This was an episode of highs and lows, not just for the characters but for us. There were story lines and character developments that were lovely or tragic (or both) and which made perfect sense. And then, there was Caroline. But we'll get to her in a moment.

Professor Wes sucks just as much as we thought he did: It's impossible not to hate Dr. Maxfield, isn't it? Still, as repugnant as he is, I can understand his logic. Vampires that feed on other vampires do create a closed circle, even if it ruins any potential for fun vampire parties or vampire couples' dancing. Making them stronger than "regular" vampires allows them to wipe out the likes of Stefan and Damon like a pesky round of fire ants. So, a logical move, but for those of us who love Stefan and Damon (and Caroline and Elena and all the other vampires), a truly annoying one. I just wish Damon had given him a little more ebola before Dr. Smartypants cut through his binds. Didn't Damon see the metal shackles in the room somewhere, dammit?

RIP Jesse: Man, Caroline cannot catch a break. One guy dumps her to go on a mission of revenge, and another one tries to eat her and gets stabbed in the back. Jesse seemed like the nice guy Caroline needed and he's gone too soon, if you ask me. 

Bonnie and Jeremy get it on: While I realize many fans have mixed feelings about Bonnie's return as well as her relationship with Jeremy (BTW, was Jesse written off because it was one too many interracial love affairs? Discuss amongst yourselves), I love that Bonnie is on a journey that's challenging her as well as rewarding her, and hey, she and Jeremy deserve to get a big, hot love scene after so much death and suffering. Bring it on, "TVD," bring it on. Bonnie's conversations with the dead could get a little "Ghost Whisperer"-y, but I like the idea that, even though she's no longer a witch, Bonnie can still help people. After all, that's here thing. 

What's going on with Elena and Aaron? Okay, I get it. They have a lot in common on the dead parents front. She feels sorry for him, plus he's her connection to Dr. Strangelove. But I have to think he's getting the wrong message from this new cute girl that insists on getting him out of the house and bonding with him. Unless, of course, it's not the wrong message at all. As we know, Damon will be indisposed for a while, and Elena might really be falling for Aaron. It would be a horrible betrayal, but it seems like Elena has never been one for alone time, ever.

Matt loses a parasite: Thanks to Katherine, Matt gets a monkey (I mean traveler) off his back, and Katherine dispatches a nemesis. Katherine's decision to off herself made a tragic kind of sense, but the end result -- a strangely encouraging conversation with her savior, Stefan, in which he tells her to suck it up -- was wonderful and perfectly suited to her character. While Katherine keeps talking about how the universe has all its doppleganger eggs in the Elena basket, I think Katherine and the deeply traumatized Stefan just might be finding more common ground than they expect. With only one doppleganger running around these days, I think this could be an awesomely weird yet wonderful love connection, don't you?

Oh, Caroline: In recent weeks, Caroline picked up the "Damon sucks" baton and twirled it mightily in Elena's direction for, really, no good reason I could see other than to create friction. After so much time, you would think even Caroline would warm up to Damon. He's changed, duh, and he clearly loves Elena enough that Caroline (if she were a good friend) should just shut up and say mazel tov to the whole relationship. But no, Caroline has to complain about Damon and whine about Damon and call him evil. Still, I thought Jesse's death would cause Caroline and Elena's relationship to go up in flames. But… no, the two dorm mates have a civil conversation and vow eternal friendship and exchange head noogies, blah blah blah. 

What seemed to be a major plot set-up withered and died right before our eyes, making it seem even more ludicrous than it already did. Caroline could rightfully resent Elena for killing her boyfriend, and it's weird she doesn't even bother to get into a snit. I've had bigger fights with dorm mates over who drank the last of the milk. I'm sure this is all about Caroline planting a seed of discontent when she realizes Damon's gone missing, thus sending her into the curmudgeonly arms of Aaron, but if that happens Elena will have an actual track record for not looking for boyfriends when they're in danger. Not exactly a win in the Elena column.

Damon and his wretched past: So, this Augustine thing isn't new to Damon. In fact, his blood is in Dr. Strangelove's fridge (sorry, I know his name, but I do like calling him Dr. Strangelove). I think we're in for a world of hurt with Damon, which propels us into another wretched storyline in the absence of Silas and his hijinks. I'm a little more curious about the travelers who are out to get Katherine, as I don't really want to see Damon bleeding from the eyes and this vampire experimentation storyline feels a little "American Horror Story: Asylum" to me, but I have faith Damon will persevere. Whether or not Elena will notice he's gone, though, is the real question.

Do you think Elena will hunt for Damon? Do you think Caroline will ever get over her Damon hate? Who do you think will be Dr. Strangelove's next victim?