Matt drives Tyler’s coffin to Mystic Falls, calling the gang from the road to let them know that he died. Stefan and Caroline meet him at Lockwood Landing to say goodbye. Alaric is writing to Elena about the death when Seline shows up at Fort Forbes and offers to look after the girls for the day so he and Caroline can be with their friends. She asks if Alaric was close with Tyler, and he says they were family. They must have hung out a bunch off-camera.
Seline says she lost her family, too. Yeah, when you tricked your sister into becoming a cannibal! Alaric laments that Tyler was the last of the Lockwoods, the end of a legacy. Seline hopes he’s at peace now. She mentions that there’s a carnival in town and she’d like to take the girls. She heads off to get them ready, watching Alaric closely.
At Vamp Villa, Stefan’s frustrated that Sybil’s game with Damon turned Tyler into “collateral damage.” Caroline can’t remember the last time she talked to Tyler; she assumed that he would always be around. Stefan feels like he’s at a loss for what to do about Damon. Caroline suggests that he drop that for now and mourn Tyler with the rest of the gang. They owe him that.
Bonnie’s mourning alone at the cabin, not getting any comfort from Enzo, whose humanity is still off. He knows there’s no way she’s okay with what Damon did to Tyler, even though she’s acting like everything’s fine. He urges her to release him, promising to take her on a trip and let her fix him and their relationship. She cuts off the vervain ropes she tied him up with, and he figures he’s free to go, but he can’t get through the door.
Despite not having her own magic, Bonnie found a way to magically keep Enzo in the cabin. She borrowed a candle from the Armory, the “flame of imprisonment,” which traps supernatural beings wherever it burns. Bonnie can come and go as she pleases, since she’s the one who lit it, and she’s the only person who can put it out. She won’t unless Enzo flips his switch. He asks why she’s doing this, and she tells him that she’s not going to lose him like she lost Tyler.
Alaric checks on Sybil in her Armory cell and bangs the tuning fork against a wall to pay her back for having Damon kill Tyler. Yeah, some pain and a brief interruption in her psychic abilities should just about make up for it. He asks where Georgie is, still believing she’s the second siren. Sybil plays along but doesn’t tell him anything.
Alaric has set up an intercom system that will allow him to torture Sybil with the tuning fork’s noise all day long. Well, that just sounds like a poor use of his time. Dorian’s time, actually, since Alaric’s making him allegedly test the fork’s frequency level every hour. He also has to find out why Georgie supposedly texted to say she had to leave town, even though it’s not like her to disappear in the middle of a project.
Stefan, Caroline, Matt, and Alaric take Tyler’s coffin to the cemetery, where they find four freshly dug graves. Damon appears and taunts them about Tyler’s death. Stefan breaks a shovel in half, though Damon doubts he’ll actually use it to stake his own brother. He tells Stefan to pick a grave, because he’s going to bury all of them.
Stefan starts to approach Damon, who warns not to underestimate him, since that’s what got Tyler killed. Matt goes for his gun, so Damon grabs him. He’s surprised that “the only living boy in Mystic Falls” has stayed human for so long. Maybe it’s time to end that. Stefan asks if Damon came home to make empty threats. Damon feeds Matt some blood and threatens to break his neck if anyone comes near them.
Caroline tells Damon to cut it out, but he’s not going to listen to the vampire who killed a bunch of people that time she turned off her humanity. “The devil knows what you did,” he says. Alaric asks what happened to him, disagreeing when Damon says he’s the way he’s always been. Caroline tells Damon to leave, since no one wants him there. He confirms that they all hate him, and by killing Tyler, he severed the gang’s ties to him. There’s no reason for them to try to rescue him again.
After the burial, the gang goes to the Grill, where Caroline calls Bonnie to tell her about Damon’s visit. Bonnie skipped the funeral to keep an eye on Enzo. She’s tried everything she can think of to get through to him, but he won’t flip his switch. She asks Caroline what made her take back her humanity. Caroline says she had to face her biggest fear – that she wasn’t worth loving anymore and that Liz would be ashamed of her. She needed the reminder that her mother loved her, and then she had to want to live up to that.
Enzo mocks Bonnie about Tyler and suggests that she release him so she can remove something from her long list of burdens. His humanity was only holding him back; he was angry and depressed. Why would he want to go back to being an “inferior version” of himself? Bonnie reminds him of all of his positive qualities. Enzo digs in, saying she’s the villain here for abandoning her friends while they’re grieving.
At the Grill, Alaric tries to give Stefan and Caroline a pep talk about not giving up on Damon. Eventually they’ll find a way to break Sybil’s hold on him. Stefan notes that Damon might not recover from what he’s done, especially when he realizes how Elena will react. While they’re working on saving Damon from Sybil, they also need to figure out how to save him from himself. They’ll need to “put him down” for his own good, as well as the gang’s protection.
Damon goes to the Armory, not to free Sybil but to get answers. Why did she make him get the bell striker and burn his bridges with the gang? She must still be in his head. He has free will, but he’s still doing things to make Sybil happy, without knowing why. She notes that he has regrets, which means he’s not her loyal servant. He’s upset because he hurt his friends. He’s feeling something, which means he’s not completely Sybil’s. She thinks he felt something killing Tyler, and that led to more feelings. His humanity is trying to turn itself back on. He needs to keep the switch off so all his bad feelings will disappear.
Damon slams his hands against the window to the cell, causing a small crack. He asks what Sybil wants from him. She replies that she just wants him – all of him. She can’t have him the way she wants him if he still has emotional ties to his past. She tells him to go see Stefan and let him get Damon to flip his switch. If he wants to live that way, he’s free to. Maybe he’ll find a way to be happy before he dies and spends eternity with Cade.
Someone from the Armory drops off a box at Lockwood Landing, where Matt and Peter have started packing everything up. Peter thinks Matt should wait a little while before jumping right into clearing out all of Tyler’s things, but Matt is fine with moving forward. He says he’s an expert at loss, having started when he was young. Peter knows he contributed to that.
Matt’s a little overwhelmed right now, with having lost Tyler, being responsible for clearing out the house, and having vampire blood in his system, which means having to worry about dying in the next 24 hours. Peter asks how all of this happened. Matt’s like, “You mean my life?” He dealt with this stuff alone for a long time. He wants to escape it, not teach Peter about it.
Peter gives him some time alone, and Matt turns to the box from the Armory, which is accompanied by a note from Tyler saying he needs Matt’s help finding someone. Inside the box are sketches and pictures of Seline.
Alaric returns to the Armory and tries to puzzle out how he was able to travel from the tunnel to downtown Mystic Falls after Georgie trapped him. The Armory is about 35 miles from Mystic Falls, but Alaric made it through the tunnel in just a few hours, covering what would only be about seven miles. Who built the tunnel and why? In other mysteries, Dorian reports that Georgie’s roommate said she disappeared without taking anything with her. Alaric decides it’s time to get the police involved and report Georgie as missing. Dorian’s curious about the tuning fork and why Alaric is so interested in it. This isn’t the time, Dorian!
Sybil takes Josie and Lizzie to the carnival, where she uses her mind-control powers to convince a worker to give them a goldfish even though they didn’t win it. It’s dead, and she tells the girls they’ll take it home and give it a proper burial. At Vamp Villa, Caroline gets a picture Seline sent her of her and the girls and tells Stefan she’s “too perfect to be a real person.”
Stefan announces that Damon texted and wants to meet him at the carnival. This might be Stefan’s only chance to capture him. Caroline offers to come along but Stefan wants to do this alone. She knows he’s reluctant to take Damon down, but it’s the right thing to do. He worries that Damon won’t forgive him and that Stefan will lose him forever. Caroline replies that he’s already lost Damon. Way to keep things positive, Care.
Enzo decorates the cabin like he did on New Year’s Eve, mocking Bonnie. He notes that he protected her for three years only for her to try to kill him. She ignores him and starts pouring gas all over the cabin. She tells him she’s going to use his darkest fears to pull him out of this. Enzo doesn’t think it’ll work, so Bonnie says she’ll die trying. He claims that he’s not afraid of fire just because Damon left him to die in one. She realizes his real fear is people leaving. He’s been abandoned over and over. Bonnie’s going to end that – she’s not going anywhere.
Enzo thinks she’s taking things to the extreme, but she figures that desperate times call for desperate measures. She picks up the flame of imprisonment and says she’s not leaving until he turns his humanity back on: “I’d rather burn alive than abandon you.” She touches the flame to the gas and lights the cabin on fire.
Stefan arrives at the carnival and sees that everyone’s leaving. They’ve been evacuated due to a “gas leak.” He greets Damon with, “Hello, brother,” and Damon replies that he needs help. Stefan’s surprised, since Damon seemed pretty insistent on cutting all ties to the gang. Damon admits that he might have jumped the gun there. He wants to serve Sybil – he has to – and avoid going to Hell. Stefan offers to help him, but Damon knows that means turning his humanity back on.
It’s easier if Damon keeps it off. He doesn’t have to make amends this way. He can’t live like Stefan does, surviving on animal blood and helping people and trying to get back to peace. Knowing what Damon knows, why would he want to feel again? Stefan says that if they can’t feel, there’s no point in being alive. Damon agrees. Stefan thinks his humanity is trying to break through, so he invites Damon to come home and work on becoming happy again. Damon says he can’t – he ruined everything. Stefan promises that he loves Damon and will help him. Damon says no again.
Stefan fires a vervain dart at Damon, who catches it in midair, then tackles him. He’s not pleased with Stefan’s method of “help.” Stefan tells him he doesn’t have a choice. Damon says he knows what he’s doing. Without his humanity, “anything goes.” As he’s about to hit Stefan, someone fires vervain darts into Damon’s back. Caroline ignored Stefan and showed up after all.
Enzo confirms Bonnie’s analysis of his abandonment issues and asks if they can wrap this up. She tells him again that she’s not leaving. She means she won’t even walk out of the cabin as it’s burning around them. He says he doesn’t care, but she repeats it over and over, even as she’s breathing in smoke. She ends up passing out. At first Enzo’s smug, but he realizes that if he doesn’t do something, Bonnie’s going to die. His humanity comes back and he picks her up, ready to rescue her.
Seline takes the twins to a warehouse to teach them about death. She explains that there are two parts to us, our bodies and our souls. Some people are special, and when they die, a man named Cade takes their souls. The bodies they leave behind need to be treated respectfully, which Cade appreciates. Seline and the girls can call him. She takes their hands and hums. They siphon from her, just as she wanted, and use the magic to light a fire. Seline tells them they’re ready for a surprise she has in store. She takes them out of the warehouse before they can see that they lit a body on fire.
Speaking of fire, the one at the cabin is still raging, but Bonnie’s out of danger. Enzo was able to get her outside, even though he’s still not able to leave the cabin himself. She realizes he’s flipped his switch, and that the fire is so out of control that he’s not going to be able to escape it. He tells her it’s his time and the love she showed him is enough. Bonnie says once again that she’s not leaving him. She runs into the cabin and puts out the candle.
Enzo grabs her and zooms her out of the cabin. He’s upset that he almost killed her, but she tells him she’s still there. Even better, he has his humanity back. “You’re stuck with me forever, ’cause I’m never leaving,” she assures him.
Stefan chains Damon up in a coffin in the Salvatore crypt so he’ll desiccate until the gang can find a way to free him from Sybil. Matt looks through the contents of the box from the Armory, telling Peter that Tyler was helping Virginia find the sirens. Dalton released one of them from the vault in 1883. Virginia willed all of his research to Tyler, and now it falls to Matt to take over what they were working on. Matt says he’s not the right person for the job. He ran away. Peter thinks Tyler saw in Matt what Peter himself sees: his fearlessness and resilience.
A detective calls Dorian from the warehouse, where police have found the body Seline and the twins burned. It was Georgie’s. He leaves the Armory and the tuning fork. Down in her cell, Sybil puts her hand on the glass that Damon cracked and hums until the fracture grows. An alarm goes off, but since there’s no one else in the Armory, no one responds. Sybil is able to walk right out, grabbing the tuning fork as she goes.
Stefan gathers the gang (this time including Bonnie and Enzo) at the empty carnival so they can give Tyler a proper send-off. They all say nice things about him. Stefan doesn’t want them to let their uncertainty about what will happen haunt them. They can’t forget what they mean to each other. A few years ago, Stefan sat on top of a carnival Ferris wheel with Elena and told her they need to appreciate the small moments in life where they don’t have a crisis to face. Those moments are all they have. In honor of Tyler and Elena, Stefan wants to keep creating those moments so they can remember to live.
The carnival has been closed down for the night, but Stefan turns the power back on so the gang can enjoy themselves. As they ride bumper cars and eat popcorn, Alaric writes to Elena that the gang missed her today: “It was a bad one in a long series of bad ones. But you’d like how we came out of it. I think we made you proud.”
Stefan thanks Caroline for helping him out, but she says that’s just part of being in a relationship. He hopes she won’t have to protect him or save him anymore. She remembers going to a carnival long ago while struggling with the knowledge that she was going to spend eternity as a vampire. But Stefan told her that she needed to remember every day that she was strong. She tells him the same thing now, promising that she’ll remind him if he ever doubts it.
Alaric calls Seline, who’s taken the girls home and says they’re working on an art project. She’s taken it upon herself to organize the garage. She’s fine with having to work on her day off, since the girls are so great. They keep her “feeling young.” Sybil gets someone to free Damon from his chains in the crypt, and he tells her he’s done feeling. She hopes he’s also done with his “existential crisis.” They have things to do – fun things. “I’m all yours,” he promises. She rewards him by letting him feed on the guy who freed him.
Back at the carnival, Caroline tells Matt she’s happy he came back to town. He apologizes for being out of touch and asks how the girls are. She shows him the photo Seline sent earlier. Matt recognizes Seline and tells Caroline to go home ASAP. But when Caroline and Alaric get to Fort Forbes, no one’s there. The girls have left behind their art project, a drawing of themselves with Seline…and Cade.
Significant item update: Sybil has the tuning fork.
Etc.: Dorian’s attitude toward Alaric’s assignment to bang the tuning fork every hour: “It’s ridiculous and I’ve learned nothing.” There’s probably a joke in there about academic research. I’ll have my intern come up with one.
How was Damon able to get into the Armory without being detected? Is there just no security? Did Dorian fall asleep?
Interesting that Damon has free will again. I guess Sybil thinks he’s devoted enough that he’ll still do what’s in her best interest even when he’s not forced to.
I guess Enzo just threw Bonnie out of the cabin? I know he saved her life, but it seems a little mean.
I’m glad the girls got to go to the carnival (even if it was with a siren) because I imagine they would have been upset if they learned that Caroline and Alaric went without them.