Guest Post: Kiersten White Recaps the Latest Vampire Diaries’ episode, “The House Guest”

By March 1st, 2011

Calling all Vampire Diaries fanatics: Enjoy this witty recap of last week’s new episode by Kiersten White!


Prepping to do my no-DVR, fingers-blazing recap, I’m so excited to actually watch the show on the day it airs instead of the next Monday when it comes online. Honestly, you East coast viewers. I can’t go on Twitter Thursday night without seeing tweet after tweet of OMG VAMPIRE DIARIES. So at least this time I don’t have to wait the whole weekend to see what you all are OMGing about. (Although I personally never OMG, preferring the non-denominational ACRONYM.)

Previously–who is my favorite character because she’s always so helpful–announces what happened before on The Vampire Diaries. Elena and Katherine: Long straight hair = GOOD. Long curly hair = BETTER. I mean, bad. Also, remember how much you loved Elijah? NOW HE IS DEAD WHAAAAA! Who is going to rip all of the hearts out of the chests and smile politely at Jenna? Also Damon is a sucker for Katherine’s tricks, again. Some more. Taa-daa! She’s free! Also, we are reminded about how Katherine knew exactly what would happen when an Original died. How does Katherine know what happens when Originals die? Has she ever killed one? Has anyone ever killed one? I’m curious about these sources of knowledge. However, Previously does not give us these answers.

Meanwhile, in episode land, Elena is worried about school. How cute that they pretend like they’re actually students instead of twenty-somethings with active sex lives and no parental supervision whatsoever. It’s always jarring to me when they try to jam some sort of school thing into a plot to remind us that Elena is still a teenager. I’d prefer they just give it up entirely and let her carry on with her endless supernatural hijinks. At least Damon doesn’t pretend to do anything. He just drinks full-time and makes pretty eyes at the camera.

Elena is doing the scurry-down-the-stairs-and-out-the-door-of-shame to try and get to school on time when Damon attacks her, thinking she’s Katherine. Stefan comes down and is like, “What are you doing to my lady this time?” Damon gives away that Katherine is free, which he had neglected to mention. Whoopsie.

So Stefan runs upstairs and does the choking thing on Katherine, which wouldn’t affect a vampire, would it? These shows are always forgetting about the whole dead thing–no cardiovascular action going on, no need for respiration. Although I’m not sure on the technicalities of these particular vampires. And don’t even get me started on the sexual response cycle in creatures that have no pulse and therefore no blood flow. Yes, I think about these things way too much. Moving on.

But wait! Stefan’s not choking Katherine, he’s choking Elena! Apparently Katherine FINALLY invested in a straightener to actually confuse people. About time. I’m just glad Katherine now has a feasible reason to have perfect eye makeup, unlike her greatest supernatural power of keeping it on for months in the tomb.

Elena and Katherine are cat fighting, snipping at each other while Stefan and Damon look on. Nina must love these scenes. I think for the most part she does a good job, except on the few occasions Katherine is scared. Then there is no distinction between the two. Although it would be hard to figure out how to do different types of scared. Point: Katherine is going to stay to help them kill Klaus. Allegedly.

Scene change. Oh, look! The School of Beautiful People Being Beautiful. No actual classes, but there are lockers and hallways for Important Conversations that rehash the past or move plots forward. Also, those floors are way, way too white. And clean. Have they ever been to a real high school? In the hallway at the School of Beautiful People Being Beautiful, Caroline and Matt have some weird talk about Tyler where neither of them really says anything. Oh, dear friends, I used to care. But poor Matt is so uninteresting compared to everyone else on this show. And even though he’s very pretty, everyone (with the exception of Skeezy Warlock Junior) is very pretty, so that’s just not enough to stand out. They need to reveal that he’s a unicorn! But I think they’re saving it for the big reveal next season, along with the Curse of the Sun and the Moon and the Pretty, Pretty Rainbows.

Elena and Stefan arrive at school. I like the bus in the background. There are no classes here, but there are BUSES because THIS IS A REAL SCHOOL. Note that Elena and Stefan don’t actually go into the school, because there are no classes at the School of Beautiful People Being Beautiful, just locations for Important Conversations. Stefan wants to keep Elena away from Katherine and suggests a sleepover at Elena’s house that night. Elena, however, already has plans with Bonnie and Caroline. Honestly, I’m glad that Elena still makes time for her friends and gives up time with Stefan for it. It makes me like her a lot more.


Ahem. I mean, in the next scene Damon is figuring out if there is any way to make Elijah permanently dead so they can get the dagger back. Which is perfectly reasonable. And I’m so, so glad it’s not working. Katherine comes slinking around the corner, all hips and shoulders and looking up through her eyelashes.

Damon wants to know if she knew that he’d die if he stabbed Elijah with the Dagger of Doom. Katherine dances around it, but says that she didn’t care if he died. Damon threatens her with the flamethrower and she actually looks nervous, insisting that they need her to help. I believe that she really wants to help them–remember when she was all sad-sack evil vampire looking at the old picture of her family, the ones Klaus slaughtered?–and I’m glad, because the show is much more interesting with her around.

Katherine slinks past Damon, then leans over his shoulder and says, “I wanted out of the tomb. Didn’t matter who’d pay the price. Of course I knew that you’d die.” WHOA, BURN. But not literally, because he didn’t actually use the flamethrower. Oh, Katherine, can’t you want Stefan to die, instead? We like Damon’s Eye Thing too much to sacrifice him. Maybe Damon’s eyes can have their own show with Elijah’s hair! And Bonnie’s teeth can make cameos.

There is witch drama going on. Bonnie doesn’t have her powers anymore because Big Daddy Warlock stole them from her. (My husband asked if they were Buffy witches or wart witches. So Buffy. Everyone knows witches are totally hot now. If you were all powerful with magic, would you look like an old crone? Of course you wouldn’t. Never believe an ugly witch who claims to be powerful.) Jeremy and Bonnie are doing the whole relationship talk, again. I don’t buy Bonnie and Baby Brother chemistry-wise, but I’m glad they’re giving him more interesting storylines. He’s definitely stepped up from the whiney brat he was at the beginning of the series.

Apparently, secondary-character relationships are a theme in this episode as Alaric and Elena have girl talk about what to do with his relationship with Jenna. Isn’t that weird for Elena, to be her birth-mother’s-ex-husband-lover-to-your-aunt/guardian’s confidant? If someone requires that many hyphens to define the relationship, I think it’s bound to be awkward. Also, OH MY GOSH THEY ARE IN A CLASSROOM! They DO exist! That’s the most shocking revelation the show has made regarding rumored supernatural things. Anyway, Alaric is torn about what to do with Jenna. Oh you pretty man, just tell her the truth about your vampire ex-wife. We need you to have more screen time, too. He doesn’t know how to begin to be honest with Jenna though, saying, “How do you tell someone what you know?” Well, how about letting her read, I dunno, a diary? Or, like, forty-thousand of them? Really, pick a diary, any diary.

Ah, the warlocks of deep voices and glowering looks. I hate Skeezy Warlock Junior, again. Some more. They cast hot people in every other role. How did they botch that one so bad? I think something is going on with Stefan trying to convince them to work with him against Klaus, but I’m not sure. I’m too busy hating on the warlocks. Of course they are in the grill, though, because there are only five locations in this whole town and we’ve already used three of them.

Back at the Mansion of Manly Dark Wood Paneling and Ever-Present Fire, Katherine and Damon are looking through the Gilbert journals. Katherine is trying to help, or snoop, and Damon slaps her hand away which is all sorts of adorable. They need the location where the witches died, because it’s marked with power. Or something. Whatever. That much pretty in one room? Who cares what they are saying.

I am a very shallow television viewer, apparently.

Stefan walks in and, seeing Katherine, utters one of his best lines of the episode: “Isn’t she gone or dead yet?” Katherine rolls her eyes and, when they won’t tell her everything they know, asks, “Can we skip the secrets?” No, because then we wouldn’t have a show. She then reveals that Elijah was going to use the witchy-poos to channel power and zap Klaus. (Again–how does she know this? She might have said, but at this point I can’t remember, and the DVR in my brain only replays images of pretty people, not what they say.)

Big Daddy Warlock is very, very mad. Wait, what’s this? He wants Elijah back? Okay, maybe I don’t hate him so much. Go Big Daddy Warlock! Bring back my Elijah!

And commercials. Ooh, Twilight with long red capes! Old Navy, I want to violently murder your commercials. If Elijah weren’t dead, I’d send him to elegantly rip their hearts out. And dear Android commercial, stalking is very funny, but it doesn’t make me want to purchase your product.

Cue Gilbert Kitchen Girl’s Night with Elena, Bonnie, and Caroline around the counter. This scene exists for one reason and one reason alone: product placement! Love. It makes me so happy. Close up on the brand–now on the back of the device–now on the front! Look, you can use this inexplicable gadget that is somewhere between an iPhone and an iPad (more jumbo Maxi Pad size?) for…THE INTERNET. OH MY GOSH, a device you can hold in your hand to access the internet? WILL WONDERS NEVER CEASE? I MUST BUY ONE IMMEDIATELY. Product placement: It works!

Jenna comes moping in. I love how she looks like she is only about two years older than them. Although they do make a point of saying she was a grad student before taking on parent duty. And at least she doesn’t have to pretend to attend high school. As with all scenes in kitchens, there is girl bonding. Chick-flick discussions. Cleavage. I know I always dress SEX-AY when I’m only going to be with girls. While talking about Alaric, Caroline tries to give justification for why it is okay to lie in a relationship. Then she makes an epiphany face. I like her eyebrows much better this season, especially when they are making a special epiphany face.

However, they’ve tapped out their product placement for the kitchen, so they must do the traditional hallmark of all teen series: Live Band! At…the grill, of course, where else?

Cut to the warlocks. I love the use of candles in any and all magic scenes. If I were a witch, I’d try to draw energy from lava lamps just to shake things up a bit and reduce the risk of home fires. Big Daddy Warlock wants to bring Elijah back now, so he needs Skeezy Warlock Junior to transport somewhere to find him. They hold hands across the table and get started. Witchcraft requires so much closing of the eyes and puckering of the brow, they must get wrinkles way young. Just one of their sacrifices for the craft, I suppose.

I thought they were going to literally transport Skeezy Warlock Junior, but apparently they’ve opted for astral projecting, which I know all about from watching many seasons of Charmed. Do you think they are related to Piper, Phoebe, and Pru? Anyhow, Katherine and Damon are reading, not knowing they’re being spied on by SWJ in invisi-boy mode. Dear Katherine, telling someone you didn’t care if they died and then trying to seduce them? Interesting. She’s hovering over Damon’s shoulder, totally invading his personal space, as everyone on this show has a problem with. I’d have staked half the town if I lived there just for constantly popping my personal bubble.

Damon must resent his bubble invasion, because he says, “You know this whole friendly, cooperative thing? I don’t buy it.” Katherine blinks. “I have no reason to lie to you.” “Lie!” Damon says, with perfect delivery, as always.

Katherine senses a disturbance in the force in the Basement of Dungeons and Exposed Bricks and Bags of Blood and starts looking around even though she can’t see SWJ. Stefan comes home and out loud he and Damon talk about how they haven’t found anything, while pointing to passages in a book that show clearly they have, indeed, found something. The boys are hiding things from Katherine. With good reason.

SWJ tries to pull the dagger from Elijah’s chest, but Katherine sees and shoves it back down. “Elena’s fighting me,” SWJ’s real body tattles to Big Daddy Warlock, who figures it out. “Kill the vampire! Find a stake and drive it through her heart!” Poor Katherine. Nobody wants you around except millions of viewers.

And, commercials. Re: Beastly–why does this story always revolve around the guy making someone else love him? Why doesn’t it revolve around him learning to love others–and not just girls who are abnormally beautiful? Sorry, Beast, that doesn’t feel very redemptive to me. Maybe if the beast boy had to learn to love Skeezy Warlock Junior or something.

Also, I am never buying an Optima. If you drive one of those you’ll get abducted by aliens and then transported to an ancient Mayan temple. HEY–do you think those are the same Mayans that did all the nifty illustrations for the Curse of the Sun and the Moon? Crossover advertising! Genius!

Back to the show, where Skeezy Warlock Junior has succeeded in staking Katherine’s stomach (can no one aim??) and is back to trying to pull out the dagger. Damon comes in and Katherine points at Elijah. Ever the fast thinker, Damon grabs the flamethrower and torches the air around Elijah’s body. AND BACK IN WARLOCK CENTRAL, SWJ IS ON FIRE. Dude, they lit Luka on FIRE. Too awesome. That’s what you get for being skeezy! But…he’s really burned. And maybe dead. Big Daddy Warlock is losing it, and…it’s sad. Oh, gosh, don’t make me feel bad for his dad! Noooooo! I wanted to hate them! Ah dangitall. I’m sorry for saying you weren’t attractive, SWJ. And for constantly wishing you would die a horrible violent death.

Back at the grill that not only serves to host Important Conversations but also apparently doubles as a band venue when the plot calls for it, we see our girls in the crowd. Alaric is there, directing pained stares at Jenna, who is exasperated by his presence. Jenna, of COURSE Alaric is there. There is nowhere else in the whole town except the Lockwood mansion and the school. Matt walks by Caroline without acknowledging her, leading Bonnie to declare with perfect delivery, “Things just got…real awkward.” Yes. Like all of the relationship subplots in this episode.

Jenna is getting good and drunk at the bar and gets mad at Alaric for not being honest with her. “Whatever it is you’re keeping from me, whatever you think it is I can’t handle, you’re wrong.” Yeah, not so much, Jenna.

Caroline, Bonnie, and Elena talk about Caroline’s unsolvable problems with Matt while some band sings in the background. I love the long, proud tradition of figuring out ways to have bands in the background featured on teen shows. It’s never at all awkward or obvious. And, speaking of awkward and obvious…

Caroline gets up on stage. Which, when you are hot and blonde [Ed. note: And have vampire whammy powers…], works, apparently. DUDE, sing a song! YES. DO IT. That’s exactly what this show needs: a random musical interlude! We’ve had masquerade balls, and mistaken identity, and making out with the wrong person in fake-out dream sequences. I can’t believe they’ve never done the awkwardly inexplicable musical number. I’m so proud of them for hitting every single high mark of teen sitcom brilliance.

Elena and Bonnie are totally grooving to Caroline’s love song for Matt. “She’s good!” Bonnie says. Elena nods. “Yeah! She has a career on the side besides the show. Like all of us. Except all I do is shill for Neutrogena. Crap, I gotta get me a record deal.”

While Caroline sings her song with a decently good voice, oh, the long, longing looks return. I’m glad this show has returned to its roots–remember how much screen time was filled with nothing but looking in the first few episodes? It was my favorite. Okay, who is going to stare at who now? Elena stares at Matt. Matt stares at Caroline. Alaric stares at Jenna. Jenna stares at…wait, no, Matt has decided to stop staring and start acting. He jumps up and–yes, we have MAKING OUT ON STAGE! Everyone laughs and cheers. Would that really happen, I wonder? I think I’d be a little weirded out were I in the audience. I’d also be trying to figure out why the town grill was also hosting a band, and why every time my friends went camping their throats got ripped out, and why every time I tried to go to class at the high school the halls were crowded but no one was ever, ever in a classroom. I’d also be trying to figure out how to get better hair so I’d get a kissing scene, too.

And, COMMERCIAL: Making out in the woods with a guy who possibly wants to kill you, and dual love interests! It’s Twolflight! Also, that hood-cape is ridiculously impractical. Honestly, who made her clothing? Wasteful. Wait–WAIT–this movie is from the director of Twilight? WHO WOULD HAVE EVER GUESSED. Also, I love indeterminate pretend historical time + ROCK MUSIC. My favorite.

Back at Warlock Central, Skeezy Warlock Junior is still all burned and dead on the ground. Sometimes when people die on this show they actually die. But oh no, Big Daddy Warlock is doing the growling breath of anger and death! Someone’s gonna pay. ELENA is going to pay! Okay, I don’t feel bad for him anymore, the freaking psycho.

In the Salvatore Mansion of Lounging, Flirting, and Researching Historical Documents, Damon asks how Katherine is doing after being staked. And then he stakes her in the stomach again. “That’s for not telling me the dagger would kill me!” Rock on, Damon!

Apparently while she was in the tomb, John Gilbert bargained with her. He wanted both Salvatore brothers dead, but Katherine chose to save Stefan. Again. Always. How is this even surprising anymore, Damon? Oh, Damon, don’t let her hurt you. You’re too pretty for that.

Back at the grill, where Caroline and Matt have taken it off the stage and into…the bathroom now. Eew. That is not hot. (Except when Logan and Veronica made out in the bathroom in season one of Veronica Mars. That was the exception to an otherwise solid rule.)

Elena cautions Bonnie not to enter the Bathroom Hall of Hormone Horrors. Bonnie finally is brave enough to say, “Speaking of happy, would it freak you out if I started dating your brother?” Elena does this great thing where she looks like she is overwhelmed and possibly upset, and then says, “He deserves to be with someone as amazing as you.” Aww, Elena, you’re killing me with the girl bonding! Way to go. Now you’re gonna die.

Bonnie sees Big Daddy Warlock walk into the grill on the warpath. She walks after him, very not happy. But not as not-happy as he is. If he doesn’t get Elena, he’s going to make things start blowing up. Starting with the light bulbs! NOT THE LIGHT BULBS! You’re killing the ambience! And this is the only place in the whole town to hang out!

Deciding that ruining the light for those trying to read in a quiet corner isn’t dramatic enough, he lights the bar on fire. Okay, fire is a bit more threatening. Matt grabs a towel and runs forward to put it out. Matt, use your unicorn powers! I know you can save them all! You don’t need to be ashamed of your flowing white mane and diamond hoofs! But Matt is too scared to reveal his secret, so Caroline jumps Big Daddy Warlock to let Stefan and Elena run out. Big Daddy Warlock starts popping Caroline’s brain, so Matt jumps him and he stabs Matt in the neck with a broken glass bottle.

Seriously. HE STABBED MATT! I don’t care if Matt is boring, he’s sweet and nice to look at! Quick, save him, Caroline! Save him! We need the big unicorn reveal next season!

Commercials: I love it when big movie stars advertise for grocery store hair dye. Yes. They dye their hair from a box. Absofreakinglutely.

And, Smallville, where Superman’s greatest power is somehow still being on the air.

Back to the show, the grill is totally empty now. So much for Big Daddy Warlock’s declaration that “no one gets out.” Caroline stares lustily at Matt’s freely bleeding neck, but fights it and gives him her blood instead. Yay Caroline, you didn’t eat him! You saved him! Maybe now he can be part-Unicorn, part-Vampire? A Vampicorn! Or a Unipire. The show writers haven’t called to ask my opinion on that yet.

At the Gilbert house, Bonnie is pissed because she couldn’t help. Jeremy tries to reassure her, but it’s obvious she’s never going to be happy being helpless again. Stefan and Elena come in, and Elena excuses herself to go upstairs. Alone. Stefan asks if they checked the house. “Why would we check the house?” Jeremy asks. Maybe because this home does nothing but get invaded? And seriously, Elena, why are you washing your hands now? Why did you have to go upstairs to do it? Big Daddy Warlock tries to grab her from behind and gets…a neck full of fangs for his trouble. Of course it was Katherine! Although, honestly, I never for a second thought Elena wouldn’t be dumb enough to go off by herself.

Bonnie runs upstairs to see Big Daddy Warlock dead on the ground. “You didn’t have to kill him.” Katherine frowns. “Yes, we did.” Well, yeah, his plot arc had run its course. Except he’s like the energizer bunny! He just keeps popping back up! He grabs Bonnie’s head, she screams, and Stefan snaps his neck.

Downstairs Elena is with Damon and Stefan. She asks, “How did you guys convince her to do this?” Damon shrugs. “We didn’t, it was actually her idea.” Elena looks horrified. “Oh, that’s not good.” Damon does an Eye Thing. “No, that’s not good at all.”

Katherine joins the party and insists, yet again, that she doesn’t want Elena dead. Nobody wants her dead, until they all do.

On the porch Alaric tries to talk to Jenna. Oh, the declarations of love and close-up staring. You’re so pretty, you two crazy kids. Please work it out. Alaric tells Jenna that he can’t tell her everything, but that his wife is definitely, totally, completely dead and would absolutely never show up on Jenna’s doorstep to create even more problems, because that’s just not something definitely very dead wives do.

Jeremy and Bonnie do a mid-sentence kiss. Jeremy is worried that Bonnie is in denial over how badly losing her powers is affecting her, but she tells him that Big Daddy Warlock gave her powers back along with information on how to better use them. She gets to kill Klaus! I’m so glad that Bonnie gets to be a big deal.

Damon is on his bed, lounging as he is wont to do. Katherine comes in, in a robe and black bra, because she is bad, so she wear black undergarments and has lusciously curled hair. I think she must use her super vampire speed to curl it, because otherwise that’s just a lot of wasted time. “You know what I can’t figure out?” she asks. “Do I care?” he answers. Please don’t care, Damon. Katherine gets all slinky and sultry, saying, “You hurt me today.” Eew, this is not sexy. Let’s don’t pretend this is sexy. I hate abuse dynamics in relationships. (And I was watching it at my in-laws’ house and lemme tell you, it was getting all sorts of awkward sitting in that room with them.) Just as Katherine is telling Damon how much she likes that he was brutal that day, he puts his lips to hers and says, “Katherine, there are six other bedrooms in this house. Go find one.” Then pushes her off the bed.


At Caroline’s, we see Matt. You’re not dead! And your unicorn secret identity is still safe for next season. However, Matt is not dealing well with the vampire whammy. Caroline is trying to be honest and you can see just how much she wants it to work, how happy she is that she can finally make it work. She keeps smiling, even when it’s clear that Matt is freaking out, and it’s almost heart-breaking. Caroline is killing this scene. But now Matt remembers everything Vicky was saying in the hospital. Oh, man, I totally forgot about Vicky! Good thing Matt didn’t. He is appropriately angry and freaked out. He’s probably on the wrong show, because on this show we don’t really care when best friends/relatives are brutally murdered. We move on. Fast. And then never speak or think of it again.

At the Gilbert’s, Jenna is eating ice cream when the doorbell rings. Doorbells at this time of night are never a good idea. Don’t let Jenna answer it, Elena! Duh. Oh, hey there, wife that was definitely, totally, completely dead. Isobel’s back in town!

And end. Overall a fabulous episode, I thought. There was some ridiculousness–I’m sorry, you can’t build Matt up as kind of shy and not good with feelings and then tell me that a huge display like Caroline’s singing would win him over instead of appropriately humiliating and horrifying him–but as always there were awesome twists and surprises, laugh-out-loud lines, and plenty of ACRONYM moments, just like those stupid East Coasters promised. Until April, my fine, toothy friends.


Thanks, Kiersten!

For more of Kiersten, check out A Visitor’s Guide to Mystic Falls (specifically her essay “Don’t Be Fooled by that Noble Chin: Stefan Sucks”) and

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No Comments On "Guest Post: Kiersten White Recaps the Latest Vampire Diaries’ episode, “The House Guest”"

  1. Rebecca T

    This. Is. Win. Oh my werd, but I love Kiersten’s recaps SO much I can’t even express it. I would quote my favorite bits, but it would be like the whole thing! /fangirl swoon :)


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