A couple is leaving a date when they come across someone lying on the sidewalk. The person disappears when they’re not looking, then reappears and attacks the woman. The guy thinks he’s dealing with the Son of Sam. It’s Damon, so he’s really the son of Giuseppe, but the guy’s right about him being a serial killer. Damon kills the guy, then heads off into the night. It’s 1977 and he’s in New York City, so there are plenty of people to kill.
In the present, Damon has brought Elena to New York so everyone she’s antagonized in Mystic Falls can get a break from her. He says she’s been reckless, but she corrects that she’s emotionless. Damon spent a few years in New York and never got caught killing anyone, so he thinks this is a better place for Elena to run wild. She guesses there’s a catch – no way is he going to just let her feed on anyone she wants. Amazingly, he is.
Back in Mystic Falls, Stefan finally gets through to Damon after multiple ignored phone calls. Damon let Elena go off on her own, which is such a horrible idea, I don’t have words for it. Stefan asks if Damon is just giving up on looking for Katherine and the cure. Damon says the trip isn’t just for fun – he’s there to find out if Will, who used to get fake identities for vampires, ever got one for Katherine. Elena has no idea what Damon’s up to, and he hopes that she’ll get so drunk on blood and booze that he’ll be able to get the cure without her putting up a fight.
Stefan thinks Damon’s in over his head. Damon disagrees – if he could handle Stefan as a Ripper, he can handle anything. Stefan notes that Elena’s ruthless now. Damon tells him to deal with Silas and let Damon handle Elena. He meets up with Elena, who’s sporting a new hairstyle with some red streaks.
Caroline is cleaning up after the big party when Klaus comes over. Ew, she’s drinking people’s leftovers! Caroline, have some self-respect! Also, that’s not your house, so don’t bother. The Salvatores can hire a housekeeper. Anyway, Caroline’s not in the mood to talk to Klaus, especially about Tyler. She tells him Tyler’s gone for good. Klaus thinks he was reasonable to make Tyler leave town, since Tyler was so determined to kill him. Caroline tells Klaus to leave, but Stefan invited him over to help deal with Silas, whom he thinks is in Mystic Falls.
Not only is Silas in Mystic Falls, but he’s currently with Bonnie, giving her a magic lesson. Though he’s still masquerading as Shane, she knows who he is and she wants to see his real face. He says he’s trying to earn her trust. He asks why she invited him into her home, and why she’s keeping his presence in Mystic Falls from her friends. Bonnie says he’s in her head, making her see and do things she doesn’t want to.
Silas notes that she’s strong enough as a witch to resist that. She needs to stick to the mission to get Jeremy back, which requires getting rid of the Other Side. As Qetsiyah’s descendant, Bonnie is the only person who can complete the expression triangle. Bonnie still isn’t on board with the part where she has to kill 12 people, even though they’ll come back when the Other Side is destroyed. Silas assures her that she can do this for Jeremy.
Stefan has filled Klaus in on the blood-bank thefts, but he’s not convinced that they’re the work of Silas. Elena probably just went on a binge. Even if Silas were in town, Klaus doesn’t see why he should help the gang. Stefan tells him about the Other Side and the cure and how destroying the Other Side will bring back all dead supernatural beings. Caroline notes that Klaus must have a ton of enemies who were sent to the Other Side because of him. Klaus is suddenly ready to help. Stefan explains that Silas needs a third massacre to complete the expression triangle, so he’s probably working on that. They need to find him.
Damon takes Elena to a bar called Billy’s, promising her that in a couple hours, it’ll be full of people she can eat. He hung out there a lot in the ’70s.
1977: When Damon told Stefan that Will used to get new identities for vampires, he left out the part where he helped. When a vampire asks Will for a new identity, Damon kills someone who looks like them and gives Will their ID. In exchange, Will lets Damon feed on people at the bar. One night Damon goes to break up a fight between patrons and feed on at least one of them, but he’s stopped…by Lexi. She chastises him for being so open about what he’s doing.
Present: “You got Lexi’d?” Elena asks. Before Damon can respond, Rebekah ambushes him. She’s not happy that he came to New York to follow a lead on Katherine without telling her. She fills Elena in, but Damon says the trip to New York has nothing to do with Katherine or the cure. He wanted Elena to have a good time, and he chose New York because he knows what it’s like to be there with your humanity off.
1977: Lexi guesses that Damon’s going wild because he flipped his switch. He’s been so reckless that news of his actions has reached as far as Mystic Falls. Damon guesses that Stefan sent her to deal with him. “I thought we were in the off part of our endless on-again/off-again eternity-of-misery cycle,” he says. Lexi asks why Damon turned off his humanity, but he won’t tell her. She warns that if he keeps this up, he’ll get caught and killed. She promised Stefan that she would get him under control. Damon objects to being a part of the mentor/mentee thing Lexi has going on with Stefan. Lexi refuses to let him have a say in the matter.
Present: Rebekah thinks Lexi sounds horrible. You shut your mouth, Rebekah! Elena guesses that Lexi eventually got Damon to turn his humanity back on, and Damon plans to do the same with Elena. He goes to the bar to get “many drinks,” leaving Rebekah and Elena alone. They both think he’s lying about his real motives for coming to New York, since there’s no way the Salvatores will give up on finding the cure and making Elena take it. Elena will just have to find it first. Damon’s playing her, so she’ll play him right back.
Stefan, Caroline, and Klaus go to Shane’s office to see if he left anything behind hinting at his next move for Silas. Caroline doesn’t think Klaus really needed to come along, but Stefan figures he’s good to have around in case Silas attacks. Well, assuming he would actually stop Silas from killing Stefan or Caroline.
Klaus says he and Stefan worked well together in the ’20s, though Stefan was more fun then, since his humanity was off. Klaus taunts that Damon’s probably having as much fun with Elena as he and Stefan had 100 years ago. Stefan says Damon knows what he’s doing, which is hilarious, because he’s the reason Elena flipped her switch in the first place. “Don’t underestimate the allure of darkness,” Klaus warns. “Even the purest hearts are drawn to it.” He glances at Caroline, then says he’s sure everything will be fine.
Caroline finds a book that mentions the expression triangle. Stefan reads that human sacrifice can focus a witch’s power. Supernatural sacrifices create even more mystical energy. Two points of the triangle are humans and demons, which have been taken care of with the deaths of the council and the hybrids. As for the third…
Bonnie learns the same information from Silas and objects yet again: The third point of the triangle is witches. Silas reminds her that their deaths will only be temporary. Bonnie’s not sure she’s strong enough to kill 12 witches, but Silas says that once the witches figure out what’s going on, they’ll use spirit magic to channel each other and try to strip Bonnie of her magic. They’ll end up linked together.
Rudy comes home, believing Bonnie’s been doing magical therapy with Shane to keep her expression under control. Silas tells him that he has an idea, but Rudy is done listening to the guy who put his daughter in this position in the first place. When he tries to kick Silas out, Bonnie yells for him to stop, and her power goes wild, breaking windows and making the fire in the fireplace flare up. Silas says this is what happened to Caitlin when her expression consumed her. Bonnie tells Rudy to call Abby and have her gather up some witches.
Back in New York, Billy’s is full of drinkers and people there to hear a band. (Music: “Ask the Angels,” Dead Sara covering Patti Smith) Damon lets Elena do shots, which surprises her; she asks what Lexi would say. Damon tells her that Lexi wanted him to enjoy his life. Rebekah hopes she didn’t take him to a Bon Jovi concert. Damon says Lexi never fed around Stefan, since he couldn’t handle it, but Damon and Elena don’t have to follow her rules. They head into the crowd to get dinner.
1977: Damon and Lexi are at the same bar, listening to a band perform the same song. A guy gets too close to Lexi, so Damon growls at him and chases him off. Lexi’s pleased.
Present: Elena picks a victim from the crowd and she and Damon drink together.
1977: Damon and Lexi do the same.
Present: Damon passes the victim along to Rebekah, and when she and Elena are suitably distracted, he goes to Will’s office to search for information on Katherine.
Back in Mystic Falls, Bonnie goes to the woods to meet up with Aja, a witch Abby sent. She’s familiar with expression and knows what kind of hold it can take. Bonnie warns that she’s strong, so Aja won’t be able to deal with her alone. But Aja brought 11 other witches with her with the intention of ridding Bonnie of her dark magic.
Elena and Rebekah finish snatch-eat-erasing and notice that Damon left. Elena hopes he’ll find whatever he’s looking for and she can just take it from him. Rebekah offers to help, since their goals line up: Rebekah wants the cure and Elena wants it gone. Elena’s surprised that someone who hates her is willing to work with her. Rebekah says she only hated Elena when she was self-righteous. Humanity-less Elena isn’t so bad.
Elena asks if Rebekah remembers what it’s like to be a fragile human. Why would she want to go back to that? Rebekah says she wants a family. Elena replies that that’s why she doesn’t want Rebekah’s help. Without emotions, Elena thinks rationally. She’ll be able to get what she wants without any distractions. Rebekah comments that now she misses the old Elena.
Caroline and Klaus try to work out the location of the potential third massacre. It’ll form an equilateral triangle with the other two, so there are only two possible places it could happen. Stefan returns from talking to Rudy and says he thinks he knows where Silas is.
In the woods, Aja has Bonnie invite in the spirits. It’s painful, since she rejected them and has been consumed by expression. Bonnie wants to back out, but Aja does exactly what Silas said she would, linking herself to the other witches so they can fight Bonnie’s resistance together. Bonnie’s eyes turn white and Aja calls for more strength.
Stefan calls Damon to fill him in on Silas and the third massacre. Damon offers to come home, but Stefan says it’s being handled. Damon’s having trouble finding anything helpful in Will’s files, since his office is full of files and they’re not organized in a way that makes them easily accessible. Damon knows Will had a repeat client who fits Katherine’s description – in fact, Damon was unknowingly getting her new IDs to keep her on the run from him.
Will filed his clients by their birth dates, but Damon doesn’t remember Katherine’s. Stefan does (it’s June 5th, 1473, if you were curious), and Damon says that’s why he’s the better boyfriend. He finds Katherine’s info, including recent P.O. boxes. He tells Stefan they’ll head home in the morning, but he’ll let Elena and Rebekah keep partying tonight and make them think he’s having fun.
Elena finds Damon, who lies that he came to the office so he could hear Stefan better. She guesses Stefan’s worried, but Damon says he’s jealous because of the time Damon and Lexi spent together. They hung out for months, alternating partying with Lexi’s patented brand of therapy.
1977: After a night of partying, Lexi bugs Damon, who’s lying on the bar like it’s a therapist’s couch, to talk about Katherine. Will gets bored and tells them to lock up when they’re done doing the same thing they do every night. Lexi wants Damon to remember his love for Katherine, since love is the most powerful emotion and will lead to him feeling others.
Damon asks why Lexi cares so much. She reminds him that when they first met, he hated Stefan but still wanted Lexi to help him. Now Stefan is repaying the favor. Lexi says she cares and genuinely wants to help Damon. But Damon says talking about Katherine won’t help because she’s not the person he cares about. Lexi realizes that Damon has turned his emotions back on. He tells her that her methods worked, then kisses her.
Present: Elena gets grossed out when Damon tells her that he and Lexi had sex all over the bar and on the roof of the building. She steals some alcohol and invites him to tell the rest of the story on the roof. She gives Rebekah a look that says she’s just messing with him.
Klaus and Caroline check out one of the possible sites for the third massacre while Stefan goes to the other. Caroline isn’t happy to have to work with Klaus, but it was this or run the risk of him finding Bonnie on his own and doing whatever he wanted to her. She asks if he even knows how to read a map. He snarks that his friend Magellan taught him. “Wow! You had a friend,” she replies. She asks if Magellan was drawn to darkness like Klaus says everyone is. She doesn’t think that’s true, but he knows she’s fought feelings for him despite all the horrible things he’s done. She says she used to think he was worth her feelings, but “some people can’t be fixed. People who do terrible things are just terrible people.”
They’re in the wrong spot, which means Stefan is the one who finds Aja and her coven trying to handle Bonnie. He tells them she’s working for Silas and has been brainwashed to kill the witches. Aja says that in that case, Bonnie’s lost and can’t be saved. They’ll have to kill her. Stefan tries to stop Aja, but with the power of 12 witches running through her, he has no chance against her.
Klaus and Caroline join Stefan, who tells them the witches are linked and Bonnie’s going to kill them. Klaus notes that they might kill her first. They need to let it happen – their only other option here is killing the witches, which will complete the expression triangle. But Caroline isn’t going to stand by and let one of her best friends die. She kills Aja, which in turn kills the other 11 witches. “The triangle is complete,” Bonnie says, her eyes still white.
Elena thinks she could handle “the Lexi method” of partying with Damon for a while, then eventually turning her emotions back on. Or maybe she just wants an excuse to spend more time with him. She wants to have sex on the roof, but he hesitates to give in to her right now, even though it’s what they both want. As they make out, she reaches into his pocket to steal Katherine’s information. Damon busts her, admitting he knew the whole time what she was pulling. She tried to pull a trick he invented.
1977: Damon and Lexi spent the night on the roof, and when the sun comes up, Lexi races for the door so she won’t get burned. But Damon spent the night reinforcing it so she’ll be stuck up there. It’s revenge for the past six months of his life and every moment she spent nagging him. She realizes he didn’t turn his humanity back on after all. Damon taunts that she believed he was like Stefan and she could fix him. “But he’s a victim. I choose to be this way,” he says. He leaves her on the roof to fry.
Present: Damon tells Elena he was willing to do whatever it took to get Lexi to leave him alone. Elena mocks that she hurt his feelings, but Damon says he’s looking out for her. When she eventually turns her emotions back on, she’s going to have to face all the bad stuff she’s done. Lexi reminded Damon of all the horrible things he did. He avoided her from 1977 to 2009, and when she showed up in Mystic Falls, all his guilt came back to him. That’s why he killed her. Damon wants to make sure Elena doesn’t do anything she can’t take back.
Elena asks why Damon spent months trying to get Lexi to fall for him just so he could hurt her. He was spiteful and malicious, emotions he supposedly couldn’t feel because he had his emotions turned off. Damon says that maybe hatred was the first one he got back. That makes it even more important that they cure Elena – they’ll get the normal Elena back. Elena refuses to take the cure, but Damon says she’ll do it, even if he has to tie her up or break her neck until they find it. As if on cue, Rebekah arrives and breaks Damon’s neck instead.
Bonnie wakes up in her bed, confused about how she got there and why Stefan’s with her. She has no memory of the past few days. The last thing she remembers is Jeremy trying to get the cure from Silas. Poor Stefan will have to tell her that Jeremy’s dead.
Klaus and Caroline spent the night burying the 12 witches. He’s mad that she carried out the massacre, but she wasn’t about to let her friend die. Klaus argues that Bonnie’s death would have saved 12 others. Caroline considers Bonnie more important than the others. Klaus says she should tell herself whatever she needs to believe to sleep at night.
It finally hits Caroline that she killed 12 people. Klaus gently says it looks like she needs comforting. “Why don’t you find someone less terrible you can relate to?” he says. After Caroline stomps off, Silas appears to Klaus and thanks him for letting the massacre play out. This was the one he was looking forward to the least.
Damon wakes up on the roof and calls Elena. She and Rebekah are stealing his car and heading off to find Katherine. Damon calls Stefan to admit that he screwed up, but Stefan has worse news for him. Silas now has everything he wants except the cure.
Back in the woods, Klaus tells Silas he doesn’t have the cure. Silas knows that Klaus knows where it is, and he should bring it to Silas so no one can use it on him. But Klaus isn’t interested in welcoming back all his supernatural enemies, and he’s not afraid of Silas. Silas knows what does scare him, though. He pulls out the indestructible stake, having gotten the location by reading Rebekah’s mind. Maybe now Klaus will be inclined to do what Silas says.
Klaus rushes Silas, who disappears, then runs up behind him and stakes him in the back. Silas doesn’t want Klaus dead yet, though. He breaks off the point of the stake and leaves it in Klaus’ back so he’ll keep suffering.
Etc.: I think people spend more time talking about Tyler when he’s not in an episode than he spends onscreen when he is in an episode.
I’m trying to imagine Damon at a Bon Jovi concert, but I think it would just be hours of eye-rolling.
It’s so weird seeing Lexi happy and carefree. I wish we got to see more of her happy times with Stefan instead of just the times she had to babysit him.
Speaking of babysitting, the gang should have been doing that with Bonnie like they were with Elena. Then Silas would have had a much harder time getting her to do what he wanted.
Here’s why you don’t mess with Rebekah.
When you think about it, it’s impressive how many centuries Lexi survived without a daylight ring.
Rebekah basically predicted Caroline’s actions in this episode back in “Into the Wild,” when she defended killing Elena to Stefan. She said any one of the gang would kill to protect their loved ones. Caroline kills 12 people to protect Bonnie.
If Silas can read minds, why does he need to ask Klaus where the cure is? He can just read Klaus’ mind, learn Katherine has it, and go harass her.