I wish I could force my favorite shows to produce year-round new episodes just for me. That’s not too much to ask, right? Sadly that’s not the case (yet), so we have to wait until the end of January for new episodes of The Vampire Diaries. Enjoy the last recap of 2010 by Vera Nazarian.
The episode opens with Tyler at home, getting ready and packing for his Full Moon Vacation and Werewolf Bar Mitzvah — ahem — first transformation night and watching Mason’s recorded video on the laptop as he is transforming into a wolf. He calls Mason’s phone for the hundredth time and gets his voicemail. Meanwhile we see Mason’s place and there is a woman who steps out of the other room to listen to the voicemail from Tyler. “Help!” says Mason’s recording. “Help!” says Tyler in vain, to his bro’s answering machine.
At the Gilbert house, Elena is saying, “Now that you got this back, what are you gonna do with it?”
“Remove the spell from the stone,” says Bonnie.
“What are you arguing about?” says Jeremy in a pretend all-is-normal tone, coming down the stairs. “I need a coffee.”
Elena says something also very much in a pretend-all-is-normal manner, then gradually nudges her way to the front door.
We all know how no one can ever stop Elena from doing something once she sets her mind on doing it, but they needlessly try. Jeremy tells her “it’s a suicide mission.”
“Where are you going?” asks Bonnie, continuing the “okay, everything is normal” thing.
But Elena heading is out. And we know she took the moonstone.
Now things get intense. Because, as soon as Elena tries to exit the house, she is forced back by a magic force field.
“He tested you, you failed,” says Bonnie.
Naturally Elena goes into pleading mode. “I cannot let that happen (Klaus killing everyone)” she says, still hovering near the door.
But Elena cannot leave the house, she is spelled to stay inside by Bonnie, and that’s that.
Meanwhile back at the vampire tomb…
“Trapped her in the house?” asks Stefan from the other side of his own extra-special force field that holds him and Katherine trapped inside and together.
“It’s for the best,” replies Damon, standing just outside the force field. “I brought you a care package.” And he tosses over the blood and the whatever else goodies across the boundary, with Katherine watching, artfully draped over a rock incline (okay, how does the woman manage to do “sexy” even without having showered for days?)
Katherine notes, “You are surprisingly calm.”
Damon quips, “I’ve been dead before.”
Stefan meanwhile, ever the perfect-one-track-mind boyfriend, tells Damon to “make sure Elena is safe.”
“Yes, I totally will,” says Damon’s one perfect look.
Switching over to the Lockwood’s home, where Tyler is heading out and says to his mother, “Lunch at Mystic Grill, practice, I’ll be late.” Yeah, that’s an understatement of the century.
In that moment, the same strange woman we saw over at Mason’s place is at the door. She is Jules, a “friend” of Mason.
“Nice to meet you,” says Tyler, kind of in a major hurry now.
“I am trying to track down Mason,” she explains.
“Isn’t he in Florida?”
Jules replies, “That’s the thing, he is NOT.”
At the Mystic Grill, Jenna and Alaric are chatting. Tyler comes by in the grill and sees Caroline. He tells Caroline that apparently Mason never made it to Florida. They head out from the bar and grill to the werewolf special happy place in the underground Lockwood property “dungeons.”
In the Gilbert house, Damon arrives and tells Elena “you should really lock your door.”
Elena is trapped and frustrated and yes, kinda ticked off, but endures the inequitable situation.
“What did Stefan say about this, about Elijah being alive?” she asks.
Damon does the trademark eyebrow thing — or surely at this point that would be perfect if he did — and says, “I did not tell him.”
After more meaningful looks and not-so meaningful words, “Moonstone duty and Elena patrol,” quips Damon.
“Tonight’s the full moon?” she says.
Damon’s phone rings. It’s his recently-best-bud Alaric to say that Sheriff Forbes officially declared Mason a missing person. Now that’s a lovely complication.
Damon heads to the door to check out — ahem — investigate the newly arrived hot babe, Jules, and tells Jeremy to babysit Elena.
Over in the woods, it’s Caroline and Tyler. Caroline, in her attempt to console Tyler about Mason, says one of the unintentionally funniest lines of the episode, “Maybe he stopped to go surf somewhere?”
Tyler, as it’s likely the best reaction possible, lets this comment go. “Anyway, let’s do this,” he concludes, ready for the wolf thing to hit him, in the same way a gladiator heads out to the arena.
Meanwhile, Tyler’s mom is at their house leading Jules to the door after a polite chat. “So you’ll call me if you hear anything? Let’s hope for the best.”
Poor Tyler’s mom.
Cut away to Jules in the car, as she makes a call, “Hey, I am here. No one knows that Mason is missing. Mason was lying, there is another werewolf, his nephew.”
Cut to fade as we see who she is talking with, one of the dastardly Elijah-and-the warlocks combo.
At the grill bar, Jules talks to Matt, while Damon and Alaric are talking a few feet away, checking her out — ahem — trailing and examining her as a new suspect in the villain werewolf category. “So you think she is a werewolf?” asks Alaric.
So here’s where it gets kind of Abbot and Costello-ish or Laurel and Hardy-ish, or okay, like the Three Stooges minus One.
Damon says, “We should definitely find out,” and gets out the wolfsbane. Our Two Stooges are ready to commence Operation Jules.
Meanwhile in the Lockwood dungeon basement, chained, Tyler and Caroline are hanging out. Okay, Tyler is chained, Caroline is just there to keep him company.
“Tell me you brought the instruction manual” she says, and he says “Tell me you brought the wolfsbane.” She did and she gives it to Tyler. When he touches it, let’s just say It Burns Him A Lot. “Water!”
Tyler says the water is in his bag and they can mix it. He is fiddling with chains, “chains rated for 5,000 pounds” and “Will it hold?” from Caroline.
He replies, “I have no idea.”
“How are you doing?” says Caroline, feeling very helpless.
“Still human,” says Tyler, which is possibly the best non-humorous and most powerful line of the episode.
And then it’s followed by fun nudity, as Tyler starts taking his clothes off.
“Oh God, you’re not gonna get naked?” asks Caroline, which is possibly the silliest line of the episode.
“Should I keep my pants? It gets cold,” deadpans Tyler, in a brave attempt at coolness, since the last vestiges of coolness are about to go bye-bye as his wolf takes over — very soon now.
Over at Bonnie’s, Luca and Bonnie meet at the door, and his opening words are. “I dunno what makes me more upset — that I showed you how to channel or that you almost killed me.” Here is where we see that Luca’s true feelings are somewhat engaged, and yes, there is something truly genuine happening underneath, despite his attempts to pretend to his dad later that he does not care at all.
Bonnie defends herself by saying it was important.
They get to working on a spell together to supposedly destroy the moonstone. “Wow, so much stuff,” says Bonnie. “Is this a grimoire?” “They are ALL grimoires,” replies Luca as we see there’s a pile of ancient thick books all over the room. He tells Bonnie that witches from all over the world collected their grimoires, and his dad is obsessed with keeping them intact, and “He says all witches are family.”
“So that’s why you’ve been so nice to me?” asks Bonnie with a curious smile.
“That’s part of it.”
“Do you know how to break the bond?” says Bonnie.
“It depends,” he says. “We can figure it out.”
Meanwhile back at the ranch — okay, grill — our Two Stooges are hard at work on their plan. Alaric pretends tipsiness, and comes up to the bar, being all drunken-friendly to Jules. He wants to be nice to her, seeing as she’s new in town, etc. “How do you know I; am new in town?” says Jules, trying to get rid of him.
Damon comes up from her other side to stand at the bar and puts on his full charm. “Excuse me, is this guy bothering you?” He tells her Alaric’s the town drunk. While there’s some skillful or not-so-skillful fumbling going on, stuff gets dropped, they spike her drink with wolfsbane to test if she is a werewolf.
In the tomb, Katherine is making delightful chit-chat with Stefan. “How long have you actually gone without blood? It’s much worse than you think. Your heart still beats and when it’s gone your veins rub together like sandpaper, it’s excruciating.”
Poor Stefan! Trapped, he has to listen to this and he cannot get the hell away.
Then we switch to sexy Katherine. “It’s stuffy… I’ve been in this dress for days, help me get out of it.” she says starting to rub her hands up and down her body and draping herself artfully over masonry in the vicinity.
She finally ends with, “Come on, Stefan. Let’s make the best of it, Stefan.”
Poor Stefan watches in freaked-out horror. Ok, with his expression it looks just like his usual face. But trust me, it’s freaked-our horror.
Katherine intensifies her attack. “Do you really think Damon will rush to get you out? He’s got what he wants — Elena. You’re free to do whatever you want in here.” And on that note she kisses Stefan. They sort of go wild and are making out — and suddenly we know it’s all in Stefan’s head!
“STAY OUT OF MY HEAD!” he yells at Katherine, who in reality is still several feet away, draped artfully against the masonry and looking definitely like she is in pain.
Meanwhile Elena is still trapped at home. Jenna comes in with a load of books and boxes — piles from the historical society. And right behind her at the door is … Elijah!
“EEEK!” says Elena, but stifles it in time, and pretends to mumble a hello in return to Elijah’s friendly and polite “Nice to meet you.” Apparently he made friends with Jenna and has just accompanied her back home.
Fade to terrified black.
We return to see Elijah giving a calm explanation — he’s in town doing research on Mystic Falls. He offers Elena a hand to carry the historical society stuff. “I can get someone to pick it up tomorrow. Thank you for inviting me into your home, Jenna.”
And then he adds, all polite, and oozing double meaning, “Elena, I hope to see you sometime soon.”
Elena is terrified. She runs upstairs, and the next second Elijah shows up upstairs moving at vamp express speed. And just as she opens the door to Jeremy’s room, Elijah moves to stand behind the door.
Terrified on her brother’s behalf, she pretends nothing is wrong. Jeremy suspects nothing and walks by her and Elijah in the shadows. “It’s a wise choice,” says Elijah after Jeremy is gone.
“What do you want?” mutters Elena.
And he replies it’s time they had a little chat.
Over at the grill, Operation Jules is proceeding as planned — well, sort off. Damon and Jules are talking, and she still does not get tricked into drinking the spiked drink. “There’s another werewolf, and it’s Tyler.”
Jules says, “I am here for the night, looking for Mason. He’s missing.”
Damon tries to continue his flirty pretend game. “What do you mean, MISSING missing?” he says.
“How do you know him?” asks Jules.
Damon tells her he’s a “friend of a friend.” Yeah, right.
Cut away to the underground dungeon, Tyler is now locked and chained up. “What time is it?” he asks, knowing he’s in for a long horrible night. “It’s not for a while.”
Caroline mumbles, “How long will you actually be a wolf?”
Tyler tells her it will be “a few hours, maybe more, maybe less.” He gets a bottle of wolfsbane, and gets ready to take it “to diminish my strength so I cannot break free.”
Caroline and Tyler both mumble something, then he gets up.
Tyler manages a “help me,” and a “don’t, don’t.” Or is it Caroline? It’s kind of a mess now as both of them are engrossed in the horrible nightmare about to come down on Tyler.
And then, we see the most awesome moment ever. Caroline is embracing him trying to help him. Caroline, you have just become the most awesome character in the show!
He mutters, “I’m sorry.”
And then werewolf hell begins.
We switch to Elijah at the Gilbert home talking with Elena, all chatty and friendly, like they’re having tea and crumpets.
Elijah says: “Forgive me for the intrusion, I don’t want to hurt you, my goal is not to break the curse.” Apparently, surprise! He does not want Klaus to find out about the doppelgangers, or to break the curse.
“Klaus is a paranoid recluse, trusting only his immediate circle,” he tells Elena. We suspect that Elijah is no longer a part of that immediate circle.
In a moment of revelation, Elena says, “You don’t know where he is, do you? So you’re trying to use me, to string me out.”
“I need you to stop trying to get yourself killed, I am prepared to offer you a deal.”
And then Elijah adds, “Do nothing, live your life, and if he appears, your friends are unharmed. Your friends will remain alive.”
Can Elena believe this amazing thing? Does she have a choice?
Elijah amps it up. “Your friend Bonnie has magic,” and “Together we can protect everybody that matters to you. So do we have a deal?”
Here, most normal people would just say: “Yes!”
But not our heroine. Elena amps it up in turn. “I need you to do one more thing for me.”
Needless to say, Elijah is surprised at her audacity. He says sarcastically, “We are negotiating now?”
Well, yeah, Elijah, yes you are. Hello, you’ve just met Elena Gilbert.
Switch to a gorgeous outside view. Lit with a hundred candles, Luca and Bonnie are making love — ahem — making a spell. Luca takes the moonstone from her hand, saying the biggest understatement line of the whole episode, “Oh, wow, a white rock.”
Bonnie mumbles something, and then Luca mumbles something that sounds like “Help the girl out to keep secrets.”
If that in any way alarms Bonnie, he follows it up with “I am just teasing.”
He takes her hand, and they start chanting, while holding hands, surrounded by gorgeous, gorgeous candles.
Suddenly the candle flames flare up and then the moonstone itself rises up into the sky and explodes! Rains down fireworks. Awesome pretty orgasm — ahem — spell.
Back in the Lockwood dungeons, Tyler is now in serious pain. He is panting, crawling around on the floor in chains, and wisely says to Caroline, “You should go. You should leave…”
But our girl’s got guts. She says, “not yet.” He is in major pain, bones-are-popping-and-breaking kind of pain, it hurts, it hurts, he is in agony. Caroline doesn’t know what to do. Her face expresses true sympathetic agony on his behalf. But she is still there for him. Awesome Caroline!
Fade to black.
At the Mystic Grill, Damon is bragging up a storm before the hot potential werewolf Jules. “I am truly tight with the Sheriff,” he tells Jules. Then adds, “You haven’t touched your drink?” Damon hits her up with the full force of his persuasiveness: “One drink!”
“All right,” she says, “It will help me sleep.” She draws the glass to her, sniffs. And then the bullshit is over. She stops and does not drink. And reveals herself for what she is.
“You think you’re clever, don’t you,” she asks Damon. “Are you threatening ME? On a full moon? You should be afraid of me! Any other night of the month you are stronger, but not this one. It’s not the night to pick a fight with me. You’ve been marked,” concludes Jules and gets up and leaves.
The Two Stooges are left to mull over this.
Back at the dungeons, Caroline is with Tyler. “I want to help and don’t know what to do,” she wrings out.
He tells her there is nothing she can do. And yeah, hell, his spine is popping.
“My God, Tyler…” whimpers Caroline.
Half-mad with pain, crawling on the floor, he says “Get out, I don’t want to hurt you!”
But still, Caroline hugs him bravely. Did I say, AWESOME Caroline?
At the grill, Damon and Alaric storm out the door, their Operation Jules being kind of foiled.
“What the hell,” rages Damon.
Alaric says, “Stop, don’t risk it, go home, lock your doors, one bite and you’re dead, deal with it in the morning” — wise words, if there were ever any, coming from his new best bud. Seriously, these two guys have killed each other and attempted to kill each other enough times they are now inseparable and even kinda in Luv.
Meanwhile, back at the dungeon of werewolf hell, Caroline and Tyler are hugging. He is panting. Things have reached critical.
Tyler has lost his humanity and is turning at last and Caroline jumps out and closes the cage, just in the nick of time.
She makes it to the other side of the cage bars, and cries, “I am sorry.” She backs out of the underground passages, closes the thick wood door and is sobbing, and crying, “I am sorry,” while on the other side of the door Tyler is screaming and crawling all over the dungeon floor.
The transformation is happening. This is seriously one of the best-directed and portrayed and most emotionally agonizing extended werewolf transformations on screen — WITHOUT any extra or unusual special effects. Great acting and emotional tension goes farther than special effects. But we do get the effects too — his bones pop, eyes turn yellow and wolf pupils appear, fur grows, teeth elongate.
Catherine is on the other side of the door, and suddenly we see the awesome power of the wolf — he is breaking the door down and the vampire is terrified. Caroline runs out in a panic, and using vamp speed, disappears into the forest.
Fade to black.
Next we see Damon as he gets back home to the Salvatore mansion, closes door. Looks around. Scary music cues. There is Rose sitting in the corner.
“Just can’t stay away?” asks Damon.
But it’s confession time. “I want to apologize,” she says, “I didn’t know Elena had a death wish, sorry Damon.”
But Damon subtly rejects her apology and, in a way, her subtle advances.
“There’s nothing here for you, Rose,” he says.
In that moment we hear the sounds of crashing and breaking glass. The noise is at the window as it is broken and something rushes in — a wolf!
Damon runs at vamp super-speed to grab a fireplace poker, and the werewolf goes directly for Rose and starts tearing at her throat and, yeah, oh shit. Because we all know what happens when a werewolf bites a vamp. Poor Rose!
Rose is being bitten but fights back, and eventually the wolf runs back out the window. Rose’s wound seems to be closing up as normal vamp healing powers take over. Seriously? It is healing somehow, at least it seems to be.
“That whole thing about wolf’s bite being lethal to vamps must be a lie,” says Damon and hugs her. “You are gonna be okay.”
Meanwhile, Luca comes home, and his father says, “You were successful?”
Luca’s face is grim and not-so-nice at all.
“Of course I was,” he says harshly. “She fell for the whole show and did not suspect a thing.”
And now we see he has the moonstone, still in one piece, and not all Lucy-In-The-Sky-With-Diamonds, and he puts it on the table. His dad says “thank you,” as if Luca has just brought him a box of cereal.
“Yeah, whatever,” the son replies, “I am going to sleep.”
Sure you are, Luca, you’ve just seriously messed with Bonnie, a girl who you pretend does not matter to you. Have a nice nap, Luca.
But dad does not let him off so easy. “Wait, there is one more thing Elijah needs us to do before we lose the full moon.”
So it’s more strong magic time.
In the tomb, Katherine and Stefan talk. “What do you want me to say, Stefan, that I am sorry? Well, I am not; it’s called self preservation,” she tells him, no longer attempting artful seduction.
“Look where it’s gotten you,” says Stefan with disgust. OK, his expression looks the same as it always does, but trust me, it’s disgust.
She continues, “Yes, I’ve done terrible things but I love you. Even if you don’t believe me.”
Stefan says, “Prove it, show me there is something inside you worth trusting.”
“You still hate me.”
“Maybe. We’ll see if there is hope,” says Stefan. He is definitely just humoring her.
But Katherine is not stupid. She says, “You’re playing me.”
Well, yes, he is. What’s a poor nice guy vampire gotta do when locked in with a crazed ex?
Then Katherine gets desperate, and uses her last remaining trump. “You want to find Klaus to protect your precious Elena?” she says. “I can help you find him for a price.” Katherine is now bargaining and she tells him that Isabel was a research expert, and she helped her, and could possibly help him.
At that point there is a “knock.”
We see that Elijah is here, standing at the entrance to the tomb.
Katherine has a holy shit moment.
“Good evening,” he says in his creepy polite manner. And then, turning to Stefan: “Your release has been requested,” says Elijah. “We reached a peaceful agreement.”
Now Stefan has a holy shit moment. But in a good way.
“Come, I had the spell lifted,” says Elijah.
So Stefan walks out, steps right past the tomb magic barrier. Just like that.
But when Katherine makes a move, she is prevented.
“As for you — you should not exit until I say so. Not until Klaus comes,” Elijah tells her. And then he mind-fucks Katherine. We see their pupils widen and narrow and go dark and light, so we know there is vamp compulsion going on and Katherine is definitely overcome.
Elijah adds, talking about Elena. “She’ll keep her word, I keep mine.”
As they are leaving, Katherine makes her last saddest and most pathetic plea to Stefan. You really do feel sorry for Katherine in that moment, all her defenses are down, and the lonely vulnerable thing remains. “Stefan, no, please don’t let him leave me here…”
But Stefan’s face is like a rock, hard and unyielding, and it cuts her.
Stephan says, “Goodbye, Katherine.”
And walks away.
Switching over to the woods at the Lockwood property, it is early dawn. Caroline is wandering, looking around. She is carefully walking back to the underground place, then going down stairs. Here she sees the broken parts of the door. But overall it held.
“Tyler?” She opens the door, comes down, and he is there on the floor, passed out. “Are you okay? You made it, you didn’t get out!” says Caroline with a happy and hopeful voice.
“No, I am not,” he says. And cries.
She hugs him.
Serious emotional goodness!
Next we see Elena in her house, sitting at the window. She turns around and sees Stefan come in. She jumps up and hugs him. They stare in each other’s eyes and kiss passionately, smiling, while indie emo music plays. “Hi,” says Elena sweetly and awkwardly, and they fall down on the bed. Sexy fadeout.
Back at the Salvatore mansion Damon is talking to Rose, sharing some “good” news. “Tyler was locked up. So it was Jules, the other werewolf.” Damon says, “I am sorry I picked a fight with her.” Yeah, bro, that’s what happens when you pick fights.
And then, looking at Rose who seems as healthy as a dead woman can be after last night, he says cheerfully “You are all healed.”
“Yeah, seems that way,” she replies.
“The legend was fake. I am gonna stay and help you to save Elena, protect Elena, all things Elena,” she gushes.
“Why?” says Damon.
“Because I like you. I have a vacancy in the friend department.” And she reinforces that they are “just friends.”
But Damon and Rose are then kissing. “Are you sure you can do that?” he says.
Rose tells him, “I don’t love men who love other women, but I it doesn’t mean I can’t be a ‘special friend.'”
They continue to embrace, and suddenly she says “Ow!”
Damon looks at her shoulder, and it is all infected and scary looking.
Oh crap. Apparently that thing about the werewolf bite being lethal to vampires is not a lie after all.
END OF EPISODE.
And on that note, eeek! What’s going to happen to Rose? Will Katherine have to experience dried out blood vessels rubbing against each other? Will Elijah not tear out someone’s heart at least for the duration of one episode hour? Will Bonnie discover Luca’s bullshit? Will Elena and Stefan get loving peace for a day without major interruptions in the form of the oldest vampire coming after Elena? Will Damon and Alaric team up as a comedy team?
Find out, next time … on The Vampire Diaries!