Alaric is grading papers in his classroom when Jo calls. She just realized that she’s working her last shift as a single woman. They’re both excited to be getting married. Alaric hears a creak outside the room and goes to check it out, since it’s late and no one else should be around. Someone comes up behind him and puts a bag over his head.
At the medical center, a police officer asks Jo if they can speak privately. It’s about Alaric. Jo fears the worst, but she has nothing to worry about. Also, the police officer isn’t really a police officer. He’s a stripper Elena and Bonnie hired for Jo’s impromptu bachelorette party. As for Alaric, he also has nothing to worry about, except possibly alcohol poisoning, because his kidnapper has take him to Vamp Villa for his bachelor party.
The women go to an empty diner for a quiet evening (it’s just the three of them because Caroline’s sitting this episode out and apparently Jo doesn’t have any female friends). Jo guesses that she doesn’t want to know what he fiancé is up to. Bonnie and Elena try to convince her that he’s at the movies or playing mini-golf. When Jo leaves the table, Bonnie asks Elena if she’s going to take Damon up on his offer to take the cure with her. Apparently Elena left the conversation without expressing her opinion, so Damon called Bonnie to talk it over with her.
Elena thinks she was justified in just walking out. She needs time to process everything. Just a day ago, she didn’t know it was even possible for her to become human again. Bonnie tries to confirm that it’s what she wants but Elena isn’t completely sure.
At Vamp Villa, Damon fills Alaric in, explaining that after Elena takes the cure, he’ll suck it out of her like Silas did to Katherine. Then they’ll live out their lives together as humans. (And Elena will only age a couple of years, since she hasn’t been a vampire for long, so she won’t suffer the same rapid-aging issues Katherine did.) Alaric reminds Damon that this is an irreversible act. He needs to be absolutely sure he wants to be human again. Alaric asks if Damon has talked this over with Stefan. Damon thinks Alaric should spent his last night as a single man having fun instead of discussing Damon’s “existential crisis.” So no, he hasn’t talked to Stefan about this. He says he will, eventually. For now, drinking!
Tyler and Matt are also at the bachelor party for their former high school teacher, and for some reason, Damon invited Enzo. He wants to talk to Stefan, but Matt doesn’t know or care where he is. He’s actually in his room, leaving Caroline a rambling message that basically says he’s going through a lot and wishes she were in a better place to help him through it. Dude, leave her alone. Enzo finds him and tells him that Lily needs his help. She’s upset because Bonnie destroyed the ascendant. Stefan asks what Enzo knows about Lily. Well, Stefan, if you would read my recaps, you would know all about that.
Enzo stupidly left Lily alone at the Grill, where she’s trying to keep her fangs to herself. She goes out to stalk a potential meal but Stefan stops her from killing anyone else. He takes her back to the Grill and diagnoses her with Ripper anxiety, ignoring her claims that she’s fine. She calls her fall off the wagon “a momentary lapse,” but Stefan doesn’t buy that she can have that one moment of weakness and then immediately recover.
Back at Vamp Villa, Matt raids the Salvatores’ high-end booze stash, which Tyler thinks is a bad idea. Matt asks how he’s doing in their deputy training program. (Matt had to take some time off because of his accidental staking.) It turns out Tyler beat up one of the trainers. Matt’s frustrated that Tyler isn’t taking this opportunity to do something with his life.
Tyler makes a fair point that he doesn’t want to work in law enforcement because he may have to shoot someone some day, and if that person dies, he’ll trigger his werewolf curse. Matt says it doesn’t have to be like that, then shoves him. He says Tyler just needs to learn self-control. He keeps egging Tyler on until Tyler hits him, then throws him up against the fridge. Tyler says this isn’t worth it and backs off.
Stefan calls Damon to tell him what’s going on with Lily. He mentions that she turned Enzo, which Damon didn’t know. He tells Stefan to lock Lily up and come to the party. Stefan says he will, if he finds that he can’t get Lily to control herself. When he asks if there’s anything else he should know, Damon clams up.
Enzo overhears and tells Damon he missed the opportunity to tell Stefan he wants to become human again. (He got that info out of Alaric.) Damon says Enzo doesn’t get to criticize him for withholding information, since he never mentioned the fact that Lily turned him. Enzo doesn’t think Damon will really go through with taking the cure. He’s too selfish and doesn’t really want to be human. There’s no way he’s changed so much from the person he was when he left Enzo to burn alive that he would want to give up being a vampire.
Back at the diner, Elena has told Jo about Damon’s offer, which Jo calls “the vampire version of a marriage proposal.” Elena doesn’t want to spend the party talking about herself, but Jo would rather discuss this than the fact that she hasn’t found a dress yet and doesn’t have a maid of honor because Liv won’t return her calls.
Bonnie’s on Team Take the Cure. Elena has some concerns, like missing the perks of vampirism or getting sick. Bonnie knows she’s also worried that she won’t want to be with Damon anymore after she becomes human again. Jo says being supernatural doesn’t change who you are. Elena knows who she is and what she wants. Love always requires a leap of faith. Yeah, she could end up heartbroken, but she might also be super-happy. Jo’s glad she took the leap with Alaric.
Damon texts just then to ask Elena to meet him in the town square. She thinks he got a lap dance from a stripper and feels guilty. He sees her as she’s approaching, since he’s hanging out on top of the bell tower. He’s casual about the fact that she never responded to his offer to take the cure with her, since he knows she has a lot to think about.
Stefan helps Lily sublimate her cravings with shots at the Grill. She doesn’t really enjoy it, but he tells her it’s that or animal blood. She wants time to grieve the loss of her family. He points out that her grief is taking a form that’s going to get her in trouble. If he were Damon, he would have locked her in the basement by now. Lily thinks Stefan wants to connect with her. He admits that he believes their relationship is worth saving. Lily balks but he reminds her that she was the only person who was able to make him flip his switch (even if it was because she just repeated what Damon told her to say). Maybe, deep down, she still feels something for her son.
Lily tells him that she was weak when she was a human. After she died, a new, powerful Lily was born. She took what she wanted and found a new, better family. When she looks at Stefan, she’s reminded of the pathetic person she used to be. She’d rather forget that that person ever existed. Stefan suggests that they start over completely. He’ll help her through this and then they can build a new relationship. She’ll just have to trust him. Lily notes that he’s avoiding eye contact, like he always did when he lied as a child. She stabs him in the hand, zooms across the restaurant to bite a waitress, and runs off.
Up in the bell tower, Damon tells Elena to enjoy the fries she’s eating now because she’ll have to eat healthier when she’s human again. She asks if he really meant it when he said he’d take the cure, or if he was just afraid of losing her. He admits that it’s both. Elena tells him she’s afraid that he’ll miss being a vampire and resent her. He needs to think about everything he’ll be giving up. Damon stands up and offers her his hand, saying they’ll finish the conversation later. They jump off the tower holding hands.
Alaric finds Matt getting drunk alone, and let’s just say that Matt isn’t a fun or happy drunk. He thinks Alaric is an idiot for being okay with bringing a child into his dangerous life full of supernatural craziness. “If that’s your bachelor toast, it really sucks,” Alaric comments. Matt advises him to leave town with his new family before it’s too late.
Enzo arrives at the Grill as Stefan is finishing up compelling all the witnesses to forget what happened. Stefan called Enzo to come help but Enzo was delayed because he couldn’t find Damon, who isn’t answering his phone. Stefan says the two of them will have to deal with Lily alone, then. Enzo says they should get used to that – the cure is back in play and Damon plans to take it with Elena. Stefan doesn’t believe this, since Damon didn’t mention it to him.
Bonnie and Jo are the only people left at the world’s saddest bachelorette party, and they decide to call it a night. Lily shows up at the diner, having seen Bonnie through the window while walking by. She wanted to come confront the woman who destroyed the ascendant and ruined her life. Bonnie tells Jo who Lily is and warns her to be careful. She tries to reason with Lily, saying she didn’t destroy the ascendant to spite her; she just wanted to keep Kai in the 1903 prison world.
Lily says there must be another way to rescue the Heretics. Bonnie tells her there isn’t, and even if there were, she wouldn’t help. Lily starts to come closer but Bonnie stops her with a magic migraine. Lily retaliates by throwing a receipt spike into Bonnie’s neck. She zooms up to Jo, ready to bite her, but Jo begs for her life and blurts out that she’s pregnant. Lily pauses so she can listen for the baby’s heartbeat. But – surprise! – she hears two of them. Jo’s having twins. Lily wishes her good luck and zooms out. Jo rushes to Bonnie and promises to help her.
As they walk through Mystic Falls, Damon asks Elena her favorite thing about being a vampire. She likes the ability to heal people with her blood. Damon thinks she’s one of very few vampires who pick that as a favorite. He likes all the perks, including “eternally looking great in a black leather jacket.” He also enjoys getting in people’s heads. He’s in Elena’s right now, making her see Gilbert Gables as it was before she burned it down.
They go up on the porch, the first place he ever kissed her, though she doesn’t remember because Alaric took that memory away. Elena says this is a fantasy, but Damon thinks that’s the point. Yes, their lives are “epic” (gag) as vampires, but they’d be giving up a lot if they didn’t become human again. He’s had enough fantasy in his life for multiple lifetimes. He’s willing to give it all up for one life with her.
Damon brought the cure with him, which surprises Elena. “Well, I wasn’t going to leave it in the soap dish,” he says. HA! She tells him she wants to take it, no matter how much it scares her. He knows, and he’s fully aware of what it means if she takes it. But he’s confident that if she becomes human again, she’ll still love him. “I’m ready for a little reality if you are,” he tells her. She takes the cure from him and opens the top, telling Damon she loves him. “Till death do us part,” he replies. Elena drinks it and waits for it to change her.
At first she feels nothing. Then she collapses as she’s hit by all the memories that Alaric compelled away. She remembers her first date with Damon, when he learned that she likes eggplant and filed that info away to remember it as far in the future as their fifth anniversary.
He starts to carry her home, pausing when she wakes up in the alley behind the Grill. She tells him about the memory, which is followed by more: their first kiss, dancing at the Miss Mystic Falls pageant, and various other makeout sessions. They realize the cure worked. To make sure, Elena pricks her finger with a pin from the bachelorette party. It doesn’t heal – since she’s human again. And Damon doesn’t need to worry about her feelings for him changing because all she wants to do is kiss him.
Stefan ruins the moment by calling to tell Damon not to take the cure. Lily’s on the loose and it’s a bad time to be human. Damon was right, Stefan should have locked her up. Elena’s lost her vamp hearing and can’t hear Stefan, so Damon has to tell her that Lily is –
He doesn’t get a chance to finish, since Lily runs up behind him and snaps his neck. She tells Elena she refuses to be imprisoned again. “I didn’t have to turn into this person,” Lily says. She kept her hidden for a long time. But her sons ruined everything. Elena says they were trying to help, but Lily says they didn’t accomplish that goal. She sees blood on Elena’s hand and realizes she took the cure. Elena begs Lily not to feed on her, but Lily can’t control herself. As she leans in to bite Elena, Elena stabs her in the eye with her pin and runs off.
She makes it inside the Grill but is slowed by more memories: kissing Damon when he was dying from werewolf venom, kissing Damon in the rain, Damon giving her back her necklace on her birthday (AKA the moment she first felt love for him). She runs to the storeroom, moves some shelves to block the door, and heads for the entrance to the tunnels. She fights back another flood of memories, including drinking with Damon in Georgia, and makes it into the tunnels before Lily can figure out where she went.
Jo calmly takes care of Bonnie back at the diner. She’s so used to dealing with medical emergencies that she can assess the situation while thinking about what Lily said about her having twins. This means Kai has two new people to put at the top of his most-wanted list, bumping Bonnie to #2. Jo thanks Bonnie for destroying the ascendant and hopes she’s right that there’s no way out of the prison world. Bonnie promises that she is.
Elena calls Stefan from wherever she ended up, just as he’s coming across a reviving Damon. Stefan doesn’t bother to hide how annoyed he is that Damon didn’t tell him he was thinking about becoming human again. Stefan doesn’t believe that Damon really wants to be human. Damon says he wants to be with Elena. Stefan’s mad that he heard the news from Enzo and doesn’t get a say in what Damon does. Damon’s like, “How about we go capture our out-of-control Ripper mother and save this for later?”
Stefan finds Lily at the Grill, crying over how she’s alone and terrified of losing control again. She doesn’t want to end up as sad as Stefan is. She grabs a piece of wood and raises it to her chest to stake herself. Stefan begs her to stay alive for her sons – he knows she still cares about them deep down. They still care about her, too. Lily realizes he’s looking into her eyes, so he must be telling the truth. She rushes him with the stake but Damon zooms over and injects her with vervain to knock her out.
Alaric and Jo meet up at the hospital, where Bonnie’s recovering thanks to a dose of Damon’s blood. Jo has confirmed Lily’s revelation with an ultrasound photo that clearly shows that she’s having twins. “The more the merrier,” is Alaric’s response. She knows her family will try to make the twins merge when they’re 22 so Kai will lose his power. Alaric tells her the Gemini coven will never find out: After the wedding, they’ll disappear. Jo doesn’t want to ask Alaric to give up his whole life for her, but he says she and the babies are his whole life. He just wants to keep them safe.
Damon finds Elena waiting for him at Vamp Villa. With all of her memories back, she feels like her heart has been restored. She remembers not wanting to love him but feeling like she was “swept up into a current” and consumed by the feeling. She also remembers that they’ve already talked about whether or not he wants to take the cure – they discussed it on the island. She asked him to take the cure with her and he said being human again would make him miserable. Elena thinks he walked away from that conversation because he didn’t want her to change his mind.
Damon says that was a long time ago, but Elena doesn’t think he’s thought this through all the way. He’s too focused on being with her to think about what the reality will be like. She asks what Stefan thinks, but Damon doesn’t care – he’s made the decision and won’t let Stefan change his mind. Elena tells Damon she loves him and doesn’t want to hurt him, but she won’t let him become human again until he’s let everyone in his life try to talk him out of it, including himself. He doesn’t respond, so she leaves.
Enzo is outside Lily’s cell when she wakes up in the basement. She asks him to let her out so they can have a civilized conversation. Stefan sends Enzo away, then tells Lily that he gets how she’s feeling about having something dear to her taken away. The good part about eternity is that eventually she’ll come around on him and see him as her son again. “You have no idea what devastation feels like,” she tells him. “But you will.” She’s going to find a way to get the Heretics back, no matter what.
She may not have to do anything. In the 1903 prison world, Kai has set out breakfast for his new Heretic friends, all of whom are undesiccated now. As they come inside, he comments that it’s a big day: “It’s time we get the hell out of this place.”
Etc.: Jodi Lyn O’Keefe deserves better than “ha ha, Jo’s pregnant so now she’s hungry all the time.”
Damon talked to Bonnie about taking the cure – not Stefan, not Alaric, but Bonnie. Because he looooooves her.
This episode takes place the day after “Because” ended, and the wedding is the next day. So when Jo and Alaric were considering the B&B as a wedding/honeymoon venue, they were doing it with just two days’ notice? AND Jo still hasn’t found a dress? Sure.
I can’t believe Matt wants Tyler and his horrible temper in law enforcement. That’s just asking for some disaster the gang will have to cover up.
A fun exchange:
Damon: “Where are you? And please tell me you’re with a stripper.”
Stefan: “Picture that, and then picture the exact opposite. I’m with our mother.”
Damon: “Now I don’t want to picture anything.”
Shout-out to whoever remembered that Elena had that reddish streak in her hair when she and Damon got together, because she has it in the scene where they’re on their first date.
Other than the whole thing where Lily’s a Ripper and probably would have killed Elena, Elena might have been smart to let Lily feed on her, because she would have sucked out the cure and become human, which would have stopped her from going on a killing spree. Yeah, yeah, it means Damon would have to kill his mother to take the cure from her – you can take one for the team, Salvatore.
There’s a funny moment when Elena’s trying to move the shelves in the storeroom without her vampire strength, and she says, “Really? Come on” when they don’t move as fast as she’d like.