'Vampire Diaries': Damon and Elena go on an adventure

dobrev-somerhalder-vampire-diaries-bloodlines-320x180.jpgAfter a lengthy holiday break, "Vampire Diaries" returns with Damon and Elena taking a road trip, Stefan and Bonnie revisiting the past and family secrets surfacing that may change the entire gameplan.

A lot happened in this episode, so let's break it down by storyline, with the two major shockers at the very end.

Damon & Elena: The episode picks up right where the last one left off, with our damsel-in-distress Elena upside down in her car on a dark, deserted road with the mysterious figure walking toward her. But before It can take Elena, It disappears into the fog and Damon shows up immediately after, rescuing her from the wreckage. Before she passes out, Elena tells Damon that she "looks like her (Katherine)." When Elena wakes up, without the necklace from Stefan, she and Damon are on their way to Georgia to see Bree (guest star Gina Torres), an old witch friend of his. Stefan calls Elena, but she's eager to hang up the phone and get away from him and his lies.

Once they arrive at the bar, Damon asks Bree how he can get Katherine back, while Elena is on the phone talking to Aunt Jenna. After everything that has happened, Damon is still set on bringing her back. Bree gives him the unfortunate news that the spell put on the tomb is "absolute." There is no way he can get into it.

Bree makes a call to someone on her phone, letting the person on the other end know  Damon and Elena are there. Later, Damon and Elena play a drinking game with Bree and some of the other patrons to loosen up. A mysterious man, presumably the one Bree called, walks in like a man on a mission. Elena answers her phone and steps outside so she can hear better. She stumbles and falls, but before she can recover, the mysterious man attacks her from behind.

Damon goes outside when Elena is nowhere to be found at the bar. He sees her but the man suddenly appears beside him and beats the living daylights out of him (with a baseball bat). Elena tries to stop the man from doing more damage, but hesitates when she sees his fangs. Clearly out for vengeance, though we don't know why just yet, the man tells the two that Damon killed his girlfriend Lexie (from the "162 Candles" episode). Elena pleads with Lexi's boyfriend to spare Damon's life, and he does, but not before flinging him across the lot.

After being beaten to a pulp, Damon confronts Bree about her betrayal, and she tries to save her butt by telling him about a potential spell override that would allow Damon to open the tomb. It doesn't matter; he kills her anyway. Karma is a bitch, my friend.

Stefan & Bonnie: Stefan approaches Bonnie at school after an unsuccessful attempt at talking to Elena, with the hope that she can use her witch powers to figure out where Elena and Damon are. Bonnie tries to sense where they are, but nothing happens. Did her witch powers disappear already? After being unable to help Stefan, Bonnie asks Grams how she can get her powers back. Grams tells her she has to figure out what she is afraid of, as that is the reason why her powers are temporarily gone.

Stefan goes to Bonnie's house later that day and Grams knows exactly what and who he is, while Stefan knows what and who she is too. Meanwhile, following Grams' advice, Bonnie goes to the old church grounds and tries to get her powers back. After a failed attempt at lifting a leaf, the ground caves in and she plunges. Now underground, Bonnie sees a door with a pentagram on it and hears something behind the door, but it's Stefan who rescues her before anything happens.

Stefan brings Bonnie home, and he and Grams reminisce about the past. It is revealed through their exchange that Bonnie's family is the gatekeeper to the Salvatore family secret.

Jeremy & Anna: Jeremy goes to the library to do research on his paper about people living in Mystic Falls in the past, and bumps into a spastic girl Anna, who has a fascination with Mystic Falls vampires. According to Jeremy, vampires are an allegory for Union soldiers and are only metaphors, but Anna, is positive vampires are walking among them. She shows him numerous articles about strange animal attacks and it seems Jeremy is not so sure about his "vampires are metaphorical" stance.

Alaric: Vampire slayer Alaric (guest star Matt Davis) knows there is evil in Mystic Falls and flashes back to happier times with his wife (guest star Mia Kirshner), who turns out to be one of Damon's victims. What's he going to do now?

The Conclusion: Elena confronts Stefan after she returns from her fun little road trip with Damon and Stefan reveals something incredible, that the first time they met was not the first day of school, but rather May 23, 2009 -- the day of the car accident that killed her parents. Stefan was the one who saved Elena's life.

Wait, we're not done. Elena asks Stefan why she looks like Katherine, he tells her that Elena was really .. adopted. What?!

Now the question remains: Is Elena a descendant of Katherine's? It certainly makes a lot more sense now, doesn't it? What do you think? What do you think of Damon's "nice guy" act with Elena; is it an act?