Last week Damon took Elena to NYC to blow off some steam while everyone searches for the cure back home. Will the trip help her gain perspective on all the tragedies she’s faced and allow her to re-embrace her humanity?

After last week’s catfight between Elena and Caroline, it is probably best for everyone in Mystic Falls that Damon swept Elena away to New York. But he’s playing games with his friends, telling each group something different about his motivations for taking her there.

He tells Stefan he’s brought her to the city to keep her from harming anyone else back home. But he tells Elena he’s taking her to NYC so she can feed freely. The new mayor has “poisoned” the town’s drinking water with vervain, making it impossible for the vampires of Mystic Falls to feed on the residents.

Rebekah shows up in NYC, thinking they are trying to find the cure without her. Damon insists he’s only there to give Elena a much-needed vacation, but the girls don’t believe him and they have good reason not to. They form a tentative alliance against him as Elena feels she no longer has any reason to be cured now that her entire family is dead and Rebekah has no issues with this as she’s after the cure for herself.

Stefan continues to argue with Damon about turning Elena’s humanity off to the point that it’s becoming a broken record. Part of me wonders if the writers are at a loss as to what to do with his character now that he and Elena have probably broken up for good. It is frustrating, because this isn’t the first time he has been single and I think we all enjoyed the episodes where he returned to his Ripper-nature and ran off with Klaus. But for some reason this time around it seems the writers can’t come up with anything more interesting for him to do than run after Elena and Damon and shake his head at them disapprovingly with Caroline.

That’s another character that I feel is floundering a bit this season and it’s disappointing. Caroline is one of the strongest, most dynamic vampires on their side, but she’s been reduced to this mother-hen role that borders on nag-territory. She tries to drink her troubles away after learning last week that Tyler never plans to return. When Klaus shows up to speak with her, she and Stefan try to convince him that destroying Silas is their best bet at keeping everyone safe. Klaus is still inexplicably hung up on her, but his patience with her is fading as she continues to turn down his advances.

All roads are leading to an inevitable battle with Silas, who has inhabited the body of Shane. Last week Rebekah revealed her discovery of Shane’s body in the woods, learning that Silas had killed him. He now turns his focus to Bonnie, who he needs to finish the “Expression Triangle” which requires another sacrifice of 12 people. Only this time the 12 he asks her to offer up hits a little close to home. Can Stefan arrive in time to stop Bonnie from committing an act she will regret for the rest of her life?

This week was a bit of a filler episode, with the characters going through the motions that will lead them to the impending confrontation with Silas. The real highlight was the flashback to the late 70’s, where Damon was living it up in New York during the punk movement in America. It was amazing to see Lexi again, a character fans always look forward to seeing in flashbacks. Knowing her fate, it is fun to see her interact with Damon when they have free reign of the city. As much as I love seeing Damon in his past, bad-guy form, I still felt myself wishing this episode had more to it.