Emily Rewatches TVD-- Season 5, Episode 14: "No Exit"

Welp, the Ripper serum still sucks, but the Mystic Falls Gang finally figured out the fact that their enemy has been parading around in the body of their best friend and most beloved Petrova doppelgänger, so that's a win! It's all uphill from here, for the most part, so hopefully the following recaps will be more positive than these ones have been. Let's dig into "No Exit!"

Somewhere outside of Mystic Falls, Damon and Enzo have holed up in some farm house, where Damon and Enzo are taking bets on whether or not the hapless fool they just turned into vampire's wife left him after cheating on him with the pastor. The man, who I'll be referring to as Farmer John, is laying dead on the floor while Enzo informs Damon that, judging by his current crankiness and Enzo's observations of Damon since he got shot up with Vampire Ripper serum, he has figured out that Damon needs to feed every eight hours. Damon can't believe that Enzo has been keeping tabs on his feeding schedule, but, naturally, since Enzo is a vampire, he's not really up for becoming Damon's next meal.

Damon tells him to just leave already and save himself, but Enzo refuses on account of the fact that 1) he doesn't abandon his friends, and 2) since it was Enzo's idea to kill Wes, Damon wouldn't have even been turned into a Vampire Ripper if not for him, so he's feeling a little guilty. Just then, Farmer John awakens confused and in transition, and Enzo wastes no time force-feeding a blood bag down his gullet. Then, once he's officially a vampire, Enzo promises to explain everything he needs to know about being a vampire after he settles a bet: where's his wife? Farmer John sadly admits that his wife left after cheating on him with the pharmacist, which Damon counts as a win. Then, he viciously feeds on the poor guy, putting on a big scary show of ripping the guy's head off in hopes of scaring Enzo away. Of course, that's not happening, though: "Stop trying to scare me, Damon. I'm not leaving you. I'm the only friend you have left."

In town, Kalena is at Casa di Salvatore, where Stefan is helping her study for a history exam. She almost outs herself as Katherine by knowing wayyyy more about the Holy Roman Empire than anyone who isn't a historian or lived during the time would know, but she manages to play it off by saying that "Elena" had to write a paper about it in high school. Then, the doorbell rings, and Stefan informs her that he invited Caroline over because he asked the Sheriff for help in tracking down Damon. She hangs back and eavesdrops while Stefan and Caroline discuss Damon in the foyer-- Liz found a bunch of missing person's reports and "animal attacks" outside Mystic Falls, but with one additional disturbing detail: all the victims were found with their heads ripped off and their skin desiccated, which alerts them to the fact that Damon is feeding on vampires. Stefan immediately remarks that he shouldn't have let Damon leave, and realizes Damon must have gone after Wes and gotten injected with whatever he was going to inject into Elena to make her feed on vampires.

He insists that they need to find him, so Kalena comes out of the woodwork and offers to go with him. Caroline is instantly suspicious as to why "Elena" would be going to Stefan for study help, considering he's not in college, but before they can get into it further, Caroline gets a phone call from Tyler, who she admits she hasn't spoken to since the "incident" where he almost killed her. When she answers, he skips the formalities and goes straight to asking if she's seen or talked to Matt, because he just learned that Nadia has been compelling him to forget things. He adds that he told Matt to stay away from her, but he hasn't heard from him since; he also hasn't been at home OR work and his phone goes straight to voicemail. Caroline sees an opportunity to try to patch things up and immediately insists on coming over, despite Tyler's obvious hesitance. Katherine starts to panic and asks if she should come with, but Caroline swears she'll be fine, plus, she believes it's time for them to move into the pre-friendship phase of their post-breakup weirdness. Kalena informs Stefan that she's gonna go pack up her clothes, and confirms that he'll pick her up at the dorm before taking off. Once Stefan and Caroline are alone, Caroline points out that something is definitely up with him and Elena, though Stefan maintains that they're just friends. While I'm sure Caroline is just looking out for Stefan, I definitely think jealousy is a factor, too.
CAROLINE: "Well, look, I'm just saying that Elena and Damon's breakup is messy, and you are not messy. You're stable, and sane, and..."
STEFAN: "I'm about to spend twelve hours in a car with her, alone, so whatever she's feeling, I'm sure I'll figure it out."
In a diner outside of town, Nadia is sitting at a booth, on the phone with Katherine, who is chewing her out for getting Caroline and Tyler (whom she hilariously refers to as "Goldilocks and the Big Bad Wolf") suspicious about her dalliances with Matt. Nadia informs her that Tyler gave Matt vervain, so he was immune to her compulsion and figured out what Katherine is doing in Elena's body. Of course, Katherine instantly orders her to kill him, but Nadia argues that he doesn't need to die-- she's kept him out of sight ever since it happened, and the vervain will be out of his system soon so she can once again compel him to forget everything. Katherine figures that Nadia has been using this as an excuse to "canoodle" with Matt (a word which Nadia doesn't even know or understand), and snits, "We all love Matt Donovan. Otherwise, he would have been dead a long time ago, but when it comes to keeping my new doppelgänger body a secret, nobody is that important." 

She adds that she's going out of town to help Stefan find Damon as an opportunity for some alone time with him, so Nadia turns Katherine's words against her and asks him what she's going to do if she gets too comfortable and slips up-- will she kill Stefan too? Annoyed, Katherine orders her to take care of the Matt situation or she will before hanging up. Matt is sitting across the table, chowing down on some breakfast, and assures Nadia that once he can convince his friends he's okay, it'll all work out, so no one needs to die. Nadia reaches across the table, which makes Matt jump reflexively, but she was just reaching for some maple goodness. "Relax! I'm not going to syrup you to death!" Matt sighs in relief, and Nadia awkwardly adds, "...What's canoodling?"

Damon is staging the crime scene at Farmer John's house by pulling a Stefan and putting the bodies back together. Enzo points out that they only have eight hours until he needs to feed again, and asks Damon how New York is these days. Damon replies that it's very crowded, so they decide it's the perfect place for a cannibal vampire to go without drawing a lot of attention. Unfortunately, they start hearing the chanting that Damon refers to as the "obnoxious theme song of the Travelers," and figure now is the best time to leave. Of course, once they go to head out the door, they're blocked at the threshold, because the chanting was actually a boundary spell. To make matters worse, Wes shows up, all smug about the fact that he's reconsidered his earlier belief that using magic in science was a cheat before asking Damon how his hunger is doing. Damon threatens to eat HIM, but Wes informs him that since Damon is his Patient Zero, he can't let him leave without doing a test-- namely, trapping him inside an enclosed space with only one food source and seeing how long he can go before he breaks down and eats his BFF. WONDERFUL.

Kalena and Stefan have stopped at a gas station in Stefan's adorable 1963 Porsche 356B Karmann Coupe, where she snarks at Stefan about how he should consider getting a new car while she struggles to climb out through the open window. Stefan laughs it off and admits that while he appreciates her help, she didn't need to come, but Kalena reminds him that she's doing this for him, because he still believes that Damon can be saved. (Sounds a lot like Elijah and Klaus, doesn't it?) Stefan interprets that as Kalena saying that she no longer believes that Damon can be saved, and points out that even though Damon clearly crossed a line by threatening Jeremy, he's done it before, and she's always forgiven him. Kalena states that she does still care about Damon, but she's tired of getting her hopes up and riding the "rollercoaster that is Damon's redemption." She then changes the topic by asking him if he's hungry, and claims that she's starving, so Stefan heads in to get her some food. Since when do they eat human food, though? I thought that was always either a cover or a blood-craving sublimater? Anyway, once he's gone, Katherine pops the hood of Stefan's car and breaks off a pipe before quickly shutting it and leaning against the car in what she believes is a sexy manner.

Back at Farmer John's house, Damons throwing furniture at the walls and windows in hopes of breaking through the boundary spell, but Enzo proclaims his efforts to be fruitless. When Damon insists that the spell can't last forever, Enzo reminds him that it doesn't have to-- Wes only needs it to last eight hours, when Damon starts craving vamp blood and ultimately kills his ass so Wes can autopsy his mutilated corpse. He also reminds his friend of the lessons that he taught Damon while they were cellmates, about how calmer heads will prevail, blah blah blah. Of course, when Enzo suggests that he call Stefan or Elena to find Wes and threaten or kill him and the Travelers so they can get out before Damon pops his head off, but Damon refuses on the grounds that they told him to never come back. Enzo's annoyed that Damon's pride trumps his BFF's life, but Damon maintains that they won't come even if he DOES call. That's when Enzo calls him out on the real problem: "Or, they will, and you might hurt them. You don't want to risk them, do you? Me, on the other hand..." Regardless, Damon states that he will NOT be feeding on Enzo, and promises to find another way.

Tyler and Caroline are at the Lockwood Manse, where Tyler has brought her a cup of coffee and they make pleasant, yet awkward, small talk until Caroline finally brings up the reason why she's there. Tyler explains that while Matt isn't exactly missing, he hasn't been home in two days and hasn't answered his phone either. Just then, Matt waltzes in the front door, surprising them both. Before they can ask him where the hell he's been, Nadia walks up to the door and absentmindedly asks Matt if he's seen her sunglasses before she notices that Tyler and Caroline are there. "Okay, rewind, start over-- this whole time, you've been with NADIA?" Caroline asks, but Matt just says that it's a long story and invites Nadia into the house, allowing her to walk through the threshold. Oh, this is so not going to end well.

When we meet back up with Kalena and Stefan, Stefan is working on fixing his car, and finds the piece that Katherine broke before handing it to her and warning her to be careful, as its covered in grease. He states that he has no idea how it broke, but sighs that they're not going to be able to leave until it's fixed. Kalena rubs the pipe all over her shirt, getting grease everywhere, which Stefan totally notices after he says that he'll check to see if the mechanic has a spare. He then laughs at just how not careful she was about it, and Katherine plays dumb, and claims that she loved the shirt that she just ruined. Katherine "accidentally" smears more grease on her face, too, so she can have a good excuse for them to get a nearby motel room so they can shower all of the engine grease off of them while they wait for Stefan's car to be repaired. Stefan initially rejects her idea, but Kalena keeps pushing, and eventually Stefan caves.

Back at the Lockwood Manse, Matt is pouring drinks for everyone while he explains the story that he and Nadia rehearsed before they arrived to explain why the fuck Nadia has been acting so shady. Their lie is that Matt planned on leaving town when Nadia arrived at the house waiting for him so she could apologize for compelling Matt and snapping Tyler's neck. Then, they went to Atlantic City, where Matt lost his phone on the first night, and then they had a whole bunch of drinks and fun that kind of all became a blur. Of course, Caroline is no idiot and has never liked Nadia anyway, so she immediately states that the reason why it was a blur is because Nadia was compelling him, but Matt holds up his arm and shows her his vervain bracelet to show that he hasn't been compelled since Tyler caught her. Caroline tests it by trying to compel him to tell her where he's been for two days, but Matt maintains that she's not compelling him anymore, and that they were just having fun.

Caroline points out that the time she buried him alive in a safe isn't exactly the definition of a fun time, so Nadia channels her inner Katherine and turns to Matt to whisper, "I thought you said she'd be cool with us hanging out?" When Caroline predictably gets pissed at this, Nadia brings up the fact that Caroline is judging Matt for the company he keeps when she's the one who has been making the same kind of questionable romantic choices, and adds, "Isn't that right, Tyler?" Not wanting to be baited, Tyler bails on the conversation and leaves the room, and is quickly followed by Caroline, who reminds him that she's just trying to piss them off so they're distracted from what's really going on. Tyler makes a kind of hilarious point that they are talking about Matt, who went on a summer-long, round-the-world trip with Rebekah Mikaelson just months after she nearly killed him by forcing him to run his truck into the river, but Caroline can't believe he's buying all of this. "It's a hell of a lot easier to buy than other things that have happened," Tyler snaps, clearly referring to Klaus, before fleeing the house.

Stefan and Kalena have just checked into their dingy motel room, and Stefan cracks a joke about how she brought her entire closet before setting her bags on the ground. Again, NOT LIKE ELENA. Kalena backpedals and claims that Damon's spirals typically need more than an overnight bag, so Stefan once again tries to talk Damon up by insisting that while he's hurt, he's not a lost cause. Kalena doesn't know how he could be sure of that, so Stefan once again makes another pretty speech explaining that it's because he knows what Damon is going through right now.
STEFAN: "You don't know what it's like being in love with you. You know, when you and I were together, every atom in my body told me that it was the right thing, that we were a perfect fit. And that kind of love, it can change your whole life. And then, when somebody who made you feel that way suddenly stops, the vacuum is just..."
Kalena cuts him off and claims she gets it, as destiny built a whole prophecy around it or whatever, and changes the subject to the fact that Stefan's glass of bourbon is empty and clearly needs a refill. She reaches for the glass and lets her hand linger over his for a moment until he gets uncomfortable and pulls away. He then awkwardly states that he should go take a shower, which really seems to kill Katherine's buzz, though she lets him go without protest.

Meanwhile, Enzo has managed to find some huge towing chains and has proceeded to use them to bind Damon to a chair as their eight-hour deadline slowly creeps up on them. Damon reminds him that they're not going to let them out until he kills Enzo, or vice versa, but Enzo basically just tells him to quit being dramatic. Damon isn't deterred, though, and points out that there's no cure, so Enzo goes off on him and calls him out on the fact that he's a huge quitter who would rather run away than try to solve his problems; it's what he did to Enzo in 1958, it's what he did to Elena in "Fifty Shades of Grayson," and it's why Damon is quickly becoming passively suicidal. Damon insists that when he stays, he destroys things, but Enzo says what is probably the most accurate thing he's ever said "We're not all as fragile as you think we are." Once he's chained up, Enzo grabs Damon's phone off the table and calls Stefan, which reeeeeally pisses Damon off.

Stefan is still in the shower when he gets the call, so Katherine, when she sees that it's Damon, puts on her best worried-Elena act and answers it, "Oh my god, Damon?" When she realizes it's Enzo, her voice gets much more annoyed as she asks him where Damon is. "Oh, he's here, salivating, about to chomp into my neck and feed until my head pops off in a grotesque but slightly comical fashion." LOL. I am not an Enzo fan, but he gets some of the most hilarious lines, made even better by his accent and Michael Malarkey's impeccable delivery. Katherine quickly gathers that Wes infected him with the Ripper serum, so Enzo gets to the point-- he needs a hand, because Wes enlisted the Travelers (who he hilariously called "those singing witches") and trapped them in the house. From across the room, Damon yells, "DO. NOT. COME. HERE," but Enzo insists that "Elena" not be dissuaded from coming out of fear for her life, because he has orders from Damon to kill him should that become a possibility Of course, that gives Katherine a horrible, terrible, no-good, very-bad idea, so she orders him to text her the address to HER phone before assuring him they'll be there ASAP. Stefan, finally out of the shower, pops his head out just as Katherine hangs up and asks if she said something, which Katherine totally denies. Uh oh.

Damon's eight hours are just about up, and he's thrashing against the chains that bind him in an attempt to break himself free. Enzo tries to reason with him by reminding him that they'll figure it all out once Stefan and Elena get there, but Damon figures he'll just end up killing them, too. Of course, Enzo half-jokes that he really doesn't give a shit as long as HE'S not the one eaten and killed, but Wes decides for an ironic punishment-- he shoots Enzo through the shoulder twice from outside the front door, causing him to start gushing blood from his wounds. Enzo figured he was trying to kill him, but Wes claims he wasn't, at least not in that way; he just wanted Enzo to bleed to tempt Damon even more. He thanks Enzo for chaining him up so he can see just how strong Damon gets when he's pissed off; which, as it turns out, is VERY, because he shatters the chains around him in seconds. He immediately lunges for Enzo, but Enzo is able to throw him across the room. This does nothing to deter Damon, though, so he picks himself up to rush after him again, this time successfully latching himself onto Enzo's neck.

Enzo begs Damon to stop feeding on him, but it isn't until he starts choking on his blood before he finally lets go. He falls to his knees and begins throwing up all the blood he drank and gasping for breath. Enzo, despite all his blood loss, still has the energy to be mega-pissed at Wes and demands to know what he did to him, so Wes confesses that the Travelers cast a spell to raise the acidity of Enzo's blood so that it was basically the equivalent of hydrochloric acid. Wes then admits that he can and should leave before the spell wears off, but Enzo is understandably hesitant to leave with him again. Wes admits that he does need one more thing from Enzo, but promises that if he leaves with him, then he'll let him go for good when he's done. The alternative is that Enzo can stay in Farmer John's house and see how long he lasts with hungry Damon. Damon, who is still healing from his esophagus being burned to hell and back, manages to gasp out a plea for Enzo to just go already and save himself, but Enzo doesn't want to do it. Finally, Damon manages to convince him, so Enzo grabs his coat and leaves with Dr. Dickfield.

Stefan finds out that the car is done being fixed while Kalena is in the shower, so he cracks the door so he can let her know. She grabs a towel and says she'll be right there, so Stefan goes to start packing up her bags for her. Seeing an opportunity, Kalena peeks her head out of the door and asks him if he can grab her the green shirt in her bag, which he does. Of course, she leaves the door ajar so that way he can watch as she sensuously puts on her shirt with her bare back turned toward him. She starts running her hands through her long, wet hair, and Stefan eventually averts his eyes, realizing what a creep he's being (though that's exactly what Katherine wanted him to do.) When she comes out, she sneaks up behind him and touches his shoulder while she waits for him to turn around so she can kiss him. She pulls away after a short moment, but he pulls her back toward him and kisses her again until he eventually comes to his senses and stops completely. He starts babbling that it's wrong, since she and Damon just broke up, and Kalena, sensing Stefan's discomfort, starts backpedaling and insisting she just got caught up in the moment. Stefan decides that he's going to get some air and settle the bill while she finishes packing, and as soon as he's gone, she calls Nadia up.

Nadia's still at the Lockwood Manse, and when Katherine asks whether she thinks Stefan loves Elena or Damon more, she snits, "Why are you calling me?" Katherine briefly outlines her plan: Damon has been turned into a vampire cannibal, and she knows exactly where he is, so if she can get Stefan to come with her and somehow trick Damon into attacking her, Stefan will have no choice but to put Damon down to save her, which will eliminate Damon as an obstacle in her plan to get Stefan back. Nadia replies that Katherine manipulating Stefan into killing his own brother is dark, even for her, but Katherine just turns the subject to Matt and whether or not Nadia has killed him yet. Nadia vaguely claims she's working on it and hangs up and returns to the card game she's playing with Matt. That's when Matt does some charming and manipulating that is, like, Caroline-level good.
MATT: "So, I'm curious; we've spent a couple of days together now..."
NADIA: [smiles] "...canoodling..."
MATT: [laughs] "Canoodling. Exactly. It seems like you went through all this trouble to save your mom, but she only seems interested in Stefan."
NADIA: "It's Katherine. I didn't expect mother-daughter boozy brunches."
MATT: "Yeah, but you DID expect SOMETHING."
NADIA: [visibly tenses] "Are you going to play a card, or what?"
MATT: "Look, I've been where you are. My mom used to disappear for weeks at a time, and then showed up one day out of the blue and pretended like nothing happened. Before you know it, I'd be at the stove, making her a grilled cheese."
NADIA: "This isn't like that."
MATT: "Isn't it? She decides when you're worth it, on her watch, but guess what? You're never going to be as interesting as the next guy she wants to sleep with."
Nadia quickly figures out what he's doing and reminds him that she already knows he'd do or say anything to save Elena, but he tells her that she's an idiot if she thinks Katherine is going to choose her, because she isn't. Nadia turns the tables on him and points out that the reason why Matt made all those sandwiches for Julie Cooper-Nichol is because at the end of the day, she is Matt's mother and he loves her. She then bites into his wrist and smiles when he realizes his blood is free of vervain. She tells them their fun is officially over, so Matt jumps at his last opportunity to try to alert his friends before he can be mind-whammied. He kisses her, citing the fact that he's just going to forget all of this anyway, and the two quickly begin to make out on top of the coffee table. While they're kissing, Matt tries to stealthily pull out his cell phone to text Caroline a warning, but Nadia catches him in the act before he can complete the message, and is PISSED.

Matt reminds her that she said it herself-- Elena is his best friend, and he'll always protect her, but Nadia confesses that she's just hurt because Matt was the only decent person in this town. Matt argues that he still is, and so is she, because she's not like her mother-- she cares about people, and isn't a cold-blooded killer. Nadia lunges for him as though she's going to kill him, but instead of hurting him, she just compels him to forget everything he's not supposed to know-- as far as he's concerned, they partied, slept together, and that was it. From there, she goes to leave, but is stopped by Caroline before she can make it out the door. Matt hears them arguing and comes out to see what's up, and when Caroline sees him, she asks him about the text he sent her which read, "help, K." 

When Matt looks confused, Caroline correctly guesses that she compelled him again before zooping over to her and pinning her against the wall while she demands to know what she's doing to him. Nadia gets the upper hand, though, and spins them around so Caroline is pinned against the wall. Matt yells at her to stop, but Nadia just snits that though Matt may not remember, what is about to happen to Caro is all Matt's fault. Fortunately, before Nadia can kill her, Tyler rushes in through the front door and pulls her off of Caroline, pinning her on the floor. "Young hybrid beats old vampire every time," Tyler quips, as the two wrestle on the ground, with Tyler snipping at her with his fangs. After a long moment, Nadia manages to free herself from his grip and vamp-speed out the door, leaving a very confused Matt to demand to know what the fuck is going on.

Damon's still stuck inside Farmer John's house when Kalena appears in the doorway of the house. Damon orders her not to come in, but naturally, she ignores him, as it goes against her plan. Stefan appears behind her, so Damon informs them that he's a vampire cannibal now and almost killed his last friend, which means the best thing they can do is get the fuck out of there PRONTO. They swear they're there to help, and Damon gets so pissed that he vamps out and charges at them, and is only stopped by the boundary spell. Stefan insists that he's not afraid of Damon, a sentiment which Kalena cosigns just before she steps across the threshold. Damon desperately tries to shove her back out the door, but it's futile-- she's trapped inside, too. He bellows, "What the hell is wrong with you?" but Kalena maintains she's there to prove he's not a lost cause. Stefan sees Kalena picking up a broken piece of glass off the floor and immediately steps into the house as well, just as she uses it to slice her palm open.

She holds her bleeding wound out to him and promises he can resist it, because he loves her and their love is stronger than his need to feed, blah blah blah. Damon is visibly beginning to crack and turns away from her, and even Stefan is like, "Girl, what the fuck are you doing?" but Kalena is sure that he can resist. She puts her hands on Damon's shoulders and turns him around to face her, but once she gets a whiff of her blood under his nose, he attacks her and chomps down on her carotid as he starts to feed. Stefan yells at Damon to stop, but it's futile, because Damon is just going to town on her. Kalena sees a broken piece of wood from one of the smashed pieces of furniture and kicks it toward Stefan in hopes that he'll use it on Damon. Stefan sees this, but doesn't really process it; instead, he just picks up another shard of glass and cuts his own palm with it and sticks it in his face while he orders Damon to feed on him instead of her. When Damon lets go of Kalena and heads toward him, Stefan manages to snap his neck before he can bite him.

Back in Mystic Falls, Tyler is cleaning up the study from the mess Matt and Nadia made when they were fooling around when Caroline comes in and updates him on Matt-- basically, all he remembers is that they slept together, which is kind of hilarious, since they didn't even get THAT far. The two of them make eye contact, and Caroline can't help but give him a weak smile. Tyler takes a deep breath and apologizes for almost biting her that night; he was rightfully pissed, but that's no excuse for what he did. Caroline gratefully accepts and says they can get through this together, because she just wants them to be good, but Tyler's smile slides off his face so quickly it's like you can almost hear the record-screech noise. He states that he said he was sorry, but didn't say he was past it, or that he'll ever be past it. "How evolved do you think I am? You slept with Klaus. You slept with the guy that killed my mom. What's the fair amount of time for me to get past that? A week? A month? Tell me, what sounds right to you?" Caroline, feeling guilty, states that his point has been made and understood and awkwardly leaves Tyler to his thoughts.

At Casa di Salvatore, Damon wakes up in one of the basement cells, all chained up, and immediately remembers how pissed he is at Stefan for not being able to help being the do-gooder yet again. How did they get out of the house with the boundary spell? Who knows? Because I certainly don't. Stefan reiterates the point he made to Caroline earlier, which is that he should have never let Damon leave, but Damon maintains his point-- as long as he's like this, he's inevitably going to kill Stefan, whether it's tonight or a week from now or whatever. However, once again, Stefan makes a pretty excellent point:
STEFAN: "Come on, Damon. You think I'm afraid of a Ripper? Who do you think invented the word? You know that feeling you get when you're around vampire blood? That burning in your veins? I feel that on a daily basis, and there's a way to control it."
Damon figures Stefan is about to do some Lexi-style conditioning on him, but Stefan claims that he's just gonna get Damon some more vervain and then give him some time to think about what a royal dick he's been lately while Stefan gets a drink. He reminds Damon that he's his brother, and not only is he not giving up on him now, but he will never give up on him. Damon, however, isn't so sure, especially now that he's seen that "Elena" has. Stefan thinks he's just being mopey, and points out that she almost got herself killed to make a point, but Damon brings up Jesse, and the fact that while she did kill him to save his life, she wouldn't have done it if there was any other way; however, today, she pretty much handed Stefan the stake and outright told him to use it. Stefan refuses to believe that Elena actually wanted Stefan to kill him, but Damon can't think of any other reason why she would do it. Stefan, confused, leaves Damon and heads upstairs, which basically confirms Damon's worst fears about Elena.

Katherine has just arrived at the diner Nadia was at earlier to meet with her, and she's in such a good mood that Nadia assumes that Damon must be dead. Katherine admits that he isn't, but vaguely describes the "moment" she had with Stefan at the motel which, in her mind, reaffirmed the feelings he has for Elena/herself, so everything is going according to plan. Nadia is pretty obviously annoyed at Katherine's self-centeredness, especially after what Matt told her earlier, but Katherine doesn't even acknowledge it until after it's confirmed that Matt is no longer a threat to her secret. She snits that she's in too good of a mood to play games to figure out why she's so mopey, so Nadia just coldly informs her mother that she won't have to worry about her much longer, because Tyler Lockwood bit her. When Nadia lifts up her arm to show Katherine the wound, Katherine's smirk disappears, and, to her credit, she actually looks legitimately upset about this death sentence.

Back at the boarding house, Stefan goes into the study, where he finds Caroline sitting by the fireplace, having a drink. She wastes no time in admitting that Stefan was right, and that her plan to try to patch things up with Tyler blew up in her face, and concedes that she knew when she slept with Klaus that it would have consequences, so now she has to lie in the bed she's made. Stefan jokes that he's glad he could help, and asks if she found Matt, so Caroline briefly explains that Tyler was right-- Nadia had been compelling him to forget things. This pings Stefan's shadiness radar, so he asks what Nadia was compelling him to forget, but Caroline has no idea-- all Matt was able to tell her was in the cut-off text he sent her from Nadia's phone, which he shows her.

Stefan doesn't catch the connection at first, so Caroline changes the subject to him and Elena, and what the verdict of their own ex-issue ended up being. Stefan confesses that things were strange, because "Elena" kissed him, though he stopped it, because he couldn't bear to do that to Damon. Caroline has a hard time believing that Elena would do that to Damon, either, because 1) she knows that that would destroy Damon, and 2) Elena is NEVER that inclined to give up on people. Their suspicions get even more intense when Stefan explains Damon's theory that Elena wanted Stefan to kill him, because Caroline knows as well as anyone that Elena would never want ANYONE to die if it wasn't necessary. FINALLY, the wheels start spinning in their brains about how fucking weird everything has been lately.
STEFAN: "Unless... Matt texted you 'help, K.' before Nadia stopped him. 'K,' as in Katherine. And when Katherine was dying, Nadia figured out a way to put Katherine's spirit in Nadia's body..."
CAROLINE: "Yeah, but that didn't happen, because Katherine had a change of heart! [realizes the implications] No. No... You don't think that she'd be... We would have noticed! It's Elena. We know her! [thinks about it a moment] Oh, my God..."

-So, I've finally pinned down why exactly I've hated Katherine parading around in Elena's body, aside from the fact that it was a super-shitty thing to do in the first place, and the fact that none of her friends managed to figure it out for weeks despite the fact that 1) Bonnie never saw or felt Katherine passing through her to the Other Side and 2) the whole Nadia hiding shit thing. The main issue is that Katherine is TERRIBLE at impersonating Elena for long periods of time. Like, the one-offs in the past weren't a big deal, because it was only a temporary thing and she was usually caught quickly anyway, but in this case, she's been literally embodying Elena for weeks without truly understanding how she works. She thinks that Elena is just this stupid, airhead hick girl, and so that's how she plays her, but that's not how Elena is at all. She's very smart, way smarter than anyone gives her credit, and she was raised in a loving family to a father who was a doctor, so it's not like she's some poor redneck who grew up in backwater Virginia, you know? So when Katherine is constantly playing dumb and overly flirtatious and whatnot, it's so UN-Elena that it seriously still grinds my gears to this day that no one caught on quicker. She was so blatant about everything that it just makes the rest of the Mystic Falls Gang look super stupid and useless, and they're usually not.

-WHY IS THERE NO BONNIE OR JEREMY? What's the point in even bringing them back to life if they're not going to be around?


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