“Previously On” is not just a cute pre-show mini-drama wherein we get to listen to the soft intonations of Paul Wesley’s voice. No, “Previously On” is informational. It is crucial. And if you pay attention, it will tell you everything you need to know about the upcoming episode. A line like “I wasn’t there for Caroline” in “Previously On” is tantamount to full-body hugging in a current episode. As is a bloody montage of a cancer patient. Don’t yet see what I mean? Let’s recap.
We open on Sheriff Forbes sleeping peacefully in her bed with Caroline curled up in the armchair. But someone is in the house! The cancer patient has traveled hundreds (??) of miles to find Caroline at her home. Turns out Colin is a vampire! Plus 18.
Oh good, Elena is talking to herself again. Where was she? Cute apartment, never seen it before. Alaric’s? Was that Kai sleeping? What was even going on here? Plus 8.
Elena is super chill about Jo and the merge, which figures, because that shit does not involve her at all. Why care about other people’s humanity? Oh wait, that’s Elena’s whole thing? Eh, she’s growing. Plus 14.
It's cute that Damon tries to pitch a date to Elena that he had already taken her on. Hey, if it ain’t broke … plus 6.
Liv and Tyler get naked, but I get no choreographed sex scene. Minus 20. You know better than that, TVD.
Liv and Luke’s dad is so creepy. Meanwhile, Jo is practicing magic at the hospital, failing on bringing a small plant back to life. So that bodes well. Minus 9.
Stage-ten cancer patient who is going to live forever? This is literally every single worst nightmare rolled into one. Minus 30.
Elena razzing on Stefan for letting Caroline feed her mom vampire blood is straight-up ridiculous. First off, Elena has zero common sense when it comes to tragedy, so the mere fact that she felt qualified to dole out this tough love is insane. (Also not very believable.) Furthermore, she has no chill. How many times does Elena march off toward death’s door because she kinda, sorta has a hunch someone related to her is maybe in trouble a little bit? Like, one million times. And finally, Elena believes in everything. Her brother and her boyfriend came back to life, yet somehow vampire blood curing cancer is impossible? Minus 30. Sorry, this got on my nerves.
“Am I wearing too much eyeliner?” Liv, you’re awesome. Luke, CUT YOUR HAIR.
I know sometimes he’s a class-A dick, but if you think about it, Tyler is actually the most altruistic, good-hearted, self-sacrificing one on this show (where is Matt, by the way?). Also, I just typed “one” because I legitimately can’t remember if he’s still a vampire or just a werewolf now. Plus 18.
“I killed my mom.” Look, this isn’t exactly true. Sheriff Forbes was terminal, right? There was nothing they could do for her; she was going to die. Minus 10 for Caroline’s guilt. Made my heart hurt.
Caroline is at the flower shop and calls Stefan. Meanwhile, back at the hospital, Elena has “looked everywhere” but can’t find Caroline. Of course Elena doesn’t think to contact Stefan to find out where Caroline is, because why would Stefan know? Isn’t he still in a corner crying about her? No? Minus 19.
Loved this flower-shop scene, though. My God, these two. When Stefan shares that his mom was sick when he was little and he couldn’t face her and he would give anything to have one more day with her? Heartbreaking. And then the hand-holding. Plus 30.
Sidebar: Stefan walks into town to get his mom’s favorite tea. At Starbucks? Wasn’t he born like 200 years ago?
Yep … it’s Kai. They’re keeping Kai in an induced coma. Honest to God, I don’t remember this happening, but cool. No points. This is probably on me.
“Twinderella.” Hah! Damon is so great lately. Plus 12.
Damon is also the only one with a brain sometimes. Genius, having Kai take the magic out of Sheriff Forbes. Too bad she STILL HAS TERMINAL CANCER. I still don’t understand this merge plot all that much. So basically ... it can happen at any time? Or is there always a celestial event going on in Mystic Falls? I don’t know. I just wish Luke would cut his hair.
It's 100 percent fucked up when Liv and Luke’s dad grabs them and tries to merge them. Luckily Tyler's there for punches, followed by warm-body hugs. Plus 20.
The best villains have great comic timing. Kai is A+. I don’t see how he could be redeemed, which is so awesome. Villains are redeemed too easily on this show! Plus 22.
Good one, Luke! He knocks Jo out and tells Kai he's going to merge with him. I saw where this was going, and I kinda liked it. (Luke is not bringing that much to the show, to be honest.) I just wish someone would remind us what is even at stake in this merge. Elena’s life? Just going off of past lunar events here.
Meanwhile, Sheriff Forbes is having a literal heart attack from all the shenanigans. She's dying, and in her brain she's packing up her keepsakes and trying to find Caroline to say good-bye. Caroline rushes into the hospital and starts sobbing on her mother’s body. Mama Forbes wakes up and strokes Caroline’s hair, and we all bawled our eyes out ...
... Except for Delena, who are too busy being turned on my tragedy to cry. Yep, Damon and Elena are officially back together, and making out in hospital corridors. Good for them! Plus 30.
Sheriff Forbes sends Caroline out of the room so she can tell Stefan that he has to take care of Caroline. Caroline overhears, and it's devastating. Minus 40, but also plus 40 because my God, what is coming?
Back at the Merge, Jo is cradling Luke’s body and he's slowly waking up. Except things are not as they seemed. Luke has died, and Kai wins. Which I guess sucks for our heroes but is great for us, because yay for keeping Kai! Plus 40. (Sorry, Luke.)
We’re in the positive this week, but barely. Could Bonnie coming back tip the scales? (Bonnie is a witch who is sometimes on this show. She has no friends.)