The episode opens with Stefan at the auto shop asking for a few days off. Apparently his boss isn’t too keen on that happening, so Stefan picks him up by the throat and compels him into giving him the time off, and even burying his girlfriend Ivy. You know, the one that Enzo killed last week.
Meanwhile, Caroline isn’t unpacking like she was supposed to. She doesn’t want to go back to school and is off to breakfast with Enzo. See! I told you that road trip would lead to better things between them. Fingers crossed. Elena is trying to plan a party, of course, to get the gang back together. On the plus side, they’re serving Jell-O shots. So, there’s that.
Matt finds Tripp cleaning out his van. You know, the one where he hauled all those vampires across the city line that burned them alive? Now Matt is talking about going to Elena’s party and plans on bringing Jay, his community militia buddy. As they walk away we see Tripp washing blood out of the door.
In other news, Jeremy is with Sarah and still drinking during the day…from the bottle. When will that end? Poor thing.
Back at the college, Tyler and the witchy siblings are also talking about said party. Man, this thing better be off the hook. Liv is a little reluctant to give Tyler a keg since he pretty much almost ripped her brother’s head off in the parking lot the other night, which almost triggered his werewolf curse. God, when are these people going to learn. Cut to Elena, who really wants Liam to come to her party so she can introduce him to Caroline.
Who can think about that when Stefan has arrived! Yes, he’s officially back in Mystic Falls. Elena and Stefan have a bit of an awkward chat in the hallway before we are back in 1994, where Bonnie and Damon are grocery shopping with Ace of Base’s “The Sign” playing in the background. They’re still trying to figure out who else is trapped with them, because someone figured out that crossword puzzle clue, and it sure as hell wasn’t Bonnie.
Now we find Elena and Stefan sitting in an empty classroom talking about the dinner from hell, the fact that he has a job and had a new girlfriend, and she starts talking about how much she misses Bonnie. She decides to invite him to her fabulous party she’s throwing. She practically begs him and wants him to help him tell Caroline that Enzo is not new best friend material. Now Stefan definitely wants to go…probably so he can get his revenge for killing his girlfriend.
Meanwhile, over at the best breakfast date ever, Caroline is giving Enzo the rundown of all the rules he cannot break at the party. He recites them aloud: Rule 1. Don’t mention Elena was madly in love with Damon or you’ll kill me. Rule 2. Don’t really reference Damon at all, or you’ll kill me. Rule 3. Wear sunscreen, he says jokingly. Basically, he can’t do anything that will get him in or cause any trouble.
Over in Groundhog Day land, Bonnie and Damon stumble upon his car in the parking lot. Good thing it’s 1994 over there, otherwise they never would have seen that thing again. He’s sitting in the drivers seat making vroom vroom noises when they see something and go search for the person that’s been lurking around.
Elena, Stefan and Liam are driving to the party and are really building Caroline up. I mean, she really is loyal and does remember everyone’s birthdays. Side note, can you believe it’s already been two years since Elena and Stefan dated? Crazy how time flies.
Now we’re finally at this party that everyone’s been talking about. So you’re telling me a swimming hole is basically a lake? Got it. Elena shows off and does a flip off the rope swing in front of everyone. As she’s getting out of the lake she swims past Jeremy as he’s making out with Sarah. Gross. Tyler is about to get in a fight with Jay when Matt comes along and breaks it up as usual. In his defense though, that guy really is a wasted douche bag. They leave to go meet Elena and Caroline, thinking it was something serious but she reminds them of the times they had growing up and wants everyone to be “normal” and have some fun. Cue the Jell-O shots! Sadly no one will do them with her. Well, Caroline does one and then walks off.
Back in 1994, Damon finally meets the mysterious person that’s been following them around. It’s some kid named Ky who is eating all the pork rinds from the grocery store. He admits to following them around town and tells Damon to have a drink. As soon as he takes a swig of bourbon he spits it out because his new friend Ky spiked it with vervain. Where is Bonnie? Oh, there she is. Listen Ky, she is not useless. See! She lit a candle with her mind! Someone’s got their magic back.
As Elena is apologizing to Liam for Caroline’s behavior, he goes in for a kiss. He obviously wasn’t interested in meeting Caroline. Duh. We find Enzo walking through the woods with bags of ice when Stefan shows up wanting revenge. Enzo throws a tree branch that ends up killing the douche bag from earlier. Don’t worry, he did it to save Stefan. Apparently Jay was carrying a gun with wooden stakes and would’ve killed him if he hadn’t.
Meanwhile, Enzo needs to get rid of the body and informs Matt that his so-called friend was a vampire hunter. Caroline shows up and basically unloads on Stefan, pretty much guilting him into staying in Mystic Falls. He has too many people here that he loves and if he truly wanted to leave forever he would have done it by now. She reminds him that killing Enzo won’t bring his brother back or even his girlfriend. Just as she thinks she’s getting through to him, he walks away…only to find Elena standing there to comfort her.
You guys, this party is still going on and no one has gotten any ice. That’s because they keep having to go back to Mystic Falls to get it, which means the magic disappears and now they’re worried that Sarah remembers what happened to her. That Elena bit her and Caroline compelled her to forget. So why is she playing dumb?
In the next scene we find Bonnie and Damon hosting their new friend Ky at the house. He reveals that the key to getting out of this time warp is with Bonnie’s magic and she just needed a little motivation. He wouldn’t kill 1/3 of the population. He’s not a monster for god sake. That’s debatable.
Liv shows up to the rescue, sort of, with her truck to help Tyler load up all the kegs. As she uses her magic to move the kegs so he can’t grab them, he pushes her against the car and asks her flat out why she wants to see him break. Oh no, she’s just a girl and it’s easier for her to see him as an “aggressive, unlikeable dick,” so that she doesn’t have to worry about falling for him. Aw.
Back at the dorms, Caroline and Elena are talking about how much they miss Bonnie when Elena gets her to spill the beans, that she actually had feelings for Stefan. YES!
In other news, Enzo goes into the diner to get something to eat when Tripp tells him he can’t have him killing anymore of the wait staff and stabs him in the neck with vervain, asking him to be a little more discreet. Lucky for him, Enzo can fight the vervain and picks Tripp up by the throat when he’s suddenly stabbed in the chest from behind with a stake. Stefan walks in, holding the gun he took from Jay after Enzo killed him, and introduces himself to Tripp saying that they have something in common. Tripp realizes that they’re both one of the founding families. As Stefan tries to take another shot at Enzo, Tripp stops him and tells him he has his own way of killing vampires, but Stefan asks him to make sure it’s painful.
How long has Tripp been in town? Where do we think Sarah is? What is Ky’s plan for Damon and Bonnie?