It's time for Delena! After so, so many episodes of futile yearning and goopy, lusty eyes between Damon and  Elena, they're finally free to pursue their wanton desire for one another. But I get the sense this love connection is not to last. First hint? The sire bond possibility floated last week by Caroline and Stefan. The second hint would be entirely about editing. Yeah, editing.

You know what's awesome? Cutting back and forth between Delena's first, smoking hot vampire sex scene and watching Stefan and Caroline freaking out about the sire bond possibility. Yeah, that worked so well last week, I wanted more. And that's just what I got? They could have just broken up the scene with some commercials for Prilosec or Cialis or something. It seems pretty clear we aren't supposed to get too attached to the idea of Delena, but even if you're not Team Damon, it's a shame to ruin what could have been hot by any standard. 

Hot sex having been dispensed with, Damon sends Elena off to school with a request -- that they wait just one day before they blab about their new relationship to Stefan. "It's our time right now, and it never has been before," he pleads. "Just one day!" Of course, Elena doesn't argue, because she apparently has to do anything Damon requests. Sneaky little sire bond. 

Of course, Stefan feels a pressing need to tell Damon about the sire bond, and to his credit he isn't insanely gloaty about it, but you know he's feeling pretty relieved on the inside. Damon isn't buying, however. "Really, Stefan?" he sneers. "You two idiots can't stand that she's happy because of me." Well, yes, but Stefan may be right as well. He challenges Damon to test Elena by giving her a blood bag again. If she sicks up, she's not bonded. But if she gulps it down like a Frosty? Sired. Damon reluctantly agrees to the deal, though he tells his brother that, when her body rejects the blood, "your apology better be epic."

Guess what happens? That epic apology will  not be forthcoming, as Elena sucks down the blood bag like a kid with a Capri Sun. "I can't believe this, Damon! I don't have to hurt people anymore!" She's thrilled, Damon less so. 

Because there is always, always a retro period flashback that can illuminate current events, Damon reveals he sired another vampire in 1942 back in New Orleans. Charlotte was passionately devoted to Damon -- so much so she killed a guy for touching Damon's drink. But, as he informs Stefan, he was able to break his bond to her thanks to a witch he found on Bourbon Street. 

That's not all that was going on back in the 1940s, however. There was a war and stuff; possibly you've read about it. Anyway, Damon and Stefan had been out of touch since Stefan's Ripper phase, and Stefan's current gal pal Lexi urges him to mend fences with his brother as part of his VA program (Vampire Anonymous). He's just doing the steps! But Lexi quickly realizes that making nice with family members may not be such a wise idea when said family member is the one who efficiently led the charge toward full-scale plasma abuse. When Charlotte brings "leftovers" to the bar, inviting Damon to partake, Stefan reacts like a drug addict who'd just been offered a boatload of cocaine and a teensy little spoon. 

In the present, Damon and Stefan do what they always do so well -- bicker. Stefan doesn't think Damon wants to break the sire bond! Damon thinks Stefan just wants to restore Elena to her factory Team Stefan settings (best line of the evening, but I digress). Stefan suggests they wander over to the corner where Damon left Charlotte so many moons ago, suggesting she count every brick in every building in New Orleans, and he'd be back before she finished. There's no way she could still be standing there70 years later, could she? Of course she could! 

Apparently, that witch fixed a hell a lot of nothing, but Charlotte insists she's done other things than count bricks. She's not crazy, after all! So, completely reassured, Damon's continues his quest to find that obviously useless witch. He doesn't, though he finds her great-granddaughter. But Nandi isn't interested in helping Damon break a vampire sire bond. Damon suspects her reluctance has something to do with the need to sacrifice twelve human souls, but Nandi points out that Great-Grandma's stuff was destroyed in Katrina. Even if there was a spell, it's gone now. 

Of course, Stefan has to whine about the sacrifice of 12 people. For someone who's so fired up to free Elena, he should really just suck it up. Isn't this the same guy who found a murderer for Jeremy to kill?

After taking a break to get an Egg McMuffin or something (really, I'm not sure why we needed two visits to Nandi), Nandi reveals just a tad more. Nandi's great-grandma practiced something called expression, which is even worse than black magic. Plus, Great-Granny didn't break the sire bond -- she just convinced Damon she could do it so he'd kill 12 people for her and she could access his power. As Nandi explains, a vampire only bonds to the vampire who created him or her if she had human feelings before the turn. Vampiriism simply heightens those emotions. "You have to set her free," Nandi explains, by dumping her. Damon tests out this new, crazy idea (why break up when you can tell someone to count bricks for 70 years?) on Charlotte. Charlotte is, of course, crushed, but handles it like any heartbroken girl would. There is no boiling of bunnies or embarrassing public displays. She just cries a little. So, Damon should be able to dump Elena, right?

Of course, here's the point where I have to ask, why should he? He loves her. She seemingly loved him before she was turned, and loves him more now. What's the problem? But Stefan and Damon agree that he has to dump Elena, because it's The Right Thing To Do. Snore. For vampires, the Salvatores are annoyingly good sometimes. 

This whole vampire sire bond plot isn't the only game in town, by the way. In other news, Taylor and the treacherous Hayley are trying to break Adrian's sire bond, but Kim is none too pleased about it. Hayley tells Tyler that Kim's defiance needs to be dealt with -- he and the rest of the hybrids are a wolf pack, and it's up to him to establish dominance. If he lets Kim walk all over him, so will everyone else. Tyler speaks firmly to Kim and grabs her pool cue at the bar, which doesn't really have the intended effect. No, it just ticks off Kim.

At the Salvatores', Elena's new home away from home, Bonnie, Caroline and Elena are drinking Damon's stash of Dom Perignon, bouncing around on furniture, and trying to keep their mouths shut. Or, more specifically, Caroline is trying not to bitch about Damon. "I know you're not the biggest fan, but he kind of changed my life, so do you mind laying off all the hate?" Elena asks, which manages to make Caroline get off the Damon hate train for about a minute, before she talks about how he's a man slut. Elena reluctantly admits she slept with said man slut, and Bonnie and Caroline react as if she'd taken a crap in the middle of the living room. When Elena adds she thinks she's falling in love with Damon, Caroline can't take it another minute and blabs about the sire bond. Not surprisingly, Elena suggests they go the hell home, because Caroline and Bonnie are so killing her buzz. 

That, of course, is exactly when Kim and Adrian pop in to pick a fight. Bonnie uses her new magic skills (courtesy of creepy Professor Shane!) to make some lightbulbs pop, which doesn't do much of anything, because the hybrids run off with Caroline. Time for some torture!

Elena and Tyler go on the hunt for Caroline, which gives Elena the perfect opportunity to talk to him about sire bonding. He explains that the sire bond impacts actions, not feelings. He hated Klaus, but he still had to do everything the guy asked of him. Elena stops herself from jumping up and down and clapping her hands, as that's probably not appropriate given that Tyler's girlfriend is being torn to pieces somewhere. 

It doesn't take long to find Carole and the rest of the hybrids. Tyler finally deals with the issue of Kim's attitude problem by reaching into her chest, grabbing her heart, and threatening to kill her if she doesn't submit. Now, that's what I call alpha! Kim submits, and the rest of the hybrids kneel before Tyler. 

This is all good news for Hayley, who can finally tell Professor Shane that she can deliver the 12 de-sired hybrids to him. And what does she get in exchange? The deets on her parents. Except they're dead. Psyche! "You just picked a fight with a werewolf," Hayley growls. But Professor Shane assures her she can see them again. He has a plan. 

And what does that plan involve? The stuff he's been teaching Bonnie, of course -- expression. You know, that worse than black magic thing. Great! 

Still, none of these story lines are quite as compelling as Delena -- and what exactly Damon is going to do about it. After a flashback to 1942 which reveals that Damon ultimately gave in to Lexi's request that he leave Stefan alone, it seems the theme of today's lesson plan is Damon embracing loss, over and over again. 

Damon, like the secretly good bad guy he is, goes home to dump Elena. But Elena already knows about his motives, thanks to Caroline spilling the beans about the siring thing. "I've changed, and so have you, Damon," she says. "And I'm happy. It is real, I know what it is. Please don't do this to me."

This is exactly what Damon wants to hear, but the end result is this just makes it harder for him to do what he's expected to do.  "I'm not the good guy, I'm the selfish one," he says, writhing as if dumping Elena is actually making his neck hurt. "I don't do the right thing. But I have to do the right thing by you."

"Does this feel wrong?" she asks as she strokes his face. He doesn't answer, but it certainly doesn't seem to be wrong. And yes, she's changed and so has he. I'm guessing he makes the "wrong" decision, at least for a week (spectacular mid-season finale next week!) but that means lots of self-recrimination and loathing. I had so hoped Delena might be happy for a hot minute, but it seems we can't like Damon unless he's feeling just a little lousy about himself. Granted, that's been appropriate in the past, but I'm willing to forgive and forget. 

 

What do you think of Delena? What do you think Professor Shane's end game is? Do you think Hayley's made a deal with the devil?