The Gilberts’ car has just driven off of Wickery Bridge, and Elena and Grayson are fighting to stay alive. But something’s different here – Stefan isn’t there to save Elena. Damon and Sybil are on the bridge, watching police and first responders. Liz has come to the scene, and she’s the one to confirm that there were three fatalities: Grayson, Miranda, and Elena. Sybil asks if Damon knew Elena. “No, I never met her,” he says. “Guess now you never will,” she replies. That’s another of Damon’s memories of Elena that Sybil has erased.
At the hotel, Sybil tries to force Enzo to turn off his humanity. She has plans for him that will go more smoothly if he doesn’t have pesky emotions getting in the way. But Enzo’s mental barriers are still standing strong. Sybil urges him to be more like Damon, who’s fully submitted to her and is happy now. Damon (who’s still working his way through the Fifty Shades of Grey series) corrects that he’s just bored.
Sybil doesn’t want to screw up her record of controlling men, which currently stands at Sybil, 50,000; men, 0 (“give or take a few Peloponnesians”). Damon tells her that Enzo already has a high tolerance for being tortured, after spending 70+ years in captivity, and Sybil’s just strengthening it. She gives up and decides to move on to plan B, where B stands for Bonnie. Enzo lies that Bonnie doesn’t mean anything to him, so Sybil calls his bluff by telling Damon to kill her.
Even though Bonnie was feeling a little down about Caroline and Stefan getting to be together while she’s been kept from Enzo, she’s thrilled that the two of them are engaged, and she wants to start the wedding planning ASAP. Caroline worries that Bonnie’s putting on an act for her sake, but Bonnie is genuinely excited, especially since she knows Caroline has been dreaming about marriage since she was a kid. The two of them laugh about Caroline’s “June wedding” and a binder Caroline once put together with everything she wanted. Then Bonnie accidentally brings down the mood by asking how Alaric took news of the engagement.
Stefan’s with him now at Fort Forbes, and Alaric insists that he’s fine with it. Seline has the morning off, so Alaric’s working from home and has brought in Georgie and some other interns to do siren research. (They still think it’s for a paper he’s writing.) Right now Alaric is focused on how the Armory was able to capture a siren once upon a time. He thinks the tuning fork Georgie found played a part. Stefan’s like, “I guess we just stab her with the pointy end?” Alaric notes that if they get close to her and turn out to be wrong, they’ll become victims of her mind control.
Caroline and Bonnie go wedding dress shopping, and Caroline officially asks Bonnie to be her maid of honor. Bonnie is happy to be asked, and not just because Caroline’s other likeliest option is in a coma. Caroline plans to aim the bouquet at Bonnie to help ensure that she and Enzo are the next couple to get married. She practices, but Damon zooms in and catches the bouquet before Bonnie can. Caroline realizes that he’s killed someone in the boutique, and she tells Bonnie to run while she stays back to try to fight him. Damon says he’s RSVPing to the wedding, then knocks her out.
Instead of running outside like a normal person, Bonnie decided to hide in the boutique. She tries to fight Damon with a wooden hanger, but it’s Caroline who puts him down by ramming him through with a curtain rod. Enzo frees him later, secretly proud that Bonnie and Caroline protected themselves so well. Sybil isn’t happy that he’s keeping secrets, and a glimpse inside his head tells her that Damon and Bonnie have a sort of history. She looks through Damon’s memories of her, mostly the bad ones, and figures out the moment they first connected – when they went to the prison world together. Then she simply changes it so he thinks he was with Sybil instead of Bonnie.
Bonnie and Caroline head to Vamp Villa, calling Stefan to tell him that Damon came after them. Caroline looks for some hidden weapons in the seat of an old chair, which apparently the gang calls the throne, but it’s been cleared out, thanks to Stefan’s attempts to child-proof Vamp Villa. He’ll go looking for Damon, and hopefully “the drone” will lead them to “the queen.” Of course, the gang still doesn’t know how to take Sybil down when and if they do find her. Stefan tells Alaric to pick up the pace on figuring that out.
As she and Bonnie gather weapons, Caroline wonders if she’s obligated to invite Damon to the wedding. Bonnie notes that Stefan will probably want him as his best man. Caroline backs down, but she won’t let Damon sit at the head table. Meanwhile, Damon calls Stefan and announces that he’s at Mystic Falls High. Stefan needs to put whatever desire he has to save his brother into action.
Caroline tells Bonnie that she’s thinking about a destination wedding. (It would be hard to find a venue in Mystic Falls that doesn’t have a connection to a tragic event.) Once they’ve collected some weapons, they return to the living room, where they’re surprised to find Sybil waiting for them. She admires Caroline’s wedding binder, and Caroline mocks her for her juvenile taste, since she put it together when she was in the sixth grade.
Sybil wants to know what makes Bonnie so special that Enzo and Damon have been working so hard to keep Sybil away from her. She asks if Bonnie and Damon ever hooked up. The answer is no, not even when they were living the same day over and over in the prison world and would have welcomed something new to break the monotony. Sybil’s surprised, since they’re both attractive (“you can’t spell Damon without ‘damn'”). How is Bonnie able to hold Damon and Enzo’s devotion when they’re supposed to be totally devoted to Sybil? She requests a chat, warning Bonnie and Caroline that if they don’t submit, she’ll force them in a painful way that will also mess up their hair.
Georgie and Alaric brainstorm about the tuning fork, which Georgie thinks symbolizes the pitchfork the devil traditionally carries. In medieval times, a pitchfork separated wheat from chaff, AKA good and evil. Alaric notes that the devil’s pitchfork usually has three tines, but Georgie knows that in 2200 B.C., when the tuning fork was forged, the soil in the Mediterranean was rocky. Of course, none of this is helpful against a siren. Not that there’s an actual siren! This is all still purely theoretical! Hey, look over there!
Stefan meets Damon at the school, sure he’s walking into a trap. Damon says there’s no trap; he needs Stefan’s help. But Sybil has blocked him from saying what that help is for, and if Damon tries to get past the block, he just speaks nonsense. Stefan tells him he’s running out of ways to rescue Damon. Damon notes that it sounds like he’s given up. Stefan denies that, adding that he isn’t going to let Damon kill Bonnie. Damon says that’s not whose life is in danger right now. He opens the trunk of his car to reveal that Enzo’s inside, unconscious.
Sybil bugs Bonnie again about why Damon and Enzo care so much about her. Caroline tells her that she won’t get what she wants – Bonnie is “fiercely loyal” and would do anything for the people she loves. Sybil’s pleased to hear that and interested in how far Bonnie will actually go. What if she had to choose between Damon and Enzo? Sybil explains that she needs two soldiers, and since Damon and Enzo won’t cut their ties to the past, they’re not getting their jobs done well enough. She’s decided to let one go. Well, more specifically, she’s decided to kill one and doom him to an eternity of torture. Bonnie gets to choose which one that is.
Caroline tells Sybil she’s crazy. Sybil corrects that she’s old and set in her ways. Bonnie thinks she’s jealous because Enzo loves Bonnie instead of her. She feels threatened and wants to destroy their relationship. Bonnie refuses to play her game. Sybil says that Bonnie’s no fun. What was fun was the Colosseum, when men got all sweaty and fought each other. “You’ll see what I mean soon enough,” she says. In exactly 12 minutes, Damon and Enzo will have to fight each other to the death. Since Bonnie won’t choose between them, Sybil will let them figure it out themselves.
While Alaric’s making lunch for the girls, Lizzie gets her hands on the tuning fork. He orders her to drop it, and when she does, the sound it makes hitting the floor causes both girls to scream and cover their ears. Alaric tells Georgie that she was right about the tuning fork being a pitchfork – literally.
Bonnie reluctantly drives herself, Caroline, and Sybil to the school for the guys’ fight. Sybil complains about the car making a noise because she’s not wearing a seatbelt. (Why should she? She’s immortal.) Caroline notes that she was in the vault for over 200 years; she should be off enjoying herself somewhere tropical. Bonnie notices that Caroline is texting Stefan, keeping her phone out of Sybil’s line of sight. She agrees with Caroline – Sybil is wasting her newfound freedom. Sybil thinks Bonnie and Caroline will soon realize how awesome she really is.
Damon and Enzo face off in some storage area at the school, counting down the time until their fight starts. Stefan’s incredulous that Damon summoned him to help fight Enzo, not Sybil. The two opponents snipe at each other about how they used to be friends, and how Damon tried to get Enzo to join him in fully submitting to Sybil. Stefan asks why Damon can’t fight Sybil’s control the way Enzo can. Damon says it’s pointless. If Enzo would accept that they’re Sybil’s puppets, they wouldn’t be in this situation. Stefan tells Damon he can’t kill Enzo – Bonnie would never forgive him. Enzo says that Sybil’s been messing around with Damon’s brain.
With five minutes to go until the 3:00 fight deadline, Sybil notes that Bonnie and Caroline have stopped talking back. She taunts that Bonnie must feel powerless. In reality, Bonnie has all the power, since she can choose which guy lives and which goes to Hell. And yes, they’ll definitely go to Hell, thanks to all the horrible things they’ve done. They’ll face loneliness and despair for eternity.
Damon reminds Stefan and Enzo that he doesn’t care about anything anymore. He’s trying to stay alive, because he and Enzo both know what they’re in for if they die. In the car, Sybil gets into Caroline’s head and laughs at her belief that Stefan will step in and keep Bonnie from having to choose between Enzo and Damon. She thinks Caroline has too much faith in Stefan.
There’s only a minute left before the fight has to start, so Stefan tells Enzo to run. Enzo’s free-will supply is at an all-time low, so he can’t. Damon’s annoyed that Stefan isn’t going to help him fight. Sybil tells Bonnie and Caroline that when the fight starts, there’s no way Stefan will let Enzo kill Damon. No one’s going to choose Enzo – not even Bonnie. She eggs Bonnie on, but instead of making a choice, Bonnie slams on the brakes and sends Sybil flying through the front windshield. That won’t kill her, but it’ll slow her down and allow Bonnie and Caroline to get to the school before her.
As soon as the clock strikes 3:00, Damon and Enzo go after each other. Stefan tries to keep them apart, but that means taking punches from two people who have been ordered to kill each other. Enzo doesn’t want to fight, but he knows it’s him or Damon. He warns that he’ll kill Stefan, too, if Stefan gets in his way. Stefan gives up trying to hold them back. Sybil recovers from her trip through the windshield and uses her siren powers to get a car to pull over for her. Meanwhile, Bonnie tells Caroline that Sybil’s right – Stefan will protect Damon, and Bonnie has no power to help Enzo.
Alaric arranges last-minute childcare so he can go off and put the tuning fork to use. Georgie wants to lend a hand, but she can’t get Alaric to tell her what’s going on. Well, actually, he does tell her what’s going on, but in a tone of voice that makes it sound like he’s joking. Back at the school, Damon is almost able to grab Enzo’s heart, but Enzo gets his hands on some wood and overpowers Damon. Damon tags Stefan in, and just as Stefan’s about to hit Enzo with a shovel, Caroline zooms in and stops him.
Stefan tells her to stay out of the fight, but she promised Bonnie she’d try to save Enzo. Damon comes up behind Caroline and breaks her neck. Enzo does the same to Stefan, so the two are free to fight each other without interference. Damon gets the upper hand again, and as he’s sticking a piece of wood into Enzo, Bonnie shows up. She begs Damon to fight the mind control and stop killing his friend. Sybil arrives next and says Bonnie’s the only one who can end the fight. She has to choose between Damon and Enzo.
Bonnie asks Damon not to make her do this, but he won’t back down. She blurts out that she chooses Enzo. Damon’s surprised, and he only lets go of Enzo because Sybil tells him to. Bonnie apologetically says she knows Damon still has something inside that makes him who he is. She’ll have to live with the fact that she sentenced her friend to death. But she can’t let Enzo die.
Damon refuses to submit to death and a trip to Hell. Sybil notes that no one’s asked her what she wants. Damon’s the only one who’s really committed to her. He’s an asset while Enzo is a burden. That means Bonnie chose wrong. Sybil is going to have Damon kill her. Then Sybil will kill Enzo, and she and Damon can get on with their lives. Unless, that is, Enzo turns off his humanity and pledges his loyalty to Sybil.
Bonnie tells Enzo not to trust Sybil, but he doesn’t think he has much of a choice here. Sybil tells him this is mercy. He’s seen what will happen when he dies, and Bonnie could be facing the same fate. By turning off his humanity, Enzo will be saving himself and the love of his life. He turns to Bonnie and tells her that if anyone can pull him back, it’s her. He kisses her, then closes his eyes and flips his switch.
Now Sybil’s happy…but she could be happier. She wants to take back her offer to spare Bonnie. Enzo has no problem with that. Sybil tells Bonnie that she’s going to count down from 10, then let Damon kill her. As she counts, she confirms that Enzo really doesn’t care if Damon kills Bonnie. She mocks Bonnie for being the helpless one now.
Bonnie’s so shocked by everything that’s happened that she doesn’t take off running until Sybil’s ten-second head start is more than halfway over. Not that it’s very helpful, since Damon has vamp speed. He reaches her before she can get back to the parking lot. She begs him not to kill her, and he tells her she has one last decision to make: how she wants to die. Before she has to pick one, Damon goes down. He may be a nearly unkillable vampire, but even he can’t withstand being mowed down by a car. Nice timing, Alaric.
As Sybil and Enzo come outside, Alaric hits the tuning fork against the hood of his car. The noise incapacitates Sybil, and Stefan takes advantage of the distraction to zoom up and snap Enzo’s neck. Georgie, who followed Alaric to the school, takes in the scene as Caroline joins the group and kicks Sybil in the head to knock her out. Stefan tells Damon that it’s over and he’s free. Damon says his work with Sybil is just getting started. He still can’t say what he’s been ordered to do.
Once Sybil is locked up in a cell in the Armory, Bonnie prepares to take Enzo to the cabin. She gets Stefan to confirm that he would have picked Damon if he’d been given the choice. That’s even though Enzo is the one risking his life to help the gang take Sybil down. Bonnie asks what Damon has done for them, other than give up. As she leaves, Caroline joins Stefan and tells him she’s going to stay with Bonnie overnight. Stefan gets why Caroline chose Bonnie and Enzo today, but he doesn’t like that they were on opposite sides. He hates all of this.
Dear Elena, Stefan is going to put off writing you an update because he needs a drink. Alaric joins him at the Grill and suggests that he write to Elena about his engagement instead of giving her more bad news. He thinks that if Stefan has gotten Damon back before, there must be a way to do it again. Stefan isn’t sure, since Damon’s never been this far gone before. He thought putting Sybil down would break her control over him, but so far, it hasn’t.
Sybil hums to herself in her cell, reaching Damon in his car. He remembers making pancakes in the prison world, but for Sybil instead of Bonnie. She’s pleased that he’s realized that fully devoting himself to her is the only way to save himself from Hell. They still have a lot of work to do, though. Damon has too many attachments and allies who think he can be saved. He needs to work on that.
Damon pulls his old trick, lying in the middle of a road until someone stops for him. This time he has a particular target in mind: Tyler. Tyler’s heard that Damon hasn’t been himself lately, but Damon says he’s who he’s always been. Tyler turns away as if he’s going to leave Damon behind, but he’s actually pulling out a gun. Damon grabs his arm, and Tyler warns that if Damon kills him, no one will forgive him. “I think we’re way past that,” Damon replies.
Tyler says Damon can walk away and fight Sybil’s control. He needs to think about what and who he wants when this is all over. Damon replies that he doesn’t want anyone anymore. Tyler says that if this is how he’s going to die, fine – he’ll be someone Damon can never forget killing. This will be the moment Damon gave up and threw away everything he ever wanted. Or maybe it’ll be what wakes him up. Then Damon and Tyler’s lives will both be worth something. Damon turns to leave, but Sybil’s hold is too strong. She smiles to herself as he vamps out and bites Tyler.
Etc.: What a waste to bring Liz back for five seconds of screen time and nothing else.
I choose to believe that Alaric’s nonchalance about Stefan and Caroline’s engagement is the writers’ way of saying, “We’re going to pretend he and Caroline were never together.” I’m on board for that.
Sybil’s method of altering memories is a lot like how Alaric compelled Elena to forget that she and Damon were together. She pinpoints a moment that was significant to someone and then overwrites it.
I wish someone (Stefan, specifically) had brought up how Damon trying to force Enzo to submit to Sybil is similar to how Stefan got Damon to become a vampire.
It’s almost like Stefan’s forgotten what it means when someone turns off their humanity. Dude, you can’t guilt Damon into being good by playing the Elena/Bonnie-would-never-forgive-you card! He doesn’t care about them!
There’s something so funny to me about Alaric saving Bonnie by hitting Damon with his car. Like, Damon’s a 160+-year-old vampire, and Alaric just had to smack him with his bumper.