Previously on The Vampire Diaries, ‘Do You Remember the First Time?’
Wow, this was such an exciting episode! So much information was revealed and so many predictions were confirmed. It’s as if The Vampire Diaries gods are reading my recaps and fulfilling my every wish. Just last week I talked about wanting to see more history on Luke and Liv and we practically know their life story now. I urged Damon to go find Bonnie and, look at that, he even skipped ‘Friends-giving’ to follow her trail!
After hearing the good news that Bonnie is still alive, Elena and Caroline make an attempt at a normal Thanksgiving dinner with friends at their dorm. Matt and Jeremy can’t make it because they’re busy cleaning up the mess with Tripp, but Luke, Liv, Tyler, and Jo all make an appearance. Even Liam shows up and apologizes for accusing Elena of being a liar. Unfortunately, as usual, normality isn’t in the cards for this gang. Things start to fall apart when Luke plays a video of himself and Liv as kids and Jo recognizes her voice and reveals that she’s the person who shot that video. The scene turns into a dark family reunion, there’s talk of mass murders and covens and Liam, the only one not in on the secret at this point, is sincerely confused.
Meanwhile, Stefan, Damon, and Alaric have taken a trip to Portland to investigate the Gemini Coven and look for another Ascendant. When they first arrive at the coven’s address there’s nothing but empty countryside. Luckily when Stefan, in retaliation for being teased about Caroline, kicks Bonnie’s teddy bear into the empty field a large mansion is revealed, which later we learn was covered by a cloaking spell that the magic in the bear was able to break. Ric, being the only one with access into the house, finds a picture of a young Jo with Kai. Then out of nowhere – seriously it’s like he materialized out of thin air – Joshua Parker, the Gemini Coven’s patriarch, introduces himself to the guys. He shakes hands with Damon and immediately reenacts the cloaking spell with Damon inside it and then knocks Damon out with a spell.
Back at the dorm, the puzzle pieces are starting to come together as Elena and Caroline learn that the Kai from Jo’s story is the same Kai that Bonnie and Damon had been locked in hell with. Jo tells us the history of what happened with Kai and we learn a few important things: twins are destined to be the leaders of the Gemini Coven; Kai and Jo are twins, but Kai being born without his own magic caused him to act out and so it was known that he couldn’t be trusted to lead; Luke and Liv were the next in line to lead and after killing other siblings to “make a point”, Kai was truly after them in order to eliminate his competition. On top of all that, we learn that after their 22nd birthday, twins of the Gemini Coven must merge their powers during a ritual where, the stronger of the two will absorb all the power while the weaker one will die. This might explain why Liv is always so miserable.
Ric calls Jo to see if she can help to undo the cloaking spell and it’s revealed that the other Ascendant is with her, meaning the guys’ trip to Portland was kind of pointless. Just then, she loses her balance and starts to see double. Now we find out why it’s such an insult for Liv to compare Luke to their father. For Joshua, coven comes before family and knowing that if Kai is able to return he will attempt to merge with Jo and that because he can siphon magic from others he will be the victor of that merge. Therefore, he’s not going to risk allowing the leadership to fall to Kai so he takes matters into his own hands and performs a spell to kill Jo.
With her last bits of strength as she coughs up blood, Jo tells Stefan and Ric about a knife she left in a tree stump outside her old house. This is where she tucked her magic away for safekeeping. Via speakerphone Jo invites Stefan into the Parker home, then he expertly tosses the knife towards the house breaking the spell, and runs in just in time to save Damon from being staked by Joshua, who has disappeared. The kill-spell however had been completed and Jo was looking worse for the wear when Elena, risking exposing herself to Liam, used her blood to heal Jo. Liam, still very confused, is now frightened and demands to know what Elena is. For a moment Elena considers being honest with him and even blurts out “I’m a vampire!” In the end though, she compels Liam to forget about the whole dinner and about dating each other.
Kai has taken Bonnie, by force, to his home in Portland for Thanksgiving dinner. She’s unsure why he still wants her around when she has no magic left and offers him a deal, share this meal together and then peacefully go their separate ways. Surprisingly, he’s on board and he’ll even throw in his car as a bonus. Unsurprisingly, Kai doesn’t follow through. What Bonnie didn’t realize is that when she stored her magic in the teddy bear that gave Kai an idea. The trip to Portland for the holiday was only a ruse so he could retrieve Jo’s knife from the tree stump and siphon its magic. He’s also realized that he doesn’t need a Bennett witch to perform the spell; he only needs Bennett witch blood. Poor Bonnie is left for dead again after Kai stabs her and takes off with the car.
We’re taken back to the real May 9, 1994, the night of the Parker family massacre. A young Jo is lying on the floor with a knife in her belly as we hear the haunting whisper of someone calling her name “Josette, where are you?” She pulls out the knife and runs to protect her younger siblings Olivia and Lucas – known better to us as Liv and Luke. Jo uses her magic to hide the young twins so they can make an escape and she agrees to perform the merging ritual with Kai. During the eclipse the next day Kai realizes it was a setup, the Gemini Coven faked the ritual instead using the opportunity to send him to hell.
Comments, Questions, Concerns
- The editing in the episode was awesome. Sometimes TVD can get really jumbled due to its large cast and the way it typically tells several stories at once. The way it was handled this week made it seemed effortless though. I loved how the flashbacks would weave in and out of both the Retro Realm and present day storylines. There were certain cuts that made it feel seamless, like in the opening flashback when Kai is about to lift the mattress and then it’s replaced with the opening of his trunk. Or when Alaric first walked up the steps of the Parker home and as he fades out, bloodstains on the walls and Kai walking the halls fades in. The casting of the younger Jo and the twins was really well done.
- I appreciated the added information about how Luke, Liv, and Jo all ended up so close to one another without realizing it: Grams! This leads me to believe that Bonnie ending up with Kai really was no accident, but how is that the peace that Grams supposedly assured for her? Surely Grams wouldn’t want Bonnie to bring someone like Kai back to the real world with her? A small puzzle piece is still missing from there.
- The relationship between Ric and Jo is about to get messy right? Damon compelling him to get that Ascendant however possible probably won’t end well. I hope they can overcome whatever it is cause I’m really liking them.
- I would have preferred it if Stefan and Caroline didn’t have a scene together so soon after their epic conversation from last week. His confession about having to push her away seemed repetitive and unnecessary, and it took some of the tension away from their rift.
- I’m still so over Elena! Even though I’m glad she broke it off with Liam, her reasoning for working with Damon to bring back Bonnie is just lame. She wants Bonnie’s advice on how to move forward with her life? How about you want to get Bonnie back because she’s your best friend and that’s enough? Same old selfish Elena. *SMH*
- Tyler is slowly creeping his way back to my good side. He really seems determined to help Liv. Not only did he go looking for her when she left Friends-giving, but he stayed with her and made sure she got somewhere safe when she passed out from drinking. Plus, he has a good idea about staying in Mystic Falls to avoid her family and the coven. I suppose helping her save either her own life or her brother’s is the least he could do since she did murder someone for him, but I think we’re finally seeing some growth in Tyler’s character.
- The ability to store magic inside of an object is a pretty cool concept and overall I love that this season has had a large focus on magic and witches. I will however stick to my critique from last week that, we should have had more build up to this idea. Imagine how great the payoff, in both last week’s ending and throughout this week’s episode, would have been if this was something we’d been getting clues about all season!