On tonight’s episode of The Vampire Diaries, “Do You Remember the First Time?” Damon tries to jolt Elena’s memory. Liam grows closer to discovering Elena’s true identity. Jo has a deadly connection to Kai. Stefan learns of Caroline’s feelings for him.

Alaric did a very thorough job because not even seeing Damon’s face in person triggers all the good memories, including all that hot vamp sex. For once, Damon has no witty quips.

Visiting Hours

Damon visits Alaric in the hospital and while obviously irritated with the fact that if his friend had just died a vamp, Elena’s compulsion would have been undone, he’s still happy to see his BFF alive and somewhat well.

Damon tells the good doctor Jo that she may have a line of vamps looking for a redo at mortality, but she assures him it was an anomaly, a freakish one time deal.

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What Goes Around

The tables have turned on Tripp Fell. Stefan, Enzo and Matt are holding him hostage. Now Enzo wants to know all the details about Tripp’s little death squad. Stefan goes a little bit Ripper and finds out that his men are out tracking, among other vamps, our little Care Bear. He orders Enzo to get all the info out of Tripp that he can. After that, he’s a liability who has to be disposed of.

A Nosy New Love Interest

Elena is going to have her hands full dealing with the very inquisitive Liam. The girl Elena saved in the corn maze came back into the hospital for a long-term sports injury, and has no memory of the homecoming massacre. Curious how Elena’s blood didn’t heal all of the girls aches and pains. Thought that was how it worked. Liam is like a dog with a bone, or simply a man who has the compulsive need to be right, and won’t rest until he finds an explanation for both her speedy recovery and her selective amnesia.

A Friend in Need

Stefan, who Care Bear told to bugger off, pays a visit to Caroline to offer her protection. Still pissed, she lets him know she’s perfectly capable of taking care of herself. The same can’t be said of her mother, who calls to let her daughter know that several of Tripp’s minions are holding a gun to her head demanding to know the whereabouts of their fearless leader.

Lucky for Caroline, Tripp is torture resistant, and Enzo hasn’t killed him yet. When Caroline and Stefan come to retrieve him, Enzo decides to stir up trouble and tells Stefan about Caroline’s unrequited love. He looks shocked which has to make him completely oblivious. She doesn’t deny it and only states that they aren’t to discuss it.

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The Odder Couple

Bonnie is still stuck in 1994 with Kai. He’s determined to fix the Ascendant that she smashed to keep him from escaping his prison. One of the most consistent martyrs on TV, Bonnie is willing to live out her days with a psychopath to protect those in the real world. She kills him, again, and takes the pieces of the Ascendant to the hospital. Too bad she left in such haste that she can’t complete the puzzle.

Kai has it and tracks her down (she left a trail of blood) and foils her attempt to escape. Kai tells Bonnie that despite earlier statements to the contrary, he does want to be embraced by his coven again. He claims he would do anything to get his family back. He lays it on thick about her fears not being able to acclimate to living in the real world again but that Bonnie has inspired him to be a better person. Yuck. I think Bonnie would rather deal with the repercussions of bringing him back than be stuck alone with him for one more moment.

When the mystical, magical hour arrives, Bonnie’s mojo has gone MIA. She hid it, so that Kai couldn’t take it. I didn’t even know she could do that.

Party People

The hospital is having a fundraiser, and Jo discharges Alaric so he can be her escort. Given that she found a loophole in the whole eternal damnation thing, it’s probably safe to say he’ll be at her beck and call for a long time.

Making the cozy twosome a crowded threesome, is Damon. It seems Elena’s unproven theory that Jo is a witch is no longer a well-guarded secret. Damon knows and isn’t shy about bringing it up. Jo claims to be non-practicing, but that is likely to change at some point this season. I still think she has some link to that Gemini coven.

Liv and Luke may also have a connection to the coven, and/or Jo. While Liv is cozying up to Tyler, Luke reminds her that their coven could call them home at any moment.

Damon finds out that Elena has a new love interest when Elena arrives with Liam. Damon’s presence and subsequent introduction to Liam has the Junior McDreamy a little stumped since Elena told him her ex was dead. Damon covers Elena’s ass, and then compels Liam to hit the bar.


Damon takes the opportunity to get his girl alone on the dance floor and start reprogramming her by bringing up better days. Damon tells Elena that no matter how grief stricken he was, he would never erase his memories of her.

Elena, who can’t seem to make up her mind when it comes to Damon, once again decides she does want to try and recover all of her memories. While they can’t break the compulsion, she’s willing to let Damon fill in the blanks, starting with the most recent and working their way back. She asks him to take her to the last place that she told him she loved him.

They find themselves at another Mystic Falls border. It’s where Elena pulled a Thelma and Louise and accompanied Damon on his suicide mission to destroy The Grill and all of the Travelers inside. He brings up the hot motel kiss, her declaration of love for him right before Silas stuffed Stefan into a bank vault and threw him in a quarry.

Despite giving it the old college try, and making female fans weak in the knees, Elena just can’t get there. She tells Damon that looking at him is like looking at a stranger, and she’ll never be able to give him what she wants.

Suddenly, she stomps across the border and is flooded with images and memories. Too bad her lungs also fill with water as she begins to drown. Damon pulls her back. She argues it’s the only way to break the compulsion, but Damon refuses to let her to take that risk no matter how bad he wants her back. A dead mortal girlfriend isn’t much fun anyway.

Another Fell Falls

Stefan and Caroline take Tripp to the border of Mystic Falls to make the exchange. No sooner does Tripp cross over into Mystic Falls does his throat rip open. Naughty little Enzo turned Tripp into a vamp before the exchange. He probably found it a fitting demise for the vampire hunter.

The Friend Zone

Stefan and Caroline have the talk she so desperately hoped to avoid. If Stefan does have feelings that go above and beyond our beloved Care Bear, he isn’t in touch with them. She says she hates him not for giving up on Damon or any of the number of other douchey things he’s done. Caroline hates him for destroying their friendship, something far dearer to her than romance.

Damon realizes that Elena is happy and decides to let her go. He is resigned to the end of the affair, but will he act out as he usually does or move on himself.

An Inevitable Reunion

Sure enough, Jo is Kai’s only surviving family member. This guarantees that he and Bonnie will return together at some point.

Another One Bites the Dust

Liam shows up to inform Elena the miracle girl from the corn maze is in peak physical condition in every way possible. So, Elena’s blood did heal all the girl’s physical ailments. Liam is all kinds of pissed, because this new information, coupled with Damon’s return, makes Elena a liar with secrets. If she doesn’t start fessing up, he’s going to figure it out on his own, or so he believes. That romance was short lived.

Now that Damon is single and has all this free time on his hands, let’s hope he decides to try and rescue his girl Bonnie. Having sent her powers through time and space, so they are completely out of Kai’s reach, she’s going to need a little help from her friends.

The Vampire Diaries airs Thursdays at 8pm on the CW.

(Image courtesy of the CW)

Jennifer Lind-Westbrook

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV

Jennifer has worked as a freelance writer in the entertainment field since 2012. In addition to currently writing feature articles for Screen Rant, Jennifer has contributed content ranging from recaps to listicles to reviews for BuddyTV, PopMatters, TVRage, TVOvermind, and Tell-Tale TV. Links to some of Jennifer’s reviews can be found on Rotten Tomatoes.