The Vampire Diaries Season 6, Episode 2: "Yellow Ledbetter" Recap/Review

Ugh, this episode was such a rollercoaster! On the one hand, I have the Alaric/Elena relationship and the Damon/Elena relationship making me cry my eyes out, and then on the other hand, Damon and Bonnie are, like, the light of my soul. So many conflicting feelings! And then, when you add in the anxiety and stress that comes from Tripp's confession and actions at the end of the episode, I am both excited and ridiculously nervous for what is to come! EEEEE.

Also, this is a little off-topic, but it's recently been brought to my attention by a reader that I've never put my Tumblr URL up on this blog? SO, if you're a fan of TV show gifsets, flailing liveblogs during the airing of said TV shows, with a light sprinkling of feminist/SJ stuff scattered around, feel free to follow me at emily--kate.

Anyway, I'm already so fucking behind because school and studying for exams has just sucked up literally all of my time, so let's just hop to it, yeah? I have a shitload of catching up to do!

Previously, on the Vampire Diaries: Damon got left behind when Liv stopped the spell to resurrect all their dead friends before the Other Side was destroyed, and they were unable to restart the spell to bring him back. So, Damon and Bonnie were the only two left on the Other Side when it finally imploded, sending them to God knows where. Markos and the Travelers cast a spell that turned Mystic Falls into a no-spirit-magic-zone, which means all supernaturals temporarily relinquish their powers if they enter, and vampires can't go in without risking certain death. Tyler learned that the hard way, and he ended up being "cured" of his vampirism and had his werewolf gene untriggered before he died (and was subsequently resurrected.) Even though vampires can't get in the town, they CAN lurk around the borders, which Elena was doing while she was hopped up on magical herbs that Luke was giving her so that she could hallucinate Damon. She bit and fed on some girl named Sarah, who immediately got away and ran into town for help. Matt's community protection squad leader Tripp seemed pretty suspicious. Caroline is sad that Stefan left without saying goodbye, and is feeling pretty lonely about everyone drifting apart. Elena called up Stefan and begged him to give her hope that they can find Damon and bring him back, but Stefan kind of rudely told her that he gave up on the search and that she pretty much should just get over it. Finally, Elena begged Alaric to use his enhanced-Original-vampire compulsion to make her forget she ever loved Damon.

We open exactly where we left off at the end of "Home" four months ago. The bright white light recedes, and reveals Damon and Bonnie, still standing hand-in-hand in the forest. They look down at their interlaced fingers and immediately let go, as Damon mutters, "THAT got awkward fast." They both look around at their surroundings in confusion and ask themselves what the fuck happened, and where they fuck they are. Bonnie starts walking out of the woods, leaving Damon to reluctantly follow after her. When they finally make it out of the street, Damon runs his tongue over his canines and points out that he's still a vampire, which, THANK GOD. I saw a bunch of theories over the hiatus about how people thought Damon might have been turned back into a human in the same way that Tyler was and I was gonna be piiiiiiiissed.

Anyway, Damon figures that he's either a dead vampire, or Mystic Falls is no longer a magic-free-zone. Unfortunately for us, we know that neither of those are really true, but that doesn't mean it won't be super fun for us to figure it all out. They both stop in shock and confusion when they finally make it to the Mystic Grill, which is completely whole, despite the fact that Damon and Elena totally blew that place up less than an hour ago. Bonnie is just completely puzzled, and points out the lack of people, as well. "If we're still on the Other Side, we should at least be able to see the living." Damon is completely exasperated at this point, and is, like, "Where the hell are we? And, I don't mean geographically." Bonnie continues to look around, and quietly admits that she has no idea whatsoever.

Cut to the present day, where Matt walks down the stairs of the Lockwood Manse to wake Jeremy, who is sleeping on the couch. He's about to tell him that they're gonna be late to meet Elena, when he sees Sarah (who still has a bandage over her bite-marks from when Elena attacked her) in her bra and pants, getting dressed. Sarah immediately stammers that she needed a place to crash, and that "Jer" said it was fine, but Matt, who has fully taken over the big-brother role in Elena, Damon, and Alaric's absence, just frowns and points out that it's not actually Jeremy's house. Jeremy, who was apparently playing possum this whole time, reminds Matt that it's not technically his house either, which is totally incorrect-- Matt's name is on the deed to the house, and since Tyler is off to greener pastures, Matt's pretty much the closest thing to an owner that the mansion has.

Sarah senses the awkwardness and insists that she can just take off if it's that big of a deal, and Matt wholeheartedly agrees that that is an excellent idea. Once she leaves, Matt turns on Jeremy and demands, "Why would you bring her here? You shouldn't be anywhere NEAR her, dumbass! Not after what happened yesterday." Wait, how did Jeremy even MEET her? Didn't he spend the evening drinking at Bonnie's memorial site? The last episode ended with Sarah getting herself compelled by Caroline and Jeremy out in the woods brooding about how much his life sucks without Bonnie and Damon, so how did he even have time to meet her, let alone bring her home with him? This Sarah girl is super shady to me and I do not trust her at ALL. Anyway, Jeremy just rolls his eyes, though, and brings up the fact that Caroline compelled her to forget everything, so it's hardly a big deal, and Matt can't even believe his ears. "Not a big deal?" he asks incredulously, before noticing Jeremy's "I give no fucks" expression. "Right, I forgot. You don't care about ANYTHING," Matt retorts, before leaving the house. Hey, you bros need to get along already! All of this antagonism is really getting me down.

"Salvation" by Gabrielle Aplin plays as we cut down to Savannah, Georgia, where Ivy is alone in Stefan's kitchen, wildly running around in an attempt to make breakfast for Stefan. She grabs toast as it pops out of the toaster and drops them on a plate, and stirs up some scrambled eggs on a skillet before hopping over to the fridge to grab some orange juice. Oh shit, did Stefan actually go and get real people food for Ivy, since she complained that he didn't have anything in his fridge except beer? That's nice of him. Anyway, he wakes up and comes downstairs, and the sight of Ivy making him breakfast just generally makes him confused and cranky. He asks her what she's doing, and Ivy nervously stammers, "Um, I'm--I mean, I thought it would be nice to d--..." She notices the scowl on Stefan's face and adds, "...Completely overstay my welcome?" She frowns and sets down the OJ as Stefan walks around the island to shut off the stove. Ivy apologizes, and adds, "I thought I--... never mind what I thought."

Stefan, to his credit, does realize that he's totally being a dick to a girl who has done nothing but try to be nice to him, and begins to backtrack by saying that he wasn't expecting her to still be here, which does absolutely NOTHING to help the situation whatsoever. "Right," Ivy replies sadly. "Because why should you expect someone you spent the night with to make assumptions about breakfast? ...I'm gonna go." Stefan tries to fix things before she can head out the door, but Ivy cuts him off. "Stefan, I get it. I am super into you. You're... intermittently into me. Breakfast, bad." UGH STEFAN WHY ARE YOU BEING SO RUDE. You make it so hard for me to love you, goddddd. Ivy grabs her purse, but before she leaves, Stefan finally says the right thing, or at least a sort of right thing with a back-handed compliment at the end. "Look, why don't we... have dinner tonight? Although, I should probably do the cooking." Oh, Stefan. Ivy smiles, happy to not be totally rejected, and Stefan eventually smiles back at her. Oh, she's so gonna die, isn't she? All of the kind, friendly men and women of color always do in this universe.

At Whitmore, Elena is in her room, where she's packing up all of Damon's things, as well as any photos or other momentos with any association with their relationship. She looks through the pictures on her dresser, which include: one of Caroline and Elena, sticking their tongues out at the camera; one of Elena kissing Damon on the cheek, and one of Elena and Tyler. She puts the middle picture in the cardboard box she has set on her bed, and starts to fill it up with more items; photobooth photos, one of the shirts Damon had left there, a couple more framed photos, and her diary.

Then, in voiceover, we hear her say, "It's been four months. It's time for me to let go." We cut to somewhere on campus, where Elena has met up with Jeremy and Matt on a park bench. Jeremy looks skeptical and a little annoyed at this update, and snark, "You gonna erase Bonnie from your head, too?" Elena reminds her little brother that while she does miss Bonnie horribly, missing her just makes her sad. Missing Damon, however, makes her need to trip balls on hallucinogenic herbs and feed on and nearly kill any locals she runs into near the border of town. So, since Alaric has agreed to compel her to forget that she loved Damon, and then compel her to forget that he did it, she needs them to play along and keep the truth from her, too. Apparently, Tyler and Stefan have already agreed to do it. When Matt asks her what Caroline thinks, Elena points out that it's unlikely Caroline will have anything bad to say about it. At first, I figured Elena was right and Caroline would be all for it, but then when she actually objected at first, I realized how much sense it made for her to feel that way-- she's lonely and feeling lost without her friends and Mystic Falls as their home base, so Caroline's mission is now to fix those problems so that everything can go back to normal.

Which means, of course, that for once, she's totally Team Delena, both because 1) she's starting to feel romantic feelings for Stefan, even if she's not at all happy with him right now, so she can't really root for Elena and Stefan anymore, and 2) because she's determined to make everything go back to the way that it was before, back when they lived in Mystic Falls, and Stefan, Elena, and Jeremy weren't all mopey and distant because of Damon and Bonnie's deaths. Ergo, if she wants things to go back to normal, the only way that can happen is if Bonnie and Damon are brought back and Mystic Falls is no longer spirit-magic-free. Basically, she's got her work cut out for her, but thankfully, she's Caroline fucking Forbes, which means it's totally going to end up happening.

Speaking of Caroline, she has once again met up with Alaric in that Mystic Falls-adjacent diner, where she's yelling in annoyance in the news that Stefan has been doing fuck-all for the last two months over the strains of "Hello Goodbye" by The Young Lions.

CAROLINE: [pissed] "You said that Stefan was looking for a way to bring Damon and Bonnie back!"
ALARIC: "I thought he was! I've been feeding him leads for months. He let me believe he was following them."
CAROLINE: "Well, I've been a little focused on magic-bubble-duty. And, as you can see by the lack of Mystic Falls, it's a spectacular failure of a mission. And now you're telling me that this whole time, no one has been doing ANYTHING to help Bonnie and Damon?"
ALARIC: [hesitates] "...I wouldn't exactly say NO ONE..."
Cut to Enzo, who is currently hidden in the back of a coat room. "I Got Something For You" by Tim Murdock plays as we finally realize that Enzo is in the middle of using seduction to get some answers out of the coat-check-girl, who is also a witch. WAIT WAIT WAIT-- Alaric and Enzo are in contact? When are we gonna see THOSE interactions? I have basically been dreaming about Alaric and Enzo pissily arguing over who is Damon's best best friend. I NEED IT TO HAPPEN. Anyway, the girl insists that she doesn't know anything, but Enzo just croons, "You witches are also monstrously secretive. Lucky for me, I'm quite gifted at unraveling the truth." He gets on is knees and starts kissing her chest, and she moans a bit before finally admitting that she knows something.

"Okay, there's a coven in Oregon. They'd found a way to communicate with their ancestors before it went away. Maybe they know what happened to your friends. They call themselves the Gemini Coven. They're small, and weird, and they don't like outsiders." Enzo just smirks and points out that she did ACTUALLY know something, but she just smirks back and tells him she just wanted to make him work for it. Suddenly, a female voice clears her throat behind them, and Enzo knows exactly who it is without looking backward to check. "Ha ha. Well, well, well. There's a blast from the past. Hello, gorgeous." Kind of rude to be so openly complimenting another girl when you're practically in the middle of giving another girl cunnilingus in the middle of the coat room, don't you think? Still, Caroline just smiles fakely at them both.

In Elena's dorm room, Alaric has come over and is in the middle of closing all the blinds so they can get started Eternal-Sunshine-Of-The-Spotless-Mind-ing Elena's brain of any memories of Damon. Elena is clearly nervous, though, and asks Alaric to talk her through the process for the audience's benefit. "I raided the psychology department's research library," Alaric begins. "And, in a nutshell, we'll be using a combination of hypnotherapy and memory reprocessing techniques." Oh my god, isn't Alaric seriously in his element as a college professor? He may be uncomfortable in his new (to him) vampire-skin, but this is a role which he is seriously going to do really well, don't you think? Isobel would be proud, if she was alive. Or had any humanity. ANYWAY, Alaric sits next across from her and places a hand on her knee before compelling her. "The more we talk, the more you'll relax and open your mind to me." They both settle back, and Alaric explains more about what they'll be doing.
ALARIC: "We're going to be searching through memories that are deeply embedded, and each significant memory we hit which is connected to Damon, I will help you modify. And, this should eventually lead us to the signature memory, which, once erased, will create a positive domino effect through all of your other memories."
ELENA: [laughs nervously] "Can't you just compel me to forget everything at once? And then we can go for a beer?"
ALARIC: [smiles sadly] "I'm supernaturally rewiring three years of your memories. If it were that easy, it wouldn't be so terrifying."

Elena looks super sad, but nods in agreement, so Alaric once again compels her to answer his questions honestly before doing some preliminary questions to make sure he's doing the right thing here. When he asks her if she has doubts, she admits that duh, of course she does, but she knows she has to do this. He then asks her if she's afraid, but she replies that she's more sad than afraid, because she doesn't want to stop loving Damon. The final question before they start in earnest is whether or not she trusts him to be digging around in her brain pan, but Elena just smiles and insists that she trusts him completely, because of course she does! He's the one who took care of her and Jeremy when there was no one else left to do it, who kept them protected and loved, who gave them advice and guidance and a stable support system despite the completely UNSTABLE world in which they were immersed. If Elena trusts anyone to do this, it's Alaric, because she knows that Alaric misses Damon just as much as she does. There's not many people who can understand her love for him like Alaric can, because he watched it happen from the very beginning, when Elena couldn't even admit that she loved him.

So, now that they've finally gotten the preliminaries out of the way, Alaric settles down and compels her to answer the question he has come up with as a sort of test to measure their progress, which he will ask on multiple occasions over the course of this episode. "Who is Damon Salvatore?" Elena thinks about this question for a moment and replies, "He was my boyfriend. I loved him, and he died." Alaric then asks her how she first met him, so she replies that she was in high school before we cut to the flashbacks of Season 3's finale "The Departed," which took place on the night that Elena and Jeremy's parents died in the car crash, and Elena almost died with them. Before her parents came to pick her up from the bonfire, she ran into Damon, who thought she was Katherine. Elena just smiled, and insisted that her name actually Elena, so Damon put on the cocky charm that he's had forever and introduces himself.

In the present, when Alaric asks her what he was like, she replies, "There was something different about him. Dangerous, but not in a way that scared me. He was exciting." In flashback, Elena explained that she had no idea what she wanted (after bringing up that she wanted to break up with Matt), but Damon just replied that she wanted what everyone wanted: passion, adventure, and even a little danger. Alaric asks her how he made her feel, and Elena responds that he made her feel like anything was possible. So, he looks her in the eyes and compels her to alter her memory. "You had a nice moment in the road with a stranger, but that's all that he was. A stranger." Elena blinks, and a tear falls down her face as she repeats that they were just two people passing in the night. He becomes concerned and immediately asks her if she's okay, but she insists that they need to keep going.

Meanwhile, in Otherworldly-Mystic-Falls, Bonnie and Damon are still walking around the town, although it's morning now, and the sun is out. The streets are still completely deserted, and Damon is starting to lose his patience. He whines, "How many more streets are we gonna wander?" but Bonnie just snaps back, "How many times are you gonna ask me questions I don't have the answers to?" It's then that she noticed something weird about the cars on the street that they keep passing, which Damon notices as well after she points it out. He runs a hand along the hood of one of the cars and points out that even though they're all twenty years old or more, they all look like they're brand new. His face falls in horror and confusion when he realizes which house he's standing in front of-- the Gilbert house, which is not only NOT burned to a crisp from Elena emotionally dousing it in booze and lighting it on fire, but it also has a bunch of children's toys in the front yard.

OH MY GOD, MY HEART. Confused and weirded out, Damon crouches down to pick up the newspaper that is in the front yard, and when he opens it, everything suddenly becomes clear to him (Or, at least, as clear as being in an empty-weirdo-dimension can be.) When he holds it out to her to look at it, she only notices the front page article, titled "Rare Solar Eclipse Expected to Be Seen Across 12 States." So, Damon points to the date on the top corner of the front page, which is May 10, 1994. OH SHIT, I KNEW IT! THEY'RE TOTALLY IN THE 90s! "Is that--? Are we--? But, that's impossible..." Bonnie stammers, just as the sky turns dark above them, as they watch the moon blot out the sun in the sky. Damon sighs, and states, "I don't think we should be asking WHERE we are. I think we should be asking WHEN we are."

Back in the real world, Alaric and Elena are still in her dorm, working through Elena's memories of Damon. Alaric asks her to tell him about this particular moment, which took place in Season 3's "The New Deal." We flash back to the end of that episode, when Elena and Damon were standing on her front porch, discussing their plan to send Jeremy to Colorado for his own safety. Damon had just admitted that he had learned Stefan stopped Damon from killing Klaus to save Damon's life, and not to betray them/protect Klaus like they initially thought. He then added, "It means I'm an idiot, 'cause I thought for one second that I wouldn't have to feel guilty anymore. [...] For wanting what I want." Elena was so overwhelmed, she could only whisper, "Damon...", which made Damon feel bad enough to start walking off the porch, citing the fact that she was "his brother's girl" as the reason why he couldn't do what he wanted to do. He was unable to resist, though, so he turned back and and stated, "No. No, you know what? If I'm gonna feel guilty about something, I'm gonna feel guilty about this" before rushing toward her and kissing her for the first time.

In the present, Elena explains that Damon kissed her, and even though she knew she shouldn't have let him, since she both knew that he was in love with her AND knew that she loved Stefan even if he was being a huge asshole. Still, she let him, and she liked it. So, Alaric turns on the compulsion eyes and states, "He kissed you. You thought it was inappropriate. You told him so." Elena blinks and repeats that she told him it was wrong, so Alaric tests her to see if they've made progress. "Who is Damon Salvatore?" Elena once again repeats that he was her boyfriend, whom she loved, and who died, which seems to make Alaric disappointed. He sighs and suggests that they take a little break, since he can tell that this is taxing on her, plus it's also taxing him to the point that he needs a break. Which, really, is basically just his entire existence, let's be real here.

Back in the Otherwordly, 1994 Mystic Falls (of four months ago, because the timeline on this show has totally just lost its mind), Bonnie is sitting on the Gilbert house's front steps while Damon swings on the swing on the front porch. GAH, ALL THE DELENA PORCH MEMORIES. This episode really is killing me. Anyway, Damon hilariously whines, "Where is any booze in this empty Retroville?", but Bonnie just ignores him and points out how surreal it is to be there, since both her parents were deadbeats, so she practically grew up on that very porch under the care of the way more qualified Grayson and Miranda. Of course, Damon cares not a bit, so instead he pushes on and insists that Bonnie walk him through her current theory as to how the HELL they got where they are.

"Well, this clearly isn't PEACE," Bonnie argues. "Otherwise, I wouldn't be stuck here with you!" Damon's like, "Rude!" but he means it all in jest, so Bonnie continues on. "She must have, I don't know, sent me somewhere? And, when I held your hand... it took you with me." Damon isn't really thrilled with the vague guesses and asks her if Grams gave her any kind of clue or escape hatch so they can either move the fuck on or go home to the present reality where all their loved ones are. Bonnie isn't positive, but she does have an idea, one for which I AM SO FUCKING GAME. "No, but-- if we got here by magic, magic should be able to get us out." YES YES YES YES YES. Unfortunately for Bonnie, when she stares at a citronella candle on the porch and mutters, "Phesmatos incendia," the candle just stays how it is. Damon takes in Bonnie's disappointed expression and sighs. "Still can't do magic."

Elena has decided to take her break outside on a bench, where she talks to Caroline on the phone. Elena has just finished explaining her plan of compelling Damon out of her head, and points out that she figured Caroline would be the biggest fan of the plan, considering how little she likes Damon. Caroline, who is in her car, driving to places yet unknown, reminds her that they're literally getting ready to leave to chase a lead, so it's totally possible that they could figure out a way to bring Damon and Bonnie back. "You know, what if Damon returns home and everything returns back to normal? And you're just sitting there, all confused and weird?" Yeah, this is definitely Caroline's dream outcome, isn't it? Not Elena being confused and weird, of course, but definitely Bonnie and Damon coming back and everything returning to normal. Which is kind of hilarious, isn't it?It's amazing how much Caroline has become a Damon fan since he died and she realized she actually kind of like Stefan in a romantic sense. Anyway, Elena figures that in the case that their lead actually pans out, Alaric will just compel her memories back, which, of course, means that when they do inevitably bring them back, it's TOTALLY not going to be that easy whatsoever. I DON'T KNOW HOW I FEEL ABOUT THIS.

Caroline is clearly still concerned, so Elena tells her to say what she needs to say, since she wants to make sure her loved ones are cool with this plan, since their participation is kind of crucial, here. "I... don't know what to say," Caroline admits. "I was actually trying to think of what Bonnie could say." Elena sighs and starts pacing around until Caroline finally adds that she thinks Bonnie would support Elena and trust that she knows what is best for her. Elena seems relieved, and assures Caroline that she thinks it's awesome that she still has hope about all of this, but for the sake of her emotional and physical well-being, she has to do this and let Damon go. Caroline tells her to get on with her plan, then, and jokes that she'll even make bumper stickers, which makes Elena giggle. Before she heads back inside to re-join Alaric for her mind-whammy supreme, she ends their call with, "I love you," which Caroline repeats with a smile. I LOVE THIS SO MUCH. Everyone is like closer and yet more distant than ever at the same time, so little touches like this just really remind us all how much they care about each other despite everything. EEEEEEE.

(via doppelutiful)
When the camera pans out, we see that Enzo is sitting in the passenger seat of Caroline's car and has been listening to their conversation this whole time while they drive. "Girl bonding. Very sweet," Enzo snarks, before adding that he heard Caroline dropped out of school. "And I heard you were a lurker who was spying on my life!" Caroline retorts. She asks Enzo where they're supposed to exit, but Enzo deflects this question with a vague "Soon" before suggesting that Caroline should re-enroll, since "looks can only get a girl so far these days." OUCH! Caroline: "Yeah, well, I'm not taking feminist tips from a guy who just used his tongue to get secrets out of a coat check girl." I laughed, tbh. Enzo insists that they're called "garment attendants," now, but Caroline just turns the topic back to their mission. She brings up the Gemini Coven and asks him if it's really a legit lead, since it's not a coven she's ever heard of. Uh, since when do any of the MFG give a shit about what is happening outside their social bubble? It's not like they're checking for covens all the way across the country, you know? Anyway, Enzo replies that he has no idea who the Gemini Coven is either before admitting that they're not going there quite yet. Caroline is totally unnerved by this revelation, since she still doesn't fully trust Enzo, but he just tells her she'll see soon.

"Now You Know" by the TVC plays in Stefan's new home in Savannah, where he is quickly chopping up vegetables for whatever meal he's planning on cooking for Ivy this evening, which involves sauteéing meat in wine in a skillet. He then wanders over to the fridge, where he opens the door, pulls out the crisper drawer, and sneaks out a blood bag he has hidden underneath it. He takes a long chug and sighs in relief, just as he hears someone unlocking the front door. Stefan hastily throws the blood bag back into the fridge and turns to see Ivy entering the apartment. He begins to say that she has perfect timing, but Ivy cuts him off with a weird look on her face and informs him that she ran into a couple of his friends on her way in.

Stefan's face immediately goes pale, and he stammers, "What? Where?" Suddenly, Enzo and Caroline step into the house, the former looking his usual shit-stirring self, and the latter looking sheepish and awkward. "Stefan!" Enzo calls out cheerfully. "You are a hard man to track down. Uh, I wasn't sure if your new... friend would invite us in, but she said that this was YOUR place, which means open invitation for your mates, right?" He rubs his hands together gleefully and asks Stefan if he has any bourbon, as Caroline crosses her arms in annoyance and gives Stefan a look. Stefan looks both guilty and like he wants the earth to swallow him up, because Enzo and Caroline are officially shattering the fragile facade of his new fake life.

When we return from the break, Stefan, Ivy, Caroline and Enzo are all seated around the table, eating dinner, while Enzo stares Stefan down awkwardly. "All The Glitter's Gone" by Romans plays as Enzo compliments Stefan's cooking, which Stefan fakely accepts, before Ivy decides to ask how they know Stefan. Caroline explains that they went to high school together, and that he used to date her best friend, which instantly earns her a glare from Stefan, so she starts to backtrack and babbles, "Not that he's not allowed to date! I mean, they broke up. I just didn't realize that he had met someone. So, how did you meet, exactly?" Stefan, clearly hating this entire situation, answers for his girlfriend by informing Caroline that they met when she brought her car to the shop where he works.

Naturally, Caroline is stunned to hear that he's working as a mechanic, so Stefan clenches his jaw and insists that he finds it relaxing. Ivy seems to be catching on to all the tension, and asks Stefan what he used to do, then, if this is a new career for him. Enzo cuts in, "Ah, man of all seasons, jack-of-all-trades..." before noting aloud that Ivy has a "lovely clavicle," which is, of course, not awkward at ALL. Ivy nervously stammers out a thank you, so Enzo tries to backpedal on his blatant shit-stirring a bit by explaining that he always notices a woman's neck, as a not-at-all subtle wink at their vampirism.

He then points out that Stefan is a neck person, too, and Stefan decides that the best way to make this not suspicious at all to Ivy is to have no sense of humor whatsoever by snapping that he isn't a neck person anymore. "Ah, well, that's silly!" Enzo declares. "You can't just stop being a neck person." Ivy is just super confused, and turns to Caroline to ask her if Enzo is her boyfriend. Her answer? "Ugh! Oh, GOD no. Would you date that?" Enzo reminds Caroline that he has such sensitive hearing that it's almost supernatural, and uses that as an excuse to segue into asking Ivy if she believes in the supernatural. Ivy claims she's never really thought about it, but Enzo doesn't really care, since he's just trying to screw with Stefan more than anything else, and just states that he had to get a witch to do a locator spell to find Stefan. Ivy just looks at him, like, "Bwuh?" so Caroline starts fake laughing in hopes of making it look like he's just joking around, and Stefan half-heartedly joins in to maintain the rouse.

Back to the Otherworldly 1994 Mystic Falls of four months ago, yeah? It's the day after Damon and Bonnie arrived in this dimension after the collapse of the Other Side, and, in what is probably the most hilarious part of the episode, Damon is dancing around to "Whatta Man" by Salt-N-Pepa on an old-school CD player in Casa di Salvatore's (until now, unseen) kitchen, drinking bourbon straight from the bottle, and whipping up a batch of pancakes. He also seems to have dug into his 90s wardrobe (Which I'm guessing Bonnie dipped into, as well. Isn't it a good think vampires are pack rats?) because he is wearing flannel, which is SO un-Damon, don't you think? Anyway, Bonnie returns to the boarding house, and when she hears the sound of music, she follows it and manages to catch Damon boogying it up before he sees her staring at him and instantly stops. She points out that she didn't realize he actually cooked, but Damon insists that he doesn't. "How'd you sleep? Me? Not good. My 1994 mattress was very lumpy."

(via marriedbamon)
LOLOL. He asks her what she has in her hands, so she holds up this cute little teddy bear, whose name is Ms. Cuddles. Apparently, Bonnie lost her when she was nine, but when Bonnie went over to her house last night to see what she could find there, Ms. Cuddles was just hanging out in her room. She then holds up the second item that she brought back, which is an old, familiar looking book-- Grams' grimoire! Damon holds up his bottle of booze and informs her that he also found this, which is what he was drinking back in Season 4's "Memorial" while he was talking to Alaric's tombstone in the cemetery. Bonnie figures they're in some sort of snapshot of 1994, where everything that existed then exists now, except for the people, of course. Damon adorably covers his eyes and spins the CD rack on the counter around and blindly chooses the next CD to play.

When he puts it in the player, "Little Miss Can't Be Wrong" by the Spin Doctors starts to play, which is kind of hilarious given his current argument with Bonnie, right? Bonnie's point, however, seems to be missed by Damon-- there was once a time when Bonnie couldn't practice magic, if you recall, since her powers didn't really start manifesting until the first couple episodes of the first season. I'm sure there are other witches who began practicing magic at a young age (like Liv and Luke, and I'm guessing the Mikaelson children, considering Finn and Kol's magical aptitude in the Originals right now, but Grams didn't teach Bonnie magic until she was 16-17 years old. She thinks that, since she learned a shitload from Grams' grimoire in their real life, she could possibly use the grimoire to teach herself magic again. I LIKE IT! DO IT GIRL.

Damon, though, is not really feeling that optimistic, since, you know, he's a pessimist by nature, so he pretty much tells her that chances are, she's not getting her magic back, which does nothing to cheer Bonnie up. Frustrated, she asks him if it would kill him to give her a little moral support on this, but it's Damon, so... NO. "You know, I am acutely aware that we are in some otherworldly-time-dimension. However, do you ever think for one second that maybe it's YOU being negative reacting to my natural self negatively?" Wow, that was some Stiles Stilinski-style wordplay there, buddy. Bonnie proclaims him to be super ridiculous, which he is, but Damon just insists that he's consistent before dropping a plate of pancakes in front of her and ordering her to eat up. He then grabs a folded newspaper off of the counter and adds that she can also do the crossword, which does not thrill Bonnie a bit.

(via delenainterrupted)
Still, she starts to work on it, and is halfway through asking him what a certain seven-letter word is when the room suddenly darkens. Damon and Bonnie both look alarmed as they look out the window, where the sun is getting blocked out by the moon in a solar eclipse. That's when Damon notices the date on the newspaper that he plucked out of the front yard that morning-- May 10, 1994. The same date as yesterday, which MEANS that Bonnie and Damon are living the same day, over and over again. Damon sighs and grabs his bottle of bourbon before taking a huge chug of it. "Well, that proves it," he mutters defeatedly. "We're in hell. Our own, custom-built hell. And YOU'RE in it with me." Ohhhhhh shit.

Back in Mystic Falls, Matt has come downstairs in the Lockwood Manse, where he finds Jeremy sitting on the couch, per usual, drinking bourbon straight out of the bottle, Damon-style. Matt just rolls his eyes and snarks, "A little early for that, don't you think?" Jeremy insists that it's dark out, but Matt actually meant in life in general, seeing as Jeremy isn't even eighteen yet. Jeremy's not really in the mood for Matt's parenting skills, so he stands up and starts picking stuff up off the coffee table while Matt asks him where Sarah is. Jeremy claims he has no idea, and adds that he's not her keeper, so Matt, sick of his attitude, puts in his earbuds and informs Jeremy that he's leaving to go on a run. Jeremy remains silent until Matt leaves the house, which, of course, is when Sarah tip-toes out of hiding. She points out that Jeremy doesn't seem to like Matt much, but Jeremy just shrugs it off and vaguely replies that Matt is just trying to give him purpose. When she asks him why he didn't tell Matt she was there, Jeremy snits that he didn't feel like it. Boyyyy, you need to lose the 'tude! If Alaric was there, he would kick his ass so fucking hard, omg.

Meanwhile, Matt is jogging along the streets of Mystic Falls when Tripp, in an SUV, pulls alongside him and ribs him for not getting enough running in when the Community Protection Squad ran five miles earlier in the day. Matt replies that he's just working off some stress and asks him what he's up to this evening. Tripp then brings up the Sarah, whom he refers to as "the one with the animal bites," and asks him if he knows where she ended up. Stupidly, Matt admits that she ended up at his house, though he does say he had no idea how that happened. Does Tripp know that Matt and Jeremy live together? Hmm. Anyway, when Tripp asks if she's still there, Matt informs him that she left a long while ago, and asks him what this is all about. Apparently, Tripp has an in with the police force, and one of the officers told him that Liz ran the plates on Sarah's car, and they came up stolen. Matt is absolutely stunned at this news, so Tripp continues to explain that he's a bit of a paranoid, but he just wants to make sure to keep eyes on any "bad elements" coming through town. UH OH. I don't like the sound of this ONE BIT. So, Matt agrees to let Tripp know if she ends up back at the Lockwood Manse, and Tripp takes off. So, Sarah AND Tripp are both shady? Noted.

Back to compulsion hour at Elena's dorm, yeah? Elena is staring out her dorm room window and regaling him about Season 1's "Miss Mystic Falls." We flashback to that episode, when Elena, in her blue Miss Mystic Falls dress, walks down the stairs toward Damon, who had taken Stefan's place after his newly-reawakened bloodlust got the better of him. "It was the Miss Mystic Falls pageant," Elena explains. "Stefan was supposed to be my escort, but he bailed on me. He saved me from being embarrassed in front of everyone. He took my arm, and led me out with the rest of the girls and all their dates, and we danced. I remember... that was the first time I felt it." Alaric, behind her, asks him what she felt, so Elena, a little embarrassed, admits that it was then that she realized how sexy Damon was. "I'd never let myself notice until then. I mean, obviously I knew he was attractive, but... I didn't want to see him that way." Alaric looks sad as he looks over to her and compels her to believe that during the pageant, she went down the stairs and no one was there. Elena blinks in confusion and replies, "I was embarrassed, but I got over it."

Alaric then looks at her and once again asks, "Who is Damon Salvatore?" Elena, once again, replies, "He was my boyfriend. I loved him, and he died." She scrubs at her face with her hands in frustration and confesses that she hates doing this, and asks him how much longer it's going to take. Alaric reminds her that it's not going to work until they get to that signature moment when she knew she loved him, so Elena starts going through her memories, and Alaric, who is getting just as frustrated, tries to compel the memories away.
ELENA: "Well, that's easy. It was after I found out about the sire bond. Everyone kept telling me that my feelings weren't real, but I knew that they were."
ALARIC: [compels her] "Okay, your feelings were because of the sire bond. Who is Damon Salvatore?"
ELENA: "He was my boyfriend--"
ALARIC: [cuts her off] "That's not it. You gotta dig deeper, earlier."
Elena starts to get flustered and suggests that maybe it was when they spent the night in the motel together in Season 3's "Heart of Darkness," when they flew to Denver to go bring Jeremy home and ran into Kol. "I wasn't back together with Stefan yet, and... and all I could think about was kissing him. I wanted to kiss him so badly." Alaric sighs and compels her to believe that no one kissed anyone, and once again asks, "Who is Damon Salvatore?" When Elena replies with the same response, Alaric cuts her off again and tells her to think of another one. Elena is practically short-circuiting from stress at this point, and she insists that she doesn't know, so Alaric gets a little aggressive to try to shock her into a revelation. "Well, think about it, Elena! Think about that moment where you knew this person was somebody you had feelings for. That you loved, that you could see those feelings going on forever. Trust me, you never forget." OMG HE'S STILL SO HURT ABOUT ISOBEL OMG MY HEART. God, Alaric, you are the best and you make me so sad all at the same time. Anyway, Elena is too overwhelmed, and decides that this entire plan was a stupid idea. "Okay? I-I can't do this anymore, alright? I'm done. I'm sorry." Elena rushes out of the room, and Alaric just sighs.

Back to Otherworldly 1994 Mystic Falls, only now, it's been two months (of the four total) that Bonnie and Damon have been there. Does that make sense at all? I hope so. This recap has been a pain in the ass to write because of all the flashbacks and alternate timelines and shit, argh! ANYWAY, so Damon and Bonnie seem to be settled into a routine, because the eclipse comes and goes and they don't even acknowledge it-- Damon just keeps making pancakes, while Bonnie sits at the table and works on her crossword, and "Connected" by Stereo MC's plays in the background. "What's a seven-letter-word for 'Kill me now?'" Bonnie snarks with the cutest smile, but Damon just snits that her joke got old six weeks ago. Bonnie retorts that this crossword puzzle also is getting old, especially since she's done it every day for the last two months and still hasn't figured out 27 across, which is "Old tongue-twister, Eddie turned Top 40." Damon just ignores her and puts two pancakes on a plate before slathering them with whipped cream and setting it in front of Bonnie, who frustratedly stabs at them with her fork. "I hate pancakes!" she yells in frustration, to which Damon takes great offense. "Whoa, don't take it out on the pancakes! Those pancakes, like myself, are waiting for you to be witchy to get us the hell out of here!"

This does nothing to soothe Bonnie whatsoever, and she angrily rises to her feet as she insists that she's been trying, but Damon just reminds her that she's also been failing. "Further evidence we're in hell. Not only am I stuck with you, I'm stuck with the USELESS version of you." OUCH! Harsh toke, dude! Bonnie is PISSED and is about to tell him off when she stops talking and focuses her hearing. However, when she asks Damon if he heard that noise, he just frustratedly points out that there's nothing that they could have heard, because they're the only two people here, and they've been 100% alone besides each other for the last two months. Bonnie swears up and down that she heard something, but Damon just retorts that what she's hearing is likely just "the sound of existential despair." Bonnie has had it up to THERE with Damon's attitude, and exclaims, "You know what? You think we're trapped in YOUR hell? I have to spend every day on repeat with the person that I like least on this earth! Maybe we're trapped in MINE." She angrily grabs Ms. Cuddles off of the table and storms out of the house, leaving Damon all alone with his pancakes. NO FIGHTING, KIDS. YOU NEED TO WORK TOGETHER.

Let's check up on the gang in Savannah, yeah? Stefan, Ivy, Caroline and Enzo are still in the middle of the dinner from hell, where Enzo pleasantly compliments Stefan on his "charming" home and asks him when he got it. Stefan pours wine into a glass and replies that he moved in about a month ago, but Ivy chimes in to remind him that when they met two months ago, he already lived there. Caroline can't hold back her surprise and hurt when she interrupts and asks, "You've lived here for more than TWO months?" Stefan tries to keep the conversation in neutral territory when he confirms that yeah, it looks like he has, but Caroline is not really in the mood to hold back. "Well, I guess that's just weird, because, you know, everyone thought you were living somewhere else. And, your job was SUPPOSED to be investigative work. NOT auto-repair." Stefan is clearly not at all happy to be having this conversation, especially not in front of Ivy, so he just insists that he's moved on from that job, but Caroline isn't done yet. "Well, you can't move on from investigative work until you've solved the investigation, STEFAN," Caroline replies tersely, but Stefan just tells her to drop it, because he's happy now, which is what is most important, is it not?

Caroline is just about to protest when Enzo stops her and snarks, "There, darling. No need to make a scene!" Which is hilarious, really, considering the scene he's just about to make, don't you think? Enzo declares all of this to be just a big understanding, and expresses his hopes of clearing everything up before he grabs his fork and stabs Stefan in the hand with it. Ivy is understandably freaked the fuck out, especially when Stefan doesn't really react other than wincing and asking Enzo what the fuck is wrong with him. "So many secrets. What are you running from, Stefan?" Enzo asks, as he pulls out the fork and his wound heals immediately. Ivy's eyes about pop out of her head, she's so stunned, so Caroline compels her to stay calm and go upstairs with her so she can compel her to forget all this. On her way upstairs, Caroline gives Enzo the biggest stink-eye and screeches, "No need to make a SCENE?" I am a pretty serious Stefan and Caroline shipper, but man, Caroline and Enzo are basically an old married couple already and I kind of love it, tbh.

(via queenvampirebarbie)
After they leave, Stefan and Enzo stand a couple feet away from each other, glaring at each other murderously, until Enzo finally asks him the question he's clearly been dying to ask since he got there. "What kind of coward gives up on his own brother?" Enzo demands furiously. Stefan looks the tiniest bit guilty, but swallows it down and continues behaving in dick-mode by telling Enzo that he has no idea what he's talking about before he vamp-speeds toward Enzo to try to tackle him. Did we ever figure out how old Enzo is? He was already a vampire during World War II, because that's when he was found by Dr. Whitmore and brought to Whitmore College to be experimented on for like seven decades, but I don't think we've been given any indication of how long he had been a vampire prior to that.

I'm gonna guess he's at least the same age as Stefan and Damon, though, because he easily grabs Stefan's arm and twists it behind his back before he can tackle him. He then grabs another fork off the table and shoves Stefan into the fridge before stabbing him in the neck with it. YIKES! Enzo taunts Stefan by insisting that he enlighten him on his relationship with Damon and what he's been doing to bring him back, but Stefan just gets more pissed and throws him into the dining room table, which breaks it into pieces. He yanks the fork out of his neck, just as Enzo pulls himself up and speeds toward Stefan to pin him against the wall, but Stefan headbutts him and takes advantage of how disoriented he is to get in another powerful punch to the face. Then, when Enzo stumbles and braces himself against the table for support, Stefan speeds behind him and snaps his neck to end the fight.

Caroline is on the stairs, listening to this all go down, when her phone rings. She sees that it's Alaric and answers it, but immediately tells him it's not really a good time. Alaric gets straight to the point and admits that he's hit a wall with his compulsion for Elena, and hoped that he could get some insight from Caroline to point him in the right direction. When Caroline asks him what she can do to help, he explains that his intent is to get Elena to figure out when she first fell in love with Damon, and the problem is that he can't seem to help get her there. Of course, in true Caroline form, she gives him her answer in the most blunt way possible. "Yeah, because she doesn't want to admit what everyone else already knows-- that she fell in love with Damon while she was still with Stefan." Okay, that's kind of a lie, given what we learn about this episode, but it's true enough in essence-- Stefan pretty much chose Damon's life over his relationship with Elena, which is actually totally understandable and not something I'm blaming him for or anything. But, as soon as Stefan gave in and started feeding on everyone and everything while he was traipsing around the southern USA with Klaus, his relationship with Elena was pretty much over, even if she was still holding onto it, you know?

Anyway, naturally, Stefan turns out to be standing right behind Caroline when she says that, and the look on his face immediately causes Caroline to think that she just like, broke his heart or something, though it really wasn't anything of the sort. We then cut to the downstairs of Stefan's house, where Caroline finds him cleaning up the mess from his and Enzo's tussle. Stefan gestures toward Enzo's body and tells Caroline that she should probably get him out of there, since he's not really up for round 2 with him when he wakes up, but Caroline is more worried about Stefan and what he heard her say. She starts to apologize, but Stefan just cuts her off. "It's fine, Caroline. I don't really care." UGH, STEFAN. Like, I want to like Stefan. And I completely get why he's doing what he's doing, and I don't think it's wrong of him to want to get away from Mystic Falls and start over or whatever. But seriously, is being a dick to his friends, who are hurting just as badly as he is, and who are struggling to get by because all of them are so scattered that they don't have anyone as a support system really the answer? I mean, chances are he's just trying to push them away, but will hurting Caroline/Elena/Alaric's feelings really help him feel better? I don't think so. It really just seems to be causing even more problems, in my opinion.

ANYWAY, here is their absolutely heartbreaking conversation:
CAROLINE: [confused] "Why? Why don't you care? You're the one who always cared. It's what I liked about you. You know, amidst all the crazy in our perfectly messed-up lives, you cared more than anyone. So, how could you just... stop?"
STEFAN: [sighs] "'Cause I had to. I had to move on. You know, the months before I moved her, I was following every lead that Alaric sent my way. I spoke to every witch, every shaman, every psychic in twenty countries around the globe, and every lead was a dead end."
CAROLINE: "But, Enzo has another lead. There's this coven in Oregon--"
STEFAN: "The Gemini Coven. Yeah, I looked into them, too. Caroline, there was nothing there. Because there's nothing we can do. Damon and Bonnie are DEAD. I had to come to terms with that. And, once I did, I had to start over. I couldn't just live my life with my old friends. I couldn't just go near Mystic Falls, or Elena, or--"
CAROLINE: [interrupts] "Or me?. 'Cause I thought we were closer than that. I mean, you couldn't hear in all those messages I left you? You couldn't hear that I was completely falling apart without you?" [Stefan looks away guiltily, and Caroline comes to a realization] "...'Cause you never listened to them..."
STEFAN: "I had to move on. I didn't have a choice. I had to erase everything."
UGH UGH UGH. I hate railing on Stefan like this, because I hate being negative in general about the characters in my favorite shows, plus I know that a lot of you probably love Stefan and I don't like shitting on characters because it's just a bummer for people who are fans. You know how much I HATE Scott McCall hate any time I see it, so it's that whole "treat other characters as you would like your characters to be treated," thing. ;) I try to love everyone, and every pairing, and for the most part I totally do, but UGH, Stefan! Damon was his brother, but Bonnie was probably the closest thing to a sister that Caroline had. Stefan isn't the only one who lost someone they loved, and isn't the only person who is drowning in grief. And, like I said before, they don't even have their usual support system because everyone is scattered around the south-eastern United States, trying to deal with everything that happened.

(via peetahales)
Not to mention the point that I brought up last week, which is that these people have been resurrected more times than anyone can ever count, so why is Stefan SO determined to believe that there isn't one thing they can do to bring Bonnie and Damon back? Especially since we ALL know that they're coming back-- it's just a matter of when, at this point. If you think I'm being unfair to him, please tell me what you think about this, because I really do want to like Stefan, but he's just making it SO HARD FOR ME OMG.  ANYWAY, Caroline looks way more angry than she does sad at this point, and glares at him before spitting, "Well, let me summarize them for you-- you're a DICK." YOU TELL HIM, GIRL. She then storms out of the house, only adding that if she wants Enzo out, he can throw him out himself before she goes.

Back at Elena's room, she's tearing into her box of Damon's things while she tries to call up Luke. When it goes to voicemail, she starts to leave a message asking for more herbs, but when Alaric enters the room, she immediately hangs up and starts in on Alaric instead. "I don't want to hear it, Ric, okay?" Elena insists. "We tried, it didn't work. It's over." Alaric walks toward her and gently points out that it didn't work because she wasn't being honest, but Elena incorrectly interprets this to mean that Alaric doesn't think she's being honest to HIM. She argues that she was 100% honest, even when she really didn't want to be, since it's probably like a combination of talking about your sex life with your older brother and talking about your sex life with your father, but Alaric clarifies that he meant she wasn't being honest with HERSELF. Elena looks down at the box on her bed and remains silent, so Alaric quietly adds, "Look... I want to hear all of the Damon stuff-- while you were still with Stefan." Again, Elena takes this the wrong way, because like Alaric said, she doesn't want to admit to herself that she loved Damon while she was with Stefan, even though it's pretty clear to literally everyone else what happened, and nobody (except Elena/Delena haters, anyway) blames Elena for having feelings for them both.

ANYWAY, Elena maintains that she was always faithful to Stefan, which, of course, Alaric is not at all suggesting, but she cuts him off before Alaric can reassure her that he thinks nothing of the sort. She reminds him that she stuck with Stefan through everything, even when he lost his humanity, even when he and Klaus killed a bloody swath through the Eastern coast of the United States. "I know you did, Elena," Alaric argues. "You don't want to admit it because you feel like you're betraying Stefan. But, this won't work until you do." Elena continues to insist that she loved Stefan the entire time she was with him, and never would have hurt him, but Alaric isn't saying that either. "Elena, you've been lucky enough to love two people this deeply in your young life. There's nothing wrong with that. It's okay," Alaric insists gently and kindly. Elena laughs the most humorless laugh as she remembers what Katherine told her in the season finale of Season 2, "As I Lay Dying": "It's okay to love them both, you know. I did." Elena repeats the quote to Alaric and adds, "How sad is it that my own evil doppelg√§nger was smarter than me?" She starts to cry as Alaric pulls up a chair and sits in front of her. "It's okay, Elena. You can tell me. Tell me the moment you knew you loved him." Elena seems like she feels the tiniest bit better, and replies, "It was my birthday." OH SHIT.

Okay, the next scene cuts a whole bunch between the Otherworldly-Mystic-Falls and flashbacks to the Season 3 episode "The Birthday," and Elena and Alaric talking about it at Whitmore, so bear with me, this is gonna get complicated. "All Through The Night" by Sleeping at Last plays as a chyron appears that tells us it's "Today" in 1994 Mystic Falls, and we cut to Damon, who is sitting on the floor of the upstairs hallways, where he is bouncing a rubber ball against the wall. In voiceover, Elena explains the flashback while Damon sits and looks pensive. "Damon and I spent the entire summer looking for Stefan. And, I was trying to put on a good face, because Caroline was throwing this party for me, but I was just so sad." Damon gets up from his spot in the hallway and walks down the hall. "I was two seconds away from deciding that I wasn't going to go. I wasn't going to leave the room." 

Flashback Damon goes into Stefan's bedroom where Elena is looking at herself in the mirror before she went down to the party. Present-day Damon goes into Stefan's room and leans against the wall with his arms crossed. "Until Damon came in to give me my... birthday gift. It was the necklace that Stefan had given me. I'd lost it, and Damon knew what the necklace meant to me." Flashback Damon (who I totally forgot had the most RIDICULOUS mullet back then) puts the necklace around Elena's neck and clasps it at the nape. "What it meant about my feelings for Stefan. Even though he loved me, he gave me the one thing that represented hope for me and his brother. I knew how much it hurt him, but he did it." Present-day Damon finds the exact box that the necklace was originally held in on Stefan's desk (which he also gave to Elena when he gave her the necklace in the Season 1 episode "Friday Night Bites") and picks it up. As he looks at it, he thinks about Elena and grips the necklace tight in his fist.

"It was the most selfless that he's ever been, and in that moment... I loved him. I didn't want to. I mean, I-it terrified me. But, for that moment, I loved him." Present-day Damon sets the necklace back in the box and looks very, very sad. In her dorm room, Elena tells Alaric to do what he needs to do. We get one last cut to sad Damon before we cut back to Elena, who clasps both of Alaric's hands in her own and insists that she's ready. Alaric looks like he's about ready to cry himself, probably both because Elena is so sad and because he knows how sad Damon would be to see this right now, and gently replies, "I need you to be sure. Are you sure?" Elena insists that she's sure, and begs him to just take it away, so Alaric leans forward and turns on the compulsion eyes. "Damon never came into the room. He never gave you the necklace. The party was miserable, but you spent the night at your house watching movies and eating popcorn with Jeremy."

Elena hears the name "Jeremy" and immediately flashes back to the Season 2 episode "The Return," when Damon impulsively snapped Jeremy's neck when Elena admitted that she loved Stefan and not him. She saw that Jeremy was wearing his Gilbert ring, and looked at Damon with SO MUCH HATRED in her eyes. In the present, Elena recounts the fact that Damon snapped Jeremy's neck right in front of her, which confuses Alaric enough to quietly ask, "Elena, who is Damon Salvatore?" Elena's eyes are streaked with tears, but she looks angry as she replies, "He's Stefan's brother. He's a monster. Then, he died." NOOOOOOO. MY HEART. I honestly don't think Alaric expected Elena to have this negative a reaction to losing those memories of Damon, but really, it makes sense-- Damon, Stefan, Caroline, Elena, Tyler... all of them have blood on their hands, and all of them have done arguably horrible things. If it weren't for all the good, loving, selfless things that they've done for each other, then what separates them from the villains they seem to hate so much?

(via delenastwinflames)
Back down in Savannah, Caroline is sitting in the driver's seat of her car, which is still parked in Stefan's driveway. She's bawling her eyes out, and her makeup is running as a result of the tears soaking her face, but, when her phone starts buzzing, she remembers that she's Caroline Forbes and pulls herself together long enough to answer. It's Elena, who has now been freshly compelled to forget the hell she went through with Alaric earlier, and who is picking out some clothes. "Put on some party clothes and come to Whitmore," Elena declares matter-of-factly. "Tyler's coming over and we're going out." Caroline laughs, despite her tears, and points out that Elena sounds like she's in a good mood, and Elena insists that she is. "I am good. I had a good day. I ditched all my classes and hung out with Ric, and we, um... we talked about Bonnie." Caroline starts quietly crying again when she realizes that Elena got the gift of forgetting the majority of her grief, but Elena both cannot hear her, nor does she have any reason to believe anything is wrong in the first place, so she just plows on.

"I had a good cry, and, I don't know... I-I really feel like things are taking a turn for the better. So, get your ass down here, and let's have some fun." Caroline both looks and sounds like she could use some fun, (even if the whole "driving back to Virginia from Georgia" thing in a matter of like, an hour or so seems pretty unfeasible to me, but whatever) so she says she'll come sneak into the dorms and spend the night later for nostalgia's sake. Elena proclaims this plan to be perfect, so the girls say their "I love you's" and hang up. Caroline is so overwhelmed with these feelings that she doesn't feel like she can share with anyone that she immediately starts bawling again. After a moment, Enzo pops into the passenger seat, and Caroline instantly turns her face away from him so he can't see how upset she is. "Well, that was a bit of a bust," Enzo begins, before he notices that she's sniffling. Enzo then becomes probably about as gentle as he's ever been, and quietly says, "Hey. Hey," as he takes her face in his hands and turns it toward him. Caroline can't hide her tears anymore, and starts crying again, and Enzo is torn between being all nervous, like, "Oh shit, crying girl, what do I do?" and furious, like, "WHO MADE YOU CRY I WILL END HIM," He eventually lets go of her and mutters that he'll be right back before he jumps out of the car and returns to the house.

(via maliahales)
Inside, Stefan has crouched down to pick up the remains of what used to be his dining room table when Ivy finally comes downstairs, presumably compelled by Caroline to forget about the whole "being stabbed in the hand with a fork and it healing instantly" thing. She's in the middle of asking him if his friends left when she notices the mess and asks him what the fuck just happened. Stefan just kind of shrugs it off and insists that "his friend" is just a bad drunk, to which Ivy hilariously chirps, "Yikes! Well, at least your friend Caroline seemed nice." Stefan begs off of this conversation by stating that he needs to throw the broken furniture out in the trash, and heads out the back door toward his yard. When he returns, Enzo is standing in front of his front door, holding a terrified Ivy in a choke-hold. Stefan is FURIOUS, naturally, so he immediately growls at Enzo to let her go, but it's Enzo, so you know he's gonna take that literally. "Okay," he replies, as he snaps her neck and she falls to the floor. Stefan roars, "NO!" and lunges for Enzo at vamp-speed, but Enzo's ready for him this time and slams him onto the ground.

Okay, sorry, but SIDEBAR: I get that Stefan would be mad about Enzo killing Ivy, because she was totally innocent in this and it's going to be yet another death on his conscious, blah blah blah, but is he really trying to play like he actually liked her? Because it's been pretty blatantly stated throughout these first two episodes that Stefan is only marginally into her at best, and he really only invited her over for dinner because he felt bad about being such a dick to her earlier, so acting like she was this girlfriend he loved seems a little dramatic, doesn't it? Maybe I'm misreading things, but I just have a hard time buying that Stefan gives a shit about her-- she was just a means of trying to forget about how much it hurts without Damon by having a fake life with a fake shit job and a fake girlfriend and fake identity. ANYWAY, Enzo stands over Stefan and gives him the biggest glare EVER. "I've got a girl out there crying over you, because she cares SO much," he snaps, as Stefan sits up and looks guilty as fuck. "I'm over here trying to figure out why, because I can't see what's worth caring about." This hits Stefan where it hurts, and his eyes fill with tears, but Enzo's not done yet.

"You know, Damon once told me that he promised you an eternity of misery. And, I remember thinking, 'Well, what could his brother have ever done to inspire so much hatred?' But now, I get it-- you're not a brother to him. Brothers don't give up." He takes several steps closer to Stefan and adds, "So, every time I see you doing anything that looks like you've done so, every time you try to start over in a life that's nothing but a lie, I will make you pay. I will be the one to bring you the misery that you deserve." Stefan is so pissed that he growls again and lunges for Enzo, but Enzo easily snaps his neck and throws his body onto the floor. "See?" Enzo snarks breathlessly. "We're all still neck-people." BAHAHAHA OMG. You know how I always say that loving Klaus Mikaelson is like a rollercoaster, because sometimes I hate him and sometimes I just wanna wrap him in a blanket? Well, that's how I'm starting to feel about Enzo, because even though I don't at all agree with his actions, I can't deny that I love the feelings that motivated them. I'll talk about this more in the notes section.

In yet another soul-crushingly sad scene, "Everybody Hurts" by Bread & Butter (a great REM cover that I can't find ANYWHERE) plays while Jeremy sits out on the porch of the Lockwood Manse, where he has called Bonnie's cell phone. It goes straight to voicemail, and Bonnie's voice says, "It's Bonnie, leave me a message," before Jeremy starts ranting the feelings he's been building up over the last four months. "Hey, it's me. I paid your cell bill again. Your mom said I could. I think she feels sorry for me or something. Maybe she just wants to hear the sound of your voice, too. What do I know? [beat] I'm so pissed at you, Bonnie. Yeah, still. You-you told me that you were gonna die OVER THE PHONE. So, you kind of deserve me railing at you on voicemails that you're never gonna get. I guess I'll call and yell at you again tomorrow."

He hangs up the phone and is so distracted by it that he doesn't notice Matt joining him right away. When he does, he is so startled he jumps and curses at Matt, but Matt's got actual business to discuss. He points out that he found out that Sarah is totally shady because the police ran the plates on her car and found that they were stolen, which means she can't stay there anymore. Jeremy is just speechless that Matt would even know this, and retorts, "What are you, Deputy Dewey? How do you know that?" Suddenly, Sarah appears in the doorway to the foyer and admits that it doesn't matter HOW Matt knows it, because it's true. She then confesses that she stole the car from her boss who seemed to have a weakness for pretty young girls. "He had wandering hands, so I wandered my hands to his car keys."

Matt doesn't really care about her story and insists that she can't stay there anymore, adding that it's nothing personal, but Sarah promises that she gets it. She tells them that she appreciates the help she got from them, and claims that she has family who lives in town. Uh oh. "Sort of. I mean, I haven't met him, but my dad, he supposedly lives here. It's not like he's just going to let me sleep on the street, right?" Jeremy argues that they should at least let her stay until she finds her dad, but Matt points out that since he's on the Community Protection Squad and she's a car thief, it's not really a good combination, so Jeremy transforms back into his petulant self from several years ago and retorts that they'll just go over to "Stefan and Damon's," since no one is there. Matt maintains that he has to stay there, because he promised Elena he'd keep an eye on him, but Jeremy just reminds him that since Elena can't even come back to Mystic Falls, it's kind of hard for her to enforce that. He then takes Sarah's hand and leads her out of the house, leaving Matt all alone in that huge ass house.

The next morning, Matt calls Tripp from the house to fill him in on what he learned about Sarah while Tripp drives what looks like a prison transport van. Matt informs him that Sarah claimed to have family in Mystic Falls, but Tripp figures it's just another lie. Still, he promises to look into it, and Matt takes the opportunity to try to plead Jeremy's case. "Look, Jeremy's a good kid. He's just going through some stuff." Tripp replies that he knows all about Jeremy and his life, because he was good friends with Grayson Gilbert when he was growing up. Matt's stunned that Tripp grew up in town, which is when Tripp drops his bombshell. "Born and raised, 'til my parents split. I think that's why I'm such a geek about this town, my family were such big supporters. We're the founding family, actually. [...] The Fells. I'm Thomas Vincent Fell III, to be exact. My dad called me Tripp, and I was such a clumsy kid that I took my mom's maiden name when he bailed. I mean, can you imagine? Tripp Fell?" 

Matt, shocked, tries to vaguely fish around to see if he knows about vampires by asking him if he knows about all the stuff that goes along with the founding families, but Tripp just plays dumb and jokes about secret handshakes before insisting that he has to go. He confirms that he'll see Matt later for training before hanging up. Then, he opens the partition that separates the cab from the trunk, revealing that there are at least a half-dozen vampires who are chained up and struggling to break free. He asks them if they have any last words as they make it through the town border, which causes the vampires to start dying in the way that they died before turning-- choking up blood, gasping for air, etc. Then, to make matters even worse, he pushes a button that opens a sunroof, and the vampires all burst into flames and die screaming in agony. HOLY SHIT THIS IS SUUUUUUUUCH BAD NEWS.

Over in Otherworldly 1994 Mystic Falls, our new favorite twosome is listening to the original "Everybody Hurts" by REM. Bonnie has just made herself and Damon a pot of chili, and spoons it into two bowls that she takes and sets at the table. Damon unfolds his napkin and accepts a spoon that Bonnie offers him, smiling weakly in thanks. He looks super depressed, though, and honestly, Bonnie doesn't look much happier. "I miss them too, you know," Bonnie admits quietly, which surprises Damon so much that he actually just nods in agreement instead of making some snarky comment. The begin to eat their meal, and Damon curiously picks up the crossword puzzle on which Bonnie has been working the last few months.

He compliments her on finally getting 27 across, but Bonnie just laughs and replies, "I wish! 27 across is a rock I am pushing up an endless mountain." Damon sees the clue ("An old tongue-twister, Eddie turned Top 40") and points out that the answer is "Yellow Ledbetter," a song by Pearl Jam which was released in, you guessed it, 1994. When he sets the crossword in front of her, he points at the answer, which has been written in. Bonnie's eyes widen in shock, and she asks him if he's messing with her, but Damon doesn't get it, so he just asks if she's messing with HIM. Bonnie insists that she didn't finish the crossword, but Damon maintains that he didn't either, which begs the question-- who the fuck did? "There's someone else here," Bonnie states in horror, and she and Damon start looking around anxiously to see if anyone is watching them. OH GOD.

Next episode: Elena drags Caroline, Matt, and Tyler to the swimming hole for some good old-fashioned fun, Jeremy continues to bang Shady Sarah, and Enzo and Stefan have round-two of their ongoing smackdown.

[screencaps via Screencapped]

-So, I really did love all of the review of all of Damon and Elena's key moments that caused them to fall in love, and honestly, it makes Season 3 all the better knowing that Elena knew she loved him pretty much the entire time. I wouldn't have guessed that the "signature" moment would have been from Season 3's premiere, "The Birthday," but now that I know it is, it makes total sense for all the reasons listed! I looooove it. What I'm not as fond of is the fact that Alaric did in fact alter and erase her memories of Damon. I figured he would put in an escape clause, but if he did, we didn't see it, so I am willing to bet that when the time comes that Damon comes back and they try to switch back on her memories, something is going to go wrong, and it's not going to work, and it's going to be angsty as well. I don't know how I feel about that possibility yet, tbh.

-So, what is with Enzo? Killing Ivy wasn't very cool (although, I'll be honest, I wasn't exactly attached to her character, since we barely knew anything about her), but I can't say I didn't love how much Enzo still misses Damon and actually seems to care about Caroline. We've really only ever seen Enzo be affectionate when talking about Maggie, so the fact that, after everything, Enzo is still fighting for Damon and still wanting to defend Caroline is some pretty interesting character development. Although, he's even got Damon beat in the impulsive reactions department, don't you think? And it's especially interesting that he's been so angry with Stefan since Damon's death, because if you remember, Damon said that Enzo was the person who, when Damon resented Stefan while in captivity for not even noticing that he had been captured and tortured for years, defended Stefan and tried to talk Damon into giving up his eternity-of-misery bullshit. And now, to Enzo, Stefan just looks like a guy who would rather live a pretend human life than fight to get his brother back (which isn't exactly untrue, it's just different than what Enzo is thinking) and he's PISSED about it.

I think Enzo sees Stefan as being ungrateful, because while Damon did promise to bring Enzo back to life, you know he never would have given up his life to do it if he hadn't been desperate to get Stefan back, too. So, Damon blows himself up in an explosion to get Stefan back, and Enzo sees Stefan pretending to be human, dating a human girl, working a human job, away from Mystic Falls and anything that reminds him of Damon, and he's PISSED because if Damon was willing to do all that, why isn't Stefan? And I'm not saying that I agree with him, necessarily, because I'm sure that the main reason why Stefan has just kind of shut down EVERYTHING that has to do with Mystic Falls is actually BECAUSE he feels so guilty that Damon essentially gave his life for him and he can't figure out a way to do the same. So, I think it'll definitely be interesting to see where Enzo goes from here, and how he begins to integrate himself into the Mystic Falls Gang. ESPECIALLY with Stefan, Alaric, and Elena, who are his biggest rivals for Damon's attention and affection.

-So, the Gemini Coven is totally going to be important later, y/y???


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