The Vampire Diaries begins “Best Served Cold” with a twist and ends it with one as well – and not only do both involve the same two people, but both make “What?!” a very valid reaction.

Meanwhile, with Julian now back from the dead, Lily decides to throw a party to show just how serious she is about peace for everyone in the town … where no one really lives anymore … by inviting people from neighboring towns. But while both her sons have their sights set on killing her newly resurrected love, they have very different plans in mind to make that happen.

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Also in the hour, Bonnie and Enzo get their flirt on at the party after he tells her that she’s going to be his date and she calls him out on wanting to make Lily jealous. The thing is, when she’s doing just that for him and fixing his tie, it doesn’t seem at all like it’s about making Lily jealous. However, does knowing they’re together in three years influence how anyone else is seeing them in the present? If not for that, doesn’t it seem a bit out of left field?

Secrets and Manipulation

Now that he knows he could have been a father, Stefan dreams about being one, only for his kid to disappear when he turns around.  When Caroline wakes him up from his nightmare, he doesn’t say much about it since he’s not telling anyone about Valerie’s secret. It also means that he can only half explain why Valerie spent the night under the same roof. She tried to torch Julian’s body and he will be going after her. That leads to Caroline suggesting they help Valerie by getting her a new identity and sending her far, far away. Valerie’s not entirely against that idea since the Phoenix Stone turns people mad and his soul was in it for 100 years.

Upon receiving Lily’s invitation to the party celebrating the town’s peaceful spirit (if no one actually lives there, can it be anything but?) and introducing Julian. Stefan sees it as the opportunity he needs to kill Julian that night. That doesn’t sit well with Damon though, whose plan was to let Lily have about six months with him (enough time to make it all the more tragic when she loses him) before he kills Julian.     

As the party begins, Nora shows Julian how to play Candy Crush, because that’s important for someone who was just brought back to life to know about. During their little chat, when she mentions that Lily keeps them trapped in the town, he offers to talk to Lily about that. Already I know that he’s going to create problems and stir up some trouble, and he does. When he finds Mary-Louise (having changed after Nora commented on her first outfit) in the basement, he manipulates her into feeding from a human, suggesting that Nora’s bored because she’s lost her swagger. And so, Mary-Louise gets her swagger back after feeding and goes up to her girlfriend and kisses her. 

It’s a Party in Mystic Falls — Why Wouldn’t There Be Violence?

Meanwhile, Stefan is surprised when Damon shows up for the party, and that leads to a thinly veiled discussion about killing Julian under the guise of discussing rearranging furniture. Honestly, I’m impressed they keep it going as long as they do. It’s amusing to hear Stefan describe the recently purchased “furniture” as psychotic and something that needs to be disposed of immediately. Damon then interrupts Stefan and Julian’s game of pool to tell a very obvious story about a guy who tried to kill a vampire who was at least 300 years old. Another vampire intervened and stopped the guy who was being an idiot.

Elsewhere, Julian admits to Beau that his time away may have affected his head a bit. (Who else better to admit that to than to the guy who can’t speak?) but there is something that would help. Something Oscar may have kept in his car. When Enzo overhears, he’s off to find Oscar’s car first.

One of the wait staff goes up to Bonnie and asks her where the high school is and keeps repeating the question. She tells him that the town has been shut down and asks him who he has been talking to, but he can’t say. He then says, “And by the way, tell my boss that I quit.” That’s weird enough that Bonnie and Matt head over to the high school, and once there, the same guy walks right by the as if he doesn’t see them. He is hooked up to an IV. They follow him into a classroom that is  full of people hooked up to IVs as well. Matt tries to get them to leave, but no one responds. They’ve all been compelled.

Back at the party, Damon calls Stefan out about not telling him the reason why he’s all murder-y when it comes to Julian, but his brother just takes him out of commission (with help from Matt) before going to try to kill Julian. Lily walks in on the failed attempt and thinks it’s all about trying to take away her happiness. When Damon joins them, Julian refuses to let them leave and instead forces them to sit down while he tells them what it was like to be trapped in the stone: hell. He explains that it is basically a hell in which he killed the person he loves the most (Lily) every day. He claims that he didn’t let it break him because he knew that if he snapped, he’s be a monster, not a man. He then throws a knife and a stake at Damon and Stefan and then throws both vampires around the kitchen. Lily has to intervene before he can do something really crazy like stake one of them. (Uh, Julian, I’m pretty sure you are a monster.)

Upon returning to their temporary home, Damon tries to get under Stefan’s skin. He wonders if Valerie got to Stefan when Caroline’s supposed to be “the one” for him. After Damon slams him into the floor, Stean tells his brother about Valerie’s pregnancy and what Julian did. He says he didn’t say anything before because he figured that Damon would just brush it off with a glib joke about it happening 150 years ago. Instead, Damon shares that he and Elena talked about starting a family, which became a real possibility when the cure came into play. After Stefan admits that his only regret would be not having a kid, Damon tells him he’ll help him kill Julian – tomorrow, tonight, now … whenever. He’s in. There’s really nothing better than the Salvatore brothers working together.

They should probably get on killing Julian sooner rather than later, considering his blind rage towards them and his attempt to manipulate Lily by telling her that he doesn’t recognize her and doesn’t see the girl he fell in love with because she doesn’t want him to kill her sons. Instead of letting her walk away, he brings her back with an admission that his soul’s time in the stone may have affected him more than he thought. (In my opinion this gets him exactly what he wants: for her to promise to fix it together and to agree to doing something that takes the cooperation of the entire family to protect himself. I half-expect the conversation to end with him smiling maniacally over her shoulder. I’m surprised that it doesn’t.

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WebMD’s Symptom Checker Can’t Help Here

Since they can’t just leave Faux Jo hanging around by herself (Bonnie has to attend Lily’s party to make sure all of her friends leave it alive) Alaric has to keep an eye on her. I can see where he’s coming from. It’s hard for him to look at her when he sees his murdered wife, but he is the one who pushed so hard to bring her back.

When Alaric finds Faux Jo, she’s been introduced to WebMD and the symptom checker, but there’s no way that will help when her nose starts bleeding and she starts to cough up blood. Caroline tries to heal her with her own blood, but that seems to only make it worse. So what’s going on with Jo? Valerie explains that the human body cannot contain the essence of a vampire soul, so she’s a decomposing mess. However, her attitude changes when Caroline pulls her aside and tells her that Jo was pregnant with twins when she died.

In the moments leading up to Faux Jo’s death, she reveals that she remembers how she died and her name (Florence), and Alaric thanks her for allowing him to say goodbye. But one good thing may come out of this mess: Valerie’s there to play the wedding video from after everything went to hell and realize that the chanting wasn’t to send Kai away. The coven was trying to save the next generation of Gemini twins. Alaric’s babies are still alive.

There’s a fail safe in place in the Gemini coven, a transfer, to try to save them, and all Valerie needs is some of Alaric’s blood to perform a spell to track the babies. When it’s in proximity to the babies’ location, the map should ignite. Caroline, who already thinks this is crazy, thinks it’s not working since the blood goes off the map, but when she goes to clean it up, it ignites. Yes, the babies are inside Caroline. (How that is even possible considering she’s a vampire is beyond me, but it does explain how the twins are alive in three years.)

And Caroline’s Fiance Is …

Alaric. Yes, that’s right. Alaric is Caroline’s fiance. If you’re anything like me, you’re still having problems wrapping your head around that. Three years from now, Damon wants him to call her up, but she won’t answer her phone before a broadcast, and besides, moments later, she goes on air, bleeding from the head, with an urgent message for Stefan.

The Vampire Diaries season 7 airs Thursdays at 8pm on the CW.

(Image courtesy of the CW)

Meredith Jacobs

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV

If it’s on TV — especially if it’s a procedural or superhero show — chances are Meredith watches it. She has a love for all things fiction, starting from a young age with ER and The X-Files on the small screen and the Nancy Drew books. Arrow kicked off the Arrowverse and her true passion for all things heroes. She’s enjoyed getting into the minds of serial killers since Criminal Minds, so it should be no surprise that her latest obsession is Prodigal Son.