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Recap: The Vampire Diaries, Episode 3.05, “The Reckoning”

Well, holy hell. This was a whipcracker of an episode, even by TVD’s normal standards, which seem to consider every other series’ average plot per episode, then cube it. And it (almost) all takes place in the Mystic Falls High School, at night. I like to think of it as a subtle nod to Buffy and her vampire-slaying habits… because we’re about to meet TVD’s very own vampire slayer. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

While all the plot is whipping by, it’s easy to forget that the fulcrum of this episode is The Only Normal One Left, Matt. He doesn’t have one friend who’s not supernatural in one way or another, his mother is gone, his sister is dead, and looking very hot even while sweaty is just not enough to cheer him up anymore. Caroline, however, is trying: she’s gotten the Supernatural Scooby Gang together to fill the school with toilet paper and mousetraps for “Senior Prank Night,” whatever that is (we had one at my school, but it was on the last day so we didn’t have to deal with the cleanup. U.S.-ians, enlighten me?).

On the plus side, I am incredibly buff

The gang split up, the better to distribute toilet paper, and Elena runs straight into Klaus (who got bored of breaking Stefan’s neck all day and left Rebekah in charge of him). That was easy: something that other shows might spend an episode or two building up, TVD gets out of the way in the first five minutes. Klaus drags Elena to the gym – atmospherically lit, of course – and holds her hostage while torturing her with the possibility that he’s going to torture her classmates in front of her.

Meanwhile, Caroline and Tyler are having a mushy moment. Caroline is worried about Matt; Tyler thinks this is adorable, and tells her how happy he is. ALARM BELLS: BAD THINGS IMMINENT. And sure enough – heeeeere’s Rebekah!

My spider senses are... oh wait I'm a vampire.

Bonnie and Matt are at the swimming pool: they reminisce over last summer, when they were both lifeguards, Matt was dating Elena, and Matt wasn’t The Only Normal One Left. Matt goes to get more toilet paper (a lot of trees died for this episode) and completely doesn’t see Vicki, as usual. They head to the gym, where Klaus is gathering the gang for a showdown. He forces Tyler to drink his blood, then snaps his neck – Bonnie now has to find a way to make the hybrid transition work, or Tyler will die like all the other proto-hybrids did.

Damon and Katherine are safely away from Mystic Falls, driving and snogging – but Damon is not attracted to her like he used to be. He also wants to know why they’re leaving, and Katherine shows him her leverage: the necklace, and”¦ unconscious Jeremy in the trunk of the car.

Check out the junk in my trunk! And by junk, I mean Jeremy.

Katherine knows there is someone who knows how to kill Klaus, properly: Pearl. Pearl is dead, but she told her daughter Anna. Anna is also dead, but Jeremy is able to talk to her. Anna is reluctant to help Katherine, but a quick whack to Jeremy’s head from Damon soon persuades her to talk: Klaus is afraid of this Michael chap, because he’s a vampire”¦ who hunts vampires.

Back at Mystic Falls, Stefan arrives at the gym and tries to persuade Klaus of his undying loyalty, but isn’t doing very well. Rebekah, told to guard Tyler and Caroline, is scrolling through Caroline’s phone and finds a picture of Stefan and Elena – with Elena wearing the necklace. Rebekah storms to the gym and Elena is forced to tell them that Katherine has the necklace. Klaus is not as stupid as Stefan, and when he hits Elena, Stefan gets angry. Klaus finally compels him, and commands him to kill Elena when the countdown clock (high school gym, remember) gets to 0.

Bonnie is frantically trying to get in touch with Jeremy so that he can get in touch with the “original witch,” but thanks to Vicki strewing his things around poltergeist-style, Matt has a better idea. If he kills himself, and is brought back to life, like Jeremy, maybe he can see dead people too – so he drowns himself in the school pool. Excellent idea, Matt! Bonnie’s CPR skillz are better than they look, and she manages to undo the weights, pull Matt out of the pool, and get him to breathe. His plan worked – Vicki gave him a message from the original witch: the only way to save Tyler is to complete the ritual – by killing Elena. Dun dun DUN.

My Hallowe'en costume? UNDERWATER JESUS

It seems Stefan already has that covered, though Elena angrily tells him that he owes it to her to fight Klaus’s compulsion. The clock ticks down to zero, and Elena runs– straight into Klaus. Again. Stefan, compelled to kill her, tries to fight the compulsion by hurling himself into lockers, and finally attempts to kill himself with a broom handle.

I fucking...hate... brooms

Klaus compels him again – to forget his love for Elena, and his humanity – and Stefan promptly bites her.

Bonnie’s frantic attempts to reach Jeremy means she also reached Damon – who heads straight back to Mystic Falls, knight-in-a-sports-car style. Katherine is not happy, but probably mainly because Damon says he wouldn’t do it for her.

Back at the school, Tyler is still transitioning, and rapidly reaching the point where he’ll start bleeding out his eyes and die. Klaus turns up with a vial of Elena’s blood for him to drink – and it works. No eye-bleeding: Klaus has finally found the solution. He didn’t trust the original witch’s message in the slightest, and therefore did the opposite of what she told Vicki. It’s lucky Stefan’s bite didn’t kill Elena, then, as she’s now been set up as a handy blood bank for Klaus’s hybrid army plans.

Damon arrives too late to do anything substantial, but does succeed in scaring off I’m-so-lonely Klaus by telling him that Michael knows where he is. Klaus and Rebekah leave, and Damon takes Elena from the hospital, back to his house, where he feeds her whiskey (best cure for massive blood loss, well-known fact!). He also offers to compel her to forget – but Elena refuses. Good thing too, as just as Damon is promising never to leave her again, Stefan arrives. He’s been commanded to keep an eye on them by Klaus, so he’s moving back in (and Dellbot’s eagle ear noticed that the Stefan-Damon dialogue is closely modelled on early scenes – back when Damon was The Bad One).

Tyler is fully recovered and feeling sprightly – hurray! So he and Caroline can have vampire-vampire-werewolf-hybrid babies now? Matt got his wish and he can now see Vicki even when conscious; and Jeremy and Katherine got Anna to tell them where to find Michael. They go to the tomb as directed, open it, and wake him up. Meet the vampire vampire slayer, everyone.

Time hasn't been kind to Buffy

Dellbot and I are agreed: this was a great episode – and I’ve been wondering how being The Only Normal Left has been affecting Matt. But I do have a few questions: now that Klaus knows how to make hybrids do they still need the necklace back? (Damon stole it back from Katherine, so it’s back in Mystic Falls again).

Why would Klaus leave his one working hybrid – Tyler – in Mystic Falls? How many hybrids can he make with the blood he already got from Elena, and what will he do when it runs out?

Why hasn’t Elena been drinking vervain like a sensible human?

Where is Elijah’s body, and why have none of the gang thought to go and pull that dagger out of him already?

Will Vicki get Matt to do The Dark Thing she couldn’t persuade Jeremy to do?

And just how much of a Big Bad is Michael? My bet – not having read the TVD books – is that he’s Klaus’s brother and an Original himself. Speculate with me…

All screencaps from

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