The fact that Elena is having sex with someone who seems to be controlling her every action (albeit mystically and unwittingly) is the first disturbing element of the episode. It's also largely what the episode is about though, so it may surprise you to know that on one level, I mostly give it a pass. It is not anti-feminist to engage with such ideas and ask, "What if? What are the implications?" I do believe the writers want us to go there as we watch this. So there is a SNAKE, my girl, but it's not poisonous.
Like you, I'm someone who has been waiting for an exploration of the Damon/Elena side of the love triangle, so I am disappointed with how this love scene is presented, but only in a fannish way. That fannish, 'shippy element seemed so important during "My Brother's Keeper," but now, it doesn't even register.
SNAKE WATCH: What does register is that Stefan decides that he and Caroline should hide their sire-bond suspicions from Elena. Yes, they suspect Damon (whom they both look down upon, and not without some solid reasons) might be controlling Elena's actions, but they agree not to worry her pretty little head about it. Please note, this is a two-headed snake, as Caroline -- A WOMAN WHO HAS BEEN MYSTICALLY CONTROLLED BY DAMON AND USED AS A SEX SLAVE AND A FEED BAG -- willingly agrees to keep this secret from Elena. Blergh.
Barn. Tyler, Hayley and Kim look on as a male hybrid, Adrian (Micah Parker), suffers through another sire-bond breaking transition. When Adrian wants to give up, Tyler and Hayley try to convince him to continue, but Kim objects. To the show's credit, I cannot think of another werewolf story I've watched in which a female werewolf challenges the (always male and soon to be) alpha werewolf (i.e. Tyler; granted Klaus is the alpha for all sired hybrids, but later in this episode, Tyler discovers the newly free hybrids need an alpha because they're pack creatures). Kim even points out that breaking the sire bond is about free will.
SNAKE WATCH: Despite the lovely flower of a female challenger to the alpha, the argument she makes on Adrian's behalf boils down to this: why won't you let this brain washed person exert his free will? Um, you know what you just said, right?
Mossy Manse. Elena is leaving for school. She thinks she and Damon should let Stefan know that they are now involved. Damon understands and agrees, but he wants to enjoy one secret, selfish day before they break Stefan's heart. Elena argues with Damon at first, which makes me happy, but it doesn't take him much cajoling to get her to change her mind. Elena agrees and, of course, as soon as she opens the door, there's Stefan. Elena says she'll see him in history -- like these kids actually go to class, even when they go to school.