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Vampire Diaries Recap: “The Simple Intimacy of the Near Touch”

Published on January 23rd, 2017 | Updated on January 31st, 2017 | By FanFest

In the last episode it was discovered that the Matt’s (Zach Roerig) family, the Maxwells, created a mystical bell and the race to find it began. The bell is made of three separate pieces, tuning fork (Staff of Arcadia), the iron ball (striker), and the bell itself.

Although Seline (Kristen Gutoskie) has taken the bell and the Staff of Arcadia is with Bonnie (Kat Graham) and Enzo (Michael Malarkey), Sybil (Nathalie Kelley) might still have a chance to secure the third piece. The striker is the very same iron ball that Damon(Ian Somerhalder) stole from Peter Maxwell (Joel Gretsch). She contacts Damon and asks that he bring it to her. Reluctantly he agrees and at first, Stefan (Paul Wesley) is annoyed, but then realizes that this might actually be a good thing because then Damon can finally get Elena (Nina Dobrev) out of his head. The brothers take a break from their work for Cade to head back to Mystic Falls.

Bonnie has finally returned from Paris much to Caroline’s (Candice King) delight. As they catch up, Caroline notices a very large pendant around Bonnie’s neck that happens to be filled with Enzo’s blood. Caroline finds it slightly odd and wonders whether Bonnie is contemplating turning into a vampire, which she dismisses. The reunion is interrupted by a call from Seline. The girls meet and Seline attempts to acquire their help in stopping Sybil. She informs them that Damon has the third artifact and that if Sybil gets her hands on all three pieces it will not end well. Their discussion is cut short since Caroline has obligations – she’s running the Miss Mystic Falls Pageant.

Naturally, neither Caroline nor Bonnie trust Seline so they recruit Matt and Dorian (Demetrius Bridges) to search for the bell. Caroline confirms that they still have the tuning fork and mentions their encounter with Seline. She is certain that since Seline is still in town, the bell must be nearby. Excited for a job, Matt points out to Dorian that this is an opportunity to get Seline back for Georgie’s death.

Annette Brown/The CW

As Caroline and Bonnie prepare to quickly get through the pageant so they can start the search for the stiker, Damon and Stefan show up all decked out. There is no need to search for Damon who has the third artifact now that he is standing right in front of them. Confused by why they are there, Sybil appears and admits to inviting them. She ensures that they will behave as long as she is able to get what she wants.

Damon tours the building while continuing to fiddle with Elena’s necklace. As he does this, he gets flashes of the time that he and Elena attended the event together all those years ago. Sybil interrupts him and demands that he turn over the striker. To Sybils surprise, he refuses and she angrily enters his mind. There she sees Elena again, and as she had done before, takes her place in his subconscious. Just when she thinks she has resumed control, he smashes her head into the mirror, which drives her out of his head. Apparently by the shock in her expression, this has never occurred before!

Annette Brown/The CW

Stefan meanwhile has found the bar and is helping himself to a drink. Caroline approaches him, as this is their first real encounter since he started working for Cade. Their confrontation is filled with snide and hurtful remarks. Meanwhile, Bonnie spies Sybil talking to a girl, and knowing Sybil that’s never good. As she goes towards her, Enzo pulls her away. He prefers that she leave the detective work to the immortals. It’s obvious to her that he cares deeply for her and because she is mortal, he is constantly worried about the risks that surround them. Even though the reality that their love might be short-lived because of his immortality, she can’t turn into a vampire because of Elena. They are still linked and Kai warned them not to try anything magical.

While Seline sits at a bar, Dorian sneaks up behind her and hits the tuning fork that causes her to grimace with pain. Irritated by the fact that he interrupted her day drinking, she seems to understand when he says he is paying her back for Georgie’s death.

Caroline runs into Damon at the pageant and he reveals that even though Sybil demanded he return the iron ball, for the first time he was able to tell her no and it was all because of the necklace. Caroline jumps at the chance to ask him for the ball instead, to which he rejects. Exasperated, he tells Caroline that he doesn’t want Sybil dead until he can get her to fix whatever she has done to his mind. He then questions why Caroline gave him the necklace. Sounds like he almost wishes she hadn’t. He doesn’t understand why it is affecting him the way that it does. Caroline wonders what Sybil did to him and he tells her that she toyed with his mind after he flipped his switch so that he can’t feel anything for Elena. Caroline replies that the necklace represents the powerful love that he and Elena have and that was why she gave it to him. Damon fires back that this was her way of trying to hold onto Stefan. He then divulges that that Stefan is ripping again. Caroline, being the optimist that she is, sees this disclosure as proof that there is some piece of him deep down that still cares and that is where Elena is buried. She encourages him to find that place and use it to break free.

Sybil locates Stefan and tells him that Damon has been resisting her influence and Stefan tells her that she made a mistake bringing him here because the pageant is where their “vomit inducing love story’ began. Elena is obviously still in his subconscious despite the fact that Sybil tried to erase her influence from him. Both Elena and Mystic Falls has a greater hold on Damon than they think. They decide to work together to resolve this problem.

While Dorian keeps Seline occupied, Matt searches her house for the bell. A cop catches him, however, as he is talking to him, he realizes that the cop has been instructed by Seline to kill anyone who asks about the bell. Matt manages to disarm him and get away. Knowing that Seline has people keeping tabs on inquiring minds as it relates to this bell, he knows he has a good lead.

At the pageant, Stefan wants Damon to hand over the ball that Sybil wants. He thinks that by Damon fighting Sybil, it is keeping him from being the brother he wants. As they argue, Stefan laments about how the past getting in the way of them bonding on this new life. He brings up how this event was where Damon sold Stefan out about falling off the wagon and began falling for Elena. Damon retorts that he no longer cares about Elena, but Stefan knows better. He reaches for the necklace and this time he breaks it. As Stefan walks away with Sybil, Caroline steps in and tries to tell Damon not to listen to Stefan. She takes him to the dance floor where everyone has paired off and is dancing. She implores him to listen to his subconscious that is trying to tell him the truth.

Meanwhile, Bonnie and Enzo are in their own world on the dance floor. They continue to discuss whether or not she would ever consider turning and she admits that before him she never did. However, now she confesses that she would, but since the pendant means more to her, she can’t wear it. She then gives it back to Enzo.

As Caroline and Damon dance, she attempts to get him to remember. While on the other side of the dance floor, Sybil confesses to Stefan that she has never seen a war with the conscious and subconscious, and she is curious to see how this will play out. They then switch partners with Caroline and Damon. Before the dance concludes, Sybil threatens Damon that his humanity will come flooding back and destroy him. She strongly warns that he should give up and hand over the striker ball. He seems to concede and tells her where he hid it and offers to take her.

Meanwhile Dorian and Seline continue to chat. Dorian questions why she is helping them. He knows she’s up to something. Instead of answering his questions, she turns it around and asks who is searching for the bell right now. She’s no dummy! Dorian divulges that he is working with Matt, to which she responds, “Good, I was hoping Caroline would rope him in.” Apparently there is only one family that can ring the assembled bell and it’s his, the Maxwells!

Back at the pageant, Caroline notice that Damon left with Sybil. The urgency to procure the striker is critical. While Bonnie and Enzo get everyone to safety, Caroline will get the artifact. However, before she can leave, she discovers that the pageant girls have been compelled by Stefan to stay, despite her effort to get them to leave. That’s definitely not a good sign!

Upstairs, Damon is just about to give up the iron ball but before he does, he declares that the more Sybil tries to push Elena out of his subconscious, the more he realizes that Elena is never going away. He struggles with the two women in his mind and he even though he can’t feel anything for Elena, he can’t have them both in his head. In true Damon fashion, he lashes out and bashes Sybil upside the head with the iron ball! Anyone else feel a tiny bit of satisfaction with his reaction? Stefan walks in on Damon standing over Sybil’s unconscious body. He tells him he is leaving by himself because he realizes he is never going to have the brother that he wants. Damon is stunned by this declaration since he has broken his ties with Sybil just like Stefan had wanted. However, Stefan informs him that it’s not Damon’s ties to Sybil that he wanted him to break, but his ties to Elena. Stefan is choosing himself over everyone else and with that he stabs Damon with a wooden coat hanger and takes the striker. Here’s to hoping Stefan snaps out of this soon!

As Caroline tries to figure out what Stefan has done to the pageant girls, he saunters in with the striker and throws it to her. He could care less about the iron ball, the bell or the sirens. His only focus is killing and the work he has to do for Cade. With that he snaps the neck of a nearby girl. He then reveals that he has given them his blood, so they will come back as vampires. Turning innocent people into vampires is perfect because according to him, “vampirism is a one-way path to hell.” He taunts Caroline by telling her that since they are engaged, she is not an innocent bystander and all this blood is also on her hands. In anger, Caroline flings a knife straight into Stefan.

Bob Mahoney/The CW

Matt, meanwhile, finally locates the bell that is housed in an evidence room. Unfortunately the Sheriff catches him, however, he is able to subdue him and coerce him to help steal the bell. As he goes to leave, Dorian shows up with Seline. Startled, Matt raises his gun, but Dorian tells him that he needs to listen to what she has to say. This should be interesting!

Before returning to Stefan, Caroline stays with the girl that he killed to offer her help as she transitions. When Stefan finally wakes up, she concedes that he is right and the blood is also on her hands because they are together. She states that they will spend the next year to do what they need to in order to get out of the deal with Cade, but they will do it her way. To her disappointment, Stefan declares that he doesn’t want to quite, she reminds him of the deal that they made when they got engaged, but he no longer seems to care. Defeated, she takes off her ring and asks that he stay away from her.

Bob Mahoney/The CW

After getting everyone to safety, Bonnie and Enzo continue their conversation about safety and mortality. He gave the necklace to her to help save her when he couldn’t be there for her. He can’t imagine losing her. While I do adore these two together, I’m hoping they get more into the actual fight rather than argue about their love and how much time they have. Bonnie regrets giving the necklace back to Enzo, but as they talk she wonders what if it’s not immortality that is on the table, but mortality. What if Enzo took the cure? Will Enzo relinquish his immortality for Bonnie?

Turns out Damon took advantage of Sybil being unconscious and imprisoned her. With her hold on him is now gone, he intends on torturing her for the next few centuries. Unfortunately, it seems she might have the advantage as she grabs him and returns all of his humanity. Her warning of the pain it would cause could be true. The memories of all the horrible things he has done come rushing back as he lies unresponsive on the floor.

Next episode “Nostalgia’s a Bitch” Preview:

Damon is trapped in his head, Sybil is the only one who can help him, and Stefan is the key.


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