Faithful readers of Hey, Don’t Judge Me will be familiar with our awesome chief editor–actress, writer, and recapper extraordinaire, Laura Stone. Laura co-starred in a little comedy horror movie a few years back called Blood on the Highway, which killed at film festivals across the U.S. Well, the latest episode of The Vampire Diaries opens with a rock montage of Damon, Stefan, and Alaric carving stakes from the white oak tree—and with me laughing my ass off, because it looks and sounds an awful lot like this:
Those are Laura’s fake fingernails carving that stake. And apparently her technique is better than Damon’s, because Stefan tells him, “We finally have a stake that can kill an Original. I’m not gonna miss because you can’t whittle.”
While Damon and Stefan whittle away the time, Alaric has an attack of conscience for all those murders he committed while he was in Mr. Hyde mode. He wants to turn himself over to the long arm of Sheriff Forbes, but Damon and Stefan convince him not to because they have more important things to do—namely, killing Originals. Damon gives Alaric the magic protecto-ring and tells him to wear it. Ric reluctantly puts it on—sadly, without two-inch-long pink press-on nails.
Elena and Caroline go for a walk in the woods, where Elena gives Miss C. the horrific news that Alaric killed her father. Elena begs forgiveness on Ric’s behalf: “He’s a victim of something supernatural. None of you asked for this. But who would I be if I turned my back on any of you?” Caroline finds it tough to accept, but she gets it. “Elena Gilbert,” she says, “savior of the cursed and the damned.”
Matt meets up with them, along with Damon and Stefan. The Salvatores drop their newly forged weapons to the ground and start handing out stakes to the whole gang. They stage an amusing tableau in which they role-play different scenarios on How to Kill an Original. One of their scenarios involves Caroline acting as Klaus-bait while Matt charms the knickers off Rebekah, whom Damon describes as an easy target:
Damon: She’s lonely. Desperate.
Caroline: Clearly. She slept with you.
Klaus and Rebekah meet up with their brother Finn and drag him back to Klaus’s mansion. When they get there, Sage appears on the staircase, all Gone-with-the-Wind. Finn is stunned and overjoyed to see her, and he embraces her passionately. Suddenly he has a reason to live! Which is good news for Klaus and Rebekah, because Esther’s spell has linked all of the Originals together. If one dies, they all die, which makes the Original-hunting job a lot easier for our heroes.
Rebekah shows up at the Salvatore mansion seeking a little payback for Damon’s mind reading trick last week. She renders Ric unconscious and stabs Damon in the gut, then drags him back to Klaus’s mansion for a little bondage fun. She strings him up by the wrists using animal traps; OUCH! Damon, despite being in agonizing pain, quips, “Gotta admit. Even for me, it’s a little kinky.”
Rebekah decides to bleed her captive until all the vervain is out of his system. Klaus walks in and they bicker over who has more experience with sadism. Klaus eyes Damon as if he’d like to do the torturing himself; he flirts and bats his eyelashes but Rebekah went to all the trouble of getting dressed up in her dominatrix outfit and she’s pretty possessive of her prize. She berates Damon for his bad behavior last week, which is clearly her idea of seducing Damon to choose her over her brother. She might as well be quoting Laura’s infamous speech from Blood on the Highway: “You only swing on the vine? Or do you lay on the rug? ‘Cause honey I got a cl*t like a thumb and a tongue like a lasso that can rope and wrangle your cute little c*nt button.”
Rebekah dismisses Klaus, and he goes to check on their other captive, who turns out to be Bonnie. Klaus has kidnapped her and is trying to force her to undo Esther’s linky spell. He telephones his other brother, Kol, who happens to be in Denver spying on Jeremy, who’s playing fetch with his new puppy. Klaus shows Bonnie the video on his phone and asks, “Isn’t that just the most adorable thing you’ve ever seen?” Yes, Klaus. Yes, it is! Klaus threatens to have Jeremy killed, along with Bonnie’s mom, if she doesn’t do what he asks.
Finn and Sage walk off into the sunshine together, where Matt, Caroline, and Elena spot them in the park, having a lovers’ stroll. Elena calls Stefan, who’s just getting home. He finds Alaric on the stairs, who tells him that Rebekah has Damon. Houston, we have a problem.
While Stefan goes to meet up with the gang, Caroline drops by chez Salvatore to keep an eye on Alaric. He apologizes for killing her father and feels completely lame doing it. Caroline, however, can empathize, because she killed someone too, when she first turned. And she liked it. They all have blood on their hands, she says. “I’m no better than you. So I’m going to take a page from the Elena Gilbert handbook, and choose to believe that you can be saved.”
Elena meets up with Stefan outside Mystic Grill, where Finn and Sage are inside having a drink. Stefan says they need to plan their next move, but Elena says their next move should be finding and rescuing Damon. “If the roles were reversed, he would stop everything to save you.” It’s a bit unfair for Elena to come down on Stefan for not rescuing Damon right away, given all those times that Stefan saved his brother’s life. Killing Finn is a good plan; it would also kill Klaus and Rebekah, which would automatically set Damon free. Stefan is just doing what’s practical, but Elena’s judgement is clouded by her feelings for Damon—and Stefan knows it.
Back at the Klaus haus, Rebekah gets inside Damon’s head and jerks him around. (Sadly, not literally.) He fantasizes that Elena comes to rescue him and feeds him her blood to heal him. The blood-drinking scene is hot, but Rebekah pulls Damon out of his dreamscape before he and Elena can relive their deathbed kissy scene.
At Mystic Grill, Sage is introducing Finn to the wonders of tequila. A minion of hers, Troy, drops by to say hi, and Sage tells Finn that she turned him. Matt comes by to clear the table and they order more tequila. At the bar, Stefan slips Matt a vial of vervain, which Matt then slips into the lovers’ drinks.
Sage and Finn down their shots and then immediately spit them out in pain. They spot Stefan heading for the door, who grins at them and leads them on a merry chase outside. In the alley, Stefan attacks but Sage gets the jump on him and the stake tumbles out of his hand. Finn rushes to retrieve it, but just then Elena and Matt burst out and shoot Finn with a crossbow. The gang comes up with the stake and they kill Finn.
Unfortunately, it’s too late: Bonnie, under duress from Klaus’s threats, has agreed to perform the unlinking spell. She completes the ritual just before Finn gets stabbed by the remains of the white oak tree. Finn dies, but Klaus and Rebekah remain unharmed.
Her task completed, Klaus leads Bonnie out of the mansion. On the way out, she spots Damon hanging from the ceiling, bloodied and in chains. “Go on,” Klaus taunts. “Help him. Save the man who turned your mother into a vampire.” Instead, Bonnie beats a hasty retreat. Once outside, she calls Elena, tells her that Klaus has Damon, and gives her the bad news about the unlinking spell. In tears, she confesses that Klaus threatened Jeremy and her mother. She then hangs up, sinks to the ground and sobs uncontrollably, the weight of one catastrophe after another too much for her to bear.
Caroline, Elena, and Stefan are back at the Salvatores’ when they get the bad news. Stefan goes storming out of the house, determined to kill Klaus and rescue Damon. Alone, Caroline and Elena enjoy a moment of silence, and then Caroline quips, “I miss well-adjusted Stefan.” BWAH.
In a stellar bit of editing, Caroline’s comic timing is expertly punctuated by a body flying through the doorway. It’s Stefan, thrown back into the house by Sage and Troy. They’ve come for revenge on Finn’s killers, but just as Sage starts kicking the crap out of Stefan, she and Troy mysteriously collapse, start bleeding from the mouth, and die.
Elena, Caroline, and Stefan deduce that it’s the bloodline: “Finn turned Sage. Sage turned Troy. They’re all part of the same vampire bloodline that originated with Finn.” This is bad news for our heroes! If all the Originals die, then every vampire created from their bloodline dies with them—which means all vampires would die, including Stefan, Damon, Caroline, and even hybrids like Tyler. (I have to say, I suspected something like this might happen, back when Esther first did the linking spell.)
Stefan, realizing that he’s out of options, decides to surrender his weapons to Klaus in return for Damon’s life. Stefan tells Klaus there are 8 stakes, but Klaus compels Damon to tell him the truth, and Damon admits that there are 11 left.
Then we get Klaus throwing a bizarre hissy-fit over Stefan’s lack of appreciation for him: “I have given you someone to hate. To loathe. A target for all of your anger! So you don’t have to turn it on yourself. I’ve given your life purpose, as your friend. I really think you should be thanking me.” Holy melodrama, Klaus. I have to give kudos to Joseph Morgan for delivering this speech with complete conviction, and without bursting into guffaws of laughter. Not even someone as psychopathic as Klaus could possibly call himself Stefan’s friend after all this. Once again, I mourn for the awesomeness that could have been the Stefan/Klaus friendship.
Stefan is likewise pissed at Klaus’s ham-fisted dialogue, and attacks him in a rage. He tries to stake him but Klaus is too strong and stops him. “Step down, or you both die,” Klaus says, and Stefan hands over the stake. Rebekah releases Damon from his chains with instructions to bring the remaining stakes, or she’ll kill them both.
Stefan takes Damon home, and Rebekah confronts Klaus: “The Salvatores may fight like dogs, but in the end, they would die for each other. At least they know what family means. You destroyed ours.” Klaus replies, “I wanted a family. They just didn’t want me.” Aw, Klaus, bitter much? He tells Rebekah that he’ll leave Mystic Falls as soon as he gets the remaining stakes. He’ll take Elena and use her blood to create more hybrids, so that he can have a new family.
Back at chez Salvatore, Stefan is licking his wounds over all the time and energy he spent hating Klaus. “It was all for nothing.” (Yes, I have to agree with him, especially when it could have been so much more.) Stefan laments everything that he let slip away, including Elena. She admits that she never stopped loving him. Stefan knows that, but he also knows that she’s in love with Damon too. “I love you. I will always love you. I just want you to look me in the eye, and tell me that you don’t feel something for him.” Elena, confused, replies, “I don’t know what I feel.” But Stefan does, Elena! And so do we.
Damon, meanwhile, goes to retrieve the last stake from Alaric. But when Ric goes to get the stake out of its hiding place, it isn’t there, which can only mean one thing:
Damon: Are you telling me that your vampire-hating alter-ego has a stake that could kill an entire line of vampires? Possibly mine?
Alaric: That’s exactly what I’m telling you.
Now that’s a big heap of trouble they’ve gotten themselves into! How big? To quote Blood on the Highway, “It’s like trying to give a blow job to a polar bear!”
SHIRTLESS SOMERHALDER SIGHTINGS: Not quite shirtless, but Damon spent half of this episode with his shirt hanging open so that Rebekah could carve pretty red patterns into his skin. It’s good to see torture porn entering the mainstream.
QUIPPITY QUIP: “I hear you had a run-in with Buffy the Vampire.”