Previously on Vampire Diaries: Things happened in 1912! Like foxy boxing! And muuuuuuurder! Also, Alaric may be a psycho killer now. Oops?
I’ve got to be honest: this was not my favorite episode ever. It wasn’t bad, just… not really great. (Mid-season slump, maybe?) Anyway, we open on Alaric at the hospital, getting an MRI on his possibly-crazy brain to see if Dr. Formerly-Psycho Meredith Fells can figure out of there’s any physiological damage from the immortality ring’s evil influence. While he’s in the MRI tube, he starts hallucinating his reflection taking on an (evil!) life of its own, which is one the of the oldest and yet still creepiest tricks in the book. Alarmingly, Alaric doesn’t share this info with Meredith or Elena. DUN!
Damon shows up to give his boyfriend a ride home, and Elena — still pissy with him about the whole thing with Stefan nearly killing some poor lady the night before — gives him the cold shoulder. Damon tries to explain his whole “we’re VAMPIRES, Elena, duh!” and “all things in moderation!” philosophies, but Elena just snarks that he, of all people, might not be the best champion of self-control. Um, point.
Meanwhile, Caroline stops by Abby’s house with a special a delivery of stolen blood samplers from the hospital. I mean, I guess it’s good they’re not drinking from live donors, but I hope no patients with a rare blood type actually have an emergency at the Mystic Falls hospital. (Psst, Caroline: more AB+ and less O- please!) Abby doesn’t really appreciate the gesture, as she’s too busy moping about losing her witchy connection to nature.
But I thought Abby’s powers had been gone for years? So how could she still sense her garden anyway? Eh, whatever. She’ll be gone by the end of the episode (spoiler!) so I’m not going to waste too much time on her angst now.
For some reason, instead of taking the unstable, council-killing maniac home to rest, Meredith and Damon decide to swing by the ceremony for the reopening of the infamous Wickery Bridge. The Mayor expected Alaric to bring a restored sign from the history department. (… really? The high school history department does restoration work now? This town sure expects a lot of extra-curriculars from its public school teachers.) But what with his busy slaughtering schedule lately, Alaric plum forgot all about it. And I’m only recapping this conversation now because it will end up being important later, but man, this episode is not winning any awards for most enthralling dialog.
Anyway, having fulfilled their plot-related requirements for the moment, Alaric and Meredith decide to split. But Damon has spotted a familiar face in the crowd — it’s Sage! Who heard (through the vamp grapevine? No idea) that Finn had been de-daggered. Apparently she’s been pining for him for 900 years, which make Damon’s Katherine obsession seem sane in comparison. Almost.
Rebekah is also hanging around, I guess snooping for more info on what happened to the white Oak tree? She, of course, hates Sage, because she hates everyone, but especially other women who get male attention. After they snipe at each other and Rebekah swans off, Sage promises that she can help Damon find out what Rebekah’s up to if he can exploit her girlish weaknesses. (Oh, whatever, show.) Cue Damon wearing his most adorable seduction face, charming Rebekah into joining him and Sage for a private party later:
(Yeah, okay. That would probably work on me, too. And I’m gay!)
While all this is going down, Elena drops by Chez Salvatore to pick up more info on her crazy ancestor, only to find Stefan there, brooding (as he does) and acting like a standoffish asshole (again… as he does). Elena tries to ask how he’s doing, but he shuts her down completely… before calling her back just to be an extra callous douche about the futility of trying to help Alaric. Um, thanks for the input, Stefan?
Caroline finds Jamie, who I’d kind of forgotten about, chopping wood out back. He’s a little skittish around vamps in general, and hasn’t even gone in to see Abby since the transition began. Understandable in general, but still — poor form, Jamie! She gives him a lecture about how this wasn’t Abby’s fault or choice, and how she could use some support. Jamie seems sufficiently chastised. A call from Elena interrupts their talk — it seems Bonnie’s still not speaking to her, but Elena needs to know if there’s anything witchy to be done to help Alaric with his little murder spree problem.
Meanwhile, Meredith’s hanging out alone with the man they all believe to be an unstable killing machine. Good plan, guys! They chat about his criminal record, which apparently involves a surprising amount of assaults and bar brawls for a history teacher. He confesses that he was the one who staked her cousin, Jenna’s terrible ex-boyfriend, Logan Fell, way back in the first season. Another person whose existence I had completely forgotten! Meredith admits that vampire slaying in general isn’t really her deal. Although she does wonder why Alaric hasn’t staked Damon yet. BECAUSE THEY’RE IN LOVE, DUH. No, of course he actually says it’s because he did try it once and Damon totally killed him for it. Whatever, you know my answer’s true, too.
Damon comes home to find Stefan binge drinking from blood bags. I am so over Stefan’s various eating disorder issues, y’all. Damon gives him a lecture on control and then sexiles him for the night, so he can have his shenanigans with Sage and Rebekah uninterrupted by downer Stefan’s emo moping, presumably.
Back at Abby’s, Caroline’s straight talk with Jamie seems to have worked, as he comes inside looking to make amends and ends up having a semi-flirty conversation with Bonnie. I immediately begin to worry about his immanent death. (Let’s face it, the survival rate for young black men in Mystic is running at about 0% at the moment. Dude starts making eyes at Bonnie? He’s toast.) Sure enough, Abby comes out, and — as they’re sharing a tender hug — takes a bite out of him. Oops? Luckily, it’s not fatal, as Bonnie intervenes in time and Caroline heals him up. Still, I’m starting a death countdown for Jamie right now. Abby’s understandably distraught, and thinks she should leave to protect Bonnie and Jamie. Bonnie says the only thing that could hurt her is losing Abby again. FORESHADOWING.
Sage and Damon are sitting around Chez Salvatore along with a compelled (I’m assuming) piano player, waiting for Rebekah. When she finally shows, they seduce her with sexy dancing and feasting on the poor piano dude… who I think Damon might have just killed? (Damnit, show. I’m going to pretend he’s just napping.) Damon plays on Rebekah’s neediness by claiming he doesn’t want Sage — just Rebekah. She falls for it.
Alaric tries to set his affairs in order by giving Elena his bank information and will. He wants to make sure she and Jeremy will be okay. Awwww! Caroline calls with good news — Bonnie and Abby think there’s a spell to repair the damage to Alaric’s mind done by the ring. (There’s also some business about how similar things have happened to witches in the past, and dark magic, blah, blah, blah… frankly, after struggling through The Secret Circle this season, I’m a little burned out on the whole concept of a type of magic being “dark” regardless of how it’s used, or of that “darkness” being able to infect a user’s mind. But whatever. Going with it!) In order for the spell to work, they need a personal object of Alaric’s from before he started wearing the ring. So Elena heads off to his loft to grab his wedding band.
While Rebekah’s dozing in post-coital bliss, Sage is apparently able to read her mind — yeah, I don’t know, either. Just go with it.
After, she and Damon shower together (go with it!) and she delves into his mind to shows him what she found. Damon realizes why Rebekah’s been snooping about his family history and heads over to the meticulously maintained milling archives that I guess he and Stefan just keep on hand at all times. (GO WITH IT.) Naturally, he’s able to track down the record pertaining to this one tree almost immediately and discovers… it was chopped up to construct the original Wickery Bridge! What an amazing coincidence!
Across town, Stefan is creepily waiting for Elena when she gets to Alaric’s loft. Apparently, he wanted to tell her some more disturbing information about her 1912 ancestor — namely, that even not wearing the ring didn’t seem to stop her murderous tendencies. Of course, knowing this information and having stopped by Elena’s house to look for her there first, he STILL decided to leave Meredith alone with Alaric so he could go tell Elena this very important news that Alaric is still a danger to everyone. Stefan… is the worst.
Damon shares the good news about the wood from the bridge with Sage… only for her to immediately freak out about the possibility of a weapon that could kill Finn. You would think she might be a little more enthusiastic about a weapon that could kill Klaus, the man who took Finn away from her for nearly a millennium. But no. Damon makes a deal for her to help him kill Rebekah and he’ll consider Finn untouchable. (Didn’t Finn disappear in a puff of witchy weirdness along with his mother? Why is everyone even assuming he’s still alive at all?)
Alas, the deal doesn’t last! As soon as Damon turns his back, Sage disappears. He hightails it to the bridge, only to find Rebekah cheerfully burning the old wood. So I guess Sage told her afterward? Or were they scheming together all along? It’s really not clear.
Sage shows up, and reveals that she read Damon’s mind as well, and learned about how the originals are all linked: one dies, they all die. (Again, I didn’t think that was still on after the spell failed. Guess I was wrong!) Damon spills the beans that Finn is a suicidal mess who volunteered to put them all out of their misery. Sage doesn’t believe him… or does she?
Back at the Gilbert house, Meredith turns her back on Alaric, because she’s an idiot — allowing him to dump all her tranquilizer. Then she stands there staring at him waaaaay too long after he GRABS A KITCHEN KNIFE and starts ominously accusing her of shirking her council duties. (Are you waiting for an engraved invitation to your bloody murder, Meredith? Jeez!) But eventually she runs… up the stairs instead of out the door. (Again, woman — what the eff are you doing? Have you never watched any horror movies?) She finally manages to barricade herself in, but not before Alaric gets stabs her in the gut.
While searching for the wedding ring, Elena and Stefan stumble over a council hit list and a disturbing letter to Jeremy, urging him to carry on Alaric’s work. Oh, dear. They finally decide it might be a good idea to get back to Elena’s house. Once they get there, Stefan knocks Alaric out before he can attack Elena — which is good, because otherwise, I might have been traumatized — and represses his blood lust long enough to feed Meredith some of his own blood to save her.
Alaric wakes up the next day to find Damon waiting beside his bed to make sure he’s okay and also not a psycho killer anymore. Awwww! Apparently, Bonnie did the spell off screen — she’s still downstairs, handing over herbs that he’ll need to take daily from now on to keep the “darkness” at bay. She’s also having the heart-to-heart with Elena that both of them have been needing. And it’s very sweet. Aw, girls.
Caroline and Jamie are working on the garden at Abby’s house, having a heart-to-heart of their own about her dad’s failed transition. She goes inside to find Abby getting ready to run again. Despite an impassioned speech from Caroline about how Bonnie needs her mother, Abby still decides to leave. Because she sucks.
Elena calls Jeremy to check in — and to see if he’s been getting calls from Alaric lately. Little J seems normal, but something tells me we’ll be seeing his more psycho side by season’s end.
Finally, Damon has a twist up his sleeve! He’s got the Wickery Bridge sign that Alaric was supposed to deliver to the Mayor earlier. And it’s made of the same wood as the original bridge. DUN!
Tonight: Finn’s back! And everyone else is going to war!