Holy hell, that was another great episode of The Vampire Diaries. I had low expectations for the "ghosts of everybody dead come back and act obnoxious" episode — but this turned out to be one of my favorites. How the hell did this show fit in so many great character moments into one episode?

The best part about it was the way that Elena, Bonnie and Caroline all seemed just a little bit world-weary and sick of dealing with people's shit... but it's made them stronger, not weaker. They are fast becoming the Kirk, Spock and McCoy of paranormal romance.

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Spoilers ahead...

Seriously, can't you just picture Bonnie as Spock? She's always trying to be stoic about everything, even when her boyfriend is off smooching a ghost. And Caroline is totally McCoy — she has an emotional reaction first and then thinks things through on some later date. As for Elena as Kirk... she's getting there. She's definitely becoming a lot more awesome in the last few episodes than she was previously. She's facing a no-win situation with Evil Stefan (Stefanus?) and damn if she isn't going to try and Kobayashi Maru her way out of it.

I loved Caroline and Elena both kicking Jeremy's ass, when he deserved it. Caroline chewing out Jeremy over the phone was one of my all-time favorite TVD moments, partly because it felt totally real and naturalistic, with very little of the overblown melodrama you'd expect from this sort of moment. (And then Caroline beat up like a small army of vampire ghosts, during the emo-music montage even, and it was glorious.) Elena telling Jeremy and Anna that Jeremy shouldn't love a ghost for the rest of his life was just perfect, too. The dialogue in this episode was unusually well-crafted and non-televisiony.

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Jeremy really needed his ass kicked — sure it was Bonnie's fault originally that the door to the "other side" was left cracked, but Jeremy got ridiculously stuck on his dead girlfriend Anna. And he starts lying for her. And making out with her in the boys' room. The Original Witch has jammed the afterlife revolving door open, and dead people start swaming through, and Anna steals the OW's magic necklace, which Bonnie needs to reverse the spell and stop the vampire ghosts from killing the Founding Families. Hence the much-needed "bitchslap Jeremy" session.

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There was sort of a fascinating theme in last night's episode of people having to switch off their emotions — the very same thing that turned Stefan into Stefanus. Jeremy has to turn off his love for Anna in order to send her away, the thing he should have done a long time ago. Bonnie has to be strong and do what she has to do, even though she's overcome with boyfriend troubles. Elena has to tune out her concern for Stefan so she can torture him into regaining his humanity. (Ah, torture. Is there anything you can't do?)

And it was great to see Bonnie's Grams again, and genuinely moving at the end when the two witches hold hands and Miss Sheila tells Bonnie that she's done well and she's stronger than all this bullshit. (I'm paraphrasing.)

I also love Matt saying "I'm sick of this ghost crap," and then walking right out of the episode, six minutes in. We literally never see him again, after that. Except that Matt is held up at the end, as an example of the kind of awesomeness that Jeremy is not. (Although to be fair, Matt sent Vicki away after she tried to kill Elena, something Anna never did.)

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Also totally awesome: Lexie smashing Stefanus' head into an SUV.

So meanwhile, Damon is getting over his trust issues. (Not really.) The werewolf that Damon killed, Mason Lockwood, comes back along with all the other ghosts, and Damon proves, once again, that he can have bromance with anybody. Mason tortures Damon a bit, but then they kiss and make up, and Mason offers to take Damon to a secret Lockwood family cave crypt to find a secret weapon that can kill Klaus. It's so obviously a trap — the big surprise is when it kind of isn't. I mean, Damon gets skewered along the way, but that's just a fringe benefit. There really is something down there in the cave... and it's the carvings that Nathaniel Taylor didn't want us to know about!

But while Damon is having a short-lived bromance with Mason, it's indirectly helping him rekindle his bromance with Alaric. Watching Damon trying to apologize for killing people is sort of amazing, it's like watching a lemming do gymnastics. The one disappointment of this episode was that Lexie didn't confront Damon — her murder is probably the crime of his that I can forgive least. Either that, or breaking Jeremy's neck that one time.

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So in the end, Bonnie destroys the OW's necklace — except that she doesn't. And who wants to bet that next week, the OW is going to be causing even more pain?