Stefan determines that he is the "fun brother" and Damon is the "safe brother" (ha! how far we've come from season one) which Damon decides to disprove by crashing the stolen car they're driving. "I got it. You're the fun brother."
Elena: Please tell me I wasn't out of my mind leaving Damon in charge of Vampire Amnesia 101.Caroline has been studying up on her chem, biochem, applied microbio, molecular bio and Gray's Anatomy (the real one and the television show) trying to impress Dr. Maxfield so she can figure out why he covered up their roommate's murder-by-vampire. Also she's got a hunky study-partner in Jesse. I really thought this guy Jesse would be dead by now. (I'm not used to a black character getting this much screen time on TVD and not being a witch, so of course I'm suspicious of what his real story is... he must be supernatural in some way. Or he's going to get eaten soon.)
Caroline: What did he say exactly?
Elena: One text. 'So far, so good.' Which in Damon-speak...
Caroline: ...means that they've probably devoured a troop of girl scouts by now.
The Mystic Falls gang are getting ready for "Remembrance Day" which is just yet another one of Mystic Falls' bizarre old timey holidays. This one involves ringing a bell for the dead and, as Damon puts it, is "a really kick-ass excuse to get hammered". Damon explains to Stefan that there are two kinds of vampires in the world, "those that can handle moderation"... and Stefan. Stefan thinks that without all the fucked up memories and guilt (of killing his father, turning his brother, etc.) maybe he won't have the vampire "Ripper" problem that he used to have. Damon is skeptical. Elena shows up and finds out that Damon hasn't told Stefan anything about her yet, because 200 years is a lot of time to cover. (Of course, it couldn't possibly have anything to do with what Qetsiyah told Damon about Elena and Damon being destined to be together, because they are the doppelgangers of Amara and Silas.)
Cut to a gratuitous scene of shirtless Jeremy working out... Bonnie says she likes to watch him workout because she doesn't have Netflix on the other side. Ewww. Jeremy wants Bonnie to tell everyone that she's dead, so he can stop lying to all their friends. Matt is freaking out because he woke up covered in mud with a weird dagger. (We know that he blacked out thanks to the "Traveler" Gregor taking up a time-share in his brain.) He wants Jeremy to ask Bonnie for help and is annoyed that she never answers his emails. Sorry, she doesn't get email on the other side either. Elena also wants Bonnie's help to fix Stefan's brain but she's not responding to her and Damon's calls either.
This episode does a really good job of showing how much they all relied on Bonnie's help for so long. They took so much advantage of her witchy powers that it actually killed her (and her grandmother and every other witch in the Bennett bloodline) and even after death they're all annoyed that she's not at their magic beck-and-call.
Stefan decides to embrace being a vampire, so he goes to feed on a cute waitress. He tells her "It's not like I want to rip your head off, but I keep being told that if I have one taste, I wont be able to stop... and although the thought of killing you scares the hell out of me, this feeling of hunger that I have inside of me is just so much more powerful." Yikes, Amnesia-Stefan is even creepier than Silas-Stefan. (Who we don't see for the entire episode btw.) Damon shows up just in time to stop him... "today I'm the safe brother."
Damon decides that until they decide if the "Ripper gene is biological" they need to minimize human contact for Stefan (way too much temptation), so they bring him to the family crypt to hide out. Stefan wants to know how many of the family members he killed - just their father, Damon killed their cousin Zach and their mom died of natural causes, good for her.
Stefan: I certainly hope your family history was happier than mine.Stefan wonders how it's possible that he doesn't remember Elena... she's smart, pretty, funny, strong. *Moment*. Almost immediately giving up the idea of keeping Stefan away from temptation in the family crypt, Elena brings Stefan to the place where they first met (the high school hallway) trying to recreate it, so it might spark something. Of course, that doesn't work. Sorry Elena, Mystic Falls High School isn't that special. She brings him outside and teaches him how to vampire-jump onto the roof. Stefan deducts that they used to date. "I may have amnesia but I'm not an idiot. I'm a 164-year-old vampire who went back to high school... so I'm guess that had something to do with you."
Elena: Well let's see, in the last three years I lost my adopted parents, my birth parents, my aunt, our guardian Alaric and my brother Jeremy died... although he came back to life, so there's that
Stefan: Wait... Jeremy that lives in our house?
Elena: Yeah after I had a breakdown and burned my house to the ground.
Stefan: And obviously we're not together anymore, so I have a feeling me ripping people's heads off might have been a little bit of a turn-off?Ha! He certainly bored me to death (I've been on Team Damon since day one). They have another *moment* and she gives him the 'it's not you, it's me" line and explains that becoming a vampire changed her.
Elena: Actually no, you were themost compassionate person I'd ever met. You hated the idea of hurting anyone. The guilt would overwhelm you. You were always in control.
Stefan: So I bored you to death.
Meanwhile, Caroline has brought Jesse home for Rememberance Day, so they are studying in the graveyard (okay...) She says she's finally had it with M.I.A. Tyler, so Jesse kisses her. Her reaction is less than thrilled though, so maybe she's not as over Tyler as she claims. He apologizes and they go back to studying.
Jeremy texts Damon and asks him to come meet him, alone. "I know where Bonnie is. Get over here and I'll explain." Bonnie is begs Jeremy not to tell Damon that she is dead, but he has to.
Jeremy: I've been lying to everyone for months and I can't keep lying knowing that everyone's waiting for her to swoop in and save the day.
Damon: I don't speak crazy person Jer, you're going to have to translate that for me.
Jeremy: Think about it Damon. I was dead. I wasn't supposed to come back.
Damon: Yes, exactly. The beauty of Bonnie magic... which is what we need right now.
He explains that magic finds a balance. he's not supposed to be there... and you can't just bring somebody back from the dead without there being a price to pay. She didn't even show up to her dad's funeral and no one has spoken to her all summer, use your brain, of course she's dead. But Bonnie doesn't want Jeremy to tell him and Damon doesn't want to hear it. Wow, for the first time ever Bonnie and Damon agree on something?
Damon: You say it and everything in Elena's life goes to crap. Do you understand me? Everything changes.Damon looks super pissed, but he goes to Jeremy and hugs him. Awww.
Bonnie: Do not say it Jeremy.
Jeremy: Bonnie's dead.
Damon: Dammit Jeremy!You realize what you just did. Why would you say that!?
Jeremy: I'm sorry. People need to know.
Elena takes Stefan to the bridge where she had her two car accidents (the first one, where her parents died but he saved her without her knowledge; the second one, where she died and became a vampire).
Elena continues the walk down memory lane with Stefan and they have a moment. Well, several moments. They're about to kiss, when she says "I'm with Damon."
"You're with my brother? And neither of you thought that was something that I should know?" Elena tries to explain, but Stefan says, "And just like that, the hunger returns." So Elena is the only thing keeping him decent? Come on. She turns around and he's gone.
Matt wakes up in the dark again, this time with his hand bleeding. He has "lost time" again. Luckily he set up some spy cameras to document what he does when he's "out". He watches a video of himself answering the phone and then his eyes turn black... it's Gregor time! He speaks in Czech and hangs up the phone. Then Gregory-Matt picks up the dagger and walks over to the camera...
"Hello... Matt Donovan. I am the passenger inside you. I know you have many questions, but all you need to know is that one day my friends will come looking for this blade. Protect it at all costs..." He cuts his own hand, er, Matt's hand. "...or this will be your througt". Poor Matt, guy just can't catch a break.
Elena calls Damon, but before he can tell her the bad news about Bonnie, she tells him that she can't find Stefan. Maybe that fieldtrip down memory lane wasn't a good idea, dumbass. She's freaking because he's hungry and there's an entire graveyard full of people there tonight. Caroline finds Stefan in the graveyward and he recognizes her from her photos. "You're much hotter in person".
Caroline: Are you okay?
Stefan: Well, if by 'okay' you mean heavily spiraling into Ripper oblivian, then yes, I'm dandy.
Jesse shows up with cups of beer and Stefan tells him "I can sense from here that you have a papercut on the palm of your left hand and I want to rip your entire arm off." She glamours him to go away and hide and she'll find him later. She tells Stefan, "I know that you are hungry, but you don't 'do people', okay? ... It just doesn't end well." He asks her for blood bags and she tells him to come with her to the car for them, but when she turns around he's gone. When are these dumb girls going to learn to stop turning their backs on Stefan!? Jesse calls her to tell her he's in a crypt in the cemetary but has no idea why, when Stefan comes up from behind and bites him on the neck.
I knew Jesse had been around too long... he was bound to become food sooner or later. Stefan bites him and says "that wasn't so bad was it? I did it. I stopped." Jesse has no idea what the hell is going on, but Stefan decides to treat him to a crazy vampire monologue anyway. He explains that he's a ripper, "I literally can't stop feeding until I rip someone's head off, but look at us, we're working it out." He says he knows he should elt him out because he's allegedly good and compassionate and "lies with this burning hunger inside of me that allows me to stay in control... but what do I have to show for it?" He has no memories because his brain was friend, his brother stole his girlfriend and his girlfriend let him steal her. "So you tell me, what's the point of being good?" and he bites him again.Caroline shows up just in time and stops him from killing Jesse.
"You may not remember, but I do. You're better than this. You are not this person." He says he has to leave. Meanwhile Jesse is bleeding out on the ground. She makes him drink her blood to heal him and apologizes again and again. Then we can assume she glamours him and sends him home.
Jeremy goes to Matt's house and Matt wants to talk about what happened with the video, but Jeremy needs to tell him about Bonnie first. It's not clear if Matt ever explains to anyone what's going on with the dude in his head, but I'm thinking it's probably a good idea to get his friends in on this.
Damon and Elena find Stefan back at casa de Salvatore. He's burning his journals. He doesn't want to be that person anymore, he doesn't want to live in that house, takes his brother's advice, hear how he supported Elena... he's had it with this Stefan that he doesn't remember ."Don't worry, I'm not gonna go on a Ripper binge". Caroline has promised to call him every hour to make sure he's okay. "And I actually do trust her." Ouch.
Damon: I think we just got dumped.
Elena: We need Bonnie. Why didn't she call us back? It's so unlike her. He can't stay like this.
Damon: Elena, Bonnie can't help us.
Elena: Did you talk to her? What did she say? There's gotta be something that she can do. She'll figure it out... she always does.
Damon: Bonnie's dead, Elena.
Damon: She's dead. I'm sorry.
Caroline goes to check on Stefan the next day in the Salvatore family crypt. "I'm feeling better, which in my world means I haven't committed a homicide since I last saw you." He's been doing a lot of thinking. Caroline says she leanred that their friend Bonnie is dead. She wishes that she could trade places with Stefan because it wouldn't hurt so much without all her damn memories. She's never going to see Bonnie again, she has no idea where Tyler, and she was so used to them being there all the time she doesn't know what to do now.
Caroline: I'm suposed to just learn to move on without them? How do I do that when all I have is this sadness and this anger?
Stefan: And me. You have me. Look you were there for me last night. Sounds like you're always there for me. So let me be there for you, okay?
He takes her hand. Could this be the start of something? That's one romantic pairing they never tried! And they have just about run out of combinations... unless Jeremy and Matt start dating, this might be the only option left.
Elena has nothing to wear to because she burned down her house with all her funeral clothes in it. You'd think in a town like Mystic Falls, they would all own nothing but funeral clothes. (And what did she wear to the funeral for Bonnie's dad?) She's breaking down. She says she's supposed to be strong but she's can't be. Bonnie gave up her life so she could have he brother back and she didn't even know about it. She can't believe she's gone.
The whole gang (or what's left of the gang - Jeremy, Damon, Elena, Caroline, and Matt) go into the woods to secretly pay their respects to Bonnie. Bonnie tells Jeremy, "It's okay, they need this. I need this."
Bonnie tells Jeremy what to say and we have to deal with a the tedium of an episode of The Ghost Whisperer where we have to hear every line twice (once as Bonnie says it and once as Jeremy repeats it). Luckily, they don't do it that way for the whole conversation. Bonnie/Jeremy tells everyone that she is dead, but not going anywhere. Even though they couldn't see her, she's been there the whole time. She watched them have the summer of their lives, saw them happy. She tells Elena that she can have a normal life. She doesn't have to stay in Mystic Falls to be there for everyone. She has to go back to college, and "live it up" and everything will find their way on their own. She tells Matt she would've answered his 300 emails if she could have and she misses him. She tells Caroline, "I know that college isn't everything you expected... and that you feel like something's missing... but... Tyler?" Tyler is missing no more! He shows up and Caroline cries and runs into his arms.
Bonnie: This is good. This is all I wanted. I'll be okay. We'll all be okay.
Back on campus, Jesse is with Dr. Maxfield. He says "your vitals are normal." Jesse tells him that Caroline took him to a party in Mystic Falls and then the rest is a big blank, he must have been drunk.
"What's causing your memory loss didn't come in a red cup. It appears you have vampire blood in your system Jesse. Which means you were either injured to the point of needing to be healed or someone wants to turn you into a vampire." He guesses that it was the former and he was compelled to forget.
"The good news about having vampire blood in your system is that's step one to creating a new vampire. This is step two." He stabs him with a needle and injects air into his vein. Jesse dies... but we know he will wake up next episode, confused and hungry for blood. Well that was an unexpected twist!