Elena Gilbert is back, and she’s losing it. Before she found herself with a one-way ticket to hell, Katherine left Elena with one heck of a parting gift — and on The Vampire Diaries (Season 5, Episode 16: “While You Were Sleeping”), we saw first-hand how Dr. Wes’ ripper virus, which he laced with werewolf venom, effected Elena. And it wasn’t pretty.
Of course, Elena is also being haunted by the ghost of Katherine Pierce. Well, more like her actions. It seems like Elena’s subconscious is having a hard time coming to terms with the fact her friends had no idea Katherine was inhabiting her body for three weeks. Honestly, we don’t blame her because they should have realized Elena wasn’t being herself. Since when has Elena stripped on top of a bar? (Also, how many camisoles does Elena own?)
But Elena has more important things to worry about — like the fact she currently wants to suck Stefan dry. Stefan tries to give Elena a recap of the last three weeks. Of course, he leaves out the juicy parts, like Aaron Whitmore’s death. And in case you’re wondering why Stefan, a vampire, would be in the same room as Elena, a vampire ripper, it’s easy: newbie witch Liv cast a barrier spell to keep Elena locked in her dorm. (You can thank Spring Braaaaake for Whitmore’s ghost-town status.)
Stefan gives her a cup of his blood and informs her of her fate. Luckily for Elena, Caroline, repenting for her sins as a bad bestie, is snooping through Dr. Wes’ lab, looking for an antidote. But she’s not the only one rummaging through the creepy doctor’s lab — Damon’s BFF Enzo is also on the scene. And he has the antidote.
It seems Enzo fell into the wrong crowd (aka the Travelers) when he left Damon in the farmhouse. He even willingly signed up for more of Dr. Wes’ experiments, and it was there that Dr. Wes created an antidote for the ripper virus — an antidote that the Travelers stole after Wes’ grisly death. But like most things on TVD, Enzo isn’t going to just let Caroline have it. Of course not! It turns out Stefan is a key part of this puzzle.
Caroline tells Stefan to meet her at a train yard, and when they arrive, there’s a whole gaggle of Travelers to welcome them. Enter Sloan, one of big bad Markos’ most loyal follows, and she drops a bomb on Stefan: there’s another doppelganger! We’d really love to see the inside of the TVD writers’ room. We wonder if they have a sign that reads, “When it doubt, add more doppelgangers!”
Apparently, when the Travelers collected Stefan and Elena’s blood, they did so with the intent of mixing their blood for some sure-to-be detrimental plan. But their spell didn’t work because there’s another doppelganger somewhere in the world. They need to kill the other doppelganger so that the last doppelgangers’ — Stefan and Elena — blood is effective for… something. OK, so we’re not quite sure what Markos and his Travelers are planning, but we know he needs Stefan and Elena’s blood.
In order to find Stefan’s long-lost doppelganger, Sloan needs to perform a linking spell on Stefan to link him and his doppelganger in order to find his location. Seeing as the last time someone performed a linking spell on Stefan he lost all of his memories, he’s a little hesitant. But no linking spell, no antidote for Elena and Damon — so of course, he’s going to do it.
After an adorable conversation with Caroline, in which they are pretty much the cutest BFFs ever, he decides to go ahead with the spell. And when things get sketchy and Stefan’s mind is once again pushed to its limits, it’s Caroline who comes to his rescue. She offers to go to Atlanta, where this doppelganger lives, and kill him if Sloan stops frying Stefan’s brain.
Meanwhile, back at Whitmore, Elena is struggling to overcome her hallucinations. And to make matters worse, she now thinks she’s the one who killed Aaron Whitmore. Yikes. The venom in her blood is also causing her to not act like herself. Case in point: after nearly killing Whitmore co-ed Luke (even Ripper Elena can’t kill), she compels him to go find Bonnie and Liv. Once they arrive, Elena tells Liv to remove the barrier spell, but Bonnie thinks it’s too dangerous. She tells Elena that she’s letting Katherine win by falling to her delusions. And then Elena pulls a Damon and STAKES Liv — and the only way to save her is to give her some of Elena’s blood. So Elena makes herself a deal and escapes Whitmore. (We felt bad for the newbie witch until it was revealed she’s not a newbie after all. In fact, she’s working with her brother Luke to get to Bonnie. Liv and Luke are using Bonnie for something. Do they want to reach the Other Side?)
Fortunately for her, Damon finds her wandering before she goes on a Ripper spree, and he comes clean and tells her he was the one who killed Aaron. Needless to say, Elena doesn’t take the news well, but there’s no time for fighting because Enzo finds them and gives them the antidote.
Now that they’re both virus free, you’d think Damon and Elena would be able to get past their issues and be together. After all, Damon did promise her a night she would never forget. But alas, Delena just has too many issues stacked up against them. If Elena wants to be with Damon, she has to sacrifice her morals and everything she believes in. And as much as she loves Damon — she seriously can’t quit him — it’s never going to work. So they break up — for good. And then they hook up! Obviously, this love story is far from over.
Catch the next episode of The Vampire Diaries on Thursday, March 27 at 8 p.m. ET on the CW.