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The Vampire Diaries

"Welcome to Paradise" (Aired October 16, 2014)

Samantha Wessel

Here’s the thing about “The Vampire Diaries,” the writers really enjoy their love shapes. Triangles. Squares. Pentagons. Whatever the case may be. Me on the other hand, I don’t particularly care for it. Just as I was starting to come around a LITTLE bit on the Elena/Damon relationship, they bring Stefan and Elena back together for an episode, and my loyalties to them return. And now adding this Liam character into the mix. DIS. LIKE.


 Following her return from the worst dinner party of all time, Caroline spent the night in Elena’s dorm room and even toyed with the idea of reenrolling at college. The next morning though, Caroline has changed her mind. The newly compelled and oddly happy Elena convinces Caroline to attend a party with all of their friends at the swimming hole that afternoon.


Caroline, following her conversation with Elena, makes a call to Matt. The two lament over this new Elena, saying she doesn’t seem like herself. Matt then runs into Tripp who is washing out his van after killing all of those vampires at the end of last week’s episode. (Though he tells Matt it was red mulch). When Matt tells Tripp he’s going to a party, Tripp asks Matt to take his fellow fitness class buddy, Jay to the party as well.


Tyler pays a visit to Live and Luke, asking if Liv may be able to help stock the better with some beer. Liv is hesitant at first, but Tyler reassures her that he won’t be drinking so he can keep his anger in check. Luke also tells Liv that Tyler apologized for choking him, and Liv seems placated. After Tyler walks away, Luke tells Liv (AKA alternate Caroline) it is obvious she likes Tyler.


Elena catches up with Liam, her cute classmate from the first episode. She invites him to the party as well, telling him she has a friend she wants to introduce him too. After Liam agrees to go, Elena spots Stefan, fresh from Georgia. He’s there to kill Enzo, though he tells Elena he’s there to see her and to apologize to Caroline.


Stefan and Elena then catch up on the last four months. She tells Stefan that she enjoys volunteering at the hospital, and he comments on how happy she seems. Elena then asks about Stefan’s life and his new girlfriend, promising him it isn’t weird for her to hear about. Stefan knows Elena compelled Damon away, but it still seems to amaze him how effectively it was done. She mourns the loss of Bonnie, and then apologizes to Stefan since she knows he lost his brother. Elena then invites Stefan to the party, telling him that both Caroline and Enzo will be there. The words Stefan definitely wants to hear.


At breakfast, Caroline fills Enzo in on the fact that he is forbidden to talk about Damon around Elena. Caroline isn’t happy Elena got rid of her memories of Damon, but understands her logic, though now she feels as if Elena is a bit of a zombie. When Enzo goes to leave, Caroline notices blood on his shirt. Turns out, Enzo is still a wee bit murderous, which displeases Caroline greatly.


On the way to the party, Stefan and Elena fill Liam in on Caroline. Liam then asks about Stefan and Elena’s relationship, and the two realize they’ve been broken up for two years already. At the party, Elena impresses Liam by swinging off a rope and back flipping into the lake. Liam is totally crushing on Elena. On her way back to shore, Elena spots Jeremy making out with Sarah. This greatly displeases Elena, but Jeremy is so beyond giving a shit that their conversation leads nowhere.


Tyler arrives to the party right as Sarah walks by Jay, Matt’s training co-hort. Jay makes it clear he doesn’t believe a dog attacked her. For some reason that makes no sense, Jay tries to start a fight with Tyler, but Matt steps in before things can get too aggressive.


Elena, Caroline, Matt, and Tyler all meet in the woods. Elena is trying to keep them all from drifting apart, but they are. Caroline tells Elena she doesn’t want to pretend that it isn’t happening. She also tells Elena that she’s lonely. Bonnie is gone, Stefan is gone, and Enzo is a murderous friend. Elena reminds Caroline that she’s there, but it’s not the friend Caroline knows.


After this conversation, Elena escorts Liam from the party, apologizing saying Caroline is going through some stuff. He doesn’t seem to mind, since he likes Elena, and kisses her. Elena makes a comment about this being a red flag, since she was trying to set him up with Caroline, but Liam says he thinks that’s her type.


Enzo is walking through the woods with Caroline’s ice, when Stefan tries to stake him. Enzo takes the stake and throws it killing, Jay, who was coming after Stefan to kill him. Stefan then picks up Jay’s weapons to kill Enzo. Caroline arrives to stop Stefan from killing Enzo, and Stefan storms off telling Caroline to talk to Enzo.


Tyler and Matt are loading up the truck after the party when Enzo shows up with the body of Jay. Enzo informs Matt that his friend was a vampire hunter, which seems to greatly upset Matt. He’s known Jay since he was 10-years-old, and somehow became a vampire hunter. Matt fees like an idiot because he was training with a vampire hunter team. Liv shows up and Tyler loads up the kegs. Tyler is upset, but Liv starts using her magic to mess with him. She tells him that if he stays angry, then she doesn’t have to worry about falling for him. Ugh, how much do I NOT care about Liv.


Meanwhile, Caroline confronts Stefan about Enzo, telling Stefan that killing Enzo won’t fix things. Stefan tells Caroline if he kills Enzo, he can move on from Mystic Falls and start a new life. Caroline doesn’t believe him otherwise he wouldn’t have come to see her and Elena. She tells Stefan that they need him there in Mystic Falls. She says if even a small part of him came back to check on her, then he should stay. Stefan doesn’t respond, but just walks away. Elena overheard everything and she and Caroline hug.


Jeremy runs into a girl Caroline had compelled earlier to go get ice. The girl informs Jeremy that once she got into Mystic Falls, she realized Caroline was mean to her, and she decided not to listen to Caroline’s orders. Jeremy realizes that Sarah has been in to Mystic Falls, and her compelling has probably faded as well. He tells Elena and Caroline, and they realize Sarah knows Elena is a vampire.


Caroline tells Elena that she’s moving back in to their dorm. She also apologizes to Elena for being upset earlier, saying she seems like she has a secret way of moving on. Caroline then finds a shirt of Bonnie’s and Elena tells her that she doesn’t move on. Elena then asks Caroline if she has feelings for Stefan, and Caroline confesses that she thinks she may have.


Enzo enters the diner from earlier, where he killed the wait staff. Tripp is there and stabs Enzo with a vervain needle. Since he’s a super vampire, he is able to resist it. He attacks Tripp, but Stefan shows up and shoots Enzo. Tripp realizes that he and Stefan are both members of founding families, and Stefan hands over custody of Enzo to Tripp. Real cool, Stefan. Real. Cool.


Weirdo Mystic Falls, 1994

Damon and Bonnie are shopping in a grocery store, with Ace of Base playing. The store seems amazingly well stocked considering they’re the only people in town. Damon questions Bonnie’s ability to do magic, but Bonnie remains hopeful. She is excited that they’re not alone, but Damon tries to convince her she must have completed the crossword in her sleep. Bonnie thinks Damon doesn’t want to be hopeful in case things don’t work out and he never sees Elena again. As they’re walking through the store, Bonnie notices the pork rinds that are normally on the grocery store self are all gone. She then hears the Merry-go-Round going outside the store. She’s excited they aren’t alone. I think Bonnie forgets that they are in Mystic Falls, and just because someone else is there doesn’t mean it is a good thing.


Damon, refusing to believe someone else is there, begins to investigate the Merry-go-Round, seeing if a coin was placed in it. As they’re leaving the parking lot, Damon tells Bonnie he doesn’t believe in her magic, and then she points out his car. Bonnie gets Damon to admit that it is unlikely that he left his car at the grocery store, and Damon admits that someone may have put it there. He flashes back to when he and Elena died in the car.


They both then see some movement and go to check it out. But it turns out, it was only a tarp catching in the wind. The Merry-go-Round then turns back on, and Damon’s hope is once again gone. Bonnie, out of frustration, tries to take Damon’s daylight ring on, saying that if he thinks this is hell and he hates living in it, then to end his life once and for all.


Back in the grocery store, Damon is stocking up on whiskey when he hears someone. (Ummm…side note: As someone from Virginia, I can tell you that alcohol cannot be sold in grocery stores, but rather only in state-owned ABC stores. I’ll try not to let this bother me too much in a television show about vampires.) He walks over and meets someone named Kai, eating pork rinds. Kai tells Damon he has been following Bonnie and Damon since they’re arrival. Damon goes to take a sip of his bourbon, and he starts sputtering and coughing. Turns out, Kai laced Damon’s bourbon with vervain. Told you just because someone was there doesn’t mean it is good, Bonnie!


Kai breaks a wooden umbrella and stakes Damon’s hands. Kai hits the bourbon bottles and breaks them, causing Damon pain. Bonnie arrives and tells Kai to stay away from Damon, but Bonnie doesn’t threaten Kai. As Kai once again raises the large stake, her magic comes back. She tells Damon to run, and sets fire in the store. Damon shows up and knocks Kai out.


Kai awakens to find himself tied up in Salvatore Manor. Damon and Bonnie are pissed off, but Kai tells them that he did everything on purpose in order to have Bonnie access her magic. He says they need Bonnie’s magic to get out.