The Vampire Diaries Recap

The Vampire Diaries Recap: Life Swap

Friday’s Vampire Diaries was like a Christmas stocking full of everything this show does so well: There was a little romance, lots of action and even some good ol’ fashioned heartbreak. As for the body count, I stopped tallying when I ran out of fingers.

Following their reluctant team-up, Damon and Enzo convinced Rayna to transfer her last remaining life to Bonnie in an attempt to reverse the effects of the Armory’s pills. Rayna was surprisingly open to the idea — like most of us, she just wants a few days to eat cheeseburgers by the sea — under one condition: They had to kill every last vampire that escaped from the Phoenix Stone to allow her a final moment of clarity before biting the big one.

From that point on, it was pretty much an episode of Rayna’s Angels, with two conflicted teams — Alaric was no more eager to work with Stefan than Bonnie was with Damon — hunting down renegade vampires using Rayna’s less-than-consistent clues. And nothing was about to get in their way; Damon didn’t even think twice before killing a just-released Beau, despite Bonnie’s insistence that they keep him alive as a thank-you for saving Caroline.

We also finally learned what’s chillin’ in the Armory’s vault: Alex’s other sister Yvette! She was apparently still inside when Virginia had Lucy Bennett seal it with her magic, and despite Enzo’s assertion that she’s probably dead by now, Alex insisted that “something” has been keeping her alive. (OK, there might be more to this vault that we still don’t know.)

But because we — much like the characters — aren’t quite done living in the past just yet, the episode also featured flashbacks to Bonnie and Enzo’s time in the woods, where their initial spark quickly grew into a (metaphorical) forest fire. There was a romantic New Year’s Eve dinner, a lovely little dance and even a sensual guitar lesson. I’ll admit, I was initially among those who couldn’t wrap their heads around this pairing, but after seeing their romance blossom, I’m ready to co-signing.

On the other end of the romantic spectrum, Caroline and Stefan finally reunited this week… and it was rough. I’m not even sure she acknowledged him; instead, she kissed her fiancé and told him she could put the girls to bed. That’s it. Not even so much as a mention of the handsome, vaguely familiar-looking vampire standing in her doorway.

But can you really blame her? Alaric’s story about how Caroline used to park by the river so she could cry alone was like a gut punch. And even though I see the obvious cracks in their relationship, Stefan did himself no favors by bringing up the fact that they sleep in separate beds. (Side note: The more Alaric distances himself from his former friends, the more I wonder if he’s long for this show. Why would he stick around for Season 8 if he’s living in another town and not talking to any of his undead pals?)

I’m sure you’ve got your own thoughts about this episode, so drop ’em all in a comment below.