This week in Mystic Falls, everyone's all about technology -- cell phones, texting, chat rooms. Can double dates, out of control MILFs, and Jeremy's Internet research cause half as much drama as the army of old-new bloodsuckers congregating in Pearl's Vampire Halfway House in the woods, learning how to -- gasp! -- text message?
Morning at the house in the woods, which is teeming with modern-day vamps. Anna teaches a few of them how to surf this new contraption called a TELEVISION. Miss Gibbons is letting a hot man vampire feed on her. She's a vampire groupie! What a freak! I mean, what kind of person willingly lets a vampire eat them? And who is this new guy who's snacking on Miss Gibbons?
Matt checks in on his MILF, who's had a loud late night with her latest one night stand. He suggests she try to get a job bartending at the Grill, and she agrees to give it a shot. I mean, what else is she doing with her time? After all, mom plans on sticking around long enough to fill out a W2. Caroline comes to walk Matt to school and gets an icy reception from Kelly.
At school, Elena and Stefan discuss current events: Damon's still depressed, and Elena's still pissed that he totally ate her birth mom. Thankfully, this week everyone's less obsessed with I-S-O-B-E-L. This week, Elena misses being a normal teenager. Elsewhere, Matt and Caroline are bickering over his mom's pure and unadulterated hatred for Caroline, which they agree can be fixed with a date night.
Back at the Vampire Halfway House, Pearl teaches Harper to text - "It's what you do when you want to avoid someone," she explains. Exactly! They accidentally listen to a message from Jeremy on Anna's cell phone, and when asked Anna denies that he's her boyfriend. Pearl and Anna leave to go into town, leaving Menacing Goatee Vampire Man in charge with Harper there to watch over things. Caroline suggests they double date with Elena and Stefan to smooth over the couple awkwardness between the four of them. Sounds like fun! Riiiight??
Damon comes home to find Pearl and Anna waiting in his living room. Damon tries to choke Pearl for trespassing into his house, but now that she's back to health and ditched the corset for a smart 'n' sensible power suit, she's once again more powerful than him. Pearl tells Damon that some of the entombed vampires escapes after Gram's spell, and she plans to gather them and empower them once again. She wants to rebuild the vampire army and teach them all social media skills! The true tools to 20th century dominance! She promises the reluctant Damon that she'll find Katherine for him in return for his help, which she can do because they were totally BFFs hundreds of years ago. But Pearl isn't asking; with her 400+ years of vampire experience, she grabs Damon BY THE EYEBALLS to demonstrate her strength. There's a new boss lady in Mystic Falls! And she doesn't think twice about ruining Damon Salvatore's dashing good looks!
Elsewhere, Jeremy's grown a shaggy hairdo in his weeks away from "Vampire Diaries" filming and is asking strangers in a chat room about vampires - how to become them, how to kill them… the usual questions your average bored teenager whose vampire-induced mental wipe is starting to wear off.
Aww… Stefan's shown up for date night with a bouquet of flowers for Elena! She's touched, but wonders if all of this normal people dating stuff is too well, normal for them. Their lives are too surreal for flowers and double dates. She's right. Something interesting had better happen.
Pearl and Anna meet Aunt Jenna on the sidewalk; is Jenna a realtor? Oh, nope. She's just there to show them the old apothecary that the Gilbert family has owned for, oh, since the 19th century. Is Pearl in the market for a small business license?
At the Mystic Grill, Damon's caught himself a cougar: Matt's mom! She's been stood up for the bartending interview, so naturally her first instinct is to get an afternoon drink. Aunt Jenna finds her. It turns out they're old friends! Jenna, Kelly, and Damon start binge drinking. Yay for happy hour!
We find out that new-old vampire goatee guy's name is Frederick, and that he's getting stir crazy twiddling his thumbs in Pearl's Vampire Halfway House. He wants out already! He struggles violently with Harper before Pearl returns to lay down the law with one of her patented vampire choke holds.
Double date time! Caroline isn't too pleased to hear the back story of how Kelly and Jenna were BFFs and that's why Elena and Matt grew up so close. Oh, Elena and Matt were such good friends-turned-high school sweethearts! Ah, memories. Totally not awkward at all.
Frederick and some hoebag vampiress named Bethanne sneak out of Pearl's to paint the town red -- blood red, that is! Harper catches them leaving and warns that Pearl won't be too happy, but Frederick doesn't care. We like Harper. We hate Frederick. We're guessing he won't be around for long.
The doorbell rings at the Gilbert house. It's Anna! Jeremy thought he'd never see her again, so he's surprised to see her -- and maybe a little suspicious, now that he's learning all about vampires and their warning signs. A weirded out expression on Jeremy's face tells us that maybe his vampire research has something to do with Anna. She tells Jeremy she wanted to stick around Mystic Falls and be a normal teenager for once. Jeremy brings up the vampire thing again; he's kind of obsessed now, and wonders if some of them were good vampires -- misunderstood vampires. Anna tries to throw him off the scent by telling him she made all that vampire nonsense up. Lies!
The double daters are now playing pool at the Mystic Grill, where the Matt and Elena Show continues. The two former flames KEEP recalling old stories of their shenanigans together, which Stefan notices but doesn't mind… unlike Caroline. Drunk Kelly and drunk Jenna suddenly notice that their legal wards are hanging out across the bar. Parenting FAIL.
The girls make a joint bathroom trip, leaving Stefan and Matt to bond. Matt tells Stefan in his very good-natured way that he kind of comes off as a dick sometimes. The boys vibe. Meanwhile, Caroline asks Elena to tone down the Matt love fest a tad, because it's harshing her mellow. On their way back to their dates, Frederick grabs Elena's arm and calls her Katherine. She plays it off, but when she alerts Stefan to the evil vampire guy -- VIA TEXT MESSAGE! -- he's gone.
For safety's sake, Elena and Stefan bring the double date back to the Salvatore mansion. Caroline faintly recalls being there before. Matt geeks out over Stefan's miniature car collection, so Stefan shows Matt his prized sports car. Instant bromance! During the ensuing banter, Matt slips up and mentions how awesome it was making out in the back of Elena's dad's car. A hurt Caroline bounces with the quickness and Elena follows her out to comfort her, leaving Matt to admit to Stefan that Elena and Stefan are a good fit.
Meanwhile, Drunk Jenna makes her exit from the Mystic Grill as Damon and Kelly start flirting. Yuck. Drunken Jenna runs into Frederick outside the Grill. She's so drunk she breaks her heel - and so drunk she thinks that he's hot, mostly because he's trying to vampire mojo her. He queries her about Damon Salvatore, who he saw her binge drinking with in the bar. Helpful as ever, she tells him exactly where Damon lives before taking her drunken ass home.
Caroline laments to Elena that she's always second choice to Elena, whether it's as Matt's girlfriend or Bonnie's BFF. (Shout out to Bonnie!) Aww. Caroline's so right, Elena doesn't even try to argue with her. Before long, Matt and Stefan drive up and Stefan sends Matt and Caroline off on a couple's joyride to let them patch things up.
At the Gilbert House of Unsupervised Teenagers, Jeremy's making sandwiches with Anna -- but he's got an ulterior motive. Suspecting her true nature, Jeremy cuts himself on purpose to test Anna's vampire-ness. When she has trouble restraining herself from his blood Anna finally reveals herself, semi-horrified that Jeremy has cut himself just to provoke her into eating him. He offers her his cut hand and she drinks from it, but their hot new human-vampire hookup is interrupted by Aunt Jenna's return. Jenna, always ruining everything! By the time Jeremy turns around, Anna's gone.
You know what I haven't missed all episode long? Relentless mentions of Isobel. Did you know she's Elena's birth mother? And Alaric's wife? Who was attacked by Damon years ago in North Carolina? And that she's still around somewhere spying on everyone as a vampire?
Back to Matt and Caroline, who are driving a bit lost in the woods outside the Salvatore house. Matt asks Caroline if he passed her double date test, but she very reasonably points out that he spent the whole night reminiscing about "The Elena Years." Which he totally did. He tells her it was just about remembering old friends and memories, and that the reason he was there in the first place is because he cares about Caroline. They kiss. All is right in Caroline's world once again.
Ugh. Damon's brought Kelly back to the mansion for a super MILFy hookup. Hot! That is, until Matt and Caroline walk in to see Kelly dry humping Damon in the hallway. Damon's ruined everyone's bad-then-good double date night! A mortified Matt leaves to confront his mom, leaving Elena to take Caroline home.
Pearl catches Anna coming home late and demands to know where she's been. Anna doesn't tell her about the whole Jeremy thing. Pearl tells her she needs her on her side and mother and daughter hug.
Stefan sends Elena and Caroline home after the epic double date; across the street, Frederick is spying on him. Inside, Stefan begins lecturing Damon when Frederick and Bethanne jump through the window and Frederick stabs Stefan in the chest! The brothers Salvatore struggle with their attackers; Stefan pulls the shard out and kills Bethanne, but Frederick gets away. He's shocked to recognize them as vampires who were sealed in the tomb back in 1864, but Damon's less surprised to see Pearl's old timey vampires loose in Mystic Falls again.
Matt sulks home with his mom, who tries to apologize. But he's not hearing it; he was having a fun night with his friends for once, and she had to go and ruin it by embarrassing him all over town! He's tired of being the responsible one while she acts like a kid. Kelly looks remorseful.
Frederick returns to Pearl's without Bethanne. He tells Pearl she was right and they shouldn't have left the house. She lets him inside, where she stabs him with a wooden spoon to teach him a lesson. Pearl is one bad mofo. I approve.
Elena calls Stefan to say goodnight. Even though their attempt at being normal has failed miserably, they both had fun. Or something. Meanwhile, Jeremy finds Anna waiting in his room. She's upset at what he did because she could have killed him, and demands to know how Jeremy suspected she was a vampire. He's been putting all of the signs together -- Vampire Vicky, Anna's vampire face when they kissed -- and figured it out. (With the help o Bing searches and chat rooms! Technology!) She didn't kill him because she likes cute lost emo boys. But why did he confront her in the first place? To find out if there was a good reason Vicky disappeared, he explains -- and because he wants Anna to turn him!!
Next week: A STORM HITS. Stefan is tortured. PAIN. OMG!