weird and not like it usually does, and Grams admits that something is definitely wrong. Many of the witches over there have a theory that the Travelers overwhelmed her on purpose so they could sneak someone out through the "tollbooth" and return them to life, and whoever it is, they can't find him. She's about to go into detail about what's happening when they're interrupted by a huge gust of wind that is blowing around, which ultimately sucks a tree branch into a black hole. Grams is clearly unnerved by this newest development, and insists that whatever the Travelers did, it has the witches over on the Other Side very, very concerned.

After Matt gets killed by the Traveler possessing Liz, his spirit appears in front of Bonnie. She's shocked to see that he's dead, but Matt doesn't have time for that-- he quickly explains that the Sheriff's in trouble, but, naturally, he can't say any more than that, so he simply instructs her to tell Jeremy, who will know what he means. He then apologizes to Bonnie for having to do this to her, and grabs her by the arm so he can pass through to the Other Side. As you might recall from earlier in the season, when somebody dies wearing the Gilbert ring, they wake up on the Other Side, and each time they die, they get farther and farther away from where they died, and it takes them longer to come back because they spend so much time looking for their bodies so they can reconnect. SO, Matt wakes up in the cemetery and sees a man who is staring at him. Matt is shocked that the guy can see him, and asks if he's a witch, but when the man just shakes his head no in response, Matt is SUPER confused. Then, a familiar Original vampire shows up to make things more interesting.
KOL: "It's all topsy-turvy over here, darling. But, I've got to say, it's good to be seen! Don't tell me you don't remember me. Kol, Original vampire, murdered pointlessly by Jeremy Gilbert?"
MATT: [annoyed] "Yeah, I know who you are. I thought the whole point of this place was to live out your afterlife in solitude. Why can I see you?"
KOL: "Well, apparently, there's trouble in paradise. The rumblings from the witches is that somebody tore his way out of here, and now this whole place is unraveling." [he notices Matt's ring] "Not that that matters to you. You're just on holiday. You're going back."
Matt doesn't really give a fuck about Kol, though, especially since he's just been given an idea-- Vicki is a ghost on the Other Side, too, which means if he can see Kol, he can see her, too. So, he starts running around, desperately trying to find her to talk to her while he still can, but he somehow keeps ending up in the same place, maybe because he's being drawn to his body, I don't know. Anyway, Vicki eventually hears his cries and comes to find him, and they immediately dive into each others' arms for a hug. However, when Matt assures her that everything is okay, Vicki vehemently disagrees. "No, listen to me-- it's NOT okay. Something's wrong. Look at this place! Matty, you need to get to your body and go back." The winds start whipping around them again, but Matt swears that he's not leaving without her, and urges her to take his hand as the two of them run through the woods. Vicki eventually stumbles and falls, which makes it much easier for the wind to pick her up into the air. Matt frantically grips onto her hands and promises he's not letting her go, but Vicki has gotten a lot of perspective in her time on the Other Side. She swears she loves him, but in the end, she's already dead, so her choice is clear. She lets go of Matt's hand and stares at him mournfully as she gets sucked up into oblivion, leaving Matt devastated.

Later, Kol finds Matt kneeling in the woods of the Other Side, still distraught over what happened to Vicki, and he tries to motivate Matt to get up and get moving. Of course, Matt doesn't really take kindly when he adds, "Not to be insensitive, but she was already dead. Little bit of a grief overkill, don't you think?" Way nice, Kol. Still, they actually end up having a really nice conversation that makes me actually kind of like Kol, something that I've never quite been able to do.
MATT: "Where'd she go? Did she move on? Did she find peace? Because it certainly didn't look like that."
KOL: [sighs] "I don't know where she went. And honestly, I would LOVE to never find out. Which is why I need you back in your body, shouting from the rooftops about what happened here."
MATT: [defeated] "It doesn't matter. When I go back, I'm not gonna remember any of this."
KOL: "Well, you better find a way to remember it. Look, you might not like me, but I'm not the only one over here, and if this place goes down, then what happened to your sister is going to happen to us all. Please, mate. You have to go back. You have to find out how to stop this."
At some point, Matt must have found his body and reconnected with it, because the next thing we know, Matt wakes up with a gasp on the floor of the Sheriff's office. Bonnie immediately asks him if he's okay, and Jeremy tries to inform him about the fact that he died and came back from the Other Side, but, surprisingly, Matt actually knows, because he remembers everything. Bonnie is like, "Uh, wut? That doesn't happen." So, Matt briefly describes his time on the Other Side (though, he leaves the part about Kol out), mostly that he was holding Vicki, and then the next thing he knew, she got sucked into space. He asks her what the hell is happening over there, but Bonnie honestly has no idea, and it is definitely weighing heavily on her.

5) The endless drama in Delena-land
Their first reunion after their serious breakup was just as awkward as expected, especially considering the reason why they reunited was to figure out why Stefan and Elena have been having their fated-lovers visions. When Elena and Caroline arrive at the boarding house, Caro immediately rushes off with Enzo so they can eavesdrop on Elena and Damon's conversations, though they don't end up being very interesting-- it's all just small talk about how Damon bought a pool table to channel his pent-up energy, and how Elena ran ten miles that morning and claimed she could have run twenty because of how restless she is, blah blah blah. Damon then offers her a drink, which she denies, on account of the whole inhibition-killer thing, plus their inability to be in close proximity without tearing each others' clothes off. Elena is hating their awkward, strained relationship as it currently stands, and asks him if they can't just be friends who do "friendly things," which hits Damon right in the feels, because he doesn't want to be friends, he wants to be MORE. Then, they start getting into the Stefan and Elena romance-dreams, and when he finds out that Elena and Stefan were both very happy in the visions, he decides to take the high road and insists that since the ~prophecy~ says that they're supposed to be together, they're clearly meant to be together.

Later on, Elena goes out onto the porch to talk to Damon, who is drinking alone and drowning himself in his bitterness. He snarks that he just came outside to listen to the universe laugh at him before admitting that they were clearly doomed from the beginning and were always meant to end up right where they are right now. Elena reminds him that they're just visions, and that once they find Markos, they'll stop, but Damon's not so sure; plus, even if that is true, they're still going to be in their awkward ~friends but not friends~ place, which isn't very exciting for him. She's about to argue that the universe doesn't control anything, but gets cut off when she instantly falls into yet another vision where human!Stefan tried desperately (and futilely) to cook a nice meal for human!Elena, and accidentally let her find the engagement ring he was meaning to give to her that night. Human!Elena is super happy and immediately starts kissing him before she insists that yes, she does want to marry him. Before she falls out of the vision, she notices a piece of mail with their address on it before returning to reality with such force that she shatters the glass of booze in her hands.

At the end of the episode, Elena and Damon meet up in Damon's room, where Damon snarks that he can't really deal with Elena's bedroom ambushes if he's not even allowed to drive her to school. Elena awkwardly apologizes before saying she just wanted to explain that while the visions she saw that day showed her a perfect life, it wasn't real, not like they are-- they may be messy and complicated, but they've always been real, even all the way back in season 1 when they first met. Damon reminds her that they're still really bad for each other, as though either of them could forget, but Elena insists that she still really needs him in her life. Unfortunately for her, Damon can't do that, at least right now, because it's too hard for him to just be her friend. Elena starts to cut him off, but Damon keeps talking over her, and OMG does it sting. "No. I'm serious, Elena. I can't see you anymore. I don't want to hear your voice, I don't want to talk to you, I don't even want to LOOK at you, and I sure as hell don't want to be your friend." OUCH OUCH OUCH OUCH. Elena looks like her heart just broke into a bunch of teeny, tiny, pieces, but she pulls herself together long enough to confirm that he's sure this is what he wants before she takes off.

Okay kids! Season 6's premiere, "I'll Remember" is up next on the docket, followed by the last two recaps of "Man on Fire"/"What Lies Beneath" and "Promised Land"/"Home," respectively! :)


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