Stefan stumbles into a bar on Route 29 early in the morning and feeds on a bartender named Jo (not that Jo, season 6 fans). He stops himself before he can drink too much and tells her to run. He follows her outside, but the sun is coming up and he’s not wearing his daylight ring, so he starts to burn.
Elena wakes up from this dream in Damon’s bed after a mostly sleepless night. She tells him this was more intense than her previous feelings that something was wrong with Stefan. It was like she was there with him. This is Damon’s least favorite topic of conversation right now, but he reluctantly invites her to tell him about the dream. She remembers the bar’s awning and Stefan’s pain, but that’s about it. Katherine, however, knows where the dream took place – she had it, too.
Damon and Elena get ready for a trip up and down Route 29 so they can look for Stefan. Elena laments ignoring her bad feelings all summer while Stefan was stuck in a safe. She knows it’s weird to search for him based off a dream, but they don’t have any other ideas. Katherine reveals that she’s coming along, since it’s Damon’s turn to babysit her. Elena complains, but Katherine notes that it’s her fault that Katherine’s human again. At least it means Elena can’t get her own human life back. Damon tells the doppelgangers to play nice. Katherine says she wants to help because she cares about Stefan and always has. Since Elena had the same dream about him, she must care, too.
Silas calls Nadia, who’s at the Grill, and says he’s trying to figure out if Gregor, the Traveler she killed in front of him, is actually dead. What if Matt’s Gilbert ring resurrected him? Maybe Nadia’s trying to fool Silas into thinking he can trust her. He needs more assurance that they’re on the same side. To give him that assurance, he wants her to kill Matt. Nadia notes that Matt could actually help them. Silas still wants Katherine, and Matt might know where she is. Silas orders her again to kill Matt.
Stefan wakes up in a cabin with a woman watching him. She offers him a bag of blood because not only does she know that he’s a vampire, she knows that he’s a vampire doppelganger who doesn’t feed on humans. She saved him from the quarry and from the sunlight outside the bar. Well, to clarify, she told the former owner of the cabin to pull him out of the quarry – that’s the guy whose body Damon, Elena, and Liz found inside the safe. Stefan asks how the woman knows he’s a doppelganger, and she says she’s seen his face before.
She asks how much he knows about Silas, and he gives her a little recap. He admits that he came close to shutting off his humanity while he was in the safe. He held off because he wanted to be himself if he ever got out and had the chance to kill Silas. That’s what he plans to do right now. The woman reminds him that he doesn’t have a daylight ring, so he’ll need to wait. She tells him Silas wasn’t always a monster.
2,000 years ago: Silas lived in ancient Greece and was “a simple man in love with a simple girl.” That girl is now telling Stefan this story.
Present: She says she was Silas’ one true love and would have done anything for him. Stefan asks how that’s possible, since it was centuries ago. “Love bends the rules of possible,” she replies.
2,000 years ago: Silas and the woman were the two most powerful of a group of witches called Travelers. After they got engaged, he wanted to find a way for them to be together forever. But he had a wandering eye and couldn’t help looking at another woman.
Present: Stefan says he knows this story already. Silas get screwed over by a witch named Qetsiyah. The woman corrects him: Silas convinced Qetsiyah that he loved her so she would make the immortality spell. When she found out he didn’t really love her, she put him in the tomb on the island and waited for him to take the cure, die, and go to the Other Side. Now Silas wants to destroy the Other Side so he can take the cure, become mortal, die, and find peace. Stefan asks why the woman doesn’t just go off and be with Silas, if that’s her big goal. But Stefan has misinterpreted the story. The woman he’s talking to isn’t the one Silas wanted to be with forever. She’s Qetsiyah.
She guesses Stefan has only heard the “man’s version” of the story, where she’s the jealous, raging witch with a vengeance obsession. Stefan doesn’t get how Qetsiyah is here; he thought she was on the Other Side. She says she was, but she came back…for Stefan.
Damon and the doppelgangers head to Route 29 in hopes that they’ll recognize the bar from their dream. Katherine tries to get under Damon’s skin by bringing up the dreams Elena’s been having about Stefan. Elena says they weren’t dreams, just a bad feeling. Either way, Katherine notes that there’s still a connection between her and Stefan. Maybe Elena regrets breaking up with her one true love. Damon advises Elena to ignore Katherine. They’ll wait for the vervain to leave her system and compel her to shut up.
Katherine continues that maybe Stefan has been trying to reach out to Elena all summer, but she couldn’t help since she was distracted by Damon, so he reached out to Katherine instead because he can trust her. Damon and Elena just exchange a glance. Katherine says it’s probably not meaningful that she and Elena had the same dream on the same night.
Matt spots Nadia in the alley behind the Grill and demands to know what she and Gregor did to him. She tells him she’s trying to protect him from Silas. Silas still wants Matt dead, so Matt needs to trust Nadia to keep him safe. She puts her hands on his face and says, “Come forth” in Czech. Matt’s eyes turn black, and suddenly he’s Gregor, who’s taken up residence in Matt’s body.
He’s not happy that Nadia killed him, but she says Silas was going to do it anyway, so she had to be proactive to “salvage the deal” and keep Silas’ trust. She reminds Gregor that he knows the stakes. There’s a reason she put him inside someone with a Gilbert ring. She’s going to find a way to make this a permanent arrangement. She loves Gregor and would do anything for him. He lets her kiss him, then asks where she buried his body. Nadia tells him to call Elena first and find out where Katherine is.
Qetsiyah returns from a trip to her garden and catches Stefan looking through her things. He asks to use her phone, but she says there’s no reception out where they are. Plus, he’s safe there, so he should stay put. Stefan doesn’t believe her story. Qetsiyah talks about her old-fashioned name and how she’s thinking of going by Tessa instead. Stefan’s like, “Can we focus?” She tells him she’s there because Bonnie lowered the veil and Qetsiyah had the chance to become mortal. Why not take care of Silas herself since the hunters failed? Stefan notes that 2,000 years is a long time to hold a grudge. She replies that he’s obviously never been left at the altar.
2,000 years ago: Qetsiyah created a whole garden for her and Silas’ wedding. Then she created the immortality spell so she and Silas could live together forever. But all the flowers at the wedding and the Travelers’ harvest started dying. She realized Silas had already used the spell.
Present: Qetsiyah is fine being called a woman scorned or whatever else people want to paint her as, but she thought she was Silas’ one true love, and he broke her heart. She wanted to make him understand how much he hurt her. She found him with his real true love, whom he wanted to share eternity with.
2,000 years ago: As if getting left at the altar wasn’t bad enough, Qetsiyah gets hit with another shocker – Silas’ real true love is her handmaiden, Amara. And she looks just like Elena and Katherine!
Present: Stefan confirms that Silas was the first version of him, and Amara was the first version of Elena. Qetsiyah explains that taking the immortality elixir violated the law of nature that all living things must die. Nature created shadow selves that could die. So Silas and Amara’s “sin” created doppelgangers. Qetsiyah melts down a bracelet over a fire in her fireplace so she can make Stefan a new daylight ring. She wants his help to take down Silas.
Damon and the doppelgangers find the bar from the dream, and Damon and Elena prepare to go in (Katherine’s alseep). Elena’s a little freaked out about the fact that she dreamed about a real place she’s never been. Jo is there, and she has a bandage on her neck. Damon compels her to explain it, and she tells him about the same thing Elena saw in her dream. She also saw Qetsiyah taking Stefan away, and though Jo had never seen her before, she recognized the truck she was driving as belonging to a local.
Jo gives Damon a shot, which he realizes too late contains vervain. Nadia comes in from the back of the bar and says she threatened to kill Jo if she didn’t pour Damon a drink. As Katherine enters, Nadia pulls out a gun. She asks which doppelganger is Katherine. When Katherine says it’s Elena, Nadia doesn’t believe her, since she knows Katherine’s a liar. She prepares to shoot Elena, but Elena rushes her and holds her off, yelling for Katherine to run. Nadia tosses Elena aside and runs out as well.
Damon complains that on top of everything else, now they have to deal with a vampire bounty hunter. Elena confirms that Nadia wasn’t in her dream. Damon guesses that she’s Qetsiyah’s spy. Elena wants to go after her, but Damon won’t let her, since Nadia’s stronger than she is. Elena tells him to go get Stefan. Damon gives in, though he instructs Elena to just let Nadia go if Elena can’t beat her.
Back at the cabin, Stefan asks Qetsiyah how she plans to defeat Silas – give him a cure? She tells him he’s skipping ahead. First, they have to do something about his mental powers. The last time she faced off with him, he didn’t have the ability to compel groups of people. Stefan asks if Amara is in the same tomb where Qetsiyah trapped Silas.
2,000 years ago: Silas finds Qetsiyah outside the tent where he and Amara were hiding out. She has two gifts for him. The first is the chalice they were going to take the elixir from. Silas knows Qetsiyah is mad, but she says she’s moved on and wants to forgive him. Her second gift is a cure for immortality. She knows it works because she tested it on someone already. Silas runs to the tent to check on Amara, but instead he finds blood everywhere. Qetsiyah says she cut Amara’s throat, so she couldn’t speak, but Qetsiyah could tell she knew she was going to die from the way her heart was beating before Qetsiyah cut it out. Silas threatens to kill Qetsiyah, who says the only way he can get near her is if he takes the cure. Then they can live human lives together.
Present: Qetsiyah comments that this was her way of giving Silas a second chance. Stefan isn’t so sure. She says Silas is still a simple man. The Other Side was a barrier between him and a peaceful afterlife. She was sure he would take the cure and die so he could be with Amara, only to find himself trapped with Qetsiyah for eternity. “How’s that working out for you?” Stefan asks. “He’s been a little stubborn,” Qetsiyah replies. He guesses she’s not really making him a daylight ring. Nope!
Stefan reminds Qetsiyah that they’re on the same side – they both want to get rid of Silas. She says she has trust issues, not to mention some problems I’ll just categorize as unstable mental health. She gives Stefan a magic migraine and says everything’s working out fine now.
Katherine hides from Nadia in some woods, admitting that she’s relieved when Elena finds her. She asks why Elena didn’t kill her. Elena says that if Silas wants Katherine, they can use her as leverage. Katherine clarifies that she meant after Elena made her take the cure. After all, Katherine was trying to kill Elena. Elena tells her they’re not alike. She values her humanity. She let Katherine live so she can try to find any remnant of humanity left after 500 years of ruthlessness. Katherine thinks Elena actually intended mortality to be a punishment. Elena says that was a “happy accident.” Katherine thanks her. Just then, Nadia runs up, snaps Elena’s neck, and drags Katherine away.
Damon finds Stefan in Qetsiyah’s cabin, tied to a chair with vines. She says the vines won’t release Stefan until she gets what she wants. She’s going link Stefan to Silas and cast a spell that will neutralize Silas’ mental powers. Then when he’s weak, she’ll force him to take the cure. Damon tells her the cure is gone; Katherine took it. Qetsiyah was expecting her to come with him. Stefan wants to rewind because he didn’t know Katherine took the cure. Damon’s more interested in the part where Qetsiyah thought Katherine was coming. He realizes that she planted the dreams in Elena and Katherine’s heads.
Qetsiyah decides to get started without Katherine. As she begins to do a spell, Damon and Stefan are like, “Well, we’ve overstayed our welcome, so we’ll just be hitting the road.” She warns Damon not to get on her bad side. He tells her she’s not the only one with a bad side. Qetsiyah spells out for him that once Silas loses his mental powers, they can take him down, so he shouldn’t be so quick to go. Stefan gives her the green light to do what she needs to do.
Katherine wants to know who’s kidnapping her, but Nadia isn’t in the mood to chat. They run into Silas, who found Nadia’s car without even having to use magic (thanks, GPS!). In the cabin, Qetsiyah continues her spell. Silas asks Nadia to hand over her hostage, but Nadia declines. Silas starts to compel her to shoot herself, but the effects of the spell hit him before he can finish his order. Nadia is able to get Katherine to her car while he’s incapacitated. Qetsiyah tells Damon that she’s using Stefan to fry Silas’ brain. It works, but unfortunately, it leaves Stefan unconscious and bleeding from his eyes.
Damon tells Qetsiyah to undo whatever she did. She replies that the spell burned through Stefan’s unconscious mind, but he’ll wake up. She taunts that Damon might not want to take him home, since he and Elena will be forced to face the fact that they spent the summer not thinking about Stefan. Damon asks if Qetsiyah spied on them from the Other Side. She says it was like watching a boring soap opera.
The only thing worse than being on the Other Side and watching Silas resist the cure was watching versions of Stefan and Elena find each other. Just like Elena had Katherine before her, Stefan is just one of multiple Silas doppelgangers. Through the centuries, the doppelgangers have been brought together over and over by destiny. Damon is done with story time, but Qetsiyah warns that the universe isn’t on his side. The two of them are the same: “The obstacles standing between two fates.” Silas had Amara, Stefan has Elena, and Damon and Qetsiyah are “the conflict that makes it interesting.”
Damon asks if he’s supposed to leave Stefan with Qetsiyah so he can run off with Elena. Qetsiyah says she would keep Stefan safe, but Damon doesn’t trust her, what with her bad track record with men. Qetsiyah says Silas can’t mess with their heads while he’s linked to Stefan. As long as Stefan is around, Damon will never be with Elena. She should know – she’s watched the doppelgangers for 2,000 years. Damon starts to make a deal with her to keep the whole destiny thing quiet, but he’s just messing with her before he chokes her. She gives him a magic migraine and knocks him out.
Elena finds the cabin sometime later, and Damon, who’s just regaining consciousness, watches her check on Stefan first, since she doesn’t see Damon off to the side. In a motel, Katherine searches Nadia’s things while she’s out of the room, looking for something that will identify her. Silas calls to ask where they are, as if Nadia’s going to just tell him. He mentions that he’s lost his ability to read minds, which Nadia says was the only interesting thing about him. He threatens to kill her if she doesn’t stick to their deal. Katherine must stay alive.
Silas knows that the only way he could lose his psychic powers is if Qetsiyah is alive again. He tells Nadia she’s on her way to Mystic Falls. Nadia teases that he could get back together with her, but he says that’s not Qetsiyah’s thing. They hate each other, and Qetsiyah is even more determined to get what she wants than Silas is. Qetsiyah is currently using her own blood in some kind of spell at the cabin.
Katherine takes the phone from Nadia and asks Silas what he wants with her. Silas says he loved a woman who looked just like Katherine, but Katherine’s face makes him sick. She replies that he should just let her go so he doesn’t have to look at her. Silas still wants the cure, though, and the only way to get it is to take it out of Katherine’s blood.
Matt wakes up on the floor of the foyer of Lockwood Landing. Elena calls to tell him they found Stefan but lost Katherine. She asks if he’s okay, since he sounded weird on the phone earlier. He doesn’t remember calling her and asking about Stefan and Katherine. P.S. She told him where they were going, and his boots are muddy. Also, he has a knife in his pocket.
Elena puts Stefan’s daylight ring back on his hand while she waits for him to wake up at Vamp Villa. Damon does a horrible job hiding his jealousy over how much she still cares about her ex. He tells her that Qetsiyah said they don’t stand a chance because doppelgangers are supposed to be with each other. Elena brushes off Qetsiyah’s claims and promises she still wants to be with Damon. Damon also isn’t going to let some crazy old witch tell him his relationship is doomed. Elena is his life.
As they’re kissing, Stefan wakes up. They welcome him back and say they missed him. “I have no idea who you people are,” he replies.
Keep in mind: Travelers can possess other people without them knowing.
Etc.: I resent having to type “Qetsiyah” over and over.
Anyone want to join my new band, Damon and the Doppelgangers?
Zach Roerig (Matt) is quite talented, but not at speaking with a fake Czech accent.
We should have been skeptical of Silas’ past claim that he, not Qetsiyah, created the immortality spell. If he was that powerful, he could have easily created a cure, too.