TV Recap: 'The Vampire Diaries' Episode 516 - 'While You Were Sleeping'


The Vampire Diaries Episode 516
“While You Were Sleeping”
Written By: Caroline Dries
Directed By: Pascal Verschooris
Original Airdate: 20 March 2014

In This Episode…

The kids are all partying at a bar, with Elena going especially “Coyote Ugly,” dancing and taking her shirt off. Suddenly she stops, mad that no one notices that she is Katherine. Then she wakes up - it was all a dream. She is in her dorm room, but it is very quiet in the halls. She is all alone. Stefan appears and explains everyone is gone for spring break. She tries to walk towards him, and realizes there is a boundary spell in place. She has been out for three weeks, and there are some things they need to discuss: that Katherine hitched a ride in her body for those weeks; she and Damon are broken up; and she has been infected with the Ripper virus. Stefan explained that Liv - the new witch Bonnie is mentoring - set up the spell and that Elena is only allowed 4oz of vampire blood a day. She doesn’t believe that she is blood-crazy, so Stefan slits his wrist and Elena vamps out. The boundary spell holds her. She calms down and asks Stefan why Katherine stuck around. He is uncomfortable and Elena figures it out: Katherine was trying to hook up with Stefan. He does admit that they kissed but promises he realized it wasn’t her and pulled away. (That’s a little more than a white lie - it wasn’t until Matt texted Caroline that she and Stefan figured it out.)

Caroline is at Wes’ lab, trying to track down an antidote when Enzo shows up. She calls Stefan with the good news / bad news. The bad news is that Elena got the werewolf-venom injection. The good news is that she knows where to get an antidote, but Stefan has to come meet her at a location. He doesn’t want to leave Elena, so Caroline finally admits that the travelers are involved. Stefan reluctantly goes to meet Caroline while Elena tries to fill the time.

She starts by reading her journal, and finds that Katherine had kept up her “Dear Diary” routine. She reads about Katherine and Stefan’s night together at the motel, when Katherine “accidentally” became covered in motor oil. Elena can’t help but imagine it, but in her mind, Katherine and Stefan don’t stop kissing - they start having sex on top of a table. But “Elena” stops the sex, begging Stefan to see that she is Katherine, that Elena would never lead him on like that. She opens the door and finds Damon there, and he is mad at Stefan for not seeing through Katherine’s act. The brothers argue, and Elena screams - “Even in death, Katherine is ruining our lives!” Clearly this is all Elena’s hallucination, she is hallucinating her worst fears. Elena “wakes” from it, looking sickly and discovers her nose is bleeding.

And thus begins Elena’s descent into madness. She calls Damon to get her mind off it, but he just wants to come over. Instead, he fills her in on the gossip, mainly that Caroline slept with Klaus. Elena is giddy with the juicy gossip, until she finds out that Katherine told Tyler. Then Damon tells her that he killed Wes. “And don’t tell me he didn’t deserve it.” Elena is less concerned about Wes being dead; she is worried about Aaron. Damon is working up the courage to tell her about Aaron when Matt brings him his stipend of blood and he hangs up.

Elena tries to text Stefan but she gets very dizzy and queasy and sits. She hallucinates that Aaron is there and tries to explain to him about Katherine. Entering his room, he finds it bare and becomes worried. Then she sees Aaron covered in blood and knows he is dead. Elena panics, begging him to tell her that she didn’t kill him, but he says nothing. She is shaken from this hallucination by Luke, the guy she met at the Bitter Ball. She is all kinds of crazy now and needs blood. She grabs him and intends to turn him, when she sees some healing bite marks on his neck. Realizing that Katherine had been feeding on him, she compels him to forget this, find Bonnie, and tell her to bring a witch to get her out of there. She calls Damon, panicky that she can’t tell what is real anymore. She thinks she killed Aaron. Damon begs her to calm down, but she is lost in her own paranoia and accuses him of lying to her. “Everyone is lying to me!” She throws her phone. Damon, still in the Salvatore dungeon, is scared. He yells for Matt and lures him close by claiming his phone needs a charge. Damon grabs him, yanks off the Gilbert ring, and when Jeremy comes in he threatens to kill Matt if they don’t let him out of there. He swears he could never hurt Elena.

Bonnie brings Liv to see Elena, and find her burning everything that Katherine touched. Bonnie recognizes she is unravelling, but Elena doesn’t want to hear how she is sick; she wants out. She throws a pipe at Liv, impaling her in the abdomen. “Now you have to drop the seal if you want to live. You need my blood.” This technique works, for soon Elena is wandering around an empty quad, coughing up blood and hallucinating. She sees Aaron again, but it is actually Damon, and he shakes her into reality. He brought her some of Stefan’s blood, which she chugs, and lucidity returns - at least a little bit. She is still yelling that Katherine won, and turned her into a monster. Damon holds her close and Elena sobs, “I killed Aaron.” Damon is hurting, but he has to admit it: “No, you didn’t kill Aaron. I did.” He could have blamed it on the virus, but he doesn’t - he tells her exactly why he did it: “I did it to convince myself that I couldn’t change for you.” Elena is speechless; Damon begs her to say something. “Why is Enzo here?” He has arrived with the antidote.

Okay, let’s back up a bit and get Caroline and Stefan’s side of the story. So they meet up with Enzo at an abandoned train depot. He explains that Wes and the travelers saved his life. In return, he allowed Wes to experiment on him more. Out of this experimentation, an antidote was found. The travelers are continuing Wes’ work, but they need something first: the blood of the doppelgängers. Right now there are two Stefan doppelgangers, which makes the blood useless. The travelers want to do a linking spell on Stefan so they can find his doppelganger and kill him. Stefan and Caroline are both cautious - last time Stefan was linked his brain was fried. But Stefan agrees to this, as long as Enzo brings the antidotes to the “appropriate parties.” Sloan slits Stefan’s palm, then uses some of his blood on his own temples, and the rest of the travelers chant. This goes on for hours, and finally Sloan has a vision: Stefan’s doppelganger is an EMT in a big city. Stefan identifies the city as Atlanta, but Sloan wants to go deeper. Caroline doesn’t like this and comes at her with a knife. “There is a way we can get what we both want,” Caroline insists. It is morning by the time Stefan wakes, and he thinks Caroline is Rebekah. She freaks, then realizes he is just teasing her. He’s fine. Enzo has returned from delivering the antidotes, and Caroline reveals that she only got the travelers to release him when she promised to go with Enzo to track and kill the doppelganger.

Back to Elena and Damon. They took the antidotes, and are now back at Salvatore manor. Elena finally says what her fevered brain has been trying to relate: “You should have been the one to notice it wasn’t me.” No one has beaten themselves up more over that than Damon. He takes responsibility for that, for Aaron, for all sorts of stuff, but then Elena tries to take some of the blame, in a passive-aggressive sort of way. Damon is mad that she blames herself, says they are in a toxic relationship; Elena hates that she has to defend him all the time, and that she can’t stop loving him. The whole thing goes off the rails, and Damon declares this has to end. Elena agrees. It’s over. Then they start having breakup sex.

There is one more storyline we have to wrap up: Bonnie and Liv. Bonnie understands if this is too much for Liv, but she is pretty proud to have survived her first vampire attack and makes plans with Bonnie the next day to learn more magic. She goes to her room, and with an effortless flick of her wrist lights up dozens of candles in her room. Luke is there - he is her brother - and they are in cahoots together against Elena. He wasn’t compelled by her; Liv isn’t a novice witch. Those two are up to something. 

Dig It or Bury It?

Ahhhh… finally, we are back to some good times in Mystic Falls. Maybe it was Katherine bringing things down. But I like where we are going. We have some more doppelgänger drama - but this time with Stefan’s doppelganger. We have a new faux-ally who is plotting a downfall. I like that the set up with Liv and Luke was slow; they were around for a bunch of episodes and their “turn” felt more natural. Plus, our characters are no longer acting like clueless idiots. I don’t blame Elena for being pissed that no one realized it wasn’t her. There were a zillion times when her friends and lovers should have seen something was different.

Question of the week: So the antidote cures the Ripper virus… but doesn’t Elena still have werewolf venom in her blood? Last I heard, Klaus’s blood was still the only way to cure werewolf venom. Did Wes somehow manage to create an antidote for werewolf venom in vampires? Why would he do that, if the eradication of vampires is his goal?


Liv reveals that she and Luke are up to no good. Elena really wants to end things with Damon - but he begs her to change her mind.