Bonnie's new vampire hunter status creates issues for just about everybody
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…

TVD fans have seen characters go from good to vampire hunter before. There was Alaric’s crazy season 3 transition, and that time Jeremy became one of The Five. But for Bonnie, she’s not just a hunter. She’s THE hunter, which just makes things even more complicated.

We pick up right where we left off last week: Bonnie has just woken up when Caroline and Alaric run to get her something to eat/drink. And once she’s alone with Enzo? They make out. Just kidding! She throws him into the fire and then decapitates Caroline!

Thankfully, that was just a dream. Bonnie hasn’t actually woken up yet, and truth be told, no one knows why.

After Ric helps Caroline move Bonnie to Damon’s bed, she sends him home. The girls have been without their parents for long enough, and Caroline can’t leave Bonnie’s side, mostly because she’s the “single best person for her to see when she wakes up.” Catching the last flight to Dallas, Ric says goodbye to all the drama, leaving Caroline and company to figure out what’s going on.

With Ric gone, Stefan joins the party, and he has an idea. Rayna once told Stefan that she had to kill him but that she didn’t want to. She was able to fight that part of her, at least briefly. So if they’re able to delve into Bonnie’s subconscious, they might be able to convince her new hunter brain that not all vampires are bad. First up? Caroline.

Inside Bonnie’s head, Bonnie is in the middle of a college course on vampires taught by the highly qualified Alaric. Only, in this vision, Alaric’s a vampire – giving me serious season 3 flashbacks — along with pretty much everyone else. Bonnie escapes to her dorm room, where Caroline’s waiting for her. At first, Bonnie’s her old self, hugging Caroline and being very aware of the fact that her memories are being twisted. Caroline tells her she has to resist what’s happening to her, but let’s just say Bonnie gives into temptation.

As a puddle of blood starts rushing in under the door and Caroline can’t help but vamp out, Bonnie stakes her best friend. That then sends Caroline back to the real world, where she has a scar from Bonnie’s stake. Caroline’s been marked, and that means she has to run. At least that’s what Stefan’s telling her, but when she asks him to respect her choice not to run, he, well, does the exact opposite of that. He vervains and kidnaps her.

Next up, it’s Enzo’s turn to try to get inside Bonnie’s head and convince her to be good. Taking us back to Bonnie’s days as a high school cheerleader living in a vampire-free world — or so they thought — Enzo takes her inside the high school to reunite her with music. If Bonnie’s subconscious is taking her back to high school to give her something to hold onto, Enzo will give her something better to hold onto: Them. Their relationship.

When Bonnie wrote music, she not only didn’t hate vampires, but she fell in love with one. And so Enzo hands Bonnie a guitar and asks her to play the song they wrote. Instead, she tells him, “I have always wanted to be loved by someone in the way that you loved me.” If you’re wondering where she’s going with this, it’s pretty simple: She’d rather die than live to see the day where she destroys the memories of their life. This is Bonnie’s choice, and she’s made it. She asks Enzo to let her go.

But when he refuses to do that, she breaks the guitar and stakes him in the heart. And just like that, Enzo is marked. Or as Damon puts it, “your relationship is officially on the rocks.”

When Caroline finally comes to, she wakes up in a motel by the airport, but sadly, this motel visit isn’t nearly as sexy as Damon and Elena’s in season 3. Caroline, quite frankly, is shocked that Stefan didn’t respect her choice. That used to be his thing. But apparently, his decision to respect Elena’s decision and save Matt in the season 3 finale continues to haunt him. After all, that’s what killed Elena (and essentially their love story). Now, Stefan will only respect wishes if it’s not a matter of life or death. But all Caroline reads into this is that she doesn’t deserve the same respect that Elena did. Regardless, she decides not to run, because she won’t abandon her family.

Now alone in the room, Stefan calls Damon, and when Damon says Stefan was right in “doing the wrong thing for the right reasons,” Stefan realizes that if Damon agrees with him, he was probably wrong. Stefan hates that Damon always gets away with it, but that’s simply their dynamic: Damon screws up, Stefan wears the cape, as Damon puts it. But when Stefan says the “hero never gets the girl,” Damon gives him some advice: Just be himself, be the guy who’s in love with Caroline Forbes! When you love someone, sometimes you have to go to extremes.

Yeah, it’s not good advice, but it’s advice that Damon himself decides to take. This Salvatore brother role reversal isn’t working for anyone. Damon has to stop “Stefaning” the situation, and that means he has a new idea for how to wake Bonnie up.

NEXT: Damon vs. Bonnie, a fight … to the death?

Inside Bonnie’s head, Damon takes her to Elena’s house. (No, I didn’t cry seeing Elena’s porch, YOU did.) Realizing they can’t reach Bonnie’s good side, Damon takes the opposite approach. He goes after her bad side.

Damon tells Bonnie she’s going to die, and furthermore, her death is going to make him a very happy man, because he’ll get to see Elena. When Bonnie rips up his letter, he tells her he wishes he never pulled her off that street in Amsterdam. By being linked to Elena, Bonnie screwed Damon — and everyone — to a “lifetime without the one person we miss the most.”

So why did he bring her to Elena’s porch? Because it’s the location of his first kiss with Elena, and the first moment she admitted she loved him. It’s the spot where Elena took the cure, and now, it’s the spot where Bonnie will decide to “give me my Elena back.” With that, Bonnie rips out his heart … and wakes up! Now, Damon’s on the run.

Outside the motel, Stefan finds Caroline. It seems she realized he was right: She can’t go home and put her family at risk. The bad news? She also realized what Stefan was going through three years ago, and now she’s angrier than ever that he made such a big decision without her. He tells her he went to Dallas and saw how happy she was and convinced himself he was doing the right thing by her, and now, Caroline’s doing the same thing with Bonnie. “You can’t accept a world where Bonnie dies because you love her too much,” he says. There’s nothing wrong with that. “And I love you,” Stefan tells her. Three years ago, Stefan says he couldn’t stand the thought of Caroline getting hurt because of him.

“You hurt me more than anyone else has ever hurt me,” she tells him. “I loved you and you left me.” Stefan hopes she can forgive him one day, but for now, they have to run, especially when Bonnie calls Caroline and tells her she’s going to come for her. “Please don’t let it come to that,” Bonnie pleads.

Bonnie then calls Damon. According to her, not only can she see where he is, but she can sense what he’s feeling, which is how she knows that part of him meant those things he said to her on Elena’s porch. Damon tries to pull the “you can’t kill me because of Elena” card, but Bonnie quickly reminds him she will never have to explain herself to Elena.

Heading out to find Damon, Bonnie runs into Matt, who offers to help keep her connected to her human side. He refuses to believe that the girl who bought him his first football is gone for good. Bonnie agrees to fight if Matt will … but only after they kill Damon. And when Bonnie reminds Matt that Damon once killed Vicki because he was bored, Matt agrees.

In the woods, Bonnie lays out her plan to Damon: She’s going to dismember and then burn him. Oh, and she’s going to carve out his heart. (Harsh, Bon.) Because when she looks at him, all she sees is a “living, breathing reminder of everything that I’ve lost.” But Damon has a plan.

After Bonnie breaks his arm and shoots a stake through his shoulder, they wind up at the very stump that was once Bonnie’s grave, a memorial to one of her many lives. Damon says it symbolizes that she’s a survivor; she will get through this. As Bonnie charges him, Damon tells her that if he has to die, he wants it to happen here, in honor of her.

With Bonnie only inches away from staking Damon, he tells her he admires her. She’s been a human, a witch, a ghost, an anchor to the afterlife, and now a hunter. Every time she comes back stronger, so if this is their last moment together, he asks her to hear him. “I believe in you and I love you, the same way Elena loved you,” he says. (You know he’s pulling out all the stops when he uses the “E” word.) “If you kill me right now, it’s not your fault,” he tells her. “I did this to us. But please, forgive me before you do what you have to do.”

Bonnie hesitates before deciding to stake Damon. Thankfully, Matt shows up and hits Bonnie with enough vervain darts to keep her down. He agrees to get Bonnie out of town while Damon finds a way to fix her.

Also on the road are Stefan and Caroline, who are heading to Maine. Caroline calls home to tell her girls she loves them before Ric tells her to keep moving. “You know I love you, right,” Ric asks as Stefan overhears. Stefan later asks Caroline if she loves him back, but Caroline admits she doesn’t know. But that’s the end of that conversation. Caroline is not ready to make that decision right now.

And speaking of difficult decisions, Enzo brings one to Damon. According to a shaman, Bonnie is linked to The Everlasting. If they sever that link, they might be able to sever her curse. The twist, however, is that The Everlasting is inside the Armory, which “good witch Bonnie” sealed when the vault was opened. And yet, Damon claims they’re going to open it up anyway.

And they better hurry. Because Bonnie just choked Matt and stole the car.

What did you all think of the episode? Hit the comments with your thoughts or find me on Twitter @samhighfill. And check out Julie Plec’s blog to find out what was cut from the hour and which actor sustained an on-set injury.

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.

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