While trapped in an abandoned slaughterhouse, Vanessa wrestles between her good and evil sides.
Vanessa is facing some serious guilt at having given into her primal cravings and murdered an innocent man in cold blood just to feed. While normally she might be able to hide these emotions from herself and those around her, this time she’s got the newly ever-present Oracle to remind her of that guilt. This woman is definitely maneuvering Sam and Vanessa into position for what seems to be a big face off, but to what end?
We don’t really have time to contemplate that yet — despite the fact that this episode is all about contemplation — because Vanessa immediately stumbles onto an old friend. Mohamad is feeding on some dead wolves nearby and Vanessa, glad to see him, chases after him in hopes of making him human once more. This doesn’t go so well, because she ends up less saving her friend and more falling through a ceiling and getting impaled on a hook like a prize marlin.
Trapped, in pain, and unable to free herself, Vanessa eventually succumbs to a vampire apocalypse version of This is Your Life. As a result, she is visited by specters of her past who continue to drop guilt on her like the manifestations of her own inner turmoil they are.
First, it’s a blast from way in the past — you know, like Season 1 — when John appears and continues to berate her for killing his wife, and then him. Vanessa argues with the hallucination, saying that she was right to kill him because he raped a woman and she thought he was the killer, she did it to protect the rest of the group. Of course, this is just her arguing with herself, justifying her kills, but she can’t justify the man she killed only a little while ago.
Then Julius shows up, now turned human and a genuinely good guy. He is her moral compass. The good guy who only ever did bad things because he had been turned. He’s the part of herself that wants to forgive her for the things she did that were out of her control.
Then Julius the vampire appears, countering everything she just heard, making her doubt herself and her humanity all over again. Then Dylan arrives, a reminder of everything she’s lost. Then it’s Susan, then Sam with her, convincing her that their fates are Vanessa’s fault too, that she should have killed Sam instead of just wounding him.
But just when Vanessa is about to give in to her guilt and her anger and her still very terrible flesh wound because she’s been hanging by a hook for a while now, Mohamad appears once again and this time she is able to get him to bite her, to turn human, and to release her. Despite his earlier protest, he is quite glad to be a person again, and the two spend a little time catching up before Vanessa tells him it’s time to go. She won’t let him come with her; won’t put him in harm’s way. He agrees and walks just far enough away before turning back and following.