Elena is writing in her journal at a table outside the Grill. She tears out a page, which blows away. She chases it down the sidewalk, where Stefan picks it up. They talk about whether or not you’re allowed to censor your journal, then introduce themselves to each other, as if this is the first time they’re meeting. Suddenly a car approaching them starts honking and Stefan realizes he’s standing right in its path. Elena wakes from this dream in the Super Suite, trying to puzzle out what happened.
Damon and Enzo play pool at Vamp Villa, discussing the last time Damon and Elena saw each other, when she tried to make a clean break with him after they had break-up sex and spent the day together at Mystic Falls High. Enzo knows Damon will be miserable during this “friend phase,” when Elena moves on and starts dating other people. Damon asks if Maggie knows how insufferable Enzo is. Maybe he hasn’t found her because she doesn’t want him to. Enzo says it’s actually because the Travelers set themselves on fire without following through on their promise to give him information on where to find her. He suggests that if Damon isn’t having fun, they can go kill some people, though he notes that that’s how Damon wound up alone.
Caroline and Elena go to the Grill to meet Liz for lunch. Elena has a vision of Stefan taking her home (but not to Gilbert Gables) after their first date. They’re kind of awkward with each other but want to go out again. When they kiss good night, the porch lights come on, and Elena says her father is waiting up for her. When Elena emerges from her vision, she tells Caroline how real it felt. Caroline thinks it’s basic psychology: She wants to get back together with Stefan. Elena says there’s more to it, since her parents were still alive in this vision. It was like she was seeing a different life.
Stefan calls Caroline, hoping she’ll repay the favor he often does her where she calls looking for someone to tell her she’s not crazy. He just had a vision of Elena. Caroline assures him that he’s not crazy.
Bonnie tries to call Jeremy but he doesn’t answer his phone. Suddenly she finds herself on the Other Side…with Sheila! Sheila heard about how the Travelers messed with Bonnie last night. Rumor has it that they did it to sneak someone back to life from the Other Side. That someone is hiding from them, so they can’t figure out who it is. Now something’s wrong on the Other Side.
Liv addresses Jeremy, Tyler, and Matt (“the Three Stooges”) at Lockwood Landing, ready to work with them on one condition. First Matt and Tyler need to use the Traveler’s knife on themselves to prove they’re not possessed by Passengers. (Jeremy’s immune because he’s a hunter.) Matt objects to stabbing himself; Tyler will heal quickly because he’s a hybrid, but Matt’s human. Tyler points out that Matt has a Gilbert ring, though that will only help him if he dies, so I think Matt has a fair complaint here. Anyway, Tyler’s clear, and Matt stares down Liv as he shoves the knife into his own shoulder. “So much testosterone, so few brain cells,” she comments.
Jeremy asks what’s next. More of the same, actually – they need to use the knife on anyone who could have been possessed. Liv’s coven has been tracking the Travelers for thousands of years. They’re always moving, and this is one of the few times in history that they’ve stopped to gather. As Markos addresses some Travelers in a house, Liv says no one notices when the Travelers gather because they possess people in whatever town they settle in. They’re probably doing that in Mystic Falls, too. She’s right, as Travelers are spreading out across the city. Two of them become Passengers in Ms. Douglas and Liz.
Elena calls Damon, but he won’t answer since he’s trying to quit her cold turkey. Matt’s at the Grill now for a shift, and Caroline asks if he’s seen Liz, who never showed up and isn’t texting her back. She next calls Enzo and tells him to tell Damon that something’s going on with Elena and Stefan. Enzo puts her on speakerphone so she can fill the guys in on Elena and Stefan’s “vision-type situations of each other.” Enzo’s gleeful that those visions might be sex dreams. Stefan went to the Travelers’ camp to see if anyone’s there who can give him information. Damon tells Caroline to find a witch and meet up at Vamp Villa so they can figure things out.
Tired of not getting a response from Jeremy, Bonnie goes to Lockwood Landing to tell him what Sheila said. Since Jeremy can see ghosts, maybe he can help the witches track down whoever came back from the Other Side. Bonnie realizes Liv is there and isn’t happy. Liv lies that she’s tutoring Jeremy in math. Bonnie doesn’t believe her, what with Liv’s recent attempt to kill Elena, but Jeremy says he can’t tell her what’s really going on. She just needs to trust him. After Bonnie leaves, he reminds Liv that he didn’t want to keep secrets. She says they have to keep their plans quiet if they want to surprise the Travelers. Tyler and Matt are the only other people she’s willing to let in on this.
Tyler’s on the phone with Matt, who’s at Liz’s office since he suspects the Passengers would want to take over her life. Tyler says he’ll bring the Traveler’s knife over. Matt struggles to act normal around Liz, who heard him talking about the knife. She (well, the Passenger inside her) grabs a pen and jams it into his neck. See you on the Other Side, Matty.
He goes to Bonnie to cross over, warning that Liz is in trouble and asking her to tell Jeremy. When he passes through, he finds himself in the cemetery. For the first time, he’s able to see other people on the Other Side, and they’re able to see him. Unfortunately, one of those people is Kol. He tells Matt that there’s “trouble in paradise” – the Other Side is unraveling because someone crossed back over. Kol realizes that since Matt has a Gilbert ring and is just there “on holiday,” he won’t care. Matt realizes that he now has the chance to see Vicki.
Elena and Caroline head to Vamp Villa, where Damon and Elena see each other for the first time since officially breaking up. Enzo and Caroline avoid the awkwardness by running off to drink. Damon and Elena make small talk about how they’re dealing with the pent-up energy they have now. He got the pool table, she ran ten miles. Caroline eavesdrops from another room and tells Enzo they should do something. He’d rather listen in while Damon and Elena try to resist making out. Caroline decides she likes that idea better.
Elena wants to get past the awkwardness and go straight to being friends again. Enzo laments that on Damon’s behalf. This is the first time Elena has explicitly said that’s what she wants. That means there’s no more hope for them to get back together. Caroline guesses that Enzo’s thinking about Maggie and asks what happened there. He says the Travelers died without telling him how to contact her. Caroline notes that she would be really old now if she’s even still alive. But Enzo has been thinking of Maggie for 70 years, holding on to the possibility of getting out of captivity and seeing her again. He doesn’t want to be with her, he just wants to thank her.
Damon ignores Elena’s desire for less awkwardness and leaps into it head first by bringing up her visions of Stefan (though he calls them sex dreams). She says she doesn’t know what they mean, but it seems like they’re from an alternate reality. He asks if she and Stefan are happy in that reality. She doesn’t want to say they are. He reminds her that the “prophecy” says the doppelgangers are supposed to be together.
Luke arrives and introduces himself to Damon as Liv’s twin brother. “Is it possible for there to just be one of someone around here?” Damon asks. Heh. Just wait. Liv is busy, so she sent Luke in her place. Meanwhile, Tyler finds “Liz” and confirms that she’s not herself by mentioning that his mom said to say hi. When “Liz” reacts like that’s normal, Tyler stabs her with the Traveler’s knife and expels her Passenger. But when he turns around, there’s someone behind him.
Damon isn’t pleased with Luke’s news that his coven can’t stop Stefan and Elena’s visions. The witches think the Travelers are about to make a big move. Their leader, Markos, is the one who came back from the Other Side. “Perfect – a dead old guy with a mysterious evil plan,” Elena says. Caroline reports that Stefan called and said the Travelers have left their most recent camp. Luke asks about the visions and how they’re drawing Stefan and Elena together. Elena says it’s for their blood. Luke thinks they’re also being drawn to the Travelers. Enzo asks for more clues so they can follow the map the Travelers are setting out. “Break out the popcorn, blondie,” he tells Caroline. “Elena’s little sex romp isn’t over yet.”
Damon goes out to the porch to be alone, but Elena joins him there. He says he feels like the universe is laughing at him. They were doomed from the start because things were always going to end up this way. Elena doesn’t think the visions mean anything, and they’ll stop once the gang finds Markos. Damon asks if they’ll be friends after that. She steals his drink, which is a pretty familiar thing to do, and tells him the universe doesn’t control anything. Okay, but…you broke up. So are you saying you’ll get back together after the visions are gone?
Speaking of visions, here comes another one. Stefan and Elena have been dating long enough to have an anniversary and may even be living together. She accidentally finds an engagement ring he hid in a kitchen drawer and says yes before he can even propose. Elena comes back to reality and sees that she’s squeezed her glass so hard that she broke it. “That good, eh?” Enzo asks as he appears behind her and Damon. But a piece of mail in the vision gave Elena the address where she thinks they can find Markos, so it’s not all bad.
Matt searches for Vicki on the Other Side, finally finding her back in the cemetery. She tells him something’s wrong and he needs to get back to his body. He wants to take her with him, so he grabs her hand and runs with her to find his body. They trip and let go, and he tries to hold her down as a strong wind pulls her away. Vicki tells him to let her go, since she’s already dead. She flies up into the sky.
Damon and Enzo go to the address from Elena’s vision; it’s a house they’re able to enter. Enzo teases that Stefan and Elena probably had “crazy vision sex” there. They meet Markos, who says he’s behind the visions. The “doppelganger lore” is wrong – there’s no prophecy about them being drawn together. Their blood can help Travelers, though, so Markos cast a spell 1,500 years ago to make them search for each other with the expectation of finding true love.
Markos wants to talk to Damon alone, and though Enzo doesn’t want to be ditched, Markos tells him to stay put if he wants to find Maggie. He and Damon go downtown while Markos continues his history lesson. After Silas and Qetsiyah made the immortality spell, the Travelers had a schism. The witches kept them scattered so they wouldn’t be able to use their full power. The Travelers were cursed to be unable to settle down together. If they try, they get wiped out by fire or earthquakes or some other disaster.
Damon asks what the doppelgangers have to do with this. Markos says the Travelers just need their blood. They’re not the enemies here. As a sign of good faith, Markos will stop the visions. He signals a couple of nearby Travelers and tells Damon that they’ve found a way to get around the curse that keeps them from gathering in their own bodies. There are a couple dozen people downtown, all Travelers, and Markos joins them as they chant.
They’re giving the doppelgangers one last vision, this one of them happily married and planning for the holidays. Jeremy and Damon are both bringing girlfriends with them. Stefan and Elena have kids, one of whom has started biting the other. Maybe she senses somehow that in another reality, her parents were vampires. The vision ends with Elena suddenly alone in their house, which is also Markos’ house. When she emerges from the vision, Stefan is at Vamp Villa. They both guess that since the last vision ended abruptly, they’re over now.
They remind themselves that the visions weren’t real – they were fantasies of a world that doesn’t exist. They saw a life they can never have. Still, they felt great. Stefan thinks the life they actually had was also pretty great. It was real, not the result of a spell or a prophecy. They changed and grew apart, but that’s life. Elena notes that he couldn’t cook in the visions, and he points out that she could, so it definitely wasn’t real. They promise they’ll always love each other. Elena asks if he thinks she and Damon will ever be able to talk like friends. Stefan says you can either be friends with someone or in love with them, but not both.
Kol finds Matt again on the Other Side and tells him to stop mourning Vicki, since she was already dead. Matt wonders if she found peace; it didn’t look like it. Kol doesn’t know and wants to never find out. Matt needs to get back to his body and tell everyone what happened. Matt says he won’t remember when he wakes up. Kol urges him to find a way to remember. If the Other Side collapses, everyone there will end up like Vicki. The gang needs to figure out a way to stop it.
Bonnie and Jeremy are in Liz’s office, waiting for Matt to wake up there. Jeremy laughs at the fact that Bonnie’s the only person in the room who Liz hasn’t killed. Yeah, that’s hilarious. He promises that his secret dealings with Liv aren’t anything Bonnie needs to worry about. Bonnie’s fine with him wanting to protect her, but he can’t just avoid her calls, especially when he’s hanging out with someone who lied to her and tried to kill his sister. She doesn’t want to have to question his actions. Jeremy gets that she’s still hurt from the whole mess with Anna. Bonnie says she chooses to trust him, and she wants to know that she’s right to.
Matt wakes up and is somehow able to remember what happened on the Other Side. He tells Jeremy and Bonnie that he saw Vicki, and that she disappeared. He asks Bonnie what’s going on over there, but she has to admit that she doesn’t know.
Damon comes home and finds Elena in his bedroom, waiting to thank him for whatever he did that stopped the visions. He sarcastically apologizes for taking her out of paradise. She says it was paradise – she got to see a perfect life with Stefan, where they got everything they wanted. But it wasn’t real, and Elena doesn’t want paradise. She wants the messy, complicated relationship she had with Damon. Even though they’re bad for each other, she wants him in her life. Damon can’t settle for just being friends, though, so he tells her he can’t see her anymore. He doesn’t want to talk to her or look at her or be her friend. Elena reluctantly agrees to respect his wishes.
Caroline has gotten Liz home and given her some blood, but she’s still unconscious. Tyler tells her over the phone that she shouldn’t worry too much about Liz being out for a while. Caroline’s anxious about the Travelers trying to take over Mystic Falls, but Tyler assures her that he has everything under control. Liz wakes up then, and Caroline can’t figure out where to start to explain what happened, so she just says that Liz missed lunch.
Tyler is at Markos’ house, and he tells Markos, “We’re in. She’s oblivious.” Tyler is actually a Passenger named Julian, and thanks to him, Markos now has possession of the last Traveler’s knife, which he destroys.
Etc.: Paul Wesley (Stefan) directed this episode.
Thanks, writers, for giving us characters named Liv and Liz in the same episode.
Enzo’s very entertaining in this episode. Too bad it doesn’t last.
So Elena left Damon at Vamp Villa sometime at night, drove back to Whitmore, slept there, and then went back to Mystic Falls with Caroline the next morning? She couldn’t have just spent the night at Lockwood Landing or something?
“We can’t risk the Travelers finding out what we’re up to” is not a viable excuse for keeping secrets from your girlfriend, Jeremy.
Why was Kol, of all people, the one to talk to Matt about the weirdness on the Other Side? Matt has no incentive to help him. Alaric would have made much more sense. Or maybe Sheila, since she was already in the episode.
I’m so used to everyone just walking into Vamp Villa that when Luke knocks, it’s almost shocking.