Just because Elena's emotions have been turned off doesn't mean there's a lack of romantic drama in Mystic Falls. There was a strip session, a surprising hookup, and a devastating breakup … and all in one episode!
Let's break it down, 'ship by 'ship:
Elena and Damon
With her feelings turned off, Elena (Nina Dobrev) isn't holding herself back anymore -- she feeds on a random stranger until Damon (Ian Somerhalder) shows up to stop her. "We agreed, no killing," he says.
Later, a naked Elena interrupts the Salvatore brothers' conversation. They pause to appreciate her form, then Damon uses his sire bond to order her to go to school and partake in regular teen activities -- which Elena interprets as rejoining the cheerleading squad. But as it turns out, she mostly does it for access to warm bodies to eat. And even though Damon also ordered her not to feed on anyone, she does. Apparently, when Elena turned off her emotions, the sire bond went with it.
[Related: What Does Damon Think of the New Elena?]
At the end of the episode, Damon whisks Elena off for a romantic road trip to New York City. Will the bright lights of the Big Apple spur her to flip the emotional switch back on?
Elena and Stefan
Whatever claims he's made about being over her, Stefan (Paul Wesley) so isn't. At all. He's still watching over her like a hawk and even vervains her after the cheerleading event. Back at the mansion, Elena teases him by stripping off her clothes.
"When in doubt, manipulate people with sex," Stefan mutters.
"I remember our sex, and it was good sex. I just don't feel anything about it anymore," Elena says with a shrug. Ouch.
Why does Stefan even care anymore, Elena asks. "Look at you, your whole world revolves around me," she taunts. "Maybe you're the one who needs to turn it all off." Double ouch.
Klaus and Hailey
The sexy werewolf is back in town because she needs Klaus's (Joseph Morgan) protection from her former partner-in-cure-stealing-crime, Katherine. He prevents one of K's vampire helpers from attacking Hailey (Phoebe Tonkin), bites the guy, and then proceeds to wine and dine her. Hailey looks over his art while needling Klaus about his crush on Caroline (Candice Accola). All the while dangling knowledge about Katherine's other helpers, hoping to make a case for Klaus to spare Tyler (Michael Trevino). He won't do it, so will she stay or will she go?
"You like to be in control, you told me," Hailey purrs. She decides to stay, and not just that, start making out with Klaus.
After hooking up, he spots a mark on her shoulder. Interesting … it's passed down by a certain clan of wolves in Louisiana. Maybe they can help each other after all (aside from the hot sex).
Caroline and Tyler
Miss C is still leaving lovelorn voicemails for Tyler, who's still not returning any of them. And her friend, Elena, isn't really there for her. In fact, at the party, Elena almost bites Carline's mom, Sheriff Forbes. A really angry Caroline goes to track her down, and the two friends have an all-out brawl. The Salvatores get there just in time to stop Elena from staking her BFF.
Later, Matt (Zach Roerig) texts Caroline to meet him at Tyler's house. He has a note from Tyler, leaving Matt the deed to his house and saying he can't ever return because Klaus will kill him. "I love you very much," he wrote, which causes Caroline to start bawling. Matt comforts her with a hug. (Maybe there'll be some Matt/Caroline sections in future recaps?)
Damon and Rebekah
Oh, these two … a match made in snark heaven. Damon's tracking down the vampire that Klaus bit to try to get info on Katherine's whereabouts, and Rebekah (Claire Holt) gets involved. They discover a nearby hospital's entire blood supply has been stolen, just like in Mystic Falls. It wasn't the bitten vamp, so who is it?
When they find the bitten vamp, Damon is shocked to realize it's someone he knows -- a guy named Will. But instead of curing him or interrogating him, Damon pulls out his heart. A pissed-off Rebekah accuses him of barring her from the cure, but Damon responds that he's only trying to save her from a dull, ordinary life.
Stefan and Caroline
We know it will probably never be anything more, but we do so love their friendship. And we're not the only ones to notice their closeness -- an emotionless Elena snarks about their flirting at the party. So … there's hope?
Stefan and Damon
The brothers Salvatore seem to be on good terms again, after last week's emotional turn of events. But while Stefan is grappling with the idea that it's Silas who's stealing all the blood (a desiccated vampire would need a lot), Damon is embarking on an impromptu trip with Elena. We have a feeling Stefan is not going to be happy about that.
Check out reactions from Twitter, and then sound off about the episode in the comments below.
Who Knew, taking my clothes off could cause such a raucous... #TVD— Phoebe Tonkin (@1PhoebeJTonkin) March 15, 2013
Damon/Elena scene was amazing! Love how Elena pointed out to Damon that he likes her better this way. They are so cute! #vampirediaries— Sheila Rajaram (@sheilarajaram) March 15, 2013
Awww Caroline & Stefan moment :3 that was so cute #TVD— Emily Wilson (@EmilyWilson_xx) March 15, 2013
Watch a preview of next week's episode:
"The Vampire Diaries" airs Thursdays at 8 PM on The CW.