The Vampire Diaries has always loved its town event episodes, and just because the vampires aren’t allowed in Mystic Falls at the moment doesn’t mean the show can’t continue that tradition. Ergo, Homecoming at Whitmore. On the one hand, you commend the writers for flipping the script, and instead of having something predictably spooky and eerie happen at the corn maze, giving us a very real tragedy: Tyler is texting while driving, hits a boy on the street, gets knocked out, and crashes his truck through the corn maze injuring a lot of people. We should care about their lives, but really, we’re just worried about someone dying and triggering Tyler’s werewolf curse.
On the other hand, your knee-jerk reaction to Tyler’s accident may have been laughter. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good for TVD, which has a young audience, to do an anti-texting message. But I want to see a diagram of where Tyler’s truck was compared to Elena and the others. If he’s close enough for the maze to be an issue, couldn’t someone just follow the path of bodies and broken stalks the truck would’ve left in its wake? If it’s far enough away, how in the hell did that kid Tyler hit stay with the truck for the full distance? Did he hold on to the hood? Get a body part caught in it? And yes, Liv suffocating the dying kid spared Tyler from the curse, but won’t they be looking for the driver of said truck? With that many injuries, and one death, people will want answers. Is it right for Tyler to just walk away when he did, actually, cause a lot of damage. It was an accident, Tyler, but you still did it.
The other big event, of course, is that Damon is back. And Bonnie isn’t. Her sacrifice to stay behind was a beautiful moment, but now what? If Kai can’t die there, Bonnie can’t either? Or is it just because it was created as his own personal hell that he can’t be killed, and that arrow will do her in? Regardless, the reunion of the Salvatore Brothers gave me chills. Let’s start at the beginning.
Somehow, Tripp has Stefan’s cell number—is there (still) a Founding Families Phone Tree?—and calls him to say he’s tortured Enzo enough that Enzo should’ve revealed the names of other vampires in Mystic Falls by now if there were some. Instead, Enzo told him he might want to check out Savannah (a nice F you to Stefan). Stefan, however, has more immediate problems: Like the fact that Ivy is seriously pissed that she’s dead because he lied to her about who he was. He ruined her life (she had an Etsy store, man!) and made her a killer (starting with his old boss, who’d tried to bury her). And now he thinks two blood bags and a lesson on sunlight is going to make up for it? When her heightened feelings of resentment and anger take hold, even the sight of him in a white tank top and pajama bottoms won’t calm her. He has to snap her neck—and take her to see Caroline.
It’s interesting that Caroline is in a towel when Stefan comes through the door with Ivy stuck in a trunk: He doesn’t even register how cute she is. He just wants master organizer Caroline to teach Ivy how to be a good vamp while he goes to get her a day ring from Luke. Stefan tells Caroline if she does this for him, she’ll never have to see him again. Of course that’s not what she wants. He leaves, and Ivy immediately asks, “When do we eat?” Vamp Ivy is way more entertaining that human Ivy ever was.
History lesson: With the kind of joy usually reserved for campfire stories, Alaric tells his classroom the history of Whitmore’s homecoming. Civil War soldier Nathan Whitmore was horribly disfigured but survived it all to return to the woman he loved. Only when he got to his farm, he found her in bed with his brother. He murdered his brother in cold blood and chased his love out into the cornfields. As the legend goes, Lady Whitmore is out every year on this night, dressed in white and covered in her lover’s blood, running through the cornfields screaming for her life. The moral of the story, Alaric says, is do not fall in love—especially with your brother’s girl. He looks right at Elena when he says it, naturally. We get the weekly embedded catch-up for new viewers in their banter, but really, the scene is about Elena pressuring Alaric to take his second chance at happiness like she is. She also invites Liam to the corn maze as her possible date. The Elena who doesn’t remember loving Damon is a flirt like Damon.
In 1994 Mystic Falls, Damon and Bonnie walk through the woods to meet Kai while Damon uses a long stick like a sword. He’s giddy, thinking about going home to Elena. The white tank is this year’s Henley—Damon wears one under an open chambray button-down. They find the spot where the eclipse will happen overhead, in perfect alignment with the Gemini constellation. Damon is supposed to dig into the tunnels below them so they can do the spell there to “portal jump.” The light will shine down, activate the Ascendant, Bonnie does the spell, and anyone standing in the circle of light holding the Ascendant goes home. Kai won’t show Bonnie the spell now, which makes me nervous. Will it kill her? Does it call for her sacrifice? Can all three of them hold the Ascendant at once? Kai is already so much more fun than Professor Shane. Who came up with his little dance move by the tree? He’s giddy in his own sociopathic way at the thought of going home
and murdering more people.
Ivy desperately wants to go to the homecoming party and have Caroline teach her how to eat someone without killing him, but Caroline just wants to wait for Stefan to get back. Ivy tells Caroline she should just admit her feelings for Stefan—she saw her practically cut his food for him during that dinner in Savannah. So Ivy, who’s seen He’s Just Not That Into You, is taking it to heart. She’s ready to move on from Stefan. We all knew what she was going to do when she suggested that she and Caroline play a board game to pass the time. When Caroline turns her back to decide between her tournament, classic, and travel-size editions of Scrabble, Ivy snaps her neck.
NEXT: Ivy sucks at this