The Vampire Diaries Season 6, Episode 5: "The World Has Turned and Left Me Here" Recap/Review

So hey, there's tons of progress in this episode, right? I mean, we get a crazy corn maze festival for most of our main characters (and if you have not experienced a corn maze, you need to make it out to the midwestern USA, because it can actually be really fun if it's not super hot or rainy), and learn a little more about Kai. Plus, we got a little scare with Tyler nearly triggering his werewolf curse that resulted in a surprising show of care and loyalty from Liv, which I was NOT expecting. Also, we get some hilarious Caroline/Ivy moments, a brilliant call-out on Alaric's part to Stefan, and best of all, DAMON IS BACK IN THE REAL WORLD, YAYYYY.

There were some bad parts, such as what Kai did to Bonnie (and anyone who hurts Bonnie instantly gets put on my shitlist, tbh), Stefan's general attitude toward Ivy and Caroline, and ESPECIALLY the fact that BONNIE IS STILL IN THE PRISON DIMENSION AND NOT IN THE LIVING WORLD WHERE SHE DESERVES TO BE. Even months later, I am still ridiculously salty about that part. Bonnie is easily the most moral, kind, and compassionate character on this show, and the fact that they continue to just kill her off just to bring her back and try to kill her again/separate her from her loved ones is just especially shitty, IMO. But, that doesn't mean I hated this episode! In fact, it was actually quite enjoyable and entertaining, aside from my aforementioned complaints. So, I'm just gonna cut to the chase! Let's talk about "The World Has Turned and Left Me Here!"

Previously, on The Vampire Diaries: Damon and Bonnie weren't able to make their way back from the Other Side before it was destroyed, so as far as the rest of the Mystic Falls gang knows, they're dead. The pain of Damon's loss drove Elena to such lengths that she ultimately convinced Alaric to compel her to forget all of her memories of loving Damon. An unfortunate side effect, however, was that Elena now hates Damon and thinks he was a monster, because she has no recollection of any of the good he did. As for Damon and Bonnie, they're actually ALIVE, although they are stuck in a somewhat-mysterious prison dimension that is a never-ending time loop of the solar eclipse that occurred on May 10th, 1994. They believed they would never get out until they ran into another person trapped in their dimension-- a dude named Kai, who is a bit of a psychopath, and who managed to scare Bonnie into regaining her witch powers. Woo! Now that she can do magic, they can use the spell they need to get out of there by channeling the power of the eclipse into some mystical object called the Ascendant.

In our world, Tyler and Liv have been hella flirty with each other (okay, TYLER has been flirty, and Liv has been snarky and kind of mean like an elementary school girl), until Liv finally admitted that she's only been an asshole to him because she's trying not to fall in love with him. Enzo, who was pissed at Stefan for making Caroline cry and for bailing out on the MFG's plan to get Damon and Bonnie back, killed Stefan's fake-girlfriend Ivy to get back at him. Stefan was under the impression that she was dead-dead, but nope-- Enzo made sure to give her some vampire blood first, which means she's just undead. She showed up covered in blood on Stefan's doorstep, and she was SUPER hungry. So, in retaliation, Stefan ended up using a crossbow to shoot some stakes into Enzo's back and handed him over to Tripp under the mistaken delusion that Tripp would finish him his nemesis for him. But, because Stefan is high on rage and grief and the unbearable desire to run away from his problems, he didn't consider the possibility that Tripp (who learned a vampire killed his wife and compelled him to forget it after he stepped over the anti-magic forcefield around Mystic Falls and got his memories back) would instead decide to hang onto him and interrogate him for the names of the rest of the town's vampire population. Which is where we pick up today!

We begin in Savannah, Georgia, at Stefan's apartment. It's currently nighttime, and Stefan is sleeping in his bed when his cell phone suddenly begins to buzz. He groggily opens his eyes, turns on his lamp, and answers it to find that he is being called by Tripp Fell/Cooke. Wait, how did he even get Stefan's number? It didn't seem like they had enough time to exchange digits last episode. Maybe Tripp's just a major creeper? Anyway, Tripp is just calling to thank him for helping him out with catching Enzo the other night, and adds that he's been quite helpful. Stefan immediately begins to panic, and is like, "Enzo? I-I thought you were supposed to kill him?" but Tripp assures him that he will, as soon as Enzo tells him everything he wants to know about the vampire problem in Mystic Falls. Stefan looks as though he's about to say something else, but instead decides to ask him what he's learned so far, acting as though it's just curiosity rather than him trying to cover his own ass. Tripp explains that he thinks the Mystic Falls vampire problem isn't as bad as originally thought, because he's been torturing Enzo so much that he believes Enzo would have talked already if he knew something. (Not knowing, of course, that after seventy-ish years of being horrendously tortured, Enzo is quite capable of dealing with pain, especially from newbs like Tripp.)

So, of course, Enzo's ready to get vengeance on Stefan, so he told Tripp that the vampires he knows actually live in Savannah, rather than Mystic Falls. OH SHIT. I kind of love Enzo's bizarre sense of loyalty-- he looooves Caroline, and he loved Damon, so he's not going to put Caroline and Elena in danger for those reasons unless he absolutely has to in order to save himself. Stefan, on the other hand, is fair game, as far as Enzo's concerned, because Stefan technically killed him once and totally tried to do it a second time. And honestly, I don't want Stefan to die (and when he died in Season 5, I was actually really sad), but I have a hard time feeling sympathetic towards him about this, because if he had just cut his losses and fled town again, this all could have been avoided. Stefan should know by now that revenge-killing people never works in his favor-- remember what happened with Silas? Or with Enzo the first time? ANYWAY, so Tripp adds that he's sending a few of his hunter dudes to check out the Savannah tip, and Stefan, at a loss of what to say, just thanks him for the heads up. "Founding Families," Tripp replies. "Gotta stick together!" Stefan's just like, "Uh, right," and hangs up the phone. He sighs and looks around his bedroom before he hears a crashing noise downstairs and rushes down to investigate, worried that the hunters have found him already.

It's not actually hunters, though, it's just Ivy, who has totally trashed the entire downstairs-- I'm talking chairs and tables broken into pieces, glass shattered everywhere. She's digging around in the fridge for some blood bags when Stefan comes up behind her and glibly states, "You redecorated." Thank you, Duke of Obviousness. When Ivy turns to him, she looks MISERABLE. "I should probably tell you that I killed your boss," she begins. "Dean? I woke up, and he was burying me in the woods. I drank every drop of his blood. It wasn't enough." Stefan just kind of shrugs at her and is like, "Yeah, tell me about it, gurl, I'm a recovering Ripper," which does absolutely nothing to make her feel better. She demands to know why he's not helping her, and when he tries to argue that he IS trying, she reminds him that two blood bags and a lesson on how sunlight and non-daylight-ring-wearing vampires don't mix isn't exactly helpful. Stefan tries to turn the topic to the current hunter threat and how they need to get the fuck out of Savannah for a bit, Ivy goes IN on him.

IVY: "Hey, I am dead because of you! Because you lied to me about who you were. Because your friend Enzo turned me into something straight out of Buffy the Vampire Slayer!"
STEFAN: [frustrated] "Ivy, calm down. When you are a vampire, your emotions are heightened--"
IVY: [sarcastic] "You think? Look at me! I used to be a decent person! I got good grades, I went home for Christmas, I even had a freaking Etsy store!"
STEFAN: [guilty] "Ivy, please--"
IVY: [ignores him] "And now, I am a killer. And all I am going to do is kill more, and more, and it's all your fault."
So, yeah, to say that Ivy is pissed is the understatement of the century, and as she glares at Stefan, her eye veins start to darken as her eyes go bloodshot, and her fangs pop out as she lunges for Stefan and tries to attack him. Of course, Stefan has, like, 165 years on her at this point, so it takes him no effort whatsoever to just catch her, snap her neck, and drop her to the floor. Once she's incapacitated for the time being, Stefan just glances down at her body and sighs, frustrated and overwhelmed. Ohhhhh, this is going to be such a shit-show. TITLE CARD!

"Move Up" by the TVC plays when we return from the break. Stefan has arrived at Caroline and Elena's dorm room, where Caroline (who has just gotten out of the shower and who is standing sopping wet in a towel) answers the door and immediately asks him what the fuck he is doing there and where the fuck he's been. Instead of answering those questions, he just opens with, "I need a favor," and walks into the room, dragging a decently-sized black trunk behind him. Caroline is immensely confused, and watches Stefan as he quickly closes the curtains over the windows to block out the sunlight as she asks him what the hell he thinks he's doing and why he brought that weirdo trunk with him. She finally gets an answer when Stefan opens the trunk, and a very confused and annoyed Ivy pops out, takes one look at him, and shrieks, "Where am I? What did you do?"

Caroline is horrified to see Ivy and asks her how this happened, so Stefan admits that Enzo fed her his blood before he killed her and she ended up turning into a vampire. "Then, Stefan broke my neck, and I woke up in a trunk," Ivy adds bitterly. Stefan just shrugs and turns to Caroline and points out that he's in desperate need of her help, which goes about as well as you'd expect. She starts a chorus of no's over and over, but Stefan insists that he just needs her to keep an eye on Ivy while he goes to see Luke and convince him to make her a daylight ring. Caroline reminds him that this is not her mess, it's HIS, and tells him to clean it up himself, but, of course, since Stefan is a total dick so far this season, he decides the best way to convince Caroline to help him is to blame her for all of it.

"A mess that wouldn't have happened if YOU had just left me alone!" Stefan has the audacity to exclaim, and Ivy, who is still standing in the middle of the room, snaps that it's pretty uncool that he's just talking about her as though she's not there and can't hear every word he's saying. Caroline brings up the fact that there are vampire hunters roaming around now, but Stefan argues that since they're currently in Savannah, that's why he and Ivy are there at Whitmore. "You know the real tragedy in all this?" Ivy remarks as she plops herself on Caroline's bed. "I read 'He's Just Not That Into You,' and--" Stefan and Caroline both turn back to her and yell, "Shut up!" before they continue their argument. Stefan emphasizes that since Tripp has taken it upon himself to be the new vampire-hunter for the entire eastern seaboard, none of them are safe if they can't control themselves, and since Caroline is literally the world's most perfect vampire, he believes that if anyone can help Ivy learn control, it's her.

This does slightly help his case, because Caroline just retorts, "Yeah? Well, you don't have to flatter me, because I already know that." Stefan decides to further prove that he doesn't fucking understand ANYTHING by adding that all he needs is for Caroline to help him for a couple of hours, and then he'll get the fuck out of dodge and she'll never have to deal with him again, which loses any favor he may have earned from her. "Is that what you think I want?" Stefan says he has no idea, because he is absolutely CLUELESS, and instead asks her to tell him, but, since Caroline isn't really in the mood to hold his hand and walk him through his idiocy, she reluctantly agrees to help him. Stefan and Caroline give each other some intense stares before Stefan takes off, leaving Caroline and Ivy alone in the dorm room together. "When do we eat?" Ivy chirps, and Caroline just siiiiiiiiiighs.

On campus, Alaric is in the middle of teaching his Occult Studies class, and has just written "HOMECOMING" out on the huge chalkboard at the front of the lecture hall. He reads it out to the class before asking if any of them know the supernatural origins of the night's Homecoming party/Corn Maze Festival. No one raises their hand, though Elena does give him a little smile and a wave, so Alaric decides to tell his lazy students the story instead. "A Civil War soldier, Nathan Whitmore, horribly disfigured throughout countless battles, somehow survived them all just so he could get home to the woman he loved. And, when he finally got home to his farm, he found her in bed with his brother, and did what any sane man would do-- he murdered his brother in cold blood, and chased the love of his life into the cornfields..." Meanwhile, Tyler, who is uninterested in the story being told by his dear friend and devoted professor, turns to Liv, who is sitting next to him. He informs her that while he has to drop some of his gear off at the football stadium, he can still pick her up afterward so they can go to the Homecoming party together if she wanted. Liv drolly replies, "You mean, like a date?" but Tyler just half-shakes his head, not really committing to an answer. "Because definitely not," Liv adds, before turning her attention back to Alaric's story.

"But, the legend goes that Lady Whitmore is out on this night every year, dressed in white, covered in her lover's blood, running through the cornfields, screaming for her life," Alaric continues on, as all of the students in the class look at each other awkwardly. "And, the moral of this story is?" Alaric finishes, before giving Elena a significant look. "Do NOT fall in love, especially with your brother's girl." BAHAHAHAHA I AM DEAD. He ends the lecture by telling the students to be safe and to have fun at the corn maze, and the rest of the college kids file out of the room. Elena meets Alaric at his desk at the front of the room and smiles at him before pointing out that his cautionary tale would have had more of an impact two weeks ago, which makes Alaric laugh. "Damon may be gone," Alaric retorts, "But I can still find pleasure in judging his life choices. Speaking of which, have you changed your mind about me compelling you to forget about him yet?" Elena just rolls her eyes and snarks, "Why do you say, 'yet,' as if I'm gonna wake up one day and realize that my life is over if I don't have the traumatic memories of loving a serial killer?" Oh, Elena! Alaric insists that he had to ask, but while Elena acknowledges that he may be right, and maybe she did make a huge mistake by compelling away her memories of loving Damon, but she also thinks it's just as likely that she received some excellent advice from her past self about being happy, which she intends on taking.

She asks him if she'll be seeing him at the Homecoming party that night, but Alaric says he prefers the "mixer for thirtysomething vampires just back from the dead," because it has less of a crowd. "Come on, Ric," Elena whines. "You are like one hoodie and three missed haircuts away from becoming Professor Shane." OOOH, BUURN. Elena 1, Alaric 0. Alaric argues that he's perfectly happy with letting his hair grow out while he hangs around at home (which reminds me-- have we even seen Alaric's new place yet? I don't think we have), but Elena wastes no time pointing out that he's hiding and becoming a "self-loathing vampire hermit." (Hmmm, that sounds vaguely familiar..) Anyway, Elena reminds him that he, like Elena herself, has been given a chance to start over, and that he needs to take it and be happy. Alaric tries to argue that he's happy-ish, but Elena isn't buying it, and insists that she will see him at the corn maze at eight. "But not in that t-shirt," Elena adds before taking off. "You've worn it twice this week." TELL HIM, ELENA! God, I love her.

Anyway, Cute-Brag Liam has been waiting for her outside the lecture hall, and she runs into him as she leaves for wherever it is that she's going next. She immediately asks him if he's going out tonight, but when Liam jokes that he prefers to study on Friday nights, she just rolls her eyes and snarks, "Sarcasm. What an unexpected response," before telling him that she thinks he should go to the corn maze with her. You know Liam and his weirdness about country-esque stuff, so he makes the requisite jokes about Dorothy and Toto until Elena convinces him that these sorts of events are supposed to be fun, which is why people attend them in the first place. She asks him if he's interested in having some fun with her, but he just replies, "That depends. Are you gonna try and set me up with any more of your friends?" Elena shrugs and retorts, "That depends. Are you gonna kiss me out of the blue again?" Liam gets a bit of an inferiority complex and says that it sounds weird when she puts it that way, but Elena is high on happiness at the moment, and states that she has to go, because she's got more people to invite to the party. Liam gets a little bent out of shape that she's inviting multiple people to be her date, but Elena points out that she's inviting multiple people to join in on the fun. "As for who my date will be, well... that depends on you." OH ELENA, YOU VIXEN! I'm digging this cute, happy Elena, but we all know that this whole state of being is gonna crash and burn sooner rather than later, and it's gonna be SO BAD.

Meanwhile, speaking of cute, it's morning in the 1994 Prison Dimension, where Damon and Bonnie are wandering around the woods. Damon is holding onto a large tree branch, with which he's alternating between using it as a walking stick and waving it around as the two talk about their plan to get home. Bonnie points out that Damon is in a good mood for the first time in, like, ever, and when Damon pokes her with the stick, she snaps at him in annoyance to cut it out. Damon reminds her that since they're on their way home today, he's finally gonna get to have a hot date with his girl, which OH GOD DAMON YOU ARE IN FOR A RUDE AWAKENING. Anyway, Bonnie hasn't yet gotten her hopes up, because she wisely does NOT trust Kai, and she's not convinced that he's actually telling the truth about them being able to get the fuck out of there. Damon totally ignores her though, and just says, "I'm thinking dinner and a movie." He pauses for a moment, and then adds, "You know what? Screw the dinner and a movie. Skip straight to the good part." He pokes her again with his stick, which is NOT a euphemism, and which totally makes her jump. She brings up the fact that she has yet to even see the spell she's supposedly doing to send them home, so she doesn't even know if she can even successfully cast it yet, which makes Damon roll his eyes at what a Negative Nancy she's being.

"Whatever happened to hope, Bon?" Damon asks playfully. "Remember when I was all like, 'Boo, grr,"-- Bonnie looks over at him as he raises his voice to a squeak to mock her-- "And you were like, 'Hooray, hooray, we're getting out of here?'" Bonnie assures him that she wants to get the fuck out of this prison as much as he does, but since Kai is a sociopath, she's not willing to trust that he's not going to screw them over. Damon starts brandishing his walking stick like a sword and assures her that he will kill Kai and anyone else who gets in the way of them returning home to their loved ones. Of course, that's Kai's cue to show up looking like a creeper with a shovel in one hand and the Ascendant in the other. He holds the Ascendant up to shield his face from the sun and informs them that the eclipse will be occurring directly above them in alignment with the Gemini constellation before he turns to Damon and hands him the shovel with directions to dig into the tunnels below them.

(via cant-be-killed)
When Bonnie asks why, Kai just smiles and patronizingly replies, "Have you never portal-jumped through an eclipse before?" When Bonnie and Damon just stare at him blankly, he gives them the scoop: "Okay, look-- the light of the eclipse will shine down and activate the Ascendant, you spout a little witchy-woo, and then poof!" He mimes an explosion with his hands, and Bonnie raises her eyebrows at him skeptically. "Anyone standing in the light holding the Ascendant goes home." Bonnie assumes that by "witchy-woo," he means the spell she's supposed to cast, and when Kai confirms it, Bonnie demands to see it. Kai assures her she'll get it when the time comes, and pushes past them to walk away. Damon's like, "Uh, where the fuck are you going?" but Kai insists that he needs to gather some important supplies in town before they go back to the real world. When he turns to leave, he starts whistling the same tune that Damon was whistling earlier. Bonnie and Damon give each other incredulous looks before he picks up the shovel Kai stuck into the ground and starts violently digging into the ground with it. OH GOD, THIS IS GOING TO BE SUCH A MESS.

Back at Whitmore, Caroline is crouched in front of the mini-fridge when Ivy walks out of the bathroom and into the room, twirling to show off the white lacy dress she's wearing. When Ivy asks her what she thinks about it, Caroline groans in frustration and replies, "I think you're wearing my dress. And, you must be deaf, because I already said, the. party's. not. happening." She tosses a blood bag to Ivy, who catches it before asking Caroline if she'd really rather be locked in her room with a newbie vampire. Of course, Caroline would much prefer going to the corn maze, but she also snaps that she'd rather have friends who don't ignore her for months and then show up out of nowhere to use her when they need help. Ivy stops slurping on her blood bag and snarks, "Whoa-- just realized why Stefan brought me here to learn control. Just do yourself a favor: UNWIND. Just admit you have a thing for him!" She goes back to chugging her blood, as Caroline frustratedly points an accusing finger and snaps, "Excuse me?" Ivy goes on to say that she could tell Caroline was crushing on him the first time they met and had that disastrous dinner at Stefan's house in Savannah, and even goes so far as to say that Caroline practically cut his food for him. I kind of miss when Ivy was mostly quiet and harmless, because vampirism hasn't done much to improve her personality, tbh.

Anyway, Caroline states that her relationship with Stefan is "strictly complicated," and changes the topic to the fact that Ivy should be practicing her vampire-skills or something. Ivy sighs, vamp-speeds so she's standing directly in front of Caroline, and insists that she's good. "See? I'm fine. You already put your number into my phone as my emergency vampire contact, I know I burn in the sun, we covered compulsion and snatch, eat erase." She looks out the window, and seeing that the sun has almost set, she begs Caroline to take her to the party, citing the fact that she can teach her how to feed on someone without killing them once they get there. Yeah, Caroline isn't really the girl to teach that, since she's pretty much on the strictly-blood-bag diet, and I don't think she's even fed on a real person since that time she killed her mother's deputies so they couldn't kill Stefan and Damon alllll the way back in Season 2. If she wants to learn how to feed on real people, she should go to Elena, now that she's not out of her mind from psychotropic herbs and actually can control herself.

Caroline is already tired of playing nanny, though, and points out that once Stefan comes back, she can go off and do whatever she wants with him. Ivy isn't a fan of this idea, though, and asks if they can at least play a board game or something that doesn't involve the fact that she's a vampire. "Finally, a good idea!" Caroline chirps, as she walks over to the cabinet across the room. When she asks Ivy what game she wants to play, Ivy rolls her eyes and picks Scrabble in such a way that Caroline is totally oblivious to the fact that she's up to something. Caroline is in the middle of replying that they have three different versions (tournament, classic, and travel-sized, if you're curious, which is just SO Caroline) when Ivy vamp-speeds behind her and snaps her neck. OH, NOBODY HURTS VAMPIRE BARBIE, GIRLFRIEND. Just as Caroline's body drops to the floor, Ivy super-speeds out of the dorm and heads for the party, even though she's never been to Whitmore before, as far as I can tell, and likely has no idea where she's going. Just wonderful!

At the corn maze, everyone is in a crowd just outside the entrance, when a young woman wearing a dirty white dress covered in (fake) blood runs shrieking from inside the maze toward the crowd, a lit torch it one hand. "Wasted" by Tiesto (feat. Matthew Koma) starts to play as the girl makes it to where all the party-goers are congregated, which is where she reveals herself to not be an actual person in distress, but an actress who is portraying Lady Whitmore. She stops screaming and smiles as she uses her torch to light the bonfire, and once it goes up in flames, the crowd whoops and cheers in excitement for the party to come. Elena is cheering with the rest of the partiers when Liam appears behind her, carrying a Solo cup of beer in each hand. She smiles when she sees him and reaches for the red cup, but he pulls it away when he notices Jo in the crowd, looking quite pretty in a white cardigan over a navy-and-white patterned top. Liam asks Elena what she's doing there and remarks on the fact that he was sure her white lab coat was actually permanently attached to her body, but Elena admits that she invited her as a subtle way to try to set her up with someone. She then snatches the red cup out of his hand and puts on her best country bumpkin accent. "Come on! It's time to get your Kansas on!" She then smiles and leads him into the corn maze for some good old-fashioned country fun.

Downtown (in whichever town Whitmore happens to be located, anyway), Caroline is walking down the street as she's leaving one in  a series of passive-aggressive voicemails for Stefan about Ivy's stunt. "Stefan, hey. This is the third message alerting you that your psychotic little she-vamp has gone AWOL, and if you haven't noticed, it's dark outside, so every dead sorority girl tonight is officially on YOU." You tell him, girl! Stefan has been monumentally shitty to her (and pretty much everyone, even Elena on occasion) all season, but this episode is pretty much the zenith of his asshattery where Caroline is concerned. Fortunately, I have a feeling his attitude will be much improved after this episode. Call it a hunch.

Speaking of Stefan, he's just arrived to Alaric's classroom, where Alaric is sitting in one of the seats in the front row. He's drinking a bottle of bourbon as he starts correcting his students' papers, and doesn't see Stefan standing in the doorway until after he's taken a long drag from the bottle. "Grading on the curve, huh?" Stefan begins, but Alaric doesn't smile or greet him at all, he just screws the cap on the bottle and remarks on the fact that since he's come back to life, bourbon barely has an effect on effect on him. "Can't fault me for trying, though," he adds, before offering the bottle to Stefan. Stefan declines and admits that he only came here for a daylight ring for Ivy, which he holds up, and to which Alaric correctly assumes Stefan got Luke to create by pulling the "Damon is dead and it's all your fault"-card. To Stefan's credit, he does look guilty at this comment, and Alaric drops all pretenses of kindness, revealing just how pissed he is at his best friend's brother. That's when this totally necessary conversation happens:

ALARIC: "What do you want, Stefan?"
STEFAN: "Enzo turned a vampire when he and Caroline found me."
ALARIC: "You mean your girlfriend from Savannah. The one you falsely led me to believe was a witch who knew how to help Damon and Bonnie?"
STEFAN: [ignores this comment] "Her name is Ivy. I was hoping you can compel her to get a handle on things. Get somewhere far away from me, live a good life."
ALARIC: [incredulous] "Are you asking me to help you with a breakup?"
STEFAN: "I'm just asking you to give her a fresh start."
ALARIC: "You mean give you a fresh start." [Stefan, speechless, remains silent] "Sorry, Stefan. It's not that easy."
STEFAN: "Well, it was when you compelled Elena to forget about Damon."
ALARIC: [turns away from him] "Yeah, well, you forgot about him first, pal."
STEFAN: "He was my brother."
ALARIC: "Yeah, and he was my best friend. Why don't you get out of my face before I compel you to be the guy I used to know instead?"

DAMNNNN, TELL HIM, RIC. Like, I don't want to seem unsympathetic to Stefan's plights, here, because he did lose his older brother, someone he loved with all his heart despite all of their past issues, and someone he went so far as to force to complete his vampire transition so he wouldn't have to live without him for eternity. That is super rough, and if it was my sister who died, I would be a huge mess, too. Still, that doesn't excuse the shitty things he did to his friends, though-- if he wanted space, I'm sure they would have understood, and if he had just told them what he was feeling, I'm sure they would have been supportive. He's not the only person who lost someone that night, and I think he's forgotten the fact that everyone in the Mystic Falls Gang is suffering from Damon and Bonnie's loss.

But, lying to his friends about working on helping bring Damon and Bonnie back, acting like everyone being worried about him and want to check up on him was a serious crime, and ignoring and treating his friends like shit, only to turn around and come crawling back solely to ask for favors before ditching them again is some seriously terrible behavior, and he needed to be called out on it, tbh. If he wanted to leave Mystic Falls and start a new life, that's totally his prerogative, but that doesn't mean he needs to be cruel to his loved ones to do it. BAHHHHH. Okay, this is my last Stefan rant, I promise! Things can only go up from here and I think the verbal smackdowns (in addition to Damon's return) he gets from Alaric and Caroline truly made him see the errors of his ways, though I don't want to get too ahead of myself here, since we still have half an episode to go.

ANYWAY, so in downtown Whitmore, or just outside campus, maybe, a man in a white t-shirt walks down the sidewalk toward his car. He pulls out his keys to unlock his car door, but when he looks up at the side-mirror, he sees Ivy standing behind him. He's clearly startled, but at the sight of a pretty girl, he just smiles and states that she scared him. "Really?" Ivy asks skeptically. "That wasn't scary... but this is." She quickly lets out her vampire-face and bares her fangs at him before she chomps down on his neck, pinning him down with one of her booted-feet against the car. Once Ivy's satisfied her hunger for the moment, she smiles, relieved at her progress at controlling herself. "I snatched, I ate... Now, ERASE," she says, staring him in the eyes. Uhhhh, that can't possibly have been how Caroline taught her, right? Because seriously, she knows better. Anyway, naturally, the guy is like, "Uh, what the fuck are you talking about? And what the fuck are you doing to me?" Ivy starts to panic when she realizes that she still hasn't quite gotten the hang of compulsion yet, which becomes even worse when she realizes that she's still really hungry and is now likely going to feed on the guy until he dies. Finally, she looks him straight in the eyes and yells, "You should go. Run! SERIOUSLY!" The guy runs away, leaving his much faster method of transportation behind. Once he's gone, Ivy sighs and mutters, "I suck at this." Yeah, I'd say so.

It's still daylight in the Prison Dimension, where Damon is finishing digging into the tunnels under Mystic Falls to prepare for their portal home. As Damon digs, Bonnie remarks, "Hey, you know there's a very probable chance you're digging your own grave...?" Damon just gives her a look, and she adds that he doesn't seem to be bothered by this at all. Suddenly, Kai returns with a knapsack and states that it appears he came back just in time. Damon vamp-speeds toward him and grabs his bag so he can look at the contents, I guess to ensure that he doesn't have, like, stakes or other implements with which to kill them both. As it turns out, what Kai has grabbed is a six-pack of Zima (LOL, which, for all you youngins who are reading this recap, was basically the Smirnoff Ice of the 1990s), a bunch of grunge CDs, "every Alex Rodriguez rookie card known to man," and a pager whose digits are HIYA-KAI. When Damon is like, "This is seriously what you're bringing to the 21st century?" Kai reminds him that while he's super excited for the present-day real world (specifically the Internet, which is actually quite smart of him), he's spent the majority of his life in 1994 and would hate to get homesick. I keep forgetting that he's been in there for, like, eighteen years, which means he should actually be in his forties, but is instead stuck in the body of his twenty-two year old self for the foreseeable future.

So, Kai instructs them to hop on down in the tunnels so they can get moving, but Bonnie stands her ground and refuses to do anything until he shows her the spell. Kai's just like, "'Kay," and just stands there with his arms crossed. Damon rolls his eyes in frustration and annoyance and asks him if they're really just going to stand there and not go anywhere, but Bonnie decides to call his bluff and insists that if he isn't going to show her the spell, then he can do it himself. He smiles suspiciously, which leads Bonnie to realize that he wants her magic. She holds out her arm and orders him to take it, which surprises Kai enough that he's like, "Uh-oh, she's being brave," to Damon. Bonnie argues that she's being serious, though, especially since he said it himself that this was his big threat-- if she doesn't do the spell and get them out of there, he'll just steal all her magic, leave her for dead, and do the spell himself. "So, go ahead. Take ALL of it," Bonnie adds. Kai jumps on that chance, as you can probably guess, and grabs her shoulders with both of his hands. As he siphons her magic, she yelps in pain and becomes weak, nearly going limp in his arms.

Damon looks extremely worried and is about thisclose to ripping Kai off of him, but Bonnie assures him that it's okay, because she knows he isn't going to kill her. Damon's not so sure though, and once Bonnie cries out loudly in pain, Damon demands that Kai stop, which he does, though he has the creepiest smile on his face as he does so. Bonnie regains her composure and realizes something from her continued contact with him (since we've seen her figure out stuff that way before-- realizing Stefan, Katherine, and Caroline were vampires by touching them, learning where the moonstone was by touching Mason and the fact that he was in cahoots with Katherine, etc). "He doesn't KNOW the spell," Bonnie exclaims. "Which means we don't need him." Before Kai or Damon can interject, she chants, "Motus!" and sends the ax (which I have mistakenly been calling a shovel all this time) right into Kai's chest. He sputters a bit before falling dead to the ground, and Damon screams "NO! No! Bonnie!" Though he should know by now that Bonnie isn't stupid, and that she wouldn't kill him unless he had a plan, he still looks panicked, albeit also super impressed by her ruthlessness. "Great work, Bonnie," Damon snarks in frustration. I AM SO PROUD OF HER! This is the first step in a new-and-improved Bonnie Bennett, I can feel it.

Meanwhile, in the real world, Elena and Liam are wandering around the corn maze, drinking their beer and chatting it up as "Sun Goes Out" by Daniel Ellsworth & The Great Lakes plays on the speakers. Elena points out that she thinks she recognizes the scarecrow that they're passing, but Liam reminds her that she's said that about literally every scarecrow they've seen, leading Elena to admit that they are officially lost. Of course, the overachieving Liam looked up a satellite image of the maze on his phone before they left, so he knows that they just need to lefts and three rights to get out of it. When Elena correctly points out that he's clearly the competitive type, he turns the statement back onto her-- "Question is, am I your type?" Hello, cheesy pick-up lines! Elena hilarious begins her answer with, "Honestly, no...", but after Liam's face falls, she amends her answer to, "But, people can change, right?" 

Liam realizes aloud that Elena is still hung up on her ex, and brings up the fact that she fits all the requirements: "Overly ambitious pre-med student, desperate to become a doctor so she can prove to the guy who dumped her that he messed up big time..." So, of course, when Elena nonchalantly replies, "Actually, he died," Liam gets the guiltiest look on his face and shuts up right quick. He immediately apologizes and admits he assumed Stefan was her most recent ex, so Elena decides to briefly explain that that spot goes to a guy named Damon. However, when Liam starts looking as though he's lost all faith in their date, she assures him that tonight is about the two of them, and not Damon. This seems to satisfy his ego a bit, because Liam takes her hand in his so he can lead her through the rest of the maze.

Elsewhere, the fake Lady Whitmore comes screaming through the woods again with fake blood all over her dress, which scares Jo so much that she clutches her chest and screams, "AHHH! NOT COOL!" Of course, Alaric just so happens to be passing her when it happens, so he chuckles and walks over to talk to her. She calls him "Professor Bourbon," which is hilarious and accurate, and points out that he has excellent timing as the two smile at each other with little hearts fluttering around their heads. He points out that he's sure she's seen worse while working in the ER, but Jo just replies, "Everything I see there is natural! Gross, but natural. Zombies, ghosts, the undead... not cool." Ruh-roh! Considering Alaric is/has been two of the three things on that list, he understandably feels really awkward, and sort of laughs uncomfortably before stating, "Good to know."

He changes the topic of conversation to a more neutral subject by asking her if she's seen Elena around, since she pretty much blackmailed him into attending the festivities. When Jo asks him if he also got the whole "get out of the classroom and live a little" speech, they both realize that Elena has totally set them up on a date and continue to chuckle awkwardly, not knowing how to go about vocalizing the fact that they're both totally into each other.. Finally, Jo tells Alaric that, in that case, he needs to be a gentleman and get her the hell out of there, because 1) they're way too old to be at a Homecoming-Corn-Maze, and 2) she needs a drink ASAP. Alaric pulls his flask out of his pocket, though this time, it has booze rather than O-negative, and offers it to her. When she reminds him that he once told her he was a germaphobe in "I'll Remember," Alaric just smiles and says for her, he'll make an exception, before the two walk off together. AWWW! I kind of dig them together, TBH. Jo seems chill, smart, and is clearly a gorgeous doctor, and Alaric is a funny, charming, intelligent dude who needs a nice girlfriend who won't die and/or be turned into a vampire in the middle of their relationship. It's been too long!

Anywho, Tyler is on his way to the corn maze in his truck, listening to Jessarae's "Follow Me" on the radio when his phone suddenly beeps. He picks it up, seeing that it's a text from Liv, and opens it. It reads, "Party's lame. You got 5 minutes until I'm outta here," because it's Liv and apparently she's unable to do anything without being snarky and borderline mean. Tyler smiles, because sassy girls are his thing, apparently, and is stupidly in the middle of texting a reply when he suddenly sees the dude that Ivy attacked and fed on stumbling right into the middle of the road. THIS IS WHY YOU DON'T TEXT AND DRIVE, KIDS-- you might run into and kill a random victim of a vampire attack! In all seriousness, though, DON'T DO IT. It's not worth the risk! At the very least, wait 'til you're at a red light, or stopping at a gas station or something. Anyway, so Tyler swerves his truck to try to avoid hitting the guy, but he running right into him anyway as he inadvertently runs off the road. The force of swerving causes Tyler to lurch forward in his seat and slam his very mortal head against the steering wheel, knocking him unconscious, but his foot is still on the gas, so the truck speeds through the field next to the road and ends heading straight for the corn maze, which, as we well know, is full of drunken people. YIKES.

He hasn't hit the maze yet, though, because Elena and Liam are still walking along, where she's giggling and pointing out that she told him it would be fun. Alaric and Jo end up seeing the two of them and walk toward them. "Speak of the devil," Alaric remarks, before they're all distracted by the sounds of "Hey!" and "Watch it!" nearby. Suddenly, Tyler's truck barrels into the corn maze, and Alaric dives forward to tackle Jo out of the way while everyone else falls to the ground, screaming in shock and pain as they get hit by debris. FUCK! THIS IS SO BAD.

When we return from the break, Tyler wakes up in his busted up truck, which ultimately hit a tree that is actually quite far away from the actual corn maze. He grunts as he tries to get himself out, until he suddenly realizes that, hello, he totally hit a guy, and he's an untriggered werewolf now and not a hybrid like he used to be, so killing people, even on accident, is not going to bode well for him. He gets out of the car and leans against a tree to catch his breath. He pulls out his phone and is about to make a call when he hears a choking, sputtering sound nearby. When Tyler moves to the front of the truck and looks around, he finds the guy he hit, who is pinned under the front of his truck and is soaked in blood that is coming from his head, neck, and mouth. "Help," he manages to gasp, as Tyler begins to scream internally and freak the fuck out.

Meanwhile, Elena has just awoken after being briefly knocked out in the crash, and when she sits up and looks around, she sees that there are injured partiers EVERYWHERE. She finally finds Liam, who is tending to fake Lady Whitmore, who now has tons of her own blood all over her nightgown in addition to the fake stuff from earlier. She rushes over and kneels at her side and begins to freak out as well, both from the fact that she's clearly severely injured AND because she's a vampire and she's surrounded by bloodied humans. She frantically asks Liam how bad she is, but Liam just shakes his head to indicate that things aren't looking good. Elena puts her hands over Liam's where he's putting pressure on her chest wound and insists that she'll do what she can before ordering him to go see if he can find someone else he can actually help. He looks reluctant to leave her, but when she tells him again to go help the others, he leaves her with the dying girl. Once he's out of sight, she looks to make sure no one else is watching her before she bites her wrist and feeds the girl her blood. After a moment, she lifts up her other hand that was staunching the blood flow from her wound and sighs in relief when she sees that it's healed. Elena then leans forward, turns on the compulsion-eyes, and makes eye contact with her as she states, "Listen to me. You dove out of the way just in time. You were very lucky. Now, get out, and takes as many people as you can, okay? Come on."

She helps the newly-healed girl up to her feet, and once she starts walking away, her phone starts to ring. It's Tyler, and when she answers it, he immediately blurts out, "I was driving the truck, Elena," as he looks down at the still-bleeding guy he hit. Man, what a terrible series of events! Dude was just minding his own business, gets himself chomped on by a famished newbie-vamp, is compelled to run away (leaving his car behind, which probably would have saved his life), and then got his ass hit by a car. And, unfortunately for him, it's just going to get worse. Elena is horrified, so Tyler continues to explain. "This guy ran right in front of me, and he's hurt BAD. If he dies, I'm a werewolf all over again, okay? I need you here. We're in a ditch." He starts frantically looking around for some kind of landmark to help him direct her to his location, but when he doesn't find one, he insists that though he has no idea where he is, he needs her to get there. Elena starts to panic even more than she was before, and replies, "Tyler, you don't understand-- you drove right through the maze. There are injured people EVERYWHERE." SHIT SHIT SHIT. Tyler, realizing that even if he can somehow save the guy he hit, there's still a chance that one of the other injured people could die and trigger his curse, hopelessly asks her what the hell he's supposed to do, so Elena gets into doctor mode. She starts to calm him down and instructs him to make sure he keeps the man awake and assess his injuries while she goes to find Jo and Alaric for back-up.

Speaking of Alaric, he's a few yards away from Elena, and awakens to find that there's a piece of a broken sign post embedded in his side. He rips it out just before Jo finds him, and when she sees the blood on his shirt, she immediately points out that he's injured. He assures her that he's find, but Jo's not buying it, so she lifts up his shirt to examine his wound, only to find that there is none. Confused, Jo's like, "What the hell?" but Alaric the also-newbie-vamp notices that Jo is hurt, too, and points out that he's pretty sure it's not his blood, it's hers. Sure enough, Jo looks down at her forearm, which has a pretty long scrape that is bleeding pretty decently. Jo just shrugs it off, like, "Okay, that makes things more difficult, but whatever," but Alaric is more concerned about getting them both the fuck out of there so he can get away from all of the bleeding humans around him. Of course, Jo is a super-doctor-extraordinaire, so there's no way she's leaving when so many people need medical attention. Instead, she finds a torn shred of fabric conveniently laying nearby and uses it as a rudimentary bandage before turning back to Alaric, who is trying his best not to vamp out on her. "You look pale," Jo remarks. "Does blood make you squeamish?" Alaric's just like, "Uhhhh, yeah, something like that," but if Jo notices how uncomfortable he is, she doesn't show it; she just tells him he'll get used to it before instructing him to call 911 and follow her as she heads toward where many of the injured are congregated in order to triage them.

Downtown, Caroline is still trying to track down Ivy, and walks down the street until she finds the car belonging to the dude Ivy fed on, which has a lot of his blood on it. Caroline sighs in frustration and annoyance just as a car headlight shines on her. It's Stefan, who parks his little red Porsche on the damn sidewalk and steps out to join her for what is going to be the last of the shitty encounters with Caroline, I'm hoping. She's initially relieved to see him, until he has the audacity to say, "You LOST her?" as though it's totally her fault, which makes her go OFF. "Oh, so you decide to listen to your messages a million hours later?" Caroline shrieks in anger. "No, I didn't LOSE her, she snapped my neck! What the hell took you so long?" Stefan vaguely replies that he got caught up, but when she demands to know what he was doing, he reluctantly admits that he was on his way back to Savannah. Caroline is absolutely appalled at this point, and Stefan interrupts her to add that he slipped Ivy's daylight ring under her front door, but Caroline says what literally everyone but Stefan seems to know. "No, I don't care about some STUPID ring, Stefan! Were you seriously about to dump your vampire girlfriend onto my lap and then just skip town?" Stefan wisely says nothing and simply nods, but that does nothing to make Caroline any less furious.

CAROLINE: "God, who ARE you right now?"
STEFAN: "I'm someone who's trying to start over! And then suddenly you and Enzo show up, and now I have hunters on my trail and a brand-new vampire who wants to kill and everyone else in her path! And that's not how someone starts over, Caroline!"
CAROLINE: [hurt and offended] "You know what the worst part about all of this is? About a month ago, I wished that Damon would come back, because I knew if that happened, that I'd get you back, too. But right now, ALL I want is for you to just get back in your car and GO."

WHY THE HELL WOULD HE BLAME HER FOR IVY AND THE HUNTERS??? If he would have just been honest with her, then they wouldn't have had to track him down to Savannah in the first place. ARGH. Okay, I'm seriously done ragging on Stefan now, promise. Okay, so Stefan walks away and does what Caroline said without a word. Caroline sighs and shuts her eyes for a moment, overwhelmed with literally everything going on right now. So, naturally, that's when her phone rings, and she picks it up to see that it's Ivy. She automatically asks her where the fuck she is without a greeting, and Ivy, who is standing in the middle of the road somewhere, replies, "I did a really bad thing." Caroline assumes she means breaking her neck, so Ivy amends her previous statement to, "Okay, two bad things," before apologizing for what she did earlier. Caroline, who is not in the mood for excuses or explanations, and who really just wants to get everything taken care of so she can just crash, cuts her off. "Tell me exactly where you are, and stay put. I'll come get you." True Angel of the Lord Caroline Forbes, ladies and gentlemen. Girlfriend has the patience of a saint.

I'd say it's time for a tiny bit of levity before we get our hearts crushed a little more, right? So, in the 1994 Prison World, Bonnie is sitting on a pile of dirt in the woods, with the grimoire in her lap and the Ascendant in one hand, while Damon, who is drinking Kai's bottle of Zima, leans defeatedly against a nearby tree. As he takes sips from the bottle, he loudly and dramatically hums until Bonnie finally looks over at him and tells him to can it, since she's trying to concentrate. Damon just ignores him, though, and snarks, "On the bright side, this stuff's not so bad. It's fruity, AND fizzy!" BAHAHA. Bonnie once again tells him to shut the fuck up, because she's in the middle of trying something, but Damon's on a roll. "On the not-so-bright side is your intelligence, because you took the only chance of us getting out of here and turned him into a giant douche-kabob." Aaaaand, I'm officially dead. Bonnie finally manages to get Damon's attention by pointing out that no self-respecting prison would give its inmate a key. Damon's confused, though, and assumes he's just getting drunk off his fruity, fizzy, Zima, but Bonnie has a legitimate point, as always. "I think the Gemini Coven used a Bennett spell to create this place," Bonnie explains. "What if that's why my Grams sent me here?" Damon: "This is the face I make when I don't understand you." I'm not even going to try to describe it-- just see for yourself:

(via miroslavvklose)
"You know, the last thing my Grams said to me... was to stay strong," Bonnie continues. "What if that was her way of telling me that I have the power to get out? I have the Ascendant, a massive celestial event to draw from, plus a burning desire to get away from you." Damon smiles, but it doesn't quite reach his eyes until Bonnie quietly chants an incantation, which causes the Ascendant in her hand to twist itself open. Bonnie looks hopefully up at Damon as she stumbles excitedly to her feet. She realizes that Kai never killed her because he needed a Bennett witch specifically to do the spell. Renewed with hope, Bonnie turns and heads down into the tunnels that Damon dug into earlier, and he asks her where the fuck she thinks she's going. "Home," she replies with the sweetest smile. "You coming?" Damon excitedly smiles and looks up at the sun before following his BFF down into the tunnels to do the spell. GOD THIS HURTS SO MUCH. I seriously just want this episode to have changed in the time since it aired so that both Bonnie and Damon can ditch Kai and come back to the real world, but since the universe (ie: Julie Plec/Caroline Dries, in this case) insists upon shitting on Bonnie Bennett all the damn time, of course that's not how it's actually gonna work out. Also, I hope that in whatever afterlife in which Grams ended up, she's still able to watch over Bonnie, because I'm thinking that she would be super proud right about now, though probably a little annoyed at Bonnie's insistence to save everyone before herself. But, I'm getting ahead of the story, here.

Anyway, in the real world, Tyler is desperately trying to lift his truck off of the guy he hit, but since he no longer has werewolf or hybrid strength to help him out, he isn't able to get it. Suddenly, the truck moves easily, and he realizes that Liv has arrived to telekinetically haul the truck off of him. She looks at him, clearly worried, and asked him what happened, so Tyler briefly explains that the guy ran into the road and he hit him. Liv squats down next to the victim, and Tyler insists that it wasn't his fault, and that it was an accident, but though Liv assumes that's a good thing for his supernatural issue, Tyler just starts freaking out and reminds her that it doesn't matter, because whether or not he intentionally hurt the guy, if he dies, he's a werewolf again. He then instructs Liv to call Elena to get some medical expertise to help him out.

So, at the corn maze, Jo is in the middle of fashioning a tourniquet and tying it around the leg of an injured man when Alaric returns to inform her that the ambulance is on its way. Jo proclaims this to be a good thing, and when Alaric crouches down next to the victim she's treating, Jo insist that he needs to get over there because she needs his help. She yanks his hands and places them right on top of the kid's leg wound and tells him to keep pressure on it to staunch the bleeding. Fortunately for Alaric, she's wayyy too concerned with all of the injured people at the maze to pay attention to the fact that Alaric is really struggling to keep his vampire-face under control. She absentmindedly asks him if he's doing alright, and Alaric's like, "BUHHHH, UGHHHHH" as he forces his eye-veins back and assures her that he's fine. She's just like, "Whatever," and reminds him to keep his hand on his femoral artery so he doesn't bleed out. When she mentions that his pulse is still dropping, Alaric tries to take his mind off of the blood buffet in front of him by pointing out that this doesn't seem to be her first rodeo, and she admits that she joined the Army right out of med school. "Family stuff," she adds vaguely. "Just had to get away." Yeah, that doesn't sound like foreshadowing AT ALL.

Suddenly, blood spurts out of the wound Alaric is pushing against, and he and Jo both jump back just as Elena frantically approaches them, distracting Jo from the fact that Alaric's vamp-face popped out again. "Dr. Laughlin, my friend Tyler, he's in trouble, and it sounds really bad, and... I don't know where he is." Jo, calm as ever, insists that she call her Jo and instructs her to put her phone on speaker so she can help Tyler and continue to work with the victim in front of her at the same time. The scene cuts back and forth between the corn maze and the crash site where Liv is holding Tyler's phone in his hand on speaker phone. When Tyler informs her that he thinks the guy is losing consciousness, Jo asks him to answer her questions as accurately as he can. From her questions, she determines that while he was previously bleeding profusely, it has stopped now, and its run black from his nose and mouth. When Liv asks her what they're supposed to do, Jo gently instructs them to take his hand and try to keep him comfortable, since she doesn't think it'll be too much longer. Liv looks up at Tyler, who is panicked, and they both share a look. YIKES YIKES YIKES.

In the 1994 Prison Dimension, Damon is sitting on a rock in the tunnels, where he's watching Bonnie as she stands in the patch of sunlight just as the eclipse is about to start. She uses one of the sharp edges of the Ascendant to slice her palm, and when she drips her blood on the Ascendant and murmurs the incantation, she watches in amazement as the Ascendant pops itself open again. "It's time, Damon," she says with a smile, as Damon excitedly rubs his hands together and stands to approach her. "Alright!" Damon exclaims. "Let's get awkward!" God, I love Damon and Bonnie's friendship SO DAMN MUCH. They both smile widely as Damon gently places his hand under Bonnie's so they're both holding the Ascendant. "I'm sure there are about a billion people you'd rather be here with..." Damon begins, but Bonnie just smiles the sweetest smile again and replies, "Not exactly." She's about to say "Let's go!" when suddenly, an arrow flies out of nowhere and hits Bonnie right in the stomach, knocking her back into the wall behind her. Damon, who is taken by surprise, turns quickly to see Kai standing with a crossbow pointed directly at Bonnie, as the Ascendant falls to the floor. "Forgetting someone?" Kai says with a smirk, and GOD HE IS THE FUCKING WOOOORST.

(via roplusglam)
Kai just stares at Damon incredulously and asks, "Did you really think I hadn't tried to kill myself before?" Damon looks back toward Bonnie, who is grunting in pain and applying pressure to her wound to stop the bleeding. "Lots of times, lots of ways." Kai aims another bolt at Bonnie as Damon's eyes trail over to where the Ascendant is laying on the floor, clearly considering vamp-speeding to get it, get Bonnie, and get the fuck out of there. Of course, Kai knows exactly what he's thinking, and assures him that if he grabs it, he'll shoot an arrow into Bonnie's heart. Damon changes course and instead rushes over to Bonnie so he can pull the arrow out and try to give her his blood to heal him, but before he can bite into his wrist, Bonnie warns him that Kai is going for the Ascendant, so Damon speeds over to him and shoves him against the wall as they struggle. While no one is watching her, Bonnie crawls over to the Ascendant and grabs it. Kai gets Damon in the shoulder, but since he's a vampire, it just slows him down a bit as he yanks the arrow out. All the while, I'm shouting, SNAP HIS NECK SO YOU GUYS CAN GET THE FUCK OUT at the television, but of course it can't ever be that easy.

Meanwhile, in the living world, Tyler is desperately trying to do CPR on the guy he hit, and is pleading with him to pull through and live. However, you can tell by Liv's face that she knows it's hopeless, and eventually she stops Tyler and insists that there's nothing more he can do for him. Tyler stands up next to the victim's body and starts pacing frantically as he stammers, "I killed him!" Liv assures him that he didn't, but Tyler's not hearing it. "Yes, I did, Liv. Everything we've tried to do to keep me from this, and all it took was one guy running into the road." Liv, overwhelmed with worry for Tyler, suddenly crouches down next to the man and covers his mouth and nose with her hands, smothering him. The man is clearly struggling to breathe, and Tyler is freaking out even more and demands to know what the fuck she's doing. He yells at her to stop as Liv starts to break down in tears, and eventually, the guy stops struggling. Tyler looks at Liv in horror as the life leaves his eyes, and Liv, whose tears are flowing freely at this point, states, "You didn't kill him, Tyler. I did," before she stands and leaves without another word.

At the corn maze, Elena finds Liam crouched next to yet another severely injured partier and informs him that the ambulances have arrived and that Jo said they should let the paramedics take over. However, Liam retorts that he's not sure this victim can wait, leading Elena to crouch down next to her to check her carotid pulse. "Her windpipe, it's--" Elena begins, just as Liam cuts her off. "'Deviated' is the medical term. 'Screwed' is more like it. Either way, she's not getting enough air." Elena, more concerned about ensuring that no one dies in this accident than maintaining her human cover, and insists that she can help, but Liam is just like, "Okay, just stabilize her head while I trache her." Elena holds down the girl's head like he instructed and asks him if he's ever done this before, but Liam just replies that he did practice on a grapefruit, though it didn't end well.

WAIT A SECOND-- is he in actual med school, like graduated from undergrad and is now actually doing his first several years of actual medical training, making him around 23-25 years old, or what? Maybe I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure people studying to become doctors learn how to do procedures like tracheostomies until they're in actual medical school, and not while they're still like sophomores in undergrad, you know? Like, I was a nursing major for two years before I started clinical experience, and it wasn't until then that I actually learned how to do things like inserting catheters and nasogastric tubes, starting IV fluids, administering injections, etc. So, unless Liam has been doing some practice on his own, I'm going to call bullshit on this.

ANYWAY, Liam has a pen in his hand and is about to use it as a rudimentary tracheostomy tube, which freaks Elena out enough that she interjects, "No, Liam, that's not what I meant. I can actually--" She has her wrist near her mouth and is about to bite into it when Liam stabs the girl in the trachea with the pen somehow (which shouldn't be possible because that pen isn't at all sharp enough /buzzkill nurse), allowing the girl to finally get a gasp of air and start breathing normally. Elena practically laughs in relief and exclaims that he actually did it, but Liam just rolls his eyes and tells her not to look so surprised. We cut to a little while later, though the cornfield is still full of ambulances and paramedics who are milling around. Elena gets into Liam's car and waits for him to join her, but he's distracted for a moment when he sees fake Lady Whitmore, who is perfectly healed and walking out of the maze with some friends, looking as though she wasn't just dying just a half hour earlier. He frowns in confusion before getting into the driver's seat of his car. UH-OH, SUSPICIOUS CIVILIAN ALERT.

In the prison dimension, Damon and Kai are still fighting each other while Bonnie struggles to crawl toward the Ascendant as she slowly bleeds out. The eclipse has finally begun overhead, and Kai flips Damon over to attempt to push the arrow deeper into his chest. He twists it just as Bonnie gets the Ascendant, and Damon, seeing her, urges her to get the fuck out of there. "I'm not going to make it," Bonnie states weakly, before smiling the sad smile that immediately indicates she's about to be a martyr. "But you are." Bonnie thrusts out her hand and yells, "MOTUS!", which causes Kai to be thrown backward away from Damon. She does another spell to forcibly pull Damon's body into the light of the eclipse and tosses the Ascendant, which is still coated in her blood, into his outstretched hands. Kai realizes what she's doing, but he's too late-- before he can finish shouting "NO!", the Ascendant clicks and twists in his hand.

Damon, not wanting to leave without Bonnie, starts shouting in protest, but he's cut off when the Ascendant clicks one final time and he's sucked into the portal to the living world. The only thing left is the Ascendant, which conveniently stays behind so Bonnie and Kai have another chance to get home, though it falls to the floor and breaks apart upon impact. Kai screams furiously at her, but Bonnie just smiles, knowing that at least Damon made it back. A tear falls from her cheek, and she exhaustedly falls to the floor and becomes silent. NOOOO BONNIE. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH, BUT WHY MUST YOU ALWAYS DO THE RIGHT THING? Damon should have snapped his neck and grabbed Bonnie so they could BOTH go back and then he could heal her when they got there. GAHHHH THIS IS SO FRUSTRATING THAT I CAN'T STOP YELLING IN ALL CAPS.

In the real world, Jo is sitting on a stretcher out in the hallway of Whitmore Medical Center, her injured arm wrapped up in gauze, when Alaric approaches her with a cup of coffee and hands it to her. When he asks her how she's feeling, she snarks, "You really want to know? Because I'm hopped up on pain meds and JUST obnoxious enough to tell you." Alaric smiles and assures her that he'll take his chances, and Jo smiles before telling him that she thinks he's awesome-- he's brave, funny, and one of the most attractive men she's ever seen, and states that she feels comfortable telling him this because she's old enough now to know what she wants. "And, call me crazy, but I think I was meant to know you." AWWW JO. AWWW ALARIC. She pauses, waiting for a response, but since Alaric is still in self-loathing vampire mode, he has no idea what to say.

JO: "This is the part where you say something. Or kiss me. Or run for the hills."
ALARIC: [sighs] "Yeah, I, um... I think you're amazing, brilliant, and one of the sexiest women I have ever met. And, I would love to believe that you and I were meant to be, because I would love to believe there was a plan for me other than this life that I am living right now. [He suddenly turns on his compulsion eyes as he makes eye contact with her] But tonight was a disaster. You thought I was boring and a borderline alcoholic, and because you don't know me-- not the real me, anyway-- you don't want to kiss me, and you absolutely want me to run for the hills."
JO: [blinks and takes a breath] "You're right. Tonight was a literal disaster, and you're definitely an alcoholic..."

Alaric, thinking that he totally succeeded in what he wanted to do, is completely caught off guard when Jo leans forward, grabs him by the front of the shirt, and pulls him toward her so she can kiss him. After a moment, she pulls away, and smiles at him before adding, "But, you're far from boring, Ric." She then stands and walks away, leaving Alaric supremely confused about the fact that SHE TOTALLY CAN'T BE COMPELLED. You would think that the vampires would expect this more often, wouldn't you? Like, shouldn't they at least consider the possibility that the people they're compelling are on vervain or are some supernatural creature who can't be compelled like a witch, a member of the Five, or a triggered werewolf? Just saying.

In Whitmore Town, Ivy is standing in the middle of the road, still wearing Caroline's now-bloodstained white lace dress with phone to her ear. "Where are you?" she whines. "I have been standing here for a hundred years." Caroline just tells her not to exaggerate and assures her she'll be right there. When she hangs up, she sees a car coming up and waves her arms, assuming that Caroline has finally arrived to save her. However, it's pretty much the exact opposite-- it's good old Tripp Cooke, who asks her if she needs some help. She immediately panics and turns away, so Tripp just stops his car in the middle of the road and gets out to follow her. He tells her he heard about the big accident at the corn field on his scanner and it sounded like a lot of people were hurt, though whether he actually thinks she was one of the people who were hurt or if he's just fishing is unclear.

She insists that she's fine, but since her dress is covered in blood, Tripp points out that since she's bleeding, she could be in shock. "Please, just go," Ivy pleads, but when Tripp starts to protest, she turns to face him and her vampire face comes out. She vamp-speeds toward him to attack and feed on him, but, as expected, he's got his trusty vervain-dart-gun, which he uses to shoot several bolts at her. When she falls limp, he catches her before she hits the ground and drags her inside his car. Meanwhile, Caroline, who pulled up behind Tripp's car shortly after he stopped, stares in horror as she watches this all go down. I'm not a huge Ivy fan, but that she doesn't deserve THAT kind of shittiness. She hadn't even been a vampire for four whole days and she gets caught by a hunter? So brutal.

At the dorms, Liam is walking Elena to her room when he brings up fake Lady Whitmore and the fact that even though he was ready to give up on her, Elena somehow managed to save her. Elena, realizing this is getting into dangerous territory, shrugs it off as just being beginner's luck, but Liam will not be swayed from his suspicion. He insists that she should have died, but Elena just argues him that it didn't because there are crazy, mysterious things in the world that sometimes can't be explained by science. When Liam is like, "Name one," Elena hilariously (and embarrassingly) replies, "Okay, umm... why does a baby take its first breath?" SERIOUSLY, ELENA? Come on, now, you're supposed to be studying to be a doctor. You can do better than that cheesy nonsense! Liam agrees with me, because he argues that it's a reflex due to the fact that the fluid in the newborn's lungs pretty much force it to do that, so Elena goes for the only known sure-fire way to get boys to forget about something-- kissing him, obviously. They make out for a long moment until Liam pulls away and snarks, "I thought kissing me was a fate worse than death?" Elena just smiles and reminds him that he asked her what her type was earlier. "You were a hero tonight. An absolutely jaw-dropping and out-of-this-world hero. THAT'S my type." Liam smiles sweetly at Elena, momentarily forgetting all about Elena's preternatural healing powers, and she smiles back. Ohhh, these two! Let's see what happens in the next episode when this episode's final bomb comes into play.

M83's "Wait" (which is an amazing song that just made these last two scenes even more emotionally powerful) plays as Tyler enters Skull Bar on campus, where Liv is barely holding back her tears as she stacks napkins behind the bar. She doesn't even turn around when she hears the front door open, she just yells at they're closed, but it's Tyler, so that does nothing to persuade him to leave. "I talked to Elena," Tyler begins, but Liv just insists that they're still closed. "She said everyone else lived." He continues to walk toward her slowly, and when she remains silent, he asks her if she really doesn't want to talk about what just happened. Uh, yeah, I would intuit from the vibes she's throwing off that she most certainly doesn't want to talk about it. She maintains that she has nothing to say about it, but Tyler reminds her that she actually killed someone that night, and she can't just pretend that it didn't happen. Liv doesn't give a fuck about what he says, though, and decides to take it as a personal challenge. Finally, Tyler gently approaches her and tells her exactly what she needs to hear. "Liv. He was dead. There was nothing you could do to save him, so you saved me instead." He reaches across the bar and takes her hand in his own. "You. Saved. Me. I can never repay you for that. All I can do is promise you that I won't waste it." Aw, Tyler! I am so glad that nice Tyler is back, because it was really hard for me to not like him throughout season 4-5. Liv stares at him and is unable to keep from crying again, but Tyler doesn't move away, he just continues to hold her hand and stare back at her. UGH, THESE LOSERS AND THE WAY THEY PLAY WITH MY HEART.

At last, we have made it to what is probably the best scene of the entire episode-- Stefan has arrived to the Salvatore tomb in the cemetery, which is about as close to being in Mystic Falls as it gets for the vampires. He's clearly wrecked, and he's drinking straight from a bottle of bourbon, which is usually Damon's signature move, not Stefan's. Wait, did he steal that bourbon from Alaric? ANYWAY, he looks around the crypt and sits down on a nearby bench and laughs bitterly before he starts to speak. "Yup... This is happening. I'm gonna talk out loud to a... a crypt filled with my dead family." He looks around the crypt sadly and sighs. "Everyone but you, Damon. Because wherever you are, it's not here." He sits back and pauses for a moment, thinking about what he wants to say before he continues. "I gotta say... I'm not doing so great without you. I keep trying to start over, but... I can't get anywhere. Because I'm lost, brother. I'm lost." After a moment, when nothing happens, and Stefan doesn't feel even a little bit better, he angrily stands and goes to toss the bottle of bourbon through the window, but miraculously, a hand appears and catches it before it can smash.

IT'S DAMON! "So what?" Damon begins sassily. "Gone a couple of months, and you think it's okay to waste a perfectly good bottle of bourbon?" He takes a deep swig of the bourbon and sighs in relief, as Stefan just gapes at him, thinking that he somehow ate some of Elena's herbs and is now hallucinating Damon, too. "Damon?" Stefan whispers, unable to believe what he's seeing, but Damon insists that it's him, in the flesh, as he laughs awkwardly. Stefan still can't believe his eyes, though. "How am I seeing you right now?" Damon's face becomes more serious as he tries to explain himself. "Because I'm not dead, Stefan." He laughs, trying to lighten the mood, and adds, "I mean, this stuff's good, but it's not, 'I see dead people'- good." Damon walks toward his brother, who is frozen right where he is, his eyes red and full of tears. "Heh," Damon laughs again, before adding. "It's a hell of a long story, brother, but... I'm back. I'm back." Stefan hesitantly reaches out and touches Damon's shoulder, and when they make contact, Damon nods, like, "Yup. You're not hallucinating. I'm real." This is all Stefan needed, and he finally started legitimately crying as he pulled Damon into the biggest, tightest hug ever-- which, FYI, is the first time we've seen them hug since the first season flashbacks to 1864! SO THIS IS SUCH A BIG THING. "I'm back, Stefan..." Damon assures him as he rubs his brother's back comfortingly, and the two bros just hug it out in the middle of the crypt, because the only Salvatore Stefan needs in his life is Damon. No one else matter.

(via greerdanville)

Next episode: Everyone deals with the revelation that Damon is back in the real world, while Damon deals with the fact that the love of his life no longer has any memories of loving him. Alaric goes through a literally life-changing experience with help from Jo, Tripp continues to fuck with the exiled Mystic Falls vampires, and Stefan begins to seriously regret how shitty he treated Caroline while he was grieving.

[screencaps via Screencapped]

-So, did Tyler just not get into any trouble for that wreck? I mean, clearly it was an accident, and we know the guy he hit was already pretty badly injured before he was even hit, since Ivy fed on him/compelled him to run away (and if she had just compelled him to DRIVE away, he probably wouldn't have ended up in the middle of the road) but he WAS texting and driving, after all. I wrecked my car in 2009 when I took my eyes off the road for one second to turn off the AC, and I ended up driving into some gravel on the side of the road, which caused the wheels to swerve around. I ended up swerving hard in the opposite direction to avoid running into oncoming traffic, inadvertently driving off the road and ultimately running into a power pole at full-speed (~60 miles per hour), which then broke in half and fell over, taking down another power line with it. So, needless to say, I had to pay a shit load of money for the damage (well, my insurance company did, and my insurance premiums increased a ridiculous amount of money for it) and I got a ticket for failure to control my vehicle to boot. Since Tyler was texting and driving, destroyed a bunch of stuff, including a perfectly good cornfield/maze, AND severely injured at least a dozen people, you'd think he'd at least get fined, you know? But then again, this is The Vampire Diaries, where mundane human problems are never* an issue.

(*And when I say never, I mean rarely, because as we'll learn in a few episodes, there are some mundane human problems that will end up having an effect on many of them.)


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