Wes gave Aaron another present: His great grandfather's watch. I assume it was filled with vervain so Aaron could no longer be compelled, but could it also be something a little more badass than that? He showed Aaron pictures of his parents' bloodied bodies at the campground were they were killed, and he told him that's why he continued Aaron's father's work (and wants vampires to feed on other vamps) -- so it would never happen again. Instead of joining Wes, Aaron punched him. Yay! But then Aaron grabbed a gun and bullets. Boo. We knew where he was headed.
Back to Stefan: Katherine climbed in the safe with him and told him he had to get over his PTSD triggers or he'd get angry and kill her in there. He wasn't amused. "You're Stefan Salvatore, suck it up," she said, echoing his encouragement to her last episode.
Elena made Damon tell her the rest of his escape story, and Samantha realized how much the staging of these cell scenes mirrored Elena and Stefan's scenes when they were captive before she finished her transition into a vampire. (That's why I watch with her.) So at the 1958 New Year's Eve party, Dr. Whitmore took Damon out of the cage so the Augustines could toast with vampire blood. Damon slipped his hand out of the shackle, breaking its bones, which Whitmore watched him reset. Gross. "Now you see it," Damon said, and then he put his fingers in Whitmore's eyes. Fair is fair. And the massacre started. Unfortunately, a candelabra had been dropped and a fire started. Damon tried to free Enzo from his cage, but the bars were vervained. As Samantha pointed out, "These bitches are dumb." Why hadn't Damon realized that Whitmore probably still had the keys on his body since he'd just opened Damon's cell? Damon knew what he had to do to save himself. "I'm sorry, Enzo," he said, and he turned off his emotions and left him. He walked out, all calm and cool Damon, as Enzo screamed and begged him not to leave him. Goodbye, hot Enzo. Or so we thought. (Are we thinking Maggie returned and somehow saved Enzo? Maybe he fed on her because he hadn't had more than a sip or two of blood for a year? And then he felt so guilty he turned himself back in to the Augustines?)
In the safe, Stefan was feeling like he was dying while Katherine comfortably lounging. She told him she thinks he still loves Elena, and though he wants to leave town, he finds reasons to stay. He grabbed Katherine by the neck and started to strangle her. She wanted to show him that the safe isn't the problem: The death he felt in the safe wasn't just dying physically again and again -- it was the emotional heartbreak of Elena leaving him. Katherine was going to let him feed on her out of anger or save her life. Was she pretending that she was Elena? "I'm here... I'm here... I'm with you. We're together." EFFING HOT. Damn you, Caroline, who opened the safe because it was so quiet she got worried. REWIND. Stefan smiled THE best smile at Caroline -- PTSD gone! That was nice to see. He hugged Caroline, but he gave Katherine a look. So had he just defeated the safe, or had he also defeated the pain of Elena leaving him for Damon? And can be over the pain and still love Elena anyway?
NEXT: Oh wait, NOW it gets worse