Poor, poor Katherine. As we know, she's getting older by the minute, much like the rest of us. Of course, she doesn't have as much time as most people do to wrestle with fading eyesight, wrinkles, grey hair and diminished physical strength. Geez, you would think she'd be able to slide into old age like everyone else! Darn that hard vampire living thing! 

As fast as Katherine is falling apart (just one of the things I discussed with Executive Producer Caroline Dries), she's also performed a suitably fast reversal on the whole suicide thing. It seemed like only yesterday she was jumping off of buildings willy nilly. Now she's deeply in like with Stefan, with whom she got it on all... night... long. At least, this is what she tells Damon while he's wandering around, aimlessly looking for Elena in all the wrong places. Darn that getting shot in the head thing!

Damon's reaction to the very idea of Katherine and Stefan getting it on is, of course, "Barf," which seems just about right. Katherine, though, is transformed. When Nadia comes stomping up to her in the woods, giving her a hard slap for even considering suicide without saying goodbye, she mistakenly thinks there's still hope for a mommy and me love connection. Nadia, inspired by Katherine's confession that she's looking for forgiveness, tells Mom she might want to consider a traveler's spell to jump into another body. Katherine isn't fond of the idea, since Stefan likes her current form so, so much. As Damon might say, barf!

I will say this rekindled passion for Stefan makes Katherine much more sympathetic and darn near charming, even though she has no compunction about breaking her kid's heart in the process.  Alas, her desperate grab at happiness is destined to fail. Stefan, silly boy, can't get over the fact Katherine's sort of hated his guts for the last 147 years. That Grinch!

Katherine finally realizes that one night of hot sex not only isn't going to make up for those 147 years, but worse, he's never going to look at her the way he looks at Elena. But one limp hand squeeze from Stefan later, she's  drying her tears, sure that maybe a few more nights of hot sex might do the trick. I'm not so sure Stefan meant as much by mumbling "Sorry you're dying" as she seems to believe, but it doesn't matter. Just as she's making plans to move into  new body (Nadia decided to skip town, but left the necessary traveler's knife with Matt), whoopsy, heart attack! Darn that being human thing!

As sad as Katherine's storyline was, Damon's is, in a way, sadder. Looking for Elena, he finally decides to go in search of Wes while Stefan trails along, asking pertinent questions. You were in a scientific experiment? With an evil scientist? For five years? What the hell? As crazy as the answers are, Stefan doesn't seem fazed. He knows his brother isn't the type to talk about his feelings or hug it out, so hey, what's five years of torture here or there?

Damon and Stefan decide to hold Aaron hostage to get Elena in exchange, but Wes instead sics Enzo on them. Enzo, who has waited for decades to confront the friend who betrayed him. Enzo, who, unlike Damon, needs to talk it out. Enzo, who also has orders to kill Damon before he heads back to the lab for an antidote to whatever Wes stuck in his veins. 

At first, it seems as if Enzo might forgive Damon -- but even when Damon finds an antidote to save Enzo, it's not going to be that easy. Enzo, rather fairly, has a grudge. He calls Damon a monster, and even though Damon yammers about having turned off his humanity switch, he clearly hasn't.

He knows he's a monster -- and worse, he knows (once Stefan rescues Elena from a dose of that vampire-feasting blood that turned Jesse into a monster) that he's dragging Elena down a path of monstrosity along with him. He got the girl, but now he has to grapple with something else. So many people talk about wanting to be with someone who inspires them to be better. Though i would argue Damon has been better in so many ways, he doesn't think so (especially now that Enzo has called him a monster). Thus, he decides to let Elena go.

I could argue that Damon can only do something so unselfish because he really is a better person, but I see his point. 

Elena doesn't seem as destroyed as I thought she would, but then, she's distracted. Wes has finally opened her eyes to the fact she's dating a boy like dear old dad -- well, sort of like dear old dad. Daddy Gilbert had no problem torturing vampires, but he was doing it to save humans. I guess this would be like realizing your parent killed bunnies to cure cancer, but it's still not an easy realization. Elena manages to piece together the Megan mystery -- she was cured by Daddy as a kid. Oh, and she also got eaten by Enzo after she snooped around in the wrong location, trying to unravel the Whitmore mystery. I think the takeaway is that Enzo being on the loose might create more problems than we can even imagine. 

Ultimately, Elena decides to throw her dad's file (and Megan's connection to him) into the fireplace, so I guess she's made peace with the past, descended into denial, or she's just wanting to fan the flames. Vampires are cold-blooded, after all.  

Can you wait until January 23 for more? Do you think Damon is being foolish to dump Elena, or is it for the best? Do you think Katherine will survive -- and if so, will she be able to win over Stefan?