Damon: Where are you?

Stefan: Not where I'm supposed to be, which is with my girlfriend who just gave birth. Instead, I'm running from a hunter who won't stop chasing me until she's put down.

Damon and Stefan

This Woman's Work is the thirteenth episode of the seventh season of The Vampire Diaries and the one hundred and forty-sixth episode of the series overall.


VAMPIRE HUNTER RAYNA CRUZ ARRIVES TO MYSTIC FALLS -- When complications from her supernatural pregnancy leave Caroline's life hanging in the balance, Stefan and Valerie take extreme measures to try and save her and the babies. Meanwhile, after uncovering a dark secret about Damon, Enzo uses the information to force Damon into helping him track down Rayna Cruz, a ruthless vampire hunter who is on the loose. However, when Damon's actions inadvertently put everyone he loves in Rayna's path, he is forced to make things right before it's too late. Bonnie and Alaric also appear.


In Saint Malo, Louisiana, 1842, a young girl is sitting around a fire with her father; he's sketched over his invisible hunter marks so she can see them herself. She hopes to be in the brotherhood someday and wants to learn how to fight.

For 15 years her father trains her ,Julian comes to attack the town of Saint Malo. Rayna's father doesn't let her go with him to fight, but later she goes to see what's happened. That's when she finds Julian about to kill her father. She attempts to get him to stop by saying that her father is one of The Five, but that backfires: Julian compels her to kill her father instead, so he won't suffer the hunter's curse. As she tries to fight the compulsion, Rayna cries and tells her father she can't stop. "Carry on my legacy," he tells her before dying from her stab to the chest.

Angry about her father's death, Rayna goes to a group of shamans who perform a ritual to imbue her with long life and power. Seven of them take their own lives so that they may live on through her. The head shaman gives her a sword, "a weapon of judgment, one that thirsts for those who prey upon us." Before killing himself as well, the shaman says that when the blade draws blood from a vampire, it will help her in their destruction.

In the year 1903 England, Julian, Mary Lou, Nora, and Beau are walking out of a bar singing (Beau has a voice!) when the huntress finds them and runs her blade through Beau's throat. Julian is able to knock Rayna out before they all flee. Julian knows they need to get as far from her as possible, so they book a transatlantic trip to New York with Lily.

And before Nora can even complain about her pine box accommodations on the boat, Rayna has found them and finally avenges her father's death. She stabs Julian with her special sword, which sucks his soul into the phoenix stone.

Rayna is pretty bad-ass, and she proves that in the future, too. She's still in Enzo's glass box, which she attempts to punch her way out of. He tries to tell her she's going to hurt herself when she shatters the whole thing. The huntress is loose. And she wants her sword back.

Enzo calls Damon and threatens that he'll tell Bonnie what Damon did to Elena, if they don't bring him Rayna's sword. Damon doesn't want his friend Bonnie — who found out about his fling from last week, "Krystal with a K," and was super cool about it — to find out about his other, bigger mistake.

They go to Bonnie's dorm room, where she pulls out the sword, but she doesn't want to hand it over before Damon tells her what Enzo has on him. "Damon, it's me — I'm your best friend," she says.

Damon asks her to leave it alone, but she gives him the sword anyway. They take it to Alaric's old classroom, where they find Enzo tied to a chair. Next thing they know, Rayna is there, demanding her sword. When they say no, she shoots Bonnie in the stomach with an arrow. This woman is not very patient. So Damon throws the sword out the window for her to go retrieve.

Now that Rayna has her sword, she can finally track down her old friends, the heretics, who all just so happen to be at the hospital.

Stefan rushes back to the hospital, where Caroline is almost fully desiccated. He and Valerie compel the doctors to do a C-section to get those vampire-magic siphoning babies out of her, but the doctor can't even make an incision before the scalpel goes flying across the room. "I don't think they want to be born," Valerie says. Those babies want to stay connected to Caroline's vampire magic apparently.

Valerie thinks the only way for this to work is to create enough magic outside of Caroline's body that the babies won't resist when the compelled doctors try to take them out of the womb. So she calls on her heretic friends to help. Mary Louise, Nora, Beau, and Valerie stand around Caroline chanting magic as the doctor performs C-section attempt No. 2.

Ric is trying to get back to Mystic Falls and isn't super happy about how all this is going down: "What do you mean she's surrounded by heretics?" he asks Stefan on the phone. But Stefan swears he'll make sure nothing happens to the babies — or Caroline. This time the doctor is able to make the incision, and it's right at that moment that Beau's huntress neck scar opens and he starts coughing up blood; it's the very moment that Rayna is reunited with her sword.

Nora calls Bonnie, who is freshly revived thanks to Damon's blood, and asks how Rayna got the sword. Bonnie tries to say it wasn't intentional, but Nora doesn't care how it happened. This means that Rayna will never stop coming for them until they're dead. Oh, and she just happens to be coming to the very spot where Caroline is trying to deliver Alaric's babies — which is new to Bonnie.

She and Damon rush to the hospital, from which Mary Lou, Nora, and Beau have decided to flee. Stefan pleads with them to stay and help Caroline, but Valerie says it's best if they go and get Beau to safety. Valerie might also be a target of Rayna's, but she wants to stay and give the babies a chance, even if it means they will take all of her magic, thereby killing her.

The three heretics flee, but it's too late: Rayna's already at the hospital and she stabs Beau with the sword, sucking his spirit into the phoenix stone and burns his body. Mary Lou and Nora flee, and Rayna heads inside the hospital, which can't be good considering Caroline is currently unconscious on an operating table. Stefan takes her hand, and goes into her mind, in an attempt to have one last date with her in case this is the end.

Damon and Bonnie arrive at the hospital: He takes on Rayna while Bonnie goes to help Valerie with the baby magic-stealers. While Damon is telling Rayna how much she looks like Elena ("You look a lot like my girlfriend and her three doppelgängers"), Bonnie is telling Stefan he has to help his brother, even though he doesn't want to. At that moment Rick arrives to see his babies' births, so Stefan reluctantly goes.

Damon is barely putting up a fight with Rayna; he's ready to go back to hell, but just as she's about to stab him, Stefan steps in front of the blade. It doesn't go all the way in, but he's been marked — and as his moments with Caroline flash before his eyes — he realizes he has to get out of town. "I'll see you brother," he says before fleeing.

Caroline gives birth to Alaric and Jo's beautiful baby girls. Ric brings them to meet Caroline after she wakes up and tells her what he named them: Josie, in honor of their mother, and Elizabeth, "in honor of your mother."

After his brother takes yet another fall for him, Damon is feeling particularly angry, so he goes to take it out on Enzo, who's still tied up in Ric's old classroom (Whitmore). He's ready to end him when Enzo shouts out what we all knew/suspected: Elena is alive. It turns out that Tyler has been working with a group Enzo is mixed up in. The coffin Damon burned up was empty; the real Elena coffin is safe in New York.

Damon calls his brother to give him the good news, but even that can't cheer up Stefan.

Flash Forward: Caroline, with her twin daughters in back seat, is heading to New Orleans to visit "mommy's friend."


Main Cast

Recurring Cast



  • Anatagonists: Rayna Cruz (present day) and Julian (flashbacks).
  • Rayna's origins are shown in this episode as to why she want all of the Heretics dead. Her father is revealed to be a member of the Brotherhood of the Five, who trained her as a vampire hunter at her insistence. She was compelled by Julian to kill him.
  • Rayna in 1842 near Saint Malo, LA asks her father to train her to fight vampires and for 15 years (1857) he does so. Then a horn sounds from town signals vampires and her father goes off to face them leaving Rayna at their camp.
  • Julian appeared to know of the Five whereas other vampires didn't except Katherine and The Originals themselves. He also knew of the Hunter's Curse.
  • In 1903, it is shown why the Heretics and Julian were to travel in the cargo hold while Lily had a cabin on the ship back to New York so as not to attract Rayna's attention by traveling in such a large group. This is before Rayna shows up and throws the Phoenix Sword into Julian's heart before they rode off, showing how she lost possession of it.
  • Beau was heard speaking for the first time just before Rayna stabbed him in the neck, severing his vocal cords and giving Beau his scar.
  • The Phoenix Sword according to the lead shaman is linked to her soul as he gives it to her. When he does the stone glows when she first holds the sword in her hand.
  • Damon tells Rayna she reminds of him of his girlfriend Elena Gilbert and her three Petrova doppelgängers Amara, Tatia and Katherine Pierce.
  • Rayna kills Beau with the Phoenix Sword in front of Nora and Mary Louise who immediately flee. She then destroys Beau's body with fire.
  • With Beau's death, Valerie Tulle, Nora Hildergard and Mary Louise are the only remaining members of the Heretics.
  • Stefan is shown how he was marked by Rayna, when at Bonnie's pleading to help Damon unaware that Damon believes he killed Elena in Things We Lost in the Fire.
  • Damon learns from Enzo that Elena is alive and her coffin is safe in New York under the protection of some new friends.
  • Enzo tells Damon that he and Tyler used an empty coffin as a decoy, knowing he was still hallucinating.
  • Stefan goes inside Caroline's head to keep her company during the medical procedure.
  • Caroline gives birth to Jo and Alaric babies through C-section. In the 3 years flash forward she is seen driving a car with the twins. One of the girls asks where they are going and she answers that they are on their way to New Orleans to see a friend of mommy.



Body Count

Behind the Scenes

Cultural References

  • This Woman's Work is a song by Kate Bush.
  • "This Woman's Work" is the sixth episode of the eighth season of the American science fiction Syfy TV series Defiance.
    • The song was used at key moments in episodes from TV shows: Ghost Whisperer, Alias, Party of Five, Crossing Jordan, 7th Heaven, Without a Trace, and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
  • Woman's work (or women's work) is a term used particularly in the West to indicate work that is believed to be exclusively the domain of women and associates particular tasks with the female gender.
  • The Hunger Games is a series of three adventure novels written by the American author Suzanne Collins. The film series consists of four science fiction dystopian adventure films based on the books.
  • The L Word follows the lives and loves of a group of lesbian friends living in Los Angeles.
  • In 1903 Beau sang "A Bird in a Gilded Cage" which was the title of the season six episode in which he first appeared.


Damon (to Stefan): "She's heading right for you."
Damon (to Rayna): "You look a lot like my girlfriend and her three doppelgängers."

Shaman: "She wields a weapon of judgement. One that thirsts for those that pray upon us."
Damon (to Stefan): "It's about to get worse. She's heading right for you."
Nora: "She'll never stop! She'll go after every other vampire in her path!"
Bonnie (to Stefan): "Damon needs you. He's going to get himself killed."
Damon (to Rayna): "You look a lot like my girlfriend and her three doppelgängers."

Caroline: "What do you mean they don't wanna come out?"
Stefan: "Valerie said the babies want to stay with the magic as...right now, that magic is in your blood, which they're getting a steady stream of."
Caroline: "So what do we do?"
Stefan: "Well, Valerie's plan is to channel enough magic outside of your body so that the babies are drawn to it. That way they don't resist when the doctor tries to pull them out."
Caroline: "Funny, I didn't hear one medical word in all of that. Look could someone just... call Bonnie? I feel like she should be here."
Stefan: "I will call her and I promise this will all be fine."
Caroline: "So where's Dr. Valerie now?"
Stefan: "She's getting help."
Caroline: "What do you mean help?"
Stefan: "Nora, Mary Louise and Beau."
Caroline: "Oh, that..is just perfectly reasonable. Putting my life on the line and the lives of these babies into the hands of the people who tried to kill me."
Stefan: "Caroline. I am not gonna let anything happen to you."

Damon: "Hey, heard you got a thing for the grannies."
Enzo: "Huh, hilarious. I'm looking for Bonnie. She's not taking my calls."
Damon: "Hold, please." (To Bonnie): "It's for you."
Bonnie: "Tell him I don't deal with shady old-lady corpse stealers."
Damon: "I'm sorry, she's busy. I'm gonna have to take a message."
Enzo: "I'm looking for Rayna Cruz's sword. Let's just say that it's beyond urgent."
Damon: "He wants the sword."
Bonnie: "Of course he does. Cause shady people like shady tchotchkes. It's not happening."
Damon: "Did you get all that?"
Enzo: "Does Bonnie know what you did to Elena? How you incinerated your true love while she slept so soundly inside her casket? Yeah, I'll take that as a no. Reckon that's wise. Oh, imagine if your precious Bonnie found out that you gave Elena a Viking funeral. It'd most certainly shatter that fragile and somewhat creepy "frenemy" thing you two have going on. Get the sword, bring it to me at Whitmore, or your best friend knows the truth."

Caroline: "I know that my magic blood tastes really good, but you're both gonna have to show just a little bit of self-control."
Valerie (To Stefan): "I think the babies want to stay where they can keep feeding off Caroline as a source of magic. I don't think they want to be born."
Bonnie: "What are you doing here?"
Enzo: "It's a long story, love. Let's just say for today that I'm your guardian angel."
Enzo (To Rayna): "I knew if I sent those postcards, one of the Heretics would lead me right to you."
Nora: "She'll go after any other vampire in her path, and right now this hospital's full of them."



Last.fm_play.png "Ex's & Oh's" – Elle King
Last.fm_play.png "Bird" – Billie Marten
Last.fm_play.png "Fireflies" – Lights & Motion
Last.fm_play.png "The Highest Tide" – The Wealthy West feat. Valen




See also

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