Better late than never, right? I was REALLY sick so I've only just found the strength to form thoughts, let alone write them down. It actually works out that there was a rerun this week because now my embarrassingly-late recap goes up in time to bridge the gap between new episodes. Anyway, the fifth ep of The Vampire Diaries was a drastic improvement over the fourth. I'm well aware that I was in the minority of people who thought that "Memory Lane" was a steaming pile, but after that disappointment, I was so relieved at how awesome this episode was.
As Mason leaves, Damon arrives. Stefan says he negotiated peace and Damon crabs because he doesn't want peace. They get all brotherly and start arguing about how Damon's a butthead and Stefan's no fun. I'm paraphrasing, obviously, but that's the upshot.
At The Grill, Jeremy is sketching (and being checked out by a friend of Amy's [formerly known as New Girl]) and trying to think of something to say to Tyler. He settles on "hey man, how've you been?" I guess that's better than "so, I hear you're a werewolf." Tyler is all surly, because that's his default setting, but Jeremy perseveres. He says he hasn't seen Tyler since Mr. Mayor's memorial when they bonded over what a dick Mr. Mayor was. No response from Tyler so Jeremy starts to walk away. Tyler realizes he's being an asshole and apologizes. They chat like they actually get along and then Amy arrives at the table, with her Jeremy-crushing friend in tow, and says she got Tyler's text (he texted her from across the restaurant? Lazy much?) and despite the fact that she told him last week that she doesn't like him, due to her all-consuming love for Matt, she's totally down for getting daytime drunk at his place while his mom and uncle are out building a park. Amy invites her friend along and Tyler invites Jeremy along so now it's a sad, weird double-date.
After the break, Caroline and Elena are talking while they "paint" something at the Park In Progress. Caroline is regaling Elena with the story of how she and her mom spent the morning arguing because, as she puts it, "I was a bitch, which is par for the course with us." I love how Caroline can be really awful but she's self-aware enough to know she's awful and then feel kind of bad about it after the fact. Anyway, Elena is distracted from the conversation because she's pretty preoccupied with staring at Stefan. Caroline takes the opportunity to nose around in their relationship as she's been ordered to do by Katherine, and Elena, who knows that Caroline is spying for Katherine, reiterates that Stefan is pushing her away and the two of them aren't talking. Caroline pretty clearly feels bad for Elena and tries to comfort her by mentioning that it probably is for the best that they stay away from each other on account of how Katherine is a homicidal maniac and totally would kill everyone they care about. Sad eyes all around.
Damon stops over to chat with Liz and ask what her earlier confab with Mason was all about. He's all friendly and helpful and gorgeous - seriously his eyes are so ridiculously beautiful they're practically other-worldly - but Liz kind of acts squirrely and Damon becomes genuinely concerned by how upset she seems. Liz lies that she's just worked up about the fight she had with Caroline earlier and Damon asks if there's anything he can do to help, when she declines and walks away, he looks after her and seems worried about her but also a little dubious. It's pretty clear from that exchange that the two of them really do consider each other friends.
In the Fake-Painting Gazebo, Caroline notices that Elena and Stefan are exchanging meaningful glances and tries to stop Elena from going to talk to him but fails. Damon arrives then and asks why Caroline is such a bitch to her mom. Caroline blows him off...but not in the fun, dirty way...and then the two of them stand there with their vamp-hearing turned way up and listen to Elena and Stefan fake another fight. The love birds bust out their code speak from earlier so we know they're really telling each other "I love you" but eaves dropping vamp ears will think they're breaking up...some more. Damon snarks and Caroline runs off to check on Elena.
Lockwood house. All of a sudden Amy is all kinds of flirty with the hot boy she shot down mid-make-out last week because she liked his best friend. She apologizes for "slutting it up" with him and denies that she's "like that" but what she should be apologizing for is blue-balling him, because I can guarantee that he doesn't mind her being slutty but what he doesn't much care for is her slamming on the breaks while he has a Louisville Slugger in his pants. I do not care for Amy. At all. Tyler is a lot more chill about it than I would have guessed and when she asks "friends?" he says "yeah, sure." In the other room, Annoying Friend is being way too giggly and flirty with Jeremy and then spots the tiniest corner of his sketchbook sticking out of his backpack and goes in for a snoop. Jeremy doesn't want to show her but Amy and Tyler both insist they want to see too so Jeremy hands it back over to Annoying Friend who flips through to find a different sketch of a wolf on every page. Tyler's eyes dart around uncomfortably and Jeremy watches him. Tyler tries to play it off by taking the book himself and faking nonchalance. Jeremy, also trying to act "normal," asks if Tyler still draws. "A little, but not much," Tyler says while he peruses the pictures and looks like he wants to barf. "Uh, I've got something I'm actually working on. Come on, I'll show you," he tells Jeremy and Jeremy fake-casually follows while the girls stand around being useless.
Tyler leads Jeremy into the office and shuts the door behind him. I paused for a second to type and when I looked back up I was reminded how hot Jeremy and Tyler are. Woof! Anyway, Tyler takes this opportunity to accost Jeremy, throw him up against the wall, choke him a little and inquire why he's drawing wolf pictures. "Because. Because I know," Jeremy says. Tyler lets Jeremy go and asks WHAT Jeremy knows. "I know what you are." Oh my God you guys, that was SUCH a good scene between McQueen and Trevino.
PIP. Mason is getting a glass of lemonade from a smitten extra in an ugly shirt when Damon wanders over. Damon snarks and Mason goes out of his way to be nice. It was bizarre in a way I can't even explain but suffice to say I just watched the brief exchange 4 times and every time I was left with an overwhelming desire to see the two of them make out. I'm not even sure why. When Mason is gone, Stefan comes over hoping aloud that Damon and Mason just bonded. Oh good, it's not just me, Stefan thought that was kinda hot too. Damon's always scheming and thinking about at least three things at once so he immediately shifts gears to ask why Stefan and Elena are fake fighting. "Oh come on, Stefan. You and Elena don't fight. Especially not over me," he says by way of explaining how he knows this drama is of the faux variety. Stefan tells him to drop it and Damon...does. Wow, that was easy. The little girl in the ugly shirt offers Damon some lemonade and Damon accepts and promptly takes a large drink before choking and spitting it out everywhere because Mason doused it with vervain. Stefan tries to help his brother while Liz looks on from across the PIP and looks heartbroken. Woops!
Over by some falls, but not THE falls, Elena is sitting on a rock, looking contemplative and beautiful when Caroline joins her and asks if she's alright. Caroline tries to suggest that the breakup could be for the best and I get the feeling it's as much to cheer up her friend as it is out of fear of what will happen to her if she doesn't follow Katherine's orders. Elena doesn't really care why she's saying it, she doesn't agree and it pisses her off. Then she gets a hold of herself and apologizes for "taking it out" on Caroline. "You were just being a good friend," Elena says (she's very skilled with the guilt trips, this one). Caroline feels it and confesses, "No I'm not. I'm not being a good friend at all." And she'd probably come even cleaner if she didn't spot her mom on her cell, heading away from the PIP at that moment. Caroline starts in Liz's direction to investigate while Liz tells one of her deputies to get his partner and meet her at the entrance to the park and bring the...something suspicious and vampire-related that she does not say aloud. Caroline takes this opportunity to pick another fight with her mom about choosing work over spending time with her which is so perfectly teenagery since Caroline herself spent all of her time with her friend and not her mother. Caroline tells Elena, in a very suspicious tone, that something is up with her mother.
Meanwhile, Damon is trying to rinse the vervain out of his mouth and is getting more violently angry by the second. Stefan is doing his best to calm him down but Damon isn't having it and then Stefan switches gears and agrees that Mason's attempts to expose them makes him public enemy number one and they should, in fact, kill him. Damon's face at that moment is so fantastic I want to take a picture of it, blow it up a million times and wallpaper my hall with it. It's like a combination of "are you KIDDING ME?" and "this is the best news I've ever heard!" with a dash of "OMG, we ARE related!" all covered in "ok, but can I be the one to 'pull the trigger' because it's been a really long time since I got to kill someone and I miss it." As luck (and contrivance) would have it, Damon spots Mason at this very moment taking two large trash containers into the woods...as you do. The brothers follow.