After the preview for this week’s episode, I thought “Ghost World” was going to be a ridiculous conceit loaded with trite ghosty moments. By now, you’d think I’d have learned to not doubt the quality and direction of the writing on this show. Ghosts actually are awesome!
At the end of last week’s episode, Ghost Mason showed up to kick the snot out of Damon. This week starts where we left off, almost. Damon is chained to a chair with an iron poker through his chest, all very Mason’s Death Scene Rehash. Stefan shows up and laughs. He’s helpful enough to pull the poker out of his chest but leaves Damon chained up, and neither of them notice Mason watching from the corner.
Over in Mystic Falls, we get the set-up for the episode. Ghosts ahoy! Mrs. Mayor Lockwood is preparing the town for another festival (because Mystic Falls is the most fun ever!). Everybody is out setting up for the Night of Illumination, including Alaric, Elena, Jeremy and Ghost Anna. Mostly she helps by making Jeremy laugh at jokes nobody else can hear. Elena thinks that maybe if ghosts are a thing now they can track down Lexi to help save Stefan. Elsewhere Caroline and Bonnie chat about the fact that Ghost Anna is still creeping on Jer. Caroline thinks it’s crap, Bonnie is all consequences and stoicism even when her Grimoire busts open to reveal a ghost spell. Matt just watches from afar, all “this shit is wack.” He tells them as much and doesn’t return for the episode. He’s doing his damnedest to be normal and I like that the show continues with the theme. It’d be so easy to 180 that and turn Matt into a vampire or something weirder, but his normalcy is some times even more of a lonely weirdo situation than being a super. Hopefully, now that Vicki is out of the picture, he doesn’t just become a really minor character. Finally, Damon shows up to tell Alaric that Mason is back and even though their bromance is dead, you know, they should help each other. Rick points to the cold dead body of said bromance and dismisses Damon.
Bonnie and Caroline decide to investigate the Grimoire’s ghost spell and head to The House of One Hundred Dead Witches (but don’t worry, the witches are gone).
The candles are lit and Bonnie busts out the juu juu and wouldn’t you know it? Another ghost. It’s Gran. Turns out what with bringing Jer back from the dead and booting Vicki back to the other side, Bonnie has busted open the door between the worlds. The Original Witch is exploiting this jazzy new freedom to do her business on this side. Question. If she can send people back why doesn’t she just do it herself? What’s the deal? She’s obviously got unfinished business. Anyway, this latest spell has busted stuff wide open and now all the ghosts around town have a stronger foothold. Enter corporeal Mason, Lexi and Anna, as well as some other unwanted visitors. It’s up to Bonnie now to send them back and close the door by destroying the Original Witch’s talisman, also known as Elena’s necklace.
Back at The Grill, Jeremy mooncalfs over Anna. It’s so lame. They make out and Elena catches them. She’s mad – fair enough, I’d be pretty pissed to walk in on my brother cheating on my BFF with a ghost. Bad Jeremy!
Damon continues to try to resuscitate the bromance. In a scene that makes me wish he wasn’t actually killed off, Mason shows up to drink whiskey with Damon. A new bromance begins and he tells Damon he doesn’t want revenge, just an apology. For which he is willing to help them find a mysterious weapon that can kill the Originals. So Damon chokes out the best apology ever (well, second best, that comes later):
I didn’t have to kill you. I do a lot of things I don’t have to do.
Outside, Stefan is being haunted by Lexi. He’s having none of her tough love so she awesomely smashes his head into an SUV and carries him off to a dungeon somewhere (there are so many in Mystic Falls it doesn’t matter where she goes really). Elena goes with her to learn Ripper Detox 101. There’s some torture and some blood withdrawal. He hallucinates that he’s been five years without. And gets very cranky. Caroline calls – she hasn’t found the necklace yet. Apparently Damon is supposed to have it at his house, but he’s off searching the Lockwood property with Mason so no one can get a hold of him. On the one hand, bad because ghosts are bad, on the other hand, Lexi is a ghost and maybe she is helping Stefan, so there’s no rush to send them back. Ripper Detox gets to be too much for Elena so she bails.
The Night of Illumination is about to start. Party time! Jeremy, still an idiot, searches for Anna who bailed when Elena gave her the stink eye. Anna is there and she has found a bunch more ghosts. Some Tomb Vamps. Who still hate the Founders and decide to share their hate by gutting and stringing up a local historian. Party’s over. Jeremy calls Bonnie for a sitrep on the necklace, but since she’s figured out that Jeremy’s been philandering with a ghost, Caroline answers her phone and promptly points out that Anna probably took the necklace (Anna innocently disappears). She then tells him to wake up before he loses everything. I wish Caroline was my friend. Girl’s on it.
Elena resurfaces to find the town in chaos. Caroline’s not the only one who thinks Anna is guilty and when Elena finds Jeremy she gives him a piece of her mind. Alas! Jeremy loves Anna! Don’t get me wrong, I think Anna is swell, but Jeremy’s actions are lame and selfish. Anna shows up with the necklace and an apology and Elena goes big sister on her. “Everything that you’re holding on to is gone… You’re just holding him back. You know that.” Ah star-cross’d love. Except Jeremy and Anna are kind of exactly like Stefan and Elena. Time to give up the ghost, so to speak. And even though Anna is sad, lonely and missing her mom, she knows Elena is right. (See? Not all bad.) She hugs Jeremy and leaves. Jeremy takes the necklace to Bonnie who verbally slaps him and finishes her spellwork with her Gran. The talisman melts and the ghost door starts to close. Done deal, right? Except that the talisman is actually fine.
Back in the dungeon, Lexi continues torturing the goodness into Stefan. Elena returns in time to tell Lexi that she knows what to do and Lexi can go in peace. Lexi disappears. Elena turns to leave Stefan. He thinks she’s giving up, but she hasn’t. But she does know that if he doesn’t get his hope back there’s nothing she can do. She tells him to fight for it, to feel something – if he doesn’t, he will lose her forever. Good to see her taking her own advice, her self-awareness is refreshing:
I won’t love a ghost for the rest of my life.
Outside Caroline is fighting the Tomb Vamps and they too disappear. (I love how Caroline practically became a ninja when she turned. She’s fighting vampires way older than she is and totally owns them.) Anna finds her mom and they hug and disappear. Gran tells Bonnie she is proud of her and then she too disappears. Good-bye ghosts! Oh, but what of Mason? Well, Mason was on a quest for redemption. He and Damon make it to a secret lair in the Lockwood Cellar that vampires can’t enter. Just as he discovers something magnificent, he too disappears. So Damon ropes Alaric into helping him. Still, there’s that dead bromance and Alaric doesn’t like the fact that Damon tried to kill him, in a hissy fit no less. Cue best apology ever when Damon tries to re-use his Mason apology. But this time he means it! Bromance back on. Alaric enters the secret lair to find it covered in strange pictograms.
Rick: I found something.
Damon: What is it?
Rick: I have no idea.
Oh yeah, and where’s my Halloween episode? Also, where’s shirtless Tyler?
All screencaps from Vampire Diaries Web.