About one minute from the end of tonight’s TVD I was thinking to myself, “You know, this episode is just okay. It’s kind of uneven and wonky and OMG DID THAT JUST HAPPEN” and I barked and clapped like a coked-out seal.
But first, my two gripes.
I really, really didn’t like the werewolf storyline this time through. Bringing back Bad Daddy just seemed…totally random, and a genuinely dumb idea all around. Caroline’s reactions to things seemed a bit off, too.
Second (and only other major) gripe: I’m having a damned hard time giving a crap about Stefan’s little feelers being hurt that Elena and Damon kissed. He’s basically forfeited his right to have any say in the matter. You don’t go fake-driving someone off the bridge where her parents died and then get to be indignant that she might, just might, want to be with someone else right now.
Which of course means the minute he tells her he still loves her she’ll be back on that bipolarcoaster within two episodes, max. In that case I’m going to feel rather unfairly manipulated, and feeling dicked around by writers makes me cranky.
I am aware of the irony.
Like I said on Twitter, I don’t really want Elena to be with Damon – I just want her to bang him like a kettledrum. Like a Tibetan temple gong. Like a screen door in a hurricane. LIKE RIGHT NOW.
Little Coffin in the Big Woods
Bonnie is dreaming about the Boxed Set again, but this time, in a graveyard made of the extremely fake headstones of her ancestors. Klaus appears, in order to bring a certain air of studliness to the proceedings.
KLAUS: *is cryptic*
BONNIE: *is munched upon*
We then get to have my worst nightmare, being buried alive – but I guess technically the coffin isn’t buried, since after Bonnie screams and struggles and mutters Witch Latin in a futile attempt to escape, the coffin lid opens, and:
BONNIE’S MOM: *is way too freaking young, I swear to God this show makes me feel like a decrepit old senior*
Bonnie has brought Elena in on the search for the locked box opener, which means they can recap everything we know about the coffins so far.
STEFAN: Bonnie, have I mentioned how much you suck at secret keeping? Cuz it’s a lot.
BONNIE: I need Elena’s help to find the woman in my dreams. See, here’s her picture.
ELENA: OMG, BABY BONNIE’S HAIR IS THE CUTEST THING EVER.
BONNIE: Can we focus, please?
Gilbert House of Pain
The girls Scooby it up, because for some reason the Mystic Falls Sheriff’s Office is totally fine with giving a teenage girl records of every single Abby Bennett it can come up with. Man, if Internal Affairs ever gets its eye on Sheriff Forbes, she is so screwed.
BONNIE: Thank you for helping me with this, even though things have been weird with us lately.
ELENA: Things have been weird with us since season 1. You know, you could just stay out of it and let Stefan deal with the whole situation.
BONNIE: There are spells involved. Therefore I MUST intervene. After this I’m going on a cross-country tour of covens to stick my nose into all their drama.
ELENA: That’s a lot of drama.
BONNIE: Meddling is the Bennett way. Besides, I was bound to end up meeting my mom sooner or later.
DAMON: That’s my cue.
Damon has used his
eyebrows compulsion to get the file they actually need, saving us a lot of time.
BUFFY: Dammit, why couldn’t our vampires have had compulsion powers? Think of all the time we would have saved!
WILLOW: But then you wouldn’t have needed us Scoobies.
BONNIE: Yep, this is her.
DAMON: Yay, road trip! I’ve already got beef jerky and Corn Nuts and my Best of Journey CD ready to go–
ELENA: You’re not coming. Bonnie needs to meet her mom without you making eyebrows at her.
DAMON: *puppy face, now with personal space violation*
BONNIE: What’s with you two?
DAMON: (actual dialogue) We kissed. Now it’s weird. Have a great trip!
BONNIE’S EXPRESSION: *is priceless*
Caroline’s House of WTF is This Bullshit Subplot?
Caroline comes home to find Tyler in her living room.
CAROLINE: Get your wolf ass out of my house.
TYLER: I realized I have no control, even though I thought I did, so I did something made of pure genius. I present to you: BAD DADDY.
BAD DADDY: *blathers something about Tyler making a mistake and wanting to make good and oh, how he understands that, whatever, you asshole*
Caroline GOES ALONG WITH IT. The entire audience throws things at her.
Get Yer Flirt on at Mystic Grill
Alaric and Meredith are finishing up a nice, fairly normal lunch, so Damon drops by to sow the seeds of discord.
DAMON: Face it, Ric…a girl that hot, that smart…she’s got to have a kill room and a clown suit stashed away.
ALARIC: Her ex, the ME, called her a psycho.
DAMON: Maybe that’s why she staked him.
ALARIC: I’m never gonna get laid again.
Salvatore Den of Antiquities
Stefan arrives to loud music and Klaus on his couch. It’s hard to say which annoys him more.
They engage in another round of dick-waving.
STEFAN: Don’t fuck with me, or I’ll take your Boxed Set and sell it on Ebay.
KLAUS: So how’s that whole being a psycho thing working out? Is anyone still talking to you?
Darth Stefan, who has suddenly morphed into Cracks in the Armor Stefan, looks pensive.
The girls discuss Bonnie’s mom, and what a deadbeat she is, but Bonnie would prefer to talk about something way more fun: Elena and Damon.
BONNIE: Was it good?
THE AUDIENCE: YEAH, TELL US.
ELENA: I refuse to answer on the grounds that it might have been awesome.
Stefan calls for his five-minute update, and Elena lies her ass off to him about where they’re going, as all those years of being a crazy bugger have not in any way shape or form taught Stefan how to be suspicious, especially of teenage girls who are terrible liars.
Thank God for Klaus’s Unlimited Minutes
Klaus and hybrid…Daniel, I think his name was…converse, and Klaus tells him to go ahead with the plan; we see that Daniel is parked outside a cheerful red farmhouse, which cannot possibly bode well for whomever lives inside (and I think we all know who that is).
Sure enough, Hybrid Dan knocks on the door, and Abby Bennett-Wilson answers.
Bonnie and Elena pull up outside some time later, Bonnie looking like she’s rather eat a bowl of scorpions than do this. They head for the door, only to be met by an Attractive Young Black Man Who is Probably Doomed.
YOUNG MAN: I’m Jamie.
BONNIE: I’m looking for Abby. My mom.
Elena seems to think Bonnie should Get Up on That. Elena always nudges Bonnie toward attractive black guys; I’m beginning to think Elena must want all attractive black guys to die.
JAMIE: So Abby’s awesome – she took me in and raised me like her precious precious firstborn, and…wow, this must kind of suck for you to hear.
ABBY: Hey Jamie, who’s driving that yuppie mobile outside the…oh hell.
BONNIE: Hi Mom.
Bonnie looks like she desperately wants to be overjoyed but is way too knotted up with fear and anger to even move.
Lockwood Family Bondage Cave
Bad Daddy’s plan of action: make turning into a wolf a painless, at-will thing for Tyler so he won’t feel grateful to Klaus for saving him from the curse. Sounds like Bad Daddy passed his Psych 101 class at community college. *eyeroll*
Caroline for some reason is going along with this, proving that her good sense is not, in fact, infallible; in a way that’s kind of comforting, if a really badass character can be completely dunderheaded once in a while when love overwhelms reason. I still think she needs to kick Bad Daddy in the junk a few times.
BAD DADDY: So the solution, obviously, is to chain him up and torture him.
CAROLINE: That’s your solution for everything! Man, I feel sorry for your boyfriends!
Back on the Farm
Time for some revelations!
ABBY: I thought some muffins would cut down on the awkward.
BONNIE: *icy death glare*
ELENA: ….um, nice house.
ABBY: Aw, you give bland compliments just like your mom used to do!
ELENA: You knew my mom?
ABBY: She and I were like BFF until one day this big crazy vampire came to town trying to find the doppelganger. I lured him away and chained his ass up in a coffin, but after that my magic blew out and for some reason I never came back to Mystic Falls even though I had a child there.
BONNIE: If you don’t have magic you’re pretty much useless to me. It’s not like you could know anything else about this whole situation, or have any spellbooks or objects that might be helpful, or know a guy who knows a guy – sorry. No magic, no helpy. Bye.
ABBY: Wait! Talk to me.
ELENA: I’ll be outside in the totally not spooky barn.
STEFAN: Hey, me too!
Mystic Falls General Hospital
Damon has decided that Meredith warrants further study, so he accosts her at work, as one does.
DAMON: Want to hear a funny story? Yeah, this hot chick who’s into my boo went all stabbity on her ex boyfriend and then got to sign his death certificate as an “animal attack.” What kind of animal was it, a Stakeosaurus?
MEREDITH: *vervains the fuck out of him*
When we return from commercial, Meredith is taking a vial of blood out of Damon’s arm; she leaves him unconscious in the hospital room and vanishes.
Tyler screamy torture psychobabble whatever Caroline doesn’t want to watch so she leaves.
BAD DADDY: Well, if you won’t turn on your own, I’ll just take this axe and chop off one of your members. Because I WUV MY DAUGHTER ENOUGH TO TORTURE HER UNBEARABLY and therefore torturing you is just cake.
Abby’s Love Farm
BONNIE: Cut the crap. Why didn’t you come home?
ABBY: I wanted to be someone else. I didn’t want to be a Witch anymore. And you had your Grams, and she’s way more awesome than I ever could be, and–
BONNIE: Yeah, about Grams…
ABBY: Now that we’re bonding, why don’t you tell me about this little coffin problem?
BONNIE: Who said anything about–
ABBY: MUFFIN problem. Tell me about your favorite muffins. I can help you, you know, if you confide in me, preferably with lots of details about locations and any Boxed Sets you might have found on Ebay.
Outside, Stefan and Elena argue over what a dick he is. Stefan kicks a chair, summoning Jamie. Stefan gets threatful with Jamie and compels him to run along.
ELENA: Remember that sex we were going to have again, ever? Well, you’re a quarter-inch closer to me never loving you up again.
JAMIE: Maybe this load of wood buckshot will help.
Inside, Bonnie hears the shot and starts to run to help, only to be herbally roofied by Abby.
Alaric is lifting weights. Damon has come over to watch.
DAMON: You’re going to need to do some more reps if you want to date this chick. She vervained me and bloodjacked me.
ALARIC: Damn, but we come up with fun verbs on this show, don’t we?
Jamie, obviously compelled, ties Elena to a post while Stefan writhes on the ground apparently unable to dig the wood out of his own body. I guess his fingers are numb?
Abby drags unconscious Bonnie to her car, and Jamie runs over to help load her up. This would all be very shocking if it were remotely shocking, but we kind of saw this coming the minute Hybrid Dan arrived at the farmhouse.
If someone were to open up a Chains N’Things store in Mystic Falls and sell something that could hold down a werewolf, they’d make a killing.
BAD DADDY: *is munched upon*
Random Highway 121
Abby pulls up to where Hybrid Dan is waiting for her. Abby tells him that Bonnie didn’t spill the beans about where the coffins are. Why they needed to have this conversation here instead of at the farm or on the phone is beyond me.
ABBY: Bonnie, you have to tell me where the coffins are or Jamie’s compelled to shoot himself.
To fool Hybrid Dan into thinking they’re holding up their end of the deal, Abby passes Bonnie her phone with “warn your friends” on the screen, presumably so Bonnie can safely reveal the Boxed Set’s location and someone back in MF can move the coffins before Klaus gets there. Bonnie, who has been involved in the deaths of far too many attractive young lads, decides to save this one.
The Barn of Ouch
Stefan is groaning and growling, and Elena has nearly got her ropes rubbed through.
Jamie, confused and scared about what’s happening to him, tells Elena that he’s bound to shoot anyone who gets in the way, and if the plan fails he has to kill himself. Elena, rocking those big frontal lobes, asks what Hybrid Dan said about her.
JAMIE: I’m not supposed to hurt you.
ELENA: Ow, these ropes are all tight and burny on my iddle wrists!
JAMIE: Oh, well, I’ll just loosen them for you–
ELENA: BUFFY POWERS ACTIVATE!
She seizes the gun and knocks Jamie unconscious with it as if it’s the most natural thing in the world.
AUDIENCE: Yay! Another Gilbert takes a level in badass! Go Elena!
STEFAN: I need you to dig in my chest with your bare hands.
ELENA: Are you sure I can’t use a chainsaw?
Damon gets to the coffin room, where Klaus is waiting for him.
KLAUS: I’m here for my Witchy migraine.
DAMON: Well, by all means, then.
Klaus informs the dead Witches that he’ll hunt down all the Bennetts and their descendants and kill everyone, and they back off.
KLAUS: Now then. My coffins, if you please.
*Three coffins appear*
KLAUS: Where’s the locked box?
KLAUS: YOU ARE SO DEAD.
DAMON: You mean “dead sexy.” And also, I am full of pure win this episode, so you might as well just take your three coffins and go home.
Alaric confronts Meredith about her bizarre behavior, and we find out what she wanted with Damon’s blood: she injects it into Bad Daddy, who was brought in dying from an animal attack.
MEREDITH: That’s my big secret. I cheat death.
ALARIC: So how come this town has the highest mortality rate in the state?
Elena continues digging bits of wood out of Stefan’s chest. She’s so matter-of-fact about the situation that he finds himself staring at her, somewhat taken aback.
STEFAN: You’ve changed. You’re all Tomb Raider and stuff.
ELENA: Well, thanks to you, I had to. Also, I kissed your brother
AUDIENCE: Wow, Elena, your sense of timing is a thing of beauty.
Stefan walks away, genuinely upset, and Elena is surprised that he’s visibly upset by the news. It would seem that Cracks in the Armor Stefan is starting to unravel a little.
I wish it was half as moving as the phone call in the season premiere, but after everything Stefan’s done to push Elena away, I still just can’t find it in my shriveled heart to feel sorry for him. That’s not to say I don’t think his reaction is appropriate – or that his confrontation with Damon here in a minute was off base – it’s just that I don’t feel sorry for him anymore.
I don’t want to feel sorry for him. Mopey Self-Loathing Stefan is as boring as season 1 Elena. But if they’re planning to get these two back together, as I’m certain they are, they really need to tread carefully with all of this. If anyone can handle it, TVD can, but still, I worry. This would be very, very easy to do badly.
To Elena’s credit, she doesn’t apologize.
STEFAN: I guess kidnapping you and that whole bridge thing was a bad idea.
ELENA: No shit.
STEFAN: You’re better than Damon. Better than both of us.
ABBY: I lost my magic because I left you. Maybe if you help me get it back I can help you.
BONNIE: I thought you didn’t want it?
ABBY: I’d do it for you.
BONNIE: Hey, guilt is kind of awesome.
Tyler visits Bad Daddy and apologizes for basically killing him. Bad Daddy informs him that this is only the beginning, and that they have a lot of work to do before Bad Daddy lets Tyler near his beloved, beloved daughter, who he obviously adores and would never, ever allow to be hurt.
Alaric brings Meredith home to show her his stake collection. Sadly this is not a euphemism.
He also reveals the secret of the Gilbert ring, because lack of sex makes men do ill-advised things.
Just when things start to get sexy, Elena gets home.
ALARIC: *is adorably flustered*
ELENA: Ric, you live here too. And you deserve some nookie. Aunt Jenna’s gone, and it’s okay if you move on.
ALARIC: I will not comment on any parallels in your storyline.
Den of Antiquities, MOMENT OF IMPENDING AWESOME
Stefan, with his crazy eyes securely in place, asks Damon if he got the coffins out; Damon admits he only saved the locked box.
DAMON: Bonnie’s mom isn’t going to be any help.
STEFAN: Now my day is complete.
DAMON: How’s Elena?
DAMON: Ah, I see. Well, I guess I had that coming. But I think I have something that will cheer you up a little.
STEFAN: *icy death glare*
Damon, in his best naughty little vampire fashion, holds up a dagger.
Haus of Klaus
HYBRID DAN: Bet you’re glad to have most of your family back. Are you going to let them out now?
KLAUS: Not yet.
HYBRID DAN: Yeah, but–*gurgle*
Hybrid Dan falls dead to the floor, and behind him, holding his heart and looking righteously pissed off, is
ELIJAH: My side-part has had it with this bullshit.
AUDIENCE: SQUEEEEEEEEEEEESPLODE AGAIN!
KLAUS: Oh, bollocks.