This week's episode of The Vampire Diaries is equal parts amazing and baffling. The unveiling of Damon's history is a bit over the top and confusing, but the story line involving Stefan and Katherine is completely brilliant (even though we totally saw it coming). Let's break it down, shall we? Here's the 10 best reveals from "The Cell."
1. It turns out that in 1953, Damon's Uncle was the one to hand him over to the Dr. Whitmore of the Augustine Vampire Secret Society. Greedy Uncle Joe claimed the money was just too good to pass up. Fortunately Damon is able to stab Joe before Dr. Whitmore injects him with vervain and drags Damon away.
2. In present day, Caroline decides to help Stefan overcome his PTSD by bringing the safe (yes, that safe) to his house and locking him in to show him it's not that scary. Unfortunately, poor Stefan still finds it pretty effing terrifying until Katherine climbs in with him. As Stefan holds her by the neck (why does he keep trying the strangle her?) Katherine explains that the death of his and Elena's relationship is the true cause of his PTSD and the safe is just his trigger. Afterwards, Stefan is miraculously cured, and just as the two almost kiss, annoying Caroline opens the safe (sigh).
3. Elena visits Aaron and basically pries him for information about Wes. She explains that her boyfriend went to visit Wes and she hasn't heard from him since. Aaron says he will help her find him, and as the two walk to Whitmore house Aaron reveals that Wes is his legal guardian because his aunt Sara died a few months ago. Elena convinces him that it's kinda weird that his aunt, his roommate (Jesse), and his hometown friend (Megan) all died so close to each other. Since Elena is no dummy, it's obvious she's trying to figure out if Aaron knows about vampires. She also drops the bombshell that Wes faked Megan's death certificate, which convinces Aaron to look into his guardian.
4. The Damon flashbacks come often and relentlessly throughout the episode, and honestly, they're mostly shots of gross blood and gore. In pretty much all them we see Damon being tortured by Dr. Whitmore who is studying how vampires are able to heal themselves and how their blood can heal others. Whitmore in fact takes out Damon's eyes and organs, which was a bit horrifying, I can't even think about a world without Ian Somerhalder's baby blues.
5. At Whitmore house, Elena realizes she can't enter without being invited in. However, when Aaron tells her to come in she is able to walk through the door. Confused, she asks who owns it, and Aaron reveals that his name is Aaron Whitmore and he basically owns the school. In the entrance way, Elena sees a photo of her dad standing with the Augustines. Just in time, Wes appears and says Grayson Gilbert was one of the best doctors the Augustine ever had (gasp!), he then stabs Elena in the neck with vervain. Outraged, Aaron asks Wes what he's doing, giving us confirmation that he didn't know anything about vampires or the Augustine Society.
6. Elena wakes up and realizes that she and Damon are trapped in the basement cells together. Damon begins to explain his history with the Whitmores, saying that, for five years, Dr. Whitmore cut into him and studied him. Luckily, Damon made a friend down in the cells named Enzo. Day after day, the two were given small cups of blood that kept them alive but not strong, so, that on each New Year's, Dr. Whitmore could parade them out and show the society how vampires could heal themselves as well as heal others. After the fourth year of this, Enzo comes up with the idea that if one of them gave up with rations of blood and drank double for a year, he would have enough strength to escape and and break the other one out in time for the next gathering. Damon wins rock, paper, scissors, so he begins drinking his double doses of blood.
7. Wes tells Aaron the history of vampires and shows him bloody pictures of his parents murders, explaining that vampires killed his parents. Wes also gives Aaron his great grandfather's watch that is filled with vervain. Enraged, Aaron punches Wes, which for a second, made us viewers really excited. But, Aaron quickly disappoints us when grabs a gun and bullets and heads to the basement.
8. In the cells, Damon tells Elena the rest of his story. At the next New Year's Eve bash, Damon, who has regained his strength, breaks out of his handcuffs and stabs Dr. Whitmore in the eyes. (An eye for an eye, ha!) As everyone runs away, Damon starts killing off and drinking from party guests, but, in the chaos, someone knocks over a candle which quickly ignites the house. Enzo yells for Damon to free him, but when Damon tries break the cell bars he realizes they're coated in vervain. Unable to stands the burn of the vervain, Damon turns off his emotions and walks out, leaving Enzo to die in the fire.
9. Once Aaron makes his way down to the basement he holds a gun to Elena's head and explains that he blames her for his parents murders as well as the death of Megan and Jesse. Damon quickly explains that Elena didn't kill anyone. In a flashback, we see Damon explain to Enzo his revenge plot. Damon vows continually kill every member of the Whitmore family except one. He would let that one grow and raise a family, then he would kill all the family except one, over and over for generations. In the present, Damon reveals that he's killed countless Whitmores since he escaped in 1958. In fact, a few months ago, he killed a woman named Sara (Aaron's aunt). After these shocking and horrifying truths, Aaron shoots Damon in the head.
10. In the Salvatore house, Stefan is cleaning up the the chairs he broke when he was having his angry PTSD episodes. Katherine walks in and the two have a seriously hot make out sesh after a ridiculously long build-up scene. However, it was definitely worth it because honestly, who saw these two ever getting back together? Sure, we kind of knew it was coming from the last episode, but still, it was shocking. Yay for new(ish) and weird TVD romances!
Cliffhanger: When Damon wakes up after the Aaron gunshot (thankfuly Aaron didn't aim at the heart) he calls out for Elena, but she isn't there. For a second I totally though Aaron released her, but it was not to be. Instead, Elena wakes up strapped to a gurney in Wes' lab. And, surprise, who is next to her? ENZO! He isn't dead and most likely has been held hostage for all those years, probably fixating on how he is going to rip apart Damon if and when he gets out.
Let the questions commence. Why is Damon's history just being revealed now? Can Elena ever forgive him? Was Damon the one to kill Elena's parents since her dad was an Augustine doctor? Will Enzo get released and take out his revenge on Damon? Where is Matt, Bonnie and Jeremy? Is Katherine going to die soon and break Stefan's heart all over again? And finally, who manages to come up with these insane story lines? So many loose ends!
Check out the promo below for next week's mid-season finale episode, "Fifty Shades of Grayson." (TVD, you're so witty).
The Vampire Diaries airs Thursday's at 8 PM ET on The CW.