9th May 1994 – yes flashback time – to Jo being attacked by her brother while she tried to protect and hide the siblings. The two blond siblings. One girl. One boy. Wait, is that Liv and Luke? Are we really going to run with this many coincidences? Really? We don’t see the murderous brother but just in case there’s any doubt as to who it is, we switch from there to the witchy groundhog day prison where Kai has Bonnie tied up. He’s dragged her to Portland for Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving? Or Friendsgiving apparently. Yes it’s another Vampire Diaries holiday/party/celebration which they do ALL THE TIME. Mystic Falls has a holiday of some kind every week. Alas we have to join Caroline and Elena and Elena is angsting because of Liam’s investigation and refusing to wipe his mind because she’s Elena and her actually resolving her problems may mean we don’t have to pay constant attention to her.
Damon, Stefan and Alaric (who has made an AMAZING recovery from a near fatal gut wound. But I guess he has no shortage of healy vampire blood) have gone on a road trip (Damon was invited to Friendsgiving and instructed to bring beans. Stefan was not because Caroline is Making Her Displeasure Known). Also Damon, because of the magic teddy bear, has told the other guys about Bonnie. Elena is shocked he didn’t tell her but Damon snarks about her making life changing decisions without telling him (a dig at the memory wipe which he is really not over). Personally I would have gone with “what, you care about Bonnie? How were we supposed to know? Anyway, they’ve gone to Portland and Alaric and Damon torment Stefan about his Caroline crush and her giving him the silent treatment which is 10 kinds of adorable.
No, really, if you don’t find Stefan and Alaric tormenting Stefan adorable you probably have no soul. You should get that looked at
They reach the location of the Gemini coven and it’s just an open field.
While in the Otherside prison, Bonnie and Kai reach the same place – and there’s a house. Kai explains his coven is paranoid and tries to keep it all secret while reminding us his family considered him an abomination. I’d feel sympathy except the guy is pretty abominable.
In the real world Stefan drop-kicks a bear and it hits a magic ripple. Shockingly, it seems Stefan didn’t consider that the magical secretive witches may have used magic to keep their secrets. Alas, the hair gel he uses has terrible side effects on his brain. The house is revealed
Also I think a vampire would be able to drop kick a teddy bear way further than this. Damon is also way too attached to that bear. I am trying not to find it cute. The gang also makes the big logic leap that Bonnie has put her magic in the teddy bear. They open the door to the house but only Alaric can go in because the vampires haven’t been invited.
Back to Otherside and Kai is trying to play friendly with Bonnie (well, maybe, this character is so random) and Bonnie makes it clear that Kai is a terrible person she never wants to spend any time with. Kai negotiates for one last dinner together before they never see each other again.
Speaking of dinner, we’re forced to attend the ongoing awful Thanksgiving dinner and Caroline has actually organised dinner conversation ritual because she’s that kind of micro-managing. Of course I would have thought that Caroline and Elena would rather be off looking for Bonnie than having dinner - but no, they continued on with the party because they are terrible people. Which means we get Liv and Tyler flirting and Liv being a terrible person to Jo because she’s Liv and being a terrible person is how she gets through life. Jo also does the whole “I recognise you from somewhere” thing (totally siblings I’m calling this now). It’s also Liv and Luke’s birthday. Liam also attends to say everything is fine to Elena and he’s so sorry for all his completely unnecessary suspicion. Apparently Jo switched paperwork to cover for Elena.
Luke appears (at the last minute to reduce his screen time) to randomly share video of him and Liv as kids (he exists to advance the plot, of course) which Jo hears and is shocked because she hears her voice! Why she’s their big sister – who could have predicted this?! (Except me, of course).
Jo explains that Sheila Bennet (Bonnie’s grams) is an old family friend which is why Jo’s in the area (she’s also Kai’s twin). Very belatedly everyone remembers they’re discussing supernatural stuff in full earshot of Liam. Unlike Elena, Caroline has no compunction about compelling him. Anyway, apparently in the Gemini coven, twins rule so Kai wanted to kill Liv and Luke so he could rule (and 4 other siblings for funsies). The reason for the big family was because their parents realised Kai was perhaps not all that suitable for leadership so they needed more twins.
Anyway that exposition complete Caroline wants to go back to eating (no, seriously). Liv actually takes offense to someone other than her being an arsehole and leaves. Because she hasn’t finished, see the Gemini coven wants to ensure their leader will be traumatised beyond measure so when they turn 22 (guess who just had a birthday) the twins do some magic sucky thing – the winner gets both powers and becomes powerful and the weaker dies – so the stronger one is powerful but kind of traumatised from killing their own twin. And you wondered why the Gemini coven didn’t make the best decisions? Luke also decides to leave because this dinner is now even more awkward than the time Elena invited Elijah to dinner to have him stabbed
Time for Liv to go back to the bar and drink (this is Vampire Diaries we almost had people eating rather than getting all of their – admittedly very limited – calorific content from booze) Tyler joins her and she dumps angst all over him because she wants to love him but can’t for angst reasons
Over at the Portland house, Alaric has also found pictures of Jo and a picture of Jo and Kai together (Damon identifies Kai). They also meet Joshua, Kai, Jo, Liv and Luke’s father who is not that surprised when Damon describes seeing Kai die and coming back to life. He makes Damon invisible with a handshake then does the anti-vampire headache thing.
Damon wakes up on the sofa with Joshua who just wants to talk and not make enemies – who attacks a vampire first then asks to be friends? Honestly?!? The speed vampires move he’s lucky Damon didn’t snap his neck before he got to “… make…” Of course, Vampire Diaries. Anyway, Joseph expositions – if Kai gets out he will attack Jo, use his weird power to steal her magic and that will put him in charge of the Gemini coven (because there’s no “unless said leader is a serial killer” get out clause, apparently). That will also make Kai super powerful so Josephy isn’t happy about opening the prison (though Damon does point out they could just kill Kai – ah simple solutions do not belong on this show)
Elena and Stefan talk about relationship issues because talking about anything else would mean caring about other people. Alaric calls Jo to inform her that they’ve visited her old home and his future in-laws are weird. – she warns him that her dad is likely to major over-react and, also, she is the one with the Ascendant (magic steampunk key) so wasted trip. Then dad’s overreaction kicks in and he curses Jo.
Jo invites Stefan in over the phone and talks Alaric and Stefan on how to break the house ward. Inside Damon belatedly realises what is happening but is, alas, headached (at some point the vampires need to learn that holding your head does nothing to stop the pain while holding the witch’s head REALLY HARD will). Stefan charges in and decides to hold Joseph hostage for a second rather than cutting off his head so he gets his own death headache before daddy Joseph disappears. Disappearing is the Gemini thing. Damn that’s not the best super power, does it at least come with forcefields?
Anyway at the worst thanksgiving dinner ever, Elena saves Jo’s life by giving her vampire blood. Liam is duly horrified and surprised and Elena finally realises that compelling Liam isn’t that big a deal and, really, acting like he’s ready for the grand revelation is ridiculous. Elena is, of course, all sad and angsty about this
Back lover to Bonnie and Kai and Kai fills in more of the backstory – to save the twins she agreed to merge with Kai using the coven and the power of the eclipse to charge it – which is when they curse him to his prison. He realised that Jo hid her magic – in the knife in the tree stump by the house (which is what Stefan used to break the house ward). Kai finds the knife – and it’s full of magic (so are there 2 knives? 2 lots of magic?). He’s decided with the knife magic and Bonnie’s blood he can escape. He stabs Bonnie.
Back to the Salvatores and Alaric, heading home with Alaric calling for a new plan that doesn’t release Kai who will try to kill Jo. Damon isn’t having Alaric put Jo before Bonnie, so compels Alaric to get the steampunk key.
And to Tyler and Liv, Liv passed out so he brought her home to declare his intention to protect Liv from her coven – with the added bonus of Mystic Falls being magic free.
Caroline and Stefan start working on the making up thing
Damon and Elena talk –it briefly seems about Bonnie but it’s actually about their relationship issues. This ends with a really terrible line of her asking Damon to help her bring Bonnie back so she can ask her best friend relationship advice. Oh Elena, try, just try to think of Bonnie in a way that doesn’t include her helping you. Just try.
Bonnie wakes up in Otherworld without Kai – he’s taken the car and left a pager message “I lied”. Dramatic music plays
While I’m always ok with snarking at Elena, not telling her about Bonnie for snarky points is not ok because BONNIE MATTERS DAMN IT. Even if he legitimately thought Bonnie was dead (despite being in the world of dead resurrection – something he’d already seen Kai do) because some deity of fairness declared that Damon can’t be that pretty AND smart at the same time, people were still owed – BONNIE was still owed – an acknowledgment of her sacrifice.
And can Bonnie be able to do something other than suffer, be victimised and be a useful bauble?
Kai, Jo, Liv and Luke are siblings who all happened to get pulled to Mystic Falls or the inhabitants because of Grams and random chance? And if Liv and Luke are the future leaders of the coven, why did they send these 2 after the Travellers? A high risk mission and all that
So Elena won’t use compulsion on Liam because it’s LYING AND WRONG. But Jo falsifying medical records is… ok? Can anyone on Vampire Diaries even spell “ethics”? Elena’s angsty whining over lying and whether he’s ready for it is ridiculous – they’ve been on 3 dates (2 of which ended in chaose) and kissed, what, once? Twice? This is ludicrously forced angst.
Liv and Luke have a tragic back story which will feed the Liv/Tyler romance. I’d like to say someone went after Luke in the same way Tyler went after Liv to comforting him about his impending death (because, let’s face it, after what we’ve seen so far if it comes to a contest between him and Liv, the writers will kill him off so fast he might be accidentally retconned out of existence) but absolutely no-one gives a damn and he isn’t there to have feelings but to facilitate the feelings of others.