Wow. What an episode. “The Vampire Diaries” was back to its old form tonight. The episode was filled with unexpected twists and turns, and a major cliffhanger was delivered at the end. Fortunately, we have one episode left this season and we can hope some of the questions posed tonight will be answered. Let’s dive right into the recap.
We begin with Damon at the Salvatore mansion, torturing an unknown man. Apparently, this man has a traveler inside of him and Damon is trying to get the man to tell him where Markus is keeping Stefan and Elena. Caroline walks in and identifies the man as Mr. Skyes; he is one of the hundreds of Mystic Falls citizens that has been taken over by a traveler. Mr. Skyes finally begins to speak., and lets Damon know they cannot stop Markus.
The Vampire Diaries S5, E20 Recap: “What Lies Beneath”
Meanwhile, the doppelgangers wake up in separate rooms in what looks like a basement. They are both being drained of their blood. Markus visits Elena and gives her blood to feed on in order to make her produce more of her own blood. She tells him no more and Markus says he won’t stop until she cannot talk anymore.
In Stefan’s room, he wakes up tied to a table. Someone comes into the room and unlocks the restraints around his wrists. The mysterious person tells Stefan to run, and he finds Elena and they escape.
Somewhere in the countryside, Stefan finds a phone and calls Damon. Stefan does not know where they are, but tells Damon they will find a way to get home. Damon lets Stefan know they have been missing for four days. Stefan explains they are weak and will have to hunt to get more energy.
Once Damon gets off the phone with Stefan, Enzo throws objects at Damon to get his attention. Enzo is upset that Damon has not brought Enzo back from the other side like he promised. Damon tells Enzo he has other things on his mind, but suggests he work with Bonnie to have Liv bring Enzo back in the same spell she plans to use when she brings Bonnie back from the other side once it collapses. Damon leaves Enzo with that thought as he and Jeremy go to find more people with travelers inside of them.
On a road in the middle of no where, Stefan and Elena try to hitchhike home but no one will give them a ride. As they walk along the road, Elena begins to blame herself for all of the drama concerning the travelers, doppelgangers, etc. Stefan tries to make her feel better by saying it was their fate to be who they are and there is no shame in that. He tells Elena she and Damon are miserable without each other and if they want to be together they should be together. As they continue to talk, a truck comes up the road and Stefan and Elena prepare to ask for a ride. The truck stops and they find Maria inside; she is the traveler who set Stefan free. Maria tells them to get into the truck because the travelers are coming for them.
As Stefan and Elena head back to Mystic Falls, Liv and Luke meet and Liv lets Luke know their coven is mad at him for letting the travelers find the doppelgangers. She explains their only option left is to kill Stefan and Elena in order to stop the traveler’s spell from taking their magic away.
As they enter town, Maria tells Stefan she is helping them because she wants her husband, Julian, back. She explains that now that Julian is inside Tyler’s body, and Tyler is a hybrid, if the travelers complete their spell Julian will die because he has magic in his blood.
Back at the Salvatore mansion, Damon has several unconscious people in his house lying around. He is trying to draw Markus to him in an attempt to stop him from completing his spell. Markus goes to the cave where his people are kept and finds them all missing; he finds a note from Damon telling Markus to call him if he wants his ‘wannabe witches’ back.
Markus arrives at the Salvatore mansion. He is not impressed with Damon’s tactics, but Damon lets him know the people are covered in gasoline. Markus lets Damon know he does not care about the hostages; he explains travelers are everywhere and are willing to die for a home and life. Markus says his spell will destroy all magic and will spread everywhere; no one can hide. He explains only the pure magic of travelers will survive. Damon attempts to attack Markus, but Markus tosses Damon off of him like it is nothing, and explains he has drank a large amount of the doppelganger blood and cannot die. He senses that the spell spell began.
Meanwhile, Bonnie is at her dorm room packing when Caroline tries to convince Bonnie to have Liv bring Tyler back with her and Enzo if Tyler dies. Bonnie tries to ignore Caroline’s pestering but finally gives in and let Caroline there is no spell; Bonnie will die once the other side falls and no one can save their friends.
As everyone is preparing for the spell to begin, Stefan, Elena, and Maria enter town and find Liv standing in the middle of the road. Liv uses her magic to stop Maria’s truck, and Maria throws the truck into reverse only to find Luke standing on the other side, using his magic to stop her. Liv and Luke combine their magic and crush Maria’s car. Maria dies, and Liv and Luke manage to pull Stefan and Elena out of the car. They tell the doppelgangers one of them has to die. Before they can kill Stefan and Elena, they realize their magic is missing. All of the people around town are possessed with travelers inside of them and begin chanting the same spell. At the same time, Stefan and Elena begin to burn and they notice their daylight rings are not working and rush inside.
Back at the Salvatore mansion, Damon starts drinking while Markus begins taunting Damon with his plans to redecorate the mansion once the Salvatore brothers are dead. From the basement, Julian communicates with Damon telling him that Markus does not know Julian is there and they should work together to surprise Markus and try to kill him. Damon takes Markus down to the basement to show him the wine cellar, and manages to get a key and slips it under the door so Julian may free himself.
Once they are back on the main floor, Julian comes from the basement and attacks Markus from behind. He puts up a pretty good fight until his fangs go away. Damon begins to burn, and they realize the spell has begun. Everyone in town suddenly collapses and dies. Damon finds a gunshot in his stomach from when he was shot by his father in the 19th century. Markus tells Damon and Julian they can try and outrun the spell for the time being but it will catch up to them. The two guys listen to Markus and leave the mansion.
At their dorm room, Caroline is frantically packing up their stuff to run away while Bonnie sits and thinks. She comes up with a plan to get her and the others back from the other side, but needs Enzo’s help.
Matt, Elena, Stefan, Damon, and Jeremy all meet up. Elena kisses Damon when she sees him, and it seems they have reconciled for awhile. Stefan watches them kiss and seems somewhat sad with their reconnection.
Enzo finds Maria staring at her dead body and approaches her. He explains he needs her help to bring them all back from the other side, but before she can agree, she is blown away from the other side. Enzo finds Bonnie and lets her know their spell won’t work.
Meanwhile, Jeremy finds Damon on the road, and soon enough Matt, Elena, Stefan, and Caroline meet up with them. When Elena sees Damon, she kisses him.They make a plan to run as far away from Mystic Falls as they can in order to outrun the spell. Elena, Damon, Jeremy, and Matt all leave and Stefan and Caroline plan to wait for Bonnie and meet up with the rest of the group later.
As Caroline and Stefan wait for Bonnie, they begin to grow worried about her. Julian arrives and immediately asks where Maria is. Stefan hesitantly lets Julian know Maria died. Julian is in disbelief, and Stefan tries to explain he did not kill Maria; the witches did. In his anger, Julian throws his hand into Stefan’s chest and rips out his heart; he kills Stefan out of anger but also to stop Markus’ spell. Caroline screams out in horror as Stefan dies.
Bonnie and Enzo are preparing to leave when Stefan arrives and Bonnie instantly knows Stefan is dead. Stefan hopes Bonnie has finished her spell to bring them back from the other side, and Bonnie has to tell Stefan the spell will not work. Stefan seems content as he passes through Bonnie. The episode ends with Caroline screaming for help as she sits over Stefan’s body.
And with that crazy ending, the episode ends! It appears Stefan is really dead, but, with this being “The Vampire Diaries,” I doubt he will be dead for long. We will have to see how the witches or whoever will bring him and Enzo back. The one good thing about Stefan’s death is that it might have stopped Markus’ spell. It looks like next week our group will come back from hiding and wage war against the travelers. We will have to wait and see what happens!