The Vampire Diaries Season 6, Episode 13: "The Day I Tried To Live" Recap/Review

This blog's TVD recaps are a testament to how much I love Bonnie Bennett, and it's because of this love that it has been so hard to recap the first chapter and a half of this season-- I mean, it has basically been a clip show of Bonnie getting shit on over and over and over: sacrificing her freedom to send Damon home, being tortured on numerous occasions by Kai, being left there all alone by him with no magic to free herself from the prison world, etc etc etc. This episode was pretty hard to watch for this reason, because Bonnie was so lonely, you guys. So lonely that she was totally willing to end her own life (and, if you remember my Season 5 recaps, I also hate the whole suicidal ideation theme of this show, but that's another discussion entirely), and had it not been because of some quick thinking from the astral-projection form of Jeremy, she'd probably be dead right now, and I'm so glad that she isn't.

So yeah, this episode is all about Bonnie, specifically her birthday, and how she and the rest of the Mystic Falls Gang choose to celebrate it-- Bonnie, by drinking the best bottle of scotch in the boarding house and killing herself in their garage with Damon's Camaro; Elena, Jeremy, and Damon by having a little party in her honor; Kai, by using his new-found empathy (a side effect of merging with his empathetic little brother) to make amends with the people he's hurt, Bonnie included; Caroline and Stefan by setting off in a search for the real Ms. Cuddles, which Caroline apparently stole from Bonnie when they were nine. Even Liv, whose story isn't exactly ABOUT Bonnie, still has parallels to it, because she's a grieving twin who has decided that living without Luke is so bad that she would rather kill Kai (and in the process herself, Jo, her father, and everyone else in the Gemini Coven) than continue living on without him. Kind of a downer of an episode, you know? So, I'm just going to stop yapping and get into it, if it's all right with you guys? Let's talk "The Day I Tried To Live!"

Previously, on The Vampire Diaries: Damon and Bonnie, who were the last beings on the Other Side when it was destroyed, were transported into a prison world that was a snapshot of May 10, 1994. After several months, they realized they weren't alone-- also in their dimension was the prisoner for whom the dimension was created to punish him for his heinous murder of four of his siblings by forcing him to remain trapped alone there for an eternity. Kai figured out a way to get all three of them free using a magical object called the Ascendant, but Bonnie, not wanting to let a psycho mass murderer free, sent Damon back the real world without them, and then later sent her teddy bear with her magic inside so Kai couldn't use her to escape. Of course, he still managed to do so, and left Bonnie alone in this prison dimension meant for him with no magic with which to escape. So, her loved ones miss her dearly, and she misses them twice as much, because she has literally no one to interact with now.

In the real world, Elena apologized to Damon for erasing her memories of loving him, and the two finally rekindled their relationship. Liz was diagnosed with Stage 4 glioblastoma, or brain cancer, and she made Stefan promise to take care of Caroline after she's gone, because she had a nightmare vision of Caroline vamped-out and covered in blood during the short amount of time she was in cardiac arrest. The Gemini Coven, who chooses their leader by forcing the twins to perform a merge ceremony in which the strongest twin overpowers and kills their weaker twin, merging their souls and their magical strength into one within the former's body. It was originally supposed to be Kai and Jo performing the merge, but Joshua knew Kai was a psychopath and had another set of twins, Liv and Luke, to take their place. In the end, Kai ended up merging with Luke, as they were still both chronologically twenty-two thanks to Kai's prison sentence, and Kai won, causing Luke to die and give his magical strength (and the ability to do magic) to his older brother. Whew! Here we go!


We open in the prison world, where Bonnie is in the middle of cooking breakfast. When she's finished, she sits down at the table in front of a calendar, which she has been using to keep track of the days since she's been there. She crosses off the previous day and realizes that it's February 5th, 2013, which means that today is her twenty-first birthday. Aw, that is the saddest thing! She's finally legal to drink in the United States (which, let's be real here-- none of the Mystic Falls Gang actually obeys the drinking laws here, most especially the monster ones) and she's all alone with nothing but the Salvatore bourbon stash to comfort her. On my twenty-first birthday, I was attending Ohio University, which is known for being a huge party school, and my roommates took me on a Court Street bar crawl that I swear left me hungover for a week afterward. That was also the birthday I realized I don't actually like drinking alcohol that much, but it's still a rite of passage for any American young adult. Anyway, I digress-- the very sad Bonnie bitterly mutters, "Happy birthday, Bonnie" to herself before tossing the calendar into the fireplace. Noooo, Bonnie! TITLE CARD!

After the break, we return to the real world, where Jeremy is helping us prepare for Steven R. McQueen leaving the show by letting us watch him lift weights in the boarding house garage. He's quickly interrupted by Elena, who has just parked her SUV in the driveway and is pulling a ton of party supplies out of the backseat, including balloons and cake. Jeremy begs off on helping her unload because he's "busy," so Elena then reminds him it's Bonnie's birthday before putting him on decoration duty for the celebration they are having today.
JEREMY: "I know what today is."
ELENA: "Then you know how she would have wanted us to spend it! She would have wanted us to celebrate by cooking her favorite foods, watching her favorite movies..."
JEREMY: [raises his eyebrows] "So, we're throwing a birthday party where the guest of honor never shows up? That's not depressing..."
Yeah, as you can see, Jeremy is still having a little trouble dealing with Bonnie's death, so the thought of having a birthday party just hurts his heart. Elena, realizing this, changes the subject to Jeremy's future. "Or, we could celebrate you going to art school." Jeremy gives her a look, and Elena pauses for effect before adding. "Oh, wait-- we can't, because I found your application in the garbage." When she asks him why he didn't tell her that he was thinking about going to art school, Jeremy hilariously points out that the only class he's passing is study hall, which means he doesn't have a shot in hell of getting in. Elena reminds him that she's seen his artwork and she knows that he's good, but Jeremy insists that it doesn't matter, because he's not going anywhere until he knows that Bonnie is okay. Aww, Jeremy! :( :( :( :( On the plus side, I love that Elena and Jeremy finally get to live together again, even if it's only for a couple of episodes before he leaves. This season started out really rough, with everyone being separated, and I feel like they would have been feeling a lot less hopeless if they could have all been together.

Over in the living room, Caroline is on the phone with her mom and is claiming that she's not checking up on her, but that she just wants to double-check that she has her birthday cake recipe right when it calls for three eggs instead of four. Of course, there's already a store-bought cake on the table next to her, so this is all totally bullshit, but whatever, Caroline is worried about her mom, it's understandable. She's just about to finish saying that she's only a phone call away if she needs anything, but Liz has already hung up on her. Ouch! On the one hand, I'm sure Liz is tired of being smothered, but on the other hand, Caroline is understandably panicked about the fact that her mother's days are numbered. It's a tough line to walk, for sure! Anyway, so Caroline puts away her phone and gasps at the sight of Ms. Cuddles sitting on a nearby end table, just as Stefan enters the room and joins her. "Is it just me, or do her eyes follow you around the room?" Caroline asks, but Stefan just chuckles and assures her that it's just her. The topic turns to Ms. Cuddles herself, and how Caroline hasn't seen her in twelve years, but when Stefan informs her that Bonnie sent them the version from the prison world with her magic and figures that she lost the original.

"No, she didn't lose her," Caroline explains with a guilty expression. "I took her." She adorably turns Ms. Cuddles around so she's not looking at her before getting into the details. "Yeah. When Bonnie and I were little, we got into this huge fight. So, to get back at her, I bear-napped Ms. Cuddles, and then I didn't want my mom to come home and found out, so then I buried her in the woods. I even left some M&Ms to mark the spot where I buried her, but something must have eaten them." BAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Oh my god, that is SUCH a Caroline thing to do that I'm literally dying from laughter.

Stefan is pretty amused by it, too, though for Caroline's sake, he remarks that he's sure Bonnie is over it by now. However, our favorite Vampire Barbie is insistent that Ms. Cuddles isn't over it, and is all alone out there like Bonnie is in the prison world, which gives her the bright idea to go find her. Stefan is understandably like, "WHAT?" as Caroline grabs her coat and gets ready to go, and brings up an excellent point-- "Wait, wait-- hold on, Caroline. You've been going through a lot lately. Do you think that maybe you're a little confused about what you're actually upset about?" Caroline absolutely agrees that he's right and reminds him that her mother is dying, Bonnie is stranded in 1994-ville, and Ms. Cuddles is lost in a hole in the woods, and since the latter is the only thing she has any control over, that's what she's going to do. Stefan, impressed by her maturity, grabs his own coat and leaves with her to go on a teddy bear hunt. Aw, yiss! Steroline time!

Meanwhile, in the kitchen, Damon is looking at the birthday cupcakes on the counter and murmurs, "Happy birthday, Bon-Bon" with a smile, just as Elena comes in to join him and asks if they could sneak a cupcake before the party. Damon laughs and retorts that Caroline would literally fry them in the sun, but Elena says it would be worth it before taking a bite of the cupcake he's holding out to her. God, so much feeding each other in the last couple episodes! It's killing meeee. Damon wipes the frosting from her lips and licks his fingers, and the entire Damon standom convulses from hotness overload as Elena remarks that they never talked about the fact that they kissed each other. Damon reminds her that the whole point of kissing is to not talk about it, but Elena just wanted to tell him that she's both happy and completely good with where their relationship is going right now.

Of course, their moment is completely ruined by Kai, who appears in the doorway and calls out, "Hello?" Damon closes his eyes in frustration and annoyance and yells to remind Kai of the fact that the deal was that he would merge with one of his siblings, pack his bags, and go off to Portland, but yeah, naturally this is not how it works out whatsoever. When Kai walks on in and makes himself at home, Damon demands to know why the fuck he's there instead of out killing the rest of the Gemini Coven or whatever, and the answer to that question may surprise you. "Funniest thing," Kai begins. "I need your help." Well, shit.

We cut to after some of the explanation, where Kai is handing Elena a letter, and when she asks him why the hell they would give Jo a letter from him, Kai replies that his locator spells aren't helping him find Jo, which is good for her, considering his murderous tendencies. Also, at least we know that Jo's good enough at magic to cast a cloaking spell strong enough to keep even the new leader of the Gemini Coven from finding her? Anyway, Elena speaks for everyone when she asks him why the fuck they would even consider helping him, which leads us to the details of this weirdo turn-around he's experiencing.
KAI: "Well, in case you haven't figured it out by now, I'm a sociopath." [Elena pretends to be surprised by this statement] "I know! Shocker. I like being a sociopath, you know? I'm not burdened by things like guilt, or love. So, then this merge happened with my brother Luke, and I won! Which was great, because I absorbed his ability to do magic, but now, I can't stop thinking about how Luke died, how Liv's life is ruined... For some horrible reason, I can't shake how badly I feel about it!"
ELENA: [confused] "...You feel bad?"
KAI: "Yes. So, when I absorbed Luke's magic, I must have gotten some of his qualities or something... like empathy. So, I googled how to process emotional pain, and they said if you write everything down in a letter and burn it, you'll be healed. So, I started writing, and this water literally started pooling in my eyes. Has that ever happened to you? Like-like water, just-just oozing out of my eyeballs like I'm some alien creature excreting fluids."
ELENA: [dumbfounded] "You mean, you cried...?"
KAI: "Yes! And, after that was done, and the feelings-- oops!-- were still there. So, I feel really strongly that Jo needs to know how sorry I am for destroying our family. But, let's face it guys, alright? I mean, Elena, you of all people should be willing to look past the questionable things that I've done to see that there's good somewhere in me. You did it with Damon!"
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Oh my gods, that conversation was just literally priceless gold. Before, I liked Kai in the way that I like Peter Hale from Teen Wolf-- I think he's sassy and funny, and when he actually does things to help, it's usually pretty humorous, but he's still super shitty to all of my faves, so I mostly want him to die. But in this case, with Kai, absorbing Luke's personality traits is probably the best thing to ever happen to his character, because it actually gives him a realistic reason to change for the better so drastically. Granted, we all know this isn't going to last, but for the moment, it's actually pretty great and makes me appreciate his character way more. Okay, so Damon is super offended, naturally, and isn't really thrilled to have his past mistakes compared to Kai's, so he tells them that they're done here and goes to leave, but Elena just gets an idea and proposes that perhaps if they could find something he could do for them in exchange, it could benefit all of them.

In case you were curious about what has happened to Matt since he spectacularly failed at killing Enzo, the answer is, he's been dragged to Duke University as part of Enzo's plot to get closer to the real Sarah Salvatore to hurt Stefan. So, when Matt asks his captor why he cares so much about Sarah that he drove him all the way to North Carolina to watch him perv out on her, Enzo claims he's trying to look out for Damon, since he thinks he killed Sarah in 1994 and feels guilty about it, and instead of telling him to absolve him of part of that guilt, he's kept it a secret for almost two decades. That is weirdly nice, in an Enzo way, especially considering these two BFFs have barely spoken all season?

Anyway, Matt just rolls his eyes, not willing to even touch that argument whatsoever, and instead points out that he's just going to kill him after he helps him destroy Sarah's life or whatever, so he might as well just get it over with now. Ugh, why is everyone on this show so passively suicidal? It makes me so, so sad. "I don't want to kill you, Matt," Enzo says in a friendly tone. "I just want you to do a few simple tasks for me." Naturally, Matt's not at all game for being Enzo's little errand boy, so Enzo pulls out the big guns as he grabs Matt into a choke-hold. "I don't want to kill you, but I will kill you," Enzo growls impatiently, before squeezing his throat tighter, though Matt doesn't struggle or do anything except glare at him. "Oh, look at that. Very brave. I admire your tolerance for pain. Does that run in your family? Just wondering if your mother shares your pain threshold." 

Oh shit, he did not just bring up Kelly Donovan! She really needs to come back, to be honest. Has Melinda Clarke been in anything since Nikita was cancelled? I feel like she could make the time. Speaking of Kelly, did you know that her character was originally supposed to be a succubus, but they wrote it out because it was too ~supernatural~? There was a deleted scene from the first episode Kelly appeared in, where she made out with a guy in the alley next to the Grill and then sucked all of his chi and left him dead in the alley! I wish they would have gone with that. Can you imagine succubus!Vicki, or incubus!Matt? SO MUCH POTENTIAL FOR SEXINESS. Ahem. But I digress! Anyway, apparently Enzo took a trip to South Carolina where Mama Donovan is currently living, which he tells Matt, before snarking that she's "quite a dish." Knowing that Matt won't let his mama get killed by a vampire, no matter how much he hates her, Enzo lets go of him and informs him that his next job is to get to know Sarah Salvatore. Wonderful!

Back at the boarding house, Kai is examining the hilariously fucked-up Ascendant, which Elena desperately tried (and failed) to fix after Kai smashed it to bits. He teases her for her "sad attempt at iron welding" before admitting that he can't use that Ascendant to bring Bonnie back, a statement which doesn't please her a bit. She reminds him that he's supposed to be the all-powerful leader of the Gemini Coven now, but Kai purposely destroyed it so it couldn't be used again, which means their options are limited. Damon suggests perhaps at least using it to send Bonnie a message, since it's Bonnie's birthday, and when Kai seems surprised by this statement, Damon gets a Damon!plan and starts to really push his newly-formed empathy buttons.

"Yeah, it's really sad," Damon continues. "I mean, old Bon-Bon-- she's gonna be getting all dressed up for a party she's not even gonna show up to. I mean, I wonder if she even knows that it's her birthday? Or do all the days just blend together in one vast sea of misery, I wonder...?" Yes! Play him like a damn fiddle, Damon! Kai immediately starts feeling mega-guilty, which, of course, was the point, and he starts examining the Ascendant again. Apparently, one of the crown wheels didn't get destroyed, whatever those are, which is apparently a good thing, and when Kai points this out, he agrees with Elena's earlier statement that he's mega-powerful, so he can probably get a message. He asks what they want to say to her, but Damon's already got a plan-- "Well, I mean, if Bonnie needs magic to get out, we just need to tell her where to find some." YESSS! Excellent idea!

Meanwhile, at Whitmore, Liv is in her dorm room, crying and holding a white dress in her hands, when Tyler comes in to see how she's doing. She tearfully admits that the dress is what she was planning to wear for the merge ceremony, which she likely would have died in, before demanding to know why Luke would do this to her. Tyler reminds her that Luke didn't do it to her, Kai did, and incorrectly assumes that his next move will be to kill her and the rest of the Geminis, so she needs to get packing so the two of them can get the hell out of dodge. Liv is not at all okay with running for her life like her father and waking up every day to wonder if it'll be the day that Kai finds her, to the point that she should have just done the stupid merge ceremony to begin with, because then at least she and Luke would be together as one person.

"We've never been apart," Liv adds, as she starts to cry again. "I don't know how to do this." Tyler looks like he feels so, so, so terrible for her, and apologizes for what happened, but Liv insists that she can't run, because Kai has now literally taken her entire life and has left her nowhere else to run. Tyler gently cups her face in his hands and assures her that whatever she needs to do to get through this, he will help her in any way that he can. Of course, he wasn't expecting the answer he gets, which is that Liv wants to kill Kai. Under normal circumstances, it would be understandable, especially on this show where people get killed out of revenge all the time, but in Liv's case, doing it is a literal suicide mission, because if Kai dies, literally everyone in the Gemini Coven, including herself, Joshua, and Jo, will die right along with him. YIKES! Not a good situation, to be honest.

Back at the boarding house, Kai is still working on fixing the mangled Ascendant while Damon and Elena brainstorm magical objects for Bonnie to channel from the prison world. And, by that I mean, Damon just gives Elena a smug look, since he already knows, because he's already planned it out, while Elena lists off what they know-- Jo stored her magic in a hunting knife, and Bonnie sent hers in her old teddy bear. However, she is completely stumped as to any other existing receptacles for magic, which is stupid, because I can think of several right off of the top of my head: first, Esther's talisman, which we know has magic, because Gloria the Voodoo Queen from Season 3 wanted it to boost her power, and which we know for a fact is in the 1994 version of the Salvatore house because Damon looked at it in "Yellow Ledbetter" while Elena was getting her memories wiped; second, Qetsiyah's talisman, which is probably in Whitmore College's historical artifact stores only a few short hours away from where Bonnie currently is and which had the necessary power to find Amara/the Anchor to the Other Side in "Monster's Ball"; and finally, Emily Bennett's talisman, which is hidden in the Lockwood Mansion where Damon hid it whenever he hid it prior to the pilot. And these are just the ones I can remember! I'm quite certain that there are way more than that that I'm just not remembering.

And yet, despite all of these conveniently located stores of magic, Damon's idea is the one in the middle of nowhere that is going to be a huuuuuge pain in the ass to find-- specifically, Silas' tombstone from the actual tomb he was buried in on the island off of Nova Scotia, which is filled with Qetsiyah's magical blood. Naturally, this is because of what happens in a couple episodes (ugh, the boring cure, I fucking hate it) but I'm getting ahead of myself. Damon insists that all they have to do is remind Bonnie of it, but when Elena is like, "And what gave you this bright idea?", Damon just claims he was planning a trip there while he was stuck in Retroville, since there's only so much of 1994 Mystic Falls a person can take.

"Oh, thank god," Kai blurts out with a relieved sigh. "You two together is still totally revolting to me. Finally! A familiar feeling." Oh, Kai, you kidder. All of these character-love about-faces I have been feeling are seriously exhausting! Like, remember when I thought that Liam Dunbar from Teen Wolf was just a little punk-ass Jackson wannabe, and then after like, two episodes, I decided he was actually more like Isaac in that he's just a little ball of murdery intentions who loves the shit out of Scott McCall? Much like that, Kai absorbing the qualities of Luke (who I admittedly didn't really like either) has suddenly changed everything, and now I'm actually starting to like him despite myself? DAMN YOU, TELEVISION WRITERS. And more specifically, damn you Chris Wood! Anyway, so just then, Jeremy appears in the doorway, and he takes one look at Kai before glaring at him and turning to Elena to ask what the FUCK he's doing there. Kai, on the other hand, looks completely unbothered and just smiles up at Jeremy and chirps, "Hi!"

Out in the middle of the woods, Caroline is in the middle of digging up where she thinks she buried Ms. Cuddles when Stefan appears behind her. She points out that if he's just going to "creepily stalk" her, he could have at least brought a shovel to help this endeavor go faster, but Stefan just smirks and raises his hands, insisting he's not big on digging because of the callouses. Uhhh, I call bullshit, because his vampire blood ensures that he will never get a callous or blister without it healing almost instantly. Caroline agrees, and points out that he buries dead bodies all the time, thanks to the Mystic Falls Gangs tendency to have a body count wherever they go, but Stefan just argues that he doesn't actually dig them up, which is what Caroline is essentially doing.

"So, do you really think that finding a teddy bear will make everything right in the world?" Stefan asks with a sigh, but Caroline has the perfect retort-- "You know what? You are right. This is such a waste of time. I really should be at the dive bar, picking a fight with a stranger in order to feel pain." BAHAHAHA. You tell him, girl! Stefan just shrugs, all, "Touché," and Caroline adds that while she understands if he thinks she's insane, especially considering the fact that she herself admits that she probably is, no one is forcing him to be there. Stefan is starting to realize just how much he fucking loooooooves Caroline, though, so he just smiles and points out that he should probably stick around to keep an eye on her, just in case she has a psychotic break or something. Gods, Stefan, you are so rusty when it comes to flirting! Protip: don't joke about people being mentally ill, especially when said person is in an incredibly vulnerable place due to her dying mother, and when you yourself are hardly the picture of mental wellness. Regardless, Caroline is happy he's sticking around, whatever the reason may be, and she smiles to herself as she gets back to digging.

When we return to the boarding house, Jeremy is understandably wary of Kai's intentions, given everything that he's done to them and their loved ones, and reminds Damon and Elena that people don't just change 180 degrees overnight. However, Damon and Elena are both desperate to get their best friend back, and so he reminds Jer-bear that most people don't mystically merge with their siblings, either, so it's not like the usual playbook applies to Kai. "Uh, for the record, I would have been fine with any of Luke's qualities," Kai pipes up, despite the fact that no one asked him. "You know, the hair, the gay thing... you know, maybe not the height, actually." First of all, I'm going to take this as meaning that Kai merging with Luke has made him bisexual, because I want every character to be bisexual since there aren't nearly enough bi characters out there. Secondly, I keep forgetting that Kai hasn't seen any of his family in almost twenty years until now, so it's probably a big shock to see Liv and Luke all grown up and angsty and whatnot.

Anyway, Jeremy still ain't buying what Kai is selling, but Elena insists that they don't have to actually like him, and points out that if there's a way to help Bonnie free herself from the prison world, they need to go for it. When Jeremy is still suspicious of him, Kai decides to continue being super unhelpful. "Think of it like Elena in reverse," Kai explains as he pours himself a bourbon. "You know, she was human, pure, dating the good Salvatore. Then, she became an undead blood-vacuum, stopped caring about right and wrong, and started dating the bad one." Oh, for fuck's sake. Neither Elena nor Damon are at all amused by this answer, and Elena informs him that he doesn't know shit about any of them, which is true, but Kai just shrugs and claims he's just paraphrasing what Damon told him in 1994-ville. Damon is about done with this topic of discussion, so he reminds him that there is still a witch in the aforementioned prison world who needs to be saved before insisting he grabs his "Gemini jumper-cables" and fix the Ascendant so they can send her the message already.

Back at Whitmore, Liv is on the floor of her dorm room, where she's chanting and casting a spell. When a concerned Tyler asks her what the fuck she's doing, she explains that she and Luke used to play hide-and-seek when they were kids, and they figured out how to cheat by using a spell to see through each other's eyes. I'm not sure if this is a spell that only works with twins, and the reason why it works is because Luke is technically part of Kai now, or if it can work with anyone, but regardless, she manages to cast the spell and can see everything from Kai's perspective-- specifically, Damon hovering over him and demanding to know if he's fixed the damn Ascendant yet. When Liv informs Tyler that Kai is at the boarding house and angrily remarks that of COURSE Damon managed to figure out a way to work with him,

Tyler realizes just how off the rails she is and tries to talk her down from doing something stupid. "Look, Liv, I know how pissed you are right now. I get that probably more than anybody," Tyler begins, but Liv already knows what he's going to say-- that she just needs to live with it/learn to deal with it, even though we all know that when Tyler's mom died, he did the exact opposite and went on a suicide mission in New Orleans. When Tyler tries to remind her that if Kai dies, the entire coven will too, including her dad, her sister Jo, and herself, Liv argues that they're already dead, because Kai is going to slaughter them wholesale eventually, so she'd like to at least be able to take him down with her.

She's about to leave, but Tyler gets up and positions himself between her and the door before she can reach it. "I told you that if anybody tried to hurt you, they'd have to go through me first," Tyler states firmly. "Well, guess what? That includes you." Liv gives him a guilty look and kisses him, which should be the first clue that she's about to do something super reckless, but Tyler just gets caught up in it enough that he has no time to react when she pulls away and whispers "Phesmatos somnumia" into Tyler's ear. Just like that, he falls into a deep sleep, and Liv apologizes as she helps slowly place his body onto the floor before she takes off on her very own suicide mission. LIV, THERE IS NO WAY THIS ENDS WELL. WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING?

Down at Duke, Matt is watching Sarah Salvatore on campus while she takes a bunch of photos. This whole story line is ridiculously stupid, to be completely honest, and I feel bad that Zach Roerig, Michael Malarkey, and Tristin Mays have to deal with it. So, I'm going to make this brief, both because it's dumb, and also because this recap is already much, much later than I wanted it to be and I need to speed things along. So, Enzo's big idea is to send Matt over to flirt with Sarah and get close to her, but since Matt's not exactly a willing participant in this game, he's not exactly trying very hard, so he immediately gets called out on his lame pick-up line (complimenting her camera and asking her if it's something he should buy for himself, when he knows nothing about photography) and is sent on his way by her. When he meets back up with Enzo, he literally snarks, "You truly have an epic lack of game" and forces him to give up his jacket, wallet, and cell phone so that he can be put back on track, whatever that means. Oh, Enzo. I had such high hopes for you.

We return to the boarding house, where Kai is in the middle of explaining that the Ascendant is too damage to send all of them back physically, but he can send their spirit selves to send Bonnie the message about where to find a source of magic. "You remember that movie, Ghost? Okay, well Bonnie's gonna be Demi Moore, because she's the alive one, obviously, and, uh, we'll all be a collective Patrick Swayze, the ghost," Kai informs them, before adding, "By the way, how much does that suck about Patrick Swayze?" My favorite part of the characters who are in some form of sleep/incapacitation/extended sentence in a prison world and then reawaken years later is trying to get the hang of the modern world, to be honest. It's seriously hilarious. Remember Rebekah being undaggered and being appalled at the electronic music, "prostitute"-like modern clothing, and the fact that movies play all day/night long on television? Or Finn never having heard of tequila after his nine centuries of being daggered? Classic. Anyway, Elena asks him if Bonnie will at least be able to see them, but Kai has no idea, since he's never done the spell before. He then instructs them to close their eyes as he starts the spell...

...And suddenly, they're in the prison world, which Damon realizes when he doesn't see the pool table in the parlor. Elena gasps, "Oh my god!" when she realizes where they are and sees Bonnie at the dining room table, where she's holding that old-school video camera that Damon and Bonnie were using as entertainment. Jeremy tries to talk to her, but she can't see or hear any of them, and when Damon tries to pick something off the table, his hand goes right through it, indicating that they can't really interact at all in this form. "Nice spell, Kai," he spits, just as he sees himself on the video camera screen that Bonnie is looking at, where he had said, "This place is my own personal hell." Bonnie smiles weakly and mutters, "Drama queen" under her breath, and continues watching the video, on which they have recorded themselves making a fake news report from "retro-world."

Oh gods, Bonnie has been so lonely that she has been literally keeping herself going by watching the videos she and Damon made together. I AM SO SAD FOR BONNIE BENNETT and recapping these episodes where she's physically and emotional tortured is just killing my soul. When the video ends, Bonnie sighs somberly and pours herself a glass of alcohol. When Damon sees the bottle, he immediately gasps and mutters "No!", forcing him to admit to Elena, Jeremy and Kai the significance of this behavior. "The bottle of bourbon is the oldest one in the house," Damon explains grimly. "We made a pact-- if we couldn't take being trapped here alone for one more day, we'd... We'd kill that entire bottle. Then, we'd kill ourselves." NOPE. NOPENOPENOPENOPENOPE. No more fucking suicide on this show!

Elena, Jeremy, Damon and Kai all then wake up back in the real world, where the former three instantly start freaking out. When Elena asks why they're back in the real world, Kai figures that the spell must require more magic than he has on hand and he lost his connection. Of course, Damon's like, "THEN RECONNECT, YA DICK," but Kai, who still isn't used to actually having his own magic for once, points to his now-bleeding nose and figures that it's probably not a good sign. Elena frustratedly reminds him that Bonnie is literally about to kill herself, which leads Jeremy to ask if it's possible for her to die there. "I couldn't," Kai replies. "Of course, it was my own personal solitary confinement. Didn't want me to end my sentence by killing myself. Ooh, I tried every method in the book. Heh. I drove down to D.C. because there was this museum that has an actual guillotine." Jeremy angrily interrupts and tells him they get his point-- everyone who isn't Kai in the prison world is actually dead when they die.

Elena is of the opinion that they need to stop her by sending a message to give her hope somehow, but Jeremy reminds her that she couldn't see or hear them, so he doesn't know how they're supposed to do that. Damon admits that he's already written a message in the atlas, so it's really just about getting Bonnie to see it. In case you're like me and at first thought Damon somehow magically figured out a way to write while you're over there, what he actually means is that he wrote this message while he was trapped in the prison world with Bonnie months ago. Seems kind of weird, but it'll pay off in a few episodes, much to my dismay. Anyway, so Damon insists that Kai needs to "crank up his witchy-woo" so they can make physical contact, and Kai briefly reverts to his usual self. "All while sending the three of you back over there? Sure. Yeah. Hey, why don't I reanimate your dead parents for a tea party while I'm at it?" 

The three of them glare at him, and he realizes what a dick he just was, so his face softens and he adds, "Sorry. Insensitive." That's... kind of progress? Wow. So, Jeremy has a new plan, though Elena vehemently disagrees-- Kai just sends Jeremy back, and since he'll be focusing his magic on only one person, Jeremy may be able to at least open up the atlas so Bonnie can see it, so long as Kai can hold the spell. Damon doesn't exactly like the sounds of that, though, and when he asks him what happens if he can't hold the spell, Kai explains that the magic will overwhelm him, and Jeremy will be stuck in the prison world forever. Elena immediately rejects this idea, but Jeremy is understandably adamant. "Don't. Don't say anything," he insists. "If I can get through to her, we save Bonnie's life. If not... at least I'll be with her when she dies." GOD, I HATE THAT BONNIE IS IN THIS POSITION SO BAD. Make it stop!

Back in the woods, Stefan is getting crunked on a bottle of bourbon he brought with him to drink while he watches Caroline try to dig up Ms. Cuddles. He teases her and pretends like he sees an M&M, but when she realizes he's just pulling her leg, she starts to get angry. She asks him if this is just a joke to him, and his answer is not at all what she wanted. "Well, we are in the middle of the woods, searching for a teddy bear buried in a shallow grave by a nine-year-old version of you. I can't even say that with a straight face, so yeah.... that is funny." She tries to take the booze away from him, but he won't let her have it, and just keeps purposely pushing her buttons until she calls him a jerk. Stefan points out that she sounds angry, and Caroline kind of loses her temper a bit. "I'm not angry, okay? I'm just annoyed because I'm going through a highly emotional situation and you're just sitting there, mocking me." Stefan points out that she definitely sounds angry, and when she denies it, he continues to purposely piss her off.

"Well, you should be! Your mom is dying, your best friend is stuck in some netherworld, and you're sitting here trying to make it all better by finding a stuffed animal?" Caroline gets mega-pissed and shoves him as she demands that he shut the fuck up, but Stefan just keeps baiting her, leading her to keep shoving him until she eventually picks up the shovel and uses it to knock Stefan's legs out from under him so he falls flat on his back on the ground. When she takes his liquor bottle, he grabs her by the legs and pulls her down, too, so they're laying shoulder-to-shoulder on the forest floor. "Oof!" Caroline exclaims with a wince. "I can't believe you just did that." Stefan smiles and reminds her that she started it (which is a LIE, Stefan!) before pointing out that it clearly felt good. Caroline smiles the cutest little smirk before admitting, "...Maybe a little." Gods, these two are so damn cute! Which means that something majorly bad is about to happen soon to fuck it all up.

At the boarding house, Kai is sweating profusely as he chants the spell to send Jeremy back to the 1994 prison world, and Elena and Damon both watch from the sidelines. Elena mentions the fact that she didn't know that he and Bonnie made a suicide pact, but Damon, as usual, tries to play it off as a joke and fails spectacularly. "It was my idea," he explains. "I thought of it after we watched The Bodyguard for the billionth time." He pauses for a moment, and it's clear he's not in the mood for jokes. "I never thought she'd go through with it..." UGH THIS HURTS SO MUCH. Damon clearly cares about Bonnie as much as he cares about anyone, even Elena or Stefan, and Bonnie might just know him and understand him equally well as the two of them. Plus, Bonnie is always the one who has hope, remember? How she called Damon out on his negativity and basically said he should just kill himself if he's that hopeless, and how she insisted that the hope of getting home and being with her loved ones was the only thing keeping her going? Which just makes this scene all the more painful. Even Damon finally admits that he can't watch this and leaves the room, and Kai and Jeremy continue doing their spell thing while Elena follows after him.

Meanwhile, in the stupid C-plot that I'm having a really hard time caring about, Enzo has left Matt jacket-less, wallet-less and phone-less at a bus stop, where he's eventually approached by Sarah Salvatore. She asks him where he's trying to go, and he explains that he needs to get back to Mystic Falls, Virginia, which just makes her laugh and point out that he's waiting for a campus bus that has, like, five stops total. Matt explains that his "buddy" bailed on him, and he accidentally left his phone and jacket in his car, so Sarah, much to her chagrin, takes pity on him and offers to take him to get coffee to warm up before she shows him where a real bus stop is. When Matt confesses that he left his wallet in his jacket, too, Sarah gives him a weird look and asks him how he was even planning on buying a bus ticket, but Matt just shrugs and smiles before replying, "Charm?" Oh, Matty Blue, you lovable doofus. For someone who hates Enzo, he's not a terrible actor while he's playing out Enzo's schemes. Sarah just laughs and rolls her eyes and sighs before informing him she'll get him a bus ticket to go with the coffee, and the two walk over to the coffee shop together. Sarah is really pretty, you guys. It's kind of distracting.

Back at the boarding house, Damon and Elena are in Damon's room, where Damon pulls out the real-life version of the "Damon & Bonnie suicide bourbon" and states that since he and Bonnie promised they'd drink it together, that's what they're going to do. He takes a sip and hands it to Elena, who murmurs, "To you, Bonnie," before drinking a gulp herself. She then turns the topic of conversation to what has probably been bothering her for the entire episode so far. "So, is Kai right about me? By turning into a vampire, I completely changed?" Oh, Elena, that is such a loaded question. I would say that becoming a vampire did change Elena, but not in the way she's assuming. If anything, it's made her stronger, more mature, and gave her the ability to see what she really wants. However, she's worried about the fact that Kai made it sound like Elena wouldn't be with Damon if she was still human. Damon reminds her that Kai is a psychopath, and that she shouldn't let him mess with her head, but of course that's what she's going to do.
ELENA: "It's just a question, Damon."
DAMON: [sighs deeply] "No."
ELENA: [confused] "'No,' what?"
DAMON: "No. I don't think we'd be together if you were still human. You had a choice. You chose Stefan. Human-You was on your way home to him. Car went off the bridge, you turned, and suddenly, I was back in the picture again."
This episode (nay, this show) is all about the characters asking questions and getting the answers that they most certainly didn't want, and this example is no different. So, Elena, not thrilled with this response, becomes so overwhelmed with Damon's pessimistic perspective (in conjunction with the lack of memories that is causing her to not be able to trust hers instincts) that she decides to go back downstairs to check on Jeremy. Of course, when she tries to leave the room, she runs straight into an invisible barrier, revealing that someone has placed a boundary spell on the room so Damon and Elena can't get out.

Over in the prison world, Kai and Jeremy have just managed to make it to the 1994-version of the boarding house living room, and Jeremy quickly sees the atlas on a bookshelf and finds to his surprise that he can touch it. Kai instructs him to hurry up and find Nova Scotia, so Jeremy does just that, but the second he finds the page, the atlas falls right through his hands and onto the floor. Jeremy becomes panicked and demands that Kai do something, but when he turns back to him, he finds that Kai's button-up shirt has a big red stain blooming on the front. Then, the two are both pulled back into the real world, where Liv has just driven a fireplace poker into Kai's abdomen. Jeremy desperately asks her what the fuck she thinks she's doing, but Liv just uses her magic to toss both him and Kai across the room. Kai groans in pain as he sits up, but that groan quickly turns into amused laughter. "Dang, sis! That was harsh," he says with a smirk, but Liv just furiously tells him to shut up and hits him with a pain infliction spell. She stops just long enough to start a different spell, which gives Kai the split-second he needs to use telekinesis to throw a fork at Liv, which hits her right in the throat.

"Hahahaha," Kai laughs intensely as he stands up and grabs a bottle of liquor that fell off the table when he and Jeremy flew into it. "Ahhhh, it's all coming back to me, Livy-poo," he continues as he walks toward her. Liv pulls the fork out of her neck, just as Kai throws the alcohol in the bottle all over her. "You know, the charge that races through your bones at the prospect of watching someone burn to death?" Liv pleads with him to stop, and while I'm sympathetic to her situation, she kind of started this fight, and had to know that this was a possible outcome. He admits that he's missed this feeling, but Liv's just ready for this fight to end. "Just kill me, Kai," Liv retorts weakly. "You already killed my best friend. So, just do it. Get it over with." Kai has a lit candle in the palm of his hand, and planned on using the flame to magically set Liv on fire, but Luke's pesky empathy problem kicks in, and Kai has a serious internal struggle about what to do.

"Why can't I do this?" Kai mutters to himself. "I don't care about you. Why can't I kill you?" He starts pounding his head angrily as he tries to psyche himself up enough to do it. "Come on! Come onnnnnnnn! Kill her!" Liv, realizing that he's sort of lost his murder-boner, yells "Motus!" and throws the fork from earlier into his chest, causing him to fall to the ground. Jeremy finally manages to pull himself up off the floor, and in a jarring demonstration of just how much he cares about Bonnie, he throws a butter knife so hard it stabs Liv in the shoulder, giving him the time to pick up the Ascendant and pull the fork out of Kai's chest so he can pull him away from the fight scene. I feel bad for the crew members who have to clean up after this knock-down, drag-out fights that go down. That would be the worst job everrrr.

Up in Damon's bedroom, Elena and Damon are freaking the fuck out, because they can hear the fighting but have no idea what exactly is going on, so for all they know, Kai could have been reneging on their deal and beating the shit out of Jeremy or something. When Damon frustratedly asks himself what the fuck is happening, Elena uses her vampire hearing and focuses on the living room, where she finally realizes that Liv is trying to kill Kai. Damon starts panicking even more and starts shouting for Jeremy in hopes that he can intervene, not knowing that he already did.

Down in the kitchen, Jeremy has just finished helping Kai into the room, and Kai quickly loses his energy and drops onto the floor. Jeremy begs Kai to send him back, but Kai just wheezes as he reminds Jeremy that he's halfway to dead at the moment, since he's been stabbed in the gut and in the chest. Jeremy looks super sad and panicked as he reminds Kai that he has to stop Bonnie from killing herself, and surprisingly, Kai relents and says he'll do it. Wow, Kai really has changed! The fact that he just did something nice when he has nothing to gain from it just blows my mind. Anyway, he starts the spell again, and he and Jeremy are quickly beamed to the prison-world version of the boarding house kitchen, where they find Bonnie somberly drinking the suicide bourbon at the table. "Cheers to making it this far," she mutters under her breath, before adding, "Okay, I think it's time I cut myself off." After a moment, she becomes overwhelmed by the sheer despair she's feeling and angrily smashes the bottle onto the floor before grabbing the camcorder and leaving the room. Jeremy turns to Kai and orders him to stay put as he follows Bonnie out the door.

Back in the woods, Caroline and Stefan have just gotten onto their feet, and she tells him that now that she's had her exercise in catharsis, it's probably time to get home to her mother. Stefan is just about to leave with her when he notices something on the ground and points at a spot on the ground. "Wait a minute-- what is that?" Caroline, assuming he's just being a dick again, tells him to shut up, but Stefan is serious this time, and insists that he thinks he sees an ear. Caroline realizes that it is, in fact, a teddy bear ear poking out of the ground, and she quickly rushes over to it and digs it up. Once Ms. Cuddles has been excavated, Caroline holds her up by the head to show Stefan as she starts brushing all the dirt and leaves out of her fur. Stefan assures her that with a little cleaning, they can make her good as new, which, naturally, is when Caroline brushes the bear a little too hard and causes Ms. Cuddles' head to rip away from her body, sending her lower half into the ground. Stefan can't help but laugh, but becomes alarmed when he realizes that this might be a little insensitive during this traumatic time in Caroline's life. She starts laughing too, though, but after a moment, her laughter turns to tears, and Stefan gives her a sympathetic look before pulling her into his arms and hugging her. Aw, Caroline! Aw, Stefan! Gods, these two kill me.

Meanwhile, Liv is still skulking around the downstairs of the boarding house while she tries to find Kai. She makes her way into the library and knocks over a table while she searches for her. Upstairs in Damon's room, which is conveniently located right above the library, Damon is listening in with his vamp-hearing and determines that she's right below them just as Liv yells, "You can't hide from me!" to her eldest brother. Damon kicks a hole into the fireplace chimney, which runs up through his bedroom wall, and grabs the bottle of suicide-bourbon. When Elena asks him what the fuck he's doing, Damon reminds her that he said he was saving it for something special, and drops the bottle through the hole in the chimney, which falls down right into the lit fireplace and creates a fireball so huge that Liv is thrown backwards. This apparently hurt her badly enough that her boundary spell on the room breaks, allowing Elena and Damon to rush downstairs to check on everyone.

In the prison world, Jeremy has just followed Bonnie into the garage, where she closes the door behind her, starts Damon's Camaro, and slides down onto the floor. The exhaust from the car quickly starts to fill the room, and it's only a few seconds later that Bonnie starts to cough. Jeremy kneels down in front of her and tries to touch her, but it doesn't work-- he just passes right through her, like a ghost. "No! Come on!" Jeremy yells desperately. "You don't want to do this. Just turn off the car. Bon. You can't die!" Bonnie can't hear him, of course, so she just picks up the camcorder and starts recording on it while Jeremy desperately protests that she stop.
BONNIE: [to the video camera] "It's probably a waste of time even recording anything, but Damon, Elena... if you find this, and you figure out how to work this stupid thing, please tell everyone that I'm sorry."
JEREMY: [urgently] "Bonnie--"
BONNIE: "Tell them that I tried. I really tried to make it work. Um..." [Bonnie starts to cry, which makes Jeremy start to cry] "I just miss too much. I miss saying 'Hi' to strangers... ordering dinner in a restaurant... laughing with my friends... But, um, spending every day here alone with no one to talk to, going weeks without speaking? It's just, the loneliness... it's... I can't take it. And I only know one way to turn it off. I'm sorry." [Jeremy tries to touch her arm] "Jeremy, I... I hope you're living your life with no regrets. I hope you fight for the life you want, and don't ever give up on yourself, and stay strong. Something my Grams said-- stay... strong." 
Bonnie starts to realize that Grams somehow foresaw something like this happening to her, and that she told her to stay strong for a reason, and suddenly, she realizes that she can't die before she gets herself the fuck out of there. Jeremy frantically begs Bonnie to get up and watches helplessly as she struggles to do so, getting ever weaker from the carbon monoxide she's inhaled so far. "Gonna stay strong," she gasps as she tries to stand to her feet and leave. "I'm not gonna die in this place!" Jeremy is panicking more than ever now, and continues yelling at Bonnie to get up as he desperately tries to open the garage door, but his hand just keeps passing through it. Bonnie falls to her knees, unable to go any farther, which scares Jeremy so badly that he finally manages enough power to actually hit the button that opens the garage door. Bonnie, not knowing what the fuck just happened, is overwhelmed with relief as she sees the sunshine pouring into the garage, along with exhaust-free air to keep her from dying. YESSSSSSS. Now bring Bonnie back!

Back in the real world, Damon and Elena have just found an unconscious Jeremy and Kai laying on the floor of the kitchen, and Elena immediately kneels next to her brother and starts shaking her awake, thinking that he's hurt. Damon slaps Kai's cheeks to try to rouse him as well, but when he sees just how injured he is, he mutters, "Kai! Hey! Damnit" before biting into his wrist and feeding him his blood to heal him. Finally, Jeremy awakens with a gasp, and Elena looks at him with so much concern that he instantly assures her that he's okay. Elena, relieved by this news, turns the topic to Bonnie, but Jeremy informs her that he saw Bonnie and saved her, and that she's going to be okay. Elena smiles and looks over at Damon, who looks just as relieved. Whew! That was a close one.

When we return from the break, Elena is in the middle of cleaning up the living room when Jeremy walks in to help her. She looks over at the birthday cake for Bonnie that they bought, which was knocked onto the floor in the fighting, and mentions that she could probably salvage a piece if he's interested, and Jeremy concedes that Bonnie wouldn't want them to let any cake go to waste, which is hilarious. Girl after my own heart! Elena picks up the prison-world version of Ms. Cuddles and holds her tightly as Jeremy makes a surprising and heartbreaking confession. "You know, I get it. I get what she was going through. Why she would want to end it. Feeling trapped and alone... every day is the same-- disappointment, misery. You go to sleep and wake up and do it again. But she's not the only one that's trapped." Elena looks concerned by the intensity of this statement and reminds him that she, too, know's what he's been going through, but Jeremy cuts her off and admits he's not interested in a "You've got to be strong" pep-talk. He's forgetting, though, that Elena knows better than to respond that way, after all the survivor's guilt and grief she's experienced.

"Actually, I was gonna say it's okay to move on. Bonnie decided to save herself, and from what you told me, I think she wants you to do the same. Go to art school. We'll all help you. Just... just find the life that you want, and be happy." Awww! Like I said earlier, I have missed the Elena/Jeremy interactions in this show so badly, and I'm glad that we've had some good ones, considering the next episode is technically Steven R. McQueen's last. On a more somber note, Jeremy asks Elena what she's going to do, but she reassures him that she'll be fine, and insists that he get the fuck out of Mystic Falls and doesn't look back. I know that their hometown is a magnet for danger and destruction and death, but it still makes me kind of sad that Elena is so worried about her brother's well-being that she's feeling compelled to send him away. I know they've done this before, but it's still sad as hell.

At the Whitmore dorms, Liv awakens in her own bed, still covered in blood from her major blow-out with Kai earlier, and finds Tyler sitting in a chair a few feet away. She's confused as to what happened and asks him how she got home, and Tyler's expression and tone are blank and emotionless as he recounts the end of the fight. "Well, first, I woke up on the floor. Guess a pillow was too much to ask for? And, when I figured out where you'd gone, I raced over to the Salvatore house, only to find you unconscious. I convinced Elena to give you some of her blood..." His voice trails off as he stands to his feet, and when he speaks again, his voice is much, much colder. "And now that I see you're okay, I never want to see you again."

YIKES! I have to admit, I was not expecting this at all when I first watched this episode, but upon revisiting it, it's not surprising, nor do I really blame Tyler for how he's feeling. So, he turns to the door, but Liv, upset, rushes over and grabs him by the arm to stop him. Tyler states that she lied to him, but Liv insists that she never intended to hurt him, which is bullshit, because how else did she think Liv's death/suicide would make him feel? Like, I know you're grieving, girl, but use your brain! So yeah, Tyler is furious and repeats that he lied to her, and Liv starts to panic that he's gonna get all wolfy-rage-blackout on her. Fortunately for her, he may be furious, but he's in control. That doesn't mean that he's not immensely pissed, though. "I'm not gonna calm down," Tyler argues. "I would have done anything for you, and you chose death over me!" He then turns and leaves the room before he can say another word, and Liv's already-broken heart shatters into a million more pieces.

Like I said before, I understand why Tyler feels this way, but i am still kind of torn about it, too. This isn't exactly a situation that would play out in real life, so it's hard to put myself in his position, but I don't know-- I'm very sympathetic to people who are grieving, and Liv is obviously devastated by the loss of her twin, but Tyler has lost a ton of friends, his parents, the uncle that he looked up to, and has died several times himself. Liv was someone who was making him feel like a normal person again after everything that happened, like being reborn an untriggered werewolf and having to deal with his recently-returned werewolf anger issues, and he cared about her so much he vowed to do anything to protect her. And then she went and took away his ability to keep his promise and willingly put herself in a position where she knew she would die regardless of the outcome. That would be a hard thing to deal with, and I feel like Tyler has dealt with enough shit in his life to the point where he's not willing to put up with people who would voluntarily put unnecessary drama into it. My therapist always says that the problems he has with some patients is that he's not interested in helping people go backwards-- he's more than happy to help people move forward with their life, or at least help them maintain the place that they're in, but he doesn't want any part of enabling someone to backslide into problematic behaviors, and I get the feeling that Tyler has the same idea here.

ANYWAY, back at Duke, Matt has just caught back up with Enzo and is sitting in his car while he gets grilled on his coffee date with Sarah. When Matt doesn't say anything, Enzo assumes that he's already crushing on her, but Matt turns the topic back to Sarah and what the point of this whole endeavor is. For the sake of talking as little about this stupid plot as possible, here are the important details: Matt was a test made by Enzo to see what kind of person Sarah is, as the last living Salvatore that they know of. She was smart enough to see through Matt's pathetic come-ons but was still nice enough to help him when Enzo left him stranded, which means she's a 9.5 out of 10 on his purity scale. His intentions are to apparently insert himself into her life, encourage her to do things she'd never dream of doing, and otherwise woo her until she begs him to be turned into a vampire. "Stefan thought he could protect her," Enzo adds. "I'm gonna show him how wrong he is." Yawn.

Back at the boarding house, Elena has just appeared in the doorway to Damon's bedroom, where he brings up the fact that Jeremy has decided to apply to art school after all. "Might want to compel him a decent portfolio, because he ain't that great," Damon snarks, but Elena tells him to be nice and let him move on with his life, just like she needs to.
DAMON: [warily] "I'm not sure I'm a fan of that transition..."
ELENA: "Look, I've... made some huge mistakes in my life-- being with you wasn't one of them. And yes, I had Alaric compel away my love for you, and yes, I did love Stefan once. The night I died, Matt was driving me back to him, and yet I found my way back to you. Damon, I somehow always find my way back to you. It doesn't matter if I have memories or not. It doesn't matter if I'm a vampire or not."
DAMON: [sighs] "You're just saying that because you can't change who you are."
ELENA: [frustrated] "No, Damon. I don't care what Human-Me would have done, because she's not here. And if the past is a place without you and me together, then stop living in it!"
DAMN, Elena! Usually it's Damon with the speeches, but that was a damn good one, Elena! Also, in hindsight, it's so obvious that the constant references to Elena being a human/not choosing to be a vampire are leading to a shake-up, ugh. I hated the cure storyline in Season 4, and I hate it now, so I'm kind of dreading getting around to it, but I'm getting ahead of myself! Anyway, so Damon agrees that not living in the past is totally something that they need to stop doing and launches himself at Elena's lips. The two of them start making out, and he quickly takes off Elena's dress before he pushes her onto his bed for their first round of sexy-times since before Damon died. AWWW YISSS.

Final montage time! Downstairs in the kitchen, Jeremy is sitting at the table while he holds the first-year admissions application to Santa Fe Art School in New Mexico.

In the living room, Caroline is sitting in an armchair where she sews Ms. Cuddles' head onto her body. Stefan walks over with two glasses of bourbon and hands her one. She takes it and downs it in one gulp, which amuses Stefan enough that he hands her his own glass as well, which she takes with a smile.

Upstairs, Damon and Elena are in the cuddle-phase of their post-coital recovery. Damon is asleep, of course, and Elena just smiles as she takes his arm and puts it around her shoulders as she snuggles into his chest.

Finally, we return to the prison world, where Bonnie is waterloading after her bourbon-and-car-exhaust binge. She finds the atlas Jeremy dropped earlier on the floor, and fortunately, when she picks it up, it's opened to the Nova Scotia page, where she sees the notes Damon scribbled on the map with tide times and directions included. "Nova Scotia?" Bonnie mutters to herself, but when she realizes what Damon was trying to point out, she starts to smile widely. "Damon, you're a GENIUS." She packs up her backpack with everything she's going to need and throws it in the backseat of Damon's car before getting into the driver's seat with the atlas in her hands. She then puts on her sunglasses and starts the car, getting onto the road so she can drive to Canada and get Silas' tombstone full of Qetsiyah-blood. YASSS BONNIE YASSSS. Save yourself, girl!

Next episode: Jeremy says goodbye to his friends and sister before leaving for "art school." Caroline and Stefan set up Bill Forbes' cabin for Liz to live out the rest of her days. Damon spends the day with Liz helping her solve one last case before she leaves. Probably some more shit with Matt, Enzo, and Sarah-- I don't know, I forget, honestly.

NOTES/COMMENTS:
-- Here's the music from this episode!

"Check Yo Self" by Ice Cube & Das EFX
--- Bonnie makes herself breakfast and wishes herself a happy birthday. Jeremy lifts weights. Elena arrives home with supplies for Bonnie's birthday party.

"Keep Going" by Rachael Yamagata
--- Bonnie drinks and cries while Jeremy and Kai watch. Caroline and Stefan find Ms. Cuddles in the woods, and Caroline starts to cry as Stefan hugs her.

"Time" by Mikky Ekko
--- Ending montage: Jeremy applies to art school; Caroline fixes Ms. Cuddles; Elena and Damon cuddle; Bonnie finds the atlas and leaves to go to Nova Scotia.

"The Day I Tried To Live" by Soundgarden
--- This isn't actually in the episode, but it is the song that inspired the episode's title, so I'm going to link to it anyway!

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