Synopsis: After we spend the episode Eternal Sunshining through Damon’s subconscious, we learn that all anyone ever really needs is to forgive and be forgiven. 

This show is becoming like a 4th wall breaking homage to its own terribleness. Graduate students will be writing dissertations for years about how this show went south, then became self-aware of how bad it was, and then leaned the fuck into it. 

Anyway, this week we resolve all of Damon’s psychological issues by literally diving into his subconscious. After Sybil turned his humanity back on, he took refuge in his mind. Damon created a fantasy world where he doesn’t exist and he didn’t cause the pain and deaths of his friends.

Bonners and Caroline try to free Damon from his comatose mind prison with the psychic help of Sybil. Why is Sybil helping? Oh, because she wants to get the bell-weapon from Matt and Caroline’s the only person who can help her. 

Why do I know that? Because someone blatantly asked her. Also, it’s hilarious because the characters are straight up asking each others’ motivations now. The writers aren’t even trying to show and not tell. 

Meanwhile, Stefan is helping Selene get the bell away from Sybil. Turns out, the bell opens the portal to hell after 12 chimes (which must be struck by a member of Matt’s family because they also conveniently constructed the bell; Matt apparently comes from a long line of supernatural bell-smithys). 

I know, it’s ridiculous. [celebritydirtylaundry]
The hell portal envelops everyone within a couple square miles, which is cool exposition because I needed specifics on the blast radius of a hell portal, which is apparently exactly Mystic Falls-sized. I always thought a hell portal would envelop more than a rural town, but that might be a strict-constructionist viewpoint. Discuss in the comments.

Anyway, the hell jokes also abound. For example, “What the hell are you talking about?” “Hell is what I’m talking about.” 


So Bonners and Caroline figure out that all Damon needs to get out of his coma is to be forgiven for his crimes, but also to forgive Stefan for turning him into a vampire and causing all these horrible things to happen. Which sounds a helluva  (wink) lot like some flimsy attempt to bring this story full circle to me. Also, it kinda absolves Damon of his agency, which I’m not super okay with. It was very preachy and extremely Good Will Hunting.

In the meantime, Stefan compels Matt to ring the mystic bell if he can’t forgive Damon for killing his sister. As he starts ham-fistedly ringing the bell of destruction, Damon wakes up from his coma and stops him. See? Forgiveness is all you really need, otherwise everyone dies.

Anyway, things are all cool now except Cade was freed from hell because Matt rang the bell a few times, and he burns the Siren sisters to a crisp. If only he knew how to forgive. 

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