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LET'S GET IT ON Elena (Nina Dobrev) and Damon (Ian Somerhalder) did the deed.
Jeremy was already back at his house, packing up. He couldn't live there if he wanted to kill his sister. Matt (and his biceps) showed up to tell Jeremy that Elena knew that. So she'd asked Matt to move in and keep an eye on Jeremy. (I hope we get workout montages!) Where would Elena live? Salvatore Mansion. Yes, they have many rooms to choose from, but why would she want to live under the weight of the triangle. She should have gone to Caroline's, but then, they'd just had their falling out. Stefan told Elena to pick a room and he'd crash elsewhere.
After we learned that Hayley is working with Shane to break the hybrids' sire bonds for a plan from which she wants him to spare Tyler (?!), we cut back to Damon and Elena sitting in front of the fire and welcoming her to the whiskey club. He thought she hated whiskey. "My brother wants to kill me," she said. "Welcome to the club," he answered, clinking glasses. After she recapped how everyone else hated her at the moment, Damon told her he'd never seen her more alive. Ah. And then she told him the dance today had reminded her of their dance. She'd wanted to dance with him again. He stood up and offered her his hand. I don't want them to rush it, I thought. Let's take this slow. Tease us. (Silly me!)
In front of a fire at Caroline's house, Stefan was also drinking. He told Caroline that Elena had told him to move on, and Caroline made him promise he wouldn't stop looking for the cure. He said Klaus wouldn't let him because he wants her human to make more hybrids. He'll need them, Caroline said, because the others were breaking their sire bonds. And then, it hit Caroline: As we watched Damon and Elena have hot lamp-shoving, shirt-tearing sex in the living room and then bedroom, she pieced it together -- Elena is sired to Damon. That's why she does everything he says now and changes her opinions to match his. Are you suddenly allowed to throw that concept into the show for vampires, just by admitting it's rare? If it wasn't a staple of vampire mythology (and on True Blood), it'd feel like more of a cheat. I'd say it's within their rights. So let's go with it.
I like it for the show's sake: It gives us something to look forward to. So they had hot sex, but the emotion felt more like lust than love. We can still watch them "make love" for the first time in the future, for Elena to CHOOSE to be with Damon for the right reasons. I don't think Damon knows that a sire bond is at work. I think he'll be crushed. That should lead to some good moments for him. Perhaps another drinking binge. (Then again, maybe that's not what's happened? Maybe it's real. Regardless, the brothers have a reason to fight over her again until they figure it out. So win-win.) But the reveal did kinda throw a bucket of cold water on the sex scene, didn't it? I mean, yes, I rewound. But not as many times as I expected to.
Your turn. What's your theory for how this plays out?
P.S. That Gabby Douglas cameo, as one of the minions helping Caroline prep for the party, would have been better if they'd been subtle and not given her a close-up.