Previously on Vampire Diaries: Bonnie got screwed. Again. Some more.
You’d think that knowing Kai is on the loose, Jo would have 24/7 bodyguards, but no. So Kai is able to snatch her super easily. Elena and Damon are researching a new McGuffin when Alaric calls with the news. But it’s fine, Damon assures them. Because Kai needs Jo’s magic knife before he can kill her, and Damon has it…
… except not really, because Tyler and the twins are way ahead of them and have already stolen it. Their brilliant plan is to let Jo and Kai merge, so the wonder twins will be safe to have normal lives. Except for the part where Kai will then be all powerful and probably kill them all, but whatever. Details!
Kai has Jo stashed in a mausoleum right at the edge of the anti-magic border, because of course he does. He tries to force her to take back her magic by stabbing her multiple times — which is kind of his answer for everything? This causes Luke to bolt, because he’s just moral enough to be bothered, but also just useless enough to not actually do anything to help.
But apparently taking the magic back has to be voluntary, so Liv gives Jo a pep talk about how she believes in her and knows she can totally beat Kai now. That’s… sweet? I guess? Nope, still don’t care about Liv.
Meanwhile, this week’s local theme event is the Mystic Falls tree decorating ceremony, a heretofore unmentioned but apparently beloved tradition that the girls have participated in every year. In flashbacks to their Freshmen and Junior years, we learn that Caroline’s father wasn’t even trying to hide his affair back when he and Liz were still married, and Stefan is a crappy Secret Santa giver.
And over in fake 1994, Bonnie drags a small tree out to the parking lot to decorate so she can feel less lonely. And then sets in on fire, because she is becoming super metal.
In the real present, Sheriff Liz has brought the tree decorating ceremony to Caroline’s dorm room. She’s also playing matchmaker by inviting Stefan to help string lights around the dorm room. Caroline continues to give him the cold shoulder, because “anyone can be friends while hanging Christmas lights!” Well, she’s not wrong.
Continuing this show’s grand tradition of depressing Christmas Mom stories, Liz collapses in the middle of decorating. Because she’s got an inoperable tumor! And she’s known about it since Trip’s deputies kidnapped her a few weeks ago!
Gee, if only Liz knew anyone with magic healing blood that could make her immortal.
At the hospital, Caroline weirdly disappears for most of the episode while Elena and Stefan keep watch and compel the truth out of one of Liz’s doctors. Elena wants to break the bad news to Caroline, but Stefan insists that he do it. Because even though she would probably prefer to hear it from someone with whom she’s not currently furious, it would assuage his guilt over not being there for her in the past.
Caroline immediately leaps on the blood sharing solution, which Stefan brushes off with “if our blood cured cancer, don’t you think we’d have heard it by now?” Um, okay writers. That’s convenient. I mean, sure, vampire blood is so powerful that if you’re hemorrhaging internally due to a magic spell, a couple drops will instantly cure you. It will fix broken bones. It will regenerate cells to heal gaping holes in your body. But not cancerous cells! Nope. That’s impossible!
If you’re going to kill Liz Forbes, first of all: fuck you. Liz Forbes should live forever. And second, don’t just do it as a cheap way to bring Caroline and Stefan together — you actually took the time to build a believable relationship between them. They don’t need plot devices to bond.
And finally, don’t do it in a way that makes no sense! I mean, God forbid you give us an entire episode with Liz and Caroline as the focus, culminating in her doing something heroic to save her daughter. Nope. Just off screen cancer that can’t be cured because of contrivance, while Elena and Stefan gets more of POV that either of the Forbes women. WHATEVER. (I am so bullshit about this, in case you couldn’t tell.)
On a similar note: over in the B plot, Matty and Jeremy ambush Enzo and actually manage to take him down! Yay, Enzo’s dead! Except no, of course he isn’t, because Matt immediately starts pulling this Bond villain crap about making him suffer before he dies. “Wouldn’t it be easier just to kill him,” Jeremy wonders? YES! YES, IT WOULD. JUST KILL HIM!
I don’t say this a lot, but: Matt, you do not deserve the Cute! part of your moniker in this episode.
IT HURTS ME TOO, BUDDY
Damon runs into Luke, who pretty much instantly cracks and gives up Jo’s location. Alaric and Damon rescue her just as she’s taken her magic back, but she’s bought into her sister’s pep talk and actually wants to do the merge now. So they leave Kai alive and tie him up just over the magic line.
Kai, of course, figures out he can absorb the magic from the Travelers’ spell — so just as Matt is driving Enzo over the border, the spell fails and Enzo survives. “If we’ve learned anything today, it’s that we should kill our enemies with haste,” Enzo says. I don’t say this a lot, but: WORD, ENZO.
He makes a big super villain speech about how he is jealous of Stefan for having all the things he wants — a family and respect and cute, awesome blond girls who love him even when he’s an ass. So he’s going to make Matt help him ruin Stefan’s life. Seriously? This is literally the most boring story.
DUDE. LET IT GO.
Kai, meanwhile, does that vanishing trick the Gemini witches are so good at. But the merge can’t happen until the next full moon, so Damon heads home to Chez Salvatore again. Stefan shows up with his car — fully restored. I guess he was just holding onto that for a special occasion?
Soon after, Elena shows up to talk, but when Damon opens the door, he doesn’t see or hear her. Because — oops! — Kai cast an cloaking spell over them both. And he’s kidnapped her now.
Next time: Kai flirts with Elena.