Previously on Vampire Diaries: Damon came back and everything was immediately terrible.
Elena and Damon are finally face to face! Aaaaaaaand…. she’s still not feeling it. Whoops. So he heads over to the hospital to whine to his boyfriend about how unfair is for her to still be mad about silly little things like killing her brother that one time.
(Damon’s recitation of his terrible deeds, by the way, includes “turning Caroline into his personal blood bag” but conveniently leaves out that part where he also compelled her to have sex with him for months. Good to know we’re still ignoring that pesky rape, writers.)
Elsewhere, Enzo and Stefan have put aside their differences so they can torture Trip for information about other hunters in the area. Cute!Matt isn’t really feeling all this vengeance and death stuff. Oh, Matty. Why do you still hang out with any of these assholes?
Caroline’s giving Stefan another big ol’ brush off when she gets a call from her mother, being held hostage by one of said vampire hunters in exchange for their leader. Her and Stefan’s bickering makes Enzo realize that she’s obviously only mad at Stefan because she liiiiiiikes him. Which he immediately announces to Stefan. If Caroline could murder Enzo with the power of her mind, he’d be totally dead right now.
They make the exchange of Trip for Liz, only it turns out Enzo had secretly fed him blood and slit his throat, so he dies as soon as he crosses the border. Sorry, Colin Ferguson. Cute!Matt is now 150% done with everyone and everything.
Even though she ordered him never to speak of it again, Stefan of course brings up the feeeeeelings bombshell Enzo dropped. Caroline finally admits that yes, she did have feelings for him. “But… why?” Stefan wonders, showing more self-awareness about his mopiness and perpetual constipation face than I have been giving him credit for.
CAROLINE: What kind of stupid question is that? Why did I have a thing for you? I don’t know, Stefan. Maybe it’s because I thought you were worth having a thing for. Because when I woke up as a vampire, you told me that I would get through it and I did. Because when I watched Elena move on with your brother, I couldn’t imagine why she would let anyone like you go. Because you were practically my best friend. Because I trusted you.
Damn it, I still have Caroline/Stefan feels. He apologizes for the way he treated her, and she accepts it, but she still hates him. Seems fair.
Meanwhile, this week’s excuse for everyone to get dressed up fancy is a party where hot Dr. Jo is receiving some kind of award and Tyler is working on Liv’s catering crew as a thank you for killing that guy for him. Damon’s there too — because of course he is — crashing Jo and Alaric’s date when he spots Elena with boring Liam.
Liam is surprised to find himself being menaced by the not-so-dead thirty-something ex-boyfriend of his college Sophomore crush. Damon bullies her date and yells at Elena for having been too weak to deal with her grief for him. Because this is Vampire Diaries, instead of further convincing her that she dodged a bullet by forgetting this gigantic asshole, she’s so intrigued by his dickishness that she actually runs across the Mystic Falls border in an attempt to undo the compulsion.
She sees some flashes of memory but she’s also starting to drown, so Damon pulls her back. Seeing Elena practically commit suicide reminds him that being with him tends to make her self-destructive and miserable. So he gives her a big speech about how he’s letting her go because he wants her to be happy. Hallelujah. What a prince.
Later that night: boring Liam is still obsessed with the girl Elena saved at the corn maze. He’s also making wild leaps of logic and accusations of her hiding something from him. Elena makes a worried face at this, but doesn’t compel him to let it go for reasons of what I can only assume are massive contrivance.
Jo tells Alaric that she stopped practicing magic a long time ago and drops hints about being from a dysfunctional family. This is because — spoiler! — she is Kai’s sister, the one whose liver he tried to carve out of her body way back in 1994. CALLED IT.
Speaking of which: finally, we get back to 1994! Where Bonnie’s wounded, but still alive and still kicking ass. Kai still needs her to repair the MacGuffin and perform the spell to get them out. But she just sticks a knife in his throat runs off with the MacGuffin pieces to get herself some medical attention. Except she missed one piece and is also trailing blood everywhere, so Kai manages to catch up to her pretty easily.
After chasing her around town like the villain in a slasher film, he suddenly turns on the charm and claims that all that revenge murder talk was just crazy! And she’s his role model for being a good person! Because this is Vampire Diaries, I honestly couldn’t tell for if we were supposed to be buying this.
But my girl Bon Bon — unlike certain other characters I could mention — not only does not fall for it for a single second, but comes up with a plan to outsmart Kai on the fly. She puts her magic into her old teddy bear and sends it through the portal…
…where it materializes in the cemetery where Damon just happens to be wandering, drunk and feeling sorry for himself. He recognizes it immediately and is shocked to realize she must alive — which I say again is DUMB, because why would he have assumed she was dead in the first place? — but whatever.
The point is: Damon has a determined face on, and I think I’m finally about to get what I want.
Next time: Caroline attempts to have Thanksgiving. I’m sure that will go well.