Because The A.V. Club knows that TV shows keep going even if we’re not writing at length about them, we’re experimenting with discussion posts. For certain shows, one of our TV writers will publish some brief thoughts about the latest episode, and open the comments for readers to share theirs.

  • If there’s one thing The Vampire Diaries knows how to do well, it’s a funeral. That also extends to a memorial and just the general air of sadness that comes with the loss of a loved one. The episode’s opening montage, the upsetting but somewhat expected funeral of yet another loved one, and even the second attempt of the funeral at the carnvial setting—James Thompson directs them all beautifully in his directorial debut, and they serve as reminders of how The Vampire Diaries can function best when it keeps it simple.
  • Alright, since I’m filling in for Carrie Raisler, now’s my chance to ask this: Surely Sybil’s mind-warping of Damon can’t be as complicated as it seems, can it? Because it still makes very little sense when it comes to how he interacts with her or any mention of Elena (or Bonnie). We know Sybil replaced Elena in his memories, only leaving a false memory of Elena in the form of her dying along with her parents. This episode makes it clear Damon is (now, was) stuck between his humanity creeping out and his brainwashed desire to serve Sybil, but trying to fully comprehend this dynamic feels like trying to solve a puzzle that’s missing far too many pieces. For all of Sybil’s talking, you’d think she’d be a little less vague here.
  • “Matt, if you get this, it means I’m dead. Which sucks.” Tyler Lockwood, ladies and gentlemen.
  • It’s probably not meant to come across this way, but Bonnie’s stubbornness (a quality I actually admire about her) ends up providing the quickest and most effective humanity switch save in the show’s history. And funnily enough, her tactic for saving Enzo is sort of cribbed from a humanity-less Elena’s own stubborn decision-making.
  • Some say “never trust a hot nanny,” but this episode makes a better case of the saying “never trust anyone who gives you a dead goldfish as a consolation prize, then takes you to an abandoned warehouse.” This may just be my lack of understanding when it comes to children, but how could Seline’s morbid field trip not frighten at least one of Caroline and Ric’s daughters?
  • It’s been a while since chaos struck a Mystic Falls town event, and this episode goes ahead and evacuates the carnival because of a “gas leak.” That’s pretty disappointing. But the truest callback to old school Vampire Diaries (besides mentions to the always relevant “Brave New World”) has to be Matt pointing out Seline’s identity in record time; after the memory wipe on Stefan, it would have been extremely frustrating to have Matt sit on any siren knowledge at all. So for him to learn about her, then see (and acknowledge) she’s the nanny in the span of this episode, it at least throws that frustration out quickly. Just like the good old days.
  • “Moments are all we have…So, in honor of Tyler and Elena, we need to keep creating moments like these. We need to remember to live.” Over the years, The Vampire Diaries’ message has often been all over the place, but for the most part, “moments” (big or small) have always been the key. I know I’ll cherish the moment of Matt, Caroline, and Stefan playing in bumper cars.

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