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The Vampire Diaries “Memory Lane” 

Photo Credit: Bob Mahoney/The CW

Okay then. So Katherine is still a duplicitous bitch, Caroline is a conflicted vampire, Mason is a conflicted werewolf, Damon is hellbent on avenging somebody for something, and Elena and Stefan are ahead of the game. No Matty or Bonnie or Jeremy this week; FYI, in case that’s where your team affiliation lies.

In the main arc, Stefan nightmares a mashup of his very first Founders Ball in 1864 with Katherine melting into a current-day Elena and Damon making with the smoochies. He awakens to find Elena in his bed, only she’s not Elena, she’s Katherine. He vamps out, they fight and banter, she teases him about his diary, and then he vervains and chains her, only to find out that she (maybe) has a tale to tell about the Lockwood werewolf mystery. While she’s spinning the events from the night of the Ball, and trying to convince Stefan that he loved her before he was compelled (and she may have a point, but look at the storyteller), Damon is crashing Jenna’s barbecue to interrogate Mason (her high school classmate).

Before long, the jig is up and the boys put away their measuring sticks. They admit that they are werewolf and vampire, “we good?” things, and then resume the party (maybe). Upside, “Rick” is back to being Alaric. Downside, he has maybe three lines. Sadder still, Damon’s reading comprehension continues to be below average and he follows up his perfectly gentlemanly conversation with Mason by stabbing him in the gut with Jenna’s good silver. Mason yanks it out and tells Damon silver doesn’t actually work as a weapon, and P.S. we’re now sworn enemies.

Back home at Casa Lockwood, Tyler is waiting up and still snotting about wanting to know the how and the why of the wolf-out and Mason finally has a “screw this!” moment and tells him the wolf trigger is the murder of a human being. So, peace and love Mason snuffed somebody at some point. Happy now? Discuss.

Caroline is invited to Jenna’s gathering, too, and she’s Katherine’s (fairly obvious) pawn in a game to keep Elena away from Stefan for the day, including sabotaging the tire on her brand new Ford Fiesta(!), but mostly she just plants seeds of doubt with Elena about why things with Stefan can never work and they can never be happy, yadda yadda. .

Back in the Salvatore dungeon, Katherine is telling more tales for Stefan about great-grandpa George Lockwood being a werewolf and sending 26 vampires to their fiery graves in exchange for her own freedom, and then she finally clues him that she’s been faking out her captivity. She breaks the chains apart and tells him she has been slow-loading vervain since 1864 so it has no power over her. She essentially tells him to stay away from Elena or else she will kill everyone Elena loves in front of her and then Elena herself. Have a nice day!

About this time, Elena comes in upstairs, so Katherine stabs Stefan in the leg to keep him busy and jets to the parlor to have a brief face to face with her. They have just enough time for Katherine to give Elena the heebs before Katherine takes her leave. Elena and Stefan convene at the Mystic Grill and bluster about how they can’t be together and Katherine wins, but it’s a big old fakeout (clever!) and they reconnect at Elena’s and pronounce it to be a necessary ruse to deter Damon and Caroline (who sadly can’t be trusted now) in order to keep Katherine off her game and Elena and her family and friends safe.

The episode closes as Katherine flashes again to the night she instigated her escape and her payment to George was the moonstone that Mason is seeking that Tyler has. Oh, and the night Stefan and Damon died, she stopped to kiss Stefan goodbye with a promise to see him again. Hmm.

Kudos all around for many, many balls in the air. Candice is selling the hell out of misguided, insecure vampy Caroline, and Nina pulled off both Katherine and Elena with equal aplomb. We know from her Twitter that Nina’s thrown her back out, so she needs to find a way to play Katherine without the stiletto swagger. I very much enjoyed Paul getting medieval on Katherine, and Damon and Mason had (past tense) a nice energy about them before Damon tried to kill him and all. The biggest laugh of the night came at the outset of their meeting when Mason told Damon that he’d heard good things about him (presumably from Carol Lockwood) and Damon responded along the lines of, “Really? Because I’m kind of a dick.” It wasn’t too long before Mason found that out for himself. As for whether Katherine is telling the truth about Stefan’s human, uncompelled true love declaration to her, I choose to call bullshit. If I’m wrong, Stefan’s going to get his ass handed to him by Elena. See you next week!

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