This episode begins with Katherine-Elena (Katherine in Elena's body) feeling happy to be alive. She visits Matt and removes his vervain bracelet so she can compel him to give her a "crash course" in all things Elena.
Elena-Katherine: Who does Elena like better - Bonnie or Caroline? Please say Caroline.Mia the Traveler has told Nadia that she needs Katherine's corpse for the spell to keep her in control of Elena's body long-term. Nadia handcuffs her to the bed in their hotel room just in case Elena's consciousness pops out unexpectedly while she goes to find her mom's body.
Damon: The nicest thing that Katherine Pierce will ever do is feeding the maggots that feast on her flesh.At the Lockwood home, Matt ("Captain Responsible") finds Tyler acting like a total dick. He's drinking shots at 7:42 in the morning. Someone did not come back from their spin-off happy.
Matt: So are you gonna tell me what happened in New Orleans?These Mystic Falls kids will just use any excuse for a party.
Tyler: Well there were witches, gumbo, a few Originals. Look, it doesn't matter because it's over, in the past, no more drama. I'm starting fresh.
Matt: Okay then. We're celebrating. I'm throwing you a welcome back party.
Meanwhile in the dorms, Caroline is compulsively stress cleaning. (Again, why does a their dorm room have a fireplace?) Aaron shows up to give a message to Elena: Wes isn't going to be a problem anymore. He has control of the family trust now so he cut off Augustine's funding. Also, he's sorry... really sorry. He returns to his own room, but is interrupted by Enzo.
Stefan calls Caroline and wants her help in convincing Elena to forgive Damon and get back together with him. Even though Caroline hates Damon, they both realize that Elena is good for Damon and makes Damon better. They realize that Elena has been lying to them both - she's told Stefan she was staying at the dorms but Caroline says she hasn't been. Of course, we know she's handcuffed to a bed in a hotel room possessed by Katherine.
Back in the hotel room, Elena has returned to her own body. She's freaking out but knows it has something to do with Katherine. She breaks free of the handcuffs and is about to answer her phone when Nadia shows up to call Katherine forth again.
Katherine-Elena: She's fighting. It's only a matter of time before she comes out again.The bad news is Nadia couldn't get Katherine's body. Damon tells Stefan he doesn't want to give it back and he's also pissed that he let Stefan convince him to try to get Elena back because it isn't working. Caroline has agreed to help, even though she hates him, but "nobody's perfect". (I think she's finally sympathizing with Elena and Damon a little bit after having fucked the evil Klaus against a tree in the woods last episode.)
The Scooby gang is getting suspicious, so Elena-Katherine decides to go to Tyler's party to show them that Elena is fine. And maybe she can find her body.
Katherine-Elena: I've impersonated Elena a million times. I can mimic everything about her.Tyler asks Matt is Caroline is coming to his party. He's starting over and it's clear he wants her back... but it's probably too late.
Nadia: This is different. You're not impersonating Elena. You are Elena.
Damon comes home and Enzo is waiting for him. They have "a bit of business to attend to". He's also brought a body bag filled with... Aaron. He says he did a little research and found out that Damon did fulfill his revenge fantasy of killing Whitmores. So he's brought him Aaron as a present.
Enzo: Do you want to kill him? Or shall I?Damon doesn't want to kill Aaron because he's a "friend of a friend". But Enzo isn't buying it. He wants to know that his old friend Damon is still in there someplace.
Enzo: End this for the both of us.Just then Caroline calls and tells him that Elena is at Tyler's so he better get his ass over there. Damon breaks Enzo's neck rather than kill Aaron or let Enzo kill Aaron. He takes off Aaron's vervain bracelet and compels him to go back to school, pack up his entire life and leave town.
At the party, Katherine-Elena is practicing her Elena routine. Stefan asks where she's been... she says she's been "processing, thinking" trying to deal with the whole Damon thing.
Stefan:I know my brother and I know he's a better person with you than without you.She asks how he's dealing with Katherine dying... he's "okay" and "fine" which you can tell hurts her feelings. She says they should give Katherine a funeral and asks where she's buried so she can drop off flowers or something. (Oh please.) He tells her that Damon said she's "where she was always meant to be." I think this means he buried her in the tomb under the church (from Season 1.) Katherine figures it out too and tells Nadia.
Caroline tells Katherine-Elena that she kissed and then had sex with Klaus. She wants her to tell her what an awful person she is.
Katherine-Elena: Actually you're one of the least awful people I know.Then she purposely asks her questions about it in earshot of Tyler. His face says it all. This gives her the opportunity to sneak out of the party and mess with them at the same time.
Katherine-Elena meets Nadia and Mia the Traveler at the tomb, so she can start the spell.
Katherine-Elena: You mutilate my body. Lovely.Just at that moment, Elena's consciousness starts to come forward again. She realizes where she is but doesn't say anything. I gotta say, this episode really shows that Nina Dobrev is actually a pretty good actress. Her face completely changes everytime she goes from Katherine to Elena to Elena-pretending-to-be-Katherine or Katherine-pretending-to-be-Elena. It's very meta.
Tyler is pissed at Caroline. Klaus killed thousands of people - including Elena's aunt, a pack of his hybrid friends and his mom. She's so sorry but he's not hearing it. He tells her to go and starts to turn wolfy. Stefan stops him so Tyler tells him that she "screwed Klaus". He looks disappointed in her and Caroline leaves. Then he punches Tyler.
Stefan: Drunk or not she doesn't deserve that.Then Damon arrives at the party but he can't find Elena. That's because she's in the tomb... She knocks out the Traveler and Nadia and runs away. When Nadia wakes up she tells Mia to just finish the spell.
Elena tries to phone a friend for help but Katherine has added a password to her phone and she doesn't know it. Katherine's memories keep entering her head as Mia continues the spell. As Katherine's body burns and Elena runs away, her memories continue to enter Elena's mind. She finds Damon and runs to him and hugs him, just as Katherine takes control of her body for good.
Damon: You're literally the best person I've ever known and for me to think that I could change you gave me way too much credit and you not nearly enough. You are the best influence on me. I need you. You are the good, and I need a little good in my life because without it, there's an awful lot of darkness.She tells Damon that she loves that she makes him happy and a better person, but she doesnt want to be the only thing that he lives for or worry what will happen if they fight or break up... what he'll do or who he'll take it out on.
Katherine-Elena: I know what you did to Katherine, Damon. She was weak and dying and you still tortured her.She tells him that she can't change him - the person that he really is - the person that was right to let her go. She tells him that it's over. Then she walks away with an evil smile on her face. Stefan shows up but Damon doesn't want to talk about it.
As Matt's cleaning up at the end of the night, he finds Tyler sitting there drinking and unhappy. He's pissed at Caroline and has no idea what to do with his life - which lasts forever.
Tyler: Klaus put me through hell in New Orleans. He crushed me. And just when I thought it was over, that he couldn't destroy anything else or do anything else...Mia tells Nadia that the spell worked. Katherine Pierce has permament control of Elena Gilbert's body. Mia wants her payment but Katherine arrives to rip out her heart instead (or as she called it, tying up a lose end). She tells Nadia that she's not going anywhere. There's no one coming after her for the first time in years so she wants to stay put. And she wants Nadia to stay too, but she's a grown up and it's her decision.
Katherine-Elena: I'm not saying that I'll ever learn to be a good mother, but I'll try. I've got all the time in the world to get it right.Stefan returns home to find Caroline sitting by the fire.
Nadia: I searched for you for centuries. I'm not leaving now. And we both know you wan tmore than just mother daughter bonding time.
Katherine-Elena: I want it all. I want my daughter. I want immortality. And I want Stefan Salvatore. He's my one true love.
Caroline: Am I a horrible person?Stefan asks her what her first thoguht was when she found out about her and Katherine (it was "ew") but she didn't hold it against him. Stefan always sees the best in people.
Speaking of the best in people... looks like Katherine-Elena brought out the worst in Damon.
Aaron stops his car to help someone who was laying in the road. It's Enzo and Damon is with him.
Aaron: You said that you were gonna let me go.He tells Aaron that he tried to convince himself to be better so he would deserve Elena's love... to ignore the instinct to kill people... but now he's no longer conflicted.
Damon: I did. I tried.
Aaron: Does Elena know that you're here?
Damon: She's the reason I'm here. No scratch that. I'm the reason I'm here.
Damon: Elena thinks I'm a monster. And you know what, she's right.Bye bye Aaron!
Enzo: Now that's the Damon Salvatore I remember.
- Deathcount: 2 - Mia the Traveler and (we can assume) Aaron Whitmore.
- People of Color: 0. Bonnie was completely missing this episode.
- Plothole: Where exactly was Bonnie (and Jeremy)? They didn't want to go to Tyler's party? And more importantly, wouldn't Bonnie be able to tell the rest of the gang that Katherine isn't exactly dead? Her body may be dead, but if her consciousness is in Elena's body that means she never officially passed through Bonnie to the Other Side. So why doesn't anyone know that yet?