Previously on Vampire Diaries: Katherine is living Elena’s life better than Elena would have.
Diary time! But I’ll allow it since it’s Katherine talking about how perfect her new stolen life is. Even if it does involve having to attend college classes and listen to Caroline bitch about boys.
Back in Mystic, Nadia’s hanging around the Grill, compelling Matty Blue Eyes to answer her mom’s pressing questions, like what’s Bonnie’s middle name? (Sheila, if you were curious.) Tyler comes in — looking to drink away his Caroline angst — and ropes Nadia and Cute!Matt into playing a “Crazy Mom Stories” drinking game. Because apparently sleeping with someone who killed your mom is a no-no, but drinking with someone who buried your BFF alive is fine and dandy. Got it.
But then he catches Nadia compelling more Mystic trivia out of Matt and warns him to down some vervain so they can figure out what she’s up to. (Which, seriously now — how stupid is this whole “just wear a bracelet that any vampire can easily rip off” thing? Dear writers: there’s convenient plot devices and then there’s just making your characters idiots.)
TYLER IS JUDGING YOUR
PLOT CONTRIVANCE AND SO AM I
Unfortunately, Matt is a terrible liar and Tyler is terrible at stealth, and — let’s be honest — Nadia is way smarter than both of them combined. She catches on quick, snaps Tyler’s neck, and forces Matt to make up a story before whisking him off to wait out the vervain in his system. Poor Cute!Matt. His super powered friends should really keep a better eye on him. (LOOKING AT YOU, GHOST!VICKI.)
Meanwhile, Stefan comes home to find Aaron’s corpse in the driveway and Chez Salvatore kind of trashed, and reacts with all the put upon annoyance of someone who just knows he’s going to be the one to clean this mess up. Damon helpfully explains that he and Enzo are murder buddies now because Elena was mean to him. Stefan is not amused.
I FEEL YOU, STEFAN.
The murder buddies proceed to get busy killing their way through Augustine society members in the hopes of finding Professor Jerkface. Who, it turns out, is squatting in some crappy abandoned lab space and kidnapping hapless janitorial staff to continue his experiments. Never change, Jerkface. Never change.
A mystery lady wanders in, saying she’s been watching him for a while and wants to fund his work. She also knows Aaron is dead, and thinks Jerkface is next on the chopping block. Jerkface seems shocked to hear the murderous vampires he recently helped torture might be pissed at him.
Speaking of which, Stefan finds Enzo burying a body out in the woods. As you do. (Do you think they ever start digging a grave out there and discover it’s already filled? It must be getting crowded.)
Enzo seems more aroused than scared by Stefan’s threat to kill him if he doesn’t leave town. But hey, Stefan said he really means it, so I’m sure that’s the last we’ll see of him!
Just kidding, he and Damon immediately head over to the college to look for a witch who can locate the good professor. And since even with her mojo gone, Bonnie is still the only witch Damon knows, this means kidnapping Jeremy to use as leverage while finds them another one. Damon stands by grinning while his new bestie nearly crushes Little J’s pretty little skull. Lovely.
Luckily, Bonnie just happened to notice a girl levitating a pencil in class that morning, and she just happens to be working as catering staff at this week’s big function: the college “Bitter Ball” for lonely singles. (Because all college parties are elaborately decorated theme nights, complete with catering? IDEK, you guys.)
The rest of the characters are already there, naturally. Caroline is trying to perform an ex-boyfriend exorcism (including shredding Klaus’ horse drawing!) and Katherine has conned Stefan into showing up as part of her master seduction plan. Hilariously, his initial response to the invitation is to complain he’s done college twice, and is kind of over it now. Which is exactly how super old characters should feel about this stuff. (Also: could pass for a high school junior, my ass.)
ANYWAY! Stefan’s really there to break the news about Aaron and Damon. But after listening to “Elena” give another super accurate speech about how toxic Damon was and how much better she feels now, he can’t quite bring himself to ruin her mood.
So, of course, Damon and Bonnie show up to do it for him. Ask me how annoyed I am that the first time these two have shared major screen time together this season has been with him being such a massive d-bag. ANSWER: SUPER DUPES ANNOYED.
(Seriously — how much more awesome would this episode have been if Damon had decided to work through his Elena angst by seducing Bonnie? Ugh, this show.)
Katherine’s epic eye-roll as she pretends to be upset about Jeremy is kind of amazing. As is the petulant phone call she makes to ask Nadia if she can’t just let him die to score some sympathy from Stefan. Nadia visibly hates her life and all her choices as she has to convince her mother that Elena Gilbert would probably not just sit around not caring while her brother was murdered.
New Witch — whose name is Liz, but this show already has a Liz, so she’s still just New Witch to me — is a total novice, so Bonnie has to talk her through the locator spell. But when the first attempt fails, Damon calls Enzo for some motivation, and he proceeds to smother Jeremy to death. (I’d check the Jeremy death counter, but I think it’s actually broken now from so much use?)
Katherine and Stefan burst in just after, Katherine having recognized the Augustine house from that time she went to a mixer in Elena’s place. Her disgusted face at having to give Jeremy CPR is literally the best thing about this entire episode.
Stefan and Enzo fight in the background, Enzo throwing a stake at her back just as Damon walks in. To which Damon reacts not at all, because apparently, if the girl he claims to love more than life breaks up with him for some pretty legit reasons, he no longer cares if she lives or dies. Great.
Stefan, tells Damon not to bother coming home, and then just lets Enzo walk away. Um, sorry, Stefan. I have to agree with what Enzo told Jeremy earlier: threats to kill someone are useless if you don’t follow through. (Didn’t the previews for this episode promise that everyone would be trying to kill Enzo? FALSE ADVERTISING, CW.)
Katherine, of course, is overjoyed to have Damon out of the picture.
Stefan admits he used to be waiting for Damon to screw things up. But eventually he got over it when he realized he liked who Damon was with her. Katherine agrees to help Damon for Stefan’s sake. Out of the goodness of her heart, obviously. Such a giver, that Katherine.
Enzo and Damon walk into Jerkface’s lab to find a bunch of Travelers laying in wait, led by mystery girl. I guess I’m supposed to be alarmed? But whatever. These two douches kind of deserve whatever’s coming to them. While the Travelers chant and hold them immobile, Jerkface injects Damon with a mysterious substance.
When he wakes up, he finds himself super hungry for the blood of that poor janitor Jerkface kidnapped and turned into a vampire. Enzo is disturbed by this vampire on vampire violence. Funny — I would have expected him to be turned on at a sight like this:
Okay, so real talk: I basically thought this episode was garbage. Returning to evil!Damon is a boring and creatively lazy choice, and it renders several seasons worth of character growth absolutely worthless. I mean, obviously, Damon’s always been a difficult character, and you have to hand wave a lot of problematic bullshit to accept him at all. The idea that beneath his blustering, he actually did have some real feelings for all of the “kids” Alaric left in his care was one of his sole saving graces as a character for me.
But no. Now it seems not only did he only ever care at all about Jeremy and Bonnie and anyone else because they mattered to Elena, but he only cared about Elena because she was willing to bone him. It’s not only gross, but retcons the actual emotional moments I enjoyed in past episodes, where I felt like we were getting hints of something deeper.
JUDGING YOUR CHOICES, VD WRITERS
And where are we going with this, exactly — what’s the best case? That Damon finds out it wasn’t Elena who rejected him and feels contrite? Because it’s perfectly reasonable to try to kill your girlfriend’s friends and family if she won’t date you anymore? You know they’re going to move past this, because of course they are. He’s a main character. But I swear, I will be so bullshit if the show tries to validate this abusive relationship by having her or anyone else forgive or feel sorry for him. SO BULLSHIT.
(When we’ve descended to the point of this show just being shitty people doing shitting things to each other with no consequences, it may be time for me to just stop watching, because that just doesn’t interest me at all. Ugh.)
Next time: Damon goes full cannibal.