Worst. Homecoming. Ever.
The Damon/Stefan hug may have been exactly what we needed, but from then on everything about Damon’s return sucked. First there’s the back and forth between the two conversations, Damon/Stefan with “she did WHAT?” and Elena/Alaric with “I don’t want to see him.” Cue the frustration that persists throughout the entire episode.
This episode is all about Elena. That may not be surprising, given that she is a the main character, but you would think that Alaric almost dying (then turning back into a human), Jo turning out to be a witch (GASP), and Stefan going on his apology tour (yeah, you better apologize to Caroline) would take precedence over whether Elena wants her memories back.
But, no. The entire episode is conflicted Elena, and the only thing that makes it better is not-so-conflicted Damon pursuing her. First, he’s outside her dorm room, speaking in that soft voice that only comes out for Elena. All he wants to do is see her, so what does she do? Leap out the window. And then call Stefan about it, looking conflicted.
Then Damon’s at his best friend’s door, looking pissed. Thanks Alaric, for compelling Elena and making us lose that bromantic reunion we were so looking forward to. Damon tells Ric to compel Elena to remember, Ric refuses unless Elena asks him to. So again we wait as Elena is conflicted.
There’s a break in the Damon/Elena storyline as Matt sasses Enzo, breaks into Tripp’s office, and lies to Sarah (most annoying character since Ivy. Oh yeah, Ivy’s dead. Tripp drove her into Mystic Falls). Matt is being pretty awesome for a human.
Elena’s partly over her indecision, so she calls Damon and tells him she wants to meet him at her dorm room. Damon, who was already there leaving an adorable voicemail for Bonnie, quickly smooths out the bed and checks his hair in the mirror. Adorable. So adorable that I’m extra mad when he turns around and Tripp is there, ready to kidnap Caroline, but finding Damon instead.
Now we get to the main action of the episode. Tripp is driving Damon and Enzo straight to Mystic Falls, and the vampires have all set their cars up ready to stop him. At this point the panicked Elena finally decides she wants her memories back. Cue relief, and the sense that something is definitely going to go wrong. Damon and Enzo have their quick reunion, in which Enzo tells on Stefan for turning him in. Damon asks why, and Enzo fires back the line of the night, “probably jealous of my accent.” It is the only redeeming quality you have, Enzo.
The Van of Vampire Killing is coming straight towards Stefan and Alaric, so Ric steps up to trick Tripp into stopping. Then he just punched through the window and grabs at Tripp, who shoots him with his little veraine gun. There goes the car, speeding towards Stefan, with Alaric, Damon, and Enzo inside. Stefan leaps out of the way just in time, but now two of my favorite vampires (and one I could care less about) are inside Mystic Falls.
The next moment is my favorite. Stefan puts aside his lame need to move on, his tendency these last few episodes to only look after himself, and he steps over the border to save his brother. Of course, this isn’t easy, given that he starts bleeding from a gunshot wound as soon as he does. But of course he saves Damon (and Enzo, unfortunately) right before all three of them die. So heroic, Stefan. Way to leave Alaric bleeding on the other side.
Thank the heavens for the MVP of the night, Dr. Jo Laughlin. She, as she puts it, “follow Alaric like a creepy stalker,” and showed up just in time to put her doctor skills to work saving him. The best part? When she does save his life, he’s not a vampire anymore. He’s human.
So the first thing everyone does is tell Elena how sorry they are, Alaric can’t bring her memories back, he’s human and saved and never has to worry about eating his students again but it’s horrible because Elena can’t get what she wants.
The end is excruciating. We’re all waiting for the Delena reunion, but we watch as Ric makes lovey-dovey eyes at his savior and Jeremy falls apart over Bonnie again. And then there’s indecisive Elena again, reacting as slowly as possible when Damon knocks on her door. She takes slow-motion steps to dramatic music, turns the door handle, and there he is. Then the episode ends.
Yeah. That happened.