The Vampire Diaries: It's a Twin Thing

They invited her to Thanksgiving but made her bring her own turkey.

This episode opens up with a gruesome Flashback to May 9, 1994, the day Kai murders a bunch of his siblings (and the day before he was sent away into his time warp prison). "Josette" pulls a knife out of her stomach (I assume her spleen) while Kai yells to her from the other side of the door. Dripping blood, she goes to protect her two little blonde siblings and hides them under the bed. So obviously this "Josette" is Dr. Jo. This episode spends a lot of time in the Parker family/Gemini coven house in Portland, OR... in the flashback 1994, time warp 1994 and present day. (There's also a little bit of time spent at Whitmore College but don't worry, they make sure to call over to Portland, because... reasons.)

In Time Warp May 10, 1994 Kai pulls Bonnie out of the trunk of his car and announces that he has taken her all the way to... surprise!... Portland to have "Thanksgiving" at his family's home. (Since he's been trapped there on May 10, 1994 for 6,771 supernaturally repeating days - he has calculated that it's Thanksgiving, his favorite day.)

Back in the real world/present day, Caroline and Elena are preparing for their own "Friendsgiving" dinner, as Elena tries to decide how (and if) to tell Liam that she is a vampire. Ugh, can't we just kill Liam off and save the time? He obviously only exists for the purpose of creating a faux love triangle. Dr. Jo shows up without Alaric because he's taking an "impromptu guys weekend" with the Salvatore brothers. (Sidenote: This promises to be a Matt and Jeremy free episode, since they're "busy cleaning up the whole Tripp mess.") Ever since Damon found Bonnie's teddy bear, he's been determined to figure out how to get her back from 1994, with or without the murderous Kai, but preferably without. He's enlisted the help of his brother and his formerly-a-vampire, back-from-the-dead, and now-human-again BFF Alaric.

The guys realize that Stefan was not invited to Friendsgiving, because he's a jerk, so they try to convince him to just date Caroline and put everyone else out of their misery. She's got great girlfriend potential because 1. she's hot, objectively; 2. she puts up with Damon ("big plus" according to him); 3. she's very, very well organized. That's what men want, right? They arrive at what appears to be an empty field, however in the 1994 Time warp version that Kai and Bonnie arrive at, there's a big house there. Hmm... mysterious...
Damon (as Ms. Cuddles): Oh, no. Is Stefan feeling sensitive about ruining his friendship with Caroline? She really liked him and he broke her heart.
Alaric: See, Stefan? Even the bear knew.
Damon (as Ms. Cuddles): I saw that from over a mile away and my brain's made of cotton!
Stefan: Gimme this.
Stefan kicks the bear far into the air in front of him (Ms. Cuddles, nooo! She's just an innocent victim!) Suddenly the house appears before them and the bear lands on the porch.
Damon: Ms. Cuddles - one. Invisible creepy mansion - zero.

Back at Friendsgiving, Liv arrive with stuffing and attitude. Liv meets Jo, who says she seems familiar, but Liv ain't having any friendly shit with her occult studies professor's girlfriend, gross. Meanwhile Luke is busy outside making a "retrospective" video for their upcoming 22nd birthday. Liam arrives with white wine and apologies. Turns out he re-checked that girl's medical files and he was wrong and an asshole (thanks to Dr. Jo for switching her chart).

Alaric decides that Bonnie must have put her magic away in Ms. Cuddles to keep Kai from using her to get out of 1994 and that's why it broke the invisible house spell. Only Alaric can enter the house uninvited (being human again) so he goes to investigate.

He finds photos and stuff in the house that makes him realize that Jo used to live there and then Damon recognizes Kai in one of the photos. To add to the horror of this realization, they're wearing matching Christmas sweaters. Then their father, Joshua Parker, shows up and upon realizing that Damon knows Kai, puts an invisibility spell on him (and the house again). As Alaric and Stefan stand around confused, he uses magic to take Damon down.

At the same house, in time warp 1994, Kai insists on making Bonnie dinner but she just wants to take off. They agree to have one last dinner and then they will peacefully go their separate ways. He even says she can have his car, but she should totally keep her hands off his brand new pager, cause you know, 1994.

At Friendsgiving, Liv is more of a bitch than usual until Luke finally comes inside and starts to play the video he made her on his phone. It includes a cute home movie of the two of them running around as little kids, as filmed by their big sis Josette. Dr. Jo overhears and remembers filming that video 18 years ago. Finally seeing Luke and Liv together she recognizes them as Lucas and Olivia, her little brother and sister. Caroline questions this remarkable coincidence - how did they all end up at the same tiny liberal arts school, Whitmore? Jo explains that they had a family friend there, Sheila Bennett (Bonnie's Grams) and it was her who helped them put Kai away. Jo confesses that Kai was her twin - yes, two sets of twins in one family, because twins are a big deal in the Gemini Coven (hence the name).
Liam: I'm sorry, did you say coven?
Elena: Oh my god, Liam. You're still here!
Tyler: I think he meant... oven.
Nice save Tyler. He totally must have meant "oven." Also, how do you not remember that you invited Liam to Friendsgiving? Caroline compels him to go get a wine opener (she really calls it that, instead of a corkscrew) and take his time. Jo and the wonder twins continue to explain that Kai killed four of their siblings to make a point, but he was really only after Luke and Liv because in the Gemini coven twins are in line to be leaders. Kai wanted to be the leader but that wasn't possible with Luke and Liv still alive, so Jo protected them. One more twist about the Gemini coven... only one twin can be the leader. After their 22nd birthday, the twins merge their strength absorbing the other twin's power. The stronger twin becomes the leader and the weaker twin dies. No wonder Liv is stressed about her birthday. And now Friendsgiving is totally ruined!

Tyler: Why didn't you tell me?
Liv: What, that my coven requires my brother and me to merge when we turn 22? CCause that's not totally screwed up.
Tyler: You're talking to a guy with a gene that turns him into a wolf.
Tyler tells her that the coven doesn't control her, so she should do what she wants. But she knows that her coven needs a leader. She either dies or she lives with the fact taht she killed he brother.

Damon wakes up to find Daddy Parker hovering. He wants to know how Damon got out of the prison world and is his murderous son Kai still there? Damon reassures him that Kai is still there with his friend Bonnie, but he wants to get Bonnie out. Damon wants the ascendant but Daddy Parker ain't having it. Kai is not coming back! He explains the whole twin-merge rule to Damon, which is why Kai can't get out. He'll go straight for Jo, siphon her magic, kill her, and their coven will be in the hands of a mad man. Damon says he'll just kill him if Kai gets out, but Daddy Parker ain't having it and won't take the risk.

Alaric calls Jo and tells her where they are and what's going on. Stefan calls Elena with the same info. Couldn't they have merged these conversations? Save your phone batteries guys, it's a long flight back to Mystic Falls. Jo warns the guys about her dad doing whatever it takes to keep Kai in the other world. Plus Jo has the ascendant anyway. Oh did you hear that? They went all the way to Oregon when the ascendant with 5 minutes away from them! Ha... this is why you tell the truth about your impromptu guys weekends and save yourself some time and frequent flyer miles. Joe starts to feel a shooting pain... she is dying, her dad is trying to kill her, using magic. He'd sooner sacrifice his daughter than risk Kai getting to her and taking over the coven. Knowing that he has an ascendant and access to a Bennett witch (i.e., Bennett blood) it's still possible for him to escape his prison, so at the very least, when he gets out he won't be able to merge with Jo. I once made the argument that every person on this show has the worst parents in the fucking world (with the exception of maybe Caroline's mom) so this is just another example of piss poor parenting. Elena and Liam tend to Jo, while Elena tells the guys to stop Daddy Parker. Jo invites them in to her house over the phone, but first they need to be able to see the house. She directs them to an old tree stump in the yard where she hid the knife she pulled out of her gut in 1994. That's where she hid her magic. They throw the knife into the field and the house reappears, so Stefan can storm into the house to stop Damon from getting staked. Bad news is Daddy Parker has disappeared into thin air.

Meanwhile, Kai is taking his dear ass time finishing his last meal with Bonnie. He tells her that his father treated him like crap his whole life and then locked him away in this prison world. The coven always came first; the coven comes before family. And I can't really argue with him because his daughter is laying there dying in the real world. I don't know why they didn't just rush her over the border to Mystic Falls, but instead she's dying and Liam is demanding answers. Elena gives Jo some of her blood and confesses that she is a vampire. Jo is revived and Liam is all "WTF VAMPIRE ZOMG." Then she compells him to forget everything, including the fact that they even ever dated, because her life is too complicated as it is. See you at work on Monday! (She did not remind him to never step foot in Mystic Falls though, so um, I won't be surprised if he reenters the storyline sometime in the future.)

Back in 1994 flashback (as told to Bonnie by Kai) Jo agrees to merge with Kai in order to stop him from hurting anyone else. They plan to use the power of the eclipse. However, when they start to do the ritual he realizes that Jo's magic is missing. (Since, she hid it in the knife.) Surrounded by his entire coven, his father shows up with the ascendant to send him into the prison world. In time warp 1994 Kai finds Jo's knife and senses that her magic is still in it and sucks it out. So now he has magic, he has the ascendant... all he needs is Bennett blood and he can get home. So he stabs Bonnie (again, poor Bon Bon).

As they leave the Gemini house of horrors, Alaric says they need to find another way to get Bonnie home that doesn't end up with his girlfriend dying because they are not letting Kai out. He refuses to let Jo give them the ascendant, but of course, he's human now, so Damon compels him to get the ascendant from Jo and do whatever it takes.

Liv wakes up at Tyler's and says he won't let her sacrifice herself just beause her coven needs a leader. Magic doesn't work in Mystic Falls, so she's safe there and he will protect her if they come for her. She apologizes for ruining Thanksgiving but he says she can make up for it next year because he's not going to let her die. (Why are we assuming that she is the twin that will die? She's got the power of bitchiness on her side, it's totally going to be Luke that dies, right? I mean, he's already died once.) I still do not accept that Tyler can survive in Mystic Falls. He should be dead. There's no logical explanation for why Elena crosses the border and dies, but Tyler crosses the border and just turns human again. NO EXPLANATION I SAY!

Stefan goes to visit Caroline the next day and wouldn't you know it, she was about to visit him with a pack of leftovers from the Thanksgiving-that-wasn't. He apologizes for pushing her away when Damon was gone. He pushed everyone away but he pushed her away the most because he knew she was the one person who would let him sit and cry and he didn't want to do that anymore. She thanks him for saying that, even though it's totally not a thank you kind of statement, and then leaves. Sad Stefan. Sad Damon is getting a drink at the bar when Elena confronts him. He should've told her that Bonnie was alive and he should've taken her with him!
Damon: Ric had more frequent flyer miles. And Ric didn't deliberately forget our entire relationship.
She asks him about the past 4 months he spent with Bonnie and he tells her that they bickered mostly, cooked, ate, went through a Tetris phase ("but I beat it and she got mad"), and they talked a lot. She's happy that they had each other. Damon admits that she sacrificed herself so he could come back... because Bonnie listened as much as she talked and she knew that Damon needed to get back to Elena. She admits she broke up with Liam and is at a crossroads where she could go live her life the way she probably should, be successful, safe, happy... or she could risk it all for this tiny glimmer of a feeling inside that she just can't shake.
Damon: Well, Robert Frost, what's it gonna be?
Elena: I don't know. But I do know someone who could give me some pretty sound advice. Any chance you'd be willing to help me bring my best friend Bonnie back, so I could ask her?
Damon: Sure.
Bonnie wakes up in Portland on the lawn of the Gemini coven/Parker residence to the vibrations of Kai's pager. It says "03171". She turns it upside down "I LIED"... She gets up and realizes that he took the car and now she is trapped in the middle of Portland. Ruh roh!

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