If you’re like me and you ate so much turkey last week that it gave you mild amnesia, you might have needed a quick refresher on what’s happening on TVD. Thanks goodness for the “previously on.” It’s all coming back now: Julian is the devil, Lily finally accepts that he’s the devil, but her life is linked to his, so she has to help her biological sons get Julian’s blood so her adopted children can remove the binding spell. Oh, and Caroline is carrying Gemini twins in her vampire womb. All set now?
Lily is awake in bed with Julian beside her. It seems like the thought of him lying inches away from her makes her skin crawl. But he’s blissfully unaware of this — or the plot to destroy him. He’s too busy planning a party for Mary Louise and Nora’s 134th anniversary.
On the other side of Mystic Falls, Damon and Stefan are planning their own party, one of the “Kill Julian” variety. They have to employ the “nuclear option” in order for this to work: Valerie is going to have to tell her siblings the truth.
Although Lily isn’t so sure about having a big affair for Nora and Mary Lou, she is nothing if not considerate. She heads to the nearest abandoned bookshop to find an anniversary gift for the guests of honor. Nora used to recite a poem in the prison world over and over, and it just so happens there’s a man lurking in the bookstore who knows exactly where to find the book containing that poem. Enzo recites the lines for memory to Lily and then makes out with her. What would future Bonnie say!?
Julian surprises Mary Lou and Nora with their party: It’s full of humans he’s been “collecting” for just this occasion. They are “friends, food, whatever you want them to be.” (Since Matt told Caroline earlier that the school zombies were missing and suddenly here are tons of compelled people, I think we can assume Julian was behind that?)
Lily arrives and is not a happy camper. The agreement is they would feed on trespassers only, but Lily really wants to be a cool mom, so she decides to let loose. She’s so cool about the whole thing that she starts to feed on a party guest…right as Damon walks in.
She runs outside to tell him she was just trying to play the part, but Damon isn’t having it. “Sounds like a page out of Rippers Anonymous.” (Please let this be a real thing in TVD world!) They go on to have a very awful mother-son chat. He says he doesn’t need to wait until she’s unlinked to kill Julian because he doesn’t care if she dies. She slaps him and wants to know how he can be so cavalier about his own mother’s life. It’s simple: She’s already dead to him.
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Meanwhile, Mary Louise is showing Julian a ring, which she’s planning to use to propose to Nora. He one-ups her and gives her the world’s biggest engagement ring, which he snagged off a dead princess or something, to propose with. But seriously, look at this:
Mary Louise has Nora meet her out by the water. She proposes in the most adorable way, Nora says yes, and then Valerie comes and ruins their happy moment. Because, see, she has to tell them about the worst moment of her life. Way to bring down the mood, Valerie. She gathers the two of them and Beau to tell them the truth about Julian and her baby. None of them want to hear it, but it helps that Lily is there backing her up. Beau walks up to Valerie and hugs her, Nora follows, and Mary Lou begrudgingly does as well.
NEXT: Party fouls
Stefan is a little late to arrive to the party because he’s been getting the “I’m pregnant!” news from his new boo, Caroline. All Stefan can say to her is, “BRB, gotta go kill my mom’s boyfriend.” With Damon’s help, he’s able to torture Julian enough to get him tied up. But he doesn’t stay that way for long: Mary Louise isn’t quite sure that Valerie is telling the truth, so she knocks her and Damon out to help Julian escape.
Fresh from saving the bad guy and throwing a giant wrench in the plans, Mary Lou tells Nora what happened. Nora’s so upset that Julian could manipulate her that way that she gives back the ring.
And now the roles are reversed: Julian has tied up Damon and Valerie. When Lily walks in, Julian tells her she gets to pick which child of hers lives. She can either be a Salvatore or be “one of us,” but not both. And then he hands her a stake.
While all of this is going on, Matt Donovan — for reasons I cannot explain — makes Enzo his personal project. He finds him at Mystic Grill and antagonizes him and then he hires an army of men to vervain Enzo and throw him into an armored vehicle. When Enzo comes to, Matt is standing over him and telling him how he made some new friends who could help him protect Mystic Falls. What the hell, Donovan?
But let’s get back to Lily’s Sophie’s Choice. She loves both Valerie and Damon. She tells Valerie she’s sorry she didn’t see what was going on. She asks Damon to forgive her. Then she turns to Julian and says she can choose them both. She holds the stake up and stabs herself in order to kill him along with herself. Only problem? Mary Louise already unlinked them, so as Lily dies, Julian can — and does — run off unscathed.
Nora tries to get the splinters out of Lily’s heart, but it won’t work, so instead they all say their goodbyes, save for Damon, who is in the corner drinking a bottle of bourbon. Stefan tells him to say goodbye. So the eldest Salvatore walks over to his mother and says, “You made your bed. Have a nice nap.” And she dies.
Which brings us to this week’s three-year flash-forward: Damon is tied up in the Dallas TV station, which at this point probably has the highest ratings of any local TV station ever. Lily is there trying to help him, but he’s been poisoned with werewolf toxin. There’s no hope of saving him, but he says it’s okay. He just wanted to tell her something that’s been nagging at him: “I’m so sorry.”
But Lily isn’t back from the dead. Damon didn’t get to apologize to his mother. He’s just hallucinating from the werewolf toxin. Lily’s face blurs away, and we can’t make out this woman who has Damon trapped. But whoever this HBIC is, she kicks him in the face.
So many questions: Who is this woman? Why does she want to kill all the people we love? Why is Matt Donovan turning into a person I don’t love? Where is Bonnie? Is Alaric alright? Has Jeremy been reunited with his dog yet? Now I’m getting off track. Hit up the comments below with your questions and/or answers, or find me on Twitter @realdalener. And be sure to read Julie’s Diary, the showrunner’s exclusive blog for EW, about tonight’s episode.
See you all back here next week, when we apparently will be talking about dead Santas? What is this crazy show??