The police come to Fort Forbes to gather information about Josie and Lizzie’s disappearance. Caroline thinks Seline might have taken them to meet up with Sybil. Alaric is able to get Seline on the phone, but she won’t let him talk to the girls. She tells him they’re special, and that means they have special needs. She’s going to save them from “a lifetime of pain.”
Alaric vows to find Seline and kill her without a second thought. She must have been scheming for a while to kidnap the girls, but she forgot to factor in their father’s love for them. He’s going to come for them, and the longer she runs, the more he’ll hurt her. Though Caroline thought the sirens were working together, it doesn’t look that way, since Seline is surprised to see Sybil in the diner where they’re hiding out. She’s brought Damon along with her.
The next morning, Bonnie and Enzo – who I guess weren’t paying attention when Caroline and Alaric left the carnival in a rush – wake up together at Bennett Bungalow. They only get a few moments to be happy to be back together before her phone starts chiming with texts about the girls’ kidnapping. Enzo’s surprised to get a call from Damon, since he thought Stefan stuck Damon in a coffin. The caller is actually Sybil, and she uses her psychic connection to Enzo to give him some kind of psychic pain.
Stefan wants to join Caroline and Alaric to search for the girls, but she doesn’t want him involved. She knows Damon’s in the mix now, and if he gets between her and her daughters, she’ll kill him. She doesn’t want Stefan interfering (or, I imagine, having to see her kill his brother). She gives him back her engagement ring, telling him that until this is all over, she has to focus on the twins and Alaric. She can’t afford distractions, especially when it comes to Damon.
Matt has been able to narrow down Seline’s location via her cell phone, so Caroline and Alaric head off to find her. Everyone’s still at the diner, which is full of clueless patrons unaware that they’re eating near two sirens, two kidnapped children, and a humanity-less vampire. The girls are also clueless about the seriousness of the situation, and they’ve both fallen asleep. Damon asks how Seline went “from island cannibal to naughty Mary Poppins.” She tells him he’s “a sad lap dog under the thrall of a psychopath.” Sybil calls her a hypocrite and implies that her 200+ years in the vault changed her for the better. (Damon chimes in that they didn’t.)
Sybil spent a lot of that time thinking about Seline, who escaped the vault in 1883. Seline had to hide from the Armory, but she claims she’s spent all these decades looking for a way to free Sybil – not just from the vault but “from everything.” She was getting close when Sybil got out of the vault and blew Seline’s cover. Sybil guesses that the plan Seline was working on was dumb, since it involved the twins.
Damon wants to know what the sirens’ centuries-long scheme has to do with a couple of preschoolers. Seline says they’re “freaks of nature”; they can siphon magic and they have a psychic link. Sybil explains that Seline wants to offer the girls up to Cade.
Stefan and Matt set up police scanners and wait for updates at the Armory. Bonnie rushes in with Enzo, who explains that Sybil’s trying to get back into his head. Stefan knows that Sybil invaded Damon’s subconscious to manipulate him. If Enzo can’t see or feel Sybil, she must be in his subconscious. Bonnie suggests that Stefan do a head-dive on Enzo to see what’s going on. Enzo cautions that it’s going to get pretty dark in his head.
Stefan enters and sees Enzo on an exam table during his time as an Augustine vampire. Instead of Dr. Whitmore, his torturer is Sybil. She tells him she’s punishing him for trying to escape. She can bend him to her will from the diner, without Damon or Seline noticing. Enzo refuses to be her minion again, but she’s okay with that. She’s there to torture him, not win him back. Stefan jumps out of Enzo’s head and tells Matt to look up all the diners in the area Caroline and Alaric are headed to. Sybil gave them a clue by mentioning the diner, and the gang is finally a step ahead.
Damon thinks Seline is going a little too far by sacrificing children. She corrects that she’ll just be offering them to Cade as her and Sybil’s replacements. When they’re older, they’ll serve him, allowing Seline and Sybil to be free. Seline thinks this will count as atonement for what she did to Sybil on the island. Everyone’s phones start buzzing and Sybil sees on Damon’s that an Amber Alert has gone out about the twins. As Seline wakes up the girls so they can run, the diner patrons start realizing who they are. Seline uses her siren powers to start singing her way out of this mess.
Alaric and Caroline have been driving around pretty aimlessly, but Caroline is sure that Stefan will figure out where the girls are. Alaric thinks that if she were really sure, she would have brought him along, and she wouldn’t have given back his ring. They get to the diner, but it’s empty. Alaric calls Stefan to report that they just missed the girls, but whatever he tried with Enzo is working. Stefan’s hesitant to do it again, since it seems to have made Sybil’s torture worse. Alaric doesn’t care – Enzo’s their best chance to get the girls back. Stefan asks to talk to Caroline instead, but she won’t take the phone.
On the road, Damon asks why Cade would want the “Wonder Twins” instead of Sybil and Seline. Seline’s spent decades searching for the right offering, and she’s pretty sure Cade will be satisfied. The girls’ age is part of their appeal. Cade’s “missionaries” have to meet certain criteria to serve him, including being supernatural and voluntarily doing the job. Since the girls are impressionable and trust Seline, she’s sure she can convince them to serve Cade. If he accepts them, Sybil and Seline won’t have to spend eternity in Hell after all.
The group comes upon a police roadblock set up as part of the Amber Alert. Seline uses her siren powers to make the cop who checks the car unable to see Sybil and the twins. As he’s walking away, Lizzie, cranky from being told to go to sleep, grabs Sybil’s arm and siphons from her. This makes them reappear, and the cop returns to the car. Sybil decides to bypass her siren powers and skip right to violence this time.
Damon takes over driving and calls for Seline to summon Cade to meet them at a motel so they can get on with things. Seline doesn’t want to follow his orders, but Sybil tells Damon that they need a body of water and a couple of human bodies for the summoning. Seline says this is a long game; the twins won’t be ready to serve Cade for at least ten years. Damon refuses to wait that long, and he’s sure Seline wants to avoid Hell as much as he does. He has a plan that will see them all walking away winners. “Get the kids out of the car seats. Let’s go summon the devil,” he says.
Bonnie tends to Enzo, who’s exhausted from Sybil’s psychic torture. Stefan agrees to go back into his mind and see what he can do. Meanwhile, Caroline and Alaric get to the roadblock where Sybil attacked the police officer, who’s dead. Matt tells them they’re still working on getting information from Enzo. Alaric’s frustrated and furious that one of the sirens was right in front of him the whole time. Caroline assures him that they’ll find the girls.
Sybil relaxes by the motel pool while Seline gets things ready for the summoning. Sybil warns Damon that Cade could react badly if he feels disrespected or used. Hmm, the devil has a lot in common with season 1 Damon. He notes that Seline said Cade’s minions have to consent to serve him, which doesn’t jibe with what Sybil said about Seline making a deal for both of them on the island. Sybil tells him that she was dead, but Cade was still able to hear her soul begging to live. No one wants to die; people will agree to anything, even being slaves in Hell, to stay alive. Damon says he has his own deal in mind, and he’ll need her help to pull it off.
As she listens, she tortures Enzo some more (she’s good at multi-tasking). He’s back on the table as an Augustine vampire, and he tells Sybil she can do anything she wants to him as long as she lets the girls go. She says he’s dying, then starts to cut him open. Stefan grabs her and demands to know where the girls are. Sybil offers a deal: If he comes to her – alone – she’ll let Enzo live. Enzo warns Stefan not to trust her. Sybil confirms he shouldn’t, but she knows Stefan will still meet her. She and Damon have an offer he won’t be able to refuse.
Matt tells Bonnie that Caroline and Alaric are on their way to the motel. Bonnie admits that she’s terrified of losing Enzo. Matt assures her that she won’t. Sybil wasn’t able to destroy Enzo the way she did Damon. He fought back and escaped. Bonnie isn’t sure he really escaped, but Matt believes he will. He may be right, since Enzo is now awake and seemingly untortured.
Caroline and Alaric go to the motel Matt sent them to, but it’s not the right place – Stefan gave him the wrong address. Caroline calls him as he pulls up to the right motel and tears into him for cutting her out of his rescue mission. Stefan thinks he can fix things for everyone, and he’s going to do it on his own. Alaric is understandably upset that his kids got dragged into a supernatural mess, and he tells Caroline that when he gets them back, he’s taking them as far away from the supernatural as possible. That includes Caroline. Darkness follows vampires wherever they go; it’s what they attract. The kids – his kids, his and Jo’s – never should have been involved in this.
Seline starts the summoning, with help from Josie and Lizzie’s newfound ability to start fires. Sybil tells Damon that Stefan’s arrived at the motel, though he hasn’t come to the pool yet. She wants Stefan to know how serious this is, so she “set up a little welcoming committee.” More like an unwelcoming committee, since she mind-controlled a bunch of people to attack him. Damon tells Sybil that his plan hinges on Stefan being alive. She says he can go save his brother, but he needs to remember who he is – a dark, vulnerable killer. “That’s how Cade likes ’em best,” she says.
Stefan takes out all his attackers (without killing them) while only suffering a couple of minor stakings. Damon finds him as he’s facing off with the last one. He asks if Stefan’s going to take the high road or the low road. He urges Stefan to kill the last attacker before he’s killed. Back by the pool, Sybil and Seline bicker until Cade shows up. He’d very much like to know why Seline summoned him.
Stefan struggles against his attacker, who’s just seconds away from finishing him off. He asks why Damon is doing what he’s doing. Damon thinks what Stefan’s doing is more important. He can help Stefan save the twins, but first he needs to kill this poor, innocent attacker who was forced by mind control to come after him. Stefan does, not feeling great about it. Damon assures him that he has a “get-out-of-Hell-free card.” He promises to take Stefan to the girls once he agrees to some things.
Cade has heard Seline’s offer, and he’s intrigued. He asks the twins what they think. All they know is what Seline told them, which is that Cade is nice. He says that with time and guidance, they’ll have a very bright future. Seline’s ready to make the trade, but Sybil wants to present her own deal (well, Damon’s deal): Cade can trade up from two sirens to two of history’s most vicious killers. Stefan and Damon arrive, and Stefan blurts out that he’ll serve Cade if Cade lets the girls go.
Caroline and Alaric finally get to the motel and reunite with Josie and Lizzie. Stefan doesn’t say anything about how he was able to secure their freedom. Bonnie takes Enzo back to Bennett Bungalow and tells him how much she appreciates all he went through to get back to her. He promises he always will.
She asks how he was able to keep fighting for so long after Damon broke. Enzo never had an easy life, what with being abandoned as a child and tortured for decades as an Augustine vampire. Those sorts of experiences make you harden your heart. Bonnie notes that he’s kind and loving instead. He says he always held on to a small piece of faith that he would never suffer and die without knowing true love. When he met Bonnie, his faith was rewarded. “Basically, I’m an angel,” she jokes. “To me, you’re the whole damn world,” he replies.
Caroline and Alaric take the twins to the Armory so a doctor can check them over before they go home. He apologizes for their fight, but she says he was right. The girls aren’t hers biologically, but she’s their mother in every other way. When they went missing, she felt like she was dying. He’d better never throw their biology in her face again. He promises he won’t. He crossed a line because he doesn’t know how to protect his own children. Caroline tells him he does. He was also right about her being followed by darkness. Until this is over, he needs to take them away from her to keep them safe.
Caroline meets up with Stefan outside and apologizes for how she treated him during the rescue attempts. They’re partners, so they should make decisions together. Ohhh, wait until you find out the decision he made without you. She takes back her ring and says she loves him, but she has a bad feeling about what he had to do to save the girls. She asked him to do whatever it took to get them, and now she’s ready to hear what that was.
Stefan reveals that he gave Damon what Damon promised him long ago: an eternity of misery. Stefan surrendered his soul to Cade and will serve him the way Sybil and Seline did. He’ll deliver souls to Cade to keep himself from going to Hell. Caroline protests, reminding Stefan that he promised her a June wedding. She wants to have a life with him. He tells her they only have one more day together. He gets 24 hours of freedom to spend with Caroline, and then he has to go to work.
At a restaurant somewhere, Sybil complains that Seline didn’t tell her what she and Damon were plotting. Either way, they’re free now. Sybil corrects that only she’s free. Cade turned down Seline’s offer when he accepted Sybil’s, and Sybil’s didn’t include Seline. This is payback for Seline never rescuing Sybil from the vault. Seline swears that she was trying to make up for that by getting Sybil released from Cade now. Sybil says she did that herself. She gets to stay immortal and keep her siren powers. Seline wonders what she’s up to. “Let’s just say the game’s not over yet,” Sybil tells her.
Alaric thanks Matt for his help, even though he really didn’t do anything. Matt is often the only sane person in this whole gang of crazies. He tells Alaric that he can only stand watching his friends endure pain for so long. Sometimes he wants to fight back. Alaric understands.
At the Grill, Damon’s drinking alone when Matt bursts in and shoots him. Alaric joins him and says he’s been wanting to kill someone all day. He attacks Damon and says his kids will always be in danger as long as Damon’s alive. Damon replies that he just made “the deal of a lifetime – hopefully a thousand lifetimes.” Alaric punches him a few times, only stopping when Matt makes him. He says Damon’s had enough and Alaric should just finish him. “This is for Tyler,” Alaric announces before plunging a stake into his former best friend’s heart.
Etc.: Paul Wesley (Stefan) directed this episode.
Wolé Parks (Cade) makes the phrase “handsome devil” very literal.
Since when do the twins have a psychic link? Also, I must have missed that on my previous viewings, but it explains some stuff in Legacies.
I wonder if the girls playing the twins later asked their parents questions about the dialogue they heard in this episode. “Mommy, what’s a cannibal?”
I get Alaric wanting to take his kids away from the supernatural, but…he knows they’re supernatural, right? Is he just going to hope they never use their siphoning powers or accidentally start a fire? And is he really so desperate that he wouldn’t realize that taking them away from Caroline would be traumatic for them?