Following the premiere of Season 6, I was none too happy about Elena’s decision to erase Damon from her mind. I mean, it just seems lazy. We all go through grief, and I know that Elena has gone through a lot, but for goodness sakes, deal with it. It makes you stronger in the end. And though I’m an Elena/Stefan supporter, this episode brought me over a little more to the Elena/Damon team. Anyway, enough with my complaints. Let’s get into the episode.
Weird 1994 Universe
The episode opens seconds after the bright light encompasses Bonnie and Damon. After the bright light fades away, Bonnie and Damon are left standing in the woods, seemingly fine. They're in Mystic Falls, but no one is there. Creepy. It feels like some parallel universe where Bonnie and Damon are the only two inhabitants.
As Damon and Bonnie walk through Mystic Falls, Damon notices that all the cars are 20 years old, but they look brand new. They come across Elena's old house that is still standing which is interesting since humanity-less vampire Elena burned that sucker down. Damon finds a paper showing the date of May 10, 1994. Whaa? Did this just turn into an episode of "Doctor Who?" The paper announces a solar eclipse will happen that day, and right as Bonnie and Damon are realizing when they are, that very solar eclipse occurs. I have a feeling this eclipse is going to be very important to helping them escape whenever/wherever they are.
Bonnie rationalizes that her Gran helped them get to wherever they are as a way to protect them, so there may be a way out. After her failed attempts to do magic, the duo head to the Salvatore Mansion. Here, Damon begins the daily routine of dancing around to ‘90s music, drinking, and making pancakes for Bonnie. Aaaaa-dorable. Bonnie arrives to tell Damon she went to her old house and found her old teddy bear and her Gran’s grimoire. She hopes the grimoire may be able to teach her how to use magic again. Damon gives Bonnie pancakes and a crossword puzzle. Considering they’ve already focused on the newspaper twice in this episode, like the solar eclipse, it is going to help them escape this parallel world. Bonnie gets to work on the crossword puzzle, and just as she does, another solar eclipse happens. Bonnie looks at the date of May 10, 1994. Damon concludes they're in hell, but I'm pretty sure it's just Groundhog Day.
Two months later, Damon is still making Bonnie pancakes (they must have stocked up on Bisquick in the Salvatore Mansion), and Bonnie is still hard at work on the crossword puzzle. Even after two months, she can’t figure out 27 across. Well damn – guess that’s going to be a clue to getting you two the fuck out of there. As they’re talking, Bonnie hears something, but Damon reminds her that they are the only two people in this freaky, empty Mystic Falls.
Later on (I’m not entirely sure when in the timeline), Bonnie and Damon sit down to dinner. Bonnie finally confesses to Damon that she also misses their family and friends. It’s a brief bonding moment for the two of them. But Damon being Damon can’t take the emotional sharing too much, and so he turns his attention to the crossword puzzle. He notices that 27 across has finally been completed. Bonnie tells Damon she didn’t do it, and neither did he. OH SHIT! Guess Bonnie was right when she heard something- they’re not alone!
“Normal” Mystic Falls-verse
Matt is on the hunt to try and get Jeremy out of the house. When he heads downstairs, he finds that Sarah, the girl Elena attacked last episode has been staying in his house. None to pleased with this information, he tells Sarah to leave. Jeremy, apparently deeply attached to Sarah already, is upset with Matt and doesn’t understand why it is a problem since Caroline compelled her to forget. Umm...maybe it’s a problem cause you’re the worst houseguest of all time Jeremy.
Meanwhile, Elena is busy packing up things that will remind her of Damon. She’s decided to go forward with erasing Damon from her memory. She tells Matt and Jeremy they are going to need to act like she and Damon weren’t a couple. Damn, Elena. You’re asking a lot of your friends and people who love you to pretend like a major event in your life never happened. She says if Damon somehow does come back, she’ll get Alaric to put the memories back (something tells me it won’t be that easy). But as always, Elena gets her way and Jeremy and Matt reluctantly agree. They aren't happy about it, but they agree.
Caroline meets up with Alaric and is furious that Stefan hasn’t been following up on the leads Alaric has been giving him. She thinks this means that no one has been pursuing the leads that may help Bonnie and Damon. But oh wait, there is someone on the case….
ENZO! He’s back and charming as ever. The first appearance of everyone’s psychotic vampire bestie is Enzo doing what he does best – seducing a hotel coat check woman for information about a coven in Oregon who may be able to help. When Caroline shows up, she and Enzo decide to work together on the lead, so it’s frenemy road trip time!
It’s time for Alaric to compel Damon out of Elena’s memory. Alaric is nervous because he has to go so deep into Elena’s brain. He tells her they will go through her memories and modify them so that Damon on longer plays a large role in them. He has to find the moment where Elena fell in love with Damon, and once he finds that, he’ll be able to completely change her memories of him. After modifying a few memories, Alaric isn’t able to find the moment where Elena realized she loved Damon.
They take a break and Elena calls Caroline to let her know what Alaric is doing. Though Caroline briefly objects, she seems to understand why Elena needs to do this (I certainly don’t!). Caroline tells Elena that she and Enzo are hunting down a lead. Enzo tells Caroline they aren’t actually going to visit the coven in Oregon, not just yet anyway. MYSTERIOUS.
Alaric and Elena are back it. Elena tells Alaric about a few more memories involving Damon, but none of them are the one that creates the domino effect needed to rid Damon from her memory. After a few more attempts, Elena becomes exasperated and says they should forget the whole thing. Elena then calls Luke to ask for more herbs because the whole compel-my-boyfriend-away thing isn’t working. Real good, Elena. You either need to forget him completely or take drugs to imagine he’s there. Seems completely healthy.
After a phone call with Caroline, Alaric tries again with Elena. Caroline told Alaric that Elena fell in love with Damon while she was still with Stefan, but that Elena doesn’t want to admit this to herself. Elena argues with Alaric at first, then concedes, telling him the story of when Stefan gave her the lost necklace from Stefan for her birthday. Even though Damon was in love with her, he gave her something that symbolized the love she shared with his brother, and in that moment she loved him. This is the memory Alaric needed. He changes the memory, and Elena then remembers Damon as Stefan’s monstrous brother who died. So. Freaking. Sad. But this leaves me with a question – does this mean that Elena will now once again love Stefan? Or is there going to be another love interest for Elena? Perhaps her cute fellow pre-med student we saw in the first episode?
Meanwhile, we get a brief check-in with Matt’s situation. While on a run, Sheriff Forbes informs Matt that the car Sarah came to town with was reported stolen. When Matt confronts Jeremy and Sarah with the information, Sarah says that she stole her boss’s car cause he was douche to her – you know, what everybody with a shitty boss does. She also explains that her father allegedly lives in Mystic Falls. Considering she hasn’t yet found him, could she by chance be a half-sister of a little witch we know trapped in 1994?
Matt calls Tripp to let him know what he’s found out about Sarah. Tripp tells Matt he’s actually a Fell, and thus a member of a founding family. This means he hates vampires. Sure enough, we see that he’s got a van full of vampires that he drives over the Mystic Falls line to kill them. Seems like a sane dude.
In Savannah, Stefan comes downstairs to find Ivy making him breakfast. After insulting her with his surprise to find her there, he offers to make dinner for her that night. As he’s cooking dinner, Ivy arrives and tells Stefan that she ran into a couple of his friends. It’s two of the people Stefan least wants to see: Caroline and Enzo. While he loves Caroline, it’s too painful for him to see her, and he just despises Enzo.
Caroline is not pleased with Stefan considering he’s been ignoring all of her calls. So the most rationale thing to do is for the four of them to have dinner together. After sharing some of Stefan’s past with Ivy, Enzo compliments her clavicle and questions her beliefs in the supernatural. Ivy isn’t quite sure how to handle all of this so she tries to laugh it off. Poor Ivy – you’re not long for this world.
Ivy ends up spilling the beans that Stefan has been living in the house for over tow months. This information pisses Caroline off because he was supposed to be helping Damon and Bonnie. Caroline yells at him, and after Enzo tells her to calm down, he stabs Stefan’s hand with a fork. Caroline takes Ivy out of the room, leaving Enzo and Stefan to have it out. Enzo calls Stefan a coward for giving up on Damon. After Stefan snaps Enzo’s neck, Caroline takes a call from Alaric who is trying to get some insight on the moment Elena fell in love with Damon. Caroline says Elena just doesn't want to admit that it happened when she was still with Stefan. And of course Stefan overhears – he’s a freaking vampire, dude! You could be outside and he’d still hear that shit. C’mon!
Caroline apologizes for Stefan overhearing what she said, but Stefan says he doesn't care. He doesn’t seem to care about anything. He tells Caroline that every lead was a dead end and that Bonnie and Damon are dead. He couldn’t go back to Mystic Falls and be near Elena. Caroline is hurt that Stefan couldn’t do it for her. She then realizes he never listened to any of the voicemails he left her and she leaves in tears. Way to go, Stefan.
Enzo is awake again and finds Caroline crying in the car. He realizes that Stefan has upset Caroline and heads back into the house. He grabs Ivy and kills her in front of Stefan. Sorry, Ivy – I tried to warn you! Enzo then tells Stefan he is hurting Caroline and that he’s not a true brother to Damon because he gave up looking for him. He leaves Stefan with a threat; every time Stefan tries to start his live over, Enzo will be there destroying it. I’d believe him, Stefan. Enzo loved Damon about as much as you did, and at this point, he’s definitely more committed to bringing Damon back than Stefan.