Synopsis: We walk down memory lane when Valerie brags to Caroline about being Stefan’s first love and subsequent heartbreak. Lily tells Stefan about Julian (her boyfriend), while Damon tracks down the last member of Lily’s family to leverage Elena’s casket.
With the loss of Elena, I didn’t know how this show was going to function, but I think the mythology has been a lot cleaner and the writing has been a lot tighter.
Anyway, this week the writers only use one framing device instead of the usual two: Tyler gets a phone call from Stefan to warn Caroline that his x-shaped wound opened up and now he’s on the run. Afterward, he dramatically burns his car.
Back in present day, Bonnie is busy journaling her feelings to Elena when she’s hit with Evil Phoenix Stone Visions again. Which is crazy because Ric totally liquefied the stone, right?
Ric’s still holding onto the rock in the hopes that it can bring Jo back from the dead. You’d think he’d know not to mess with the Seriously Evil Artifact of the season, but hey. You live and you learn. Or, in Ric’s case, you die and you don’t learn. Then you die again and STILL KEEP MAKING THE SAME MISTAKES.
Back at the Heretic encampment, Nora and Mary Louise are tormenting Caroline until Valerie decides to take over. Valerie tells Caroline all about how she and Stefan were lovers.
Turns out that Lily sent Valerie to check on Stefan before she sailed for England. Valerie fell for Stefan’s meatheaded charm and evaded her chaperone, Julian, in order to have sex with Stefan. Long overwrought story short, Stefan has his first sexual experience with Valerie, Julian makes Valerie leave, and Stefan is forlorn.
Later, Valerie promises Stefan she’ll be back, but instead gets waylaid by Lily’s evil boyfriend Julian, who realizes that Valerie is pregnant with Stefan’s child and proceeds to kick the life out of her unborn baby and nearly out of Valerie. Needless to say, Valerie does not make her rendezvous with Stefan, leaving him heartbroken. Lily heals Valerie, Valerie kills herself, and Valerie becomes the first Heretic.
Lily ends up feeling some sort of misplaced compassion for Caroline, so she ends up freeing her at the end of the episode. Granted, Caroline isn’t too pleased with Stefan now that his first love is in town.
During storytime, Damon, Bonnie, and Ric track down the last Heretic: a lovable stoner named Oscar.
Oscar really doesn’t want to hurt the gang, but when Bonnie shows him her visions triggered by the Phoenix Stone, he freaks out and knocks them all unconscious. He takes the stone and runs away, only to be caught by Damon. Damon decides to take him hostage in exchange for Elena’s casket. Bonnie agrees to help Ric use the stone to bring Jo back from the dead, which is a Very Bad Idea, but hey. You die and you learn, right?
At the end of the episode, Valerie tracks Oscar down and learns that he knows where Julian is hiding. Valerie then kills Oscar so Julian will never be found. Which is a shame, because Oscar was definitely my new favorite character on this show. We needed some kumbaya vibes on TVD, bruh.