Fights for Elena's body and Damon's soul are waged as Caroline's secret comes out

By Mandi Bierly
Updated January 31, 2014 at 03:43 AM EST
Blake Tyers/The CW

The Vampire Diaries

S5 E12
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Do we believe, for a second, that Elena’s spirit is lost for good and Katherine’s has a permanent home in her body? No. But it will be interesting to see what kind of trouble/emotions Katherine can stir up in her quest to win back Stefan before all is made right. Let’s dig in.

We opened with Katherine posing as Elena, ripping off Matt’s vervain bracelet, and telling him she needed a crash course on all things Elena from her compellable best friend. “Play along with my secret, Mattypants,” she said. He was able to tell her the dress she was wearing wasn’t Elena’s but the shoes were (very attentive, Matty), and he claimed Elena liked Caroline and Bonnie equally (Katherine had been hoping he’d say she liked Caroline more; we all like Caroline more, Matt). I loved that Katherine wanted to know the meaning of the red streak in Elena’s hair. I, too, am over it. She also asked why Elena had broken up with Matt. Interesting.

Nadia told Katherine that Traveler Mia needed Katherine’s corpse to make Katherine’s body-snatching more than temporary, and Nadia wisely chained her to a hotel bed in case Elena’s spirit popped up while she was gone. Nadia went to Salvatore Mansion and told the brothers that Katherine had asked to be buried with her family in Bulgaria, but Damon, who’d just returned home from burying Katherine’s body, wouldn’t give it to her. They got into a little physical altercation. Is it just me or is this version of bad Damon not as fun as original bad Damon?

Tyler, meanwhile, was at his mansion drinking heavily in the morning. Not cute, even with his killer biceps on display in that sleeveless shirt. Naturally, the thing to do for someone who’s day-drinking is to throw them a party. Matt told Tyler to clean the house. Cut to Caroline stress-cleaning her dorm room in a low-cut tank top that made me think maybe Aaron would fall for her. Nope. He was there to ask Caroline to tell Elena that he’s come into his trust fund and cut off the funding to the Augustines and he’s sorry about everything. Aaron went back to his room. Cue the return of Enzo.

Stefan told Caroline he’d like her to help get Damon and Elena back together. She found it hard to believe it’s what he’d want: “Elena and Damon, or Damon and Elena, or I know that there’s a nickname in there somewhere,” she said, giving a nice shout-out to the, let’s call them passionate Delena fans. Stefan said he believes Elena makes Damon happy, which means he’s not out there killing people. Caroline conceded that point. Then they realized Elena was lying to them about where she’s staying. Elena’s consciousness came forward and she guessed what Katherine had done. She got herself unchained and to her phone, but Nadia was there to stop her from calling Caroline back. With one word, she summoned Katherine.

NEXT PAGE: Damon’s a dick

Damon was out day-drinking at the Grill and improperly identifying Stefan’s you’re-being-a-dick face as his pouty face. He still refused to hand over Katherine’s body, but he said she’s where she always belonged. I immediately guessed the tomb. Caroline met them at the Grill, and Damon found it shocking that she, of all people, wanted to help reunite him with Elena. They all texted “Elena,” growing increasingly worried because neither Bonnie nor Jeremy — who were once again MIA this episode — had heard from her either. Nadia knew the Scrappy gang were getting suspicious. Katherine suggested she go to Tyler’s party and ask Damon where he buried her body. Crash course #2.

Enzo found his way to Salvatore Mansion and was waiting for Damon with Aaron, in a body bag. Modern Enzo isn’t as hot as old Enzo — I miss the hair — but perhaps that will change when he has more to do than be the devil on Damon’s shoulder. Enzo recapped Damon’s plight against the Whitmores for us, and then we learned Aaron was still alive: Enzo was giving Damon the option to kill him. If he didn’t take it, Enzo said he’d do it.

Katherine had a chat with Stefan and grew increasingly annoyed that he wasn’t devastated by her passing. “Stefan, you don’t have to hide your feelings.” She asked where Katherine had been buried, and Stefan gave her Damon’s clue. (THE TOMB!!! Could it have been more obvious?)

Damon was debating on whether or not to kill Aaron when Caroline’s call came through, telling him that “Elena” was at Tyler’s party. That was enough to make him hold on: He snapped Enzo’s neck (“I hate deadlines”) and eventually compelled Aaron to get in his car and take the road out-of-town north. Good boy, Damon. For now.

Katherine taking out the garbage at the party and telling a lurking Nadia that she almost felt bad for Elena being the type of person who’d do that kind of thing was great. Katherine went back into the party and Caroline spotted her. Caroline wanted Elena to tell her how horrible she was for sleeping with Klaus, but Katherine had a nice moment: “Actually, you’re one of the least awful people I know.” Then it was over: When Katherine saw Tyler coming down the stairs, she asked Caroline how sleeping with Klaus compared to sleeping with Tyler. Caroline didn’t answer, but Tyler heard the question, as Katherine knew he would, which gave her a chance to flee. Nice V-neck, Tyler, but you should have been wearing a Henley to win me back.

NEXT PAGE: Tomb timeKatherine’s body looked pretty darn good in the tomb, if you ask me. Traveler Mia was there and rather impatient. In order to seal Katherine’s spirit into Elena, they needed some of Elena’s blood on a knife that Mia then shoved into Katherine’s body and sliced. Ew. Elena came to the forefront as Mia was chanting. She impersonated Katherine and got away with it. Why didn’t she run or attack Mia sooner, I wondered. But I guess you would need time to process.

Caroline went to see Tyler, who was drinking again, and he told her to get out. He reminded her of all the people Klaus had killed, including Elena’s aunt and his mother. “I walked out last time, now it’s your turn,” he said. I wanted Caroline to go, but she wouldn’t. Tyler wolfed out to scare her, and Stefan was there to push him away and tell him he was drunk. Tyler told Stefan that Caroline had “screwed” Klaus. Caroline did then slink away. “Exactly,” Tyler said. Ooh, I wanted to slug him. So did Stefan, who smacked him across the face. “Drunk or not, she doesn’t deserve that.” There was cheering and rewinding. Stefan is the best.

Back at the tomb, Elena was still listening to the chanting. I was shouting, “Do something, Elena.” She finally knocked Mia out and staked Nadia in the stomach and ran. She had the phone, but they’d apparently changed her pin number. Smart. The twist: They didn’t need Elena’s body to be there. Mia could apparently finish the spell anyway. Katherine’s memories started coming to Elena (as seen in flashbacks). I was confused about why Elena wasn’t running back to the tomb to try to kill Mia this time. Instead, she was running to the party, where Damon, who hadn’t been able to get inside the house without an invite, was. Elena threw herself into Damon’s arms, but just as they embraced, the spell was complete. It wasn’t as brutal as it should have been because again, I don’t believe Elena is gone. Isn’t there a knife out there that can fix it, and don’t the Travelers have some of Elena’s blood, for whatever reason?

Damon launched into a speech about why he wanted Elena back. He said thinking he could change her and make her a worse person gave him too much credit and her too little. She’s good, and he needs a little good in his life. Without it, there’s an awful lot of darkness. Even though it was Katherine talking, she made the point ELENA could have rightfully made, which is that she doesn’t want to be the only thing that he lives for. She doesn’t want to worry about what happens if they break up and what he’ll do — like how he tortured Katherine. Karma, Damon. She said Damon was right to let her go and told him it was over. Stefan heard the breakup; Damon assumed a part of him enjoyed it.

NEXT: Tyler’s a sad drunkDrunk Tyler tried to win us back with some sweet male bonding with Matt. On the upside, Tyler finally noticed that he lives in a freakin’ mansion. On the downside, his parents are dead, his ex-girlfriend slept with this nemesis, and he has no idea what he’s doing with his life, which will last forever. Matt was ready to leave town for another adventure, but Tyler wasn’t. He said Klaus had destroyed him in New Orleans, and he thought there was nothing more Klaus could do to hurt him (except Caroline). Matt comforted him. Ah, Matty.

Now that Katherine allegedly has permanent control of Elena’s body, Mia wanted her payment. Instead, Katherine ripped out her heart from behind. Nadia was okay with that. “Cold, manipulative, good hair. You really are my daughter,” Katherine quipped. Now Nadia was ready to leave town, but Katherine wasn’t. For the first time, no one’s after her, she said. She told Nadia she could do what she wanted, but she’d like her to stay, too.

Nadia knew Katherine wanted something. Katherine said she wants it all: her daughter, her immortality, and Stefan. “He’s my one true love.” If they were to run, that would draw attention, but still, I think Nadia should’ve been pissed that she wasn’t enough for Katherine for a bit. Nadia said she’d hate to be the person that stands between Katherine and Stefan — cut to Caroline waiting in front of the fireplace at Salvatore Mansion. That was enough to get the shippers going, but really, this moment was all about friendship. Again, she wanted a friend to tell her that she was a horrible person for sleeping with Klaus. Stefan asked her what her first thought had been when she’d found out about him hooking up with Katherine. “Honestly, I thought ewww,” she admitted. But she didn’t hold it against him, Stefan noted. Then, he did the best thing: He told her what she wanted to hear, in a way that made them both laugh because they knew neither of them really believed it. “Caroline, you are a horrible person, okay… You are thoughtless, you are shallow, you are completely undependable…. Now that I think about it, I have no idea what Klaus saw in you. What was he thinking?” I squealed. I love when platonic friendship moments can make you do that. And man, smiling and laughing Stefan is such a rare, beautiful sight.

The final scene of the night: Damon was lying in the road. Correction: It was Enzo. Aaron stopped his car to ask if he was okay. Then Damon was there, too. Enzo said Damon was teaching him a game. Aaron asked Damon if Elena knew he was there, and Damon said Elena was the reason he was there — then he took it back, presumably taking responsibility for his own actions. “Elena was too good for you,” Aaron told him. Damon said he used to be conflicted about all that, but right now, he’s crystal clear: Elena thinks he’s a monster, and she’s right. He viciously drank from Aaron’s neck, and when Aaron dropped, blood oozed from Damon’s mouth. When he smiled, it was all over his teeth. Enzo was happy. That’s the Damon he remembers.

My colleague Samantha Highfill and I were happy because that scene was a perfect reference to Damon’s existential crisis and spiral after the death of Rose, who’d rooted for him to be with Elena. Again, there’s only so much hurt a man can take.

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The Vampire Diaries

Ian Somerhalder, Nina Dobrev, and Paul Wesley star in the CW’s romance-infused vampire soap opera.
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