Well, we commence the morning after back in Damonâ€™s bed and he and Elena are happy and agree to keep the day secret for themselves before unloading all over their loved ones that they are together.
Thatâ€™s lasts about as long as you think it will.
Stefan pops by to drop the bomb that Damon has sired Elena and Damon calls bullsh-t but takes a blood bag to Elena at school to prove it and is surprised to find out it is true. Weâ€™re surprised to find out itâ€™s not the first time heâ€™s sired another vampire. He tells Stefan as much and they hightail it to New Orleans.
Whatâ€™s funny is theyâ€™re there and back in a day but we donâ€™t know how they travel from Virginiaâ€”Iâ€™m assuming they fly but itâ€™s a funny nit when weâ€™ve previously seen road trips, and you canâ€™t drive it that fast.
So, we flashback to 1942, when Damon and Stefan reconnected in New Orleans after their ripper estrangement in Chicago. Stefan had Lexi along as his sober sponsor and he was there to make peace with Damon and tell him heâ€™d enlisted in the War as part of his penance. Damon thought it was a swell idea to join up, too, but Lexi firmly told him that it wasn’t, and Damon let his brother go alone. Stefan finds this out in the present when he presses Damon about only making choices that are in his best interest.
Also in play back in 1942 was a sweet young thing, Charlotte (Madeline Zima), who Damon had turned and who did his every bidding. This sent him to a witch who promised she could break the bond for 12 sacrifices, so Damon obliged, and then she backed out on the deal. Oops. And the sweet (still) young Charlotte has been counting every brick in New Orleans ever since.
Meanwhile, Elena, Caroline, and Bonnie are emptying the Salvatore wine cellar of its stash of champagne and partying hard until they settle into the reality that Caroline is still woefully unhappy with Elenaâ€™s choice. Before long, Caroline blurts out that Elena isnâ€™t in love, sheâ€™s sired, and the evening spirals from there.
Over at the Lockwoods, Tyler is being challenged by Kim and he is forced to throw down when she kidnaps Caroline (apparently proving that there are no restrictions on who can enter the Salvatore house now that no human owns it). In a supremely badass move,Â Tyler, while holding Kimâ€™s heart inside her chest, tells his gathered packÂ that heâ€™s not Klaus but heâ€™s equally a threat if heâ€™s crossed. (WOOF!)
Back in New Orleans, Stefan and Damon visit the presumed granddaughter of the witchÂ only to find out sheâ€™s actually the daughter and she doesnâ€™t approve of Expressionism, the type of witchcraft her mother practiced, which Bonnieâ€™s been duped by Shane into picking up. She tells Damon he can break the bond himself by telling the siree to vamoose. He tests this by telling Charlotte to get lost and have a life without him but doesnâ€™t stick around long enough to see if it takes.
After Elena steps in to save Caroline, they make up and agree to disagree on all things Damon and Stefan. Then Damon comes home and tries really hard to break up with Elena. She cuts him off at the pass that she knows the truth, and that Tyler has told her the sire bond affects action, not feeling, and what they feel is real. Then she starts putting her hands on him to make the point and he canâ€™t go through with it.
Over at Shaneâ€™s, he taunts Hayley with potential news of her birth parents once sheâ€™s got her 12th freed hybrid (again with the number 12). Then he recants that theyâ€™re dead before giving her their location and creepily insinuating that dead doesnâ€™t mean gone or unavailable (yikes).
And that’s that.
I like that the show continues to give separate factions of characters piecesÂ of information that the others need. I hope Bonnie finds out yet again that sheâ€™s been played, particularly if she kicks ass and takes names about it.
Since Iâ€™m not overly ship invested at this stage, I didnâ€™t mind the divide and conquer aspect of splitting Damon and Elena already but I sympathize with viewers who may have found that infuriating out of the gate. I feel you. I want Caroline and Tyler back in a room together and not under duress and not under surveillance.
Tonight at 8 pm/7c, we pick up with the last episode of the year. Iâ€™m going to go out on a limb and guess weâ€™ll have a cliffhanger (or 12).
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