Previously on The Vampire Diaries, ‘Prayer for the Dying’
Bonnie is back! Yes! Oh, wait, she’s going to commit suicide? Ugh.
Look, I get it. Bonnie is alone, stuck in an alternate reality that she has little to no probability of escaping, and that sucks. The loneliness and depression she must feel is completely understandable and realistic. The fact that she would consider giving up is reasonable. What bothers me about this is the fact that we don’t see Bonnie for weeks, and no one mentions her either, and when she finally does come back it’s so we can watch her suffer some more. This girl has been through way too much. She is constantly sidelined for other characters and this shit is getting tired. Her big win, if she gets one, needs to be of epic proportions for this to even start to be okay.
All right. Rant finished.
It’s Bonnie’s birthday and even if she can’t physically be there, the gang is throwing her a party. The event is quickly derailed when Kai shows up asking if Elena and Damon would deliver a letter to Jo for him. Turns out, during the merge Kai absorbed some of Luke’s pesky empathy and now he can’t help but feel bad for all the pain he’s caused his family. He tried to write a letter and burn it, advice he received from the Internet, but though the letter charred his feelings remained. Listening to Kai talk about emotions was like watching a robot discover its sentience, and it was hilarious. I’m not big on Kai going soft but as long as he keeps his wit it might be okay. Elena agrees to help him if he’ll return the favor.
Meanwhile over at Liv’s dorm, Tyler is trying to convince her that they need to get far away from Virginia before Kai finds them. She’s not interested in running away and looking over her shoulder for the rest of eternity though. Liv isn’t even sure she knows how to live without Luke; she’s never been apart from him. No, instead of hiding she’d prefer to take revenge and kill Kai. She performs a spell that allows her to see through Luke’s eyes, which seem to be one with Kai’s now, and finds that he’s at the Salvatore’s. Liv is ready to take action, but here comes Tyler’s obligatory at-least-once-per-episode “No, I won’t let you!” She kisses him, whispers some spell, and he’s out cold.
Kai isn’t quick to join team Delena, but Damon very wisely appeals to his newfound sense of empathy and manages to persuade him. Elena wants to send a message of some kind to Bonnie, to give her hope. Damon reminds her of how Qetsiyah’s blood – which would be storing a very helpful amount of magic – is still on Silas’ headstone, the location of which he marked on a map before leaving retro realm. Now they just need a way for Bonnie to see that map.
Since the Ascendant has proved useless, Kai is going to perform a spell that will allow himself, Elena, Damon, and Jeremy to be the collective Patrick Swayze to Bonnie’s Demi Moore. They’re transported to Retro Realm but the spell isn’t strong enough because Bonnie can’t see them, and they can’t touch anything. Luckily, they arrived just in time for Damon to see that Bonnie has pulled out the oldest bottle of bourbon in the Salvatore collection. At first I thought he was pissed because, hey that’s the good stuff, but his panic was for good reason. They had made a pact that if Retro Realm got the best of them, they’d drink this bottle down, and then kill themselves.
Kai loses his connection and he’s not strong enough to send them all back. Jeremy wonders if the spell would be stronger if Kai only had to channel it into one person and he offers to be that person. Oh, but because magic, if Kai loses the connection this time, Jeremy will be stuck there for all eternity. One can only hope!
Damon figures that if Bonnie’s drinking the good stuff, he might as well join in. He and Elena have a drink upstairs and discuss something that Kai mentioned earlier. Would Elena still be with Damon if she were human? Damon believes the answer to be no and considering that on her last night as a human she was making her way to Stefan, this logic does stand to reason. Elena doesn’t like this answer and wants to go check on Jeremy but she’s unable to leave the room.
In Retro Realm, Jeremy locates the map and opens it to the correct page just in time to drop it. Confused, he looks up to see that Kai has been stabbed. They both wake up in the real world to find that Liv has attacked Kai. Now, I would have assumed that this seemingly lethal wound would have caused Kai to lose his connection, leaving Jeremy trapped. That’s rational, no? Apparently not. Jeremy attempts to stop Liv but she magic-throws them across the room. Kai slows her down with a fork to the neck, then covers her in alcohol, and grabs a lit candle. He wants to set her on fire but he can’t bring himself to do it. It’s kind of a cliché villain moment, the whole talking yourself into murder and the subsequent self-face smacking that accompanies it, but this actor makes it work really well. Liv uses his moment of doubt to fight back but Jeremy throws a knife into her shoulder and drags Kai out of the room.
Jeremy forces Kai to send them back to Retro Realm. Since Kai is so near to death though, the spell isn’t strong enough to allow a physical connection. Bonnie has nearly finished that Bourbon, she’s cutting herself off, and psyching herself up to say goodbye. It’s tough to watch. She heads to the garage, closes the door, and turns on Damon’s car. In a video that no one would ever find, she leaves her goodbyes for family, friends, and Jeremy, telling them to stay strong. This sentiment reminds her of Grams and it’s ignited some spark within her, giving her the will to live on.
Elena and Damon use their super hearing to discover that Liv is directly beneath them. Damon kicks a hole through the wall of the fireplace and throws that old ass bottle of Bourbon down through it. It sets the fireplace ablaze and blows Liv away. It’s enough to lift the spell so that Damon and Elena can exit the room. They find Jeremy and Kai unresponsive in the kitchen, so Damon gives Kai some of his blood.
As Bonnie is crawling towards the door, using her last breaths to reach it, the spell is strengthened momentarily thanks to Damon’s blood, and Jeremy is able to open the garage. At the very least I’m happy that it’s Bonnie who finds the strength to save herself, even if Jeremy technically opened the door. Her constant tenacity never ceases to amaze me. Jeremy and Kai both wake up and all is sort of well.
A few loose ends are trimmed in the final moments of the episode. Elena tells Jeremy that it’s ok for him to move on, that he should apply to art school, and start living his life. Tyler helps Liv get home, but considering that she pretty much chose death over him, he’s just not that into this relationship anymore. Elena tells Damon that she always seems to find her way back to him and she’s done living in the past, they should be together. I truly hope this is the last conversation they have about their relationship status. Finally, we see Bonnie discover the map and she’s got her bags packed in no time. She’s all geared up for a road trip and damn does she look good in that car!
We discover that is was Caroline who was responsible for the disappearance of the original Ms. Cuddles. As a means of revenge after her and Bonnie were in a fight, Caroline stole the bear and buried it in the woods. Apparently something that Ms. Cuddles has never recovered from. Caroline decides that since there’s nothing she can do at the moment to help her dying mother or her best friend who’s stuck in an alternate dimension, she might as well spend the afternoon looking for that old bear.
Stefan tags along with a full flask of booze in tow. He’s not there to help dig; no he’s just there to poke fun at Caroline, with good intention. He realizes that she’s attempting to distract herself from her feelings and he thinks maybe she should tackle them head on. I’m conflicted about this. On the one hand I can understand the danger of distracting yourself and not coming to terms with the reality of your situation. On the other, Caroline doesn’t have a lot of options. We’ve seen her go to great lengths to save her mother, and she wouldn’t really know the first thing about how to save Bonnie. It seems perfectly reasonable that she could allow herself even just a few hours of distraction from her grief.
Nevertheless, Stefan manages to get a rise out of Caroline. He provokes her into pushing him around a bit in order to get some of her anger out. It looks like it feels pretty good, she even has a laugh or two. They both end up on the ground and there’s so much heat between them! Before they leave, Stefan notices an ear sticking up from the ground. Caroline successfully retrieves Ms. Cuddles the first, but that thing was so raggedy its head came right off. Caroline’s distraction has ended, she falls into Stefan’s arms, and there’s an almost-kiss!
Enzo forces Matt to get to know Sarah Salvatore by using Mama Donavan as collateral. I’m not entirely sure that this threat is believable. Matt’s mother has been nothing less than awful to him, but whatever, he’s going along with it. Matt attempts to make some small talk with Sarah by inquiring about the camera she’s using. She can tell almost instantly that he’s fed her a line, but she’s sweet about it and doesn’t give him a hard time. Enzo isn’t pleased with Matt’s lack of game and comes up with a new strategy.
Matt is waiting at a bus stop without a jacket, a wallet, or a clue, when Sarah runs into him. She points out that he’s not going to get anywhere on that campus bus he’s waiting for, and then proceeds to be the nicest person ever by offering to buy him a bus ticket home and a coffee. Damn, I hope Matt orders a small.
Turns out that Enzo’s big plan was to see what kind of person Sarah was – she scored a 9.5 on the Good Samaritan scale. How she lost that .5 is beyond me. He wants to turn her into a 1, and make her beg to become a vampire. Which is somehow supposed to prove that Stefan sucks at being a protector. This storyline is going nowhere fast. It’s a shame too because it’s wasting good characters like Enzo and is possibly wasting the potential of a good character in Sarah.