The episode opens up with that dick Tripp driving a van of vampires into Mystic Falls. One of those vamps is none other than Ivy, Stefan's newly vampified girlfriend. As they cross over the border they all start to die, as they revert back to their non-magical forms. Yuck.
Meanwhile Stefan and Damon are still hugging. Damon tells Stefan that Bonnie sacrificed herself so that he could return, but doesn't want everyone else to know that because it will just make it harder. So they come up with a lie that Bonnie wasn't over there to begin with.
Stefan: So how did you get back?He wants to see Elena of course, but she has no desire to see him because she still has no memories of loving him thanks to Alaric's compulsion. Elena makes him promise not to lift the compulsion yet and he says he won't do it until she asks, but he really wants to. Um, what the fuck? She loved him so much that she needed to forget about it in order to go on with life without him, now she's got the opportunity to go on with life with him and any of them are going to let her decide not to? Damon is none too happy to hear about this and I have to agree with him. Alaric asks Elena if she can find out why his compulsion did not work on Dr. Jo and she, in turn, asks him to check on Jeremy who is not exactly psyched that Damon came back without Bonnie.
Damon: Long story. Big flash of light. Two decades worth of jet lag. I will explain all of my adventures in that flannel hellscape, but first there's someone I gotta see.
Jeremy is clearing freaking out but Sarah wants him to help her track down her relatives (i.e., the Salvatores). Sorry bitch, he's got other shit on his mind right now. Of course, this little conflict could be resolved if he would just tell her what was going on, but he's annoyed so he just leaves.
You know, I don't even need to watch the rest of the episode to know that this one is going to piss me the fuck off. I can just tell, because the Vampire Diaries writers are notorious for not doing right by their characters. Yes, I am aware that it's a television show and they are not real people... but it gets exhausting to watch drama, drama, conflict, conflict, and never see a happy resolution. This is what can turn a favorite show into a show that is just tedious to watch (like Revenge this season). I understand that there needs to be drama and conflict in order for the show to be a show, because no one but me would just watch an hour of Ian Somerhalder looking happy every week, but that drama and conflict has to make sense. I can tell right now that all of the drama and conflict from this week's episode will all be stuff that could totally avoidable if any single character would just not be a fucking idiot for like ten minutes. But I digress.
Matt goes to check on Enzo and brings him some blood to dirnk. Enzo wants him to help him escape but Matt believes that if Stefan turned him in then he probably did something to deserve it. Enzo threatens that if Matt doesn't help him, he will tell Tripp that Elena, Stefan and Caroline (et. al.) are all vampires and that Matt knows this. Tripp returns and wants to know why the hell the vampire he went looking for (Ivy) was miles from where Enzo said she would be (Savannah). He gives him one more day to tell him where all his vampire friends are or he's going to take him over the border to Mystic Falls, where he will die. So Matt finally decides to tell Caroline and Alaric that Enzo has been kidnapped...
Matt: Honestly I didn't know anybody was missing him. I'm sorry, I was confused about which vampires we like and which ones we don't.He also lets him know that Ivy is now dead, thanks to Tripp driving them across the border. Alaric wants to know who his next target is and Matt warns him that if Enzo talks it will be them. When Alaric questions how Tripp managed to catch Enzo in the first place, Stefan walks into the room in a wonderful coincidental moment that only happens on TV and answers the question for them. It was him who turned Enzo in.
Damon shows up to Elena's dorm room to talk but she doesn't want to let him in. He understands why she did what she did, but he wants her to know that it wasn't real. What was real was what she felt for him. She tells him those feelings are gone, but he knows compulsion is just a way to cover the truth. I really do not understand why she wouldn't have Alaric lift the compulsion. The only reason she had him erase her memories of loving Damon was because Damon was gone. Now that Damon is back, it makes no fucking sense whatsoever for her not to want to remember loving him. It's just fucking cruel of her and frankly it's cruel of the writers. Like I said, this is one of those times when a show feels the need to create tension so they make a stupid choice that makes no sense just so they can keep the characters from their happy ending (because if they have a happy ending, then it's an ending). Damon being stuck in a 1994 other world time warp - yes that's a good reason for them to be apart. Elena's body being taken over by her dead doppelganger Katherine - yes that's a good reason for them to be apart. Elena deciding not to have her memories of her one true love restored even though her one true love is alive and well and in love with her? Just fucking stupid. She unlocks the door to let him into the dorm room but then escapes out the window before he enters the room. What a bitch.
Stefan tries to talk some sense into Elena but she says that she's happy now and she's afraid her old feelings will break through the compusion. She started over and made a smart choice for herself and her future (and also, she kissed Liam last night, gross). She just isn't ready to see Damon yet. She sees Dr. Jo walk by and leave her cup of coffee on a table, so Elena sips it (testing for vervain). Nope, no vervain. So that's not the reason she wasn't able to be compelled. Hm...
Sarah goes to Tripp's office for who knows what, only to find Matt doing an Internet search for "Mystic Falls deaths." Seriously? Those are your search terms? How many deaths have we seen in Mystic Falls last season alone? He's going to end up with millions and millions of results. This is why we don't let dum-dums do the online research. Also, if you're going to sneak into Tripp's office to snoop, maybe snoop around the office and not on fucking Google. She asks Matt about the Salvatores and tells him that Zack was her dad. She says that both her mom and dad allegedly died of animals attacks but she knows what that's code for and believes Tripp has more information on "homicidal wildlife." She threatens to tell Tripp that Matt was snooping if he doesn't help, so he directs her to the "animal attack" files section. (I love that there is an animal attack section. Only in Mystic Falls.)
Damon shows up in Alaric's office and pours them both a drink. Alaric is thrilled that Damon is back, but Damon is not so happy with his buddy.
Damon: I clawed my way out of some retro-pocket universe, only to find that I needed to compel myself a new change of clothes because this anti-magic hamster ball is keeping me from going home. And then I find out that my best friend, rather than doing anything about it, decided that it was the best use of his time to compel my beautiful and lovely girlfriend to forget that she ever loved me. I'm great Ric, thanks for asking.Damon's pissed that Alaric hasn't started the uncompulsion yet. Alaric says he won't do it until Elena says she wants it, but Damon points out that she won't want it until she can remember why she would want it. Chicken-egg! She won't even see Damon but she's happy so Alaric won't take that away from her until she asks him to. Seriously, how fucking stupid are these people? I can't even handle the ridiculous bullshit happening here. Alaric is the real asshole here becasue why would he let Elena make the decision? Obviously she's not going to make the right decision because she thinks Damon was a monster. SO. FUCKING. STUPID.
Stefan defends his decision to handover Enzo, claiming that Enzo's reckless behavior was a threat to all of them. Caroline doesn't appreciate his logic: he turned him over to Tripp so he could stop them from being targeted, but now that Tripp has decided to hold him hostage for information (instead of just killing him like Stefan had hoped) he has to rescue him to stop them from being targeted. As always, Stefan's decisions ruin everything.
Stefan: I'm not the one threatening to turn in other vampires to save his own skin.Damon snoops around Elena' dorm room, looking at photographs of her all happy with everyone but him (there's even a photo of just her and Tyler alone, when the hell was that taken?). Jeremy shows up because he wants to know why Bonnie didn't come back. Damon doesn't know how to tell him the truth, so he lies and says she wasn't there. It was just him. Jeremy admits that he's been paying her cell phone bill so he could call her voicemail and hear her voice every day. Damon lies and says that Bonnie wasn't with him because she found peace and she's in a better place now. This is one lie that I understand. Jeremy is obviously devastated by Bonnie's death and Damon coming back without her can only make that hurt even more. However, I think Damon should tell the rest of the gang that Bonnie sacrificed herself for him. It would give Elena even more incentive to get un-compelled if she knew that her own best friend knew how important it was for Damon to get back to Elena.
Caroline: The only one who's turned in other vampires is you Stefan.
Back at the hospital, Dr. Jo tells Elena that she knows she's a vampire. She saw how extensive some of the injuries she "treated" at the corn maze were and so she knows she used vampire blood to heal them. She also saw her checking her coffee and realized that Alaric was trying to compel her (as if her love life wasn't crappy enough). Since she saved that girl instead of feeding on her, she's not worried about Elena working at the hospital, but Elena is suspicious about why she's not more afraid. She realizes that the only way to resist compulsion without vervain is if Dr. Jo is a witch. They agree to leave each other alone and not ask more questions.
Sarah looks at photos of "animal attack" victims and realizes maybe it was a good thing she didn't grow up in Mystic Falls. YOU THINK? She breaks into Tripp's desk to snoop around and Matt finds that he had Ivy's phone (complete with Caroline's phone number at the top of the recent dialed list). This means Caroline is potentially a target, so Matt calls to warn her. Meanwhile, Caroline discovers that Enzo is not where Matt said he'd be... meaning Tripp has taken him somewhere.
Damon sits in the dorm room and calls Bonnie's voicemail to hear her voice. He tells her he's in her room, which is "a lot less weird than it sounds" and he's grateful that because of her he gets to see Elena today. Also he's sorry. He doesn't know what else to say but he actually misses her. It's sad because no one else in the group can understand this, since they always hated each other - but they really did bond the last few months being alone in 1994 together. Just then Elena calls him and she says maybe they should meet face-to-face. Um, I want to know who has been paying Damon's cell phone bill all this time. No one questions this? Anyway, Elena says she can't run forever and asks him to come by her dorm room (which is convenient because he's already there). He straightens up to hide the fact that he's been there all along, but just then the door opens and it's Tripp with a gun that shoots vervain darts. Damon catches the dart in mid-air and throws it back at Tripp, grabbing him. Unfortunately, he's got two hunter buddies with him who shoot Damon in the back. Well fuuuuck.
Elena returns to her form to find no Damon, but some blood on the ground and she realizes that he's ben taken. Since Liam Neeson is probably unavailable, she calls Alaric for help. Alaric is leaving his office, when Dr. Jo stops by to confront him. He can't talk because he has an emergency but she just wants him to be honest with her. Okay! Honesty: His best friend just came back from the dead but he has to save him from a vampire hunter before he's driven across an anti-magic border and killed, again. He offers her some good advice... to stay as far away from him as possible.
Damon wakes up in the back of the truck chained up with his bestie Enzo, who warns him that the reunion will be shortlived because they're heading to Mystic Falls to re-die. When Damon questions why Stefan wouldn't have warned him about there being a hunter in town, Enzo throws him under the bus as the one who turned him in to Tripp in the first place. Caroline's mom has closed off some of the roads so that Tripp will have limited access to get back into Mystic Falls. Care and Elena give their car a flat tire so it will look like a spin-out on the road and block the way, while Elena admits that she does want her memories back. She doesn't want to avoid the truth and she can't make any decisions if she only knows half the story. Oh gee, do you think maybe someone should've told her this at the beginning of the episode!?
Stefan and Alaric set up a fake "car trouble" scene on another road and Alaric admits to Stefan that he wasn't the only one who gave up on Damon. He was only really going through the motions of searching for Damon as a distraction because he'd honestly given up too. Just then the murder van pulls up and Alaric waves to Tripp for "help" with his car trouble (while Stefan hides, since Tripp might recognize him). He tries to knock out Tripp, but he shoots him with vervain and holds onto him as he speeds across the border. The van crashes with all four of them just across the border. They're dying, but slowly, so Stefan crosses over the border to try to help, even though he's essentially dying too as he does it. Tripp runs off while half-dying Stefan pulls half-dying Enzo and half-dying Damon from the van and manages to get them over the border in time. Dr. Jo also shows up (having followed Alaric like a crazy stalker) to try to help and he tells her to get him over to the other border of town or he'll die. She doesn't listen and tells him that if she moves him in this condition he'll die anyway. Um, what? I want to punch this smug bitch right now. She treats his wound and does CPR to get his heart pumping again. He wakes back up - she has essentially healed him from dying from his original wounds, so I'm guessing this has reversed the vampire spell? It really makes no sense, but just as I suspected last week, I knew there would be some reason why Alaric wouldn't be able to un-compel Elena. None of this should fucking work. Alaric died, became a vampire, and then died again. How is any of this possible? You can't keep changing the rules!
Caroline explains it to to Elena - that because Jo saved Alaric before he died, he's no longer a vampire, which means that he's not able to un-compel Elena. THE LAWS OF MAGIC MAKE NO SENSE!!!!!! But it's a TV show, so sure, fine, whatever, fuck you all. If he's not a vampire, his compulsion shouldn't have worked in the first place, so it should be un-done regardless, just as it would've been un-done if he had died. So if his vampire self died, then all his past vampire compulsions should go away. No? I don't know. I'm making this shit up but apparently so are the VD staff writers. This might be my last season of the show, because I can't stand how they won't let their characters be happy for more than one episode at a time. So stupid!
Back at casa de Salvatore, Matt tells Sarah that their house is in fact, the casa de Salvatore and her "family" is Stefan and Damon Salvatore, two vampires who "death and pain always follows." He tells her if she's looking for family, she should get as far away as possible. Jeremy storms in furious that he can't remember Bonnie's pin number so he can't cancel her phone without it. He smashes the phone and some other stuff and just keeps repeating that she's gone. Even though she was always gone, knowing that Damon came back but Bonnie never will, is too much for him to handle. (Of course, never say never on this show! Maybe someone can compel him to forget about Bonnie and then she'll come back. Fuckers.) I'm still confused how Jeremy is even alive at all, because he was dead and only came back because of Bonnie's spell which would totally contradict the no-magic thing in Mystic Falls. Meh.
Alaric is in the hospital, saved (and re-humanized) by Dr. Jo. He apologizes to Elena (via phone) that he can't give her back her memories but she says that it was her decision to ask for them to be taken in the first place and now she has to live with it. She just wants to be able to look Damon in the eye, knowing all that she knows (and all that she doesn't) and see how she feels about him. She wants to trust how she feels. But um, how can she trust how she feels if what she feels is a lie because the truth was erased? Gah! Alaric says he hopes that she can and wishes her luck. Dr. Jo comes in and says Alaric will be transfered to Whitmore hospital soon and he thanks her for not just for saving his life but for giving him back his life. I'm just hoping that when he's transferred out of Mystic Falls, he becomes a vampire again. That'd be kind of cool, no? Anything to get Elena's memories back, really, anything! All I can say is although I've been rooting for Alaric's death for seasons, I have never wanted him to die more than right now, so his compulsion can be reversed... or something.
Damon and Stefan get a drink and Damon is pissed off. He was so close to seeing Elena again and now not only did he miss his moment, but she can never be un-compelled again.
Stefan: I'm sorry.He's tired of hearing how hard it was for Elena, becasue it was hard for him too. And it's still hard for him. Ric says Elena is happy without him but he doesn't want her to be happy if it's without him. Stefan tells him to quit stalling and go see her and find out if what they had was strong enough to fight the compulsion. Just then Caroline walks by the bar and Stefan runs out to talk to her. He wants to get past all of it and go back to being friends again. But after all that has happened, she doesn't want to be friends anymore, so she walks away. He totally deserved that, but of course, the true reason she doesn't want to be friends is that she wants to be more than friends.
Damon: Oh I got it. Everybody's sorry. You're sorry you gave up on me. You're sorry you turned Enzo over to that hunter guy. Ric's sorry for the compulsion. I'm sure if Elena could remember anything she'd be sorry too.
Damon approaches Elena's dorm room, where she's digging through a box of Damon stuff - photos of them together, his leather jacket, old diaries (luckily we arent subjected to another voiceover of her reading them). He knocks at the door and she tentatively approaches, turning the knob to let him in. They come face to face for the first time all season and you can see the love in his eyes for her, but she looks more confused than anything. Fade to black and we're left wondering for another week. Fuck you CW.