TVD Recap, Episode 423: Graduation

Oh, Show.  You’re such a tease.  You spend a season making me bash my head on the wall and just when I’m about to lose consciousness you manage to pull things together.

I think my favorite thing about the season finale of The Vampire Diaries is that the goddamn Cure has finally been dealt with and won’t be in play next season.  They found one of the two or three ways to end that storyline that weren’t absolutely horrible; if almost any other character had taken it the fallout would have been wretched and really, really difficult to watch.

I’m not sure how I feel about there being another doppelganger situation, though.  On the one hand I welcome a chance to see Paul Wesley act as something besides a boring good guy.  On the other…really?  Another one?  Is there something in the water in Mystic Falls that causes ameba-like reproduction?  My hope is that the two are related somehow, like the Petrova doppelganger was involved in the Silas origin story and for whatever reason both came of the same spell.  Otherwise…really? Another one?

I kind of have to wonder why the characters seem to save all of their finest moments for the end of the season; we could have used some of this back around “Into the Wild.”

[image forthcoming]

Mystic Falls High’s Deeply Meaningful Football Field

We begin with an artsy sort of moment focusing on banners, chairs, and other graduation accoutrements.  Then of course Kol has to ruin it all.

KOL:  Blah blah revenge blah.  Rise, my mostly dead minions!  We shall get revenge on…well, on people who didn’t actually have anything to do with our deaths…except the Witches, who are pretty justified in going after Bonnie and Caroline…but the hybrids really have nobody but Klaus to blame, and maybe Hayley…oh, screw it, we’re bad guys and we’re dead and we’re not very nice about it.


The musical intro is just about the best thing ever – “You Give Love a Bad Name” blasts out over the title card and for just a second the entire audience goes, “What the FUCK is going on here?” until they remember: Lexi’s back.

Salvatore Den of Antiquities

Lexi shakes her ass and Stefan, who is on the couch drinking, does that lip-biting frat boy head bang thing to the dulcet tones of Mr. Bon Jovi and his merry band of large hairdos.

Then of course Damon has to ruin it all.

DAMON:  What the hell are you doing?  Are you…having fun?  Dear God, the world is ending.

LEXI:  Oh, look, the dickbag who murdered me.  Threatening powers activate!

DAMON:  This would be way scarier if you weren’t just flailing around like Cyndi Lauper on a meth binge.  Wait…weren’t you wearing a dress when I killed you?  Do they have Forever 21 on the other side?

Stefan is positively hilarious in this scene, mostly because he’s drinking.  I think he should be either drunk or evil in every single episode.  Oooh, maybe both!

DAMON:  So if all you dead bastards are still hanging around, I guess that means Bonnie borked the spell.

Boiler Room, or Something, of Ex Witches

BONNIE: Damn, I borked that spell.

Hey, remember when Bonnie had that nice wavy hair without those horrific bangs?  Those were good times.

Ghost of Grams looks on while Ghost of Bonnie talks on the phone to Caroline.   Caroline is as usual relentlessly Type A about graduation.

As much as I love Caro I think if I knew her in real life I’d smack her at least once a season.  She goes on about how graduation is “the most important event of our lives,” which I guess is true when you’re 18 and haven’t had any other important events like marriage, childbirth, divorce, buying a house, graduating college, or, you know, any day after graduation.  Graduation is like SAT scores: important for exactly as long as you need it to open the door to the next phase of your life, and then forgotten almost entirely.  

Her pep-squad desperation is both annoying and telling given how uncertain the future is for everyone around her – and that’s without even knowing Bonnie’s dead.

Bonnie, for her part, just sounds tired, her eyes falling on her own body while she listens to Caro talk; she gives Caroline an affectionate smile and an “I love you” as they hang up.  Strangely, being dead makes Bonnie way more enjoyable to me; I found myself actually moved by her plight when for most of the run of the series I wouldn’t have given a damn if she died. 

GRAMS:  I’ll keep your body safe from marauding critters and necrophiliacs.

BONNIE:  Great, something else to worry about.

Cemetery Picnic Area

Only in Mystic Falls, y’all.

Our All-Dead Family Gilbert enjoys a nice lunch at the graveyard.  I spend most of the scene begging the TV gods to bring Alaric back for good. 

ALARIC:  Well, it’s a good thing it’s a nice day out, considering we don’t have a house to eat in.

ELENA:  Hey!

For just a second, she has a sense of humor, but then she thinks about how Eeeeeevil she was and all the naughty things she did.  

ELENA:  I totally killed people and made everyone miserable.

ALARIC:  You just described every character on this show.  Don’t sweat it.

Then of course Connor has to ruin it all.

CONNOR (on phone):  Who’s got two thumbs he can’t feel because you broke his neck?  THIS GUY.

Some Trailer Park…?

Okay, so, Rebekah’s Five boyfriend…Alexander, I think is his name? has Bex and Matt captive and Matt is standing on some sort of “tilt this and kaboom” device.  Alex and his terrible accent wax annoying about modern weaponry and how Connor has extract-of-werewolf (EVERYBODY RUN, CHEKOV’S GOT A GUN!) in his trailer.

I found this situation a bit jarring considering they were just in the town square – I know time has passed, but two characters got into an intense dramatic situation just out of the clear blue nowhere it seems. 

Meanwhile, over at the Den of Antiquities, Damon answers the door (why do they even do that anymore?) to find…shit, what’s his name?  Flynn Rider? 

FLYNN:  My equally aggravating accent, Qetsiyah, and this pistol say hey baby.

And Connor threatens everyone in the Grill:

CONNOR:  Bring me the Cure and tell me where Pet Rock Silas is or all these nice relatives in town for graduation get to find out why nobody ever leaves this stupid ass town.

Back at the manse Flynn Rider tells Damon (who is digging a bullet out of his shoulder) that after starving to death on the island, he met Qetsiyah, who reminded him of the purpose of the Five and the point of all this.  Acutally I wouldn’t mind a word with her myself at this point.

FLYNN RIDER:  Aye, and then she gae’ me renewed porpoise and told me ‘bout mah destineh.

STEFAN:  Dude, just…stop talking.  I’ve got a bitch of a hangover and your voice is like nails in my brain.   *heartsnatch*

Mystic Grill

CONNOR:  *threat threat threat*

ALARIC:  Motherfucker did not just threaten my bar.

Oh, how I love Badass Alaric.  As menacing as Connor is, Ric is not at all intimidated, and ghost-whooshes Connor out before the explosives he’s wearing can kill everyone in the bar.

Trailer Park of Gloorious Destineh

We discover that six of the abandoned cars surrounding Bex and Matt are rigged to blow. 

MATT:  Don’t think about my likely explodey death.  Let’s talk about all the places you want to take me when I don’t go splodey.

BEX:  Shouldn’t we be thinking of a way out of this?

MATT:  Not nearly as romantic.  Paris?  You should see the world.

Matt, honey, she’s like a thousand years old. She’s already seen it.

I guess the point of this is that Alex is waiting for Connor and Flynn Rider to come back with the Cure and Silas, and that blowing Matt up is just for kicks. 

Despite his extensive warrior training Alex has a really short temper and throws a knife at Rebekah, which results in both her and Matt standing on the explodey cabinet door.

Mystic Falls High School

Bonnie, in cap and gown, heads down the hall and who should show up but Katherine, who is pissed that circumstances beyond Bonnie’s control kept her from getting True Immortality, extra funny considering how this episode ends.

KATHERINE:  My life sucks these days, and Elena is the author of all!

BONNIE:  How, exactly?

KAT:  Not important.  She hates me, I hate her, it’s mostly just to set up our “epic confrontation.”

BONNIE:  Yeah, I don’t think you’re going to like where that goes.

KAT:  Elena’s living a great life!  I’m mad about it!

BONNIE:  Elena’s entire family is dead, her house is gone, she’s a vampire who just killed some people, half her friends are dead or vampires of some kind, one of her boyfriends is loaded with self-loathing, and the other one is Damon.  You keep using the word “great.” I do not think it means what you think it means.


It’s kind of weird to me that all this time Katherine has been very calculating, always a step ahead, but now she’s going kind of berserk – and why, because a long shot fix for her Klaus problem didn’t pan out?  It doesn’t seem like her.  I guess part of it could be losing Elijah.

Den of Antiquities

Damon’s shoulder doesn’t seem to be healing up as neatly as vampire shoulders are wont to do. 

ELENA:  So I guess now that I’m all Feely Girl again and the timing isn’t inconvenient at all, we should have a nice talk.

DAMON:  Oh, yeah!  I’ve got a present for you!

ELENA:  A blood suppository?

DAMON:  No, it’s the Cure!  For you!  Despite my earlier concern about the whole hell-on-earth thing, never mind!

Damon tries to use his Sire Wiles on her, which THANK GOD don’t work; that settles that question, which won’t be at all important later.  He tries to enlist Jeremy’s help, but death has apparently mellowed the Littlest Gilbert about the whole vampire thing, and he’s all “Whatever you choose, I love you, sis.”

Meanwhile in the Big Ass Fireplace Room, Lexi and Stefan consider what to do with Flynn Rider’s body and eavesdrop on the goings-on with Elena.  Stefan sort of suggests that letting Elena choose whether or not to take the Cure is a bad idea – I don’t think that’s how he meant it, but that’s how it sounded to me. 

STEFAN:  Elena’s the love of my life.  Which I think means I need to get a life.  (ACTUAL DIALOGUE)  Maybe I’ll move to Australia.  I can live in a yurt.

NOTHING IN THE UNIVERSE:  *is funnier than that line*

Unfortunately Flynn Rider wakes up to ruin everything.

Back in the bedroom they’re still arguing over the Cure when Damon winces and looks a bit peaked for a second.

ELENA:  Take off your shirt!


As you might have guessed, the bullet Flynn Rider shot Damon with was soaked in werewolf venom, so once again, he’s kind of fucked.

JEREMY:  Hey, he could take the Cure!

ME: NOOOOOOOOOOOO.  Just take your shirt off!


ELENA:  But why couldn’t you just take it, not die, and then have one of us turn you back into a vampire later?

Actually she doesn’t say that.  Damon walks back into the living room, tosses Flynn the Cure, and is all, “Let’s mount up and go find us some Silas!”

FLYNN RIDER:  Ah…okeh.

Mystic Quarry Or Whatever It’s Called

DAMON:  See, this is a great place to throw a body – deep water, no people, too deep for animals.

FLYNN:  But where did you put the body?

DAMON:  Am I speaking Farsi or something?  IN THE WATER.

Trailer Park

MATT:  I have on the Gilbert Ring – if you blow me up I’ll come back.

But…isn’t a Hunter a supernatural creature too?  So he’d come back either way, wouldn’t he?  I guess it’s literal, not based on who put him there but based on who actually sets the thing off.  Never mind.

BEX:  If you blow to Matt-Jam the ring will blow up with you!  Hold still, I’mma kiss the bejesus out of you!

MATT:  Well since you put it that way.

In the process of the bejesus kissing, Bex nudges Matt off the cabinet door so she’s the only one standing on it; she commands him to run off and graduate, and unlike just about anyone else on this show, when someone tells him to get the hell out, he does.

Bex then vamp-whooshes off the bomb.


Den of Antiquities

ELENA:  The Angels have the phone box and Damon’s gonna die!

STEFAN:  They’re not going to find Silas – he’s still in the tunnels.  It’s only been one day, remember?

ELENA:  Shit, do you think I keep track of the timeline on this show?

STEFAN:  I’ll go to New Orleans and convince Klaus to not hate all of us for a minute.  Maybe I’ll bribe him with a pair of Caroline’s undies.

ELENA:  Where did you get…wait, I don’t want to know.

JEREMY:  It’s time for graduation!  Go graduate!

Mystic Falls High

CAROLINE (On phone):  Klaus, get your ass back here and I’ll give you a pair of my undies!  We have to save Damon because…I guess I’ve decided I don’t hate him for the moment.  Move it, buddy!

Bonnie, Matt, Elena, and Stefan arrive in their gear, giving us the whole poignant “awww, our babies are all grown up and mostly dead by now” moment.

CAROLINE:  We’re all here and it’s awesome for like five minutes!  Plus vampires can get whatever we want, so we can get Elena into college and all share a dorm room and it’ll be just like Being Human!

After that is the graduation ceremony, led by the Mayor rather than the high school principal because I guess they don’t have a principal (they don’t have teachers…or students, really…so it’s not that far a leap).  The only really moving moment comes when Bonnie walks across the stage and hugs her dad.

ME:  Who are all those other teenagers in caps and gowns?  Did they bus them in from the next town over?

Then of course Kol shows up to ruin everything again.

KOL:  Hey, Bonnie…there’s a bunch of Witches and hybrids up in here who really want to get revenge.  Also, I’ve decided I don’t want the Veil back up, so that should work out well.

Bonnie leads Kol into what I guess is the school boiler room, where her body is being kept – is a steamy warm room really the place to keep a corpse, Bon? 

KOL:  Wait…that’s you.

BONNIE:  Did I mention I’m dead?  Oh, and freeze, motherfucker.

She Witch-locks him into an energetic cell so he can’t cause any further mischief until the Veil goes back up.

So…are any of the ghosts aware of each other on the Other Side?  If so, Kol could pretty much torment her for all time if he wanted.  It sounds like they’re each alone, but they haven’t really gone into it.


Now that Flynn Rider has finally caught on to the fact that Damon was lying out his ass about Silas, he decides the best way to proceed is to shoot Damon several times with werewolf bullets.

ALARIC:  *WHOOSH*  *ASSHOLE SMACKDOWN*  *FLING*  I leave you alone for five minutes…


Over the phone Alaric tells Stefan he can’t get Damon to take the Cure, and there’s no time to do anything else – should he shove it down Damon’s throat?

Before Stefan can reply, all the vampires are hit by Witch Migraines as the dead Witches come for their comeuppance.

WITCH:  *gesture of headsplodey*

Whereupon Klaus appears and BEHEADS HER WITH A MORTARBOARD.

KLAUS:  Excuse me, have you seen my diploma?  It’s the one that says Bad Motherfucker on it.

Hot damn he looks good in a suit.  I hope that graduating doesn’t mean the boys won’t all wear suits as often, because yum, suits.  Anyone remember Jeremy in that James Bond tux in Masquerade? I felt like such a dirty old lady.

Den of Antiquities

We finally get our shirtless Damon moment; Elena strides in in one of her trademark doily dresses and, upon finding out he’s okay, slaps the crap out of him.  He’s not that alarmed, most likely because every woman he’s ever known has slapped the crap out of him.

Back in the living room Lexi, Stefan, and Alaric are drinking (take a shot!) until Elena returns and asks for a moment with Stefan.  Half the fandom cringes, the other half perks up.

LEXI:  So being dead kind of blows, right?

ALARIC:  Basically.

LEXI:  Still, eventually we’ve got to find peace and go to vampire heaven or whatever, right?

ALARIC:  But if we do, who’s going to stand around and wave their arms at our friends who can’t see or hear us?

I wish I could lean through the screen and tell them about Anna and Pearl.  Meanwhile:

ELENA:  I just wanted to say you’re awesome and you should have this.

She tries to give him the Cure, but he doesn’t want it either.

ELENA:  Seriously, you suck at vampiring.  Even more than I do.  Besides, you deserve to get old and die like you want to since you’re not going to get laid for a while.

STEFAN:  What?

ELENA:  Nothing.  *chucks him on the shoulder*


At the remains of graduation, which only Caroline seems interested in cleaning up (I guess they don’t need a cleanup committee since they have her), she and Klaus have an adorable conversation about graduation gifts before he gives her the one she’s been wanting:  Tyler can come back to Mystic Falls.

Klaus’s explanation is something along the lines of “you love Tyler now, but you’re immortal and eventually he’s going to get crazy boring or go hump somebody’s Malamute or something, and when that happens, look me up” only so much more romantic, in that slightly creepy Klaus kind of way.


Den of Antiquities

In the Big Ass Fireplace Room, Damon has a nice brood until Elena shows up, whereupon he gives her an “Isn’t it Awfully Nice to Be a Penis” speech.

DAMON:  Yeah, so, I’m totally not sorry I didn’t want to be turned into a human, even though you had just said you didn’t want it either even though this whole damn season has been about fixing you.

ELENA:  Yeah?  Well, you’re a terrible person!

And that day Damon was amazed to discover that when Elena said “You’re a terrible person,” what she meant was, “I love you.



(I use “half” loosely since there are plenty of people, like myself, who refuse to ship.)

Naturally Stefan is eavesdropping so he overhears various declarations and slurping.

Later, Stefan loads stoner Silas, who is wrapped up like a dead Christmas tree, into whoever’s SUV they stole back in the day, and he and Damon have a nice Brother Moment.

STEFAN:  Yeah, um…I’m not thrilled about this whole thing, but it doesn’t suck that it doesn’t suck for you for a minute.

DAMON:  *wibble*

The Cave of Blunders

Jeremy arrives to say goodbye to Bonnie while she does the Veil-raising spell.

JEREMY:  I couldn’t say goodbye to Elena, so I thought I’d come hang.  I’m okay with being dead.

BONNIE:  Yeah, about that…   *magic*

Den of Antiquities

Alaric stares out the window; Damon pours him a drink, and Ric gives him a mischievous grin.

ALARIC:  Way to go Tiger!  Now don’t screw it up.

DAMON:  Dude, have you met me?  Screw it up is my middle…oh.

Alaric has vanished.  I got teary-eyed there, just because of how Damon looks around the room like any second now Ric will reappear.  Man, those two need each other.  I think they’re the only couple I really rooted for.

On the Road Again

Lexi and Stefan drive stoner Silas out of town, debating where Stefan should relocate to in that far-away day that will never, ever happen where he moves on and leaves Mystic Falls.

LEXI:  You know you can have more than one Great Love, right?  Maybe this time you could find someone who’s, like, a grownup and knows what she wants.

Stefan starts to suggest Portland, but when he looks back at the passenger seat, Lexi has vanished.


Elena wanders around the boiler room but doesn’t, for some reason, stumble over Bonnie’s body.  I guess she moved it back to the cave?



Kol vanishes.

A wild Katherine appears!


Cave of Wonders

As the spell finishes, Bonnie and Jeremy kiss, and then Jeremy falls back gasping.  Bonnie realizes what’s happening – that her spell to keep Jeremy alive worked – and smiles bittersweetly; the balance of nature stayed true, a life for a life.

JEREMY:  Wait, I’m ALIVE?  Holy crap!

He goes to hug her, only to find he can’t feel her, and realizes she’s a ghost.

BONNIE:  Don’t worry, you and I can still hang out since you see ghosts, and I’ve got my Grams and the Witches…

I assume she means her ancestors, since the other Witches involved in this don’t like her much.  That answers the question of whether ghosts can see each other, though it does beg the question how none of them have run into each other while they’ve hovered around their living loved ones…not to mention what’s to stop the other Witches from coming after Bonnie now.

BONNIE:  Seriously, don’t overanalyze it.

ME:  That is kind of what I do.

Bonnie tells Jer to tell the others that she went to stay with her mom for the summer so that they won’t have to know she died; they deserve a little time without a major loss.  Then, Bonnie takes Grams’s hand and they walk away into the caves.

Stately Lockwood Donovan Manor

Matt finds Rebekah at the door.

REBEKAH:  So, before I leave for my other show, I wanted to offer you a trip around the world.

MATT:  Look, you and me as a couple isn’t going to work…but I’d be happy to be your kept boy for a while.

BEX:  Rock on!


Katherine and Elena beat the shit out of each other.

KATHERINE: I blame you for everything wrong with my life!

ELENA:  Yeah, well, I blame you for everything wrong with my life!

It doesn’t occur to either of them, as it hasn’t at any point yet, that the person who’s actually the source of all of this is Klaus, who tried to sacrifice Katherine so he could be invincible, causing the whole sordid chain of events to begin.  Although I suppose we could trace it back to Mikael, since he was the idiot that turned his kids into vampires.  I suppose that since Mikael is long gone and Klaus is essentially untouchable, they have to get their blame jollies somewhere.

So Nina Dobrev flings Nina Dobrev all over the place, and Elena rips a locker door down and beats her with it (which is brilliant), and there’s sniping and nastiness galore until Katherine grabs a broom handle and stabs Elena in the freaking neck.  Harsh, Kat.

I’m still not sure what exactly Elena “took” from Katherine.  Elena’s life, as we said earlier, has been a mountain of suck, and aside from her remaining friends and her moderately sociopathic boyfriend, she doesn’t really have a charmed life.  Also, as Elena points out, Katherine killed Jeremy – or, at least, fed him to Silas, who killed him.  Kat, it seems, has lost her damn mind.  The way she’s talking it sounds like she plans to kill Elena and take her place.

As Katherine is grinding the broom into Elena’s throat, Elena (who has apparently learned sass this episode) flashes back to that moment with Stefan when she tried to get him to take the Cure, but he refused – and handed it back to her.  The lurch in time is kind of an unpleasant narrative device in the middle of the fight; I think it would have served them better to wait until Elena made her move and then, as they both lay there, flash back.  But anyway:

KATHERINE:  *super-slow heartsnatch!*

ELENA:  *Cureshove*  *Mouthsmash*  Bwahaha!

KATHERINE:  Oh balls.  *falls over*

The Quarry (I Think)

Stefan goes to unload Silas, something involving a big safe that was…in the SUV?  Dude, I have no idea at this point.  

Stefan notices, finally, that the body bag seems awfully clattery for one big rock dude.  He opens the bag to find chunks of stone.


The look on Stefan’s face says clearly he’s aware how fucked he is at this moment, standing on the edge of the quarry with the Big Bad between him and any possible escape.

STEFAN:  Wait, how did you get unstoned?

ELENA!SILAS:  The spell only worked if it involved a living Witch, and Bon Bon is an Ex Bon Bon.

STEFAN:  So regardless, eventually you would have been free anyway?

ELENA!SILAS:  THIS IS NO TIME TO DEBATE TIMELINES.  The point is, I’m going to wreak myself some nice havoc.  Back in the day, I created the immortality spell, but because nature demands balance as long as it’s convenient to the plot, there had to be a version of me that could die, so bam! goes the doppelganger.

Silas then turns into Stefan, only much creepier.

STEFAN:  Wait, wait…so I’m the version of you that can die?  How many of me have there been?  Did we know the Petrovas?  If they’re not connected, what the hell kind of coincidence is that?  And–

STEFAN!SILAS:  Oh, shut up.

Silas stabs him in the gut (which in some vampires on TVD is where the heart is located, but apparently not Stefan) and then locks him in the safe that was in the SUV (I guess) and shoves him off into the Quarry. 

STEFAN:  Oh balls.

Actually he’s kind of drowning, so it’s more like

STEFAN:  *glug glug glug balls*























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TVD Recap, Episode 418: American Gothic

Can we just get some mad props for Nina Dobrev? In this episode she was essentially playing THREE roles – Katherine, Elena, and Elena playing Katherine – and you could absolutely tell which one was which at any given moment.

I think it’s pretty amazing that Nina’s been able to play Vampire Elena and make her nothing like Katherine.  That was one of my fears about the whole storyline: that VampLena would basically be Katherine warmed over.  But whether she’s being EviLena or MopeLena, she’s made each version of that character line unique.  I know some of that is the writing, but there aren’t a lot of actresses who could sell that kind of insanity.  She makes it look easy.  Hot damn.

Speaking of hot damn, ELIJAH!  I hadn’t realized how much I missed him until he showed up in that gazebo.  On a purely character level I’m so glad to see him again; he’s really the only person in the show who acts like a mature adult.  His calm demeanor just oozes sophistication, whereas everyone else, even the actual adults and the other 1,000 year old vampires, oozes hormones.  Constantly.  Sometimes watching this show I forget what it feels like to see characters who aren’t in a constant state of mental and emotional emergency.  Even when he’s pissed off, Elijah doesn’t run around with his hair on fire weeping and yelling out his dialogue – he doesn’t need to.  The menace he can summon is of a very different breed from all his siblings.  It’s a thing of beauty and a joy forever.

Also I heard quite a few people freaking the hell out over the idea that Stefan wants to leave Mystic Falls…are you guys watching the same show I am?  There is no way in HELL Stefan is going anywhere, and even if he does, he’ll be back in a few episodes the way he was last year.  Not for a single second did it occur to me to believe what he told Damon.  I don’t think Damon really believes it either.  I do think it’s a very positive thing that Stefan recognized how toxic all of their patterns had become – once again, I enjoy Stef’s character so much more when his balls aren’t in orbit around Elena’s WonderVag.

All right, enough babble. On with the show.


Eerily Normal Small Town

Elena and Rebekah roll into town in a sexy Porsche they’ve stolen from some poor dead douchebag (at least that’s my guess) and Bex is happy to recap the last episode for us.

BEX:  Elena, we can’t stop here!  We’re looking for Katherine because Katherine stole the cure from Silas’s cave and we stole this list from Damon after you massively cockteased him and I broke his neck and that list has places to look for Katherine and we’ve been like ten places and for some reason we don’t have five minutes to stop and pee or anything so get back in the car!

ELENA:  I swear to God you sound just like a yappy little purse dog sometimes.

Elena heads over to munch on a local in broad daylight in the middle of town, because it’s possible the Intelligence Switch and the Humanity Switch are wired to the same junction box in her head, in which case she needs to fire her electrician.

SAVORY LOCAL:  Wait a sec, Katherine, I said no hickeys!

BEX & ELENA:  …baroo?


The girls figure out really quickly that Katherine has compelled the whole town to protect her identity (by forgetting her unless she’s speaking right to them) and give her feeding carte blanche, yet they think we need to be told like eight more times, so they make a point of asking the Savory Local a bunch of questions to demonstrate the effect.

Interesting.  The compulsion is appearance-based?  Seems kind of sloppy since Kat knows she’s got a double out there. 

Road to Nowhere

Damon’s car has been left on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere.  Stefan and Damon arrive to gas it up and…wait, why do they need to take Damon’s car to Pennsylvania?  The one they’re driving right now would be a) less conspicuous and b) way more fuel efficient.  Are they just going to leave this car where they found Damon’s?

Overthinking.  Sorry.

Stefan repeatedly needles Damon for “letting” the girls get the list of Katherine’s addresses and run off.  Kind of like how Stefan “let” the massacre happen when he was incapacitated by Witch-induced agony.

We feel you, Stef.  We’ve had Witch-induced agony for years.

STEFAN:  Oh! It’s my turn to recap part of the plot.  This time it’s about how we need the cure to make Elena acceptable to us again.

DAMON:  Did you know your hair makes you look like a monochrome hedgehog?

STEF: If you don’t have anything constructive to add to this dialogue, shut up.

DAMON:  Dude, we’ve had this same dialogue in every episode for half the season.  They get it.  Elena vampire bad, cure good, go humans go.  They want brother banter.  Make some crack about creamed corn and we’re golden.

STEFAN:  Oh, fine.

Haus of Klaus

After his run-in with Silas!Shane, Klaus is looking pretty rough.  A piece of the white oak stake has broken off in his back just where he can’t reach.  Isn’t that always the way?

The fingers-digging-in-wound noises are particularly disgusting.

Caroline arrives and sees Klaus shirtless, sweating, and bug-eyed like a terrified horse.

CAROLINE:  Damn, baby, you’re a hot mess.

I’m not surprised Klaus would call Caro in an emergency, but I am surprised he didn’t have anyone else around who could help – minions, for example, or Hayley.  Surely even if he couldn’t make more hybrids he would have compelled himself a few regular vampires to rinse out his delicates and mow the lawn.

Joseph Morgan does agony really well, by the way.

Caroline looks amazed at his condition, and walks up and gently puts her hands on his face, which means he’s either hallucinating or…

SILAS!CARO:  Muahaha.  You will bring me the cure.  And a pony.

This version of Silas, an adorable blonde in a cute little dress, manages to be about five bajillionty times more frightening than Shane’s version.  Shane mostly just brings us sad clown hair and pretension. 


Thanks to the postman Elena and Rebekah figure out that Katherine has been in town in the last few minutes, and they split up to find her.  You can imagine where that leads.


ELENA:  *grunt*


Katherine’s hair has grown another six inches and has gotten much curlier so we can be sure and tell them apart easily.  Kat is also wearing this Sandra Dee in Grease outfit that I find very distracting.

The girls retire to the diner for a nice latte and some fork-stabbing.

Have you noticed how we almost never heard the term “humanity switch” until this storyline, and now we hear it every five goddamn seconds?

ELENA:  Give me the cure.

KAT:  No.

BEX:  Give me the cure.

KAT:  No.


KAT:  Sorry girls, I’m wearing my magic non-bleeding hand this week.  And I’m not giving you the cure – I need it to make a deal for my freedom with Klaus.  That in no way could ever backfire on me – you know how it goes.

Katherine makes the first of several declarations in this episode that she’s “not the girl you think I am.”  If they’re emphasizing it that much, I’m guessing she’s going to get some sort of redemption arc, which means they’ll kill her off – there’s only room for one Special Snowflake on this show.

Since Kat isn’t forthcoming with the cure, Bex grabs her phone and tosses it to Elena, who finds an entry on the calendar that just says “meet em.”  Naturally when Kat refuses to divulge “em”’s identity, Elena and Bex decide it must be important enough for Elena to impersonate Katherine and go to the meeting herself.

Like I said.  Intelligence switch, humanity switch. 

Haus of Klaus

Once again Caroline walks in – in the same outfit, so we can’t be 100% sure if it’s actually her or not.  What’s creepy is that if Silas wore a Caroline suit with that same outfit, he must have been watching her that day.  Like normal creepers aren’t creepy enough.


CAROLINE:  Um…what in the what now?

KLAUS:  Actual Caroline?  Prove it!

Caroline starts to flounce off, which really is all the proof Klaus needs.

KLAUS:  Wait!  I need you to take these garden shears and dig around in my back.

CAROLINE:  Why didn’t you just go to the hospital, have them remove it, then compel them to forget you were there?


The Land of Milk and Honey and Creamed Corn

Stefan and Damon, having arrived to find the stolen Porsche, discuss what they’re going to do with Elena once they find her.  When I see characters arrive somewhere after hours of traveling or days have passed, and they’re having a conversation they really should have had way before they reached their destination, what the hell were they actually talking about trapped in a car together all those hours?  They had all sorts of time to bounce ideas off each other and maybe come up with an actual plan.  How many times can you get all the way through “99 Bags of Blood in My Belly” between Mystic Falls and Pennsylvania, I wonder?

In case you hadn’t figured it out, I have issues with the way people communicate–or don’t–on TV and in movies.  So many third-act relationship snafus could be totally resolved with a two minute phone call, email, text, actual conversation between adults…it often comes off as lazy writing to me.  There are any number of reasons important conversations aren’t had, ranging from “I thought you knew already” to “I was running from face-eating aliens and didn’t have time to tell you,” or even “I don’t want to talk about it.”  But most of the time there’s no reason given.  People just make assumptions and then don’t bother to verify them, so that the musical montage can involve lots of staring at phones and standing on balconies and no actual resolution.  Grownups talk about stuff.  That’s what keeps them from smothering each other with a pillow in the night.

Sorry.  It’s a peeve of mine.

DAMON:  I’m just gonna flat out say it: I don’t care what Elena wants.

STEFAN:  Finally we agree on something!

Over in the diner, Elena has apparently done something to her makeup to make her look more like Katherine, which Rebekah thinks isn’t “slutty” enough.  To me it doesn’t look like she changed anything, but I don’t know dick about girl things like makeup, so.

I’m not 100% sure why Katherine hasn’t taken off yet.  She hasn’t even yanked the fork out of her hand.  Rebekah’s not going to kill her before they get the cure, and surely with the element of surprise Kat could vamp-whoosh out of there and hide? 

BEX:  *variety of insults*

KAT:  *variety of eyerolls*

ELENA:  *variety of Katherine impressions*

I know a lot of people loved this whole Bitchy Girl exchange, but I thought it got tiresome really quickly.  I think it reminded me too much of schoolyard bullying.  Not that I don’t think Kat has earned a comeuppance, it just seems so petty compared to the shit she pulled.  Katherine emotionally manipulated Elijah, Damon, and Stefan, drove wedges between relationships, fucked over pretty much anyone she knew, murdered a number of people including Elena’s brother…and this is the best you can do?  Call her a slut and take her shoes?  Really?

Again I’m having a hard time figuring out exactly what is supposed to be an “emotion” on this show.  Isn’t contempt an emotion?  Hatred?  Disdain?  The expressions on Elena’s face as she’s screwing with Katherine are not indifferent – she’s gleeful.  That’s an emotion. 

This whole thing was a lot more believable when Angel lost his soul on Buffy.

Elena hoofs it over to the gazebo to meet “em,” and even though there’s no way in hell Katherine would ever wear a dress that looks like a picnic tablecloth, Elena didn’t take a minute to compel herself a new outfit.  Oh well. 

Back in the diner, Rebekah continues mocking Katherine, this time for needing to compel people to like her. 

I was under the impression that Katherine did it to keep herself hidden and enable herself to feed when and wherever she liked, not to make friends, but if it makes Bex feel better, fine.

KATHERINE:  You do get that only one of you two will get to take the cure when you find it, don’t you?

BEX:  Elena doesn’t want it. She’d have to go back to having normal little girl hair and wearing shoes without impractical heels.

KAT:  And you want to be Mrs. Blandy McBlanderson of Mortalville.  Sounds awesome.  You’ll still be a screwed up insecure mess on the inside, you’ll just be on a timer.

I liked how Katherine tells Rebekah that becoming human again won’t make her life magically better.  I’ve been trying to mentally vibe that to everyone for half the season.  Everyone seems to have this idea that going back to mortal would sweep the last 100 or 1000 years under the rug, make them a different person, automatically give them a happy, ordinary life…not bloody likely, especially not for a thousand-year-old Original.  You don’t just erase a millennium of memories, violence, and pain.  You have to carry that weight until you die, and a human’s shoulders aren’t nearly as strong as an immortal’s.

Luckily the boys arrive to make everything…well, more difficult, like they always do.

STEFAN:  It’s been like ten minutes since I said her name, so, where’s Elena?

We jump back to the gazebo, where Elena is still waiting.

ELENA:  I could be having a scone right now, damn it!  Show yourself!

ELIJAH: *something nobody hears because nobody’s listening because ELIJAH!*

ELENA:  Wait, what’s that weird popping sound?

ELIJAH:  That, my dear, is the sound of thousands of fangirl panties exploding.

We see immediately that something is afoot when Elijah gets all up in her personal space and plays with her hair.  Basically the rest plays like this:




It’s tough to say exactly when Elijah figures out it’s not Katherine – I think it was sometime during the kiss, but at the very least when she puts her hand on his lapel and he looks down at it, then up at her face, it’s clear the jig is up.

ELENA:  Well, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go to Victoria’s Secret and get some more–

ELIJAH:  Not so fast, there, Miss Katherine Was Right About How You Would Never Pass for Her.

ELENA:  …shit.

Back at the diner Rebekah points out quite rightly that she has no reason to help the brothers find Elena – they want to force-feed Elena the cure, and chances are Bex will end up daggered again.  Thus she’s disinclined to be helpful.

ME:  Hey Stefan, remember whole massacre thing that basically means Silas is going to unleash hell on Earth?  Do you think maybe that’s more important than whether or not Elena’s human?  Whole planet full of werewolves, vampires, hybrids, a great many evil, most probably pissed off and hungry or at least crazy – versus your dress-up doll not acting like you want her to?

NOBODY:  *listens to me*

Aha…a new conundrum emerges.  If the boys don’t hurry up and get the cure and make Elena take it before it can be used to save the world from Silas, they risk Elena switching back on and choosing not to take it in order to save the world from Silas. Would they still force it on her then?  Because that would take the whole thing beyond questionable and into despicable.  You can argue that EviLena is non compos mentis with her switch off, but if it was back on, she’d certainly be herself and therefore ignoring her choice would be a pretty horrible violation of her free will.  They might get their way, but would she ever forgive them?  God I hope not.  I already hope that their whole plan fails miserably and it ends up being up to Elena and only up to Elena who and how she is.

Not that I think either brother has really thought it through.  They’re basically running on “MEAN ELENA BAD. WANT NICE ELENA. HOW MAKE NICE ELENA? CURE GOOD.”

My assumption at this point is that sometime between now and the finale Elena’s switch will flip back on and she’ll have to decide whether to use the cure to destroy Silas or take it herself, and since Elena’s so “compassionate” she’ll give up her shot at humanity to save everybody.  After all, Damon and Stefan aren’t the only people around here caught in a behavioral loop.

KATHERINE:  Elena’s probably dead by now. She went to meet a friend of mine.  And by “friend” I mean “guy I frequently climb like my Aunt Mary’s peach tree.”  Oh, and Bex–he’s your brother.

BEX:  Klaus?

KAT:  No. The other one.

BEX:  Kol, the dead one?

KAT:  Um…no. The other one.

BEX:  Finn, the useless one?

KAT:  Ew, no!

BEX:  Oh dear God she’s talking about Elijah.

EVERYONE: Ewwwwwwww.

I love the disgusted noises everyone at the table makes when they all realize what Kat means when she says Elijah’s her “friend.”  Seriously, it was one of the best moments of the episode.

STEFAN:  Okay, so where is Elena?  Rebekah, if something happens to her you’ll never find the cure, so tell me where she went.

BEX:  That doesn’t make any sense.  Why exactly won’t I ever find it without her?  I’ve got Katherine right here, and she’s the one who actually knows where the thing is.  Elena doesn’t really factor in…oh, right.  It’s Elena.  EVERYTHING has to do with Elena.  What was I thinking? Gazebo, park.  Come on, Katherine, while Stefan’s off trying to act like he can intimidate Elijah in any way shape or form, we’ll go get the cure.

KAT:  I don’t understand why none of you thinks it’s suspicious that I’ve been so easy to persuade today.  I mean, every time you want something, you make a stern face and I’m all, “Fine.”  What’s wrong with all of you?  Have you ever known me not to have a backup plan?

THE OTHERS:  *blank stare*

KAT:  Fine.

Haus of Klaus

Caroline digs around in Klaus’s back with the garden shears, or pliers, or whatever they are, and also digs at Klaus, which is pretty damn funny.  The sight of her doing this, however, is NOT funny.  It’s really freaking gross. 

CARO:  I swear there’s nothing in here.  Just, you know, really squishy sounding blood and tissue.  Weird – even though the wound was enormous when you were digging in it with your fingers, right now it’s a hole exactly big enough for the pliers.  It’s vampire magic!

She continues her squishing until she realizes that she’s trying to help someone who’s been pretty much the biggest bastard in the long and glorious history of bastardry, and then wises up and gives Klaus an ultimatum:   she’ll only help him if he promises to let Tyler come back to town.

Klaus doesn’t seem to think that’s a good deal.  What is it with this overweening pride thing?  How do you get to be a thousand years old and not realize how counterproductive it is?  I’m very fond of the Originals but sometimes I wonder, particularly with Klaus and Rebekah, if any of them have learned anything in all these years – about how people think, about what’s important, about what’s completely batfuck stupid.  It’s like they’ve only got the life experience of someone the age they’re supposed to be, not the age they are.  I totally get being stuck in a young body and subject to the hormones and nonsense, but surely after all that time they’d have matured at least a little.


Speaking of maturity, Stefan calls Katherine’s phone, and Elijah answers.  This conversation is insanely awesome.

STEFAN:  Katherine’s safe as long as Elena’s safe.  Oh, and also we’ve got your sister on our side.

The way Elijah reacts to that statement, and how he says “Put her on the phone” just kills me.  And when I say “kills” I mean “exploding panties.”

At this rate Elijah should buy stock in Cacique.

ELIJAH:  Touch one lustrous hair on the head of my boo and I shall do something very unfortunate to Elena.

FANGIRLS EVERYWHERE:  *start furiously writing Elijah/iPhone porn*

ELENA:  Why do men always think with their peeners?

ELIJAH:  Because if we thought with our asses, all we’d want out of life are cushiony chairs and Charmin.

Some Painfully Normal House Somewhere

Katherine has led Bex and Damon to an empty house whose owners, one would assume, were her lunch at some point.  They mock her choice of houses, but really, if you were trying to stay off the radar, isn’t a boring house where you’d want to be?  She’s probably converted the basement into a dungeon where she can keep people in chains and ride them like ponies, but kept the living room as unlike her as possible to throw off morons like, for example, Rebekah and Damon, who still haven’t even grasped the fact that Kat is almost certainly playing them because THAT’S WHAT SHE DOES.

KATHERINE:  *digging in safe* Somebody stole it!  Oh drat!

DAMON:  Yeah, tell us another one.  Not a very Katherine-like hiding place, I gotta say.

KATHERINE:  Well maybe you don’t know me as well as you think you do.

DAMON:  Wait…is that the theme of this episode?  Are you about to get a redemption arc?

KATHERINE:  God, I hope not.

BEX:  Me too.

Katherine doesn’t try to keep up the ruse, but gets that enigmatic cat-smile she’s so very good at and watches Damon and Bex rummage around the house for the cure.  For some reason this doesn’t clue Damon or Rebekah in to the fact that Kat is almost certainly playing them again because THAT’S WHAT SHE DOES.

DAMON:  Aha!  It’s probably in this gigantic empty aquarium…you didn’t eat Nemo, did you?

KATHERINE:  I dunno, you should stick your hand in there and see.

DAMON:  Okie doke.  OW!!!!!!

KATHERINE:  *eyeroll*

She immediately seizes Damon’s head and pushes it into the vervained water; while he’s writhing on the floor in agony she reaches into the tank and pulls out the black box o’cure.

REBEKAH:  Oh no you don’t missy!

Kat takes the actual cure out of the box and throws it up in the air so Bex can either catch it, letting Kat escape, or drop it and let it shatter. 

Huh. Turns out the cure is one of these:

DAMON:  Don’t take it, Rebekah!  Because of…reasons!


And of course, Damon hesitates, because he believes Elena’s that fickle too, and Bex drinks the thing, and if only that were the end of it, but noooooooo. 

I think it’s funny how everyone keeps saying what a fabulous person Elena is supposed to be, but then they always seem to assume the worst about the choices she would or wouldn’t make.  Nothing like building a relationship on a foundation of trust, is there?

STEFAN:  Oh no!  The culmination of the entire season ruined in five seconds!  No, for real!  It’s totally believable!

You can hear Katherine rolling her eyes from however many miles away she’s already run.  Right there with ya, babe.

Haus of Klaus

Klaus continues to sweat and growl, but Caroline sits primly in an armchair, unmoved by his outbursts.

CARO:  Nope, no help for you, not unless you let Tyler come home.



KLAUS:  …I’ll be damned.  It doesn’t hurt anymore.

CARO:  …wait, what?  I was just working up a good head of steam!

KLAUS:  Getting me pissed off must have broken my mind out of a Silas-loop.  The stake was never even there, he just made me think it was.  You’re my hero, Caroline!  You saved me from phantom penetrating wound syndrome!

CAROLINE:  Well, shit.

Caroline, perhaps alone of all her friends, realizes that if Silas is capable of screwing with Klaus so thoroughly, they might just all be completely boned.  Nobody else attached to the situation really seems to care all that much about Silas’s plans – Stefan was concerned until the massacre went through, and then he hared off looking for Elena – not to get the cure to save everyone from Silas, mind you, but because of Elena.   Again.  For fuck’s sake.

Obviously both of these storylines will combine in time for the finale, so eventually they’re all going to figure out they’re boned and need un-boning, but right now at least it’s business as usual. 

Painfully Normal House

Bex snoozes on the couch post-cure, and Stefan takes the opportunity to accuse Damon of purposefully sabotaging them by letting Rebekah take it.  If we hadn’t heard 87 permutations of this same argument over the life span of the show, it might seem a little more dramatic.

Wall Porn Central

Elena has kindly told Elijah that Katherine killed Jeremy, which Kat failed to mention to Elijah and somehow surprises him even after all these years.  The idiocy-inducing powers of the Petrovagina remain as potent as they were 500 years ago.

ELENA:  I can’t believe how gullible all of you are.  I mean it’s one thing for the Salvatore boys to moon over me and keep making the same stupid mistakes, but aren’t you supposed to be all wise and awesome with your suit and your infernal ability to sexify anything you lean against?

FANGIRLS EVERYWHERE:  *start furiously writing Elijah/wall porn*

KATHERINE:  *Elena necksnap* Hey snugglebunny, did I miss anything?

Our House is a Very Very Very Dull House

Bex wakes up from her “curing” claiming to feel alive and fantastic, showing us the power of the mind and the placebo effect. 

DAMON:  Oh, goody.  Here, have a letter opener to the forehead.

BEX:  *vampsnatch*  …FUCK.

STEFAN:  YAY!  She gave you a fake cure!

BEX:  I thought it was kind of weird that it tasted like high fructose corn syrup.

Bright and Cheerful Alleyway of Magnificent Bastardry

Elijah crouches next to Elena’s necksnapped body while Katherine defends her actions, which mostly boil down to “she’s annoying and I wanted to.”  Sounds good to me.

ELIJAH: Kind of like how you killed Jeremy Gilbert?

KATHERINE:  Well, yeah, pretty much exactly the same.   I mean no! I only killed Jeremy because there was absolutely no other way I could have gotten the cure.

The issue of whether or not Kat is sincere with all her Elijah-love could go either way, but I think it’s telling that when we see her expression as she’s facing away from Elijah, both here and later on, she’s not smiling.  Usually when Katherine’s being conniving she has that evil little smile.  Not so with Elijah.  At moments when nobody’s looking she looks just as upset as she does when they are.  That leads me to believe she might actually mean it.  Elijah, however, is not convinced.

ELIJAH:  Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me eleventy billion more times, I’m outta here.  For a minute.  See ya.

Another House

Katherine walks up to the door and knocks; the woman from the opening scene answers.

SAVORY LOCAL:  Hey Katherine, whassup?

KAT:  I need my package.

SAVORY LOCAL:  Sure!  Just out of curiosity, what is it?

KAT:  A 50ml ampoule of none of your damn business.

Back in “downtown” Willoughby, Elijah walks purposefully up the sidewalk until Katherine intercepts him.

ELIJAH:  Oh, what now?

KAT:  I left my crotchless panties and my Foreigner CD at your place.  Can I come get them later?

ELIJAH:  Make like a tree and get the hell out of my face.

KATHERINE:  Wait!  You’re totally right, I’m a horrible person, and you don’t really know me and neither do I.  But I really do love you, so I’m going to give you this and let you decide what to do with it.

She hands him the cure and then walks off.  Elijah, pensive, keeps walking until he reaches his car, where he gets another unpleasant surprise:  Rebekah.

BEX:  Give it.

ELIJAH:  Don’t think so.

BEX:  But I want to be human!  I want to pop out puppies and get old and saggy and have normal things like a mortgage and tampons and be on six different psych meds just to get up in the morning and then die drooling and peeing all over myself.

ELIJAH:  What the hell is WRONG with everyone?  Have you all been taking crazy pills?

BEX:  …give it.

Just then who should call but Klaus, tabling the question for a moment.  Bex tells Klaus that things have gotten “complicated,” and then hands the phone to Elijah, who delivers one of the best lines in the episode:

ELIJAH (Actual dialogue):  Complication speaking.

KLAUS:  Oh joy, it’s you.

ELIJAH:  I’m bringing the cure to Mystic Falls.  That seems like the smartest thing to do.

REBEKAH:  And you think I’m taking crazy pills?

Haus of Klaus

Caroline walks in saying something about having used all of Klaus’s bleach. 

KLAUS:  What is this blee-ach you speak of?  Is that something servants eat?

CARO:  Never mind.  Laters.

KLAUS:  Wait, I have to thank you for making me un-crazy by screaming in my face.  More people should scream in my face.  I might be nicer.

CAROLINE:  Can Tyler come home?

KLAUS:  …well…no, but you do realize if I actually wanted him dead he’d have been dead already.

That almost gets a smile from Caroline, which in turn gets a really cute and slightly dopey smile from Klaus.  Ah, young love.

Scenic Downtown Willoughby

Stefan and Damon are having their walk-down-the-street scene.

DAMON:  Okay, so I let Rebekah take the cure – I realized it was a dick move the second I made it.

STEFAN:  I’m so totally over all of this, Damon.  As soon as we force-feed Elena the cure and she’s all better, I’m outta here.  I’m going to go have a life somewhere.

DAMON:  Oh my God, you’re ADORABLE when you’re delusional.

They join Elena in the diner where she has summoned them to chat.

ELENA:  Okay, so, I don’t want the cure.  Can you respect that?

DAMON:  *snort*

STEFAN:  *snort*

ELENA:  Thought so.  Well, if you keep trying to fix me, there will be consequences.

STEFAN:  I think it’s important to emphasize once again that I was in the same situation you’re in right now, because we haven’t brought that up yet in this episode.

Can you imagine where we’d be now if the writers took all the time they spend telling us the same five things in every episode and used those minutes to tell the actual story?


ELENA:  Yes, thanks, and can I also have a side of necksnap?

JOLENE:  I’m sorry hon, we don’t have any necksnap.

ELENA:  Sure you do.  *necksnap*  See?  I’ll leave a trail of bodies with your names carved into them.  You can either give up on fixing me, or you can be responsible for all the people I kill.  Up to you.

STEFAN AND DAMON:  …Well, shit.



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TVD Recap, Episode 416: Bring it On

I decided to start with the most recent episode first rather than going back to 414 because I don’t want to get any more behind than I already am.  This way I can stay current and work on getting caught up as I have time.


So…emotionless Elena.  I enjoy her.  She’s conniving and vicious and such a breath of fresh air from every other Elena in the history of ever.  I actually enjoyed her being mean to Caroline, because even though I love Caroline, Caro’s been kind of an annoying, judgmental little shit this season, and it’s interesting to see that Elena knew that; she didn’t just wave it away with an “Oh, that’s just Caroline, she cares about me so much she just wants to make sure I’m not being naughty.”   Underneath her doormat exterior Elena has been watching and cataloging people’s motivations far more than we gave her credit for.

I don’t believe for a minute she’ll stay this way long – most likely we’ll get to see her in guilt detox like Stefan – but it would be nice if her finally letting her nasty side out helps her find a balance between Nice Girl Elena and Evil Robot Elena.  You can acknowledge and work with your darkness without it taking over; it does, however, take strength, and up until this season I don’t think she had it.  Maybe by the time the boys “fix” her, she will.

I’m also trying to work out the timeline here.  According to Damon it’s been “a couple of days;” there are flyers on the school walls for Jeremy’s memorial, yet Elena’s already back at school?  Her last remaining family member and her house just went up in smoke, but everyone thinks it’s a great idea for her to show up and cheerlead because that won’t look suspicious. Or has Mystic Falls reached the point where it’s like, “Oh, somebody died.  Glad we put Sprite in the flower arrangements from the last funeral.”

Really, they should just keep the local crematorium burning 24/7 and let people bake bread in it like in the Days of Old when the community only had one oven.

One final note before we get into it:  Hearing “Previously on the Vampire Diaries…” instead of “My name is Elena Gilbert, and I’m the worst baby vampire in the history of EVER” was really lovely.  I hope they stick with it.

Get Your Fix on Route 666

Elena, face devoid of all expression, wanders along the middle of the road before flopping on her back and giving us a nice Pilot Callback. 

Pretty much the same thing happens – she did learn from the best, after all.

Meanwhile at the Salvatore Den of Antiquities the boys discuss the plot of the last episode.

STEFAN:  Emotion switch off, bad.

DAMON:  Emotion switch off, awesome.

GHOST OF ROSE:  *eyeroll*

DAMON:  Hey, we should help Elena have fun.

STEFAN:  What exactly will that accomplish?

DAMON:  Nothing, probably, but I bet she’ll take her clothes off.

Back on the road, Elena crunch-and-slurps (vampires biting people sounds an awful lot like biting into a jicama) the driver of the car, fully intending to kill her until Damon intervenes.  I guess they were out hunting together.

DAMON:  Killing people brings questions.  Dead people are the whole reason Bonnie’s jackass dad put vervain in the water supply.  See the chain of events here?

ELENA:  Whatevs, Killjoy McBoring.

She walks off down the road again all bloody and blank-faced, leaving Damon to deal with the woman and the car in whatever way he usually does these things.


Truckstop Somewhere Because Werewolves are a Metaphor for Blue-Collar Working People and Vampires are More Like the Upper Middle Class

Ah, Hayley’s back.  Hayley’s front, too.  Yum.

HAYLEY:  Gee, I hope nothing bad happens to a single woman walking alone in a dark abandoned area between semis.


Theory:  At a distance all male vampires look like Kol.

Before Minion can make a snack of Hayley, who should appear to defend her virtue but Klaus, who bites the ever loving crap out of Minion, thereby ensuring he’ll run off and die in agony.

HAYLEY:  It’s about time you got here.

KLAUS:  I wanted to be the first to welcome you to the “I Just Got Fucked by Katerina Petrova and Not in that Positive Life-Affirming Way” club.  Here’s your t-shirt. We meet on Thursdays. Obviously she used you to get her mitts on the Cure and now you’re a liability.

HAYLEY:  You’re supposed to protect me in exchange for what I know and possibly some bouncy naked yum-yum time.

KLAUS:  Wait, for what?

HAYLEY:  For what I know about Katherine.  Duh.

Den of Antiquities

Elena, in Damon’s shower (I think it’s funny that we’ve never seen Stefan’s bathroom – to which many people are probably saying “Well, Stefan’s probably isn’t that interesting.”  To which I say, EXACTLY.), is eavesdropping on the boys who are once again discussing her while she’s not in the room.

STEFAN:  You go find Katherine, I’ll take Elena to school.  It’ll be a great day.

CAROLINE:  I agree.

Damon and I both do a “huh?” face when Caroline appears, but turns out there’s a perfectly logical reason for her to be in their bathroom:  all the water in Mystic Falls is vervained, but it would seem the boarding house has “fancy water filters.”  I guess a carbon filter could catch volatile oils from plants; let’s just go with it regardless.

That’s actually kind of a brilliant continuity detail, Show.  Well done.

Caroline tells the boys that the Sheriff needs help – things are about to “get a lot worse,” though what the hell that means is anyone’s guess.  In Mystic Falls that could be anything from back-in diagonal parking to a legion of undead bunnies returning for revenge against their murderer.

That’s right, Stefan, I’m looking at you.

DAMON:  Okay, I’ll go Katherine-hunting, since that’s kind of what I do.  Stefan, you go help the Sheriff, because I’m sure what she needs at this point are more vampires.  Caroline, you take Elena to school, best idea ever.

NAKED ELENA: Yay school.

What’s hilarious about this moment isn’t that Elena walks out naked – losing all sense of modesty is on the check list of “things you do when you become evil.”  What’s funny is that both boys look her over without any hesitation whatsoever – only Caroline seems embarrassed and averts her gaze.

STEFAN:  When did you get that tattoo???

DAMON:  *whistles*  Ahem.  Okay, let’s invoke the sire bond to make sure you have a great day at school and don’t eat anybody.

ELENA:  *eyeroll*  You guys are just dumb as a bag of dicks.


Elena walks up to a bulletin board and pulls down a flyer for Jeremy’s memorial; she looks at it with indifference, then grabs one for some kind of cheerleading event.

CAROLINE:  Hey Tyler, I know I’ve called like 580 times since you left and your mailbox is probably full and you probably think if you hear my voice one more time you’ll call Klaus and tell him to come kill you, but I’M NOT CLINGY DAMMIT, I just want someone to talk to and this has gotten so ridiculous that my only confidante is a goddamn phone.  Bye!

MATT:  Hey, Bonnie’s still absent – she’s missing more school than Elena is over her dead brother.  But I’m sure everything’s fine.  No nasty old immortal creatures possessing nasty young teachers.

ELENA:  Cheerleading.  Elena like.

Caroline agrees that Elena returning to the squad would “make Damon really happy,” which…okay, whatever, Care.

Haus of Klaus

Damon shows up on Klaus’s doorstep, to Klaus’s eternal delight.  They engage in some brilliant banter.  I start to fantasize about Klaus/Damon/Hayley Hate!Sex.

KLAUS:  Why should I help you find Katherine? You guys did a bunch of mean stuff to me that’s way meaner than all the mean stuff I’ve done.

DAMON:  …right.  But see, here’s the thing: Katherine’s been running from you for centuries, and now she’s got something in her hands that will turn you into a human (or whatever the hell it actually ends up doing) and enable her to just snap your neck like a Tinker Toy.  So if you help us find Katherine, we’ll give Elena the damn Cure – she can go back to being boring, you can a have hybrid-making bloodbag again, you’ll never have to worry about being turned mortal, everybody wins.

KLAUS:  Unless that Silas dude shows up and unleashes hell on earth.

DAMON:  Who?  Yeah, we can’t remember him until later.  Right now it’s all about Elena.

KLAUS:  RIGHT NOW?  Okay, look, you can’t have Hayley, but I munched a vampire who’s probably nice and delirious about now and would be easy to coerce into talking.

Sheriff Forbes’s Office

LIZ:  Somebody wiped out the blood supply at the hospital.  If that keeps happening, things are gonna get nasty.

STEFAN:  Well, damn, it’s too bad we don’t know anyone who doesn’t give a shit about being caught and is crazy hungry all the time.  …oh, balls.


While the cheering competition is getting underway, Elena decides she needs a Power Bar – a blonde one from an opposing team, as it happens.  She leaves the poor girl on the bus and steals her hair ribbon.

ELENA:  Nothing says “I’m a hardcore bad girl” like a jaunty ponytail with a ribbon!

Back inside when the girl shows up with a scarf around her neck, it doesn’t take Caroline long to put two and two together.

CAROLINE:  Elena, Damon sire-whammied you to behave!

ELENA:  Yeah, I don’t care.

Stefan immediately calls Damon to break the news.

DAMON:  What in the what now?

STEFAN:  Well, the sire bond is based on her feelings for you, so if she doesn’t have feelings…

DAMON:  Well, see, Stef, that’s not possible, because as you’ve been trying desperately to believe and convince everyone else of, Elena’s feelings for me aren’t real, they were created by the sire bond.  You know, even though Tyler and that Witch in New Orleans basically said you’re full of crap.  So I guess if her feelings weren’t real, then this problem isn’t real either!  It’s our lucky day!

Damon laments that this whole time he’s wanted to get rid of the sire bond, all he had to do was have Elena turn off her emotions.

See, here again I’m having trouble.  If Damon could sire-whammy Elena into turning off her emotions, and sire-whammy (theoretically) her into having fun at school, and sire-whammy whats-her-nuts to count bricks, WHY can’t he whammy Elena into dealing with Jeremy’s death in a healthy way and putting on her big girl panties about being a vampire?  We’ve seen it can be that specific; Damon whammied whats-her-nuts into living a happy life without him.  But now, thanks to the usual Salvatore all-or-nothing attitude, she’s switched off and the sire bond is useless.  Nice job, boys.

Truck Stop

Damon, on the hunt for Minion, runs into Rebekah, who informs him that Professor Shane has gone to that Great Teacher’s Lounge in the Sky. 

BEX:  Let’s find Katherine.

DAMON:  Let’s not.

BEX:  But I’ve got a vial of Klaus’s blood (don’t ask) and that could come in handy interrogating poor dead Minion.

DAMON:  Oh, fine.

Haus of Klaus

K-Bunny pours on the charm, or at least the wine, to get Hayley to talk about her deal with Katherine.  Much more civilized than the usual methods people around here favor, like pointy things and heart-snatching.

HAYLEY:  Katherine told me she’d help me find my biological family.

She and Klaus spar verbally over childhood issues, and I can’t help noticing Klaus really likes Hayley – she’s not afraid of him, isn’t at all intimidated and can give as good as she gets (well, we’ll find out about that).  Hayley doesn’t seem to like Klaus but there are definitely parts of him she’d like to get better acquainted with.



Stefan decides it’s time to have a heart-to-heart with Elena about her behavior, but it ends up more of a crotch-to-torso, as Elena makes him help her stretch for the competition (and by that I mean the other cheerleading team, not Damon).

STEFAN:  So…rob any hospitals lately?

ELENA:  Blood bags are so ten episodes ago.  That’s like the Cardboardeaux of plasmavorism.

STEFAN:  *usual screed about regretting being RIPPAAAHHHHH Stefan*

ELENA: *walks away*  Yeah, just keep talking, I’m totally listening.

CAROLINE:  You’re not cheering today!  You bit someone! Biting is NOT TRUE SCHOOL SPIRIT!

Elena, thankfully, ignores her, and the girls head in for their routine.  I find it utterly depressing that their cheers include words like OMG! LOL! And I also wonder why they went with “Lady Timberwolves” instead of “Timberbitches.” It just rolls off the tongue so nicely.

Anyway, Elena deliberately drops Caroline, smiles, and walks out, tap tap tapping away on her phone.

Stefan follows her.

STEFAN:  Look at you, you saucy minx, playing all of us so you could get vervain-free blood from all those out of towners.

ELENA:  It’s a little sad now that I’m realizing how dumb all of you are.

STEFAN:  But hey, if you want to find victims you have to go outside of town – I know a dive bar where it’s two-dollar draft truck drivers every Thursday night.

Stefan’s playing Smarmy Guy just a little too hard for believability, and Elena notices too; unfortunately he vervains her before she can change her mind.

A Hospital Around Mystic Falls, but not Mystic Falls Hospital

Damon and Rebekah are looking for Minion, theorizing that he could hide from the sun and find blood in a hospital, and the idea would be especially appealing if he’s delusional from the hybrid bite.

Turns out Hospital 2 has had all of its blood swiped as well. 

DAMON:  Well, that’s not Minion – he wouldn’t have the wherewithal to hit two hospitals like this.  Something else is going on.

BEX:  Well, how about I leave you and go Cure hunting myself, since we all know you broke your sire bond and now have a perfect Damon-shaped Elena to play with.  After all, the minute she’s cured she’ll BAM! stop loving you and WHAM! Get back with your brother.  I mean, right. That. Second.

Something I’ve noticed about this show which endears it to me greatly is that the more often a concept or phrase is thrown around, the more likely it means something way nastier or even the complete opposite of what the characters think it means, usually through their complete lack of critical thinking skills.

Haus of Klaus

Sexy banter continueth, with Hayley insulting Klaus’s artwork, though Klaus admits he’s actually enjoying himself.  Then, of course, Hayley has to bring That Up Again:

HAYLEY:  You could have killed Tyler all sorts of ways since then – you just don’t want Caroline to hate you.

KLAUS:  If I kill him once, he’s dead.  If I chase him and terrify him and make him live in constant fear and paranoia, well…that’s Christmas.

They snark a bit more, with Klaus noting that if Tyler had half Hayley’s resolve, he might actually outlast the year.  Hayley tells him that resolve isn’t what keeps people off Klaus’s radar – it’s having help, setting up relationships with people to ensure when you need them, they’d do anything for you.

Den of Antiquities

Elena gasps awake in Damon’s bed (not the first time that’s happened, I’m sure).  Stefan tells her he tranq’d her so she wouldn’t cause any more trouble.  Annoyed, Elena gets up and starts yanking off her cheerleading uniform.  Stefan assumes she’s doing it to manipulate him with sex, but…maybe she just wants a shower, Stef.  If her switch is off she’s not going to give a damn about playing Find the Cannoli with you.

Still tapping away on her phone, Elena explains that he looks tasty, and she knows he’s handed out delicious bonbons in the past, but now, it might as well be Necco Wafters.

Stefan tries to get her phone to see who she’s texting (like a dad) and Elena calls him on it.

ELENA:  Your whole world revolves around me.

Before Stefan can open his mouth and prove her right, there’s a noise down at the front door, and Stefan goes to investigate.


STEFAN:  Who’s there?


STEFAN:  The whole damn town who?


Turns out all that texting she was doing was getting everybody to come over to the Boarding House for what I’m sure will be wholesome family fun.

Oh goody, kegs.  Kegs are always a sign of a low key non-puking good time.

CAROLINE:  What the hell is this?

STEFAN:  I’ve heard it called a “party,” a “kegger,” and a “soiree.”  As I understand it young people gather to dance and make merry.

Caro points out Elena, dancing on top of a table; she seems to be having some actual fun, laughing and enjoying herself for a change.   She and Stefan lament that their lives are lacking in fun, and Caroline orders Stefan to let his hair down (slowly – that much product could cause a choking hazard) and drag some girl off to dance.  Unsurprisingly, the girl he drags is Caroline.

I would fully support a Stefan/Caroline thing, by the way.  I think Stefan would make a great boyfriend to ANYONE BUT ELENA.

Hospital Parking Lot

Damon tears a messy hole in a nurse’s neck, turning her into irresistible bait for Minion. 

Minion is on that like bloodstains on a white shirt, and Damon flies in to yank him off and haul him up against a tree for questioning.  Before Rebekah can make it over there, however, Damon recognizes Minion.

DAMON:  …Will?

MINION WILL:  Oh hey, buddy, how’s tricks?

DAMON:  Great!  For my next one I’ll pull a heart through a sternum!

REBEKAH:  Why the hell did you heartsnatch our only lead on Katherine?

DAMON:  He was too far gone to torture and interrogate so I put him out of my his misery.

Haus of Klaus

Having discovered Minion is no longer after her, Hayley is free to leave, but Klaus wonders if she might stay a while…you know, for the Katherine hunting and stuff.

KLAUS:  So, what’s it gonna be, going… (GOD HOW I WISH HE’D SAID COMING) or staying?

Obviously the answer is coming…er, staying…because Hayley is a smart girl. 

The two engage in some lovely clothes-ripping, rough, snarly table humping sexytimes, and it’s pretty damn awesome, and I’ll be in my bunk.

Den of Antiquities

Stefan and Caroline are dancing and actually having a good time, and Elena sees it, and even though she doesn’t care she has to ruin it, right?  Right.

Caroline invites Elena to join them, but Elena would rather make the rest of their evening as awkward as possible, so she tells Caroline to “take him out for a spin.” Nothing will kill a nice platonic boy-girl evening like the Undiscussed-Sexual-Tension-Shaped elephant in the room.

How do I know it’s sexual tension and not just Elena being bitchy?  If there weren’t any tension between Stefan and Caroline, they would have laughed it off and gone on dancing, not stood two feet apart not looking at each other.  You only worry about the other person worrying about it if you were already worried about it.

Trust me.

Sheriff Forbes arrives without any backup officers to shut the party down, but she doesn’t seem to really believe it will anyway.  Elena tries to rough her up, and Caroline leaps in.

While Stefan is holding Caroline back to keep her from “wringing her skinny little neck” (direct quote), we hear a whoosh – Elena has left the building.

Stefan and Caroline charge off into the woods to find her.

CAROLINE:  I can’t believe she did this!

STEFAN:  And now she’s got exactly what she wanted – she’s out and free.

Back inside the Den of Antiquities, Damon has arrived home to find the place in chaos and drunken teenagers everywhere.  True to form, his response is basically *shrug* and “Hey, kid, give me that bottle of expensive booze.”

REBEKAH:  How did you know that Minion?  You killed him so I couldn’t get the Cure.

DAMON:  Want to know something?  I hate the Cure.  I never want to hear another damn thing about it but I’m going to have to for at least six more episodes.  I’m so sick of the goddamn Cure I don’t care who gets it.  But I don’t think you want it, because see all those humans barfing over the stairwell?  They’re ordinary.  Limited.  They’ll get old and gross and need colonoscopies and pee themselves.  They’ll regret things they never did.  But you don’t have to.

He walks off, and of course, Bex looks sad; Damon has no idea how much she really wants to be human, and to be honest, if I were going to give it to one of the crew, I’d give it to Rebekah.  She’s been on the Earth longer than any of the others, seen most of her family killed, lived outside of time…been betrayed and daggered by her brother – in fact, betrayed and daggered by a lot of people.  Life seems to like dumping on her every time she loves or trusts anyone.  She’s been on the ride for a very long time and now she wants off.

Someone texts Damon that Elena has vamoosed, so he joins in the search.

CAROLINE:  Don’t make me fight you Elena! I’m stronger than you! I don’t want to hurt you!

The way she yells this makes it sound rather like no, she’s not stronger than Elena, but yes, she does want to hurt her.

Caroline gets her chance.  Elena rushes her, and they Have it Out in more ways than one.

CAROLINE:  This isn’t you!  Stop acting like this!

ELENA:  I don’t feel guilty for attacking your mom!  Don’t wanna, not gonna! And also, you’re a crappy fighter, because Alaric wasn’t training you.  You were too busy sticking your nose where it doesn’t belong and some other stuff.

Elena then plays the big card: that Caro should flip her own switch so she can stop whining about Tyler and stop feeling guilty about wanting to jump Klaus’s bones.  As you might expect, the fighting gets a bit meaner.

In fact, Elena has her on the ground and is about to deliver the coup de stick when the brothers appear and drag them apart.  Damon takes off with Elena, and Stefan tries to calm Caroline, which means they stand there with their mouths open for a while and then go get a drink.

Back Inside the Den of Antiquities

The Den is a wreck – there are discarded cups and beer bottles all over the house, and we’re not talking one or two, we’re talking clusters of ten or more.  Caroline leaves another message for Tyler, and as she’s hanging up gets a text from Matt asking her to meet at Tyler’s house.

Caro and Stefan discuss how Elena’s behavior is “not her.”

CAROLINE:  But what if she doesn’t want to come back? Why would she?  Her life’s been in the crapper since you got into town, basically.

Actually she doesn’t say that.  But she does make a good point – Elena has no reason whatsoever to want her humanity back. 

Stefan has no answer whatsoever.  He just says they can’t give up on Elena.

CAROLINE:  That’s very comforting, thanks.

Damon’s Room

Now I laugh my ass off because Damon has Elena in a time-out.  She’s sitting on his bed thinking about what she’s done, while Damon rummages through a trunk of completely unorganized photographs and papers.  Dude. Do you really want to waste pieces of eternity looking for stuff?  Alphabetize.  That’s all I’m saying.  Or take up scrapbooking.

Now I’m picturing Damon at a Crop Party with a bunch of older ladies, discussing layouts and the new line of stamps from Bo Bunny.

Damon finds a picture of him with Minion Will.  Hmm…I bet this will require a road trip to somewhere way too far away to drive to in one day. 

DAMON:  Elena, you really should try and not kill your BFF.

ELENA:  Why does everyone keep trying to turn me back into that boring girl?  You know, you wanted to hook up with me but were scared I’d see how awful you are.  Turns out, it doesn’t matter!  You’re awful!  I don’t care!

Damon, for some reason, doesn’t find that logic quite as satisfying.

ELENA:  You know you like this me better anyway.


Stately Lockwood Manor, Population…1

Caro arrives at the Lockwood house to find she can’t walk in anymore.

MATT:  Come in.

Turns out Tyler sent Matt a package that included the deed to Lockwood Manor, thereby giving Matt someplace to sleep besides the storage pantry at the Grill; there’s also a Dear Jane letter of sorts to Caroline.

TYLER:  I’m not coming back.  Enjoy the house.

Caroline breaks down crying, and Matt hugs her, but you can tell he’s thinking “And I’mma put the X-Box over there…”


Haus of Klaus

Hayley is trying to get dressed and slink off, presumably for her Bow-Legged Limp of Shame, when Klaus notices a crescent moon-shaped birthmark on her shoulder.

KLAUS:  You know, I used to see that same mark on a clan of werewolves in Louisiana.

HAYLEY:  Don’t lie to me!  Not about setting up the spinoff pilot!

KLAUS:  Trust me, little wolf, matters of the spinoff pilot are sacred.

Den of Antiquities

Stefan receives a call from the Sheriff.

He then calls Damon, who is in his car, meaning yes, the Minion Will subplot will be plot for our next episode.

STEFAN:  Six other blood banks have been robbed – someone’s stockpiling blood.  It’s not Elena and it’s not us, so it has to be Silas.  He’s been dry for 2,000 years – he’ll need lots of snacks.

DAMON: That’s a bit of a leap, but, okay.

Hmm.  Stockpiling blood is an interesting choice of words – it’d be neat if that stockpile was to feed a bunch of captive vampires required for the third massacre.  Just thinking out loud.

Meanwhile, we pan over to see Elena is in the car with Damon.

ELENA:  Where are we going, anyway?

DAMON:  A place where every vampire should go at least once:  New York.

The prospect of a city of millions to play in intrigues Elena – she looks genuinely excited as the car zooms down the Magic All Places Connecting Highway.




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TVD Recap, Episode 413: Into the Wild

This week on The Vampire Diaries:  Damon commits self-sabotage, Stefan is self-loathing, Bonnie is outraged, Caroline is injured, all the vampires hate themselves, Klaus has a really twisted idea of how relationships work, some crazy fucker wants to kill everyone over some convoluted mythology that is slowly beginning to sound like a bad acid trip, there’s a magical object people want, and the only thing that really matters is who ends up with Elena.

Yeah, I know.

Into the Wild

So…if a large percentage of the fandom gets fed up with this plotline and commits mass suicide, will it raise Silas so we can move the hell on?

Obviously the whole cure thing isn’t going to work out like they think it will.  If it did, they’d have to change the title to The Boring-Ass Human Diaries.  In fact, I don’t really understand why every single character is convinced it’s going to a) work at all b) be enough for every vamp who wants it or c) not have seriously horrific consequences.  The only person who seems unconvinced is Damon.  Damon Salvatore is the voice of reason, guys.  Just sit with that for a minute.

Show…I still love you, baby, but our relationship problems are getting worse. I’m not even talking about the cure storyline – I’m talking about the number one thing that makes me lose interest in fiction involving vampires:  the self-hating “woe is me” vampire who wishes he could be human and get old and make babies.  That trope makes me CRAZY. I swore, long ago, that if I ever wrote a character like that, my other characters would kill him.  If it was just one vamp in the show, okay, fine…but ALL of them? I refuse to believe that every vampire ever made wants to be human again. It seems like the only one who’s not on board with this nonsense is Klaus, and let’s face it, he’s not exactly a poster child for the Well-Adjusted Vampire Club.

And if you really believe that whole Damon scene with Elena, I would refer you to this moment.  Are we really supposed to buy that after over 100 years of secretly longing to be human suddenly POOF! never mind?  Doth protest too much et cetera. The boy’s so full of shit his eyes are turning brown.

Blue-Tinted Woods of Yore – One Year Ago

Professor Slim Shady and Vaguely Native-American Looking Guy, running through the forest – jumping fences, dodging trees, and trying to get away…

Shane gives Dances With Cliches the slip and finds his way to a lovely rock formation.


What Store in Mystic Falls Sells Giant Motorized Rafts?

Our intrepid cureseekers have landed upon a Mysterious Island and are unloading the hiking and camping gear they apparently went out and bought right after busting Shane out of the joint. 

SHANE’S FACE:  I shouldn’t have eaten that breakfast burrito.

JEREMY’S FACE:  It’s so cold on this damn island you could cut glass with my manly, manly nipples.

STEFAN’S FACE:  I need to talk to my agent.


It would seem we are 200 miles off the Nova Scotia mainland, which nobody bothered to ask until Damon brings it up.  How they got to Canada from Virginia without anyone figuring out where they were is beyond me, but then, so is Damon not sharpening his machete before they arrived in a completely unknown and possibly dangerous place. 

I get that they need to explain stuff on camera so we can have it laid out for us, but…if I were going on an adventure with a guy who’s basically a mass murdering maniac to find a mystical cure that nobody really knows anything about except that there’s a thousands-year-old Witch buried with it who can raise the dead and create hell on earth…I’d want a fucking briefing before I set one foot in REI to buy all those backpacks.  Just saying.

SHANE:  Sunscreen?

DAMON:  Is that a joke?

THAT:  *was quite possibly the best moment of the entire episode*

Nearby, Stefan is tying a knot for no particular reason with no particular enthusiasm.  Rebekah and Elena verbally spar over how each of them is a conniving bitch, Elena tries to stake her, Rebekah makes some crack that I guess is supposed to make Elena jealous, and that basically describes their interaction throughout the episode.  Stefan looks like he’d rather be fellating Sean Hannity than dealing with their drama.  He’s not the only one.

Damon comes over to Elena to reassure her that they’re just trying to get under her skin, which I don’t think is entirely true.  Rebekah, sure – Elena’s been responsible for a lot of horrible crap happening to her, so her hating Elena makes perfect sense.  But I don’t think Stefan is trying to make any sort of statement with Rebekah being there, because surely he knew he’d end up the referee for their constant bickering, and no guy wants that. 

ELENA:  You never told me if you want to get all cured up.

DAMON:  Well, see, the thing is, we have no idea if there’s going to be enough of whatever it is for all of us, or even more than one of us.  Hell, after all this time it might have dried up.  Or Silas might have taken all of it, died human, and rotted underground long ago.  Or there might be some godawful consequence to taking it, or it might unleash hell on earth, or it might all be a huge scam and actually drinking the cure turns Klaus into Santa Claus.  So I’d really rather not commit, just to be sure.

Actually he doesn’t say any of that, which is a damn shame, because the thought of consequences has yet to really enter the picture here, I assume because whatever actually happens is going to involve that very question.

Meanwhile again, nearby, Jeremy has his shirt off, so screw consequences.  Bonnie is taking pictures of his tattoo for…oh, who cares why?  SHIRT OFF.  WITH LINGERING CLOSEUPS.

BONNIE:  If there was a less awkward way to do this…

JEREMY:  Like standing back a foot or so and using Zoom?

BONNIE:  Hush, baby, you’re talking nonsense.

She feels up his tattoo and is kind enough to repeat the whole story of Silas and Qetsiyah for us.  Jeremy quite rightly wonders what the hell the Hunters have to do with all of this.

SLIM SHANEY:  The Witchy descendents of Qetsiyah *cough*BONNIE*cough* created the Hunters to kill Silas.

JEREMY:  Then why are we so motivated to kill vampires?  Was Silas a vampire?  I’ve never wanted to find Silas before – I had no idea he existed.  If none of us know who Silas is, how are we supposed to want to kill him?  What kind of planning is that?

SHANE:  Um…let’s get moving, shall we?

BONNIE:  Seriously, Jer, if you start asking questions this whole thing falls apart.  Just go with it.

And thus, the Fellowship of the Cure set off into dangerous wilderness, armed with their designer poofy jackets and their righteous survival skills.

Gilbert House of Klaus

Still stuck in Elena’s living room, Klaus is standing very still and staring at the floor when Tyler arrives to taunt him, because Tyler, bless him, doesn’t think things through any more than any other person on this show. 

TYLER:  Yo momma’s so immortal…

KLAUS:  You do remember this spell’s going to wear off, right, and I’ll eventually be free again?  Suppose your friends don’t make it to the island, find the cure, make it back, and force-feed it to me before that happens.  Is it really a good idea for you to screw with me?

Both of them have equally farfetched ideas of how the cure will work vis a vis the whole Original bloodline thing.  Klaus believes if he’s mortalized his entire bloodline will be too – or at least he puts the idea out there.  Hell, for all we know Klaus knows exactly what’s going to happen.  Tyler, on the other hand, thinks that as soon as Klaus becomes mortal the bloodline will be broken and none of them will be connected to him anymore. 

Wow, Ty…that’s taking a lot on faith, isn’t it?  Maybe you should wait and see what happens before you go poking the rabid lion in its temporary cage?

Klaus, of course, can always be counted on to rub lemon juice into any available wound, and throws Tyler’s mother’s murder in Tyler’s face.

By the Shores of Big Sea Water

The scenery in this ep is pretty spectacular.  Likelihood of it actually being Nova Scotia:  Iffy at best.

ELENA:  This place is creepy.

REBEKAH:  *snipe snipe snipe*  Oh and also? You’re useless.

ELENA:  Unlike you?

BEX:  Stefan and I have the ugly rock.

ELENA:  Well it doesn’t take both of you to carry, does it?

Bex’s argument is on a bit of shaky ground, really, but she also takes a moment to encourage everyone to appreciate the magnificence of the Damon-butt, which may be the only thing they all agree on.

Night falls, as night is wont to do.

SHANE’S HEADLIGHT:  *is hilarious*

SHANE:  So once upon the blue-tinted days of yore, some miners found a well in the cave in the hole in the bottom of the sea, and they bled all over it and saw their dead loved ones.  I decided to try it too, and it went a little something like this:


SHANE:  Now that I’ve offered blood, I must climb down inside the well for reasons!  Good thing I took that caving claaaaaaaaaaaaaaass!

WELL:  *burp*



Shane yells at everyone to stop moseying so he can trip a trap.  After everyone has stared up into the trees for a minute, pondering the implications, Shane tells them all to stay together, because yeah, that’s going to happen.

JEREMY: Magic wells and dead relatives.  Great.

ELENA:  Wouldn’t you like to see one of the 80 dead people we know again?

JEREMY:  Yeah, I’m sure all our dead friends would love to be dragged from the afterlife to hang out in a cave with us.

Suddenly, a shadowy dude in a green jacket shoots an arrow at Jeremy!


OLIVER QUEEN:  Um…sorry.  Thought you were someone else.

Before the stranger in the completely impractical white face paint can actually shoot Jeremy, however, some other shadowy stranger throws an ax at the guy’s back and kills him dead.

Rather than stay and examine the body or try to figure out who the dude is, they keep hiking, and eventually come upon some random-ass shack in the middle of nowhere that I’m sure is perfectly safe.

SHANE:  A bunch of people died horribly here.

Oh well.

DAMON:  This is a bad idea.  Let’s just keep going.  Where’s the cure?


I swear, nobody ever learns anything.  Shane, and everyone else, knows Damon isn’t exactly the cover model for Sanity Fair, especially where Elena’s concerned, yet everyone seems to think it’s a great idea to bait him over it as often as possible – the whole idea that Elena’s going to dump him as soon as she and Stefan are both human again comes up like fifty times, and it never occurs to Damon or anyone else that Elena might just be a slightly better person than that.  I mean, I have my issues with the girl, but I don’t think she’d just drop him, even if it turns out all her feelings are purely born from the sire bond, which AT LEAST TWO PEOPLE WHO WOULD KNOW have told us they aren’t.  Everyone always talks about what a compassionate person Elena is, but I guess since it’s Damon and Damon is worthless despite his tendency to save people’s dumb asses, compassion doesn’t apply. At least Shane’s later taunting about the whole human/vampire relationship thing is actually valid – in the long term, that kind of match is literally doomed.

Know how I know Elena probably will stop loving him, though?  Because she’s too happy when they’re together.  She smiles way too much. 

Gilbert House of Klaus

Tyler is still at the house pushing Klaus’s buttons and drinking when Caroline arrives.

CAROLINE:  Baby, I love you, but you’re about as dumb as a bag of dicks.  If you’re going to hang around here and bait the psycho, at least you can help me get rid of this crispy critter on the floor.


KLAUS:  Hey, man, your mom’s dead, my brother’s dead, we’re even.

CAROLINE:  What kind of fucked up math is that?  You killed his mom.  Neither of us killed your brother.

KLAUS:  I saved you that time Tyler bit you!


KLAUS:  …oh, yeah.

Caroline demonstrates the whole “don’t bait the crazy” I’ve been trying to emphasize here.  She tells Klaus he’s not worth the calories it takes to talk to him (you’re a vampire, honey, you don’t eat food), and he grabs a nice long coat rack and impales her on it, enabling him to lever her into the area where he’s imprisoned and bite the hell out of her.

Island of Misfit Vampires

REBEKAH:  I hate being a vampire.

STEFAN:  I hate being a vampire.

LOUIS:  I hate being a vampire.

EDWARD:  I hate being a vampire.

NICK KNIGHT: I hate being a vampire.

ANGEL: I hate being a vampire.

SIMON: I hate being a vampire.

DAMON:  I hate being a vampire.  Just…forget I said that before, okay?  I totally love it.

Inside the shack, Bonnie wants to know how she can trust Slim Shady, given that he’s all crazy and shit.

SHANE:  Don’t worry, I know how the whole expression thing goes.  It totally killed my wife which makes me an expert.

BONNIE:  …psychosezwhat?

SHANE:  Did I forget to mention my wife was a Witch?  Whoops.  Well anyway, I’m the only person who can stop you from going off the deep end, so you need me, which means you can’t let Damon kill me, which I’m sure he’s planning to do because…well hey, it’s Damon, and we have to have someone to blame when this whole thing goes south on us, right?

Outside, Jeremy hears a noise, and next thing you know he’s kidnapped by the spirit of the First Slayer Dances With Cliches.

Gilbert House of Klaus

Caroline is understandably freaking her shit that she’s mortally wounded, and Tyler swears he’ll “fix it.”  Yeah, sparky, you’d better, since you being here taunting Klaus is the whole reason this happened.

TYLER:  I’ll give you my iPod.


TYLER:  Well, I tried.

Actually Tyler is willing to plead for Caroline’s life, and then to offer himself back up as a slave, but Klaus doesn’t really want anything – he’s really only doing this to make a point, and to be a bastard, because, well, he’s Klaus.  Lashing out is kind of his bread and butter.

Caroline decides she can’t stand the sight of Klaus, so Tyler picks her up and carries her off somewhere to die in peace.

Displeasure Island

Come morning, everyone realizes Jeremy’s gone, and all look for him frantically.  Bonnie decides to do a locator spell, which means Shane has to hang out to make sure she doesn’t go all nutter butter, and Damon stays to make sure Shane doesn’t try to pull anything.  That leaves Stefan, his ex-girlfriend, and his ex-and-sort-of-now girlfriend to search together.

STEFAN: While we’re here let’s look for a cure for bitchy, too.

Inside the shack, Damon finds Shane trying to use his satellite phone (which still isn’t working) and figures the time for straight answers is basically now.  He throws Shane into a chair for questioning.

DAMON:  Where’s the cure?

SHANE:  With Silas, under the well in the cave in the hole in the bottom of the sea.

DAMON:  How do you know?

SHANE:  Well…


DEAD WIFE CAITLIN:  The cure is with Silas under the well in the cave in the hole in the bottom of the sea.

SHANE:  Rock on.


SHANE:  So basically we needed a Hunter with a complete mark to find the spell and a descendant of Qetsiyah to perform the spell.

DAMON:  *sigh*  So Bonnie’s a descendant of the Bennetts, who helped Katherine in 1864; of Ayana, who helped make the first vampires; and of Qetsiyah, who made the first immortal ever, and who made a cure for all kinds of immortality.

SHANE:  Yeah, basically.

DAMON:  You do know there’s more than one bloodline of black people, right?

Outside at the campfire, Bonnie clutches Jeremy’s shirt and uses it to make the fire bigger, then to cause a forest fire that burns down the entire island and kills them all.

Nah, just kidding.  We all know fire only spreads in lines that go toward things.  It’s magic.

So, does all Expression require people’s life energy and it’s just a matter of how much?  Is there somebody around there on the island who just got a bitch of a headache out of nowhere? 

Off in the woods Elena is yelling for Jeremy, which causes Bex to bitch at her, and Stefan puts out his own eardrums with a convenient twig…or at least he looks like he wants to.

Both women have pretty valid complaints against each other – Elena daggered Rebekah before whatever dance that was last year, and Rebekah ran Matt’s truck off the bridge. 

While we were watching this episode my BFF wanted to know why they’re not just vamp-whooshing around the island searching the whole thing in like ten minutes.  I really had no answer for her, although going slowly does make it easier to avoid traps such as:

SPIKES:  *sproing!*

BEX:  *vampwhooshgrab*

ELENA:  You totally just kept me from being impaled.

BEX:  Yeah, nobody’s really happy about it.  Let’s keep going.

Elena, grudgingly grateful, goes back to camp to check on Bonnie.

At the shack:

As Damon continues to interrogate Shane, we learn that in addition to a Hunter, a Witch, and the tombstone (whose purpose we still don’t know), there have to be three massacres.  Apparently the spell to free Silas needs so much energy it takes like 36 dead people to generate it…although that begs the question, where is that energy now?  Two of the massacres have taken place, and those people are already good and dead.  Does the spell drag that energy back from wherever in order for Bonnie to Express it?  Is it all stored in the tombstone, maybe? 

Shane was reluctant to get in on that until the intercut flashbacks of his dead wife conveniently justified all of it and told him it wouldn’t be his fault if someone else killed 12 people.  Someone else, like say, a grief-stricken pastor.

DAMON:  You’re not finished, then.  There’s still one massacre left.  Are we it?

SHANE:  It doesn’t work that way.

See, now, here is where you say, “okay, then tell me how it does work” and find out about the third massacre – that way you’ll have more facts to give the others to convince them this whole cure thing is a bad idea. But instead, Damon skips ahead to “tell me where the well is,” which could have waited a few more minutes.

Back in Mystic Falls…

Caroline manages to be adorable while dying, rather than sweaty and gross like Rose was. 

CAROLINE:  I’m sorry.

TYLER:  No, it’s my fault for helping un-sire the hybrids.

CAROLINE:  Actually it’s more your fault for fucking with Klaus all day long, priming the crazy pump, so that when I arrived he was already on the edge and looking for someone to hurt.  But hey, let’s not split hairs.

TYLER:  Wait, I’ve got a great idea.

He takes Caroline back to the Gilbert House where Klaus is still trapped in his Pottery Barn nightmare.

TYLER:  If you want her to die, you can watch it happen yourself.  My unusually poofy and somewhat scary hairdo and I are outta here.

KLAUS:  It’s okay, love, you’ll be dead in a little bit so it’s all good.

For some reason Caroline doesn’t look convinced.

Whip-it-Out-and-Measure Island

Now, Shane is tied to the chair, allowing Damon to whoop up on him to his heart’s content…which means it’s a great time for Shane to deliver the whole “Elena’s going to dump you as soon as she’s human” speech. 

DAMON:  You mean to tell me a university actually gave your dumb ass a degree?  *smack*

SHANE:  You should leave the island!  Seriously!  Don’t hang around here and get dumped!

Damon figures that Shane’s baiting him so that Damon will leave, allowing Shane to do whatever he wants with Silas, and he’s probably right – Shane’s a nutbar, but he’s not stupid, so his insistence on getting to Damon and making him leave must have an ulterior motive. 

DAMON:  I’m not that easily manipulated.

Yeah…right…I’d like to point out Exhibit A, Katherine Pierce, who made you dance like a cute little marionette for how long?  Hey Shane, if you really want to get Damon to do your bidding, I’ve got one word for you:  coitus.

Before Damon can break Shane’s neck, however, Elena whooshes in and intervenes. 

Damon stalks off, and Elena follows, demanding to know what the hell his deal is. 

DAMON:  I don’t want you to be cured.  There, I said it.

ELENA:  How many times do I have to tell you –

Damon throws Shane’s argument, that human Elena and vampire Damon would never work, at her, and basically proves how easily he is manipulated – but he’s also right.  Elena’s response, of course, is that he should take the cure with her, and they can grow old together and so forth.

Damon’s facial expression goes through about six different emotions processing that, until he seems to realize what she’s really saying:  she wants him to do what Stefan would do.  Much like the way Stefan couldn’t love Elena as a vampire, sire bond or no sire bond it’s unlikely human Elena would be able to live her life with Damon as a vampire unless he became someone he’s not: his brother. 

That goes over about as well as you’d expect.

Off in the woods Stefan and Rebekah are still Jer-hunting, and things get a little touchy-feely for a minute before degenerating into yet another discussion about Elena. 

REBEKAH:  Running her off the bridge saved my family.  And she’s helped kill two of my brothers.  It’s not like I drove her over the bridge just to piss off Klaus.  So maybe you all shouldn’t act like she’s the saint and I’m the devil.

STEFAN:  But…Elena’s lady parts are magic.  Rainbow unicorn magic.  Ask anyone.

BEX:  What about my lady parts?

STEFAN:  Your lady parts have their own Historical Society.  But they’re a fun place to go on vacation.

They head back to camp, where they find Elena freaking out – not only is Bonnie missing now, but so’s Shane…and the tombstone.

Gilbert House of Klaus

Klaus has considerately put Caroline on the couch where she can writhe herself to death in comfort. 

CAROLINE:  You’re kind of a jackass.

KLAUS:  Yep. It’s right there on my Facebook profile:  Klaus Mikaelson is an evil jackass.

CAROLINE: You’re not totally evil, though.  You’re nice sometimes and kinda smexy.

Klaus is amazed that after all of his efforts to be irredeemable, Caroline still thinks he’s at least a little human.  She also confesses that she knows he’s in love with her, and that sometimes she wishes she could overlook all the evil stuff, because underneath it she’s seen glimpses of the person he could be.

CAROLINE:  Anyone capable of love can be saved.  Except Damon.

She starts twitching and moaning, and it finally occurs to Klaus that, oh yeah, she’s actually going to die if he doesn’t heal her.  Nobody really thought he would let her die, but this way we get to see Joseph Morgan with tears in his eyes again, and that’s always fantastic.

What Do You Want on Your Tombstone?

Rebekah has kind of lost her shit.

ELENA:  Why are you going through my stuff?

BEX:  You took the tombstone, didn’t you?  You’re trying to kill me!  All of you are trying to betray me!

STEFAN:  There’s no way I’d let the cure get away!  I hate being a vampire!  Being cured ends the guilt and suffering!

Um…Stef, honey…humans can feel those things too.  And becoming human doesn’t erase all the killing sprees you went on, so the guilt isn’t going anywhere.  It just means you probably won’t kill anyone else…although, that does bring up an interesting point:  what kind of human can you be if you’ve spent a century and a half as a vampire, hurting lots of people and coping with watching time roll by all around you?  If you go from that kind of intensity to the comparative banality of a human life, could that make you just as crazy?  Is Murder Guy Stefan something he can ever really be free of – can he, or any of the others, really live a “normal” life, or will there come a day when he’s standing in line to buy diapers and beer and catches himself imagining what it would feel like to beat the clerk to death with a bat?  Hmm.

I’m not really sure why Elena looks so astonished at Stefan’s declaration of anti-vampire sentiment, but apparently it’s a huge shock to her.

BEX:  I still don’t trust her!  Unicorns freak me out!

ELENA:  Fine, here.  *offers white oak stake*  We’ve got to work together.

Elsewhere in the woods:

Shane runs through the trees with the styrofoam Very Important Rock, and meets Dances With Cliches, who is dragging Jeremy along by a chain.  This bodes well.

Turns out Shane’s friend is just a white guy with dreads, who has a penchant for wearing white facepaint at night.  Okay then.

SHANE:  Way to kill that archer dude.

DANCES:  Um…wasn’t me.

If you’re keeping score, we’ve got a stranger with a bow who tried to kill Jeremy, and a stranger with a hatchet who killed the bow guy, and then this guy, who isn’t either of those guys but is with Shane.

Bonnie blunders into them.  Her locator spell led her right to Shane, thanks to Dances, whose real name is Massak and who is apparently a Witch.

Thank God for closed-captioning of I’d have no idea how to spell any of this crap.

SHANE:  Okie dokie! Let’s go raise us an ancient dead dude who most certainly will be totally sane, happy to help, and not bearing a grudge against the descendents of Qetsiyah.

Yet elsewhere:

Damon storms through the forest going God knows where.  I guess he’s looking for the Creepy Island Bar & Grill or something.

ARROW:  *whooshthud!*

DAMON:  Damn it.

Shadowy Stranger #1 flings himself at Damon, and the two scuffle until Damon has the guy down and is poised to break his neck.  Instead of actually doing it, however, he pauses just long enough to notice the tattoo on the dude’s hand.

DAMON:  Oh, great, another one of the Five.  Now my day is complete.

Which of course gives the Hunter a chance to turn the tables, flip Damon over, and snap his neck.  Hunter guy stands up, letting us see his face for a second, and my mind runs through all the characters trying to figure out who he is, because these guys are all looking the same lately and would it kill them to get, like, an Asian dude or a real Native American just to shake things up?


Next week on The Vampire Diaries:  Damon commits self-sabotage, Stefan is self-loathing, Bonnie is outraged, Caroline is injured, all the vampires hate themselves, Klaus has a really twisted idea of how relationships work, some crazy fucker wants to kill everyone over some convoluted mythology that is slowly beginning to sound like a bad acid trip, there’s a magical object people want, and the only thing that really matters is who ends up with Elena.

Yeah, I know.





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TVD Recap, Episode 412: A View to a Kill

(Image forthcoming!)

I apologize for how late this one was – time sort of got away from me, as I’m dealing with some actual real life stuff that can’t be ignored.  But I swore to myself I’d get this one up before 413 airs, so, here we go.

Once again, because I’m so damn sick of hearing the phrase, I’m going to replace “the cure” with something, this time, “the THUNDERDICK.”  That’s the only substitution this time out, though, because I’ll be damned if I didn’t really enjoy this episode!  I know, right?  I felt like the character writing was the strongest it’s been since Memorial, and even more amazing, I found myself enjoying characters I don’t normally, specifically Elena and Bonnie.  Both had quite a bit more fire than usual this episode – and if the price of getting more badass Bonnie is having both of her parents lurking around pretending like they’re actual parents, well, so be it.  Bon’s situation in particular is interesting because both sides of the argument are right:  Bonnie is not fully in control of herself, but she shouldn’t be under her parents’ control either, because she’s demonstrated more maturity than either parent by, oh, let’s say, not running away and abandoning their loved ones. 

Elena, meanwhile, started getting all spunky when Rebekah had her and the others chained to that library table for what seemed like hours, and we get to keep Spunky Elena at least for this episode.  I want whoever’s writing her dialogue right now to keep doing it.  I could really like Elena if she wasn’t so freaking NICE all the time, if she rocked her vampire snark – if she tried to learn how to be a good vampire Elena instead of a vampire version of human Elena.  We seemed to be headed in that direction when she was hooking up with Damon, but then they completely screwed it up with the whole sire bond thing.  Regardless of how this whole THUNDERDICK! situation shakes out, she’s got to put on her big girl panties and her ass-stomping boots, pour some gasoline on her Petrova Fire, and get down to business.  I want to see genuine badass Elena, not momentary “Oh, I did something naughty and now I must atone extra hard” Elena.  I want to see the Salvabore brothers have to deal with an Elena who’s fully herself for herself and doesn’t give the furry crack of a rat’s ass what they think – they can either accept who she wants to be and help her reach that for herself, or they can jolly well fuck off and go a’moping all over the US if they please.

So.  When last we left our intrepid MacGuffinhunters, Kol had come around and wreaked a bit of havoc, Daggers were flying everywhere with various threats on various Originals, and Elena finally came up with a damn good plan, although something of a logistical nightmare. 

Rebekah’s Booty Call Manor, For a Good Time Call 976-FANG

Stefan wakes up in Rebekah’s bed and essentially does the vamp-whoosh of shame…why, I don’t really know.  There is absolutely nothing untoward going on here – well aside from Stefan planning to screw her over and stuff, but sexually speaking, they’re not doing anything wrong, just two consenting, SINGLE adults making Shakespeare’s Beast With Two Backs.

I would like to call shenanigans on Stefan’s “I’m not Edward Cullen, I promise” wardrobe – how many of that goddamned hoodie does he own?

Before he can whoosh away, however, Klaus appears at the door, because it’s 7 in the bloody morning and he hasn’t ruined anything yet today.

Rebekah is far less pleased about her darling Bro’s appearance…well, I think Stefan’s displeased, with those two gentlemen and their raging man-crush it’s hard to tell “displeased” from “please perform ten minutes of fellatio on me starting NOW.”

Here, I notice, as I do again later when Klaus is goading Damon and Stefan about who they’ve each slept with, that Klaus is kind of a giant prude, as well as a giant prick, when it comes to others “having relations.”  You’d think as old as he is he’d have gotten over that kind of thing.  Or maybe the problem is that this is how the Mystic Falls Fucking Fight Song would go:

Hail, Mystic Falls, we shag for you
Elena’s shagged Stefan and Damon too
Rebekah’s shagged Stefan and Damon, that’s fine
And Tyler’s gotten off with dear Caroline
In fact, good old Klaus, it’s a bit sad but true
The only vampire not getting any is you!

KLAUS:  Get the siblingstinger from Rebekah so we can dagger Kol, otherwise we won’t be able to lay our hands on THE THUNDERDICK!!!  Then we’ll have ourselves a nice human Elena!

So…it hasn’t really occurred to anyone that newly-rehumaned Elena might not be what they want either?  Magic like that tends to be really capricious, and very literal minded.  If Elena says, “I want  to be human,” who’s to say she won’t become….a 98 year old human woman with terminal cancer?

Mystic Falls High School – Oh, Look, A Dance

Bonnie talks to Elena on the phone about being drafted to help Caroline with the Decade Dance, and it’s really a shame they won’t get to do this one, because the sheer idiocy of 80s clothes and hairstyles would have been seriously LOL worthy entertainment.

Over in the Gilbert House, Little Gilbert and Matt are playing video games and not putting the toilet seat up, leaving them womenfolk to take care of the houseworkin’. 

ELENA:  Look, we’ve got a plan:  Jeremy will kill Kol, and by default kill like a bajilionty other vampires all over the world who have nothing to do with any of this.

It’s interesting to wonder about the length of each Original’s sire line – What’s his name, the pretentious asshole that’s already dead, it didn’t seem like his line would have been too extensive since he hated what he was so much.  Elijah is probably somewhere in the middle.  Given how lonely Bex is I can see her making lots of playmates over the years, and Kol strikes me as the kind of d-bag who would make vampires and just sort of scatter them all over.  Klaus, well, back in his early days when he was just a rumor and far scarier, the others talked about how paranoid and secluded he’d become, so his line might not be as long as you’d think.  But provided Klaus was telling the truth about all our vamps being on his line, his is really the only one we care about.

ELENA:  Don’t worry Bon, we’ll take on all these bad guys as soon as I do the dishes.  WWAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!  Some asshole put vervain in the water!

Mystic Falls High School

THAT ASSHOLE:  Yes, it was I who vervained the water, and I’m also going to flex my authority muscles in a lot of ways that probably won’t save a single life but will make me feel like I’ve accomplished something, so, we’re going to have a family meeting!

It STILL makes my blood boil how he and Abby both call her “honey” and talk about how she’s their daughter when neither one has done a goddamned thing for her in years.  You can’t just be absent from your kid’s life and then swoop in and suddenly be dropping family meetings and curfews like it ain’t no thang.  It doesn’t matter if you’re the parent – once your kid is a teenager, they are not going to give you respect until you earn it.  So far all Daddy’s done is piss Bonnie off.

Before Bonnie can login to Amazon and cancel her “World’s Least Awful Dad” coffee mug order, who should show up but Kol.


BONNIE:  I gotcher Thunderdick right here, babe.  *vampire migraine of DOOM*

Unfortunately all that “I can take care of myself, I’m in control” stuff isn’t really working out, and Bonnie’s magic gets away from her and breaks Kol’s bones, blows up balloons, bangs open lockers, you know the drill.  I notice, as she’s running off and all the lockers are barfing up their contents, I don’t see a single book in any of them.

Salvatore Boarding House – Inconvenient Sibling Storage

I love how everyone on this show has the same basic method for dealing with family conflict.  Lock the one who annoys you in a coffin, tomb, or basement, preferably weakened by dagger or exsanguination.  Then have the nerve to act surprised when they eventually get out.

Now, in this case there’s a pretty good reason:  Kol compelled Damon to kill Jeremy, and we can’t kill Jeremy because his biceps have been declared one of the Seven Wonders they need his magic tattoo so they can trek through the jungle to throw down THE THUNDERDICK! 

Unfortunately it’s just not Damon’s day, as it is a day with a y in it, and Klaus is now his babysitter so Stefan can go exploit his friendship with Rebekah to get the dagger and thereby destroy any trust she might have had that would keep them working together in the RIDE FOR THE THUNDERDICK!  Because it’s just not TVD if everyone isn’t fucking each other over somehow.

DAMON:  Stef’s still pissed that I had adult consensual sex with a girl he was no longer dating.

KLAUS:  You poor baby.  Don’t worry, he’s all up in my sister’s business now, I’m sure it’ll end well.

Stefan leaves them to their bonding, but he can’t walk two steps without Elena calling him.

ELENA:  Kol just tried to kill Bonnie!

STEFAN:   How about you tell me your whole plan so I can see if I can…um, help, in some way.  I’m very helpful.  To lots of people.

ELENA:  Well, you go dagger Rebekah so she can’t come after us in a murderous rage after we kill Kol, and Klaus…yeah, Bonnie’s got something for Klaus, hopefully involving Africanized honeybees and a funnel.  I’ll send Matt to do the daggering deed since at some point it was established that vampires can’t use it [The Dinner Party], and also because he never washes his socks and he always pees on the seat.  And it won’t matter what state of rage and hatred we leave them in, because once we get our hands wrapped firmly around THE THUNDERDICK we can beat it against them!

STEFAN:  …even though we have no idea how it actually works, how many people you can use it on, whether it would even work on Originals much less Klaus, or what we have to do to activate it.  Man, this just keeps sounding better and better.

Gilbert House and Adjacent Sidewalks

Elena calls Kol, asking for a truce so they can talk about their old buddy Silas.  Meanwhile Jeremy and Matt are wrapping up weapons or something because they’re totally warriors.

ELENA:  So, how about we meet up for PinkBerry or a mani/pedi or something?  I’ll pay.

KOL:  How about I just ring your doorbell and screw up your plans?

ELENA:  Well all righty then.

Stalling Kol on the phone, Elena grabs the chalk menu board from the kitchen (cause does anyone really use those for menus? Don’t we all just draw genitalia on them?) and writes for Matt to take off and help Stefan; unfortunately she can’t do the same with Jer, since as the sole human owner of the house, he has to be the one to issue the invitation. 

Elena and Kol agree that if Jeremy invites him in, Jeremy can split, so Jer lets him in.  As Kol is putting away his iPod, Elena notices the white oak stake in his coat.

Rebekah’s House

Somehow despite having no idea what the 1980s were actually like, Bex has acquired an enormous rack of clothes to select from for the dance that’s not happening. 

STEFAN: I think we should go to the dance anyway – is there anything on that rack that’s not revolting?

See, I know he went for a Top Gun look, but I was hoping for Flock of Seagulls, Miami Vice, or possibly even some hair metal.  He totally could have done Flock of Seagulls hair with all that gel.

Bex makes it pretty clear she doesn’t trust Stefan around the whole dagger situation, so we know what’s going to happen already:  he’ll sweet talk her into thinking she can trust him, and she’ll let down her guard, and end up daggered whether by his hand or someone else’s, because EVERYONE IS MEAN TO REBEKAH and that gives me sads, as I have hearts for Rebekah.

Salvatore Sibling Cell

Klaus berates Damon for…oh, who really cares.  Something to do with Jeremy and not making him Huntery fast enough.  Like there’s an established lesson plan for how to do that? 

KLAUS:  So…what kind of spectacular coitus-mojo have you been working on Elena that makes her forget what a murdery sociopath you are?

It’s a reasonable question, but the best part is that Klaus’s motive in asking has nothing to do with Damon whatsoever.  Klaus wants to know what exactly Damon does to make Elena forgive him – what he says to her, how he makes all his sins seem like nothing…because Klaus wants to do the same with Caroline, and having killed Tyler’s mother, it’s looking pretty grim on that front. 

DAMON:  Do bad things for good reasons – not only do you still get to do bad things, you might eventually get laid someday.

I’m assuming this is a lesson Damon learned after he fell for Elena – when he first arrived back in Season 1, he did plenty of bad stuff that wasn’t for good reasons.  A lot of his actions back then were born out of wanting to get Katherine back, but there are others, like compelling and using Caroline, that had no believable basis in “higher good” whatsoever.  I think that was one of the first things he figured out, once he started having genuine human feels.

Gilbert House

Kol plays a video game while Elena fetches the “old people alcohol”  (I gigglesnorted at that one) to make him a drink.  Kol mentions that they all lived in New Orleans once, adding to the groundwork for the spin-off.  Then they get down to business.

ELENA:  I promise not to try and whip out the THUNDERDICK!!! if you’ll leave Jeremy alone.

Oh, these kids and their “stealth” texting.  If you’re standing staring down at your phone, you’re not being discreet. If you’re surrounded by other modern people who are also staring at their phones, that’s one thing, but if you’re texting near a 1,000 year old vampire new to modern technology, it’s likely he’ll notice what you’re up to.

Elena and Kol do the small talk that will endear us to Kol just enough to be conflicted when he dies.  Of course, then Kol calls Elena a “Mary Sue vampire” and I almost bash my head through my keyboard, because that phrase infuriates me – it’s basically a derogatory term people apply to any female character they don’t like, for any reason at all; there used to be a specific definition but now it’s essentially meaningless, and if I never hear it again, my life will be greatly enriched by its absence.

Finally, finally we get to hear a little more about Silas – Jeez, if he’s going to be the Big All Nasty Bad, we really need more to go on than “he was the first immortal” and “he’s gonna raise the dead.”  At least when Klaus was the Invisible Big Bad, the other Originals could corroborate what a scary nutbar he was, but nobody in this entire group has ever seen Silas or had any real proof he exists.  It’s kind of hard to give a damn in the absence of any actual information – or at least without a scene or two somewhere showing us Silas’s effect on the world, or something, anything, besides Shane drooling over his tombstone.

KOL:  Back in the day I used to run with some Witches in Africa, Haiti, New Orleans – and I’m not going to make a reference to the demographics of that number – and they all said Silas would destroy the world, rivers and seas boiling, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria!

Bonnie’s Got a House! Who knew?

What she doesn’t have is a cell phone, because Father of the Year has taken it from her and won’t let her leave the house.

DAD GUY: I lost your mother to Witchcraft! I’m not going to lose you!

Actually, Dad Guy, you lost Abby because she was too scared to show her face without Witchy powers.  And then Bonnie lost her again because she was too scared to try being a vampire mom and ran away again.  I don’t think it’s the witchcraft, or the vampirism, as much as Abby’s a big freaking coward.

Which of course means Abby shows up just as Bonnie and Jeremy are about to get the hell out of there and go help Elena.  Oh boy oh boy oh boy.

Abby attempts to be all badass, or something, not realizing that walking around with veiny eyes and pissy mouth means Jeremy’s going to try to stake her.


Unfortunately not.  Bonnie uses her…whatever they called it, focusing trick, magical hoo-hah shield, or something, to divert him from his Hunter objective.

BONNIE:  Don’t hurt her, she’s my mom!

JEREMY:   You’re the only person who gives a shit and you don’t even like her!  C’mon, Bonnie, please please please just this once?

Alas, still not.

Gilbert House

KOL:  I’m having trouble believing you’d give up something you want so much.

Has Elena, at any point, said she actually wants the THUNDERDICK? Or is everyone just assuming she does because she’s supposed to want to be old Elena again? I can’t remember her saying definitively that it’s what she wants, and if she has it was quite a while ago, so it’s possible she’s thought better of it by now.  I just keep waiting for her to say “Yeah, gimme some THUNDERDICK, I wanna get that in me,” and she doesn’t.  She just sort of gives the nod-and-smile, like she’s going along with it for everyone else.  Whether she’s said so or not, it seems kind of odd that she’s never as enthusiastic about it as everyone else – because they want it for her, not because she wants it.  Yet again, we have Elena the dress-up doll for everyone to drape their issues on.

KOL:  Um…okay, well…I’mma go, then.  I’ll get back to you on that whole truce thing.

Mystic Falls High School Luft Balloon Storage Facility

Stefan and Rebekah in their 80s finery (somehow they managed to avoid the eye-bleeding neons and mall wall hairstyles) invade the empty gym and crank up the music.  Stefan cracks a joke about The Cure (the band) and we all roll our eyes, but it was actually really funny. 

I should warn you that I was born in 1977, so I was only 13 when the 80s ended, and I’m more a child of the 90s – but I had two older brothers who were very much 80s kids, so I absorbed quite a lot of that culture as well.  Dirty Dancing is still one of my top 10 favorite movies, and 80s Madonna is practically a spiritual experience for me.

Stefan rattles off a number of things about the 80s that weren’t terrible (even though some of them totally were, we just loved them anyway) to convince Bex that it wasn’t a completely garish and ridiculous decade.  I’m not sure how convinced she is, but she does seem to fall for his “we care about love and stuff” patter.

The really sad thing about their relationship is that I think he’s being totally sincere when they talk about human life and things they’ve experienced and dreams they’ve had.  But then Stefan has this tendency to look her right in the face and screw her over – and not just once.  There’s a reason she claims not to trust him, though obviously she doesn’t mean it once he lays on the considerable charm. 

You know, psychopaths and serial killers are often quite charming, very good actors, and able to con people (usually potential victims) into trusting them.  So maybe it’s just an outgrowth of the whole Ripper thing, being able to look someone you just slept with in the eye and have every intention of lying to, stealing from, or daggering them.  I don’t think Stefan particularly wants to hurt Rebekah, but not wanting to never seems to stop him.

Which is my way of saying I find it  disturbing, BUT, it’s completely consistent with the kind of pathology we’ve observed in the character, and that’s rather excellent of the writers.

Probably the best part of the whole scene:

STEFAN:  I have a present for you.  *offers small box*

BEX: What the…it’s a koala.

HE GOT HER A CLIP-ON KOALA, Y’ALL.  I had like five of those and had completely forgotten about them until this scene.  I squeed so hard.  Then I wondered:  Where did he buy that from on such short notice?  Or did he just have one in his giant rack of 80s duds?

It’s Gettin’ Real at the Gilbert House

Jeremy returns from Bonnie’s to find the house silent; Elena emerges and tells him Kol took off.  And because NOBODY ON TELEVISION USES THE PEEPHOLE, Jeremy assumes the knock at the door is Bonnie.

KOL:  Did somebody order an ass-whooping?

Now that he’s been in the house it’s too late to block him out, so he kicks the holy hell out of the door and stalks in full of fury and possibly a couple of Red Bulls. 

The Bennett House, or Whatever the Hell

Bonnie makes it pretty clear she doesn’t want her mom interfering in her plans to use human sacrifice to take over the world (shhhhh…). 

BONNIE:  Okay, look. There’s a THUNDERDICK out there somewhere that will un-vamp you because, let’s face it, you’re the lamest vampire ever and you’re making the whole race look bad.   But for me to stuff that THUNDERDICK in my sack I gotta go help find it, so you can both just–

ABBY:  +3 Daughter Drugging

ME:  Oh, man, you guys…you must not know dick about witchcraft *or* your daughter to think some herbs are going to keep her down.  I do not envy you the headaches you will have when you awaken, but in the meantime rest well, and dream of large women.

(80s reference – HA!)

Salvatore Cellar for Sibling Sequestering

Klaus starts in on Damon about how the Power of Love wasn’t enough to make him bust out of the compulsion Kol put on him to kill Elena’s brother, not her, but the Power of Love almost stopped Stefan from giving in to a direct compulsion to chew through Elena’s neck and then killing two of her classmates right in front of her.  Yes, Klaus.  Clearly Damon is the weaker party because those two events were EXACTLY THE SAME.  Really, though, Klaus doesn’t care if he’s right or not, all that matters is sowing seeds in Damon’s mind to break up him and Elena and give Stefan a clear shot as soon as she’s the “right” Elena again.  The theory seems to be that as soon as Elena’s not sired, and has her “Normal self” back again, it’ll be like none of this ever happened, and she’ll realize the error of her silly girlish ways and go running back to Captain Forehead, who I presume will have the THUNDERDICK himself and they can go make extremely uninteresting babies that jump in front of speeding cars to save each other.

Klaus actually says, “Must be hard trying to live up to Stefan.”  I very nearly choke on my frozen pizza.  I can’t tell if he’s working an angle because there’s something specific he wants Damon to do, or just because he drank the same Kool Aid as Caroline.

Caroline, who has not been in the last couple of episodes, who I have not missed at all.  Damn shame.

Klaus gets a call from his brother, next month’s cover model for Sanity Fair.

KOL:  They’re trying to kill me and I know you’re in on it.  So I’m going to kill them, then some other people, then some other people who might need it, then you.

Klaus puts Damon up against the wall, compells him to tell the truth about what’s going on, but the truth is:  he has no idea what Elena and Stefan and all were planning because he’s been stuck in the Sibling Storage. 

When Klaus stalks away, we get a close up of the water bottle Stefan brought Damon, which makes me wonder:  is that bottle of water from the tap, meaning it’s laced with vervain, so if he could get it down Klaus’s compulsions would roll right off?   That part of the scene confused me a bit.


Stefan educates Rebekah on the finer points of Bon Jovi and underage drinking, and of course Lexi comes up, and how Lexi made Stefan a better person through the cunning use of sanctimony, and then Elena made him a better person, and can we go back to the Bon Jovi now? Please?

Bex finally comes out and says she wishes she could be human again, and have high school dances and babies and whatever else it is that girls are supposed to want.  Tiaras, right?  Yeah, tiaras.

REBEKAH:  And since we’re being all emotionally open, allow me to reveal that I have the dagger hidden on my person.

STEFAN:  *hatches plan*  No, no, let’s not dance, let’s go run down the hall and slide in our socks.  In fact let me consult my phone and see if someone could text me instructions on sock-sliding.

Gilbert House

It’s a lot more fun watching Elena try to escape a murderer when she can actually move fast.

Vamp-whooshing, furniture breaking, rageful eyebrows, walls getting smashed through, stupid wood bullets, stakes flying through the air with the greatest of ease, lots of pained grunting and yelling “Go!  GO!” .  Finally Kol grabs a piece of the upstairs bannister and impales Elena with it.  Maybe three people are afraid for her life, but the rest of us know that not one vampire on this show has ever taken an anatomy lesson and they all seem to have decided the heart and the stomach are the same organ.


Stefan is trying to teach Bex the Breakfast Club slide (I much prefer the sock slide in Risky Business), and concludes she’s going to have to take off her shoes for it to work.  Meanwhile, Matt is hiding around the corner waiting for a chance to grab the dagger and kebab her on it.

STEFAN:  No, seriously, the shoes are the problem.  Take ’em off.

BEX:  *world-weary look*  *bends and pulls dagger out of her boot*  Here you go. Did I mention I’m not a total idiot?

She tells him she wants to be human, with the kids and the tiara, so they should give the dagger to Klaus to put down Kol, and then go uncover the THUNDERDICK.

Bonnie’s House of Oh No You Didn’t

Bonnie is unconscious on the couch, and Abby’s grinding up some more Witch roofies; she tells Dad Guy that she’s going to keep Bonnie under until she can get some Witches there to purify her or something like that, none of which sounds a whole lot better than what Bonnie’s already dealing with.

Bonnie seems to agree.

BONNIE:  Oh hail naw.  *deathglare*

Abby’s bowl breaks, there’s pain and moaning and freaking out, and Bonnie’s all, “I don’t belong to the spirits, I belong to myself.”  And I’m all YOU GO GIRL because Bonnie, too, has suffered from a dearth of agency – spirits are bossing her around, vampires are bossing her around, and it’s about time she found out what it’s like to be a sovereign woman – which could be absolutely disastrous and knowing this show probably will be.

Gilbert House and Chop Shop

We’re treated to a long shot of Elena trying to un-impale herself, which is always a treat; then, downstairs, we see Kol was really serious about cutting off Jeremy’s map arm.

Before he can swing the cleaver, Elena attacks! There’s a vicious struggle with the cleaver, best thing ever, or at least the best thing until Jeremy grabs the spray nozzle from the kitchen sink and HOSES KOL DOWN WITH VERVAIN WATER.  Yowch!

That gives Jeremy the opening he needs to dive in with the white oak stake and yay! Jeremy knows where the heart is!  Good Jeremy!

Kol bursts into flames, but not the sort of quiet dignified flaming death of Mikael – Kol dies hard, screaming and running all over the house, shrieking dementedly until he finally falls dead.

Elena and Jeremy stare at each other for a minute before both of their attention is taken by the figure standing in the door:  Klaus.

Big brother is very, very angry.   See, if you make Klaus cry, you’ve just flipped a very special switch in his head.  The tiny coiled spring that holds Klaus’s psychotic rage at bay is located just behind the tear ducts, so that when real tears are produced, the saline solution eats through the base of the spring, allowing it to fly open and release the psychotic rage.  The only thing that can help at that point, besides relocating to another state and becoming Amish, is to cause *more* tears, which will eventually cause salt build-up and hold the spring shut again until a new spring can be coiled and installed at the factory.

So now you know.


JEREMY:  If you kill us you’ll never get your THUNDERDICK! or any more hybrids!

KLAUS:  Hybrids can kiss my shapely ass.  I only want the THUNDERDICK so I can destroy it!

ELENA:  Well…shit.


She walks in past the groaning be-migrained Klaus and tells the Gilberts they need to invite him in.  Naturally both Gilberts look at her like     @_@   but she insists that’s what they have to do.

Once Klaus is in the Haus, Bonnie baits him into the living room and seals him in.  By this time Klaus is snarling and clawing at her like a rabid animal, practically incoherent by the end of the scene.  Joseph Morgan brought an extra bottle of awesome this episode, broke it over his own head, and set himself on FIRE.

Bex’s House

BEX:  My brother’s dead.  I am sad.

STEFAN:  Yeah, I knew they were going to kill him, so, now you are mad.

BEX:  I am mad.

STEFAN:  We get THUNDERDICK and stick it to all of us. Everybody happy.

BEX:  Well maybe not Elena, since she hasn’t actually said she wants–


BEX:  Oh, okay.  THUNDERDICK for everybody, yay yay.

Salvatore Boarding House

Jeremy’s pacing around waiting for his mark to get bigger, but so far nothing’s happened. Bonnie reminds him that it took time for Finn’s line – yeah, that was his name! – to die off, so he’s got to chill out and wait.

Damon comes out of seclusion, he and Elena hug, everyone else looks pained about it because those two don’t have a chance in hell with every single force in the town and their friends and families aligned against them.  Let’s just enjoy these nice hugs while we can.

Stefan arrives with the headstone.  Bonnie tells him Klaus is trapped and they have 3-4 days to find the THUNDERDICK before Klaus comes after them.  Jeremy actually name-drops Katherine, which is interesting, and makes me think we might see her again sooner rather than later.  Hmm.

Then of course we get to Round 21 of HEY, GROWN UPS FUCK, where everyone gets angry and punches each other in the head because people who weren’t beholden to anyone got with other unbeholden people for a little pickle-tickle  and apparently there’s some statute of Pussy Limitations you have to observe when you’re a teenager or a vampire who can’t get past his teenage years which states that breaking up doesn’t actually mean breaking up because you still have rights and ownership of the other person’s genitals until you say they can go; and adults are not, in fact, allowed to do the sex with others when they are not part of a couple.  It’s gotten so tiresome I just sort of skip over most of it with my trusty fast-forward.

Fortunately, we are shaken out of this nonsense by the sight of JEREMY HULK SMASH!!!!!!!!! 

Jer actually rips his shirt off so we can see his tattoo get bigger – only now, everyone can see it, and whole pieces are now growing together to become complete.

Personally I think he should spend the next few episodes shirtless, just so we can all keep watch over the mark and make sure we don’t miss a spot.

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