1. Two familiar faces come back. The first re-appearance comes at the top of the hour, while the second takes place past the halfway point.
2. Jeremy’s death is mourned by Bonnie (Kat Graham) in an unlikely way.
3. Elena hasn’t killed in more than a week. Damon and Stefan inform the audience that the humanity-free Gilbert, who last gave the Salvatore brothers an ultimatum — leave her be or she will go on a killing spree — is keeping true to her promise for the time being. So how do the brothers bide their time? Football.
4. Damon and Stefan have three plans of action (count ‘em three) to manipulate Elena into turning her humanity back on. One of their pseudo plans involves having her locked up, and the other consists of them trying to figure out another plan.
5. Elijah (Daniel Gillies), holder of the cure, tasks Rebekah (Claire Holt) to prove her worth by seeing if she can go a whole day without wielding her vampire powers to live a truly human life. Naturally, Elena factors in. As part of Elijah’s proposal, Rebekah actually gets to attend the senior prom.
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6. Speaking of, the senior prom has a nostalgic vibe, with various photos of the high schoolers over the years (including Matt and Elena’s first date, Elena with Jeremy, etc.) shown on several screens, as well as a cover of The Cure’s “Pictures of You” and Tegan and Sara’s “Closer” as part of the prom soundtrack. This is all an effort to conjure up emotions from Elena, but Damon and Stefan’s attempts also end up affecting them. (On a lighter note, Caroline experiences a prom hiccup and goes to Klaus for aid, but for a matter that Klaus (Joseph Morgan) may find trivial.)
7. Who takes whom to the prom? Stefan and Damon accompany Elena (more like babysit), while Bonnie, Caroline (Candice Accola) and Matt (Zach Roerig) are “friend dates,” and Rebekah attends alone.
8. In a scene between Elena and Damon, the word “boyfriend” is used multiple times. In another, Elena and Stefan recall happier times while dancing.
9. Elena tries to get her “friend” (and current roomie) Rebekah to snag the title of prom queen in a rather aggressive way.
10. A prom king and queen are named, but some people aren’t too happy about the results.
11. An (almost) deadly battle takes place in the high school parking lot.
12. Matt’s opinion of Rebekah changes by the end of the hour following a heroic act that she does to prove her goodness.
13. Katherine makes her presence known. —THR highlights 13 things to look for in Thursday’s return: