The Vampire Diaries is at its best when there are group activities, romantic speeches, Salvatore road trips, and shocking twists. And this episode had all of the above, plus a TVD twist on the Game of Thrones red wedding and a freakishly attractive villain. In other words, this hour felt like the TVD we know and love. This hour felt like a penultimate hour. This hour was also horrifically devastating. Must all of Alaric’s girlfriends/wives die?! (By the way, that is the only way a man that attractive would still be single.)
We kick things off with a nightmare. Bonnie dreams of Lily, her really bad running stride, and Kai. But when she wakes up, she doesn’t have time to ponder meanings, because it’s Jo and Ric’s wedding day and Jo is adorably out of sorts.
Thanks to a wedding coordinator with the flu, a human Elena who can no longer drink all the alcohol she wants, and a witch who can’t work a steamer, things aren’t looking good. Cue Caroline Forbes: stunningly beautiful control freak and expert party planner. (She also enjoys singing, dancing, and shopping.)
Caroline is back and within moments, she has found Jo’s shoes, gotten Elena to embrace the prosecco, and taught Bonnie how to work a steamer. (Is there not a spell for that?) And now, she’s ready to begin her Amends Tour. Starting with Elena, Caroline apologizes for saying that Elena wouldn’t be happy with Damon once she was human. But Elena isn’t one to hold a grudge. Plus, being human again is kind of the greatest. This is the thing she’s wanted since the day she stuck her finger in some deputy’s blood and everything changed. Sure, she might be able to die from literally walking on egg shells now, but at least she no longer has to wear that daylight ring. Amends verdict: Success. Next up: Definitely not Stefan.
Across town, the men are preparing for the wedding the way men do: By making sure they have all the necessities—rings, vows, tuxes—and then drinking, mostly because the thought of sleeping with only one woman for all of eternity is the worst. Thankfully, Caroline quickly gives them all wedding day chores. (Caroline also enjoys bossing people around.)
While Caroline handles all things Operation: Wedding, Stefan is currently on Operation: Damon. Taking Damon to one of the houses Stefan lived in during one of the times he was trying to “start over,” Stefan welcomes his brother to his “suburban nightmare” complete with stainless steel appliances, neighbors, and open floor plans. Oh, and did Stefan mention frozen dinners and taxes? (Yeah, I’m really re-evaluating my life at this point … and I don’t even have stainless steel appliances.)
When that doesn’t scare Damon away, Stefan moves on to another reality check: If Damon takes the cure, Stefan won’t be allowed to know where he and Elena live. Because if he knows, someone could get it out of him, track Damon down, drink the cure out of him, and boom—Damon would be a dried up corpse. In other words, Delena’s human life would have to be one of complete isolation. And at the end of the day, let’s face it, Damon’s an extrovert (and a bit of an attention whore—in a good way).
But Damon isn’t backing down so easily. He’s already found a loft located close to a medical school, and he’s already bought the bar below it. So he’s literally giving Elena the picture she painted not so long ago. Well, except for the Tribeca part.
Stefan quickly calls Elena to propose that maybe Damon has thought things through, but Elena isn’t ready to give up. She tells Stefan not to go easy on him. Yes, she did just ask her ex-boyfriend to convince her current boyfriend that they’ll never make it. Then again, her two soulmates in this world are brothers, so why are we still surprised?
Back at Mystic Falls, Enzo stops by the Salvatore residence to drop off an MP3 player for Lily. It’s filled with music from her era. Sweet, right? It is, but the way that Lily chokes Bonnie when she goes downstairs definitely isn’t. By the time Bonnie tells Matt about her nightmares, he gets out his bag of weapons. Mystic Falls slogan option: Bonnie’s hunches do not get ignored.
At the wedding venue—a beautiful barn—Caroline continues her Amends Tour by apologizing for trying to kill Tyler, during which he admits that being attacked by your ex and her sort-of boyfriend hurt his ego. But what really hurts is when Liv shows up looking like a 10. Between that hair and neckline? Yeah, Tyler’s into it … at least until they start talking and she reveals that she’s mad at him for walking away after she tried to kill herself. And now, she’s the one who walks away. (There’s nothing quite like a twin merge to ruin a relationship, is there?)
Now on her third/fourth glass of prosecco, Elena gets ready to help Jo get dressed when Jo collapses. Don’t worry, it’s not supernatural. It’s just a good old-fashioned panic attack. The wedding will go on as planned. With that, Elena rushes outside to tell Alaric to go back to preparing for wedded bliss and stop worrying about his wife.
This is where Elena tells Alaric that Jo collapsing made her miss being a vampire for a second—she really could’ve used her speed and/or blood to help. But after a moment, Elena remembered how great it felt to be human. She feels connected to the world again. She feels alive. And as Alaric puts it, it’s “pretty much the greatest feeling in the world.” (So does this show end with everyone becoming human?)
Speaking of being human, Stefan steps things up with Damon by asking the hard questions. What if he and Elena aren’t soulmates? When Damon says they’re good on that front, Stefan hits him with this one: “You sound like me four years ago.” Ouch. It’s harsh, but also very, very true. What if Damon becomes human and they break up?
NEXT: Damon Salvatore’s own personal hell
First, Stefan goes inside Damon’s head—a trick they really should use more often—to show him what life could look like after two years together as humans: Elena works too much and comes home tired. Seven years in? Damon’s become an alcoholic and he resents Elena for ruining his life by having him take the cure.
And behind door number three? Stefan shows Damon what life would be like if Elena died and he were stuck as a human. Yes, it’s dark, but Stefan’s trying to show Damon that he needs to make this choice for himself and nobody else.
1) Does Stefan still own this house that they’re destroying?
2) Stefan really just should’ve shown Damon what he’ll look like once he starts aging. That man loves being pretty more than just about anything else. (And can you blame him when he’s that pretty?)
Okay, it’s officially wedding time! When Caroline dodges Stefan, Elena’s left to fill the time by talking to Stefan about how people are uncomfortable around Salvatores in tuxes because it “stirs feelings.” And in my favorite line of the night, Stefan says, “Uh oh, Elena’s human again. Am I sensing another brother swap?” Well played, TVD.
Stefan then admits to Elena that he doesn’t want Damon to take the cure. We all saw what Stefan was like without his brother at the beginning of the season, so it’s not hard to see why he wouldn’t want to lose him again. But it’s also more than that: Stefan tells Elena about the human Damon and how sweet he was. But he wasn’t strong. He was always searching for something more. And when he later found himself—as a vampire—that’s when he truly became Damon. So no, Stefan doesn’t see his brother giving that up.
But before we get to Damon’s decision, let’s check in on Bonnie and Matt. Long story short, trying to get Lily backfires, and now they’re both lying on the floor having been strangled. And Bonnie’s bleeding? What’s happening?
Oh, Lily’s at the Grill with Enzo, and now she’s asking him to come meet her family. This can’t be good.
Back at the wedding, it’s shipper central. First, Alaric calls Jo, pretty much just to say that he can’t wait to see her in five minutes. Yep, they’re
disgusting adorable. And to make things even better, at the last moment, Jo’s dad shows up to walk her down the aisle.
Then, Stefan finally finds Caroline. Amends Tour Stop Three: Caroline apologizes for making him flip his humanity switch, but when she starts talking about the list of things she’s done since she started to fall for him, it’s evident that this conversation isn’t going to end well. And when she gets to the point where he didn’t tell her how he felt and that made her flip her switch—and get him to flip his—he reiterates that he forgives her.
But that’s her point. The old Caroline wouldn’t have forgiven herself. She would’ve slapped herself. She hates the way all of this has made her feel, and she hates losing control. Stefan tries to tell her that he feels the same, that falling for someone means being vulnerable. But with where she’s at in life—overcome with guilt and grief—she’s not ready to give up control just yet.
Now to couple number three: Damon returns to Elena to tell her that he’d made up his mind to stay a vampire thanks to an annoying neighbor kid when he saw an old couple getting out of a muscle car—nice touch—bickering. And when their fight ended with an ass grab and a kiss, Damon decided that he’d give up vampirism to be Elena’s husband, because even if he ends up miserable and alone, it’s worth it for the smallest chance at a perfect life with her. He tells her that he’ll love her until he takes his last breath on this earth. Then they kiss … and have sex in the hay upstairs while Jo and Alaric are trying to, you know, get married.
And cue the vows! Let’s just say that Ric is all kinds of dreamy and I never knew that promising to “dodge fate with you for the rest of our lives” could be so romantic. But it really was. However, Jo doesn’t get to respond, because suddenly, she’s stabbed repeatedly in the back—meaning her PREGNANT STOMACH. As she collapses, Kai appears, busts out some windows and knocks Elena unconscious. Let’s not forget that the last time she died was a similar head injury situation. And we know how much this show loves repeating those situations.
So yes, I’m devastated—I mean, is Jo dead?!—and I still have no clue how we’re going to say goodbye to Elena. (Don’t get me started on the promo for next week.) But I can’t fault that ending. That’s the shock factor we love from this show … even though it could mean that Alaric has lost yet another love.
At least Kai wore a suit?