Humanity and what it means to be human was the focus of the latest episode of The Vampire Diaries. Stefan teamed up with Damon and Elena to torture Caroline into flipping her switch back on, but she wasn’t about to go down without a fight. Jo and Alaric’s human bliss continued to weigh heavy on Elena’s heart and Enzo finally got the answers he’s been waiting over a century for from Lily.
“Because” turned out to be a very emotional hour of television as the show raised the stakes and subtly shifted the pieces around the chess board as we hurl toward the final three episodes of the season. For me, the episode was bittersweet. I don’t like when my favorite fictional people are sad and so many of them were this week. Since my heart is heavy, let’s keep this short and hit the major moments:
-Alaric and Jo have very little to do other than makeout and quietly judge Stefan, but they are super cute and make me smile.
-Matt Donovan still exists. He had some shirtless reflections as he studied his wounds (instead of watching Lily like Bonnie asked him).
-Enzo confronted Lily, who was hilariously bumbling her way through her first restaurant experience, and she told him that she hadn’t abandoned him. She and her friends had been captured by the Gemini Coven and sent to a prison world. Enzo’s face as he realized his whole life was a lie is exactly why it’s a crime that this character is so boring. Michael Malarkey is good, people. Give him a story that’s worth his talents (and maybe just maybe this Lily one will be it).
-Stefan really sucks at pretending to have his humanity off and if Caroline was herself, she would have realized it in about three seconds (but Paul Wesley is the absolute best because he easily could have just played Ripper Stefan, but he played Hero Stefan pretending to be Ripper Stefan and it was so fun to watch with secondhand embarrassment for Stefan, who’s just trying to do the right thing).
-Caroline without humanity is the worst. Remember what I said last week about how it was fun to watch her tear into Tyler and Matt, but I would have hated it if I liked them more than her? Fast forward to this week when she’s trying to kill Stefan at every turn and I was so not amused with her at all (stop blowing holes in my ship, Caroline – and literally stop putting them in my favorite character, okay?).
-But torture was a two-way street for them and Stefan did get inside her head and gave her a vision of escaping and as Caroline planned to eat the cop who pulled her over, it turned out to be her mom! I always love Sheriff Forbes, but I extra loved her this week because Marguerite MacIntyre wrote Monday’s incredible episode of The Originals. Anyway, Caroline saw through the ruse and tried to kill Stefan and that’s when she tapped into one of his real memories of her mom.
-It happened right before she died and Liz told Stefan she hoped one day he and Caroline would be more than friends (heavy handed, maybe, but shipper bias allows me to love it). Stefan explained that he wanted things to be perfect for them when they finally got together and the sheriff pointed out that could be a while, but Stefan was good with that because he’s a patient guy (cut to me literally swooning on my couch).
-Fangirl bias aside, this is the moment that broke Caroline because she wanted more. She wanted to see more of her mother and be with her again, but Stefan left and Liz went down the hall out of sight and Caroline stood at the door crying and Candice Accola shredded my heart as she called out for her “Mommy” and begged her to come back. Caroline asked Stefan to see the letter, but he reminded her that he’d already given it to her and she’d made him burn it. Caroline broke down and cried over how she’d ruined everything and it hurt so much to watch.
-In a very un-Stefan move, he planned to leave because he assumed she didn’t want to see him anymore, but Alaric and Jo made him go back (he’s the hero, show. He should have never left). Of course he was right and Caroline needed time to herself, but it was important that she get to tell him that. And he looked super sad when he watched her leave, not only because their relationship is in a very terrible state, but because he knows exactly what she’s going through and why do I love a show that hurts this much?
-Speaking of hurt, Damon and Lily ended up locked in a battle of wills that proved the apple definitely didn’t fall far from the tree. Bonnie stole the ascendant from Lily so Lily stole the cure from Damon. He rushed over to Bonnie to try and stop her and the two of them had the kind of fight that only people who know each other inside and out can have. Bonnie wanted to put herself first for a change and not release six angry witchpires (thanks, Damon) and Kai back into their world. She read Damon exactly right that he didn’t really want the cure for Elena because he knew she would leave him and he’s too selfish to want that. But Bonnie offered him the ascendant if that was what he really wanted (and as they stared each other down, I’ve never wanted them to makeout more).
-Damon walked away without the ascendant, which was a totally selfish and very Damon move. But after Elena’s earlier fantasy about being a doctor while he’s a bartender (still laughing at him being horrified at the Matt Donovan of it all), it’s easy to see why Damon panicked. We all make bad choices when we panic. He headed home without the ascendant and Lily threw the cure in the fireplace. Except it turns out that Lily knows her son better than he thinks she does because she didn’t burn the cure at all. Instead, she left it in a jewelry box surrounded by candles for Elena to find. And when Elena excitedly came in with the cure, Lily explained that she left it for her because Damon was hiding it (Harsh, Mama, Salvatore, harsh).
-An upset Lily went for a walk and ended up ripping off a guy’s head and enjoying it. Then she called for Enzo to come help her and he came because he believes in loyalty. They hugged and I don’t know if the show is planning on going down that road, but they have way more chemistry than he had with Sarah. And think of how much tension and awkwardness this would create with Stefan and Damon if Enzo was their stepdaddy. This could finally be what makes Enzo interesting.
-Back at the Salvatore house, Elena being Elena was ready to let go of what she wanted in order to be with Damon after he explained to her that he knew her human side didn’t want to be with him. Elena suggested they give it to Bonnie’s mom or Caroline or some other vampire (interesting that Stefan was not listed as an option). But Damon insisted that Elena was going to take the cure. And she protested, but he pressed on and then said that he was going to take it too.
Of course the question is how would that work? Theoretically, there’s a cure in the 1903 prison world and maybe retrieving it is how Kai and the heretics get out (because we all know that’s happening). But I’m going to be nitpicky and point out if that’s the case, how are they going to get from Mystic Falls to Nova Scotia? Horse and buggy? Those quiet cars Lily mentioned? I’m guessing the expedition would take a year. I think it’s more likely Elena will take the cure and Damon will drain it from her like Silas did to Katherine. Since Elena is a newbie vamp, the most she’d age is two years (and that’s estimated given this show’s timeline). Of course Damon (or any vamp other than Elena) taking the cure is the last thing I want so hopefully something is going to stop these plans.
Next week, word gets out about the cure plan and not everyone is on board.