Synopsis: Damon’s hell is a repetitive loop of a Confederate mission gone south (hah) and he may or may not escape depending on how **Inceptive** the writers decide to make the second half of the season.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Normally I’m not a huge fan of Groundhog Day-esque hellscapes where the protagonist has to experience the same circumstances (and in this case, mind-numbing Confederate dialogue) over and over again until I want to throw my laptop through a plate glass window. I’m over the Inception top-spinning-but-was-it-all-a-dreamscape Mobius strip where the audience doesn’t gain any satisfaction after watching two hours of action for a cheap resolution that ‘woah, none of this actually happened.’ Anyway, I have a weird soft spot for this beautiful disaster of a show, so I’ll make an exception for this week’s episode of TVD.

But if it happens again, I won’t be so nice.

We pick up where we left off – Damon and Stefan are trapped in the Phoenix Stone, experiencing their personal flavors of hell. We don’t get to see Stefan’s version, but Damon is reliving his days as a Confederate Soldier back in the 1800’s. Well, one day in particular.

The day with the most inane dialogue [cwtv]
The day with the most inane dialogue [cwtv]
After receiving a letter from Stefan, Damon asks his commanding officer for leave to visit Mystic Falls. His CO grants his requests, but only if he’s able to collect two deserters harbored in a nearby cottage. Damon takes a buddy and the two go to the house. Unfortunately, when Damon finds the deserters, three women harboring the deserters also get shot along with the hiding soldiers. Damon then ‘wakes up’ to an exhausted Bonnie, who tells him he’s been trapped in the stone for three months.

Damon goes on an adventure to find Stefan’s (kidnapped) body and free him from the stone before realizing this is all a dream and he’s still trapped in the stone. So the day repeats.

Again and again.

Bonnie praying for no more repetitive dialogue [cwtv]
Bonnie praying for no more repetitive dialogue [cwtv]
Damon goes on a mission. Mission goes terribly awry. Rinse and repeat.

And repeat.

Until Damon keeps running into Lily, who tells him that he needs to give in to the punishment before he can get out. Enterprising Damon doesn’t listen; instead he unsuccessfully tries to engineer different circumstances every day to prevent the mass casualty.

This happens a few more times until Damon goes off track and deserts his battalion. He finds Lily and Stefan in the deserter house this time and he ends up apologizing to Lily, admitting that he is sorry to have missed being with his mother and helping her before she died.

After this happens, Damon gets pulled from the stone (again). This time may or may not be real, but regardless Damon doesn’t believe it’s real so he starts slaying everybody (Matt, Stefan, Bonnie, and a very pregnant Caroline) to try and hit the reset button and see Lily again. So we’ll see how that shakes out.

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