Hey, Vampire Diaries‘ fans: here’s a pretty fantastic (and hilarious!) recap of last week’s new episode by Kiersten White. Enjoy!
This episode is a pretty big event for me. Normally I watch on my laptop four days after the show airs while my kids entertain themselves with matches and sharp things. (Just kidding, child welfare people–I only let them play with matches under very strict supervision.)
Tonight, however, I’m watching at my in-law’s. On an actual TV! Damon’s eyebrows will be SO BIG I don’t know if I’ll be able to handle it. Also, they are quaint around here and have no DVR, so at crucial moments I will probably scream “PAUSE! PAUSE!” to no avail. Also, after six years without any television, commercials are kind of amazing. HOW HAVE I NOT HEARD OF NINJAS VERSUS COWBOYS? My television-free black hole has never felt more devastatingly cold and empty.
Oh, yeah, the recap. Which I am starting. Right now.
Previously on The Vampire Diaries: Those dang Shamans! They are always cursing people. Moonstones, werewolves, vampires, Aztec drawings–it’s called Mystic Falls for a reason, y’all. Also, did you know Katherine and Elena look EXACTLY THE SAME? Wait, they’ve covered that? Okay!
Also reviewed, Bonnie’s new fake love interest! GIVE THE GIRL AN ACTUAL LOVE INTEREST who is not skeezy looking, please. Everyone else gets such pretty temporary love interests; I’m really disappointed they didn’t cast someone nicer to look at as Skeezy Warlock Junior. I hope he dies soon.
With that generous thought, the final point to remember is that Elijah (who IS nice to look at) is not dead (which is a good thing to balance Skeezy Warlock Junior).
And to the episode:
Beautiful Elena sleeping in full makeup! Yes, we don’t get enough of those shots. But wait! There’s a guy watching her. Edward! Wait, no, it’s the Big Daddy Warlock, creeping on Edward’s trademark move. Stake your own territory, Big Daddy Warlock, that’s so been done.
Also, shouldn’t Elena have learned by now to never, ever sleep? She does the, wait, is that someone creeping around my room who is neither my boyfriend nor another variety of vampire that goes all glitter-tastic in sunlight? look and turns around to find … no one. So she tiptoes out into the hall and…
Oh, hey, shirtless Alaric and embarrassed Jenna. Can’t we let Jenna be sexy instead of awkward? SO AWKWARD. Apparently only the teens (or, well, the people older than I am playing teens) are allowed to have hot scenes instead of awkward encounters. Also, I love Alaric. So, so much. If the writers ever kill him I will sneak into their rooms and watch them sleep and see how they like it.
Jenna, please don’t smile all happy and giddy like that. It’s going to get RIPPED AWAY FROM YOU. You are not interesting when you’re happy, but I’m glad the writers decided to remind us about you and Alaric in this episode. It was generous of them. (I WILL WATCH YOU SLEEP, WRITERS, DON’T THINK I WON’T.)
And cut to Big Daddy Warlock klepto creeper! Stealing Elena’s things while she awkwards it up out in the hall with Jenna and Alaric. You better furrow that brow, Big Daddy, so we know how bad you are. Honestly, have these people never heard of an alarm system? They have more home invasions per month than the Swan residence, and that’s saying something.
Next we visit the tomb. Again. Some more. Convenient the way they keep Katherine around like this. But although Stefan and Damon are there and mean business, they don’t show Katherine much yet. I’ll bet Nina was disappointed. I feel bad for poor Katherine, who is not only starving but bored–no one should ever be allowed to be bored on this show. One thing this show doesn’t do is bored. I have a feeling you’ll get a toy soon, Katherine.
Kitchen pow-wow at Elena’s house. The Brothers Salvatore, blah, blah, moonstone, how do we get it from Katherine, delivery of the grand plan which prompts Damon to say, “Yup, we’re awesome.” I love Damon’s delivery so, so much. He nails his lines every. single. time. It must really suck to be any other character on this show because you know no matter how awesome you are, Damon will always be awesomer.
However, awesome or not, Elena is sticking up for herself. Which I appreciate. She’s having none of their plotting this time, having realized time and time (and time and time and time and time) again that their plotting nearly always ends up with a spine snapped or a neck broken or a body drained of blood and very little actual result. Elena doesn’t believe they can get to Klaus before he gets to her, and says that sure, they might win, “After he kills everyone I care about, including the two of you”–and we have Damon Eye Thing count ONE, and perfectly subtly executed, too. The way he looks when she says that is dead on as you see hope return to him that maybe she’s forgotten that one time he snapped Jeremy’s neck just like she forgot that one time he killed and turned Stoner Vicki. People aren’t real big on memory in Mystic Falls. It’s … mystifying.
Sometimes they like to have scenes at school, although it is obvious to me now that this is a school for the terminally beautiful who hang out at lockers or outside on the basketball court next to some strategically placed school buses to maintain the illusion of studying something other than How to Be Beautiful and Have Serious Conversations. Skeezy Warlock Junior has decided to seduce Bonnie through magic. Bonnie, don’t fall for it! “Hey baby, let’s combine our magic!” Worst lines EVER. I hope he dies soon. Violently. Bonnie and SWJ make the leaves blow around, and apparently it’s…uh, quite the sexy experience? I mean, I remember when my husband and I first met and made papers and leaves blow around and it was HAWT. DIE Skeezy Warlock Junior DIE. After they’ve succeeded in scattering way more paper than any student studying How to Be Beautiful would ever actually use, Jeremy crashes. Poor Jeremy. Life was easier back when you were a junkie and getting rejected than now when you have it all together and still get rejected.
Cut to The Mansion and another awkward post-bedroom encounter for Elena. At least Rose isn’t just in boxers. Also, where did she get her sexy, satiny robe since she’s been on the run for 500 years and is just crashing with Damon? Ah, vampires. Rose is surprised to learn that Elena is here to see her and says, “I should probably get dressed.” Well, yes, at least until they start running out of plots in the next season and start throwing in lesbian kisses to boost the ratings.
Rose, now dressed, wants nothing to do with Elena’s plan to figure out how to face off against Klaus, until Elena dangles Bonnie’s magic sun-proof jewelry ETSY store as leverage. (Seriously, Bonnie, ETSY. You will make a killing!) Not sure how Bonnie “I Hate Vampires Except When I Don’t” Bennett will take to being used as a bribe, but whatever. I’m just glad Elena is taking charge.
Back to school where no one attends class ever since their one-and-only teacher got his throat ripped out, Tyler is a bad shot at basketball and Matt is still wandering around looking concerned. They want to remind us that he’s a character on this show, just like Alaric and Jenna. Poor Matt. Maybe he’s secretly a unicorn or something? Everyone else gets cool powers. Hopefully he can grow a flowing white mane and dance on rainbows someday.
After Matt is done sad-sacking it up with Tyler, he has an awkward Caroline encounter. Tyler, ever tactful and observant, asks Caroline, “You two still outs?” Way to state the obvious, dude. Now they remind us that Tyler is a werewolf with a pointless conversation that doesn’t establish any new information. Caroline declares she wants to help him, and when he questions it she lists off a flurry of things she’s been in charge of. Way to flash your organizational skills, Caroline. Work it, girl. Maybe next time you can draw up a chore chart for him? Caroline knows how to get the boys.
Pow-wow at the Salvatore Man Den of Wood Paneling and Romantic Lighting. Damon Eye Thing sighting TWO. I love his eyebrows. They should have their own show. I also love it when Jeremy interjects something into the plotting between Stefan, Bonnie, and Damon, and Damon says, “Why are you even here?” Yeah, umm, the plots have been asking the same thing for a while now. Either he needs to get supernaturalized or get victimized by the supernatural. There is no middle ground, Jeremy. Go ask knife-in-the-stomach Jenna.
Cut to Rose and Elena going to see Nerdy College Vampire. I thought he was cute, and was very sad when he staked himself. Why couldn’t he have been Skeezy Warlock Junior? Ah well. (I’m also glad to see Rose in a leather jacket rather than a satin robe. In fact, there are an abundance of leather jackets in this series. Clearly hanging with vampires is not a vegan lifestyle.)
Hey, look! Elena and Rose find Dead Slater. I like how they say his name like we remember it. We totally didn’t remember his name, just that he was dorky and spent his undead life getting PhDs and having quarters shot at him through windows. However, being dead dead now instead of just undead, Slater is probably not going to be much help. (Also, judging by his lair, vampires, in addition to liking leather, also like wood floors and detailing. I want their realtor.)
Poor Rose stands at the window and almost cries over being unable to go into the sun. Rose, you do realize that the two guys you were friends with are dead now, both having died immediately after coming into contact with Elena? Yeah, not boding well for you and your accent and hip hair. Maybe a little less pining for the sun and a little more getting the heck out of dodge is called for. But you are a very pretty cameo character so you are probably going to die. I don’t make the rules, I just snark about them. (And threaten the writers, but I won’t watch them sleep on your behalf, sorry.)
And here’s some other random character crashing in on Rose and Elena. Wait, Alice? Aren’t you on the wrong vampire show? Where’s Jasper?
(INTERJECTION. Guys, is it just me or have there been way, WAY too many let’s hang out and discuss the details of the past few plots scenes so far? Not that this isn’t a fine episode, but after episodes like the Masquerade ball I’ll admit I’m a little…bored. It feels like nothing significant has moved forward, and TVD usually excels at moving things forward at a breakneck speed. [I especially like it when it’s a break-Jeremy’s-neck-speed, but that’s just me.])
And…more talking and plotting and planning and standing around in The Brothers Salvatore’s Study of Intense Conversations and Drinking and Getting Your Heart Ripped Out. Is it just me, or is Stefan way too sad over the picture of Katherine? I’m sensing he’s not quite as over her as he’d like us to believe. However, he gives the picture up for some magic mojo. I wonder if Bonnie gets sick of closing her eyes and taking startled breaths during these scenes? And then getting nosebleeds? I used to get a lot of nosebleeds when I was younger. Maybe I was secretly a witch. (MAYBE I STILL AM, WRITERS, SO DON’T TOUCH ALARIC. I AM WATCHING YOU SLEEP AND MY NOSE IS BLEEDING.)
Hey, look! Side plotline again, featuring more leather jackets, this time on Tyler and Caroline. Seriously? Is that a thing I don’t know about? Do all of the thirty-year-old teens rock leather jackets these days? And now we have Tyler, hitting on Caroline, in the twist that everyone saw coming. However…I actually like the two of them together. I thought Matt and Caroline were cute, but I like someone who can challenge her more and whine less.
Tyler and Caroline go tromping through the woods looking for a place to lock up Tyler when he turns into a wolf pup. The old Lockwood family rock cellar in the middle of nowhere ought to do nicely, right? The place is just oozing with ambiance. I especially like how they show us that werewolves have been securing themselves in there for generations. Turns out the only thing for werewolves to do while turned is scratch stone walls. It’s a sucky job, but someone’s gotta do it. Those stone walls aren’t going to ominously scratch themselves!
But we’ve already established the Lockwood Family Den of Scratched Stone in previous episodes, and again we have a scene moving nothing forward until…Caroline finds a Mysterious Package! Nice. Hey! It’s another diary! It’s like they remembered what the title of the show is or something. That’s probably the strangest thing about Mystic Falls: the sheer number of people who are excellent record keepers. Caroline and Tyler totally violate dead Mason’s privacy and read his journal looking for clues. About, you know, whatever. I hope that if I ever turn into a supernatural creature someone finds my old mopey and self-indulgent poetry-filled high-school journals to look for clues.
And…back to the Brothers Salvatore Den that Killed an Entire Forest to Line Its Walls, with a scene between Bonnie and Jeremy. Bonnie does the whole lip touch to poor Jeremy, leading leading leading him on. People in this show have no notion of personal bubbles. There’s so much close talking! It makes me want to scoot them apart a bit. At least they don’t do the epic stares of the first few episodes in season one. (Writers, touch Alaric and I will watch you sleep within your personal bubbles while my nose bleeds and I will be staring. EPICALLY.)
And back to that nerdy research vampire whose name you’ve already forgotten again’s house with Alice. Wait–what are they trying to pull? That is TOTALLY not Ashley Greene. And if it were Ashley Greene, she’d either have Jasper or Joe Jonas with her, and then Damon could come and kill them and we’d all giggle. Dang, why isn’t she Ashley Greene??
Anyway, annoying random Alice-who-is-not-Alice says Elena looks familiar. Why doesn’t Elena get automatically suspicious when people tell her she looks familiar? Doesn’t she watch the “Previously on The Vampire Diaries” part where we are reminded EVERY FREAKING WEEK that she’s a dead ringer for Katherine? She needs to pay more attention. Anyway, Alice-who-is-not-Alice has this weird lips goth chick with attitude thing going on, and I hope she dies. (You may notice a theme here. I hope a lot of people die. But only on this show; not in real life. In real life when you die you don’t go on to make obnoxious cameos on other CW or ABC Family shows. You just…die. So this is the only place I can root for it guilt-free.) Elena wants to get information out of A-W-I-N-A instead of just sitting there wishing she’d die, so she promises A-W-I-N-A that if she helps them Rose will turn her into a vampire.
Rose says, “You know that she’s not going anywhere near my blood, right?” Elena raises an eyebrow in a move Damon would be proud of and says, “I know. She doesn’t.” YOU GO, GIRL. So as they are hacking Nerdy Dead Vampire’s computer, there is a Kristen Stewart joke FOR THE WIN. But hello writers, I’ve been making Twilight jokes all night. Get with the program.
And here, finally, is the twist we have been waiting for amongst these eternal conversations. Elena WANTS Klaus to come and get her! It’s a suicide mission! Ah, self-sacrifice for those we love.
But wait! Elena isn’t the only Gilbert with a suicide mission to protect others! Jeremy goes to the tomb on his own to keep Bonnie from having to do Major Magic and throws the magic stunning powder into Katherine’s face, knocking her out. No, Jeremy, don’t make quips! If she wakes up she’ll KEEL YOU. Fine, FINE, I like you, pathetic little brother! I don’t actually want you to die!*
*in this episode
[Interjection during commercials: Smallville is STILL ON ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Does Superman keep running around the earth to make it go backwards to get another season or something?]
Katherine doesn’t have the moonstone on her body. Hurry, Jeremy! The music is getting frantic! YOU ARE GOING TO ALMOST DIE AGAIN. But there, the moonstone! No! Don’t pause to hold it dramatically in the light! MISTAKE! (Umm, what light–this is an underground tomb. Not quite sure what the light sources are here.) Katherine is awake and she is hungry…but in a stunning move Jeremy throws the moonstone out of the crypt even as Katherine is NOMming his neck! Noble, noble Jeremy! I’m so proud of him.
Also, point of curiosity: Why does Caroline get blood all over her face when she feeds, but Katherine just gets the sexy side drip? I’d complain if I were Caroline. That’s not fair.
And cut to Elijah and Big Daddy Warlock. I’m digging Elijah. So glad he didn’t stay dead. Big Daddy Warlock is using the sexy magic mojo on Elijah so that Elijah can find Elena. I’m not really sure why this requires magic since everyone pretty much knows exactly where Elena is all the time, but whatevs. There is some hand holding and some intense staring. Are we supposed to think these are romantic interests, too, or is this entire cast incapable of chilling out and not giving each other HEY BABY I WANT YOU looks every twenty seconds?
However, COOL effect with the window when Elena is looking through and sees Elijah’s reflection to turn and find no one behind her. So I guess that was the entire point of that scene. I dunno. I want forward momentum! Come on!
Commercials, including an ad for interactive online content. Poor Jeremy. His only interesting storylines take place as online bonus webisodes? Dude, maybe he SHOULD hope Katherine kills him and he can get on a show where he isn’t the little brother.
Stefan, Bonnie, and Damon are ready to go down into the tomb to try and take down the barrier, take out Katherine, get the moonstone, and do all those other things from that one plan they’ve talked about WAY too much during this episode. While Stefan and Bonnie head down Damon gets a call from Rose, who is totally tattling on Elena. Aw, Rose, I didn’t know you cared! Maybe there is hope for her to show back up next season when the ratings are dropping.
Damon leaves without telling anyone where he’s going, and Bonnie and Stefan set up until Katherine reveals her new cell mate who, thanks to his magic resurrection ring, can be killed over and over and over again. She’s not bored anymore! Yay! Bonnie frantically starts doing the spell, using Skeezy Warlock Junior’s necklace to draw on for power. We cut to him acting winded, but when his dad asks what’s wrong he dodges the question. Ah, sure, cover for Bonnie and slightly redeem yourself. I still want you to die.
And, since all of the other plotlines are finally actually moving, we cut to Caroline and Tyler in her living room. WAIT. WAIT. TYLER, WHAT ARE YOU DOING? NO ONE USES PCs ON TELEVISION! Where is your Mac? I find this even harder to believe than the light in the crypt. Anyway, now that my suspension of disbelief is totally shot, they insert the flash drive that Mason left in his journal (in between pages where he doodled “Katherine + Mason 4EVER” and signed his name Mr. Katherine Lockwood). The drive contains video he took of himself during his first transformation. Aw, Mason, you’re in a better place now. A place where you can do other cameos on other popular series. Tyler watches in horror as Mason goes through agonizing pain, knowing that he’s about to face the same thing. Tyler is acting his butt off in this scene, and I’m sorry I wanted him to die in the previous season.
And back to Lair of Dead Nerd Vampire, where Damon bursts angrily through the door and we are treated to Damon Eye Thing THREE. He, too, has no use for A-W-I-N-A and says, “Get rid of her.” TOO AWESOME. Writers, heed him. However, unlike Damon of old he ends up compelling her instead of just killing her. Damon, you big softie! Damon and Elena have a big confrontation in which Elena insists she’s in charge of her own life and tired of having Stefan and Damon try to control everything. We are also treated to Damon Eye Things FOUR, FIVE, SIX, and SEVEN. I love his scenes with Elena, because the Eye Things come fast and furious. I’ll even let her eyebrows cameo on his eyebrows’ show.
So, anyway, way to stand up for yourself, Elena. But again with the close standing. Personal bubbles, people. No one really stands that close and stares at each others’ lips, do they? Or do I just not know about it because I don’t have a leather jacket? Dangit, I miss out on everything. Also, have you noticed how much closer the camera shots are on Elena’s and Damon’s faces while they are talking than they are on anyone else’s during conversations? I wonder if it’s the cinematographer trying to create intimacy by putting the viewer right into that violated personal bubble. I’m always curious to see how shows manufacture and express chemistry, although to be honest they’ve never had to push Elena and Damon’s.
And back to the tomb, where Bonnie is taking out Skeezy Warlock Junior with the force of her magic, and his dad finally catches on when he is on the floor, seizing. Sheesh, if Bonnie isn’t closing her eyes and looking all into the magic, she’s bleeding or passing out. Which she does–pass out, I mean–before she can lower the vampire forcefield.
So far I don’t want to be a werewolf or a vampire or a witch. Their lives all suck. I’ll be a unicorn with Matt instead, please.
With Bonnie out on the floor, Katherine gets ready to take another chunk out of Jeremy. (Side note: They spend enough time in the tomb they really ought to think about investing in some overhead lighting.) But what’s this? STEFAN RUNS INTO THE TOMB AND THROWS JEREMY TO SAFETY KNOWING HE’LL BE LOCKED IN. Aw, I love Katherine’s smile when Stefan is trapped. You know, this is a development I can get behind. I just wish it hadn’t taken so many conversations in rooms with a lot of wood paneling to get Stefan locked in the tomb with Katherine.
And now back to Tyler and Caroline, which, sorry, I want to care but COME ON let’s get back to Damon’s eyebrows. However, I guess Caroline and Tyler need to move closer to being in a relationship, so Tyler asks her, “Why do you care?” Because you two are both pretty and not currently hooking up with anyone so hey, why not? And cue piano music confessional. I love Caroline. She tells Tyler that she was alone and out of control when she got changed, and that she killed someone on accident. But actually, honey, you’ve killed more than one somebody. And the next few ones (those sheriff deputies) you ate were totally on purpose. But now that they’ve bonded, it’s time for overpowering vocals on a song! Buy the soundtrack! But what’s that–the doorbell. Who could it be…who could it be…
MATT! Come to confess his unicorn powers! Caroline: “What are you doing here?” Matt: “I don’t know, but sometimes, when I get happy or cheerful, I sparkle.” Caroline: “Like Edward Cullen? Do you also watch people sleep?” Matt: “No, it’s not like that, the sparkling is like…a rainbow of joy and purity. And then I neigh.” Tyler: “Dude, that’s the biggest pansy of all pansy powers ever.”
That scene doesn’t actually happen. Matt just tells Caroline he misses her, and then Tyler comes up behind Caroline and looms. In a looming sort of way. And no unicorn powers are revealed at all, which I think is really what this episode is missing. Season three?
Back to Damon and Elena. Damon insists they leave but oh dear, it’s too late. Several vamp baddies come in, and Elena moves to go to them but he grabs her and says, “I will break your arm.” Aw, I love threats of physical violence in romantic relationships! Wait. Whatever. Anyway, I do love the way Damon steps in front of her when Elijah shows up behind the vamp baddies. Sure, Damon’s a psychopathic serial killer and we really shouldn’t forget how many people he killed in season one, but those eyebrows just make it so easy!
Now that Elijah’s here, Rose takes off in super fast motion and lives to cameo another season. Yay! Damon says to Elijah, “Wait, didn’t I kill you?” Yes! Yes you did, but not really, and we’re so glad. Go kill the warlocks instead. Elijah asks the vamp baddies if anyone knows they are there and they say no. Wrong answer, or right, depending on your point of view, because he kills all three of them, smiles at Damon and Elena and…leaves. I don’t think Elijah wants to take her to Klaus! I LOVE ELIJAH, yo. Can we please just have him randomly kill vampires and die and come back to life and throw quarters and kill more vampires every episode?
What? No, I’m not morbid. Why do you ask?
(WRITERS I AM WATCHING YOU SLEEP IN A NON-MORBID BUT DISTINCTLY MENACING WAY DON’T TOUCH ALARIC.)
Another scene with the Warlock Dudes. I just. don’t. care. Too much exposition in this episode. Elijah talks with Big Daddy Warlock and says that the spell worked and he found Elena. Elijah is happy to leave Elena with Damon and Stefan, though, because “He’d die before he’d let anything happen to her; they both would.” Elijah wants her to be safe until another day, which means they are going to play out that plotline for a while. Honestly, I’m kind of relieved. I love how quickly they introduce and resolve things, but really, once you bring in the GrandPappy Vampire to Beat All Vampires Klaus, where do you go from there? I’ll tell you where: UNICORNS.
Bonnie is home with Jeremy, refusing to leave his side because “between here and upstairs there’s still time for you to do something stupid.” Amen, sister. However, I really like Jeremy’s stupidity. I think they should have locked Stefan in the tomb last season and made this the Damon show. Or just about his eyebrows, which is essentially the same thing.
Jeremy, however, isn’t thinking about Damon’s eyebrows. He’s thinking about Bonnie and her lips, but the background music should have clued him in. It’s not kissing music. It’s sad, depressing music. She can’t kiss him because she’s overwhelmed with all of the close talking and is paying attention to the musical cues and so knows that this isn’t a happy scene. Plus, Jeremy has to go do his online bonus content. Harsh, Bonnie. Harsh.
On the doorstep, Damon treats Elena to Damon Eye Things EIGHT and NINE, right before Bonnie opens the door with a look on her face that says, “Oh girlfriend, you are going to be even sadder than your brother whom I refuse to kiss because the music cues weren’t right.”
Back to the tomb and its eternal torches. Elena yells for Stefan but he doesn’t come to where she can see him. She’s ready to throw herself in (lame, Elena) but Damon holds her back from doing it and treats us to Damon Eye Thing TEN. And then, weirdly enough, Elena leaves. Although I don’t really blame her. Her boyfriend did just lock himself inside a tomb with his ex. I’d need a nap at that point. (Just like the writers, who aren’t going to touch Alaric so that they can continue to nap in peace.)
But my question is, why didn’t Stefan come out to talk to her? He’s usually so co-dependent. He comes right out as soon as she leaves, though, to talk to Damon and he seems really, weirdly calm about the whole thing. What are you up to, Stefan? Could it be…something interesting? Really? Please? The scene ends on Stefan tasking Damon with protecting his girlfriend. Yeah, that’s gonna go well…
Closing thoughts: Some good moments but overall too little movement in this episode just to get us to the point where Stefan is locked in the tomb. Also, of all the product placement they do on this show, why don’t they tell us what brand Katherine’s eye makeup is, because man alive it outlasts and outwears!
Thanks, Kiersten, for the hilarity of this recap!