Previously, on The Vampire Diaries
Picture it, Bulgaria, 1490. A very pregnant Katherine goes into labor. In the present an ER doctor struggles to restart Katherine’s heart. In the past Katherine gives birth to a daughter. In the present that daughter, Nadia, arrives at the ER where Stefan informs her that Katherine has had a heart attack. In the past Katherine’s mother shows her the baby for a moment before Katherine’s father, declaring she has shamed the family, takes the baby away. Katherine cries hysterically and screams for her child. In the present, Katherine’s heart starts again.
In the hall Stefan fills Nadia in on Katherine’s prognosis. Every organ in her body is failing and she is not expected to survive the day. Title card!
Elena wakes up in the Improbably Large Dorm Room because the show is pretending like the college aspect still matters. Meanwhile Damon’s passed out at the Grill. Caroline and Bonnie bust in on Elena and Matt and Jeremy discover Damon. The girls serve up mimosas for Elena’s “break-up breakfast” while Damon has for breakfast the same thing he had for dinner, copious amounts of alcohol. It looks like we’re going to have a boys-vs-girls split episode but calls from Stefan to Elena and Damon bring the groups together at Casa Salvatore.
Damon creates a drinking game, encouraging Matt and Jeremy to recite one of Katherine’s litany of sins and take a shot, then come up with a worse transgression to take another shot. Damon starts: Katherine pretended to be buried in a tomb for 145 years. (shot) She pretended to be Elena and kissed him on the Gilbert’s old porch. (shot) Jeremy: Katherine fed him to Silas and he died. (shot) She made him crash his car into a pole and left him for dead. (shot) Matt’s sister Vicki is dead because of Katherine, because Damon wouldn’t have been in town to turn Vicki if Katherine hadn’t lied about being in the tomb. (group shot) The girls arrive and Elena cuts Jeremy off, making only the second time in the show’s history a minor was denied alcohol.
Just kidding! Elena joins in the game. Katherine impersonated her repeatedly. (shot) She compelled Aunt Jenna to gut herself and cut off John’s fingers (cancels out; no shot) Bonnie’s in. Grams died trying to close the tomb Katherine wasn’t in. (shot) Caroline’s in too. Katherine caused Tyler’s werewolf curse to trigger. (shot) Now everyone’s just shouting stuff out. Klaus followed her to Mystic Falls, costing them Jenna and Alaric. (shot) Matt runs off to fetch more hooch as Elena recalls that Katherine tried to kill her twice. Caroline: “She did kill me! Although I’m weirdly better off.”
Upstairs Katherine rests while Stefan attends her. She knows they’re talking about her but Stefan claims they’re “reminiscing”. She’s more concerned with whether she’s visibly aging and makes Stefan promise to stab her in the throat if she starts sagging. She can’t figure out why he’s being so nice. Compassion for the dying, he replies.
Down in the hooch cellar Nadia knocks Matt unconscious because of course Matt has to end up unconscious.
Upstairs the game continues, with Damon insisting that Katherine once burned down Atlanta, when Stefan pops in and tells them all to knock it off. Damon hands him a shot and a warning not to let frail human Katherine cloud his memories of evil psycho Katherine.
Stefan offers up that in 1864 Katherine moved into his house, compelled him to love her filled him and Damon up with vampire blood and started a war on Mystic Falls that got them both killed. Damon and Elena drink but Stefan continues that centuries before that Katherine was a frightened girl shunned by her family who spent 500 years doing whatever she had to do to survive. She’s a survivor and that’s who Stefan drinks to.
Damon snarks that Stefan’s letting one night of hot sex allow him to look past Katherine’s overall awfulness. The sex is news to Elena and Bonnie because Caroline forgot to spill that particular tea. Damon uses the excuse of an empty bottle to attempt a getaway but is stopped short by the sight of Nadia, “the devil’s spawn,” something else Caroline forgot to mention. She tells the assembly that she’s found a way to save her mother but needs their help. Damon refuses for all of them leading Nadia to reveal she has Matt buried in that damn safe without his protecto-ring.
Stefan and Elena “volunteer” and Nadia takes them to a tumbledown house in search of a Traveler. Because Katherine is of Traveler blood she can learn the Passenger spell and live on in another body, like Gregor did with Matt. The Traveler can then bring Katherine forth in that body. Our heroes object to the idea of allowing Katherine to hijack someone else’s life but Nadia tells them she’ll be giving Katherine her body.
Jeremy, Bonnie and Caroline start searching the grounds for where Matt might be buried and Caroline wants to dish about the Stefan/Katherine hookup. Jeremy’s all we’ve all slept with our share of bad decisions and Bonnie’s all excuse me? The penny drops and Caroline figures out that they had sex and didn’t tell Elena about it. “Scandalous sex! Even better! Why am I the only person on the planet not having scandalous sex?” Jeremy takes that as a cue to bolt with Bonnie.
On her deathbed Katherine flashes back to Bulgaria, 1492, the time when she discovered that her family had been slaughtered by Klaus. Damon invades her brain to taunt her. Stay classy, Damon!
In the present Damon’s about to smother her with a pillow until Sheriff Liz intervenes. “If you kill her it’s murder. I’m gonna have to bring you in, lock you up. There’s all that paperwork.” Damon reflects that Katherine is responsible for every bad thing he’s ever done and Liz tells him to take back the control Katherine still has over him.
Stefan, Elena and Nadia enter the house and meet a Traveler named Mia. Stefan realizes that the price for Mia’s help is them. Nadia zhoops off and when Stefan and Elena try to follow the sunlight burns them; traveler magic is blocking their daylight rings. A gaggle of chanting Travelers converge on the building, tearing sections of the walls away to force Stefan and Elena into a smaller and smaller area until they are literally cornered.
Caroline listens for Matt in the woods until she runs smack into Klaus. She zhoops off and Klaus follows her. Caroline’s all, what part of zhooping away at the sight of you do you not understand? Klaus tells her that Damon filled him in on Katherine’s impending death and he’s there to gloat over her death. Caroline is unimpressed and zhoops off. Klaus zhoops after her and asks if she’s at all interested in hearing about Tyler?