Previously on Vampire Diaries: The gang found a way to rid the earth of its vampire scourge once and for all… including the vampires we sometimes like. And then they gave it to the the unstable, vampire-killing obsessed psycho killer who hates them all. (Also: Damon was naked and bloody a lot. So there was that?)
AHAHAHAHA… “Heart of Darkness”? HEART OF HOTNESS, AM I RIGHT? Like, daaaaaamn. Did this episode really happen? This is a legitimate question I had the next morning, because I may have watched it not entirely sober and been afraid I hallucinated the whole (spoiler!) extended staring, hand holding, making out portion:
(Seriously, are we all on drugs? Did that really just happen?)
But I’m getting waaaaay ahead of myself here: we open less sexily at Chez Salvatore, where Alaric is languishing in the family dungeon, waiting for his evil twin to come out and play so they can interrogate him about the missing stake.
Elena drops by — ostensibly with a care package. But really, I think she just wants to girl-talk with him about Damon, which I find adorable. Alaric + Elena = platonic cuteness forever!
Anyway, it seems that at selfless Stefan’s suggestion, she and Damon are off on a road trip to Colorado to pick up the littlest Gilbert, since he’s a sitting duck now with Kol shadowing him. Elena confesses that Stefan thinks she has secret feeeelings for Damon, but she’s not sure and hopes the trip will help her figure it out. (Psst… Elena. Lust is a legitimate feeling. I think you can be pretty sure about that one.)
Upstairs, Stefan’s brooding in front of a roaring fire. In Virginia… in April. You know, as you do. He tells Damon that he’ll get the stake’s location out of Alaric. Damon thinks good!Stefan doesn’t really have the stones. (I’m with you, Damon: evil!Stefan rules/good!Stefan drools!) He and Elena take off, but not before she and Stefan can exchange loaded looks. He tells her to “be careful” with this sad, resigned face. Ugh. Good!Stefan = such an insufferable freaking martyr.
After they leave, Stefan heads down to the dungeon, bearing the gift of booze — ostensibly to help Alaric fall asleep, but really, because I think he also wants to gossip about Elena and Damon. Heh. For his part, Alaric can’t figure out why Stefan decided to stick around while Damon went off with Elena, since Damon could have tortured the info out of him just as well. (Oh, Alaric. You silly-billy. Even Stefan could see that letting your best boyfriend be the one to torture you would have been a bad idea. I’m not saying Damon wouldn’t have done it, but things would just be so awkward afterward and who wants to deal with that?)
This all leads to a discussion of Elena’s mystery feeeelings for Damon. Lest you think that good!Stefan is actually, you know, good, he gives an obnoxious “poor me” speech about how all the trouble he’s gone through to get his blood lust under control “to get her back” will have meant nothing if Elena has feelings for his brother. Well, sure. I mean, not murdering people left and right can’t possibly be its own reward. SHUT IT, STEFAN, YOU WHINY ASSHOLE. GOD.
In Colorado — which we can tell because the director is working overtime to show us mountains in every shot — Elena and Damon find Jeremy sucking at batting practice. He looks happily surprised to see his sister for about half a second before taking in Damon’s presence and realizing that shit must have hit the fan again. (I’m totally confused about whether or not Jeremy’s still compelled, by the way — I know they didn’t take his memory away, but they made him not care about stuff in Mystic Falls, right?)
Anyway, it seems that the reason for this little trip was actually twofold: protect Jeremy from Kol, and also use his Walky-Talky Of The Damned to contact dead!Rose and find out who sired her. (In case you were wondering, I am totally on board with this plan, because: ROSE!) Jeremy’s less enthusiastic, but his emo stomp-off is interrupted by the appearance of The Snottiest Original himself:
Yes, hilariously, Jeremy’s one friend — who’s existence he was just bragging about to Damon — is sucky Kol. Who seems surprised to see Damon and Elena, but recovers quickly enough to start whaling on Damon with a bat. They’re able to make a lucky escape when Damon impales him and he’s knocked out. Since all this went down in public, I find it hard to believe that no one noticed a man laying on the grown with a gaping chest wound, but maybe people in Colorado are as oblivious as the townsfolk in Mystic?
Meanwhile, over in the B plot, Caroline’s pissed to discover Rebekah has staged a coup over the planning for yet another lavish high school theme dance. On a side note… Dear Rebekah: Darling. We have to talk. Why are you still pretending to be a high school student? You look like you’re 28 years old, first of all. You are the most unbelievable 16 year old this side of Stefan. But more to the point, girl, you are A THOUSAND YEARS OLD. Have some self-respect!
(And don’t even try to sell me that “oh, I never got to do typical teenage stuff, blah, blah, blah” crap. You didn’t go to high school when you were alive because HIGH SCHOOL DID NOT EXIST THEN. And your disdain for the 70s? Deserved, but YOU SLEPT THROUGH THEM IN A BOX, so not exactly believable. Please try acting your age once and a while.)
SO, ANYWAY. Caroline wanted the 70s, but Rebekah talked everyone into the 20s instead, which… yeah. Team Rebekah on this one. Cute!Matt agrees — or at least pretends to, as he and Caroline actually staged their whole confrontation over it to give her an excuse to disappear for a day to go see Tyler. YAY, TYLER!
But back to Elena, Damon, and Jeremy: who are stopping at a motel in the middle of nowhere so Jeremy can get his seance on. Damon’s being his usual cocky self, but eventually they push him into revealing a personal detail — the dream he gave Rose when she was dying. Awww…
… and just like that, the lady herself is there! ROOOOOOOOSE! I guess if you’ve been reading this blog for a while, it probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise that I kind of loved Rose a lot. She was awesome and didn’t take any of Damon’s shit. Plus, she had pretty hair! Team Rose 4-EVA.
After both assuring them she’s enjoying her afterlife and scarring poor Jeremy for life with her sex talk about Damon, Rose drops a bomb about rooting for him and Elena. Oh, boy. I hope they don’t make Jeremy a sanctimonious twat about this. (HAHAHAHAHA–stop laughing.)
She also reveals that she was sired by someone Damon knows as “Scary Mary.” But she doesn’t know who sired her, or where she is. So Rose ghosts off to try and get more info while the others sit tight at The Motel of Unresolved Sexual Tension.
Chez Salvatore: Alaric and Stefan are still drunkenly gossiping. Hee! Alaric confesses his discomfort that his alter-ego is so “hostile and militant” which seems like rather a tame description for a PSYCHO SERIAL KILLER. Jeez, Alaric. Way to bury the lead. Stefan tries to reassure him that he’s not responsible for what evil!Alaric does, but Alaric insists that evil!Alaric is a part of him, and therefore the things he does must reflect feelings Alaric actually has. (Hey, Alaric — it could be worse: at least you’re not trapped in a mirror while your alt-self makes out with greasy gangsters. Just saying.)
Predictably, Stefan tries to make it all about himself — talking about how everyone has these dark parts. Yeah, but not everyone goes on periodic murder sprees for decades on end, Stefan. Thankfully, Klaus interrupts the pity party, having overheard enough to figure out exactly what’s going on. Stefan talks him out of killing Alaric for real, but he does snap his neck to speed the loss of consciousness part along.
Across town, Caroline heads out to the woods for her rendezvous with Tyler. (HI, TYLER! I MISSED YOU.) They stare kind of goofily at each other and it is adorable.
Tyler says she has no idea how good it is to see her. I think she gets it, big guy. The music swells and they head down to one of the many secret dungeons buried in the forest for some kinky (I presume?) reunion sex. As you do.
Meanwhile, Matt is giving Rebekah a ride home. Because… she doesn’t have a car? What? I’m sorry, see my previous rant, re: plausibility and Rebekah. She’s suspicious of Cute!Matt’s… cute Matt-ness, I guess. And I admit, I’m having trouble understanding why he’s being so friendly/flirty with her, knowing what she is. Well, unless it’s just to keep her from killing him, in which case — go, sneaky Cute!Matt!
But the point may be moot, as she goes into the house to find her mother waiting (by another roaring fire? Seriously?). Rebekah is understandably hostile, but Esther claims that killing her would be pointless as she’s already dying. DUN!
That night, Stefan makes a check-in call with Damon, who lets it slip that he and Elena and Jeremy are all holed up in a motel. Stefan makes a pretty hilarious DOES NOT COMPUTE face. (Like, where did he think they were sleeping? A bush somewhere?)
While Damon’s out gabbing with his boring brother, Elena’s boring brother takes the opportunity to interrogate her about Damon. She denies anything is going on in a really unconvincing way. When Damon comes back in, Jeremy watches him with a lot of hostility. Which, okay, Damon has mind-whammied him twice and killed him once, so… fair.
Chez Original: Esther tells Rebekah that Abby’s death has weakened her connection to the Bennett line, which was the thing that was powering her resurrection. Now her body is dying. Rebekah snots about her mother trying to kill her. Oh, just get over it, already! Esther says she’s spent a thousand years watching Rebekah living a miserable life and it’s a thousand years too long. Word, Esther. In my book, anyone who would waste their eternity attending high school for no reason doesn’t really deserve to live.
Esther grabs her hands, and there’s some very intense eye contact as “Esther” gasps and collapses. Klaus comes in just in time for “Rebekah” to announce that their mother is dead. (Spoiler: she’s not!)
Down in the crypt, Tyler and Caroline enjoy the afterglow of their dungeon sex and chat about the status of his sire bond. Tyler’s not sure if it’s completely broken; he feels more free now, but he won’t know for sure until he tests it.
Caroline digests that, then confesses the whole “killing Klaus will kill you too” mess, and the fact that Damon is still determined to do it so long as it won’t affect his line of vamps. Poor Tyler just can’t get a break, can he?
Speaking of Damon: he’s coming out of the bathroom, having “freshened up” (do you think he exfoliates? I bet he travels with a big bag of facial creams) and removed his shirt for extra gratuitousness. Thank you, CW!
Elena’s in bed with the lights off, pretending to sleep. Jeremy is… in another room, I guess? That seems like a weird arrangement for them to propose if they’re not trying to make him believe anything is going on between them, but whatever. Who am I to let contrivance stand in the way of hotness?
And, oh! Such hotness. What follows is basically two straight minutes of wordless staring — first Elena watching as Damon drinks, bare-chested in the moonlight. (As you do.)
Then, after he catches her ogling, he plops down on the bed next to her to stare some himself. Elena finally breaks the silence to ask why he hides the good things he does, like comforting Rose when she was dying. He says it’s because letting people see the good leads to people expecting it from him all the time and he can’t live up to all that expectation. Oh, boo hoo, Damon. It’s just so hard not murdering people. (Sorry, sorry… back to the hotness.)
They’re laying thisclose to each other now, whispering. The intimacy of it all seems to be getting to Elena, because she has to turn away, breathing kind of heavily. But then she reaches down to tentatively grab his hand, and their fingers twine together, and HOLY GOD, THERE IS LITERAL VICTORIAN HAND PORN HAPPENING. I am so happy right now.
All throughout, the background music has been this dreamy, understated piano. But suddenly, Florence + the Machine kicks in, and I love her and love that they keep using her for Damon/Elena scenes, but it is really jarring. Stop pushing intrusive pop songs into quiet moments, show!
Elena abruptly runs outside, clearly freaked out by the intensity of her feelings. Damon, of course, follows. You think she’s going to push him away again, but then… she totally breaks! Finally! And there’s kissing. And possibly heavy petting. It’s, um… well, it’s stupid hot. Look:
Yowza! Naturally, Jeremy interrupts the proceedings before more nakedness can ensue. Because he ruins everything. Rose has come back with Scary Mary’s location… which can’t be too far away, because the next thing we know, they’re standing in front of her house and I think it’s the same night. Convenient!
Jeremy makes a crack about Damon and Elena making out when they tell him to wait outside, and Damon responds the way I’ve been waiting for someone to respond to Jeremy for years: “Don’t be a dick.” Heh. Surprisingly, Jeremy shuts up. Huh. Maybe he’s just needed some firm discipline? (Oh god, I bet there’s Damon/Jeremy BDSM fan fiction out there somewhere, isn’t there? BRAIN BLEACH. STAT.)
Inside the house, it’s “vampire Hoarders.” (Hee!) I’m interested to know more about Mary, who was apparently super old, creepy, and hot. But alas, it’s not to be, as Kol has beaten them to it and staked her already:
It seems he knows all about their quest to discover who ultimately sired the Salvatore line (thanks, Stefan, for letting that cat out of the bag). Also, he’s in the mood to beat the crap out of Damon some more. Elena’s still off limits for serious injury, per Klaus’ orders, but when he pushes her around a little, Damon is up in a flash, all adorably protective. (Yes, I’m liking Damon this episode. Don’t worry, I’m sure I’ll be pissed at him again soon.) Kol… proceeds to beat the crap out him with a bat. I’m not gonna lie. It’s still pretty attractive.
Across the country, at the scene of another soon to be beat down: Alaric wakes up from being dead — still not evil — and says what everyone has been thinking: this is stupid. (No, not this evil!Alaric plot, although… yeah. No comment.) He means expecting his evil side to show up just to be tortured is not the smartest plan ever. Point for Alaric. So he takes off his ring in the hopes that his evil side has enough sense of self-preservation to prefer torture to death.
(Wow. Alaric is hardcore. I guess he really does love Damon!)
Stefan proceeds to half-heartedly punch him, but it’s not really doing anything until he starts bleeding too much for good!Stefan’s tenuous control. And then (finally!) evil!Alaric has arrived! You can tell because he’s making fun of Stefan for being weak, spineless, and pathetic in a gravely Batman voice. Oh, evil!Alaric. You had me at hating Stefan.
He also reveals that the stake is in the Viking cave, where no vampire can retrieve it. Clever boy! Because it’s not like any of these vampires could just compel any human to walk right in and get it… oh, wait.
“Rebekah” and Klaus, lurking upstairs, heard the whole thing, and soon enough, she’s off to the cave with evil!Alaric in tow to get the stake. Leaving Klaus and Stefan behind to have another cosy little chat about Klaus’s enduring man-crush on Stefan’s dark side:
Sadly for Klaus (and us), Stefan claims that he’s now made peace with dark!Stefan once and for all. Damn. Does this mean we’re never getting fun Stefan back?
Back at the hoarder house: after breaking half Damon’s bones, Kol apparently left them all alive. (Which makes very little sense, actually — he seems the type to have at least snapped Jeremy’s neck just for the hell of it, you know?) Elena and Damon have another little moment as they check over each other’s wounds, but she pulls away when he gets too close. Damon finally asks her what’s up with all the mixed signals lately.
She confesses Stefan’s theory about her feeeeelings, but claims to still not know what she feels. Weaksauce, Elena. YOU FEEL LUST. ADMIT IT. Damon’s surprisingly bitter about all this, considering he’s closer now to having a snowball’s chance in hell with her than he ever has been before. But I guess if Damon wasn’t running his mouth off at an inopportune moment, he wouldn’t be Damon.
Which — point for Elena — she actually calls him out on, making it clear that her reluctance has a lot to do with his general unreliability whenever there’s a bump in the road. I so *heart* Elena as a heroine sometimes, you guys. She’s not a pushover; she’s got a strong sense of self-respect most of the time. I love that about her.
Mystic Falls: Tyler’s gotten permission from an off-screen Liz (HI, LIZ!) to stay the night… on the couch. D’oh! These two are never going to have comfortable sex, are they? Caroline makes it clear that she’s not going to let Team Kill Klaus cost her Tyler in their quest for revenge, and everything is happy and cute… until he notices Klaus’ drawing of her from the night of the ball.
And proceeds to overreact, despite her reassurance that Klaus is creepy and nothing happened. Which is all true. Tyler storms off to spend the night elsewhere, like a huge asshole. I hope he feels bad about that later.
The most awkward cross-country car ride ever: Damon and Elena pointedly aren’t talking to each other in the front seat while Jeremy and Rose have an extremely one-sided heart-to-heart in the back. She tells Jeremy that Elena makes Damon a better person (true, for varying definitions of “better”), but Damon “challenges and surprises” Elena. Basic argument: Stefan is safer but Damon’s more interesting? Well, no argument there. Still not sure I’d like either of them dating my sister, though, Rose.
Man, Rose has turned into quite the Damon/Elena ‘shipper! I bet it’s really boring in ghost vampire heaven. Do you think she writes bad fan fiction about them? I think this will be my head canon from now on. She also leads a discussion group about the latest Mystic Falls relationship drama for other interested ghosts. (I bet ghost!Lexi is a hardcore Stefan/Elena ‘shipper; ghost!Anna, on the other hand, is rooting for Elena to just choose herself.)
We end on evil!Alaric down with the cave paintings, where he reveals the location of the magic stake to “Rebekah”… who reveals that she’s actually Esther — possessing her daughter’s body and still looking to rid of the world of her crappy children!
Looks like a beautiful friendship is about to begin. DUN!
Next week: we get to see everyone’s in their 20s outfits for the dance! Oh, and Esther and evil!Alaric are going to try to kill all vampires. (But 20s clothes, right? I bet Elena looks great with a fascinator!)