Previously on Vampire Diaries: Caroline and Stefan made me sigh a lot, and everyone finally got to mourn for Bonnie.
Well, we’re back to the plots that interest me less, but at least there seems to be some movement on the Silas/Qetsiyah front and that’s better than nothing? Plus, Katherine! Which is better than most things, honestly.
We’re open with Elena laying down a massive exposition dump via her diary, which is one way to catch lapsed viewers up, I guess. She’s back at school and dodging Damon’s calls while trying to work through her various Bonnie feels through investigating sketchy Professor Jerkface’s connection to her roommate’s death.
Speaking of Bonnie, Damon — having learned nothing from anything that’s ever happened on this show — wants to make a deal with Silas to bring her back to life, but he’s keeping it from Elena until he knows it’s going to work. Bonnie, who actually has learned something from the last four years, thinks messing with powerful magic and bringing people back from the dead will only end badly. But Jeremy refuses to relay her objections because blah blah, having a long distance relationship with a ghost is haaaaard. So a deal with Silas is struck.
All Damon has to do in return is kill Stefan! Hilariously, he doesn’t even ask why until he’s already snapped his brother’s neck. Oh, Damon. But the reason is thus: for as long as Stefan remains “dead,” Silas regains his mind control abilities. (Which kind of begs the question: why doesn’t he just kill him permanently? BUT WHATEVER.) And Silas needs his superpowers in order to read Qetsiyah’s mind so he can find the location of the anchor she used in the spell to create the supernatural other side.
Only problem is, Qetsiyah doesn’t actually know where the anchor is, because those pesky Travelers somehow got a hold of it and are keeping it hidden from her. (So… it’s that special knife Cute!Matt — aka Sir Not Appearing in this Episode — is holding onto, right?)
Oh, and I should probably also mention that all this is taking place at this week’s implausible local themed event: a lavish costume ball held by the college, in which everyone must dress as a historical figure. This is apparently the one time a year they open up their valuable collection of super old timey artifacts, or whatever.
The fact that this collection just happens to include a pendant that Qetsiyah needs in order to cast the spell to find the anchor AND Silas just happens to know she’ll be attending because he apparently stalked her off screen and saw her getting her Cleopatra costume ready should tell you everything you need to know about the level of contrivance driving this episode. Just go with it.
Anyway! The night of the ball, Damon (dressed as Henry the VIII to Elena’s Anne Bolyn) repeatedly snaps Stefan’s (aka James Dean’s) neck while Silas, pretending to be Stefan, cozies up to his ex to read her mind and also trick her into admitting she still has feelings for him. Because seriously. In addition to be boring as hell, dude is a grade A asshole.
But when Stefan comes back to life at just the wrong moment and messes up Silas’ mind mojo, Qetsiyah figures out the ruse and petrifies her douchey ex-fiance. Go, girl.
Meanwhile, Elena has a series of run-ins with a mysterious and blandly attractive guy who claims to have been an old childhood friend of her dead roommate and doesn’t believe she committed suicide.
At the ball, she finally gets tired of his dodgy answers and compels the truth out of him: it seems his name is Aaron and he believes he’s been cursed to lose everyone he loves. Gee, who does that sound like?
What he doesn’t reveal is that his guardian is none other than Professor Jerkface (dressed as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, which is not so much historical as fictional, but points for appropriateness, I guess) — seen elsewhere in this episode experimenting heartlessly on poor, confused vampire Jesse and warning Elena to leave campus before other people who know about vampires start to take an interest. DUN!
Elsewhere: Caroline and Tyler (aka Bonnie and Clyde) are back at school too, having marathon sex sessions to avoid actually talking about any of the numerous conversational minefields currently plaguing their relationship. Like the fact that Caroline has taken it upon herself get Tyler a major and a dorm room without asking him if he wants either. Or the fact that he’s more fixated on getting revenge on Klaus than making the most of his education.
But the truth finally comes out at the ball, where Tyler confesses that he’s still holding a wee bit of a grudge over that whole KILLING HIS MOM business, and can’t let it go until he makes Klaus pay. On the one hand, I appreciate someone on this show remembering that Klaus straight up murdered a ton of people. On the other hand, does anyone actually think Tyler has a chance in hell of winning against Klaus? No, no he does not.
Anyway, Caroline gives him an ultimatum, and it’s all very heartbreaking when he leaves anyway. Bye, Tyler! Have fun on The Originals!
Finally, there’s Katherine. Silas still needs her so he can drain her blood to take the cure and die. But Nadia’s got other plans. After some bullshit that involves a litany of Katherine’s greatest hits and culminates in her staking Nadia in the middle of a diner — which was AWESOME, by the way — Nadia finally reveals her true interest: Katherine is her mother. Which I admit: I did not see coming.
Katherine, clearly affected, confesses that she once went back to Bulgaria to search for Nadia, but couldn’t find her. It’s a nice moment of true humanity from her, and Nadia seems touched as well…
…which leads to one of the more gut-wrenching scenes this show has ever had, when Damon summons Katherine to Chez Salvatore and feeds her to a desiccated Silas as she screams and begs him not to. Elena, looking on, seems disturbed, but also doesn’t stop him. And it’s not that I can really blame either of them for sacrificing Katherine after everything she’s done. (Although it does seem particularly cold coming from Elena in light of the moment she and Katherine shared in the woods a few episodes ago.) But damn. That was still really hard to watch.
Fortunately, just as I was getting ready to throw my hands up in the air and quit at one of my favorite remaining characters getting killed off… her heart started beating again. THAT WAS A CLOSE ONE, SHOW.
Next time: Silas finally gets to die! I’m sure that plan will go off without a hitch.