Previously on Vampire Diaries: Drama! Flashbacks! And Damon was a dick.
This is late, I know. I was derailed by sickness last week. Mea culpa! Also… holy crap, this show! This episode was pretty much chock FULL of awesome and went about a hundred miles an hour. I’m sorry I ever doubted you, VD writers.
To start: everyone’s finally back in Mystic Falls! Well, everyone except Damon and Katherine (and Jeremy, kidnapped in the trunk of Katherine’s car, natch), who, having sped out of town following their impromptu alliance at the end of the last episode, are now driving around snarking at each other and nearly making out. But more on that later.
Just a taste to tide you over.
Meanwhile, over at the high school, everyone’s remembered that they’re actually still supposed to be teenagers. (A premise that gets more and more ridiculous as time goes on, but whatever.) So they’re skulking around after hours for a mass senior prank involving: 1) TPing the pool, 2) setting hundreds of mousetraps in a classroom, 3) setting up paper cups in the gym — I’m actually not clear on what the point of that one was, but it looked like a pain in the ass.
(It says something about how far away from high school I now am that I watched all this mostly feeling indignation on behalf of the beleaguered school janitorial staff who would have to pick it all up. Damn kids need to stay off my lawn!)
I am also too old for this level of enthusiasm about anything.
Poor cute!Matt was completely out of the loop; it probably doesn’t help that Caroline is of course the peppy driving force behind the prank and things are still a little awkward between them now that she and Tyler are boning so adorably all the time. This leads to a nice private moment between Matt and Bonnie about how much has changed since they were just ordinary teens working as lifeguards together without a care in the world. (Psst… this will become relevant later.) Matt seems to be under the impression that everything was normal a year ago, but really, that just reminds me that everyone else was deep in paranormal bullshit at that point and lying to him about it. Poor, poor cute!Matt.
Is it wrong that I now kind of ‘ship Bonnie/cute!Matt?
Bonnie and Matt chat about how he is kind of the Zeppo of the group at the moment, and how awkward and weird Jeremy’s dead girlfriend issues are for them both. Sad cute!Matt misses his sister. Even though she kind of sucked. Lucky for him, she’s still around, and desperately trying to make contact, although he can’t see or hear her yet. DUN!
Elsewhere, Elena wanders off by herself and promptly runs smack into Klaus. Whoops! He’s already figured out she was alive, and that little BFF Stefan has been lying to him quite a bit this summer. (Stefan, by the way, is outside with Rebekah after having apparently spent an exciting afternoon of having his neck repeatedly broken by Klaus. Damn, I wish we could have seen some of that. Does this mean the honeymoon’s over?)
Klaus drags Elena to the gym, and orders the rest of the students out except for two he keeps to play with (read: torture). When Bonnie and Matt show up soon after, he lays out his latest cunning plan: since Bonnie’s the one who screwed up his last plan by saving Elena’s life, Bonnie’s now the one who has to come up with a way to cure his hybrid impotence problem.
Enjoy it while it lasts, kids.
Meanwhile, Tyler and Caroline are worried about Matt. But also happy! And in love! And adorable! I don’t feel like it’s a spoiler to say that they are clearly doomed.
… and, oh look! Here comes Rebekah, who knocks Caroline out and drags Tyler to join party in the gym. Where Klaus promptly force feeds him his blood and then snaps his neck. Readers, I gasped out loud, for reals.
So Bonnie now has to help Klaus fast, or Tyler will die the way all the other hybrids have. The problem? She’s not really on speaking terms with any of her dead witch peeps at the moment. And Jeremy, their only other link to the dead, has gone completely AWOL.
… which means it’s time to check back in with Katherine, who’s finally explaining to Damon what they’re doing out in the middle of nowhere with a Gilbert in the trunk. It seems that after Bonnie inadvertently spilled the beans about his dead girlfriend problem to Katherine last episode, she realized the Littlest Gilbert’s until now seemingly unrelated plot tangent actually ties in nicely to the main season event. Fantastic. I love it when a plot comes together.
The sitch is this: way back in the ye olden days, The Late Lamented Pearl (love you, Pearl! Kisses!) knew of a secret way to kill Klaus dead — not just dagger dead, but dead dead. She never told Katherine because my girl Pearl was no fool, and enjoyed having leverage. But she did tell Anna. Katherine thought with both of them dead, the secret was lost forever, but now that Jeremy’s got dead Anna on speed dial, things are looking promising for Team: Kill Klaus.
(Jeremy’s reaction, by the way, to waking up and finding himself kidnapped by his sister’s doppleganger and loving stalker, respectively, is kind of hilariously bored and irritated. Even when ghost!Anna gets cagey with the info and Damon has to resort to smacking him around a bit to convince her to talk. )
The end result of all this is that we finally get a name for Sebastian Roche: he’s Mikael, a vampire who hunts other vampires. Intriguing! He’s also been sleeping for quite some time — and Damon and Katherine would be fools to wake him up, according to Anna. Double intriguing!
But interesting as this all is, it does absolutely nothing to help Bonnie back in Mystic. Lucky for her, cute!Matt has a plan! And extremely stupid plan! Which is to drown himself in the school pool so he can see the dead too.
Since they don’t really know whether a non-magical death and resurrection would have the same effect as Jeremy’s did, it seems like a pretty big risk to take. But cute!Matt is feeling useless and depressed, his best friend’s life is on the line, and his dead sister is haunting him. So I’ll cut him some slack.
Stefan shows up at the gym and tries to lie to Klaus some more. Good lord. And I thought Matt’s plan was stupid. Klaus, obviously, is having none of it, and finally, FINALLY compels Stefan instead of just trusting him like a moron. But after killing the two Red Shirt students under orders with very little hesitation, he’s still resistant to draining Elena. So Klaus compels him to turn off his emotions. It’s all very overwrought and involves a lot of screaming and emo on Stefan’s part.
And here is where I rant a bit, because I find his agony mostly annoying. Sorry! Still pissed about the Awesome Andie thing, which he did of his own free will, emotions turned on and everything. Plus, there is really no reason I can think of that Klaus would have suffered through a summer with wet-blanket Stefan other than the writers’ desire to make a big production out of Stefan’s devotion to Elena, as he does here. Maybe if I had some doubt about his feelings for her or cared about their relationship more, that display of love would have moved me. But as it stands, I already knew he loved her. There really hasn’t been any doubt of that from about three episodes into this show. And in the meantime, it’s really damaged Stefan’s character to have him running around feeling sorry for himself while murdering who the hell knows how many other innocent, non-Elena people.
Fuck you and your manpain forever, Stefan. The lives of people other than your girlfriend matter too.
Okay, rant over. Let’s wrap this up: cute!Matt’s incredibly stupid plan works (of course) — thanks to Bonnie’s superior lifeguarding CPR skills — and he’s able to commune with ghost!Vicki long enough to get a message from the first witch: only Elena’s death will solve the hybrid problem.
Just what we all thought, right? Except crafty Klaus has realized that taking advice from the person who placed the curse on him in the first place might actually be the stupidest plan of all. So he instead of killing Elena, he feeds Tyler some of her blood. Lo and behold: hybrid impotence cured!
I have to say, I was a bit worried they would have to make Klaus less of a threat over time in order to justify his continuing failure to kill Elena. This is a much neater solution to the problem. Bravo, writers!
While all this is going down, Damon finally arrives back in town, having gotten his phone back from Katherine to find a million frantic texts from Bonnie, and also realized what an asshat he was to run off in a huff in the first place. He runs into Klaus first, but manages to save himself (barely!) by telling him Mikael’s coming, which causes Klaus to disappear faster than you can say MIKAEL HAD BETTER BE AWESOME AFTER ALL THIS BUILD UP.
Next up: rescuing Elena from the hospital where she’s getting her blood drained for Klaus by a cheerfully compelled nurse. (This! This is why they need to start putting vervain in the town water! Team Alaric 4-EVA!)
More wrap up: in his rush out of town, Klaus forgot to take Tyler, who’s feeling fiiiiiiiine. Caroline seems to sense, as I do, that this hybrid thing will have some hidden side effects, but goes along with his good mood for now. I fear for these two.
And it turns out cute!Matt can now see dead people whenever he’s thinking of them at the same time they’re reaching out to him, just like Jeremy. Convenient! Bonnie leaves him and ghost!Vicki alone to have a moment. D’awwww!
Ghost!Vicki, it must be said, seems far less evil than ghost!Anna implied. Is one of them lying, or is the malevolent presence Anna sensed something else entirely? (Possibly this question has even been answered already by the newest episode, which I haven’t watched yet. Damnit, not doing these on time is annoying!)
Finally, we end the episode with the requisite Damon/Elena sexual tension-fest. She’s still reeling from the blood loss. Oh, fine — and from the shock of really losing Stefan this time. Damon tries to cheer her up with 1) booze, 2) returning her necklace, which he stole back from Katherine, 3) apologizing for having left her alone in the first place.
Normally, I’d scoff, but he does seem incredibly sincere about it and also promises to never leave her alone again with such deep woobie eyes that both Elena and I kind of sigh dreamily to ourselves. Whatever, don’t judge. You know you loved it too.
Enter evil!Stefan, stage AWESOME:
You can tell he’s evil because he has more than one facial expression now.
Little brother Salvatore informs them that Klaus skipped town in a hurry but instructed Stefan to stay behind and keep his living hybrid blood bank safe. DUN!
I already find evil!Stefan 1000x more interesting than I ever found goody two-shoes Stefan, because he smirks and snarks and doesn’t look constipated all the time. He’s like season one Damon, but less enraging because I don’t feel like I’m supposed to root for him as a romantic lead (at least not until he gets his feeeeeeeeelings back). And Damon’s now like a season one Stefan, except he’s actually fun! Everybody wins!
Final shot of the episode: Katherine, Jeremy and ghost!Anna find Mikael’s crypt, so this party’s about to get started for real. Stay tuned.