Previously on Vampire Diaries: Stefan was a super, duper D-bag, Damon and Elena sucked face, Mommy Klaus was in the coffin!
We open with Matt and Elena in the hospital, updating us on Alaric and Bonnie, aka Sir and Miss “Not Appearing In This Episode”: Alaric is still healing and Bonnie and her mom are safe. (Elena and Matt, on the other hand, are being watched from behind some blinds and it is creepy.)
Caroline is also doing okay, despite her Dad’s death, but there still isn’t any movement on the case to find his killer. Elena asks Matt how he’s handling everything, which is nice since there really isn’t anyone around to take care of poor woobie Matt. He says that he counts himself lucky that he doesn’t really have to worry about any of this supernatural stuff. Oh, Matt. How I love thee and your sweetness.
Elena says goodnight and gets into her car. But as she’s backing up, her car hits something, and she jumps out to find… no one. But uh-oh, it’s actually Rebekah! She jumps Elena, reminding her that the dagger in her back was kind of painful. Suddenly, Elijah arrives and tells Rebekah to back the eff off. Rebekah pouts, but leaves. Elijah takes this opportunity to bond with Elena.
Cut to the next day, where Elena is giving Damon and Stefan all the gossip from Elijah: namely, that Esther was in the coffin and that she wants to make amends with everyone. Damon and Stefan both seem less than thrilled with the information, despite the fact that Elijah assured Elena that the Original Family would not hurt any of them.
The doorbell rings and there is an envelope addressed to Elena on the doorstep. It’s an invitation to the Mikaelson Family’s ball that night! It doesn’t seem very proper that they didn’t give any notice to their guests. Do they just expect them to drop everything and attend? Sheesh. Esther has written a note on the back of the invite, informing Elena that she wants to meet her.
Back at chez Mikaelson, Kol is getting fitted for their party while Rebekah snarks at him. Seems like this family gets along swimmingly, doesn’t it? Klaus stomps in yelling at Rebekah for threatening his precious doppleganger, and he and Kol get into a pissing contest until Esther interrupts. She reminds him that he needs to give his family a break since he did dagger them all. Fair point. Klaus doesn’t understand how she can forgive what he did to her, but Esther tells him that she has dreamed for a thousand years of reuniting their family.
She then asks Klaus who he is bringing to the ball, and he claims there’s no one to ask. His reaction to her is sweet and almost… endearing? Is that possible? I’m so confused about feeling anything besides annoyance for Klaus. This is weird.
Meanwhile, Elena wants to go to the ball, but Damon thinks it is a bad idea. Stefan says he doesn’t care, but he demonstrates the most obnoxious “not caring” I have ever seen. Stop with the moping ,you ass hat! You chose to pull away from Elena even when you weren’t being compelled anymore. You killed Andi before you even were compelled! You have no legs to stand on here!
Ahem. I apologize. I can not let this go. ANYWAY, Damon declares that he will go to the ball to see what the hell Esther wants. Elena and Stefan clearly are not thrilled with this.
Tyler has called Caroline and left her a message to say he’s sorry about her Dad. He can’t even speak to her in person? Jeez. I think your kinda ex/kinda-current girlfriend deserves at least a live sympathy phone call when her Dad dies. Just freaking call back! Caroline seems glad to at least get the message, but I will be pissed enough for the both of us.
She too gets a mysterious doorbell ring and fancy-ass ball invitation. But there’s also a pretty, pretty dress! One catch. — it’s from Klaus. Caroline responds appropriately to this particular gesture — in my opinion — with a sigh and an eye roll.
Later, she and Elena are at The Only Restaurant In Town, discussing the ball. Elena tries to convince Caroline to go with her. as vampire muscle, but Caroline thinks that she should go with Stefan instead. Okay, I get why Caroline would still prefer Stefan to Damon since he pretty much date raped her for months — a fact I like to try to forget, but which did happen — and she completely deserves to hate both his guts and all other parts of him for the rest of eternity. But does that really mean Stefan is a good option, especially considering he practically drove Elena off a bridge recently? I know he and Car0line were friends before, but she does get that he has gone kind of nuts since then, right?
ANYWAY. Caroline admits that Bonnie told her about Elena and Damon kissing, and feels hurt because Elena used to tell her everything. It’s nice to see them reconnect a bit. The issue is decided when Rebekah shows up to invite Matt to the ball right in front of them. Caroline decides that in light of this fact, she has to go. Heh.
It’s Ball time! The Mikaelson’s have a fuck ton of people at their house. I wonder how many of them are compelled? They say they want to be peaceful, but I can’t see any other reason they would be able to get that many people there in one day. Damon snarks at Mayor Lockwood for befriending the originals, but she claims she is doing what’s best for her town. Kol shows up and snubs Damon. Boy, isn’t he charming?
But Damon’s slight annoyance from this encounter melts away as he sees Elena arrive. Oh. My. God. The look in his eyes is amazing. I think I literally swooned at that moment. So. Hot.
Stefan approaches Elena from the left. Damon joins them and reminds Elena she isn’t supposed to be there, but Elena stands her ground: she isn’t leaving until she finds out what Esther wants. So she locks arms with both Stefan and Damon and we are given a visual representation of the main conflict of the show. How fitting:
Caroline arrives wearing both of Klaus’ gifts, having found her own closet frustrating lacking in ballgowns. Klaus looks pleased to see her in his dress, but she brushes him off to go find some booze. Heh.
Finn — sadly having procured himself a more modern haircut — introduces himself to Elena and tells her that if she wants to see Esther, she needs to be alone. They’re interrupted by Elijah welcoming everyone to the par-tay. He announces that they will be having a traditional waltz in the ballroom to kick off the evening. Damon and Elena hotly squabble over whether or not she can put herself in danger. Damon is being pushy and verging on controlling, but Elena gives him a disapproving look that seems to shut down the argument. So instead he asks her to dance. Occasionally I feel like this show is inside my head, playing out my favorite tropes. I know, I know. I have problems.
Anyway, this time they seem to somehow know that I am obsessed with the BBC Miniseries of “Pride and Prejudice.” Okay, yes, I have a vagina, so that is a safe bet. But still, Damon telling her she is beautiful and looking at her intensely while dancing to sweet, wistful music is killing me. [Anyone else but me bothered by the fact they were dancing their traditional waltz to some modern pop song? No? Just me? — Tenillypo] Okay, so I suppose I should be asking how every person in this scene seems to be flawlessly dancing a choreographed dance, but whatever. Instead I will wonder at how it is possible that I find Klaus a bit charming with Caroline. Is there any one that this actress can’t make likeable? (Can we throw Caroline at Stefan for a bit so that I don’t want to punch him in the nads for half an episode?)
Klaus tells Caroline that she dances well and she mentions that she is Miss Mystic Falls. Oh yeah. I forgot about that. He then says “I know” in this sweet, soft tone that makes it clear that he thinks about her… and am I actually kind of swooning about Klaus now? Is this swooning contagious? Did someone slip some 1997 in my drink because I am feeling like a teenage girl right now. [ME TOO. IT’S WEIRD. – Tenillypo]
They change partners, as you do in a Victorian style dance (aren’t they supposed to be Vikings? Oh hell, whatever. They are old and like ALL old stuff) and Elena is thrown into Stefan’s arms. There is clearly tension between them and I just can’t understand why she wouldn’t be smacking the hell out of his face right now. Stefan tells Elena that he isn’t worried about her because he knows she can take care of herself. I think there is a little rewriting of history here, because I seem to recall Stefan running all around to try to protect Elena in past seasons. Elena’s reaction to this is to want to talk to Stefan in private.
Caroline dances with Matt and yells at him for going to the dance with Rebekah. He admits that he really didn’t think he could say no, and wants to know what the hell she was doing with with Klaus, anyway. Touché, dear Matt. Touché. Meanwhile, Damon and Rebekah are dancing and flirting a little, and it’s clear that Rebekah is kind of jealous of Caroline with Matt. As the dance ends, Kol taunts her about her attachment to a mortal, and she assures him that her reason for bringing Matt to the party is to kill him to hurt Elena. Really, Rebekah? I sometimes like you. Don’t screw it up. Kol is happy to help with this. Man, that little pissant is already getting on my nerves.
Elena has craftily found a way to see Esther alone: Stefan wants to kill Klaus more than anything else, so he will help Elena get to her. Turns out, this means snapping Damon’s neck. Dun! The way is finally clear, but Elijah catches Elena en route and asks her to tell him what Esther says, because he isn’t sure what his mother is up to. Elena agrees to share the dirt with him.
Elena finds Finn and Esther upstairs doing some magicky type stuff. The purpose of which is to keep the others from hearing what they say. The first thing Elena wants to know is how Esther is still alive. Turns out the witch Iyana preserved her body and she was brought back from the other side. (Duh.) Esther says she wants to undo what she did in creating her children, but she needs Elena’s help.
Esther tells Elena that she tried to protect her family, but quickly they started attacking people. Elena doesn’t understand how Esther will kill Klaus. She said she needs the doppleganger blood to bind all her children together. Once they all drink at the evening toast, the spell will be cast. She explains that after being linked, if one dies, they all will die. She thinks it is her duty to make this happen. Elena agrees to help.
Outside: Klaus comes upon Caroline looking at the horses. (They have horses? Oh, of course they do.) She finally asks him straight out why he invited her and he answers simply that he likes her. Caroline tells him that she is kind of still involved with Tyler, but Klaus interprets that as her being free. Elsewhere in the party, Kol is ready to get his kill on… and it’s clear that he is going to be getting on my nerves as long as he is around. Damn.
Damon wakes up, sees Elena gone, and has a fit. Stefan calls him a controlling dick and that may be the first thing I have agreed with Stefan on in a long time. But I’m still Team Damon. If “Evil, I Don’t Give a Fuck” Stefan comes back, I may consider switching allegiances, but I don’t think that is going to happen. Stefan says that this time it’s Damon‘s emotions that are getting in the way. See what they did thar?
Matt and Rebekah go for a walk. Matt is his usual super sweet self and gives Rebekah his coat. This gesture helps her realize what a huge ass she is being and she backs out of her plan with Kol. Chivarly! It saves lives! But ruh-roh… Kol is pouting because Rebekah changed her mind about killing Matt. He is clearly going to continue making me want to pinch his little head like a zit.
Elijah approaches Elena to find out the deal with Esther. Poor Elena lies through her teeth and tells him that it’s true that Esther just wants to forgive her family. They all toast and each of the original children takes a drink. DUN!
Klaus takes Caroline to see some stolen artwork, including a few sketches he drew himself. He talks about traveling and Caroline admits that she has never been anywhere. He says he wants to take her and there is a part of me that actually wants her to go with him. What am I saying? This show makes me desire crazy things.
Caroline has a different idea and instead jabs him about controlling his hybrids to do what he wants. She asks for him to give Tyler his freedom. Klaus can’t seem to deal with this finger pointing so he asks Caroline to leave. But she realizes she’s onto something and accuses him of compelling people to be with him because he doesn’t believe people will love him any other way. (Awww, that is sad. And douchey. But mostly sad.) She pretty much says she can’t be bought and that he doesn’t have real relationships with people because he doesn’t try.
Damon finally finds Elena and grabs her to leave. Damon, why do you have to do such things? She apologizes for cutting him out of the plan, and he tells her that she shouldn’t have put herself in danger. She (rightly) points out that if she had told him her plan, he would have tried to save her and ruined everything. Damon and Elena escalate to the point where Damon admits that he is angry because he loves her. Oh jeez. There’s my kryptonite. Elena snaps back that maybe that’s the problem. Her words clearly stab Damon in the heart. She tries to take it back, but it’s too late.
Poor Matt is cornered by obnoxious Kol alone outside. He grabs a hold of his hand and crushes it. Not Matt! What the hell? How does he not just say, “Fuck this shit,” and leave this town screaming? He deserves to live in a place with puppies and flowers and a beautiful woman kissing his pain away forever. (Okay, so maybe that’s another button for me.) ANYWAY! Damon — fresh off his angst with Elena — is ready to kick some original ass and throws Kol off the balcony. Stefan comes to scold him, and Damon gives his “I’m acting out” look. At least he isn’t killing innocent ladies this time. That’s progress, right? (Yeah, I know. I am a Damon apologist.)
At home, Caroline calls Tyler to tell him that she misses him and wishes he were there… and then finds the umpteenth gift from Klaus in her bedroom. Okay, clearly he doesn’t realize that leaving a gift mysteriously on a lady’s bed is extremely creepy. Despite this, the gift is a sweet thank you on a drawing of Caroline and a horse. That is actually very sweet. What is happening here!?! Am I rooting for Klaus?
Esther complains about Kol and Rebekah’s behavior. Elijah says he will handle them and it’s clear that Esther cares deeply for him. Man, that sucks. Poor Elijah. Finn comes back and it looks like he is aware of his mother’s plan and prepared to die to kill his siblings. (So he’s the super good one? Guess we know why Klaus daggered him for 900 years.) Esther finishes casting the spell; now they are all linked. This is a perplexing development.
Stefan takes Elena home. He tells her that he said something he didn’t mean. Oh, so I guess you do actually care? Elena asks him how he can act like he doesn’t care when she cares so much. He claims it hurts too much to feel. Oh waaah, Stefan. Okay, I might be able to buy this love triangle a little more if it didn’t seem like Elena was begging Stefan to care for her after he had treated her like complete crap. Does one of the Salvatore men always have to be acting like a selfish jerk?
Rebekah tries to talk to poor Matt with his crushed hand and no health insurance, but he has clearly had enough of this shit and says he just wants to be left alone. Fortunately, Damon shows up right on time for him and Rebekah to do some self destructing together. And it is HOT. Seriously, this is the kind of acting out I can get behind. Let’s stick with this instead of the lady abuse, okay?
Next episode: The originals strike back!