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'The Vampire Diaries' recap: 'The Downward Spiral'

Damon’s search for answers about his mom leads to an unsettling discovery, while a humanity-less Caroline forces Stefan to make a life-changing decision.

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Guy D'Alema /The CW

The Vampire Diaries

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

The last minute of that episode is the most I have enjoyed this show in a while. And I think that’s for a number of reasons. For starters, I love no-humanity Caroline (and her kickass hairdo). Then, of course, we have the amazing duo of no-humanity Caroline AND no-humanity Stefan. As heartbreaking as it is to see Stefan switch it off, it’s endlessly enjoyable to watch Paul Wesley morph into the sarcastic jerk who once called Elena a bloodbag. And then the final component of that minute was the season 3 factor. As someone who struggles with Elena from episode to episode, there was something about her panic in that final minute that brought me right back to my favorite season of the show. It was as if she was reliving the hell she went through the last time Stefan flipped his switch, and suddenly, I was transported there, too. Good times, right?

Okay, but before we get there, let’s start from the top.

Merely four hours and 42 minutes after her mother’s funeral, Caroline has managed to clean out her entire house and dorm room before heading to the bar to get drunk. The bartender tries to give her a tough time, but once she utters the words “cancer-riddled body” about her dead mother, he pretty much has no choice but to pour her another tequila.

Also enjoying his fair share of liquor is Liam, the boy we Caroline totally forgot existed. But if he’s anything, he’s pretty, so Caroline asks if he wants to get out of there. A rather rough makeout follows, complete with Caroline biting Liam and maybe killing him? We’ll get to that in a sec.

While Stefan and Elena try to find Caroline, Elena gets a nice—yet very tame—surprise when Bonnie shows up at their dorm. By this point, these two seem to be used to the “back from the dead” hug, because Elena, as emotional and sweet as she is, doesn’t seem too surprised. Then again, nobody’s really surprised Bonnie’s back. After all, as Kai puts it, she’s “plucky.”

Speaking of Kai, he’s currently hanging with Damon at the Salvatore family crypt, where Damon has dug up his mother’s grave in an attempt to prove that she is not in some 1903 prison world. Because if his mother didn’t die of consumption in 1858 but was instead in a prison world in 1903, she’d be in her 70s. And let’s just say that the woman Bonnie met definitely wasn’t starting to wrinkle… which means his mother would have to be a vampire. And poor Damon cannot handle that. But when he opens her coffin to find it empty, he realizes he might not have a choice.

Back at Whitmore, while Bonnie embraces all of her “not flannel” wardrobe and Elena gives an awful toast that reminded me of this moment in a way, Sarah Salvatore is sitting at a bar/coffee shop snapping pictures of Enzo. Enzo, ever the flirt, heads right down, tea cup in hand, to ask if she’d like to join him. Enzo quickly informs Sarah that he’s very fast, very strong, and very rich. The one detail he left out: very hot, though maybe that’s evident.

It doesn’t take long for Sarah to ask him what he is, to which he responds, “I’m a vampire.” Could this be the beginning of their love story, much like it was for Stefan and Elena? Let’s hope. But for now, Enzo’s more concerned with the fact that Sarah doesn’t seem at all worried about the vampire thing. As far as she’s concerned, she thought there’d be more to it. Thankfully, Caroline’s there to invite Enzo to a warehouse party tonight to give him an excuse to get away from the under-impressed Salvatore.

At the dorm, Bonnie asks Elena not to tell Jeremy about her return yet—coming back to life is complicated, and Bonnie knows because she’s done it before. But complicated doesn’t begin to describe things when Caroline enters the dorm with a bunch of shopping bags. No-humanity Vampire Barbie is ready to start over.

After reacting to Bonnie’s epic return with a “huh,” Caroline tells her besties all about her hot makeout sesh with Liam. Yes, Elena, she did bite him, because apparently, cute guys naturally taste better. (Now we know why everyone bites Matt all the time.) But she didn’t kill him. After Liam got blood on her necklace—rude, right?—she decided she wasn’t in the mood to drag a corpse through the woods in heels. The best part of this whole thing? Bonnie trying to chime in about Caroline eating Elena’s ex, and Caroline saying, “Oh Bonnie, how we all just missed your commentary.” Oh yeah, I can get on board with this (but really any) Caroline.

With that, Caroline offers Bonnie and Elena a deal: Leave her alone and she won’t kill anyone. But if anyone tries to get her to flip her switch, she’ll become their worst nightmare. Got it? Cool. Caroline’s gonna go get a latte.

NEXT: Stefan sends Caroline over the edge…