PROMISES, PROMISES — The Super Squad continues to work on helping Hope, much to her dismay. MG makes a last-ditch effort at helping the Super Squad, but things do not go as he had planned. Meanwhile, Lizzie searches for answers as Josie goes to extreme measures. Landon, Alaric, Kaleb, Ethan and Jed also appear.
In the Therapy Box, Lizzie travels in a stagecoach to a small western town, driven by Wade. He warns her that she's arrived at a bad time as the town is having a hanging the next day. He explains that a school teach has murdered his students and burned up his school. The hanging will occur at noon tomorrow that is unless Lizzie can stop it. She is the school teacher's daughter and means to prove her father's innocence.
At the Salvatore School, Ethan, MG, and Finch sit together in the upstairs lounge. Things remain weird with Hope gone, Alaric in a coma, and Lizzie in the therapy box, though most students don't even notice the latter. Ethan wants to train after class and MG wonders how Josie is dealing with things. Finch believes that she's in full spiral mode since she wasn't there with her in the morning and bailed on breakfast, too. To their surprise, Josie approaches them. Josie's been up all night going through Alaric's old journals, learning that Caroline once turned her humanity off too. She believes within his journals there are clues that can help them get Hope's humanity back on. Specifically with Caroline, her mom had written her a letter before she had died. Caroline never got to read it, but Stefan showed her a memory of what she missed when she burned the letter and the emotion from that was enough to turn her humanity back on. Ethan questions if they need to write Hope a letter and burn it, but that's not the point Josie is making. They need to get to Hope emotionally and remind her of her family, friends, and her home. They need to find the right idea that's powerful enough to break through to her emotions. Finch reminds them that whatever it is, it needs to be good and fast. Each time they confront her in the simulation, they end up dead. They will only have one chance and it has to be the perfect idea. MG knows Josie's next though; they need some inspiration from Cleo.
Outside in the garden, Cleo chats with Kaleb, rather her consciousness through the prism. She stands at the Red Oak tree, wondering with herself if the tree can really kill a tribrid. She is certain that it will. She is less sure about who she should share this information with. Kaleb questions that she's here talking with him, but Cleo counters that keeping secrets has only ever brought her trouble and she wants to trust her own subconsciousness, as well as her friends. Kaleb doesn't believe she can trust them with his information. He explains that they've all done dumb things for what they've believed were good reasons for the people they care about. Case in point, Kaleb handing Hope over to Malivore to save her. She admits this is not the answer she wished to hear, but Kaleb believes it could be the right one, otherwise she would be talking with the real Kaleb. If she is going to make a mistake this time, it will be trusting her friends and not by deceiving them. Her subconscious hopes she is right and he is wrong and disappears.
Meanwhile, Kaleb searches the woods for the Argus, unaware that Jed has followed him. Kaleb hears a broken branch snap and prepares to attack, though Jed appears before him. Jed has followed him to ask him the same question, wondering why he's out searching the wood, believing it has something to do with the mysterious wrong number from the previous night. Kaleb comes clean and explains that someone tipped him off that there may be a monster lurking in the woods. Though, Jed reminds him, Malivore is dead, their monster problem should be gone, too. Jed is adamant about coming along, but Kaleb refuses. Jed offers to tell the squad what he's doing, believing he's out here trying to gain favor, and he relents, allowing him to come with him in search of the Argus which is hard to kill and harder to get the drop on. Jed isn't worried though, since Kaleb is now sporting dragon powers.
In the therapy box, Lizzie confronts her father who's sitting in a jail cell. People are calling him a monster for what he's done. Lizzie reassures him it's all hogwash, because he moved to this town to enlighten uncivilized people and questions what really happened. Alaric, however, has no recollection. One minute he's teaching and the next he's covered in ash and blood and her sister missing. There's a dark spot over his memory. He questions if he could have really done this, but Lizzie counters that he couldn't have. All he knows is that he found a necklace when he woke up, but doesn't recall where it came from either. Lizzie takes the necklace and vows to free him and see that the real perpetrators will hang and find her sister.
Cleo gathers with MG, Josie, Finch, and Ethan. The key to bringing back Hope's humanity lies within their past and she tasks them with focusing on their fondest memories they've shared. Ethan and Finch shared worried looks with one another. Regardless, they're each inspired with potential ideas on how to reach Hope's humanity. Josie's idea will need a lot of preparation whereas Cleo's will require some digging, though she's uncertain it will work. Ethan and Finch are rather new to their collective friendship and don't have many memories of Hope and come up short. MG wants them to leave it to those who know Hope best. Before they can continue, a magical alarm sounds, stemming from Alaric's weapon cabinet which Josie spelled after Cleo first tried to kill Hope. MG assembles the squad and vamps off with Josie and Cleo, leaving Ethan and Finch behind.
In Alaric's office, Hope stands in front of his empty weapons cabinet. Josie questions why she's here, but Hope only quips that she's preemptively annoyed with the weapons gone. Cleo believes the action to be prudent, given their history. MG questions why she even needs weapons. Hope explains that it's a long story, but she may need to kill some vampires, werewolves, and witches and the school is a one stop shop. Josie mistakes Hope comment for a threat against them and the school, but she clarifies that she's talking about the Triad. However, if they don't get her the weapons she needs, she begins before being cut off by MG. They'll give her anything that she needs, but in exchange for what they need first. Hope makes it clear that she could kill them all, though they're well aware of that, just like she knows they will do just about anything to get her humanity back. Josie explains that Hope might as well let them give their best shot first, unless she's too scared. Hope entertains the thought. If she allows it, and they fail, they will have to let her go. Otherwise, she wonders if she'll have to find her absentee mother. The last point is merely a joke, sort of. Cleo doesn't want anyone getting hurt, including Hope, and questions if they accept their terms. All she'll have to do is listen. She questions who she'll have to listen to, but MG tells her all of them. Admittedly, she has some time to kill before she has to kill and agrees.
The students begin preparation and set Hope up on a pedestal with a mic and the Truth Sphere, similar to a game show. This is MG's big ploy, Salvatore Idol. Already annoyed, Hope threatens to turn this into Survivor if people begin to sing, alarming some of the surrounding students. MG reassures them that she's joking because they did a covenant spell and can't hurt them physically. There are ten stars representing ten of her friends who are going to perform for her. At the end of each round, she will have to tell them how she feels and the truth orb will keep her honest. She picks up the object, stating this is the dumbest thing she's ever heard of and glows blue, stating that it's working. MG commences with the games and Wade steps up first. He explains to Hope that when he first came to the school, he didn't really fit in with any of the factions, but looked up to Hope because she didn't care about fitting in. She was unique, like when he found out he was a fairy. Hope abruptly interrupts him, calling him Wayne, explaining that all she is feeling right now is irritation, bordering on homicidal rage. This prompts the truth sphere to glow blue, but Wade attempts to continue. Hope stops him again, stating that she was only nice to him because of Landon. Insulting him, she asks why don't he sprout his wings and go back to Fern Gully. The first star bursts into flames and Wade is ushered off the stage. Hope admits she was wrong, this is fun for her.
Out in the woods, Kaleb and Jed come across a mutilated corpse, believing it to be the work of the Argus. Their monster problem seems to not have died with Malivore. Jed suggests burying the person, but they don't have the time for that. They need to find the monster before it hurts anyone else since there's a town on either side of the woods. Jed suggests that they get a bird's-eye view to track the monster and hops on Kaleb's back, though he's still apprehensive about his new found dragon abilities, and shoves him off. Kaleb reminds him that he came here to kill a monster, not become one. Kaleb wants to split up to hunt down the Argus and walks off.
Finch finds Josie in the garden collecting certain herbs for her idea. She knows it's not going well. Finch explains it's going more like a roast than a game show and missing on the not-remotely-fun they're all having. However, her turn is quickly approaching. Josie isn't prepared yet, wanting to go last. Finch however reinforces that it's almost her turn and things aren't going well for them. Speaking of her idea, it clearly involves black magic as being with her, she's learned of the scary herbs hidden in the back of the garden. Josie believes that bringing out her dark side might help turn Hope's humanity back on. Finch believes that to be a bad idea, but Josie reminds her that she's the one to help her see that she can control her darker impulses, at least for a little bit. If MG's plan is going as bad as she's making it out to be, this may be their only remaining option. Finch has another idea, though. While the others have been preparing their ideas, she and Ethan have been researching the humanity switch. It's easier to reach a vampire's emotions if they're weakened physically first, meaning they can drain her of her blood. That, however, is not an option. The slightest act of violence can break the covenant spell and if they do that, Hope can go full medieval on them. Josie's plan has to work. Finch is still concerned that it won't work and they can't just let her walk out of there, knowing what she's capable of. Josie employs her to trust her, all she needs is a bit more time.
Half way through their stars, Pedro is the sixth one to present to Hope. He admits that he's not scared of her like everyone else and she's the one who taught him how to kick monster butt and helped him with his art projects. He presents to her a portrait he's made of her. She is his Salvatore idol. Hope covers the mic as MG approaches her. Despite that her humanity's off, she's not a monster and questions if he really wants her to respond to Pedro. MG decides to let Hope tell him just how she feels. Picking up the truth sphere, she explains that Pedro should never make art again and it glows blue with another star bursting into flames. Wade and Pedro are scrubs and she wonders when he's bringing out the A-team. Up next, Landon appears on stage.
Night has fallen in the therapy box simulation. Lizzie is confronted by Kaleb, a hired gun. She's been asking around town about a necklace and she shows him. Kaleb explains that it's the mark of the Mikaelson gang and she should leave town. Alaric's already a dead man and she will be too if she crosses paths with Hope Mikaelson. She offers to pay him, if he's not too scared, but Kaleb says that she's no mere girl. She's a monster with not an ounce of humanity. Lizzie trades in facts and not tall tales. Kaleb retracts his offer and steps forward to her, revealing he too is a monster and apart of the Mikaelson gang. As he's about to attack, he's shot dead by a man that looks like her dad. It's her uncle Ric, and he assumes that his brother never told her about him.
With Landon on stage, Hope assumes he's a golem created from his remains. It's actually Cleo using the illusion ring, though. She has a letter that he left behind. The letter ultimately wishes her well and hopes that she will live out the rest of her eternal life doing all the things they talked about. She's not alone and has friends that will never give up on her. His wish is for her to have a long and happy life and for her to remember that he will always love her; forever. Hope does feel something, though truthfully, it's boredom. Cleo removes the ring and another star bursts into flames. She thanks Cleo. She pushed her to accept the transition and, if not for all her secrets, this could have all been avoided. Hope is done with the games and wants to skip to the end. Looking over to Ethan, Finch, and MG that remain. Hope assumes that Ethan is going to use some hokey sports metaphor, finding identity in a team. She passes and a star goes up in flames. She subs Finch in Josie's spot. Josie taught her not to be a lone wolf, which is a cover for her codependency and another star is engulfed in fire. Lastly, for MG, if his game were to be televised, it would be canceled and rate it zero stars with the final star going up in flames. With the game over, Hope demands for her weapons.
Uncle Ric prepares his horse with Lizzie hot on his trails. She wants to follow and go with him. He gives her a wooden stake, though he prays that she'll never have to use it. Lizzie is determined to find Josette. Ric explains that her assailant was a vampire. She questions that if vampires are real and burned down the school, why doesn't her father remember. Ric explains that becoming a monster they get certain gifts they like to hurt innocent people with. He assures her that he will find Josette and will kill the bloodsuckers. Lizzie reaches for his gun, determined to go with him, but he rejects her, believing her soft and that they would eat her alive. He tips his hat to her and rides off into the night leaving her.
MG accompanies Hope to the gym, showing her where the weapons are since Cleo dropped the illusion spell. Hope is already on to him, knowing that he's trying to get in one last heartfelt, emotional plea. MG doesn't think it would work. He realized something about Josie's story from earlier. It was because it was over something she'd never get back. MG attempts to plead with her that this is her home and these are her friends that she's spent years getting to know. There is a void without her. If seeing that doesn't make her feel anything, there's nothing that he can say that will matter. He'll just have to fill the void himself. Hope calls him pathetic, believing he's incapable of doing what needs to be done. What if she doesn't go and decides to go on a killing spree. She hands him a sword and questions what he would do to stop her. He chooses to not fight her. Hope believes that is not what makes a leader. Being a leader means getting your hands dirty and putting a blade through the chest of someone you love. She places the sword to her chest and mocks MG. This sword won't even kill her, yet he won't even try, believing he doesn't have what it takes. He's failed, just like everyone else.
Lizzie rides horseback through a field, finding Alaric on the ground near his camp fire. Josie approaches her, asking if he's dead. She's covered in blood, but unharmed. She explains that she tried to drink it all, but it was bitter like him. She's become a monster, because of Hope. She's come to rescue her, but she's too late. Josie believes she's already been rescued and intends to do the same to Lizzie. Josie rushes towards her, but Lizzie has the wooden stake and plunges it into her chest, killing her. Josie questions why she did that, but Lizzie tells her she was already gone.
Hope is almost finished packing as Finch comes to her. She's too late for speeches, but Finch isn't here for that. Finch doesn't know her all that well and believes to be seeing things a bit more clear than the others and holds up a scalpel blade. Hope mocks her attempt, but Finch is planning to do something that Josie wouldn't. Hope thinks she's clever, acting as a distraction, but she can easily hear her partner sneaking up behind her. She turns around and grabs Ethan by the throat, lifting him up off the ground. He turns visible again and drops his syringe, gasping for air. She throws him to the ground and faces Finch again. She attempts to attack Hope, and she questions which wants to die first. Dark Josie enters the gym, answering for the pair. Hope should pick on someone her own size. She demands for Ethan to do his blinky thing and take her girlfriend out of there. Hope questions what took her so long, though all Josie needed was the proper motivation. Hope mocks Josie for going soft if it was Finch being in danger to bring her darker self out. Finch is just what she needed to let her loose, though. She's here to put her down and wonders if she's up for a rematch. Hope is intrigued, believing that someone finally gets it. When it's time to fight, Josie has to rely on her darker half. She's not there to fight; however, she's here to snap her fingers. Hope is in a similar situation as to Jade who also had her humanity off. She's going to snap her fingers and turn Hope's humanity back on. Hope remains confident as Josie snaps her fingers.
Jed searches the woods looking for the Argus. A branch snaps in the wood and is attacked. A howl rings out in the distance. Unbeknownst to Kaleb, the Argus has found him and watches him.
Alaric is wounded and bleeding from the neck. It looks back, but he encourages Lizzie to go. She's already taken care of Josette. He didn't think she had it in her, and that makes two of them. He admits that he underestimated her and she's more like him than he realized. He tells her that his Isobel was turned into a vampire, too. He roamed the plains, killing the monsters in her name. Alaric believed him having gone mad. He was the smarter man and devoted his life to keeping them safe and away from him. A place far away from violence. Sometimes, violence is the only solution. Lizzie tells him that her father was wrong. They need to kill Hope, but she'll have to do it without him. He gives her two pistols, each with special bullets capable of killing Hope. Ric draws his last breaths and passes on, leaving Lizzie to wonder if she's like him or not.
Hope has bad news. Josie's trick didn't work, but she figured that. She's akin to an Original and she doesn't even have the power to do that like she did to Jade. She just wanted to see what would happen, if she could see fear in her eyes. Hope is adamant that she isn't afraid of anything. Hope throws her the truth sphere and it begins glowing red. Hope's lying. Hope crushes the orb, but Josie now knows the truth. Hope is afraid of her own humanity coming back. Of feeling what it felt like when she killed Landon. Hope can cling to her defense mechanism all she wants to, but when it crumbles, she'll have a bigger mess than before. Hope unleashes a spell against Josie, a burst of electricity arcing towards her that she easily siphons. Hope can't outrun her trauma forever. Hope rushes Josie and throws her through the gym doors. Josie recovers and is no longer her dark alter-ego.
Meanwhile, Kaleb struggles with the Argus, who has him pinned to the ground. The Argus chomps down on to his arm, but Kaleb is unfazed due to his new found dragon skin. Kaleb rips out one of his many eyes and calls for help from Jed. Jed finally arrives with a small pack of wolves, though they quickly run scared of the Argus. Jed takes the axe to the Argus' back but doesn't even feel the weapon. Jed wants him to burn the creature alive and Kaleb is forced to unleash his fire breath, killing the creature.
Lizzie buries her sister and uncle as Hope finds her. She's prepared and plans to end her in an old fashioned pistol match, seeing who can draw their weapon quicker. Hope questions if she really believes she's faster than a vampire and they draw. Hope is quicker and shoots Lizzie in the shoulder. Nevertheless, Hope is impressed with Lizzie and offers her death or life. Lizzie chooses death and trips Hope, who falls into a makeshift cross, stabbing her in the stomach. Hope is a tribrid and believes she can't be killed. Lizzie fires several shots, killing Hope. There's always a loophole.
Hope commends Josie for her smart move, but playing the weak defenseless Josie card isn't going to work either. Josie believes she's reachable, but she mocks her, citing that she could just kill them all and never have this conversation again. Josie believes she won't for the same reason Hope didn't kill Alaric. She doesn't want to kill them and her humanity is there somewhere. Hope finally realizes they're never going to give up on her and immobilizes her with another spell. Josie is unable to respond as Hope figures out what to do with her.
In the woods, Jed and Kaleb leave the barbecued Argus to the wolves. Kaleb thanks Jed for saving him, though Kaleb is the hero. He knew he didn't want to go full monster, but it had to be done. Jed gives him a little insight. He hates what he had to do to activate his curse. Though he doesn't elaborate on the details, he explains to Kaleb that he has to be the one who forgives himself for what he did. If he doesn't, no one else doing it will matter. As they turn to the corpse to bury, it rises off the ground, attempting to reconnect his severed arm.
In the therapy box, MG frees Alaric and tells him he has a visitor who has brought the culprit to justice. Lizzie is waiting for him, who explains that she found Josette but she didn't survive and Hope killed her. In turn, she killed Hope. Alaric wants to flee back east, never wanting this life for her. Though there's no going back now after what she's seen. Her gang is still out there. Alaric tells her that no amount of revenge will bring her sister back, but it will bring her justice to her name. Alaric didn't raise her like this, but Lizzie admits that he should have. Lizzie regains her memories, realizing she's in the therapy box simulation. She remembers that her real father was a vampire hunter once and trying to be a teacher is what put him in a coma. All her friends are trying to find a way to forgive Hope, but that's not what she wants to do, not anymore. She notices the poster on the far wall with Vindicta and says it aloud. It's her way out.
Cleo has another talk with her subconscious in the form of Kaleb. Landon had told her about the letter he wrote while they were trapped within the darkness together. She believed that his word could have reached Hope, but she was wrong. Instead she got another answer. She thought she would have found a moment to tell the others about the tree, but she no longer believes that to be a good idea. Looking over at Finch unconscious on a couch, she reiterates her subconsciousness' words from before. They do stupid things for the people they love. If Finch and Ethan had known of the tree's existence when they confronted Hope, today's outcome would have been worse. Either way, she was right, it was her subconscious and Kaleb tells her to keep her hopes up and that she'll figure this out. Setting the prism down, Finch awakens, wondering who she was talking to. Finch dismisses her question, telling her to lie down. She is lucky to have survived her encounter with Hope. Finch questions about Josie.
Meanwhile, MG lays Josie on her bed while Ethan sets the therapy box at her feet. He asks if Josie will be okay within the device, though they're rather lucky. Hope could have done an awful lot worse besides trapping her within the box. Until they override the settings, it's probably the safest place for her. Turning to Ethan, MG tells him that he almost got himself killed but Ethan had to do something more than just sit on the sidelines. MG explains that having powers doesn't mean always using them and until he can learn that lesson, it's too big of a risk. Ethan doesn't have to be QB1 and is willing to learn, but he needs someone to teach him what that is. Being the leader means making the tough decisions, like benching the star player or making sure they're ready for the big game. Extending his hand, he asks if he's willing to start training tomorrow.
Inside the therapy box, Lizzie meets Josie. It's odd, because it's meant to be empty, but Josie explains that Hope came to the school and trapped her within. Hope isn't too far gone because she didn't kill them. Lizzie, however, knows exactly how to fix Hope. Josie doesn't understand her meaning. Lizzie's game is over and Josie's is just beginning and she's released from the box.
Outside the school, Hope phones the triad woman from before. She wants to meet with her so she can kill her and the rest of the triad. She wonders which of the species she is, but the woman refuses to give away the surprise. Whatever she is, she hopes it's better than the trap at the triad facility. She has the bloodline records and it's only a matter of time before she figures out who she is. The woman can't wait to meet her and Hope hangs up the phone and finishes loading her car.
- Antagonists: Hope Mikaelson and Argus.
- Lizzie becomes self-aware from the Chambre de Chasse device with the Latin-based escape word Vindicta, which means "ceremonial act claiming as free one contending wrongly enslaved" and "vengeance".
- Argus - Incineration; killed by Kaleb
- Unknown person - Mutilation; assumed to have been killed by the Argus
- Pedro was last seen in We're Not Worthy.
- Stefan was mentioned. He was last seen in I Was Feeling Epic on The Vampire Diaries and A Streetcar Named Desire on The Originals.
- Damon was mentioned. He was last seen in I Was Feeling Epic on The Vampire Diaries.
- Caroline was mentioned. She was last seen in I Was Feeling Epic on The Vampire Diaries and When The Saints Go Marching In on The Originals.
- Jade was mentioned. She was last seen in Salvatore: The Musical!.
- Isobel was mentioned. She was last seen in in Know Thy Enemy on The Vampire Diaries.
- Chambre de Chasse Device
- Mystic Falls
- Mystic Falls
- Mystic Falls, Virginia
- Salvatore Boarding School for the Young & Gifted
- Great Hall
- Alaric's Office
- Lizzie and Josie's Dorm Room
- Salvatore Boarding School for the Young & Gifted
- Woods off Route 50
Behind the Scenes
- This episode's title was a line used by "Uncle Ric" within the Therapy Box.
- This episode used a different title card to match the Wild West theme.
- As of this episode, with 156 appearances, Alaric and Caroline are tied as the third characters with the most appearances in TVD Universe.