Previously on The Vampire Diaries, ‘I Could Never Love Like That’
Remember when Bonnie was still stuck in Retro Realm and we all dreamed about her triumphant return? How satisfying it was going to be when she came back to Mystic Falls more kickass and in-charge than ever before? Well, this episode finally started to give us some of what we’d been waiting for. It certainly wasn’t enough, far from it, but it was a start. When Bonnie learned that Damon had given the Ascendant to Lily, she took matters into her own hands.
In order to get Lily out of the house so she can locate the Ascendant, Bonnie sets a lunch date with her at The Grill. Bonnie enlists Matt to help keep Lily distracted long enough, but his duties are cut short when Enzo shows up. He’s ready to confront Lily about their past – more on that later. Bonnie finds the Ascendant and flees the Salvatore home just as Enzo and Lily arrive.
[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”#4A7097″ class=”” size=””]“If I hand this over to you, I am sacrificing myself again, I’m risking my life again. I could end up dead, again!” – Bonnie[/pullquote]
Bonnie is preparing a spell to destroy the Ascendant when Damon bursts in, begging her to stop. Lily is holding the Cure as collateral for the Ascendant. In any prior season, Bonnie wouldn’t have thought twice about making the deal if someone else’s happiness or life was on the line. Season six Bonnie, though? She’s had enough bullshit to last several lifetimes, and the writers finally gave her the agency to stand up for herself.
After spending over 100 days together in that hell dimension, Bonnie can read Damon with ease. She knows he doesn’t really want Elena to take the Cure; if he did then she’d already know about it. She knows Damon doesn’t want to unleash Kai and six lethal monsters – apparently the PC term is “witchpire” – and he certainly doesn’t want to watch Elena grow old without him. Bonnie gets right in Damon’s face and basically says, if you really want the Ascendant then take it, bitch. He leaves empty handed. Well played, Bonnie.
After tracking down Caroline, Stefan works with Elena and Damon to devise a plan to get her back. Stefan will convince Caroline that his humanity is still off, and allow Damon and Elena to drain their blood leaving them weak and defenseless against torture. Then they’ll bombard Caroline with all the feelings and memories until she eventually snaps back. This plan, and the way it plays out, is pretty great overall. I can’t help but think however, about how much better it would have been had we as an audience been left in the dark about it. How intriguing the episode would have been as we were putting the pieces together. How much more devastating it would be when we realized, along with Caroline, that she burned the last words from her mother.
As it stands, we know about the plan all along, so when Damon shows up as a hotel employee Stefan ordered as a snack, it’s not all that surprising. Damon shoots both Caroline and Stefan with enough Vervain to knock them out for three days, while he and Elena make an entire bed & breakfast vampire-proof. Jo and Ric are there to lend a hand with guard duty, but they’re largely unimportant to the episode itself. Elena takes over their shift just as Caroline and Stefan wake up. Elena has brought with her a letter from Caroline’s mother, which arrived in the mail after Caroline got rid of everything from her past. Elena gives the letter to Caroline but soon learns that she played that card far too soon, because Caroline burns it without a second thought.
While planning their next move, Damon asks Elena where she would be five years from now, if she were human. Elena instantly answers, “with you” but after some prompting she elaborates. She sees herself living in a NYC loft above the bar that Damon owns and Elena is a doctor. In this scenario, both her and Damon are human and she sees two kids in their near future. Turns out, this human fantasy talk was all the torture that Caroline needed.
Ready for round two, Damon and Elena bring Caroline police reports – cause I guess a vampire can obtain just about anything that should be confidential – of all the people she’s murdered in the recent weeks. Caroline starts to wonder why they’re only picking on her and she gets defensive. She mocks Elena for playing make-believe about being human, saying that she’ll never have the life she wanted and that as a vampire, she’ll always be settling. Damon will never be able to give her what she truly wants. Caroline wins that round!
Elena is singing the same old tune when Damon confronts her about what Caroline said. She’s never going to be 100% down with being a vampire, but she’s okay with that because it means she gets to spend eternity with Damon. If it’s good enough for Elena, why isn’t it good enough for Damon? Using the term “good enough” was totally cringe worthy and basically admits that she is, in fact, settling.
Caroline is bored and getting overheated in their tiny room, so she starts to strip. She tries to get Stefan to follow suit, but he’s resistant. He’s not playing the part of humanity-less vampire very well and Caroline realizes that Stefan has been back to normal this entire time. She snaps his neck and escapes the room by kicking down the door. So much for the B&B being vampire-proof. She manages to find a car and sets off speeding down the road, trying to get the attention of a cop so she can feed. Except, surprise! It’s her mother who pulls her over.
Back at the B&B, Caroline wakes up to find that she never really left and Stefan’s been messing with her head. He wants to show her another vision, but Caroline stabs him with a piece of a wooden blind. As she shoves the wood deeper and deeper, Stefan grabs her arm and shows her one of his final memories of Liz.
It’s the day they found Bonnie’s bear in the woods and Stefan has asked Liz for a sewing kit to repair the stuffed animal. Liz tells Stefan he’s a good friend to Caroline, but hopes that one day they can be more. Stefan wants everything to be perfect for him and Caroline, and he can wait as long as it takes for that to happen. Liz understands, she wants her last letter to Caroline to be perfect as well.
Just as Stefan is starting to crumble, Caroline removes the wood and asks to see more from the memory. It’s too late though; Liz has closed the door and is walking away as Caroline cries out for her. She asks Stefan about the letter only to realize a second later that it’s already been burned. This is the final trigger that Caroline needed. Her humanity is back and she’s completely shattered. As all the guilt and remorse floods back in, she promises not to turn the switch off again, but leaves Stefan alone at the B&B. This has definitely put a strain on anything romantic between them.
Elena arrives home to find candles and flower petals arranged around what looks like an engagement ring box. When she opens it, she finds the Cure. Though Lily threated to destroy it, she knew that Elena finding it and learning that Damon hid its existence from her would be a much more fitting punishment for him. Elena takes the news a lot better than I had imagined, showing some maturity in both her character and their relationship. She refuses to take it, but then Damon offers an alternative. What if they both take it? Uh, last time I checked there was only one dose. This should be interesting!
After an entire season of irrelevancy, it seems Enzo may have finally found his place in this story. He’s been working to enact revenge on the Salvatore brothers – for reasons that I honestly cannot remember at this point – and working alongside Lily-the-Ripper may just be his best bet. Once Lily explains she never meant to abandon Enzo on the night of his transition, but that the Gemini Coven abducted her unexpectedly, Enzo’s loyalty to his sire starts to grow. He immediately informs her that Bonnie probably never planned on helping her get her friends back.
When Lily discovers that the Ascendant is gone, she reveals that the only people who can keep her from becoming a ripper again, are those friends still locked away in 1903. Later that night, Lily is nearly hit by a car and though she tries to remain calm, she ends up ripping the head clean off the driver while feeding. She still feels remorse, so she’s not completely off the deep end and Enzo shows up just in time to comfort her.
Has anyone else noticed how the writers like to play fast and loose with the whole, vampire super-hearing ability? Twice in this episode, vampires were unable to hear things that they would normally have no problem picking up. The first was when Elena somehow couldn’t hear Damon and his mother talking about the Cure over the phone and the second was when Lily mentions how quiet cars are. She should be able to hear cars from miles away, no? Also, what was the deal with that scene where Matt is changing his shirt? Not that I’m complaining about seeing his lovely upper body, but it doesn’t amount to any narrative importance. They really just don’t know what to do with him either.