We were told to expect some heartache fodder in this week's new episode of "The Vampire Diaries" -- which aired Thursday (Dec. 3) -- but we weren't expecting to have to say goodbye to one of Mystic Falls' few remaining residents tonight, let alone one of the Salvatore squad.
We're gonna need one of Damon/Alaric's special drinks to handle this one, TBH, because whoa.
The Fly TrapThe CW
Our three-year flash-forward of this week shows Damon (Ian Somerhalder) chained up at the news station, having just walked into the trap set by -- drum roll, please -- Lily Salvatore herself (Annie Wersching).
“You’re not the fly I was hoping to catch,” she tells him as she steps into the studio lights. Looks like Stefan’s still on the chopping block.
“Mom, it’s been a long time,” he grunts before conking out in his bindings. There's no Julian the Horrible here, but somehow this spells out disaster for the Salvatore's squad plans ... or does it?
The "It's Not Yours" TalkThe CW
Now that Caroline (Candice King) is expecting Ric's babies (with the belated Jo) -- those "magical baby transplants" planted in her by the protective Gemini coven -- she's got one pretty awks convo to have with the boyfriend, Stefan (Paul Wesley).
Annnnnd it goes over about as well as chats like this ever do, really, especially since the babies aren't his -- or, to be fair, hers.
“I don’t think there are any words," Stefan says. But he has to put a pin in this chat for now because there's some Julian-slaying to be done and also NOPE.
An EngagementThe CW
No, Stefan doesn't put a ring on it when he finds out the pitter patter of four little feet are now on the way, but rather Nora and Mary Lou decide to make it official at last.
Mary Lou is the one who pops the question -- after being insulted for her "tiny little thing" ring selection by daddy Julian and given a much bigger bauble that once belonged to a beheaded French princess.
“Marry me. 133 years is not enough, Nora. I want eternity," she says in an uncharacteristically (for her) sweet moment. Nora's answer is, "yes, of course, yes."
But the happy couple's betrothal celebration is cut short when Valerie pulls them into a heretic family meeting to spread the cheery news of Julian's former abuse of her and the Salvatore baby that would've been.
"When she told me what happened to her, it was as if all the lights in the room finally went on and I could finally see Julian for the man he is," Lily tells them. Beau is the first to step up and silently (of course) show he believes her, and then Nora follows suit, but Miss Mary Lou just isn’t sold. She offers a peer-pressured team hug, but she's clearly Team Julian right now.
So, while Stefan and Lily are outside having a mother-son moment, Mary Lou joins Val and Damon in Julian's detention room and demands proof that there ever even was a fetus (too bad she didn't come in five seconds earlier when Julian was taunting V about the "little one" that would've had his/her mother's talents). But instead of waiting for it, she decides to just witch-stun Damon to the floor and break Val's neck to end the conversation all together.
"That, Mary Lou, is why you have always been my favorite," the scummy Julian says to her.
And bad idea #932983274 goes to the Salvatore Brothers who decided to play pinball to determine who gets to kill Julian instead of sticking together and protecting their ward from interference by the potential opposition. Facepalm.
Stefan's Redemption CallThe CW
While Julian's running roughshod over the interior of the house, an unaware Stefan's outside making an important call.
And, well, well, well, it turns out Stefan does know exactly what to say in these kinda situations. (Just maybe not the first go-round -- but, hey, the guy deserves a mulligan on this one.)
Now that he's had some time to think about it, he's figured out what he wants to tell Caroline about the news of her bundles-to-be. "I didn’t want to say the wrong thing, so I bailed," he admits. Fair enough, all things considered.
"I’m not going anywhere because I love you," he continues, positioning himself back into the gentleman column. "No matter how weird this all gets, I’m here for you. We’re going to get through this together."
That other flash-ahead which showed Caroline engaged to Alaric would beg to differ, but nevermind that for now, Steroline lovers can just appreciate Stef's good spirit here for now.
Lily's ChoiceThe CW
Once he's been freed of his bindings and all pretenses of him being good are officially erased, Julian decides to play a little game with his dear Lily so that she'll declare her loyalties once and for all -- Valerie and Damon are both tied up, and he wants her to decide which family to save once and for all.
"“One lives, one dies. You have to choose which ... You’re either a Salvatore or you’re one of us. But you cannot be both," he instructs.
But Lily's got another card up her sleeves. She decides to take her own life instead of either of her children's -- even if Damon has not and will not forgive her, possibly ever.
"You are wrong, Julian. I can choose them both," she declares before she commits harakiri right in front of him. But she's the only one who suffers the blow because, noooooo, Mary Lou's already removed the linkage spell between them.
So, this is the end of Mama Salvatore after all. She collects her good-byes while she lies there in her own blood.
Nora weepily tells her, “We wouldn’t be a family without you. I love you and I am so sorry this happened.” Beau, still speechless, simply nods. She lovingly tells Stefan to use his time wisely and then has a moment of reckoning with Valerie, too.
But Damon -- Damon's not budging from his I Hate Lily Club presidency, even in her darkest hour. When it's his turn to have a final word with her, he slugs a whiskey sip, bends down and tells her, “You made your bed. Have a nice nap.”
That's when she turns blue and the lights go out. Sad face.
And if you're thinking it's hard to feel too emotional about this all because we just saw Lily alive and well in the flash-forward some *something* must've intervened here, well ...
Lily's Dead (For Real)The CW
Turns out, the mini-stakes that got Damon into the news anchor chair in the first place were filled with werewolf toxin.
"Without proper treatment you’ll die soon," says Lily.
But it's not really Lily, see. Werewolf toxin is a hallucinogenic, and he's imagined her face as the woman he once loathed -- and he only finds this out after he's tried to offer that long overdue apology.
"Mom. Listen, while you’re still here, there’s something that’s been nagging at me for a long time. I’m so sorry," he says.
She laughs, “Mom? Wow. You must really be having a bad trip. Your mother’s been dead for years.”
That's when the vision becomes clearer -- although we still can't make out a face what with the boot coming down on Damon's view. WHO IS IT?! Surely, it's not Elena, but it does look like a brunette about her age. Nora perhaps? Or is it someone else altogether?
This. Freaking. Show.