Previously on Vampire Diaries: Damon and Elena’s relationship was toxic. In other news: water is wet.
We open on Elena and Damon having that awkward morning after where one person wants to still be broken up and the other wants to have sex some more. Guess which is which! (Also: so, that whole “we’re toxic together” speech was a limited time only deal, Damon? Gotcha.)
GRATUITOUS TREASURE TRAIL ALERT
Jeremy didn’t come home to Chez Salvatore the night before, and Elena finds out from Bonnie that he wasn’t with her either. I’m actually amazed that Jeremy was still actually living with Damon? But okay. When Damon heads to the only bar in town to drown his sorrows and brag to Tyler and Cute!Matt about last night’s conquest, he sees Jeremy there with Liv. DUN!
(My gosh, you guys. Do you think Jeremy’s cheating on Bonnie– nope, sorry. Can’t even pretend to care.)
Anyway, it turns out Liv’s just giving Jeremy a whole sob story about how the Travelers are the natural enemies of normal witches and there’s a rumor going around that they’re up to something big involving Elena. Um, wasn’t Liv supposed to be a newbie witch who didn’t know anything, like a week ago? Why is he not finding this suspicious? Also, if the Travelers are such a known threat among the witch world, isn’t it kind of weird we’re only hearing about them this season? WHATEVER, SHOW.
Meanwhile, over in the B plot: Caroline and Enzo are down in Atlanta, hate-flirting and searching for Stefan’s last doppelgänger, a genial paramedic named Tom. But the information from Stefan’s visions is stale — Tom’s been missing for months. So Sloane continues frying his brain, to Caroline’s horror. Have I mentioned lately that protective Caroline is one of my very favorite flavors of Forbes?
(Although, why she hasn’t called home to alert anyone that she left Stefan in he hands of mind-frying crazy people is beyond me, but there we are.)
The next vision clue leads them to the home of a witch — who Enzo promptly kills, because that’s how he rolls. It seems like they’re at another dead end, but then they hear another heartbeat: Tom’s in the basement, where he’s been kept locked up and drugged for months.
Coincidentally, Bonnie’s with Luke when the witch Enzo killed passes over to the Other Side, leaving him a message as she goes: she’s failed in her mission to protect Tom. Luke calls his sister with the news that they have to go to plan B. Which apparently means revealing her true powers to everyone at the bar before peacing out to go kill Elena.
Elena, by the way, is at Jeremy’s parent/teacher conference, where she and Damon are being awkwardly informed that their broken home is negatively affecting Little J’s grades. Damon could not care less, and Elena’s distracted from worrying about her brother’s academic performance by sex fantasies about her ex. I think it’s safe to say Jeremy’s future is in good hands here.
Liv gets the drop on Elena; Damon gets the drop on Liv. He’s about to kill her when Jeremy shows up, super done with all of their bullshit. Elena has the gall to question his judgement because he’s missed a few classes. Um, Elena, you’ve been boning a dude who nearly killed your brother in a fit of pique after you dumped him. (I mean, I’m not sure she even knows about that? BUT STILL.)
Jeremy — more patiently than I would have — reminds everyone that it’s hard to maintain a decent grade point average when there’s a new supernatural crisis every five minutes, and also could we please stop making murder the first solution to every problem? Team Jeremy, y’all.
Back in the basement with comatose Tom, Enzo and Caroline butt heads about her unwillingness to commit cold-blooded murder. And while I guess I appreciate the show at least acknowledging that this should be a difficult thing for a normal teenager to contemplate… I think that ship has kind of sailed for these kids. I mean, are we supposed to be pretending that Caroline hasn’t killed plenty of people before? Because I can think of several hybrids and witches and innocent bystanders rolling their eyes pretty hard over on the Other Side at this whole conversation.
But in this case, she actually can’t bring herself to do it. (Probably because he’s got Stefan’s pretty eyes.) So she snaps Enzo’s neck and takes Tom out for pancakes. As you do. But before she can send him off, happily compelled to forget all this and start a fresh life, Enzo finds them and kills him. It seems he’s made a side deal with Sloane: he kills Tom and she helps him find that nurse who was nice to him in the 50s. Solid plan, Enzo. I can’t imagine what could go wrong with that.
(Also: RIP, Tom. You seemed like a better person than any of the actual characters on this show. And thus, you were doomed.)
Jeremy makes a deal with Luke and Liv to help them stop the Travelers and protect Elena. Then he moves into the Lockwood mansion with Matt and Tyler, because both his legal guardians kind of suck. TEAM JEREMY, Y’ALL. For her part, Elena breaks up with Damon, again, some more. Still don’t think she knows about him trying to kill Jeremy, and I wish I could say it felt like the show was ever going to care.
That night, Caroline comes slinking back to the Traveler junkyard camp, feeling like a failure and also indignant that Enzo used her own patented flirty distraction technique on her. But Stefan isn’t disappointed at all — in fact, he was counting on her not being able to go through with it. He gives her a pep talk and makes her laugh, and then they snuggle and go to sleep together and it is all SO FREAKING ADORABLE, I almost can’t stand it.
They’re woken to the sound of more creepy chanting as those wacky Travelers drink the doppelblood they drained from Elena and Stefan, set themselves on fire, and spirit swarm Bonnie. Somehow all this allows their leader, Markos, to manifest. IDEK, you guys.
Next time: Stefan and Elena have sex dreams about each other. This is why we can’t have nice things, people. For real.