Look, there is no way to give this episode a proper, chronological recaplet, without writing out the better part of a recap, so you're getting it in chunks. I hope it's okay enough for you.
After sidelining Elena, because she looks too much like Amara, Silas takes Damon and Jeremy on a road trip. They're off to New Jersey to find the Other Side Spell Creation anchor. The boys trek all the way to a Jersey storage facility. Ghost O' Bonnie pops in and tries to give Jeremy a pep talk, but she's not the one with faith. He is. When Jeremy learns Q wants Damon to kill Silas before Bonnie has been brought back, he objects. He reminds Damon he promised Elena she'd see Bonnie again. Damon knows that, but if it means Elena's life (even a life without Bonnie) he has to do what he can do to save his best girl. Bonnie consoles Jeremy. She can't, for a moment, think of letting Elena die so she can come back. She tells the Germ to help Damon kill Silas. Damon runs into a Traveler or two. They cast some spell that seems to neutralize his daywalker ring. Damon grabs the heart of one of them, grabs his dagger and throws it into the chest of the other. Two down.... When Elena arrives home, Damon and Jeremy are waiting in the parlor. Damon wonders how it all sussed out. Elena gives him a summary answer which isn't worth transcribing here. The threesome drinks to victory on a day otherwise marred by failure. Damon recounts their litany of woes. Silas is MIA. Amara has been cured. The fate of the Other Side rests on the fate of the living breathing thing they need to protect: Amara. Damon shows Elena that he has Amara bound and gagged in the back of an SUV.
Meanwhile, Miss Katherine, who has found a ginormous grey streak in her hair, decamps to Whitmore, and pretends to be Elena (and hastens to color her hair, tout suite). Caroline outs her within a hot minute, but then our two sassy vixens decide to work together to get to the bottom of Dr. Maxfield's "science." They experiment on Maxfield for a while, mostly by draining the vervain tainted blood out of his body. Off a tip from him, Katherine, in full Elena get-up, arrives at Whitmore Hall for a secret society meeting. The security guard who covered up Megan's death answers the door. The human Katherine saunters in, and eats every drop of food she can shove in her maw. Aaron is there giving her the hairy eyeball. He wonders why Maxfield told him to stay away from her. Since she's not Elena, but Katherine, our Miss Kiki takes a moment to catch on. Once she does, she pumps Aaron for information on the secret society. Then she coughs out a tooth. Kiki is aging exponentially. She runs off stage, so we no longer have to watch it.
Back in the lab, Caroline has to deal with Maxfield. Once enough of his blood has been drained, she compels him to tell her about the secret society. It is called Augustine. Most recruits are legacies, but some, like Maxfield, were chosen for their extraordinary ability. He covered up Megan's death not because it was a vampire death, but because it was death by the Augustine vampire. When the security guard arrives at the lab, Caroline has already compelled Maxfield to cover for her and has Stealth Salvatored away. The guard reports that Elena Gilbert (Katherine) strolled right through the front door of Whitmore Hall. Score 1 for team ambiguous. Later, Katherine enters Mad Max's lab. He still thinks she is Elena. She returns something to him, and he's grateful for it. The problem is that I can't tell what it is -- maybe a USB stick. Talk turns to Jesse, i.e. Maxfield's subject, and how his blood is abnormal. Katherine asks if his subject is the Augustine Vampire. Max tells her to go. Kiki is not inclined. She 'fesses up that she's Katherine and Elena is her doppelgänger. She then hands him her lost tooth and says, "I think I'm dying. I need you to save my life."
After being taunted by Q-Tessa, Elena finds the witch and Stefan holed up in a cabin. Because Silas enchanted the joint, anyone who enters is stuck there until sundown. Q uses Stefan's phone to call Damon (while he's in Jersey). She tells him to kill Silas by sundown, or Elena is a goner. Damon says Silas is enough of a control freak that he wants to do himself in. Q reminds Damon that she doesn't want Silas to find the anchor and wipe out the upper-case Other Side, before he does the deed. She reports that she lured Elena to the cabin, and tries to work Damon's jealousy of Stefan. Then she miscalculates. Q strikes Elena with a mystical migraine. Even though he's an amnesiac, Stefan grows protective. Damon, hearing his best girls anguish over the phone, tells Q he can't kill Silas yet. Q explains that they're trapped in the cabin 'til sundown. If Damon doesn't kill Silas by then, Q will kill Elena. "With a face like Amara's, it might be cathartic."
Elena sits alone and stews in her bitterness, while Q plays up to simple Stefan. Elena questions how Q got there from the other side. Q deflects. Elena has her suspicions, though. Think it through, Elena, Q totally stole Bonnie's life as her own. The closer Stefan gets to Q, the more Elena can't stand it. When Q calls Damon to remind him he must off her lover, Stefan vamp whispers to Elena's vamp hearing to let her know he'll save her. Stefan attacks Q. He and Elena escape. It turns out Q never killed Amara. Amara is the anchor to the spell. Oh well, I still think my daughter's dagger deduction was genius. Whatever. Q never killed Amara. Silas drags one of the fallen Travelers to her, slices open his vein and feeds her his blood. Amara slowly shakes off her desiccation. While the lovers embrace, she cuts him with a shard of glass and drinks his blood. Later, alone in the alley, a bloody faced Amara is freaking out to the extent that I can't cover it in a recaplet. Eventually, she finds Damon. When Stefan finds his way to wherever home currently is, he finds Q waiting for him. She asks if he knows how much it sucks to watch history repeat itself. He tells her he can heal her. Q wants the reminder of what he really is. She then afflicts him with the memory of killing his father and forcing vampirism upon Damon. She drives home his ripperdom and the memory of meeting Elena. She evokes the torture he felt when Silas trapped him underwater in a safe, for the entire summer. Neither of the people who loved him rescued him. "I did. Always remember that." Title card.
I'll be back soon with the full recap. In the meantime, please grade the episode at the top of the page, and then come on over to the forum, where we're coloring our hair and pretending we're young.
Season five of The Vampire Diaries is kicking my ass. The good thing is, compared to season 4 (and probably season 3, although they run together in my head) it is also kicking ass, where watchability is concerned. Just don't make me think about the mythology, because it hurts me. I'm procrastinating, aren't I? Okay, enough of that. Let's rip off the bandage. I'll try not to pick at the scab. Are you ready? Okay!
Previously, on The Vampire Diaries there were smoochies galore, mostly between Stefan and Elena, but then between Elena and Damon. Silas started looking just like Stefan. Nobody wants to go to the party only to be dressed in the same thing someone else is wearing, so he locked Stefan in a safe and tossed him into the quarry, where he drowned and revived all summer long. Qetsiyah (whom I've been calling Q, so of course the show has started calling her Tessa) arrives in town and rescues Stefan, but then wipes out his memories, in order to suppress Silas's telepathy and mind controlling powers (which I'm going to shorthand as telepathy). Dr. Maxfield tells Elena people on campus are watching her and her friends, so she'd best drop out and go home. Damon hatches the cockamamie plan of working with Silas to get the immortality cure, so that when he offs himself, they can trade Silas's life for Bonnie's, and get her back on This Side, ignoring my screams that it's Qetsiyah's life they have to exchange for Bonnie. Q-Tessa tells Stefan that while Silas was her true love, his true love was Amara, who, of course, is played by Nina Dobrev. Even though this is Television Without..., I pity the starving performers who are waiting tables, while Ms. Dobrev and Paul Wesley are hogging all the jobs. Nadia, the would-be Traveler who is actually a vampire as well as Katherine's daughter, tells her mama that Silas needs every last drop of her blood to cure himself. Damon is more than willing to feed Kiki to Silas and does just that, despite her pleas for her life. She seems to die, but then revives, only to see Damon and Elena standing over her. Katherine looks up at them and asks, "Am I in Hell?" -- which will never not be funny.
Now, on The Vampire Diaries, Kiki is at a diner and eating approximately the whole menu. The waitress wonders how a tiny little thing can eat so much, and I just sort of want to slap the writers, because they know this show is aimed at teenage girls, who already have enough food and body issues. Well, I guess it's better than watching her starve herself, so I'll shut up. The waitress congratulates Katherine on her bold hair choice. Kiki has no clue what that means, until she checks her reflection in a napkin holder, and sees the huge grey streak on the righthand side of her head. I've got one starting in the front of my head -- like I'm Bonnie Raitt, which would be fine if I had her talent. Title card.