|“||I gotta say. It sure is nice to be around family for the holidays.||”|
ALL ALONE ON CHRISTMAS — With the holidays approaching, Bonnie attempts to replicate her favorite traditions, while reminiscing about happier times with her friends. Not able to return home to Mystic Falls for her favorite time of the year, Caroline is surprised when Sheriff Forbes brings the holidays to her at Whitmore College. Meanwhile, after discovering that Jo has gone missing, Alaric turns to Damon and Elena for help of trying to find her, while Liv and Luke find themselves at odds when Tyler approaches them with a risky plan. Elsewhere, Jeremy helps Matt carry out a plan to take down Enzo but grows concerned when Matt takes things too far. Lastly, Stefan is forced to break some devastating news to Caroline.
|Jo calls Alaric from the hospital to say she's going to be late for dinner. Teens are being brought in with mysterious slasher wounds. Jo tries to ask one victim what happened and her back is turned as another rises up from the gurney behind her. It's Kai, covered in blood. "I stabbed her," he says before injecting Jo with something to knock her out.
In lonely 1994, Bonnie remembers back to happier snowy times for the tree decorating ceremony outside the high school. She is determined to set up a tree and ignore the eclipse.
Caroline returns to her dorm to find her mom waiting there to decorate it. Liz called Stefan to bring Christmas lights and Caroline is annoyed.
At the bar, Elena and Damon pour through Alaric's books for anything that references an ascendant. Elena is moved by how much he's doing to help Bonnie. Alaric calls looking for Jo. They regroup. Elena reports about the stabbing victims brought in and the fact that one is now missing. They start to come up with a plan to find Kai.
Meanwhile, at Tyler's house he tries to convince Liv and Luke that they need to keep Kai alive because if he merges with Jo, they won't have to do the twin merge.
Damon calls Matt for help finding Kai, but he and Jeremy are too preoccupied arming up to hunt Enzo. Alaric tries to figure out Kai's endgame. "What could possibly not make sense about magical twins absorbing into one another?" Damon asks.
The two groups talk through things and the fact that Jo's magic was hidden in a knife in Portland. Damon hid it and so Kai wants Luke and Liv to do a locator spell on it. Luke argues they have a duty to their coven to merge, but Liv thinks they should take their chance to live out normal, human lives.
Damon isn't worried and reveals where he hid the knife -- but it's not there. Cut to Kai with the knife, and Liv, Luke and unconscious Jo.
In the Christmas tree decorating flashback (when Caroline, Bonnie and Elena are freshman in high school), Elena makes plans to invite Bonnie to spend the holidays with her family because the three of them have never spent Christmas apart.
Back in Caroline's dorm room, she's annoyed enough with Stefan that he decides to leave. But Liz suddenly feels very woozy.
Out by the tomb, Jo wakes up. Kai tries to reunite Jo with her magic by stabbing her in the arm with the knife. It doesn't work and Luke is disgusted and leaves. Jo tells Kai she has to take the magic back by choice, but she'll probably bleed to death in 30 minutes. Kai goes to look for a bandage, threatening Liv to find a way to put Jo's magic back in her.
Elena joins Caroline at the hospital, where Liz is sedated. Caroline notes how supportive and helpful Damon is being, like he's always been for Elena.
Damon calls Tyler, having put together their angle. "I'm trying to keep my girlfriend alive, sound familiar?" Tyler says.
Damon is searching for the twins and runs into Luke in the dorms. Rather than threatening him, Damon points out how dangerous Kai is without magic and what a threat he would be if he merged with Jo. Luke listens.
Enzo comes to meet Matt in Tripp's old vampire torture cabin, expecting information on Monique (formerly known as Sara). Enzo is suspicious, and easily stops Jeremy's crossbow arrow when it comes at his back. But then Matt stabs Enzo in the neck when he turns, Jeremy fires again and Matt punches Enzo and floors him.
In the hospital, Stefan tells Elena that he overheard a radiologist mention cancer. Elena compels the doctor, who says they found a lesion on Liz's brain stem a few weeks ago and think it might have spread. They can't operate if it has. Liz knows, but apparently hasn't told Caroline.
Back in the torture cabin, Matt isn't satisfied with just killing Enzo, he wants to make him suffer. Jeremy warns him the us versus them mentality is liable to get him killed.
Back at the tomb, Jo asks Liv to free her, but Liv think Jo has gotten 18 years of freedom and now it's time for her to face her responsibility to the coven. Liv can't stand the idea of losing Luke in a merge. She suggests to Jo that she might actually beat Kai in a merge, since she's done so well for 18 years without magic. Kai returns and saps Liv's magic and starts to kill her. Jo takes hers back to make him stop. Alaric and Damon approach the tomb, with Ric still angry at Damon. They lure Kai outside. Damon rushes him but Kai pushes him over the magic border. Damon starts to burn and steps back across, then Ric sneaks up on Kai on the other side and holds a gun to his head. He's ready to fire, but Jo comes out and tells him not to, because Luke and Liv will have to do the merge if Kai dies. Jo says she can beat Kai with time to get stronger. Despite Damon's urging to kill Kai, Ric listens to Jo and knocks Kai out.
Back at Tyler's, he confronts Luke for telling Damon where to find Kai. Luke doesn't think Jo stands a chance against Kai and, when Liv joins them, he reminds her that Kai will kill their whole coven and then innocent people.
Back at the hospital, Stefan volunteers to break the news to Caroline.
With Kai chained up across the border to protect him from Damon, Damon hurls rocks near him. Kai starts thinking about the magnitude of the Traveler's spell and puts his hand to the ground. Alaric comes back to pick up Kai. Damon is angry they won't let him kill Kai and Alaric points out how selfish Damon is being. Meanwhile, Kai is soaking up magic from the ground.
In lonely 1994, at night, Bonnie plugs in her lonely little tree.
In Christmas 2009 (junior year), the girls celebrate another Christmas.
Stefan breaks the news to Caroline about her mom.
Outside the tomb, Kai is whipping up a storm. The lights go out on the town Christmas tree. The radio flickers in Tripp's vampire transport van, which Matt is driving across the border with Enzo in the back. Damon realizes that Kai stopped talking. His chains melt off and he's chanting.
Matt crosses into Mystic Falls and Enzo starts to burn and choke in the back of the van.
Kai keeps chanting.
Matt opens the back of the van and finds Enzo isn't dead.
Damon realizes what Kai has done. Kai lifts Alaric into the air and tosses him against a tree. Damon rushes Kai, but he disappears. Damon goes to help Alaric -- inside the border of Mystic Falls. Damon's fine.
In the back of the van, Matt expects Enzo to kill him, but instead Enzo wants to go after Stefan.
Elena calls Damon, who is walking in the front door of his house. After her terrible day, she wants to see him, and says she has something to tell him. He invites her for dinner.
At the hospital, Caroline tries to understand what Stefan is telling her. Vampire blood doesn't cure cancer, it's too late for chemo. Caroline tries denial for awhile then finally collapses in Stefan's arm.
Jeremy and Bonnie stand next to Christmas trees and miss each other. Bonnie torches her tree.
At his house, Damon hears a familiar purr. Stefan rolls up in Damon's rebuilt car.
Elena knocks on the door and laughs when she sees mistletoe. Damon opens the door and Elena waits for him to let her in. But he can't see her. Damon shuts the door. Kai is standing behind Elena. "I may have put a cloaking spell on us. How genius is that?" Kai taunts. Then he knocks Elena out.
- Antagonists: Kai and Enzo.
- This episode establishes that it has been a couple weeks since Tripp Cooke died and his people took Sheriff Elizabeth Forbes hostage in Do You Remember the First Time?.
- This is the first episode of this season to feature all of the main characters.
- This is the last new episode of TVD to air in 2014; the first to have aired in 2014 was the 100th episode 500 Years of Solitude.
- This is the sixth mid-season finale to feature Elena, Stefan, Damon and Matt; the fifth to feature Bonnie, Caroline, and Tyler; the fourth to feature Jeremy; the third to feature Alaric; the second to feature Liz and Enzo and the first to feature Liv & Luke and Jo & Kai.
- This marks the second mid-season finale in a row that ends on the tenth episode since Season One's mid-season finale.
- This is the first episode to show Caroline in a flashback scene. However, in a flashback to 1994 in Black Hole Sun, Liz did show Damon a photo of Caroline as a toddler.
- There are three flashbacks in this episode to Mystic Falls Tree Lighting Ceremony held at Mystic Falls High School, one in December 22, 2007(3 days before), 2008 and 2009.
- In 2007, Liz and Bill Forbes are still married, Elena, Bonnie and Caroline are freshmen, and Elena's parents are still alive.
- 2008, Elena, Bonnie and Caroline are sophomores at the school.
- 2009, Stefan gives Caroline a snow globe ornament for a gift. It also means that Elena would have been aware of vampires at this point.
- We learn that this is the first year that Bonnie has missed a Christmas with Elena and Caroline.
- It is revealed that after a witch relinquishes their magic in an inanimate object, they must receive it back voluntary, meaning that they cannot be forced to reunite with it.
- After Jo voluntarily takes back her magic, she uses her powers for the first time in eighteen years when she uses magic to break the chains holding her.
- At the end of the episode, Kai uses his newly-gained magic from absorbing the Magic Purification Spell over Mystic Falls to put a cloaking spell on him and Elena.
- This explains why Damon couldn't see or hear her when he goes to answer the front door of the Salvatore Boarding House after he hears a knock.
- Kai takes Elena prisoner at the end of this episode after knocking her out with a tire iron.
- Caroline and Luke were last seen in Fade Into You.
- Bill Forbes and his partner Steven were mentioned in the 2007 flashback.
- It was revealed that Liz has known she has cancer since after the events of Do You Remember the First Time?.
- Since this episode takes place around or on Christmas day, it has been about a month since the events of Fade Into You.
- Damon's rebuilt 1969 Chevy Camaro was last seen in Black Hole Sun.
- Sheriff Forbes was last seen in Do You Remember the First Time?.
- This is the fourth holiday episode in the series, and also the second one this season.
- This is the fifth flashback episode this season.
- This is the second flashback episode in the series to feature flashbacks to 2009. The first was in Season 3's The Departed, which featured flashbacks to May 23, 2009, when Elena met Damon for the first time just prior to the car accident that killed her parents and nearly killed her as well.
Behind the Scenes
- This episode had about 1.82 million viewers in the USA.
- This is the last new episode to air before the Christmas hiatus until the show returns in January 2015 with Woke Up With a Monster.
- This is the first episode of this season to feature all of the main characters.
- Caroline Dries in a TV Guide interview had hinted that the anti-magic border wouldn't be for the whole season.
- "Christmas Through Your Eyes" is a song by Gloria Estefan from the holiday album of the same name, released in 1993.