WARNING! THIS POST CONTAINS SPOILERS!
Imprisonment. Flashbacks. A Dark Past Revealed. Revenge.
This week’s episode, leading up to the mid-season finale of ‘The Vampire Diaries’ had these edge-of-your-seat ingredients, but not all of them pertained to Damon. Katherine and Caroline help Stefan face his demons. Elena walks into a trap. Aaron learns his family’s secret legacy.
The episode opens, it is June 11, 1953 in Mystic Falls, at the Salvatore house. Enter a James Dean looking Damon (Ian Somerhalder), complete with leather jacket, white t-shirt, and hair, asking a maid where he can find Joseph Salvatore (Judd Lomand). A man appears and identifies himself as Joseph. He tells Damon he’s glad he got his telegram and that he’s waiting for Stefan to arrive, even though he hasn’t heard from him. Damon acknowledges Stefan hasn’t spoken to him since he abandoned him at a train station during World War II. As Damon offers his glass for a drink, Joseph sticks him with a vervain injection and apologizes because the money was too good to pass up. Before Damon collapses, he stabs Joseph in the neck. Enter a mysterious man who injects Damon in the neck with more vervain. Damon asks what the hell is he doing to him. Standing over him, Whitmore announces that he will be Damon’s doctor from now on.
Back to present day, Dr Maxfield (Rick Cosnett) is standing over Damon, holding an injection. Damon on his cell floor, asks Westfield the same question as he did in 1953. Westfield responds he’s giving him vervain to keep him calm. He tells Damon he’s replacing Jesse (who was killed by Elena) as his test subject.
At the Salvatore house, Katherine (Nina Dobrev) is not amused writing in a journal about her feelings at Stefan’s suggestion. He has put her on suicide watch since saving her. She asks Stefan (Paul Wesley) how he’s going to stop her killing herself when he’s still having his panic attacks. Stefan he insists he’s fine and dealing with it. She points out how can he help her when he can’t help himself. They’re interrupted by a knock at the door. It’s Caroline (Candice Accola), who Katherine called to help Stefan, and she has with her, the safe that Stefan had been trapped in all summer.
On campus, Elena stops by to see Aaron (Shaun Sippos) in his dorm room. He informs her that Jesse, his roommate is dead and that he doesn’t seem to be able to escape loss in his life. He tells her that Maxfield became his legal guardian after his Aunt Sarah died during the summer. Everyone around him, he tells her, ends up dead. Elena tells him that Damon went to see Maxfield the previous night and is now missing. She wants his help in finding Maxfield
Back in the cell, Damon tells Maxfield how Whitmore wasn’t much of a doctor. In a flashback, Damon is back in 1953, strapped to a table in Whitmore’s lab. Damon tries to compel him to let him go, but Whitmore (Trevor St. John) tells him he’s wearing vervain, and shows him his watch. (Remember the watch for later!). Whitmore picks up a scalpel and goes to cut into Damon’s stomach. (Not for the queasy here!). He points out that vampire blood heals others and themselves and that their internal organs regenerate after removal, so what he’s doing is for the advancement of science. (Feeling like a lab rat, Damon?) As Damon fights him, he stabs him in the eye. (Eww!) Back to the present, Damon tells Maxfield he sees that the Augustines are still at it, but Maxfield says he taught them how to create vampire blood, not human blood, and is ready to take his research to the next level.
Elena reveals to Aaron that Megan, her former roommate was murdered and that Maxfield forged her death certificate. She says he is part of something bigger than anyone else knows. But Aaron wants to hear Westfield’s side of the story and they continue on to Whitmore House. Elena is shocked when Aaron tells her that his name is Whitmore and he inherited it as part of his parents trust when they died. Elena notices a group picture on a table and sees her father in it. Enter Maxfield who tells her that Grayson Gilbert was one of the best doctors the Augustines had (oh no…). Then he injects her and she collapses. Maxfield comments that it was good her father didn’t see this.
Back at the Salvatore house, Stefan is not happy with Caroline bringing in the safe.
But she tells him it’s time he faces his issue. He counters that maybe she’s not dealing with Jesse’s death and that Elena had to kill him. Caroline assures him feelings have nothing to do it and Elena didn’t know what she was doing, just like she doesn’t know that Damon isn’t good boyfriend material (Out come the claws!). Stefan is concerned about this PTSD therapy she wants him to participate in since she’s a drama major (hahaha!). She tells him since he failed doing it his way, he’s going to try it her way and opens the safe.
Meanwhile at Whitmore House, Aaron is freaking out about Elena, accusing Maxfield of kidnapping and asks him what is going on. Maxfield says he had to make sure Megan’s death didn’t draw attention to his work. To which Aaron points out is about studying infectious disease transmittal. Then Maxfield drops the bomb that he studies vampires and that Elena is one of them. He says Aaron’s family pioneered the work that has been going on for generations and his father trained Maxfield. When he died, the trust continued to fund Maxfield’s research. He pulls out a large file from a safe with all the research information and tells Aaron it’s his legacy.
Elena wakes up in a cell next to Damon and asks him what’s going on. He tells her that Westfield is continuing the torturing of vampires work of the Augustines. Damon says he knows this because he’s been in the cell before. Cue to another flashback. Damon says he was sold out to the Augustines by a member of his family and was tortured every day by Whitmore. Back to the present, Damon says he was held in the same cell for about five years. He talks about Enzo, a vampire held captive for 10 years before Damon arrived. He says Whitmore discovered Enzo was a vampire in a WWII battlefield hospital. He drugged Enzo and shipped him back to Whitmore.
Cue to another flashback, where Patsy Cline’s ‘After Midnight’ is playing on a radio, (remember that song for later) Enzo tells Damon he needs to live for the future, where he exacts his revenge on Whitmore. After sharing his revenge plot, he tells Damon to visualize his. A light bulb goes off in his head, and Damon starts carving into the cell wall.
Back to the cell present day, Elena tells Damon that Maxfield and her father worked together.
She doesn’t believe that her father, a vampire hunter, could be a part of the Augustines’ work since he was a caring and loving person. Damon apologizes for getting her caught up in this and promises to get her out.
Back at the Salvatore house, a sweating, anxious Stefan is now inside the safe asking Caroline if she knows what she’s doing. To which Caroline says yes, it’s all in her textbook (that’s reassuring!). Katherine interrupts and asks Caroline if she’s ever slept with Stefan. She says they’re just friends. Katherine suggests she’s missing out since he’s good in bed. While Caroline reads from her textbook what the therapy definition is to Katherine, Stefan is having a panic attack and is fighting to breathe. Meanwhile, Katherine asks Caroline how can they help Stefan, the hero, who comes through for everyone else but himself. Then she says she has an idea (Uh-oh…that can only mean trouble!).
Elena asks Damon how he survived all those years. Damon replies that it was Enzo’s friendship that helped him to hold on to his humanity. In a flashback, Enzo talks to Damon about women and how Damon’s only wanted one woman all his life. Enzo says for him, it was a lab assistant to Whitmore, named Maggie. But once she realized what was really going on, she apologized to Enzo and left. Whitmore enters and goes to take Damon to the lab, but Enzo convinces Whitmore he’s in better shape. Damon listens to Enzo’s agonizing cries. When Enzo is returned to his cell, Damon asks why this is being done. Whitmore says once he understands vampires from a cellular level, he can put them to use.
Back to the present, Elena is convinced that Stefan will come get them, but Damon says Stefan doesn’t know about the place. After Damon said he escaped, he never told Stefan or anyone what happened to him. Elena asks how he escaped. In yet another flashback, Damon explains that on New Year’s Eve, the Whitmore’s held a get together to show off his research. Whitmore would take him and Enzo to it, chained, in a cage, weakened from vervain and living on an ounce of daily blood. Whitmore would demonstrate to his guests how vampire blood healed by having a volunteer have their hand cut. After the victim drank vampire blood, the wound completely healed. Back to present day and then straight into another flashback, Damon tells Elena that after this, Enzo came up with a plan to escape. One of them would drink both of their daily blood rations every day until the next New Year’s Eve party. This would make one of them strong and able to free the other one and escape. After drawing lots, Damon would be the one to drink the rations.
Meanwhile, back inside the safe, Katherine has joined a panicked Stefan. She tells him to get over his fears or he will kill her. Stefan reminds her she’s risking her own life. But she counters that she’s already dying and he wants to keep her alive, so it’s her turn to help him. Stefan he begs her to let him out. She replies, “You’re Stefan Salvatore; Suck it up”. (oh yeah! good one!)
And back to the cells where Elena is pressuring Damon to tell her how he escaped. He finally relents and in yet another flashback, he recounts how in 1958 the Augustines had their party. After a year of drinking the blood (and Enzo, although starving, drank a few drops so as not to desiccate), Damon became stronger. At midnight, Whitmore released Damon from his cage at the party (leaving Enzo in there). Damon slips his hand out of one shackle and attacks Whitmore, killing him. The other guests try to run in panic, but Damon kills most of them. Someone knocks lit candles on the floor and the place catches fire. Damon tries to pry open the cage but it’s covered in vervain. Back to the present, Damon tells Elena that the fire was burning out of control and he would have either burned up or been captured again and had no way to escape, so he chose to save himself. A flashback shows Damon apologizing to a pleading Enzo. But Damon has turned off his emotions and walkes out, leaving Enzo to die. Back to present, Damon tells Elena that after that, “everything was fine”. (No guilt?)
Back inside the safe (getting claustrophobic, anyone?), there unfolds a truly epic scene, in my opinion. Stefan is gasping for air, saying he can’t breathe, while Katherine surmises the reason for Stefan’s problem. She tells him that going along with the doppelganger theory, he’s really just upset about Elena being with Damon and really wants to leave Mystic Falls, but keeps finding reasons to stay. And that she is his latest excuse. Stefan, angry and still breathing heavily, grabs her throat saying he will kill her. Katherine tells him “that’s good to get it all out,” that it’s all healthy. But not to forget he loved her before he hated her. He asks her why she chose that conversation while locked in a safe together, and she replies to show him that the safe isn’t the problem. She tells Stefan that the physical pain he felt in the safe was what he chose to focus on instead of the emotional pain of Elena leaving him. She wants to bring him back to the present. Katherine turns her exposed neck to his face and asks him if he’s going to kill her or save her life. The wheels start turning in Stefan’s mind, as he’s still gasping for air, gazing hungrily at her bare neck. Katherine tells Stefan to fight the urge and tells him she’s here for him, and that they’re together (Can see where this is headed). She then caresses his face and goes in for a kiss but…Caroline opens the safe door saying she was worried because it got so quiet! (ha ha ha!) Stefan helps Katherine out of the safe and smiles at Caroline who says she knew it would work.
Back at Whitmore House, Maxfield explains to Aaron how vampires killed his parents and he was spared. He shows him the gory photos in the file, and asks Aaron if he’ll join him in his work. Aaron responds by knocking out Maxfield with a left hook and grabbing a gun. He heads down to the cells and confronts Elena about killing Megan and possibly his parents, which she denies. Damon admits it was him that killed his parents. After Enzo died, he carried out his revenge plan by himself.
In a flashback, Damon tells Enzo that his plan is to take out the entire Augustine society and then the Whitmore clan. However, he would let one of them live to carry on the name and then he’d take out the next generation, rinse and repeat. Aaron asks him how many he’s killed. Damon says he has no idea since he started in 1958. Elena asks when was the last one and he replies that it was Aaron’s Aunt Sarah, back in the summer. Elena is horrified because she knew nothing about it and they were together. Aaron responds by shooting Damon in the head. (We know he’s not dead, right?)
Caroline is trying to get the safe out of the house and yells for help. Stefan is in the fireplace room, burning the chair he broke during one of his panic attacks. Stefan admits to Katherine she was right about what he was focused on and that he needs to move on. He admits also that he never knows what she’s doing (she said he does). Then she makes her move and the two share a few passionate kisses. Caroline meanwhile in the other part of the house, calls Elena. As she’s leaving a message about staying over at her mom’s house, she hears Stefan and Katherine getting intimate. Slack jawed, she finishes asking Elena to call her as soon as she gets her message. (Her shocked look is priceless).
Aaron calls Maxfield asking if he needs to drop out of Whitmore College, afraid of Elena and Damon’s friends coming after him. Maxfield tells him to go to school and he’ll talk to him soon. Aaron looks at the wristwatch that Maxfield gave him and he said was his grandfather’s (remember that watch now?) and puts it on.
Damon wakes up from being shot in the head and calls out for Elena. But she’s not in her cell. Elena wakes up to someone singing ‘After Midnight’ by Patsy Cline. She’s shackled on a lab table and on the table next to her, a shackled guy says, “Welcome, I’m 12144. My name’s Enzo”. (Didn’t see that coming!)
The season finale is going to be a whopper!
My questions are: What will happen when Damon realizes that Enzo is still alive? How did he escape the fire? Who was it that sold Damon out to Whitmore? An uncle? His father? Is Enzo the vampire that killed Megan? Will Stefan figure out where to find Damon and Elena? Will Katherine convince Stefan she is the one for him and not Elena? Will Damon’s past doom his relationship with Elena? Will Aaron join Maxfield in his work?
Tell us your thoughts about this episode!