This might just be the best episode of the season to date. It moved plotlines along and had a great Steroline heart-to-heart (and, yes, a Delena rain kiss). We saw Bonnie again, and Jo remained awesome. Plus, there was no Jeremy. Here we go.
So as the promo for this episode spoiled, Elena’s memories of good Damon do not come rushing back when she sees him at her dorm. All she remembers is the pain and the bad things he’s done to those she cares about. She knows she loved him (cue his sweet smile) and somehow forgave him, but she doesn’t feel anything now. Damon is surprisingly calm, which makes it all the more sad when Elena says she is truly sorry as she closes the door in his face.
Damon nurses his wounds by screwing around with the medical equipment in Alaric’s hospital room like a child while they banter about his worst deeds. He knows Alaric would take back his compulsion if he could. Jo comes in and informs Damon—and the audience—that saving Alaric is not an act she can repeat for other vampires: It was a treatable wound, perfect timing, and the fear/adrenaline of losing the most interesting man she’s dated in a while. It’s rough out there, ladies. She tells Damon he’ll tell no one about her rescue. “She’s bossy, I like her,” Damon says to Alaric. (His approval made me happy, and I was glad no one else was in my apartment to see it.) Jo releases Alaric—and invites him to a hospital fundraiser.
Stefan, Enzo, and Matt, meanwhile, have Tripp in a Zero Dark Thirty situation. Stefan wants to kill him quickly, Matt wants to wait for the vervain to leave his system so they can just compel him to forget them and leave Mystic Falls, and Enzo wants to know what Tripp’s minions are up to (and then kill him). Stefan smashes Tripp’s hand with a hammer and Mr. Tough Guy sings: They’re tracking vampires, like Caroline. Stefan rushes off but instructs Enzo to take two hours to get as much information out of him as possible and then kill him before he becomes a liability. That’s a nice touch: At this point, people have seen enough movies to know you should kill the bad guy soon instead of talking to him.
At Whitmore, Elena tells Caroline about her lack of feelings for Damon and his pretty eyes, and Caroline is thrilled: Since she’s giving Stefan the friend boot, they can both take a break from the Salvatore Brothers. Elena’s McDreamy, Liam, arrives to invite Elena to the fundraiser as his date and to tell her that the young woman she miraculously healed at the corn maze came into the hospital for shoulder surgery and doesn’t even remember getting injured. He’s going to check her labs to make sure she’s not an alien or super soldier.
Back at the Salvatore Mansion in 1994, Bonnie wakes up on the couch to find Kai trying to put the Ascendant back together. He assumes she’ll help, but she won’t. He reminds her how he can just take her magic, and she goes old school and stabs him with a pen in the neck. While he dies (temporarily), she puts the broken Ascendant pieces in a bag and bolts.
Stefan shows up at Caroline’s dorm room to tell her she’s not safe, and she doesn’t want his protection. But her mother calls and, as you probably expected, Tripp’s men have run her off the road and taken her hostage. Caroline is classic Caroline in the ride with Stefan to Tripp’s location: The queen of organization can’t understand what kind of person sets a ticking clock but doesn’t know what time he set it. She’s nervous it’s already been two hours, and Enzo won’t answer his phone. Finally he does and explains his fingers were bloody so the touch screen wouldn’t work. Ha. Enzo tells Tripp and Matt about Liz, and Tripp says to send him with Matt to the border for the meet.
NEXT: The fundraiser where no one talks money