We start off with Caroline, Damon, and Stefan in the Salvatore's house, with Caroline telling the boys about her run-in with Katherine (who still hasn't perfected the Elena-look - we think it's mainly the hair, Katherine). Apparently Katherine wants the moonstone. Tonight. Or she'll "make the town rain blood". Damon and Stefan are supposed to give Katherine the moonstone at the Masquerade Ball tonight, presumably because she wants it to be in a public place. Caroline, nice little baby vamp that she is, wants to just give Katherine what she the moonstone. Damon, however, has other plans: "I'm going to go to the Masquerade Ball, and I'm going to kill her". It has only been a few days since he's murdered someone. Stefan, of course, nixes that plan: "You're not going to kill her. Because I am." Whoever kills Katherine, we sure can't wait to see it.
Aunt Jenna is released from the hospital, after she is told she walked into a knife. We're with Aunt Jenna on this one, who does that? Someone probably should've thought that cover story through a little better. As Katherine's minions Aunt Jenna and Matt sit on the couch, Elena and Jeremy have a little pow-wow in the kitchen. Jeremy thinks they should punish Katherine for this, while Elena thinks they can let it go, as long as it keeps people safe. While we definitely think Katherine should (and will) be punished for everything she's ever done, we agree with Elena. The Gilberts have no supernatural powers (that the audience is aware of), so they shouldn't try to take on Katherine, at least not by themselves. Elena lets Jeremy in on why Jenna stabbed herself, saying it won't happen again because she broke up with Stefan, so Katherine won. Oh Elena, if only it were that easy. Over at Katherine's Bed & Breakfast, we find out that Katherine has a witch of her own. This should be a nice development. Katherine invites Not Bonnie to be her date to the Masquerade Ball.
Actual Bonnie arrives at the Salvatore mansion, grimoire in hand. When Jeremy enters right behind her, she looks at Stefan for an explanation. His response? "We're going to kill Katherine". Of course you are. And then a rainbow is going to shoot out of your butt and everyone will get a pet unicorn. It's unlikely, is what we're saying. Anyhoo, Alaric is showing the gang (sans Elena) all of his fun vampire-killing toys. Damon's face in this scene is priceless; it really looks like he's thinking Alaric is having too much fun talking about killing vampires.
Back in Katherine's room, she's straightening her hair to attempt to look more like Elena. We're glad you listened to our advice, Kat. Not Bonnie (whose name is apparently Lucy) thinks it's dangerous to impersonate Elena in front of the whole town, but Katherine doesn't care - she just wants the moonstone. And we finally come to the reason Katherine called for Lucy: Katherine wants her to use the moonstone to lift the curse. Honestly, we thought Mason was just being lovestruck when he said that was Katherine's plan. It's almost a bigger shock to us that she is, in fact, planning on lifting the werewolf curse. We think that the people hunting her are werewolves. That's just an obvious theory for you all.
Elena invites Matt to stay and hang out, but he's going to the Masquerade Ball. There's a mysterious something he has to do, and because she's a smart cookie, Elena looks wary at that response. Matt comforts Elena about her relationship with Stefan, and we melt a little. Their friendship, now that it's past him still being in love with her (we think), is awesome. We love healthy, platonic relationships with the opposite sex.
Katherine's hunting party is having one last discussion before going to kill her, to determine whether or not everyone is still in. Caroline, who is rapidly becoming one of our favorite characters on this show, has the best response: "She killed me. Fair is fair." Everyone is still in agreement, but Bonnie wants to make sure that no one else will get hurt. Which, of course, means that someone else is going to get hurt.
At the Masquerade Ball (which looks pretty freaking cool), Tyler and his mom are talking about Mason and Papa Lockwood. They have a nice little heart-to-heart about how Tyler shouldn't feel alone. Katherine and Lucy enter the party, and Matt immediately thinks she's Elena. She tells him he looks hot in a suit (which doesn't really further the plot, but we thought it should be mentioned, because he really does). Katherine compels Matt to remember his job and we are reminded that she's evil. Stefan and Damon are outside, looking for Katherine. Damon says that despite his 145 years spent loving her, he won't hesitate to kill Katherine. His eyes, however, look worried.
Those two random girls are back, and dancing for/with Matt and Tyler. Matt's working on getting Tyler drunk. Jeremy and Bonnie sneak upstairs, to get a room ready for trapping Katherine and to provide some exposition about the Gilberts and Bonnie's grimoire. Thanks, guys! We do learn that Bonnie apparently doesn't like being a witch, which we question, as it always seems like she enjoys causing aneurysms in Damon's brain. Bonnie has noticed a pattern, though, and doesn't want to be the next Bennett witch to die.
When she finds out her brother is at the Masquerade Ball, Elena asks Alaric about why Jeremy has suddenly developed an interest in town functions and, when he becomes evasive, she calls his bluff by threatening to go to the party. Without mentioning the Katherine plan, Alaric tells her that Stefan is at the party, too. Elena is too smart for that, and knows Stefan only ever went to those events for her. We love how smart this heroine is. Alaric tells her to let it go.
Bonnie has finished preparing the room, so she and Jeremy go off to look for Damon and Stefan. Before they can do that, Bonnie somehow feels Lucy's presence. Lucy obviously knows who Bonnie is, but acts like she knows nothing and gets away from Bonnie as quickly as she can. Back outside, Stefan has found Katherine, who threatens to kill someone if he doesn't dance with her. Katherine and Stefan dance and talk about Aunt Jenna and the moonstone. She basically tells him to get it or she'll start killing people. When Stefan tells her she has to get it with him or she doesn't get it at all, Katherine paralyzes and then kills one of the annoying girls. Seriously, even more Team Katherine now.
Elena tells Aunt Jenna and Alaric that she's going to bed, but we see her swipe the keys, and we know where she's heading. And speaking of the Masquerade Ball, Damon and Stefan are discussing Katherine and her most recent murder. We shouldn't need to tell you which one thinks of it as "collateral damage" and which one is actively freaking out about it. Stefan now wants to back out of the kill Katherine plan, but Damon says he's got his back. Awwww. Jeremy is outside with Bonnie, asking her questions about magic. We're with Jeremy, a spell for acing any test would be one of the first we'd want to learn. Jeremy picks up on the same flirty vibe we've noticed all episode and asks Bonnie to dance, but she turns him down. Luckily for Jeremy, he gets a text from Damon saying it's time. Oh boy.
Lucy finds Katherine and lectures her for not mentioning Bonnie. No one was supposed to know about Lucy's involvement but now, thanks to Bonnie and her witchy sense, someone does. Katherine threatens Lucy, but is interrupted by Jeremy, who "mistakenly" thinks Katherine is Elena. He's actually there to tell her Damon and Stefan have the moonstone and want to meet her somewhere. Jeremy tells Katherine he's not scared of her, but is obviously a little shaken when she reminds him of what she did to Uncle John. After Katherine goes to meet the Salvatores, Jeremy runs into his actual sister, who oddly enough doesn't seem pleased.
Caroline sees Matt, Tyler, and the not dead annoying girl go upstairs, and shares a moment with Matt. She then gets a text from Jeremy saying it's her turn. He does not mention that it's her turn to get shoved into a wall by Katherine. She wants Caroline to tell her what's up with the Salvatore boys and why they're luring her out to the lake. We didn't like Caroline telling Katherine that Damon and Stefan plan on killing her and that Bonnie has the moonstone, until we realized it's probably part of the plan.
Jeremy and Bonnie are explaining the plan to Elena, who doesn't get the logic behind killing Katherine at the party. Elena doesn't want them to do this for her, but Jeremy tells her that Katherine has messed with all of them, and deserves to be stopped. And speaking of, Katherine is dragging Caroline upstairs with her to get the moonstone. When they get to the room, Katherine steps inside, while Caroline manages to not cross the threshold. Caroline is pleased with her acting, but Katherine is obviously not thrilled to be trapped in a room. Stefan and Damon step out of their hiding places, and Damon shoots a stake into her back. However: TWIST! Elena's back starts bleeding! Oh man! Since no one knows about this apparent connection between Elena and Katherine, Stefan and Damon keep staking Katherine. Continuing the tradition of intelligent women on this show, Bonnie realizes the link and tells Jeremy to get Damon and Stefan to stop. Katherine isn't blindsided anymore, though, and starts fighting back, but the boys eventually get the drop on her. Jeremy stops them just in time, as Damon was about to take the kill-shot. Katherine tells them about her witch, and starts hurting herself to hurt Elena. Luckily, Elena has Bonnie, who says that although she can't break the spell, she can try to take some of Elena's pain away. Just as Katherine is about to stake herself in the stomach, probably killing Elena in the process, Damon stops her.
When Jeremy reports back to Bonnie that she was right, she goes off in search of the other witch at the party, who she immediately knows is Lucy. Jeremy takes off his Gilbert protection ring and gives it to Elena, who wants him to keep it. Back up in the vampire room, Katherine and the brothers Salvatore talk about old times. When Stefan won't tell her where the moonstone is, she teases them about how much they both worship Elena. Katherine twists the knife a little more when she mentions how obvious it is that Damon is in love with Elena, too. When she tempts Damon to kiss her, Stefan changes the subject back to werewolves and the moonstone. When Damon "apologizes" for killing Mason, Katherine reminds him that he's not the only wolf in Mystic Falls.
Oh hey, Tyler! He, Matt, and girl that almost caused Tyler's transformation a few weeks ago are upstairs at the party, drinking. They ask about "Amy", but I think they mean dead annoying girl. She's dead, guys. And then it starts. Matt starts to pour alcohol onto the floor and talk about Papa Lockwood, upsetting Tyler. Matt slaps Tyler a few times, and then breaks a picture of Tyler's father. After some more fighting, Caroline's vampire senses pick up on the noise, and she breaks the boys up, by elbowing Matt in the face. We see annoying girl #2 pick up a letter opener and DAMN Katherine really does have a million backup plans! She stabs Tyler in the shoulder, and he slams her down, killing her. We love that the show foreshadowed her death being Tyler's turning. Tyler starts freaking out, while Caroline tries to calm him down.
Katherine and the brothers are still stuck in the room, talking about the moonstone. Stefan FINALLY asks why she needs it back, and we get a glimmer of an even BIGGER bad than Katherine. Awesome. Katherine brings up Lexie (we miss Lexie!) in order to tell Stefan that she's checked in on him over the years. Damon looks like he's about to be physically ill. Katherine mouths "I love you" to Stefan, and now we're about to be physically ill.
Bonnie is following Lucy around the party. They get to a quiet part of a room and discuss what a bad, mean vampire Katherine is. Lucy basically tells Bonnie that if she gives Katherine the moonstone, she'll remove the spell linking Elena and Katherine. Bonnie threatens to hurt Lucy if she doesn't remove it, but Lucy reveals that she's indebted to Katherine. Bonnie touches Lucy and somehow knows she can trust her? We don't really get it, but sure. Lucy wants the moonstone.
Damon is pouring himself a drink and Katherine wants one, too. When he gives her the glass, he shoves her against a wall and tries to stake her. We think someone hasn't been paying attention. Luckily, Stefan holds him back. Lucy walks into the room, tells Katherine she's free to go, and gives her the moonstone. Before she does so, however, she makes Katherine tell her she is no longer indebted. Damon doesn't think that's a good idea, but Lucy hands it over anyway. The second Katherine touches the moonstone, she starts choking and convulsing. Apparently, Lucy placed a curse on the moonstone. Stefan is worried that this is affecting Elena, too, but Lucy knows Bonnie will take care of her. Should've told Lucy about the other Bennett witch, Katherine. And Katherine passes out.
Caroline has brought Mama Lockwood upstairs to show her second dead annoying girl. The Sheriff arrives, and Caroline and Tyler are left alone. Caroline tells him she'll take care of it, because she knows it wasn't Tyler's fault. He doesn't think she understands, but she understands a lot more than he thinks. Bonnie catches up to Lucy outside, and asks where she knows her from. Bonnie says she's felt the same trust feeling before, around family, and Lucy reveals that she and Bonnie are (distant) cousins. When Lucy tells Bonnie that her plan from now on is to stay out of vampire drama (ha good one), Bonnie asks desperately how she's going to do that, because she's sick of the drama as well. Lucy basically tells Bonnie that she can't stop, since she's a good witch. Jeremy comes up behind Bonnie after Lucy leaves and offers her a ride home. When Bonnie jokes about how young Jeremy is, he tells her he isn't a kid anymore. You're telling us. We've been saying that all season! Bonnie accepts his ride (obviously).
Stefan finds Elena and tells her that even though Bonnie took away the pain and she's healing, she should see a doctor in the morning. When he confirms that Katherine's really gone (really?), Stefan leans in for a kiss and is denied by Elena. Even though the threat is gone, Elena thinks she needs to "wake up" and make sure that her loved ones are safe. She needs to feel safe, before she can be with Stefan again. He says he understands and Elena walks off, leaving him pensive. And still cute.
But of course Katherine isn't gone yet. We see her wake up, gasping, in the original vampire tomb. Awesome. She grabs the moonstone and tries to leave but she's trapped. Doubly awesome. Damon comes by to rub some salt in the wound. He tells Katherine she's where she should've been all along, and makes us love him even more by saying that Katherine should know better than to mess with a Bennett witch. When Katherine tells him he should've killed her, he makes the DUH statement of the episode: "Death would be too kind". Truer words, people. He goes to close the tomb, and Katherine makes a last ditch effort to save herself, saying they need her because Elena is in danger. Since Damon is in love with Elena, this news stops him. When she won't give up any more information, Damon continues sealing the tomb. Katherine desperately tells him that Elena is the "doppelganger" and needs to be protected, which is why she hasn't killed her yet. You guys, things just got even more interesting. Damon says he'll protect her and closes the tomb. Katherine screams "you need me!" and falls to the ground, crying. We are freaking out. Damon just walks away.
Elena is walking to her car, talking to Jeremy on the phone. We're on edge, since there's less than a minute remaining and this is The Vampire Diaries. Some extremely creepy person walks into view as she hangs up, and we freak out even more. Elena turns around and is silenced by the creepy figure in some kind of Carnivale mask.
This show is excellent, and we never predicted Katherine to lose a battle this early in the season (even though one of us doesn't think she has actually lost). Very nice.
Episode Grade: A
Sorry this recap was a monster. In all honesty, we did try to keep it as short as possible, but this show is just so action-packed that it's hard not to describe everything that happens.