A new Big Bad has come to town — and he may or may not be bringing the dead back with him.
Things are getting complicated on The Vampire Diaries, and while we still don’t know what the Travelers’ true motives are, Season 5, Episode 17 (“Rescue Me”) was an emotional doozy. “Rescue Me” was about relationships: Damon and Elena put an end to their “friends with benefits” sitch, Caroline and Stefan solidified their place in our hearts as the most adorable friendship on TV, and Jeremy kept a huge secret from Bonnie — one that put her life in danger. (Plus, Jeremy, Matt, and Jeremy continued their bromance, and they’re pretty much the newer, and hotter, Three Musketeers.)
But at least Liv and Luke’s agenda became clear. It turns out these twins are trying to stop the Travelers, and they were working with a witch named Hazel in Atlanta to keep Stefan’s doppelganger, Tom Avery, alive and hidden. Of course, their plan gets foiled when Caroline and Enzo come to town on the hunt for the good-doing doppelganger. After some initial hiccups, Caroline and Enzo find out that Tom has been missing for four months. This means Sloan has to zap Stefan’s brain yet again to get more info on their missing doppelganger — much to Caroline’s frustration.
Honestly, Caroline and Stefan’s friendship has become one of the most loving and least destructive relationships on the show. Watching her hang on the phone to comfort Stefan through Sloan’s mind games was a beautiful representation of Caroline’s character. She’s grown so much throughout the show’s five seasons, and it feels like she’s finally getting a storyline that she deserves.
Stefan tells her not to kill Tom, but Caroline is determined to save her bestie, even if it means she has to put up with Enzo’s relentless flirting. Seriously, this guy seriously doesn’t quit. He’s like Klaus 2.0, only not nearly as disarming and he doesn’t have those sexy dimples. He says Caroline reminds him of a girl he once knew and it becomes extremely apparent that our Blondie seriously has insane chemistry with everyone she meets.
When they get to the address Stafan gave them, there’s a witch (Hazel) casting some sort of creepy spell, but they can’t get in because they weren’t invited. It doesn’t take long for Enzo to find a way to kill her. And when they finally get to Tom, Caroline can’t go through with it. So she snaps Enzo’s neck, compels the cute doppelganger, and gets the hell out of there. Next stop: diner date.
Can we talk about how attractive Stefan’s doppelganger was in that diner scene? Was it the hair? Because he was, like, five times more attractive than Stefan, and that’s really saying something. Maybe Stefan should go easy on the hair gel.
Caroline decides that she can’t kill Tom, so she compels him to leave town and start a happy life. Sadly, he never makes. In an eerie twist of fate, as they’re leaving the diner Enzo comes out of nowhere and snaps Tom’s neck (it reminded us of when Damon compelled Aaron to run out of town, only to kill him on his way out.) He informs Caroline that he, too, made a deal with the Travelers: if he completed the task, they’re going to find a way to reunite him with the girl he’s in love with, the one that got away. Seeing how she would be 60 years older now, we’re not quite sure how that’s going to work, but Enzo is determined.
Needless to say, Caroline is upset. Cue the most adorable Steroline scene ever. She’s not upset she didn’t kill Tom — she knew she couldn’t — she’s upset Stefan is still being held hostage by the Travelers, despite their successful mission. It seems the Travelers aren’t done with Stefan yet, but at least he has Caroline on his side. She tells him she’s going to find a way to get him out and then they proceed to cuddle in a tent. Seriously, how CUTE are they?
Their cuddle sesh is interrupted, however, when the Travelers start chanting. It seems the Travelers staged a mass suicide — they set themselves on fire — to wreak havoc on the Other Side and bring back their leader Markos. Poor Bonnie had to endure each one of their passings. The pain caused her to pass out, which was probably a good thing because if not, she would have come face-to-face with Markos, who escaped the Other Side. Obviously, the Travelers have thrown off the balance. If Markos could escape, then it’s only a matter of time before more dead supernaturals sneak through — i.e. KOL.
It seems Liv and Luke are trying to stop this. They know something is happening on the Other Side. Liv told Elena that her coven has been trying to protect her from the Travelers, but she just couldn’t stop getting herself into trouble. We wonder if Liv’s coven was behind Nadia and Katherine’s plot to make Katherine a passenger inside Elena’s body. That way, both doppelgangers would have stayed alive, making it nearly impossible for the Travelers to succeed.
Whatever the deal, Jeremy is on Liv’s side. She’s the only one who knows how to save his sister and his girlfriend. In fact, when Damon threatened to kill her, he offered up his own life as well. This all made Elena extremely uncomfortable. (Reason no. 14295 why Damon and Elena don’t work as a couple.)
In the end, Jeremy can’t deal with all the supernatural craziness, so he moves out of the Salvatore mansion and into the Lockwood mansion (cue bromantic sleepover parties with Matt and Tyler!), and we can’t really blame him. Elena can barely get her life together, let alone care for Jeremy. So she decides to leave, too — back to Whitmore. And once again, she breaks up with Damon. But this time, instead of pulling her closer, he lets her go.
Elena finally made a step in the right direction. She can’t be with Damon until she figures out what it is that she wants. Yes, they have INSANE chemistry and that’s a huge part of any relationship, but so is compatibility. And right now, these two are not compatible.
Catch the next episode of The Vampire Diaries on Thursday, March 27 at 8 p.m. ET on the CW.