The pieces of the Three Years Later puzzle are starting to fall into place now that we've seen The Vampire Diaries Season 7 Episode 15.
Damon's decision to self-desiccate, Caroline's anger at hearing the name Stefan Salvatore, and Matt's Mystic Falls takeover were all explored tonight.
And I have a theory or two about that whole Bonenzo thing.
Let's start with Bonnie and Enzo, since that's the last thing I mentioned and the thing which (still) makes the least sense.
I'm going out on a limb to say that their relationship either springs from a shared distaste for the way the Armory operates and he becomes a quasi-savior/love-interest when his long-lost relatives push her to the breaking point OR it's a faux relationship entirely and one Bonnie will be quite unhappy to find herself in whenever she comes back to herself.
Basically, their relationship is some kind of stunt of the Armory which occurs after she's made to practice magic which causes her to hurt someone. My guess is that she thinks she kills Stefan by trying to figure out how to unlink Rayna from the final Everlasting.
The only way I can fathom for the two of them ending up together, even now, is that it's a trick. Maybe he's in on it. Maybe he's told to get close to her in her poor psychological state which makes the entire thing even more slimy than it already is.
I just...how does this happen?
Does she seriously turn to Enzo and the Armory for friendship and comfort following Damon's decision to desiccate himself? I can see it happening, totally, but I don't want to see it happen. And yet, my conspiracy theories are probably totally wrong and this is how it happens.
They'll end up with some kind of shared Armory-induced Stockholm Syndrome and fall into a romantic relationship. SIGH.
Anyway. There's time to watch it unfold. We'll learn all about it soon enough.
Or we won't. It seems like we might have caught up in the timeline and there's no turning back now. (Or is there? What if this is all a dream happening in Elena's head right now?)
Damon's desiccation is both totally Damon and totally heartbreaking. He's absolutely the selfish kind of guy who, rather than have to find a way to live without his girl, would take himself out of commission, regardless as to whether or not anyone else needs him.
And he's totally the kind of coward to do it in a letter instead of face to face.
As much as I love Bonnie and Damon, I was feeling pretty justified for her when she told him that she hoped knowing that he hurt her was the thing he remembers while he's laying there desiccating waiting for her to die so he can be reunited with Elena.
Jerk move, Damon. Total jerk move.
After all the times Stefan's tried his best to save Damon and Damon just walked out the door? It was perfect acting and a perfect scene and absolutely a Damon move, but ouch. It hurt to watch.
They've come so far and the brothers and their relationship is so integral to the show. That Damon would choose himself over his brother when Stefan stepped in front of the Phoenix sword for him? Yeah, you're gonna owe him more than bourbon, Damon.
Which is why it's not shocking that Damon decides, three years into the future, to take Stefan's scar and bear it. Or die? Not sure how that works, but Damon's ready to sacrifice for his brother.
Where that leaves Elena and his love for her, who knows. In the end, Damon chooses Stefan.
But Stefan chose Caroline.
Here's how Stefan and Valerie and Caroline and Alaric ended up paired off in the future. Stefan sees Caroline and Alaric experiencing happiness and decides not only not to interrupt it but also never to visit or call or even bother to break up with Caroline properly.
The girl probably spent a year grieving and raising the twins and then fell into a relationship with Alaric totally out of the blue. Stefan, meanwhile, made a choice to be with Valerie.
I mean, Caroline made a choice to be with Alaric, but it was more out of heartbreak than anything. That's actually not any more clear, is it?
Valerie and Stefan's bond is one of survival and a shared history. Alaric and Caroline's is one of survival and a shared future.
I could be totally wrong. It's happened before. I'm mostly just interested in seeing how all of these alliances shift and form and how we get from where we are to where we're going.
Including Matt Donovan's storyline with Penny and his quest to take back Mystic Falls.
It sucks that he has to force Stefan to leave town, but it makes sense. Matt can't take back his town from vampires while allowing some vampires, even the good ones, to stay. And that means cutting ties with Caroline, too.
It will be hard for him, but it's something he has to do if he's ever going to be a thriving human and not one who merely survives. (Where does this leave Tyler?)
Ultimately, this has been one of the best seasons of The Vampire Diaries in quite a while, and I'm thoroughly enjoying almost every second of it. I'm excited to watch again and can't wait to see what comes next.
What did you think of "I Would For You"? Do you think Damon will go through with bearing the hunter's mark? Will Matt succeed in ridding the town of vampires? Sound off in the comments below and don't forget you can watch The Vampire Diaries online!
Miranda Wicker is a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.