As Caroline and Enzo deal with the doppelganger, the Travelers make a bold move and Elena and Damon come to a new understanding

By Mandi Bierly
Updated March 28, 2014 at 03:49 AM EDT
Annette Brown/The CW

The Vampire Diaries

S5 E17
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It was a big episode for Steroline fans — and for clunkily maneuvering to make Jeremy, Matt, and Tyler a real part of the show again. (Sorry, Bon Bon. Still not convinced they know what to do with you.) Let’s dig in.

We opened with Sloan pressuring Stefan to focus on his connection to doppelgänger Tom Avery so he could tell them where to find him: The Atlanta Metropolitan Hospital, where he just helped save a woman’s life by being a badass EMT.

In the morning, Elena thought she could creep out of bed and get dressed for Jeremy’s noon parent-teacher conference without Damon’s vampire hearing being alerted. Could they have put that sheet any lower on Ian Somerhalder’s naked body without setting off a network censor? For the record, I only freeze-framed on that shot to confirm the answer is, in fact, no. Equal opportunity objectification: Nina Dobrev also looked ridiculously sexy in this scene, so you can’t blame Damon for wanting to make another “big” mistake or naked breakfast. Somehow she resisted.

Speaking of food, Caroline and Enzo were at an Atlanta diner when they got the call from Sloan with the doppelgänger’s name and whereabouts. Caroline was not happy that Sloan was still using Stefan to “doppelbomb” Tom and threatened to kill her, too, which Enzo almost bought. Seeing the Travelers carry Stefan off on a stretcher? Not pleasant. But nice to see Paul Wesley getting to relax on set.

Damon went to the Grill to get wasted and to use bartender Matt and I’m-too-young-to-cook-for-myself Tyler as his amateur shrinks. He couldn’t talk to Stefan about Elena because it’s tough to tell someone that you just broke up with the former love of his life and then broke the bed. I first thought it was odd that Damon would even sit near those two, but the Grill has always been his watering hole (and the show’s go-to set), so just go with it. Really, he was there to see Liv buy a bottle of booze and then sit down for a chat with Jeremy.

While waiting in line to talk to the guidance counselor at Mystic Falls High, Elena phoned Bonnie and updated her on the break-up and sex with Damon. Bonnie was more concerned with the fact that no one knew where Jeremy had spent the night. Luke made his entrance to study near Bonnie. While Bonnie thought about hooking him up with Elena (or Damon, rather), Elena was joined by Damon, who was listed as Jeremy’s primary contact.

NEXT PAGE: Enzo takes a page from Caroline’s playbook

At the hospital, Caroline and Enzo traded barbs while waiting for someone to tell them where they could find Tom. I am so easy: The way Enzo smiled while talking about how that Augustine observer Maggie had just reminded him that he was good all along — I felt my walls crumbling. It’s true what the TVD producers say: Candice Accola could have chemistry with any man. Someone finally told them that Tom disappeared four months ago. No one knows where he is. What?

Caroline called Stefan and broke the news. Sloan wasted no time “going deeper” into his head. This time, Stefan saw a vision of a woman, Hazel, brazenly inviting Tom to dinner to thank him for saving her friend. Caroline felt helpless hearing Stefan in pain. The fun of speaker phones. Finally, Stefan said the address that Hazel had given Tom. He also told Caroline that Tom was a good person and she shouldn’t do it. THANK YOU FOR SAYING IT, STEFAN. But Sloan reminded Caroline that the clock was ticking.

Waiting for the teacher to join the conference, Damon had time to tell Elena about seeing Jeremy and Liv together. He’s cheated with a ghost, Damon reminded her, so another witch isn’t too much of a stretch. I laughed out loud when the teacher said Jeremy had missed 11 days of school. ONLY 11? He’s started three fights and has been caught cheating twice in math class. He needs a more stable living situation. Sadly, we cut away before she could get to the good news.

Enzo and Caroline went to the address and found Hazel the witch inside in a trance. Had she been sitting there, eyes whited out, for four months? No, because her candles would have burned out, right? When Caroline and Enzo couldn’t enter because she owned the house, Enzo threw the doorknob at her head and killed her. Enter!

Back at Whitmore, Bonnie spoke to Luke. Then dead Hazel showed up and told Bonnie to tell him that she had failed. She tried to hide the doppelgänger, but “they” found him. So wait, is Luke good?

NEXT PAGE: Jeremy gets called up to the big leagues

At the Grill, while Tyler and Matt discussed Liv’s hotness, Tyler realized he couldn’t hear what she and Jeremy were saying. That’s because she did a silencing spell. Cheesy, but I appreciate them addressing Tyler’s hybrid hearing capabilities. Since Jeremy is a Hunter, he can’t be mind-controlled by Travelers, who Liv says are like witches’ ugly stepsister. They have a grudge against anyone who draws their magic from nature. “Something about witches cursing the land to turn it against them.” What does that mean? Not that I care, really. Travelers are on the move and headed to Mystic Falls because the world actually does revolve around Elena, Liv said. If Jeremy wants to keep her safe, he’ll help Liv figure out what they’re up to. She got the text that Hazel was dead, and it was time for Plan B. She left, sending Tyler flying when he tried to stop her. So now they know she’s not a newbie witch.

Damon and Elena continued to bicker in the school until Damon found them a quiet hallway in which he could pin her up against a locker and admit he doesn’t know what to say or do or think about their relationship. “All I know is that right now I want to rip your clothes off right here in the middle of this hall and throw you in one of these classrooms and kiss every square inch of your body while a bunch of people that drive minivans listen wishing they were us.” This time when they decided it was a bad idea, he walked away. But holy s—. “While a bunch of people that drive minivans listen wishing they were us.” Damon. Damon. Damon. [Pause while I fan myself.]

More sexy bickering was happening between Caroline and Enzo. Talk of whether she was ready to kill innocent Tom was interrupted when they heard his heartbeat. They went downstairs and found him hooked up to IVs. He was in a coma state. He came to right as Caroline was about to break his neck. She compelled him to trust her, and then just when you thought she’d make it quick, she did: She snapped Enzo’s neck and told Tom she was getting him out of there. Caroline is good!

Jeremy called Bonnie and told her Liv had said Elena was in danger. He thinks she’s up to something, so he was going to find Elena. She was at the school fantasizing about having hot sex with Damon in the chemistry room where they were ignoring a presentation. I’m glad that was a daydream because it was too cheesy to be real. Did I watch it again though? Yes. She needed some air so she went to shop class to splash some water on her face. Liv was there. She pinned Elena to a wall and grabbed a stake. So now she’s bad?

Liv said her coven did everything they could to protect Elena, now she’s just too dangerous. She was about to stake her when Damon came in and sent Liv flying. Yes, Liv, if you show up to kill somebody, don’t waste time feeling bad about it.


And speaking of not wasting time, cut to Caroline and Tom at the diner. He was devouring waffles, telling her his life story. She wanted to make sure he was a good guy worth saving. Sure, she fantasized about poisoning him (or was that him choking on waffles?), but instead she compelled him to get on a train and go live a long happy life somewhere else. Damon, meanwhile, had Liv’s hands in a vice, torturing her to find out what the hell she’s up to. Liv asked to be killed when Elena and Damon kept bickering about their relationship status. Ha. Finally she said Elena is the last female doppelgänger. After tonight, Stefan may be the last male. If that happens, the Travelers will come for her to use her. The witches can’t let that happen. Damon was going to kill Liv, but arguing with Elena about it gave Jeremy time to arrive and say Damon would have to kill him first.

Luke arrived at the school, and Matt and Tyler — “friends of Jeremy, and Elena, even Damon sometimes” — were waiting for him because Bonnie had phoned and said he might be headed there. I’ll admit I laughed at these next two scenes. I appreciate them finding a way to bring Jeremy, Matt, and Tyler into the main story, but the writing felt a little… off. Jeremy didn’t want Damon to kill Liv. He wanted to use her to help keep Elena safe. Somehow Elena is supposed to trust him. I don’t know if I’d put my life in Jeremy’s hands, and his GPA has nothing to do with it. But Elena decided to trust him and Damon decided to trust her. Jeremy offered Liv and Luke a Plan C: They help him protect Elena, and he helps them stop the Travelers. Scratch that, Matt and Tyler are helping, too.

As Caroline and Tom were walking to the car talking about how he’s never eaten more in his life, Enzo appeared out of nowhere to end said life. He told Caroline that he’d cut a deal with the Travelers, too, so he could find out where Maggie is. Boo, Enzo. Back to hating you.

Over at Salvatore Mansion, Jeremy announced that he’s moving in with Tyler and Matt for a while to figure out how to deal with crazy on his own. On the one hand, living with two young guys who’ve slept with the same girl is probably more sane than living with two brothers who’ve slept with your sister. But on the other hand, if you’re trying to keep Elena safe, wouldn’t you want to live with her? Then again, maybe he feels like if he’s going to kick Traveler ass, he’d rather do it away from her? Again, I think this is good for Jeremy as a character, just a bit clunky writing in this episode.

NEXT PAGE: Junk yard moonroofs are so romantic

What was well done was the next scene between Caroline and Stefan. She found him in the junk yard, resting in a car with a makeshift moonroof. She was feeling guilty not because she failed to kill Tom to save Stefan, but because Stefan was still being held prisoner. As Stefan said, they were never going to let him go regardless. Especially now that Enzo had killed Tom and Stefan was the only doppelgänger left. I adore Candice Accola: Her delivery when she was saying Caroline should have seen through Tom’s flirty distractions because she practically invented that technique was priceless. The plan now: She and Stefan would make each other laugh, then go to sleep and gather their strength to plan an escape together. Answering my question from last week: Stefan admitted he knew that Caroline would never have killed Tom, because that’s what makes her her. She smiled and nestled her head against his. I may have cheered, “Stelena!” But honestly, I’m in no rush to see them get romantic. I like the real platonic friendship for now.

Elena packed her things because she’s planning on heading back to Whitmore. It’s not just that she and Damon are bad for each other, it’s that they’ll do bad things for each other. She wanted him to let her go, because if she’s near him, she’ll let him touch her or kiss her. To his credit, Damon kissed her forehead and told her to travel safely. He loves her enough to let her go, guys. (But again, if Elena is in danger, why is anyone letting her go to school alone?)

Bonnie left Jeremy a message — weird that he’s not calling her back already — so presumably he or Elena will find her passed out on the floor now that the Travelers have used her to bring Markos forth. Stefan and Caroline were woken from their adorable, innocent cuddle nap by the sound of chanting. The Travelers drank his and Elena’s blood — gross — and then were set on fire by Sloan. So I guess them all bombarding the anchor with the doppelgänger blood in them was enough to bring Markos across from the other side? Caroline and Stefan bolted, hand-in-hand, when they saw the folks go up in flames, so at least they’ll be free to join the others again.

Your turn. What did you think of the episode?

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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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