Synopsis: Stefan, Damon, and Valerie go on a trip to find and kill Julian, while Bonnie and Enzo discover the secret of the Phoenix Stone.
So that was pretty much the best flash forward ever. Three years from now, Bonnie’s checked herself into some sort of rehab facility. She tells everyone in group therapy that she’s consumed with guilt over a decision she wishes she never made but she cannot undo.
After the meeting, Bonnie goes to her room, only to be confronted by… Enzo! What’s more, the two start locking lips pretty passionately, so apparently that’s a thing in the future. (Which also suggests that Caroline’s new fiance isn’t Enzo, Stefan, or Ric (ew).)
Back in the present, Stefan and Caroline are getting snuggly together in her tiny dorm bed – it’s adorable, so of course Damon has to barge in and ruin the moment. Damon tells Stefan to get dressed because they’re going on a roadtrip with Valerie to find Julian. Pretty sure I missed why the Salvatores are interested in destroying Julian, but we’re rolling with it.
Valerie plays the stoic martyr throughout the trip – even though THERE IS NO CONCEIVABLE REASON THAT NOT TELLING STEFAN THAT JULIAN MURDERED THEIR UNBORN CHILD BENEFITS HER. You have an extremely legitimate sympathy card and you’re not playing it? Why are you taking Stefan’s judgmental backtalk, Valerie? You are worth so much more.
So. Much. More.
Back at Whitmore, Ric is reunited with Jo and it feels so… awkward. Jo doesn’t have any memory of her life with Ric, but she seems to remember some of her medical skills. When Ric starts to tell Jo how she died, Jo freaks out and grabs Ric’s gun (which was laying out on the table for anyone to reach?), threatens his life, and runs out the door.
In Mystic Falls, Bonnie goes to investigate exactly what happened when she resurrected Jo and Oscar – it turns out that she didn’t raise either of them from the dead. Oscar tells her that he doesn’t want to go back into the stone. Surprise! Instead of necromancy, Bonners freed some imprisoned vampire souls from the Mystic Rock and shoved those souls into dead bodies.
Ric manages to track down Jo just as Bonnie calls to tell him that Jo is really not!Jo. Not!Jo is really frightened of her new surroundings, but Ric promises that he’ll help her to adjust, even if she isn’t his wife.
On the Salvatore road trip extravaganza, the gang finally finds where Julian’s dead body is hidden. It’s in a storage room full of coffins. The gang check each coffin one by one at normal speed, because apparently they live in a magical world where there are no time constraints and they have zero danger of being interrupted by a gang of homicidal heretics. Is there a reason you’re not vamping around this morbid scavenger hunt?
Once they finally find Julian’s corpse, Valerie tries to light it on fire. Unfortunately, Mary Louise and Nora interrupt, extinguishing the flames. The girls tattle on Valerie to Lily, Valerie tattles on Lily to Damon (apparently Lily gave Kai the idea to put Elena into a coma as punishment for not rescuing the gang from the prison world), Damon attacks Lily, and everyone gets blown to bits by heretics.
Once the wood chips settle, Valerie tells Stefan the truth about their missed connection. Stefan agrees to house Valerie and kill Julian. Stefan also cancels dinner with Caroline, which sucks, but is kinda to be expected because nothing ever really works out for Caroline.
The end of the episode ends in a scuffle for the Phoenix Stone between Enzo and Bonnie, with Enzo killing not!Oscar and then allowing Lily to revive Julian.. .despite Enzo’s ultimatum that Lily needs to either choose Julian or himself. Valerie still refuses to tell Lily why she tried to kill Julian because everything is so dramatic and Valerie has no sense of self-preservation.
In the final moments, with three heretics chanting around him (even though Oscar and Jo only needed one witch), Julian opens his eyes and kisses Lily.