The Vampire Diaries Recap: Season 5, Episode 3 — The Doppelganger Diaries
Credit: Bob Mahoney/The CW © 2013 The CW Network    

The Vampire Diaries

The Vampire Diaries Recap: Season 5, Episode 3 — The Doppelganger Diaries

Remember when The Vampire Diaries was all about finding a way to kill Klaus? Yeah, those days are long gone — and I couldn’t be happier.

I was concerned Season 5 was getting off to a slow start after last week’s filler episode, but Episode 3 (“Original Sin”) was so good, it was scary — like, speeding down the highway going 140 mph, scary. In fact, it was so epic, I’m about to make a very bold statement: “Original Sin” is one of my top 5 favorite episodes of TVD ever. I mean, there were more twists and turns in “Original Sin” than most of Season 4!

So what made the episode so great? A few things — it focused on one central storyline and got to the point quickly, answering a few burning questions — but perhaps its crowning achievement was Tessa, otherwise known as Qetsiyah. She’s absolutely crazy — and the best thing to happen to The Vampire Diaries in a very long time. You know that expression hell hath no fury like a woman scorned? Well, Qetsiyah is more psycho than Taylor Swift and Rebekah Mikaelson scorned… combined. Silas didn’t just break her heart, he turned her into a mad woman. (Kudos to you, Janina Gavankar for being all 50 shades of crazy.)

But Qetsiyah’s identity wasn’t the only surprise of the night. Not only did we learn the truth about Silas’s true love — shock: it was the Original Petrova doppelganger, Amara! — but we also found out why Silas needed Katherine. Her blood is the cure. So when Elena shoved that cure down Katherine’s throat, she effectively turned her into a weapon of mass vampire destruction. (Karma can be cruel, Elena.) And Silas isn’t the only one who wants the cure — Qetsiyah wants it, too (presumably, to force down Silas’s throat).

Why is Qetsiyah so determined to bring down Silas? It’s simple. He broke her heart. The Vampire Diaries uses flashbacks sparingly, but most of my favorite episodes feature these glimpses into the past. (Remember the masterpiece that was Season 3, Episode 3: “The End of the Affair”?)

The Vampire Diaries Recap: Season 5, Episode 3 — The Doppelganger Diaries
Credit: Bob Mahoney/The CW © 2013 The CW Network    

Tessa, who saves Stefan from burning in the sun at the beginning of the episode, tells Stefan the story of how Silas came to be such a monster. At first, we believe Tessa is actually Silas’s true love — until she delivers this bone-chilling line: “Silas was my true love. I never said that I was his. I’m Qetsiyah.”

From there, Stefan learns all about how Silas broke her heart. He told her he loved her, convinced her that he wanted to spend all eternity together, and on their wedding day, he left her at the altar and took the immortality potion they were supposed to share. He then gives the potion to his true love — Amara, who looks exactly like Elena — and they have a few blissful moments together before it all comes crashing down.

While Silas is away, Qetsiyah murders Amara, and offers Silas the cure, so he can take it and end his misery. When he refuses, she locks him in a tomb with the cure. So now Silas hates Qetsiyah for killing his true love, and Qetsiyah hates Silas for breaking her heart. (This is one lovers quarrel you don’t want to get involved in.)

Now, as much as I want to believe Qetsiyah’s story, it’s hard to imagine that she just killed Amara. After all, show us a body, or it didn’t happen! We never saw Amara’s body; we just saw a heart and some splattered blood. It could have been anyone. Perhaps Amara is still out there, roaming the world looking for Silas. Or maybe Qetsiyah looked her up in some dark and dingy tomb too. Regardless of what the witch did with her, I have a hard time believing she’s dead. This is TVD — no one is ever really dead.

But I digress. As if Silas's betrayal wasn't painful enough, Qetsiyah tells Stefan that in an effort to restore the balance between life and death — because creating immortality is a big no-no, as we learned from Esther Mikaelson — the universe created shadow selves (aka doppelgangers) of Silas and Amara. Over the last 2,000 years, Qetsiyah has had to watch these doppelgangers fall in love time and time again. This explains why Katherine always loved Stefan — and therefore, why Elena can’t shake her feelings for Stefan. (And thus, The Doppelganger Diaries was born.)

The Vampire Diaries Recap: Season 5, Episode 3 — The Doppelganger Diaries
Credit: Bob Mahoney/The CW © 2013 The CW Network    

Needless to say by the time Damon bursts in on the scene, he’s none too pleased with this information. He’s been in love with Elena for years, and now fate has decided to step in a screw him over? Where’s that sire bond when you need it. Qetsiyah tries to tell Damon he would end up broken-hearted in the end, but he wasn’t about to take love advice from this psycho witch.

She may be crazy, but she’s on a mission to take down Silas, and she’ll do anything to do so, even if that means risking Stefan’s life in the process. Qetsiyah performs a spell to link Stefan to Silas — this will limit Silas’s powers and mind control. However, the result is devastating for Stefan, who wakes up with his memory erased. He has no idea who Damon and Elena are. This, of course, wipes the slate clean, and gives Stefan a chance to fall in love with Elena all over again. (We see what you did there, Qetsiyah. You didn’t want to be the only lonely one, so you had to go and make Damon miserable too.)

Poor Damon. He literally just told Elena that she was his "life," and now there's yet another obstacle in his way.

As for Silas, well, his powers are weakened, but he still has one advantage — Nadia. In “Original Sin,” we find out Nadia never had any intention of working for Silas. In fact, the Traveller she killed to prove her loyalty was her boyfriend, and it just so happens the creepy spell he performed on Matt put his soul into our quarterback’s body. Nadia was able to call upon her deceased confidante, via Matt, and the result was truly terrifying. (When given the opportunity to sink his teeth into something truly out there, Zach Roerig shines.) The Traveller used his mind control over Matt to dig up his own body, Meanwhile, Nadia was on the hunt to find Katherine so that she could get back on Silas’s good graces.

I’m not quite sure why Nadia wants with Silas. It obviously has something to do with the fact she’s a Traveller, and 2,000 years ago, so was Silas. I’m sure there’s an origins story in the works already. But Nadia finds Katherine — and is able to beat Elena way too easily in the process — and tries to flee. However, Silas calls upon Nadia and tells her Qetsiyah is in Mystic Falls. He needs Katherine. Tired of being in the middle of this vicious battle of tug of war, Katherine asks why he wants her. That’s when Katherine realizes she has the cure running through her veins.

It’s amazing how much ground “Original Sin” covered. It not only set up Season 5’s central conflict, but it also introduced a new Big Bag — and it’s so nice to finally have a female wreaking havoc in Mystic Falls.

With such a strong start, I hope Season 5 can maintain its momentum. Right now, TVD is driving 140 mph in Taylor Swift’s Maserati, and I’m just hoping it doesn’t crash and burn.

“You must have restless sleep syndrome. It’s like I’m sleeping with a tornado.” — Damon, to Elena.

“What? I get carsick in the backseat.” — Katherine

“Do you really think I want to take a road trip with you? America’s most boring, self-righteous vampire.” — Katherine, to Elena.

“OK, train’s leaving the station. Choo choo!” — Damon, to Elena and Katherine.

“I don’t want to hurt you, so get away from me before I rip your throat out.” — Stefan, to Qetsiyah.

“So call me a woman scorned, or a vindictive bitch, or whatever label suits your story, but I was his one true love, and he betrayed me.” — Qetsiyah, to Stefan.

“I’m a complicated person… but Silas remains a simple man.” — Qetsiyah, to Stefan.

“I have trust issues.” — Qetsiyah. Understatement of the year.

“I’m glad to see you care. Even if you are a condescending bitch.” — Katherine, to Elena.

“Wait, Katherine took the cure?” / “We have a lot to catch up on.” — Stefan and Damon.

“Take it from a woman who’s had front-row seats for 2000 years.” — Qetsiyah, to Stefan.

“The love of my life looked exactly like you but the thought of your face makes me want to vomit.” — Silas, to Katherine.

“You are my life.” — Damon, to Elena.

What did you think of the episode, TVD fans? Sound off in the comments!

Catch the next episode of The Vampire Diaries on Thursday, October 25 at 8 p.m. ET on the CW, followed by the series premiere of Reign.

Crystal Bell is an editor at Wetpaint Entertainment and our resident fangirl for all things The Vampire Diaries. Follow her on Twitter and Google+!