The tomb had to be opened sometime. But did "The Vampire Diaries" have to go ahead and wrap up one of their main storylines so soon? Much to my delight, this show has had very few filler episodes (the pilot is probably the weakest episode of the season, to be honest). So I can't imagine where it's going to take us now that it's been revealed that Katherine isn't actually trapped in the old tomb with all the other 1860s-era Mystic Falls vampires. Bless Julie Plec and Kevin Williamson, though, for leaving the options WIDE OPEN when one of the decrepit imprisoned vampires managed to lap up some of the blood Damon angrily threw against the wall and gain enough strength to walk out the damn door. He was supposed to be sealed inside!
Getting back to the beginning of the episode, Bonnie and Elena wound up trapped in a hotel room with only newly turned vampire Ben to guard them. After Anna left to get her hands on the Grimoire, Stefan managed to track down the ladies via a locator spell from Bonnie's Grams ("Dawson's Creek" flashback alert!). He then threatened to kill Ben, and damn if that man did not mean exactly what he said. If I were Ben, I would've done what Stefan told me. He's sexy when he's angry.
Anyway, somehow Stefan, Elena and Bonnie convinced Grams to help them open the tomb (and Elena convinced Damon that she truly did want to help him find Katherine). Grams and Bonnie successfully did just that, but unbeknownst to Damon, the seal forcing the vampires inside remained intact. Damon took Elena inside for leverage, and Anna took Jeremy hostage to distract Stefan enough to get into the tomb and look for her mother. Stefan made quick work of Jeremy's inept bodyguard, Ben (and stayed true to his word that he'd kill him if he saw him again), but ran into the tomb (even though he knew that he would be sealed inside too) when he heard Elena screaming. Said screaming was because after saying something about Gilbert blood being the key to reviving her mother, Anna ripped open Elena's arm and fed Pearl. One problem: Elena's not actually a Gilbert. Hopefully we'll see how that plays out next week.
Grams decided to save the day yet again and lift the seal enough for Stefan and Damon to get out, but it was an extremely difficult, physically taxing ordeal and they couldn't keep it up for long. Damon was busy having his heart broken when he realized Katherine wasn't inside, but Stefan and Elena managed to convince him to leave (not before he threw the blood against the wall in frustration, thus reviving the aforementioned vampire). Anna and Pearl hobbled out before the spell lifted, too.
Which brings us to the saddest part of the episode: simultaneously watching a completely dejected, broken Damon learn that Anna has known all along that Katherine wasn't there — in fact, Katherine has known where Damon was all along too and just didn't care — and watching Bonnie discover her grandmother's peaceful but lifeless body. RIP, Grams. Thursday nights just got a little less badass.
A couple of final thoughts: 1. Good for Caroline and Matt for finally deciding they should be together. 2. Jeremy and Anna's banter is so adorably "Dawson's Creek"-y, and I don't think they're actually over. 3. How about that so-thick-you-could-cut-it-with-a-knife sexual tension between Damon and Elena when she went to convince him that she truly wanted to help him find Katherine? 4. Learning the truth about Katherine's fate is going to turn Damon more evil than ever. I'm actually scared to see how badly he will take the news.
Yet, again, still so many unanswered questions! How did the Salvatores become vampires if Katherine was captured? How did Pearl have Anna if vampires can't have children? How did that dude get out? Did Elena really have Gilbert blood in her, and maybe that actually broke the seal? Or did Grams' death have something to do with the seal breaking? How long until March 25th??? Are there any spells I can do that will make it come any faster?
If you have any answers to our above questions, speak up in the comments section or feel free to jot down what's making you scratch your head in wonderment, too!