Stefan gives Elena a lesson in starting over, while Jeremy and Alaric struggle to move past their problems. Damon and Kai both reveal pieces of their murderous past connected to the date they’re stuck in. Here is a recap of the Vampire Diaries episode “Black Hole Sun.”
Kai mentions that Bonnie’s magic is half of the equation to get home and his own undisclosed knowledge is the other half. Damon needs to pull his weight so he’s not hitching a ride for free, starting with explaining why they’re stuck in May 10, 1994. Damon’s not thrilled to talk about the worst thing he’s ever done.
Flashback to the real Mystic Falls in 1994. To turn over a new leaf, Damon arrives at the Salvatore mansion where Stefan and Uncle Zach are chilling. While Damon chats with Liz Forbes, Stefan finds bite marks on Gail, a pregnant border. Damon switched out her and Zach’s vervain coffee, so Stefan snaps Damon’s neck, steals his daylight ring, and banishes him to the barn. Damon escapes and snacks on a cluster of people before taking pregnant Gail hostage. Stefan returns Damon’s ring, but Damon eats Gail anyway.
Back in the present, Stefan shows Elena how he starts over every thirty years. He fake proposes to her with her daylight ring, giving them new identities and a new life. They relish in this chance to make a scene at a bar. After Elena leaves, Stefan confronts a guy who didn’t celebrate their engagement. Stefan picks a fight and lets the guy beat him up until Elena returns for her jacket. She disapproves of his methods, and he disapproves of hers, spilling the beans about her memory wipe. Elena confronts Alaric about this, so he gives her a journal that explains everything. She opts to keep the memories forgotten.
Kai persuades Bonnie to do a locator spell for his family relic capable of harnessing the eclipse’s power. The spell leads to Mystic Falls – more specifically Kai’s shirt pocket. He was just testing her magic’s strength. Later, Bonnie spots something intriguing on Damon’s newspaper airplane. Turns out, Kai massacred his family. He confesses with no remorse and clarifies that it was his coven. He has no powers and was banished to this hell. Bonnie assures Damon that he’s different from Kai. Damon feels remorse and makes pancakes to punish himself for killing a pregnant woman who loved pancakes. Kai demonstrates his ability to consume magic, grasping Bonnie and shooting out fire.
At the Whitmore clinic, Alaric pats Jeremy’s back as he pukes. Then, Doctor Jo takes Jeremy for all sorts of physical exams. Alaric and Jo hit it off until a bloody patient takes his attention. Pausing their sparring, Alaric gives Jeremy a life lesson on getting over his problems, which includes an unpleasant trip through memory lane. Remember what happened to Isobel? And Jenna? Alaric admits he kind of misses the guy who turned his wife and can’t even look at a girl without fantasizing about tearing into her neck. Sarah returns to the Salvatore mansion for answers. She has a photo of her parents – it’s Gail and Zach. Grayson Gilbert did an emergency C-section and saved the Salvatore line.
Matt probes Tripp to see how much he knows and casually mentions vampires. Tripp trusts him now, enough to show Matt that he has Enzo chained up to coerce him to out all his vamp buddies. Speaking of Enzo – Ivy finds Stefan; she’s in transition after Enzo fed her his blood before killing her.
– “Black Hole Sun” was infinitely better and more impressive than last week’s episode, more comparable to the first two of this season in both quality and its ability to generate excitement. Although there were numerous storylines at work this week, the episode did not feel fragmented or jumpy. The frequency at which the episode cut between the storylines kept them flowing well. In addition, the solid writing allowed the uniting themes of the storylines to be more apparent here than in other episodes – Elena, Stefan, Alaric, and Jeremy develop methods to overcome their difficult pasts, while Damon, Kai, and Tripp recounting their own difficult pasts.
– Happy Elena and happy Stefan have been a joy to watch, especially when they’re interacting. It’s a rare and wonderful sight in the history of this show and a chance to see the varied notes that the actors can play. On another note, it took shorter than expected for Elena to learn that she compelled her memories away, and, like Elena, I thought it would be because of Caroline. Stefan didn’t even seem like an option, but that made for an even better surprise.
– Not only did the flashbacks call back to Damon’s antagonistic relationship with Zach and his eventual murder of Zach, but it also reminded us of the originally antagonistic relationship between Damon and Stefan. Given how close they’ve been the past few seasons, it’s easy to forget that they started out with so little trust and so little respect. I applaud any opportunity to allow actors to re-examine different or past versions of their characters, and this did just that.
– Also calling back to the early days of the Vampire Diaries, there are parallels between Damon helping the town council in their season one crusade against vampires and Stefan helping Tripp do the same.
– The 1994 purgatory/hell/prison/whatever it is that Damon and Bonnie are stuck in has become much more fascinating merely by Kai mentioning that it was a prison he was banished to. It’s almost like their version of Arrow’s Lian Yu, just with less people…so far.
– “Who names a kid Malachai? It’s like they expected me to be evil.” – Kai. New characters you thoroughly enjoy watching on the Vampire Diaries tend to turn out to be murderers or get brutally murdered. In an only partially shocking turn of events, Kai’s a crazy killer. His enjoyment of torturing Damon with vervain Bourbon should have been a hint, but I certainly did not expect this level of actions. Regardless, or maybe moreso because of it, he has been a pleasant addition to the cast of characters, a new energy thrown into the mix, and especially a strategic obstacle giving Bonnie and Damon more to confront in their purgatory.
– “One more piece of professional advice. When a successful, sexy, only moderately insecure doctor is flirting with you, give her your undivided attention.” – Jo (to Alaric). Although she only had a few brief scenes in this episode, Jo has established herself as a character worth paying attention to. She effortlessly livened up Alaric, who’s been noticeably and understandably grim since his return to the living. Chances are she’ll end up being brutally murdered, but I hope she at least has the chance to convince Alaric that life’s okay.
– “Mmm. Good right? Oh, yeah, I can’t remember if that squirrel was roadkill or one I caught in the rat trap. Better hope it was roadkill though because the rat trap was full of rat dropping. Swish your tongue around. Does it feel like hair, or is it more of a grainy pellet?” – Stefan. Never has there been a line with so much talk about rats and roadkill that came off quite so humorously.