This season, Dellbot and I will be tag-teaming recaps of the superfast, sexy cheesefest that is The Vampire Diaries. This week it’s my turn to cover the betrayals, secrets, murders and general supernatural WTF happening in Mystic Falls, but Dellbot will be chiming in as well whenever I forget anything or just, you know, whenever a scene needs an extra dose of WTF.
As I’ve forgotten nearly everything that happened at the end of the last season – apart from the sacrificial death of Aunt Jenna, Nominal Adult (TM) – it’s good that the show has a handy recap at the start. So, previously on The Vampire Diaries…
Jeremy, having been brought back from the dead by his girlfriend Bonnie, is now seeing ghosts – but only those of his ex-girlfriends. Awkward. Stefan, in return for the blood that cured Damon of the werewolf bite, is now working for Evil Vampire-Werewolf Hybrid, Klaus, and Caroline and Tyler are still pretending that they don’t want to practice making a vampire-werewolf hybrid by fucking each other’s brains out on an hourly basis. Elena, of course, is sad because Stefan is gone with Evil Klaus, her aunt and her parents (all four of them) are dead, and her aunt’s boyfriend Alaric is sleeping on their couch. (Bonnie is conveniently away during this episode, and there’s no sign of Katherine. Did she feck off at the end of last season before the Sacrificial Circles of Fire?)
Klaus and Stefan are in Tennessee. Klaus tries the old “car broke down, cellphone’s dead” routine on a Savvy Floridian Lady, but she won’t let him into the house. So he glamours her, forces her friend to tell him where to find a werewolf called Ray Sutton, and then lets Stefan loose on them while he waits in the car. They track Ray down to a bar, glamour the entire place, and then try to torture the location of his wolfpack out of him with some wolfsbane they just happen to have on hand. (The music in the background? “Dead Man Walking.” SUBTLE.) Klaus lets Stefan do the hard work, while he finds out that Damon is still tracking them. Stefan wants to be allowed to take care of Damon – and Klaus agrees to let him.
Back in Mystic Falls, Jeremy has a “mundane, boring, normal” summer job at the grill: where Caroline and Tyler have come on a not-date, and Matt refuses to serve them. So that’s Jeremy’s job, in between chatting to Bonnie on the phone and lying to her about why he’s acting weirdly (that’d be the dead ex-girlfriends, Bonnie). Caroline is in the midst of complaining about Tyler’s mom “eyeing” her, milking her own mom, the Sheriff, for suspicious animal attack reports, and planning a birthday party for Elena.
Presumably to celebrate Elena’s birthday, Damon is in the bath with champagne, and not with his glamoured TV reporter girlfriend, Andie. Elena arrives to ask him to check out the latest lead on Stefan, and he engineers a whoops-I’m-naked moment (presumably for our viewing pleasure, as Elena seems uninterested). Damon tells her every lead so far has been nothing, but he agrees to check it out anyway as Elena can’t – Klaus still think she’s dead. Andie heads to work, and Damon and Alaric head to Memphis, where they find Savvy Floridian Lady and her friend, both dead and posed in Stefan’s signature style. They also find a cellar, complete with werewolf chains, so they know Klaus and Stefan are hunting werewolves. Then they set the bodies on fire.
Elena, Caroline and Tyler are preparing for the party, and Elena is wondering why Damon seems so reluctant to search for Stefan. Tyler suggests that Damon doesn’t want Stefan back, so he can have Elena all to himself. Tyler lets slip that he knows Elena kissed Damon – oops, Caroline. Elena goes off somewhere (sorry, I forget, the sexual tension affected my attention span) and Tyler and Caroline talk about how cool it is that Tyler is bringing a date to the party, and how horny they both are (it’s a werewolf/vampire thing) while resolutely not fucking for no reason Tyler can understand.
But it’s birthday party time at the Salvatore house! Damon found Elena’s old necklace, and returns it to her as a birthday present [Dellbot – do you know what the story is with this necklace?]. Down at the VD writers’ idea of a typical high-school party, Matt and Jeremy bond over a joint, and Jeremy tells Matt that since he temporarily died, he’s been “seeing things.” Mysterious. Somehow, even though his girlfriend is a witch who brought him back from the dead; his sister/cousin is the doppelganger of an evil vampire, whose boyfriend is a vampire; his nemesis/friend Tyler is a werewolf; and his aunt died in a magical ritual just two months ago – and Nice Guy Matt (TM) knows all these things – Jeremy still thinks that his seeing ghosts is something that’s too weird to talk about. Is he a bit thick, or do the writers just think we are?
Speaking of people who are a bit thick, glamoured-girlfriend Andie is the last to leave work at the TV station, but someone keeps messing with the lights”¦ Heeeeere”¦ cooomes”¦ Stefan!
Caroline, meanwhile, is having a really bad party, what with either Matt ignoring her or saying VAMPIREWEREWOLF really loudly, and Tyler grinding all over his date. Caroline glamours the date into leaving and goes off to sulk, drink blood, and persuade Elena that a birthday cake will help her forget about whether Stefan is alive or not.
Damon gets a call from Andie to come pick her up at work. So he leaves the party, allowing Elena and Caroline to discover his Wall O’Maps where he’s been tracking Stefan and Klaus’s movements. Elena, furious that he’s lied to her and knew Stefan was alive all along, calls him, but he puts her off. He has to deal with Stefan at the TV station. Stefan tells Damon to stop tracking him, to let him go, and has Andie kill herself in front of Damon just to drive his point home.
Stefan trots obediently back to Klaus, who tells him that he knows Stefan still cares about Damon”
You never stop caring about family, do you?… But the blood makes it easier to let go.
Klaus now has Werewolf Ron tied to the pool table, where he forces him to drink his blood and then breaks his neck – but that’s only Phase 2 of his “let’s create a werewolf-vampire hybrid tribe” plan.
Klaus should have just enlisted Caroline and Tyler, who are yelling at each other back at the party. Tyler explains things very clearly to Caroline:
If you think I shouldn’t be dating, all you have to do is say something. Until you say something, I’m going to keep dating.
and she does what we’ve all been wanting her to do for a while now, and kisses him big-styley. They head back to Tyler’s house for the sex bit, and though it’s tame by True Blood standards, it’s still more sex than I’ve ever seen on TVD before. Whoop!
Elena confronts Damon about why he lied to her – and Damon tells her that all the victims she’s found out about weren’t Klaus’s, but Stefan’s – he’s gone back to being The Ripper, and she should stop waiting for him. Elena storms off home, and Damon smashes up his office. Emotional.
Back at Elena’s house, Jeremy and Matt are feeding the munchies; Matt was too wasted to drive, and Jeremy was too freaked out to after Vicki (Matt’s sister, remember) appeared in the passenger seat of his car, saying, “Help me.” Under pressure from Matt, Jeremy finally tells him that he’s been seeing Vicki, but Matt doesn’t really get it and Jeremy doesn’t enlighten him. Elena gets back to the house to find Alaric packing his bags; the self-confessed “chaperone teacher from hell” has had enough of trying to be a role model to the Gilberts, and now that Elena has turned 18, she’s legally old enough to look after them both. What’re the bets he’ll decamp to the Salvatore house?
Elena goes to bed, but her phone (an Android phone everyone, new product placement this season) rings. She picks up; it’s Stefan, standing in the car park of the bar. He doesn’t speak, but she does:
You’ll be OK. I love you Stefan, hold on to that, never let that go.
At the Lockwood mansion, Caroline does the walk of shame out of Tyler’s bedroom, shoes in hand. But Mrs. Lockwood is on to her, in more ways than one: she’s boobytrapped Caroline’s handbag and then shoots her full of vervain. Welcome back to Mystic Falls, everyone…
This episode had all the things I love about TVD: one-liners, fast-moving plot, sexual tension and a dollop of cheese. I did keep expecting the vampires to burst into flames in the sunlight, but I blame True Blood for that. Do you think Klaus’s vampire-werewolf hybrid plan will work? What is Mrs. Lockwood planning to do with Caroline? And what is the story with Jeremy’s new I-see-dead-people power?
All screencaps except one are from vampirediariesweb.com