[Warning: Spoilers from Thursday's "Catch Me If You Can."]
Mystic Falls came down with a case of unlikely identities.
On Thursday's The Vampire Diaries episode, "Catch Me If You Can," Damon (Ian Somerhalder) and Stefan (Paul Wesley) find themselves committing acts they normally wouldn't. For one, Damon found himself on a quest to kill Elena's younger brother Jeremy. (Damon's change in personality is done out of force.) Stefan's new partnership with Rebekah (Claire Holt), meanwhile, brings out a different side to the Salvatore that Elena (Nina Dobrev) isn't ready to fully accept.
For much of the series, Stefan has lusted and looked after Elena like it was his meaning in life. When the truth came out about Elena and Damon's blossoming romance (the sire bond a mere technicality), Stefan attempted to move on -- for good. There were moments before when he'd be swayed back to save the frequent damsel in distress but this time, with Rebekah's influence and guidance, he was going to make this stick. One of the greatest lines from the episode comes from his mouth, after Elena concludes that his heartless acts are out of the norm for him.
"This is me. You've never seen me like this," he says. "You've never seen how I look when I'm not in love with you." It brings up an interesting question: How do you truly know who someone is? In any case, here are 15 highlights from Thursday's episode:
8:01 p.m.: While it looked like Damon and Klaus (Joseph Morgan) "teamed up," that's truly not the case. Damon has a convoluted plan to spare Matt (Zach Roerig) from being the victim of Jeremy's (Steven R. McQueen) hunter ways -- which Klaus really wants to be the case. Basically Jeremy and Matt escape to the lake house, while Damon slows Klaus' group of compelled vampires from chasing them down. But before Matt gets killed by a compelled vamp, Elena swoops in and saves the day -- presumably while she was on her way to meet Damon (established at the end of the last episode). Elena brings Matt home, while Jeremy and Damon finish their business.
8:06 p.m.: This is the scene between Stefan and Rebekah that The CW released last week. Still fun to see Stefan going outside the box and not brooding after Elena.
8:08 p.m.: Professor Shane (David Alpay) "compels" Bonnie (Kat Graham) in order for her to believe that she's in complete control of this expression magic he's been teaching her. (Really, she isn't.) Not a moment too soon, Sheriff Forbes arrests Shane, demanding answers. It's all a part of Bonnie's father's ploy to get more info from the professor. It's an understatement to say Bonnie and her father have some issues to work out.
8:15 p.m.: Stefan angrily searches for the tombstone that is a key tool Shane hinted would be useful in the quest to raise Silas, the first immortal being, back to life. Plus, it's the first mention of the good old days (and less boring) Stefan the Ripper this episode by Rebekah.
8:20 p.m.: Elena goes to Klaus for help; talk about an unlikely duo. After some persuasion, she gets Klaus to tell Kol to let Damon go and to stay away from Jeremy. But instead, Kol goes against Klaus' wishes and compels Damon to kill Jeremy. (Kol also introduces the interesting idea that Damon prefers Elena as a vampire and secretly wants to rid her of all her human threads, including Jeremy.)
8:28 p.m.: Rebekah explains to Stefan that she wasn't willing to wipe Stefan of Elena's memory clean because she wanted him to learn -- the hard way -- the lesson she learned. "Love and caring ruins you," Rebekah says, before saying later, "It's liberating actually." There's a lot of pent-up sexual tension between the two here, so the question must be asked: Are they going there? (See 8:59 p.m.)
8:32 p.m.: Elena notices that something is majorly wrong with Damon as he heads down to the Mystic Grill with a mission (to kill Jeremy via Kol, if you missed the memo). She successfully stops him once but isn't so useful the second go-around -- but not before Damon spills the beans on his "Must Kill Jeremy" plan.
8:37 p.m.: Bonnie's pissed off after Shane floated the idea that he can bring her lovely Grams back from the dead. "Don't play on my guilt Shane!" she exclaims before her magical powers do major damage to Shane and the interrogation room. Shane does simmer her down but it's going to be a load road. "She's a time bomb," he tells Bonnie's father. Aren't they all?
8:39 p.m.: Elena thinks it's a good idea to try Stefan, who would normally help out in a trying situation she finds Jeremy and Damon in. But he isn't having it. (Good for him! he really is learning from Rebekah.) Silence is deafening.
8:41 p.m.: Before it goes to commercial, Jeremy shoots Damon, but he doesn't kill him. ("Stupid," Damon says.)
8:47 p.m.: The moment Rebekah and Klaus confront each other since Klaus' betrayal has been awaited, and their brief showdown was quite unforgettable. After Kol says that this cure has already ruined the family -- and likened her to Klaus -- it's Klaus who saves Rebekah from being killed by Kol. She isn't ready to fully forgive, however: "Burn in hell!"
8:49 p.m.: In a twist, Damon wakes up realizing Jeremy spared him and it's Stefan who saves his brother by bleeding him out. (It's the only way for Damon to be weakened since he's still under Kol's compulsion.) One of the best lines of the night comes from Stefan: "You're welcome," he says right to Elena's face.
8:54 p.m.: Stefan and Elena have one of the best scenes of the episode, a conversation about their new team-ups and their relationship. After Elena asks about his partnership with Rebekah, Stefan lays down the law -- as he should. "You can do whatever you want, I don't care," to which Elena argues that he's not acting the way he usually does. Cue the line that sums up exactly where Stefan is at this point of the series: "This is me. You've never seen me like this. You've never seen how I look when I'm not in love with you." Ouch.
8:56 p.m.: The world has truly gone to crap when Klaus is your safest bet, and of course it's revealed in the promos for next week's episode -- when Kol is ravaging Mystic Falls -- that Jeremy maybe should have taken Klaus up on his offer.
8:59 p.m.: There's more: Stefan and Rebekah. Hook. Up. (Oh and Elena compels Jeremy to kill Kol. More on that next week.)
What did you think of Stefan and Rebekah? What are your thoughts on the episode?
The Vampire Diaries airs 8 p.m. Thursdays on The CW.