|“||But this year will be different. It's high time this place ran with a little discipline and order. I expect you to work harder than ever before. To be rigorous, to push yourselves. To be perfect. Because I believe every one of you is extraordinary. The students in this room have the power to literally change the world. To whom much is given, much is required, and I am requiring of you to be better than humans ever could. Because the day is coming when we will step out of the shadows, when you will no longer hide yourselves. Because the future is supernatural.||”|
— Professor Vardemus addresses the Salvatore Boarding School student body
ALEXIS DENISOF GUEST STARS AS THE NEW HEADMASTER — Determined to move forward with her new life alone, Hope's latest hunt leads her on a collision course with the past she's been desperately trying to leave behind. Meanwhile, on their first day back in school, Landon's newfound status as the popular guy leads to tensions with Josie. Elsewhere, as MG contemplates telling Lizzie how he feels about her, the arrival of a mysterious vampire puts a wrench into his plan. Finally, as Alaric gets settled into his new role at Mystic Falls High School, the students of the Salvatore School meet their new headmaster, Professor Vardemus.
Following her previous encounter with the creature from Malivore, Hope finds herself at Mystic Falls High School, where she tracks down the creature by following its blood. She bumps into a boy who while looking for the monster, who directs her to the principal, which turns out to be Alaric.
Back at the Salvatore School, Lizzie and Josie speak about the Merge, admitting that they will not worry about the Merge any more, and she will give her summer to saying yes. Kaleb overhears this, smiling as he realizes now is his chance to set her up with MG. Dorian introduces Professor Vardemus, the new headmaster, to his office. He laughs that the dirt and grime will simply not do, and uses an illusion spell to glamour the office. Dorian tells him that the faculty are ready to meet him, and he insists that they should call him Headmaster, not Professor Vardemus. Meanwhile, Landon seems to have grown in popularity at the school, as the students thank him for killing Malivore. Josie notices when he begins getting attention off girls, which leads her to inquire about their first date, which Landon embraces and arranges. In the basement at the school, Kaleb and MG move the spell-blocking totem, hiding it away, while Kaleb tells MG that now is his time to take Lizzie on a date — specifically to the Old Mill. Professor Vardemus announces to the school that it is time for some discipline, given Alaric's neglect over the years. He tells the students that they shall focus and be better than any humans, preparing for the day that they no longer need to hide in the shadows. Much to everyone's surprise, Vardemus awards Landon an award for defeating Malivore.
Alaric reads Hope's file (which is fake) and tells her that she needs to go to school if she plans to stay in Mystic Falls. He offers Hope support if there is anything going on at home, however, she insists that she is fine. She goes to the toilet to blow off, when she meets Maya, who asks if she is having boy troubles and suggests that they should glam her up to win him back. When she tries to track down the smell, she is caught off guard by Alaric, who she throws to the ground. When he questions who she is, she reveals that she is a vampire hunter, and is looking for a troll, which is somewhere inside the school. Alaric dismissed Hope, telling her that he will handle it and if she truly is a vampire hunter, she would have heard of him as he is well known within the community. Hope bumps into the boy Ethan, from earlier, who wonders if she is stalking him, but she jokes and shrugs him off.
MG asks Lizzie out for a "study date" at the Old Mill, and she reluctantly agrees, much to his surprise. Professor Vardemus teaches a class, asking what the discovery of dragons and other mythical creatures change what they know about magic. While Josie is sat next to him, a witch uses her magic to draw an angel in his notebook, which angers Josie, who uses her magic to make the girls nosebleed — an act that is witnessed by Professor Vardemus, who looks on in disdain. In the kitchen, Landon questions if Josie is alright, with her replying that a lot of things have changed in regard to her dad and Lizzie, but the two should still go on their date regardless.
Meanwhile, at Mystic Falls High School, Hope prepares a magical bomb, while Alaric prepares his crossbow to track down the monster. He tracks the monster to the school's basement but is unable to wound it with his crossbow and the monster throws him back before he is saved by Hope, who uses her magic to wound the monster. The two are interrupted by Maya, who questions what the creature laying on the ground is. To fix this, Alaric has MG compel Maya to think that the sound she heard was a burst water pipe, which was quickly rectified by Alaric. MG turns to compel Hope, who tells him not to think about it, and leaves not long after to go to his date with Lizzie. Hope questions why Alaric is no longer at the Salvatore School, but he says that it is a long story. Alaric tells Hope that he is assuming that Hope's cover story is a lie and the parents she listed are not really her parents, and she agrees. Alaric tells Hope that he could use the back-up, but she says that she works better alone.
At the Old Mill, Lizzie is angry that she has been stood-up by MG, but is surprised when she bumps into a mysterious man. She asks who he is, as she knows all of the incoming students, however it is quickly realized that he is not a student. Nevertheless, he warns her to stay away and reveals that his name is Sebastian before leaving in a hurry. MG arrives not long after, apologizing as her father called, but she says that it is fine before leaving in a hurry to collect supplies for a spell.
Back at in Mystic Falls, Alaric questions how he knew to throw Hope the arrow earlier, suggesting that the two have fought together before, which she at first says is impossible, but later confirms it to be true as Alaric reveals that it somehow must have something to do with Malivore. The two are shocked to learn that the creature has disappeared and is therefore not a troll.
Back at the boarding school, MG practices what he is going to say to Lizzie about asking her out, however, Kaleb laughs at his attempts, telling him to express his feelings. MG admits that he knows everything about her, and she deserves to be with someone who knows her as she does.
Alaric and Hope attempt to track down the creature, with Alaric realizing that the monster is more than likely after something as the previous ones where. With this, Hope notices Josie and Landon in the distance returning from their date. Landon questions what is with Josie's attitude as she seems different, but she brushes him off, admitting that they had a bad date, but it happens sometimes, and everything will more than likely be alright tomorrow.
At the Old Mill, Lizzie tries to track down Sebastian with a locator spell, however, he arrives, confirming his suspicions that she is a witch. She questions what Sebastian is, given he has gotten past the magical barriers around the school, but he brushes her off warning her to stop looking for him and she should stay away from him and his complicated life. Before leaving, Sebastian tells Lizzie that she shouldn't wait around for anyone.
Angry over what has happened with Josie, Landon sits in the park listening to music but is unaware that the creature is slowly approaching him from behind. He is saved by Hope, who is able to knock the creature back until Alaric can arrive to help her. The two realize that the creature is a cyclops and, shooting him in the eye, they are able to kill him and he turns to ash in front of them. Landon notices the smell and turns to look at Hope, who he seems to recognize from his earlier visions, but she leaves before he can talk with her.
MG tries to tell Lizzie how he feels about her, but she shuts him down, admitting that with Sebastian she finally feels like something is possible, free from complicated history. This upsets MG, who puts on a brave face and tells her that he is there for her as a friend.
Alaric hands Hope his crossbow, telling her to be safe out there. She goes to sit on a bench in Mystic Falls when she is approached by Landon and the two talk about their relationship problems. Hope confesses that the guy she loves does not know that she exists, and Landon laughs, ironically not knowing that she is on about him. Landon wishes that Hope's night gets better, and hands her his milkshake before leaving Hope heartbroken and crying.
Landon apologizes to Josie for how their date turned out, however, she admits that she is allergic to seaweed, but didn't want to say anything as he seemed really into the date. She reveals that she is worried because she cannot see anything that needs to be fixed about Landon, and that is what she does best, and the two kisses after Landon refers to himself as Josie's boyfriend.
Hope goes to Alaric's office, revealing everything to Alaric, including that she is a Mikaelson — Hayley and Klaus' daughter. She begins to cry, revealing to Alaric that he is the closest thing to a father she has and the entire world has forgotten she exists. Alaric tells her that they will figure it out together and the two embrace.
When Josie is making a sandwich in the kitchen, Professor Vardemus approaches her, warning her that he saw her do the spell. Despite this, he gives her advice, telling her that the prefix "Chronolos" will delay the reaction of a spell, giving her time to get away. He reveals that he is creating an advanced curriculum for advanced students — that is invite-only — and she is the first to be selected. He warns her that curfew is in three minutes and she should get to bed.
In the cemetery, a hooded figure stabs a runner in the chest, before carving the Malivore symbol into his forehead.
- Antagonist: Malivore (indirectly), Cyclops, Rupert Vardemus/Ryan Clarke
- Hope uses the alias "Hope Marshall" when speaking with Alaric. She would later reveal the truth about herself to him. This alias is a nod to her mother, Hayley Marshall-Kenner, whose family name is Marshall. This is the second time Hope has used this alias. The first was when she originally attended the boarding school.
- Hope sees Alaric as the only father-figure she has left.
- Professor Vardemus is the new Headmaster of the Salvatore School while, Alaric Saltzman is the new Principal of Mystic Falls High School.
- Hope believes she's trying to stop a troll; however, after she burns the hair on its head, it's revealed that the creature is a cyclops.
- Landon and Hope see each other for the first time after the events of There's Always a Loophole.
- Over a week has passed since the events of I'll Never Give Up Hope.
- An unknown jogger, running in Mystic Falls Cemetery, is killed by a mysterious, hooded figure. The figure carves the symbol for Malivore into the jogger's forehead.
- Professor Vardemus is creating a new magic curriculum for advanced students, invitation only, and offers Josie to be the first student in his curriculum. It's implied that he'll be teaching "Offensive magic" as he says it is a tool that has its place, but it requires discipline.
- It is revealed that the prefix "Chronolos" delays a spell's reaction. That way, when the spell takes affect, the caster is long gone, making it harder to get caught.
- Cyclops - Shot in the eye with an arrow; killed by Hope
- Unknown Jogger - Stabbed through in the chest from the back; killed by an unknown hooded figure
- Jed was last seen in There's Always a Loophole.
- Malivore was mentioned. He was last seen in full appearance in I'll Tell You a Story in a flashback.
- Hayley was mentioned. She was last seen in Bring It On on The Vampire Diaries and When The Saints Go Marching In on The Originals.
- Klaus was mentioned. He was last seen in Moonlight on the Bayou on The Vampire Diaries and When The Saints Go Marching In on The Originals.
- 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.
- Triad was mentioned. They were last seen in There's Always a Loophole.
- Cyclops appears for the first time. He was last mentioned in There's a World Where Your Dreams Came True.
- Mystic Falls, Virginia
Behind the Scenes
- The title is similar to the eighth season's second episode The Vampire Diaries, titled Today Will Be Different.
- This episode's title was a line used by Professor Vardemus.
- Josie: "What are you doing?"
- Lizzie: "Warrior two."
- Josie: "I thought you said yoga was karate for lazy people?"
- Lizzie: "I did. But spending the summer with mom opened my eye to all kinds of new experiences. Plus, using that ascendant thingy is of the table, we agreed we'd stop worrying over all that future merge crap, right?"
- Josie: "Right."
- Lizzie: "So I'm all about the present. I've have decided to be permanently open to any opportunity that comes my way. This is my semester of yes and I am available for literally anything."
- Lizzie: "This is so lame universe. I can't believe I've been stood up by Milton Greasley. This is what I get for assuming you'd send something ama--zing. Hello, you must be new?"
- Sebastian: "What is this place?"
- Lizzie: "It's the Old Mill. I mean it's the only mill but we also call it the Old Mill for some reason. I hope you're not here to chill. I mean I don't care either way. What's your name? I thought I knew all of the incoming students."
- Sebastian: "Ah, this is a school of some kind?"
- Lizzie: "The Salvatore School, named after Damon and Stefan Salvatore, I guess, but that was like a long time ago — or whatever."
- Sebastian: "I see."
- Lizzie: "So you're not a student?"
- Sebastian: "No."
- Lizzie: "Okay, then who are you? Are you okay, do you wanna sit down?"
- Sebastian: "No, No I'm fine. You should keep your distance."
- Lizzie: "I'm not gonna hurt you."
- Sebastian: "That's not what I'm afraid of. I'm sorry, I should go."
- Lizzie: "Uh, wait, what's your name?"
- Sebastian: "Sebastian."