'The Vampire Diaries' recap: Katherine's secret is out, but will it cost her everything?

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We so totally called it! Katherine's secret is a secret no more.

The crafty 500-year-old vamp's plan was working on "The Vampire Diaries" -- everyone really and truly thought she was Elena. Nadia was holding Matt hostage to wait for the vervain to get out of his system so she could compel him to forget that he figured out Elena was really Katherine. And Katherine was wearing Stefan down, getting closer to him while pushing Damon away. Things were going her way.

Until she played her hand too far on Thursday (Feb. 27) night's episode, "No Exit," and pushed just a little too hard, and got busted. So what was her fatal mistake? Let's back up a bit.

Ever since Wes injected Damon with the Augustine vampire formula, everyone's been wondering if that meant lights out for Enzo. But Enzo and Damon came up with an extremely clever idea: Turn people into vampires -- feeding Enzo -- for Damon to then eat. Win win, right? This just reaffirmed how perfect Denzo is for each other. They care! They really and truly care!

Enzo clocks Damon at 8 hours in between fixes before he starts to get cranky. They have it down to a science and plan on heading to NYC to keep their bromance alive and well, but pesky Wes gets in the way of their happily ever after. He gets the Travelers to trap Damon and Enzo in a house to perform yet another experiment on his "patient zero" -- to figure out how long Damon can resist eating and killing his best friend if that's his only source of food in sight. Maybe it really is lights out for Enzo, after all. Uh oh.

But of course, Damon being stubborn Damon, he thinks he can control his Ripper-ness. He refuses to call anyone for help or let Enzo call anyone for help, thinking that he can find another way out of the situation. But Enzo knows better and won't let Damon's pride mean the end of him, so he chains up Damon and calls for backup. He calls Stefan's phone, but Katherine intercepts, and while she tells Enzo they're on their way to help, she says nothing to Stefan. How did Katherine even gain access to Stefan's phone?

Back in Mystic Falls, Katherine was getting Stefan's "help" studying for her European history test ... even though Kat lived through it all and knows more than her textbook, which weirds Stefan out a little bit. But she's saved from explaining how she's such an expert by Caroline, who has some not-so-good info from her mom about Damon's recent victims, and they put together that Damon's become an Augustine vampire. While they were content to let him run off before in a temper tantrum, they realize they have to hunt him down now ASAP and figure out a way to fix him since they're all in danger. Katherine volunteers to go with Stefan while Caroline decides to stay back and work with Tyler to figure out where Matt has been for the past few days.

While Katherine heads off to pack for her trip with Stefan to find Damon, she catches up with Nadia, who has been holding Matt hostage. While Katherine tells Nadia to kill Matt since Caroline and Tyler are on to the fact that he's missing, Nadia is reluctant. She's taken a liking to Matt, because who wouldn't? "We all love Matt Donovan, otherwise he would have been dead a long time ago," Katherine tells Nadia (so very meta). But Matt teaches Nadia the definition of canoodling and convinces her to let him tell his friends that nothing is wrong and no one has to die. He promises to keep Katherine's secret (and as a result, his life). He shows up at home just as Caroline and Tyler were (awkwardly) pow-wowwing about him being missing.

Matt tells them both he's been hooking up with Nadia and nothing's wrong. Caroline of course doesn't believe him since Nadia just tried to kill him recently, but Tyler believes Matt and Nadia, because Caroline doesn't. He's still hurt and mad about Klaus, and figures if she can sleep with a mass murderer, why can't Matt? Point to Tyler.

On the road, Katherine breaks a pipe under the hood of Stefan's vintage car to keep them from finding Damon. She also gets grease all over herself and Stefan to try and convince him they need to get a room at a motel to "clean up." That Katherine, she is so sneaky, acting like a dumb, clueless girl to get what she wants. And of course Stefan plays right into her hand, and they take turns showering in their shared motel room, which brings us back to when Katherine intercepted Enzo's call on Stefan's phone.

Wes was getting impatient with his "patient zero," and shoots Enzo to entice Damon, who breaks out of his chains and feeds on Enzo. Things were looking pretty dire for a moment there for Enzo, but before Damon can kill him, Wes of all people saves the day -- kind of. He has the Travelers perform a spell to raise the acidity of Enzo's blood, choking Damon, and Enzo gets away. Wes tells Enzo he needs him for something, and the two leave together. This sounds pretty ominous, but at least Enzo is safe from Damon, who is still stuck in the house.

Back at the motel, Katherine uses her sex appeal and tempts Stefan into kissing her, but he stops her ... but not before kissing her back passionately for a few moments, giving Kat all the proof she needs that Stefan is still in love with "Elena." She then gets the idea to get Damon to attack her, knowing Stefan will save her, even if it means killing his own brother. That would kill two birds with one stone for her -- get Damon out of the way and prove to Stefan that he would do anything for her. So she finally tells Stefan that Enzo texted her the address of where Damon was trapped, and they head off to save him.

Back in Mystic Falls, Nadia figures out that Matt's finally clean of vervain, but before she can compel him to forget everything, he kisses her, pretending it's a romantic gesture when really he's just trying to distract her while texting Caroline for help. Unfortunately for Matty Blue Eyes, Nadia catches him mid-text, and all he could send was, "Help K." She angrily compels him to forget everything and leaves, but not before Caroline stops her. She was weirded out by Matt's unfinished text, and knew something was up. They fight while Nadia screams that it's all Matt's fault, but before Nadia can hurt Caroline, Tyler jumps in. "Young hybrid beats old vampire everytime," Tyler says, as he bites her. Is Nadia going to die?

Katherine and Stefan find Damon trapped in the house alone, and Katherine tempts Damon into attacking her while pretending to "believe in him." It's so twisted and evil and horrible, because he's truly fighting with all his power to do right by "Elena," and he falls for her deception, the bloodlust too strong for him to overcome. He bites Elena, and Stefan rushes in to stop him. Kat kicks a wooden stake over to him, but Stefan won't kill him (duh). He snaps Damon's neck instead, and brings him to the dungeon in their home to keep him safe until he can figure out a way to save him. Salvatore brother bond, FTW!

Back at Matt's, Caroline tries to gauge how long it will take Tyler to forgive her, and they can get back to a good place. But Tyler tells Caroline they'll never be good again. But he also tells her that he doesn't have to be a dick to her. And honestly, he has a point. She slept with the guy who murdered his mom. He'll never be able to be okay with that, and he shouldn't have to be. Caroline made her choice, and now she has to live with it.

Back at the Salvatore mansion, Damon tries to scare Stefan into letting him go. "You think I'm afraid of a Ripper, Damon? I invented that word," Stefan says, telling Damon that his new hunger is what Stefan feels everyday for human blood. He'll never give up on his brother, but is shocked when Damon tells Stefan that "Elena" wanted Stefan to kill him. Based on what Elena went through with Jesse, she knew that an Augustine vampire couldn't control their thirst, and it was all a ploy to get Stefan to kill Damon. Confused, Stefan realizes he's right. He talks it out with Caroline, and with the combination of "Elena" kissing Stefan, pushing Damon away, trying to get Stefan to kill Damon, acting off, and Matt's unfinished text, they figure out that "Elena's" not really Elena, because as is evident by their sire bond discovery, they're clearly Elena experts by this point.

Katherine's secret is officially out of the bag. Will Stefan, Caroline and co. be able to figure out a way to bring Elena back? Will Katherine help figure out a way to save Nadia? The only way to do that is to get Klaus' blood, so is another cross-over episode in the cards? Will Matt get his memory back? Will Stefan figure out a way to cure Damon? What is Wes up to with Enzo? So many questions, and we'll have to wait a week to find out the answers.

"The Vampire Diaries" airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.

Photo/Video credit: The CW