Oh sweet humanity. Well… not too sweet for Damon, who was literally a zombie after getting hit with all his feelings again. That’s what happens when you try to outsmart a siren I guess right?
Caroline and Bonnie THOUGHT they were going to have a drama free day when all of sudden, they landed smack dab in all of Damon’s drama. Seeing that he wasn’t reacting to anything in the outside world, they made a deal with Sybil to free his mind from the burning torment that was happening inside. That required convincing Damon that he isn’t completely destructive to those around him.
Elena’s BFFs muddled around in his brain in order to find him and convince him that he could get over all the bad things he’d done… and this season, he did a lot of them! However once inside, they realized finding him in his subconscious wouldn’t be as easy at they thought. He was hiding out in season 1 of the series and Elizabeth Forbes, Vicki and Bonnie’s Grams were all alive and happy as can be.
After Elizabeth realized her daughter is a vampire, she tortured her until Caroline finally realized she had to forgive Damon because he’d always been there for her mother. His friendship to her made up for all the bad he’d ever done. And just like that, she was kicked out of his subconscious. Clearly, she wasn’t what he needed to wake up and it made sense, she was never really close with him. Bonnie on the other hand, had way more success. She visited her Grams, catching up a bit and and asking her to do a locater spell with the letter he wrote her before he called it quits and “went to sleep.”
She was led to his crypt and ambushed by Tyler Lockwood, another person Damon felt personally guilty for killing. See the pattern in his brain here? That’s when Bonnie realized that the only way to bring Damon back from the brink was to convince Stefan to help him. After all, the one person who probably held the most resentment for his was his brother right?
Ripper Stefan is not pleasant to be around. I never like him as the evil brother honestly and this time, he’s lacking even more remorse than usual, which means he’s quite a pain in the butt. At least when Damon’s evil, there’s a shred of good still left. He does bad but only because he has no way out. Anyways, he agrees to help his bro, but not before setting Mystic Falls up for its ultimate demise – compelling Matt to ring the town bell 12 times to open up a portal to hell that will kill everyone in the near radius. Seriously… could you be more evil?
Inside Damon’s brain, Stefan is in for quite the shock because Damon doesn’t want his brother’s forgiveness, he’s there to forgive his brother for all the evil he’s done to him. He explains that there’s a reason Stefan is always there to straighten his brother out and always sticks by him no matter what – he feels guilty for turning Damon into a vampire. The realization hit Damon, who finally admits he too blames Stefan for all the bad in his life.
This pisses Stefan off and he begins punching Damon while he finally tells him that he loves him back! “Nothing you can do will ever change that,” he informs him. Seriously, how cute is this? I mean, yes they are literally beating each other up but only because they finally, after hundreds of years, forgave each other for every wrong doing. This show was always more than two brothers fighting over a woman – it was about the bond between them and how they stuck by each other, no matter how tough things got. We’ve never lost that concept and honestly, the show has lost itself many times.
Stefan’s solution to all of this – watching his brother go up in flames, much like the whole town. Except that it doesn’t because Damon surprises everyone, come back from his subconscious’ coma, rips Stefan’s heart out, and runs to the bell tower, where Matt and his father are in a heated boxing match as he starts ringing the bell. You have to give his dad props for not killing him, despite knowing the town’s fate was hanging on by a thread.
Damon knocks out Matt as he’s about to ring the bell for the 12th time and gives us his usual Damon humor – “I hope that didn’t count.” Same. With Damon on the forgiveness trail, he finally apologizes to Matt for killing his sister. Long time coming right? To be fair, this isn’t the same Damon that we met in season 1 – he’s come a long, long, long way. Who knows, maybe by the end these two will even be – dare I say it – friends! Matt then informs him he’s not going to abandon his town, instead choosing to fill the Sheriff’s position. “I always did love the Sheriff’s in this town,” Damon says. Be still my heart.
Back at the Salvatore mansion, Caroline decided NOT to give up hope on Stefan after all. She chained him up in the dungeon where she tells him she knows he loves Damon more and that’s okay. She’ll also do anything to get him to turn his humanity back on, regardless of whether or not their relationship will work.
I don’t think that will be welcome by Cade, who appears to both Sybil and Seline at the bar where they are bickering about sisterly things. Before they can even explain their failure and, he explains that the 11 chimes were enough to release him onto the Earth and he’ll “handle it.” With that, they burst into flames and TVD gets rid of yet another villain.
Meanwhile, Damon continues making amends, this time with the only woman that he loves as much as Elena – his best friend Bonnie. Remember that letter he wrote her but she refused to read because she was so mad at him. Well, he memorized it and recited it to her. In it, he admitted to being a coward because he didn’t want to face life without Elena. The part that really broke my heart, he was too scared to “fail you both.” I mean, DAMON… the feels!
In a way, most of the series was Damon finding redemption for the horrible things he’s done. He was always looking up to his brother, the good one, but fully knowing that he resented him for becoming this person. And now the tides have turned and Stefan is equally as bad as Damon – they’ve both been monsters and they’ve both found the light but it’s always been together and with a team of friends by their side.
I truly believe Julie Plec and Kevin Williamson will give us the “full circle” sendoff we need. And hey, we know some way, some how, Elena comes back. And while the episode titles are a good nod to season 1, I loved seeing Damon brooding and in the cemetery, just like the first time we saw him!