Previously on Vampire Diaries: Ghosts were all up in everybody’s business, the gang all graduated, Jeremy reanimated, Bonnie died, Elena chose Damon, Stefan was doppelgänged, and Katherine got the damn cure.
Summer’s over! And since summer is the only time of year when there isn’t a new crisis every other day in Mystic Falls, all of the plots left hanging at the end of May are still conveniently waiting to be resolved.
Vacation recap: Elena and Damon have been enjoying a happy, drama-free summer in love without Stefan around to rain on their parade… meaning poor Jeremy’s spent his time being been sexiled by them. Oh, and also sending everyone fake emails and postcards from Bonnie so no one will know she’s dead, which I’m sure will work out well for everyone.
Caroline’s been busy planning for the perfect college experience with her BFF and boyfriend, while Tyler’s been busy doing charity work with rural werewolf packs and deciding to piss away his future because this show doesn’t have the budget for its entire cast to be seen at the same time. And Matt and Rebecca have been having European threesomes and getting robbed by their sex partners. As you do.
LADY THREESOMES, OF COURSE.
THIS IS THE CW. THERE ARE LIMITS.
It’s really weird to see everyone carefree and enjoying life. (Or death, in Bonnie’s case.) Which brings us to Stefan. Apparently, he spent the summer the same way he spends the entire episode: drowning and reviving and hallucinating Damon and Elena as the respective devil and angel fighting over whether or not he should turn his emotions off. It seems like even emotionless, being trapped endlessly dying underwater would still suck a lot, but what do I know?
By the way, hallucination!Damon’s argument is that Stefan doesn’t deserve to be tormented like this since he did the right thing in letting Elena go. Which just reminds me how irritating I find everything to do with Stefan’s “goodness” and the damn humanity switch. I mean, we just had, like two full seasons of some variation on this crap. Can we not? Please?
(Also, really? A mass murderer respects his ex-girlfriend’s choice to be with someone else and that not only makes him a saint but also makes it okay for him to become a psychotic killer again? REALLY, SHOW?)
Meanwhile, Stefan’s dear doppelgänger has spent the last few months on a blood bender. Now, I could say that last year, the Silas back story was a searing hot mess that made no sense and contradicted several points of the established and already shaky show mythology. But instead I’ll just let the fact that the writers felt compelled to shoehorn in multiple, increasingly ridiculous exposition dumps during this episode speak for itself:
SILAS: You’re confused. I know that because I can read your thoughts. It’s understandable. I mean, I’ve been a little cryptic lately.
LIZ: What’s with the knife? Most vampires go straight for the neck.
SILAS: Please, Liz. I came first. Vampires are nothing more than a disgusting perversion of me. I’m unkillable, I’m immortal, I’m psychic, and to function I need human blood. But don’t ever call me a vampire.
Welp, that sure cleared it all up, right? EVERYTHING MAKES PERFECT SENSE SHUT UP.
(The funniest part was that after giving that whole speech, he immediately compels — or “magicks?” NOT A VAMPIRE, YOU GUYS — poor Liz to forget it all. Like, there was literally no other point to that entire scene other than trying to explain Silas’ stupid special snowflake “vampire but NOT A VAMPIRE, JEEZ” deal to the audience yet again. Oy, VD writers. If you need to try this hard to make something work? It’s not working.)
Anyway! Silas’ blood drinking has helped juice up his psychic powers to the point where he can mind-whammy large crowds to do his bidding. Like standing around and watching while he kills Bonnie’s dad — for no other reason, I can assume, than this show had reached its black character quota limit and also nothing good is allowed to happen to Bonnie ever.
He can also whammy the mob to go looking for human Katherine, who he’s after — to capture? kill? — for some reason. This is unfortunate, because at the beginning of the episode, she begged and pleaded her way into Chez Salvatore for some protection against her many enemies. Damon’s actually willing to turn her again, just to get her out of his hair. Which seems incredibly short-sighted, given her last act as a vampire was to come thisclose to murdering the girl he loves.
But it’s a moot point since Katherine doesn’t know if the cure will prevent further vamping and is unable to take the risk of dying for real. (Human!Katherine is amazing, by the way. She apparently hasn’t run a brush through her hair for three months, but still finds the time to carefully reapply her heroine chic make up. Also I guess running in high heels doesn’t hurt as a vampire? SIGN ME UP, CREATURES OF THE NIGHT. MY BODY IS READY.)
After Silas, pretending to be Stefan — attacks Katherine, Damon sends her off with Jeremy. But he changes his mind when he learns that real!Stefan has been trapped and tortured all this time, and the only way to get him back is to turn Katherine over. Katherine, naturally, doesn’t appreciate this plan, and risks killing both herself and Jeremy to get away. Have I mentioned I love desperate, dangerous-as-hell human!Katherine? I LOVE HER A LOT, GUYS.
Also, is it wrong that I totally awwwwwed at Damon all panicked over Jeremy and clutching him to his chest in relief after he revives? I mean, he said it’s just because Elena left her little brother in his care, but I like to think he’s somewhat fond of the kid by this point. I also like to think about the fact that Damon has become the de facto guardian of his dead boyfriend’s (MISS YOU, ALARIC) adopted son, because it makes me all warm inside. And really: if Damon doesn’t have some genuine feelings for anyone other than Elena and his brother by now, this show is just a bunch of people who spend all their time together with no feelings involved, and who wants to watch that?
Meanwhile, Elena and Caroline are missing Bonnie, but determined to enjoy the “normal” college experience… and I’m sorry, but I cannot finish this sentence without pausing to spend the next five minutes laughing at their LUDICROUSLY CAVERNOUS “normal” dorm room — or, as actual normal people would call it, palatial suite:
Like, I cannot emphasize enough how ridiculous this room is. THEY HAVE A PRIVATE BATH. AND A 15 FOOT CATHEDRAL CEILING WITH FANCY LIGHTING FIXTURES. I can’t even, y’all.
They also have a surprise third roommate who stocks vervain vitamin water in the mini fridge and gets mysteriously murdered by another vampire by the end of the episode — so don’t get too attached. Although her photo has a picture of her with Elena’s dead dad, so maybe we’ll be seeing her again in some form?
Finally, let’s check in with Cute!Matt, whose lovely summer of drama-free happiness was, like of course, doomed not to last. After sending Rebecca off to her spin-off on good terms, he’s surprised by the appearance of the girl who stole — among other things — the freaking Gilbert immortality ring back in Europe. (Of all the things you should really keep a close eye on, Matty, the ring that prevents your death and also sometimes creates serial killers might be a good one. Just saying.)
Because a summer of good sex seems to have killed all of his Mystic Falls instincts, he follows her into a deserted alley, where she and some other dude promptly ambush him and work some creepy mojo that turns his eyes black. WELL, THAT CAN’T BE GOOD.
All in all: I have no idea where either the Elena or Matt stories are headed, but I already like them better than anything to do with goddamn Silas. This was a much more entertaining episode for me than most of last season, so we’ll see where it goes. You’re still on probation, though, Vampire Diaries.
Next time: the search for Stefan!