Note: Do not read on if you have not seen Season 5, Episode 5 of The CW's "The Vampire Diaries," titled "Monster's Ball."
Previously on "The Vampire Diaries," the gang discovered that Bonnie died/sacrificed herself to bring Jeremy back to life and that ghost Bonnie had been communicating through email (and Jeremy) all summer to give her friends time to adjust to life without her. Understandably her friends, most notably Caroline and Elena, were more than a little upset at this turn of events, but they sent her off with a touching memorial in the woods at the end of the last episode.
However, since ghost Bonnie is still around and talking to Jeremy, this is definitely not the last of actress Kat Graham that watchers will see. Especially now that Damon has made it his mission to bring Bonnie back and save Elena some pain, even if that means making a deal with Silas. This deal includes Silas killing himself (which to be fair that is what Silas wants anyway), in order to bring Bonnie back to life since all magical actions apparently have an equal and opposite reaction. Silas, of course, won't do something for nothing so he orders Damon to kill Stefan in return for his help since his "shadow self" has been messing up his mind control abilities.
Elena's grieving process has involved lots of angsty exposition in her diary and screening Damon's calls, but Caroline's grieving process has mostly just been a lot of really life-affirming sex with Tyler. Caroline even manages to force the tortured werewolf into attending the Whitmore Historical Ball with her, where the couple dressed as Bonnie and Clyde. Unfortunately for Caroline/Tyler shippers, their happiness didn't last the episode since Tyler finally admitted to Caroline that he has no intention of going to college and his only plans right now involve revenge on Klaus (so it looks like Tyler is headed to New Orleans to join the cast of "The Originals"). In a heartbreaking scene, Caroline begs Tyler to stay, "Just be the love of my life. Love me more than you hate him!" Tyler leaves anyway.
Perhaps the most surprising part of the Whitmore Historical Ball, however, was that no one actually died mid-dance, which may be a first for "The Vampire Diaries." Damon and Elena went as King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, amnesiac Stefan went as James Dean, Dr. Maxfield as Dr. Jekyll and the jilted witch Qetsiyah went as Cleopatra.
The big reveal in the episode was definitely the storyline of Katherine or the "brown-eyed bitch of a cure." Nadia has been holding Katherine hostage, who in turn, has been busy lounging in a motel room and cleaning out the minibar, but Nadia isn't so willing to turn over Katherine to Silas, since once upon a time, the former-Vampire killed her mother. Oh, but never mind, Katherine didn't kill her mother - she is her mother. Katherine, when she killed herself to become a vampire in 1492, left behind her young daughter. Nadia became a vampire to track her down. Aren't family reunions swell?
More in the vein of odd family dynamics, apparently the crazy-eyed Dr. Maxfield is a legal guardian to another Whitmore College student, the newly-introduced Aaron, who Elena first meets at the sad, makeshift memorial set up for Megan. He tells Elena that he doesn't believe her death was suicide and that she loved sunflowers. Aaron also seems to believe that everyone around him dies, so him and Elena will probably have a lot to bond over.
Meanwhile, Dr. Maxfield, who might not be the world's best guardian, is still experimenting on the new vampire Jesse. Jesse, who is shirtless of course, has been being kept under the watchful eye of Dr. Maxfield in the weird biology lab basement for three days post-transformation and hasn't been allowed to feed yet. Dr. Maxfield's motives aren't clear yet, but apparently Jesse is perfect for his evil(?) plans.
The episode ends with Qetsiyah, who is clearly still hung up on Silas (or at least on Paul Wesley's handsome mug), literally breaking Silas' heart at the ball since he was pretending to be Stefan while flirting with her. "I loved you, but then you broke my heart," Qetsiyah shouts at the suddenly repentant Silas, "And now I'm going to break yours." He's got a horrible case of gray, zombie face going on now that his blood can't flow, but at least everyone will stop confusing him and Stefan now.
Katherine, left her reunion with her daughter to check in at the Salvatore mansion, only to find the apparently lifeless body of Silas. Thinking that she's cheated death again, Katherine starts to celebrate only to have Damon grab her and shove her throat into Silas' waiting mouth. Silas quickly drains her blood and Katherine is dead.
Or not, because a second later there is a heartbeat and Katherine muses aloud, "Am I in hell?"
"The Vampire Diaries" airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.