Bonnie has just woken up after Rayna died and transferred over her last lifespan. So far, only Damon knows that this transfer includes Rayna’s huntress instincts, and he’s not there to warn Enzo, Caroline, and Alaric. Bonnie asks Enzo to pour her a drink, which she uses to toast to new beginnings. Then she slams the glass in his face and snaps his neck. Caroline comes in and finds Enzo’s body on fire. Before she can react, Bonnie cuts off her head with a sword. Damon comes home and asks what’s happening.
Nothing, actually. That was all in Bonnie’s head. Enzo, Caroline, and Alaric are still waiting for her to wake up.
Damon tells Enzo that Rayna screwed them over by failing to tell them that Bonnie will wake up as “Rayna 2.0.” Enzo’s more concerned about when Bonnie will wake up, and whether the transfer was actually successful. Damon would appreciate if Bonnie would wake up and let them know if she wants to kill them. Enzo wonders if Bonnie’s still asleep because she knows that when she wakes up, she’ll want to hunt.
Caroline moves Bonnie to Damon’s room, wanting to give her a quiet, peaceful place to rest. Alaric thinks they’d be smart to have chains ready in case they need to restrain her. Caroline refuses to jump straight to the gang having to protect themselves, so Alaric agrees to skip the chains, but he doesn’t want to leave Caroline there. She insists that he go home to the twins, since they’ve been with a sitter for two days now. He points out that he’s the only one there who’s not a vampire, so he’s in the best position to help Bonnie. He’d prefer if Caroline went home anyway. She talks him into going home while she stays, promising that everything will work out.
Matt looks through Penny’s file, telling a deputy that it was an accident after all. The deputy alerts him to activity at Vamp Villa, which Matt has had people keeping an eye out for. Damon calls Stefan, who’s at the Grill and doesn’t want to talk. He had a bad day, what with telling Matt that he killed Penny, and finding out that Damon dug himself in deeper than ever with Bonnie. “I’m sorry, I must have the wrong number, because I dialed H for hero,” Damon says. He tells Stefan to get his head back in the game. Stefan says he wants Bonnie to wake up, but that’ll mean going on the run again, so he’s clinging to these last minutes of freedom while he can. Damon thinks he just doesn’t have any ideas, but Stefan does.
He goes to Vamp Villa to share with the gang: Rayna could sense his humanity, which made her not want to kill him, so they just need to help Bonnie fight her new instincts. One of them should go into her mind and convince her that not all vampires are evil. Enzo volunteers, but Caroline thinks she’d be better at it, since she was friends with Bonnie before she turned.
Stefan hovers while Caroline prepares to do a head-dive. She tells him to go away, then enters Bonnie’s head. Bonnie’s in Alaric’s class, where the topic of the day is vampires. He asks her if vampires are real or a myth. Bonnie says myth, but Alaric says they’re super-common and look just like normal humans. He quizzes the class on what to do if they meet a vampire. “Invite them to a party,” says a student who’s already been snacking on someone. Bonnie realizes she’s surrounded by vampires feeding on her classmates.
Alaric asks her what she would do if faced with a vampire – just sit there? Run? Fight back? He urges her to show him how she’d kill one. He starts to vamp out, making her realize this isn’t real. She runs off with her vampire classmates on her trail. She locks herself in the Super Suite and holds the door shut while they try to fight their way in.
Caroline is in the suite, and she’s saddened to see what Bonnie’s been going through. Bonnie thinks Caroline is part of her dream. Caroline urges Bonnie to focus on her. Bonnie’s relieved to see her, since she feels like something’s messing with her memories and turning them into nightmares. Caroline tells her that her brain is rewiring itself to make her hate vampires. She needs to fight it. Bonnie says she’s trying, and she doesn’t want to hurt Caroline. Caroline advises her to focus on who Caroline is, not what she is. She just needs to wake up and reunite with her friends.
Bonnie asks if Josie and Lizzie know that Caroline is a vampire. They don’t. Bonnie wonders if Caroline ever thinks about drinking their blood. Caroline urges her to fight her “lizard brain.” Blood starts seeping under the door as Bonnie says that all she can see is Caroline losing control. The blood makes Caroline start to vamp out, but she says she’s not the sort of person who would hurt her children. Bonnie scoffs at her for calling the twins hers. She grabs a piece of wood from the door frame and stakes Caroline.
Caroline jumps out of Bonnie’s head and tells Stefan that things went about as horribly as they could have. They both realize that she has a mark on her chest – somehow, when Bonnie staked Caroline in her dream, she marked her in real life. When Bonnie wakes up, Caroline will be the first vampire she goes after.
Stefan advises Caroline to get as far away from Bonnie as she can. They’ll have a psychic link now. Caroline refuses, sure that Enzo will figure out a way to get through to Bonnie. Stefan notes that he had his own scar for three years and has been where Caroline is now.
She finds it hard to believe that the past three years were really that awful for him. He sent her letters and postcards from all over the world, so she always figured he was vacationing. Meanwhile, she got desperate enough to turn to Klaus for help (not that that worked out, since he’s MIA). She’s not going to run away, and she wants Stefan to respect her choice. But I guess Stefan’s done respecting choices, because instead, he injects her with vervain.
Matt goes to Vamp Villa, ready to shoot anyone he runs into. Enzo tells him that Bonnie’s in a coma, so the gang has bent the no-vampires-allowed rule. Matt says that rule was one of the last things he and Penny accomplished together. Yeah, Enzo doesn’t care. He’s trying to figure out how to get through to Bonnie without getting marked. Matt blames Damon and Enzo for getting Bonnie into this situation in the first place. Penny knew it was an endless cycle and they needed to take a stand. “How’d that work out for her?” Enzo asks. Maybe Matt can put the gun down and set aside his hatred for vampires until they solve their Bonnie dilemma.
Damon goes to see Bonnie, urging her to connect with Enzo so Damon doesn’t have to be their last option. Enzo does his head-dive, finding Bonnie as she’s leaving Mystic Falls High back during her cheerleading days. A couple of vampires catcall her in the stoner pit, so she kills them. She’s happy to see Enzo, who explains that he’s in control of what she sees now.
She wishes he’d taken them somewhere other than her high school (where, by the way, they never even interacted). She thinks she’s trying to hold on to a time in her life before vampires took it over. One of the guys she killed used to bug her after practice every day, but he wasn’t a vampire. She feels like becoming a huntress is “overwriting” who she is and was. Enzo says she might be looking in the wrong place.
He takes her into a music classroom and encourages Bonnie to remember their life. After all, she not only came to tolerate him, she came to love him. He hands her a guitar and tells her to play so she can hold on to that connection, like he does.
Bonnie tells him that she’s always wanted to be loved by someone the way she loved him. She’d rather have those memories than a future where she destroys them. Enzo says she doesn’t have a choice – she has to accept Rayna’s last lifespan or die. Bonnie’s fine with that. She kisses Enzo and tells him she loves him, but she’s making this decision. He needs to let her go. Enzo says he can’t, so she hits him with a guitar, then uses the neck to stake him.
Damon and Enzo see that Enzo’s been marked, too. He tells Damon that Bonnie’s fighting, but not the way they want her to. She’d rather die than kill them.
Caroline wakes up in a motel, furious that Stefan vervained and kidnapped her. Now he’s willing to give her a choice, though – she gets to pick where they run away to. Caroline refuses to go anywhere with him, which he’s okay with as long as she goes by herself. She blasts him for not respecting her decision to stay. Stefan says he only lets people make their own choices when it doesn’t come down to life and death. Uh, okay, guy who was going to let Elena sacrifice herself to save Bonnie. And also let Elena sacrifice herself to save Matt.
Caroline brings that up, but Stefan thinks it’s the perfect example of why he shouldn’t let her make a decision right now – letting Elena choose led to her death. Caroline hopes that some day Stefan will realize that she deserves the same respect he gave Elena. She stopped waiting for that day a long time ago. Any decision she makes now will be for herself and her family, not Stefan. Stefan warns that if Caroline brings her family into this, she’ll put them in danger, too. She thinks it would be just as bad to abandon them.
Stefan calls Damon and admits that he took Caroline out of town. Damon thinks that was the right move, which makes Stefan realize that he screwed up. “Doing the wrong thing for the right reasons always worked for me,” Damon says. Stefan replies that he hates that Damon gets away with it. Damon tells him they make a good team – he screws up and Stefan wears the cape. Stefan notes that the hero never gets the girl. Damon orders him to stop pouting about who he isn’t and start being who he is. He’s in love with Caroline, and he went to extremes to protect her. Stefan replies that Damon’s advice is horrible, but Damon thinks it’s perfect, and he’s going to take it himself.
“No more Stefaning this situation,” Damon says as he does a head-dive on Bonnie. He sends her to Gilbert Gables, where she can see Elena’s shadow up in her bedroom window. Damon stops her on the front porch and reminds her that she can never see Elena again. He praises her for “fighting the good fight,” but she’s going to die. He came to thank her for letting him get Elena back and to say goodbye. “You usually don’t bother,” Bonnie notes. He says she’s wrong and hands her the letter he wrote her, which she’s still never opened. He wants her to read it so they can both be on their way.
Bonnie tears up the letter and says that once again, Damon’s not doing enough. But he memorized the letter, so he just recites it to her: “Dear Bonnie, have a nice life, if your guilty conscience allows you to. If there’s one thing I would change about our friendship, I never would have pulled you off of that street in Amsterdam.” Bonnie spits out a “screw you,” and he says she’s already screwed him. Her life is intertwined with Elena’s, which means he and the rest of the gang had to lose Elena.
Damon brought Bonnie to this spot because it’s the first place he and Elena kissed, and the first place she had the courage to say she loved him. It’s also where she took the cure (well, on an imaginary version of the porch) so she could have the life she wanted, before Bonnie screwed it up. And the spot where Bonnie’s standing is the place where she’s going to decide to bring Elena back. She calls him a monster, which he can’t deny. She jams her hand into his chest and pulls out his heart.
Bonnie wakes up with a gasp. Damon apologizes for playing bad cop, but he needed her to wake up. “Catch me if you can,” he says before zooming off.
Despite being free to go wherever she wants – Dallas, Vamp Villa, or anywhere else – Caroline is still at the motel. She tells Stefan that he’s right that she’s not safe with Bonnie, and going home to the girls will put them in danger, too. She’s now in the same situation Stefan was three years ago. But being able to empathize just makes her madder because he made the decision to leave her without consulting her.
Stefan says that when he went to Dallas to see Caroline, she was happy with Alaric and the girls. He didn’t see a place for himself there. He convinced himself that he was making the right decision. He’s sorry and he accepts that Caroline has the right to hate him. But now she’s doing the same thing with Bonnie – she doesn’t want to let Bonnie make the choice to die. It’s because Caroline loves her. Stefan loves Caroline, and he doesn’t want to think about the possibility that she’ll make a choice that gets her hurt. Caroline reminds him that he hurt her. She loved him and he left her. Stefan knows, and he hopes that she’ll be able to forgive him one day. She admits that she doesn’t think she can.
Bonnie calls and tells Caroline she knows exactly where she is. Caroline doesn’t care, since at least Bonnie’s alive. Bonnie warns that she’s not in control and won’t be able to stop herself from killing Caroline. “Please don’t let it come to that,” she says. Caroline decides that Stefan had the right idea and they need to run.
Next Bonnie calls Damon as she raids Vamp Villa’s kitchen for weapons. She knows where he is, too, and she can sense what he’s feeling. She knows that part of him meant what he said in her dream. He insists that he only said that stuff to save her (for what wasn’t the first time). Bonnie thinks he’s only ever saved her because he doesn’t believe Elena would forgive him if he didn’t. Damon notes that Bonnie’s now in that same position – if she kills him, Elena will never forgive her. Yeah, but Bonnie’s never going to see Elena again, so what does she care?
As Bonnie’s on her way out of the house, Matt stops her. Since he can’t do a head-dive, he decided to wait and try to get through to her the normal, human way. She tells him she’s not the person he used to know. Matt says he isn’t, either. The old Matt died when Penny did. Bonnie suggests that he come vampire hunting with her. He tells her that he’s there to talk her out of killing their friends. He’s known her a long time, and he refuses to believe that the girl who bought him his first football when they were nine is really gone.
“Then help me not do this,” Bonnie says. She asks him to keep her connected to her human side. She’s not sure it’ll work, but she’s willing to try. Matt says he’s in and tells her to get in his truck so they can go somewhere safe. Bonnie wants to do one thing first: Kill Damon. He’s only brought pain and suffering to their lives, and he’ll keep doing so if they let him. She reminds Matt that Damon killed Vicki just because he was bored. “Like I said, I’m in,” Matt replies.
Damon lets Bonnie track him down in the woods, where she tells him Matt is setting up a perimeter. Damon notes that with Matt’s track record, Bonnie has a good chance of accidentally being killed by him. She starts throwing weapons at him, but he doesn’t think she’ll really kill him. Bonnie vows to dismember him, set him on fire, and carve out his heart. “You are a living, breathing reminder of everything that I’ve lost,” she says. “When I look at you, I see a smug, selfish parasite where my friend Elena should be.” Damon tries to quip that they have a rich history with each other. Bonnie ignores him and rushes him. Though he’s able to zoom away, she gets a stake through his arm.
Caroline calls Alaric and the twins so she can say goodbye, though the girls don’t get that they might never see her again. Alaric is willing to go on the run as a family, but Caroline doesn’t want to put them in danger. She asks him to stop being supportive and get mad at her for breaking up their family. He doesn’t; he’s just concerned with her safety. He tells her he loves her, but she doesn’t say it back.
Bonnie hunts Damon in the woods, shooting him with wooden bullets and beating him up. Just as she has the chance to finish him off, he zooms to the tree stump where the gang once held her memorial. He wants her to remember that she’s a survivor and will get through this. She replies that she’s not the one who needs to worry about survival right now.
They fight, and he tells her he brought her to the stump because if he has to die, he wants it to be in the place they chose to honor her. He gets that the Bonnie he used to know is gone and might never come back. But he still cares about her and thinks he can get through to her. She fights him again, getting him on his back on the ground, and is inches away from staking him. Damon holds off her stake and tells her to look at the stump again. The gang mourned her, but she came back. She’s been multiple things – a witch, a human, a ghost, a corpse, an anchor, and now the hunter who’s going to kill him. But every time she comes back, she’s stronger. He envies her for that.
Bonnie tells him to shut up, but he wants her to hear him if this is the last time he ever gets to talk to her. He admires her, he believes in her, and he loves her like Elena loved her. If she kills him right now, it’s his fault, not hers: “I did this to us.” He asks her to forgive him before she does what she has to do.
Bonnie wants to fight her instincts, but Damon gives her the opportunity to do what they’re telling her to do. He stops holding off her stake and puts up his hands. As she raises the stake to finish him off, she’s hit with a bunch of tranquilizer darts. Matt, who would have all the justification in the world for letting Damon die, has instead saved his life.
The guys put Bonnie in Matt’s car as Damon notes that he’s a better shot than Liz ever was. Matt gave Bonnie enough sedative to keep her unconscious for eight hours, and he’s going to use that time to drive her as far away from the gang as possible. Damon thinks the two of them can call a truce and start getting along enough for vampires to move back to Mystic Falls. Matt makes it clear that he’s doing this for Bonnie, not Damon. Even with Damon’s forgiveness, Bonnie would never get over killing him. Matt would never forgive himself, either.
Damon tries to express his condolences over Penny, but Matt accepts that that was his fault. He’ll be paying for that for the rest of his life. He’s going to start by helping Bonnie. If Damon wants to repay what Matt did for him, he’ll figure out how to fix her.
Stefan and Caroline are on their way to Maine, where she’ll decide where to go next. He pushes her not to delay making big decisions, and he’s not talking about travel plans. He asks if she loves Alaric. After a long pause, Caroline admits that she doesn’t know. Can you love someone and leave them behind when they need you most? She tells Stefan that right now she’s willing to make decisions about anything and everything except her relationship with Alaric.
Bonnie wakes up earlier than expected and chokes Matt with the handcuffs he’s put on her until he’s unconscious. She gets in the driver’s seat and turns the car around. Meanwhile, Damon and Enzo regroup at Vamp Villa, and Enzo reports that Matt did more than just save Damon from Bonnie – he also tracked down the shaman who transferred Rayna’s last lifespan to Bonnie. The shaman provided some information, but it might not be what the gang needs.
Enzo tells Damon that severing Bonnie’s link to the final Everlasting might remove her huntress instincts. But that Everlasting is in the Armory, and whatever came out of the vault could be anywhere in the building, which is currently full of dead bodies. Damon doesn’t have a clue what came out of the vault or what it could do to him, but he doesn’t care. “Evil be damned,” he declares. “We’re gonna open the place back up.”
Etc.: Paul Wesley (Stefan) directed this episode.
Apparently Matt is the sheriff now. Good for him.
I do wonder when Caroline and Alaric explained to the twins that Caroline is a vampire. How do you have that talk with your kids? Or worse, what if they find your blood stash before you have the talk with them?
I’m disappointed that Enzo basically disappears from the episode after he gets marked. I would have liked to see him fighting to save Bonnie even knowing she might kill him.
I’m also disappointed that Damon’s efforts didn’t work. It would have been so satisfying if he’d gotten through to Bonnie, if the vampire she once hated more than any others was able to make her see that not all vampires are evil.
Speaking of Damon’s efforts, they remind me a lot of the Buffy episode “Grave,” where Xander gets Willow to stop her killing spree by telling her he loves her and giving her permission to kill him (AKA the yellow crayon speech).