Matt learns the truth about Penny's death, and Bonnie's fate is sealed
Credit: Bob Mahoney/The CW
Best Starting Point: ''Growing Pains'' (401) — A lot changed in last season's lead-up. It's probably best not to miss this season opener, which shows…

I don't know what it is about Matt and Stefan's bromance, but I have always loved it. They've never overtly been friends as much as they just respect each other. It feels like the thing that connects them is simply that they both want to do good. That's why Matt has always been Team Stefan and why Stefan has always saved Matt's life. We don't see them together often, but when we do, I'm a fan. And that brings us to tonight's happenings.

We pick up with Bonnie, who's slowly deteriorating, visiting Virginia St. John to find out what exactly is in the vault. Only it's not a "what" … or a "who." According to Virginia, the vault was last opened by her great-grandfather in 1882. And the result? Whatever happened to him when he stepped foot inside the vault stripped him of his compassion, empathy, and his capacity for love. Basically, it made him 100 percent evil. And if Yvette has been trapped in there for four years and is somehow still alive, there's no telling what's become of her. Uplifting, right?

And thanks to Bonnie's dwindling life, Enzo, Damon, and Stefan are currently traveling all over the country killing the vampires on Rayna's list. Joining in on the fun is Matt, who is paired with Stefan to take down an MMA fighter, not to mention Alaric and Caroline, who are hitting the road to take down a very, er, passionate couple.

While everyone else hits the road, Rayna and Bonnie are held up at the cabin, where Bonnie rightfully questions Rayna's motives. After all, why is Rayna so willing to die to save someone she barely knows? According to Rayna, it's because immortality sucks, but the subject is quickly dropped when Bonnie realizes her magic has started working again. Translation: Rayna's blood is out of her system, and odds are, the Armory is already on its way to find her.

Bonnie calls Damon in a panic, and he knows things are bad when she says she forgives him. She's obviously trying to tie up loose ends in case she doesn't make it, but Damon won't let her give up hope just yet. (You'd think Bonnie would be used to dying at this point.) After she hangs up with Damon, the stubborn witch takes more of Rayna's blood directly from the source. If the choice is between getting sicker or having the Armory find her, Bonnie is choosing the former.

On the world's most awkward road trip, Matt catches Stefan up on the best decisions of his life. (Sadly, none of them involve Elena or his time as quarterback.) Nope, the two best decisions of Matt's life are kicking all of the vampires out of Mystic Falls and proposing to Penny. In a flashback to two years ago, we see the adorable Matt reading an article on the "Top 10 Ways to Propose to Her" because he's just too cute. And when Penny sees his computer, she immediately says yes.

That conversation then leads into how Penny died. The official story is that she died in a car accident, but Matt claims that's not the truth. Much like the days when everyone in town was dying of "animal attacks," Matt says that the details of Penny's death never quite added up. And the only vampire in town on the night Penny died? Stefan, who had returned to Mystic Falls to visit Liz Forbes' grave on the anniversary of her death. (In other words, he was trying to run into Caroline.)

At this point, storytime takes a brief pause so that Stefan and Matt can literally saw a vampire's head in half. And when Stefan saves Matt's life, Matt finally confronts Stefan. Thanks to Sergeant Matt's — he got a promotion! — handy dash cam, Matt discovered that Stefan was the one who compelled him to believe that Penny died in a car accident. When he presses Stefan for the truth, Stefan compels him to remember.

The bad news? Matt then remembers that he was the one who killed Penny. As she chased Stefan through the woods, Matt accidentally shot her. And yet, as guilty as Matt feels about letting Rayna free to kill Stefan, Matt still blames Stefan for, well, pretty much everything. According to Matt, Stefan ruined his life and Penny's life, and all Stefan does is ruin lives. I'm going to have to disagree, but I know Matt's upset.

NEXT: What about Bonnie?

Elsewhere, Bonnie, the death expert, asks Enzo to come home. Whatever time she has left, she wants to spend it with him. And Damon, the losing-the-ones-you-love expert, tells Enzo to go. He will continue with their plan. Not only that, but Damon calls in back-up. In a move that will ensure Bonnie's hatred of him, he asks the Armory for help … in exchange for Bonnie's help opening the vault.

Just as Enzo returns to Bonnie's side, the couple only has enough time to share a brief sentimental moment before Rayna comes stumbling in. She's being flooded with visions of vampires dying. Damon's plan is working.

Well, sort of working. As soon as the Armory kills all of the vampires on Rayna's list, they kidnap Caroline and Alaric to force Bonnie to follow through on opening the vault. Alaric, however, couldn't be happier to get to hang out at the Armory, a place filled with historical items.

But Ric's time spent looking at Charlemagne's necklace is cut short when Bonnie shows up and opens the vault. Throwing me back a few seasons, we watch as Bonnie opens the tomb vault and Damon gives Enzo a speech that's eerily similar to a speech he once gave Stefan. Damon made the bad call because Enzo couldn't. Bonnie already hates Damon, but at least this way, she'll be alive. (Elena flashbacks, anyone?)

Once the vault is open, Alex realizes that Yvette is in fact dead and has been for approximately four years, if I had to guess. And when the vault starts killing the Armory's men, Alex runs. The twist? Bonnie is now sealing the Armory shut. She's keeping her promise to Virginia.

Also keeping her promise is Rayna, who heads out to her death while Enzo sits with Bonnie at the Salvatore mansion. In the kitchen, Caroline is making some of her famous get-well soup when Ric confronts her about the Stefan of it all. According to Ric, he needs closure, because he needs to know if there's a chance this wedding isn't going to happen. (Let's not forget how his last wedding ended.)

But Caroline is ready for some honesty. She says Ric is the one who isn't fulfilled by their life, and that's something that became painfully apparent when Ric was excited by being kidnapped at the Armory. Caroline and Ric finally both accept the fact that their life together cannot be normal. They're deep in the supernatural world, and if that's the case, Caroline says she wants to be deep in it with Ric by her side.

So for now, they head out to check on Bonnie. In the woods, Damon watches as Rayna dies, but not until after she let's it slip that when she dies, Bonnie will take up her burden. When Bonnie wakes up, she will hate vampires the same way Rayna does now, and she won't be able to rest until all vampires are wiped from the earth.

Just like that, Bonnie wakes up. (Sorry, Enzo!)

What did you think of the episode? Hit the comments with your thoughts or find me on Twitter @samhighfill.

Be sure to check out Julie Plec's blog for more on this week's episode!

Episode Recaps

Best Starting Point: ''Growing Pains'' (401) — A lot changed in last season's lead-up. It's probably best not to miss this season opener, which shows…
The Vampire Diaries

Ian Somerhalder, Nina Dobrev, and Paul Wesley star in the CW’s romance-infused vampire soap opera.

  • TV Show

Comments have been disabled on this post