The Vampire Diaries has always been filled with death. Heck, the entire show started because a girl lost her parents, lost her way, and then fell in love with a (very dreamy) dead guy. So tonight, it wasn’t a real shocker that the episode once again dealt with the topic of death and how it can affect surrounding relationships. Let’s face it: Death is one of the things this show does best, and even though tonight’s death didn’t necessarily impact us the ways others have in the past—I’m looking at you, Ric—it still gave us a highly dramatic hour.
We kick things off in Liz’s room at home, when Caroline wakes up after hearing something downstairs—or rather someone. Suddenly, at her back door, a bloody Colin shows up. Don’t know who Colin is? Oh, just the guy she fed her blood last week and effectively killed. But really, she killed him. When Stefan shows up, he figures out that her blood turned him into a vampire, which means that he had to have died after she gave him her blood. Yeah, it’s not good news for Liz.
I do have to say that this opening felt like a real throwback to me, and I liked it. I miss the days of TVD opening like a scary movie. It was all very season 1, in a way.
Back to the action: Elena, who’s apparently sleeping at Alaric’s—where is Alaric?—is on her way to class when Damon shows up with a sandwich and a proposal. He wants to take her out to dinner tonight. It involves something about eggplant. Elena is in… until she figures out that Damon is recreating a date they already had. Refusing to pick up where they left off, Elena shuts down the eggplant. But they’re still on for the date. She’ll see him at six!
Except not really, because pretty quickly, they all arrive at the hospital to see if Jo can figure out what happened to Colin. The verdict? Caroline’s blood sped up his cancer and killed him. In other words, he’s a stage 10 cancer patient, which doesn’t even exist. It’s that bad.
Nobody really knows what to do, but after Elena expresses her disappointment in Stefan for not knowing better and doing more research before Caroline gave Liz her blood, Jo has an idea: A full blood transfusion might get the vamp blood out of Liz’s system. At this point, anything is worth a shot.
Across town, Liv and Tyler are getting comfortable in a twin bed, planning their spring break, when Liv’s dad shows up and informs everyone that it’s Liv’s birthday. So basically, she and Luke have to convince their father/leader that they aren’t going to merge, like, now. And shockingly, he’s not a fan of the plan.
Back at the hospital, Damon tries to catch Elena up on his relationship with Liz: “As far as humans go, she’s tolerable.” Translation: He loves her the mostest, probably only second to Alaric at this point. And that kind of explains his behavior when he overhears poor Colin trying to kill himself in the other room.
While Caroline tries to talk Colin down, Damon does the guy a favor and rips his heart out. It’s not he craziest thing he’s done, however, he did not need to rip Caroline’s heart out with this Liz update: “Transfusion didn’t work, so you didn’t just kill him, blondie.” I know you’re emotional Damon, but that’s her mom.
On that note, Caroline runs away, leaving Elena to break the bad news to Liz. The transfusion didn’t work. But Liz is less concerned about that, and more concerned about her daughter, who Stefan finds trying to pick the right flowers for her mother’s memorial. Ever the planner, Caroline has decided to spend her time doing something she’s good at before she screws up again.
But once Stefan tells her the story of his mother—the mysterious mother Salvatore!—we learn that Stefan kept himself occupied during his mother’s illness out of fear of seeing her that way, and before he knew it, his dad had sent his mom away and then she was dead. Long story short: He’d do anything to have another day with her.
After Caroline reaches for Stefan’s hand—this particular hand hold is kind of becoming their thing—she agrees to head back to the hospital. But could she be too late?
NEXT: How many times can we say the word “merge”?[pagebreak]
Before Caroline can get back to the hospital, Damon pays a visit to Alaric’s apartment, where Tyler is trying to unleash Kai. Scared that Liv’s dad is going to make her merge, he plans to let Kai lose to merge with Jo first. Damon stops him (read: knocks him unconscious) and then steals his plan… but with a twist.
Step one: Damon calls Liv—or “Twinderella”—and asks to speak to her father. He then informs Papa Gemini that there is a Mercury-Venus conjunction tonight that will serve as the necessary celestial event for the merge, and if he wants to keep Kai from merging with Jo, he better merge Liv and Luke first, because Damon is waking Kai up and setting him free. (Let’s all say “merge” one more time.)
Damon’s twist: He first uses Kai to suck the magic of the vampire blood out of Liz in order to slow her cancer back down. And it seems to work… until Liz’s heart gives out, Kai snaps Damon’s neck and grabs Jo, and the hospital reveals itself to be completely void of doctors. Where is Meredith Fell when you need her?
So while Elena gives Liz CPR, Liv and Luke’s dad takes their hands and begins to force them to merge. That is, until Tyler shows up and makes one heck of a first impression on his girlfriend’s dad when he punches him in the face… twice.
With dad knocked out, Luke has an idea. He runs off to find Kai and Jo, who have started to merge when he interrupts. Luke thinks that because he and Kai share a bloodline and parents—and thanks to the prison world, are the same age—they can merge. Kai is hesitant, but let’s just say Luke is persuasive (and surprisingly strong).
Back at the hospital, Damon finally tracks down the one doctor on staff, who then fails to save Liz. He pronounces her dead just as Caroline comes sobbing through the door. In Liz’s mind, we see a dream-type vision where she’s packing, but when she goes to say goodbye to Caroline, Caroline’s face is all vamped out. It’s about as confusing as any of my dreams, but somehow, it seems to wake Liz up. She’s not dead!
Freaked out from the experience of almost having Liz die in her arms, Elena makes Caroline’s triumphant moment all about her. Remember the days when Elena would’ve comforted her friend? I miss those. Instead, she freaks out and enters the hallway. She then proceeds to kiss Damon because she’s decided life is too short and she’s not wasting another minute. Great. Can you go support Caroline now?
In the wake of all of the near-death trauma, Liz promises Caroline that she will stick around as long as she can before she sends her daughter out for coffee in a rather obvious attempt to talk to Stefan. She asks Stefan to promise her, “When I’m gone, Caroline is going to need you, even if she doesn’t know it. She’s going to need someone to help her move on with her life, someone to just make her smile. Promise me that you will do that, Stefan.” Mimicking his now signature move with her daughter, Stefan takes Liz’s hand and promises. The real tearjerker? Caroline overhears the whole thing.
Merge break over! After making out with Elena, Damon shows up at the merge to find Jo holding Luke. (Seriously where is Ric?) At this point, whichever of the two guys wakes up first is the winner. And according to Liv’s dad, it’s Kai. Luke is dead. As Kai puts it, “I always win.”
I don’t know about that, but why haven’t more witches used this invisibility thing? It’s highly functional.
And that marks the end of all this merge talk: Luke is dead, Jo probably now hates Damon, and Kai is officially a full-blown witch. No offense to Luke, but I’m so happy Kai won that one. I’m not ready to lose this bad guy yet. I’m also not read to lose Liz. Added bonus? The longer they draw out this Liz thing, the more Candice Accola gets to flex her acting muscles and break our hearts. And I’m weirdly looking forward to it.