'Vampire Diaries' Recap: Episode 21, 'Isobel'

Most of the super badass evil vampires we've encountered so far on "The Vampire Diaries" aren't so evil after all. Despite the dramatic way she blew into town on last night's episode of "VD," threatening to kill everyone in her path and compelling humans to dance sexily for her, Isobel wasn't any different. For all her big talk, we learned that Elena's emotionally devoid birth mother has as much of a heart as Damon (check out what Nina Dobrev told us about mommy dearest).

Isobel's first back-in-Mystic Falls visit was to her ex-husband Alaric, whom she asked to arrange a meeting with Elena. "You were supposed to mourn me and move on," she told the husband she left in return for immortality. If Rick didn't deliver Elena, Isobel would kill townspeople, starting with his history students.

When Isobel and Elena finally met face-to-face, Isobel wouldn't answer any of her daughter's questions — including the identity of her father. She told Elena that she wanted Johnathan Gilbert's invention, the same one Uncle John was searching for.

Later, Bonnie stopped by the Gilbert abode to apologize for running away earlier when Elena looked upset. Elena told her estranged BFF that it was because she had just met her birth mother, and the two friends shared a semi-reconciliatory hug. When Elena filled Bonnie in on all the vampire drama surrounding her mother's return to Mystic Falls, Bonnie showed Elena the page in Emily Bennett's spellbook that described the invention: it was a weapon against vampires. (Turns out, none of Johnathan Gilbert's inventions actually worked until Emily secretly spelled them. Dun Dun Dun.)

Damon wasn't too happy that Isobel was threatening Elena, his new (and only) BFF, so he unbuttoned his shirt and went over to Isobel's house to tell her to cut it out and find the darn invention herself. Apparently Damon's threat wasn't worth too much to Isobel, because she kidnapped Jeremy so Elena would just give her the piece already.

Since Isobel was all threatening and menacing, the only option really was to give in to her demand. Bonnie offered to de-spell the piece, which would render the invention useless, but wouldn't be detectable to Isobel. Damon and Stefan agreed, even though they couldn't really trust her, and Bonnie did some crazy witchy stuff that made the lights flicker and presumably took away the original spell.

Meanwhile, what the gang didn't know was that Katherine (the mastermind behind the plan) wanted the device to use against the tomb vampires, who all have a vendetta against the entire town of Mystic Falls. And the other thing they didn't know was that Bonnie didn't actually de-spell the piece. She told Caroline (vaguely) that she couldn't do it, because Grams wouldn't have. "When Elena finds out, she's never gonna forgive me," she wistfully told her friend.

Isobel and her lackeys showed up to collect the piece from Elena and her Salvatore bodyguards. She said she knew she'd be able to get the piece all along since Damon was "in love with Elena." Interesting — and possibly true, although Stefan told his brother later that there would be no Katherine situation going on with Elena — but the exchange was made and the parties went on their way. Jeremy was safe at home.

Back at Casa de Gilbert, Jeremy told Elena that he had read her diary and knew everything ... especially about what happened with Vicki. Though she tried to apologize since she only did it so he wouldn't hurt anymore, he forced her out of his room. It was good she left, because Anna, who had been MIA for the past couple of days, finally showed up and told Jeremy her mother was dead. She didn't know where to go, and cried in his arms.

Before leaving town, Isobel found Alaric at the school to say goodbye. He told her how angry he was with her, and took off his ring and vervane so she could either compel him or kill him so he wouldn't be so hurt anymore. Since she clearly wasn't the monster she pretended to be, she compelled Rick and told him she would regret her decision forever but he should let her go.

But that's not all that went down — Damon connected the dots and figured out that John was Elena's father (he and Isobel had dated in high school), and Isobel confirmed it when she told John to kill the Salvatores: she didn't want that life for their daughter. Scandalous!

Were you surprised to find out John was Elena's father? What do you think is going to happen with the device now that Bonnie didn't fix it? Were you touched by Isobel's speech to Alaric? Finally, do you think Damon is in love with Elena?