Previously on The Vampire Diaries: For over a century, vampire Stefan Salvatore has lived in secret -- until now. He has to know her. She is the recently orphaned Elena Gilbert and by the end of The Turning Point, they know each other in the biblical sense. But when Stefan leaves Elena alone in his bedroom, where he keeps anything that ever mattered to him, she finds an old (circa 1864) portrait of his late love, Katherine Pierce (who is magically sealed in a tomb under the old Falls Church ruins by her witch/handmaid Emily Bennett, ancestor of Elena's friend, Bonnie, who is also a witch, but much less a handmaid). When Elena realizes she is a dead ringer for Stefan's undead lady, she rips off her Vervain necklace (which protects her from being compelled) in a completely impractical hissy fit and then (understandably) flees Mossy Manse in her SUV. She speeds her way back home until she runs over some thing that goes bump in the night. Her SUV flips, but Elena is still conscious. She looks out the window only to see her victim reset his own bones. In other news, Bonnie learns that Stefan and Damon are vampires when she destroys Emily Bennett's magical crystal, and a new history teacher/Slayer/gaudy ring aficionado Alaric Saltzman arrives in town.
NOW: Stefan returns to his room to find Elena gone. Her necklace has been laid atop Katherine's portrait. He tries to phone Elena, but when she doesn't answer, the poor shirtless bloodsucker is forced to leave her an "I can explain" voicemail. It seems crass to eavesdrop, so let's just cover our ears and take in the scenery, dears. Ah, that's the stuff.
We get a brief replay of the accident. A boogedy-boogedy appears in the middle of the road. Elena sees him -- but too late. She hits him and flips over her ride. She's still conscious, but is trapped upside down inside the wreck. Nina Dobrev's skin is so young that being upside-down has a minimal effect on her features. I'm pretty sure I'd look like the Joker. Damn it. Anyhow, whoever Elena hit is still moving. And now he's putting all the king's horses and all the king's men to shame as he resets his own broken bones. Humpty Dumpty rises and plods toward Elena. When he reaches her, he crouches down. His head is all but hidden by his hood. Elena's screams do not stop him, but something else does. He pauses and then zips away at vampyric speed.
Damon appears and frees Elena from what's left of her ride. Holding her like a newborn (I've seen comparisons to The O.C.'s version of the Pietà, but I'm ignoring them lalalalalala la) he asks if she can stand or if anything is broken. He takes her groans as the go-ahead to set her on her feet, but she's unsteady and having difficulty focusing. Finally she looks him in the eye. "I look like her." Damon looks like he'd appreciate the confirmation context provides, but he's not going to get it right now. Elena swoons (but in a faint-y way, not they way we do). He strokes her hair and lifts her back with an "Upsy Daisy," and after looking around the dark Virginia night, he carries her down the road, and a hundred bucks says he's not taking her back to Stefan. My word, Nina's hair is pretty. She must have extensions, right? And yet...if she does, those are the best extensions, ever. I always make much of the male eye-candy in this show, but the women are just as beautiful, and Dobrev leads the pack (and Graham, too).