The Vampire Diaries Season 6, Episode 8: "Fade Into You" Recap/Review

Welp, it's time for Thanksgiving in May, because we're revisiting Friendsgiving at Whitmore College this week in my continued scramble to catch up on all of my recaps before Teen Wolf starts up again at the end of June. Can I do it? I have no idea, but with some finagling, I think it may be possible.

But, we're here to talk about TVD right now, so lets get to it, shall we? In this episode, we got to learn a LOT about the Gemini Coven, including the fact that Kai and Jo, like Liv and Luke, are twins, which are extra special in their coven because they are the ones who become the leaders once they reach the age of 22. Of course, it's not so easy as simply being named the leader-- the twins have to perform a ritual called the Merge ceremony, in which the twins basically battle each other with magic until the stronger twin absorbs the magic of the weaker twin, killing the latter and doubling the strength of the former. Witch covens in this universe are kind of weird, don't you think?

So, while Elena and Caroline learn one side of the story from Jo, Liv, and Luke at Friendsgiving, Alaric, Stefan, and Damon learn the other side from the Parker kids' father Joshua, the current leader of the coven who is waiting to be replaced by either Liv or Luke following their merge. And, while all this is going on, Kai has captured Bonnie and taken her back to his own homestead to make a Thanksgiving dinner for her, but as you can probably guess, he's got some of his own ulterior motives happening behind the scenes. Since this is a pretty jam-packed episode, I'm just going to jump right on in so we can talk about it, 'kay? 'Kay.

Previously, on The Vampire Diaries: While Damon and Bonnie were trapped in the 1994 Prison World following their "deaths" at the end of Season 5, they came upon a fellow prisoner named Kai, who informed them that in order to get home, they'd need to use a mystical relic called an Ascendant to harness the power of their recurring eclipse to create a portal back to the real world. However, when Damon and Bonnie tried to escape on their own without Kai, he eventually caught them and shot Bonnie with an arrow, leading her to send Damon back without her. Since Damon thought Bonnie died in her efforts to do so, he told the rest of the Mystic Falls Gang that she ~found peace~ so they wouldn't be more upset than they had to be. Of course, Bonnie ended up surviving, and when Kai forced her to do the spell again to free them, she ended up putting all of her magic in her teddy bear, Ms. Cuddles, and sent her away to the real world, where Damon found her at the Salvatore crypt in the cemetery!

In the world of the living, Enzo spilled the beans to Stefan that Caroline has had a huge crush on Stefan forever, which was hilariously a huge surprise to him, despite it being glaringly obvious for the last five and a half seasons. Caroline, tired of how Stefan treated her when Damon was believed to be dead, told him that she hated him, because otherwise, she'd have to hate herself, and she deserves better than that. Liam has become suspicious of Elena after a victim at the car wreck at the corn maze, who Elena healed with her vampire blood to save her life, miraculously became healed from a chronic injury. Oh, and Liv and Luke are witch twins in a mysterious coven, the former of which is in a sort-of relationship with Tyler.

We begin this episode with a flashback to Portland, Oregon, on May 9, 1994. Bb Jo is laying on the floor with a huge-ass hunting knife stuck in her abdomen. In the distance, you can hear the sounds of screaming and whimpering children. Kai seems to be downstairs somewhere, because Jo can hear him calling out, "Josette? Where are they?" Jo, sobbing quietly, yanks the knife out of her gut as Kai sing-songing, "Oh, Jo. Come one out, Jo. I know you can hear me." Jo gets up as quickly as she can muster and rushes into the next room, dripping blood on the floor as she does so. She spots two blonde twins, a boy and a girl, who are hiding under the bed, and Jo crawls under the bed with them to comfort them. Kai continues asking where "they" are while Jo hugs the twins tightly and whispers, "Hey. Everything's gonna be okay, alright? Everybody's just playing a game. You guys want to play a game? You want to play hide-and-seek? Shhh. Okay." Kai continues to tell Jo to come out, reminding her that she knows he won't kill her, just as he makes his way into the bedroom where Jo and the twins are hiding. Just as he gets to the bed, he lifts it up only to Jo alone under it.

Just then, the scene transitions over to the 1994 Prison World, where Kai opens the trunk of a car to reveal that Bonnie is inside of it and tied up with ropes. "Wakey wakey," Kai says with a smirk, and Bonnie, looking groggy and confused, has no idea where they are. She is about to ask how they got to wherever they are, Kai interrupts her and quips, "[How did you] get so lucky to arrive here on a private flight piloted by yours truly? Oh, you would have been SO impressed with my flying skills, but I'd already knocked you out with painkillers." Okay, now I have SO many questions, the biggest of which is, HOW THE FUCK DID KAI LEARN TO FLY A PLANE? Was he in pilot school before he went on his murdering spree? Did he teach himself how to fly during his 18.5 years in the prison world? Since he can't actually die in this dimension, he could probably handle some plane-landing mishaps, right?

Anyway, when Bonnie asks where the fuck they even are, Kai chirps, "Portland, Oregon! Stomping grounds of Courtney Love, Tonya Harding, and tons of other awesome people." Oh god, Kai is so literally stuck in the 1990s. Bonnie can't believe that out of everywhere in the world he could have brought her, he decided to bring her to Portland, but Kai just reminds her that this is where he grew up while he cuts off the ropes binding Bonnie's wrists. "I've been counting eclipses since I was imprisoned on this empty planet," Kai continues on. "And, according to my running tally, I've been here for 6,771 supernaturally repeating days. So, in the real world-- which we'll never get back to because you sent your magic away in a teddy bear-- today's my favorite day of the year." Bonnie looks even more confused and asks what day it is, so Kai happily informs her that it's Thanksgiving, and that he's cooking her dinner. TITLE CARD!

In the real world, Caroline and Elena are in their dorm room, where they're preparing for the holiday. Which, for Elena, means practicing telling Liam that she's a vampire when he inevitably figures out all the lies and weird stuff that has happened regarding Elena during his investigation. "Well, maybe Liam will stop digging into Lady Whitmore's miraculous recovery, and you won't have to come clean?" Caroline replies hopefully, but Elena figures it's more likely that he'll just keep digging, figure out that she fed her vampiric blood to Lady Whitmore to heal her and save her life, and then run screaming in the opposite direction. Caroline brings up the obvious solution, which is to just compel him into being more agreeable, but Elena's not having that. "So, lie? And lie? Again, and again, and again?" Oh, you sweet summer child, Elena. Caroline is, like, "Okay, if you want to tell him the truth, I support you, one-hundred-percent. But, if you're rushing into this to escape some conflicted feelings over a certain ex who just came back into your life, then I suggest you keep your fangs to yourself."

Just then, Jo walks in to join them, but when Elena asks her where Alaric is, Jo insists that they not shoot the messenger and passes on the super-lame excuse of "an impromptu guy's weekend" that Alaric gave her that is clearly a lie, but Jo is oblivious. A few minutes later, Elena calls up her only living (or undead, rather) guardian who is technically her step-dad to tear him a new one for missing out on Friendsgiving-- apparently, since Matt and Jeremy can't come as a result of them being forced to clean up the Tripp mess, and Liz has to work, Friendsgiving is already low on the "friends" part as it is, without Alaric and Damon bailing on them, too. Those are LITERALLY the laziest excuses not to have Zach Roerig, Steven R. McQueen, and Marguerite Macintyre in this episode, good gods. Meanwhile, Damon and Stefan are a couple feet away from where Alaric is on the phone, and are having their own conversation. Stefan, looking a little offended, asks Damon if he was invited to Friendsgiving, to which Damon replies, "Of course! Caroline demanded I bring string beans." Stefan frowns, which tells Damon everything he needs to know. "Why? Were you NOT invited?" he asks, and Stefan tries not to look too hurt when he replies that he wasn't. "Ooh, boy, you messed with the WRONG girl's feelings," Damon says with a hearty laugh. Look at Stefan's face! He's so offended.

(via missdefan)
Meanwhile, Alaric has just spilled the beans about Bonnie still being alive, and Elena starts to freak out, since, you know, Damon claimed Bonnie was never there because she ~found peace~. When she asks him why Damon never told her this, Damon, who, naturally, is eavesdropping on the conversation, snarks, "Why wouldn't I consult you in a decision that might permanently change your life? Hmm. I wonder." Alaric just rolls his eyes and covers for him by saying that he didn't want to get anyone's hopes up, since he legitimately thought Bonnie had died trying to free him. But NOW, since Damon found Ms. Cuddles in the cemetery, he knows that she's still alive, which makes Elena insanely happy to hear. So, surprise, surprise-- Damon, Alaric, and Stefan are NOT having a guy's weekend, they're in Portland tracking down the Gemini Coven to see if they can find the Ascendant and get Bonnie back. This makes Elena even happier, but Stefan suggests that maybe it'd be better to keep this news to himself-- even though Alaric already said it, so it's not like they can take it back-- since he tracked this same Gemini lead months ago and was led nowhere. Alaric just tells Elena "Stefan sends his love!" before hanging up the phone before Elena can say anything else. At the dorm, Elena hangs up the phone to find a shocked Caroline behind her. "Bonnie's ALIVE?" Caroline asks hopefully, and Elena nods in confirmation, causing both girls to laugh and smile gleefully.

Back in Portland, Damon and Alaric team-up for some good, old-fashioned bro-time, which they use to good affect to fully torture Stefan about how stupid he was to treat Caroline the way that he did.
ALARIC: "Is that the reason Caroline assigned me the turkey and the cranberries? Stefan wasn't invited?"
DAMON: [to Stefan] "See what you did? Now we're pulling your weight! I really hope you figure this out before Christmas."
STEFAN: [sighs] "Yeah. Well, I'm glad you're both finding amusement in this."
DAMON: "Why don't you just date her? Put us all out of our misery?"
STEFAN: "Because I don't think about her that way. She's my friend!"
DAMON: "Who would make a good girlfriend! Look. One, she's hot-- objectively."
ALARIC: "Two, she puts up with you."
DAMON: [points to Alaric in agreement] "Big plus. Three? Very, very well-organized."
STEFAN: [side-eyes him] "Organizational skills?"
DAMON: "There are no drawbacks to this woman, Stefan!"
ALARIC: [gives Damon a look] "Eh, she did sleep with you."
DAMON: "See? Another plus!"
God, I love this brOT3, to be honest. Anyway, Stefan, eager to change the subject for obvious reasons, walks in front of them and crows, "Oh, look! We're here. Behold the Gemini Coven, exactly how it looked four months ago." When Alaric and Damon catch up with him, they realize that they have arrived at what appears to be a large, open field. Ohhh, boy.

Meanwhile, in the 1994 Prison World, Bonnie and Kai have just showed up to the same field in Portland, only here, there is a huge house in the middle of it. "Ah, memories," Kai singsongs, as he walks up onto the porch. Bonnie stands in the front yard and gives him an incredulous look, but we know Kai-- picking up on social cues isn't really his forte, exactly, so he just keeps rambling as he looks around his childhood home. "Pitter-patter of little siblings' feet, witchy-woo, chanting in the air, Mom and Dad calling me an abomination..." Bonnie is getting a little impatient now and asks him why he even wanted to come back if it was that bad, but Kai claims he's happy that he can finally show it to someone, because the Gemini Coven apparently goes out of their way to hide their homestead from the rest of the world. "So, since they're not here to be paranoid freak-shows, mi casa es su casa." Kai turns and heads for the door, and Bonnie sighs before reluctantly following him inside.

Back in the real world, Stefan, Alaric, and Damon (who is hilariously holding Ms. Cuddles in his arms) are standing and staring at the stretch of grassy field in front of them. Forgive me for transcribing this scene, too, because it's seriously so hilarious that my pithy attempts to paraphrase will not do it justice.
STEFAN: "Like I said, uh, three thousand miles ago-- it's not here. Can we, uh, go home now, please?"
ALARIC: "You know what? Check the GPS again. Just because we don't see anything, doesn't mean it doesn't exist."
DAMON: [smirks] "Not unlike Caroline's feelings for Stefan."
STEFAN: [sighs] "Hilarious. Keep them coming."
[Damon holds Ms. Cuddles in front of his face and adopts a high-pitched voice as he moves her arms around like she's talking]
DAMON: [as Ms. Cuddles] "Oh, no! Is Stefan feeling sensitive about ruining his friendship with Caroline? She really liked him, and he broke her heart!"
ALARIC: [side-eyes Stefan] "See, Stefan? Even the bear knew."
DAMON: [as Ms. Cuddles] "I saw that from a mile away, and my brain's made of cotton!"

(via delenasvows)
BAHAHAHAHAHA I AM DEAD. Stefan is tired of being mocked by Ms. Cuddles, so he snatches her out of Damon's hand and literally punt-kicks her out into the field, where she breaks through some sort of invisible barrier and causes the Gemini Coven's house to magically appear in front of them. Impressed, Damon walks up onto the porch and picks up Ms. Cuddles as Stefan and Alaric follow behind him. He turns back to his bros and holds up the bear before snarking, "Ms. Cuddles, one. Invisible creepy mansion, zero." YES MS. CUDDLES. She is my new favorite tertiary character, to be honest.

(via whiskydelena)

Over in Whitmore (which I'm just going to assume is a city as well as the name of a college, since we have yet to be told where Whitmore College is or how far exactly it is from Mystic Falls), Friendsgiving is about to begin, and as you can probably guess, our favorite little neurotic Caroline has already handed out tasks for everyone to help set up the table. Liv arrives while Tyler is putting out a bucket of ice when Liv, looking glum, arrives for the meal. She foregoes greeting him in favor of emotionlessly asking him where he wants her to put the stuffing she made, but when Tyler's all, "Well, hello to you, too, girl," she just gives him a look and says nothing. Jo sweeps in to break up the awkwardness and tells her she'll take it for her before introducing herself. "Hi, I'm Jo," she begins, before frowning in confusion. "You look... Have we met before?" Liv's reply? "Liv, and no. But, you're dating my occult studies professor, which I guess somehow earned you an invite to Thanksgiving dinner." 

DAMN, GIRL, who hurt you? Besides, Jo is Alaric's girlfriend and Elena's boss and good friend, and since Alaric is literally Elena's family and Caroline's good friend, I'd say that Jo probably has more right to be there than Liv and Luke, who at one time tried to kill Elena and Stefan and who are just barely tolerated by the Mystic Falls Gang at this point. She and Tyler are barely even together yet. So, yeah, no disrespect to Liv's actress, Penelope Mitchell, who is lovely IRL and who is really great as Letha on Hemlock Grove, but aside from being the witch ex machina to replace the absent Bonnie, I feel like she and Luke barely have any purpose in this show, even with all that we learned about them this week.

ANYWAY, realizing that Liv is probably not going to be fun to be around, Jo just snarks "Nice to meet you, too," under her breath as she takes the stuffing off into another room. Once she's gone, Tyler asks her where Luke is, so she informs him that he's off messing around with his phone camera, because he's making a retrospective video for the two of them in celebration of their upcoming birthdays. "Twenty-two," Liv adds in the least enthusiastic manner possible. "Go us." Liv just thrusts her jacket into Tyler's hands without another word, just as Elena comes in with more dishes of food for the table. When she notices Liv's grumpy demeanor, she mouths, "What's with her?" to Tyler, who just shrugs.

That's when Liam shows up to the dorm, bearing a bottle of wine in each hand. Elena rushes over to greet him, and when she appears to be surprised to see him, Liam gives her a sheepish smile and blurts out, "Bearing the white wine of surrender. I owe you an apology." Elena gives him a confused look, so he goes on to say that he broke into Lady Whitmore's medical files again and found out that her labs were all totally normal, and once again apologizes for not double-checking before making "unfounded, baseless, and dickish" accusations. Elena still seems confused as to how that could be the case, but she plays along and just smiles before gesturing for him to come in. When Jo sees that he's arrived, she swoops over and yanks the bottles out of his hand and looks at them adoringly. "Am I glad to see you!" she croons, before looking up at him. "You, too, Liam." BAHAHA. Nice one, Jo! So, Elena thrusts a dish into Liam's hands and asks him if he'd mind putting it on the table, which he does, giving her just enough time to walk over to Jo and ask her if she switched out Lady Whitmore's medical chart, which she totally did to maintain Elena's cover. "I'm glad it worked," Jo replies with a smile, and Elena seems ridiculously relieved.

In Portland, Damon has rang the doorbell of the house while he, Stefan, and Alaric wait around on the porch. Alaric is holding Ms. Cuddles, and when Stefan sees it, he asks, "Anybody want to take a stab at how Bonnie's teddy bear undid whatever was cloaking this place?" Damon just chuckles and retorts, "He said, without laughing." Alaric brings up the fact that Jo said she put her witch magic into something for safekeeping, and suggests that maybe Bonnie did the same, but Stefan doesn't understand why she would do that until Damon, who knows her better than he does now, reminds him that she probably wanted to make sure Kai didn't use her to get out. When it becomes clear that no one is going to answer the door, Damon wrenches it open, only to find that he can't enter because he wasn't invited. Alaric's like, "Can't say I missed that," so Damon gestures toward the door and points out that it's up to him to check out the house now. Also, I'd like to point out that Damon calls Alaric "brother," something he otherwise only uses with Stefan, and it makes me SO HAPPY UGH. We have not had nearly enough Damon and Alaric bromance-time, although this episode does help make up for it. Anyway, Alaric hands Ms. Cuddles to Damon and makes his way into the house, walking up the staircase so he can investigate the Gemini Coven.

In 1994-Prison-World-Portland, Kai is in the kitchen, where he's making himself and Bonnie a fancy dinner. I would be remiss if I didn't note the fact that there are still crazy, Psycho-style bloodstains all over the walls in the adjacent hallway from Kai's sibling-murderfest. Anyway, Bonnie sits at the table while Kai comments on how good the cooking food smells and lamenting that it's not a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, since he's only got what his family had in the fridge on May 10, 1994 to work with. Bonnie seems awfully bored, so she picks up Kai's pager and starts to look at it, causing him to scold her because it's "brand-new, looks cool, and [he] doesn't want [her] to break it." Once he's snatched it out of her hands, she sighs and gets real with her kidnapper. "Listen, Kai-- my magic's gone, which means we will be stuck here forever. Why don't we just divide the world in half and go our separate ways?"

Kai admits that he understands that knocking her out and abducting her against her will wasn't exactly the nicest thing to do, and insists that he's trying to make it up to her. Bonnie points out that she will never like or trust him, nor does she have any interest in spending time with him before insisting that if he truly wants to make amends, he should just let her leave unharmed. Kai sighs and agrees with her terms, but adds, "Can we at least have one last dinner conversation before my eternity of loneliness resumes?" Bonnie asks him if this means that he agrees, and that after their one last dinner, they'll go their separate ways, and Kai even goes so far as to say that he'll, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, let her take his car. Yeahhhh, he's totally got NO ulterior motives at all, right? This seems to satisfy Bonnie, though, because she picks up the nearby bottle of wine and smiles fakely before asking him how she can help.

In the real world, Friendsgiving dinner is about to begin, and Caroline, neurotic as ever, asks everyone to gather around the table at their assigned seats, which makes me laugh SO HARD because it is just SO CAROLINE. Luke finally decides to grace everyone with his presence and apologizes for his lateness before he takes his seat, and Caroline continues on to say that they'll each be saying something they're thankful for this holiday, "in 100 words or less." Caroline's control-freakiness is killing me this episode, because she reminds me so much of my little sister. As soon as she gets married, this is exactly how my family's holiday dinners are going to go, I am sure of it. Everyone else moves to sit down at the table except Tyler, who walks over to Liv and asks her if she wants a drink, since Caroline likely won't let anyone get up once they're all seated. Liv aggressively tells him she's not in the mood, leading Tyler to ask if he did something to piss her off. "No, Tyler," Liv grunts in reply. "You didn't." YIKES, girl! Liv has no chill, although she does kind of have an excuse, which we'll learn in just a moment.

Anyway, at the table, Luke has just pulled out his phone and is in the middle of asking if anyone wants to see embarrassing baby videos of Liv, and when Tyler and Liv gather behind him to watch, Caroline gets that tight fake-smile that she does on her face and tries to say, "Oh, you know what? Now would actually be an EXCELLENT time just to shut down anything with an on-off button," but when no one listens to her, she starts pouting under her breath about how all the food is about to go cold. Suddenly, a familiar female voice on the video calls out, "Happy birthday! Wave to me!" as two little blonde twins toddle around on camera, and it all becomes abundantly clear that the twins we saw Jo protecting in the flashbacks are totally Liv and Luke, which means they're all siblings and Jo is Kai's twin sister who he stabbed in the spleen instead of killing because he needed her to stay alive for reasons that will become obvious in a bit.

Jo and Elena walk into the room with some food, and they both look puzzled when they recognize the woman's voice in the video as belonging to Jo. Jo explains that she took that video eighteen years prior at the twins' fourth birthday party, not realizing that the totally blonde twins in front of her are her actual siblings. You would think that they would recognize each other? Like, obviously Jo has been disconnected from the coven and her family for almost two decades, but you'd still think maybe their dad would send pictures or something. I don't know, it seemed really weird and kind of took me out of the story. So, Liv realizes what's going on at the same time that Jo does, and she's all, "Lucas and Olivia?" and Luke is, like, "Jo, as in Josette?" and Elena is all, "Uh, do you guys know each other?" and Jo starts to cry and says that she's their older sister. DRAAAAAAAMAAAAA.

Back in Portland, Alaric has returned from the Gemini house bearing photos and newspaper clippings he found when he was snooping around-- specifically, those of or pertaining to Jo. As Alaric shuffles through the stack to show them, Damon is like, "Hold, please. Rewind," and forces him to flip back until he spots a photo of Young!Jo next to Kai, who looks almost exactly the same as he does in the prison world. Stefan is stunned to hear that Jo is Kai's sister, but before they can debate it further, a man with salt and pepper hair wanders over and approaches them. "I didn't know I had guests. You've met Kai?" the man asks, but Damon, looking bewildered, states that he not only met him, but he watched him die and come back to life before asking him if he knows him.

The man just shrugs and says that he does, because Kai is his son, and then introduces himself as Joshua Parker. Oh shit! Damon introduces himself and goes to shake his hand, but as soon as they make contact, Joshua mutters, "Invisique," Suddenly, Stefan and Alaric start looking around in confusion, and Stefan exclaims, "What the hell just happened?" Damon doesn't understand what the fuck is wrong with them, but before he can ask them, Joshua informs him that they can't see them anymore. Unfortunately for Damon, this also means that Stefan and Alaric can't see him hit Damon with a mystical migraine. All the while, Stefan and Alaric can't see either of the men OR the house any longer, thanks to Joshua's quick cloaking skills. Damn! Witches are so crafty.

Over in Whitmore, the Parker kids are about to get into an explanation from the Gemini perspective when Caroline, who seems skeptical about all of this, asks him how the hell they all ended up at the same school if they don't know each other now. According to Jo, the Geminis were family friends with none other than SHEILA FUCKING BENNETT, also known as Bonnie's Grams, and since Sheila was the occult studies professor there, Jo went to school there as an undergrad and was taken under Sheila's wing. I'm guessing that's also what drew the twins there, and specifically to the occult studies class taught by Alaric. ANYWAY, Sheila also helped the Parkers out by giving them the spell to create the prison world to put Kai away. Elena is stunned that Kai, who she knows from Damon's stories, is their brother, and especially that he's Jo's twin, because that means they have two sets of twins in their family-- at least, until they sent Kai away, anyway. All of a sudden, it's like a record screeches, and poor Liam stands up, all, "I'm sorry, did you say coven?" Elena just gets this absolutely hilarious look on her face and literally says, "Oh, my God. Liam... is still here." Imagine her saying this while shooting dagger-eyes at Luke and Liv. Tyler adorably tries to backpedal and is all, "I think they said 'OVEN,'" but Caroline, now eager to hear the rest of the story, compels him to go to his room and to take his time getting them a bottle opener.

Alright, this is where the explanation gets interspersed with flashbacks, so bear with me here. Caroline picks up where they left off, which is that the Gemini Coven put Kai away, so Jo explains WHY-- "Kai killed four of our brothers and sisters to make a point, but he was really targeting Lucas and Olivia." Tyler is confused as to why Kai would go after them specifically, so Jo elaborates that in the Gemini Coven, the twins are the ones who become the leader, and so if Luke and Liv were alive, Kai would never be able to ascend to it.

Cue flashback to 1994, which Jo narrates in voiceover, which is bolded for your convenience. "So, I protected them with magic." We pick up right where we left off in the cold open, where Kai has just lifted up the bed to find Jo laying underneath it all alone; Luke and Liv, who were previously there, had completely vanished. Kai demands to know where the twins are, but Jo just shakes her head and sobs. "My brother was born without his own magic. He can only draw it from others. It made him feel like a freak. My parents saw him acting out, isolating himself, and they realize that he'd never be capable of leading our coven. So, they kept having children until another set of twins were born." In flashback, Kai opens a nearby armoir and growls in anger when the kids aren't there, either. Kai grabs a baseball bat that is leaning against the wall and once again demands to know where the twins are, and when Jo doesn't answer right away, he kicks her right in her injured abdomen, causing her to scream/sob in agony. Suddenly, she manages to gasp out, "RUN!", just as you see little Liv and Luke appear from under the cloaking spell and out the door.

In the present, Damon awakens on the couch at Casa de Gemini and groans when he realized he got mystic migrained again. When he sits up, he sees Joshua, who raises his hands non-threateningly and insists that he has no interest in making enemies, he simply needs some information. "You were trapped with Kai," he begins. "I need to know how you got out." Damon just sighs and admits that the temporal time loop was trippy as hell, but that's not exactly what Joshua wants to know. When he asks if Kai knows how to escape, Damon just sighs again and gets real with him. "Look, I'll tell you everything you want to know, but first, I need something from you. It's round, about yea big, a bunch of little gears and wheels and things. It's a lot harder to describe than I thought." Joshua's face falls when he realizes what Damon is talking about and brings up the Ascendant. Damon confirms that's what he's talking about and asks him where it is, but Joshua isn't too keen on giving him the key to his son's prison. Damon is his usual glib self about it and snarks that he'll say pretty please, forcing Joshua to bring up some tough facts. "Do you have any idea what it feels like to come home and find four of your children are dead? Another impaled? Two running for their lives? Do you think that image has ever left my mind?" Yeah, that's a legit point, but if anything, that's just more reason to go on a rescue mission and get Bonnie out, yeah? To ensure that he doesn't get out first? Certainly, the powerful leader of the Gemini Coven could easily overpower a kid who doesn't possess his own magic?

Anyway, in Whitmore, the explanation is continuing on at Friendsgiving dinner. Liv details how Kai was a psychopath and was forcibly sent away. "Kai went to his prison, Jo dodged a bullet, and now the leadership falls on us," Liv adds bitterly. Caroline, sensing the tension, tries to steer the dinner back toward the actual food, which causes Liv to snap, "Sorry that my family drama isn't appropriate dinner conversation, Caroline." Caro sighs and insists that's not what she meant, but Liv is already on her feet and ready to bolt. Tyler tries to grab her to comfort her, but Liv lashes out at him, too, and tells him to leave her alone. Elena, looking confused, hesitates for a moment before asking, "Okay, I think I missed something-- if you and Liv can both be the leaders of your coven, then why did Liv just get so upset?" Luke, looking pretty bitter himself, points out that there aren't actually two leaders in the Gemini Coven, and gives Jo a significant look as he asks her to confirm it. The people still at the table all look at Jo, who sighs before replying, "In our coven's tradition, after their 22nd birthday, the twins merge their strength. The stronger one wins, absorbing their twins power, and the weaker of the two..." Tyler, looking alarmed, asks her what happens, which leads Luke to answer, "The weaker one dies" before storming out of the dorm room. YIKES, that is intense and also kind of fucked up?

Tyler eventually tracks Liv down at Scull Bar, where she's in the middle of downing a shot of vodka behind the bar with her back turned toward him. She doesn't turn around to face him until Tyler quietly states, "Caroline's out looking for you. She wanted to apologize." She turns around, her eyes filled with tears, and Tyler can't help but ask her why she never told him. "What?" Liv mutters drunkenly and bitterly. "That my coven requires my brother and me to 'merge' when we turn twenty-two? Because THAT isn't screwed up." Tyler reminds her that he understands just fine-- since, you know, he used to be a guy who was forced to painfully transform into a wolf every full moon until he was turned into a werewolf-vampire hybrid, and then he was dead, and now he's alive and just a regular old human with an untriggered werewolf gene-- and then points out that if she doesn't want to ~merge~ with Luke, then she shouldn't have to, because her coven doesn't control her. Uhhh, yeah, it kind of does though, dude. Liv pretty much says the same thing and insists that her coven needs a leader, and she can't just turn away from her duty, which is something he can't understand because he's not a Gemini. Then, Liv mutters that Tyler wasn't even supposed to be in her life, which confuses Tyler so much that he just ignores it and begs her to let him help her.

"You can't help me," Liv argues, as she starts to cry. "Why do you think I'm trying to get rid of you? When I look at you..." Her face softens for a long moment as she stares at Tyler, until the moment passes and she swallows down her feelings. "I feel everything that I don't get to have. I either die in the merge, or I get to live with the fact that I killed my own BROTHER. So, tell me, Tyler-- how can you help with that?" Yikes! I've made it pretty clear that Liv is not my fave, but I have to admit, this made me at least understand where her grouchy attitude came from. I'm pretty sure if I were in her position, I would be lashing out at everyone and anyone who came near me, too, although that doesn't excuse her behavior.

Still, I want to know how covens end up with these weirdo rules? Like the Harvest ritual in The Originals I understand, because it's basically a witchy version of "you reap what you sew"-- the French Quarter Coven sacrifices four young witch girls as an offering to appease their ancestors, whose spirits and magical power linger in the earth for their living descendants to channel, and in exchange for this offering, the ancestors give the coven greater access to their power and resurrect the girls they sacrificed as offerings. But this twin-merge thing doesn't make much sense to me because aside from the stronger twin having the power of two witches, how does that make them more qualified to be a leader? They're more powerful, but that doesn't mean they're actually meant to be leaders. And why does the weaker twin have to die? Can't they just give up their magic to the stronger twin, kind of like how Bonnie and Jo dumped their magic into ordinary objects for safekeeping? I don't know, it just seems like an arbitrary rule, in my opinion, and not a very good way of finding the best candidate to lead their coven.

Alright, time to cut back and forth between Whitmore and Portland. In the latter location, Joshua has seemingly just recounted the Merge story to Damon, who is, like, "So, when you say 'merge,' you don't actually mean 'MERGE,' right?" Joshua impatiently replies that it's exactly what he means, and says that he's sure that as soon as Kai gets out, he will head straight for Jo to do the merge ceremony, and because he can siphon other people and objects' magic, he'll easily overwhelm her and kill her, meaning that a legit psychopath and child-murderer would become the leader of their coven--something that Joshua wants to prevent so badly that he literally had six additional children with the intention of having a second set of twins to replace Kai and Jo. Damon points out that because "Blond and Blonder" exist, that shouldn't be a problem, but when he asks about the Ascendant, Joshua once again insists that he is under NO circumstances letting Kai out. Then, Damon makes an EXCELLENT point-- "Alright, I wasn't gonna say anything, because you're his dad and all... But, if he gets out, I'll just kill him! It's that simple."

Now, you'd think that Joshua would be totally willing to let that happen if it came to it, since Kai killed four of his children, horribly injured a fifth, and would have killed the last two had it not been for Jo's clever thinking, right? And ESPECIALLY given what he's about to do to his eldest daughter in a moment. But, nope! That's too easy, apparently, and plus the script doesn't say so because the fans love Kai too much. "I've watched Jo her whole life," Joshua explains, as he starts gathering spell ingredients. "She's done well on her own-- survived war, became a doctor... But, if Jo merges with Kai, she will cease to exist. Kai won't just be our coven's problem, he'll be EVERYONE'S problem." Sooo, even more reason to kill Kai before he can merge with Jo, right? Why don't they pop on into the prison world, use magic to take Kai out for good, and then free Bonnie to get her third chance at life? UGHHH, THIS IS SO FRUSTRATING. But, instead of doing that, Joshua takes a locket with a photo of Jo and puts it in a stone basin.

Meanwhile, outside, Alaric is on the phone with Jo while he stands outside the field with Stefan in an effort to figure out what the fuck happened to Damon. Alaric's all, "Yeah, so, I think I may have met your dad... and by that, I mean I actually did meet your dad." Jo just laughs and is all, "Oh, that's a funny joke! But my dad lives in Portland, so that's improbable." When Alaric grimaces awkwardly and finally spills the beans that he, Stefan, and Damon are actually in Portland, Jo's face becomes deadly serious and she demands that Alaric tell her everything that is going on right this moment. Stefan is several feet away, where he is on the phone with Elena and updating her on what has been going on with them. When Elena is horrified to hear that Damon just up and vanished into thin air, Stefan laughs and points out that she needs to be careful, since she actually sounds concerned about Damon's well-being, but Elena, who tries to claim that she doesn't have feelings for him anymore (LIAR LIAR PANTS ON FIRE), insists that she doesn't want him to blink out of existence, either. Stefan assures her that he doesn't think Damon's gone anywhere, he's just been cloaked with a spell, which is why Alaric called Jo to figure out how to break it. Elena makes some comment about how they could just be stuffed full of holiday food and playing board games instead of getting caught up in witchy business.

Then Stefan gets a little pouty. "So, just to be clear, Jo was invited to Friendsgiving, but I wasn't?" Stefan asks with a note of jealousy and offense in his voice. Elena takes on this hilariously formal tone and chirps in response, "Friend Code states that in matters such as yours and Caroline's, I must, with NO exception, take the side of my best friend." Stefan just huffs in disapproval, and Elena adds, "Can you two just kiss and make up? It's getting weird," and Stefan just retorts that they're just mad that no one there knew how to cut their turkey, which LOL WAY TO UNDERESTIMATE CAROLINE, DUDE. You know she knows like five different ways to do it and lectured Liam on it when he did. Anyway, speaking of Liam, Elena sees him return with the wine opener that Caroline compelled him to get forever ago, which causes Elena to lower her voice to ask Stefan how he knew he could trust her. When he doesn't know what she's talking about, she subtly brings up their supernatural secrets and asks him how he knew he could trust Elena not to blab to the Founder's Council and everyone else. "That's easy," Stefan responds, and to his credit, he does not sound the least bit bitter about what he says next. "I was in love with you. I wanted you to know everything." He waits a moment and informs her that she owes him dinner before hanging up with a smile. Elena looks over at Liam again, and when he turns back to her, she smiles at him.

Back to Jo and Alaric's conversation, which isn't sounding good at ALL. "Ric, listen to me," Jo states urgently. "If my dad knows that you want to open Kai's world, he'll think you're going to free him. He's going to retaliate." God, this is kind of like the whole cure/Silas thing from Season 4, isn't it, where the Mystic Falls Gang wants something for their own benefit (the cure, and in this much more important case, the Ascendant/Bonnie), but to get it, they risk freeing a psychopathic killer (Silas, and in this case, Kai). So, in this analogy, Joshua is Kol Mikaelson, and he's about ready to cut off Jeremy's arm, except in this case, he wants to kill his daughter so there's no way that Kai can do the Merge ritual with her. Just as Jo suspected, Joshua is standing in front of the basin with the locket and starts to cast a spell. "Phesmatos incendere ad pulvox," he mutters under his breath, and Damon, who is still inside with him, asks him what the fuck he thinks he's doing.

Outside on the phone, Jo adds, "And, I hate to break it to you, Ric, but you traveled 3,000 miles for nothing. The Ascendant's with me." Alaric is stunned and is like, "Are you fucking kidding me?", but his exasperation is immediately overshadowed by fear when Jo suddenly gasps in pain and clutches her head as the room starts to get a very J.J. Abrams-y, lens-flarey look to it. Jo then collapses onto the floor, causing Elena to instantly rush over to her and ask if she's okay, but Jo just gasps for breath and manages to raps out that something is wrong. All the while, Alaric is desperately trying to figure out what's going on through the phone. When Elena asks Jo what's happening, Jo barely manages to gasp out, "I think my dad... My dad's trying to kill me." She then clutches her head and moans in pain, and Liam, who has just appeared out of nowhere once again, is like, "What the hell is she talking about? Her dad's trying to kill her?" Alaric is still shouting through the phone, which is laying on the floor next to Jo, wanting her to pick up and tell him what's going on, so Elena finally picks it up and quickly explains that Jo is in trouble before ordering him and Stefan to find her dad and stop him from whatever witchy mojo he's laying on her.

Stefan is like, "Uh, remember how we can't see the house anymore, and even if I could, I haven't been invited in?", so Elena holds the phone out to Jo and instructs her to invite him in, which she does. Wait a minute-- did Joshua invite DAMON in? Wasn't he unconscious at the time? Shouldn't something akin to what happened to Elijah in TVD's Season 3 episode "Klaus?" Whatever. Also, the look on Liam's face while they're talking about this is hilarious-- he's like, "Are you seriously worried about social politeness right now while our boss is dying on the couch?" Oh, civilians. Anyway, Alaric once again brings up the fact that they can't see the damn house, and Jo shouts that they need magic before she starts coughing up significant amounts of blood. She sees the bloody sputum on her hand and mutters, "Crap," just as a very, very panicked Liam turns to Elena and hysterically reminds her that they have to do something, since Jo is presenting definite signs of hemoptysis. "Shut up, Liam!" Jo groans in annoyance, speaking for basically the entirety of the TVD fandom, before she finally tells Elena to ask the boys if they see an old tree stump in the front yard. When Stefan confirms that they do, Jo tells him to go to it IMMEDIATELY.

Meanwhile, in the 1994 prison world, Bonnie is watching Kai with an incredulous look on her face as Kai eats his meal one itty-bitty bite at a time, dramatically savoring each chopped up onion or carrot or noodle that makes it into his mouth. After a moment, Bonnie sighs and points out that he's been eating the same piece of food for forty-five minutes before reminding him that she held up her end of the bargain-- she had Thanksgiving dinner with him, which means he needs to let her go and give her his car now. Kai suggests that perhaps he should show her how his "finicky clutch" works, but Bonnie finally calls him out on stalling and insists that he get on with it already. Kai sighs before breaking out his last trick, which is that she should probably hear the end of his story, first. Bonnie rolls her eyes and brings up the fact that she already read the newspaper article about what happened: he murdered his siblings, and his coven sent him to live in this prison dimension. "My FAMILY sent me to this prison world," Kai clarifies, his voice turning pretty bitter for a psychopath with no feelings. "My father, the great coven leader? He treated me like crap for years, and then locked me in here. It's like his... like his kids didn't even matter. Coven always came first, no matter what."

Back in the real world in Portland, Damon is watching in horror as Joshua uses magic to melt the locket with Jo's photo in it. "If Kai has access to an Ascendant and is sharing his prison with the Bennett witch, he WILL eventually find his way out. At least this will keep him from merging." Damon, who is not at all opposed to killing when it's necessary, is absolutely appalled that Joshua would just take Jo out after he just waxed poetic about how awesome Jo's life has been since she left Portland, especially considering Damon already offered to kill Kai, but Joshua just insists that the coven always comes before family. UM, YOU ARE STUPID AND GROSS, JOSHUA. You're seriously telling me that it is better for the coven if they kill Jo instead of killing Kai, the one who actually killed four of Joshua's children? He's willing to lose an innocent daughter, whom he even said earlier is living a good life despite everything that has happened to her? UGH, HE IS THE WORST.

Damon agrees with me, so he vamp-speeds over to Joshua and shoves him against the wall to save his bestie's girlfriend, but Joshua quickly hits him with another pain infliction spell. Damon falls to his knees and grips his aching temples just as Jo's photo slides out of the melting locket and starts to be dissolved by the hot liquid. Outside, Stefan and Alaric are digging around a pile of leaves inside the rotting tree stump in the front yard when they finally find a large hunting knife. Stefan is like, "Uh, what the fuck are we supposed to do with this?" but Alaric, who is no dummy, points out that it could be Jo's version of Ms. Cuddles, so Stefan takes the knife and lobs it forcefully toward the house, where the tip embeds itself in the wood of the doorway and breaks the cloaking spell. "Nice shot!" Alaric crows proudly, which is so cute and funny to me.

Inside the house, Damon is still on the floor, moaning in pain, when Joshua rushes to the fireplace and picks up a candlestick holder, which has a short wooden stake hidden inside. He runs back over to Damon and is about to stake him with it when Stefan zoops in and shoves him against the wall, holding Jo's magical hunting knife against Joshua's throat. Of course, Joshua hits Stefan with a mystic migraine too, which incapacitates Stefan long enough for him to say "Invisique" and cloak himself again, allowing him to flee without being seen. "Well, I guess the, uh, disappearing act is their shtick," Stefan mutters, and Damon, who is still recovering from his pain infliction spell, replies, "Hey... Anybody hear from Jo?"

In Caroline and Elena's dorm, Elena is gathering ice into a towel at the sink when Liam leaves Jo's side to confront her. Hey, where is Caroline, anyway? Is she still looking for Liv and Luke or something? Anyway, Liam demands to know what's going on, and reminds her that he's not an idiot, and she's pretty obviously lying/hiding stuff from her, so he thinks he deserves to hear whatever it is that is actually happening. Before Elena can say anything, Jo starts convulsing, which forces Liam and Elena to drop their spat and rush over to her side. Elena anxiously tells him that Jo's crashing, so they both try to rouse her awake, to no avail. When that fails, Liam tells Elena to check Jo's pupils for dilation, but when Elena pulls her eyelid back, the entirety of her eye-- scelera, pupil, iris, etc-- has turned blood-red, frightening them so much that they both lean backward in shock. When Liam asks her what the fuck is happening to her, Elena fearfully tells him she has no idea, leading Liam to start CPR and order Elena to call 911. Of course, Elena knows that this is totally an unnatural reaction to magic of some kind, but she really doesn't know if she can trust Liam to tell him that. She shuts down for a brief moment and just panics about whether or not she should come clean, but when Liam is like, "What the fuck are you doing? Call 911, or Jo is gonna die!" Elena realizes she doesn't really have a choice in the matter and makes her decision.

She kneels down next to Liam, her eyes vamping-out as she does so, and tells him that they don't have enough time to call for help. She then vamps-out completely and bites her wrist open, which shocks Liam enough for him to demand to know what she's doing, and starts to feed Jo her blood. Her face continues to stay vamped-out, and when Liam starts to freak and asks about it, Elena just assures him that everything is cool, and that her blood will heal her. He doesn't seem too convinced about this, but after a few moments, the blood starts to kick in the healing, and Jo awakens with a gasp, her eyes now back to normal. Elena doesn't even get a chance to ask her how she feels, because Jo immediately insists that she's fine, so Elena gets up to get her some water.

When she walks away, Liam's brain literally short-circuits, so he follows her with an expression that is equal parts horrified, confused, and a little angry. "Elena!" he calls out. "Elena, stop! How did you do that?" When Elena just gapes silently at him, not sure what to say, he once again screeches, "How did you do that?!" Finally, Elena just blurts out that she's a vampire, but as soon as Liam is like, "A WHAT?", Elena cuts him off, staring him straight in the eyes and giving him the mind-compulsion/break-up-speech double-whammy. "It doesn't matter, because as much as I like you, my life is complicated enough. So, you're not gonna remember anything from tonight, or about Lady Whitmore, or the fact that we even dated at all. You're gonna go home, get some rest, and I'll see you at work on Monday." After a moment, Liam blinks out of his daze and just chirps, "I'll see you Monday, Elena!" and heads home while Elena looks sad, yet resigned to their fate. From the couch, Jo looks at Elena with sympathy.

Flashback to 1994 time! Young!Jo has just stumbled out of the house, her abdomen still bleeding painfully as she grips the knife with which Kai stabbed her in one hand. After a moment, Kai calls out, "Olivia? Lucas?" Jo, having apparently already stashed her magic into the knife, hides it in a pile of leaves in the rotted center of the tree stump in the front yard, just as Kai walks out onto the front porch. He starts calling out for Luke and Liv again, sing-songing, "Come out, come out, wherever you are!" as he walks down the front steps. Finally, Young!Jo shouts, "Stop! I'll do it. I'll merge with you. Just don't hurt anyone else."

In the 1994 Prison World, Kai and Bonnie are walking down those same steps, and Kai seems to have just told Bonnie the same part of the story, because she brings up the fact that Jo agreed to the merge. "Well, we needed a celestial event," Kai explains as they walk toward the tree stump. "So, the plan was to use the power of the eclipse happening the next day. She even gathered our coven for help."

In flashback, it's now May 10, 1994, and Kai and Jo are standing in the woods in the middle of a large circle of dozens of coven members. Young!Jo is a very good actress, because she smiles at her twin brother and says, "The power of the eclipse will merge us as one. You know what to say?" Kai assures her that he's been practicing his whole life before the two take each others hands and begin the spell. "Sanguinem desimilus. Sanguinem generis fiantus." Nothing happens, however, and Kai looks at Jo with a puzzled expression as he admits he doesn't feel anything. Jo plays dumb and closes her eyes to indicate that they should start again, but it still doesn't work, and when Kai opens his eyes again, he sees Jo with her eyes open, as though she knows why it's not working.

"Josette, what did you do? Why can't I feel your magic?" Jo remains silent, and Kai starts to panic and look around at the other members of the coven who surround them. "And why aren't they saying anything?" he continues to babble nervously. "They should be saying something. They should be saying something, right? We're merging. This should all be a bigger deal." Suddenly, Joshua pops out out of nowhere with the Ascendant in his hands, and he and the coven start a different spell that causes Kai to fall onto his knees in agony. "Sanguinem filio, sanguinem effurgarex pereptuum!" Joshua shouts at the top of his voice, and as he continues to chant, Kai falls flat on his back on the floor of the forest as though he's been pinned down and whimpers in agony.

Back in the 1994 Prison World-version of Portland, Kai is shaking his head, and looks bitter as he recalls that night. "They tricked me GOOD," Kai remarks. "Instead of using the power of the eclipse for the merge, my dad used it to send me here. And, where'd Jo's magic go?" Bonnie starts to see where Kai is going with this and looks alarmed as he continues on. "You know, it made zero sense! Magic doesn't just, like, disappear! But then, you made YOURS disappear when you hid it in Ms. Cuddles, and then it hit me-- my sneaky little twin sister hid her magic in this." He plunges his hand into the pile of leaves in the tree stump and pulls it out. Bonnie starts to get even more anxious when she realizes that this has all been a set-up, which is confirmed when Kai closes his eyes and sighs.

He points out that it was full of magic, but he sucked it out, which means he has magic again. Bonnie tries to keep her cool and congratulates him on having magic again, but Kai adds that he also has the Ascendant, which means he can go home. Bonnie thinks she has it in the bag when she points out that he still needs a Bennett witch to do the spell, which she can't do because she doesn't have magic, but, of course, Kai has an answer for that, too. "About that... I've watched you do the spell twice now. I don't think I need a Bennett witch to do the spell-- I think all I actually need is Bennett BLOOD." He then quickly stabs Bonnie in the stomach with the knife, and she gasps in agony before falling unconscious onto the ground. Kai then just smirks and walks away. NOOOOOOOOOOO! Poor Bonnie. :( Julie Plec and Caroline Dries literally live to make her miserable.

Meanwhile, in the real-world Portland, Stefan, Damon, and Alaric are walking back to their car while they recap the day's events. "Alright, so let's just get this straight," Damon begins. "We went to the airport, we took off all our clothes for security JUST so I can come out here, have my brain scrambled by Papa Kai-- who, by the way, can disappear into thin air, *POOF*-- only to find Jo's rusty knife full of magic." Stefan pipes up that they also learned that the Ascendant, which is the only reason why they flew 3,000 miles to Portland, has actually been with Jo at Whitmore the whole time, five minutes away from where they started. Wonderful! Alaric points out that Jo said that she kept hold of it to ensure that Kai never got released, so Damon decides they should go home and get it for her, because he's desperate to save Bonnie, as should they ALL be. "Guys, hey," Alaric interjects unhappily. "We can't do this, okay? We need to find another way, and one that doesn't end up with my girlfriend dead." 

Damon, who loves Bonnie and wants her to be home where she belongs, doesn't understand why Alaric cares about this woman he's been on, like, three total dates with more than his best friend, is like, "Uh, what the fuck is wrong with you?" And honestly, I am 100% in agreement here. I love Alaric, and I'm glad that he's found a lady who makes him happy, but this is BONNIE-- the girl who has saved their collective asses on more occasions than they can count, their close friend who made the herbal spell to bind Alaric's dark side. Like, I'm sorry, but the Mystic Falls Gang has been through hell and back together, and the fact that Alaric isn't willing to whatever it takes to get her back just seems weird and very unlike him, to be honest. Alaric tries to insist that he'll do what he can to help them out, but not if it means letting Kai loose, and he states for the record that the Ascendant is officially off the table.

So, naturally, Damon goes over to him, turns on the compulsion eyes, and states, "Okay. Get the Ascendant from Jo. Do whatever you gotta do to get it, you understand?" Alaric, in a daze, is like, "Yup. Got it," and walks over to the car, leaving Stefan to give Damon a very unhappy look about what he just did. Should have been on vervain, dude! I mean, I know that compelling your BFF to do stuff they don't want to do is bad form, but I'm sorry, I just want Bonnie back, and I just feel like Alaric can deal. Anyway, when Stefan asks him what the fuck he's doing, Damon just replies, "What? You got a better idea?" Since they don't, Stefan remains silent as the two brothers pack up the car.

Over in Mystic Falls, Liv has just awakened on the couch of the Lockwood Mansion's living room to find Tyler affectionately placing a glass of water on the coffee table for her. Liv sits up on the couch and asks where she is, so Tyler explains that she drank wayyyy too many vodka shots at Scull Bar and passed out, so he brought her home to sleep it off. Of course, Liv can't help but bite back, "You kidnapped me? Romantic." Tyler points out that he's just trying to protect her, because he refuses to allow her to sacrifice herself for her dumb coven just because they need a leader. Liv points out that they're not exactly going to be deterred by things like what she wants from life and reminds him that the coven will come after her, but Tyler's got an answer for this. "Let them!" Tyler says with a smirk. "Magic doesn't work in Mystic Falls, so if your coven wants to find you, they'll have to do it the old-fashioned way. They'll have to go through ME." Liv seems very touched by this heartfelt response, and after a moment, she takes his hand and squeezes it before quietly and cutely apologizing for ruining Thanksgiving. Tyler just smiles and tells her she can make up for it next year before assuring her that they'll find another way to save her, because he's not going to let her die. He puts his arm around her shoulders, and Liv cuddles up against his chest. Aw, these kids are cute when they're not being dicks to each other!

Speaking of cute couple moments, Caroline is walking out of her dorm room and into the hallway when she bumps into Stefan, who has come to talk to her. Apparently, she was on her way to see him anyway, and hands him a box before adding, "Needless to say, there were leftovers." Stefan can't help but laugh at the fact that she actually made him a doggie bag, but Caroline assures him that even though she hates him, she doesn't want him to starve to death. Ummm, has this show forgotten that 90% of the MFG is made up of vampires who eat blood to survive? Like, turkey and stuffing is not going to make Stefan, or any of the vampires for that matter, any less hungry. I don't even think we've seen any of the vampires drink blood this season, at least not since Elena and Alaric drank thermoses of it in class in the season's premiere, and Elena chomped on Shady Sarah while high on witchy hallucinogens. Anyway, then Stefan and Caroline have another very necessary, albeit short, conversation, but fortunately, this one is much better than the last one.

CAROLINE: "Besides, Bonnie's alive! You know? This is, like, the first Thanksgiving in forever where there's something to actually be thankful for."
STEFAN: [pauses for a moment before speaking] "Caroline... Um, look-- when Damon was gone, I, um... I pushed you away."
CAROLINE: [rolls her eyes] "Yeah, I know, Stefan. You pushed everyone away. It's kind of what you do."
STEFAN: "But, I pushed YOU away the most. I knew that you were the one person who would sit with me, and let me cry, and I didn't want to cry anymore. So, I had to push you away the most."
CAROLINE: [pauses for a moment] "Thank you for saying that."
The two stand in awkward silence for a long moment while they each wait for the other to say something. Stefan eventually begins with, "Listen--", but Caroline, who is unsure of what he's about to say, and not sure if she even wants to know, cuts him off and tells him to enjoy the leftovers before smiling and leaving. Stefan just stays where he is and turns to watch Caroline walk away, still a little confused about his feelings. Oh, you kids! And to think, I used to believe Damon and Elena took the longest amount of time to happen, but I think Stefan and Caroline has them beat now, because there have been at least one-sided feelings there since Season 1 as well, which became even more pronounced on both sides after Caroline became a vampire in Season 2.

At Scull Bar, Damon is sitting at the bar with a glass of bourbon, which he is in the middle of sipping when Elena appears out of nowhere and sits down next to him, looking a little offended. "You should have brought me with you," Elena begins haughtily, before correcting herself. "Well, first, you should have told me that Bonnie was alive, and then you should have brought me with you." Damon, looking both amused and a little offended, retorts with, "Well, Ric had more frequent-flyer miles, and Ric didn't DELIBERATELY forget our entire relationship." Ouch! Harsh but true. Also, how the fuck does Alaric have more frequent flyer miles when he's been dead for two years, and we've literally never seen him fly ANYWHERE until now? I'm calling bullshit on that one. ANYWHO, Elena is taken aback for a moment, but then concedes that she totally deserved that, to which Damon agrees.

Then, Elena brings them back to the topic at hand, which is Bonnie. Specifically, the fact that she's surprised that Damon and Bonnie spent the entirety of the four months between their "deaths" and Damon's return to the living world together, all by themselves. When she asks them what the two of them did together, Damon smiles as he recalls their time in the prison world. MAN, I LOVE DAMON AND BONNIE'S FRIENDSHIP SO MUCH. "Bicker, mostly," Damon begins. "Cooked. Ate. We went through a Tetris phase, but I beat it, and she got mad." This gets a laugh out of Elena, which makes Damon laugh as well before he continues on. "We talked. A lot. Apparently, there are a LOT of words in the English language, and Bonnie knows just about all of them." Elena nods in understanding and smiles before admitting that, as strange as it sounds, she's really glad that the two of them had each other for comfort, friendship, and support. "She sacrificed herself so I could come back," Damon admits sadly, which is news to Elena. "Because when she wasn't talking, she was listening. She listened for hours, and hours, and hours. So, when the opportunity presented itself for me to come back, she made sure I took it." UGH, MY HEART, IT HUUUUURTS. I'm not crying, you're crying!

Though both Elena and Damon know that Elena knows the answer to her question, she still asks him what they talked about, and Damon is all, "What do you think?" Elena blushes at the fact that Damon was so intent to come back to her like he promised in last season's finale, "Home," and the fact that instead of dealing with his death, she erased her memories of loving him. Oh, girl, you done fucked up, though she is taking steps to make it right. "I broke up with Liam," Elena blurts out, and Damon asks her what went wrong by hilariously referring to him as "Dr. Future-Humanitarian-Award." Elena turns Damon's previous response against him by snarking, "What do you think?" before she gets into the sticky wicket of which she's currently in the middle. "Look, I'm at a crossroads right now, where I could go live my life the way I think I probably should, and be successful, and safe, and probably very happy."

She pauses for a moment, staring at a very nervous and confused Damon before continuing to say, "Or, I could risk all that for this tiny glimmer of a feeling inside that I just can't shake." SEE? The compulsion may have made her forget all the reasons why she loves Damon, but somewhere deep inside her heart and soul, she still knows how she feels about him. "Well, Robert Frost, what's it gonna be?" Damon asks, and Elena hesitates for a moment before stating that though she's not sure, but she thinks she knows of a friend who can give the sound advice that she's craving. She takes his hand in hers and squeezes it affectionately, much to Damon's surprise, before asking, "Any chance you'd be willing to help me bring my best friend Bonnie back, so I can ask her?" Damon can't help but smile at this response, because he wants the chance to get back both of his favorite girls more than anyone, and agrees to her plan. YES, BRING BONNIE BACK NOW PLZ PLZ PLZ.

(via niansomerhalder)
Speaking of Bonnie, this show is not quite done torturing her yet. We cut to the 1994 Prison World-version of Portland, where Bonnie has just awakened on the ground where she passed out after Kai stabbed her. She sits up, groaning painfully, and realizes that something is buzzing nearby. She sees Kai's pager laying on the ground and picks it up to find that someone (Kai, obvs) has paged her the number "03171." She's like, "Uh, what the fuck?" before turning it upside down and realizing that it spells out "I LIED." Bonnie forces herself to stand up and look around, realizing that the car that Kai used to drive them both to Casa de Gemini is gone. "There's no car," Bonnie mutters, sounding unsurprised, bitter, angry, and exhausted, all in three words. "The bastard took the car!" FUCK KAI TBH. That is so damn harsh, ugh! I seriously just need Bonnie to come out to Ohio so I can lock her in a room with a big bed, blankets, pillows, a TV with Netflix, and all of the snack food a person can eat, so I can keep her safe from the world forever. Bonnie Bennett is a beautiful cinnamon roll, you guys-- too sweet for this world, too pure. [sighs forever]

Next episode: Damon and Elena, with the help of Liv, try to rescue Bonnie from the prison world. Elena informs Jeremy about Bonnie still being alive, but he isn't as thrilled as you'd expect. Matt goes after Enzo, and Kai manages to cause all kinds of trouble.

[screencaps via Screencapped]

-Here's the music from this episode!

"When I Get Older" by Wild Party
--- Caroline and Elena prepare for Friendsgiving, and Jo informs Elena of the boys' "Guy's Weekend"

"Full Moon Song" by Peter Bradley Adams
--- Liv arrives while Tyler is setting the table, and she introduces herself to Jo

"Mr. Jones" by Counting Crows
--- Kai makes Bonnie Thanksgiving dinner at Casa de Gemini

"Runaway Train" by Soul Asylum
---Bonnie calls Kai out on stalling by eating slowly, and he tells her the rest of the story about being imprisoned

"When You Fall In Love" by Andrew Ripp
---Elena and Damon meet at Scull Bar, where Elena tells Damon he should have told her about Bonnie. They then make a plan to rescue Bonnie together.


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