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GOOD NEWS, BAD NEWS — As Damon’s behavior escalates from destructive to deadly, Stefan begins to regret their last conversation and decides to track Damon down and intervene. For reasons of her own, Katherine volunteers to come along. Dr. Wes enlists the Travelers to set a trap that will once again test Damon’s friendship with Enzo. After a heart-to-heart talk with Nadia, Matt enlists Caroline and Tyler’s help to protect Elena, leading to a violent confrontation. Later, when Stefan tries to comfort a dejected Caroline, their conversation leads to a horrifying realization.
In a farm house, Damon and Enzo wait for the farmer to come back to life. Now that Damon has to feed on vampires, they're turning people so he can feed on them. Enzo is staying, saying he doesn't abandon his friends. Plus, if Damon hadn't gone with him to kill Dr. Wes, Damon wouldn't have been turned into a vampire killer. When the farmer wakes up, they feed him blood so he'll turn. Then Damon rips his head off.
At the Salvatore house, Stefan quizzes Katherine-in-Elena on dates in history. She knows a little too much about the Holy Roman Empire, which Katherine lived through. Stefan takes note. She quickly tries to cover, saying she did a paper on it in high school. Caroline comes by with police reports from her mom. Katherine is annoyed to have her alone time with Stefan interrupted. The police reports show a string of people found inside their own homes with their heads ripped off and skin desiccated. Stefan realizes it means Damon is feeding on vampires. Stefan tries to blame himself, but Caroline won't allow it. Caroline is surprised to see Elena there, and doesn't buy her excuse that Stefan -- who doesn't go to college -- was helping her study.
Tyler calls Caroline. They haven't spoken since, as Stefan puts it, Tyler tried to kill her. Katherine overhears as Tyler asks about Matt and tells her Nadia was compelling him and now he hasn't been home or to work. Stefan seems to see Katherine/Elena alarmed as she listens in. Caroline insists on coming over to Tyler's. Elena leaves and Caroline worries about whatever is going on with her, pointing out she went from planning to fight for Damon to dumping him to spending time with Stefan. Stefan is confident that he'll figure out whatever's going on with her on their trip to find Damon.
Back at Whitmore, Katherine calls Nadia. When Nadia tells her that Matt knows about her, Katherine insists Nadia kill him. But Nadia has been keeping him hidden until the vervain is out of his system so she can re-compel him. Katherine tells Nadia to deal with Matt before she gets back in town or she'll do it. When Nadia gets off the phone he promises her he can convince his friends he's OK. Damon and Enzo prepare to leave the farmhouse for New York when Damon hears the telltale chanting of Travelers outside. They open the door and find they are stuck inside -- and Wes Maxfield is there. Damon is his patient zero and he wants to see how long Damon can go before he feeds on his best friend. They're trapped.
Stefan and Elena/Katherine stop for gas. He notices that she seems to have written Damon off in a way she hasn't before and Katherine tries to play it off as just wanting off the Damon redemption rollercoaster. She sends him inside for food then sabotages his engine. At the farmhouse, Enzo knows Damon can go eight hours without feeding. Damon doesn't want to call Stefan after he told him to leave and not come back. Enzo thinks Damon is willing to risk him, but not his friends. Damon assures him he's not going to feed on him. At Tyler's house, Caroline and he get past the awkward silence and start to talk about Matt, when he walks in the door, followed by Nadia. He says he was with her, then invites her in.
Back at the gas station, Stefan finds the piece of his car Katherine ripped out. He asks her to hold the part, noting it has grease on it. When he's looking into the engine, she rubs grease all over herself. Then she cutely suggests they get a room at nearby hotel to shower and change. He tries to insist on staying with his car while it gets fixed, but she convinces him to join her. Back at Tyler's house, Matt spins a yarn about being on the way out of town but finding Nadia waiting for him on his front steps. She tells Tyler she feels bad about snapping his neck. Matt says he lost his phone and they were in Atlantic City, but Caroline isn't buying it. She tries to compel Matt to tell the truth, but he gives the same answer with his vervain bracelet on. Nadia turns on Caroline for being judgmental over Matt's romantic choices given her own. She tries to draw Tyler into it, but he leaves. Caroline follows Tyler, not able to believe he's buying their story. "It's a hell of a lot easier to buy than other things that have happened," Tyler says as he walks out the door.
At the motel, Stefan tells Elena (Katherine) that he understands what Damon is going through because he was in love with her once and lost her. He doesn't think Damon is handling it properly, but he sympathizes. Katherine brushes his hand with hers but he goes to change. Back at the farmhouse, Enzo chains Damon to a chair (with his permission). Then Enzo calls for back-up. "I told you your pride isn't worth either of our lives," Enzo says to Damon's objections. He calls Stefan, but Stefan isn't near his phone and Katherine answers. Enzo catches her up to speed as Damon shouts in the background for them not to come. Katherine tells him to text her the address and they'll be on their way. He tells her he's under strict orders to kill Damon if he tries to feed on her. He's kidding but it gives her an idea. She doesn't tell Stefan about the call.
At the farmhouse, Damon is worried he'll feed on them if they come. Suddenly, there's a shot. Wes shot Enzo in the shoulder to see if Damon would get hungry enough at the smell of his blood to break the chains. Damon busts through easily and attacks Enzo. Enzo tries to remain calm and yells at Damon to stop. Finally, Damon pulls off and starts wretching. Wes tells him the Travelers raised the acidity of his blood so Damon was essentially drinking hydrochloric acid. He'll allow Enzo to leave because he wants something from him. At first, Enzo insists on staying, but Damon tells him he tried to kill him once and he'll do it again. He yells at Enzo to leave and he finally does.
Back in the motel room, Stefan gets word that his car is fixed. Katherine showers and does everything she can to tempt Stefan, including leaving the door open when she gets dressed. She walks over to him with dripping wet hair and presses up against him. She kisses him. He tries to resist and finally breaks away, saying it's wrong because she just split up with Damon. She apologizes and suggests he settle the bill while she finishes packing. When he leaves, she enjoys her first victory. She calls Nadia, wondering who Stefan loves more: Elena or Damon. She wants to make Damon attack her so that Stefan has to kill him to save her.
When Nadia gets off the phone, Matt tells her she's an idiot if she thinks Katherine will choose her. He knows what it's like to have a mom who only cares when it was convenient. Nadia brushes him off, adding that he's just trying to save Elena. She bites his wrist and announces the vervain is gone. He kisses her, since he's going to forget it anyway. He thanks her. "If I'm going to be threatened and held against my will I can think of worse scenarios," he says. She wants more and kisses him. He rolls on top of her and takes out a phone. He sends a text. He gets as far as "Help. K-" when she sees. She's upset and feels betrayed by him. He tells her she's not like her mom, she compels him to forget everything. She gets up to leave but runs into Caroline at the front door. Matt sent a text to her from Nadia's phone, but now has no memory of it. Caroline sees he was compelled again and attacks Nadia. Nadia gets the better of her. Nadia tells Matt that he may not remember, but this is all his fault. She's about to attack Caroline when Tyler races through the door. He announces that young hybrid beats old vampire and wrestles with her, but she gets free and runs off. Matt looks for an explanation.
In the farmhouse, Katherine and Stefan arrive. He warns them not to come in. Stefan says he's not afraid of him. Katherine calculates then steps into the farmhouse, which she can't leave due to the Travelers' spell. She tells Damon she's proving to him that he's not a lost cause. Stefan follows her in. She picks up a shard of ceramic and cuts her hand, tempting him, saying his love for her is stronger than his craving. Damon vamps out and tries to resist, but shouts at her to get away. She toys with him in the guise of being helpful. Stefan tries to stop her, but she tells him Damon will be OK. She pushes her bleeding hand in Damon's face until finally he can't resist anymore. He chomps down on her neck. Katherine waits for Stefan to save her. As Damon gnaws away, she even kicks a handy stake closer to Stefan's feet. But Stefan doesn't want to hurt Damon. Instead he picks up a shard of glass and cuts his own arm, tempting Damon away from Katherine. Then he snaps Damon's neck.
Back at Tyler's house, Caroline reports to Tyler that the only thing Matt remembers is he slept with Nadia (the cover story she gave him). She turns to go, but Tyler stops her to apologize. She tells him she wants things to be good, but he reminds her she slept with the guy who killed his mom, so they're not going to be good. Damon wakes up chained in his own cellar. He tells Stefan he's stupid for bringing him home and eventually he'll kill him. But Stefan reminds Damon he's his brother and won't give up on him. Damon thinks Elena has. She knew what being an Augustine vampire meant for Damon. She had to kill Jesse when he was one because it was the only way. And Damon saw her kick Stefan a stake. "Are you saying Elena wanted me to kill you?" Stefan asks. "You got another excuse?" Stefan thinks about it and leaves.
Katherine joins Nadia in a diner. She giddily tells Nadia that she had a moment with Stefan. Nadia is disappointed that it's all Katherine cares about. "I'm in a really good mood right now, which means I don't want to have to worry about whatever's making you mopey," Katherine says. "You won't have to worry about me much longer," Nadia says. "Tyler Lockwood bit me." Nadia reveals a bite on her arm. Back at the Salvatore house, Caroline shows Stefan her "Help. K" text from Matt. Stefan tells Caroline that Elena (Katherine) is acting strange and kissed him. Caroline doesn't understand, and knows that would destroy Damon. He tells her Damon's theory, but Caroline doesn't think Elena would ever want Damon dead. "Unless... Matt texted you 'Help. K' before Nadia stopped him. K. As in Katherine," he says. He remembers Nadia trying to transfer Katherine's spirit to her as she was dying. "But that didn't happen because Katherine had a change of heart," Caroline says. Then they both realize what actually happened.
- Antagonists: Nadia, Katherine, Damon and Wes.
- Damon continues to deal with his transformation into an Augustine Vampire after he was injected with Wes Maxfield's "Ripper serum," which conditions a vampire to crave the blood of their own kind and has caused him to have an uncontrollable urge to feed on vampires.
- Katherine (still posing as Elena while a Passenger in her body) is nearly successful in seducing Stefan in their motel room after they kiss, but is interrupted by a call from the mechanic about Stefan's car, which he answered.
- Stefan and Caroline figure out that Katherine has been possessing Elena's body since Katherine's "death" in 500 Years of Solitude.
- They were led to this conclusion after discussing Damon's claim that "Elena" wanted him dead after Katherine tried to use Damon's new status as an Augustine Vampire to manipulate Stefan into killing him to save "Elena." Once they determined that Elena would never want Damon to die, no matter how angry or upset she was with him, Stefan put it together with "Elena's" behavior toward him at the hotel and realized that her uncharacteristic behavior could be explained by Katherine possessing her.
- Wes and the Travelers are shown to still be working together.
- Enzo left with Wes, who offered to free him from the house he was trapped in with Damon (and in doing so, saving Enzo's life from Damon's uncontrollable bloodlust) if he did Wes one last favor.
- In While You Were Sleeping, it was revealed that Enzo allowed Wes to experiment on him one last time in order to create an antidote for the Ripper serum.
- This episode takes places two days after the events of Total Eclipse of the Heart, which is roughly four days after Katherine supposedly "died" and three days after she was given permanent control of Elena's body by the Traveler Mia in in The Devil Inside.
- Nadia's confrontation with Tyler and Caroline after her compulsion of Matt came to light ultimately results in her getting bitten by Tyler, which she reveals to Katherine at the end of the episode.
- This is the second and final episode in which Nina Dobrev portrays only Katherine.
- Jeremy and Bonnie did not appear in this episode.
- Stefan and Caroline finally realize that Katherine has been possessing Elena. Katherine became a Passenger in Elena's body just prior to the death of her own body in 500 Years of Solitude.
- Tyler and Caroline discuss how Caroline slept with Klaus. Caroline and Klaus hooked up in 500 Years of Solitude, and Tyler learned that it happened in The Devil Inside.
- The Mystic Falls Gang learns that Damon has been transformed into an Augustine Vampire. This occurred in The Devil Inside after Wes injected him with the Ripper serum.
Behind the Scenes
- This episode was dedicated in loving memory of Sarah Jones (1986-2014)
- This episode had about 2.03 million viewers in the USA, which was 0.13 million less than the previous episode.
- Hashtag during the airing is #RipperDamon
- No Exit is a 1944 existentialist French play by Jean-Paul Sartre.
- No Exit is a 2008 movie by Britt Pitre.
- No Exit is a 1972 TV series.
- No Exit is the title of the sixth episode of the second season of the show Supernatural.
- No Exit is the title of the eighteenth episode of the first Season of the show Reign (which, at the time, aired at 9PM on The CW network after TVD).
- Stefan: "Damon's feeding on vampires. I have to find him."
- Katherine: "I can come with you."
- Wes: "Now that you're trapped, how long can you go before you feed on your best friend?"
- Katherine: "I saw an opportunity to be alone with Stefan."
- Damon: "I'm not going to feed on you."
- Katherine: "We'll be there as soon as we can."
- Enzo: "Tick-tock."
- Damon: "They won't come."
- Katherine: "I saw a hotel, do you think we should get a room?"
- Caroline: "Thank you. It's good coffee. Although, I usually take mine with a little more awkward silence."
- Tyler: "Nice try, but you don't take anything with silence."
- Caroline: "So, Matt, he's missing?
- Tyler: "I don't know if he's missing. He just hasn't been home in two days, and he's not answering his phone." (Matt walks in the door)
- Caroline: "Matt!"
- Matt: "Caroline, what are you doing here?"
- Tyler: "Kinda wondering the same thing. Where the hell have you been?" (Nadia walks in after Matt)
- Nadia: "Did I give you my sunglasses? (She notices Caroline and Tyler) Oh... Hello. (She look at Matt with concern) I thought you said they wouldn't be home."
- Stefan: "Roman Empire"
- Katherine: "476 AD, sacked by the Goths."
- Stefan: "Han Dynasty?"
- Katherine: "220 AD."
- Stefan: "Holy Roman Empire?"
- Katherine: "Not really an empire, but 1648.
- Stefan: "There goes your perfect score."
- Katherine: "What? No, that was right!"
- Stefan: "No, no, no. The book says, uh, 1806."
- Katherine: "Okay, well, 1806 may technically be right, but it was the Peace of Westphalia that truly ended the empire, and that was in 1648. Trust me. (Stefan looks at her suspiciously) ...I may have done a paper on the Holy Roman Empire in high school"
- Stefan: "Well, if you want to pass the test, I suggest you write down exactly what's in the textbook."
- (Doorbell rings)
- Stefan: "Oh, Caroline's here. I asked the Sheriff to help me track down Damon."
- Caroline: "All the victims were found inside their homes without their head."
- Stefan: "Damon's feeding on vampires."
- Wes: "How long can you go before you feed on your best friend?"
- Damon: "There's no cure for this, Enzo. Not for this."
- Katherine: "If I can get Damon to attack me, the only way to save me would be for Stefan to kill him."
- Caroline: "Oh my god."