As we saw at the end of The Vampire Diaries Season 6 Episode 4, Stefan's latest girlfriend is now a vampire and she's a little pissed that Stefan didn't tell her who he was.
So, Stefan does what anyone would do: he dumps her with Caroline, who he blames for pulling him back into the drama in Mystic Falls. The good news is that Ivy is quite a sparkplug. She doesn't waste a lot of time in the "woe is me" arena and is a pretty active new vamp.
I like that.
Toward the outset of the hour, Alaric is teaching a class and that's one class I'd never be able to stay awake through. (For those of you familiar with my long-standing disinterest in the character, know this: I'm not a fan). So this budding romance between Alaric and Jo isn't compelling me (no pun intended).
I am dead because of you! Because you lied to me about who you were! Until your friend Enzo turned me into something straight out of Buffy the Vampire Slayer!Ivy
But I do like Elena just wanting to let loose and have a good time. Her bantering with Liam is cute (almost as cute as Liam himself, don't ya think?) and we hear first mention of the Corn Maze, which will be our group gathering for the episode where really bad things are bound to happen.
And in a storyline that desperately needs to get to the next step, Kai, Bonnie and Damon are still stuck in the past ... though Kai does mention there's a way to get back to the real world. Of course, he's not going to share that with anyone, so Bonnie does what any witch would do: she hurls a pickaxe into his chest.
1994 is fun!
Me. I say. Because I will kill Kai and anyone who comes in the way of me going home.Damon
Back in the present, the Corn Maze is full of good fun, with Elena opening up a little to Liam about Damon dying and her heart being a little broken. And Alaric and Jo try not to be awkward when they know they're being set up together, but things really pick up when Tyler, in an effort not to hit someone in the road, ends up knocking himself out and driving through.
Darn that Corn Maze!
LIam: You're still hung up on your ex. Overly ambitious pre-med student desperate to become a doctor so she can prove to the guy who dumped her that he messed up big time.
Elena: Actually, he died.
We see Tyler and Liv bond trying to save the guy he ran over, Elena and Liam attempt to save an injured girl and Alaric try not to get too turned on by all the blood. Okay, I kinda enjoyed seeing Alaric's struggle.
Something unexpected I really did enjoy was that Elena didn't have to resort to her vampire ways to save the girl since Liam did it the old fashioned way (like a doctor might!). Is that a sign that maybe these people could live without being a vampire ruling everything they encounter?
Kudos to the writers for surprising us with that twist in the story.
Also, a surprise was Liv basically putting the injured guy out of his misery because she and Tyler knew he wasn't going to live. Why did she do it? To help Tyler from triggering the werewolf curse.
Bonnie and Damon are ready to go back to the future when Kai (you didn't really think he was dead, did you?) shows up and tries to stop them. Bonnie makes yet another sacrifice and Damon is the only one to go back.
Is this the end of Bonnie? Or will Damon continue the fight to bring her back? (How many times can we lose Bonnie? Seriously?!?)
So, how did things wrap up?
First, Liza ends up in the hands of Tripp (with Caroline watching in horror) and, for the first time in awhile, I admit, I was suddenly excited to see what's coming next. (And maybe now we'll get to see Enzo since he wasn't in the episode! #fail).
Elena finally gives in to Liam and his scrumptious lips... Liv and Tyler share a nice moment (I like them together -- don't you?) ... and, of course, Damon shows back up just as Stefan was lamenting his inability to move on. Quite poetic and fitting for the estranged Salvatore brothers.
Come on, you totally got teary eyed when Stefan hugged his brother, didn't you?
I keep trying to start over but I can't get anywhere.Stefan
Overall, The Vampire Diaries Season 6 Episode 5 was probably the best I've seen this season. Things are amping up in a nice direction and most of the stories (sorry, Alaric) are holding my interest more than they have thus far in The Vampire Diaries Season 6. Let's hope they continue on this path.
One pet peeve that I feel I must put out in the Universe again is this:
Writers, can we please stop with the snapping of necks? It's been a long, long time since that was a shock or even remotely interesting and we saw TWO neck snappings in the first quarter of this episode that didn't add up to much of anything.
I get that it buys a character some time for whatever reason but, well, it's tired and it's become a lazy way to propel - or stall - the plot.
Other than that.. two thumbs up! What did everyone else think?
Here is your first look at The Vampire Diaries Season 6 Episode 6, "The More You Ignore Me, the Closer I Get."
Jim Halterman is the West Coast Editor of TV Fanatic and the owner of JimHalterman.com. Follow him on Twitter.