by Dianna Berrian
Remember when Stefan was always writing in his diary, brooding about his life as a vampire? No? Well, neither does he, thanks to his witch inflicted amnesia. But it’s a good place to start, according to Damon. However, reading about how guilt ridden he was about killing his father, turning Damon and becoming the Ripper of Monterey isn’t exactly convincing Stefan. He’s accepted he’s a vampire, that he needs blood to live, and that he’s the fun brother and Damon is the safe one. Well, we all know how well Damon would take that. And true to form, he proves his worth by spinning the car out of control enough to total it and kill them. If they were human. But they’re vampires, so they just kind of roll over and have themselves a nice chuckle.
Elena, on the other hand, checks in with Caroline to fill her in on Stefan’s status. Turns out girlfriend’s all studied up on Chem, Biochem, Microbiology and Anatomy. Not to shabby, Forbes. Aside from her study habits being informative to Stefan’s predicament, it’s also aiding in impressing Dr. Maxfield, the creepy professor of the season. She’s been a busy girl, getting all snuggly with her new study buddy Jesse, and claims to be dragging him along to the Mystic Falls Graveyard Bell Ringing Ceremony for Remembrance Day. But it’s not a date date. Just a study date. Okay, but either way you look at it, it’s still a date.
In what I’m assuming is the Mystic Grill, Damon begins explaining the history of the Bell Tolling to Stefan, including a story about paranoid people in the 1800s who were so afraid of the Cholera epidemic that they buried the infected victims alive. Ho-kay, then. Their little history lesson is interrupted by a cute bartender who shows up to refresh their drinks and as she’s leaning over to pick up the glasses, Stefan is drawn to her neck. Damon warns him off of feeding until he gets his memory back, considering the whole Ripper past, but Stefan wonders if the ripper thing might not be a problem with no memories. Without the guilt to ride him, maybe he can just feed like normal. Methinks amnesiac Stefan is naïve.
Here we have a lovely transition into the beautiful sight of Jeremy doing shirtless push ups inside the Salvatore boarding house. Hey girl heyyyy… Ghost Bonnie shows up to ogle with the rest of us, but unfortunately Matt calls to interrupt, begging his best friend to get over there, pronto. When he gets there, Matt tells Jeremy how he woke up in mud with a knife he’s never seen and he’s freaking out about it. Of course Jeremy’s first thought is a repeat of what happened to Alaric with the Gilbert ring – See?! JUST LIKE I PREDICTED – but Matt denies it, because what would that have to do with the reason why Silas can’t compel him? Whatever is going on is keeping him from sleeping soundly and he’s scared he’s going crazy so he put cameras up all over the house. Regardless, he wants to talk to Bonnie about it but Jeremy, knowing what he does, can’t oblige and bounces with no explanation whatsoever. What a guy.
Elena saunters in to join the boys and see what progress is being made on Stefan’s memory, but “so far, so good” isn’t living up to it’s potential. So, Elena reverts to Plan B – otherwise known as the only thing these people ever do when they have a problem – and starts calling Bonnie. That’s when they realize…Stefan’s disappeared. He’s wandered off to the back of the kitchen to find that cute little waitress and compels her to shut up and listen while he gives a creepy monologue about his hunger and whether or not he’ll be a ripper when he bites her. But before he can test his limits, safe brother Damon intervenes. He and Elena drag Stefan off the Salvatore family crypt where Damon leaves him with Elena as he runs off to answer Jeremy’s urgent need for him to talk in person. They exchange some banter and Stefan flirts a little with his, unbeknownst to him, former flame. Elena quickly decides show is better than tell and takes him to the school to recreate where they met when she bumped into him running out of the boys’ room. Remember that? There’s some thick tension between them that would make your blood boil hotter than Davina could make it. Oh. Wait. Wrong show. Ahem. So she takes him outside and shows him how to jump from the ground to the roof of the school which is where Stefan guesses that they once dated. Hey, he might not have his memories but he’s not a hundred and some years of stupid. Is anyone else getting the feeling that this is going to be one of those fairytale things where once she kisses him he’ll get his memory back?
Upon being asked, Elena takes Stefan to Wickery bridge to show him how she died. Turns out, this stroll down memory lane is distracting his urge to feed and he can see why he’s different from the monster he was when he’s around her. She insists he wasn’t a monster and puts her hands on his face to show him how she wasn’t scared the first time she saw his vamp face. Just as she begins to pull away, he grabs her hands back and the two lean ever so close enough to kiss. Of course, Elena logic comes into play and kissing one brother while dating the other would be oh so wrong! I think the logic fail here pissed Stefan off too because “just like that, the hunger returns.”
Meanwhile, in the woodsy part of the cemetery, Caroline and Jesse lay a blanket out for their study date. And it starts off as innocent as that. But once Caroline goes on about how he’s smart and nice, and she invited him because just kinda wanted to hang out with him, he figures it’s time to make a move. He kisses her abruptly, and she does kind of kiss him back but she looks startled by it, and if I’m not mistaken, guilty? (Well, I mean it’s only been like a day or two since Tyler broke her heart, right?) So immediately after, they revert right back to studying. Can you say awkward??
Damon finally makes it over to the boarding house to see what’s up with Jeremy. He starts going on a vague tangent about the balance of nature, ignoring Bonnie’s pleas not to tell Damon because he’ll tell Elena and it will ruin everything in her life. But Jeremy has to do what’s right and finally lets the cat out of the bag. Damon gets this stricken look on his face and seems to try to brush it off with anger over how it’s going to destroy Elena, but when he grabs Jeremy in a desperate hug it looks as though he’s kind of masking his own heartbreak. I never thought I’d say this, but…BAMON FEELS!
Over at Lockwood Manor, Matt is showing off for his cameras by taking a nap. When he wakes up, he finds a bleeding gash in his hand. He gets up to check the camera for clues. In the video he sees himself pick up his ringing cell phone and his eyes go that creepy Traveler black. He starts speaking a different language then hangs up and looks directly at the camera. Slowly, he gets up and walks over to it and grabs the knife. Through his mouth, Gregor speaks to the camera: “Hello, Matt Donovan. I am the passenger inside you. I know you have many questions. All you need to know is that one day my friends will come looking for this blade. Protect it at all costs.” He then proceeds to cut his hand, exactly the way Matt had found it when he woke up, and threatens, “Or this will be your throat.” Good times.
After the tragic news of Bonnie’s death, Damon calls up Elena to do the right thing. But it’s put on hold for the moment when she tells him she lost Stefan. Luckily, Caroline runs into him in the middle of the party in the cemetery, and he’s not exactly sober. As luck would have it, Jesse walks up to interrupt their brief reunion and Stefan makes a snarky remark about how he can smell a paper cut on his hand that makes him want to rip his arm off. Caroline compels Jesse to go away and hide in the crypt, you know, for protection. Just as she starts to lead Stefan to the car for a blood bag, he whooshes away and finds Jesse in the crypt, as told. Too hungry to fight it anymore, he digs into Jesse’s neck for a much needed release. “There. That wasn’t so bad, was it?” Jesse freaks a little less than normal people would but he wants out of that creepy crypt, but Stefan refuses and starts to go monologuey again about the good guy he’s supposed to be and how his brother took his girlfriend from him, and she let him. So what’s the point of being good? So he bites him again. Caroline runs in to save the day, preaching that he’s better than this. And once he leaves, she feeds Jesse her blood to heal him, apologizing for getting him into this mess. And letting him kiss her. Just…gotta throw that one in.
Brief interlude where Jeremy invites Matt over to tell him about Bonnie and then we’re back to the boarding house with Stefan burning his diaries in the fireplace. Damon and Elena catch him in the act, asking if he’s sure he wants to be doing that. Thing is, Stefan doesn’t want to be the guy in the journals anymore, or hear how he supported Elena, or even live in the house anymore. But don’t worry about him, because Caroline’s got his back because he actually does trust her. He peaces out, yet again, and Elena says they need Bonnie. It’s at this moment Damon comes clean and tells her her friend has passed away. After a brief freakout over not having funeral clothes because she went psycho and burnt her house down, she finally breaks down and cries in Damon’s arms.
A short time later, Caroline visits Stefan at the crypt to see how he’s holding up. She tells him about Bonnie being dead, even though he doesn’t remember her. She’s doing the numb thing and repressing, not wanting to talk about it because she’ll cry if she does. With Bonnie and Tyler both suddenly gone after they’ve always been there, how is she supposed to move on? When all she had is sadness and anger? Stefan assures her, she has him. After all, she’s always there for him. It’s time he repays the debt.
A funeral is held in the cemetery in Bonnie’s honor, a stump taking the place of a tombstone. Matt, Caroline, Elena, Jeremy and Damon attend, all bringing something in dedication. Jeremy places a picture of them on the stump to start; Caroline brings forth Bonnie’s cheerleading pom poms, a token of their friendship and human lives; Matt drops his whistle onto the pile; Elena brings a handful of feathers, alluding back to the first season when Bonnie first showed her she was a witch by levitating feathers; and finally, Damon sets her grimoire on her grave. The tears start pouring for Caroline and Elena and they break down in each other’s arms, but Bonnie tells Jeremy, “it’s okay. They need this. I need this.” They ring the bell in honor of Bonnie and Bonnie starts feeding Jeremy a speech for each of her friends to tell them: “Say that I’m not going anywhere. Even though they couldn’t see me, I’ve been there the whole time. I have watched you have the summer of your life. And I saw you happy.” She tells Elena, “I know you think now that you can’t have a normal life, that you have to be here for everyone, but you don’t. Everyone will find their way. So you are gonna go pack your things, go back to college and live it up.” She tells Matt: “You didn’t do anything wrong, Matt. I would’ve sent you 300 emails back if I could. I miss you.” To Caroline, she says, “Caroline, I watched you decorate that dorm room like your life depended on it. And I know that college isn’t everything you expected and you feel like something’s missing. But Tyler…” And her words fade when Tyler, himself, walks up making the moment even more heart wrenching than it already is. Caroline runs and hugs him, staying by his side while he puts a white rose on Bonnie’s grave in her honor. In the end, Bonnie knows, and they all know, that they’ll all be okay.
But it wouldn’t be “The Vampire Diaries” without a cliffhanger! Back at Whitmore, Dr. Maxfield is doing a series of tests on Jesse in his classroom. His vitals are normal, but it’s suspect, especially when asked to tell him about the night, Jesse draws a blank. He tells his student he has vampire blood in his system and was compelled to forget about it. That’s step one to becoming a vampire. Step two – death. He then injects him with some kind of serum that kills him and, supposedly, Jesse will become a vampire by the next episode! I guess if he knew Elena’s father so well, it’s not surprising he’d know all about vampires. So does this mean Dr. Creepy is just making and sending vampires out to kill other students, like Megan? Or is it a personal vendetta against Elena’s father? Guess we’ll all have to tune in to find out!