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The Vampire Diaries “The End of the Affair” 

Photo Credit: Bob Mahoney/The CW

Full disclosure: this is going to be part recap (because it was very speedy and practical in the plotting) and part analysis/conjecture. First things first: Yay! Sweet! Yes! Caroline is snuggled in bed with Tyler by the end of the episode. THANK YOU.

The rest of the episode covers the Klaus/Stefan highlights of 1920s Chicago, which Klaus has to rebuild for Stefan because he’s been mindwiped (by Klaus) from recalling it for himself. That this aligns with a Katherine-induced Damon and Elena roadtrip to Chi is slightly complicated. We also get the backstory on the pendant—it belonged to Klaus’s sister, Rebekah, with whom Stefan was in love 90 years ago. Oops. So that’s going to be more than a little complicated when Stefan asks for backsies because it’s the key to unlocking Klaus’s uberwolf (or so says witch Gloria, who was also on the scene in Chicago  then and now).

Stefan sees Elena twice—the first time hiding in a closet aof his 20s era apartment, which he apparently stilll leases, and the second out on the street in front of God and everybody where he tells her to go away and that he doesn’t want to be with her but stupidly stops short of I DON’T LOVE YOU, so of course that’s the thing that will keep her Energizer Bunnying the “save Stefan” campaign. The first moment is well covered for you by my lovely and talented colleague, Kara Howland.

We find out that Klaus called himself Nik (so his full name is Niklaus) in the 20s and that even he had a hunter on his trail, who casting 101 tells us is going to be A BIG DEAL because he’s an unnamed CPD cop played by Sebastian Roche (aka SPN’s Balthazar).

On the Caroline front, we get tough love/torture porn in bouts of sunlight minus the daywalker ring because daddy is a big ball of crazy who thinks he can deprogram the vampire out of his daughter, but thankfully as soon as Tyler tells Liz that Caroline is AWOL, she knows exactly where to go and she has no trouble pulling a gun on her ex-husband to get Caroline out immediately. (THANK YOU.) So glad that did not drag out. It still ends on a sad note for Caroline, because despite the aforementioned cuddling, she weeps loud and long that her daddy hates her while Tyler tries to comfort her.

It was a lean hour. No Matt, Jeremy, Bonnie, Anna or Vickie this week. No Mrs. Lockwood, either. I so want to see that smackdown when Liz gets hold of her. Kudos to Paul Wesley and Joseph Morgan, who worked their butts off flitting back and forth between past and present.

I’m a little confused about Stefan’s bouts of going off the rails when Lexie had vamp-checked him back in the Civil War and yet 60 years later he was working his way through flapper girls. Elena gets a face full of his antics, first from the 20s era journal Damon drops in her lap, and second from a victim’s wall of names inside his closet, but that still doesn’t send her running.

I liked that we had a shoe on the other foot of Stefan teaching Klaus to be a badass in Chicago despite Klaus’s elder status, and then Klaus quickly seizing the reins when he erased Stefan’s memories in an instant. Katherine was lurking nearby just afterward, so was she there to pick Stefan up and fill in the gaps (of her choosing) or did she just shadow him? We also learned Damon was in Chicago then, but far from that action. So, I wonder which version of Stefan existed after the reset.

This is also the first we’ve seen of an actual flashback girlfriend for Stefan after Katherine—that she was another vampire makes his choice of a relationship with Elena interesting. And Klaus’s circus of carting around coffins of his kin means he brings Rebekah back (he staked her the night they fled Chicago) and she remembers everything while Stefan suddenly has those same memories foisted upon him and has to process A LOT all at once. I’m also curious about why Stefan doesn’t just leave now, since he knows Klaus has a weakness in his plan, that he’s not as dangerous as he could have been. Like I said last week, I hope this winds down soon so Stefan’s back in Mystic Falls and Elena can pack up the pining.

Next up, we’re back in the present, and Bonnie’s home! Yay!

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