Tonight’s episode of “The Vampire Diaries” took us back in time to the 1950’s when Damon and Stefan were estranged, and Damon was held in a prison cell most of the decade being experimented on. We learn more about the Augustine Society and Elena’s connection to the society, and we also see some significant character development for Stefan. Let’s dive into the recap!
We begin with a flashback to the 1950s. Damon arrives at the Salvatore mansion to find his relative Joseph Salvatore. When Damon approaches Joseph, Joseph stabs Damon with a needle filled with vervain to incapacitate Damon. Then a stranger comes and stabs Damon with more vervain. We go back to present day to find an eerily similar scene with Wes stabbing Damon with vervain in the same prison cell he was held in 50 years prior. Wes tells Damon that since he lost his test subject, Jessie, Damon is his replacement.
At the Salvatore mansion, Katherine is emulating Elena and writing in her diary about aging. Stefan is staying with her to keep a close eye to ensure Katherine does not try to kill herself again. Caroline arrives and Stefan questions why she is there. Caroline explains that she is there to help Stefan deal with his PTSD and brought the safe he was locked in.
Near Whitmore College, Elena arrives at Aaron’s place to see if he has heard from Wes. Elena tells Aaron that her boyfriend, Damon, went to visit Wes and she has not heard from either of them in a day. Aaron has not heard from Wes. Aaron is upset because he heard about Jessie’s death. Aaron tells Elena the police are saying Jessie killed himself. Elena proceeds to tell Aaron about Megan’s death and how Wes forged Megan’s death certificate, so she asks Aaron if he really believe Jessie would kill himself. Aaron doesn’t understand why Wes would do this and becomes curious. They go to Whitmore House to find Wes and Aaron invites Elena inside. She asks him who owns the house and Aaron explains he does; his last name is Whitmore. While looking around the house, Elena finds a picture of her father with Dr. Whitmore. Suddenly Wes comes into the room and instantly stabs Elena with a needle full of vervain.
Aaron yells at Wes for stabbing Elena and does not understand why he would hurt her. Wes finally tells Aaron about Aaron’s family’s legacy. Wes explains Aaron’s family has been studying vampires for decades and Wes is continuing that legacy. He tells Aaron that Elena is a vampire and vampires actually killed his parents, not a bear. After hearing this news, Aaron punches and knocks Wes out and leaves to go find Elena to get more answers.
Elena wakes up inside a cell and finds Damon in the cell next to her. Relieved to find Damon, but scared to be trapped, Damon explains the history of the Augustine Society to her. He tells her he was held in the same cells decades ago and tells her the only reason he survived is because of his friendship with a fellow vampire-prisoner named Enzo.
Back at the Salvatore mansion, Caroline traps Stefan in the safe in order for him to face his fears of dying in the safe. Caroline assures Stefan he will not die in the safe, but Stefan flips out and claims he cannot breathe. To calm Stefan down, Katherine goes into the safe with Stefan knowing very well he could kill her. Stefan tells Katherine to get out because he cannot control himself when he is having his panic attacks, but Katherine uses reverse psychology on Stefan telling him he can go ahead and kill her since she is already dying.
Inside the prison cells, Damon explains his friendship with Enzo and how they survived together. We see flashbacks of their conversations about how they will get revenge on the Whitmore’s once they escape. Elena asks Damon how he escaped. He explains that the Augustine Society had annual parties in which the vampires were shown off to the humans like possessions. This is when Damon and Enzo planned to escape. For an entire year, Damon would drink Enzo‘s blood rations so he could grow strong and fight the humans off during the upcoming party. When Damon is eventually taken to the party, he attacks Dr. Whitmore and all of the humans inside. During the fight, some candles fall and catch the house on fire. Damon tries to get Enzo out of the cell but he cannot open the doors. As Enzo screams at Damon to help him, Damon decides to save himself and flees the house. He turns his emotions off so he would not have to deal with the pain of leaving his friend to die. .
At the mansion, Caroline continues her therapy. Stefan tells Caroline and Katherine he feels like he is dying in the safe and threatens to kill Katherine. Katherine explains to Stefan that his issues with the safe are not what is truly troubling him; she explains his real problem is the fact that Elena left him and he has not dealt with it. Katherine tells Stefan he needs to deal with his emotional pain. As they have this heart-to-heart, they nearly kiss, but Caroline opens the safe to see what is going on. Stefan walks out of the safe and is cured thanks to Katherine’s revelation.
Aaron finds Elena and Damon in their prison cells. He points a gun at Elena and demands to know the truth about vampires and his family. He questions why Elena was trying so hard to be his friend and assumes, since she is a vampire, that she killed her parents. She denies the accusations and before she can explain anything else, Damon tells Aaron he killed Aaron’s parents. Elena is shocked to hear this and does not believe him, but Damon explains he vowed to get revenge on the Whitmore family the last time he was held prisoner by them. His revenge was to kill every member of the Whitmore family but one. He would let that one get married, start a family, and then he would kill every family member but one. Damon tells Aaron and Elena he has been killing Whitmores throughout the decades, thus Aaron has always been surrounded with death. Obviously upset with this news, Aaron shoots Damon in the head.
Back at the mansion, Katherine checks up on Stefan. Stefan turns to her and they kiss. Old feelings erupted and they start to take off their clothes. Finally Stefan is not brooding anymore and takes matters into his own hands. Downstairs, Caroline can hear them getting hot and heavy and is disgusted.
We end the episode with Damon waking up to find Elena is not in her cell. We cut to Elena strapped to a table in Wes’ lab, waiting to be experimented on. She turns to her side and finds Enzo alive and strapped to the table next to her.
There were quite a few big revelations in tonight’s episode, setting the groundwork for the remaining episodes this season. I was not surprised to hear that Damon killed Aaron’s family, but I was surprised to see Elena so shocked by this news. We always knew Damon was bad and lacked compassion for anyone but himself. Although Elena has changed him a bit, he is still reckless and careless. And now that Stefan and Katherine are back together, it will be interesting to see Elena deal with her feelings for the brothers. She left Stefan for Damon, who she is realizing is still a monster. And now that Stefan is with Katherine again, I am sure it will make Elena incredibly jealous and want Stefan back.
This episode was Bonnie, Jeremy, and Matt-free which was nice. I am glad we are finally moving away from the Silas storyline and without these characters in the mix in this episode it made for a refreshing change of pace. I am sure these three will be incorporated into the new storyline at some point, but I hope we are officially Silas-free. I think next week’s midseason finale will be really exciting and leave us wanting more.
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