Are we still breathing? This episode had big reveals about Damon's past and one very, very hot makeout scene that I would easily put in the series' Top 5. THAT'S how you do it, Jeremy and Bonnie. (And I presume they were doing it off-camera this entire hour since we never saw them.) Let's dig in.
We opened on July 11, 1953, when T-Bird Damon showed up in his white T-shirt and leather jacket at Salvatore Mansion to see Joseph Salvatore. Joe, it turns out, was a greedy bastard willing to sell Damon to a doctor who turned out to be Dr. Whitmore of the Augustines. Damon had managed to stab Joe in the neck, but Whitmore injected Damon with vervain and he was out. Fade to Wes, who informed Damon in present day that he was replacing the test subject he'd lost the night before. (RIP, Jesse. Didn't miss you for one second though.)
Katherine was writing in a journal at Stefan's request because he's worried she's going to kill herself. "Deep thoughts. Mortal coil. Blah, blah, blah, my hand's tired," she said. Katherine will never be the journaling type. She turned the tables on Stefan: He's still having his panic attacks and she can't work with people who can't give her 100 percent. Cue Caroline's arrival -- with the safe Stefan had been buried in.
Elena went to visit Aaron, who told her that campus security said Jesse killed himself. Aaron wants to hit the reset button, but Elena is the wrong person to ask about that. Plus, she needed to make this about her: She'd popped by to ask him about Wes, who's been his legal guardian since last summer when his aunt Sara died. Elena told him that her boyfriend Damon went to see Wes and no one's seen either of them since.
Flashback: Dr. Whitmore couldn't be compelled because he was wearing vervain. He had Damon restrained on a table for prodding because he knew vampire blood heals others and that their bodies heal themselves. "How I got this amazing body is nothing to do with science," Damon said. But Whitmore stabbed him in the eye anyway. In the words of Samantha Highfill, the colleague I was watching with: "The eyes and the ass are off-limits!"
Elena made Aaron see that it was weird that two of his friends committed suicide before the end of the first semester. She told him about Wes forging Megan's death certificate. Aaron wanted to find Wes to hear his side of the story. He took her to Whitmore House, and fortunately, he's Aaron Whitmore. He owns the building and school courtesy of the trust he inherited from his dead parents. She was able to enter because he invited her in. Elena saw her dad in a photo. Wes appeared and said Grayson Gilbert was one of the best doctors the Augustines ever had. And then he vervained Elena in the neck. "What the hell?" Aaron asked.
And confirmation! Aaron really hadn't known about vampires. Wes gave him a quick tutorial on vervain. Wes said Aaron's father trained him in the art of studying vampires. He'd been going to tell Aaron this story on his birthday -- what his family fought for and believed in. His legacy.
NEXT: Damon starts his story