Man, I thought my holidays were bad. Can you imagine spending the holidays as a Salvatore? This episode of The Vampire Diaries, titled “Mommie Dearest,” gives a glimpse into just that. I’m not sure there’s enough eggnog or bourbon in the world to liven up a Salvatore Thanksgiving. Before we jump into the episode, let’s see what’s happening in the future.

Three Years From Now

I have to admit, this time jump isn’t as exciting as the others. Damon and Alaric are in a car heading to the news station to save Caroline who has been attacked. Damon arrives on-set just in time for Caroline to cut into your regularly scheduled programming. She has a message for Stefan Salvatore. Damon doesn’t have time to do anything before he is shot with four vervain darts.

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Present Day – The Day Before Thanksgiving

Nothing says Thanksgiving quite like a murder plot. Damon is eager to kill Julian. He asks Stefan why he’s still alive. Stefan reminds him that Julian knows he is coming after him so he needs to take his time. Stefan needs to make calculated moves because chances are he only has one more shot. Fret not, though, he has an ally he is enlisting to help finish the job. Just then, the doorbell rings. The ally who is going to help the brothers kill Julian is none other than Lily. Damon declares that “This is the best Thanksgiving ever!”

On the other side of town, Caroline is questioning whether or not she believes Valerie’s discovery that she is carrying the Gemini twins. She is taking a pregnancy test and asking Alaric how this would even be possible. He reminds her that even though she is a vampire, she still breathes and has a heartbeat. He is really getting his hopes up here. Three minutes are up, and the test is negative. Caroline chalks it up to Valerie playing some sick, twisted game.

While this is happening, Bonnie is gallivanting around town with Enzo trying to find Oscar’s car before Julian does. They end up at a junkyard where it’s not hard to miss the bright yellow automobile. Enzo immediately opens the trunk and throws out the spare tire. He finds a sword in the wheel well. If Julian wanted that weapon, then it must be important. Enzo believes it will kill Julian.

Just a Little Cornbread, Turkey and Torture

Stefan thinks he can get Lily on their side if she knows the story about Valerie. He tells her that Julian beat Valerie until her unborn baby was dead. Stefan is trying to play on the fact that Lily lost a grandchild out of the situation. However, this is The Vampire Diaries and no plan is ever this simple. He proposes a toast to moving on. Lily takes a sip, chokes, and falls to the ground. Stefan poured up a nice shot of concentrated vervain. Damon is impressed.

It’s time to move on to Plan B. The brothers have tied Lily up with vervain ropes. They want her to recognize her lifelong pattern of dating terrible guys, including their father. Their hope is she’ll realize she’s been blinded her entire life by these manipulating men, and then she will join forces with the brothers to take out Julian. Stefan and Damon begin to recount the awful things their father did. Stefan brings up Thanksgiving of 1851. This was the year their father made Damon behead his pet turkey so they could eat him for dinner. We flashback to that dinner. Damon refuses to eat his beloved pet. His father tells him to eat or else be locked in the cellar. Damon looks to Lily for mercy that she won’t make him eat the turkey. She ignores his pleas and tells him to do whatever his father says. Back in present day, Lily tells Damon she kept him from wasting a perfectly good meal.

Don’t Make Big Announcements During the Holidays

Matt is patrolling the streets of Mystic Falls. He finds more people compelled to stay at various places around town. The Grill is now packed with innocent civilians. He asks Caroline to come help break the compulsion. No one really knows what’s going on here. All of the people have saline solution IV’s to keep them hydrated. There are no bite marks, so they’re not being fed on. But there are food containers letting them know the innocents are being fed. It’s like the heretics are fattening up their prized cattle.

Caroline suggests they bring Valerie in to siphon the compulsion spell. She doesn’t really want to do it because it’s a wasted effort. The bodies will just be replaced with different bodies. Then she mentions Caroline’s pregnancy, in front of Matt. Caroline goes off and says she isn’t pregnant. She tells Valerie she is wrong. Valerie starts to leave when Caroline apologizes. She changes her mind and offers to help.

Valerie is in the middle of releasing the citizens from the compulsion spells when Bo walks in. He does the witchy-vampire-headache thing (is this the heretics only line of defense?) and she is caught off guard. Matt shoots his gun and Bo catches the bullet! Just snatches it out of the air! This was enough distraction though to allow Valerie to sneak behind him. She stakes him and casts a disappearing spell on herself, Carolina and Matt. Valerie insists that Caroline take another pregnancy test. She knows she is right about the coven casting a spell, moving the twins into her womb. She tells Caroline she knows the spell because she’s used it. She tells her she tried to use it before when she was still human, but she wasn’t strong enough. Caroline finally puts two and two together and realizes Valerie’s pregnancy is the secret Stefan has been keeping.

Let’s Sword Fight in the Woods

While all of this is going on all around town, Enzo and Julian are freakin’ sword fighting in the woods. They’re fighting for Lily’s honor. More like, they’re trying to get each other out of the way.

Back at Salvatore Mansion, Stefan and Damon are still trying to get through to Lily. They remind of her a story from that fateful Thanksgiving. Their father accused them of stealing his money. Both boys deny it, but the accusations don’t let up. Damon finally confesses, wanting to spare young Stefan the punishment from his father. Their dad takes a lit cigar and jams it into Damon’s arm. Lily says she already knows that story. She isn’t blind. She knew what was going on. She was the one who stole the money. She was trying to save enough to get herself and the boys away from their father. Just then a gash opens up on her throat. She tells them someone is trying to kill Julian. His life has been bound to hers. If he dies, she dies.

Damon rushes to the wooded cemetery. Julian and Enzo are steadily going at it. Julian appears to have the upper hand on Enzo, but Damon is able to rush in and stop him. He turns to help Enzo, but Julian rushes to attack. Damon turns around and jams the sword into Julian’s stomach and twists the blade. He thinks he’s just killed two birds with one stone. There’s a problem though. Bonnie found an illustration of the sword in question, except in the drawing the phoenix stone is attached to the handle. Without the stone the sword is just a regular blade. Julian isn’t dead, and now Lily knows Damon doesn’t care if she dies too.

Baby Mama Drama

Caroline is at the hospital for an ultrasound. It isn’t detecting anything. Valerie walks in the room and says she knows why the babies aren’t showing up. They’ll do anything they can to protect themselves. She hovers her hand over Caroline’s stomach. Caroline feels something and starts to perform an ultrasound on herself. The sonogram shows two babies. Valerie says they were cloaking themselves.

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Where Lily Stands

Lily is reflecting on the past. Julian comes in and starts talking to her. She asks him why he was in the woods fighting when he knew that her life was tied to his. He says he was never in any real danger and would never do anything to hurt her. This strikes a nerve and is reminiscent of the way her husband treated her.

She remembers when she took the money. She had bought three train tickets and her husband found them. She tries to lie saying she was going to surprise him with a trip with the boys to New York. He doesn’t believe her and beats the crap out of her. He later apologizes saying he just can’t imagine not ever seeing his boys again, and that he didn’t mean to hurt her.

It seems the brothers torture may have actually worked. Lily goes to the Salvatore house and tells them she has a plan.

What did you think of tonight’s episode? Do your holidays compare to those of the Salvatores? Sound off in the comments below.

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

(Image courtesy of The CW)

Casey Cummings

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV