Recap: The Vampire Diaries Episode 3.06, “Smells Like Teen Spirit”

Well, after last week’s whirlwind of an episode, I really wasn’t sure what to expect, and though it didn’t have the same emotional heft it still rounded out to be pretty great and, as usual, finished with a bang.

So finally, we have Elena waking up to realize that she’s hurt and she’s vulnerable and she’s tired of it. I’m not sure what changed (maybe being the key to the hybrid conversion?), but it’s nice to see her returning to proactive Elena and less passive “who’s going to catch me and eat me in the night” Elena. She decides to get Alaric, who looks like hell by the way (which I like – he’s obviously still miserable and that seems about right to me), to teach her how to kill vampires.

Alaric frowning at Elena's woeful punching.
I can see we need a little work here. And a haircut.

And even though she’s a scrawny weenie that can’t actually hit hard enough to trigger Alaric’s automatic stakes, she’s still the toughest person he knows. Which is weird, because I’d definitely give that to Caroline.

Since it’s senior year, the story really centers around school and all those end of school shenanigans we all went through. The girls, Bonnie, Elena and Caroline, are doing their best to make the best of it, but life’s weird and scary too. Bonnie and Jeremy are fighting and Matt is still seeing Vicki. Bonus, Stefan, who is a bully and Klaus-appointed Elena-sitter, now is also making the rounds. He’s acting like old Damon (and is even better at it) and he even smiles more when he’s evil, which is kind of awesome. Also senior-ing it up is Rebekah, the hybrid-sitter, who clearly has a jerk-boner for Tyler.

Tensions escalate throughout the day. Jeremy figures out that Matt is still seeing Vicki, but you know, kettle/pot, since he’s still seeing Anna. Bonnie is unimpressed. At football practice, Tyler is using his new vampire powers to be a douche. Caroline is repulsed but Rebekah digs it and joins the cheerleading squad. Time for Caroline to watch her back. I’m not really sure what Rebekah would see in Tyler, I mean, yeah, abs, but he’s a baby compared to her. Way more so than Elena to Stefan. Nevertheless, clearly she’s trying to eff shit up.

Off in some unknown crypt Katherine is still trying to wake up Michael. He seems to be resisting any attempts at animal blood so she shakes it up with the blood of an innocent griever. That gets him going, but he’s disgusted and doesn’t want to drink. Self-loathing much?

In keeping with her desire to get stronger, Elena is working out at the school. You know, I applaud this effort. Having been a string bean myself at periods in my life, I know how awkward it can be to bench press weights that look small enough for someone to curl. So go Elena.

Damon sexily teaching Elena how to stake a vamp.
Today: Location of vampire heart. Tomorrow: Location of vampire crotch.

Damon makes a crack about her trying to be Buffy – he doesn’t really get what she’s up to. Elena still has faith in Stefan’s ability to come back from the abyss that is the Ripper, but Damon says otherwise. High on human blood, even if he got his humanity back he’d still be strung out as all hell. Then some sexy touching ensues.

 

Prediction: Just as Stefan gets his humanity back, Damon and Elena are going to take it to the next level. Not sure what the next level is, but it definitely involves naked touching. 

That night, everyone goes to a bush party. You guys ever do bush parties? I grew up in a small town not unlike Mystic Falls, except no supernatural critters (to my knowledge) and no Founders parties, and we had bush parties every weekend. This show makes me nostalgic for keg beer, beat up pick-up trucks (seriously, Matt’s truck? Awesome), and bonfires. Elena has a plan to lure Stefan away and trap him so that they can cage him and keep him out of trouble. Everyone is in support except for Tyler. See, that’s not in Klaus’ best interest. Say what? Turns out Tyler has been sired and he’s basically a slave to Klaus. The best part is that he is sincere about it. Caroline knocks him out and drags him off, allowing everyone to finish what they came to do.

While everybody has been wrapped up in their own dramz, Matt is still seeing Vicki. She convinces him that she can be brought back with the help of a witch on the other side. Even though it doesn’t sound right, Matt is lonely and sad, so he agrees to help her. They do a little ritual and Vicki is made corporeal. Now the rest of the deal. To stay, Vicki has to kill Elena. The hybrids can’t survive. So there you go. Vicki’s making deals with the Original Witch. When Matt resists, she clobbers him on the head and takes off to finish her end of the bargain. He wakes up alone and rushes to Bonnie to tell her what he’s done.

Prediction: Jeremy and Bonnie are going to split and Bonnie and Matt are going to happen. This makes QoB sad. But I like Anna. So it’s a draw.

Back at the party, Elena gets sloshed and gives Stefan all kinds of attitude. Damon’s role in the Stefan trap is to distract Rebekah, so he’s being sexy flirty Damon with her. It seems to work, while making Elena jealous, but let’s be real. Rebekah is like a billion years old, she sees through his game and stabs him with a marshmallow roasting stick. Elena takes off and Stefan finds her drunk on the bleachers.

True Love FTW!

She lips him off a bit while hanging off the side until she lets go. Of course Stefan catches her. They share a long staring moment together, kinda like old times, before Alaric shoots Stefan with vervain.

Prediction: Stefan is going to break free of his compulsion. True love rules all! (Wishful thinking?)

When Tyler wakes up back at his house, Caroline tells him he was being a douche bag. “You were acting like old you.” Perfectly intolerable. She’s not happy and reminds him that being a vampire heightens all your emotions, remember when Caroline changed? She broke up with Matt to protect him, that’s how crazy she was. Tyler sincerely promises to be good, he doesn’t want to lose her as she’s everything that makes him good. “Everything I like about me is you.” Too bad after some sexy sex, when Caroline leaves, Rebekah shows up to feed Tyler a bleeding girl. He sure doesn’t say no.

Prediction: I was thinking about this this morning. If Tyler goes full dark side, which after his redemption seems like where the story is taking us, Caroline might have to kill him. All very Buffy-Angel/Angelus style. Though I hope not. I like them together. Way more than Buffy and Angel.

While Alaric and Elena tag-team Stefan, Vicki watches. They dump Stefan in Alaric’s SUV and Elena climbs in. That’s when Vicki lights the SUV on fire. And traps Elena in it. Matt is already with Bonnie and they’ve decided to break the ritual to send Vicki back. She senses what’s going on and returns to Matt, allowing Elena to escape and rescue Stefan. It’s all very sad when Vicki is begging to stay, but Vicki sucks so she gets the boot. Later, Jeremy tries to connect with Bonnie but either she’s too busy cleaning up ghost messes or she’s making out with Matt, so she doesn’t answer her phone. Which is fine, because Anna shows up. And then they hold hands. Which is a big deal, what with her being a ghost and all.

Post-fail, back at the Salvatore mansion Damon and Elena are wrapping things up. He’s doing first aid, she admits jealousy. Seems they often end the night together these days. When Elena leaves, Stefan reminds everyone that Elena needs him. He’ll always protect her, though he doesn’t understand why she saved him. “I still have hope.” He tells her she’s pathetic, but that’s where he’s wrong. Elena is strong. Then she sticks him with a stake in the gut, the same device she was too weak to use at the beginning of the episode. Yay character development! With everyone off on their way, Damon sets about doing Damon things, but someone shows up. Rebekah? Nope. Even better. Mason Lockwood, who knocks Damon out with a, “This is going to be fun.”

Prediction: I, for once, have no idea.

Hey, what happened to Katherine and Michael? Oh, well since he doesn’t do human blood, he eats Katherine. Vampire cannibalism. Weird. The last we see of her, she’s face down in his tomb.

Prediction: Katherine’s not dead. No witnesses, didn’t happen. Might we have a vengeful Katherine on our hands?

All screencaps from vampirediariesweb.com

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Shamelessly enjoys ramen noodles. And romangst.

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