Synopsis: Future!Caroline is engaged and gets hunted by the mysterious cross-killer. Back in the past (present), Damon tries to negotiate for Caroline’s (and Elena’s comatose body’s) freedom from Mommy Salvatore and her Witchy Backup Dancers.

Rating: ★★★★☆

The writers are really into this framing plot device this season, and this week’s storyline was surprisingly coherent.

Future!Caroline is working in some sort of media production. She has all the trappings of a successful life: a new hairstyle, killer wardrobe, sycophantic assistant, and a fiance!

Flip to the end of the episode – turns out Caroline and Stefan aren’t on speaking terms, so Care’s beau is not a Salvatore brother (we hope). Shortly after this revelation, Caroline is shot by the mysterious cross-cut assassin.

Back in the past (present), Damon tries to negotiate Caroline’s release.

It doesn’t work.

Mommy Salvatore is a sadist. She wants to take away all of Damon’s toys because he took away one of hers. So Lily breaks into the family crypt and steals Elena’s catatonic body.

Also, the Salvatores can’t get into their house. Lily compelled Matt to sign the deed, forget he signed it, and refuse entrance to the brothers.

Bonners convinces Matt to let her kill him for a few minutes to break the deed’s magic. She does, but passes out when she’s supposed to bring him back to life.

Matt is the luckiest recurring character because he is also the most irritating character. [tvequals]
Matt is the luckiest recurring character and also the most irritating character, including Bonners. [tvequals]
Why does she pass out? Because she has a VISION. From Ric’s creepy resurrection Phoenix Stone of Profound Evil. Which she tells Ric to destroy. (Side note: Why the hell does a history professor have access to a vat of very concentrated hydrofluoric acid?) Ric does not destroy the stone and instead uses its evil powers to revive a body in the morgue for a hot second. Suddenly there’s hope for Jo! (Dude. You knew her ONE season. I get that she was your witchy wife, but still.)

Bonnie wakes up just in time to save Matt. Who blames Damon for all his ills, as per usual.

Back to Caroline: after Enzo ties her in vervaine-laced ropes, Caroline plays on Enzo’s affection for her and escapes. Briefly. She’s caught and tortured by the Heretic gals.

Can't blame a girl for trying. [tvequals]
Can’t blame a girl for trying. [tvequals]
The torture gets worse after Caroline mocks one of the girls’ Victorian funeral dress – prompting her girlfriend (Mary Louise. The fact that  have another set of stupid character names to learn makes me angry.) to stab Caroline with an eyeliner pencil.

One of the other heretic gals who is on the outs with the torture-happy couple puts a spell on Caroline, turning her skin into vervain so the girls can’t touch her. As with any too-convenient solution on this show, it also means that Stefan can’t touch Caroline’s skin when he breaks into the house to save her. (Or do other sexual things. *winks*)

It’s pointless either way, because as soon as Stefan grabs Caroline, the house starts shaking, expelling Stefan and dragging Caroline back to her captors.

Oh, and turns out that Enzo has a **thing** for Mommy Salvatore. It’s a little gross and incestuous, but hey. Caroline isn’t biting.

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