If You Think You're Sexy...
...you better be Damon smiling in the shower. Seriously, Vampire Diaries gods, I can die happy now. He looked so damn relaxed and pleased with the world. In nearly sixty episodes, I don't think I've ever seen Damon look so happy. Contrast his pleasure with Elena's fierce workout and you have the fallout form that epic kiss. Neither one can stop thinking about it: Damon with satisfaction and Elena with frustration. Yes, this absolutely bodes well for my Delena heart and I need this sustenance, particularly as the suspense, the danger and the pain begin to escalate for the next hour.
Breaking It To Bonnie
Last week, Elena asked Damon to help her get Jeremy out of this mess and compel him out of Mystic Falls. This week, she breaks the bad news to Bonnie. Insert judgy little Bonnie moments here. Bonnie is appalled that Elena would take Jeremy's 'choice' away from him. I can see her point, but only in a minor way. Jeremy was on the fast track to death and let's face it, first season Bonnie wanted her 'choice' to remember to be gone too. She almost gave up her friendship with Elena over being tied up in vampire matters. Her anger with Elena continues throughout the episode.
Mark my words, that Jeremy/Bonnie moment at the beginning when she tells him she heard he was leaving and she comments that his words were verbatim of what Elena said will come back to haunt them. Yes, at the end of the episode, Alaric takes Jeremy to the airport and Bonnie bids him farewell, hugging him. But the seed is planted for Jeremy to break that compulsion some day and Bonnie snarks that Elena can't control them all.
She's right, Elena can't, but Bonnie can keep lying to Elena for her own good about the coffins, Stefan and Damon, right?
Damon was right, witches really are judgy little things on this show.
It's Her Party...
...and Caroline doesn't have to celebrate if she doesn't want to. For Caroline, her birthday has brought home the true change from human to vampire. While she says she doesn't get to turn eighteen, that she is forever frozen at seventeen, I would like to remind her that you are only as old as you feel and that her biological clock being frozen doesn't mean her mental and emotional clocks are, but this isn't a therapy session.
In the parking lot at school, Tyler wants to wish Caroline a happy birthday and gives her a beautiful charm bracelet gift. He knows she can't trust him and he wishes that she could, but he also knows he can't fight Klaus and no matter how much he wants to put Caroline first, he won't be able to. He tells her he loves her and goes.
Elena, Bonnie and Matt surprise Caroline at home with their party favors and decorations since she cut school. When Caroline confesses she doesn't want to celebrate because she is sad, Elena offers up a new idea. Just like Caroline wouldn't let her duck out of her own birthday, Elena won't let Caroline run from hers. The foursome end up in a crypt at the cemetery where they have a funeral for Caroline Forbes and celebrate her life.
Romeo and Juliet
In many ways, Caroline and Tyler have exceeded all expectations from their first season selves. From self-involved to selfless, from selfish to sacrificed, from lovers to lovelorn, they meet a new challenge tonight. Pissed at Stefan, Klaus tells Tyler to bite Caroline. Tyler refuses, his bite could kill her, but Klaus insists and Tyler stands up to him. Klaus says it's a test of the sire bond, but Tyler won't bend and Klaus sends him away.
In the cemetery, Tyler comes to celebrate Caroline's birthday and pulls her away from the others, he can't wait to tell her that he did it, he stood up to Klaus. He was able to put Caroline first. They kiss passionately and as Tyler nuzzles her, he snaps and bites her shoulder. Caroline is stunned and Tyler is horrified. He flees when she screams at him to go away and the fledgling vampire (she is only a few months dead) begins to collapse from the poison racing through her system.
Damon and Alaric head off to a Founder's Council meeting disguised as a fundraiser for old Wickery Bridge. Damon wants to write a check and get out of there, unfortunately, Klaus is charming the locals from Mayor Lockwood on. Damon points out to Carol that Klaus is the one who turned her son into a hybrid, but Carol's all Team Klaus since he's promised Tyler his protection. Sheriff Forbes isn't too keen on any of them, but she sure as hell doesn't want a pissing contest in her town. She tells Damon he has to get Stefan to back off (more on Stefan's antics below).
Klaus is campaigning hard, winning over the Founder's. Could it be that Klaus simply wants to turn the whole town against Stefan or is he seriously wanting to set up shop permanently in Mystic Falls? Hmmm...
Meanwhile, Alaric hooks up with Doctor Meredith Fell again. They flirt, awkwardly, chat about the bridge, about vampires and Alaric even has to chase off Meredith's prom night date, the coroner Brian Walters. The two are arguing and Walters warns Alaric that Meredith is a psycho.
Stefan to Klaus: Get Your Hybrids the Pack Out of Here
This is going to be a fast recap and commentary here, because this is one aspect of the episode I actually struggled with. The amusing interaction between chipper Damon smiling knowingly at cold Stefan was funny. Stefan and Damon take out a hybrid who happens on the old witch house as the witch spirits hide the coffins. Stefan decides they need the hybrids gone because they are harshing his buzz in the war with Klaus.
So how to get rid of them? He's gonna be the bigger villain. Damon warns him to be careful, because you can't call Klaus' bluff unless you are prepared to lose everything. Stefan has no problem with that, because he doesn't have anything left to lose and his emotional switch is stuck in some weird whackadoodle mode. He heads over to Casa Isobel (yes, that's what I'm calling it) faces off against Klaus, knocks off the cute Hybrid chickie's head and basically struts out that Klaus can't hurt him because he's got nothing to lose.
He tells Klaus to get rid of his Hybrid's or Stefan will do it for him. Klaus threatens Damon, Stefan counters with the idea of dumping Elijah somewhere into the arctic. Back and forth they threaten and Stefan walks away leaving Klaus to ponder his dilemma because Stefan is on vervain and therefore uncompellable (yes, I know that's not a word).
Okay, hold the phone.
Klaus lets Stefan walk out? Really?
Klaus is like 1,000+ years old. He can bench press Stefan with a pinky and he just lets him walk away? Why not toss his psychotic ass in a cell until the vervain is out of his system (say by draining him bloodless and refilling him with vervain free blood) then compel him and have control back?
That would make sense, right?
I mean, if you are bigger, badder and stronger than everyone else?
But no. Not only does Stefan strut out of there, he shows up at the Founder's party and tries to butcher a hybrid. Damon stops him and points out that if Stefan starts killing all of them, Klaus will be after Elena's blood to make another round. So off Stefan goes to remove the "blood bag" from the equation.
Again with the, huh? Klaus is right there, they can hear and see everything and Stefan's still calling the shots?
Matt and Elena are looking for Caroline after she fails to come back from her Tyler assignation (Bonnie took off earlier after a few bitchy comments at Elena). Stefan shows up, tosses Matt at a crypt wall and takes off with Elena.
In his car, they race at high speed down the road and Stefan informs Elena she is his weapon in this war. The best thing he can do to take her blood out of the equation is make her a vampire. He tells Damon the same thing on Elena's phone before tossing her phone out the window. Then calls Klaus and bites himself to force feed his blood to Elena.
He tells Klaus to get rid of his hybrids or Elena becomes Katherine the Second.
"I Have No Idea What My Brother Will Do..."
Damon pulls Klaus aside just before that call and warns him, that he knows Stefan better than anyone else, but between the Ripper's brutal blood lust and Klaus turning off his switch, Stefan's emotional chip is short circuited, fried or stuck somewhere unknown. Stefan doesn't care about anyone or anything and if Klaus doesn't blink, they are all going to lose.
Stefan, You Bastard
As Stefan's car screams towards the bridge railing, Klaus concedes and we the viewers, see him blink. Stefan is tickled with himself. Klaus blinked first and Elena loses it on Stefan. He knows her parents died there. He knows she nearly died there. Yet he did this to her anyway. He used her as a weapon. Stefan shrugs and says that he had to make Klaus blink and her fear sold it.
Stefan: "If I know his weakness, I can destroy him!"
Elena: "That's what matters? After everything? Destroying Klaus?"
Stefan: "Destroying Klaus is all I have left."
Elena: "You had me!"
Stefan: "I lost you the minute I left town with him. You just haven't let yourself admit that yet."
Elena: "Is that what you're doing? Trying to make me hate you?"
Stefan: "I don't really care what you think about me, Elena."
And he walks away, leaving her devastated on that bridge.
Insert pause here. So what's really going on with Stefan? Has he truly turned his emotions back on and he's cutting Elena off at the knees to take her out of the equation. Katherine told him that you couldn't keep it turned off forever, it always snuck in. Rose told Damon all those episodes ago that sometimes you just have to pretend. Every once in a while, ragged emotion stole into Stefan's voice. Is he really cuckoo? Or is he playing them all, because just like when he and Elena tried to "break up" for Katherine, the only way to sell the lie is if everyone believed it.
For Klaus to not kill everyone he loves, Stefan has to truly behave as if he cares about none of them, but he slips with Damon. It would explain those brief flickers in his eyes and the thready note in his voice.
That or Stefan really has just gone batshit crazy.
Either way, he really kicked Elena in the guts and no matter what his reasons (and especially if his switch is on), coming back from this may never be possible.
Matt brings a deadly wounded Caroline home to the Sheriff. Klaus shows up and Liz gets it, he'll save Caroline for a price. The price is Liz stops blocking him. She agrees and invites him in. What follows is a most unexpected, yet decidedly interesting twist.
Klaus sits at Caroline's bed side and comforts her after she asks him in that baby doll voice has he come to kill her. He tells her that life as a vampire is filled with wonder, music and beauty. That she will see the world come and go, changing and that human concerns like birthdays weren't important anymore. He is so absolutely tender that you have to wonder, just how lonely is Klaus ... after all the narcissist has been all about building his army and family and he hates being alone.
Yet he comforted her and then offered her his wrist. She bit down and he looked almost relieved. Up until this moment, the interaction between Caroline and Klaus has been nearly nonexistent. Has our Vampire Barbie found another weakness in Klaus or is it just another gambit in Klaus war with Stefan?
All I know is those three minutes were the first time the character didn't just aggravate the hell out of me, so maybe there's hope for him. That jewelry box with it's blow your mind beautiful diamond bracelet waiting on her nightstand promised that.
Oh, It's Right
Damon brings Elena home after her ordeal. She's exhausted, emotionally wrought out and not ready to hear Damon's mild pride in Stefan in making Klaus blink. She thinks Stefan's method sucked. Damon asks her if she really is all right and she tells him he can't kiss her again.
Damon: I know.
Elena: I can't. It's not right.
Damon: It's right. Just not right now.
Elena doesn't disagree and he sees her inside before leaving. Yes, Stefan was the better villain and I think Damon's putting his best face on there for Elena. I kind of hope he buries another branch in Stefan's gut before the next episode is over.
Here Lies Elena Gilbert...
The end of the episode featured Elena standing on Wickery Bridge and Matt talking to her. Elena is reflecting on the statement Matt made the night before, that she was trapped in this life. She's spent over a year holding onto that girl, the girl she was before her parents died in the car accident, before she met Stefan and Damon. When she wasn't the girl in love with vampires (please note the she said vampires as in plural, I'm just saying).
Matt tells her that she isn't that girl anymore and maybe she should let her go. Elena has pushed herself from one crisis to the next with hope that she would one day return to "normal." She has struggled with her survivor's guilt and this season in particular, she hasn't gotten stronger and stronger. Saying goodbye to Jeremy hurt, but it also empowered her. She saved that last member of her family, maybe not forever, but for now.
She and Matt toss flowers into Wickery Pond and bid the human Elena Gilbert farewell.
This is a positive move for Elena, her existential crisis mirroring Damon's in season two. Elena said it during the homecoming episode, that she was worried her own humanity would get in the way and now she knows that she will never be that innocent human girl again. She's the doppelganger, in love with vampires and she has a part to play and it was time she stopped trying to 'escape' that and embrace this life.
CSI: Mystic Falls
And for a final twist (because the drama here wasn't enough?) Sheriff Forbes summons Damon out to the woods where she shows him the staked body of Brian Waters, the Coroner. Bryan's got an ornate wooden stake driven through his heart, but he wasn't a vampire and there's a lot of blood. Damon and Liz both puzzle over it, because it's definitely a murder.
By the way, remember that heavy handed scene I mentioned earlier. I guess we're supposed to think Meredith is a murderer, but if the coroner signed all the death certificates and covered up all the animal killings, they might have some trouble.
And that's a wrap. Unfortunately, the only thing that didn't work for me was Klaus letting Stefan walk on him...unless he's playing his own game or he's really that bored, it just didn't make sense. If Klaus wanted his family back, getting control of Stefan back would work. But everything else was so well done, from Caroline's poignant birthday to Tyler's desperate desire to stand up for her to Elena facing her mortality and changes with her chin up and her heart focused.
Next week...Daddy Forbes opens a can of whoopass on Tyler, Stefan struts some more, Bonnie has to see her mom and if we're lucky, more Delena love.
What did you think of "Our Town"?