IAN SOMERHALDER DIRECTS THE EPISODE — In an attempt to make things right with his brother, Damon offers to have Stefan’s scar magically transferred to him, only to discover that doing so may come with some unexpected consequences. With time running out and Rayna closing in on Stefan, Valerie desperately attempts to reason with Damon before it’s too late. Elsewhere, after being framed for breaking Rayna out of The Armory, Enzo attempts to clear his name, but not before a violent run-in with Nora forces him to make an upsetting discovery. Matt also appears.
|In present day / what used to be known as the three-year flashforward, Damon is contemplating if hashtags are still a thing while Stefan decides whether he’s going to let his brother transfer the scar. Long story short, Stefan decides yes, and when Rayna allows Damon to get the phone out of Stefan’s pocket, Damon loosens the vervain ropes holding Stefan. Just like that, Stefan escapes with Rayna’s sword, and Damon knocks her out.
Flashing back to three years ago, we find Valerie convincing Stefan that he should use what time he has left to travel. But it isn’t until she convinces him that they can trace Rayna’s bloodline and travel to the land of her ancestors to find answers that he agrees.
Nora, who we find out has been trapped at the Armory all this time. And when Alex reveals that they’ve been experimenting on Mary Lou by giving her pills filled with Rayna’s blood, Nora makes a deal. See, Rayna’s blood is poisonous to witches, so in order to help Mary Lou, Nora agrees to find Enzo and return him to the Armory. Why Enzo? Because they believe he’s the one who freed Rayna.
As we find out when Enzo catches up with Matt, it was good old Matty Blue Blue who set Rayna free. It was also Matt who convinced the cops in Dallas not to respond when Rayna aired that emergency broadcast. Turns out, Matt wants revenge on Stefan.
First, Damon and Rayna wake up in just enough time for Rayna to change Damon’s mind about absolutely everything. It turns out, it’s pretty easy to do that: Just mention Elena. If Damon lets Valerie transfer Stefan’s scar, then Damon’s life will be linked to Rayna. And seeing as how she’s human and is apparently going to die in 60-70 years, Damon will die right around the time that Elena wakes up. So is Damon willing to give up a future with Elena to save his brother? I think we all know the answer to that one.
Getting back on the road, Rayna calls Stefan from Caroline’s cell, which she stole, to try and convince him to let Damon take the scar. Like a couple women before her, Rayna seems to choose Stefan in the Salvatore equation. Apparently when the Armory had her held captive, she would often close her eyes and spy on Stefan. And what she saw mostly the hero hair made her Team Stefan.
But Stefan’s playing hard-to-get on this one. Running out of gas, he throws Rayna’s sword into the side of a truck and turns around. That way, he buys himself a little time as she chases after the sword. And if he’s following Damon’s plan, they’re all going to meet up at the hostage swap, where the Armory will once again kidnap Rayna.
As for the hostages being swapped, Enzo gets his hands on Nora, but the moment Nora mentions that Rayna’s blood is fatal to witches, he agrees to help her. He will return to Alex to help her get the antidote for Mary Louise (and clearly Bonnie).
Stefan heads that way when Rayna calls him and we find out that it’s Matt who won’t let her back in her cell until Stefan’s in the stone. Seriously, what did Stefan do?
Well, one thing Stefan did was kiss Valerie in the Philippines. In another flashback, we find the couple on a beach where an argument about constellations turns into their first kiss. Well, first kiss in a long time. And considering that was a year into their travels, we now know that these two have been together for two years at this point.
While everyone heads to the meeting point, Damon knocks Valerie out before she can do the transfer spell. By the time she wakes up, they’re both in the car on the way to the hostage exchange. And when Valerie tries to call Damon out on being a terrible brother, he mentions the fact that she’s been lying to Stefan all these years if she knew the transfer spell was a possibility. But as she sees it, she was protecting Stefan. Because the spell can only work on a blood relative, it would’ve meant waking up Damon, and when Damon’s awake, well, Stefan’s life (literally) goes to hell. So Valerie chose to keep Stefan on the run and Damon in a coffin.
And yet, Damon is quick to point out that he WAS a piece of crap, before “I met a girl and she made me good.” His plan? Once he gets Elena back in his life, he’ll be there for Stefan. But Stefan needs him now, and if Damon can’t be a good brother on his own, he’ll have to learn the hard way.
In a moment that reminded me so much of Damon’s phone call with Elena in the season 3 finale — when she chose Stefan — Stefan asks Damon if he’s going to take the scar. And all Damon can say is, “I have a plan.” But when Rayna shows up and Damon realizes he could lose his brother, he tells Valerie to perform the spell.
Standing over Stefan, Rayna once again reinforces the lesson of the Phoenix Stone: He can’t be happy until he lets Damon go. And yet, when Stefan’s scar opened up, he didn’t call Valerie … or Caroline. He raced right to Brooklyn — giving Rayna more time to find him – to wake up his brother. As Stefan once said, “Guess I just needed my brother.”
Now, is Stefan ready to truly let his brother go? He says yes, but we all know he’s lying. And yet, it’s not the last time he’ll face that question, considering that Rayna just stabbed Stefan, sending him back to the Phoenix Stone!
And to make matters worse, Enzo and Nora find out there’s no antidote for Rayna’s blood, which means Nora has to make the most of what time she has left with Mary Louise. And when Rayna throws her sword into their car (and marks Nora), the couple decides to go out with a bang. Combining their magic, they say one last “I love you” to each other before the car explodes, seemingly destroying the Phoenix Stone.
As Rayna screams, we get flashes of what appears to be Stefan? Oh god, this is worse than having to watch him drown over and over again!!!
And as Damon leans over his brother’s body, he says, “I’m gonna save you, little brother. I promise. I promise you.”
At the end of the episode, he stands at a grave as says he “made Stefan pay for what he did.” And it’s Penny’s grave.
- This is the first episode of the series overall to not feature any of the main female characters.
- This is the first episode of the series overall to feature four main cast members.
- Alaric doesn't appear in this episode.
- This episode is the largest time jump, from early 2014 to 2016, in the series history between episodes with 2 and possibly a half years passing since the previous episode I Would for You.
- This is first episode to feature flashbacks dealing with the 3 years Damon was lying next to Elena in Brooklyn.
- 2 years ago in the Phlippines a year after Damon's desiccation trying to find a way to remove the X scar from Stefan, Valerie learns that it could be transferred to blood relative. She didn't tell Stefan because he would bring back Damon into his life.
- Damon realizes that his deal to take the scar from Stefan will mean he won't see Elena again after his conversation with Rayna for when she dies in 60 or 70 years around he won't be there when she wakes around the same time when Bonnie dies.
- It's revealed that the X scar from the Phoenix Sword mystically links Rayna to her targets, including Stefan.
- Rayna watched Stefan and Valerie grow closer over the 3 years she was held by the Armory.
- Matt is the one who released Rayna from the Armory, not Enzo who got the blame for it, as Alex believes he freed her. Matt got her to promise that she would place Stefan back into the Phoenix Stone.
- Matt hates Stefan as it seems he played a part in Penny Ares death.
- The Armory made pills from Rayna's blood that are lethal to witches but they can also protect someone from witch locator spells.
- The pills were experimented on Mary Louise which weakens and leaves burn marks on her arms. Showing these pills would be effective against Heretics(witch-vampire hybrids.)
- Damon becomes the fourth vampire in the TVD/TO universe to be cured of werewolf venom without Klaus' blood after Elena, Kai and Lucien. He's also the second to be cured by having the magic of the venom siphoned off, Kai did it himself while Valerie had to siphon the magic of Damon's werewolf venom.
- Rayna wanting Stefan to pass the mark of her Phoenix Sword to Damon, and let Damon go, is the exact same type of ultimatums the Phoenix Stone made Stefan go through before he could be released from it's prison, and what it used to torment him upon his release from the stone.
- Nora and Mary Louise were confirmed to be still alive in the flash forwards and have been in captivity by the Armory ever since.
- Stefan's soul is trapped inside the Phoenix stone once again at the end of this episode before it was destroyed.
- Rayna could feel the Phoenix Stone being destroyed and it appeared that either all the vampires still linked her died as the stone was destroyed or she saw the vampire souls in pain.
- Nora gets marked by the Phoenix Sword when Rayna throws it at her and Mary Louise. Mary Louise chooses to uses her remaining strength to ensure Nora won't be hunted by Rayna, and Nora not wanting to live without Mary Louise, use all their powers to destroy the Phoenix Sword and Stone. They kill themselves in the process.
- As per the next episode preview, the spirits trapped inside the Stone are now released into other peoples bodies.
- As of this episode, Valerie is the only surviving Heretic.
- Alex and Stefan meet for the first time in this episode.
- Dallas, Texas
- KQBC Channel 3 News Studio
- Dallas Airfield
- Mystic Falls, Virginia
- Grove Hill, Virginia
- Chicago, Illinois
- Stefan and Valerie's Apartment
- The Philippines (flashback)
- Gas station
- Detective Martel - drained of blood; killed by Nora Hildegard
- Stefan Salvatore - stabbed with the Phoenix Sword; killed by Rayna Cruz
- Nora and Mary Louise - explosion; killed by themselves
Behind the Scenes
- Hashtag during the airing is #DirectorSmolderhalder
- Days of Future Past is originally the name of Chris Claremont and John Byrne's X-Men graphic novel, which is a storyline that centers around a young woman travelling from several years in an alternate future to the present to stop her dystopic future from coming to pass. It bears some resemblance with the show's current storyline that binds the present events to those of the future with both The Originals and The Vampire Diaries.