Before the episode began, I was wondering if we'd be seeing much of Silas, or if his nasty theatrics would be stuck on a back burner until we're a little closer to the season finale on May 16. The good news is that this week, we had a little less of Silas, so that's a relief. The bad news? We had just enough of him to do some damage. Between him and Bad Elena, it was a pretty stressful week for the good people (and vampires) of Mystic Falls. And, you know, us. 

We kick things off with a hallucination. By getting into her head, Damon is trying to remind Bad Elena about all the lovely things she's missing by being a cold-hearted snake. Graduation! Senior skip day! Totally awesome yearbook signing time! Oddly enough, Elena is not impressed. She could not give less of a crap about all that happy stuff. She'd much rather be killing people, preferably babies, bunny rabbits, devoted charity volunteers and eternal optimists. Innocents are just yummier!

I've decided that Bad Elena doesn't just remind me of an addict. Who (or what) she really reminds me of is an addict plus Sister Mary Eunice on "American Horror Story: Asylum" plus the bile-spitting kid in "The Exorcist." Bad Elena is really, really bad, and I'm starting to wonder why the Salvatores are so dedicated to saving her. I know, I know, you flip your switch and you know not what you do, but still, she is damn mean. 

But Caroline isn't giving up on her dear, dear friend! She even sneaks some vervain-free blood into Bad Elena, who gulps it down before telling her she's not exactly BFF material anymore, what with having tried to kill her and stuff. But Caroline is sticking by her side! She won't give up, even when Bad Elena calls her clingy and suggests that Tyler and Klaus left town to get away from her. Finally, the only way Bad Elena can cut through Caroline's can-do spirit is to lunge at her. Caroline breaks her neck, then tells Damon and Stefan they can do what they want with Bad Elena. When Caroline gives up on you, you know you're far gone.

The process of deprogramming Bad Elena isn't an easy one. The guys take away her daylight ring and try to burn her. No luck. She actually flings herself at the window and SETS HERSELF ON FIRE to test them. Yeah, that happened. When they put her out with a fire extinguisher like a burning casserole, she just grins. She now knows they won't really hurt her, so she has nothing to worry about. I have to say, big risk she took there, don't you think? I actually jumped a little. But yes, I guess it was a calculated risk. Damon and Stefan can play bad boys all they want, but they both care too much about Elena to let her die. Still, considering some of the nasty things she's said to both of them? Kinda risky.

Next, they recruit Katherine, because God knows she doesn't give a crap about hurting Elena. And, of course, Elena can't resist an opportunity to say something cutting to her new torturer about how Elijah dumped her. Basically, Bad Elena uses this technique on everyone -- Caroline, Bonnie, Damon, Stefan, whoever she can. Get in her way, and she'll remind you of every guy or girl who dumped you, hurt your feelings or generally made you feel like crap. It's sort of like sticking her fingernails in everyone's eyes and grinding away, but more TV friendly. 

Katherine, of course, decides to leave Bad Elena's dungeon door open, so the Salvatores have to go galloping after her. And who does Bad Elena find first? Matt. Poor, sweet Matt. So, she drinks a lot of his blood -- but doesn't kill him. No, Damon shows up to do that. It would be a pretty funny scene if it wasn't also a tad horrific. Playing the part of Angry Dad, Damon calls her a spoiled brat and actually use the words, "So help me God." Unfortunately, he's giving this entirely perfect Dad of a Teenage Drug Addict speech while threatening to kill Matt. Bad Elena doesn't think he has the guts.

And then, he does. He snaps Matt's neck. 

Holy crap. Damon says he's bad, but he's not this bad, is he? 

Bad Elena is shocked, kind of like we are, then falls apart. She's mad and she's hurt and she, zoinks, misses her friend. She's flipped her humanity switch! It's good news, I guess, but crap, what about Matt? WHAT ABOUT MATT?

Oh, he had Alaric's ring on, so he'll be fine. Sneaky, Damon, very sneaky!

There is, of course, the tiny matter of Bad Elena becoming Good Elena, which entails her feeling like abject crap about all the nasty things she's done. "I killed a waitress! I KILLED A WAITRESS!" she bleats while beating up Matt's truck. Man, Matt goes through a lot for these people.

Speaking of Matt, he gets a lot of Rebekah love in this episode, even if at first it isn't exactly returned. Matt suggests she stop feeling sorry for herself that her brothers dumped her for New Orleans (read: spin-off) and leave Mystic Falls herself. He would if he could, but he's broke and failing his classes. Poor Matt! Rebekah decides to help Matt study, because hey, after a thousand years she's picked up some things. She even offers to compel him some good grades and a scholarship!

Matt, being noble and kind and sort of like a yellow Lab that way, wants to do things the hard way and actually learn. She's fine with that, but she's damned and determined to help him in any way she can until he graduates. She's actually feeling kinda bad for ruining his life, which started with running him off the road and Elena becoming a vampire and all that stuff. So, you know, Rebekah is going to be nice for once. It seems Matt has a magical power that makes bad people good (Bad Elena and Rebekah), which, again, makes me think he's part yellow Lab.

But back to Silas. Silas had to show up and bully everyone who knows Bonnie, which ultimately ended up with him killing Bonnie's mom. I think everyone on this show has to have at least a few really good weeping-over-a-dead-loved-one scenes, and this one was definitely Caroline's. At first, I assumed Caroline would just plop her wrist on her mom's mouth, the good Sheriff Forbes would wake up, and they'd all live happily ever after. But then, the producers of the show very wisely (meanly, too, but mostly wisely) drag it out. Caroline sobs. Mom doesn't move. And I start thinking, crap, did they just kill the sheriff? Really? 

Caroline actually gets up, grabs a syringe, fills it with her blood and jabs it into Mom's stomach to bring her back. Which is pretty genius, but even then there's a long moment when it doesn't seem to work. Eventually, of course, Lizzie wakes up and it's all fine. But they had me going there. Well played, "TVD," well-played.

Bonnie isn't going to be played, however. She has a plan. She wants that tombstone from Katherine, but she won't say why. Eventually, Katherine guesses. Because the tombstone is soaked in the blood of Bonnie's ancestor, she doesn't have to wait for a full moon (Silas' plan) to bring down the veil between the real world and the underworld. The question is, why? Bonnie has her reasons. Huh. Better be a damn good reason, if you ask me. Katherine, of course, wants to know what's in it for her. Bonnie's ancestor knows how to grant true immortality -- meaning, Klaus couldn't kill Katherine, nor could anyone else. It's a deal!

So, next week it seems Bonnie has some sort of dastardly plan that doesn't sound so great right now (but I'm sure will be), Bad Elena has been replaced with Good Elena, and Matt is getting an awesome free tutoring service. Of course, none of it matters if Silas gets his way (and thank you Silas for pretending to be Klaus back for a hot minute -- I already miss him). I'm sure he won't, but it's surely going to be a bumpy ride to the season finale.

 

Are you glad to see Good Elena back? Were you worried for Matt? What do you think Bonnie's plan is?