So I just noticed the theme of episode titles this season... song titles. Last week was "Yellow Ledbetter" (Pearl Jam) and this week is "Welcome to Paradise" (Green Day). I'm loving the '90s nostalgia, even if it does make me feel old.
The episode opens up with Stefan, still in Savannah. He needs a few days off of work because Enzo killed his girlfriend, so he needs to go back home and kill him. He compels his boss to give him a few days off of work, bury his girlfriend in the woods, forget this ever happened and of course, give him a raise when he gets back. Sounds perfectly reasonable.
Meanwhile, Caroline is still adjusting to a new Damon-free Elena and is upset about her encounter with Stefan. She admits that Enzo has become of the more stable people in life right now, a fact which is both intriguing and horrifying at the same time. Elena has convinced the whole Scooby gang to go to a party tonight at the "swimming hole" (what kind of hick town is this?) just outside the magic-free boundaries of Mystic Falls. I have to admit that non-grief-stricken Elena is fucking annoying. How does anyone choose to forget Damon Salvatore?
Over in Mystic Falls, Matt catches Tripp cleaning "red mulch" (actually dead vampire guts) out of the back of his van. Yuck. Some douchebag named Jay is helping him, so Matt invites him to the party. Sara (who Jay calls "Dog Bite Girl") is still hanging with Jeremy. They're crashing at Casa de Salvatore, since its previous inhabitants moved and died, respectively.
Tyler asks Liv if he can borrow a few kegs from her bar and Luke notices that Liv is being a bitch to him. After Tyler leaves Luke tells her he knows it's because she secretly likes him and who can blame her, he's hot. (You know, now that the show finally has an LGBT character can we have a same-sex relationship please? It would make the Wonder Twins a little less annoying. Nah, scratch that. Nothing can make them less annoying.)
Elena flirts with "Cutebrag" (Liam from her hospital volunteer group, worst nickname ever by the way). She invites him to the party because she wants to set him up with Caroline. Elena is giving Liam the hard sell on Caroline because she's totally perfect. Yawn. I'm going to say this again, new Elena is fucking annoying. Just then Elena sees Stefan who "stopped by to say hi." They catch each other up on what's going on in their undead lives - Elena's classes and new gig volunteering at the hospital; Stefan's new job, girlfriend and the "dinner party from hell." When she asks about Ivy, Stefan is obviously bothered but he doesn't admit that she's dead. He says Caroline hasn't been answering his calls, so she invites him to the party. When she mentions that Enzo (totally not new best friend material) might be there, he agrees to come.
Caroline's Rules for Enzo
Rule #1 - Don't mention that Elena was madly in love with Damon (or she'll kill him).
Rule #2 - Don't really reference Damon at all (or she'll kill him).
Rule #3 - Wear sunscreen.
Rule #4 - Don't even mention that jerk Stefan's name again (or she'll kill him).
Caroline admits to Enzo that although she supports Elena's decision to forget Damon but she's not enjoying being alone in her misery. Enzo reminds her that misery loves company. Of course, he really isn't best friend material because he keeps eating people, like their friendly waitress at the diner.
So this party ends up being a hilariously huge beach party (seriously who are these people) at the swimming hole just outside of Mystic Falls' boundaries. Again: Damon-free Elena is really annoying. Elena comes across Jeremy and Sara making out in the middle of the lake and introduces herself. She recognizes Sara as the chick she attacked and is pissed at Jeremy for inviting her out. Tyler reminds Elena that Sara has been compelled to forget that Elena attacked her so what's the BFG? Matt's Community Watch douche bag buddy Jay suggests that it's unlikely for Sara to have been bit by a dog in the neck and even though he's totally right, it irks Matt and Tyler. Tyler's wolfy rage causes him to call the guy a douchbag. Well, he's not wrong... in fact, I had to rewind the show to catch his actual name, because I was just referring to him as "that douche bag" until now. Matt breaks the fight up and t
Meanwhile, Stefan has disappeared and won't answer Elena's calls.
Caroline: Yeah, not answering is one of his new things.
Elena: He said he was here to apologize.
Caroline: Lying. Also one of his new things. Stefan has a lot of new things.
Elena is still bummed that the rest of the gang isn't having the kick-ass time that she's trying to have. Tyler can't drink beause he's working on his rage issues. Matt is a designated driver and has "training" tomorrow. Caroline is the only one to do a jello shot with Elena, but clearly the party was a big mistake. Elena just wanted to pretend for a while that they weren't drifting apart. Caroline prefers not to pretend, she wants to face her problems head on. That is obviously a thinly veiled dig at the fact that Elena compelled her grief away, but of course Elena doesn't even understand why Caroline is pissed so Matt and Tyler take that as their cue to leave. Elena doesn't know she had Alaric erase her memory but in doing so, she's left Caroline to feel abaondaoned and lonely in her grief.
Caroline: Bonnie's gone. Stefan's gone. Enzo -- shocker -- terrible murderous friend.
Elena apologizes to Liam for the fact that Caroline not being up for the blind date she didn't even know she was on, but he's relieved because he'd prefer to kiss her instead. She tells him kissing a girl who is trying to set you up with her best friend is a red flag but he has a sneaking suspicion that that's her type. Oh he has no idea. Speaking of red flags... Enzo is his way to the party (bringing ice, upon Caroline's request) when Stefan shows up and tries to stake him. Enzo doesn't want to kill him, so instead he throws the stake at Matt's douchebag friend Jay, killing him. Turns out he was just about to shoot a stake at Stefan and Enzo just saved his life. He texts Caroline for help, who is still having a terrible time at the party. Jeremy calls her out for not having fun; she calls him out for wasting time with Sara in an attempt to pretend he's over Bonnie. Since Enzo never showed up with the ice, Caroline compels a random girl to go get some and she leaves to do so. Just as Stefan is about to use douchebag's gun to stake Enzo, Caroline shows up to save him. Dude, Enzo just saved Stefan's life but yeah, he did kill his girlfriend last night.
Caroline confronts Stefan and apologizes about Ivy because she didn't know. He's rightfully pissed, but she reminds him that killing Enzo won't bring her back. But it will sotp him from remining him of Damon which is why he disappeared in the first place. He left town so he could forget about it and once Enzo is dead, he can do it again. Caroline doesn't believe him. She knows that part of him misses this place and these people (his friends) and being back here reminds him how much they mean to him... and need him. She asks him not to go, but he walks away anyway. Something tells me he's not gone for good, but it was still a dick move. Elena witnessed this and give Carolines a hug as she cries.
It's gotten dark now, so Matt and Tyler are loading the tapped kegs into their truck to return them to Liv, when Enzo shows up with the dead douchebag, Jay. Matt is all upset "what did you do to him?" until Enzo tells him he stopped him from firing a stake at Stefan. (Should've just let Stefan die.)
Enzo: Oh, you didn't know your friend was a vampire hunter? Well you do now.
Don't think that while all this is going on, that we've forgotten about Bonnie and Damon. They are still living a "Groundhog's Day" existence stuck in 1994. They decided to go grocery shopping in the totally dead-and-deserted frozen time warp Mystic Falls grocery store. (Again, since when do either of them need to eat? They're both dead!) Bonnie is convinced now more than ever that they will find their way out of there, because she believes the crossword puzzle was definitive proof that they are not alone. She also notices that the pork rinds are missing from the grocery store shelf (a shelf that they have been on every single day for the last few months). The little kiddie merry-go-round outside the grocery starts going, which she takes as just more proof that they're not alone.
Bonnie suspects that Grams may have put them wherever they are so there's probably a way out and so they can - and should - still have hope. Just as Damon is saying how useless she is, Bonnie finds Damon's car in the parking lot of the grocery store. Say what!? She wonders if he left it there in 1994 but it's pretty unlikely that he did, so someone may have put it there for him to find. But who? They spot someone or something moving in the distance, but it turns out to just be a tarp on a truck, blowing in the wind. Damon determines that the merry-go-round is on a timer and Bonnie must've done the crossword herself and forgotten about it (really D?). He believes they are stuck in hell, alone. Bonnie demands for him to give her his daylight ring because if this is so bad and he's in hell then end it! If he's really got no hope, give up completely. Instead he goes back to the grocery store to drink bourbon in the grocery store aisle.
Kai: Rough day, huh Damon?It's some dude, eating pork rinds (just like Bonnie said) who introduces himself as Kai. He says it has been really annoying listening to Bonnie and Damon bickering every five minutes but it's the closest thing he has a TV. Damon wants to know WTF is going on (of course) so he threatens Kai, but admits he is a little rusty on "face-to-face human type interactions." He encourages Damon to have a drink so they can talk about it, and then just as he's about to take a sip admits that he has been following them because he wants to kill Damon. Damon spits out the bourbon and starts to cough because it has been spiked with vervain. They fight and it looks as though Kai is about to kill him by staking him when Bonnie shows up again. He refers to her as the "useless one" because he's watched her try and fail to do magic for weeks. Much to his surprise her powers start working! She sets the place on fire around Kai so Damon can get away and then knock him out. Good news is that has totally helped D and Bon Bon make up.
Damon: Sorry I called you the most annoying person in the world. I hadn't met him yet.Bonnie and Damon tie up Kai and question him. He claims that he wasn't really going to kill Damon. He just wanted Bonnie to finally get a handle on her magic again so he gave her a reason. He knew she would show up and with the right motivation (i.e., life vs. death) would finally be able to access her magic again. Luckily Damon's life was enough motivation after all. This is kind of suspicious to me because why didn't he show up when Bonnie was already there - he waited for her to leave and then come back. Hm. Kai claims that he wanted her to have her magic because that's the key to getting the hell out of there - all three of them!
Back in the real world, the party is still raging but the drinks are warm! Bummmmmer. Jeremy notices the girl who was sent to get ice and questions her. She said she was going to get it, but then she realized nah fuck it, Caroline was mean, I don't need to do what she said becuase I have self respect. He's obviously confused because being compelled means exactly that - you do have to do what she says. He's confused that she was able to ignore the compulsion... she said she was "halfway to the Sip 'n Serve" when she realized and turned back. Uh oh... this means that when someone returns to within the magic-free boundaries of Mystic Falls, the magic of the compulsion wears off. WARNING! WARNING! This means that even though Sara the dog bite girl was compelled to forget that Elena attacked her, as soon as she returned to Mystic Falls she remembered again. That means that she does know who (and what) Elena is and has just been lying this whole time! Since she claims she came to M.F. to find her long lost dad, something tells me she knows all about vampires. I knew she couldn't be trusted! The real question now is where the hell is she?
Matt and Tyler are concerned that their community watch group is actually a secret vampire hunter group and Matt feels like an idiot for not realizing it. Just then Liv shows up to pick up the kegs (because Enzo took their truck to go bury Jay). Tyler is not in the mood for Liv's attitude, especially when she decides to use her witchy magic to taunt and tease him. She pushes him to the edge and he gets pissed. Then she admits it's easier for her if he's an aggressive dick because then she won't have worry about falling for him. Ew, barf, I hate her so hard. I'd rather him rip her throat open than kiss her (luckily he does neither). Seriously have we exhausted the love triangles so badly that we really need to make Liv-and-Tyler happen? I'd rather see Luke-and-Tyler. Or ANYONE-and-Tyler.
Back at the dorms, Caroline apologizes to Elena for getting mad at her and agrees to move into the dorms again. She just was feeling blue about the fact that Elena seemed to move on so much easier than she did. (Compulsion. It does a body good.) Then she finds a shirt that belonged to Bonnie in Elena's drawer, so Elena admit she doesn't always move on that easily. Elena suggests that Caroline has feelings for Stefan and she admits that maybe she did. (Did? Does?) They go to look for Sara before she outs them, while Enzo goes to the diner.
Tripp is there wating for him and says he can't kill any more of the waitstaff. He injects him with vervain and tells him he should learn to be more discreet because you never know who is watching. Enzo surprises him though when he doesn't pass out right away - he's not like other vampires, he's learned to fight the vervain (at least for a while) which Tripp was not especting. He grabs him by the throat but Stefan shoots Enzo in the back with the stake-launcer he got from Jay (admitting that Enzo killed its previous owner). He introduces himself and says they have something in common (which Tripp interpets as they're both members of founding families - not that they both have an interest in Enzo's death). Stefan is about to finish Enzo off but Tripp says he has his own way he likes them to die. Stefan's satisfied as long as it is painful.
Overall, this episode annoyed me because it opened and closed on Stefan's smug face and I kind of hate him. But I don't believe for a second that Enzo is going to die. (In happy news, this was a nearly entirely Alaric free episode!)
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