It’s a Vampire Diaries Christmas! And it sure feels normal, with Jo and Ric flirting by phone as Bonnie and Elena decorate the tree. And when we see normal we think…. Where’s the killer sociopath? Oh, there he is! Kai interrupts the festive mood by snapping us right back into reality, where Bonnie is alone and sad and Dalaric is still broken up.
Everything’s going topsy-turvy in this episode. Stefan is hanging Christmas lights for Caroline instead of brooding in his room, Matt is going all angry man while Jeremy tries to calm him down, and Luke isn’t being annoying.
Kai is in full evil mode, kidnapping Jo and forcing the twins to help him steal the magic-infused dagger back from Damon. Alaric and Damon are (luckily) forced into the same room when everyone realizes that Jo is missing, and soon enough they’re working together again fighting evil.
Elena, meanwhile, has to leave the fighting bros behind and join Stefan, who has accompanied Caroline and her mom to the hospital. Turns out Sheriff Forbes has a serious brain tumor and poor Caroline doesn’t know yet. Thank you, Vampire Diaries for reminding us that human ailments do still exist, and they are heartbreakingly without a quick magical fix.
The two storylines are incredibly juxtaposed, since on the other side we have a back-talking witch tied to a gravestone. Yep, Team Dalaric overtook Kai with their combined supernatural and human powers. Plus, they did it within the first twenty minutes of the episode. Which means…
Uh oh. Kai suspiciously asks Damon about the Traveler’s “really really big spell.” You would think that Mr. Damon Salvatore would take a hint on this one, but he simply confirms all that Kai needs to know to start sucking the spell out of the ground. By the time Ric returns the chains are gone, Damon has finally figured out that something’s wrong, and everyone is totally screwed. But let’s not dwell on the fact that Kai is loose and for some reason didn’t kill Alaric when he magically picked him up and threw him against a tree. Everyone can go home now! Damon can drink his nice bourbon! Stefan can write in his diary again! Elena can… well, no, Elena burned her house down. Never mind.
There’s even a cute brotherly moment when Stefan somehow returns to Damon the car that he blew up. They hug, tease, and Stefan gets the line of the night: “Do me a favor. Don’t die again, those fenders were a real bitch to find.” Collective awwwww.
Oh, wait. There was a third storyline. Jeremy and Matt together again to fight vampires and save the world. This time Matt was the hothead while Jeremy tried to calm him down. Somehow the buffoons managed to overtake Enzo, but of course they didn’t kill him right away like Jeremy suggested. Matt felt the need to drive him over the town border – the one that happened to make no difference as soon as Kai sucked up all the Travelers’ magic. So Enzo didn’t die when he was supposed to, he just leapt up, shouted surprise, and locked Matt in the back of the truck. So there, that’s what my three least favorite characters were up to.
Stefan is finally getting his shit together and helping to comfort Caroline, who has to find out that her mother is not quite as immortal as she is. Elena for the first time wins MVP of the night for NOT making the episode The Elena Gilbert Show. Tired and sad, all she wants to do is talk to Damon. So she shows up at his door, grinning at the mistletoe, possibly ready to be kissed by her gorgeous whipped ex-boyfriend. Too bad Kai punches her in the face instead.
This episode wasn’t the Elena Show, but the next one sure will be. Once again, Elena’s been kidnapped.