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'The Vampire Diaries' 'Fifty Shades of Grayson' recap: Pains of the heart

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"The Vampire Diaries" season 5 continued Thursday, Dec. 12, with episode 10, "Fifty Shades of Grayson," and while evil mad scientist Wes held Elena as his latest test subject, Stefan and Damon teamed up to find a way to save her. However, Damon got a surprise when Wes sent a familiar face to see him.

Elena was adorable as a kid (Was anyone even surprised?) While Elena was suffering on Wes' table in what she realized was the basement of her father's old clinic, she had flashbacks to playing around as kid and hearing all sorts of sounds she shouldn't have in a clinic – like screaming, electrocuting, and basically sounds of torture ("Fifty Shades of Grayson" indeed, "Vampire Diaries") – and her father telling her he was going to save a little girl's life. Later, after reading her father's journal, she realized that girl was Megan, who had a congenital heart defect. Grayson had saved her with vampire blood.

The mad scientist's new lab rat Dr. Wes had a new test subject on his table in Elena ("Science," he used to justify his actions torturing vampires while condemning her for her boyfriend), and after escaping his cell (don't leave Damon's hands free or a bullet lying around), Damon found Stefan, and it was time for him to give his brother the Cliff Notes' version of Augustine and his years of torture. They turned to Aaron for help – if your girlfriend was taken by a mad scientist, do you a) get a new girlfriend, b) call the police, or c) kill someone close to the mad scientist, Damon wondered – and by turned to him for help, we mean forced the kid to sit and listen as they discussed Stefan's "psychotic break," Katherine, and the proper way to kill a vampire (the heart next time, Aaron, not the head), and had Aaron call to arrange an exchange and pass along a descriptive threat or two.

Wes briefly left Elena to set Enzo free on a "day trip" to see his old friend Damon again, with an insurance policy to make sure he'd return. By that time, she had realized she was in the basement of her father's clinic and Wes had explained that all of his experiments came straight from Grayson's journal. He had been working with Augustine to turn vampire blood into a magical cure-all. Elena also realized Enzo was the Augustine vampire who killed Megan, whose parents had funded Grayson's project (not knowing it involved vampires) and who had did some investigating that led her to Enzo's cell. Stefan, Damon, and Aaron went to Wes' classroom thinking they were going to make an exchange, but Enzo was the one waiting.

Stefan made a quick call to Wes, and threats were made on both sides, but nothing was resolved. Meanwhile, Enzo really wanted to tell his story, and when they kept interrupting him, he threw a chair to make his point. Don't piss off the psychotic vampire who's been locked up and tortured by Augustine for decades after his only friend left him to die, okay? Let him talk. Enzo explained that a scientist spared him so he could spend more years as one of Augustine's experiments. Yes, he was still holding a grudge, so when Aaron brought up files Wes had given him, Enzo refused to let Damon go with him and his brother.

Aaron stupidly thought he could catch Stefan off-guard and shoot him, and when that failed like he should have known it would have (apparently he needed a crash course in Vampire 101), he told him about Damon's "kill all Whitmores but one" plan. All it took was Stefan telling him not all vampires were like his brother for Aaron to hand over the files on Augustine. The clock was ticking for them to find Elena before it was too late, especially since Wes was planning to do to her what he had done to Jesse. Yes, he knew it would turn her into a ripper. Just before Stefan showed up to rescue her, Wes stuck the syringe in her. She head-butted him back, and Stefan freed her. Wes was left unconscious on the floor of the old clinic, and when Aaron found him, he wasn't happy he was used as a bargaining chip. Of course he wanted him out of his life.

Breaking hearts Elsewhere, Damon found out that Wes had poisoned Enzo, and while he suggested they get him the antidote, save Elena, and kill Wes together, the only way Enzo was getting that antidote was if he killed Damon. They fought briefly, or rather, Enzo fought Damon briefly, but with the poison in his system, Enzo was fading fast. Damon took him to Wes' lab on campus, and when Enzo awoke, he explained he injected him with a bunch of vials that said antidote. Obviously one worked. Well, that was easier than it should have been… Damon explained he had turned off his humanity when he left him in the cage, but Enzo argued that even if he forgave him, he'd still be a horrible person. He was the most important person in his life, and he ruined him. He'd always be a monster.

Damon returned home and found Elena trying to find the good in her father despite his Augustine experiments. She explained that she couldn't not defend her father, but she wasn't going to defend his decision to kill Aaron's family. He argued he was bad for her, that she should run, and when she explained she loved him and chose him, he made his own choice: to let her go. Even as she protested she had done some pretty horrible things too, he refused to change who he was and to change her. It was over. (For now. Because really, this is "The Vampire Diaries.")

Falling apart Because Katherine's Katherine, she's fine with being naked in front of a guy. Letting a guy see she's losing her hair though? Wasn't happening. After their night together, Katherine seemed all ready for another round only to find her hair falling out. Cue awkward stumbling escape with the blanket wrapped all around her to make sure he couldn't see. No, things were not looking up for Katherine, who paid Matt to make her hot again, but there was nothing he could do. That was where Nadia came in. Her daughter had read her suicide note – and Katherine deserved the slap for that – but Katherine explained she had changed her mind, and all because of a certain someone.

Sorry Nadia, that someone wasn't you. She thought it was, and she even presented her mother with a way she could save herself: by tapping into the Traveler part of her. Yes, by going the possession route. It was when Katherine explained that Stefan liked the body she had that Nadia realized Katherine asking about forgiveness earlier was about him, and she told her mother to go kill herself. Ouch. But understandable. Still, just because her mother cared more about a boy than her own daughter didn't mean Nadia wasn't still going to look out for her, and she left the knife with Matt in case Katherine changed her mind.

After Katherine realized that she'd never compare to Elena in Stefan's heart and Stefan told her their night together was just them getting swept up in the moment, she called up her daughter with a change of heart, only to have a heart attack and fall down the stairs. Poor Katherine! (And really, just another example why human Katherine was one of the best decisions the show ever made/one of the best parts of the beginning of this season.)

…. And Bonnie and Jeremy were still "registering for classes" because that girl needed some good in her life considering she was feeling every supernatural death as the anchor.

"The Vampire Diaries" season 5 airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on the CW. What did you think of episode 10, "Fifty Shades of Grayson"?

© Meredith Jacobs 2013

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