This season’s homage to the Stanley Kramer classic “It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World” as enacted by the teens (immortal or otherwise) residing in Mystic Falls, nexus of the universe, is underway. This race to find the cure (and woefully not the Cure, but rather, an antidote to the effects of vampirism) started out at the end of last week’s episode, with Stefan’s butt-hurt feelings informed decision to align himself with Rebekah. It was unsurprising that Stefan would make this sort of alliance. After all, he is the undead’s answer to the “Nice Guy”. Sure, he believes that by finding the cure he can cure Elena of her love for Damon, but he also wants to make her human for his own unbelievably selfish reasons: He Liked Her Better That Way. And thus was Stefan ever the worst. This week, the race began in earnest, and Stefan’s actual nature – that of a pale douche with naturally vertical hair – were revealed. Additionally, while the episode was woefully lacking in Caroline and Tyler without his shirt, we did get some wonderful time with Bonnie who is now uncontrollably powerful (#hahahohbonnie) and thanks to her father’s new role as mayor, authorized to interrogate suspects in a police investigation. If this delightful news isn’t enough to sate you, feel free to imagine that Caroline took Tyler to a Nickelback concert to help his get over the death of his mother and picture the amount of side eye she is giving everyone there. Tyler included. Ha ha, you know that dude likes Nickelback. Pastor Young’s idiot daughter made no appearance this episode either. This pleased me. Shane. UGH. While there was no scratching-his-back-raw-mid-coitus scenes with Damon and Elena, I was okay with it. Namely because of last week’s hotness. On an emotional level, Damon continued to demonstrate his love for Elena this episode. I mean, did he also spend a majority of his screen time stalking Jeremy and being all “Dude, I am totally going to kill you,” yes – but ultimately that is neither here nor there. In fact, it was what happened prior to being compelled by Cole to kill Jeremy “The Neck” Gilbert that once more showed us the Damon who deserves Elena’s heart – he continued to work with Jeremy and Matt to do what was necessary to help reveal Jeremy’s hunter’s mark without getting the little jerk and his human bartender friend killed. Even when Jeremy questions Damon about why he’s helping him, pressing him by saying, “Why are you pretending you like me, Elena’s not around,” he can’t even work up proper indignation – because for all his distrust of Damon, the guy is being exceedingly decent. Which isn’t to say Elena is happy with him – because Elena is never happy about anything, other than the fine quality of her false lashes and a sale at the glove store for chicks with giant monster hands. What’s up her ass this week? In addition to whatever Damon left there the last time they fooled around I mean. Well, she’s not exactly psyched about Klaus’s plan to turn a bunch of innocent humans into vamps for The Neck to slaughter to reveal his mark. I guess I wouldn’t want my brother to kill a bunch of relatively innocent vampires either – but come on, whatever Elena – Damon warned you that to find the cure he was going to do things you didn’t like. Luckily, Elena’s pouting is short lived and quickly replaced with a lot of scuttling about trying to save her boyfriend from killing her brother. Because Cole, pissed at Klaus, Rebekah, and you know, everyone in general, murders all the new vampires and compels Damon into killing Jer. Whyfore so murdery, Cole? Because he is scared shitless of the ancient man-witch Silas, and will do anything to keep these cure huntin’ fools from rising him. He also all randomly is like “REMEMBER OUR TIME IN COLORADO JEREMY?” and I was all “LOLOL Whaaaaat? Was Bonnie’s dad there too?” BECAUSE IT IS A LOT OF INFORMATION YOU GUYS AND I DON’T EVEN REMEMBER COLE BEING IN CO WITH JER. Elena, creature of habit that she, calls….her ex-boyfriend to come and help her out. Sigh, Elena, that’s pretty gross. You are lucky I was distracted from your shitty actions by the hilarity of Damon stalking Jeremy unwillingly and then being shot in the head because Jer was all “frrriiiiends?” Stefan, delightfully, rolls his eyes at this phone call. He’s a very busy you guys, he’s busy sitting in the stupid evil Shane the professor’s office with Rebekah, talking about how their sex was good because they were both crazy, and looking for Silas’s headstone to help them find the cure – can you say, mad foreplay dudes? It continues to be nice to see Rebekah being all “LOVE IS EVIL, I HATE EVERYONE NOW.” because come on, it only took her – thousands of years, amiright? But also it is frustrating, because it’s clear she’s gonna fall for Stefan, and for all his somber intoning to Elena that he doesn’t love her anymore, let’s be real – like Third Eye Blind before him – he’s never letting her go. Exhibit his saving Damon and Jeremy at the last possible second. Then taking perverse delight in draining his brother to near death so he can keep him weak and locked up in a basement until Cole removes the compulsion. He also can’t quite hide his smirk at being like “NO. Elena can’t visit you – she will just release you. Because – sire bond.” Damon’s pleading to see her broke my heart into a million pieces! But then my spirits were bolstered by the site of Elena’s confused face upon being told Stefan doesn’t love her anymore. The. Best. Stefan celebrated his dickishness by banging Rebekah. My eyes couldn’t have rolled back any further. Luckily, for Elena, the lack of Stefan provided angst makes her think clearly – and she proposes rather than find several hundred (relatively) innocent vamps for Jeremy to stake, that they kill a million birds with one original stone – Jeremy should kill Cole, thus extinguishing his whole blood line, freeing Damon from the compulsion, and completing Jer’s mark. Look at our girl all thinking thoughts and having ideas! Love it. They sadly, aren’t the only ones having ideas. When a compelled human would rather bite off his own tongue and then kill himself violently rather than tell Rebekah and Stefan who sent him to the evil college professor’s office to retrieve the headstone it quickly becomes clear that another party has entered to find The Race For The Cure (but not that cure either.) BUT WHO? My money is on Aunt Gemma’s ghost. (#NEVERBECAUSEBARF) Meanwhile, thanks to Rebekah’s management of April Young, the Sheriff and Mayor now have a reason to abduct the creepy doe-eyed Shane, obsessed with bringing people back from the dead. (Side note: the professor is clearly Silas’s enemy from that story, right? The guy cursed with immortality?) In jail, Bonnie is forced to contend with a harsh reality – that dude has made her an evil magic wielding monster for his own devices. Pissed about this, she turns water into fire and begins to MANGLE HIS BONES. You guys do not want to fuck with Bonnie now that her magic has gone all bananas. I love it. Sadly, she is still woefully insecure, Grams-obsessed, and an idiot – so when the evil professor is all “WE CAN BRING BACK GRAMS PLEASE STOP MANGLING MY BONES” she is no way sees how this could go terribly wrong. Meanwhile, at the Mystic Grill, Matt is feeling light-headed, lonely, and sadly human. he tries to console himself with a rousing rendition of Katy Perry’s “Firework”, but it does not come near to touching his grievous ennui. UNTIL NEXT WEEK! Alex Cranz Aw, Stefan and Rebekah banged the wrong people. This makes me sad. Don’t they know their true loves are Caroline and the chick always getting stabbed for no reason respectively? Linda I see a DE Fan Is Writing is review it sounds Very Much like one of them . Rebecca Jane Stokes What’s DE?