[Warning: Major spoilers from Thursday's episode.]
How do you follow last week's jaw-dropper? By heading back to 1942.
The Vampire Diaries traveled back in time to the glorious '40s when Damon and Stefan had slicked back hair and wore period gear, all in an effort to see if there was a way to break the vampire sire bond Elena has to Damon. The brothers soon discover that there is no magical spell to break said bond; the only way to do so is rather poetic: to literally let them go. So does Damon break his bond with Elena?
Here is how it all went down on "We'll Always Have Bourbon Street":
8:00 p.m.: They don't hold any punches, showing what a happy Damon and a newly charged vampire vixen in Elena look like. And well, it's quite sensual, as the two tussle in bed the morning after their late-night sexcapade. Cut to Caroline having none of the "Delena" nonsense: "She's become Damon's lapdog!" Do lapdogs willingly engage in bloody morning-after foreplay?
8:05 p.m.: After Damon and Elena debate about when to tell Stefan about their new relationship status (don't they ever learn that there is no right time?), Stefan drops the bombshell theory that Elena is sired to Damon. (This clip should look familiar as The CW released the scene last week.) Unfortunately for Damon, Elena suddenly can drink out of a blood bag.
8:10 p.m.: 1942. New Orleans. Damon, in slicked back hair, acting as a mentor of sorts to a gal named Charlotte. And so the story begins of how Damon cut Charlotte's sire bond for good.
8:17 p.m.: The Salvatores make the trip to New Orleans to find Damon's special witch friend who can rid Elena of her sire, but that just serves as the setting for the brothers to continue their fight over who is ultimately good for Elena. "Because it's impossible for her to be so blind that she doesn't see how you are for her," Stefan fires back. Harsh. It's common knowledge by now where the brothers stand, but this tete-a-tete just twists the knife even further.
8:23 p.m.: Now that's a kiss. In the dead of night, a dark figure swoops in and knocks Damon off his feet. Is it someone wanting Damon's head? Nope, just Damon's long-lost 1942 buddy Charlotte, who re-introduced herself with big, fat kiss. So what has she been doing all this time? Counting every brick in town. For real.
8:30 p.m.: Girls night with Elena, Caroline and Bonnie has turned into a dance party/boozefest. And while it's nice to see the three enjoying their (supernatural and prolonged) teenage years, it's all about to end badly. And sure enough, Caroline breaks the promise of "no boy talk" and starts to bash Damon's love of women. Caroline: "Say what you want about Ripper Stefan but at least he wasn't a man slut." But Elena brings the blonde down to size, bringing up the time early in the series when she herself had a rendezvous with Damon.
8:32 p.m.: The spell to break the vampire sire bond just so happens to require the sacrifice of 12 human souls. Another obstacle in Damon's search for the spell: there is no sign of any of it.
8:33 p.m.: "You're not falling in love with him Elena, you're sired to him!" "What?!" "What are you talking about?!" Oops.
8:38 p.m.: Tyler reveals that the sire bond only affects how you act, not how you feel. Meanwhile in New Orleans, the witch says that a vampire can only bond to their sire when she has feelings for him before she turns. Human feelings! Being a vampire only heightens the emotions. For Elena to truly be free, Damon must set her free (i.e. telling her to live her life without him). So Damon cuts ties with Charlotte, naturally.
8:57 p.m.: It takes some time but finally, Stefan settles on the fact that Damon loves Elena just as much as he does.
8:58 p.m.: Just when Damon's about to free Elena from his bond, she asks him the ultimate question: "Is this wrong?" Will Damon go through with his "selfless" act and break up with her?
Other notable observations from the episode:
- Tyler's the alpha male. His hybrid plan is working!
- Professor Shane reveals that there may be a way for Hayley to see her dead parents. Intriguing.
- The magic Professor Shane has been teaching Bonnie all this time? Expression.
- Elena: "We're not judging."
Caroline: "I am."
The Vampire Diaries airs 8 p.m. Thursdays on The CW.