I so don’t want to do this recap, you guys. I’m so not into this season right now. How much am I avoiding this, you ask? I’m actually watching “Dancing with the Stars” to see Ingo Radenmacher over rewatching this episode. And yes, he is pretty so that might not seem completely unreasonable, except for the fact that I have had to watch a good twenty minutes of other “stars” to get to him. *sigh*
Previously on Vampire Diaries: Elena was in denial about Jeremy’s death until she wasn’t and then she went completely batshit. Instead of helping her deal with her grief, Damon had her turn her emotions off while the rest of the crew stood idly by like the champs they are. And then she burned the effing house down.
We open on Elena walking down the middle of a road. Oh, this isn’t ominous at all. She looks around and lays down, looking pretty bleak. Cut to Damon and Stefan angsting over Elena, as is their wont. Damon thinks the switch is a perk of being a vampire, Stefan thinks she’s off the rails. You know, the usual. Cut back to Elena. A car is driving up to her body, which is still spread across the road. Back to the boys: Damon says that he can use the sire bond to make her turn her emotions back on if things get too bad. Stefan, the worry wort he is, says that all that grief at once would be too much. Oh, for the love of god, you guys. Still with this? When does Elena get to make any choices? Stefan argues that they need to give her a reason to turn the switch on herself, so Damon suggest they just help her find the fun. Uh, this still doesn’t make any sense, but more on that later.
Elena on the road: the lady in the car gets out, all concerned for her welfare. Elena says she doesn’t feel anything, but when the woman goes to call for help, Elena attacks. Damon’s suddenly right there, and orders her not to kill the woman. I should have known, since this is exactly how Damon came to town in season 1. It is a good call back, I suppose. Elena flatly says that she wants to eat this lady because she is the first person Elena’s encountered lately who doesn’t have vervain in her system, but Damon rationalizes that someone will notice if she kills a bunch of people. Damon ends up having to rain on her parade and gets Elena to unwillingly back off.
Somewhere I don’t care about, Hayley is leaving a truck stop. A vampire jumps her, but Klaus comes to her rescue by biting him and making some comment about how ladies should be treated. Oh yeah, Klaus. You really know how to treat a lady. Instead of jumping her, you’d just bite her and watch her slowly die until you finally decided to cure her because of your own selfish needs. Ahem. Sorry. Hayley makes it clear that she invited Klaus to meet her — in fact, he’s promised to protect her in exchange for information about Katherine. The only good thing about this combination is that it will hopefully lead to more Katherine and maybe some Elijah, but still… this is a high price to pay for even that.
Stefan decides that Elena needs to go back to school because Damon’s fun plan didn’t work. Damon makes a tone deaf joke about getting a free lunch out of it. Still with this?? Our hero, folks! Anyway, Elena uses her vampire hearing to listen in on this conversation. You’d think the boys would know better! Duh. Stefan suggests that Damon go look for Katherine to get the cure from her.
Suddenly, Caroline drops in on the conversation. Seems that the Salvatores’ place is the only house that can get vervain-free water in town, so everyone is showering there. That’s weird. I would think that Caroline’s house could also have this installed, but whatever. Convenient non-shower related conversation ensues. Caroline also thinks it’s a good idea for Elena to go back to school.
And then Elena joins the conversation! And she just so happens to be naked! Stefan seems really uncomfortable, but Elena appears unphased by her nudity. She agrees to go to school because she has nothing better to do. Damon tells her to go to school, get involved, but don’t eat anyone.
At school, Elena is looking at a bulletin board that has a poster for a memorial for Jeremy. Is that something people do? It seems weird. Maybe when so many teens die in your town you start advertising memorials the same way you would a club activity? Speaking of club activities, after Elena pulls that poster down, she grabs one for cheerleading. Jeez, Elena. It seems that you still feel the emotion of selfishness. Maybe someone else would have wanted to read those!
Caroline comes walking down the hall, leaving Tyler another message. She updates him on the situation and says that she knows he can’t respond, but thinks if she keeps leaving him messages it will be like he never left when he finally comes home.
Matt, the best human being in the entire world, approaches Caroline to ask about Bonnie. Caroline says she is okay, just drained from the whole Jeremy dying ordeal. But we all know better. She’s more likely orchestrating a mass murder with Silas. Elena joins the two and says she wants to get back on the cheerleading squad. Caroline seems pretty psyched about this turn of events. Oh, Caroline. Just wait.
Damon shows up at Klaus’ place, which of course has a roaring fire. These guys all love ambiance. He makes it clear he knows about Klaus and Hayley’s collusion. Klaus postures about the gang killing Kol (oh, come on, we all hated Kol — even you, Klaus) and trapping him in the Gilbert house and thinks he has no reason to help them. But Damon points out that Katherine most likely wants to use the cure to kill him, so he should stop whining and help him find Katherine so he can give the cure to Elena. Klaus refuses to tell Damon anything about Hayley, but does give him a lead on the vampire that he bit.
Sheriff Liz and Stefan are talking about how the hospital blood supply has vanished. She thinks the town is about to lose it and something like this could be the straw that broke the camel’s back, so she asks Stefan if he could please “Nancy Drew” the case of the missing blood for her. I’m not really sure why. I think Liz is way more competent than Stefan.
Back at school, Elena is in a very cute cheerleading uniform. I would say that it looks sexed up for TV, except it really isn’t. I don’t know what I would do if I had a teenage daughter. At least we wore body suits back in my day! Caroline talks about prepping for the competition, while Elena’s eyes lock on the fresh meat surrounding her. She follows the gazelle, er, I mean, rival cheerleader, who separates herself from the herd. Elena corners her on the bus, makes a meal out of her, and takes her hair ribbon for good measure.
Elena shows back up at the competition with the ribbon in her hair. That is against regulation, girl! Caroline tells her as much just as she realizes that Elena fed on the other cheerleader. Caroline reminds Elena that Damon told her not to feed, but Elena doesn’t care; she’ll do what she wants! Ugh. Elena can finally make her own decisions and I’m not even allowed to root for her? This effing show. After Caroline clues Stefan in on this latest problem, Stefan calls Damon and surmises that the reason the sire bond isn’t working is because it stems from her emotions for Damon. No emotions, no bond. Damon and I both lament the irony: he, because he really wishes he still was able to control her behavior in this particular situation. I, for a much better reason, because Elena had to lose what was essentially her identity to gain agency. Seems like a fair trade, right? Or here’s a better question: why does this show hate me?
Damon finds Rebekah at the truck stop where Klaus bit that vampire that they assume was sent by Katherine to kill Hayley. Rebekah convinces Damon to team up with her to find Katherine because she still wants the cure too.
Klaus and Hayley are having dinner together. Now that she’s comfortable, he wants her to tell him about Katherine. Blah, blah, blah. There’s some bullshit about painting and control and please shoot me now. They talk and then they bang and who gives a crap. I was already dreading the back door pilot episode. This is not helping that one bit. Anyway, before the part that I want to white wash from my mind, Hayley reveals that she helped Katherine because she promised to help her find info about her family. Way to be predictable, Hayley! And after they participate in the speakless act, Klaus says he knows something about her family because of the mark on her back. They may talk about some other crap in their exchange, but I honestly don’t care so that is all you are gonna get for this recap.
Back at cheerleader central, Stefan interrogates Elena about the missing hospital blood. It seems like she is not involved. Stefan rewards this behavior by giving Elena a lecture about “Ripper” Stefan. Elena thinks this might be the better version of her. Honestly, if Ripper is any indication, then I would put my money on “yes.” Caroline doesn’t want her to cheer in this condition, but Elena goes out anyway. They all perfectly execute some realistic cheers that use the phrase “OMG.” Wow, that is pretty gross. I’m glad that didn’t exist when I was in high school. At least we spelled real words. Elena is a spotter for a basket toss that Caroline is flying in, but instead of cradling her at the end, she lets her fall to the ground. Oops. Everyone looks worried and Caroline plays hurt to throw off suspicion. Elena walks off.
Stefan follows her and calls her on her evil plan to join the cheerleading squad to drink vervain-free blood. He offers to take her to a bar to get her other people to drink from. You’d think that the local authorities might somehow find a way to get vervain in the state’s drinking water, or hell, the country’s for that matter. Seems a bit arbitrary that only people in this one small town know enough to do anything about it. And if that’s because people didn’t tend to get hurt outside Mystic because before all the vampires were super lazy, now that they have to go out of the town to feed, someone should be noticing the increase of murders real quick. But I digress. Instead of taking Elena somewhere fun, Stefan instead shoots her up with vervain. Jeez, Stefan. You are so NOT fun.
Rebekah and Damon look for the vampire Klaus bit at the local hospital. During their search, they realize that all the blood has been stolen from this hospital too. Yet another reason that people in a wider radius might have a clue that something weirdsies is going on!
Stefan has brought Elena back to Chez Salvatore. She starts getting undressed in front of him. Stefan thinks she’s trying to manipulate him. Elena pretty much says that she doesn’t care enough to do so. Heh. She says he clearly does still care, and he admits he does, because it’s his fault she is the way she is now. She points out his entire world revolves around her and suggests he maybe should get a life of his own. Way to speak the truth, E! Oh and she secretly texted a huge number of teenagers over for a par-tay! Stefan reacts in the way you’d expect, like the no fun older brother who’s been charged with keeping everything in line while the parents are out of town.
When Caroline shows up at the party, Stefan is drinking and seems to have given up trying to stop it. Elena is dancing on tables having a great time. Okay, so this is where the switch stuff really annoys the piss out of me. Enjoyment, happiness, having fun — these are all emotions. So clearly Elena is able to feel emotions right now! She’s just apparently choosing not to feel certain emotions? And if she starts to choose to feel the good ones, eventually the bad ones will seep in? Either that or this entire plot point is bullshit. Yeah, let’s go with that. Caroline convinces Stefan to let go a bit; he grabs her and they dance together. You know, this is the kind of stuff that this season is severely lacking. It doesn’t hurt that Caroline seems to make any character better, but her friendship with Stefan is something I really enjoy. We’ve barely focused on relationships this season. Everyone feels so disconnected and lost. I miss them connecting in a way that isn’t all about fixing Elena.
Meanwhile, Damon is drinking from some poor lady while Rebekah looks on. He’s trying to set a trap for the werewolf bitten vamp. And like clockwork, the guy shows up. Turns out Damon knows him — his name is Will. Poor Will asks Damon for help… and so Damon kills him. Uh, that was suspicious.
Elena continues to have the time of her life back at her party. She is pouring booze down teenagers’ throats and dancing up a storm until she notices Caroline and Stefan dancing. Then she marches over and essentially tells Caroline to sleep with Stefan because he could use it. Heh. Stefan could always use a good roll in the hay. Sheriff Liz shows up and tells Elena to shut it down, but Elena doesn’t take kindly to that and slams her against the wall. Caroline comes to her mom’s rescue, but Stefan stops her from going after Elena. Elena takes this opportunity to vamp-speed off the premises. D’oh!
Caroline and Stefan go searching for her in the woods. Stefan points out that Elena most likely constructed this whole situation just to get away from them. Caroline is freaked out by the lengths that Elena is now willing to go to — namely, hurting her mother.
Elsewhere: Rebekah and Damon are at some weird party! I have no idea what is going on here. Rebekah accuses Damon of killing Will to keep her from the cure. Oh, Rebekah. I don’t think it’s that simple. Damon gives her a speech about how being human means you’re boring and she should be happy she lost her humanity.
Caroline starts yelling for Elena, as you do when you are looking for someone who doesn’t want to be found. She says that she is stronger than her and doesn’t want to hurt her. Elena appears to take that challenge, jumping out of the woods and planting her hands firmly around Caroline’s throat. They struggle and Elena attributes her skills to Alaric. Awww. The fact that they remember he existed was probably the best moment of the episode for me, you guys. Sad but true. Elena reiterates that she does not care about Caroline or her mother. Elena pokes at Caroline’s feels for Klaus (blech) and almost gets the best of Caroline just as Stefan and Damon show up to grab her.
Later: Caroline is back at the Salvatores’ leaving yet another message for Tyler, but he is still not answering. Stefan comes in to check on her, and they talk about Elena not being herself without her emotions. Stefan says they can’t give up. It would be touching if he didn’t seem to make all his decisions about how he deals with Elena based on what he wants for her and not what she seems to want.
Elena is cooling off in Damon’s room while he goes through some old papers to find a photo of him and Will, the vamp he just killed. Elena talks about how amazing she feels right now and doesn’t understand why Damon would want her to go back to being a scared girl. She challenges Damon that he likes her better the way she is now. Uh, really show? Aren’t your emotions and personality a huge part of who you are? Even if it is easier for Damon to be with this version of Elena, shouldn’t he not want it because it isn’t, in fact, who she is? I just can’t even, show. How did you know (mostly) what I wanted in this relationship when they weren’t a couple, but completely eff it up when they’re together? SO ANNOYING.
Caroline shows up at Tyler’s house. Matt is inside, but she can’t get in until Matt invites her. He gives her a note from Tyler that explains he can’t come home while Klaus is alive, and so he is never coming back.
Oh, and he gave Matt the house. Well, at least Matt has a place to live now since it seems like he might be homeless? (Finally! I mean, I just assumed he’s been living in his truck or a cardboard box this whole time. And he spends most of his time running around with these assholes who burn down perfectly good houses. — Tenillypo)
Liz tells Stefan that six other blood banks have been cleaned out in the area. Stefan calls Damon and tells him that he thinks Silas is back and eating all the damned blood. Damon blows this news off because he is already on his way to go roadtrippin’ with Elena. They’re heading to NY and it has something to do with this Will dude. Hopefully this will turn out to not suck.
Next time: Elena and Damon’s hedonistic road trip. Whoopie.