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'The Vampire Diaries' recap: 'The Day I Tried to Live'

Kai helps stop Bonnie from killing herself on her birthday, and Jeremy makes a big life decision.

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Annette Brown/The CW

The Vampire Diaries

TV Show
run date:
Nina Dobrev, Ian Somerhalder, Paul Wesley
The CW

Well, there’s nothing like facing mortality to bring some drama to Mystic Falls. And tonight was about just that: In addition to Liz still dying and Bonnie contemplating suicide, “I Day I Tried to Live” was also mixed with one ex-sociopath, numerous relationship developments, and a new Salvatore. Any questions?

We start in 1994, where Bonnie informs everyone (meaning no one) that it’s her birthday. But back in present day, Elena and Caroline are well aware, and they’re planning a party to celebrate their friend. Except when Caroline can’t stop feeling like 1994 Ms. Cuddles is staring at her, she decides to go find the original Ms. Cuddles, as in the one that she stole from Bonnie when she was 9 and then buried in the woods so that her mom wouldn’t find out what she’d done. And yes, she realizes that her mother is dying and her best friend is in an alternate universe, but right now, finding Ms. Cuddles is the only one of those things she can do anything about. So with that, she heads off into the woods, and Stefan follows with a flask in hand.

Meanwhile, Damon and Elena are enjoying some birthday cupcakes—I’m not complaining that he fed her but it felt a bit awkward, no?—before Elena tells him that she’s good with the whole kissing thing. In fact, she wants to do it right now. Unfortunately, the ultimate mood killer comes knocking: Kai.

Since he merged with Luke, Kai has been experiencing something he’s never had to deal with before: empathy. No longer a full-blown sociopath, he’d like Elena to give Jo a letter—that he cried actual tears writing!—so that she can know how sorry he is for destroying their family. In exchange, Elena gets Kai to help them reach out to Bonnie.

After Damon uses Kai’s new found feelings against him by telling him it’s Bonnie’s birthday, the ex-Big Bad agrees to help them send Bonnie a message. Damon’s plan? To tell her to go to Nova Scotia and use Silas’ headstone—which is covered in Qetsiyah’s blood—to get enough magic to find her way home. And yes, Elena, Silas was definitely hot.

But when Jeremy finds out that Damon and Elena are working with Kai, he’s not a fan. Jer doesn’t quite understand how someone can switch personalities overnight. However, Kai’s got the answer to everything: Elena did it first. From what Kai has figured out, human Elena was good and sweet and loved the good Salvatore. She then became a “blood vacuum” overnight and decided she loved the bad Salvatore. I love that all it took was one ex-sociopath and about 30 seconds to explain this entire series. Well done, writers.

And Kai’s little speech works. Jeremy is in. According to Kai, they’re all essentially going to reenact Ghost, with Bonnie being Demi Moore—the alive one—and the rest of them being the collective Patrick Swayze. She won’t be able to see them, but it’s worth a shot. And it works! However, by the time they get to Bonnie, she’s opening a bottle of bourbon that Damon immediately recognizes. It’s the oldest bottle in the house, and the two of them made a pact that if they got to the point where they couldn’t take this world for one more day, they’d kill the bottle … and then themselves. And with that realization, Kai loses the spell and they all wake up in present day.

At this point, you’re probably asking if Bonnie can die in that world. I didn’t think so, but according to Kai, that rule only applied to him, because the coven didn’t want him to cut his own sentence short. So what now? Jeremy asks Kai to send him, and only him, back. Kai agrees. (Wow that merge really did change him, huh?)

Upstairs, Damon opens the present-day version of the suicide bourbon to drink alongside Bonnie when Elena enters. Unable to get Kai’s synopsis of her life out of her head, she asks Damon if he thinks it’s true. Did she completely change when she became a vampire? (Um, yes.) But more importantly, does he think they would be together if she were still human? Damon’s answer: No. Because she had that choice and she chose Stefan. She was on her way to Stefan when she died and then boom, suddenly Damon was back in the picture. You have to love how honest he is. But the rest of that conversation will have to be put on hold because Liv just showed up and trapped Elena and Damon in his room.

NEXT: Somebody hugs, somebody breaks up, and somebody has sex