We’re excited to continue sharing guest posts from the contributors of A Visitor’s Guide to Mystic Falls with you. This week, we have something special. A more traditional (and always enjoyable) episode recap from Claudia Gray. It was a good episode to get to relive. So, enjoy!
Previously on The Vampire Diaries: Stefan and Damon finally got a jump on Katherine, and they BLEW IT by leaving her alive and imprisoned instead of staking her, believing they have trapped her forever and ever and she will never get out. Obviously nobody with a last name other than “Salvatore” believes this, right? Jeremy vindicated the advice of moms throughout the land when, after actually getting his hair out of his face, he really did look so much cuter. Bonnie noticed this. Tyler’s taken a human life and promises to go wolfy anytime now. Elena decided she needed some time to “feel safe” before reuniting with Stefan, after which she was kidnapped by some freaky jester thing, so I’m guessing feeling safe is going to take a while.
Here we go: It’s a lovely sunny day at the gravel pit, where freaky jester dude proves to be unshaven and fairly short. He is also just a henchman, it turns out; the real kidnapper awaits in the always-ominous black SUV. The guy tells the henchman to come closer, and the henchman does, proving he has never watched this show before. CHOMP. The henchman’s dead by vampire, and the kidnapper drives off with Elena.
Jeremy has learned nothing, because his hair is back in his face again. He also doesn’t think to panic or at least call Elena after discovering she didn’t sleep in her room. Jeremy, seriously, try harder. Back at Caroline’s, Damon appears to have regained visiting status. They recap a little bit, and they’re uneasy as to how much Tyler knows; I think Caroline told him too much. Damon shoves her around a bit for old times’ sake. Personally, I think Caroline needs to give Damon a little more hell for how he treated her, now that she remembers.
Hey! We’re at school! This school still exists! Tyler sees his victim’s locker shrine and is understandably freaked out, especially when he pulls his own locker half apart. Wow, Stefan’s back at school too! Even when Elena isn’t dating him, that guy is still showing up for trig. He is either deeply in love or insane. Possibly both. Finally, Jeremy gets around to mentioning that Elena must have slept over at Stefan’s, and Stefan belatedly learns something is wrong.
Elena’s kidnapper has thoughtfully provided a well-lit Gothic mansion for her captivity. I respect a vampire who believes in the value of art direction. Hey, there’s a she-vampire in on it as well. They are mean to poor Elena, even though they know she’s Elena rather than Katherine. Elena’s pink shirt is still bloody from that whole linking spell with Katherine the night before; our girl is having a rough 24 hours.
Damon and Stefan discuss the fact that Katherine’s in danger, and Damon mentions, oh, yeah, Katherine threatened her, but I figured she was lying. Stefan decides he’d better open up that tomb again and interrogate Katherine so more. Damon isn’t sure this is wise, but Stefan just runs off to open the tomb anyway. This is enormously dumb. Back at the long-neglected school sets, Caroline and Tyler have a really awkward conversation in which she’s giving him a pep talk like, oh, never mind about killing that girl! You’re fine! He doesn’t feel fine.
At Ominous Gothic Mansion, the sort-of-British vampires are having a convenient conversation for Elena to overhear. Someone named Elijah got something; the guy vampire is named Trevor. They are sick of running, apparently; they want a deal with this Elijah guy. Elena, sensibly, asks who Elijah is. British lady vampire says, “He’s your worst nightmare,” which is not actually helpful information.
Bonnie talks some sense into Stefan, thank goodness. Jeremy’s blood is going to fuel some kind of locator spell for Elena; is that because he’s her brother? Do they remember he’s actually only her cousin, at least as far as his blood knows? I guess he’s close enough for jazz. Blood falls on the map, which is a cool visual, and then it draws together and slides in an eerie arrow all the way to Reidsville. Jeremy sensibly suggests that 21st-century technology will help them narrow her location down even more, but this is not enough to convince Stefan to bring him along. Damon offers to ride shotgun, because “It’s Elena.” (I’m going to interject something here: I think Damon’s always got to want Elena, but never actually be with her, because the minute he gets her, he’d stop being fun. He’d go right back to being that too-earnest, not-smart-enough guy he was in the Civil War. Damon’s the most fun when he’s angry, and behaving badly, but wishing for something better. OK, interjection over.) Where was I? Oh, yeah, school. Bonnie’s nose is bleeding after that locator spell, but nobody else sees it.
Out at the schoolyard, during a game of basketball, Tyler discovers that werewolves can dunk. Who knew? Well, the Teen Wolf movies back in the 1980s knew. I guess this has become traditional werewolf lore, somehow. He stops shooting hoops to talk to Caroline, whom he can tell is lying to him — and she has to show him she’s strong as hell; his face is HILARIOUS after she twists his arm around. Tyler loses his temper, drop-kicking a trash can, and we can tell that Caroline really, really wants to tell him the truth — and that if he doesn’t get some help soon, he might be dangerous on more than the basketball court.
Road trip: the Salvatore brothers are driving the interminable distance to Reidsville. They figure Elena’s been kidnapped by someone who thinks she is Katherine. Stefan tries to bond; Damon resists this. They’ll never kid me, though: these guys love each other, down deep, and what they feel for Elena will never change that. I love the moments when they truly act like brothers; that’s half the soul of this whole series.
In Mystic Falls, Jeremy is checking his phone; apparently the show’s product placement deal with Bing is still on. Bonnie’s at his house, as they check out possible locations where she might be kept (it seems you can Bing for “Ominous Gothic Mansions”) and flirt a little more. If I were Bonnie, I wouldn’t go for Jeremy until he fixed his hair again. But she quickly decides she’d rather try another spell, one that requires some of Elena’s hair, and a candle: It’s designed to send Elena a message. She does some chanting, and her nose starts bleeding again until the message catches fire. Jeremy is both impressed and freaked out, until Bonnie falls unconscious. Then he’s just freaked out.
At the Ominous Gothic Mansion, Elena tries to find out more about this mysterious Elijah — he turns out to be one of THE vampires, which I think means one of the original vampires ever. British Lady Vampire (henceforth BLV) claims she and Trevor have been running for 500 years; were lots of people named “Trevor” half a millennium ago? I don’t remember anybody called Trevor showing up in, say, the Tudor courts. But let’s get back to the story. BLV says she wants out of “an old mess,” because she and Trevor are tired. Elena, as a “Petrova doppelganger,” can help break the curse — her blood does it. For the vampire curse to be broken, Elena has to die. Dum dum DUMMMMMM.
Caroline heads home from school, but she senses something’s not right. Sure enough, Tyler turns out to be there waiting for her. Tyler claims “he knows,” but he thinks Caroline is a werewolf too. Caroline, wonderfully enough, cracks up. This makes Tyler get violent, and she gets violent in return, vamping out, throwing him across the room, and then calmly saying, “I’m not a werewolf.” Tyler’s face is hilarious yet again; this guy is funnier than I ever realized before.
Meanwhile, Elena keeps on interrogating BLV. Trevor calls her “doppelicious,” which is kind of great. He’s more forthcoming — oh, BLV is called Rose! Which you’d think I might’ve gotten from the title of the episode. I feel a bit silly now. Moving on. Trevor talks about the First Families, who are apparently original, super-scary vampires, and he angered them long ago by saving Katherine when she was Katerina Petrova … when SHE was a Petrova doppelganger. So he saved her by turning her into a vampire, huh? This is a fascinating twist! Are such doppelgangers born every few centuries? Are there additional duplicates out there, as vampires or other supernatural creatures, meaning that the wonderful Nina Dobrev might someday play triple or quadruple roles? Hmmm. I must consider. But back to the scene! Rose makes it clear nobody is going to save Elena.
On this dark note, we head back to Casa Gilbert, where Jeremy is making himself useful by fetching some water for Bonnie and fixing his hair again. Bonnie says she’s been doing too much magic and it’s worn her down; Jeremy thinks it’s worse than that. She asks him to keep his silence, because the vampires must not know her weaknesses; he says he’ll keep the secret while they make meaningful eye contact, and I have to admit, Jeremy’s looking pretty cute here.
Elena is at the stage of imprisonment where she’s getting bored. But then she finds the message Bonnie managed to send her and takes hope. On the highway, the Salvatore brothers are getting ever closer, snacking on a bit of human blood to amp up. It turns out Stefan’s been working on his human blood thing, drinking more and more — and it’s Elena’s he’s been drinking. Damon brings up Stefan’s nasty past, and Stefan’s like, it’s the past. But while all this fencing is going on, they’re passing that blood bag back and forth like it was a Slusho. I love those guys.
Rose and Trevor are getting nervous at Ominous Gothic Mansion. Trevor wants to hide, but Rose convinces him to stay with her. They seem to be genuinely committed, as vampires go; Elena would be more sympathetic if Elijah wasn’t on his way in. The door swings open, and we see a guy who — looks totally cute, like the escort who stands next to the models showing off each year’s prom dresses. Why am I surprised? But it’s hard to imagine everyone being terrified by this Elijah. Maybe he’ll change my mind after the commercial break.
Elijah does have a good accent, I’ll admit that. He is another Daywalker; that’s interesting. He also admits Trevor’s name wasn’t always Trevor, which is a relief. Rose reveals that Katherine’s still around, but then shares the info that she has a doppelganger. He gives her his word again that he will pardon her; I note that he doesn’t specifically mention Trevor. Hmm. Elijah sees Elena and is like, DAMN, that is 100% pure doppelganger there. He sniffs her blood and is creepily excited at the thought of killing her. I still think he’d be scarier if he were uglier, or at least taller. But maybe I’m being judgmental.
At last, the Salvatore brothers have arrived! Despite the fact that they’ve been riding in a car listening to the radio for hours, Damon only now starts bringing up tactics — like the fact that they’re probably up against something very old (as it must’ve been after Katherine even in 1864 and before) and very powerful. He thinks Stefan might actually leave Elena in there, or maybe he’s just hoping for a solo rescue. Obviously, Stefan is going in.
Elena, far more cowed than is her wont, begs not to be handed over to Elijah, to no avail. Trevor is grateful that the curse is about to be lifted, and he must be hugely stupid, because Elijah does exactly what you’d think he’d do to a betrayer: He beheads him in a rather messy, graphic fashion for network TV. Rose starts sobbing, and Elena thinks fast and asks about the moonstone. She tries to negotiate with her knowledge of the moonstone’s location; Elijah tries to compel her, to no avail, but then yanks the vervain locket away. She then starts spilling the truth — why wasn’t she drinking vervain tea, too? [Editor’s note: Our guess is because she’s been regularly donating blood to Stefan.] Beside the point. Elijah starts bullying her out of there, just as he realizes someone else is in the house. Elena leaps free as Stefan and Damon run around really fast to freak Elijah out. Seriously, is that their A-game? They do try staking him, but Elijah’s too fast. Stefan gets Elena, and Damon has Rose, while Elijah says nobody will beat him.
Then Elena nobly attempts to sacrifice herself — not convincing Elijah — but he gets too close and she basically uses a vervain hand grenade! This is awesome, but Elijah heals REALLY fast. Stefan shoots him with the stake-o-matic about a thousand times, but Elijah tackles Stefan and is beating the crap out of him, when Damon comes in for the save with a staking. Elijah decays super-fast. Rose takes off running, which is really the smartest thing she could do. Elena’s face lights up as she sees her saviors, and Damon gets all hopeful for a second, but of course it’s Stefan she runs to. She does give Damon a nice little “hey, you were here too” nod, though. For him that has to count as a win.
We return to Mystic Falls, where Jeremy is watching Bonnie sleep until Elena walks in. She’s sore and tired, but there are big hugs for Bonnie, which is nice; I’m glad to see that friendship healing. Same goes for Jeremy and Elena. I was tired of them being on the outs, particularly since Jeremy already forgave Damon for TRYING TO KILL HIM.
But unhappiness reigns for Damon, while he drinks hard alcohol but shares it with Stefan. They know others will come after Elena. Stefan’s like, we have to fight together, and then he apologizes for turning Damon into a vampire too. Apparently this is the first time he’s spoken those words, if not the first time he’s been sorry. Stefan admits it was selfish but says he needed his brother. Damon may or may not be moved by that.
Caroline, meanwhile, is pouring cocktails for Tyler — the eight hours or so that have passed for everyone else have been about 20 minutes for them. Okay, then. Also, I kind of like that TVD shows teenage drinking in a realistic light, but is it as easy as Caroline calmly handling two highball glasses at once while she pours the hard stuff? Tyler tells her some of his symptoms, and she says at first she was super-emotional too. They’re bonding! Are they flirting? But there is a dark edge — Tyler suspects there are other vampires. Caroline works around it. She says no one will understand, they have to keep their secret, and if he will keep his silence, she’ll let him know more about the Founders. Tyler says, “I have no one else to tell,” and for the first time ever, I genuinely pity the guy. They embrace.
I would be more deeply interested in this if we didn’t go straight back to the Salvatore house, where Rose is dashing about. Is running around fast the way vampires say hello? Rose reveals that she knew Lexi, Stefan’s late vampire best friend, and this inspires him to hear her out. She’s come to offer him help, because the “originals” will be coming for Elena. They’re doing it for him, she says. Him who? “Klaus.” This must mean something to Stefan, because he looks like he’s about to swallow his tongue.
Elena, at home, walks into her bedroom to find Damon on the window seat. He’s brought her the vervain necklace, which is a nice gesture, but he could have carried this out in daylight, in public. Of course, he has something to say. She wisely asks for her necklace, to make sure he’s not compelling her. Elena warns him not to go there, but Damon says he loves her. Because he loves her, he can’t be selfish with her. “I don’t deserve you,” he says. “But my brother does.” Um, she’s not a merit badge, Damon. She’s a person. I digress. He kisses her forehead, says he wishes she didn’t have to forget this, but she does — so he compels her, at which point she comes to with her necklace around her neck and the window open. I’m guessing she put the basic details together after that.
Essay question: Do you think Damon’s surrender — his admission that Stefan and Elena should be together — has anything to do with Stefan’s apology? Now back to our episode, for the final tag.
At the Ominous Gothic Mansion, Elijah is still hanging on the wall where he was staked, and still alive. Why does nobody remember how to burn a corpse these days? Oooh, he’s gotta be mad.
And, readers, check out her essay in A Visitor’s Guide, “The War between the States.”