The Vampire Diaries Recap: Paved Paradise and Put Up a Walmart

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Photo: Bob Mahoney/CW
The Vampire Diaries
Episode Title
Welcome to Paradise
Season
6
Episode
3
Editor’s Rating
3/5

We might be slow sliding into fall here, but everyone was still in their swimwear on last night’s TVD. Shirtless Jeremy is CARRYING this season. It was pretty much a prep episode, which means big things are coming, but some important stuff did happen. For instance, we found out that once you’re back inside the borders of Mystic Falls, all compelled memories return, and also that "The Sign" was in fact a '90s jam, not a late-'80s one.

Author’s note: In the (very limited) time that I spend NOT thinking about Stefan’s hair, I write books. One of them comes out Tuesday. It’s inspired by shows like The Vampire Diaries and my personal obsession with all things young Hollywood (you’re shocked, I know). I hope you’ll pick up a copy, or at the very least, turn it face-out if you see it at Barnes and Noble. It’s called Famous in Love, and you can read all about it here.

Let’s recap!

This opening scene – plus 25. Stefan was so take-charge, and super-strengthy, and greasy. My favorite Stefan is this Stefan. You know, the one who will call his boss a dick to his face, throw people up against cars, and yet still refer to the girl he had sex with four times (and never shared a meal) as his girlfriend.

I know Elena doesn’t remember breaking Stefan’s heart by falling in love with his brother, but sorry, she’s still done WAY too much shady, self-serving shit to throw Caroline shade at hanging with Enzo. Minus 7.

Ha. Elena punishes people by sending selfies of herself. This is a ton of self awareness, and I don’t buy it. Minus 4.

Don’t understand who this new guy is or what his relationship with Matt is, but plus 15 for those (police academy?) T-shirts.

Jeremy-as-Damon is really working for me. “Two brothers. One moved, the other is dead.” He’s even getting the sarcastic-poetic thing down. Plus 8.

Oh, look, it’s the twins! Plus 20. Love these two. Also, Tyler is WAY redeeming himself by cruising with them. I can’t believe I almost wanted him off the show. “I don’t blame you, he’s hot,” Luke says to his sister. Can this be our new love triangle? Please?

Why do the med students all wear matching Hogwarts polos? Minus 8.

I hate myself for feeling things when Stefan returned to hug Elena, but what are you gonna do? Plus 3.

Damon and Bonnie shopping in the empty grocery store was great, but I’m concerned about the expiration date of that milk they were buying. Who is stocking this store?

Enzo’s “I’m not Stefan” to Caroline reminded me of Damon’s “I’m not Stefan” to Elena. No one is Stefan, but we already knew that. Plus 13.

Damon and Bonnie are FULL-ON FLIRTING. And I’m getting SUPER into it. Plus 4.

Elena and Stefan trying to set this dude up with Caroline was kind of weird. But the CRAZIEST part was that it has been two years since they broke up. That can’t be right, can it? My head hurts when I try to figure out time on this show. No points.

Is Damon’s car going to be a time machine? What did I tell you about Back to the Future? WHAT DID I SAY? Plus 20.

“Now it’s my time to brag,” Elena says, stripping into a bikini. Fair enough. Plus 11.

Jeremy and Elena talking in their bathing suits. I mean, I know they lost their parents, but genetic lottery, am I right? Plus 15.

Elena’s hair dried way too quickly. Minus 7. TVD is usually pretty good at the details.

“I’m working on my rage issues” —Tyler. Plus 10.

Caroline is so desperately heartbroken about Stefan, and Elena cannot see it at all because she is Elena. I’m sure eventually when Elena walks in on Caroline and Stefan having sex (you know, once they’ve been dating for like a year), she will be upset and make it about her. But until then — Sigh. Minus 19.

I don’t know why Damon and Bonnie assumed that having someone else there would be a good thing. But I liked when Bonnie told Damon to take off this ring. This whole thing reminded me of something, I just can’t put my finger on it. But oh! Remember the Dawson’s Creek episode when Joey and Pacey get locked in a Walmart and she shaves his facial hair and they cuddle? Plus 34 for that memory.

Elena: “Kissing a girl who is trying to set you up with her best friend: red flag.”
College dude: “Maybe. But I have a sneaking suspicion that’s your type.”

You mean, guys who are only interested in her, no one else, ever? Nailed it! Plus 16.

When Jeremy came up shirtless to Caroline, I could not for the life of me remember if they ever hooked up. But I definitely wanted them to. Plus 7?

It was kind of badass when Kai was all, “I want to kill you,” and then Damon dropped to the floor with vervain hissing all around him. Been awhile, vervain! Plus 10.

Bonnie’s powers are back! I LOVED when Bonnie was like, “run,” and Damon did because he just knew she had it. She was handling it. Have I mentioned I’m really digging these two together? Plus 22.

This forest scene with Caroline and Stefan was beautiful. I’m not going to say it reminded me of early-seasons Elena and Stefan because that’s not fair. But it did remind of the emotional angst this show used to do so well. And then there was Elena, watching Caroline cry and then holding her. Plus 40.

I’m not going to lie, I really though Kai was going to be Katherine. Wasn’t necessarily buying his shtick about trying to get Bonnie her powers back either, but psyched Bonnie is the key. I mean, Bonnie is generally the key, but she is actually getting screentime here, which seems different in a good way. Plus 20. Although frankly, if I were her, I’m not sure I’d want to magic my way back to a universe of “friends” who basically don’t even remember I died.

Liv and Tyler, yesssss. “It’s just easier if you’re an aggressive, unlikeable dick.” All the points for these two. In reality, 15.

OKAY. LOOK. SOMETIMES I’M WRONG. Elena asked Caroline if she had feelings for Stefan, and Caroline just ADMITTED it. Like, “Yeah, I think I did.” Do not like the use of past tense here, but I’ll take what I can get. Elena didn’t really seem upset by this, which I want to credit to her love for Caroline but is probably just a result of her lobotomized brain. Plus 50 for the confession, though. #Steroline is on.

Stefan gave the new founding guy some kind of nuclear weapon to kill Enzo, so I guess that’s a thing.

Keeping up the positive trend. As soon as Jeremy puts a shirt on, I’m sure things will even back out.

The preview for next week saw Stefan proposing marriage to Elena and her looking DELIGHTED, which could only mean two things: (1) dream sequence; or (2) Stefan is the one on the herbs this time.

Elena being a terrible friend to Caroline and accepting just feels par for the course, at this point.

See you next week! As always: @RebeccaASerle