So here's where we are this week:

DAMON: Starts off trying to save/mentor Jeremy through killing baby vampires; ends up compelled by Kol to murder him instead. Currently in the holding cell in the boardinghouse, with Stefan gloating outside and acting like an asshole.

ELENA: Maybe possibly sire bonded? Or not? Either way, she's trying to balance saving Jeremy with saving Damon, and apologizing to Stefan for breaking up with him in a way that reads waaaaaaaay too close to "I'm sorry if you're upset" WHICH IS NOT ACTUALLY AN APOLOGY ahem anyway.

STEFAN: Being pissed at Elena and Damon, holding Damon captive in the boardinghouse "for his own good", auditioning for the Amazing Race with Rebekah and having crazy vampire sex with her. Because that ended so well last time.

JEREMY: After being hunted down in the woods by a bunch of starving baby vampires, Jeremy is instead wheedled by Kol into not finding the cure (unsuccessfully) and hunted down by a compelled Damon (unsuccessful, but not for lack of trying). Still living at home, despite Klaus's remarkably detailed threats.

MATT: Used by Klaus as bait to make Jeremy kill vampires; still totally fucking baffled why Elena is in love with Damon, even with (?) the sire bond. Best guy on the show. Ten bucks says he dies this year.

KLAUS: After aiming baby vampires at Jeremy, Klaus returned home to threaten Kol, threaten to dagger Rebekah for the four billionth time, and try and make Jeremy come live with him. Wants the cure to make Elena human, then destroy it so no one can make him human, possibly because he's met his sister before.

REBEKAH: Taking a break from compelling people to murder, Rebekah and Stefan spent this week trying to find Silas's headstone, watching a human play suicide bomber during a simple torture interrogation, realizing everyone in her family who's not named Elijah is a total asshole, and fucking Stefan's brains out.

KOL: Really, really not loving the idea of Silas coming back, possibly because it will signal the apocalypse; compelled Damon into trying to kill Jeremy - after making him torture himself, thus making this the first week that the contestants in the Damon Salvatore Torture Hour were Damon and Damon. Has slightly better hair now.

BONNIE: Is busy being hypnotized by Professor Sketch when she's not being demeaned by her dad and mangling hands or setting fires; either way, she's on-track to go Dark Phoenix before the end of the year, thus completing what eatsscissors and I prophesied waaaaaaaay back in season one.

PROFESSOR SKETCH: THE ABSOLUTE WORST. Still convinced Silas's return will somehow make him resurrect everyone who's ever died in his service, as well as the loved ones of the people responsible for said resurrection. Which means he never studied folklore, because he would be goddamn amazed how often GODS TURN OUT TO BE CAPRICIOUS, MOTHERFUCKER. On the other hand, Bonnie briefly mangled the shit out of his hand, which is nice to see.


* "Jeremy, they're not people." unsurprising, considering that Damon A) legitimately only recognizes ten people exist in the world at any given time, not unlike Sherlock's three, and B) hates being a vampire so much that it chokes him.

Doesn't mean it's not sad.

* Damon cares about people! In really, really tiny increments unless your names are "Elena" or "Stefan" (or "Alaric", I don't think that one's ever gonna really get better), but still: he was freaked that Klaus threatened to kill Matt, and he honest to God would rather Jeremy kill him than let Kol win. Part of the latter is his persistent death wish, I think, but he--you guys, he doesn't hate Jeremy. He never really has. Jeremy pisses him off every fifteen minutes, but: Jeremy's the one he gave relationship advice to about Anna--"Hot trumps crazy"--and the one he helped with Vicki, and Anna again. He doesn't hate him. He wants to snap his neck twice a week, but he doesn't hate him.

Also, I still think Matt would be a fucking delightful Alaric substitute, but that's just me. GET TO DRINKING, DONOVAN. WEAR MORE BEIGE.

* "Stop talking." Be fair: who doesn't want Jeremy to shut up a lot?

* I do love that Rebekah and Stefan are basically proposing that everyone looking for the cure are Amazing Race teams. Just sack up and apply, Stefan; God knows it seems to be a theme, with you.

* Liz, you know I love you, but arresting Professor Sketch OUT OF TOWN is...maybe not legal? At the very least, you call the cops in whatever town the college is and have them bring him in. I know that, and I'm really going off Law & Order!

* I am honestly confused as to whether or not Damon sire bonded Elena or not, which is frankly weak writing. "But it's an obstacle to their love, to make them earn it!" No, it's weak writing, and it starts fights about mindrape and Elena's agency that give me screaming murder headaches. And I'm not even a Delena person.

* Sooooo Silas' return signals the end of all time! That can't be good!

* I know it ended poorly for him, but Damon repeatedly slamming Kol's head into the wall was kind of letting felt up after seeing The Avengers at midnight, for me, okay? Don't judge.

* Lexi would goddamn hate Rebekah.

* "You're saying I masterminded the murder of twelve people in a gas explosion."
"This is Mystic Falls. That's one of the least crazy explanations."


* Dear Mayor Rudy: Look, I get it. You are clearly sketched out that your only child is basically the most powerful witch on the planet, being the Last of the Bennetts. But she is also great! And frankly, you cannot just come back into town after like ten years or whatever and try to raise her, or cure her, or tell her shit like "I'm gonna get you some help", because: NO YOU FUCKING CANNOT. You could ask Bill Forbes how that works out, calling your only daughter damaged or broken--only you can't, because he's dead, and unless you want to join him, just worry about keeping humans from being murdered en masse, okay? And maybe talk to the Salvatores. Or the Gilberts. Or Caroline. Whatever, just--work smarter, okay? I don't hate you, and I'd be okay (at the moment) with you sticking around.

* Look at Damon's face when Kol compels him! He's not scared; he's pissed. And that's dangerous--for Kol, because the three scariest motherfuckers on this show are Klaus, Bonnie, and Damon goddamn Salvatore. And Damon's the scariest, because unlike Bonnie or Klaus, he is BATSHIT FUCKING CRAZY. And he holds grudges like pets.

* "Crazy sex is always good." It's weird, the lessons this show teaches through repetition.

* "You dated a child who only cared about herself." Elena or Katherine? Or maybe just Petrovas. I'd pay good money to know what Rebekah thinks about the First Petrova Whose Name I Cannot Remember Just Now.

* Elena, I know you're sired or in love or whatever, but as soon as Damon was like "I want to apologize to Jeremy", BOOM! you snap his neck, because that's like a big sign saying "I AM COMPELLED, PLEASE STOP ME".

* I said it above, but it bears repeating: I think Sketch is fooling himself by thinking Silas is going to resurrect his family - or Sheila, or the council, or ANYONE. Yeah, sometimes gods reward the faithful; they also do shit because they're bored, or they're assholes, or it's a Tuesday. The minute you start in on blood sacrifices, it's not going to end well; you, as a historian, should realize that. When this bites you in the ass? I hope it hurts.

* Oh shit you guys that's Damon's hunting face OH SHIT.

* I *did* love Damon yelling ahead for Jeremy to run. "Did you really just not kill me? And now you're *bleeding*? You total choad."

* Calling two things now: Damon ends up human, and Bonnie ends up Qetsiyah's human avatar on Earth.

* Bonnie mangling Shane's hand was so fucking pretty. I don't--okay. I'm not going to sit here and say I want Bonnie to be evil, because I don't. She's got too much power for that to end well, in part because who's going to stop her? Elena and Caroline have their own shit going on; I don't know that anyone can really yellow-crayon her out of this one, and I don't want her dead. I love her too much for that.

That said: Evil feels good, doesn't it? And Phoenix never looked as happy as she did when she was Dark Phoenix, all white-eyed and mad smiles and eating a sun.

* "Elijah won't even show his face, he's so disgusted by our bickering." WHAT IS HE DOING RIGHT NOW? Working for Doctors Without Borders? Hiking a lot? Learning to blow glass? Writing awful poetry and figuring out what kind of tea he likes and getting to know Elijah? Oh my God, I would pay good fucking money for an episode just following him around on his walkabout. COME BACK DANIEL GILLIES, YOU ARE LOVED.

* Dear Stefan: I get that you're pissed about Elena and Damon. The way they went about it, you should be hurt, and angry, and not wanting to deal with shit. But being a dick is one thing; reveling in locking up your compelled brother and then fucking Rebekah is just you being an asshole. And you're not even coked up on human blood or compelled this time! Bravo, Littlest Salvatore. Bravo.

* I do sort of think it's great that that's two people, now, that Stefan and Damon have both had sex with. Because I am awful.

* "You've just never seen me like this. You've never seen me when I'm not in love with you."

Again, a dick thing to say, but: valid. And Elena, I know you and Matt ended fucking great, but that is not how breakups tend to go! Ideally you would stay away from Stefan for a while and let him handle his shit. At the very least, you don't try to do that weird not-an-apology apology. Just call him an asshole, look for the cure, and try not to look wounded when he metaphorically stabs you, because he's totally toting up points right now and every time you look doe-eyed that's like two.

* Elena: You could kill Kol instead!

Oh, Elena. It's good to know that the terrible plan gene is strong in you. I mean, it'll end horribly, but still: funny.

Next week: Kol threatening Bonnie! Yeah, go talk to Damon in his holding cell, see how well that works out. "A View to a Kill", next Thursday, 8 PM EST.
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