Damon's attempt to see Elena doesn't go according to plan, and one life is forever changed.

By Mandi Bierly
Updated November 07, 2014 at 04:07 AM EST
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Bob Mahoney/The CW

The Vampire Diaries

S6 E6
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  • TV Show
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We all knew Elena wasn’t going to be able to get her memories back the moment Alaric took them away. That would be too easy. And The Vampire Diaries doesn’t do easy… unless it’s Jo saving Alaric with special gauze inside the Mystic Falls border so he’s no longer a vampire. And even though you could guess Elena wouldn’t magically recall all said memories the moment she saw Damon—before the promo for next episode spoiled it—you had to find yourself excited as he went to see her at the end of the hour. That feeling, the one you had just thinking about watching them fall in love again, is what’s going to make this arc fun to watch. Here we go.

We open with Ivy and two guys being driven into Mystic Falls by Tripp. We think she might break free of her chains, but no, they all suffer their original deaths again. We see Damon and Stefan decide that to spare everyone additional pain, they’ll lie and say Damon was alone the last few months in his “flannel hellscape”; Bonnie was somewhere else. Alaric wants to lift Elena’s compulsion, but she’s happy in her new life and doesn’t want to go back to the drama. Alaric says he’ll do it when she asks, and he hopes she’ll ask.

Damon goes to Elena’s dorm room and she won’t let him in. They end up looking like they’re in a Britney Spears perfume ad, both touching the same part of the wall on opposite sides of the door. Finally, he threatens to kick the door down (kinda hot, kinda creepy), and she unlocks it. But when he opens it, he realizes she’s jumped out the window.

I’m glad Stefan told her that was a dumb move since anyone could have seen her do it. She phones him from the hospital, where she’s gone to avoid Damon. She admits she kissed Liam and is probably only half-joking when she suggests Damon might kill him. We really are at a place where Stefan and Elena are just friends, huh? She ends that call to do some sleuthing on Jo, who Alaric had said can’t be compelled. Her coffee had no vervain.

Meanwhile, Matt is doing the ol’ “Oops, I spilt some of your blood ration” routine with Enzo when Tripp returns to tell Enzo he’s losing his patience. He stumbled onto Ivy and killed her, but if Enzo doesn’t reveal the names of his friends, he’s going to go for a ride as well. Now, Matty Blue Eyes has to tell Alaric and Caroline, who insists on rescuing Enzo if only so she can kill him for getting caught. How hilarious is Matt searching Tripp’s computer for files on “vampire” and “Mystic Falls deaths”? Sarah busts him because she’s looking for information on her family, and they agree to snoop together.

Damon gets his reunion with Alaric, who explains why he won’t compel back Elena’s memories until she asks. I really thought Damon was going to snap Alaric’s neck when he hesitated while leaving, but taking the bottle of bourbon was enough punishment, really.

Caroline and Stefan bicker on their way to the location where Tripp is holding Enzo. No matter what Stefan says, it’s wrong. He’s only helping Caroline now so Damon will forgive him for getting Enzo caught. My local CW affiliate, for some reason, ran six minutes of commercials around this time, so I missed Caroline and Stefan discovering that Enzo was no longer inside.

NEXT: Drunk Damon, we missed you

Damon does the only thing a guy with a bottle of bourbon and a broken heart can do when he discovers his girlfriend has no pictures of him in her dorm room: He draws himself into her graduation photo as a stick figure. Jeremy arrives and asks Damon why Bonnie isn’t back. He tells him she wasn’t with him because she found peace, that she’s in a better place. That’s a pretty sweet move for Damon, even though it has to come back and bite him in the ass when they all find out the truth. Jeremy tells Damon how he’s been paying her cell bill just so he can hear her voice say the same six words. When Damon suggests he’ll try that, Jeremy is confused—Bonnie hated him.

So Jo is totally cool with Elena being a vampire since she saved that girl the night of Tyler’s accident—hey, where was Tyler this episode?!—instead of feeding on her. Elena realizes Jo must be a witch if she can resist compulsion without vervain. They agree not to ask questions about each other, and Jo asks Elena to tell Alaric he doesn’t have to hide behind compulsion to avoid a complicated relationship for her.

Badass Sarah knows how to pick a lock and opens Tripp’s desk drawer. Matt finds Ivy’s phone and realizes Caroline’s name is at the top of the recently called list, so Tripp knows where to find her. It feels like this would’ve been a good time for Caroline to send a group message to everyone, including Damon, that a vampire hunter is probably headed to her address. Damon is still at the dorm room. He looks at a photo of Bonnie and decides to call her. I actually got chills. Again, it’s sweet to see the appreciation and respect he has for her now. He wants to tell her that he’s going to see Elena, and thanks Bonnie for what she did for him. He says he’s sorry and, against all odds, misses her. Another bit of comedy: He has to get off the line in a hurry when Elena chooses that moment to call him and suggest they meet. Jo’s speech about not hiding behind compulsion got to her. She’s going to meet him at her room. He has time to nervously check himself out in the mirror (still hot) before he hears someone open the door. He turns around expecting it to be her, but it’s Tripp. Damon catches the first dart and gets Tripp in a headlock, but Tripp’s backup bring Damon down.

Elena returns home to find her door open and Damon’s cell on the floor with a little blood. She mobilizes everyone, and Jo, thank god, had decided to come talk to Alaric, who explained he was in a hurry because he had to go save his resurrected friend’s life. Damon awakes in the van with Enzo, chained and annoyed that Stefan never mentioned there was a hunter in town. The plan was for Elena and Caroline to block one entrance and Alaric and Stefan to take the other. That gave Elena time to tell Caroline that she wanted her memories back if Damon survives because she can’t make decisions about her life knowing only half the story. Alaric got to tell Stefan that he, too, essentially gave up on Damon because his search efforts has only been half-assed attempts to distract himself from how much he hated his new life as a vampire.

Tripp takes the Alaric-Stefan route, and Alaric pretends his vehicle has conveniently broken down at the town border on the night he’s trying to get his buddy to a bachelor party. Damon hears Alaric’s voice and knows there’s a plan in motion. “It better be good. The bastard owes me,” he quips to Enzo. How is Tripp always so prepared? Alaric punches through the driver’s side window and Tripp manages to fight back long enough to dart him and floor it toward the town line. Stefan manages to get out of Alaric’s car before Trip slams into it and the van goes flipping across the border, with Alaric in tow.

NEXT: Stefan redeems himself

Stefan had been on the phone with Elena, but he hangs up because he knows what he has to do: He can’t give up on Damon now. He crosses the border, starts dying his original death just like the others. Damon insists Stefan free Enzo first, which he does. Stefan ultimately helps the two of them back across the border, where they heal again. He sees that Jo is helping Alaric.

Turns out, she followed Alaric like a stalker. He asks her to get him across the border, but she says he’ll die if she moves him. He thinks he’s going to die anyway, but he’s got one thing going for him: her. The super doctor who saved all those lives and didn’t mess up her makeup. Seriously, what kind of gauze is that that manages to seal his wound? For a moment, it seems like she loses him—which would have pissed off fans—but then he’s breathing again. The impact of that moment didn’t really hit until Caroline had to tell Elena that Alaric was saved in Mystic Falls just before he died—so he gets to stay human. Now he can’t compel back her memories.

Matt takes Sarah home to Salvatore Mansion and tells her that Damon and Stefan are her relatives. But since they’re both vampires who only bring people pain, he suggests she get far, far away from them. Cut to more pain: Jeremy can’t cancel Bonnie’s cell phone because he can’t remember her pin. He destroys her phone. Does that mean he’ll never hear Damon’s message? He finally accepts that she’s gone and now he’ll grieve. I wish I felt something for him, but I don’t. He’s the new problem character.

Elena recovers from her initial shock, and by the time she calls Alaric in the hospital, she’s happy for him. So now he and Jo can be in a relationship? Do we trust her? Can she really be as awesome as she seems?

Elena agrees to see Damon again, and after he gathers some liquid courage with Stefan, Damon shows up at her door hoping that their love is strong enough to break the compulsion. Doesn’t look good. But that’s okay: We have the chance to reset the sexual tension, so let’s make the most of it.

Stefan sees Caroline on the street and runs after her. Is this the moment we’ve been waiting for? He just wants to know what he has to do for things to go back to the way they were so they can be friends. She tells him she doesn’t want to be friends anymore she wants to be more… and then walks away. Breathe, Steroline fans. My theory: Tripp will go after Caroline again, and perhaps then, Stefan will realize how much his life would suck without her. That it wasn’t just the loss of Damon he’d been grieving in recent months.

Episode Recaps

The Vampire Diaries

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