The Vampire Diaries Recap: No Matter What Happens

Photo: Bob Mahoney/CW
The Vampire Diaries
Episode Title
Somebody That I Used to Know
Editor’s Rating

We’re in the home stretch, fang family: Four more episodes, a wedding on the books, and a ticking clock threatening to take out our beloved Bon Bon! Here’s what happened this week on TVD:

Historical Romance
Watching Bonnie clear out her Westmore dorm room (Did she graduate? Did any of them? Unclear.) was super depressing. The scratched-in initials on the wall were an extra reminder of how alone she is. Enter Enzo, who swoops in to rescue her when the Armory is about to attack. I’ve been dying to know how these two got their start for months now, so I was excited to see this relationship play out (even on a fast-forwarded timeline).

After trying to attack him with a fire poker and use her magic (neither of which work), Bonnie gets Enzo to tell her the truth: he’s trying to protect her from the armory by keeping her hidden in his cabin of convenience. Their relationship is still fraught with distrust — Enzo’s been a wild card since he was brought on the show; at times he’s served as the villain, at times he’s been a hero. I’m excited to see it place him in a category in which we can root for him.

A year later, Bonnie believes that the Armory may be after her because she’s an outlier: Elena’s a Doppelganger, Rayna’s a Huntress … so what is she? (Again, I wonder if they keep bringing up these weird links between Rayna and Elena for a reason!) But more importantly, we finally got a hint of how Bonnie and Enzo bond: They’ve both been betrayed by a mutual friend by the name of Damon Salvatore. In a way, it means she shouldn’t take it personally. As Enzo says: “It’s not you, it’s him.” (Followed up with the much more seductive: “Someone like you, with all that fire and passion and loyalty … you deserve much better than that.” Rawr.)

Fast-forward another six months: Bonnie’s reading in her sweatpants on New Year’s. (Ideal NYE celebration, TBH.) Enzo has other ideas, planning a beautiful dinner for her instead. I like this considerate, compassionate side of Enzo. In a way, he and Bonnie are very similar: both abandoned souls, both torn between familial obligation and protecting people they care about. Also, they look super hot together.

Another six months later, Bonnie’s left the door open for Enzo, and his smile before he walks in shows he knows it’s a metaphor for her heart, too. While he’s been gone, Bonnie’s been trying to piece together why the Armory might want her, and she thinks it has something to do with Alex St. John’s sister, Virginia, who knew Bonnie’s cousin. Virginia’s been in a mental hospital (the one Bonnie decides to go undercover in.) But in a more important skill than learning to protect her own safety, Bonnie is learning guitar. Then, she and Enzo are holding hands, then, they are kissing, and it is very sexy. While their relationship came out of left field and the actors on this show are so good at, you know, acting like they’re into one another … I am intrigued by Benzo. Enzie? Whatever the ’ship name may be, I think I’m on it.

Take ’Em Out
Someone not on the Benzo/Enzie train? Damon Salvatore, who back in the present is still at the door to Bonnie’s hospital room with flowers, tripping over an apology that she has no interest in hearing. And to top it off, the apology flowers he brought aren’t even her favorite. The banter between her and Enzo here did a nice job of showing their shared history together — she’s comfortable talking to him like this, and he’s comfortable hearing about it (probably because he had, many times before, when she was back in the “anger stage”).

At the cabin where Enzo’s got Rayna locked up, Damon tries to get Rayna to give Bonnie her last mortal life, which will heal her from the effects of the magic-blocking pills. (Oh yeah, forgot to mention that Bonnie seems sort of chill for someone who might be dying. Damon, on the other hand? Wracked with guilt, as he should be.)

Rayna offers them a deal: The voices/visions in her head from lost souls are too much to handle, so if they can kill a few off her list so she can think clearer, she’ll consider giving Bonnie her final life. After, you know, experiencing some basic human joys: “Feel the sun on my face, eat a cheeseburger.”

So the team gets cracking, following Rayna’s directions towards some of the stone vampires. They get one, courtesy of some good old fashioned teamwork (and a swift decapitation using a a “wet floor” sign — ten points to Damon for ingenuity) but they soon realize they need more help, and get Stefan and Alaric to join in.

“I’m trying to pick up the pieces of my broken life,” Stefan says when Damon calls. (They’re on a time-out.)
“I’m trying to save someone who hates me,” Damon replies.
These brothers got issues, man.

Vamp after vamp, heartsnatch after headroll — and finally, Alex from the Armory shows up, onto Enzo’s game and revealing her own: Four years ago, Virginia forced Bonnie’s cousin to seal a vault … and Alex’s sister was trapped inside, and is somehow still alive. “Bring me Bonnie Bennett, and I will do everything in my power to save her life,” Alex promises, and I snorted. Right, like she promised Nora she would help Mary Louise. I believe her like I believe every politician in the 2016 election cycle.

But Enzo’s tempted by the offer, and he has good reason to be: As Bonnie and Damon are driving to the next location, she realizes the first scab has appeared on her skin. She’s got about a week to live, if everything goes the same as it did for Mary Louise.

Speaking of heretics, we got a surprise cameo from my FAVORITE: Beau (who was chilling in another body feeding on humans in some crazy place like Kansas). Bonnie argues to save him (he did save Caroline, after all) but Damon, as always, lashes out when he feels shut out: “I don’t ask permission to do what needs to be done,” he growls, after removing NotBeau’s heart from his chest. Sigh. Bye again, Beau.

It would be so cruel of our beloved show to give Bonnie true love and then just sweep her happiness right out from under her — but this is an important lesson for Damon to learn; when things get bad, you can’t run away. Hopefully Damon learns true empathy and compassion from watching Bonnie and Enzo, even if their adorableness was bordering on making him tear his eyeballs out.

How You Get the Girl
On the other hand, the tension between Stefan and Alaric this episode was LIT. I was doing the opposite of tearing my eyes out — I couldn’t get enough. (It took me back to the old days, a bit, two guys fighting over a girl … ah, nostalgia.)

But when Stefan shows up on Ric’s doorstep, looking for Caroline, the last thing he wants to do is reminisce. Good, because that’s not why Stef is there: It’s clear from the look on his face that he’s there to get his girl back, and apparently there’s a good reason why he left in the first place … or at least a reason he thinks Caroline deserves to hear directly from him.

In between assisting Damon with some vamp-killings, Ric tells Stefan exactly how things went down with Caroline: She pretended to join book club so she could go somewhere, be alone, and cry over Stefan. “The girls and I stopped being placeholder. We became her life.”

And then, the greatest shots fired in the history of this show. Stefan calls Alaric out on the lack of true intimacy in his relationship with Caroline, earning himself a headbutt to the face. “After you get home from city hall on Friday, is that when she’s going to start sleeping in your bed?” Burn, baby, burn.

(While I love me some possessive Stefan, this brings up another point: Ric, when did you get so sad that you’d accept this sham of a relationship?? I mean, I guess having three women you love die on you can make a guy do crazy things, but … you’re better — and hotter — than this.)

Even Stefan seems to realize that Ric’s had it rough, because he shows back up on his doorstep to apologize, and … Caroline’s back! (Will we see what she was up to? Did she see Klaus? I am dying to know what sage advice he gave her, if so!) and, like Bonnie, seems to have no interest in talking to Stefan. Interesting how last week’s episode ended with Bonnie slamming the door in Damon’s face, and this week’s ends with Alaric politely closing the door on Stefan. Two brothers, both in the doghouse, and not a lot of time to fix it before one girl dies and the other gets married.

And even worse, the plan to save Bonnie hits a hiccup: Rayna has agreed to give up her last life, but the list of people she wants dead first has grown exponentially … and they have less than seven days to get it done before Bonnie croaks.

Thanks for tuning in! See you next week, and while I’m wondering who else in the southern United States we can hook Ric up with, you can find me on Twitter @Talkativetara.