I was totally not expecting this opening scene. I’d been certain that we were going to open with the Katherine/Mason in the bed scene. Stefan and Elena - that was a total surprise. I really think that there’s a correlation to Stefan drinking Elena’s blood and the fact that we see them in bed together...he’d been intentionally distancing himself after his human blood issue - leading to less physical intimacy between the couple. Now that he’s drinking her blood, he’s not afraid of being overwhelmed by the need and losing control.
I did like the parallel scenes between Stefan with Elena and Mason with Katherine. (Book nerd moment - the fact they’re in Mrs. Flower’s house....so cute.) Katherine and Elena may be physically similar, but watching them with their significant others really shows their personality differences. Elena’s warm and tender when she’s with Stefan. Katherine’s possessive and dominant.
Jeremy’s arrival at the Salvatore house was also unexpected. He’s so isolated he’s willing to share his information with the vampire who tried to kill him. I haven’t decided if he’s just trying to be part of the team or if he’s trying to protect Elena here.
At party headquarters, Jenna shows she’s not as clueless of a guardian as I might have expected. She’s just cool with things that wouldn’t go down at my house.
Bonnie and Elena’s meeting seems really forced. (I do have to say that I really like Bonnie’s hair here - my favorite look for her out of all the looks she’s had.) Elena’s trying to help Caroline adjust to her new life. Bonnie’s out and out hate of all things vampire has left her alone.
Caroline and her mom’s initial chat was so much like I would have written it. (Hey, I did write that they bonded over Caroline taking dishes away.) For the first time, Sheriff Forbes doesn’t just see a creature she hates - she realizes that her daughter really did die. No mother could stay cold and indifferent after that realization.
Alaric arrives with more of Isobel’s research. He’s surprised to see Jeremy there, and he asks if Elena knows about Jeremy’s involvement. Ummm, that would be a no. Damon might not be a believer in the curse about the moonstone, but he’s not taking any chances. He wants the moonstone.
I’m surprised that Bonnie apparently didn’t know the story of how Caroline turned. She’s been more closed off from her friends than I realized.
Mason seeing Stefan at the Lockwood house has to be one of my favorite scenes in this episode. The look on his face...yeah, he wasn’t expecting to ever see Stefan again. Bonnie bumps into Mason and gets an unexpected vision. Interesting that she immediately thought it was Elena. Yes, Elena’s supposed to be having a rough patch with Stefan, but she wouldn’t be kissing Mason Lockwood. Is she blocking out the undead lady who bears such a striking resemblance to her best friend? Last time I saw the pair of them together, Katherine had Bonnie by the neck. I would have thought that would have left a lasting impression with her. Did she think Katherine had left? She does confide in Stefan, though. He makes the connection.
Jeremy and Elena discuss Jeremy’s involvement in Team Blood, Beer, and Cookies. As expected, she’s not a fan. He tells her that she hasn’t left him much choice. She doesn’t get to tell him what to do.
Damon and Stefan are surprised they missed Katherine’s connection to Mason. (Hey, guys, I called that a LONG time ago. They both got to town at the same time.) Stefan is unimpressed that Damon’s letting Jeremy be in on the anti-Katherine plan. He was so funny when he punched Damon’s shoulder in annoyance.
In the interest of length, I’m not commenting on the Tyler/Matt/Jeremy scene here.
Elena’s feeling out of the loop, so she’s texting Stefan to find out what’s going on. We know she’s big on texting - nice to see it here. When she discovers Stefan is with Bonnie and Damon, alarm bells ring. She calls him. (Nice point here...Stefan doesn’t want Elena to be calling him in a public place. That breaks the “we’re fighting” scenario they’re trying to keep.) Damon chats with Bonnie as Stefan talks with Elena. He says that Katherine and Mason are the bad guys. Last year, he would have said that about himself. He knows how to push Bonnie’s buttons...by helping him, she’ll be protecting Elena. She agrees.
Seizing on Mason’s nice guy image, Bonnie assists in ambushing Mason by giving him a now-famous witchy headache. When he goes down, Damon tosses Mason in the back of his truck.
Sheriff Forbes seems shocked that there’s an alternate to killing. Caroline is so cute when she says she’s better at controlling herself than Stefan. All that work for Miss Mystic Falls must have paid off. She’s been a control freak - now that nature is accentuated as well.
Bonnie tries to “read” an unconscious Mason. After discovering it is in a well, she bolts. As she’s leaving, Caroline comes to meet her - uncomfortable..... Bonnie has an idea of which well the moonstone is at, and she’s ready to go meet Stefan at the well. Thankfully, she reluctantly agrees to take Caroline with her.
Oh look! Matt and Elena have a scene together. He’s concerned about Elena, but he doesn’t press her on what’s going on.
Not gonna lie - the Damon torturing Mason scenes were really uncomfortable to watch. It was good to see a hint of the dark Damon - he may be a work in progress, but he’s still totally a vampire.
Stefan arrives at the well - mildly annoyed that Elena followed him. He jumps into the well only to discover that Mason has done an excellent job of hiding the stone from Katherine. The water’s full of vervain. His skin is literally boiling. Ew!
Elena totally freaks out. Caroline hears her and rushes to help, but Elena stops her before she jumps in. Thankfully, the huge metal chain is next to the well.
Damon continues his dealings with Mason. He’s mildly troubled when Jeremy arrives, but warms to his arrival when Jeremy explains about the wolfsbane. Damon strokes Mason’s cheek with the plant in much the same way Stefan taunted Katherine with the vervain back in “Memory Lane.” When he realizes Mason’s not going to talk, he force feeds the vervain to him.
Caroline lowers Elena into the well where she finds a severely injured Stefan. After securing the chains around him, Elena goes in search of the moonstone. Bonnie and Caroline lay Stefan on the ground as they encourage Elena to get out of the well. While surrounded by snakes, Elena finds the moonstone. Honestly, I expected her to react to the snakebites - glad I was wrong. Stefan is only semi-conscious. Elena slices her hand open (causing Caroline to turn away) and allows him to feed.
Damon clearly gets into his torture. He’s pressing on - determined to get the information out of Mason. Once he realizes Mason has no more to tell...time’s up. Damon tells Jeremy to take a walk. Mason knows what’s coming. He begs Jeremy to help Tyler - don’t let the curse happen to him - he’s not going to be around to help his nephew.
Jeremy stands his ground. He’s not going anywhere.
Damon throws Jeremy into a chair and explains - it is kill or be killed (actually, that was last week’s episode....). Thankfully, Jeremy chooses to leave.
Damon has a moment of shocking clarity at this point. He understands that Katherine has convinced Mason of her love for him. History isn’t just repeating for the brothers....Katherine has found a new man to manipulate as well. Damon realizes that Mason is truly burdened by the werewolf curse. He’s almost doing Mason a favor as he ends his life. Mason clearly hated what he’d become. He may have loved Katherine, but he wasn’t happy with his life and the potential to hurt others. Damon had to see a portion of himself in Mason - both turned into monsters by the woman who they thought loved them.
Awww - sweet Alaric and Jenna moment in the kitchen. On this show, nothing that tender lasts for too long. Elena comes home, and Alaric realizes something’s wrong.
Caroline excitedly tells her mother about rescuing Stefan, and Sheriff Forbes says what I’d been so hoping to hear. She loves the young woman that Caroline has become. She doesn’t want to lose those memories. Caroline knows, though, that her mom will never trust Damon and Stefan. She has to protect them. She compels her mother to think she’s been sick with the flu for the past three days.
A visibly drained Stefan meets Damon in the living room. When Damon makes a call to taunt Katherine, Stefan tries to stop him. Damon seriously should have listened to his brother. When he talks with Katherine, he realizes his mistake. He’d underestimated Katherine.
Jenna’s on the phone while Alaric and Elena talk. Katherine’s on the phone - she knows about Stefan and Elena sleeping together. Jenna’s been watching Elena and Stefan and reporting in to Katherine. Katherine makes good on her threat to Stefan. She’s compelled Jenna to stab herself, and she makes certain Elena is watching.
Elena comes to tell Jeremy that Jenna’s going to be alright. She’s as broken as we’ve seen her. She knows Katherine really can get to anyone. Jeremy takes his sister in his arms, and he gives a shockingly determined look as he strokes her hair. Katherine is going to pay. He’s going to make sure of it.
Insert Tyler scene here....
(Sorry - this next scene is brutal for me to recap. Nina and Paul do such a good job of visually showing their characters’ angst....words don’t accurately capture the emotion they’re conveying.) Elena walks into the Salvatore library. Stefan’s there...staring into the fire. When he turns, he’s already fighting back tears. He chokes out an apology as Elena says they’re the ones to blame. They didn’t listen to Katherine. There’s only one thing they can do. Stefan has no words. She has to say it. They have to end it. She’s so torn, and I really think she’s conflicted knowing just what he’s been through that day. The guy’s boiled in vervain water. On a different day, he might take her in his arms, but he’s simply spent. She gives him one more kiss and turns to leave.
She’s clutching her stomach as she speeds down the hall. Damon calls out to her as she reaches the door. In a moment of total maturity, he tries to take the blame for what’s happened. Elena dismisses him. It doesn’t matter. After all they’ve been through, a tearful Elena admits that Katherine won. Seeing the tears in Elena’s eyes seems to make something click in Damon’s expression. Katherine’s gone too far now.
Poor guy, Matt can’t catch a break. First Caroline breaks up with him...now Katherine needs a favor. She needs a new werewolf, and she needs Matt’s help. She compels Matt to attack Tyler. He can’t stop until Tyler kills him.