Damon’s 12-step redemption tour doesn’t go as he hopes it will in the Friday, April 15 episode of “The Vampire Diaries,” 718, “One Way or Another.” Sure, he and Alaric may be working together to help get Stefan back into his own body, but his former drinking buddy makes it clear that he’d be on the first bus/train/plane/Uber/probably even a sketchy van out of there and back home. Meanwhile, Bonnie finds out why the Armory wants here – and gets some really bad news from Enzo. When it’s all over, there are three pairings on the outs, one breakup and two BFFs not at all happy to see their former friend, and it’s the broken friendships that hurt the most.
With Marty’s body failing, Damon’s number one goal as this “TVD” episode begins is to track down Ambrose and get his brother’s body back before it’s too late. And since Ambrose has been invited into the frat house and Damon has not, Damon’s only real option is to make a deal with him, one that consists of him agreeing to kill Rayna, while the vampire serial killer takes a page out of a cheesy horror movie and slaughters Greek life on the Memphis College campus. Unfortunately for Damon, Enzo’s also after Rayna and gets to her first – and he’s unwilling to hand her over.
Ambrose then uses that handy vampire hearing to find out where Damon has EMTs taking Marty’s body (threatening to take their thumbs and feed them to squirrels is quite compelling) and crashes into the ambulance, but Stefan manages to get away and hide out in a house until Damon and Alaric show up, securing his body so Valerie can do the transfer spell. But it’s one usually done by two Gemini witches, and so it takes so much out of her that her moment with Stefan in his mind feels very much like a goodbye (as it will end up being, only not in a completely tragic way). He’s all she has, she tells him as he begs her not to sacrifice herself for him, and that makes it all the more heartbreaking when, after the spell is done and Stefan’s back in his body, she bids him farewell. But there’s hope there too, as she knows that he doesn’t love her like she loves him and he now has a chance to make things right with Caroline (sorry, Alaric?). She’s going to find a new life that’s completely her own, and with that, it seems that the heretics are gone.
Meanwhile, Alaric longingly looks at every bus station and thinks about every way possibly out of this road trip with his former BFF, as he’s not interested in being part of Damon’s 12-step redemption tour. People changed in the three years he was in that coffin. When Damon tries to apologize, admitting that yes, it was terrible for him to abandon him, Alaric gets very real with him. The last three years were the happiest of his life. He has two girls he loves, a job he earned and a fiancée that makes him feel lucky to be alive, and he has all that without Damon barging into his life and screwing it up. He doesn’t want things to go back to how they were.
Damon also gets a wake-up call about Bonnie – from both Enzo and Alaric. When Damon finds out his (other) former friend has Rayna and calls him, Enzo asks about Bonnie. Remember, the best friend he abandoned? What’s her life been like since he pressed pause? But Damon doesn’t think this has anything to do with Bonnie (little does he know), and he’s shocked when Alaric then tells him that Enzo and Bonnie are together. And no, she hasn’t been kidnapped and brainwashed. (Though, let’s be real, that would explain a lot since this relationship really seemed to come out of nowhere.) She got into trouble with the Armory and Enzo stepped up.
That trouble with the Armory is why Bonnie’s in the psych hospital. In group therapy, she talks about how she cared about someone more than anyone but it wasn’t enough and he walked away like it was the easiest thing and now he’s back and hasn’t contacted her. But the real reason she’s there is she’s hiding out, as she confides in fellow patient Virginia, whose meds she switches out for sugar pills. She needs her to be able to think straight because, as she reveals after a bit of sharing, she knows she’s a St. John. She needs to know why the Armory is looking for her. And what better way to get someone to talk than to reveal she’s a Bennett witch?
Bonnie can’t prove it, however, because the same pills that take away her magic also keep the Armory from being able to track her – the same pills that Enzo gave to her and that killed Mary Louise. That’s why Enzo took Rayna, in hopes of finding a cure. Unfortunately, there isn’t one. With the promise of getting out of there on the table, Virginia admits that there’s a vault in the basement of the Armory that only a Bennett witch can unlock. Inside is something that can’t be let out. When Bonnie refuses to promise she won’t open it, Virginia tries to attack her, and that’s when orderlies intervene, carrying her off as she screams that Bonnie’s a witch. It’s a good thing they’re in a psych hospital.
When Enzo comes to pick her up, Bonnie fills him in on what she’s found out and he tells her the truth about the pills and what they did to Mary Louise. He’s not going to let her die, he promises her, and that’s when Damon shows up, with flowers. But it’s too little too late, and as he struggles to find the words to say (are there any right words in this situation?), Bonnie slams the door in his face. It’s going to take a lot for Damon to get back in her good graces, but hey, maybe saving her life will help?
“The Vampire Diaries” season 7 airs Fridays at 8 p.m. on the CW. What did you think of episode 18 “One Way or Another”?