A couple walks down a surprisingly empty street for NYC. They see a dead body. J/K, it’s obviously Damon playing around. The woman goes down first. The man looks at Damon and asks him if he’s the serial killer. Well, yep, yep he is. It’s “New York 1977”—but let’s be real, there’s no way any of this stuff was shot in New York.
In present day faux-York, Elena and Damon are ostensibly looking for fun, but Damon has a different agenda. He’s looking for Will, the guy he offed last week, who gave vampires fake IDs (often that Damon stole for him). Elena and Damon go to Billy’s, Will’s seedy bar/venue for punk rock bands I guess, which I’m going to assume was in the East Village and also would probably not be as happening now as it was in the late ’70s, just because of the progress of time and such… but I digress. Oh, Elena’s got a new haircut (which they address OFTEN).
As Damon tells Elena about his Billy’s ’70s days, we flashback to Lexi coming to get Damon to turn his emotions back on. The Vampire Diaries really realized they messed up with the whole killing Lexi off in the first episode, because she’s a great character (good thing they keep bringing her back).
In present-day New York, Rebekah shows up, mad that Damon is following a lead without her. Damon’s all “ixnay on the urecay” (that’s how Pig Latin works, right?) and says he’s just there for fun, keeping up the ruse for Elena. The instant Damon walks away, Elena tells Rebekah that she knows he’s looking for the cure and NBD, she’ll just trick him in the end so she doesn’t have to take it. FORESHADOWING!
SSoooo… Bonnie is back and in true Vampire Diaries nature, you can ignore a whole section of your plot for as long as you want because regardless the gang will choose to address the issue at just the right time. We also discover that Bonnie knows that Shane is Silas (but, for real, they’re going to get a different person to play Silas eventually, right?).
At Salvatore Mansion, Caroline is busy doing her favorite thing: cleaning. She’s also drinking away the pain of losing Tyler. Klaus shows up to talk to Stefan and tease her. Everyone decides it’s in their best interests to work together when Stefan reminds Klaus that if Silas gets the cure, he’ll bring back all the supernatural folks–many of which aren’t too fond of Klaus. The gang go a-sleuthing and discover a magical book that has all the answers (per the norm). The third sacrifice has to be of witches. Also, Klaus says that some people are just drawn to darkness (re: Elena), but Caroline gives him a little “Damn, you look good in those jeans, boy” look.
I thought that they’d have an episode soon called “One More Massacre,” but nope, they’re just getting this out of the way now. Bonnie summons a coven of witches to “help her” stop doing expression. But really, she just wants to kill all of them. The deal is all these witches will link together, and then if you kill one, you kill every one. The coven starts chanting around her, using their combined power to try to make the bad magic leave her.
Back in New York, we see Lexi and Damon in flashbacks mirroring present-day Elena, Damon, and Rebekah’s (can you say third wheel?) actions. Elena bites someone and feeds, then Damon joins; in the past, Lexi and Damon gnaw and someone’s neck. It gets pretty hot. Rebekah takes over for Damon who slips away. Also, they are like for real DRAINING this girl of blood and no one notices? Unlikely; this bar isn’t sketchy enough that people are just making out in the middle of it.
At the bar, Rebekah tells Elena that she wants to team up with this mean version of her. Rebekah wants the cure, Elena doesn’t, so they can work together. Except, Elena thinks Rebekah is too weak. BURN! You know it’s bad when Elena is meaner than Rebekah (captain Mean Girl).
Damon’s looking through old files in the back to find out information about Katherine’s various aliases (if I didn’t explain this enough early, the guy who works here would give vampires other people’s IDs). He calls Stefan, ’cause they’re best buds, and says the search is going slow because he doesn’t remember Katherine’s birthday. Stefan instantly does, proving he’s the better boyfriend. Damon grabs a paper with Katherine’s last addresses.
Back in Mystic Falls, Caroline is explaining that expression triangles also have to be performed in literal triangles. In my notes I wrote HAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHA! Because for real, why? That’s so annoying (it’s just like, couldn’t doing this complex magic be easy and stuff). There are two places this third massacre could occur to form an equilateral triangle. Stefan goes one way, Caroline and Klaus the other. Klaus and Caroline talk and she tells him that she thought he could change before, but now she realizes that he’s too terrible (well, she just says “people” but we understand what she means).
In the ’70s NY flashback, Damon is telling Lexi he loves her and it’s super-romantic. He says he turned his emotions back on. They have a passionate night together. And we’re basically all like: what? That doesn’t seem right. No matter, in present-day Elena wants to recreate certain parts of the night that happened on the roof (trying to keep this PG) so she lures Damon upstairs. They start kissing and she grabs his pants to … try to get that paper with Katherine’s information on it. It makes no sense that she’d know where it was, but whatever. He tells her that he wrote the book on betrayal by rooftop.
Flashback to him and Lexi on a mattress on the roof. It’s daytime and as the sun hits Lexi’s arm she runs to protect herself. She can’t open the door to let herself downstairs. Damon says that of course it won’t open, he spent the whole night reinforcing it. TRICKSTER! He has a ring though. UGH! Lexi has an annoying day filled with regretting ever trying to help Damon. So in present day, Damon tells Elena that at any point she might do something she can’t take back. That’s nice and all; too bad Rebekah shows up to snap Damon’s neck.
Stefan finds Bonnie and the coven and tells them to stop what they are doing because Bonnie has been brainwashed by Silas. The main witch decides that that means Bonnie can’t be saved and that she needs to die. Oh, but doesn’t she know another main Vampire Diaries rule, which is that regardless of how many people will need to die in order to save one person, if that person is a friend, he or (mostly) she will get saved. The witch chants and goes to stab Bonnie, but Klaus and Caroline have showed up and Caroline grabs the dagger and stabs the witch—side note, I like that Caroline calls Bonnie and Elena her best friends. Then Caroline has to watch as all 12 witches die (not Bonnie though, so, success?). For real though, if that witch could overpower Stefan how did she let Caroline sneak up on her?
In the end, Bonnie doesn’t remember anything after the island and Stefan has to tell her that Jeremy died all over again and it’s just a lot of emotions. Klaus helps Caroline bury the witches. She feels terrible about killing all of them and he is 0% sympathetic towards her. But then when she runs away, Shane/Silas shows up (for real, they cast someone else to play Silas long term, right?) and tells Klaus that he needs the cure. Klaus declines and Shane/Silas stab attacks him. Not to die, just for it to hurt.
But the best part of this episode came at the end when Damon called Elena, upset that she had broken his neck and left him on the roof (hey, at least she didn’t take his ring). We get to see Rebekah and Elena drive off in Damon’s car. Oh man, what I would give to be on that road trip!
Catch up on past Vampire Diaries recaps:
Episode 16: Bring It On
Episode 15: Stand By Me
Episode 14: Down the Rabbit Hole
Episode 13: Into the Wild
Episode 12: A View to Kill
Episode 11: Catch Me If You Can
Episode 10: After School Special
Episode 9: O Come All Ye Faithful
Episode 8: We’ll Always Have Bourbon Street
Episode 7: My Brother’s Keeper
Episode 6: We All Go a Little Mad Sometimes
Episode 5: The Killer
Episode 4: The Five
Episode 3: The Rager
Episode 2: Memorial