They say you can always go home again, but if most of your old friends and acquaintances are literal monsters you may want to rethink that. For one thing, all people change over time, regardless of their immortality or inherent blood thirst. For another, supernatural creatures are constantly waging epic battles with each other and the various ancients they provoke via old grudges or happenstance. And if you've been away for a while, guess what? You're simply a guest-star in those sagas, and guess what again? You'll probably get killed somehow, just to keep things interesting. That's what Tyler Lockwood (Michael Trevino) learned the hard way this week (seemingly!) on The Vampire Diaries, when he suddenly crossed paths with Damon (Ian Somerhalder) again after successfully keeping his distance for a while. As far as friend reunions go, it could've gone better.
"You Decided That I Was Worth Saving" was a solid, tense episode that nonetheless felt a bit like wheel-spinning. Yes, we know Sybil (Nathalie Kelley) needs two dudes to serve her, but this constituted two episodes in a row in which she struggled to infiltrate Enzo (Michael Malarkey) and Damon's memories and discover what makes them tick. At one point, Caroline (Candice King) and Bonnie (Kat Graham) even remarked that as far as Big Bad schemes go, Sybil's are laughably small-time. Shouldn't she be pulling a House of Cards in D.C. by now? Oh, well. At least this episode had the wisdom to foreground Bonnie. At some point she became the emotional centerpiece of the show, and this episode only proved it. Let's talk about "You Decided That I Was Worth Saving"!
We began with arguably the most important thing that ever happened on The Vampire Diaries, the event that started it all: Elena (Nina Dobrev) and her parents crashing their Volvo right off the Wickery Bridge way back in 2009!
But this wasn't that moment, at least not really. No, this was another example of Sybil the siren attempting to copy-paste herself into Damon's memories!
See, in real life Elena was rescued from this crash by Stefan (Paul Wesley) and later fell in love with him before falling even harder in love with her brother Damon. But in this version of events Elena died right then and there, thus Damon never even met her. This was frankly rude on Sybil's part, but her intention was clear: So long as Damon remembered Elena, he'd never fully be into Sybil. And now he didn't remember her. But he DID remember seeing a certain World's Worst Sheriff hanging around the scene of the accident...
Sheriff Forbes! Even though this was just a fraudulent memory and not a real flashback, it was still nice to see her in uniform again. If only she knew that a triple-death at Wickery Bridge would later not even make the Top 100 Most Horrifying Things to Happen in Mystic Falls. Simpler times!
Back in reality, Sybil was still attempting to penetrate Enzo's brain holes, but he wasn't letting her in. Yeah, he was still down to help with her various errands, but he was dead-set on keeping his love for Bonnie a secret. But Sybil had an interesting plan up her presumably wet sleeve.
She commanded Damon to kill Bonnie! He seemed fine with murdering his sometime best friend, but probably only because his humanity switch had been flipped. But you could tell from the "OH S." look in Enzo's eyes that today was going to be another bad one for them both.
Speaking of Bonnie, she did one of the creepier "nice" things a character's ever done on this show. While Caroline was sleeping, Bonnie sneaked in and decorated the bedroom with "happy engagement" balloons, then quietly laid beside her until Caroline stirred only to startle her awake suddenly. YIKES! Bonnie was lucky she didn't get reflex-slapped!
That being said, it was a sweet moment between two longtime friends, especially when Bonnie procured the wedding scrapbook Caroline had been putting together since birth. As Bonnie noted, planning parties and special occasions is Caroline's obsession, so she was going to have her work cut out for her. But again, it was nice to see Bonnie putting her own pains and longings aside to fête her second best friend, you know?
Unfortunately Caroline's wedding planning (for a JUNE ceremony) were interrupted before she even had a chance to find the ugliest bridesmaids dresses in Virginia. Damon arrived, snatched the fake bouquet from Bonnie's desperate busy fingers and started attacking everybody! He even threw Caroline across the room into a sample rack!
Fortunately, the bride-to-be found a wooden rod and impaled Damon on it. Serves you right, you brainwashed jerk!
Sybil noticed that Damon had, in fact, hesitated to murder Bonnie, which meant he still had strong feelings for her deep down. That's when Sybil grabbed him by the temples and treated herself to a montage of all of Bonnie's hairdos over the past eight years. It was a great montage, as Bonnie's had tons of chic looks since high school. But Sybil ALSO noticed that in those years, Damon and Bonnie had gone from enemies to besties, and the linchpin moment was the time they both got sucked into an inter-dimensional witch prison together. Next thing we knew, Sybil had copy-pasted HERSELF into that memory in place of Bonnie. Ugh, this lady.
Alaric was still looking into the lead he'd discovered last week. The lead being, of course, that Sybil was a harbinger FROM HELL. I don't know about you, but I've been full-blown stoked about the inevitable appearance of THE DEVIL, so I can't get enough of this plotline. Anyway, this "pitchfork" thing seemed to be the key to stopping Sybil. But what I really enjoyed was how Alaric's foxy assistant — a woman who fervently believed she herself had visited Hell — was skeptical of the idea that the supernatural might be real and that Alaric's intense questioning about the weapon meant there was a supernatural threat to be dealt with. So he basically just pretended he was writing a paper and answered no further follow-up questions. This is The Vampire Diaries. By now there have been dozens of paranormal-tinged massacres in the area, yet the main characters refuse to be honest with noobs. Way to keep everybody in the dark, guys.
Later, Alaric realized he'd left his Hell weapon unattended in a house with twin children, and of course, his daughters picked it up and started playing with it. Maybe keep your Hell weapons out of reach of children? It's like the main rule of Hell weapons, guy! But on the upside, one of the girls dropped the item on the ground and it made a high-pitched tone! Because, you guessed it, this thing was a tuning fork. The devil got tricks!
Speaking of tricks, Sybil was just hanging out in the Salvatore mansion when Caroline and Bonnie were attempting to go about their day. She threatened mind control on them if they didn't sit down and listen to her speechify for a little bit. Sybil's main concern was WHY in the heck everyone was so crazy about Bonnie? What was Bonnie's deal anyway? As it turned out, Bonnie was a pretty rock-solid friend to everyone and that got Sybil thinking: Why deal with two flaky dudes when she could have a much more competent lady on her side? It was time for Sybil to CLEAN HOUSE. (God forbid she have THREE or even six million servants. Two was ENOUGH for her, thanks.)
Next thing we knew, Sybil, Bonnie, and Caroline were road-tripping to the high school, where Damon and Enzo had been pre-programmed to DUEL TO THE DEATH. Sybil was in the backseat being a real pest, just sort of mind-reading and sassing everybody. My favorite part was when Bonnie and Caroline openly agreed that Sybil had ludicrously small-scale ambitions for a many-millenniums-old mythological being. Like, just hanging out in hotel swimming pools and getting a couple of low-rent vampires to bring her fast food? Not a bad life for you or me, but this was a much more powerful lady. Where was the ambition? It was about to fly through the windshield!
Taking advantage of Sybil's strict "no seat belts" policy, Bonnie slammed those damn breaks and gave Sybil the worst road rash of her life! From there they sped off to try and prevent Damon and Enzo from ending each other!
I laughed out loud when Sybil dusted herself off the highway and got to seducing the next passing car with her siren song. Severe facial lacerations aside, the lady had spunk!
Anyway, the clock struck BRAWL O'CLOCK and Damon and Enzo had no choice but to get in a big ol' tussle. But Stefan was quickly in the mix to try and protect his brother. Things didn't get any less complicated when Caroline arrived and quickly got her neck snapped trying to spare Enzo's life (which meant she and Stefan were on opposite sides of the fight). But it was when Bonnie got involved that things got REALLY interesting. Basically Sybil forced her to decide which fella would live and which would die: Her best friend or her lover?
And she chose Enzo! Damon looked hurt — or he would have looked hurt if he still had emotions. But Bonnie looked pretty ravaged by the whole situation. She did not want anybody to die, but in this case, maybe Damon being sent to Hell would be something she could fix later on? That was her thinking, anyway. But it didn't matter because Sybil was not a woman of her word. Almost immediately she decided that Bonnie should die instead, blah blah blah, suddenly Damon was chasing Bonnie across the parking lot!
Personally, I do not love to see Damon and Bonnie tussling like this. The show keeps doing this and not only does it make us feel bad, it's just kinda unoriginal at this point. Thank goodness Alaric pulled up and ran over Damon and then struck the Devil's tuning fork against the hood of his car!
This incapacitated Sybil and she fell to the ground unable to mind-control anyone. And just in time for Alaric's suspicious co-worker to pull up and witness everything!
Unfortunately, Damon and Enzo's mind-controls weren't totally erased. Damon sort of sneered and got into his car promising "this isn't over" or whatever. Meanwhile Sybil was brought back to the Armory where she sat weirdly on a bed without sheets!
Man, that bare mattress was a real bummer to look at. Evil villain or not, she deserved better. Maybe not sateen sheets or anything fancy like that. A fitted sheet at least? Come on, guys.
We then got another example of Damon's memories getting retconned. Like, now instead of having spent tons of time with Bonnie in the '90s witch prison, he had now made tons of pancakes for Sybil instead. Just as long as Sybil doesn't erase the memory of creepy dreamboat jerk Kai, I'll be fine with it.
Sybil reasoned that the way to fully break Damon was to systematically eliminate all the people important to him. So that meant he had a rather unfortunate run-in with Tyler Lockwood on a lonely highway. Apparently Tyler had gone full-blown Armory and looked intent on killing Damon if given the chance. But that's when he realized the futility of this exercise, and that Damon more than likely was going to kill him right then and there.
In a creepy bit of editing, we saw Sybil writhing around on her sheet-less bed humming that siren tune of hers. And that was all it took for Damon to maul one of his oldest acquaintances so much!
Though the parting shot wasn't necessarily definitive with regards to Tyler's fate, Damon definitely had a murder-y look in his eyes. Poor Tyler! Let's hope he's not totally dead, if only because that would be a weird and meaningless death if so!
Again, no real complaints about the action or emotions in this episode, but "You Decided That I Was Worth Saving" didn't feel terribly essential. I think we're all waiting to see what exactly Sybil is up to, and, of course, whether or not we'll meat the ACTUAL DEVIL. For now it seems a little too small-beans, not to mention limited when it comes to the characters onscreen. Nice to see Tyler again, but, uh, is he dead? Anyway, fingers crossed we'll get a little more forward momentum next week. But who am I kidding, I'd settle for another murdered guest star. Let's keep this bloody homecoming trend going!
-- Is Tyler dead?
-- Will Damon ever unscramble these memories?
-- Did Bonnie make the right choice when she chose to save Enzo's life?
-- Will the Devil be handsome and/or sexy?
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