If “hell messes with you, but post-hell is much worse,” as Stefan alleges, then Friday’s Vampire Diaries was basically a 42-minute hangover — only with less headaches, and more beheadings.
Still haunted by the ghost of his soldier pal, Damon did everything he could to shake off his time in the Phoenix stone, but to no avail. His visions became increasingly more twisted as the episode progressed, until Damon was finally reunited with Elena… whom he proceeded to light. on. fire.
For those of you keeping score at home, this is at least the second time Elena has been set ablaze. (Also, kudos to the show for actually getting Elena’s face into the shot. That couldn’t been easy.) “She held you back from being the monster you really are,” ghost-Henry told Damon, which leads me to believe that the worst of Damon’s spiral is still to come.
Stefan, meanwhile, realized that he wasn’t quite as “over” his time in hell as he previously thought. He remained tortured by his own time there — during which he and Damon were drowning, and he was forced to let his brother die — until he eventually cracked, telling Caroline, “I will never be happy until Damon is out of my life forever.” (That’s real dark, Stefan.)
‘CAROLARIC’ | I’m not sure if that’s the official ‘ship name for Caroline and Alaric, but there’s one thing I do know: This episode signaled the beginning of the end of “Steroline.” Not only was Caroline super impressed by Alaric’s diaper-changing skills, but when he revealed that he plans on raising his twins far away from Mystic Falls (and vampires), it was the most brokenhearted I’ve seen Ms. Forbes since she lost her mom last season. There are rough waters ahead, folks. We’re all going to need to hold on tight.
CROOKED COP | After a few too many drinks at Caroline’s baby shower, Matt found himself behind bars for the night. (Don’t drink and drive, people!) Things were briefly looking up for him when a cute female cop showed him mercy — until she asked him about the contents of his truck; frankly, I can’t wait to see how he explains all those vamp-crushing weapons. Then again, maybe I should be more concerned about what Matty Blue Blue is doing three years from now: A flashback revealed him busting future-Caroline out of a box, then pulling a gun on her. (Why, Matt? Why?!)
PARTY CRASHER | Speaking of Matt, Mystic Falls’ token human was less than thrilled to see Nora at Caroline’s baby shower — and he didn’t even spend enough time with her to hear about the “postcard” she received from the Huntress. (Yes, that huntress, the one we’ve been waiting to meet since November.)
Odds and Ends:
* Did anyone else scream internally when Bonnie matched with Matt on that app? #NeverForget that I once asked Kat Graham point-blank about a Bonnie/Matt pairing, to which she said, “I don’t know if the Bonnie that’s finally back … would even be good for him.” (Hey, a recapper can dream!) Also, I’d totally watch a TVD spinoff called Deputy Dolittle and His Witchy Ride-Along.
* Speaking of people I’m ‘shipping with Bonnie, am I imagining it, or is her chemistry with Nora off the charts?
* Can Tyler stay forever and ever please? Seriously.
TVD fans, your thoughts on this week’s episode? Drop ’em in a comment below.