This week’s episode of The Vampire Diaries “Nostalgia’s a Bitch” takes its title quite literally with nostalgia being well, a bitch. At least for Damon it is, as he is trapped in his own personal hell with familiar faces he has let down, betrayed or killed throughout the seasons.
The episode starts after Bonnie goes for a jog and finds Damon staring off into space at Caroline’s house. They also discover Sybil locked up and realize that Damon’s humanity has been turned back on. Caroline looks into Damon’s mind and sees fire and pain because he believes that he should be in hell. Sybil sends them through the backdoor of his subconscious where we meet Henry, the man who Damon saved during the civil war, as a clerk at the Salvatore House now turned bed and breakfast. The only problem is that Damon doesn’t seem to be there, only a portrait of him depicted as a civil war hero.
They get kicked out of his conscious, to find Stefan waiting for them demanding Damon to be fixed so they can continue sending more to Cade. They jump back in and find themselves in Mystic Fall’s bar where news of an “animal attack” is spreading. A familiar faces shows up— Vicky Donovan and Liz Forbes.
Bonnie tracks down Vicky only to find out that the bandage on her neck wasn’t a bite from Damon, but a hickey from someone. Meanwhile, Caroline isn’t having any more luck with her mother, who knows nothing about Damon Salvatore, but Liz spills a vervain laced drink on her; Caroline’s making her think that she is the vampire she has been searching for.
Bonnie is having better luck seeking out her Grams to do a locator spell to find Damon. Bonnie finds the letter Damon wrote her, and they use it to find him. She is led to the crypt where she runs into Tyler ,who demands that she leaves. Bonnie is pulled out and realizes that it isn’t Caroline and Bonnie’s forgiveness that Damon needs—it’s Stefan’s.
Meanwhile, Matt has a terrifying choice to make. Caroline wants him to bring them the Charter Bell for Sybil, so she can help pull Damon out of his trance. Seline makes a better deal with Stefan though, thousands of souls to be sent to Cade if Matt rings the bell twelve times because it turns out that the bell doesn’t just kill sirens—it rips a hole open to Cade and burns everyone for miles in hellfire. Stefan compels Matt to make a choice, either forgive Damon for killing his sister or ring the bell.
Stefan returns to Damon and enters his mind where he finds Damon hanging around a gargoyle in a graveyard. Stefan forgives him, but that’s still not want Damon wants. Damon needs to forgive Stefan for turning him into a vampire the first place. Stefan throws him a curve-ball though, he tells him that he is burning the town to the ground.
While Matt is ringing the bell, Damon snaps out of this comatose state and rips Stefan’s heart out saying that he can’t forgive him for destroying Mystic Falls. Matt’s father is about to kill him when Damon saves the day; of course Matt smacks his head on the bell causing it to ring a twelfth time, luckily it doesn’t count though.
Matt can’t exactly forgive Damon just yet, which is totally understandable considering everything Damon has done, but Matt isn’t willing to rule out forgiveness if Damon continues down the good path.
The end of this episode was filled with forgiveness. Caroline is willing to forgive Stefan when he is back to his old good self. Bonnie forgives Damon after he reads her his letter about why he left her after Elena fell asleep. Sybil and Seline’s forgiveness doesn’t happen though, they try, but Cade shows up and sets them on fire in a diner.
This was a solid episode of The Vampire Diaries. While it’s always good to see old cast members come back, sometimes this show takes advantage of it and brings old faces back just so we can see the actors again. This episode was different though because Vicky, Liz and Tyler are all connected to important moments in Damon’s development as a character.
And, thank god, the sirens are gone, and please, please let them stay that way.
Episode Rating: 9/10
The Vampire Diaries airs Friday at 8 p.m. on The CW.