*Long dramatic sigh of annoyance*
Oh boy. Here we go.
Zombie-Stefan is lurching around outside until he stumbles into a bar, attacks a girl, but manages to stop in time to tell her to run away. When he goes outside, sans daylight ring, he starts to burn up.
Cut to... Elena waking up suddenly. Apparently it was all a dream! Damon isn't at all interested in hearing about Elena's weird connection with her ex-boyfriend, because he says it makes him uncomfortable. Okay, yeah, that would be a fair enough point, if he wasn't also your brother, you jackass! Like, seriously, does Damon not care about Stefan's well-being at all? Well, regardless, Katherine comes in to say that she had the exact same dream as Elena, so we're probably looking at something real.
Elena, Katherine, and Damon go on a very uncomfortable road trip. Things that are awesome about these scenes: Katherine, Katherine, Katherine. My love for Nina Dobrev's portrayal of bitchy, whiny, sarcastic human!Katherine knows no bounds. Seriously, it's hilarious. I keep on forgetting that Elena and Katherine are played by the same person. Also, the split screens are pretty seamless. I'm always impressed with how well this show puts Katherine and Elena on screen together.
So... meanwhile, Stefan wakes up and gets the mother of all info dumps from his captor/savior. This girl, Tessa, was the one who freed him from the quarry and also saved him from the sunlight, but she's also keeping him prisoner now. Surprise-not-surprise, Tessa is really Qetsiyah, Silas' ancient witch girlfriend. I saw this coming from the minute she was introduced, but whatever.
Anyways, here's the back story: back in Ancient Greece, Silas and Qetsiyah are getting ready to be married, and they plan to seal their love with an immortality spell that will allow them to be together forever. Paul Wesley looks absolutely adorable with his curly hair and Greek get-up, I must mention. On the day of their wedding Silas takes the immortality spell and leaves poor Qetsiyah at the altar. Instead, Silas and his real true love Amara take the immortality spell. In retaliation, Qetsiyah creates a cure for immortality and forces Amara to take it, then brutally murdering her. The jilted bride traps Silas with the cure in a tomb for 2000 years, blah blah blah we all know the rest. What's annoying is that Amara is played by... Nina Dobrev. More of this doppelganger nonsense. Flashing forward a few thousand years, when Bonnie lowered the veil to the other side, apparently Qetsiyah (now Tessa) decided to take matters into her own hands once more, and find a way to defeat Silas.
Oh my boring. This description was basically just a hell of a lot of talking and not much acting. The girl who plays Tessa is perfectly fine, but I'm not all that invested in her character, to tell the truth. As Stefan says, 2000 years is a long time to hold a grudge, and it's also a long enough time that people are going to lose interest in your problems. Tessa needs Stefan around in order to defeat Silas, which is why she's not letting him go.
Meanwhile, Silas is looking for Katherine. Nadia and Silas talk, and Nadia expresses that she is truly on Silas' side. She goes to Matt, and finds the consciousness of Gregor inside of him, still alive thanks to the Gilbert ring. Gregor, inside Matt's body, calls Elena to ask where Katherine is.
So, when Elena, Damon, and Katherine show up to the bar that the two girls both dreamed that Stefan was in, Nadia is there. In a surprising move of kindness, Elena distracts Nadia and attempts to allow Katherine to escape. Nadia runs off. Thanks to a bar tender, Damon and Elena now have a hint of where Stefan is. They decide to separate - Elena to go after Katherine, and Damon to find Stefan. In a really beautifully acted scene, Damon tells Elena to be careful and not risk her life, and they share a kiss.
Elena finds Katherine, but Nadia shows up and snaps Elena's neck, then escorts Katherine back to where Silas is waiting. Silas has no interest in whatever Nadia's motivations are, and starts using his mind control trick to force her to take her own life. In this scene, as in pretty much every scene with Katherine, Nina Dobrev's acting is the best part. She's so fantastic.
So, Damon finally finds Stefan, but he's in a bit of a tight spot, having been tied to a chair by Tessa. She says she needs Stefan, the doppelganger of Silas, to weaken Silas' powers. She uses magic to link Stefan to Silas, which involves a lot of pain on Stefan's part, until eventually he cries tears of blood. Ew, creepy. Luckily for Nadia, Tessa's spell works. Silas is now weakened because of Stefan, and he cannot control her mind and force her to commit suicide. Nadia and Katherine run off, escaping Silas (for now!)
Anyway, Tessa then tells Damon some disturbing news - shadows of Silas and Amara have been destined to find each other throughout history. Tessa even makes Damon an offer - if he leaves Stefan with her, Damon can go off and be happy with Elena, and nobody would ever have to know. Well, hey Tessa, guess what? Damon actually gives a damn about his little brother, and he refuses to take her stupid deal.
I was glad to see a moment of Damon caring about Stefan here, but it was ultimately overshadowed by the annoying amount of exposition going on in the scene. Not to mention the fact that Elena rushes in and immediately worries over Stefan, ignoring Damon, who has just been knocked to the ground by Tessa. Just, no. I don't care if Stelena or Delena or whatever else ends up being end game, but if they do another pointless detour into Stelena land just to stir up drama when it makes no narrative sense, then I'm going to punch someone. This show needs to stop introducing conflict just for the sake of introducing conflict! Damon and Elena love each other. That's pretty straight forward. Stefan's a great guy, sure, and I honestly hope that by the end of the show, all three of our primary characters can find happiness in some way. But at this point, the story would take a turn for the absurd if they tried to force a relationship on Stefan and Elena. Been there, done that. Yeesh.
Matt wakes up on the floor of the Lockwood mansion having completely forgotten how he got there. It seems he doesn't recall the little Gregor incident. I must say, this whole Nadia and Gregor thing feels unnecessary. We've got too many conflicts and angles all going at once now. Introducing Nadia would be fine if we weren't also introducing Tessa. Which conflict are we supposed to be focusing on? The Tessa/Qetsiyah plot is thus far just a hell of a lot of exposition, and I feel no real interest in learning about Nadia, either. I just want her to leave Matt alone!
In the end, Damon tells Elena what Tessa said about fate and how their relationship is doomed to fail, but then he says that he isn't just going to let someone else tell him who to love. Then he actually said the cliched but totally amazing line "you are my life." Even if I'm not the biggest Delena fan out there, I still melted a bit at this scene. I really am rooting for these two, oddly. As long as Stefan can be happy too!
And then the cliched ending, which ultimately brings me back to the long dramatic sigh I was talking about earlier. Stefan has amnesia! Yup, that's right. He wakes up and he has no idea who Damon and Elena are. Oy. All I can say is, they better have some good fallout for this one. And I really want to see some Damon and Stefan brotherly moments. They barely even looked happy to see each other in this episode. I mean, shouldn't Damon have been relieved to see his brother, after the fact that he spent the entire summer drowning over and over?
Okay, maybe I need to stop hoping so desperately for bromance between the Salvatores. The show probably isn't going to give it to me. But that's not all there was to be upset about in this episode. There's the stupid Nadia and Gregor plot, which feels like another unnecessary conflict. There's the Stefan amnesia thing. There's the really long winded story of Qetsiyah and Silas. There's the unnecessary Stelena destiny thing. Then how about the fact that there was no Jeremy, Bonnie, or Caroline in this episode? Normally I'd be cool with a more focused story that doesn't include all of our characters, but I thought this new season was supposed to be about Elena at college? We haven't seen her go to a single class except for one she sneaks into to look into the professor. Seriously, it's annoying.
Alright, enough complaining. This was a bad episode, ultimately. Here's hoping for better stuff in the future.