Everyone is behaving badly in Mystic Falls this week – or are they? That’s the central question of this week’s episode. Humans, vampires, ghosts and hybrids – are they being bad, or are they just doing all the normal, nasty things that humans, vampires, ghosts and hybrids do?
We pick up in Chicago, where Rebekah is in an upscale shop buying new clothes, while Klaus and Stefan drink champagne. Rebekah models her new dress for the boys and complains that women in the 21st century dress like prostitutes. Stefan says he likes her dress, but Rebekah pouts and retorts, “I can always tell when you’re lying, Stefan.” She spins on her thousand-dollar heel and struts back into the dressing room to find something less slutty to wear.
Klaus: I pity any man who doesn’t give Rebekah what she wants.
Stefan: You’re the one who pulled the dagger out of her.
Rebekah (from the dressing room): I heard that.
I loved this scene. It’s nice to see Stefan finally having some fun with his diabolical evilness. However, it doesn’t last – it soon becomes apparent that not much has changed for Stefan since last week. He may remember Klaus and Rebekah, but that doesn’t mean he likes them. He’s always stepping out to get some air. (I’m reminded of a scene from The Simpsons, in which Herman is smuggling counterfeit jeans out of Homer’s garage. He’s always stepping outside for some “fresh air.” Note to cohorts: a sudden recurring need to breathe easy means your so-called friends are up to something!)
Out on the sidewalk, Stefan meets up with Katherine. (Does sunlight even hurt vampires anymore, or are they selling magical rings from the vendors’ stalls, three dozen for a dollar?) Katherine knows that the necklace Klaus is searching for is the one that Stefan gave to Elena. She tries to worm/charm/weasel information out of Stefan but he’s not in a sharing mood. Katherine warns Stefan that Klaus will figure it out: “He’s smarter than everyone.” Because Klaus is just the smartest, strongest, scariest, invulnerablest vampire ever! What do you call a Mary Sue when they’re evil? A Mary Magdalene?
Back inMysticFalls, the Lockwoods are hosting yet another Founders’ Party, and Elena is making chili for the potluck dinner. Damon is helping. With sarcasm.
Elena: It’s an old family recipe.
Damon: Yeah, I know. I knew your old family. They made sucky chili.
BWAH. Alaric stumbles upon this scene of domesticity and banter and frowns disapprovingly; especially when Damon fingers Elena’s necklace, and the sexual tension between them is so thick you could cut it with the knife in Elena’s tremulous quivering fingers, which Ric wants to use to cut off Damon’s balls because he’s jealous that his boyfriend is hitting on his adoptive daughter.
Upstairs, Jeremy wakes up from a nap to find Anna on the bed next to him. She’s been shouting at him for days, trying to get his attention, but only now can he hear her, because he was dreaming about her. It seems that communication is a two-way street: Anna tries to reach out to Jeremy from the other side, but it’s only in moments when he’s receptive to it – when he’s thinking about her – that he can see and hear her. She warns him not to let Vicki in. Anna says that when Vicki tries to reach out to Jeremy, she can feel darkness around her. Jeremy and Anna then sit on the bed and talk, and oh, I love them together. Steven R. McQueen is at his best when he’s in scenes with Malese Jow. There’s a real tenderness between these two that I just don’t see when Jeremy is with Bonnie.
But Jeremy is with Bonnie, and she has returned from her summer at her dad’s house. Everyone is happy to see her, but Jeremy is wigged because he doesn’t know how to tell her he’s been seeing the ghosts of his dead vampire girlfriends. Not one of those things you work into conversation at the Founders’ Party potluck.
Sheriff Forbes comes to get Damon and takes him to the jailhouse, where she has Bill tied up in the dungeon. She’s kept him there for a few days to let the vervain work its way out of his system. Damon bites Bill just to make sure he’s clean. He then compels Bill to forget that Caroline is a vampire.
Bonnie, Caroline and Elena are catching up on what they did this summer. Suddenly Elena’s necklace starts to sizzle, and makes bacon out of her neck. She takes it off and hands it to Bonnie; when Bonnie touches it, it crackles with electricity and zaps her. Cut to Gloria’s bar in Chicago, where the owner is working a spell to find the necklace. She sees the three girls but doesn’t know exactly where they are. She says she needs more time and space to work out the details, so Stefan drags Klaus and Rebekah out for a bite: “I’ll let you pick who we eat,” he whispers enticingly in Klaus’s ear. YUM.
They find a couple of bodies to feed on, but Rebekah looks bored and asks if they’re done yet so they can go. Klaus ribs her about being a brat, to which Stefan replies: “You’re no picnic either. I’ve only spent one summer with you and I feel like I want to blow my head off.”
Ouch! I have to say, I’m disappointed that the promise of last week is going unfulfilled. Stefan may have recovered his memories of Klaus and Rebekah, but those memories don’t seem to have come with any feelings attached. I can understand that he doesn’t trust Klaus (who would?) and that he’s still deeply in love with Elena. But a little bit of inner conflict would make Stefan’s story a lot more interesting. Sigh.
Stefan needs more fresh air and heads back to Gloria’s bar, to uncover what she’s found out. Gloria says the girls with the necklace were talking about Stefan. She says that she has no intention of giving Klaus the necklace; she wants it for herself, so she incapacitates Stefan, ties him up and bleeds him to get the information out of him. Gloria sees Elena, and figures out that she’s the doppelganger – she’s supposed to be dead, and that’s why Klaus can’t make more hybrids.
But while Gloria is busy drilling into Stefan’s head, Katherine sneaks up behind her and stabs her in the neck. She unties Stefan, who reveals that he knew Klaus and Rebekah back in the 20s. They were running from someone, and Stefan wants to find out who it is:
Katherine: If you’re planning on making a move against Klaus, I want in.
Stefan: It’s good to want things, Katherine.
Meanwhile, Bonnie and Jeremy perform their own spooky mojo on Elena’s necklace, trying to find out what made it burn Elena’s neck. Bonnie discovers that the necklace has its own magic. She and Jeremy try a spell, but when they do, Anna pops up and tells Jeremy, “The darkness. It’s here.” Then all of Bonnie’s books catch fire. Jeremy runs into the bathroom for water and they douse the flames. Anna appears again, and he tells her that she can’t keep popping up like this when he’s with Bonnie. Anna retorts that she can only appear when Jeremy is reaching out to her: “That’s why you haven’t told Bonnie, isn’t it? You don’t want her to know that you still care.”
Jeremy decides that he has to come clean, and confesses to Bonnie that he’s been seeing ghosts of Anna and Vicki. Anna fades away, crying that she’s all alone on the other side, but Jeremy can no longer hear or see her.
At the Founders’ Party, Caroline asks Elena, “You’re not, like, switching Salvatores, are you?” Seems no one approves of the amount of time Elena and Damon are spending together, including Ric, who tells Damon he needs to “take a beat” from Elena. Sheriff Forbes comes to spirit Damon away for the Council meeting. At the end of the meeting, Bill turns up and confronts the sheriff, Carole Lockwood and Damon – and he remembers everything. Whoops, Bill is impervious to compulsion! Damon may be eviler than Darth Vader but those mind tricks won’t work on this Jedi knight, no sir.
Caroline sees her dad at the party and runs upstairs to hide inTyler’s bedroom.Tyler finds her there, and they make with the smoochies. This is all we see of Tyler in this episode, but he’s half-naked, so we do get to see quite a lot of him.
Out on the lawn, Damon tracks down Alaric and Elena and gives them the disturbing news: Bill wants to control the council. He says it’s been compromised; Alaric agrees that it has been. Bill wants to put vervain in the town’s water supply; Elena says maybe it’s not a bad idea, it’ll help Damon keep himself under control now that’s Stefan’s not here. Damon blows a gasket: “Not here to what? Keep me in line? Make me behave?” He’s in full-on Kill Bill mode, and Alaric tries to stop him. “Your temporary funeral,” Damon shrugs, and then snaps Alaric’s neck. This is the second time that Damon has killed Alaric – the first was back in Season 1, after Alaric tried to stake him. Their bromance just keeps getting more and more epic.
Elena interrupts Caroline’s sexy times with Tyler to tell her that Damon is going after her dad. Damon confronts Bill in the Lockwoods’ study:
Bill: You’re not self-destructive enough to kill the sheriff’s ex-husband.
Damon: That makes you the third person to underestimate me today.
Damon takes a big ol’ chunk out of Bill’s neck, but Caroline comes rushing in and pulls him off her daddy. She rips open her wrist and feeds dad her blood so that he’ll heal faster. Damon jumps Caroline from behind and pins her to the desk:
Damon: I’m stronger than you, little girl.
Caroline: Well, I’m angrier!
Go Caroline! She hands Damon his ass on a platter and rushes her dad out of the room to safety.
Elena comes in to find Damon bloody and beaten. They have this exchange, which echoes her conversation with Stefan from last week:
Elena: You can’t do this anymore Damon. Not in this town, not around me.
Damon: Why not? Nothing I haven’t done before. Why is suddenly so important for everyone to keep me in check?
Elena: Because I don’t want you to be what other people think that you are.
Damon: What? A monster? Sorry to disappoint you, Elena, but last time I checked, I was still a vampire.
Elena: I just wish you didn’t have to act like one!
Damon: I am not Stefan! How about you stop trying to turn me into him?
Oh, Elena. Still trying to save everyone, even when they don’t want to be saved. Later, Elena admits to Caroline that she was trying to change Damon. Caroline pushes Elena to admit that she’s attracted to him, but she resists, saying, “If I admit it – if I even think it – what does that say about me?” Caroline replies, “It says you’re human.” Yes, Elena. And that you have eyes!
Caroline then spies her dad, who says he’s leaving town before someone kills him. He thanks Caroline for rescuing him, and she tells him, “I’m gonna be okay.” Bill isn’t buying it, though: “You’re a vampire, sweetheart. I don’t think you’ll ever be okay again.” Alright, this is harsh, and I think Bill is an ass. But it speaks to the theme of this episode: Caroline is a vampire, and sooner or later, she may find it difficult to resist the lure of being a vampire, just as Stefan and Damon have.
Back in the windy city, the wind is not blowing Stefan’s way. He wanders among Klaus’s creepy coffin collection, where Rebekah finds him. They have a conversation which could just as easily apply to Stefan/Damon as it does to Rebekah/Klaus:
Stefan: Why don’t you undagger them?
Rebekah: Because Nick would hunt me down and kill me. He’s a vindictive little bastard, my brother.
Stefan: Yet you still care about him. Why?
Rebekah: I hated him for a long time. It was exhausting.
Stefan then admits that he agreed to go with Klaus to save his brother, and Rebekah says that Klaus secretly admires Stefan for that, the way he’ll sacrifice anything for family. OH, my heart! I love the family parallels in this show.
Stefan asks Rebekah who they’re running from, but Rebekah declines to answer, saying Klaus would kill her if she divulged his secrets. She then asks about the girl Stefan loved, the one Klaus killed. She kisses Stefan, and asks if he’ll ever love anyone again the way he loved that girl. Stefan replies, “One day, maybe.” Rebekah retorts, “I can always tell when you’re lying, Stefan.”
Klaus comes upon them, and Rebekah spills the beans: “Something’s wrong. He was asking about Michael. He’s not with us, Nick. I can sense it.” Klaus attacks Stefan and everything fades to black.
It’s the morning after at the Salvatore mansion, and Alaric is suffering from one hell of a resurrection hangover. He jerks back to life on Damon’s sofa, to find Damon hovering over him and looking worried:
Damon: Took a bit longer than usual, hunh? Might want to get that ring checked, hope it’s not going bad.
Alaric: You killed me.
Damon: You pissed me off.
Alaric: You killed me!
Damon: Ric, no hard feelings. I was on a bit of a tear, everyone was trying to tell me how to behave.
Alaric: Or maybe they finally realized you’re just a dick.
Ahahahaha. I love them so much.
Ric is royally pissed this time, and decides that Something Must Be Done about Damon. He meets with Carole Lockwood and Sheriff Forbes and demands a seat on the council: “The Gilbert family is a founding family. They deserve a voice on the council. I’m taking care of them, I should be that voice.” Carole Lockwood says it doesn’t work that way, but Ric doesn’t back down: “The council’s job is to protect the people of this town. Your daughter’s a vampire, your son’s a werewolf. So who’s looking after the actual people? Some of them may be family or friends, but they are still supernatural. They don’t follow our rules or our laws. They look after themselves, and that’s what we need to do.”
Wow, Ric is sounding pretty hardline about all this. Will he team up with Bill to lace the water supply with vervain? Will he turn the town against Caroline,Tyler, and the other supernaturals who are peaceable and assimilated? There’s a showdown coming between Normals and Mutants, and Ric is the new – um, whoever the Mutant-hunter is in the X-Men franchise, I don’t read those comics.
Katherine, disguised as Elena, gets “her” necklace back from Bonnie and takes off with it. She then shows up at Damon’s door: “I’m just a girl looking for a partner in crime. Feel like hitting the road?” Damon, feeling shunned and X-Menned, agrees: “Impeccable timing. I was told today I need to take a beat.” So off they go, presumably to keep the necklace out of Klaus’s hybrid handpaws.
And speaking of Klaus, we see him surrounded by his creepy coffin collection with Stefan in the back of a truck. Rebekah believes that Stefan is still holding onto a part of his old life, and Klaus wants to know what it is. He throws up the truck bay door, and in shines the bright light of morning: “Welcome back to MysticFalls, Stefan.”
How they managed to drive from Chicago to Virginia in less than 12 hours will presumably be explained in the next episode. I can’t wait to have that mystery solved!
SHIRTLESS SOMERHALDER SIGHTINGS: No shirtless Damon, but we did get shirtless Tyler, which was quite a sight on its own.
QUIPPITY QUIP: “He threatened to out me. Don’t get me started on the irony of that.”