Happy Thursday, Rippers. It’s every vampire’s favorite holiday: Halloween. Or, if you’re Damon, just your average Thursday when your also-undead-but-not-vampiric girlfriend’s coffin has been stolen by your vengeful and slightly psychotic mother. To the recap, shall we?
Three years from now: Alaric has obtained a degree in robotics. (Dude is handsome and talented.) Plus 10.
In run two adorable little girls. Alaric has kids! Twins?! Wait, this is a little creepy. Jo was pregnant with twins when she was murdered. Does this mean Alaric brought her back and they had more? Are they zombie-babies?
Vampire-hunting weapon is at the ready in the kitchen cabinet. Still stealth, still prepared for anything. Plus 8.
The Damon who shows up on Alaric’s doorstep is not the Damon we have come to know and love — you can see it in his eyes right away. Something is very wrong here. Minus 4. (But nice acting, Ian Somerhalder!)
“The fact that you’re here means someone died.” Oh, no, I guess that’s what’s wrong. Minus 10.
“Not yet,” Damon quips. “But if you don’t do exactly as I say, that could change really fast.” Uh-oh. Old-school Damon is definitely back, and three years from now, he and Ric are NOT BFFs. Minus 20.
“It’s not my first hostage swap.” Lily, take note: While you were in a prison world for over a century, Damon was perfecting his hostage-rescue skills. A lot. He’s got this. Plus 6.
“Our lives are weird.” Despite their lives being totally weird (I’d probably describe them more as effed-up, but weird works, too), Bonnie and Caroline are refreshingly normal. Plus 10.
Damon and Stefan are dorm roomies! Which one of them do you think nags the other one more about picking their crap up off the floor? (My money’s on Damon doing the nagging.) Plus 4.
Damon: “I’ve been bingeing.”
Stefan: “And I’ve been judging.” Maybe I was wrong? Plus 5.
When Nora and Mary Louise can’t find Oscar, they resort to some old-school bitchery. (Sorry, I meant to say “witchery.”) For every hour Oscar isn’t with them, a Whitmore student dies, starting with the one right in front of them. Plus 8 for the return to some cool, old-school compelling; minus 10 for murder!
Stefan brought Caroline coffee! They’re practically engaged in his book. Plus 6.
Nice hint, show: The heretics have been back for four months. That means approximately two years and six months until we know WHY TYLER IS THE FIANCÉ. Minus 6.
“Are you prevented from showing physical affection for your significant other? Try being gay in 1900.” Fair point, plus 20.
Jo’s dead body! Oh Lord, she’s coming back, isn’t she. As a zombie, probably. Minus 3.
Damon is actually kicking butt on the “making a plan” thing today! He wants Bonnie to bring Oscar back to life so he can handle his switcheroo. It’s dumb (because he’ll probably be a zombie and kill them all) but also so smart: Better to try the resurrection on someone we don’t actually care about that much (sorry Oscar) rather than Jo, whom we love. Plus 9.
“So then this isn’t our first date?”
“That depends, what do you think it is?”
[Stefan Salvatore’s Sexy Side-Eye™] “Torture.”
I am literally about to break out into “Kiss the Girl” lyrics from The Little Mermaid, guys. Plus 25.
At this point, Enzo is still trying to figure out what side he’s on, whom he’s loyal to, and whether he’s in love with Lily. Normally, I wouldn’t really care, but we for once have a common enemy: Valerie. He doesn’t trust her, and neither do I. So for now: Plus 12.
Caroline, like every other rational and sane girl (totally sincere here) is afraid that Stefan is avoiding Valerie because he’ll set eyes on her and fall back in love (which, to be fair, is now sort of his track record). But Stefan does a great job of proving he only has eyes for Caroline … so much so that he loses track of Mary Louise and Nora, who are off to kill people. Minus 6.
I love that the writers are taking time to show one of the heretics not really adjusting to the new “rules” of the modern age, and the impact that could have on a couple. Alright, Mary Louise and Nora, I’m officially rooting for you! Plus 6.
“Bon, you are officially the most terrifying person I know.” Be afraid, world. Be very afraid. Plus 6.
Bonnie and I are on the same wavelength: “If hunger is the worst consequence of the stone spell, we got off easy.”
Translation: It’s going to get way, way, worse. Minus 7.
Stefan’s pulling his old hat trick: get the mildly psychotic vampire to sympathize with him so they’ll do what he wants. But I totally didn’t hear a thing he said to Mary Louise after this:
“Me and my girlfriend.”
He called Caroline his girlfriend. He called her. His. Girlfriend. Plus 150.
Oh, turns out I didn’t need to pay too much attention because Stef vervains Mary Louise, probably to get her to undo the repulsion spell. Plus 10.
Oscar ripped through Mystic Falls. I knew this Phoenix Stone was bad news! Minus 20.
Our boys are so in sync, they might as well be a boy band. (Forgive me for that one.) Stefan takes a page from Damon’s book and holds a stake to Mary Louise so Nora will lift the spell. When Nora tries to get out of it via witchy woo-woo, Caroline clamps down on her arm, forcing her to either siphon the spell away or burn. Nora lifts the spell, gets her neck snapped, and then …
Stefan and Caroline (who is his girlfriend) kiss. FINALLY. I swooned. Plus another 150.
“We have had more history in the past five years than most people have in a lifetime,” Stefan says. Sigh. SO THEN WHAT HAPPENS BETWEEN NOW AND THE MYSTERIOUS FIANCÉ WHO IS PROBABLY TYLER? Minus 20 for inevitability, plus 50 for the make-out sesh.
“I worry that Matt Donovan’s funeral is going to cut into my social schedule.” Us too, Damon. Every. Damn. Week. #LongLiveMattyBlueBlue. Plus 10.
Post–successful hostage swap, Damon writes a diary entry for Elena about “the story of why I drink bourbon.” He can’t keep Elena close anymore because it doesn’t keep her safe, and it’s just a repeat of him waiting for Katherine. So he calls Tyler (!!!) to take her far away, so he can figure out who he is without her until they are reunited.
“You may be a thousand miles away or a hundred years away, but you are still here with me, and my heart is in that coffin with you. Until you come back to me.” Damon, that’s a solid diary entry. Elena would be proud. Plus 80.
Jo’s eyes flash open, her body still pale as a very dead ghost. I can only hope our Bon-Bon was right about the stone having no consequences … because sometimes people are meant to stay gone. No points, just impending doom.
Between the Steroline romance, the intriguing flash-forwards, and the return to season-one levels of blood and gore, I’m really loving this season. Here’s hoping next week’s big Valerie confrontation doesn’t ruin everything. Until then, I’m on Twitter @TalkativeTara.