Damon has captured a Traveler (currently a Passenger inside of a guy named Mr. Sikes) and tied him up at Vamp Villa. Damon hasn’t been able to find Stefan or Elena, and Julian, who’s still locked up in the basement, hasn’t provided any help, so he hopes his hostage will be useful in finding Markos. Caroline arrives and starts to complain that Liv and Luke aren’t answering her calls. She stops when she sees that Damon has kidnapped the man who helped her open her first savings account.
Damon recaps that the Travelers are planning a big spell to undo the curse that keeps them from settling together. That requires undoing witch magic, which will kill vampires. Caroline demands that the Passenger in Mr. Sikes tell them where Markos took Stefan and Elena. The guy won’t talk so Damon gets to torturing him. The Passenger finally says that it doesn’t matter where Markos is. There’s nothing the gang can do to stop him.
Maybe not, but it would be nice if they could save Stefan and Elena, who are currently being bled dry in some basement. Markos brings Elena some blood, which she spits in his face. She thinks he’s taken enough of her and Stefan’s blood and it’s time for them to be released. Markos just cuts her again so she’ll bleed more. In another cell, someone frees Stefan from the table he’s chained to and urges him to run away. He goes to get Elena, reaching her just before she passes out from blood loss.
Back at Vamp Villa, Damon gets a collect call from his brother. Not only do collect calls still exist, to Damon’s surprise, but Stefan’s making this one from a pay phone. He’s annoyed that he and Elena were gone for four days and Damon didn’t find them. Yeah, well, Damon’s still mad that you didn’t find him for five years. You can chill. Damon thinks Stefan should have been more perceptive, which would have prevented him and Elena from being “doppelnapped” in the first place.
Something breaks the window of the abandoned house Stefan is standing near – Elena’s trying to use a makeshift slingshot to kill a squirrel so she and Stefan can regain their strength. It’s not going well. Stefan asks if Damon wants to talk to her or if he’s still pretending he doesn’t want to have anything to do with her. Damon offers to come get them, but they’re in the middle of nowhere and don’t know where that nowhere is. They’ll have to find their own way home.
Stefan warns that the Travelers have a ton of doppelganger blood, which must mean they’re gearing up for something huge. Damon knows his assignment: “Find Markos, kill Markos, save Mystic Falls from becoming Traveler home.” He knows it’s a big job, which means it’s “time to strap on the hero hair.” Stefan promises to get Elena home safely. Damon tells him to get home safely as well – he’d hate to have to get mad at Elena for losing him.
As Damon’s hanging up, a knife suddenly flies into his chest. “Forgetting someone?” Enzo asks. Damon yells for Bonnie to come mediate a conversation between them. She tells him that Enzo wants Damon to remember that he promised to bring Enzo back to life. Enzo notes that Damon doesn’t have a good track record of keeping promises. Bonnie tells him to leave her alone, but he plans to bug her until he’s alive again, since time is running out. She orders Damon to fix this before Enzo drives her crazy.
Damon doesn’t have time for Enzo right now, though – he’s dealing with Stefan and Elena’s disappearance, the Travelers plotting against the vampires, and Mr. Sikes, who’s currently locked in the coat closet. Enzo will have to wait. Enzo doesn’t like that response, so he throws a decanter of alcohol in the fireplace and makes the flames flare up. “I think he wants to be penciled in for today,” Bonnie tells Damon.
He replies that Bonnie can take care of that. Liv is working on a spell to save Bonnie before the Other Side collapses, so Enzo can just “hitch a ride” with her. Damon’s proud of himself for delegating. Before Bonnie can elaborate on why that’s an issue, Jeremy arrives, having been summoned to do an errand for Damon with his “Xbox buddy.” Enzo tells Bonnie to put Liv to work already.
Stefan and Elena have found a road but there’s nothing around but fields and woods, so they still don’t know where they are. She asks him to vamp run, since it makes her laugh. They’re still weak and hungry, but they can hold on to the hope that Damon’s taking charge and trying to fix all the gang’s problems.
Elena wonders if it’s a sign that her blood can destroy him. That certainly sounds like a toxic relationship to her. Stefan reminds her that vampires themselves are toxic. Some of them are just better at controlling that than others. Elena asks how he got so good at it, and he reminds her that there are major consequences if he doesn’t hold back. He tells her that she and Damon are miserable without each other, so they should be together. If they were human, they could go to therapy. Since they’re vampires, they can skip it.
Luke and Liv meet up in a diner and discuss how mad their coven is that they didn’t protect Stefan and Elena from the Travelers. “How was I supposed to know that Casper the English Ghost would be a complication?” Luke asks. Heh. Liv reminds him that they were never supposed to let things get this far. It’s Luke’s fault for trying to befriend the gang. Luke’s like, “Sorry I wanted to spend time with nice people, since our family is so horrible, and yes, I might be including you in that because you’re being very mean to me right now.” Suddenly he’s hit with a magic migraine, courtesy of their coven. Liv tells him that since they failed their mission, they need to try a Hail Mary here to stop Markos from taking away their magic. They have to kill Stefan and Elena.
A mailman delivers a special package to Ms. Douglas (or, more specifically, the Passenger inside her): a test tube of blood. Her husband thinks something weird is going on, since she’s been acting different lately. Ms. Douglas’ Passenger says the problem is that it’s taken Mr. Douglas this long to realize that his wife has been possessed by a stranger. Mr. Douglas is very confused when the Passenger IDs himself as Carl and says his real body is in a cave. He didn’t really want to use Ms. Douglas’ body, but he needed something expendable. Then he stabs Mr. Douglas in the neck with a pair of scissors and says the marriage was a disaster anyway – “no hard feelings.”
Stefan and Elena are so weak that she thinks she just hallucinated a unicorn. He jokes that that might mean Caroline’s nearby. Elena says if that were true, she’d have a buffet set up for them. When they were kids, she was annoyed by Caroline’s tendencies toward being a control freak and being overly positive, but now Elena would love to see her. Stefan says he’s never been bothered by Caroline’s “control freakiness.” Elena notes that he never had to build a Barbie castle with her.
Stefan knows that if Caroline were there, she’d have them laughing. Elena decides that they should act like Caroline and try to stay positive. The universe must be listening because just then they spot a car heading their way. Stefan sticks his thumb out to hitchhike, but Elena knows she’s the better draw if the driver is into women. She perks up her hair and her cleavage, and the driver pulls over. But it’s not because she’s attracted to Elena – it’s Maria, and she’s the one who freed the doppelgangers in the first place. She tells them to get in the car because the Travelers are coming for them.
Jeremy and Matt complete their “errand” by taking all the Travelers’ bodies from the cave to Vamp Villa. Damon complains that their clumsiness is breaking his stuff, so Matt suggests that he get back together with Elena so he’ll be in a good mood again. Damon sends the guys to patrol the town and look for anything unusual. He tells Caroline that he’s taking the Travelers’ bodies hostage in hopes of luring Markos out of hiding. Caroline notes that bringing Markos to his house probably isn’t a great idea. Damon doesn’t have any other ideas, though, unless Caroline can get Julian to help them.
Caroline says he has no reason to help, so he’s just “extra baggage” until they can get Tyler back. Damon tells her it’s okay to give up, since they’re all sick of Tyler. Caroline replies that no one buys his “I’m too cool to care” act anymore. She knows he’s cranky because of Elena. She tells him not to torture Julian anymore until she figures out something for Tyler: “I don’t abandon the people I care about.”
Maria tells Stefan and Elena that she wants Julian and assumes they know where he is. They’re in a pickup, which doesn’t provide them a lot of space, and Maria suggests that Elena sit on her boyfriend’s lap. She and Stefan both quickly say they’re not together. That’s a surprise to Maria, who’s heard the “prophecy” about doppelgangers being “fated soulmates.”
Elena asks if Maria and Julian will be in danger for turning their backs on Markos. Maria says that Markos is focused on breaking the curse, which will give her a head start to find Julian before Markos starts the spell. Stefan warns that they’re not going to let her take Tyler. She replies that Tyler’s gone. When the spell starts, magic will disappear layer by layer. Tyler will go from hybrid to werewolf to dead human. Julian will die, too, unless Maria gets him back in his body.
Caroline visits Julian, who doesn’t know why she even cares about Tyler since they’re not together anymore. She says he deserves to have someone fight for him. She asks why the Travelers can’t just find another place to live. Julian says they like Mystic Falls. Plus, they want revenge against witches and vampires. The Travelers see their magic as a perversion of “pure magic.” Markos wants to restore the balance. Caroline thinks that’s wrong, especially since Markos is relying on violence. Julian says that Markos is very serious about getting what he wants.
Markos goes to the cave where the Travelers’ bodies were stashed and finds it empty. There’s a helpful note left in their place: “Found: Cave of wannabe witches. For more information, call Damon Salvatore.”
Markos does, distracting Damon from entertaining himself with the bodies, having them play pool and poking them with sharp objects. Damon answers the phone, “Salvatore Boring House.” He’s happy to try to reunite the bodies with their owner, but he has to make sure they’re going to the right person, so he asks Markos to describe them. Markos says they’re ragged and beaten down and want a home. “You’ve just described homeless people, aging hipsters, and Matt Donovan,” Damon replies. Markos gives specifics on one of the Travelers and says Damon’s standing next to him. Yep, Markos is at Vamp Villa, which, of course, he lets himself into because everyone else does.
In the Super Suite, Caroline and Bonnie discuss the Tyler/Julian problem. Caroline notes that Julian is stuck inside Tyler’s body until he dies, so…why don’t they kill him? Ooh, Care, don’t let Damon hear you say that. Killing Julian would send Tyler’s body to the Other Side, and then when Liv does her spell to bring Bonnie and Enzo back, Tyler can come along.
Speaking of Liv’s spell, Caroline thinks Bonnie should be working on that instead of packing up her things. Bonnie reminds her that they have to leave right after finals, though she might not take them since what’s the point if she’s just going to die? Caroline thinks their supernatural problems are a little more important than packing. Not to mention that with them at Whitmore, Damon is handling Markos alone, and who knows what trouble that could get him into?
Bonnie admits that there’s no spell. The Other Side is going to collapse, and everyone there, including Bonnie, will be gone for good. That means killing Tyler is probably a bad idea. She doesn’t notice that Enzo’s hanging out in the corner of the room and heard what she said.
Markos takes a look around Vamp Villa, then comments that Damon’s hostage plan seems small. But taking the bodies isn’t all Damon did. He also doused them in gasoline in case he sees a reason to set them on fire. Markos says he’d like to reunite the Passengers with their real bodies, but it’s not a top priority. To prove he means it, he stabs one of the bodies in the neck with a corkscrew. There are plenty more Travelers in the world. They never get noticed, but they want the same things as everyone else, including a home. The difference is that they’re ready to die for it.
Damon says he gets that Markos wants a “promised land” but he should find a different place. Markos calls Mystic Falls a means to an end. Once the spirit magic is gone from the town and the Travelers’ curse is broken, the spell will ripple out and unravel magic everywhere. Only the Travelers’ pure magic will remain. Then they’ll be able to go wherever they want on Earth. And as an added bonus, vampires will be gone.
Damon decides talking time is over and it’s time for violence. He rushes Markos, who’s given himself a doppelganger-blood transfusion and is channeling his people’s power, which makes him super-strong. Damon can’t kill him, and since the magic-destroying spell is beginning, Damon soon won’t be able to do anything at all.
As Stefan, Elena, and Maria arrive in downtown Mystic Falls, Passengers break their tubes of blood and chant. Elena politely asks if she can drink some of Maria’s blood. Maria reminds Elena that she saved her, and also, they have food at home. She advises the doppelgangers to keep a low profile; if they’re seen by a Traveler, they’ll just get kidnapped again.
But there’s a bigger problem right now: Liv is standing in the middle of the street. Maria slams on the brakes to avoid hitting her, then speeds off backwards. But Luke is now behind her, so Stefan, Elena, and Maria have nowhere to go. The witches magically make the truck speed toward Liv, then run into an invisible barrier, hitting so hard it’s like they drove into a wall.
Elena checks on an unconscious Maria while Stefan gets out to confront the twins. Not that there’s much he can do, since they have magic and he has, like, a teaspoon of squirrel blood in his system. When Elena tries to join in, Liv magically restrains her. She claims she’s sorry but they need to make the Travelers’ doppelganger blood useless by killing either Stefan or Elena. They don’t have a preference as to which dies.
Enzo corners Bonnie and asks when she planned to tell him that Liv doesn’t have a spell to save him. He thinks there has to be a way to bring him back; after all, Jeremy, Bonnie, and Markos were all resurrected. She explains that when the Travelers used doppelganger blood to bring Markos back, they destroyed the magic holding the Other Side together. No one can do anything to fix that. Enzo isn’t coming back and he needs to accept it.
He tells her he will when he actually gets sucked into oblivion and no longer exists. He spent decades in an Augustine cell with no possibility of getting out, so he knows better than to believe this situation is hopeless. It turns out Maria isn’t unconscious after all – she’s dead. Her spirit comes to Bonnie to cross through, and Bonnie recognizes her from their face-off in the cave. Maria asks her to tell Julian that she tried.
Markos continues looking around Vamp Villa as Julian contacts Damon via his vamp hearing. Since Markos doesn’t know Julian’s there, Damon should use Julian to his advantage (though he’s not sure Damon’s clever enough to pull that off). Damon offers to show Markos the wine cellar, and while they’re down there, Damon slips a key under the door to Julian’s cell.
Back downtown, Luke tells Liv to kill Elena. Stefan fights Luke’s hold on him, and the witches realize that their magic has stopped working, which means the Travelers have started their spell. In fact, they’re gathering in the town square to chant together. Elena’s mad at Liv for betraying the gang after they trusted her, but Liv says it doesn’t matter since they’re going to be dead soon.
The spell spreads and Stefan and Elena’s daylight rings stop working. They head into the Grill, where they tell Matt that the Travelers have started to strip away all the magic in town. They hurry for the entrance to the underground tunnels. But as they run through them, Elena loses her vampirism and is left in the state she was in when she died, i.e., drowning. Stefan is hit next, suddenly bleeding from a gunshot wound. Matt tells them to keep running and try to stay ahead of the spell.
Damon distracts Markos by trying to call Stefan, so Markos is completely unprepared when Julian attacks him. But the spell has spread as far as Vamp Villa, and Julian/Tyler’s fangs disappear. Damon’s daylight ring stops working next. Downtown, the Travelers start collapsing, having abandoned the bodies they were Passengers in. They wake up in their real bodies at Vamp Villa, giving Markos a decided advantage against Damon and Julian. Damon then suffers the same spell effects as Stefan and finds himself with a gunshot wound. Julian’s next, choking because Tyler died of a broken neck.
Markos tells Damon that he and Julian can try to outrun the spell, but they can’t escape it forever. They should say their goodbyes before they’re dead. Damon stumbles out of the house, which Markos is only too happy to take for himself.
Damon ends up on a road where Jeremy picks him up. Meanwhile, Caroline is now packing her stuff in the Super Suite so she can try to outrun the spell before it reaches Whitmore. Bonnie has stopped and is now just thinking. She announces that she thinks she has a way to save their loved ones on Other Side (and Enzo). She needs to find Enzo.
Stefan and Elena are also at Whitmore, where Matt gives them blood bags to share with Caroline and Damon. Their plan is to just run as far away as they can. Damon and Jeremy arrive, and Elena decides to kiss Damon while she still can. He asks what that was for. “I had a really crappy day, and I needed it,” she replies, echoing what he said after kissing her the last time they saw each other. She was afraid she was going to die without getting to see him again. “I guess today’s your lucky day,” he replies.
Stefan tells Matt and Jeremy to go back to Mystic Falls, since they’re the only members of the gang who can enter the magic-less town and can keep the others informed on what happens there. He sends Damon and Elena off to outrun the spell while he waits for Bonnie and Caroline. Bonnie must have talked to Enzo because he meets Maria on the Other Side and tells her he has an idea to get them out. The Travelers did a spell to bring Markos back from the Other Side, and if Maria knows it, the gang can use it to save Bonnie and Enzo. But the wind is kicking up in the wake of further destruction of the Other Side, and Maria ends up being sucked up into the sky. So much for that (admittedly brilliant) idea.
Bonnie takes one last look at the Super Suite. As she leaves, Enzo tells her that her plan has hit a snag. Outside, Caroline gets impatient waiting for Bonnie to join her and Stefan. Julian finds them, looking for Maria, and Stefan tells him that his wife died. Julian reminds Stefan that Maria saved him, so he should have…been able to save her, too? I guess? He’s mad and wants someone to pay for her death. He also wants to fight, but Stefan isn’t in the mood.
Caroline takes a step toward Julian, who’s facing away from her. Stefan signals with his eyes that she should grab him when she gets the chance. Julian says he has nowhere to go and nothing to lose; his wife is gone and his people are after him. Stefan tells him they’re going to stop the spell and save themselves, even if they never get to go back to Mystic Falls.
Caroline makes a move to snap Julian’s neck but he’s able to slip out of her grasp. Stefan rushes to him before he can hurt Caroline but Julian is faster. He reaches into Stefan’s chest and pulls out his heart. Caroline watches in horror as Stefan desiccates in front of her. Julian notes that with one doppelganger dead, the spell will now stop spreading.
Bonnie’s distressed that she and Enzo lost the only person who could help them. Enzo says they need a new plan fast, because the destruction on the Other Side is progressing. Bonnie spots Stefan behind him, and when Enzo can’t see him, she realizes he’s dead. She reluctantly tells him that she still doesn’t have a way to bring people back from the Other Side. He passes through her as Caroline yells for help outside, even though she has to know there’s nothing anyone can do for Stefan now.
Etc.: No one in Virginia has a fire in their fireplace in May. Why would Damon even use the fireplace at Vamp Villa? Vampires don’t get cold.
Stefan talking about therapy makes me want a TV show about a therapist for supernatural beings.
Everyone complains about Damon’s behavior in this episode but I find it delightful. He’s funny!
Again, I have to admire Matt for finding a small way to stand up to Damon, like telling him to get back together with Elena because he’s being annoying. He really isn’t scared of Damon at all. I think he knows Damon won’t hurt him because that would cross a line with Elena.
Why would Maria take Stefan and Elena directly into the town Markos and the Travelers are working on taking over? There’s hiding in plain sight and then there’s purposely walking into the middle of a potential war zone.
Why does killing a doppelganger stop the spell from spreading but not reverse the spell where it’s already struck?