Bonnie’s paying for her drink at a coffee shop when the man in line behind her starts talking about all the options available. It’s Cade, though she doesn’t know who he is. She tells him the town has gotten fancy with coffee in an attempt to be hipsterish. She recommends a simple drink, which he orders after she leaves. Then he chats with the barista, mentioning that he’s sleeping with his boss’ wife. Once he’s kicked that hornets’ nest, Cade leaves to enjoy his day, which will most likely involve causing more chaos.
Stefan’s still chained up in the basement of Vamp Villa, where Damon visits to talk about how great things are with his humanity back. Stefan regrets not destroying the town when he had the chance. Damon tells him that Sybil and Seline are MIA and everything else is looking up. Stefan reminds him that they still have a deal with Cade, and since Stefan’s chained up, Damon needs to get killing. Damon acts offended and says that’s not part of his lifestyle. Stefan snarks that he fell asleep, and Damon replies that he forgives him. He’s going to make things right, starting with Stefan’s humanity.
Stefan asks if Damon’s being such a nag because he’s been spending time with Caroline. He’s surprised she’s not there to tell Damon everything he’s doing wrong. Damon says she had other responsibilities today, since not everything is about Stefan. He announces that he’s going to make pancakes.
Caroline’s at Mystic Falls High for a historical society event, Time Capsule Day. Matt, who’s already resumed his responsibilities as sheriff, greets the attendees. As the town gears up for Founder’s Day, the high schoolers have been investigating a legend about a time capsule buried in 1790. They dug up a case that hasn’t been opened for more than 200 years. It contains things like pottery and documents.
Matt joins Caroline, who’s having her own digging-up ceremony. He tells her he was called to a fight at a coffee shop earlier. They joke about how the town isn’t as safe as it used to be. Caroline dug up a Tupperware container that she, Bonnie, and Elena buried when they were 11. Inside are pictures of them, as well as one of Liz teaching Caroline to ride her bike.
Caroline laughs at a letter she wrote predicting that she would win a Tony, live in a perfect house, and marry a perfect guy. Suddenly it’s not so funny. But Caroline’s trying to stay positive – Damon turned his humanity back on, so there’s no reason to think Stefan won’t, too. Matt wonders if he’ll ever feel bad for trying to make Matt destroy the town. Of course Matt knows that Stefan’s under other people’s control, but he’s still the one doing evil things, and “it’s hard to give him a pass.”
Bonnie and Enzo have taken custody of the Maxwell bell and are driving it out of town. They’re using Peter’s truck, which is pretty old, and every time they hit a bump, the bell dings and causes Bonnie pain. She’s picked out a place to stash the bell but she won’t tell Enzo where it is; she wants to surprise him. Caroline sends her a picture of the bucket list she made in the sixth grade. After Bonnie and Enzo laugh over it, she asks what’s on his bucket list. He’s never made one before (no need when you’re immortal), but she thinks this is a great time to do it.
Damon brings Stefan his breakfast, but Stefan’s no longer in the basement. Cade is, though, and he says Stefan is off on an assignment. He explains how he was able to come to the real world, which he did because his minions seem to need more managing. Now it’s Damon’s turn for an assignment. Damon wants to resign, but Cade says that’s not a possibility. He either follows orders to stay out of Hell or disobeys and goes straight there. Damon’s next assignment comes with a choice: quantity or quality? By sundown, he needs to kill either 100 evil people or Caroline.
Matt takes interest in one of the artifacts from the 1790 time capsule, a rectangle with a bunch of smaller rectangles cut out of it. He calls Dorian, who objects to being Matt’s “human wikipedia” but tells him what the rectangle is anyway. It’s a cardan grille, a cipher device used to break codes. It has the Maxwell family crest on it, so maybe one of Matt’s ancestors was a spy.
Damon arrives at the school and tells Caroline that Cade freed Stefan. He adds that Cade told him to kill her, but he’s not going to do it. Before she even asks, he tells her he has a plan B. She didn’t think Cade was able to come to the real world. Damon says Hell is his “vacation home” and he’s planning to stay in their world. But Damon’s plan accounts for that, somehow. He tells Caroline to get everyone at the school somewhere safe so he’s not tempted to kill them. He decides not to tell her where he’s heading, since they’re up against a psychic pyromaniac. “But I’m sure it’ll all be fine,” he says.
Bonnie and Enzo take a break from bell duty so Enzo can drive a racecar. He’s happy enough with just considering that his bucket list, but Bonnie wants to do more. If he’s going to take the cure and become human, she wants to make sure he doesn’t miss out on anything. He corrects that there’s no “if” – he said he’d take the cure, and he’s going to. But first, skydiving! And before that, another drive on the racetrack!
Caroline takes everyone from the school to the Grill for an all-day happy hour. She tells Matt that Damon has to kill her or 100 people, and that Cade has arrived. She offers him a blood orange margarita with a special ingredient: actual blood. Specifically, her blood. Matt declines the chance to ensure that he’ll come back if the town gets destroyed and everyone dies. He sees vampirism as a death sentence.
Cade joins Damon at the school, where he’s cleaning up after the event instead of killing anyone. He tells Cade he’s on the path to redemption and wants to impress a woman. He’s not pleased that Cade changed the rules by involving Caroline and a deadline. Cade guesses that Damon thinks he’s being unfair. Damon says no, Cade is just being himself.
Cade says the same about him: “How very Damon Salvatore to contemplate murdering the devil.” He knows (psychic, remember?) that Damon’s trying to decide if he can kill Cade with his bare hands. The answer is no, so Damon considers fire instead. That won’t work, either, since Cade can create it at will and it doesn’t burn him. Removing his heart also won’t kill him. Cade gives Damon another glimpse of his fiery fate, then disappears.
Stefan stops at a gas station and strikes up a conversation with another customer, a real estate agent named Karen. He talks about his job and how he loves it but gets stressed out by deadlines. He asks if Karen ever feels like her boss can read her mind. She doesn’t, since she works for herself. Stefan says he’d like to do the same time, especially since it would allow him to ditch a “partnership” that’s been hindering him for years. He’d still have to work for his boss, though – the boss who can read minds and who told him where he could find Karen. Stefan compels her to help him with his latest deadline.
Dorian meets Matt at the Grill to show him how the cardan grille works. He thinks it’s connected to Harvey’s journal, since they’re from the same time period. He puts the cardan grille over Harvey’s writing to see if it highlights anything meaningful. Matt and Caroline tell him that Cade is in town. Caroline still thinks Matt should go for the vampire failsafe, but he still refuses. Dorian, however, seems to be open to it.
He asks Caroline what it’s like being a vampire. She tells him the lows are low, but she’s stronger and more powerful than she ever imagined. Everything’s heightened, including happiness. Matt notes that pain is, too. Being a vampire means murdering and committing violence. It’s a choice you can’t take back. Caroline says that not everyone regrets it.
Bonnie and Enzo arrive at her secret destination, a house in upstate New York. He realizes he broke his phone skydiving. Bonnie reveals that she bought the house a few months ago with money her father left her. No one else knows about it, so it’s the perfect place to hide the bell. Enzo wonders why she bought a house in the middle of nowhere – maybe for romantic getaways? She says it wasn’t for him.
He asks for a tour, and when she invites him in, he picks her up to carry her over the threshold. One day, he plans to do that after they’re married. He thanks her for a day of adventure (and the reminder that humans tempt death in countless ways). Bonnie confirms that he still wants to take the cure. Maybe he needs more time to enjoy being a vampire. But Enzo knows nothing in that life will be as good as what he’ll have in a human life with Bonnie. He has no doubts and wants to take the cure ASAP. They should go to Brooklyn as soon as they’ve offloaded the bell. “About that…,” Bonnie begins.
Damon goes to the Grill and tells Caroline his plan B didn’t work – Cade appears to be unkillable, at least by fire or heart removal. “I thought you said you weren’t going to try anything stupid,” Caroline admonishes. “When did I ever promise that?” Damon replies. He figures that after 4,000 years, Cade must have learned how to avoid death.
Caroline quickly comes up with an idea: Cade’s immortal, and they know the one thing that can make immortals mortal. Damon objects, not wanting to take the cure from Elena and risk his future with her. But Caroline thinks it’s a no-brainer. They need to kill the devil before he can kill them. Once they make him mortal, someone can take the cure out of his blood, which will make him age 4,000 years and die.
Damon points out that if they take the cure out of Elena’s blood, they’ll be using their only dose for a plan they can’t even be sure will work. Caroline thinks it’s their best chance to get Stefan back. Damon doesn’t want to take the cure while Elena’s still asleep, so Caroline suggests that they give it to Enzo first. Then when he’s lived his human life, Damon can take it from him.
This is the first Damon’s hearing about Enzo wanting to become human (something Caroline only learned because Sybil got it out of Bonnie’s head). He’s upset that Bonnie was going to steal it out from under Damon’s nose. Caroline argues that it’s not Damon’s. It’s currently in Elena’s blood, and she would want to save all of them. Caroline isn’t 100 percent sure it’ll work, but they might as well use what they have.
Damon goes outside to call Bonnie and tell her the plan. She’s reluctant to use the cure, since she and Enzo are so close to getting the life they want. He eavesdrops as Damon tries to convince Bonnie that this is their best option. He expresses annoyance that she was going to give Enzo the cure without telling him. Bonnie says she was putting herself first for once. She just wanted to be happy. “And you know what I want us to both be? Alive,” Damon replies. They’re out of options.
Bonnie insists that there must be a loophole, but that’s what Damon thinks the cure is. He hates that it’s coming to this, and that they’re here because of him, but he got them into the situation and is going to get them out. Bonnie reluctantly agrees, frustrated that she’s putting her happiness on hold for the gang once again.
Back at the Grill, Caroline tends bar while Dorian plays around with the cardan grille. There are different handwriting styles in the journal, which makes him think two people were communicating with each other, but their messages don’t make sense. She brings him a blood orange margarita in case he wants some insurance. She notes that he’s very laid-back about the supernatural stuff he keeps learning about. Dorian loves it, since he’s an academic and is basically getting a full education in occult studies.
Caroline wonders why someone would want to major in that. He says he’s drawn to the topic because of his family. They used to think they were cursed, since they went through multiple crises like health problems and bankruptcy. His parents broke the curse with a happy marriage and family. Then his father and little sister died in a house fire, and it felt like they were cursed again. Dorian coped by spending a lot of time at the library, looking for proof that they were at peace.
One day he dreamed that he was playing baseball like he did in high school. His sister was wearing an ugly Christmas sweater he’d always teased her about. She smiled and waved, and he somehow knew that she was okay. That made him wonder how he could feel his sister’s spirit, and if there were other supernatural forces in the world. From there, he turned to occult studies. Caroline asks if he has any advice for dealing with the devil. “Well, make sure he stays in Hell would be a good place to start,” Dorian replies.
Just then, people in the Grill start screaming. Cade’s there and he’s causing chaos again, this time by just outright killing people for their sins. Caroline calls for peace, but Cade burns up a customer, calling him a thief. Matt grabs a fire extinguisher and puts out the fire, then yells at Cade to stop. Cade allows him to take the rest of the customers out, since they’re not evil like the people he’s already killed. Dorian eyes his drink but stays back with Caroline.
Damon comes back inside and reminds Cade that he has until sundown to complete his assignment. Cade says he’s doing Damon’s job for him. Unless Damon wants to kill Caroline instead of 100 people, in which case he can just wrap things up right now. Caroline asks why Cade picked her. He explains that she’s important because she’s Stefan’s fiancée. Stefan understood the choice right away. Damon says it’s not up to him, but Cade clarifies that Stefan had his own choice to make. His assignment was to kill either 100 people or Elena. Stefan went for option B without a second thought.
As Dorian slowly picks up his drink, Damon sees that a woman stayed behind and is hiding from Cade. Damon zooms over to her and feeds on her. Dorian’s so shocked that he drops his drink. Caroline zooms him into the storeroom before Damon can kill him, too. Cade tells Damon that that woman doesn’t count as part of his 100 deaths, since she wasn’t evil enough to satisfy his hunger, but he did enjoy watching Damon work. The three people Cade killed will go toward Damon’s quota, so he just has 97 to go.
Damon asks if Stefan will get to end his assignment once Damon kills those remaining people. Cade tells him they have separate quotas and made their own choices. Damon’s kills have no effect on Stefan’s. Damon pleads with Cade to stop Stefan, but Cade won’t considering bargaining. Damon needs to get to work.
He heads to his car, turning Caroline down when she asks to come along. She calls Stefan, who’s still with Karen. She’s completing paperwork right there at the gas station, having had someone bring it to her. He’ll be on his way after that. Caroline’s confused.
Bonnie tells Enzo that while he and Damon were off with Sybil, she moved Elena to her new house in New York. Enzo admits that he heard her and Damon on the phone. She agrees that they need to focus on stopping Cade right now, but it hurts to know that they’re so close to everything they wanted and can’t just take it. “I never get to have my chance,” she laments. “I always do the right thing for everyone else.” She wants to help the gang, but it sucks. Enzo admires how selfless she is and promises to be with her no matter what happens. Even if he never becomes human again, they’ll have a future. He doesn’t need the cure to be happy, just her.
Karen and Stefan finish the paperwork, which signs the deed to Bonnie’s house over to Karen. The second she’s finished signing, Enzo gets yanked out of the house, as Bonnie’s invitation no longer allows him inside. Stefan asks Karen for one more thing – an invitation for himself.
Caroline finishes compelling everyone who was at the Grill to forget the “not-so-happy hour.” Matt’s mad that people died, but she’s not in the mood for his judgment. He tells her he and the town are barely hanging on. It’s not the same place it was when they were kids. Caroline says it is, but they didn’t know any better back then. The adults hid the darkness from them. Now they’re the adults. “And you’re part of the darkness,” Matt spits out. After all, she just compelled people to forget about murders.
Dorian’s still playing around with the cardan grille, and he assures Matt that he hasn’t consumed any vampire blood. Matt feels bad that he got dragged into what happened today, but Dorian notes that he chose to be there. He realizes that the last message in the journal is in a foreign language he doesn’t recognize. As he gathers his things to go to the library for further research, he gives Matt another Maxwell heirloom he found, a pendant.
Stefan and Damon talk on the phone as they separately speed toward Elena. Damon called the police in Brooklyn to help protect her, but Stefan tells him that she’s upstate now. (Also, what’s stopping Stefan from killing the police to get to her?) How does he know? Cade read Bonnie’s mind in the coffee shop that morning and saw the address of her house. Stefan then tracked down her real estate agent and had her take over the deed.
Bonnie tries to invite Enzo back into the house with no luck. He tells her to get the cure so they can leave. Damon suggests that Stefan meet him somewhere and take out his anger on his brother instead of killing Elena. Stefan isn’t interested, and he’s only five minutes away from the house. While Bonnie opens Elena’s coffin and prepares to extract the cure from her blood with a syringe, Damon tells Stefan he doesn’t have to kill her for Cade. Stefan replies that he’s doing it for himself. He wishes he’d thought of it before Cade did. He was just too busy taking care of Damon.
Damon says Stefan doesn’t need to take care of him – he’ll take care of both of them. Stefan replies that he’s not capable of that. Damon will keep interfering as long as they’re connected through Elena, so Stefan’s just going to get rid of her. Damon warns that if Stefan does, he’s dead to Damon. Stefan says that’s the point. He wants Damon to blame him for Elena’s death so he’ll stop trying to save his brother. Then Stefan will be free of him forever.
Damon begs him not to kill Elena. Stefan says she’s the root of all of Damon’s problems, which means she’s the root of Stefan’s, too. She’s still coming between them after all this time. She’s not even that special: “She’s just a stupid girl. She’s a stupid human girl who will be so easy to kill.” She’s conveniently already in a coffin. Stefan’s thinking about drowning her, as a “full-circle kind of thing.” Damon doesn’t think Stefan will, but Stefan says he can, and he’ll be happy to.
Enzo waits impatiently on the front porch while Bonnie draws Elena’s blood. She takes the syringe out to the hallway and asks if he thinks she got enough. Enzo’s standing very still in the front doorway, just staring ahead. He suddenly collapses, revealing that Stefan’s standing behind him. He pulled Enzo’s heart out through his back.
Bonnie cries out as Stefan lets him fall on the porch, then enters the house. She grabs a wooden coat peg and tries to stake him. He asks why she cares what happens to Elena – Bonnie will be dead in a minute. “And you’re gonna be human,” she replies. Instead of shoving the peg into his chest, she jams the syringe into his side and injects him with the cure.
He collapses, unconscious, and she runs outside to Enzo. There’s nothing she can do – he’s already desiccated. She screams his name, cradling his head, then lets out a howl of grief, along with a blast of power.
Etc.: If you look closely, you can see that Damon’s pancakes have blueberry faces and whipped-cream fangs.
Highlights from Bonnie’s bucket list: “Meet Justin Timberlake,” “audition for American Idol,” “learn to dance from Beyoncé’s ‘Baby Boy,'” “find my own Pacey,” and (I think; it’s hard to read) “get Grams to buy me a Nokia.”
I assume Damon held it over Caroline’s head for years after this that he didn’t kill her when given the option.
I wish we’d gotten at least one Damon/Enzo scene after Damon’s humanity came back. We don’t get any closure there.
No matter how you feel about Enzo, or whether or not you like him and Bonnie together, you have to feel horrible for Bonnie. Her life has been almost completely ruined over the course of the series, and all at the hands of the Salvatores. Her father and grandmother are dead, her mother’s a vampire, she’s never going to see one of her best friends again, and now the love of her life is dead, killed by a guy she thought of as a friend. Her future has now been wrecked. I wouldn’t blame her if she just walked away and never looked back.