Let's all just agree that this week's episode of The Vampire Diaries was a bit of a head scratcher. Sure, we get the usual story lines of the twisted Silas, 2,000 year old witches, and Katherine's melodrama. But, for whatever reason, there are now travelers randomly showing up, an introduction into a whole other secret society, and the big one — another freaking Nina Dobrev doppelgänger! Let's all take a breath and just admit that maybe TVD went too far this time. Okay, better? Now, I'm going to attempt to break down what the hell happened in this episode, "Handle with Care."
After Katherine welcomes us into the episode by stuffing her face full of breakfast food, the waitress comments on her "bold" choice of hairstyles. A confused Katherine whips out a mirror and sees a streak of white, an indication that she may be dying a little sooner than she thought, and maybe the cure that runs through her veins is not her saving grace. At the Salvatore house, and excited Silas busts in on the peaceful Damon and Elena, and explains he's in a really good mood because he's totally ready to die. Unfortunately, Jeremy shows up with his bow and arrow, which pisses Silas off, and, in turn, causes Damon to tell him to "put the damn crossbow down, Pocahontas." (So glad the writers are throwing some self-deprecating lines in. Jeremy killing Silas — with a bow and arrow no less — does seem a little ridiculous). Anyway, the only thing standing in the way of Silas's death is the "mystical anchor" (remember that little gem from last week) which he needs to find and destroy. After he finds it, obliterates it, demolishes the other side and brings Bonnie back, he can finally die in peace (ah, if only it were that easy). Unfortunately, Silas refuses to spend the day looking at Elena since she looks exactly like Amara (his long lost love, Elena's doppelgänger), so it becomes a boys only trip. Damon, Jeremy, and Silas set out to the warehouse where the anchor is located — though Silas has no idea what it is or what it looks like, though he inform the boys it has to be something to durable that would last over decades, so "it's not gonna look like a freakin' IKEA sink."
Jealousy and Curiosity
In Tessa's cabin, a sleeping Stefan wakes up to an empty tequila bottle and the witch in question holding some magical hangover berries (where can I get these?). She jokes that his doppelgänger is going to die today, but when she sets out to get the anchor, she finds she can't leave her house. She forgot she once taught Silas a spell to keep people bound in one place until sundown (oops). In the dorms, Katherine is utilizing Caroline and Elena's shower to dye her graying hair. When Caroline shows up, she realizes that it's not Elena and the two eventually strike a deal; Katherine will get Elena's meal card, and in exchange, she will help Caroline figure out who Dr. Maxfield is and what he really knows about vampires. Meanwhile, Elena calls Stefan to check up on him, and Tessa answers, convincing Elena that Stefan stayed over and — wink, wink — they spent the night together. An annoyed (and jealous?) Elena calls Damon and asks him why Stefan is hanging around Tessa. Damon winces and informs her that he may have broken Stefan's neck... a few times. Frustrated, Elena heads over to Tessa's, and when she realizes that Tessa and Stefan aren't together, she tries to leave, but nope, she's stuck too.
What's up Doc?
In the lab, Caroline surprises Maxfield who is analyzing and recording a subject's (Jesse?) blood levels. She distracts him while Katherine shoots some sort of paralyzer into his neck. The two then tie him down and begin draining him of vervain so they could get some real answers out of him. Maxfield says he believes Elena and Caroline are vampires and they in turn ask what they need to do to prove him wrong. Cut to a demure looking Katherine showing up at Whitmore House and walking through the 'no vampires allowed' doorway. Dianne Freeman, the head of Whitmore security and the woman who informed Elena of Megan's death, was surprised to see her enter the house (this is obviously a clue- she also knows about vampires). Inside, a starving Katherine is stuffing sandwiches into her bag when Aaron shows up and tries to figure out why Maxfield told him to stay away from Elena. Katherine, who doesn't realize that Elena knows Aaron, asks him if he is part of the "secret society." The conversation with the clueless Aaron is quickly ended when Katherine looses her tooth (oh, that pesky cure). Once again in the lab, a zoned out Caroline almost bleeds out the Doc, but give her a break! She was thinking about Tyler, and their lack of relationship. Now, snapped back into the present, Caroline interrogates Maxfield and explains that the secret society is called Augustine and they watch over (protect?) the Augustine vampire– who also happens to be the one who killed Megan, which is why they covered it up. Caroline quickly compels him to forget the encounter and also tells him that she and Elena are not vampires. Dianne then walks in, informs Maxfield that he missed the gathering, and that Elena walked right through the door, so she's obviously not a vampire. Maxfield agrees and says he can't remember why he thought she was.
Cabins and Warehouses
Tessa calls up Damon, informs him that Elena is stuck in her house, and if he doesn't kill Silas before he finds the anchor, Tessa will kill Elena– he has until sundown. Of course, Damon informs Jeremy that they have a new plan, and it includes killing Silas. Jeremy then summons Bonnie (can he summon her?) and informs her that in order for Elena to live, they have to kill Silas, so Silas won't be bringing her back to the land of the living. (Pause, are we not sick of this story yet? Bonnie is dead and she needs to stay dead, enough is enough). Anyway, Bonnie is upset she won't (really) be with Jeremy, but she fine with this new plan because she would never want Elena to die so she could come back to life. At the cabin, Elena is pissed off, both by Stefan's flirtation with Tessa, and Tessa's amazement of all the types of things they put on pizzas nowadays (pineapple!). Elena finally snaps and says since Damon is going to kill Silas, she will never get Bonnie back, and also, Tessa is not the type of chick Stefan would have went for in his pre-loss of memory days. When Tessa goes to order the pizza, Stefan whispers so that only Elena can hear. He says, "I know you think I hate you, but I don't. I won't let her hurt you, I promise" (AWW!). When sundown comes, Stefan stabs Tessa, tells Elena to run, and he soon follows.
Travelers and Doppelgängers
Back in the warehouse, Damon is looking for Silas when two travelers show up out of nowhere. They torture him a little and inform him that he can't kill Silas because they want his blood, which is now the cure. Turns out the travelers aren't fans of immortality, so Damon reaches into one's chest and rips out the heart while he also kills the other one (wait, are they immortal or not? I'm confused.) So, for the time being, the travelers are out of the way, but, unfortunately, Silas has found the anchor, and TWIST, it is a desiccated Amara! This of course makes perfect sense. Tessa doesn't want the other side destroyed and by making Amara the anchor, someone Silas would never hurt, she ensures that the anchor will never die. So, when Silas feeds her the (dead?) traveler, Amara comes back to life. However, the girl has gone a little crazy after being holed up for 2,000 years. She immediately runs outside, screaming at Silas to stop following her. Then, once she hears that Silas has taken the cure, she hugs him and, ANOTHER TWIST, she slashes his neck and drinks the cure, informing him that she can't possibly bear to live another day.
Dead and Dying
Katherine returns to Maxfield's lab with her missing tooth and threatens his work so that he will find a way to save her life. She explains that she is Elena's doppelgänger, and she has no idea how to save herself. Back at the Salavatore house, Elena thanks Stefan for saving her, and compliments his instincts, saying that, even without his memory, his first thought is to protect her. Oh, then Damon informs Elena that since Amara is now a very human anchor, it's their duty to protect her so someone can't easily kill her and destroy the other side. Cut to Damon opening his trunk to show Elena the tied up and gagged Amara.
While Damon and Elena deal with Amara, a pissed off Tessa appears in Stefan's bedroom holding her stabbed knife wound. She informs Stefan that his little stunt of saving Elena reminded her of how stupid she was to feel anything for him, as she once again lost out to a doppelgänger. So, to make Stefan pay, she gives him back all him memories, every torturous one.
Alrighty then, TVD has seriously confused me. Does this mean the Silas/Amara business will wrap up soon since they have both taken the cure? (Please say yes!) Who are these travelers, and why do they keep appearing? Did TVD forget that there is still one trapped inside Matt? On that note, where the hell is Matt!? Will Katherine and Maxfield become another enemy duo? Will Stefan turn into a ripper again now that he has all his memories back? And finally, why is any of this really happening? I know we love a good twist, but this is a show that was always based on the relationships of the characters, rather than the amount of shock it could shove down the audience's throat. It's possible TVD is getting a little too out of hand and is losing some of the wonderful stuff that made it great in the first place. Even if they don't revert to their original story types, they need to scale back a bit, and, at the very least, resolve a story line or two. Also, please no more doppelgängers TVD, we're already confused enough.
Check out the promo for next week's episode, "Death and the Maiden" below.
The Vampire Diaries airs Thursday's at 8 PM ET on The CW.