Previously on Vampire Diaries: Elena ate a cheerleader. And then didn’t feel bad about herself in the slightest.
We open in the 70s, where Damon has his emotions off and his appetite on. (And is accused by a couple he’s eating of being Son of Sam. Heh.) In present day New York, Elena is suspicious of his motives, but Damon promises her NYC is an all-you-can-eat buffet where she won’t be able to continue pissing off everyone she knows.
Of course, he’s actually there to continue the search for the damn cure, as the city was the home base of the vampire he killed last week — an identity forger Katherine had used in the past. But Elena can’t know that.
Meanwhile, back in Mystic: Caroline is helpfully cleaning up the remains of last night’s high school debauchery at Chez Salvatore. Klaus arrives in time to catch her sampling the remains of people’s drinks. Which, seriously: ew, Caroline. Klaus is shocked (shocked, I say!) to discover she’s still holding a grudge about his plans to murder her boyfriend.
Stefan interrupts this airing of old grievances to fill Klaus in on the whole Silas deal, and why the return of every single supernatural being who’s ever died might be something he’d want to avoid. Looks like Team: Stop Silas has a new member.
And where is good old Silas? Seems he’s been busy honing his Professor Creeps impression, such that he’s now able to condescendingly lecture Bonnie on boring exposition just as well as the original Creeps did! Oh, good. I was really worried that with Creeps dead, we might lose that super fun aspect of his character.
Anyway, Bonnie is still off the deep end completely, although there are occasional signs the sane part of her is trying to fight back. Silas Creeps talks her back Crazyland pretty easily, though.
In New York, Elena and Damon arrive at a skeevy dive bar. Elena complains that it’s gross and kind of dead in there, but Damon promises that it will liven up soon; he should know, as he spent most of the 70s there. And indeed, we jump back into flashback, where it turns out Damon used to give the IDs of the people he killed to Will the now-dead-forger. (And had apparently been unwittingly supplying him with 5’7″ brunettes for Katherine. Hah!) Just as 70s Damon is about to feed on some punk in the middle of the club, Lexi shows up! HI, LEXI!
In the present, another angry blond vamp interrupts the story. Seems Rebecca’s a little pissed that Damon is cure-hunting without her. Damon spins a lie about how he’s not there for the cure at all, and continues his flashback tale about how Lexi came to find him in the 70s because he had (newly, I guess?) turned his emotions off and was behaving so indiscreetly that even Stefan had heard about his exploits all the way from Mystic. Okay, so Stefan was hanging out back home in the late 70s? And none of the people on the council in the present ever recognized him? Really?
Elena pretends to believe Damon’s lie, but as soon as he leaves to get a drink, she and Rebecca confab that duh, of course he is there for the cure. And as Elena no longer wants it, she’s going to play him in return and find it first. I… kind of love seeing Elena taking charge of her own destiny? Even if she is all emotionless and evil now.
Also, her new hair is really cute.
Back in Mystic, the team finds a reference to the expression triangle thing that Bonnie needs to complete with the third sacrifice, and realizes that this time, it has to be witches who die. Uh-oh. And coincidentally, right at that moment, Bonnie and Creepy Silas are convincing her dad to call her mom to gather a bunch of witches to help with her expression issues.
At the club — now packed with tasty victims — Damon explains that Lexi believed Damon would turn his emotions back on if he started enjoying his life again. Since enjoyment is ALSO an emotion, once again, I am annoyed by the sloppiness of the way the switch is treated on this show. But anyway, we see flashback!Damon and Lexi dancing and smiling at each other, and it’s kind of cute and kind of sad when you remember how he totally kills her later.
In the present, Elena and Damon dance, too, and then share a victim, just as flashback!Damon and Lexi did. But when Rebecca joins the feeding threesome, Damon slinks off to do some investigating in the back office. Elena watches him go. Rebecca offers her assistance in dealing with him, but Elena thinks Rebecca is a walking bag of neuroses without whom she’d be better off. No argument there.
Bonnie’s mom has sent a coven of 12 witches to help cleanse her of her expression issues. This all involves a very exorcism-like ceremony out in the middle of the woods, in which Latin is chanted while Bonnie screams and writhes and her eyes turn completely white. You know, since expression is apparently this known evil that lots of witched have dealt with, maybe someone should have warned Bonnie about it before Professor Creeps got his hooks into her? JUST A THOUGHT, GRAMS.
Caroline uses some basic geometry to predict two possible locations for the final sacrifice. Stefan heads off to investigate one of them, while she and Klaus search for the other, allowing them some more time to flirt/bicker, as is their wont. Klaus handily summarizes the appeal of 98% of all romances, and Caroline handily refutes that unhealthy bullshit:
CAROLINE: There is no allure to darkness.
KLAUS: Really. So you’ve never felt the attraction that comes when someone who’s capable of doing terrible things for some reason cares only about you?
CAROLINE: I did once, when I thought he was worth it. But it turns out some people can’t be fixed. People who do terrible things are just terrible people.
High five, Caroline! You remain my favorite.
Flashback! Apparently, Lexi stayed with Damon for months, and every night they: partied, got wasted, and then she tried to force him to talk about Katherine, in the hopes that remembering his love for her would make him flip his emotions back on. That sounds… terribly boring and tiresome, but okay. (70s Damon totally agrees with me, by the way.)
Lexi reminds him that the first time they met, he was angry at Stefan, but asked her to take care of him anyway. Now, she’s returning the favor because she and Stefan both care about Damon. Damon finally shuts down the Katherine talk by telling Lexi she’s the one he cares about now. The switch is flipped! She seems touched, so they proceed to get it on all over the bar.
Stefan finds Bonnie with the witches, and warns them that this is all a trap set by Silas. Unfortunately, this means they now want to just kill Bonnie. Oops! Klaus and Caroline show up too — the former wants to let them kill Bonnie, as that’s the only way Silas will lose. But Caroline can’t stand by and watch her friend get murdered, so she kills the lead witch instead… which drops the entire circle, as they were all linked. Oops again! Creepy, white-eyed Bonnie says the circle is complete.
Elena leads Damon up to the roof so she can seduce him into letting his guard down and steal the paper with Katherine’s last known addresses that he found when he was snooping earlier. But Damon’s onto her tricks — you see, back in the 70s? He wasn’t really in love with Lexi. In fact, he tricked her into sleeping with him up on the roof so he could trap her there in the daylight. Dude. Why do all vampire not have magic daylight rings? That’s just stupid, Lexi.
Present!Damon explains that he’s looking out for Elena, because someday her switch is going to flip back on and then she’ll be overwhelmed with guilt at all the horrible things she’s about to do now. Also, apparently, Lexi was a walking reminder of Damon’s worst deeds, which is why he killed her when she showed up in Mystic in the first season. That… doesn’t really make much sense to me, or really track with what I remember of that episode, but okay. Elena sees the GIGANTIC flaw in this entire concept:
ELENA: Here’s what I don’t get. You spent 6 months trying to get her to fall in love with you just so you could hurt her. You were spiteful, malicious, borderline evil and… you say that you had your emotions turned off. But those all sound like emotions to me.
DAMON: Maybe they were. Maybe hatred was the first one I got back.
Okay, sure, show. WHATEVER.
They fight about whether or not Elena is taking the cure when they find it, and Damon threatens to break her neck and chain her up if he has to… which is when Rebecca shows up to break his neck instead. Elena smiles. Smells like the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
Back in Mystic, Bonnie wakes up with zero memory of anything that’s happened since the cave where they found Silas. Stefan’s face when he realizes he now has to tell her all about Jeremy pretty clearly reads: awkward.
Out in the massacre woods, Klaus finishes digging the last grave for the dead witches. He’s pretty pissy with Caroline until the enormity of all the people she just killed sinks in. Caroline is stricken and Klaus’ face softens like he might actually not be The Worst for once. But… no. Instead, he tells her to go find someone less terrible to console her. Well, gee, maybe she could talk to her boyfriend, but you drove him out of town, so eff off, Klaus. Ugh.
Of course, the second she runs off, he stares after her angstily, and seriously. So tired of this. Be a good person or don’t, Klaus. But stop being an asshole and then whining about how then everyone thinks you’re an asshole!
Damon wakes up alone to find Rebecca and Elena have taken stolen both his lead and his car. He calls Stefan to confess his failure and Stefan drops the bad news about the massacre. World: 2, Salvatores: 0.
Creepy Silas shows up and thanks Klaus, as he’d been “dreading” this massacre in particular. He wants Klaus to find the cure and bring it to him, since that way, it can’t be used on Klaus. But Klaus still isn’t keen on all his supernatural enemies being let loose in the world. So Silas stakes him with the white oak stake, which he took from Rebecca, I guess? I don’t know, I have trouble keeping track of that thing. Silas doesn’t kill Klaus — this time. But the threat is clear. DUN!
Next time: Doppleganger death match!