John is in the Gilbert kitchen when Katherine appears, startling him. Only he thinks that she is Elena. She tells him that Jenna is at Grayson’s office, meeting with the fire chief. Jenna doesn’t know that John lit the building on fire to kill a gaggle of vampires.
Upstairs Jeremy is unconscious on account of the bottle of pills that he swallowed. Meanwhile, Elena is outside on the porch talking to Stefan on the phone. Someone stole her belongings from the school. She tells him that she has to check on Jeremy before heading to the hospital. They make plans to meet there and exchange I love you’s. So cute.
Katherine gets a good look at John’s hideous, ginormous ring before slicing off his fingers. She pushes him into the sink as he realizes that it isn’t Elena in front of him. Katherine vamps out and stabs him.
Elena enters the house and hears a noise in the kitchen so she goes to investigate. NEVER INVESTIGATE. It’s the #1 rule of living in Mystic Falls. She enters the kitchen and finds John bleeding on the floor. She calls 911 and tries to stop his bleeding. John sees Katherine watching from behind Elena and whispers at her to turn around. Elena turns around but no one is there. She grabs the bloody knife and walks slowly into the hallway. Katherine super speeds around the house, frightening Elena before heading out the front door. Elena remembers Jeremy and runs up the stairs, shouting his name. She finds him unconscious and begins shaking him. He wakes up, gasping for air.
Stefan arrives at the Gilbert house as John is taken away by an ambulance. He follows Elena upstairs to Jeremy’s room while she tells him about Jer’s suicide attempt. Stefan examines his eyes and determines that he isn’t transitioning. Jeremy is pissed that he isn’t a vampire and tells them that Anna is dead. Stefan sits his down for some serious straight talk- it sucks that his girlfriend died, but the vampire blood is leaving his system fast and if he tries to kill himself again he may just end up dead. Permanently. A policeman interrupts them and Elena heads for the hospital while Stefan stays behind to babysit Jeremy.
Matt is sitting alone at the hospital when Bonnie arrives. He tells her that Tyler heard a noise while driving and lost control of the car. It’s heartbreaking to see him so upset. Meanwhile, Damon meets Sheriff Forbes at the nurses’ station. She tells him that Caroline is in surgery and asks him to look into why Mayor Lockwood was locked up with the vampires. They have a touching moment where he comforts her as she cries. Damon can be such a good guy. Remember that.
Elena arrives at the hospital and walks over to Bonnie, who tells her that the doctors don’t know if Caroline is going to make it. As the girls hug, Damon comes over. Elena asks if there is a spell that Bonnie can do to heal her. Damon tells her that Bonnie isn’t powerful enough and offers to give Caroline his blood. Elena objects but Bonnie agrees. Damon asks if doing this will mean a truce between him and Bonnie. No such luck. She tells him that he’ll do it for Elena.
When Bonnie leaves, Damon tells Elena they need to talk about what happened earlier. She tells him that a tomb vampire snuck into the house and stabbed John. He is confused and asks if it happened after he was there. She, of course, has no idea what he is talking about. He thinks she is playing a game, pretending like she doesn’t remember kissing him. Jenna arrives and glares at Damon. She asks Elena how John is. Elena wants to know where she has been. They argue about whether or not Jenna told Elena that she was going to fill out a report at the fire department. Damon suddenly realizes that it was Katherine he kissed, not Elena.
Babysitter Stefan watches after Jeremy while he sleeps. It’s only a tiny bit creepy. He hears the front door open and goes downstairs to find Elena. He asks how Caroline is and gives her a comfort hug when she says it doesn’t look good. She goes to kiss him but he pulls her back by the hair and bares his fangs at her. It’s Katherine! He throws her onto the couch but she barely takes a second before getting up and telling him that she fooled one of them. He shoves her into various walls until the front door opens, distracting him. Katherine takes the opportunity to wrench his arm behind his back and drive him to the floor before taking off. Elena and Damon enter the house as Stefan gets back on his feet and tells them Katherine was there.
The boys have moved to the kitchen, where they discuss Katherine. Stefan asks what Katherine meant when she said she fooled one of them. Damon tells him that she pretended to be Elena earlier. Elena joins them from upstairs and tells them that she had to tell Jeremy the truth; she doesn’t feel comfortable keeping lies from him anymore. Stefan tries to figure out what Katherine’s master plan is by asking Damon exactly what happened when he thought she was Elena. Damon tells him that they kissed and Stefan tries to attack him, but Damon super speeds out of the way. Elena reminds Stefan that she didn’t kiss Damon. She says she wouldn’t so that, which makes Damon have a little sad. Elena thinks Katherine tried to kill John because he knows something. Stefan and Elena plan to confront John at the hospital. Damon plans to ignore Katherine, thinking it will draw her out so he can kill her. He has definitely changed his tune since last season.
Bonnie asks Matt if he has been at the hospital all night. He really is the best boyfriend. He tells her that he has been there with Sheriff Forbes and that Damon stopped by for a bit. She asks how Caroline is doing and he leads her into the hospital room where she is greeted by a very perky and energetic Caroline. She’s watching Jersey Shore, which makes me think she may have sustained some brain damage that the vampire blood wasn’t able to heal. She shares a kiss with Matt that is adorable and Bonnie cries tears of happiness. Then they group hug.
Sheriff Forbes and Damon meet with Mrs. Lockwood at the Lockwood Mansion. She wants answers about what happened to her husband. Liz asks her if she knows why Mayor Lockwood was effected by the Gilbert device. Carol gets offended thinking that she is implying he was a vampire and says that the deputies screwed up, making a mistake. Damon reassures her that they’ll get through this, as long as they stick together. He sounds a little bit like a certain cheesy Disney Channel musical.
Meanwhile, Tyler is at the front door greeting guests as they enter the mansion. A big jeep drives up and a fairly handsome man steps out. Meet Uncle Mason Lockwood!
Stefan and Elena visit John in his hospital room. He panics when he sees Elena until she tells him that she’s not Katherine. Wouldn’t that be a very Katherine thing to do? Elena gives him his super ugly ring and asks why Katherine attacked him. He is hateful, telling Stefan that Elena should have driven a stake through his heart. Elena is upset that John is so douchey and leaves. Stefan stays behind and forces blood from his wrist into John’s mouth. He tells him that if he doesn’t leave town in 24 hours, he will turn him into a vampire. Then John will become the thing he hates the most.
Damon is at the Lockwood Mansion talking to Sheriff Forbes while watching Mrs. Lockwood and Mason. He asks Liz who Mason is. Turns out he’s the non-believing surfer younger brother of Mayor Lockwood. He doesn’t want anything to do with vampires or the Founder’s Council.
Katherine walks toward the entrance to the mansion but stops at the door. Lucky for her Tyler thinks she is Elena and invites her inside.
Elena asks Stefan what he said to John as they walk away from the hospital. He tries to sugar-coat it, saying he asked him to leave town but Elena knows ask is a euphemism for threaten. And she’s happy Stefan threatened him. She doesn’t want him in her or Jeremy’s lives. Stefan leaves to find Damon but not before Elena warns him not to get into a fight. Stefan is still pissed that he tried to kiss her while Elena knows Katherine is deliberately messing with them.
Bonnie and Damon are making nice at the Lockwood Mansion. She asks if he knew that Tyler was affected by the device and he tells her it brought down the mayor. Damon makes a wonderful little snarky comment about Bonnie letting John use the vampire device to torture them. He asks how Caroline is and Bonnie gets on her high horse, telling Damon he should be thankful she is letting him live. She then uses her witchy powers to give him a migraine. I get that it this is HER ONE BIG TRICK but it’s not that impressive and it certainly doesn’t prove that she could kill a vampire. Bonnie needs to check herself.
After her super lame attempt at displaying her power, Bonnie sees Katherine, who she thinks is Elena. She walks over to her and starts complaining about Damon. Broken record much? Katherine plays along as Elena but Bonnie touches her arm and her spidey senses tingle. She excuses herself, saying she needs to pay respects to Tyler. She walks into the next room and phones Elena who tells her she is just leaving now. Bonnie is about to leave when Katherine appears right behind her, giving her a fright. She introduces herself and shares her knowledge of Elena’s friends. Is every new vampire going to give us a recap on how the characters know Elena? Boring.
Bonnie tries to leave the room but Katherine super speeds around, blocking the way. Bonnie uses her vampire migraine spell and it seems to affect Katherine. Sike! Katherine was just pretending. She’s too old and powerful for that shit. She grabs Bonnie’s throat and shoves her into a wall, officially making her my favorite. She vamps out but Bonnie uses magic to open the doors to the room, exposing them to the other guests. Katherine makes a hilarious expression that is supposed to signal her being mildly impressed. Stefan arrives to save the day. He tells Katherine to leave Bonnie alone, so she lets her go. Weak. How can Katherine be a badass if she lets Stefan boss her around?
Stefan follows Katherine through the Lockwood Mansion, trying to suss out her master plan. The girl obviously likes to play with fire, pretending to be Elena when she knows the real one could show up at any moment. She even goes as far as to check up on Caroline when they run into Matt. Stefan tells her to leave and she is kind of a bitch, telling him Damon was happy to see her, thinking she was Elena. Stefan makes it clear that he won’t be playing games with her. She tries awfully hard to be flirty, trying to get him to hold her hand as they walk outside, but he shuts her down.
The Gilberts arrive at the memorial (for lack of a better name) and agree to get in and out as quickly as possible. Elena sees Damon and initiates the most awkward conversation ever. She is concerned that Katherine being around will make him lose his head and revert back to the old Damon. He just wants to talk about the kiss and why she was surprised that he would kiss her. She tells him that she wasn’t surprised about that; she was surprised that he thought she would kiss him back. Damon has a major sad and turns to leave but Bonnie runs up, totally freaked out.
Jeremy walks into the Mayor’s office where he finds Tyler drinking alone. Is there any better way? He gives his condolences even though Tyler’s dad was a dick (Ty’s words). They have a friendship moment trading off the flask, but it is interrupted by Mason. New drinking buddies please?
While walking around outside the Lockwood Mansion, Katherine brings up Elena. She is jealous that Stefan is falling in love with someone else. Stefan tells her that he was never in love with her; she compelled him to have feelings for her. She tells him to believe what he wants, but she knows the truth. He takes this opportunity to let her know exactly what he thinks of her- she’s a “lying, selfish, manipulative bitch”. Oh snap. He threatens to hunt her down and rip her heart out if she doesn’t leave town. She tells him that she came back for him and Stefan responds by telling her that he hates her. Katherine, being highly offended and severely unstable, stabs him in the stomach with a metal stake that she pulled out of the ground. She tells him that his hatred sounds like the beginning of a love story (wtf?) and pulls the stake out, super speeding off. This chick has probs.
Elena and Stefan are sitting on a bench while she tends to his wound. I am so glad my boyfriend doesn’t get staked on a regular basis. I’m not the nurse type. She asks if he is okay and he tells her that he tried to play Katherine’s game but he let her get to him. Damon shows up having lost track of Katherine. Stefan gives him a speech about how Katherine is going to try to play them against each other, so they need to stay united against her. Damon treats the entire thing like a joke, make wise cracks about their unbreakable bond. He brings up kissing Elena, attempting to get Stefan to fight him. I understand him wanting to speed up the process of things coming to a head between them, but Stefan just got staked. Give him some time to recover before you suggest fisticuffs. Stefan’s certainly not happy about the kiss (he mentions wanting to kill Damon), but he’s glad that there is a part of Damon that feels and cares. Brotherly love is so sweet.
John takes Stefan’s threat seriously and Jeremy finds him packing his bags at the Gilbert house. He tries to explain to Jer that he was raised to hate vampires. Him and Grayson. Jeremy believes that his father could have learned to see things in a different light. He asks if the hideous ring John wore belonged to Grayson and if so, why it didn’t protect him from dying. John explains that the ring only protects against death by supernatural means, not accidentally driving off the side of a bridge. He tells Jeremy that he has a responsibility to the town as a Gilbert but Jer doesn’t believe in the family legacy. With that Uncle John takes off. Good riddance.
Tyler is in the Mayor’s office having a major sad that quickly escalates into freaking the fuck out. He smashes a family portrait against the desk and begins breaking everything in sight. The boy is seriously hulking out. Carol enters the room and tries to calm him by placing a hand on his shoulder but he freaks and pushes her onto the couch. Mason rushes in and pushes Ty to the floor, telling him to look into his eyes and calm down. This seems to work, as Tyler stops fighting Mason. Very curious indeed.
Damon is pouring himself a drink at the Salvatore Boarding House when who should appear but Katherine the she-devil. She tells him that she is there to say goodbye. He tries to walk away from her but she super speeds in front of him, telling her to kiss or kill him. Because those the obviously the only possible options. He continues to resist her so she grabs him by the throat and pushes him to the ground, laying on top of him. If Katherine is nothing else, she is very direct. Damon turns himself on top of her and grabs her throat. These two and their seriously weird foreplay.
Things heat up as the making out begins. This is probably the sexiest scene that’s happened in the entire show at this point. There are people being super speeded into walls, shirts getting ripped open, books knocked over. Is it horrible that the only thing I can think of is the mess being made? Damon calls for a brief time out to be amazing:
“I have a question. Answer it and it’s back to fireworks and rockets red glare. Answer it right and I’ll forget the last one hundred and forty five years that I’ve spent missing you. I’ll forget how much I loved you, I’ll forget everything and we can start over. This could be our defining moment because we have the time. That’s the beauty of eternity.”
It is heartbreaking. Even more heartbreaking? Katherine decides to take this opportunity to tell Damon that she has never loved him. She is in love with Stefan and always has been. Talk about ripping someone’s heart out. She leaves Damon to feel all the feels.
Elena enters her bedroom and is startled to find Damon sitting on her bedroom, looking extremely distraught. He cracks some half-hearted jokes about being her bodyguard and a part of the neighborhood watch. Elena is concerned that he has been drinking and is upset. Damon tries to argue that he can’t be upset because he doesn’t care but Elena calls him out. He asks why she was surprised that he would think she would kiss him back. He knows that what has been happening between them means something. He tells her that she is lying to him, and Stefan, and herself if she can’t admit it. He grabs her face and kisses her but Elena pushes him away, asking what’s wrong with him. He tries to kiss her again and she says the worst thing imaginable: “I care about you. Listen to me, I care about you. I do but…I love Stefan, it’s always gonna be Stefan.” The hurt look that crosses Damon’s face is almost too much to bear.
Jeremy hears the commotion going on and comes in to ask Elena if everything is okay. She says yes but before he can leave Damon rushes toward him and pushes him against the wall, choking him. He starts talking about how Jeremy wants to be a vampire so he can shut out the pain. He just has to flip the switch and the part of him that cares will go away. He snaps Jeremy’s neck and Jer falls dead to the floor. Elena loses her shit, running to Jeremy’s body while screaming at Damon. This seems to shake Damon out of his trance and he leaves. Elena sees Jeremy is wearing John’s disgusting ring.
Tyler and Mason are having a heart to heart at the Lockwood Mansion. Ty doesn’t know why he gets so angry. Mason says something about it being the Lockwood curse and tells him that he learned to manage his anger. Looks like Uncle Mason will be Tyler’s anger management counselor?
Elena is still holding Jeremy’s body in her bedroom but Stefan has arrived. He tells her that Damon must have seen Jeremy’s ring, otherwise he wouldn’t have snapped his neck. Has he met his brother? He knows that Katherine found a way to get under Damon’s skin, undoing the good in him. Elena is now convinced that there is nothing good in Damon; she hates him. Stefan comforts her as Jeremy awakens, gasping for air. He freaks out, completely aware that Damon killed him.
Caroline is still in the hospital when she receives a visit from Elena, or so she thinks. Katherine quickly corrects her and asks her to give a message to the Salvatore brothers: game on. Caroline is confused as Katherine grabs a pillow from her bed and smothers her with it. Caroline screams and struggles until she runs out of air.
BODY COUNT: 2
Jeremy (for a bit) and Caroline
DAMON: “To risk another frown line encroaching on a very crowded forehead. We… kissed.”
DAMON: “Stake her; rip her head off, something poetic. We’ll see.”