Damon breaks out of his Whitmore House cell and heads straight for Stefan. It must be Thursday; Elena's in trouble. Remember when she wasn't a perpetual damsel? Yeah, that was cool. They track down Aaron and use him as leverage against Dr. Wesley Maxfield. The problem is, Wes leverages Elena right back. In addition, he has what he thinks is a trump card in the form of Enzo. Wes injects Enzo with a desiccating poison, sends him out after Damon and reminds Enzo that if he doesn't return with Damon's corpse, he doesn't get the antidote.
Wes has already secreted Elena to another location. It turns out to be the condemned building in Mystic Falls (which I haven't forgotten is a few hours away), which once housed her father's medical practice. They're in the basement, where Gilbert continued his off-book, unregulated vampire research. Said research was largely funded by the late Megan's parents, because Grayson used vampire blood (unbeknownst to them) to cure Megan of her (beknownst to them) congenital heart defect.
While Wes experiments on her, Elena has hallucination-induced flashbacks of her childhood. We can tell the seven-ish year old girl on our screen is a wee Elena almost immediately, because the first time we see her, she's wearing a royal blue henley. Remember when a similar shirt was nearly human Elena's uniform? Yeah, that was cool, too.
On Wes's orders, Damon and Stefan bring Aaron to Wes's lecture hall, where they find Enzo waiting for him. Enzo has been an Augustine prisoner for about 70 years, so he really just wants someone to listen, yo. Sometimes, listening is not in Damon's wheelhouse. Since Elena is in danger (again), this is one of those times.
Once the Salvatores realize Wes isn't going to exchange Elena for Aaron, Damon agrees to stay with Enzo, while Stefan and Aaron decamp to Aaron's dorm to review the Whitmore dossier, for clues as to where Maxfield is holding Elena. Silly, simple Aaron thinks he can get the jump on Stefan Salvatore, the scariest vampire in any town. He is so, so very wrong. Still Stefan takes pity on the boy. And he's all ears, as Aaron relates to him Damon's vengeance quest against generation upon generation of Whitmores.
Eventually, Enzo succumbs to the poison. Damon rescues him and injects him with everything labeled "antidote" in Maxfield's Whitmore House lab. Damon is looking for gratitude and forgiveness, as well as an Alaric substitute, but Enzo tells him he'll always be a monster. Meanwhile, Stefan finds and saves Elena, just as Wes is about to inject her with serum that will turn her into a vampire-blood craving Ripper. That is, the needle is already in her lovely bosom, but I don't think Wes ever depresses the plunger.
The rest of the episode is about Katherine and Nadia's desire to save her (by trying to convince Katherine to cast a Traveler spell that will put her essence into someone else's body). Since Katherine (who suffers another attack of grey hair, not just on roots, but on long hair that was already colored, and hey, that's not only not fair, it's not accurate) knows Stefan is rather fond of the body she's in, she'd rather not switch. Later, when Stefan makes it clear the previous night was a case of being swept up in the moment, Kiki changes her mind about the possession spell. Gee, I wonder whose body Katherine will choose to possess -- said no one, ever. The thing is, before Kiki can get to work, she has a heart attack.
"Fifty Shades of Grayson," is so titled, because while Elena is in Maxfield's clutches, she learns a lot more about her dad, including things she didn't want to know. Later, when she's safely tucked away at Mossy Manse, she defends her dad to Damon, which makes him break up with her. Oh, he's not pissed that her love for her father is blind. He's just spent the day with Enzo, who has made Damon take a look at his own monstrous side. Now Damon is convinced that he is no good for Elena, and that she'll be better off without him.
I usually make it a rule not to comment on actors' personal lives. Still, this week, I kept wanting to see that Meredith Fell was once involved with the Augustines, and that Grayson had been her mentor. Since Torrey DeVitto and Paul Wesley are divorcing, that seems less than likely. Similarly, for months, I have tried to ignore all the press about Ian Somerhalder and Nina Dobrev's breakup, but when Damon broke things off with Elena, I couldn't help but go there. Real life aside, if I ignore all the characterization objections I bemoaned in last week's recap, "Fifty Shades of Grayson," is a pretty tight ride. The seemingly obvious path we're on feels a bit like fan fiction: Katherine decides to possess Elena's body, and shags both Salvatores for all she's worth, but I'm feeling the fun. What about you?
I'll be back with the recap, ASAP. In the meantime, please grade the episode at the top of the page, and then come on over to the forum, where we're cleaning out our pocketbooks, and taking our calcium and Vitamin D supplements.
Previously on The Vampire Diaries, I divorced myself from this show's past, because apparently all that stuff that looked like character development was just a joke.
Now on The Vampire Diaries, in his Whitmore House cell, Damon punches the fieldstone wall, until he frees a rock. He flashes back to the memory of Aaron dropping ammo as he tried to load his gun. Damon lies on the floor, reaches out between the cell bars and retrieves a bullet. He loads it into the keyhole of his cell, and then bangs on it with a rock. The bullet explodes, but the cell remains locked. Still, it was a pretty clever try. At least this new Damon I've never really gotten to know has his wits about him. Damon vents his frustration by kicking at the cell door. It finally pops open. Wow, this new Damon I've never really gotten to know has temper tantrums that are productive rather than destructive. Who'da thunk?
Mossy Manse. Katherine -- sporting some new grays -- wakes next to Stephen and she's about to cuddle with him, until she notices her hair is also falling out in clumps. Cheer up, Kiki -- at least it's the gray hairs abandoning ship. Katherine's, "Oh my God," wakes Stephen, but she tells him not to turn around, covers up with a blanket and sneaks out of the room.
Dressed and wearing a baseball cap, Katherine runs into Damon on her way out. He's looking for Elena, but Katherine hasn't seen her, so Damon yells out to his brother. Katherine wastes no time telling Damon she spent the night with his Stefan. Damon gets grossed out, which seems un-Damon-y to me, but then I remember this is a new character from the one I thought I knew.
Elena wakes in a lab. She hallucinates/flashes back to her past (we can hear a child giggle), until Wes starts dictating into his recorder. Being Wes, he is unforthcoming with details. He knocks Elena out in preparation for blood dialysis. I don't think people are knocked out for dialysis. I'd Google, but then I'd forget for the fifth time this week that I hadn't already finished this recap.
Back at Mossy Manse, Damon gives Stefan a brief history about being held captive and shot in the head, and that he's currently missing their girlfriend v.2. He asks Stefan about his night, but Stefan doesn't want to answer that question and of course he thinks it's more pertinent that Damon can't find Elena. Damon suspects that Maxfield is responsible for Elena's disappearance and tells Stefan to put on his "hero hair" so they can go find her. At least this new Damon still gets some good, snarky dialogue. We cut to...