Previously on The Vampire Diaries

VIRGINIA: [to Enzo] Whatever's inside that vault? Promise me you won't set free.
ENZO: [to Virginia] We need to know exactly what we're dealing with so we can fight it.
VIRGINIA: [to Enzo] You can't fight it.
DAMON: [to Enzo] Do I even want to know?
ENZO: [to Damon] Will it deter you from going in?
DAMON: [to Enzo] Nope.
ENZO: [to Damon] Then, no, you don't.
STEFAN: [to Damon] I can help you.
DAMON: [to Stefan] I need you to let me go.
CAROLINE: [in voiceover, writing in her diary] Dear Elena, we were so close. Stefan and I had finally worked through our problems. Bonnie and Enzo were on the verge of being happy. And then it all changed.
ELENA: [in voiceover] Damon...
DAMON: Elena? Where are you?
ELENA: Right here.
DAMON: [to Enzo] It only hurts at first. Then after that, it's kind of fun.
CAROLINE: [in voiceover, writing in her diary] I'm worried about Bonnie...
CAROLINE: [in voiceover, writing in her diary] She lost the two people closest to her. And she can't even do a locator spell to find them. Her magic never came back.
STEFAN: [in voiceover, writing in his diary] It was three months before we heard the first rumor. A string of missing persons on the West Coast. But then the numbers kept growing. It's them. I know it.
ENZO: [to Damon] Never gets old, does it?
DAMON: [to Enzo] Well, it sure as hell hasn't yet.

Darkened Road (Buck's Car)

[Loud rock music plays on the radio as a woman, Cindy, and her boyfriend, Buck, drive down one of the back roads in Virginia and argue playfully]

CINDY: Why do you drag me to these dumb superhero movies? There's too many, I can't keep track of who's who-- their names, and their outfits, and who flies, and who turns to ice, who poops fire... it's too much.
BUCK: [chuckles] Well, that's why you have me.

[The two are so engrossed in their conversation that they don't immediately notice the extremely thick patch of fog through which they are now driving]

CINDY: Okay, well, now we're on overload. I'm done.
BUCK: [snarkily] Then I'm done with your dystopian teen crap movies. We don't need them, either.

[Cindy gives Buck a look before grinning at him]

CINDY: Okay, fine. Maybe I'll do one more superhero.
BUCK: You know, to be honest, I'm just glad the whole vampire craze is over.

[Before Cindy can react further, she sees a dark figure (Damon) standing in the middle of the road and screeches loudly at Buck]

CINDY: Ugh, watch out!

[Buck is so startled he instinctively swerves out of the way, managing to get around Damon without hitting him with his car. He sighs in relief, though he's still pretty tense from the scare]

BUCK: What the hell? I almost hit that guy! What's he doing in the middle of the road?

[Just then, they look back at the road and are once again alarmed by the sight of another dark figure (Enzo) standing in the middle of the road. Cindy gasps in shock]

CINDY: Look out!

[This time, Buck is unable to avoid hitting the man in the road, and Enzo is hit full-force by the bumper and rolls over the roof of the car before landing hard on the pavement behind them. Buck wastes no time stopping the car and putting it in park before he and Cindy rush out to get a closer look. When she sees the motionless Enzo laying motionless on the ground, she gasps again and covers her mouth with her hand]

CINDY: He's dead.

[Buck looks devastated by this news and begins to panic as he paces back and forth]

BUCK: No... no.

[Suddenly, Damon appears behind them and starts to speak, which startles them and causes them to turn around to see who has approached them]

DAMON: First of all, let me applaud you on your quick reflexes! The way you just whipped by me... it was impressive.

[Just then, Enzo sits up on the ground where he fell and begins snapping his broken bones into place, causing Buck and Cindy to become even more confused and frightened]

BUCK: What is this?
DAMON: This is what is known as a slow night. I mean, I thought we'd go with the "old guy in the road" standby, and you almost got by us.

[Damon looks over at Enzo, who snaps one of his cervical vertebrae into place and rolls his shoulders]

ENZO: Yeah, maybe it's time we, uh, let this one go. It hurts.

[Enzo stands to his feet and looks at them with a grave, unamused expression, which only makes their human victims more anxious]

BUCK: What do you want?
ENZO: We could use a ride. It's the least you could do.

[Buck and Cindy are becoming more uneasy by the second, especially when Damon flashes a creepy smile]

DAMON: Come on. I'll drive.

Abandoned Slaughterhouse

[The scene cuts to the abandoned slaughterhouse where Damon and Enzo have been bringing their victims so that the Armory Monster can feed on them. Cindy and Buck look terrified as Damon and Enzo lead them into the main room and explain their current predicament]

DAMON: Okay, a little backstory, because it's only fair... My friend here, Enzo, and I are the unwilling employees...
ENZO: [interrupts] Not really "employees..."
DAMON: [nods] Yeah, more like slaves. Serfs. Lackeys.
ENZO: Renfields!
DAMON: [rolls his eyes] I hate that reference.
ENZO: We'll just call it "mind control."

[This conversation does little to reassure Buck and Cindy, who are staring at them in wide-eyed fear]

DAMON: Our job is to bring the worst of humanity, the dregs of life, and bring them here. So, between the two of you, who's worse?

[Buck and Cindy say nothing and simply share terrified looks with each other until Enzo pipes up]

ENZO: Come on, winner gets a prize!

[Damon walks closer to Cindy and gives her an amused look]

DAMON: What's the worst thing you've ever done in your life?
CINDY: I stole makeup from a drugstore once... Some blush and lipstick.

[Damon, losing his patience, stares Cindy in the eyes and uses compulsion on her]

DAMON: Try harder. What's the worst thing you've ever done in your life?

[Cindy's eyes droop slightly as the compulsion takes hold and she answers in a monotone voice]

CINDY: I slept with my best friend's boyfriend.
ENZO: [shrugs] That's a little better.
CINDY: Eight times.

[Enzo chuckles before he turns to face Buck]

ENZO: You're doing something wrong, pal.

[Enzo stares Buck in the eyes to compel him as well]

ENZO: So, what's the worst thing you've ever done?

[Buck's expression softens into a blank stare as he's forced to answer the question]

BUCK: One time, I stole all my Nana's pain pills and sold them for fifty bucks a pop... While she was dying of cancer.
DAMON: [smiles] I think we have a winner.

[Buck once again begins to look nervous and scared]

BUCK: What do I win?
DAMON: [smirks] You get to die the most painful, excruciating death imaginable.
CINDY: And me?
ENZO: [smiles] We grant you mercy, you'll die quick. It'll be over before you...

[Before he finishes his sentence, Enzo lunges toward Cindy and bites into her neck, feeding on her until she dies, much to Buck's horror. Once he's finished, he picks her up in a fireman's carry before turning to face Damon and Buck]

ENZO: I'll deal with this one. You do the honors?
DAMON: Of course.

[Damon turns to lead Buck toward the Armory Monster's "tank," much to Buck's horror]

DAMON: This way, come on.

[Buck struggles weakly against Damon's grip, but is too scared to try any harder]

BUCK: No, no, no...
DAMON: Easy, my friend.
BUCK: : Oh, God, no...

[Damon stops just long enough to face Buck and stare him in the eyes to compel him]

DAMON: Hey, stay calm, shh. No use in making a scene in your final moments.

[Damon and Buck start walking toward the tank again, and though Buck is calmer, he's still terrified]

BUCK: I don't want to die.
DAMON: Yeah, I know. And I don't particularly want to kill you, but sometimes we have to do things we don't like.

[They finally make it to the metal grate platform, where the Armory Monster is underwater in the tank below. Damon grabs the remote and hits the button to pull down a hook while Buck watches him with equal parts terror, curiosity, and revulsion]

BUCK: What's down there?
DAMON: Don't really know.

[Buck, now becoming desperate, tries to plead for his life]

BUCK: You don't have to do this. Please.
DAMON: That's where you're wrong... I don't have a choice.

[Damon grabs the newly-dropped hook and uses his vampire strength to stab the sharp end of the hook into Buck's back, right between his shoulder blades. Buck cries out in pain as Damon prepares to feed him to the Armory Monster]


[Damon grabs the remote again and uses it to pull the still-struggling Buck into the air by the hook as he groans in agony. Damon then walks over to a lever and pulls it to open the door, revealing a single metal ladder ascending from the large tank of bloody water. Finally, Damon pushes the button to drop Buck into the water, and after a few moments, Buck resurfaces and splashes around as he pleads for help. Enzo, who has just disposed of Cindy's body, walks over to stand next to Damon as they both watch Buck's last moments of life; Buck's skin and hair are gray, as though all color has been leeched out of them, and both Enzo and Damon stand emotionlessly as they watch the scene before them]

BUCK: Help, help me!

[Suddenly, Buck is yanked under the water once again, and bone crunching and gurgling noises can be heard from below the surface-- Enzo flinches and turns away, but Damon seems unperturbed by the man's death. Enzo looks at Damon as he pushes the button to pull up the hook again, which only has a small chunk of flesh attached to it, indicating that the Armory Monster ate the rest of Buck's body]

ENZO: Want to watch some TV?
DAMON: Nah, I was just gonna read for a little while.
ENZO: All right. Night, then.

[Enzo turns to walk away, presumably to wherever his living quarters are, and Damon smiles politely at him before staring back at the bloodstained water in front of him]

DAMON: Night.

[Once Enzo is gone, Damon's smile vanishes]


Salvatore Boarding House / Bonnie's Safe House

[At the SALVATORE BOARDING HOUSE, Caroline and Stefan are in Stefan's bed, where they are passionately having sex]

[At BONNIE'S SAFE HOUSE, Bonnie is narrating her diary entry for Elena in voiceover while she plays Enzo's guitar on the couch]

BONNIE: [in voiceover] Dear Elena... For the next week, you'll be reading updates from me. Caroline, Stefan and I decided that only one person should write about our epic failure at the time. Believe me, you won't wanna read three versions of the same sad story when you wake up. The search for Damon and Enzo goes on and on we're no closer to knowing where they are, or who, or what took them.

[Bonnie strums her guitar a little too hard and breaks her low E string. She pulls up the broken end with her hand and looks at it glumly before scrunching up her face in an effort not to cry]

BONNIE: [in voiceover] We promised each other we'll find a way to steal small moments of normal every day. It's how we all stay sane.

[After a moment, Bonnie shoves the guitar away from her and buries her face in her hands]

[The scene cut back to the SALVATORE BOARDING HOUSE, where Stefan and Caroline are engaging in post-coital cuddling. Caroline seems to be asleep as Stefan gently rubs her arm]

BONNIE: [in voiceover] But it's just you and me talking right now and I need to tell you, it's hard. It's the hardest thing I've had to do in my whole life.

[Back at BONNIE'S SAFE HOUSE, Bonnie continues to struggle to hold back tears as she's transported to a FLASHBACK of her and Enzo at some point during Bonnie's time living in the safe house with him. Enzo is at the island, where he is preparing a meal, while Bonnie attempts to play the guitar on the couch]

ENZO: Darling, your guitar playing would send Odysseus sailing in the other direction.
BONNIE: [playfully] No idea what that means, but screw you.

[Bonnie, still learning how to play the guitar, hits the strings and causes them to squeak and screech until the low E string breaks, just like in the present. After a moment, Enzo laughs aloud and rushes over to where she is sitting]

ENZO: Right, let me save you from yourself.

[Bonnie makes a faux-pouty face as she hands him the guitar with a chuckle]

BONNIE: I broke it.

[Enzo gives her an affectionate look as he grabs his tools to fix the broken strings]

ENZO: Have you really never read The Odyssey?
BONNIE: [smirks] Is that the one with Helen of Troy?
ENZO: [amused] Not quite.

[Enzo, who has restrung the guitar, hands it back to Bonnie with a smile, and she smiles back at him with affection as she takes the guitar and prepares to resume her practice]

BONNIE: Thank you.

[The scene briefly cuts back to the PRESENT DAY, where Bonnie continues to reminisce with a tear-streaked face. The scene then cuts back to the FLASHBACK, where Bonnie is kneeling on the couch and hanging over the back to prop her elbows on the table where Enzo continues to prepare their meal]

BONNIE: [flirtatiously] How can you love such a terrible guitar player?
ENZO: Because one day you'll play like a Siren, and on that day, I know you'll love me forever.
BONNIE: [curiously] Why's that?
ENZO: Only true love can make you conquer your absolute lack of skill.

[Bonnie makes a face and shoves him playfully as Enzo grabs her by the back of the head to pull her closer]

ENZO: Come here.

[Enzo and Bonnie begin to passionately make out]

[In the PRESENT DAY, Bonnie stares blankly into space with tears continuing to fall down her cheeks]

Salvatore Boarding House

[Stefan has just changed into a tank top and his jeans and is laying on the bed while Caroline flits around the bedroom, talking animatedly about Seline, her and Alaric's new nanny while she continues to get dressed]

CAROLINE: And then she cut their sandwiches into the shapes of little hearts and stars, with no crust!
STEFAN: That's cute.

[Caroline makes a face at him, and Stefan starts to reconsider his comments]

STEFAN: ...Isn't it?
CAROLINE: I'm just saying, if Ric had hired the old lady nanny, then my kids wouldn't be wasting perfectly good parts of the sandwich. Millions of people in this world go hungry every single day while our hot nanny is getting all sparkly with their food.

[Stefan gives Caroline a knowing look]

STEFAN: Sounds like you're worried she's getting "sparkly" with Ric.
CAROLINE: [scoffs] Well, yeah! He's running the Armory every minute he's away from Lizzie and Josie, sleeping on a futon and probably not eating full square meals.

[Stefan smirks sarcastically]

STEFAN: Ooh, maybe... he's eating the sandwich crusts.
CAROLINE: What I mean is, he's susceptible to hot nanny charms! We need to look out for him, you know? He's in a delicate place.

[Caroline finishes getting dressed and walks over to Stefan, who has stood to his feet and walked toward her as well]

CAROLINE: What's on deck for today?

[Stefan's expression is glum as he and Caroline stand face to face]

STEFAN: Well, I'm going back over all the Central State Missing Person Reports for the last four weeks to see if I missed a pattern.
CAROLINE: Great, I will follow up with the local affiliates. Maybe today will be better.

[Stefan doesn't seem very optimistic, but he also doesn't seem to want to tell Caroline this, so he simply smiles weakly]


[The two kiss for a long moment before they pull away]


[Caroline is about to leave as she pulls out her phone, but when she see something on the screen, she immediately stops in her tracks and spins around to face Stefan again]

CAROLINE: Stefan, they found a body!

[Caroline rushes toward Stefan to show him the news alert]

CAROLINE: All those people that we've been tracking, and now there's a body. That's good, right?

[Stefan finally allows himself to feel a tiny bit hopeful about this lead]

STEFAN: It's better than yesterday.

Forbes House / The Armory

[Josie and Lizzie are video-chatting with Alaric, who is at the Armory, on a tablet as they sit on the couch]

JOSIE: Daddy, when can we come to work and see your toys?
ALARIC: You can come see the toys when you turn eighteen. Will you put Seline on, please?

[Seline, the new nanny Caroline mentioned earlier, walks into the room with a smile as she addresses the twins]

SELINE: Okay, you two, go get your swimsuits.

[After Josie and Lizzie run off to do as they're told, Seline gets on the video call to talk to Alaric herself]

SELINE: I blew through Caroline's Monday to-do list. Anything else you need?

[Alaric's response is partially serious and partially joking]

ALARIC: Uh, just one more of you... Any chance you're a doppelgänger?

[Seline makes a confused face]

SELINE: Should I know what that is?
ALARIC: [chuckles] Not even remotely.

[Alaric sees Dorian, a young man in his early-mid 20s, gesturing for Alaric to follow him, and he nods in understanding before turning back to his call with Seline]

ALARIC: Hey, one of my interns is summoning me, I have to go. Make sure no one drowns.
SELINE: Got it.

[Alaric hangs up and pockets his phone as he stands to his feet and approaches Dorian]

ALARIC: You got something?
DORIAN: We got something. Come on.

[Dorian gestures toward Alaric to follow him as the two walk toward the Armory's vault. He begins to explain to Alaric what he's been doing as they turn down a dark hallway]

DORIAN: Georgie and I have been playing around in the vault for a couple weeks now, trying to figure out how someone could get out of it without anyone seeing. Now, she told me I shouldn't show you what we found until you tell us what supernatural thing escaped from it.

[Alaric briefly looks uncomfortable before quickly putting on his poker face and lying about his true motives]

ALARIC: I told you, it's just a theoretical exercise. I've been running this place for only a couple months now, and I just want to know all about its nooks and crannies.

[It's obvious that Dorian doesn't believe him, but he doesn't push the issue]

DORIAN: Yeah, right.

[Dorian and Alaric make it to the entrance to the Armory's vault, where Georgie, a young woman who is about Dorian's age, is blindfolded and wearing thick, sound-cancelling headphones, is feeling the stone wall. Dorian lightly taps her on the shoulder, startling her so badly that she immediately rips off her blindfold and headphones as she curses under her breath and turns to face them]

GEORGIE: Mother of...!

[She realizes it's Dorian and Alaric and immediately takes a nicer tone of voice as she fake-smiles at Dorian]

GEORGIE: Dorian, uh... We need to find a better signal.
DORIAN: Or you need to be less jumpy.

[Georgie rolls her eyes before turning her attention to Alaric]

GEORGIE: So? Did you spill any secrets?
ALARIC: [sighs] There are no secrets to spill, I told you, this is just a--
GEORGIE: [cuts him off] --Theoretical exercise. Yeah, got it. So, are you ready for us to theoretically blow your mind?

[Alaric's expression is visibly uneasy as he pauses and looks back and forth between Dorian and Georgie, both of whom look very excited about what they have to show him]

ALARIC: ...I think so?

[Dorian playfully smacks Alaric on the arm with his hand before he walks toward the stone wall that Georgie was just touching]

DORIAN: All right, so check it, every little crevice in here leads nowhere, right? Just walls, dirt and dead-ends. No one's getting out without a spoon and a hundred years of digging.

[Georgie unties the blindfold from around her head and holds it in front of Alaric's face]


[Instead of waiting for an answer, Georgie goes right ahead and blindfolds Alaric while she talks]

GEORGIE: So, my cousin had this thing where she lost her hearing and eyesight real young, but she became brilliant at finding her way around because all her other senses were so heightened. Which got me thinking-- come this way.

[Georgie takes Alaric by the hands and leads him toward the same stone wall]

GEORGIE: There we go.
DORIAN: All right, now you're gonna let your fingers do the walking.

[Georgie takes the noise-cancelling headphones from around her neck and is about to put them on Alaric before she almost seductively whispers in his ears]

GEORGIE: Go ahead. Find your way out.

[With the noise-cancelling headphones on, Georgie gently pushes Alaric toward the stone wall, and he starts to run his fingertips across the stone to try to figure out what he's looking for. After a moment, he seems to sense something and frowns]

ALARIC: What is this?

[Alaric takes a step forward and walks straight through the stone wall as though it was simply an illusion, much to Dorian and Georgie's excitement]

DORIAN: He's got it.

[The two fist-pump in the air before giving each other double high-fives]

Abandoned Slaughterhouse

[In the abandoned slaughterhouse where Damon and Enzo have been feeding the Armory monster, Damon is sitting in a chair on the metal grate above the monster's tank, where he's reading Fifty Shades of Gray by E.L. James. After a moment, Enzo comes in and approaches Damon with a neutral expression]

ENZO: Dumped the girl.
DAMON: Why? She could have been dessert.
ENZO: You know the rules. Last night was pushing it-- it wants real evil, not these lightweight losers we've been feeding it.

[Damon rolls his eyes and replies in a sarcastic tone, though he doesn't take his attention away from the book he's reading]

DAMON: Yeah, you should get on that.

[Enzo looks at him with a mixture of exasperation and annoyance]

ENZO: I'm trying! Which is more than you're doing.
DAMON: [scoffs] Hey, this is a really good book.

[Enzo sighs and begins to pace back and forth over the grate next to the opening where the bodies are dropped into the Armory monster's tank]

ENZO: How long is this bad-guy slaughter going to last? How many more bodies will it take before this is over?

[Damon gives Enzo a pointed look that indicates that Enzo is about to cross a line as he responds in a quiet, sing-songy voice]

DAMON: It can hear you...

[Enzo rolls his eyes in annoyance]

ENZO: It can get into our minds. It knows how I feel.
DAMON: Well, there's no reason to go out of your way to aggravate it.

[Enzo sighs again and rolls his shoulders and neck as though he's anxious and tense before looking at Damon with curiosity and concern]

ENZO: Do you have any control left?

[Enzo anxiously rubs his brow with his hand]

ENZO: Me, I'm down to about... I don't know, two percent?

[Damon continues to speak without taking his gaze off of his book]

DAMON: No free will needed-- I have flipped my switch. Humanity off. I'm on full cruise-control. I recommend it.

[Enzo's reaction to this news is part-incredulity, part-skepticism]

ENZO: Oh, so you really have nothing left inside?
DAMON: [drolly] Just my winning sense of humor and a renewed appreciation for chick-lit.

[Suddenly, the bloody water in the tank starts to gurgle and bubble, indicating that the Armory monster is displeased with their conversation. Enzo, annoyed and frustrated, turns toward the tank and starts to yell at it]

ENZO: I'm sorry, did we wake you? When does this end?! How many more bodies 'til you're full?
DAMON: [irritably] Yelling never gets you anything. Try asking nicely.

[Damon takes advantage of the fact that Enzo has his back turned to him and kicks him behind the knees, causing Enzo to fall face-first into the tank. Damon goes back to reading his book as Enzo gasps and allows his head to break through the surface of the water long enough to glare at his humanity-less friend before the monster grabs him by the face with its clawed, skeletal hands. The contact causes Enzo to scream in agony as it delves into his mind before yanking him under the water. Finally, after a long moment, Enzo flies out of the water and grabs the edge of the tank's opening as he glares at Damon furiously. Damon, however, is completely unperturbed as he lifts his head up from his book and smirks at Enzo]

DAMON: Get an answer?

[Enzo says nothing and simply glares at Damon even harder as he returns to his book]

Wooded Trail

[Stefan and Bonnie are walking through the woods as he fills her in on the new information he got from Caroline earlier]

STEFAN: Look, I know it's not much, but it's a lead, I mean, all those missing people along the trail we've been following, and this is the first time a body has surfaced.
BONNIE: [glumly] Probably because it has nothing to do with what we're looking for.

[Stefan stops walking and turns toward Bonnie so he can look her in the eyes]

STEFAN: Yeah, well, I can't let myself think like that. I have to treat every single clue like it's the one that's gonna lead us to them.

[Bonnie sighs and looks at Stefan with an exhausted and pained expression]

BONNIE: Stefan... every time we do this, I let myself hope a little. And when we end up back at zero, my heart crushes in on itself a little bit more. I don't know how much my heart has left, you know?
STEFAN: Bonnie, no one-- not Caroline, not Elena, no one-- knows how to fight longer or harder or better than you. If you give up, I won't have anything left to hold on to. Please don't give up.

[This remark seems to truly touch Bonnie, and after a moment, her expression softens into a weak smile]

BONNIE: Of course. But... don't ask me to have hope. Hope hurts, and I don't want to hurt anymore.

[Stefan nods in understanding]

The Armory-- Secret Vault Passage

[Dorian and Georgie have just joined Alaric in the secret passage of the vault, where the three are removing their sensory-deprivation aids and looking around the stone cavern in wonder. Alaric especially seems to be in awe of this discovery]

ALARIC: I can't believe you guys found this...
DORIAN: It's an optical illusion. You can't see or hear your way out.
GEORGIE: Your sense of touch has to be completely isolated. Bananas, right?

[Alaric nods as he looks around the small antechamber where they're standing, taking in the tunnel that begins across from them]

ALARIC: So where's the tunnel go?
DORIAN: We don't know yet. That's why you're here.

[Alaric looks momentarily alarmed and scared about the prospect of investigating the tunnel, especially considering the dangers that could be awaiting them. After a moment, Georgie, uneasy about Alaric's hesitation, speaks up]

GEORGIE: Unless you're, like... claustrophobic or something?

[Alaric's curiosity eventually wins out, and he once again hides his trepidation from his interns]

ALARIC: No, no. Let's just start walking.

[Alaric, Dorian, and Georgie set off down the tunnel to investigate this new secret]

Television News Station

[Seline has just brought Josie and Lizzie to the station where Caroline is at work. The girls rush toward Caroline and give her big hugs as Caroline showers them with affection]

CAROLINE: Hey! Hi! Hi, girls...

[When Caroline sees Seline behind them, she greets the woman as well, though it's clear her earlier distrust of her is still an issue despite Caroline's best efforts to hide it]

SELINE: Sorry we're early.
CAROLINE: Oh, it's okay!

[Seline suddenly remembers something and pulls out a thumb drive]

SELINE: Oh, some guy named Pete from Sound dropped this off for you a few minutes ago.

[Caroline seems eager to see what is on this thumb drive and gratefully takes it from her]

CAROLINE: Thank you.
SELINE: No problem. You guys all good while I go grab a salad?
CAROLINE: Yep. Enjoy your salad. Bye.

[After Seline leaves, Caroline makes a snarky comment under her breath as she leans over the chair to look at the computer on her desk]

CAROLINE: She probably likes kale, too.

[The twins, who have heard this comment, look at Caroline curiously]

LIZZIE: What's kale?

[Caroline smiles weakly]

CAROLINE: You don't want to know.

[Caroline takes the thumb drive and puts it into the USB port on her computer so she can try to see what is on it. The drive as a video stored in the memory, which Caroline opens and starts to watch. After a moment, the twins, who have been watching their surrogate mother work, speak up]

JOSIE: What movie is that, Mommy?

[Caroline hesitates for a moment before she thinks of a child-appropriate way to explain the video to her daughters]

CAROLINE: This is a work movie that Mommy's been waiting for. The sound was broken, so Pete had to fix it.

[The video is of Enzo's interview with Virginia in jail, though the audio is still pretty quiet as Caroline points out the various characters]

CAROLINE: All right, that is Aunt Bonnie's friend Enzo. This is a movie about him trying to learn about...

[Caroline pauses for a moment as she struggles for a descriptive term for what is going on]

CAROLINE: ...A magical creature. And that is Princess Virginia St. John, who used to be locked in a tower, and she's the only one in the whole kingdom who knows the secrets of the creature we're looking for. But the princess escaped, and now no one can find her.

[In the video, Enzo is interrogating Virginia about the Armory monster]

ENZO: [on-screen] Now, tell me what it is.

[Suddenly, a loud screeching noise is heard, causing the twins and Caroline to cover their ears with their hands before Caroline stops the video]

LIZZIE: Too loud.

[Caroline, whose enhanced hearing caused the sound to be especially painful to her, nods and gives them an apologetic smile]

CAROLINE: Oh, yeah, sorry.

[The rest of the audio in the video seems to be unavailable, and after a moment, Josie groans]

JOSIE: The movie's boring, Mommy.

[Caroline smiles at the twins apologetically]

CAROLINE: Well, it's not boring. It's just... broken.

[Caroline sighs as she tries to think about what to do about this broken video]

Secret Vault Passage

[Alaric, Georgie, and Dorian are continuing to explore the secret passage in the Armory's vault, though Dorian is several paces behind them. After a moment, Georgie looks at Alaric with concern as she speaks up while Alaric leads them through the tunnel by using his cell phone as a flashlight]

GEORGIE: What was that back there? I've never seen an archaeologist afraid to explore a tunnel.
ALARIC: I am not an archaeologist.

[Georgie scoffs and gives Alaric a look]

GEORGIE: Come on, you're practically Indiana Jones.
ALARIC: Yeah, that's the former me, before I had two daughters who expect me to come home in one piece. Uh, the new me is an academic geek only. Dad-me. Now, I like to avoid dangerous situations. Plus, you know, if you've been doing this as long as I have, you learn that rarely is a secret tunnel just a tunnel.

[They make their way to a dead end, where they find a seam in the stone wall, leading Alaric to realize that there is something hidden there]

ALARIC: Okay, watch your step.

[Alaric walks toward the seam, which is created by a wall of large stones stacked together, and starts pulling the stones away to reveal a secret wooden door hidden behind them. This causes Alaric to gesture toward the door as though he's just been proven right]

ALARIC: Case in point.

[Alaric kicks down the door, allowing himself, Georgie, and Dorian to walk into yet another hidden chamber. When they use their flashlights to look around, all of their eyes widen in shock and awe at the sight of tables and shelves full of artifacts]

DORIAN: What is this?
ALARIC: Looks like a geek gold mine.

[Alaric laughs happily as he takes everything in]

Crime Scene

[Stefan and Bonnie have just arrived at the crime scene of the murder that Caroline had told Stefan about earlier that morning. The two find an investigator and immediately walk over to him, though he is not at all pleased by their intrusion]

STEFAN: Excuse me.

[The investigator, who is kneeling in front of the front bumper of the car at the center of the crime scene, groans in annoyance and frustration and stands to his feet as Stefan and Bonnie approach him]

INVESTIGATOR: Oh, come on! It took me four hours to get control of the scene from the local idiots, and now they're letting press past the tape?

[Stefan impatiently stares the man in the eyes and compels him to comply with their demands]

STEFAN: We're not press. We're not anyone, but tell us what you know.

[The investigator still looks annoyed, but he does as he was commanded to do as he leads the two toward the car, where the female victim that Damon and Enzo captured the previous evening has been bound to the front of the car he was examining earlier. Her wrists are tied to either side of the hood, and her legs are bent so that her knees are on the ground with her legs tucked under the car. Her head lolls lifelessly on her shoulder, and blood covers her neck and chest from where Enzo fed on her]

INVESTIGATOR: Female victim, strangled, then exsanguinated, or maybe vice versa. Now brace yourselves, it ain't pretty. We found blood on the grille, not matching her type-- blood in the road over there, also not her type. Her car is dented, like she hit a deer. Maybe a mountain lion.

[Stefan makes a face when he realizes the similarities between this case and his brother's preferred way of finding victims on whom to feed]

STEFAN: Or a person...
INVESTIGATOR: Teeth marks above the collarbone, ligatures on her neck from the wire...

[Bonnie takes a closer look at the neck of the victim and looks shocked when she sees how thin the ligature marks are. Her voice is barely a whisper when she finally speaks after a long moment]

BONNIE: That's not wire... It's guitar string.

Television News Station / Crime Scene / Forbes House

[Caroline is still at work at the NEWS STATION, looking up information on the case while she talks to Stefan, who is still at the CRIME SCENE, about what he learned. She has apparently just pulled up a map of the area and is reporting the details about what she's found to Stefan]

CAROLINE: It's just a lot of empty land. Farms.
STEFAN: The gas odometer only had three miles on it. That's strange-- maybe that means something?

[Caroline uses the search engine on her Macbook to look up news stories about the neighborhood]

CAROLINE: There was a news story about this area a couple months ago. Some locals cried miracle when a nearby creek ran red with blood. Turns out there's a slaughterhouse with a drainage issue nearby. They closed it down.
STEFAN: How far from the crime scene?

[Caroline types in more information to look up the answer to his question]

CAROLINE: Exactly three miles.
STEFAN: I'll go check it out. I'll call you back.

[Caroline nods as they both hang up the phone. Caroline, intrigued by this new lead, goes back to the video of Enzo's interrogation of Virginia St. John from earlier and watches it again]

ENZO: [on-screen] Tell me what it is!

[Just then, the feedback in the video screeches loudly once again, and Caroline winces in pain as she turns it off]


[Suddenly, Caroline's phone rings, and when she sees its Seline calling her from the FORBES HOUSE, she quickly answers it with an apologetic tone of voice]

CAROLINE: Hey, I'm walking out the door right now.

[Seline smiles as she works on preparing dinner in the kitchen]

SELINE: Oh, no, no rush. You're not late yet.

[Seline hesitates for a brief second before she continues]

SELINE: But have you heard from Alaric? His phone's been going straight to voicemail all afternoon.
CAROLINE: I haven't, but I can try his office, hold on. Is everything okay?
SELINE: Oh, yeah, fine. The girls are playing hide and seek, only where they both hide and no one seeks.

[Seline sets aside the large kitchen knife she was using to chop up vegetables on the cutting board and picks up the full bowl to take it to the stove]

CAROLINE: Yeah, check their closet. It's their go-to.

[Caroline keeps her cell on speaker with Seline and uses the office landline phone to call Alaric's office]

BRODY: It's Brody.
CAROLINE: Hey, Brody, it's Caroline. I'm looking for Ric, is he around?

[Just then, at the FORBES HOUSE, Seline hears the front door open and breathes a sigh of relief]

SELINE: Oh, wait. Here he is.

[At the NEWS STATION, Caroline nods in acknowledgement of Seline's statement as she continues to talk to Brody on the office line. Seline picks up her own cell phone, which is also on speaker, and carries it with her to the front door]

CAROLINE: Okay, thanks, just... Can you have him call me when he gets out?
BRODY: Okay, I will.
CAROLINE: Okay, bye.

[Caroline hangs up the office phone and returns to her call with Seline, who has just walked to the front door of the FORBES HOUSE to find it wide open. She frowns in concern as she takes a look around]

CAROLINE: Yeah, Seline, he's okay. He's just geeking out on the job.
SELINE: That's weird. You don't think the girls would leave the house, do you?
CAROLINE: [frowns] Why? What's wrong?

[Seline remains silent as she walks out onto the porch and takes one more look around before frowning in concern and walking back into the house, shutting the door behind her as she returns to her call with Caroline]

SELINE: The front door just blew open. I thought it was Ric, but...

[Seline returns to the kitchen and looks terrified when she sees that the kitchen knife she was using has disappeared]

SELINE: Caroline... someone's in the house.

[Caroline's eyes widen in alarm]


[Just then, a mysterious person appears behind Seline and slits her throat with the kitchen knife. When Seline begins to choke and gasp as she falls to the floor, it is revealed that her assailant is Virginia, who smirks in satisfaction before she sets off to look for the girls, who are still hiding in the closet as Caroline guessed earlier. When Caroline doesn't get a response, she wastes no time vamp-speeding out of the NEWS STATION so she can return to the FORBES HOUSE to check things out]

[After the break, Virginia, still clutching the knife in her hand, walks up the stairs before quickly opening a nearby bedroom door and peeking inside. When she sees no one inside, she closes it and returns to the upstairs hall, where she hears the twins giggle in one of the nearby rooms and walks toward the source of the sound. She has just entered the girls' bedroom when she hears the giggling again and realizes she's in the right place, but before she can act further, Caroline vamp-speeds behind her and slams Virginia's head into the nearby framed painting, causing her temple to smash through the glass before she falls to the floor. Caroline then wastes no time rushing toward the closet, throwing the doors open and parting the hanging clothes to find both Josie and Lizzie sitting side-by-side on the floor. They look up at her with an innocent expression and smile at her]

LIZZIE: Hi, Mommy.

[Caroline breaths a sigh of relief and smiles back at them]

CAROLINE: Hi, babies. Don't move, okay? Stay here.

[Caroline quickly shuts the closet doors again and breaths another sigh of relief as she leans back against the doors, giving herself a moment to pull herself together before she glares angrily at Virginia's unconscious body. The scene then cuts to Caroline dragging Virginia downstairs to the kitchen, letting her drop onto the floor in the foyer before she rushes into the kitchen to try to revive Seline, who is miraculously still alive. Caroline quickly bites into her wrist and holds her bleeding wound to Seline's mouth to heal her]

CAROLINE: Come on. Come on!

[Against all odds, Seline is able to drink the blood, and after a long moment, she finally gasps into consciousness, much to Caroline's relief]

CAROLINE: [sighs] Good.

[Seline props herself up on her elbows and looks around, quickly becoming alarmed at the large puddle of blood around her]

The Amory's Vault

[Georgie has just returned to the chamber in the Armory vault to find Alaric still looking around in awe at everything they have found]

GEORGIE: Dorian's bringing more work lights.
ALARIC: This room is wild. I mean, anything subterranean should have evidence of erosion. The moisture from the earth alone should have eaten through most of these artifacts, but everything is perfectly preserved.
GEORGIE: Yeah. Just like in the pyramids.

[The two walk around the chamber, and Georgie groans when she sees a human skeleton, still clothes, laying in a nearby corner]

GEORGIE: Oh, boy. Except for that guy... whoever he was.

[Alaric frowns at the sight of the skeleton and is taken aback for a moment until he finally snaps himself out of it]

ALARIC: I wouldn't touch that. Let's just leave everything alone. I mean, if everything has been undisturbed for as long as I think it has, I'd hate to expose these artifacts until we seal the space.

[Georgie gives Alaric a look that makes it clear that she is both physically and romantically attracted to him]

GEORGIE: Your geek brain makes you super hot, you know that?

[Alaric clears his throat and is obviously caught off-guard by this comment. His demeanor is awkward when he responds to her remark]

ALARIC: Uh, Georgie... don't think that I don't appreciate it, but I'm pretty much closed for business. You know, it's just me and my kids and no distractions.
GEORGIE: Dad-you.
ALARIC: Yeah, yeah. Exactly.
GEORGIE: Well, that's a shame. I had to try. Sexy dark tunnel, magical room, et cetera.

[Suddenly, Dorian rushes in and gives Alaric an urgent look]

DORIAN: Professor S, Caroline's been calling. Says it's an emergency.

Abandoned Slaughterhouse / Crime Scene

[Stefan, who has just arrived at the ABANDONED SLAUGHTERHOUSE where Damon and Enzo have been staying and where Caroline just directed him, is on the phone with Bonnie, who stayed behind at the CRIME SCENE in case they learn any new details]

STEFAN: I just walked in.
BONNIE: They're still processing the scene. It shouldn't be much longer.

[Bonnie frowns when she sees the investigator pull a small, white object out of the female victim's ear and calls out to him, momentarily ignoring her conversation with Stefan]

BONNIE: What is that?
INVESTIGATOR: Looks like candle wax.

[Stefan, concerned about Bonnie's silence, speaks up again]

STEFAN: Everything okay?

[The sight of the candle wax seems to have stirred something in Bonnie's memory, and she prepares to leave to join Stefan at the ABANDONED SLAUGHTERHOUSE]

BONNIE: I'm on my way.

[Stefan and Bonnie hang up, allowing Stefan to walk through strips of plastic sheeting hanging from a doorway, where he is stunned by the sight of the remains of the victims that Damon and Enzo have been feeding to the Armory monster. Alarmed and visibly uneasy, Stefan slowly walks further into the slaughterhouse and hesitantly calls out for his brother]

STEFAN: Damon?

[Stefan continues to slowly walk into the slaughterhouse, eventually stepping onto the grate over the tank full of bloody water where the Armory monster lives. Suddenly, Damon's voice is heard, and the sound of it causes Stefan to look up from the tank]

DAMON: Stefan.

[Stefan is stunned to see Damon, wearing his signature black leather jacket from the first season, staring at him with a smirk, though his smile doesn't reach his eyes, making it clear that he's not as carefree as he is pretending to be]

DAMON: Hello, brother.

[After the break, the scene returns to the ABANDONED SLAUGHTERHOUSE, where Damon has turned away from Stefan and is walking toward a mop and a bucket full of soapy water, which he begins to use to mop up the floor. Stefan walks off of the grate platform toward his brother, clearly confused and incredibly concerned about his brother's disappearance and current behavior]

STEFAN: What is all this? What are you doing?
DAMON: Daily chores.

[Damon continues to mop up the floor without looking at Stefan, which only makes him more worried]

STEFAN: What was in that vault, Damon? What has a hold of you?
DAMON: [sighs] Eh, it doesn't matter what has me. Only that I've been had. You should be proud of me. Killing bad people.
STEFAN: Where's Enzo?

[Realizing that Stefan knows more about what is going on than he should, Damon starts to become impatient and frustrated by Stefan's insistence and finally turns to face him]

DAMON: Go home, Stefan. We're all good here.
STEFAN: In a slaughterhouse?
DAMON: Surrounded by death. It's who we are, brother. It's who we've been for 160-some years. I know you think it's still worth the fight to live the illusion of your heroic life, but I'm officially done.
STEFAN: You flipped your switch, didn't you?

[Damon rolls his eyes and continues mopping]

DAMON: Always the quick one.
STEFAN: I can help you get your humanity back.
DAMON: I know you can, and I don't want it. I've seen how this ends, and believe me, humanity can't save me from it.
STEFAN: What are you talking about?

[When Damon answers his question, his tone of voice is emotionless and quiet, which does nothing to reassure Stefan]

DAMON: I'm talking about hell, brother. Not the kind of hell that traps you in a stone. Fire-and-brimstone hell. I've seen it. I met it up close. Tasted it, touched it. It's beyond its reputation.

[Stefan is now more worried than he's ever been since the revelation that Damon and Enzo had vanished and starts to walk toward him]

STEFAN: You're not making any sense.

[Damon sighs, both out of exhaustion and frustration]

DAMON: Okay.

[Damon pauses as though someone is talking to him, indicating that he's getting a telepathic message from the Armory monster]

DAMON: You need to go, it doesn't want you yet. Walk out of here with your hero hair intact, and never come back.

[Stefan stands his ground and stares at Damon with a stubborn expression]

STEFAN: Not without you.

Forbes House

[Caroline is in the middle of compelling Seline to forget everything that has just happened to her, including her near-death experience and Caroline healing her with her blood. She has helped Seline change into some of her own clothes, since the ones Seline was wearing were covered in her blood from having her throat slit, and Caroline is cheerfully buttoning up her sweater as she prepares to send her off with the girls]

CAROLINE: Okay, so obviously, this is a little bit awkward, but after a good night's sleep, you should wake up none-the-wiser. The girls are in the car. After dinner, take them for ice cream. Be gone at least two hours. Got it?

[When the compulsion kicks in, Seline smiles in a dazed fashion]

SELINE: We'll get some hot fudge sundaes.
CAROLINE: Yeah. Okay.

[Caroline physically turns Seline toward the door and helps her to the car before waiting for her to leave with the twins. Once they're gone, Caroline's expression turns steely and cold as she turns back to go into the study, where she has bound the unconscious Virginia to a chair. Virginia is barely starting to stir as she regains consciousness when Caroline loudly speaks up to rouse her]

CAROLINE: Wake up!

[Virginia's head rolls on her shoulders as she continues to awaken, but it happens too slowly for Caroline's liking, causing her to viciously slap Virginia across the face]

CAROLINE: I said wake up.

[Virginia finally opens her eyes and stares at Caroline with loathing, but Caroline is too angry and worried about her daughters to care about her well-being]

CAROLINE: You have thirty seconds to explain why you came after my kids. And then 30 more seconds to answer a few questions about that stupid vault.

[Caroline takes a deep breath to calm herself down before she continues]

VIRGINIA: You let them open the vault. I told you not to open it.

[Caroline rolls her eyes in annoyance]

CAROLINE: Yeah, well, joke's on us! Fifteen seconds.
VIRGINIA: It has come... for them...

[Virginia suddenly gasps sharply and closes her mouth as though she's dry-heaving, which Caroline assumes is just a ploy to get out of talking]

CAROLINE: No, no, we are not playing this game.

[Caroline grabs her roughly by the hair and pulls her head back]

CAROLINE: What is it?! What does it want with my children?!

[Virginia continues to retch with her mouth closed, and it almost looks as though she's chewing on something. Caroline, beginning to lose patience, continues to yell at her]


[Suddenly, Virginia begins to spit up blood before she gags and coughs up something red, which flies across the room. Caroline takes one look at it and nearly retches herself when she realizes what it is]

CAROLINE: Oh, my God. That's your tongue.

Abandoned Slaughterhouse

[Bonnie has just arrived at the slaughterhouse and is slowly and quietly following the sound of Damon and Stefan's conversation in an attempt to enter without being noticed. Meanwhile, Stefan is desperately trying to reason with Damon, with no success]

STEFAN: Don't do anything you might regret. Think about Elena.
DAMON: I'm trying to explain to you, Stefan, Elena doesn't matter to me anymore.
STEFAN: Why? Because you flipped your switch?
DAMON: I ripped the switch off the wall. There is no switch, Stefan, because there is no hope. Every drop of blood I ever spilled, every body I've ever drained, every bad decision I've ever made sealed my fate. My path and Elena's path, they're not the same. Her great beyond is a decidedly happier one than mine. Now for the last time, go.
STEFAN: I said no.

[Stefan vamp-speeds over to the mop, breaking the handle in half before he stabs Damon in the back with it, seemingly knocking him unconscious as he falls to the floor. Bonnie appears behind Stefan, looking at him with concern]

BONNIE: Get him in the car while I find Enzo.
STEFAN: We have to leave. It's not safe.
BONNIE: We're not leaving without Enzo.

[Suddenly, Stefan hears Damon gasp awake and pull the makeshift stake out of his back, causing him to turn to look at Damon, who has vanished. When he turns back to Bonnie, he finds Damon holding her in a headlock. Just then, Enzo appears behind Stefan and calls out to him]

ENZO: You need to leave now, Stefan, before Damon is forced to do something no one is going to like.

[Bonnie struggles against Damon's grip]

BONNIE: Let me go, Damon!

[Enzo looks at Bonnie with a blank expression, but his eyes indicate that there is still a shred of humanity hanging on as he softly pleads with her]

STEFAN: Fine. Let her go, and we'll be on our way.

[After a long moment, Damon lets go of Bonnie, who glares at him angrily]

DAMON: 'Til we meet again, Bon.

[Bonnie turns back to Enzo and tries to reason with him as well, to no avail]

DAMON: Don't you two get it? You think you can win against this thing? You can't. My life is over. My life has been over for a century and a half, Stefan. Since you took it from me.

[This final comment hits Stefan where it hurts, and after some hesitation, Stefan turns back to Bonnie with a devastated expression]

STEFAN: Let's get out of here.

[Stefan and Bonnie leave the slaughterhouse, though it's obvious that they're reluctant to do so]

Forbes House

[Alaric has returned home from work at the Armory, where Caroline is filling him in on everything that happened with Seline and Virginia]

CAROLINE: I tried to heal her, but she just kept bleeding out until she was dead. I couldn't even get any information out of her.

[It's obvious by the look on Alaric's face that he is angry that he was unable to help Caroline protect their daughters]

ALARIC: One tunnel. I decide to go down one simple tunnel, and instead of being available for my kids who are under attack, I'm out of range. I mean, are we doing this all wrong? Should we just never leave their sides for the rest of their lives?
CAROLINE: [chuckles] I don't know. We don't know how to do it right, clearly, or someone wouldn't have tried to assassinate our nanny tonight.
ALARIC: It's because we're divided. I live thirty minutes away in a crappy apartment. We share custody. I'm just too far away to help you out.
CAROLINE: You want to move back into town?
ALARIC: No, I want to move in here.
CAROLINE: Ric... I want us to be a family and a team, yes, but... we can't live together.
ALARIC: Okay, I didn't say I thought you should stay.

[Caroline looks at him with an incredulous expression]

CAROLINE: That's crazy. This is my childhood home! Where am I supposed to go?
ALARIC: You know exactly where you should go. And you've wanted to be there for months now, but out of respect for my feelings, you haven't done it yet.
ALARIC: Caroline, I want you to be happy, okay? I want our girls to be happy. And one of these days, I plan on being happy, too.

[Caroline still looks stunned by what Alaric is suggesting, and his expression softens as he continues]

ALARIC: Look... we can't escape this life, Care. So shouldn't we make sure we're at least living it right?

Bonnie's Safe House

[Stefan and Bonnie are still sitting in Stefan's car outside of Bonnie's safe house, both looking absolutely devastated by what just happened as they remain silent for a long moment before Bonnie finally speaks up]

BONNIE: You haven't said a word. I know that was hard. But that wasn't Enzo. That wasn't Damon. They're not in control. But all those clues... The guitar string and the odometer... Enzo left them for me, I know it. He wanted us to find them. Next time, we'll get them back from whatever it is that has a hold of them.

[Bonnie notices that Stefan's expression is even more devastated than it was before, and she tries to reassure him that they still have a chance to save them]

BONNIE: Not twelve hours ago, you were telling me, have hope. You were right.
STEFAN: [glumly] He said it was my fault. He's said it before, so I don't know why it hurt so much. This time, it feels like... He may never forgive me. Maybe you were right this morning...
BONNIE: No. No, you were right. You told me there was hope. Now, just take a minute, pull yourself together and go find yours.

Bonnie's Safe House (Present-Day and Flashback)

[In a FLASHBACK to some time during Bonnie and Enzo's stay in the safe house, Bonnie and Enzo have a conversation in the main room that picks up right where the previous flashback left off]

ENZO: You really never read The Odyssey?
BONNIE: [amused] Is that the one with Helen of Troy?

[The flashback cuts to later, where the two are snuggled up on the couch as Enzo reads The Odyssey aloud to Bonnie]

ENZO: [reads aloud] "In the meantime, our good ship, with that friendly breeze to drive her, fast approached the Sirens' isle."
BONNIE: Oh. I think I remember this. The Sirens lured the sailors into shore with their song before they ate them.
ENZO: More importantly, this book is one of the greatest love stories of all time.
BONNIE: [giggles] You're an incurable romantic, aren't you?
ENZO: When it comes to you, love, I would never stop fighting. I would brave the oceans and sail past the Sirens to find my way back to you.

[In the PRESENT DAY, Bonnie is in the safe house, recalling the events of the day in flashbacks while Enzo's reading of The Odyssey plays in voiceover. She walks over to the bookshelf and retrieves the book so she can look through it herself]

ENZO: [voiceover] "Meanwhile, I took a large round of wax, cut it up small with my sharp sword, I took all my men in turn and plugged their ears with it."

[Bonnie finds the passage with the aforementioned quote before flashing back to earlier, when she saw the investigator plucking a plug of candle wax out of the victim's ear]

ENZO: [voiceover] "Then they bound me hand and foot, standing me up by the step of the ship's mast and then lashing me to the mast itself."

[Bonnie flashes back to earlier, when she and Stefan were shown the victim, who was bound to the front of their car in the same manner as described in the aforementioned quote. This causes Bonnie, in the present day, to realize that they're dealing with a siren]

Art Show / Abandoned Slaughterhouse

[Damon is standing next to an artist at an ART SHOW, where they both are staring at a red and white painting on the wall]

DAMON: I am a fan of the homegrown art community. You know, the wine is dreadful, but the people are nice.

[The artist nods absentmindedly]

DAMON: You know, I couldn't help but notice in your work that you express a certain... inner struggle. Darkness and light. A burdened brain, if you will. You really enjoy exploring themes of sin and redemption.
ARTIST: Hmm. You're very astute. Not many people in these parts get it.
DAMON: True. But you should know that there is no such thing as redemption, because it only takes one bad day, one bad decision, and then it doesn't matter what you do with the rest of your life, because once the devil comes a-calling-- [Damon clicks his tongue]--you're done. Amazing use of red, by the way.

[Enzo, who has appeared behind Damon and the artist, sighs in annoyance, making it clear that he has much more humanity than he wants to admit]

ENZO: Not every victim needs a monologue.
DAMON: Well, we don't know that he's our guy yet. It might be a misunderstanding. See, here's the thing. My friend here and I have a particularly innate sense of smell, not to mention an immense appreciation for blood, and we just couldn't help but notice that the red that you use-- very liberally, I might add... Maybe a bit too on the nose-- has a very familiar scent.

[Damon inhales sharply and dramatically to emphasize his point before giving the artist a look, staring him intensely in the eyes so he can compel him to do what he wants]

DAMON: Care to explain to my friend and I why you are indeed painting with human blood? And more importantly, what the hell did you do to the person you got it from? Go ahead. Whisper in his ear.

[As the compulsion takes hold, the artist leans over and whispers it into his ear as commanded. When Enzo hears what he did (an atrocity to which the audience is not privy), he makes a face that indicates that it was quite horrific]

ENZO: What is it with Middle America and evil?

[Enzo stares the artist in the eyes and compels him as well]

ENZO: Stay with us. Don't say anything.

[Enzo takes the man by the arm and starts to walk him away when Damon calls out to him and stops him]

DAMON: Enzo.

[Enzo turns to look back at Damon]

DAMON: Little surprised by our family visit tonight. I thought you said we were covering our tracks.

[Enzo does his best to play dumb and pretends to not know what he's talking about]

ENZO: We are.
DAMON: Well, then how the hell did they find us?
ENZO: Beats me, mate. You saw for yourself, it wants me in line, I'm in line.

[Damon stares at Enzo with a strange look that seems to indicate that perhaps Damon, too, his holding onto more humanity than he cares to admit and is doing this more for the safety of his loved ones than a desire to live without guilt or remorse]

DAMON: It can get in your head. And if it knows who you care about, or who you're trying to get back to, well... you know what can happen. You may want to consider flipping your switch, because if you care for nothing, it can see nothing.

[Enzo frowns as he considers this advice and nods in understanding]

ENZO: Hmm.

[Damon walks over to the artist and grabs him by the arm before dragging him toward the door]

DAMON:Come on, boy.

Salvatore Boarding House / Country Roads

[Stefan is in the middle of writing in his diary for Elena at the SALVATORE BOARDING HOUSE as he narrates in voiceover]

STEFAN: [voiceover] Dear Elena, it's not my turn, but I wanted you to hear it from me. I think I've lost him. All I can do is hope that there is one small piece of his mind tucked away someplace safe.

[The scene cuts to the COUNTRY ROAD where Enzo and Damon are driving their newest victim back to the ABANDONED SLAUGHTERHOUSE]

STEFAN: [voiceover] One final sliver of humanity holding on for dear life, buried deep inside.

[While Enzo drives, Damon closes his eyes and allows himself to retreat into a corner of his mind where he keeps his beloved memories of Elena. This particular memory was first seen in The Departed, taking place several months prior to the start of the series, when Elena was on the phone with Bonnie, talking about her relationship with Matt while she waited for her parents to come get her from the bonfire, right before the accident that killed them]

ELENA: [on the phone] I know, Bonnie. You're right. You and my mom both are. I just can't bring myself to tell him. At least not tonight. I'll call you later.

[Elena hangs up just as Damon approaches her, looking at her in awe]

DAMON: Katherine.

[Elena looks uncomfortable and looks around for a moment before she turns back to Damon]

ELENA: Um... no. I... I'm Elena.

[Damon smiles weakly and reaches out to caress Elena's face]

DAMON: Elena. I need you. I don't know how much longer I can fight.
STEFAN: [in voiceover] I won't give up on him. But it's hard to hold on to hope. Hope hurts. Maybe tomorrow will be better.

[Caroline has just arrived at the boarding house, and when Stefan sees her, he gets up from where he was writing and walks toward her to hug and kiss her]


[The two continue to embrace, which leads Caroline to realize it has been a rough day for both of them]

CAROLINE: Bad day?

[Stefan exhales deeply, which answers the question for him. Caroline nods in understanding before she speaks]

CAROLINE: So, I've been thinking... You, alone in this big house... I wonder if maybe... you'd like someone else to fill it?

[Caroline keeps her arms around him but pulls away so they are face-to-face]

CAROLINE: That someone would be me, by the way.

[Caroline chuckles softly before she continues her pitch]

CAROLINE: Living here. With you. I mean, uh, I'm not trying to rush us, but if there's a part of you that might want that...

[Stefan kisses Caroline once again, making it clear that he is in favor of this plan]

Bonnie's Safe House / Forbes House / Abandoned Slaughterhouse

[Bonnie, still at her safe house, is talking to Alaric, who is at the Forbes House, on the phone about what she's learned that day]

BONNIE: He left me all these clues pointing to an old story about the Sirens. You have a few more degrees than I do-- what do you know about them?
ALARIC: There are different origin stories. Uh, Greek pagan mythologies. I mean, all the legends are based in the same idea-- Sirens use mind control to lure their victims to their death. Some say they're messengers of the devil.
BONNIE: Something has control over him. Do you think Sirens could be real?
ALARIC: To be honest, Bonnie, I... I don't know what to think anymore. I suppose every story has to start somewhere.

[They continue their conversation in voiceover as the scene cuts back to the slaughterhouse, where Enzo is dragging the artist toward the tank while Damon follows after them. Bonnie reads the passage from The Odyssey that describes the Sirens]

BONNIE: [voiceover] "They bewitch everybody who approaches them. There is no homecoming for the man who draws near them unawares."

[Damon shoves the steel hook dangling from the ceiling on a chain into the artist's back, and he cries out in pain before he is dropped into the tank to feed the Armory monster]

BONNIE: [voiceover] "With their high clear song, the Sirens bewitch him as they sit there in a meadow piled high with the moldering skeletons of men whose withered skin still hangs upon their bones."
ALARIC: [voiceover] How very poetic.

[At the SLAUGHTERHOUSE, Damon presses the button, pulling the hook out of the tank, which only has a few strips of flesh left on it from the monster's feeding]

BONNIE: [voiceover] Not just poetic, it's real. The bodies I saw., the clues Enzo left. He wants us to know who the enemy is. He wants us to help them fight it.

[Damon and Enzo share a look before shrugging and walking away toward the door. However, after a moment, the water in the tank starts to gurgle before a pale, bloody, feminine-looking hand reaches out of the tank and starts to climb the ladder, revealing a naked female body. The woman begins to sing her Siren song, which causes Damon and Enzo to frown in confusion as they stop in their tracks]

DAMON: What is that?
ENZO: If I had to guess, I'd say it was singing.

[They both turn around to find the blood-soaked woman standing naked on the platform and staring at them seductively. The sight of her causes Damon to smirk in surprise]

DAMON: Well, I guess she finally had enough to eat.


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