For an episode simply titled “Rose,” this week’s “Vampire Diaries” sure was complicated. The curse, the doppelganger, the doppelganger’s doppelganger, the sacrifice – tons of new details surfaced to flesh out the series’ next arc, but does anyone care about the new vampire baddies yet?

The problem is, Katherine was such a delicious villain that it’s hard to leave her locked in the tomb while other old school vampires step up to give Elena, Stefan, and Damon something to worry about. Elijah and his “Originals” might spice up Mystic Falls in the weeks to come, but tonight they just gave us a serious Twilight/”True Blood” vibe – a little bit of the Volturi mythos here, a dash of Russell the vampire king of Mississippi there.

That said, these greater vampire politics promise fascinating returns as we learn that the vampire world exists outside of Mystic Falls (as if!) and wonder how the Elena-as-sacrifice storyline will play out. Besides, what Delena fan could complain about an episode that sees Damon deliver the heartfelt admission we’ve been waiting for – and in the most heartbreaking way possible – while other unexpected couples stumble their way toward romance. (Bonneremy vs. Tyroline: Who makes the better pair?)

[Full recap of Thursday's (Nov. 4) "The Vampire Diaries," titled "Rose," after the break…]

Elena’s mysterious kidnapper meets with a sunglasses-clad figure in the middle of nowhere. (AKA North Carolina.) He transports her into a car belonging to another mysterious baddie, who then bites him dead. Looks like there’s a new vampire in town!

Over at the Forbes home, Damon’s learning why Caroline was actually the right Mystic Falls teen to get turned into a vamp; she’s got a handle on everyone’s drama and covered for Tyler last week so that he wouldn’t have to reveal his supernatural status to his mom. She’s the perfect vampire social director/PR maven to keep things hush-hush in Mystic Falls! Damon warns Caroline not to buddy up with Tyler, because now that he’s a werewolf with the potential to kill vampires with a bite, he can’t be trusted.

Speaking of Tyler, we find him wandering the halls of Mystic High in a funk because everyone’s mourning Sarah and worrying about Aimee, whose body still hasn’t been found. (We also learn that we’ve been misspelling “Aimee” this whole time; “Stupid Dead Amy” is thusly corrected to “Stupid Dead Aimee” in our playbooks.) On edge, Tyler accidentally breaks his locker with his newfound super strength.

Jeremy runs into Stefan before class and the two realize that Elena’s missing. Cut to an old abandoned mansion straight out of Bon Temps, where new pretty vampire baddie guy named Trevor plops a frightened Elena onto a couch. A lady bloodsucker with a British accent and Kristen Stewart’s hair and wardrobe from The Runaways marvels at how much Elena looks like Katherine and backhands her into unconsciousness when Elena won’t stop asking questions.

Stefan confers with Damon about Elena and wonders if Katherine could be behind her disappearance. Damon insists that he shut Katherine in the tomb real good, but recalls her saying something about “the doppelganger.” Stefan wants to go to the tomb and ask Katherine for more information, but somehow that doesn’t sound like a great plan.

Tyler finds Caroline at school and asks how she knew that he was transforming last week at the masquerade, but Caroline feigns ignorance.

Elena wakes up from her bitch slap and overhears the two Eurovamps talking about someone named Elijah whom they plan on making a deal with in exchange for their freedom.  Elena feebly attempts to sneak out, to no avail; there’s nothing around for miles, warns the vampire lady Rose, who tells Elena that Elijah is Elena’s worst nightmare.

Bonnie tells Stefan she can’t undo the tomb spell for him to give Katherine the freedom she’ll want in exchange for info on Elena’s whereabouts. But she has another bright idea: Why not use Jeremy’s Gilbert family blood to cast a finding spell on a map of Mystic Falls that’ll lead to where Elena’s being held? The magical spell points them 100 miles south to Reidsville, North Carolina, and you know what that means: ROAD TRIP! Damon volunteers to go with Stefan as Jeremy stays behind with Bonnie, who hides the fact that all that magic map work has made her nose start to bleed.

Over on the Mystic Falls High playground, Tyler’s playing a little pickup basketball. You know where this is going, dontcha? That’s right… TEEN WOLF, baby! Tyler discovers that he can dunk with his new wolfy hops – but ditches his mindblown classmates when he sees Caroline across the quad. He confronts her about lying to him, sensing that she knows something about his secret. When she denies knowing anything, Tyler grabs Caroline’s arm – and she deftly overpowers him. “You’re stronger than me?!” he asks. He begs her to tell him what’s going on because he can’t handle it all by himself, but she sticks to her story and watches, conflicted, as the tortured Tyler takes his frustration out on a poor defenseless trash can and walks off.

On the road, Stefan tries to buddy up and have real talk with Damon by asking him if he’s in love with Elena. Awkward! Back at home Jeremy’s demonstrating the amazing capabilities of his newfangled LG cellular telephone once again, which he uses to Bing or Google or whatever the aerial view of where they think Elena’s being held. He has another moment with Bonnie before Bonnie tries another magic spell requiring a candle, Elena’s hairbrush, and a crumpled up piece of paper. Bonnie’s the witchy MacGuyver of Mystic Falls! She manages to send a message to Elena in a puff of magical flame before collapsing with another nosebleed.

Elena, meanwhile, keeps pestering her Eurovamp captors. Rose admits that she has no personal interest in Elena; she’s just delivering her to Elijah. He’s one of THE vampires -- “The Originals.” Vampire History 101: Trevor and Rose have been on the lam for 500 years and they plan on using Elena to make amends for a past transgression, because she’s a “Petrova doppelganger” and thus the key to breaking the vampire/werewolf curse. We learn that the moonstone doesn’t break the curse, it only binds it. The only thing that breaks the curse is… THE BLOOD OF THE DOPPELGANGER!

Caroline comes home to find Tyler waiting for her. He thinks that she’s a werewolf and refuses to leave until she admits it. So tense is the moment that the “TVD” writers borrow a line from Twilight, albeit with a spin: “Say it!” Tyler demands. When Caroline laughs at the thought, Tyler flies into a rage and slams her against the wall. Caroline, in turn, throws Tyler to the ground and breaks out her vampire teeth, revealing herself.

Elena continues interrogating her kidnappers and learns that they’re running from “The Originals.” Because the name “The Volturi” was already taken.  They’re an old-world family of vampires who’ve wanted Trevor and Rose dead because they helped Katherine, who herself was “the first Petrova doppelganger.” (If you’re playing along at home, this means that Katherine is someone else’s doppelganger and Elena is a doppelganger’s doppelganger.)

Back at the Gilbert house, Jeremy tends to a recovering Bonnie. She’s been doing a lot of magic lately! It’s not an addiction, she swears! Nosebleeds are just magic’s way of telling a witch to take a break. Preferably a break that involves a cute boy and his bedroom and no chaperones. Bonnie and Jeremy bond over being lonely teenagers and continue the new flirtation that begun last week.

Still in Alaric’s car, where they find a trove of anti-vampire weapons, Stefan reveals to Damon that he’s been slowly building up his tolerance for human blood by drinking a little bit each day. They share a blood bag and Damon wonders what happened to the Stefan who used to be a big bad bloodthirsty vamp.

“HE” has arrived – and Trevor is freaking out. Rose calms him down as they prepare to hand Elena over to the big bad vamp who has them shaking in their boots. The door to the mansion creaks open, a fresh-faced young man on the landing. It’s Elijah!

Rose nervously greets Elijah and tells him that Katherine survived the tomb in 1864, but he has already assumed that’s why he’s been summoned; he thinks Rose has info on Katherine’s whereabouts. Instead, Rose tells Elijah that she has Katherine’s doppelganger, which he thinks is impossible until he sniffs Elena up close and realizes it’s true.

The Brothers Salvatore arrive outside, not knowing what they’re in for but ready to die to save Elena. Inside the mansion, Elijah prepares to whisk Elena away to Volterra or wherever it is that he and the OG vampires live. But first, a little business: After Trevor apologizes for betraying Elijah way back when, Elijah forgives him. And then he swats off Trevor’s pretty little head. Elena stalls by trying to negotiate with Elijah, but he tears off her vervain necklace and compels her into revealing that the moonstone and Katherine are both locked in the tomb.

And then Stefan and Damon attack like ninjas, distracting Elijah while they whisk Elena and Rose to safety. Elena throws one of Alaric’s vervain grenades at Elijah’s head, but he quickly heals; Stefan attacks with a stake gun, but Elijah keeps coming like a horror movie villain. Stefan wrestles Elijah down a flight of stairs and as Elijah recovers, Damon impales him on the front door with a coat rack. Damon turns to receive his hero moment as a relieved and grateful Elena runs down the stairs … and straight into Stefan’s arms. As disappointment flickers across Damon’s face, Elena mouths a silent thank you to him. Aww, Damon totally hearts Elena! And she knows it as much as we do.

Elena comes home to a teary reunion with Jeremy and Bonnie. Stefan comes home to a scotch-drinking Damon. Knowing now that unknown vampires might try to come for Elena and sacrifice her as the doppelganger, Stefan and Damon agree to protect her together. Stefan apologizes for making Damon go vampire way back then just so he wouldn’t have to be alone and leaves Damon alone with his thoughts and his alcohol.

Also having a heart-to-heart over booze are Caroline and Tyler. They trade notes on being newborns in their respective supernatural species, but Caroline leaves out the part about there being other vampires. He admits he’s scared of changing on the next full moon, and Caroline pulls him into a hug. Could this be the beginning of a beautiful werewolf-vampire friendship?

Rose pays Stefan a visit at home; now that Trevor’s dead, she’s got nowhere else to go. Rose offers her help to Stefan and Damon because even with Elijah dead, the rest of The Originals will be coming for Elena to give her to another new-old dude named Klaus.

Meanwhile, Damon pays Elena a visit at home before she goes to sleep. He returns her vervain necklace, but must get something off his chest first. Damon tells Elena that he loves her – but that Stefan is the one who deserves her. Before Elena can react, Damon compels her to forget as a single tear rolls down his pretty vampire cheek. In a flash he’s gone and Elena is left standing in her bedroom with the window open, her vervain necklace back around her neck. She sits, puzzled, as if she knows something just happened but can’t quite put her finger on it.

But Damon’s got another kind of trouble to worry about, because back in The Middle of Nowhere, North Carolina, Dead Elijah suddenly comes back to life and un-impales himself from the mansion door. And he looks pissed.

Next week: Katherine shares old-timey stories with Elena, offers her a deal, and warns her that Klaus is coming to town!