the Vampire Diaries

The Vampire Diaries 8.14, It’s Been a Hell of a Ride: Shout at the Devil

Damon wakes up between worlds after being siphoned into desiccation by Kai. Cade joins him and tells him he’s “on death’s literal doorstep,” AKA limbo. He wants the dagger made of his remains back. Damon no longer has to serve Cade, so he refuses to help him. Cade can still take him to Hell, but Damon would prefer that to serving Cade again. Cade says he has something that will probably change Damon’s mind.

Stefan goes to the burned-down cabin, encountering Bonnie for the first time since he killed Enzo and she injected him with the cure. He doesn’t know what to say to her, but she doesn’t want to listen anyway. She doesn’t consider his apology enough. He tells her he wants to make up for what he’s done, so he’s leaving town. Bonnie isn’t the least bit sad to see him go. Enzo pops up and comments that she was pretty harsh. She doesn’t care, since Stefan has earned her hatred.

Stefan goes home to pack up some of his things. Damon’s surprised to learn that he’s planning to leave. He announces that Cade has Elena, thanks to Kai. Kai has the dagger, and Cade wants to trade it for Elena. Stefan’s trip will have to wait – Damon needs his help stealing the dagger from Kai and getting Elena back.

The twins have found their flower-girl dresses and are playing dress-up. Caroline has to tell them that the wedding might not be taking place any time soon, if at all. People who love each other don’t always stay together. The girls are upset to hear that, and Lizzie expresses her emotions by psychically starting a fire. Apparently this isn’t the first time, since Josie says she got in trouble for the same thing at school.

While the gang is angsting and moping, Kai is enjoying himself, singing at a karaoke bar. Because he’s Kai, he’s singing “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door.” He ends the song early when he spots Stefan in the audience. “Anyway, you get the idea,” he says. “Crushed it. Literal mic drop.” He joins Stefan (mispronouncing his name), who found him through a review he left on Yelp: “Grunge music selection weak. Drinks even weaker.” 30 minutes later: “Drinks getting better. Love this place. [microphone emoji] [fireball emoji]” Kai says he’s all for second chances, now that Cade gave him one in exchange for Stefan’s “box o’ ex-girlfriend.”

Stefan announces that he came to get the dagger. Calling him Steven, Kai tells him it’s his insurance policy so Cade can’t send him back to Hell. Stefan offers to use the dagger to kill Cade, but Kai doesn’t think it’s worth the risk. He has no reason to trust Stefan. Stefan knows that Kai is scared of Cade, while Stefan isn’t. Kai notes that he’s a powerful Heretic and Stefan’s just a “puny vampire.” Except when he tries to siphon from Stefan, he learns that he’s human now. In that case, Stefan can have the dagger. Kai sticks it in his hand, then says that if he kills the devil, he’ll also destroy Hell.

Kai asks if Stefan has any last words. Stefan just says Damon’s name – not because he’s thinking of him but because he’s cuing Damon to come rescue him. Damon zooms over and breaks Kai’s neck, then apologizes for being late. He just had to put in a song first.

Caroline is very unhappy to learn that the girls were kicked out of their preschool because of their out-of-control powers. Alaric didn’t tell her, and he also kept from her that they’ve been doing magic and siphoning for a while. He’s frustrated that he can’t find a school for them to go to. He asks why the girls’ flower-girl dresses are at the Armory. Caroline says she didn’t want all her wedding stuff around while she and Stefan were having issues, so she moved it there.

Alaric suggests that they find someone to help them deal with the twins, but Caroline points out that there isn’t really anyone to consult. She thinks their magic is flaring up because of all the changes they’ve had to endure recently. They’re sensitive, and their parents need to do better.

Stefan and Damon drag Kai into the Armory so they can stick him in a holding cell. Caroline goes with Damon to lock him up, and Damon notes that she seems to be avoiding Stefan. She asks what’s up with Kai, but Damon doesn’t want to get her involved. She brings up Stefan’s desire to leave town and figure out what he wants from their relationship. Damon tells her that Stefan doesn’t think he’s worthy of her. Caroline notes that Damon felt the same about Elena. She needs Stefan as much as Elena needed Damon.

Kai revives and tells them that what they really need is someone who can explain what’s going on with the girls. If only they could get guidance on their Gemini twins from someone who’s an expert on Gemini twins. Elsewhere in the Armory, Alaric asks Stefan why he and Damon brought Kai there. Well, where else were they supposed to take him? Stefan says their top priority is getting rid of Cade. Alaric doesn’t want to get involved if it includes Kai, his worst enemy. Stefan gives him permission to do whatever he wants to Kai as soon as the gang has gotten all they can out of him. Stefan has a plan, and he needs Alaric’s help.

Bonnie’s still at the cabin, content just to sit with Enzo. He asks her if she’s happy, then suggests that she forgive Stefan. Yes, he did horrible things, but so did Enzo, and Bonnie continued loving him. That means she’s able to forgive. Bonnie says she needs time. Enzo gets that, but he doesn’t want her hatred of Stefan to destroy her.

Stefan and Damon go to the quarry to meet Cade. Damon asks why Stefan was going to leave town. Stefan doesn’t want to explain himself, so Damon says that Caroline already told him everything. Stefan doesn’t think he can redeem himself if he keeps making mistakes. He doesn’t want to drag Caroline down with him. Damon asks why Stefan’s there with him, then – Damon has always dragged him down. Stefan says this is about more than just them. He compelled Matt to ring the Maxwell bell, which means he’s the reason Cade is free. Stefan needs to be the one to kill him.

Damon tells him that wasn’t the plan. Stefan wants to destroy Hell, like Kai said killing Cade would, and he’s doing this with or without Damon. Damon reminds him that he’s human now and Cade could end him instantly. This is a suicide mission. Plus, if Stefan screws up, Elena could suffer the consequences. Stefan is still willing to move forward, so Damon attacks him, ready to take him out of the equation. Even without his vamp speed and reflexes, Stefan is able to inject him with vervain.

Caroline puts the girls to bed, asking them to try to stop using magic. Care, why don’t you get that they don’t know what they’re doing? She then goes to see Kai, who predictably greets her with, “Hello, Clarice.” She asks why he’s offering to help the twins, considering he killed Jo and tried to kill them. Kai explains that when he was around the twins’ age, he also started realizing he could use magic, though he didn’t understand what he was doing. He felt lonely.

Caroline notes that Jo must have gone through the same thing, but Kai reminds her that she wasn’t a siphon. She was a “Glinda,” a good witch who did party tricks. Kai was more like an addict. His family isolated him because they didn’t understand his powers. That just made things worse. He chose to use his powers for evil, but he figures Caroline wants different for her kids. All she needs to do is look at where they are. They’re surrounded by magical texts and artifacts; the girls are just sucking it all up, literally. The Armory is the worst possible place to take a siphon. There’s even magic in the walls…magic that Kai siphons out so he can knock Caroline out and escape.

Stefan goes to a cave looking for Cade and instead finds Elena’s coffin. Cade shows up and says Elena’s a “beautiful soul,” though her relationships with the Salvatores have dimmed her. He was expecting Damon to come meet him. He guesses that Stefan’s there to kill him and asks if that’s really the best way for him to atone. He’s human, so the odds of him killing the devil are pretty slim. Stefan looks at the time on his phone and acknowledges that that’s true, at least right now.

But one minute later, at 8:00, Alaric starts ringing the Maxwell bell. Since he’s not a Maxwell, he’s not at risk of unleashing hellfire on the town, but the bell will still weaken Cade. As it does, Stefan gets ready to fight the devil. Unfortunately, a call from the twins interrupts Alaric’s work – they heard a crash and don’t know where Caroline is. They’re hiding under the bed, but Alaric tells them to go to the place he told them to hide if there was a monster. He’s on his way to them.

Stefan stabs Cade with the dagger, but without the bell weakening him, it doesn’t have any effect on him. Cade is thrilled to be able to attack Stefan. He’s about to slit Stefan’s throat with the dagger when Damon shows up. Cade agrees to give Damon a soul, as he agreed. He lights Elena’s coffin on fire. In the cabin, Bonnie has a vision of the fire, thanks to her newfound psychic powers. She rushes off to try to help Elena. Back in the cave, Cade tells Damon that he can save either Elena or Stefan’s soul.

Alaric calls Caroline as he heads into the tunnels to find the twins. Kai answers and joins the search for the girls. He picks up an axe along the way and checks the girls’ bed, knowing Gemini twins usually hide there. In the cave, Cade asks Damon what it’s like to be the first person to know how Hell on Earth feels. Damon needs to make his choice soon, or the fire will kill Elena and make the decision for him.

Stefan is, of course, willing to sacrifice himself so Elena can live, but Damon refuses to pick him. Stefan tells Cade to take him. “Enough from the angel on his shoulder,” Cade says. He’s doing Damon a favor. This choice has defined Damon’s life since the moment he and Stefan first saw Elena. “Being torn between the two has only brought both of you an immeasurable amount of pain and suffering,” Cade tells Damon. “It can end now. Choose.”

Just like Kelly Taylor did long ago on Beverly Hills, 90210, Damon ignores both options and chooses himself. Stefan is already damned, so Cade will get him eventually. He should take Damon now. Cade’s amused by this turn of events. Damon confirms that he knows what he’s doing – giving Cade his soul to consume. “Come on! Eat me!” he urges. Cade wants to, but Damon will have to die first.

Cade uses his dagger to break off a piece of Elena’s burning coffin so Damon can stake himself. Stefan begs him not to, but Damon’s made up his mind. “It’s been a hell of a ride,” Damon says, trying to hold back his emotions. He tells Cade to put the fire out and promise to leave Elena alone. Cade does, so Damon fulfills his end of the bargain. “See you in Hell, Cade,” he says. He gives Elena’s coffin one last look, then, over Stefan’s protests, stakes himself.

Kai continues his search for the twins, following the sound of their voices telling Alaric how they saved themselves. It’s a trap, though – Alaric recorded them and is playing it back on his phone. When he’s lured Kai over to him, Alaric whips him with a chain, once for the girls and once for himself. As he’s dedicating his third strike, Kai stops him and grabs the axe. But Caroline comes up behind him and breaks his neck, finishing for Alaric that the third strike was for Jo.

Stefan pulls the stake out of Damon, then sees that Cade left the dagger behind. Cade goes to limbo to find Damon and collect his soul. But as Damon’s being dragged off to Hell, everything suddenly stops. Cade announces that they have a visitor whose pain he’s looking forward to just as much as Damon’s. Bonnie’s there in the real world, and Cade tells her that Damon’s dead. Since she’s psychic, she can open her mind and Cade will let her see him.

Bonnie goes to limbo and tells Cade she won’t let him take Damon without a fight. Cade was hoping she would react like this. He warns that if she tries to keep Damon out of Hell, her mind will shatter. Bonnie’s willing to try. Cade says that her body could give out before her mind, which will allow Elena to wake up in a world without Damon or Bonnie. He orders her to release Damon “or risk losing more than him.”

Damon tells Bonnie it’s okay to let him go, but she continues to refuse. He’s only staying put because he’s clutching a big rock, and he threatens to let go. She orders him not to, then engages in a psychic battle with Cade, which isn’t really interesting to watch, since it’s just two people squinting at each other. But all the squinting has inadvertently distracted Cade, allowing Stefan to sneak up on him and stab him with the dagger. “Go…to Hell,” Cade manages to choke out. “You first,” Stefan replies.

The dagger sparks an ember inside Cade that spreads throughout his body. The resulting blast destroys him and knocks Stefan and Bonnie back. Stefan crawls over to Bonnie as ashes fall down on them like snow. They’re both okay, and though she says this doesn’t mean she forgives him, she’s pretty good-natured about it. Stefan vows to keep trying until she officially forgives him.

“Am I late for the group hug?” Damon asks. Cade’s destruction apparently blew Damon back into his body, and he’s alive. For once, the gang got a happy ending.

The brothers hang out at the quarry a little longer, opening a bottle of bourbon to celebrate killing Cade and destroying Hell. Damon says the bottle was going to be a wedding present for Stefan. He’s crazy if he thinks leaving town is the right choice. Stefan reminds Damon that he’s human, so Damon will have to let him go some day. Damon knows that will suck, but it doesn’t have to be today, especially not when things are looking up.

Stefan says his life will never be the same, even if he’s no longer destined to go to Hell – he still has a lot to answer for. Damon replies that cowardice isn’t one of his sins. If he’s brave enough to fight the devil, he’s brave enough to stay. Damon’s “inflicted a fantastic amount of pain” in his life and doesn’t think he can ever clean that slate. but all he needs to convince him that redemption is possible is the people he loves. “The list is short but profound,” and Stefan and Elena are at the top. “Don’t walk away from your list ’cause you don’t think you’re worth it,” he tells Stefan. Still, it’s Stefan’s choice.

Caroline hears from Bonnie, who’s going to tie up one more loose end for the gang. Caroline admits to Alaric that she’s a little embarrassed that she thought they were the reason the girls were acting up. Alaric notes that it’ll be hard to find a school that can meet their needs when schools like that don’t exist. That’s why he wants to start his own. He’ll turn the Armory into a school for supernatural kids, and he’d like Caroline to help.

Stefan comes by and immediately proposes to Caroline again. He wants to show her how he feels instead of just saying it. He’s an idiot for not seeing that he already has everything he’s looking for. He may have a lifetime of work ahead of him to make things right, but he doesn’t want to do it without her. Caroline seems hesitant, but it’s just because he’s human again. Stefan says he’ll use his mortal years to be with her and the girls, and fight to be the man she deserves. He proposes again and Caroline says yes.

Kai wakes up chained to a chair at the karaoke bar, with “Two Princes” playing on the machine. (Music: “Two Princes,” the Spin Doctors) “I’m back in Hell,” he guesses. Bonnie tells him that’s impossible, since they destroyed Hell. She knows, thanks to her psychic abilities, that Kai’s worst fear is going back to a prison world. With a little help from their Aunt Bonnie, the twins made an ascendant and a new prison world for their uncle. He’s going to spend the rest of his life there, alone, listening to a song he hates. And this time, there’s no eclipse to let him escape. Kai starts to beg for mercy, then stops and says, “I lost a bet.” He can’t believe the gang “fell for it.”

Bonnie goes to Vamp Villa, where Damon is waiting to celebrate with her. (He also moved Elena’s coffin there, and it’s open for the first time since “I’m Thinking of You All the While,” reassuring Damon that the fire didn’t hurt her.) Bonnie tells him that Kai said they didn’t actually destroy Hell. We go back and forth between there and the karaoke bar, where Kai says that Hell is actually in really good hands now. “Think of the only person worse than Cade,” he tells Bonnie, who says the same thing to Damon. “The person who knows where all your weak spots are. Who wants to hit you there over and over again. Who will stop at nothing to make sure that you and everyone you love suffer.”

Bonnie tells Damon that the person in charge now wants revenge for what the gang did to her. Damon tries to stop her from saying the name. They won – there’s no one left to battle.

“The myth, the legend, the baddest b&%#$ of all,” Kai says, chuckling.

“Katherine,” Damon finishes.

“Katherine,” Bonnie confirms.

“Bon?” Kai asks from the karaoke bar. But she’s gone, and it’s only him and the Spin Doctors for eternity.

“We’re toast,” Damon says.

Keep in mind: Josie, Lizzie, and Bonnie created a new prison world for Kai.

Etc.: You know who else could have helped the twins with their siphoning problems? Valerie. But apparently we’re pretending Valerie never existed.

The twins have their own bedroom at the Armory, which must be kind of cool, like spending the night in a museum.

The last time we the bell, Bonnie and Enzo had taken part of it to New York. Did Alaric assemble it himself right before he started ringing it?

While looking for the twins, Kai hums “Pop Goes the Weasel,” the same song Dalton whistled after killing a bunch of people. Interesting…

I wish we could see Katherine running Hell. That would be awesome.

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