On tonight’s episode of The Vampire Diaries, “Yellow Ledbetter,” Damon and Bonnie figure out their whereabouts, kind of. Bonnie tries to regain her powers. Alaric works with Elena to help her get over Damon. A new girl in Mystic Falls spells trouble. Caroline and Enzo track down Stefan. All in a night’s work, TVD

4 Months Ago…

Episode 2 picks up where the season 5 finale of TVD left off. With Bonnie and Damon holding hands and her questioning if he thinks their fate will be painful, and Damon answering he doesn’t know. After the blinding flash of light, the two find themselves standing in the woods, each still in one piece. They wander into Mystic Falls where there are no signs of any life. The Grill, which Damon and Elena blew up to kill the Travelers, shows no sign of the explosion. The two are utterly perplexed. Something tells me Grams might have something to do with this. She did tell her granddaughter that she found her peace by guaranteeing Bonnie got hers. 

From One Gilbert to Another

Jeremy hooks up with Sarah (Gabrielle Walsh), the not so Happy Meal that Elena slips out of her grasp. Caroline compelled her to forget the attack, and since she’s banging Little Gilbert, she seems no worse for the wear.

Matt warns Jeremy that hooking up with this girl might not be the smartest move, but Jeremy has gone all rebel without a clue since Bonnie “died.” He better be thankful she can’t see him whoring it up just months after her disappearance.

Where in the World is Stefan Salvatore?

Stefan’s whereabouts are finally revealed. He’s in Savannah, Georgia. He’s still hooking up with Ivy, but while she’s totally whipped due to that sweet, sweet vampire lovin,’ Stefan’s giving the girl some serious mixed messages.

The Way We Weren’t

Elena is packing up all Damon memorabilia. She fills her brother and Matt in on her plan to have Alaric compel the memory of the love of her life from her head. Elena tells them that missing him is making her dangerous, and they have to keep the truth from her as well. Stefan and Tyler are already supposedly on board. Why doesn’t Alaric just compel them all? All these people never to mention Damon ever again? Is she just going to forget him entirely or just their romance?

Enzo Returns

The word is also apparently out that Stefan has abandoned his mission to try and save Bonnie and Damon. Care Bear, who has been trying to find a way back into Mystic Falls, thought this little task had been delegated to a responsible party. She should know that if you want something done, you’ve got to do it yourself. Or, you can put Enzo on the case.

He happens to be interrogating one very hot witch who tells him there’s a small group of witches in Oregon: the Gemini coven, who found a way to communicate with their ancestors before the other side imploded or disappeared or whatever the hell happened to it. She says that they might be able to tell Enzo what happened to his friends.

Rewiring 3 Years of Memories

It’s hard to believe, but it looks like Alaric is going to give Elena what she wants. However, it’s a more drawn out convoluted process than some eye contact. Think Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind minus the electrical gadgets.

Elena relives significant moments that occurred between her and Damon, like when they met and their first kiss while Alaric tries to put a different spin on her memories. It’s lame. It’s also not showing any sign of working.

Not Where, But When?

Bonnie and Damon are still trying to figure out the particulars of their current situation. They’re out wandering the streets when they come across Elena’s old house. The one she burned to the ground after Silas killed Jeremy. It looks as if they’ve been transported to a different time –roughly 20 years earlier than when they went poof. My head might explode if TVD starts exploring alternate dimensions.

Damon picks up the newspaper off the lawn and the date is 1994.

Damon and Bonnie spitball how they wound up here, and sure enough, Bonnie thinks this deserted idylic Mystic Falls is Gram’s sacrifice and Bonnie’s peace. The only reason why Damon is there is because Bonnie was holding his hand, dragging him along into the fantasy. Bonnie believes that if magic got them there, it can get them home. One problem: Bonnie doesn’t have any powers, or at least she hasn’t figured out how to tap into them.

The Odd Couple

Caroline and Enzo are working together again. This time chasing down the lead on this coven. Even though she’s by no means Team Damon, she doesn’t want Elena to act too hastily at this critical juncture. What if Damon comes home? Care Bear, the eternal optimist, just refuses to give up hope that everything will return to normal. Elena’s answer to that seemingly unlikely scenario is that Alaric will just bring her memories back. I’m still not clear on how much Damon is supposed to be left in Elena’s head. She mentions to Caroline that Alaric is erasing all positive memories, so this means she’ll remember naughty Damon and his laundry list of misdeeds?

Caroline and Enzo engage in some banter. He gives her a hard time for dropping out of school. She calls him a man-whore. Caroline is under the impression they’re off to see this Gemini coven, but Enzo has a different course of action in mind. He and Caroline arrive at Stefan’s at the same time as Ivy who has been invited for a romantic dinner. This begs the question: how could Caroline possibly not notice she was in the deep south instead of the Pacific Northwest?

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Come for Dinner, Stay for the Drama

Dinner is awkward. Caroline can’t believe Stefan is working as a mechanic, and Enzo makes comments about Ivy’s clavicle and being a “neck person.” He also brings up the subject of the supernatural. Ivy just smiles and giggles uncomfortably, even when Enzo announces he used a witch’s locator spell to track down Stefan. No biggie, Stefan will probably just compel her before she leaves. And, Enzo’s just having a bit of fun with his mate.

Time After Time

Damon is back in the Salvatore mansion, and Bonnie tracks down her grandmother’s grimoire. She’s hoping that she might be able to teach herself how to do magic again.

A solar eclipse that happened the day before reveals that Bonnie and Damon are experiencing their very own Groundhog Day. They are living the same day over and over again. Perhaps, that’s the key to their escape. Eclipses are a big deal with witches. Kind of like doppelgangers.

Not So Innocent

Matt’s out jogging when he runs into Tripp (Colin Ferguson). He’s the head of the community protection program. This is fairly ironic, since Mystic Falls really is no longer in need of protection.

Tripp was present when Sarah collapsed, bleeding from her neck, in the town square. But, before he could get the 411, Sheriff Forbes and Matt whisked her away. Well, he’s curious what became of Sarah, and for some reason, Matt tells her that she’s hanging out at his house. Sarah’s not quite the damsel in distress she first appeared to be. The car she was driving was stolen.

Road Block

Elena and Ric continue to try and erase Elena’s feelings, but it’s not working. Elena asks Ric how much longer they’ll have to do this, and he tells her it will go on and on until they find that signature moment when Elena knew she was in love with Damon.

Elena tells Alaric that she realized it after the sire bond was revealed. Everyone kept telling her that her feelings for Damon weren’t real but she knew otherwise. Not it. Maybe it was that steamy motel kiss. Nope. Elena gets frustrated and begins to second guess this plan. Reliving every moment with Damon is torture.

2 Months Ago…

Damon’s still listening to bad Top 40 and making pancakes for breakfast. Bonnie’s doing the same crossword with one word eluding her. The two are bickering endlessly, mainly about Bonnie’s lack of ability to get her mojo back and Damon’s bad attitude. Both are convinced they are trapped in each other’s hell. 

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Caroline Confronts Stefan

Enzo and Caroline find out, although my guess is Enzo might have already had an inkling, that Stefan has been in Savannah for at least two months. Care Bear’s having a hard time keeping it together in front of Ivy and this tidbit of info doesn’t help. They speak in a code of sorts but it wouldn’t matter, because Ivy has no idea what is going on. Stefan tells her what he told Elena, he gave up on “investigative work.” Caroline argues you can’t give up until the case is solved. Why they are putting on this charade in front of this girl is beyond me. Just compel her already and have it out.

At last, as if he read my mind, Enzo stabs Stefan in the hand and questions how many secrets he’s running from. Caroline compels Ivy and takes her upstairs. Enzo accuses Stefan of being a coward for giving him up on his brother. The two get in a brawl, in the middle of which, Alaric calls Caroline. He tells her he’s hit a wall with Elena. Caroline lets him know that the problem is that Elena can’t admit to herself that she fell in love with Damon when she was still with Stefan. She turns around to see that Stefan, who snapped Enzo’s neck, just heard her last comment.

Caroline apologizes although she can’t be that bummed out. Stefan says he really doesn’t care. Caroline asks him why he doesn’t care, but she’s not just referring to her revelation. She says he’s always been the one to care; that’s what she liked about him. Throughout all the craziness in their lives, he’s always cared. She questions what made him stop. Stefan tells her he had to move on.

Stefan did spend some time chasing down every lead Alaric gave him. He spoke to every witch, shaman and psychic all over the globe, and the end result was always the same: nothing. He’s even already followed up on the Gemini coven.

He couldn’t go back to his old life. Caroline confesses she thought they meant more to each other than that. She can’t believe that he could disregard the countless messages she left him that were a dead giveaway she was falling apart without him. Caroline has an epiphany: he never bothered to listen to them. She calls him a dick and leaves.

It’s Okay to Love Them Both

Alaric finds Elena ripping open the boxes she packed and leaving messages for Luke for more witchy herbs. She tells him she tried but it didn’t work. He says she wasn’t being honest with herself. He demands to hear about her relationship with Damon while she was with Stefan. Elena refuses, insisting she was completely faithful to Stefan. She lists all that she did for him when he lost his humanity and took up with Klaus. She’s justifying herself to someone who had front row seats for the whole thing. Ric knows she feels like if she admits she loved Damon too, she’s betraying what she had with Stefan.

The words of the late, great Kitty Kat come back to haunt Elena. That vixen told her doppelganger that it was okay to love them both. Elena says the moment she fell in love was when Stefan was off hunting werewolves with Klaus. Caroline had insisted on throwing Elena a birthday party, and as a gift, Damon surprised her with the necklace that Stefan had given her for her own protection long ago.

Even though Damon loved her, he gave her the one thing that represented hope for her and Stefan. In that moment, she loved him. Breakthrough! Elena tells Alaric to do it now. Of course, it works. She does have memories of Damon but only as the monster who broke her brother’s neck and lots of other horrible things. Alaric looks anything but thrilled at his success.

So, if Elena doesn’t remember being in love with Damon, does that mean she’ll be in love with Stefan? After all, aside from Elena’s vampirism, Damon was a big reason why the two broke up. Didn’t any of these people see It’s a Wonderful Life?

Enzo may be charming, but he’s lethal as well. All those scientific experiments and all. He snaps Ivy’s neck (no big loss). He admits that he didn’t get it when Damon told him he promised Stefan an eternity of misery, but now he does. He says brothers don’t give up on one another. Enzo swears that he will not let Stefan have a moment’s peace as long as it means he’s trying to move on.

More Mysteries

Matt warns Jeremy that Sarah has to go. She overhears and admits that she stole the car from a handsy boss. Then she says she has somewhere to go. Sarah’s father lives in Mystic Falls. Matt passes this information on to Tripp. Matt also finds out that Tripp knew Jeremy and Elena’s father, and he was born and raised in Mystic Falls. He’s even a member of one of the founding families, the Fells. Turns out Tripp is very aware of Mystic Falls’ history. And, he’s continuing the legacy of killing vampires.

Somebody finishes Bonnie’s crossword, meaning she and Damon are not alone. And, who is Sarah’s daddy? Is it a character to be named later, or someone we all know well?

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

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(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.