Stefan is leaving Elena a desperate voicemail, pleading for a chance to explain why she is an exact physical copy of his dead girlfriend from 1864. Good luck with that. Meanwhile, she is driving quite recklessly (never drive while emotional!) and hits a person in the road. Her car rolls, trapping her upside down. The person she hit is still alive, terrifyingly so, and is now walking menacingly towards her SUV in a dark hoodie. Ominous. Just when it looks like she’s gone for, Damon appears to lift her out of the car and off to safety. He is surprisingly gentle during the entire encounter, checking her for injuries. Just before she passes out, she tells Damon, “I look like her.”
Alaric is drinking coffee and writing in his digital journal, providing us with his first voice over. Yay? He is writing about staking his first vampire (Logan) and the evil he senses in Mystic Falls. He looks at a picture of a raven-haired woman and FLASHBACK! Said woman is lying in bed asleep until he kisses her. It’s his dead wife. They establish that he is a morning person who will be home late while she likes to sleep in. Vital information. Ric comes back to the present, still gazing at the picture.
Damon and Elena are cruising down the road in his awesome car. I wonder if this is something he bought and has maintained for the last forty years or if he compelled someone to give him an already sweet ride. Knowing Damon it was probably the latter. Elena finally wakes up, surprised to find herself in Georgia with Damon. She tells him about the man she hit in the road. She tries to get him to pull over the car while she freaks about no one knowing where she is. At least he seems legitimately concerned about her. She tells him that he has to take her home or it is kidnapping. Damon threatens to compel her now that she gave up her vervain necklace. He answers her cell phone and Stefan is on the other end, demanding to know if she’s okay. Elena refuses to speak to Stefan, much to Damon’s delight. Stefan tries to threaten him but Damon awesome, telling him to have a good day.
Elena begs Damon to bring her back home but he tells her they are almost there. When she asks where “there” is, he says it is just outside Atlanta. He asks if she really wants to go back home to all the drama or if she wants to take a time out. Elena makes him promise that she’ll be safe, and that he won’t compel her. She asks if she can trust him, but he doesn’t answer. I like to think the answer is yes.
Jeremy says hey to Ric in the high school parking lot. Ric is looking for his giant ring, which he thinks is lost. As if you could ever miss that thing. He asks Jeremy if he has found a topic for his research paper, and Jeremy says he is doing it on Civil War era Mystic Falls. He tells Ric about Jonathan Gilbert”s journal, and snooze-fest. No one wants to hear about that.
Stefan bumps into Bonnie and asks how she’s doing now that she knows his deepest, darkest secret. She says everything is fine, but the expression on her face says otherwise. Stefan asks her to do a locating spell for him. She is reluctant until he tells her that it is for Elena, who is with Damon. She uses the vervain necklace to try to make a connection but doesn’t get anything. She then tries to do something to a leaf. I can’t tell if she is trying to make it float or set it on fire. I vote for fire. She tells Stefan that there is something wrong with her and rushes off.
Back on the road to the mystery location, Elena and Damon are making chitchat. He tells her that he moved her car out of the road, so no one will know about her accident. She asks about the man in the road. Damon thinks he was a vampire but can’t be sure because he hasn’t met him. He is delightfully snarky when he tells Elena that all vampires don’t hang out together. They finally arrive at their destination: a bar. Elena seems most upset that she won’t be allowed in because she is underage.
Inside the bar Damon is greeted by Zoe from “Firefly” with a very sizable kiss. Popular guy. She introduces him to the other patrons as the man who destroyed her life. I know I always greet people who destroyed my life with make out sessions. Also, do bartenders often make huge declarations to all the patrons? I’ve never been in a bar where the bartender is all “I have an announcement!” To celebrate (?) they do shots. Bartender tells Elena that she met Damon in college twenty years ago. He told her that he was a vampire, she told him that she was a witch, and they boned. My favorite part of the conversation is that she has dollar bills poking out of her top the entire time.
Jeremy is in the library which contains the most amazing quiet sign I’ve ever seen. Suddenly books come flying off the shelf at him. As he bends to pick them up, a young girl comes flying around the corner apologizing. They bump foreheads trying to pick up books and she introduces herself as Anna. Jeremy, meet your next girlfriend.
Bonnie is at Grams’s place, searching frantically through books. She tells Grams she lost her witch mojo but can’t tell her why. Grams tells her to clear whatever is scaring her out of her mind and she will unlock the magic within. I think I just puked in my mouth a little bit.
Outside of the nameless bar, Elena calls Jenna to let her know she isn’t lying a ditch somewhere, just her car. Jenna is justifiably pissed. But does she seriously believe that Elena passed out at Bonnie’s because she was upset about Stefan? That’s like, Parent Swindling 101. Inside nameless bar, Damon is asking Bartender for help breaking into the tomb. Turns out she is the one who initially told Damon about the comet/crystal/spell combo. She tells Damon that without the crystal, he will never get into the tomb.
Bonnie is walking through the woods at Fell’s Church because she has zero common sense. Last time she was here, she was possessed by Emily and bitten by Damon. The place has bad juju. She tries to float a leaf but hears weird creaking all around. Suddenly she falls through the ground, screaming her little heart out.
Damon spies Elena taking a call outside of the bar. Why is she outside when she knows Bartender will serve her? Girl, get your drink on! Turns out the call is Stefan wanting to know where she is. She’s all, “You lied!” and he’s all, “We’ll talk about this later”. She asks how she is connected to Katherine and doesn’t believe Stefan when he tells her that he doesn’t know. Damon shows up looking concerned, but she doesn’t believe that either. Bree (Bartender gets a name!) sees them talking outside and makes a call, letting someone mysterious know Damon is there. Also, she may be Bar Owner?
Bonnie awakens in a rocky pit. See what I mean about bad juju? She shouts for help as if anyone would hear her. She sees a pentagram carved into the wall. Uh oh.
Stefan arrives at Grams’s place looking for Bonnie. He introduces himself as her friend which leads Grams to think he is what she has been afraid of? I don’t understand her leap in logic, no matter how accurate. She knows he can be trusted as he offered to shake her hand but she still won’t invite him in. Smart move Grams!
Anna is like, a future librarian. She gives Jeremy the lay of the land, showing him to the Reference section. She is home-schooled but studies in the library for a mock-school environment. In other words, she’s a giant weirdo. She also asks a lot of questions about Jeremy’s paper. He tells her it’s on the origin of local folklore and myths, and she tells him it’s on vampires. Girl’s a believer!
Elena and Damon are in the bar eating burgers and fries, and boy am I jealous. I would kill for some bar fries. She asks Damon if she is descended from Katherine but he doesn’t think it’s possible as vampires can’t procreate. There goes my dream of beautiful little Damon babies. She thinks Stefan is using her as a Katherine replacement which Damon finds creepy. I second that emotion. Elena embraces her time out from drama by indulging in a beer. It’s about time.
Back at the library, Jeremy is telling Anna that vampires are metaphors for demons, not actual ones. Anna thinks there is more to the stories than well, stories. He is surprisingly well spoken. Even Anna is impressed that he’s smart. But she’s greasy, so what does she know. Before she leaves, Anna mentions having a creepy ancestor’s journal filled with vampire references. Jeremy suddenly becomes interested in her and asks if she can stick around.
Bonnie is still in the hole, trying to get cell reception. Suddenly Stefan drops in behind her, prompting a lot of screaming and freaking out. I don’t know why he didn’t just shout down to her before he jumped. He grabs Bonnie and leaps out of the hole in a single bound. Bonnie tells him that she could hear the vampires trapped in the tomb and asks if they are in pain. He tells her they’ve been starved to the point of desiccation. She is worried they will get out and drink blood, but Stefan assures her that without the crystal, the tomb cannot be opened.
At Bree’s bar, everyone is getting their shots on! Elena and Damon have super cute banter. For some reason the alcohol isn’t affecting her. Maybe Bree is giving her water? Bree locks eyes with a sketchy guy at the bar and they share meaningful glances.
Jeremy and Anna are playing a really low key game of Foosball at the Mystic Grill. Change of venue, but not change of conversation. Jeremy wants to know if she can locate her creepy journal. It comes out that Anna hasn’t seen The Lost Boys. So that’s what’s wrong with her. She suggests getting together to watch some scary movies. Uh oh. Looks like Weirdo has fallen for Emo. He reluctantly agrees which she totally picks up on. He tells her that he just got out of something and isn’t ready for something new. She plays the whole, “I just meant as friends” card and bails.
Back at Bree’s Bar, Elena is SUPER PUMPED she made her pool shot. There is even a spin involved. Her phone rings and it’s Jenna. Elena heads outside so she can hear the call, but slips Drunky McDrunkard-style and drops her phone. El Creepo from the bar grabs her and drags her around the corner.
Inside, Bree asks Damon where Elena is. He goes off in search of her, stepping outside and finding her phone. He walks out back and is assaulted by a very fast man with a pipe. Fast Man is a vampire who douses Damon in gasoline. Elena asks what Damon did and Fast Vamp tells her that he killed his girlfriend who was visiting Stefan. Elena connects the dots and comes up with Lexi. He is the formerly human love of her life. Elena begs him not to hurt Damon who he assumes is her boyfriend? Huh. She tells him that Lexi loved him and she was a good person, so by extension he must be a good person. That’s not quite how that works. He throws Damon into a building, sparing his life.
Stefan brings Bonnie safely home to Grams, who is also named Sheila. I prefer Grams. She asks to talk to Stefan alone so Bonnie goes inside. Stefan remembers meeting her in 1969 when she was leading an anti-war sit-in. He tells her Bonnie knows that he is a vampire. Grams promises to keep his secret as long as it doesn’t jeopardize her family’s safety. Grams is a badass.
Bree is pounding shots at the bar. Damon comes in to say goodbye and she tells him that she is full of vervain. She knows he is going to kill her so she tells him the tomb can be opened with Emily’s grimoire, which is just a fancy way of saying spell book. When she can’t tell him where it is, Damon plunges his hand into her chest, ripping out her heart. Excellent.
Back on the road, Elena asks Damon why he brought her along on his trip. He tells her he knew it would piss off Stefan and hints that he knew they’d have fun. Elena pats herself on the back for saving his life. I would totally watch a show about Damon traveling around the country, visiting different bars with different buddies. Please take Matt next!
Elena visits Stefan at the Salvatore Boarding House. She is angry that he lied to her. Stefan tells her that she is the opposite of Katherine. When she asks when he figured this out, he is super creepy. Turns out he met her before the first day of school. He was the one who saved her from the car accident on Old Wickery Bridge that killed her parents back in May. He tried to save her dad, but he insisted that Elena be saved first. He saw the resemblance between her and Katherine and decided to stalk her. Charming. Elena asks him why she looks like Katherine. He tells her that she was adopted. DUM DUM DUM!
Anna and Jeremy meet again in the library. She printed off hundreds of pages of “proof” about the existence of vampires. SUPER WEIRDO. She hands him the largest folder ever containing newspaper articles about “animal attacks” in Mystic Falls going back 75 years. She seriously needs a new hobby.
Back the the Salvatore Boarding House, Elena asks Stefan how he found out about her adoption. Her birth certificate says that she was born at Mystic Falls General (which totally sounds like the name of a soap) but they have no record of her mother ever being pregnant, let alone giving birth there. He tries to give her a pep talk that involves the sentence, “You are the woman that I love.” She is 16 years old. Sixteen years does not a woman make. They make out and he hugs her head.
When Elena arrives home, Jenna tries to give her a good old-fashioned talking to. But, not so fast. Elena doesn’t want a lecture from someone who has been keeping secrets from her. She flat out asks Jenna if she is adopted and storms off upstairs.
Alaric is having a drink at the Mystic Grill bar when Damon walks in and takes a seat. FLASHBACK! Ric was lying when told Jenna he doesn’t know how his wife died. She was killed by a vampire and that vamp was Damon!
BODY COUNT: 1
DAMON: “I mean, it’s not like we all hang out together at the Vamp Bar and Grill.”
NICE TO MEET YOU
“Cosmic Love” by Florence + the Machine. Alaric and dead wife flashback.
“The End Has a Start” by Editors. Elena wakes up in Damon’s car.
“On a Mission” by The Dandelions. Elena asks Damon where they are going.
“Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea” by Black Mustang. Elena and Damon walk into the bar.
“Can’t Stop These Tears (From Falling)” by The Black Hollies. Bree tells Elena how she met Damon.
“Trouble” by Hope Sandoval and The Warm Inventions. Damon asks Bree how to break into the tomb.
“Push” by The Steps. Elena asks Stefan how she’s connected to Katherine.
“Pepper Spray” by The Uppsidedown. Damon and Elena eat burgers and talk about Katherine.
“The Night Before” by The Stereotypes. Damon, Elena, and Bree do shots at the bar.
“Look Inside” by The Dig. Jeremy and Elena play Foosball at the Mystic Grill.
“Only One” by Alex Band. Damon rips out Bree’s heart.
“Out of the Blue” by Julian Casablancas. Elena and Damon drive back to Mystic Falls.
“Nothing Is Logical” by The Bell. Alaric spots Damon at the bar.