November 13, 2010

A spoonful of Caroline helps the backstory go down.

"Katerina" was a perfectly fine episode of The Vampire Diaries but it suffered from the same thing that most of the flashback episodes do, which is to say that it was exposition-heavy and action-light. Don't get me wrong, I understand the need for the information we were given and even appreciate that this was probably the best way to give it to us, but I still found it kind of boring and the extreme lack of both Tyler and Matt didn't help the situation.

So, if you'll recall, last week Rose informed Stefan of the nefarious plans of Klaus and The Originals - which, by the way, is so totally the name of a yet-to-be-formed band whose music is 100% inspired by The Vampire Diaries - and Damon told Elena that he loves her and then erased her memory of that beautiful moment forever. Fortunately he holds no such power over the viewers.

This week we open in the Petrova home in Bulgaria circa 1490. Katerina is having a baby out of wedlock and her mom is delivering it while her dad looks on in judgement and disappointment. It's a girl that's promptly taken from her and given away to avoid the disgrace that a bastard child would bring the Petrova family. It should surprise exactly no one that Nina Dobrev's vulnerable sadness at the loss of her child followed by a subtle yet distinct coldness setting into her eyes when her parents minds can't be changed, is every bit as perfect as her Bulgarian which is, of course, her native language. Honestly, someone in the Hollywood Foreign Press Association needs to take notice and nominate this girl for their upcoming Golden Globes immediately. The Television Accademy can then feel free to follow suit next summer.

When we return to the present, Elena arrives at the Salvatore manse in a bit of a mood. I'm unsure what her current crabbiness is about and it's never explained, but there's 520 years worth of exposition to get through so I'll agree to ignore it for now. Though I will go on record as saying I find her attitude toward the brothers beyond perplexing ever since her tearful breakup with Stefan a couple of weeks ago. Damon greets her with way less flirting than usual and that doesn't even register with her. She meets up with Stefan and Rose in the Library and acts a little pissed that Rose is there, even though she pleaded with Damon to leave Rose unharmed last week. The inconsistencies with Elena's characterization are piling up and we're only 2 minutes in. Anyway, we skip ahead to the three vamps in the midst of giving Elena the rundown of their current situation. Rose admits that most of her information comes from a centuries-long game of telephone but she knows for sure that Klaus is the real deal. They explain that The Originals are the first generation of vampires (and a hell of a backing band) and that Klaus is "the oldest" of them all (plus a soulful lead singer). They talk for a second about how they think Elijah is dead reminding us all just how out-matched Team Awesome is.

Anyway, Rose is kind of tired of the brothers refusal to believe that Klaus and The Originals are a scary, bad-ass force to be reckoned with and she tells them that they're idiots. Elena sulks off to school, declining an escort from Stefan, and Damon tells Rose it's because Elena is "in denial" to which Stefan responds "shut up, Damon." Hee.

Mystic Falls High School. Bonnie arrives and, while getting out of her car, drops most of her books in the parking lot. Jeremy walks up behind her with a chuckle and then chivalrously picks them up for her. Jeremy, by the way, is looking SMOKING HOT in this episode. Like, even hotter than he looked in his suit which I wouldn't have thought possible. Steven McQueen is 22. I am not a pervert. Bonnie smiles at him and thanks him rather flirtatiously and the two make small talk about Elena for a minute before Jeremy asks her out. I mean, he does it in a pretty ambiguously friend-y way, asking if she wants to hang out at The Grill and shoot pool later, but if that isn't a full-blown date, it's at least date-adjacent. Bonnie reacts kind of rudely questioning why he'd suddenly ask her to play pool after a lifetime of never asking her any such thing before, and he says he just thought it'd be fun before withdrawing the invitation. She realizes she's an idiot and agrees to hang out with him after all, so long as he knows she's really bad at pool. Their flirting is interrupted by new kid Luka who is sporting some truly unfortunate facial hair and is looking for the office. Jeremy gives him directions while Bonnie eyeballs him like he's cute. Ew, Bonnie. Just...ew! Luka flirts with Bonnie, Jeremy notices and ignores it, offering to show Luka to the office himself.

Out in the woods, Elena is making a Level One friendship request of Caroline, asking her to tell everyone she went home from school sick. She's also carrying a lovely leather bag so either she's planning for a sleepover or she's brought bribery supplies. Caroline is reluctant because she's worried about Elena's safety and her own lying and duplicity skills. Elena works the guilt angle when she tells Caroline that she did ok with her assignment to keep her away from Stefan for Katherine but Caroline reminds her that fear was her motivation then. She discourages Elena from employing that tactic herself though. She worries that Stefan will see right through her and Elena reminds her that it's a Level One friendship request and it seems that Caroline takes The Girlfriend Code VERY seriously so she finally agrees. The two girls head down into the tomb's vestibule. Caroline tries to change Elena's mind by reminding her that expecting the truth from Katherine is like expecting diamonds to rain down from the heavens. Elena doesn't disagree but she doesn't want to sit around waiting for something to happen anymore. Instead, she wants to find out what she should expect. Caroline realizes that as arguments go, that one doesn't suck so she opens the giant stone door for her friend. Elena calls to Katherine who comes shuffling toward the tomb door looking wrecked. Commercial.

Tomb. Katherine asks if the girls have come to watch her wither and then sort of orders Caroline to scram. Elena assures Car that she's alright, "as long as I stay on this side of the door, she can't hurt me." With some trepidation, Caroline leaves. Elena sets down her over-night bag and gets to the point. She starts tossing things (a pillow?) through the mystical barrier and telling Katherine that she wants to know about Klaus. Out of the bag comes a lantern and then the Petrova history book. She requests a clarification on the point in the book that says the Petrova bloodline ended with Katherine which can't be right since Elena exists. Katherine declines to comment on the grounds that she's not sentimental and doesn't much care about her memoir. Elena brings out a bottle full of people juice. She taunts Katherine with it for not nearly long enough (I enjoy watching that little bitch get a taste of her own medicine, so sue me), then finally pours her a shot in a small plastic cup and slides it through the mystical barrier with a stick while still keeping her distance. Katherine drinks it and tells her she has "the Petrova fire."

Katherine let's Elena know that she was knocked up without first being married and was therefore booted out of Bulgaria by her peeps. Don't go feeling sorry for her, Elena. She hasn't mentioned the part of the story where she was a selfish, horrible little bitch even as a human yet, but she'll get to it, just wait. Another shot of blood. Katherine moved to England, pretended to be British and started banging a "nobleman" named Klaus in 1492. But then she found out he was a vampire and was just using her for her doppelgangliness and she beat a hasty retreat.

We slide-cut back to 15th century England where Katherine (I can't start calling her Katerina now because I've got enough shit to keep straight in this show, I don't need to add a third name for the same face into the mix) is hauling ass through a forest when she face plants behind a convenient pile of brush that shields her from the view of Elijah wearing a flashback wig that is second only to Damon's 1864 coif in hideousness. He hollers about for her, mumbling about how he can smell her blood (keep it in your pants, Creepo) when Trevor zips in and points him toward "more blood over there" which is only a clever ruse to lure him away so that Trevor can help Katherine escape. Trevor tells her to head east and find the cottage where she'll be safe.

Tomb. Elena is anxious to get to the point and asks what Klaus wanted with Katherine. Kat tells her it was the same thing then as it is now - he wants to break the curse by sacrificing the Petrova doppelganger. Katherine further notes that he's interested in draining every drop of blood from the doppel-body. Elena looks equal parts scared and squicked.

Back at the Salvatore Manse, Rose is spending a quiet moment alone with her Trevor-related grief when Damon comes into the room and greets her thusly: "Alright Rosebud, I need some answers." He sees that she's been weeping, "oh please don't tell me you're crying 'cause your buddy Trevor lost his head." Don't front, Damon! We all know you'd be a sobbing mess of emotions if Alaric ever met such a fate. Rose notes his insensitivity and he tells her to flip the "little vampire switch" that "takes the emotion out of it." She calls him on his own inability to flip said switch as it pertains to his love for Elena. He lies that he is not in love with anyone but he's a worse liar than Caroline. Rose offers to wait while he tries one more time to make it seem believable. I know you've got eternity, Rose, but the rest of us are growing old and don't have the time it'd take for him to make that particular lie seem convincing. Damon vamp-speeds over to her in his typically menacing way, and then pleads with her not to get on his bad side. He doesn't say that in a threatening way so much as a "please don't mess with me in my fragile state" kind of way. She asks him to show her his good side which sounds deliciously dirty to me but it turns out she was just asking him to be nice. Bummer. He asks her how he can find Klaus and she tells him that it doesn't work that way. They blah blah for a minute about how you have to know someone who knows someone who knows someone ad infinitum and that's how you get a message to a member of The Originals. You know how it is - your people have to call their people. The Originals are such divas.

Rose tells him that her contact is Slater who lives in Richmond and Damon offers to drive. Rose declines because she lacks the necessary SPF jewelry to take day trips 'round Virginia in his convertible. They'll take her SUV with the black-out windows.

MFHS. Stefan is about to go check on Elena (who "went home sick" don'tcha know) when Caroline catches up with him. She tells him that she told Tyler she's a vampire which certainly distracts his attention from Elena's purported sniffles.

Meanwhile, a sniffle-free Elena shoves another shot of blood over the barrier to Katherine down in the tomb. I think it's a mistake to help her get that much of her strength back this early in the game. Elena obviously has a thing or two to learn about vampire interrogations. Katherine explains the "rather tedious" ins and outs of the Petrova involvement in the curse: it was bound by the sacrifice of Petrova blood and the doppelganger clause was witches' loophole into breaking the spell if the need arose.

Fifteenth century England. Katherine is running east toward the cottage Trevor told her about. She pounds breathlessly on the door. An old lady answers, ready to turn her away when Katherine tells her that Trevor sent her. Rose pipes up from inside the cottage, none too pleased with what Trevor's loins have gotten her into. She compels the old lady to let Kat in and bring her food and water. Katherine show Rose the moonstone, which she swiped from Klaus who really needs better security. Rose is scared shitless of Klaus and lets Katherine know that there will be no aiding and abetting on her watch. When the sun goes down, Rose will take Kat back to the Big Man and beg for mercy for them both. She tosses Katherine into a room and locks the door.

In present-day Richmond, Damon and Rose pull into a parking garage with access to a coffee shop where they're meeting Slater. Damon shoves her against a wall and warns her that if it's a set-up, he'll "rip [her] heart out and shove it down your throat. It's something I'm very good at." Too soon, Damon. Too soon. She twists his arm behind his back and pins him to the car, reminding him that she's older and stronger than him so he should try to keep on her good side. "You can trust me," she tells him sincerely as she walks away. Damon's face reveals that he believes her, he trusts her and he likes her. Inside the coffee shop, blah blah tempered glass blah blah UV rays. Rose greets and hugs Slater who is an adorable, slightly nerdy vamp that I think would be an awesome addition to Team Awesome. They need some brains in that operation! Slater demonstrates that he knows who Damon is and who Katherine/Katerina is. In fact, he's the one that told Rose about the tomb. Damon skeptically (and silently) shakes Slater's hand.

In the tomb, Katherine surmises that Rose never got Elena to Klaus as she'd intended and then sends us into another flashback. Rose whips open the door to the room she'd locked Katherine in back in that 15th century English cottage. She comes in ready to drag Katherine back to Klaus when she notices that Katherine is bleeding from a self-inflicted stab wound in the abdomen. Katherine insists she'd rather die than be returned to Klaus but Rose is worried that Katherine's death will result in Trevor being killed as punishment for helping her escape so she bites her own wrist and forces some of her blood into Katherine's mouth to facilitate speedy wound-healing. The scratch on Kat's cheek disappears before our eyes. Trevor arrives in a snit about any plan that requires giving Katherine back to Klaus because he loves her. It seems our Katherine was always the type of woman who encouraged the affections of men and then used them shamelessly for her own gain. Rose loves her best friend and is worried for his safety but he just figures that he, his best friend and his woman will run until they die. Poor, stupid Trevor. Rose and Trevor hear a clattering then from Katherine's room and run in to find that she's hung herself. That conniving little bitch manipulated Rose into feeding her vampire blood and then killed herself.  She kind of vamped herself. 

Tomb. Elena is shocked and dismayed that Katherine committed suicide. Katherine rolls her eyes, "Klaus needed a human doppelganger, as a vampire I was no longer any use to him." Elena reminds her that her plan didn't actually work since she's been running from Klaus for the past 518 years. Katherine concedes that she underestimated his vengeful spirit. Katherine picks up on Elena's nervous expression and tells her that if she's afraid to die, there's another way out as she slices into her own wrist with her nail. Elena doesn't bite, as it were, and Katherine notes that she made "the other choice" as we flash back to Kat coming to, post-hanging. Trevor and Rose argue about how Katherine is a user and how it's going to get the two of them in big trouble with Klaus. Katherine apologizes anemically. Rose goes in for a staking, but Katherine pulls the old lady in front of herself as a human shield. Rose accidentally drives the stake into the old lady's chest and then Katherine makes a meal of her while Rose and Trevor look on in anger. Rose tells Katherine that she's just ensured their death and Katherine replies "better you die than I." Selfish, manipulative, whoring bitch!

Back in the tomb Elena is disgusted that Katherine cares not at all that Rose and Trevor spent 500 years on the run and Trevor just died because of her. Katherine gives a little "looking out for number one" speech and then starts flipping through Petrova: Origins.

At The Grill, where it's apparently Matt's day off, Caroline is eating salad exactly like a normal person eats salad and not one tiny piece of lettuce at a time the way girls usually do on TV thereby proving there is no end to the reasons the world should love this show. She's having lunch with Stefan who seems low on patience at the moment. She notes that she has to eat often to keep the "kill innocent people urges" at bay. She also mentions that Tyler gets the same urges. To be fair, I think he had a milder case of those urges even before became a werewolf, but I digress. Stefan wants to know what all Caroline told Tyler. She says that she didn't tell him too much as she was trying to keep his questions to a minimum and then she asks if he's mad. He exasperatedly confirms that he is a little mad because she's put herself at risk and if Damon finds out, he'll kill her. We all agree that it's best if Stefan doesn't tattle to his brother about this and Stefan assures us that he won't. She smiles, "always lookin' out for me." Aw! She's so cute that he can't help but smile back as he notes that she doesn't make his job of looking out for her very easy. "Then why do you do it?" she wonders. He tells her it's because she reminds him of his BFF, Lexi. "You have a friend?" she asks in a good-natured-ribbing sort of way. Stefan laughs. I'm not the only one who notices that Stefan only ever smiles and laughs when he's hangin' with Caroline, right? She totally needs to be his new BFF! He's FUN when he's around her! "You say that with such a...a discouraging amount of surprise, Caroline." She apologizes and asks to hear about Lexi but he's just remembered that he's Serious Guy. He promises her they'll do girl-talk later but right now, he's out. She stops him, "wait, no! Um...what do we do about Tyler? I don't want Damon to kill him 'cause, there's a full moon coming up and Tyler's totally freaking out about it."

Across the restaurant, Bonnie arrives to meet Jeremy who hasn't shown up yet and runs into Luka and his dad. Introductions are made - Luka's dad is Dr. Jonas Martin and is weirdly calm and expressionless. They just moved to town from Louisiana. Jonas knew some Bennetts in Salem, MA - any relation? Bonnie confirms family there which Jonas thinks is interesting and Luka thinks is annoying and not at all subtle. Luka flirts with Bonnie and she does nothing to discourage it. Ick, Bonnie. For real. Jeremy arrives then and Bonnie makes to leave, touching Luka's shoulder and getting the witchy feelings as she goes.

Richmond. Damon assures Slater that Elijah is "beyond dead" and Slater gives his condolences to Rose about Trevor's death. We get some backstory on Slater - turned in '74, been matriculating ever since, has 18 degrees total including 3 masters and 4 PhDs. He is just the kind of nerd this show has been missing! Damon finds that kind of book learnin' less than impressive. There is some metaphorical dick-measuring before Rose gets them back on topic - they want to know how to go about getting in touch with Klaus. He tells them to use Craig's list and he isn't joking. He responds to an ad that gets sent to someone that knows someone that knows Elijah...who's dead. So Slater's line to Klaus has been cut off. Or has it? Outside, Elijah tosses a hundred dollar bill into the guitar case of a street musician and takes out a handful of quarters. I don't think you're supposed to make change in there, Elijah. Have some class, would you? He stands up and creepily moves the coins from one hand to the other while he watches Damon, Rose and Slater through the coffee shop window. I notice he wears a ring, I guess that's what's keeping him from frying like bacon in the sun.

Grill. Jeremy is playing pool and Bonnie is...well she wasn't kidding about being terrible at pool but it's ok because she looks REALLY pretty. Flirting. Luka comes over and announces that he'll play the winner. GO AWAY, NEW KID! GUH! Bonnie asks Luka where his dad is and Luka says he left.

At the table of deception and distraction, Caroline is having dessert and Stefan has had enough. He gives her two seconds to come clean. She tries to play dumb but he won't buy it. "Where's Elena?" he asks. She can't tell him. "You can't tell me? Are you kidding me?" he asks again. Paul Wesley's line delivery there was perfectly befuddled and exasperated. She apologizes but assures him that she would not have let Elena put herself in danger. A light bulb goes on over Stefan's head and on first viewing I was so sure that he'd finally put a few brain cells together and figured out the obvious place that Elena would go after hearing about the Petrova-specific doppel-danger. So sure in fact, that when Stefan said "she's with Damon, isn't she?" I shouted "YES! Wait, what? NO!!!" Caroline didn't miss-hear the way I did and just says "Ew! No!" I'm not sure why that gets an "ew" but because Damon has, at various times, treated Caroline like a prostitute, a happy meal, an errand girl, and a minion, I'm going to concede that if anyone has cause to "ew" the thought of someone "being with Damon," it's Caroline.

Digression? Me? Pshaw!  Stefan notes that if Caroline were really his friend, she'd tell him where Elena is. "Stefan, I am your friend. But I'm also Elena's friend and, I'm sorry, but I'm not going to tell you where she is," Caroline tells him. Stefan leaves.

In the tomb, Elena wonders how much of what Katherine has said is true but Katherine says she has no reason to lie, "I have no reason to do anything but sit here and read and rot." Elena figures that this is why Katherine came back to Mystic Falls - to hand Elena over to Klaus. Katherine confirms that after 500 years on the run, she thought Klaus might be willing to deal. And now we get down to brass tacks - these darn witchy spells require so many ingredients that it's not just doppel-blood and a moonstone that's required, but also a werewolf, a vampire, and a witch. Katherine had planned to use Elena, Mason, Caroline and Lucy but, for obvious reasons, had to amend that plan. So she triggered Tyler's curse and would replace Lucy with Bonnie. Seems the wolf, the vamp and the doppelmint twin would be sacrificed, their blood spilled over the stone while the witch performs a curse-breaking spell. When Elena realizes that Katherine's plan was to hand them all over to be killed, Katherine once again says "better you die than I." And then back into the depths of the tomb she shuffles.

Now that we know the basic what and some of the how, we're off to Richmond to find out the why. Damon points out to Slater that Elijah had no trouble gettin' around during the day which means that The Originals know all about SPF rings. So why lift the sun and moon curse? Slater says it's to keep the werewolves from lifting it. I...what? A family of werewolves had that fucking moonstone for the better part of a hundred and fifty years - the damn thing was in the floor safe of a house across town from the doppelganger for the past 17 years - and not a single wolf has made the slightest move to break the damn curse.  Anyway, Slater explains that if a vampire breaks the sun portion of the curse, then the werewolves are stuck with the moon portion forever and vice versa.  So basically, what Klaus and The Originals have to gain from the curse breaking, is screwing over their enemy which are already close to extinct anyway.  Klaus and The Originals are a bunch of childish bullies with way too much time on their hands. 

Rose thinks werewolves already went the way of the dinosaur while Slater says that there are rumors that some still exist and Damon confirms that his charming hamlet is home to at least one.  All the while, Elijah listens creepily to this conversation from across the street, still shuffling his quarters.  Inside, Damon wonders if there is anything they can do to keep the curse from being broken no matter what, perhaps by destroying the moonstone?  Slater thinks there's probably a way but doesn't understand why they'd want to find it and is reluctant to aid them in doing so knowing that it'll piss of Diana Ross and The Supremes Klaus and The Originals.  Plus, Slater thinks it would be nifty to walk around in the sun.  Damon tells him that he can make that happen without breaking the curse and bleeding his loved one dry if only Slater will help him.  Unfortunately, Elijah has grown bored with their conversation and chucks his quarters at the windows causing them to explode in a hail of glass and shrapnel.  It's pretty spectacular.  Everyone in the coffee shop goes down, Rose and Slater burning and writhing in the rays of the sun, while Damon sits at the table and looks out at the street trying to figure out who the hell just did that. Elijah is already gone. 

Back from commercial, Damon grabs a coat and covers Rose's face as he picks her up off the floor and hustles her out of there.  Slater has already crawled away and made his escape.  There's pandemonium at the back door as all the patrons try to escape the establishment so Damon scoops Rose up into his arms and caries her back to the car.  He sets her down in the back seat and tells her she'll be ok (she knows, and she's already healing very quickly).  He asks her who was behind that change-flinging chaos.  She asks if Slater is ok.  Damon hasn't a clue and Rose insists that Slater is a good guy and had nothing to do with the flesh searing window breakage.  Damon asks again, if not Slater, then who.  "It's Klaus, don't you understand?" she says as she breaks down in tears.  "You don't know this man.  We're dead.  We're all dead."  Damon looks worried, as much for Rose as for himself, his brother, Elena, and all the people he's come to care about in Mystic Falls.  

Mystic Grill.  Jeremy is playing pool and Bonnie is sitting at a nearby table, sipping a soda.  The two are smiling at each other in a way that clearly conveys they plan on picturing each other naked later.  Of course, Luka comes over to talk to Bonnie at this moment, once again ruining everything.  He apologizes for his dad's Salem witch fishing expedition earlier.  He blabs on for a while as he pours some salt on the table then waves his hand over it and makes all the little grains of salt dance around.  They're warlocks.  (Why are all the witches [and warlocks] on this show black?)  I don't care how much you seem to have in common with that kid, Bonnie, his facial hair is ridiculous and Jeremy is WAY hotter! 

Tomb of Doppeliciousness.  Elena is just about to leave in annoyance now that Katherine has wandered into the deep dark of the tomb innards and won't talk to her until Stefan arrives.  He gets protective and assures her that anything Katherine says is a lie.  First of all, Stefan, Elena is kind of bad-ass for a human so stop acting like she needs to be guarded like a Fabrege egg; and second, you don't even know what Katherine told her so don't be so quick to pass it off as fiction when it could actually prove useful.  He tells her he won't let anything happen to her.  Elena, in a slightly less pissy way, tells Stefan essentially the same thing I just did, concluding, "that's just it - you won't, but you'll die trying.  How is that any better?"  Katherine comes to the door then, before I have the chance to mention that the Salvatore willingness to die rescuing Elena from danger is a little short-sighted since the chances are pretty good once they die, danger will continue to follow her and then she'll be on her own anyway. 

Katherine tells him that he can't do anything then throws us into one last flashback that she considers "the best part of the story."  A newly vamped Katherine rides through the Bulgarian countryside to visit her family.  When she arrives home the entire Petrova brood is dead - the work of a very unhappy Klaus.  She cries over her mother's corpse.  Katherine explains that even if they escape Klaus, he'll get his revenge by killing their friends, their family, and anyone else they've ever loved.  Stefan wants to believe it's all lies.  Katherine assures him there is nothing he can do to stop it...unless they had the moonstone, which she's currently holding in her mystically locked tomb. 

Stefan is pissed, "there it is.  It's the ultimate lie isn't it?  You spun this whole thing so that we would have to get the stone from you, didn't you?"  Well I wouldn't put it past her to come up with such an elaborate story on the fly like that - she is much more shrewd and cunning than all of Team Awesome combined, after all - but let's not forget that it was you dipshits that tossed the stone into the tomb with her in the first place so who's really to blame for any moonstone-related quandary you now find yourself in, huh Stefan?  I mean, I actually do think that the tomb is the only safe place for that soapy relic since that's the one place Diva and The Divettes probably can't go to get it, but still.  ANYway, Katherine says she isn't spinning anything but Stefan supposes she probably wants to trade the stone for her freedom.  Then he calls her out for being a "manipulative, psychotic, bitch," I deeply love it when either brother calls her on her awfulness.  It's so much more fun than when they were cuckolded by her.  Turns out though, that she doesn't want her freedom at all.  She actually feels pretty good and safe right where she is now that she knows the arrival of Klaus is imminent.  That revelation appears to have scared the hell out of Stefan, and Elena looks like she's going to vomit.  We'll give her just a moment as we head into our final commercial break. 

Salvatore Manse.  Damon sits by the fire, pouting and swilling Scotch straight from the decanter - but not straight from the bottle, that would just be gauche.  Rose comes in and apologizes for what happened in Richmond, saying she had no idea that would happen.  He tells her he believes her.  She wishes that there was a way to save Elena.  She tells him that he reminds her of Trevor and he seems insulted when he asks why.  "Because he always talked a big game, he was always working an angle, but underneath it all, he was the best friend anyone could hope for," she explains as she grabs a glass and crosses the room to join him.  Damon wonders what that good-friendiness ever got Trevor.  They share a drink and a toast to friendship.  Rose tells him that he's right to fight the way he feels about Elena.  He asks why she thinks so.  "Because if we want to survive, we need to not care about anyone," she explains.  She thinks it might be time for him to turn the switch off on his emotions.  He tells her he will if she will.  They make sex eyes at each other for a minute then vamp-speed to each other for a passionate kiss.  'Bout damn time someone had sex with Damon! 

Jeremy is finishing his game of pool at The Grill when he notices that Bonnie is chatting and smiling with Luka.  He leaves, a little disappointed.  Hang in there, Jer!  I think she'll come around as soon as we get her in to have her eyes and her head examined. 

Gilbert abode.  Elena is heading in, all upset, and Stefan wants to talk about it.  She cries that she wanted the truth, and she got it - "it's not just me that's in danger.  It's Caroline and it's Tyler and it's Bonnie.  They're all part of breaking the curse.  I can't blame anyone else anymore, because it's not because you came into town or because you and I fell in love.  That's not why everyone I love is in danger.  It's because of me.  Everything is because of me."  He hugs her as she sobs.  Oh sweetie, that might be technically true, but you can't help your genetics!  Seriously, Nina Dobrev has been consistently awesome on this show, particularly this season and was amazing again in "Katerina."  She's been playing three distinct people all along and here she added a 4th when she played a pre-vamp Katherine.  She spent a huge chunk of the episode acting opposite herself which meant she was acting opposite NO ONE and it never once showed.  She was fantastic.  Someone please, for the love of God, get this girl nominated for a prestigious frakking acting award post haste! 

Tomb.  Katherine is reading all about herself - her favorite subject - when she finds a sketch of her mother and father.  She looks at it sadly, wistfully, and I still don't feel bad for her. An ability to feel doesn't undo how selfish and hateful she is.  I hope they keep her locked in that tomb for ever.  Then, they can come visit her occasionally when they need information delivered with a side of snark, and one or both of the brothers can stand there trading mean barbs with her for a few minutes then they can shut the door and we can all feel better knowing she isn't out and about wreaking havoc on the world. 

Salvatore manse.  Rose and Damon are sharing a post-coital moment in front of the fire.  Rose says that it's a lie, there is no switch that can be turned off.  "Sure, when you're a newbie, but after a couple hundred years, you just have to pretend," she tells him.  He looks genuinely surprised and disappointed at this news.  Poor guy really did think he'd have the option of turning off his feelings and going back to being evil.  Rose's cell rings then and a conversation happens but I'm not entirely sure what it's about because Ian Somerhalder is naked from the waist up.  Hold on, I'll rewind.  Oh, it's Slater.  Rose and I are glad he's ok.  He tells her that he found out that the curse can be destroyed with the moonstone.  He asks if Damon can get it and Damon nods that he can.  He says that once they have the stone, a witch should be able to figure out the rest.  Then he hangs up and asks Elijah what's going on - "how can you compel me?  A vampire can't compel another vampire," Slater tells him.  Elijah says he's special.  Remember last week when I compared The Originals to a company and Elijah was the Vice President of Creepy?  Well now that they're a band, he's obviously the drummer - still in charge of creepy and with an inflated sense of his own importance both within the group and in general.  Why yes, I have known drummers in the past, why do you ask? 

Elijah takes this creepy opportunity to hand Slater a stake and compel him to stake himself.  Slater does as he's compelled.  Sad!  Bye Slater, I'll miss your adorable, nerdy face.  Dr. Jonas Martin enters then and asks Elijah if Slater's death was really necessary.  I knew that guy was trouble!  Take your lack of affect and your annoying son and GET OUT of Mystic Falls, dammit! 

Ahem.  As I said, it was a fine episode that provided a lot of the information we needed to understand Katherine's origin, the importance of the doppel-story and the moonstone, why Katherine needed a wolf, what everyone wants with Elena, and at least some things about Klaus and The Originals.  But as important as information is, it's not where this show really shines.  This one was necessary for our understanding of where we're going and what we're doing, but I look forward to the next episode when we're back to the journey in progress.  Despite all the things I found boring and maybe the teeniest bit tedious to get through, I thought the acting was top notch and for yet another week, I found Caroline to be a breath of fresh air and the heart of Team Awesome.

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