Title: The Vampire Diaries S6.E16 “The Downward Spiral”
Released: 2015

Previously: Bonnie met Mama Salvatore on her way back home, Kai isn’t a total psychopath anymore, Stefan kind of blew it with Caroline and we all died a bit inside at Liz Forbes’ funeral. Oh, and Caroline decides instead of grieving her dead mother she’d rather turn off her humanity.

Let’s just get this out of the way: Caroline Forbes with her humanity switched off is quite possibly the best thing to happen to this show. Haters to the left. (AND a huge shout-out to Ian Somerhalder for directing this episode, he did a fantastic job!)


Caroline is at a bar getting her tequila on. Her level of snark and IDGAF-ery would make Katerina Petrova PROUD. Liam the Med Student (remember him? No judgment if you don’t.) rolls up on her and Caroline decides that he would make a lovely late-night snack. Cut to her chowing down on his neck outside with nary a care in the world.

Elena and Stefan are on the phone checking in with each other re: Caroline’s Recent Life Choice, confirming that her entire house AND dorm room are empty. Liz’s funeral was only earlier that day so Caroline has clearly compelled a bunch of movers/organizers to get shit done. I now realize that this is the first thing I would do if I ever became a vampire: compel myself some domestic staff. Bonnie shows up to the dorm and reunites with Elena and it’s terribly sweet. She waxes lyrical on her newfound appreciation for all clothing NOT made of flannel. I feel you, girl. The 90’s were not my best fashion period, even with my Doc Martens. Caroline shows up, armed with shopping bags, declaring that a new start entails new sheets, new EVERYTHING. Her reaction to Bonnie’s return is more “huh, that’s interesting” than “OMG YOU’RE BACK”. She knows that they’re all worried about her and makes a deal with them: she gets to have her humanity off for an entire year as long as she doesn’t kill anyone. She’s an overachiever, humanity off OR on.

Damon and Kai are at the Salvatore crypt; Damon is determined to prove that his mother is right where she should be, dead and buried. Kai points out that the only way his mother could “die” in 1858 and still look the same in a 1903 prison world is if she was a vampire. Dun dun DUNNNN! Damon is NOT happy at the thought of his beloved mama being One of Them and is all kinds of messed up when he finds his mother’s coffin to be totally empty. Kai agrees to send Damon to his mom’s prison world but in return he wants a one-on-one with Bonnie so he can try to make amends. That’s not really how reconciliation works, Kai, but I know you’re new to this whole empathy/compassion/feelings thing.

Enzo is still trapped in the world’s most boring plotline, trying to get Sarah Salvatore interested in him. Which she is, because why else would she be covertly taking photos of him sipping tea? Except that one can’t REALLY be covert around a vampire so Enzo approaches her and drops his V-bomb: “I’m a vampire.” Sarah is oddly uninterested so Enzo has hit a snag with his terrible master plan. Caroline rolls up on him, informs him that her humanity is now set to “off” and invites him to a warehouse party she’s having. Enzo is intrigued.

Stefan approaches Liam at the hospital and compels him to tell all about the night before with Caroline. At least he’s not dead, y’all. Liam doesn’t remember anything but the making out and tells Stefan to come to Caroline’s party, which Stefan rightly calls out as a rave. Raves are still a thing, I guess. What is it about college kids and glow necklaces? MY GENERATION INVENTED RAVES DAMMIT. *shakes cane vigorously*

Elena and Bonnie show up to the rave to babysit Caroline and I laugh at how world weary Elena is at this entire experience. She’s the same age as everyone else and yet the look on her face is all “I am TOO OLD for this shit”. A guy insists that Bonnie dance with him (RUDE) and gets a bit handsy. In turn Bonnie zaps the shit out of him. No means no, pal. No means no. Stefan arrives sans glow necklace. I’m a bit disappointed since he obviously lived through the late 90’s as a teen like I did. He confirms with Elena that Liam is ok and Elena tells him about the deal they made with Caroline. Stefan isn’t having it, not least because he blames himself. He knows that Caroline is going to crash and burn and he manages to convince Elena to try and bring Caroline’s humanity back. Stefan proceeds to have a shot with Caroline at the bar.

Damon calls Bonnie and she’s so happy to talk to him. She’s finding it hard to adjust to life now and knows that Damon is the only person who can truly relate to what she’s going through. Just bringing up Kai’s name is enough to tell Damon that there is ZERO chance that Bonnie will agree to see him. He lies and tells Kai that Bonnie said no and Kai reminds him of their deal, enticing him with news of the ascendant. Damon goes to the rave, surprising Bonnie with Kai (worst decision EVER, Damon) and we’re reminded of all of the abuse and torture Kai put Bonnie through as images flash through her mind. Kai tries to apologize and Bonnie tells him that if she ever sees him again she will melt his entire face off. (LIKE RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, PUNK!) Bonnie returns to the dorm and unleashes her anger in the form of a raging fire in the fireplace. Damon has followed her, pleading for her forgiveness. Bonnie is feeling so betrayed and gives Damon a not-so-gentle reminder of all of the horrendous shit that Kai put her through. The one thing she can’t make him feel is the absolute loneliness she felt after he left. The hopelessness. She screams for him to get out.

Y’know Damon, if you had just TOLD Bonnie why you needed her to see Kai I’m sure she would’ve had your back.

Later on Damon is drowning his sorrows at home when Kai arrives with some disturbing news about Mama Salvatore; he won’t send Damon back to her because the truth is that the reason the Gemini Coven imprisoned her is because she’s a RIPPER: 3,000 dead bodies left all over Europe-level of ripper. Damon doesn’t take this news well at all and why should he? TWO rippers in one family? Sheesh.

-Stefan drinks with Caroline at the bar and she calls him out for being a covert babysitter. Stefan wants to tell her how he REALLY feels and she’s not impressed, mentioning it only took him two years, her mom getting cancer and dying AND her flipping her switch for Stefan to FINALLY realize he loves her. I get it, girl. I really do. He pleads with her to let him help her through her grief and for just a second you can see her actually consider it before she storms off.

I believe this is what they refer to as A Day Late and A Dollar Short, Stefan.

She picks Liam out of the crowd and takes him with her. She approaches Enzo as he arrives to the rave. As they talk she makes him realize that Sarah Salvatore has been compelled by Stefan to not care about vampires. Ugh, please don’t help Enzo with his stupid plan, Caroline. And then just for funsies Caroline makes a pass at Enzo only to be rebuffed. But at least she managed to wiggle his cell phone from his pocket. Caroline has a PLAN, y’all.

Stefan is convinced that he can bring Caroline back, telling Elena that he saw the real “her” in her eyes, that he can be the emotional trigger to bring her back. Elena is (rightfully) worried that Caroline is going to retaliate, as Stefan receives a call from Caroline on Enzo’s phone. You see, she needed his phone in order to get Sarah’s number. She’s none too happy about Stefan’s attempt to bring her humanity back and has decided to compel Liam to perform “surgery” on poor Sarah. Elena and Stefan rush to the bar where Caroline is casually making frozen margaritas and she’s ready to make a new deal with them: she’ll release Sarah and Liam if Stefan turns his off his humanity. It’s a plotline I never knew I wanted, you guys.

“With or without salt? Either way your precious niece is getting her heart ripped out. Cheers!”

Stefan uses his earlier compulsion of Liam to get him to tell them where Caroline has stashed them. Elena tries to get to the hospital in time to find Liam and stop him but Sarah’s screams heard over the phone were too much for Stefan to bear:

This should go well.

Stefan and Caroline as Bonnie and Clyde. I AM HERE FOR IT. This last shot is EVERYTHING.


  • “Look at my face. This is me straining to care less about what you think.” I LOVE this new Caroline. I didn’t know it was possible for me to love her MORE.

  • “Feelings are hard.” Yes, Kai. Yes they are.

  • “What did you do to Liam?” “I ate him!” LOLZ.

  • “You don’t have to pretend, Bon. I’m like a fever you can’t shake.” Damon the Insatiable Flirt.

  • “God you are SO BORING, no wonder Elena didn’t pick you.” We were ALL thinking it.

  • “Sorry, luv. It’s not as much fun when you’re not really you.” Burn!

  • “Just remember to bring me back.” I’m not sure Elena can do that for you anymore, son. But we shall see!

  • I can’t handle Bonnie and Damon fighting, y’all. I just can’t.

  • This is the perfect time to reintroduce Klaus. After all, he engineered Stefan’s ripper regression the first time around and who else is going to be Caroline’s emotional trigger when Stefan is off the wagon? Tyler? *cry-laughs*

  • Speaking of emotional triggers, could it be that Mama Salvatore will be brought back in order to help reign in her son? Only if she’s a reformed ripper, but the potential is definitely there!

So what did you guys think? Are you totally here for Stefan and Caroline’s Blood-Soaked Margarita Adventures? And what about this new, badass Bonnie? Might she FINALLY be her own person and not just exist to serve everyone’s witchy needs?

About the Contributor:

Amanda Reid is an East Coast girl living in California who will never stop missing a true autumn. She’s a bookseller who specializes in kid and teen lit, and she bakes a damn fine pie.


This post was written by a guest writer or former contributor for Forever Young Adult.