Damon seemingly has everything he wants in life now: Elena loves him. But is it by choice? Even Damon, this Damon, only wants it if it’s her choice.
That’s a far departure from the Damon of season one. The one who sort of raped Caroline. (A fact everyone conveniently forgets in this episode since Damon is kind of a good guy these days.) The Damon from the New Orleans flashbacks definitely had no problem when someone was sired to him—he made that girl count all the bricks in the French Quarter just so he could get away from her.
But if Elena is sired to him and is only love with him because she is compelled too—that’s not ok with him.
Elena, however, sees it differently. After a talk with Tyler, she believes while the sire bond is strong enough to make her reject blood bags – since Damon told her that earlier this season – it’s not strong enough to impact her emotions. Since after all, while Tyler did everything Klaus asked when he was sired to him, he still hated his guts.
The episode ends unsure, however. Elena and Damon acknowledge the problem, but don’t know the solution. (Damon and Stefan came up pretty empty handed when they went to New Orleans looking for a cure. Though we did learn that Damon was supposed to go to World War II with Stefan then and backed out, when Lexi told him Stefan was better off without him around.)
While the bulk of the episode was spent on discovering whether or not Elena is sired to Damon, we also learned more about Professor Shane’s plans. He wants twelve unsired hybrids from Haylie – not including Tyler – for a sacrifice that may or may not have the power to bring back the dead. (Including Haylie’s parents, which is why she’s doing all of this stuff behind Tyler’s back in the first place.)
If that’s Shane’s plans, it sort of makes more sense why the pastor and the Council so willingly offed themselves at the end of the season premiere. Perhaps they knew it wasn’t permanent.
While Tyler has no idea what Haylie is up to, he did step up in this episode, assuming a leadership position in what appears to be his own pack. It’s a powerful moment and one that would have been unthinkable in season one where, yeah, didn’t Tyler almost rape someone too? (In fairness, that might have only been in the books.)