Oh my! What a time we'll all have some day trying to narrow down the "best" episodes of The Vampire Diaries. It's inevitable that we TVD fans will try some day when it's no longer on the air, but I can't imagine how we'll do it. Of the 28 episodes that have aired so far, the best I can narrow it down to is my top 20! Just when you think they've made the very best episode they could possibly make and that it could only become disappointing from that point on, the next episode airs and you have to do laundry for all the times you've shit your pants in sheer delight. Which brings us to "Masquerade."
Previouslies and then...Damon is giving Caroline a crystal highball full of blood to calm her nerves. Stefan arrives and asks what happened. Caroline says she saw Katherine at The Grill when she stopped in to "gawk and...quasi-stalk Matt." We flash over to what that looked like - Caroline arrives, spots her beloved, and smiles. Matt's bussing a table and looking so, so hot in his tight, blue tee, when he spots her standing near the door, looking hopeful. He takes a couple of steps toward her and asks if she needs a table. She stutters a bit and says that she's not staying, she just stopped in to powder her nose. Damon interjects with a request to cut the "teen drama" and get to the point but I tell Damon to shut his trap because anything that puts Matt on my TV screen is the point. "Then, I had to pretend to use the bathroom, even though I didn't really have to go, 'cause I'm a doofus," Caroline explains, taking us back to The Grill to once again watch this unfold for ourselves. Katherine comes into the restroom while Caroline is silently berating herself like she just told Johnny Castle she carried a watermelon. Caroline spots Katherine in the mirror and instantly addresses her as Elena. K fakes a sympathetic "Elena" inquiry into Car's well-being and then Car tries to vamp speed out of the toity but is stopped by Katherine who is impressed with how quickly Caroline recognized her. Even though she's wearing her hair curly, is dressed like an evil fashionista, and Caroline is not stupid. I'd also like to point out here that the real genius of Nina Dobrev is that she has developed a specific physicality, voice and set of facial expressions for Elena, an entirely different physicality, voice and set of facial expressions for Katherine and yet a third combination of these for when Katherine is impersonating Elena so that she isn't quite Katherine but neither is she exactly getting Elena right. It's unbelievably subtle and it's BRILLIANT. Anyway, back in the scene, Katherine orders Caroline to tell the Salvatores that she wants the moonstone or she'll rip the town apart until it rains blood and she expects to get it from them tonight at the Lockwood masquerade ball.
Damon thinks they've got her running scared and that she's out of tricks but Stefan, ever the voice of reason, thinks they shouldn't underestimate her. He suggests that just this once, they try and out-smart her. Caroline thinks they should just give her the damn stone and hope she leaves them alone once she has what she wants. Damon ain't havin' that, "No, Katherine's not getting dick!" An imprecise turn of phrase if ever there was one since she's already gotten "dick" from at least three of the hottest boys this town has to offer, including the two in that very room, but whatever. His point is that he's had it with her shit. "I'm gonna go to the masquerade ball and I'm gonna kill her. Tonight," he says. Stefan once again speaks with a level head and says that Damon isn't going to kill her. Damon would like his brother to stop being a goody-goody. Stefan says, "you're not going to kill her...because I am," and then he looks really satisfied with this like just saying that constituted making a plan that could out-smart Katherine. It didn't but it's a good jumping-off point. Damon is pleased enough to smile, nod and send us to the title card.
Gilbert house. Matt and Jeremy are flanking Jenna and helping her through the front door while Elena follows behind carrying her well-wishing flowers and balloons. (Alaric's excuse for why he couldn't bring his girlfriend home form the hospital after her stabbing was...what?) Jenna doesn't think they need to baby her but Jer and Elena talk about how the doctors have ordered her to take it easy and how ignoring that order might result in ripped stitches, hemorrhaging and death. Jeremy is a ray of sunshine, isn't he? Jenna mentions how embarrassed she is that she "walked into a knife" and Matt tries to tell her that's nothing to be embarrassed about. Elena nervously insists it was a freak accident while Jeremy assures her that "it happens," and Matt says "Yeah, I've done it, like, 20 times at The Grill," making Jenna laugh which her abdominal wound doesn't really appreciate. "Ok, I'm being nice," Matt says as he helps her sit down on the couch and Elena smiles because her ex-boyfriend is the cutest thing she's ever seen. Or I could be projecting. While Matt sits with Jenna and makes her consider how wrong it would be to cheat on her hot teacher boyfriend with one of his hot teenage students who used to date her niece (what? That's what I'd be doing!), Jeremy and Elena retire to the kitchen to talk about how to address the Katherine problem. Jeremy is of the opinion that attempting to murder their aunt is one of those eye-for-an-eye-type offenses but Elena, having seen first hand how scarily bad-ass Katherine is, feels that ignoring it and staying far away from Stefan is the surest way to keep them safe. Jeremy's black v-neck tee, biceps and narrowed eyes strongly disagree with her naivete and they all express that by attractively leaving the house without explaining where they're going. Matt waves goodbye, Elena broods and I wonder how the Gilbert house doesn't burst into flames trying to contain all the hot happening when Jeremy and Matt are in the same room. Damn!
Ms. Flowers' B&B. Our charming and aged proprietress is carrying a dozen or so shopping bags in for Katherine while the super-strong vamp carries but one. Katherine really is evil - what kind of asshole makes an old lady carry her bags? Jesus! As Ms. Flowers leaves, Katherine pulls a lacy little black dress out of one of the bags and a tall, pretty, witch sneaks out of the shadows. The two greet each other like old friends (Katherine pins her to the wall with a forearm to the throat and they exposit each other's supernatural designation, then they hug). Katherine asks Stretch to be her date to the masquerade ball that evening. I'm not sure how many straight men watch this show, but every one of them just got VERY excited.
Salvatore House of Planning, Plotting and Arming Each Other To The Teeth. Bonnie got Stefan's message and came right over with the grimoire. She spots Alarmon (aw, 'member when I was going to try to make that happen? I'm bringin' it back!) bonding over vamp-killing accouterments and asks what's up. Jeremy comes in then and announces "we're gonna kill Katherine." Bonnie looks a bit shocked, whether over the announcement or who made it, I'm not quite sure. Stefan tries to erase her frown lines; "I can explain," he says in his most level-headed tone. She'd like that. "We're...gonna kill Katherine," he explains pretty succinctly, still level-headed as all get-out. Stefan's blue and white plaid oxford and the hoodie that looks remarkably like a cardigan are really helping to sell his whole "I'm bad-ass but also responsible and kind of square" vibe. Oddly enough, Stefan's explanation didn't soothe Bonnie much. She frets while Stefan joins Damon, Jeremy, Caroline, and Alaric for a little weapons show-and-tell.
Alaric is demonstrating his plethora of weaponry, some of which he seems to have cribbed from old episodes of Buffy and Angel - Buffy was always using the crossbow and Angel dusted a vamp opening-credits-style with one of those gizmos that attaches to your forearm and ejects a stake into your hand.
Over at the B&B where Ms. Flowers is not at all afraid to mix her wallpaper and drapery patterns (wow!), Katherine is straightening her hair and explaining to Stretch that it's so she can more convincingly impersonate her "dull-as-dishwater-doppelganger, Elena." Katherine has obviously heard how much I love alliteration and is using it to try and worm her way into my heart. It's not going to work. Stretch, on the other hand, is winning me over already but countering Katherine's gripe about Elena's bad taste with a barb about Elena's taste in men being pretty good. Stretch wonders if it isn't a bit risky to impersonate Elena in front of the entire town and Katherine thinks her Elena act is pretty good and that the masks will help. I think her act is not very convincing at all but she's done it in front of the whole town before when Elena was right in the same house wearing a completely different outfit so it turns out this town is just full of exceptionally dimwitted people. Katherine finally calls Stretch by name, Lucy, so I can stop calling her Stretch. It seems that Katherine has brought Lucy to town to help her retrieve the moonstone which Lucy is unsure even exists until Katherine assures her she's seen it. Lucy wonders why Katherine wants it and Katherine makes the old "oh, um, here's the thing" face and Lucy realizes that Katherine wants her to break the curse. Katherine regains her composure, "let's just get it first. What I really need is for the backup. I can't imagine that Damon and Stefan are just gonna hand it over without...putting up a fight."
Dastardly Deeds Domicile (two can play the alliteration game, Katherine!). Bonnie is trying to convince Stefan not to go through with Operation Kill The Bitch. Stefan argues that Katherine has gotten out of control and must be stopped before she kills, or nearly kills, or compels the near suicide of anyone else. Bonnie remains unconvinced. Stefan assures her that his history as exactly the kind of guy who would never do anything dangerous in public gives him the advantage he needs to be able to surprise Katherine. The rest of Team Awesome (yeah, that's what I'm calling them, because that's totally what the are) packs up the weapons and Bonnie finally says she could whip up a spell similar to what Emily put on the tomb that would trap Katherine in the isolated location of their choosing. Welcome to Team Awesome, Bonnie! 'Bout damn time you joined up!
At the Gilbert Convalescence Home, Elena is walking Matt out and trying to convince him to stay and hang out with her, her invalid aunt and their History teacher. Why he isn't won over by this offer, I can't imagine. No, he's planning on attending the masquerade ball this evening. He's surprised she isn't but she explains that the awkward state of affairs between her and Stefan would make the party something less than fun. He mentions that he has to go because there's something he has to do. She and I agree that that sounds hinky and when he answers her "what" with a "just somethin'. I can't talk about it but I've gotta go" it doesn't get any less hinky sounding. She decides to stop thinking it's suspicious and just wish him fun. There's some cute banter and smiling about how good he looks in a suit (TRUE STORY but in fairness, I can think of exactly nothing - including NOTHING - that he wouldn't look good in) and just when I start to worry that this banter will turn flirty and I'll have to worry about Elena coming between Matt and Caroline, Matt sweetly and seriously assures her that she and Stefan will work it out. She's doubtful and sad, he tells her that he'll always be there for her and then hugs her but totally in a friend way and not a flirty way.
Team Awesome World Headquarters. Alaric asks if his teammates are sure they don't want him to come to the ball tonight. Stefan is very sure and gives Alaric the integral task of keeping Elena away from the ball and unaware of the plan no matter what. Alaric promises not to let her out of his sight. Famous last words. Stefan and Damon then give everyone one last chance to chicken out. Damon calls out Caroline in particular, I guess because he forgot how completely bad ass she was when she rescued him from being staked by her mother and a couple of deputies. Car totally plans on getting Katherine back for killing her, "fair's fair. As long as there are no werewolves running around." Damon smirks that he "took care of Mason" and Jeremy takes this opportunity to remind us that as long as Tyler doesn't kill anyone, he won't be a werewolf. I thought we brushed up on that during the previouslies but, ok. Stefan wants to make sure Bonnie's not feeling foul. She's in, but only so long as no one gets hurt. Damon's amenable to that because the only person he plans to see hurt tonight is Katherine. Is this the first time that Damon has ever honestly signed off on a plan that involved a complete lack of collateral damage? Seems like it is.
Lockwood Masquerade Ball of Holy SHIT These People Are EVEN HOTTER In Formal Ware. Mrs. Interim Mayor is telling Tyler to make sure everyone stays out of the Mayor's office. She's worried about how unhappy Mr. Mayor would be if guests were in there. Damn, how abusive was he if she's even scared of him in death? She finally takes notice of how incredibly good looking her son is in a suit. He sweetly tells her she looks pretty herself. He gets serious then and apologizes for "being a dick lately" before correcting his language to "a jerk lately" and trying to explain before trailing off and asking if she's heard from Mason. She hasn't, and doubts she will. She implies that Mason has a history of flightiness and says he's the "exact opposite" of Mr. Mayor. Got that right, sister! Tyler eyeballs a picture of his parents on the desk and says they should have cancelled the party. She reminds us that it was the Mayor's favorite event and says that "once he made up his mind, he could really be a dick." Tyler is shocked and a little impressed with his mom for saying "dick." I wonder if they were trying to set the record for the most utterances of the word dick in an hour of network programming. Anyway, despite Mr. Mayor's dickish tendencies, Mrs. Interim Mayor loved him and she knows Tyler did too but she doesn't want him to feel alone. Tyler brightens up, hands his mother her mask and suggests they go pretend to have fun.
Lucy and Katherine arrive and the camera lingers for a few seconds too long on someone at the door in one of the only masks at the party that covers the entire face rather than just the eyes. Suspicious? I think yes. The femmes fatale get to mingling and Katherine immediately runs into Matt who looks so amazing I might have passed out a little. Matt calls her Elena and is shocked to see her there after she said she wasn't coming. She can barely concentrate on making excuses for this because he looks so good. I'm not even projecting this time, that's actually what's happening. First she tells him he looks dashing (he does), then she tells him he really is hot in a suit (he REALLY is), and she starts to tell him she'd love to just...do something dirty to him that she stops herself from revealing when he blushes and she remembers she has work to do. So she composes herself, whips out her compulsion eyes and asks him to reiterate his mission. He says he's going to get Tyler drunk, pick a fight with him, beat him until he snaps and then not stop until Tyler kills him. See, Katherine, all the alliteration in the world can't make up for you trying to have the hottest men in town killed! After he's explained the plan, she states the obvious one more time, "God you're hot," before sending him away. He thanks her and leaves. Hot as he is, compelled Matt creeps me out.
Outside, the Salvtore Brothers have arrived. Are you tired of hearing about how suit-hot everyone is yet? Tough! We already knew from "Miss Mystic Falls" that Damon could wear the hell out of a suit but now we see that Stefan has a similar ability to look like sex on two feet in dress duds. Stefan also wins the prize (amongst stiff competition) for looking sexiest in his mask. That's the thing about this party by the way, suit-hot is delicious enough but it's compounded by the mask-hot factor and before I know it, I'm taking another cold shower. Anyway, Stefan wants to make sure Damon is ready for what lies ahead and Damon's all, "pshaw!" Stefan calmly recounts that he once had the chance to kill her and he hesitated. Damon declares that "the fork in the road" between the two of them because he doesn't hesitate. It's like he's got amnesia tonight or something. "You spent 145 years loving her, it could happen," Stefan argues. Damon pshaws again. And it's on.
Ugh! Those unbearable twits, Amy and Annoying Friend, are obnoxiously dancing through Mr. Mayor's office while Matt tries to get Tyler to do vodka shots at the desk and Tyler complains that they really shouldn't be in there. It seems that Katherine didn't just compel Matt to pick a fight with Tyler, she also compelled him to be a douchey asshole. Do you see how she tries her hardest to ruin EVERYTHING? This is worse than the time Isobel stopped Damon's strip poker game just before he pantsed himself! Shots all around.
Jeremy and Bonnie have arrived now with the bag full of weapons that Alaric so lovingly packed for them and they casually sneak upstairs to a guest room that's larger than my first apartment. Bonnie deems the room perfect so Jeremy begins to unload the arsenal. Bonnie takes out the grimoire and Jeremy asks if it's the same one he read about in Johnathan Gilbert's journal. She tells him it is and explains that it contains the spell that sealed the vamps into the tomb back in 1864. Jeremy stashes the weapons around while she leafs through the grimoire and then he asks her if she can do everything in the book. She says that it takes practice and that she's kind of avoided most of it on account of how she's been a big, humorless, self-pitying baby about it all since Grams met her untimely end last year. Jeremy tells her he thinks it's pretty cool that she's "100% witch." She argues that it's the opposite of cool because being a witch meant that Emily and Grams died. I guess she forgot that she's talking to a guy whose parents died because they were driving a car. EVERYONE DIES, Bonnie! Jeremy hasn't spent the last dozen or so episodes dealing with Bonnie's shit so he's more willing to cut her slack than I am. He asks her why she's helping if she's so against all of it. She tells him it's because she doesn't want anyone else to get hurt and also that she doesn't know how to keep her nose out of it. Hard as I'm being on her, this is actually the first time in a long time that she hasn't been the least bit insufferable. She's actually being kind of nice about it. I think Jeremy's considerable sex appeal is melting her icey heart.
Gilbert Abode. Jenna is laying on the couch drinking tea while Elena serves her pizza. Elena asks after Jeremy's whereabouts and Jenna tells her that he already left for the ball. Jenna proves again that she doesn't pay any attention to her charges when she mentions that she hopes he has fun to combat his "emo thing." Jenna, Jeremy hasn't really had the emo thing going for a while. Elena excuses herself to get napkins from the kitchen and when she gets there, she grills Alaric about what's going on. Alaric, the world's worst liar, darts his eyes around, stammers, and insists he knows nothing. In that case, she tells him, she'll just go find her friends, but of course he stops her. His lying gets just the teensiest bit better when he tells her that Stefan asked him to keep an eye on her in case Katherine paid a surprise visit to the house that evening. Elena, a teenage girl to her very core, continues to want it both ways - she wants to stay away from Stefan to keep herself and her family safe but she also wants to know what's going on with Team Awesome and be a part of every caper. I get it, but I also find it pretty annoying.
Lockwood House of Too Much Sexy To Talk About. Bonnie and Jeremy are returning to the ground floor and Bonnie is telling Jeremy to let Stefan and Damon know the room is ready. Then she abruptly gets the wiggins and tells Jeremy that she feels something weird. She walks right over to Lucy and asks if she knows her. Lucy discounts it as nothing more than a weird vibe and heads off to find Damon.
Outdoor dance floor. Katherine asks Stefan to dance and Stefan smiles (a look that works for him so much - I'm glad he's doing it more often this season) and says no. Katherine plans to spend her non-dancing time killing and/or eating other party goers so Stefan agrees to cut a rug with her and grudgingly offers her his arm. She bitchily takes it and saunters out to the dance floor looking smug. I can not express enough how impressive it is that Nina Dobrev's Katherine saunter conveys smugness so perfectly and is so completely different from the way Elena walks. Seriously people, she does it with her WALK! Also, her hair looks AMAZING. But I digress. Katherine tries to flirt but Stefan isn't having it and asks after Jenna, disappointed that Jenna survived the stabbing. "Lucky girl," she says, "Clumsy. How does one stab oneself?" I hate Katherine so much but I LOVE the way Nina plays her. It's delicious. Stefan explains, as if talking to a small child, that he doesn't want anyone to get hurt tonight. Matching his condescending tone, Katherine tells him that if he just gives her the moonstone, nobody will. Darn the luck, Stefan doesn't have the silly rock with him right now, so he suggests the two of them skip off to get it together. She would prefer he fetch it himself while she remains at the party and tries not to kill anyone while she waits. "My way, or you don't get it," Stefan chuckles. This is the moment that Amy chooses to come over, whining to Stefan that she can't find Matt. She takes this opportunity to complement "Elena" on her dress and tell her how "gorge" she looks. I will not be sad when this girl is dead, sorry. Which will be right...Katherine walks behind her...about...snaps her spine and says "paralyzed from the waist down," then snaps again, "and dead." She leaves Amy's corpse in Stefan's arms with a warning, "the moonstone, Stefan. Tick tock."
Gilbert's House of Incompetence. Elena stands in the hall and awkwardly announces that she's tired and going up to bed. Alaric, who promised not to let her out of his sight, gives her a wave and then goes about his business of being a little bit useless while Elena quietly grabs the car keys and slips out the front door. She didn't even have to sneak out the window! Remember when Alaric was a bad ass? I hope that starts happening again soon because, so far, season two Alaric is no fun at all.
Party. Damon is waiting in the upstairs room when Stefan comes in saying he hid "the body" in the trunk for now. Fortunately, Ian Sommerhalder has an expression that perfectly conveys "eh, what're ya gonna do?" and said expression pairs perfectly with Damon's assertion that they'll "dump it when we get back." Stefan paces and steams and frets about how he didn't want anyone innocent to get hurt so he thinks they should call it off. Damon, whose memory is coming back to him, recalls a few short hours ago when Stefan gave Team Awesome their last chance to chicken out and also a few minutes ago when Stefan worried that Damon would hesitate, lays a hard-truth pep-talk down on his little brother: "Hey, don't do this to me. This woman ruined our lives. She destroyed us. Tonight it ends. [Unintelligible mumble.] I got your back." Aw, brotherly bonding, yay! Stefan is sufficiently pepped. Plan: back on.
Outside, Jeremy is asking Bonnie if she can whip up a spell that helps her "ace a test." She knows no such spell and he says that it'd be the first spell he learned. Well, either that or a sex spell. "You wanna dance or somethin'?" he asks her while she's still agog at his use of the word sex a second ago. She declines his offer to dance but does so in a really nice, semi-flirty way. Jeremy gets a text from Damon then: "Now." Off he goes.
Katherine's sauntering around when Lucy finds her and expresses her displeasure at having not been informed that there'd be another witch at the fete. Katherine says that nothing has changed and reminds Lucy that she owes her "dear friend Katherine a favor." Of all the people in the world - real or fictional - Katherine is the absolute last person I'd ever want to owe. Because you know her favor is never going to be "marry Matt" or "give Damon a sponge bath." It's going to be something like "stab yourself in the gut" or "get the sexy werewolf to kill you." Veiled threats, frighted looks and then Jeremy stops by and asks to talk to "Elena" alone for a moment. Katherine plays along as Elena until Jer tells her that Stefan and Damon would like to meet her in the woods by the lake where they have the moonstone. Katherine wonders why Jeremy is playing messenger and he scoffs that it's because he's not afraid of her. "You Gilbert men, so courageous. How's John by the way? Were they able to sew his fingers back on?" Heh! Dammit, she's good. As she saunters away, Jeremy starts a text message that is interrupted when Elena pulls him into the bushes and asks what the hell is going on.
Inside, Caroline spies Matt laughing with Annoying Friend. Tyler motions for Matt to follow him. Matt starts but is pulled up short when he spies Car across the room. The two make eye contact and smile sadly at one another before Matt remembers himself (and his compulsion-induced mission) and walks off. Caroline gets a text from Jeremy then: "Your turn." She wanders into another part of the house where Katherine attacks her. There is arm twisting, hair pulling, choking and wall-pinning while Katherine interrogates Caroline to find out what Damon and Stefan are up to ("they're trying to kill you"), where the moonstone is ("Bonnie has it"), and where Bonnie is ("upstairs").
Outside Elena is finding it absurd that Team Awesome is attempting to kill Katherine THERE. Jeremy and Bonnie are defending the Team's plan and Elena is calling them crazy. "How am I supposed to feel if one of you guys gets hurt because of me?" Elena asks. Jeremy lets her know, in a nicer way than I would have, that it's not just her anymore. Bonnie nods in agreement and Elena sighs in exasperation because she knows he's right.
Katherine is dragging Caroline up the stairs by the hair while Car cries and begs to be left out of it. After some prodding she points Katherine toward the room Bonnie is in and Katherine lets go of Caroline's hair and bursts through the doors into the room. Caroline laughs, "I did it. I really didn't think that I'd be able to fool you but...I did it." Katherine flies toward her in a rage and is stopped short by the supernatural lock. Stefan arrives at the back of the room with a stake and a "hello, Katherine" while Caroline leaves with a smile, a wave and a "goodbye, Katherine." Kat expresses her disbelief that Stefan can kill her with the stake he's holding and he agrees he probably can't. Damon emerges from the closet then with what looks like a flame thrower that shoots stakes and Stefan says, "by he can" just as Damon fires one into Katherine's back right below her left shoulder blade. As she doubles over in pain, Elena does the same outside while a large bloody hole opens up in her back. Bonnie and Jeremy try to help her but none of them know what's going on. Commercials.
And we're back! Elena is screaming in pain somewhere on the lawn, Jeremy is panicking and doesn't know what's going on. Upstairs, Stefan viciously stakes Katherine again in her right arm. Outside, a bloody wound opens on Elena's arm and she screams again. Bonnie stares in horror and Jeremy asks again what's going on. Bonnie looks to the house and figures it out, "Jeremy it's Katherine. She's linked to Katherine, get them to stop. Now!" Jeremy runs for the bedroom where Stefan and Damon are continuing to fight with Katherine. Stefan goes at her again and Katherine throws him off, flattening a coffee table. Damon comes up behind her, rips the stake out of her back, and makes to stake her again but she whips around and catches his wrist. She tosses him into a wall just as Stefan regains his footing and uses that wrist-mounted stake dispenser thingy. He hurls a stake, she ducks, it sticks in the wall behind her. He whips another, she catches it just before it gets her in the neck and throws it back. He ducks, and again, it sticks in the wall behind him. Damon recovers now and goes to stake her but she once again throws him off. He crashes over a chair. With the crashing and fighting and furniture breaking, they're making a lot of noise up there, how does no one at the party notice? Is the house really that big? Damon gets up again and comes toward her going for an under-hand stake in the gut this time. She catches his arm and uses her strength to turn his wrist back toward himself. She pushes it at him and has nearly got it to his chest when Stefan puts her in a choke hold from behind. Stefan shoves her off of him sending she and Stefan both sailing backward across the room and onto another table. Stefan still has her neck in a death grip. Damon comes at her in the prone position and is just about to finish the job when Jeremy runs in and yells "STOP!" Damon slows his momentum but hasn't been convinced to stop so Jeremy quickly tells them that everything they do to Katherine, happens outside to Elena. That convinces Damon. He turns around in shock and horror. Stefan lets go of Katherine's neck and she pops up off of him, throwing around her bitchy attitude again. "You think you two are the only ones with a witch on your side? Wrong. And something tells me that my witch is better than your witch." She takes the stake away from Damon while the brothers gawk at each other and Jeremy, utterly baffled that she out-smarted them again. Stefan sends Jeremy to go check on Elena. Katherine bitches about how much they all love Elena. It amuses me how jealous Katherine is of Elena. She cuts her own hand open just to hurt Elena a little more and the same gash opens in Elena's hand outside. She screams and tells Bonnie that it hurts so much. Bonnie can't break the spell but she does what she can to lessen the pain for her.
Upstairs, Katherine is preparing to stake herself in the stomach, just to hurt Elena, and by extension the brothers who love her. I had never pegged Katherine for a masochist but...here we are. Damon stops her with a pleading "wait!" She takes a seat on the couch and asks after the moonstone. Jeremy gets to his sister and asks if she's ok. "Are they?" she asks in response. He says that Stefan and Damon are stuck in the room with her. Jeremy tells Bonnie that Katherine brought a witch with her for this. Bonnie realizes that was the source of the vibage from Lucy earlier. She goes off to find Lucy and tells Jeremy to stay with his sister. Jeremy takes off his magic ring and tries to give it to her saying she needs it more than he does. She disagrees and says she needs him to be safe. We don't get a resolution to that argument before we zip back upstairs to see Damon trying to push through the magic force field and Katherine yapping about old times. "The brother who loved me too much and the one that didn't love me enough," she says. "And the evil slut vampire who only loved herself," Damon snarks. Katherine is disappointed with his attitude and wonders what happened to turn him from a sweet, polite young man in the 19th century to a bitter meanie in the 21st. They crab at each other for a second before Stefan asks them to stuff it. Back on topic, Katherine asks where the moonstone is. Stefan asks why she wants it. And we're off topic again as Katherine makes yet again more remarks about the two of them worshiping Elena. She points out to Stefan that Damon loves his woman in an attempt to get Stefan to turn on his brother. The boys are like "Oh please! Like we haven't figured out how to deal with loving the same woman after a hundred and fifty years of practice? What else ya got?" She suggests that she and Damon make out so Elena can feel it vicariously. I think that would be nice for Elena. Maybe take her mind off of the pain? Damon says nothing but looks like he might be considering the merits of the plan. Stefan is all business and gets back on track. He asks why she would want to use a werewolf to help her break a curse that would then help werewolves kill vampires. Damon apologizes for killing her pet but notes that she should have kept him on a tighter leash. She promises to remember that for next time and reminds them that Mason wasn't the only wolf in town.
Downstairs, Matt and Tyler are drinking in the office with Annoying Friend who wonders where Amy got to. No one cares. Matt drinks straight from the huge bottle of vodka. I think he misunderstood the part of the plan about getting Tyler drunk. He starts pouring vodka all over the floor of the office and Tyler tells him to stop. Matt grabs the picture of the Mayors off of the desk and pours vodka on it. Tyler asks what's wrong with Matt and Matt excuses his behavior by explaining that Mr. Mayor was a dick. Do we have a winner yet? Even Annoying Friend thinks it crosses a line to speak ill of the dead. Tyler looks hurt but not really angry. Matt wants to reminisce about when Mr. Mayor used to slap Tyler around, and he smacks him on the side of the head for emphasis. Oh, Matt! She turned you into such a DICK! Tyler remains calm but is obviously bothered by Matt's behavior. Matt slams the picture on the desk. Tyler gets serious, "Ok, you need to calm your drunk ass down right now!" Matt shoves him and tells him to do something about it. Tyler takes a deep breath and tells Matt he won't fight him. Annoying girl gets up and goes to the desk. Matt tackles Tyler to the floor and starts punching him in the face.
Caroline hears the ruckus with her vamp ears and goes to see what's happening. She finds the boys wrestling around in the office and breaks it up by throwing Matt off of Tyler. He gets up and tries again to get to Tyler but she holds him off. He insists she let him go because he has to finish. Tyler asks what the hell is wrong with him and Caroline seems to realize that Matt is acting the kind of single-minded crazy that comes with compulsion. She gives him an elbow to the face and knocks his ass out. Tyler is shocked by the whole thing. Caroline goes over to check on him, unconscious and bleeding from the nose (extra points to her for being not at all tempted by the blood). While she tries to wake him up, and Tyler asks how tiny little Caroline knocked him out in the first place, Annoying Friend takes a letter opener off of the desk and says that Matt failed so she can't. Caroline turns to see what AF is talking about and sees her coming at Tyler with the letter opener. She yells to warn him and her turns just in time to get stabbed in the shoulder by Annoying Friend. He pushes her away instinctively and she smashes her head on the edge of the desk and falls like a sack of dead to the floor. Tyler looks at the bleeding wound on his shoulder and then sees her laying there and starts to panic. He runs over to her, begging her to open her eyes and wake up. Caroline realizes what has happened and goes to the two of them. Poor Tyler is freaking out and wanting it all not to be happening. Caroline checks for a pulse and finds none. He runs to the corner and begins to cry. He wails, falls to his knees, pounds on the floor, and feels the change happening within him. Caroline calls to him to ask him whats happening and he tells her to stay away. He looks up at her and his eyes change. She steps back in shock and we dramatically go black.
Mystically locked bedroom. Damon is growing impatient waiting for Bonnie to arrive and take them off lock down. Katherine suggests charades. Stefan is starting to put the pieces of the moonstone puzzle together. He realizes that she bargained away the moonstone in 1864 - trading it to George Lockwood for her faked death. She says that as a plan it was going perfectly until people found out she wasn't in the tomb. "Have I mentioned how inconvenient your obsession with me has been," she asks Damon. "You and me both, honey," he answers while drinking his scotch. Stefan persists, wondering why she needs the moonstone back at all. She deflects with talk of how good he looks in a suit (I know it's a tactic but I can understand how a person could get distracted by that). Stefan asks why she even had it in the first place and Damon thinks it's a waste of time to ask because she'll never tell. But he doesn't need her to because the pieces are falling into place for Stefan all on their own. He's figured out that it wasn't hers to begin with and that she faked her death to hide from someone. She tells him a story about how she saw him at that Bon Jovi concert in '87 partying with Lexi. Damon finds this new "I checked in on you over the years" bit kind of nauseating. Stefan just wants to know who she was running from. She mouths "I love you" to Stefan, I roll my eyes and wish she were dead.
Bonnie is scouring the party looking for Lucy and finally finds her in the dining room. Or, rather, Lucy finds Bonnie in the dining room. Bonnie wants to know who she is and what she's doing there. Lucy knows Bonnie is a Bennett and has no interest in fighting her. Bonnie insists she stop the spell that's binding Katherine and Elena. Lucy continues to insist that if they just hand over the moonstone, everything will be "groovy." Bonnie ain't fuckin' around anymore. She tosses a vague but scary threat at Lucy (who is about twice the size of tiny little Bonnie) and Lucy says she has no choice but to help Katherine. She tells us that the reason she owes Katherine is that Katherine saved her life and now she has to pay up. Bonnie grabs her arm and something witchy happens to tell Lucy that Bonnie has the moonstone. Lucy grabs Bonnie's arms and the lights dim. There's a juju vibe exchange and Lucy notes that it means Bonnie can trust her. "Give it to me," she tells Bonnie, "it's ok."
Upstairs Damon is pouring another scotch for himself and one for Katherine. He's clearly grown tired of her bullshit this evening and can take it no more. He pins her to the wall in a choke hold and goes to stake her. Stefan jumps on him and tries desperately to hold his arm back and talk him out of it at the same time. Damon says that the second the spell is lifted, he's going to drive a stake right through her heart. And he says it as if he's a 6 year old talking about going to Disneyland. He's manically giddy. "God, you're hot," she says. Once again, I can't really blame her for noticing that at this moment. She asks when he got so hot and I try to explain that it was when the 19th century was over and he no longer had to wear the flashback wig but she's already moved on. Damon lets her go and Katherine creepily walks toward Stefan like she now wants to say things to him that will make Damon feel inadequate again. Fortunately, Lucy arrives before we have to hear any of them. She announces that the spell on the room has been lifted and she's carrying the moonstone. "When I hand this over," she says of the moonstone, "my debt to you is over." Katherine agrees that as soon as she has the moonstone in her hand, Lucy owes her nothing. Damon tries to talk Lucy out of it but Lucy hands it over. Katherine immediately begins chocking and gasping for air. "You should have told me another witch was involved," Lucy says. Lucy is awesome. "She's a Bennett witch, Katherine. But I'm sure you knew that," she says as Katherine tries in vain to breathe and falls to the ground. Stefan panics, "wait, Elena!" Lucy explains that she lifted that spell and Elena is fine, she'll heal quickly and Bonnie is with her. Katherine lays on the floor with the moonstone suffocating and suffering. Lucy apologizes for her involvement and leaves. Stefan looks at Damon, Damon looks at Katherine, Katherine loses consciousness and we go to our final commercial.
Back in the office, Caroline is telling Mrs. Interim Mayor what happened: "Matt and I were fighting - we broke up you know - and [Annoying Friend] was dunk, and dancing, and she, she just tripped. And she wasn't breathing." Mrs. Interim Mayor says that the Sheriff is on her way and they'll call Annoying Friend's parents and explain how the whole thing was a terrible, tragic accident. I wonder if she'll also explain how a minor got drunk at her house. Tyler comes in then, no longer wearing his tie and with his collar unbuttoned, mmmmm.... Oh, sorry. He says that the Sheriff is there so Mrs. Mayor goes off to tell Liz the story of how a teenage girl ended up dead at her house. Poor Mrs. Mayor, wait 'till she finds out another teenage girl went "missing" from her house tonight. She tells both Tyler and Caroline to stay there until she comes back with the Sheriff. Caroline tells Tyler that Matt's in the car, sleeping it off, and that she'll deal with him so that he isn't involved in "any of this." He comes closer to her and asks in a low voice what she's doing. She tells him that she's fixing a very bad situation. He asks why. I'm sorry, I have to take a second to say that at this moment, Tyler is sexier than he's ever been. He's scared, he's freaked out, and he's realizing for the first time how amazing Caroline is. You guys know I want Matt and Caroline to be together Pacey-and-Joey-style (hat is to say they can break up but they'll always end up together because they're each others lobsters) but I'm starting to get excited about where the Tyler/Caroline friendship is going to go. Now, where was I? Oh, right, she's fixing and he wants to know why. "I did this. I killed her," he says. She argues that he didn't mean to and so she thinks it's best for everyone.... He cuts her off to say that accident or not, she's dead and Caroline doesn't know what that means. "Actually, Tyler, I think I do," she says. He shakes his head and says sadly, "No you don't, Caroline." She's not going to argue with him so she just asks him if his wound has healed. He unbuttons his shirt and checks his shoulder, feeling around for where he was stabbed. There's nothing there. He looks at her in astonishment and asks how she knew. She looks at him but doesn't answer.
Outside, Bonnie chases Lucy down as she's leaving. Lucy apologizes for the spell and blames "damn vampires." Bonnie asks how she knew she could trust Lucy with the stone. Lucy explains that it was the juju vibe and it comes from being around related witches. They're 3rd cousins, twice removed. Lucy says that this experience has been a wake-up call for her and that she needs to stop letting vampires control her. Bonnie begs her to stay and says that she also hates being in the middle with vamps. Lucy tells her that she's "one of the good ones" and therefore the middle of it is where she needs to be. I guess that means that Bonnie will be a permanent member of Team Awesome? Yay! Lucy leaves but says Bonnie will see her again. That calls for another yay.
Jeremy comes out and asks Bonnie if she'd like a ride home. He sees that she's crying and asks if she's ok. She smiles and asks when he got his drivers licence. He laughs, "I'm not a kid anymore, Bonnie." Oh MY! He certainly isn't! Bonnie takes notice of that, and of how incredibly hot he is right now, and says that she'd love a ride home. Sparks are starting to fly between these two and i'm very happy about that.
Stefan finds Elena by the pond at the edge of the Lockwood yard. She tells him that she's ok, Bonnie took the pain away and she's healing already. He's still worried about her. She tells him she heard about Katherine. "Is it true? Is she really gone?" she asks. He says it is. He takes her face in his hands and tells her that he was so worried about her. She stops him. "Katherine being gone doesn't change anything for you, does it?" he asks. She tells him that she wants to be with him, "but first, I need to wake up and know that the people I love are safe," she says. She wants to feel safe. He tells her that he understands and I wish he'd explain it to me. Half of the people she knows are vampires, one's a werewolf, one's a witch, one's a vampire hunter and her brother is a hunter in training. She thinks she's going to suddenly start feeling safe just because she isn't dating Stefan? The only reason they broke up was because of the specific threat posed by Katherine. So if Katherine is gone, what the fuck is the problem? I'm finding this particular plot point frustratingly stupid. Anyway, the two of them exchange sad, lingering looks for a minute and she leaves. He continues to stand by the water being beautiful and disappointed.
Meanwhile, Katherine gasps to life and looks around. She's in the old tomb and the moonstone is on the floor next to her. she gets up and stumbles to the door but it's got a mystical lock on it. Damon walks into view and greets her. He tells her that she's where she should have been all along. "I thought you'd have learned your lesson by now, messing with a Bennet witch," he says. She tells him he should have just killed her but he angrily and bitterly tells her that death would have been too kind for her. With the mere hint of a crooked smile, he begins to shut the stone door but she stops him telling him that Elena is in danger and she needs Katherine to protect her. He asks who Elena is in danger from. She won't say. "You're lying. You always lie." And it only took him a century and a half to figure it out! She tells him that Elena is the doppelganger and needs to be protected and that's why Katherine hasn't just killed Elena herself. Damon thinks a second, finds that explanation reasonable and says that he will protect her, "while you rot in hell." He shuts the door while she begs and pleads. He lets out a heavy breath, swallows hard and walks away.
So, if the original plan was to kill her, when do you suppose they spelled the tomb? And who did it - Bonnie or Lucy? Does the rest of Team Awesome know that she's down there? Does Stefan? Does Elena? The convo between S and E was cryptic so we don't really know if Elena thinks "gone" means dead or "locked in a tomb." This scene brings up a lot of questions.
At the party, Elena is walking to her car and talking to Jeremy on her cell. She tells him she's feeling better and that while he takes Bonnie home, she's going straight home to bed. She hangs up and the creepy masked person from the start of the party stalks up behind her. She senses someone there, stops, and whips around. He covers her mouth, grabs her and carries her off. Dun!
Next week, Elena is held captive and Damon and Stefan take a road trip to rescue her. Also, Bonnie and Jeremy and Tyler and Caroline.