‘The Vampire Diaries’ recap: Will Katherine make Stefan fall for her?

We knew it was only a matter of time before someone figured out “Elena” wasn’t really herself. The only surprise was that it wasn’t Katherine herself who gave away her true identity. Watching her roll her eyes, flirt mercilessly with Stefan, and wing her way through conversations she doesn’t entirely understand, it’s been hard to believe that Elena’s nearest and dearest aren’t whispering about how “off” their friend seems.

Of course, “Elena” has just dumped Damon, so Caroline can be forgiven for jump frogging immediately to concern over her friend’s strangely upbeat behavior instead of suspicion about it. After all, in Caroline’s eyes, Elena’s finally showing some common sense. Sure, it’s a little weird that she seems to start hitting on Stefan almost immediately, but Caroline may not be picking up on all the red flags. She’s admittedly a little wrapped up in her own Tyler-Klaus mini drama, so she can be forgiven for not living in The Elena Show this week. Still, didn’t we all have just a fleeting moment of hope when Caroline called out “Elena” for faking it? 

Stefan, of course, isn’t likely to clue into “Elena”‘s true identity right now because he has even bigger problems to tackle — mainly, Evil Damon. When Stefan comes home to find a bloody car parked out front, Aaron dead in the trunk and a hungover Damon staggering around the house, it’s abundantly clear that bad days are here again. Worse, Stefan discovers Damon’s little murder buddy Enzo, who doesn’t take the hint when Stefan tries to scare him out of Dodge. It’s hard to effectively threaten someone who’s been tortured for a few decades, it seems.

The big party this week (because there’s always a big party) is the Bitter Ball, which is actually a great idea for a party and I wish they’d had at my college. Whoever comes up with these themes for “The Vampire Diaries” could probably make a fortune as an event planner. In any case, “Elena” uses the ball as an excuse to lure Stefan into a more romantic meeting than he expected, as he wanted to talk about the serious issue of Enzo and she wanted to bat her eyelashes at him. It should be a romantic outing for Bonnie and Jeremy, but not so fast. Damon gets to them first, and he has an awful, awful plan. 

He needs a witch — and who better to provide a witch than a former witch? Oh, and If Bonnie doesn’t find one, Enzo will kill Jeremy. Gotcha! Luckily, Bonnie just happens to know that Liv, a girl she saw sitting next to her in class, can levitate pens and stuff, so she’s witchy enough to get the job done… maybe. Liv tends to set things on fire, so she’s not exactly in control of her abilities. You’d think Damon might give Bonnie a little extra time to train Baby Witch to get the job done, but I guess Evil Damon is really evil through and through. It’s horrible to watch Bonnie patiently coaching Liv on the art of magic, unaware that Enzo has already smothered Jeremy with a plastic bag. I hate to say it, but I almost hope that Enzo’s relatively quick offing of Jeremy was a sign he isn’t all bad — I thought he’d certainly rip the kid apart. 

But smothering is all the better for a quick revival, which a reluctant “Elena” does by comically pounding on Jeremy’s chest in the worst approximation of CPR since ever. It wasn’t necessarily guaranteed that “Elena” would decide to rescue Jeremy, but after Nadia made it clear that the real Elena would go to the ends of the earth for her brother, I guess she realized she just needed to save the “little nuisance” this time (poor Jeremy — even if he’s half cat, the guy must be running out of lives at this point). 

Also unlucky this week is Matt, the smart guy who figures out “Elena” is really Katherine. He puts the puzzle together when, after a night of pouring shots for Tyler and Nadia (which he tells Tyler is a bad idea but, hey, booze), Tyler tells him Katherine’s daughter is compelling him to give her information — and when he drinks the bar’s vervain-laced coffee, he doesn’t “forget everything” as ordered. Unfortunately, when Matt sorts this out the truth, he just happens to say it to Nadia, who now has to do something with him. I can’t imagine it’s a good something, but hopefully it doesn’t involve killing Matt, either. Nadia’s a hard case, but she seems to have a soft spot for Matt. Maybe. That might be wishful thinking on my part. 

So, another week passes with Katherine’s secret safe — and a greater likelihood of “Elena” wearing Stefan down with her nonstop flirting. Clearly, he still has feelings for her — but as he so movingly explains to “Elena,” seeing the impact she had on his brother convinced him that she’s meant for Damon, not him. It’s so like Stefan to make that kind of sacrifice, but the longer Evil Damon is Evil and the more “Elena” chips away at Stefan’s good guy resolve, I suspect the more likely it is that Stefan will get back together with the doppelgänger that got away — even if she’s not the one he thinks she is. 

Oh, and let’s not forget — Wes gets the drop on Damon and Enzo and turns Damon into a vampire eater. I’m thinking Evil Damon + a taste for vampire blood = a horrible mess, but if this can be done it surely can be undone, right? Right? Oh, what a mess!

Did you like Liv? Do you think “Elena” will win over Stefan? Do you think Damon’s new condition can be reversed?