Follow me here: The sound was off on The Vampire Diaries last night, which initially was annoying but then ended up being this fascinating experiment in oneness. Like, does it even matter who is talking about flannel or loving Elena or compelling each other into oblivion? Not really. This is a moment, and as far as moments go, it is no more important than the moment Matt loved Elena or Stefan loved Elena or Bonnie dated her own brother. Time is an illusion, everything is occurring at once, it’s 1994 forever, etc. And therefore, it does not matter who is talking and which line of dialogue belongs to which hunk. We are all one, and this moment is infinite and also smaller than Matt Donovan’s ego … you feel me? (Matt Donovan doesn’t have an ego.)
Also I closed my eyes for awhile and kind of guessed at what was happening because it seemed fun, so, sorry if none of this makes sense.
So psyched we got to see an extended scene of bro-hugging. Someone is gonna do a YouTube compilation so I don’t have to switch between episodes, right? #Defan #fronthug #plus20
Flannel hellscape. Plus 15.
“He’s a psychotic killer!” “You only feel that way because I erased all the good parts.” Ha. Hahahahaha. Plus 9.
No, definitely, Elena has shifts at the hospital. That seems real for a sophomore premed who goes to class 20 percent of the time. Minus 10.
Matt and Enzo. Plus 10. “When has Stefan’s moral compass become your true north?” Since Stefan let Matt take a ride in his vintage cruiser, probably.
My favorite thing is watching Alaric try and lead a Scooby meeting. He looks so uncomfortable in positions of power. Plus 3.
I guess this wasn’t the epic reunion you were looking for, Delena people, but I kind of liked it. It’s clear these two people are not who they were before, and only part of it has to do with the fact that Elena has wiped her memory. Damon reminds her of a bummer time! She’s happy now! Maybe Damon and Stefan should compel themselves. Compulsion is the new therapy, basically. Plus 12.
No vervain in the doctor’s coffee. Hmm.
Alaric and Damon bro-bonding. Plus 15. “It’s not that I don’t want Elena to be happy, I just want her to be happy with me.” Whoa. Someone want to write a dissertation on that line? That’s the major problem with these characters, I think. They want to be together more than they want to be happy.
I know Caroline and Stefan were arguing, but all I could see was flirting. They’re like 7-year-olds on the playground pulling each other’s pigtails. Plus 7.
I really like the new doctor Jo. A lot. It’s nice to have a newbie on the show just be like, “You’re vampires, I don’t care, just don’t fuck with my vibe.” Plus 5.
Jeremy did look particularly hunky last night. It was totally heartbreaking when Jeremy asked Damon why Bonnie didn’t come back. I’d be so goddamn pissed if I were Jeremy and that dude returned without my girlfriend. Minus 8.
New doctor is a witch!
“Maybe it’s a good thing I didn’t grow up here,” says Sarah, the new Salvatore, as she reads A Brief History of Mystic Falls, a.k.a. looks at photos of severed heads. Plus 12.
Damon calling Bonnie’s phone — yes. Plus 30. “I’m sorry. Other than that I don’t know what to say or what I’m supposed to say except that defying all possible global scenarios, I might miss you.”
“I figured I’d press the Damon button and see what happens.” That’s worked out well for you in the past, I guess. Why change things now. (Sexual innuendo.) Plus 8.
Tripp came and found Damon, preventing his reunion with Elena, which, fine. Look, I really wanted to like Tripp. Mostly because I find the idea of him trying to protect his town and eradicate monsters to be really interesting. Like our heroes are terrible! Tripp is right! But he’s such a dick about it, I kind of want him to leave now too. #TeamMonsters, I guess. Minus 20 for my moral compass.
I’m beginning to think this Jo is Elena in 15 years. I mean, my God, who else would possibly have this deep of a death wish?
Stefan the mechanic, the sequel. Plus 15.
I loved Alaric getting real with Stefan. He feels terrible about giving up, too, and not looking for Damon. I also really loved how Alaric told Stefan to go get Elena and he would handle this. It’s kind of funny how the only person Alaric sees as another adult is Damon. He knows Stefan is way older than him, right? And that he was pretending to be a high-school student to get into Elena’s pants? (Christ.) Even so, it’s cute how he still tries to look out for Stefan. Plus 6.
They crossed the border! I can’t explain why I was legit super stressed out about this, but I was. I also wanted to kill Jo for not immediately dragging Alaric out of Mystic Falls. What was that chick’s damage? Alaric was dying, and she saved him by sealing his wound (with gauze, okay). Anyway, Alaric isn’t a vampire anymore, and for some reason, this is upsetting people, specifically Caroline and Elena. I know, I don’t get it, either.
Oh, wait! I DO get it. Alaric is now human, which means he can’t give Elena her memories back. Elena Gilbert, once again, prioritizing her own romantic whims above other people’s actual lives. No points, because actually, this was a pretty genius move on the show’s part.
I ship Matt and the girl he is trying to protect from the Salvatores. In this case, Sarah. Plus 10.
Jeremy is still heavy into grief, and it’s heartbreaking. Steven McQueen, just bringing the muscles and tears. Plus 5.
“You gave me back my life.” I love that Alaric is human again. He was the best at being human besides the fact that he died, like, seven times. Quick Q: Are there any Gilbert rings still lying around? I know they made him crazy last time, but that’s only because there was a witch on the Other Side trying to take over his brain, and now that the Other Side is gone, we should be good to go. Someone get Alaric a Gilbert ring, stat. He should not be allowed to leave the hospital without one.
I was feeling Damon about how sick he was of hearing how hard it was for Elena. I was, too. So was Stefan, apparently, because he sent Damon after Elena. The idea was he’d try and break the compulsion by smoldering at her long enough to rewire her brain (not an official plan). In other news, Stefan and Elena are legit friends now. I know this happened like years ago, but I’m always shocked anew when I sincerely believe it. Plus 18.
“Am I your last stop on the Stefan Salvatore apology tour?” Caroline asked. And then Stefan was like, Look, what do you want me to do? How can we go back to being friends? And Caroline was like, Dude, I don’t want to be friends anymore. And Stefan is an idiot because he didn’t understand that meant: I want to BE with you. I want to make Bella/Edward babies with you. I want to live forever underneath the warmth of your chest hair. Plus 30. He’ll get there … eventually. I really love this plotline. Not just because I’m a hardcore Steroline fan, but because it’s kind of delightful to see Stefan playing the dumb guy who just doesn’t get it after years of him being the sensitive hero who can read your thoughts better than you can. He’s just a dude! And she’s a girl! And men are from Mars, women are from Venus!
The last scene was Elena pulling open her door to reveal Damon standing there. If next week’s preview is any indication (it is), Elena still doesn’t remember Damon and is still making out with the new guy. Well, good for you, Elena! It isn’t the midseason finale yet — go crazy!
Somehow we ended up in the positive again. Until next week: @RebeccaASerle