Previously on Vampire Diaries: the dead were rising. And not just the ones who previously boned Jeremy.
As the name implies, all the plots in this episode involve ghosts. And they’re all pretty awesome. Starting with– hey, Uncle Sexy Lockwood is back! Hi, Uncle Sexy! And apparently, he’s still dead and still carrying a wee bit of a grudge against Damon. Man, you rip a guy’s still beating heart out just once and he haunts you forever…
(Newly entertaining evil!Stefan amusingly removes the pokers from his brother’s chest but leaves him chained up in the living room. Have I mentioned lately that evil!Stefan is 150% more awesome than mopey good!Stefan? Consider it mentioned.)
Meanwhile, this week’s vaguely historical excuse for the entire town to gather together in one place is a celebration of “The Night of Illumination,” aka the night the good townsfolk got rid of the tomb vampires. Alaric and the gang are, of course, helping with set up, because the historical society in Mystic Falls operates with the authority of the mafia in other cities.
Jeremy’s still seeing (and touching) ghost!Anna, although he’s trying to keep that last bit on the down low. Meanwhile, his sister’s been doing a little light reading in Stefan’s diary for ideas on how to de-evil him. (Remember when this show actually involved a lot of tedious diary voiceovers? So glad they dropped that.)
Since Lexi was the one who got rid of Ripper!Stefan every time before, Elena wants Jeremy to use his ghost whisperer mojo to contact Lexi’s spirit for advice. Jeremy’s not sure he can, since he and Lexi don’t have a connection.
(Also: apparently, Stefan’s gone off the wagon multiple times before? And no doubt tortured and murdered countless innocent people each time? Remind me again why we’re supposed to feel bad for/care about this asshole at all?)
Across the way, Bonnie and Caroline are gossiping about Jeremy and cute!Matt while they put up decorations. (This town’s decoration budget must be insane, by the way. The streamers they go through in a year alone! Recession? What recession?)
Cute!Matt, it must be said, has had enough of this bullshit — especially after Damon drives up with the news that Uncle Sexy’s vengeful ghost is roaming around town. Matt peaces out while Bonnie and Caroline head back to the dead witch house for some supernatural guidance. Which they get from the ghost of Grandma Whitley! Yay, Jasmine Guy!
Grams explains that the First Witch is using the door Bonnie opened when she saved Jeremy to cause all these ghost shenanigans. And the only way to shut it down is to destroy her talisman — the coveted necklace, of course.
Elena makes the mistake of explaining all this in front of Jeremy and ghost!Anna, because she’s kind of an idiot, and so, of course Anna secretly snakes the necklace to keep herself from being sent back to the other side. Really, Elena. You should have seen that one coming.
(You should also know better than to tell Caroline about catching Jeremy getting a little ghost booty, because expecting her to be able to keep that secret to herself is clearly insane. And sure enough: Bonnie knows about her boyfriend’s cheating before the episode’s halfway mark. Oops!)
Meanwhile, Alaric is still mad at Damon about that whole “killing him” business a few episodes back. Boys! Stop fighting! It makes me sad. Fortunately, Uncle Sexy pops back up to offer a nice distraction. And he is as fully corporeal as Anna and Grams.
Luckily for Damon, he’ll settle for an apology in lieu of more fun with pokers. And even more luckily for Damon, he has a good enough sense of humor to accept Damon’s ridiculously weak idea of an apology (“Sometimes I do things I don’t have to do” — really, Damon?) before getting down to business: he’s here to help Tyler by getting rid of Klaus. DUN.
Out in the street, Stefan gets tapped on the shoulder by none other than… ghost Lexi! In all her dead, chipmunk-cheeked glory! Hi, Lexi! She promptly sasses Stefan and then knocks him out, which was quite entertaining, if I do say so myself. And I do. Then she grabs Elena for some evil detox 101.
This seems to involve tying him up in one of the town’s many convenient dungeons, somehow hypnotizing him to feel as weak as if he’d been off of human blood for many years already, and then torturing him until he feels some emotion. Tough love!
Elena is able to watch for a little while, but eventually it gets to be too much for her, so she heads back to the town festival just in time to find the head historian (and member of one of the founding families) gruesomely murdered.
Because guess who else is back? The tomb vampires! Including Poor Man’s Nikolas Cassadine from the Gia years:
Hey, Nik! So: Damon was thinking of Uncle Sexy (rowr!), Bonnie was thinking of Grams, Elena was thinking of Lexi, and the whole town was thinking of the tomb vamps due to the festival commemorating their entombment. The saddest part of this episode? Poor, dead Aunt Jenna! (I picture her ghost moping invisibly around town all day, waiting in vain for anyone to think about her for a moment so she can become a real girl again. Sorry, Jenna. Your family and boyfriend kind of suck.)
Anyway, it seems the tomb vamps are looking for a little revenge against the descendants of the founding families. Making it crucial they find the locket and banish the ghosts ASAP. And this is why I like Elena — because she’d asked Caroline earlier to hold off on the spell for a while until Stefan was de-eviled, but now with other lives on the line, she doesn’t hesitate to sacrifice her own needs. She’s a good egg, that girl.
Jeremy’s ready to defend Anna against all accusations of taking the locket, but after listening to an impassioned speech from Elena, she coughs it up on her own. Poor, lonely, dead Anna just wanted more time to see if her mother was around with the rest of the tomb vamps.
Jeremy and Anna have a sweet last kiss. He promises she’ll never be alone, even if they can’t touch again. But after he leaves to take the locket to Bonnie, Pearl appears! Yay, Pearl! And, okay, maybe I have mother issues, but I totally sniffled a little when Anna saw her mom again. It’s nice to see those two crazy vampire kids have a happy ending. Of sorts.
Long story short: Jeremy gets the locket to the witch shack and Bonnie and ghost!Grams do the spell (while Caroline kicks some serious tomb vamp ass in defense of Tyler’s mom — way to make a good impression on the in-law, Caroline!)
Elena heads back to Lexi and Stefan, who are making slow progress. But it’s okay: now Elena knows what to do. When the spell hits, Lexi disappears. Bye, Lexi! It was nice seeing you beat Stefan up!
Elena tells Stefan she’s going back to her life and the people who need her. He thinks she’s finally given up hope, but she hasn’t: she’s just waiting for him to find his hope again. But she also leaves him with an awesome parting warning that she won’t wait for a ghost forever (nicely done, writers!). And this is the other reason I like Elena as a heroine: she’s got a spine and she cares about people and things other than her great love. I really enjoy that she doesn’t sit around and mope when things don’t go her way.
Team Elena forever!
Meanwhile, Damon and Uncle Sexy have been spelunking in a cave filled with Indiana Jones-esque booby traps. This has really not been a great day for Damon.
Uncle Sexy magnanimously unskewers him while imparting an important lesson about seeking redemption over revenge. Hmm… foreshadowing?
They finally reach their goal, which turns out to be a chamber Damon can’t enter. Curioser and curioser. Fortunately, ghosts can, and Uncle Sexy gets a good look at something that makes him smile… before Bonnie’s spell kicks in and he promptly disappears. D’oh!
Back at the witch shack, Jeremy tries to explain himself but Bonnie is not having it. She makes a dig that cute!Matt gave up his own sister more easily Jeremy gave up Anna — which I don’t think is really fair, given the fact that Matt’s sister was actively trying to murder someone, whereas Jeremy thought Anna was harmless.
Also, Bonnie? I don’t blame you for being unhappy with this situation, but they didn’t break up. Anna was murdered. Maybe dial down your bitchiness a little and have some compassion?
Whatever, I kind of hate Jeremy and Bonnie together anyway, so it’s fine with me if they break up. But I do kind of feel for Jeremy here. Bonnie’s being way harsh.
After Jeremy leaves, the locket, which had been destroyed by fire during the spell, reappears. Ruh-roh!
Finally, we head back to the caves, where Damon’s called in his angry boyfriend to help. They have an adorable moment when Damon tells him he’s the only person other than Elena that he trusts, and then gives the same lame apology he gave Uncle Sexy. Only he means it this time. Hee!
Alaric puts up a good show of irritation, but is clearly helpless against the fill force of a Damon charm offensive:
Oh, you boys! Kiss and make up! And never kill each other again!
So Alaric enters the cave chamber and finds the secret weapon against Klaus: cave paintings! Lots of them! That… was not what I was expecting, but I’m definitely intrigued.
And that’s it. All in all, another entertaining episode — this show has killed off so many interesting and likeable characters; it was nice to see a bunch of them again and to get a little closure. I wish we’d gotten more Pearl, but you can’t have everything, I guess.
Next week: Flashbacks! Vikings! I am 100% on board with all these things!