Previously on Vampire Diaries: She’s Katherine Pierce. She survived.
Katherine’s still playing passenger in Elena’s body, but they need her corpse to complete the spell and make everything permanent. There’s just one small problem: Damon’s already buried the body. And because “Elena” hasn’t been returning any of his calls, he’s being a massive dick about everything.
So Katherine decides to impersonate Elena at this week’s big function — a party Cute!Matt’s throwing to cheer Tyler out of his looming alcoholism. Which means she also needs to compel Matt to give her some Elena 101 lessons. (To the surprise of absolutely no one, it turns out Matty has really strong opinions, re: girls fashion.)
Meanwhile, Caroline and Tyler are both feeling bad about recent events. While’s he’s dealing with his feels by being drunk at 7 am, she’s stress cleaning her Klaus guilt away. (Stress cleaning the FIREPLACE in their DORM ROOM, by the way. Oh, show. Never change.)
Luckily, Stefan has the perfect distraction: help get Damon and Elena back together, since Damon gets all murdery when he’s heartbroken, and no one wants to deal with that bullshit. (FORESHADOWING.)
Damon’s charming response to this is to scoff at Caroline as a “Prudy Trudy.” Hahaha! I will never get tired of him sexually mocking a girl he essentially raped for months on end. J/K I AM REALLY EFFING TIRED OF IT ALREADY.
At the party that night — to which it appears Matt has just invited the entire high school? I mean, do these kids realistically know anyone else at this point? — Katherine finds Stefan and casually pumps him for his feelings about Katherine. Subtle, Kathy!
She’s annoyed to realize he’s processing things in an emotionally mature way, but come on. Have you met Stefan? His only two modes are CRAZY EVIL or COMPLETELY CHILL.
She does manage to get a clue from him: Damon stuck the body where it always should have been. Obviously, this is the crypt beneath the old church. But before she can go look for it, Caroline corners her to confess about Klaus and how bad she feels. Katherine actually seems to have a sincere moment and assures Caroline that she is the least awful person she knows. Aw! Frenemies forever!
Of course, that doesn’t stop her from making sure Tyler hears what they’re talking about as a distraction. Caroline follows him upstairs to try to explain, but he doesn’t want to hear it and orders her to leave. I have to say, I was expecting this scene to be really gross and slut-shamey based on other things I’d read, but I’m actually Team Tyler here. If I found out someone I cared about had slept with the person who murdered my mother, I’d be pretty righteously pissed off too.
After Caroline refuses to leave, he wolfs out and screams at her to go — at which point Stefan bursts in. When Tyler tells him about Klaus, Caroline runs out in shame, and Stefan punches him. Which… okay, I love Stefan being protective of Caroline. But seriously: I don’t think Tyler was all that wrong here. If this was about her sleeping with some random guy? He’d be way out of line. But the mom thing is kind of a deal breaker.
Anyway! While everyone else is at the party, Enzo brings Damon a present in the form of Aaron. Kind of like a cat leaving a dead mouse on your doorstep? Only, Aaron’s still alive, and Enzo wants Damon to kill him so they can complete their revenge and be murder besties again.
Damon is torn — not because Aaron is completely innocent, and in fact told Caroline earlier that he’d cut off all funding for Augustine. No, only because Elena wouldn’t be happy about it. Charming. He waffles a bit and then snaps Enzo’s neck and compels Aaron to leave Mystic forever.
Across town, Katherine, Nadia and their Traveler buddy find the body in the crypt. But Elena resurfaces in the middle of the spell. Unfortunately, instead of killing the Traveler or burning the body or doing anything that might actually help her situation, she just… runs away. Oh, Elena. That was really weak.
So of course, just as she reaches the party and runs into Damon’s arms, the spell completes and Katherine takes over again.
Damon gives her a big speech about how he was wrong to think he could corrupt her and he needs her by his side so he can be a better person. Elena probably would have fallen for this, but Katherine’s in charge now, so she calls just him out for putting unreasonable pressure on her, and says she doesn’t want to be the only thing he lives for or have to worry that he’s going to do something awful every time they have a fight.
I honestly can’t tell if the show expects us to feel sorry for poor sad Damon here or what, but this was the most emotionally healthy speech anyone on this show has ever given, so… TEAM KATHERINE!
After breaking Damon’s heart, Katherine heads back to the crypt, where she kills the Traveler to dispose of loose ends and tells Nadia she’s staying in Mystic Falls. This is the first time in 50o years no one is chasing her, and anyway, she wants Stefan, her “one true love.” Nadia would hate to be the one standing in her way.
Cut to Caroline! SUBTLE. She’s waiting for Stefan at Chez Salvatore so he can tell her she’s a bad person. Um, this is a guy who goes on periodic, decades long killing sprees, Caroline. Pretty sure he’s not going to judge your kinky sex life. And of course, he doesn’t, and of course, he’s incredibly sweet about cheering her up, and OMG JUST KISS, YOU TWO.
Finally: proving Katherine’s point, Damon deals with being dumped by teaching Enzo his old “lie in the road to lure victims” trick. They set an ambush for poor Aaron on his way out of town, and then Damon rips his throat out.
God, I’m so bored by this already.
Next time: Damon and Enzo are murder buddies! The other characters are already as over this as I am.