We get some interesting information about Damon's past and Caroline and Katherine come up with a unique way to help Stefan with his PTSD from being locked in the safe by Silas.
That was a lot to learn about Damon. In 1953, he was invited back to the boarding house and then kidnapped by a Dr. Whitmore (yes, as in the college Elena, Caroline, and Bonnie attend) who proceeds to experiment on him for 5 years in order to figure out how vampires tick, with an eye apparently set on helping humans. Not good for Damon at all. In fact, this is one of the reasons he had his emotions turned off for a while. But more on that in a bit.
It was interesting to see Damon befriend Enzo, a vampire who had already been there for 10 years. Their plan to escape was quite a good one, although I must admit that I have to wonder how Dr. Whitmore wouldn't notice that Enzo was weakening and Damon getting stronger over the course of a year. Maybe the two of them hid it well, but given how important blood is to vampires, there had to be some signs. Can't say I blame Damon for leaving Enzo given everything, but I don't get why he didn't try and find the keys to open the cage, particularly since it appears that they may very well have been on Dr. Whitmore's body. I was even more surprised to see Enzo alive with Elena. I am betting that there is probably a major league grudge of some sort going against Damon there.
Aaron is a Whitmore. That was unexpected. It also explains why Dr. Maxfield took him in, since Dr. Maxfield is carrying on the Whitmore work. Also turns out that all of the deaths in Aaron's family are Damon's fault as a result of a vow Damon made to kill every member of the Whitmore family each generation except for one so that the one can carry on the family name and Damon can continue to wipe out most of the family. Damon is not nice if you piss him off or cause him or someone he loves damage. Interestingly, Aaron did not know about vampires and when he found out that Elena was a vamp, he assumed that she befriended him in order to get close to him.
It was also surprising to hear the Dr. Gilbert was a member of the Augustines. That doesn't mean that he knew exactly what Dr. Whitmore was doing, but chances are the he knew something. Given the fact that he was a member of the Founders' Council as well indicates that he was not the perfect man Elena remembers him as. I do not think he was a bad guy, but he was also not perfect.
Caroline and Katherine's method of helping Stefan was brutal. They decided to lock him in the safe with Katherine in order to force him to deal with everything or else risk hurting (or possibly killing) Katherine. I would not have expected something that selfless from Katherine. She obviously has feelings for Stefan (witness the kiss and the looks), but it was still surprising that she thought of doing it herself. I am definitely impressed, but also surprised.
I am getting a little tired of Caroline's ragging on Damon all the time. We all know that he is not the perfect boyfriend or the best person, but he is trying to be somewhat better. We get that Caroline is the ultimate Stelena 'shipper, but this fact has completely blinded her to Damon's better qualities. Between this blindness and her being pissed off at Elena for killing Jesse, she is becoming very annoying and self-righteous. Caroline, sweetie, I do love you, but Elena really did not have another viable option where Jesse was concerned. Get over it, ok?
Next week, the mid-season finale! Until then!