|“||I've been thinking a lot about the past lately. How one stupid decision can...Can turn your life into something that you don't recognize. Like it belongs to someone else. I made a mistake, and I lost someone I loved... And I'd do anything to take it back, but I can't. All I can do is...Try and find a way to live with it.||”|
— Bonnie in (flash forward)
A NEW THREAT ON THE HORIZON — After realizing the downward spiral he was on, Damon decides he’s going to turn over a new leaf and that his actions moving forward will do right by Elena. Lily prepares for the arrival of a special figure from her past, while Enzo stands by not sure what to expect. Elsewhere, at Caroline's urging, Stefan comes face-to-face with Valerie and learns some upsetting details about her past, while Enzo and Bonnie find themselves at odds when they're forced to fend off a violent threat. Finally, when Bonnie learns some disturbing information involving the Phoenix stone, she is forced to confront Alaric.
Special Recurring Guest Star
- Antagonists: "Oscar", Lily, Mary Louise, Nora and Beau.
- Valerie informs Stefan about the death of their unborn child. She also tells him that Julian is the reason behind the death of their child.
- Stefan learns that because of Julian, Valerie couldn't meet him as she promised.
- Stefan tells Valerie he will kill Julian for not only her but for what he took from both of them.
- Stefan tells Valerie that he would have wanted a child, and choose not to tell Caroline about his discovery.
- Damon and Stefan find out from Valerie that it was actually their mother's idea to link Elena's life with Bonnie which was executed by Kai in I'll Wed You in the Golden Summertime.
- This was done by Lily in retaliation for their refusal to help her rescue the Heretics from the 1903 Prison World.
- In revenge for her actions, Damon plans to kill Julian in front of her eyes to show her what she inflicted on him, and Bonnie promises to help him.
- Damon tries to kill Lily after finding out she was the reason Kai put Elena under a "Sleeping Beauty" spell but Beau saves her before he can do so.
- The Phoenix Stone does not have the power to raise the dead. Instead, it is filled with the souls of ancient vampires who can be united to a body by magic. Julian's soul was trapped inside after he was killed in 1903.
- Julian is brought back to life with the help of the Phoenix Stone by Nora, Mary Louise and Beau.
- Alaric agrees to help the vampire soul inhabiting Jo's body figure out who she is.
- In 2016, Bonnie is living in a mental institution, and is seeking help in a group. When she returns to her room, she finds Enzo waiting for her. He tells her that things have gotten bad, and that she can no longer hide in her home. They then kiss.
- Julian was last seen in Age of Innocence in flashbacks.
- Beau and Lucy, the maid, were last seen in Never Let Me Go.
- Kai was mentioned twice in this episode. He was last seen in I'm Thinking Of You All The While and last mentioned in Day One of Twenty-Two Thousand, Give or Take.
- Ms. Cuddles was last seen in The Day I Tried To Live.
- Asheville, North Carolina
- McKinley, Virginia
- Mystic Falls, Virginia
Behind the Scenes
- This episode committed the egregious sin of coming in three minutes short. Here’s what you DON’T want to do when your episode is short: stretch it out to make it longer. You can completely destroy an episode if you mess with its rhythm and pace, so we added three new scenes. Tweet me if you can guess.
- The “Casket Emporium” was actually a very small room in our production office with a couple dozen caskets on shelves, made to look like an endless warehouse through the magic of visual effects. Joe “Joe Props” Connelly had to scour the state of Georgia for new and used caskets, which are shockingly expensive. Death is not an inexpensive business. Speaking of (our beloved) Joe Props, his daughter, who was a pre-teen when we started shooting, just started college. Nothing makes you feel prouder (or older) than watching the Crew Kids grow up over the years. Joe has politely requested that we remain on the air another five years until his younger daughter is done with college. Seems like a fair ask.
- Bonnie in group therapy was Rebecca’s first pitch for the flash-forwards. We’ve had a lot of fun, not to mention given ourselves a lot of headaches, pulling it off. A hazard of shooting two timelines on the same day, for example, is nail polish. Kat Graham had a gorgeous gel manicure that works just fine for present-day Bonnie but is terribly incongruous with institutionalized, possibly crazy Bonnie. We had to try to edit around as many of the shots with her hands in them as possible.
- The idea to put Bonnie and Enzo together in the flash-forwards was born out of their scene last season at the door of the Salvatore House where she calls him a “ruiner.” They had such a fun spark and good energy together, we thought it would be an interesting dynamic to explore.
- Live Through This is the second studio album by American alternative rock band Hole. It was released by DGC Records on April 12, 1994, just four days after frontwoman Courtney Love's husband, Kurt Cobain, was found dead in their home. It was Hole's only album to feature bassist Kristen Pfaff before her death in June 1994.
- Grumpy Gus is a generic name to call someone who is being grumpy.
- Damon says: "Wham, bam, thank you, ma'am." which is a verse from David Bowie's song Suffragette City.
- Caroline (to Bonnie): "I just sent my boyfriend to spend the day with his first love. Could be really good for them. Clear all the 19th century drama."
- Caroline: "I just sent my boyfriend to spend the day with his first love."
- Bonnie: "Hey. How's she doing?"
- Alaric: "I don't know. She's been sleeping for twelve hours. That's normal right?"
- Bonnie: "Yesterday, she was dead. Today, she's alive. Not sure normal applies."
- Alaric: "Please tell me that's food."
- Bonnie: "Term papers. They're jamming up your paper box. You are still employed as a professor here."
- Alaric: "Hey. Do you want a job as my new TA? All you have to do is write an interesting point and a few margins and then give everyone a B+."
- Bonnie: "Tempting. But I need to figure out how exactly I brought your wife back to the land of the living."
- Alaric: "Look, she's here. She's okay. What does it matter now?"
- Bonnie: "Because in less than 24 hours, I raised two from the dead with a sketchy spell and something called a Phoenix Stone? No research. No rehearsal time and no contingency plan and now I have a little breathing room.....I want to figure out what kind of magic I was dealing with. Just in case I opened up Pandora's Rock. So can I have it back please?"
- Alaric: "Hey. Hey sweetheart. How you're feeling?"
- Jo: "I'm starving."
- Bonnie: "Is it safe to enter or is your boyfriend still half naked under the sheets?"
- Caroline: "God. I'm a room-mate horror story!"
- Bonnie: "Please. At least you've seem as half naked in the hall this semester. I think Miss. Cuddles is starting to feel sorry for me. I mean look at her! You see how she's judging me?! I need man help!"
- Caroline: "Well don't look at me for advice. I just sent my boyfriend to spend the day with his first love."
- Bonnie: "Valerie? The Heretic who turned your skin into vervain so you and Stefan couldn't touch?"
- Caroline: "Yeah! That would be the one!"
- Bonnie: "Wow....You are either completely insane or the most secure woman in the world."
- Caroline: "I want him to work things out with her. He has this habit of... bottling up all his hurt feelings and I think it would be really good for them if they could just...clear away all the 19th century drama. So they can get on with their lives. Clean slate."
- Bonnie: "Most secure woman it is. I'm officially inspired."
- Caroline: "So you're going out to meet a guy?"
- Bonnie: "No! I'm going to Mystic Falls to discuss magic with a Heretic I just brought back to life....and then I'll go meet a guy."
- Enzo: "Who's Julian?"
- Lily: "He was the love of my life."
- Enzo: "Oh. What's the occasion?"
- Lily: "My mother always used to keep fresh flowers when expecting guests."
- Enzo: "Julian I presume."
- Lily: "Yes. He'll arrive home today if all goes as planned."
- Lily: "So if your asking me to chose between you and Julian..."
- Enzo: "That's.. what I'm asking you."