First things first, be warned - I liked this episode. If you didn’t like it, you’re probably just going to want to skip this review. Also, I’m doing this one from memory again. I’m trying to keep things in the right order. If I mess up, don’t hold it against me.
That’s a fancy little dress store. One thing you have to say about vampires, they must definitely know how to invest. Rebekah’s rant about the lack of fabric on modern dresses amuses me. She laments the fact that trousers were once scandalous, and now she’s basically not wearing anything.
She shows Stefan a dress, and he does a great imitation of my father when he has to shop with my mom. Sure, nice dress, honey. She’s so not buying it. Once again this week, she focuses on the fact that she can tell when Stefan’s lying. Not only does that reinforce the depth of their past relationship, you know (since she’s repeating herself) that’s about to be really important somewhere.
Stefan tires of shopping and decides to head outside for a bit. Well, hello there, Katherine. My gosh, I’ve missed you.
Speaking of missing things......
Ahhh, Damon and Elena are cooking. Brings back such fond memories to better times...like kitchen banter in season one.
His lines in this episode are so quick and sharp. One of the writers must be channeling his inner Kevin Williamson - they’ve pegged Damon spot-on.
Speaking of, Damon’s totally in-tune with Elena here. He’s not here to help her cook. As she tells Alaric, he’s there because he’s expecting her to break, and he’s going to be there when she does. That means helping cook the dreaded chili.
As a viewer, Alaric’s concerned expression at the apparent connection between Damon and Elena annoys me. As a parent, he’s totally right. If that were my daughter, I’d be more than moderately concerned. Yes, I know, there’s a lot of worse things out there in Mystic Falls...and Elena needs all the protection she can get, but Elena even told Alaric she wasn’t sure what she was getting into with Damon. Until she can answer that with certainty, Alaric has the right to be wary.
And one more thing I’ve missed......
Whoa, I’d forgotten the connection between Jeremy and Anna. I LOVE Malese Jow (I’ve been getting my fix on Nickelodeon shows lately.) She’s one of the most “human” of the vampires. I think she must rival Katherine in age - her control was amazing. The emotion that she brings to this scene is beautiful, but it’ll be rivaled by another one of her scenes later.
One thing I hadn’t missed....
Bonnie’s home! Her arrival breaks up my pretty Anna/Jeremy scene. But, I have to say, Bonnie didn’t annoy me in this episode. She’s there for Elena (and by extension Caroline) when her friend really needs her. When she’s working in tandem with the other girls, I don’t dislike Bonnie.
For those of y’all who read my reviews often, that’s saying a lot here.
Sheriff Forbes called Damon for help. How much do I love this transition scene?
Liz needed help, and once again, she looked to our reluctant hero. There’s no reason why she didn’t ask Caroline to do this, but she didn’t. She trusts Damon.
I really don’t like Bill. I’ll get back to that.
Stefan comes back and Rebecca’s not amused that he’s been gone for long. Time for a little witch tracking spell.
I like Gloria. I really do - at least here.
She’s working for Klaus, but she doesn’t like him. (I’m still going with the witch indebted thing here that Katherine hinted at once.) Gloria’s working with him because she has to for some reason, she’s not doing this because she thinks he’s doing the right thing.
Since Gloria isn’t too sure about what she’s looking for, she’s going to call in Rebecca’s help.
Oh, there’s the necklace - right in the middle of a little girl talk. Bonnie’s mildly frustrated that everything in Mystic Falls fell apart while she was busy being bored with her dad’s family.
Caroline’s a little suspicious as to why Damon was there helping Elena cook, but before they can delve too much into that, Elena’s necklace heats up and burns her. When she hands it to Bonnie, literal sparks fly.
Back in Chicago, Gloria knows she’s found the necklace, but she’s tired and she needs a little time to rest. Hmm...I’m skeptical.
Klaus is annoyed, but Stefan knows how to have a good time. They just need to go eat some ladies, and he’ll even let Klaus pick their victims out.
The girls have decided to take their research to town square. Fresh air is good for you...
While Bonnie tries to figure out what’s going on with the necklace, Caroline continues her original line of questioning. She’s spent a ton of time with Elena lately, and she’s seen more than Elena will likely admit to herself.
Is Elena switching Salvatores?
Now our vampire trio has finished their snacks. Rebekah’s acting like the spoiled brat that Klaus has hinted that she is. Stefan needs some air - and Klaus thinks Stefan is headed to write a name on the wall. But that’s not where our younger brother Salvatore is headed.
He knows Gloria knows more than she’s telling.
And she knows Stefan does too.
The next scene is icky as she tortures the knowledge of what’s up with the necklace out of him. She doesn’t take kindly to the new age stuff, she prefers old fashioned voodoo. After she locates the necklace, she can see visions of Elena, but he’s fighting her. I’ll admit that his pleas show that he hasn’t gone full ripper yet. He’s struggling against her because she can’t know about Elena.
And then she pushes even harder.
There it is. The key to why Klaus can’t make his army. The doppleganger’s still alive. Happy with this new weapon in her arsenal, she’s smug as she backs away - right into a stake from Katherine.
Hmm, even this ultra-powerful witch is totally at the mercy of this unexpected attack.
It’s more than a little creepy that Katherine’s watching out for Stefan this closely. For someone who’s always been looking out for number one, she’s taking a massive risk here - if Klaus unexpectedly showed up in the bar, he’d find Katherine. But she was willing to take the risk to find Stefan. She knew he was in over his head, and now she’s proven it.
He still won’t work with her though. She needs a new partner in crime. Wonder where she’ll get one of those?
Damon’s looking through the various pots of chili - loved the little Founding Family nametags. I was kind of expecting him to switch the Gilbert chili with one of the really good ones....but I digress.
As expected, Alaric’s not too far from his friend’s side. But we have a bit of a problem. Our not-so-reluctant guardian has a little bit of an issue with what was going on in the kitchen earlier that day. In his opinion, Damon needs to back away from Elena.
Alaric’s looking out for Elena, and part of that means he needs to put the brakes on whatever’s going on between his charge and his friend. Damon seems honestly shocked. If Alaric’s doing this to protect Elena, what on earth does he think Damon’s been trying to do.
Team Blood and Beer, I feel you are on shaky ground right now.
We don’t really get the chance for Alaric to answer Damon’s question because now Liz arrives with the news that the council meeting is about to start. As head of the council, Damon needs to be there.
More Jeremy and Anna cuteness. She can come because he’s calling out to her. I think that’s going to be important later.
Mrs. Mayor is leading the anti-werewolf council that just happens to consist of a mom of a werewolf, mom of a vampire, and a vampire. Yeah, I’ll bet these council meetings are amazingly productive.
She seems to just want to get out of the little meeting room as quickly as possible. Before they all leave, Damon stops for a drink of water (I was really hoping there wasn’t any vervain in there...this is a council meeting after all). Quick question, does Mrs. Mayor know what Damon is?
Stefan and Katherine are talking. She’s skeptical that he’s really thought all of this out. She’s worried that he’s let this “I’m a bad guy now” thing make him over confident. She wants to know what he’s planning to do, and when she hears about this hunter dude, she is not pleased.
Very little freaks Katherine Pierce out. This hunter guy apparently does. She heard about him centuries ago, which begs the question, what is he?
Not human - he’d be dead by now.
A witch? I know they can slow aging, but how much?
Werewolf? They seem to live rather human lifetimes.
A vampire who hunts other vampires?
Katherine may want to join the party, but there’s only room for one hero in the room right now. Stefan’s been reading his own press, so he’s not buying what she’s selling, and that’s about to be a really big problem.
Ok, we’re about to hit the largest section of “D’Ann commentary,” marked by italics. This is my recap, and I can chase bunnies if I want to.
So...Ric and Elena leave while Elena asks where Damon is. Ric doesn’t care, but this scene does illustrate just how much time Damon’s been spending around Elena. He’s not here with her, and she’s looking for him before she leaves.
Houston, we have a problem. That’s an understatement.
Bill is threatening to out Damon to the council. (Insert appropriate snickers here.) Damon needs to fix the problem, and it’s almost as if he’s counting on Alaric’s backup here. When he doesn’t get it (and, I’m going to excuse Elena’s little moment of word vomit here because she’s about to say something so amazing, I’m going to blame her comment about keeping Damon in check as her being overly tired or something like that), Damon has to act. After checking for Alaric’s ring, Damon declares Alaric temporarily dead and goes to deal with the problem.
Why didn’t the compulsion work on Bill?
This is the only real section I have an issue with on this episode, and it isn’t for the reason you think. Really? The dude has trained his brain to resist compulsion? Sorry, that’s just lame to me. Most of our witchy stuff has loopholes, but this one just doesn’t work. Unless Bill has a vampire friend who he’s practiced resisting the compulsion with, there’s no way he could have built up an immunity to it like Katherine can resist vervain now. (Ok, so on fifth thought, I have an idea about this scene....discussion to be coming soon.)
So, a very “in control” Damon attacks Bill. After blasting Bill for underestimating him, Damon goes in for what appears to be the kill, but is actually just really intense scare tactics.
Caroline doesn’t realize that Damon’s just trying to teach her dad a lesson. She immediately comes to her father’s assistance. Older and stronger should be able to take out the younger vamp, right? But Caroline has anger on her side. She’s able to overpower Damon and take him down for what he’s doing to her dad.
While I initially had HUGE issues with this, I think I see where they’re going with the anger can overpower age thing. Spoiler theory - don’t read this if you don’t want to know something about next week. Next week, Elena’s in danger. Klaus and Rebekah are both trying to prevent him from getting to Elena. Age will not be able to overcome his anger at the risk to Elena.
Elena rushes into the room during the fight between Caroline and Damon. She’s livid as she turns on Damon. And here, we have a case of what she DIDN’T say that’s important.
Elena faces off with Damon, screaming at him that she doesn’t want him to be what OTHER people think he is. She doesn’t say what SHE thinks he is. She knows the “real” Damon, and it isn’t even the monster that he views himself as. She wants him to be the man that she’s come to know - the one she likes just like he is.
Here Damon’s past comes to the surface. He’s always been second to Stefan, even though he was the firstborn. Here, we see his feelings of inadequacy when comparing himself to his brother. He’s assuming that she’s angry because he’s not acting like Stefan, but that’s not her point. She knows there’s more to him than he even sees in himself. That’s why she’s calling him out.
Tyler and Caroline have grown on me. For being a werewolf and vampire, these two somehow seem the most teenager-ish on the show tonight. Maybe it’s Tyler’s “you want me to kick his ass” line, but this scene is really nice.
They’re going to give this couple some issues pretty soon, aren’t they?
Oh, Stefan, you really should have listened to Katherine. Even if you don’t trust her, she’s been surviving for a very long time. The girl’s got good instincts.
Rebekah meets up with Stefan in the warehouse and finds him fingering one of the coffins. Whatever her suspicions are, she warns him not to ask Klaus too much about Michael (the man they’re afraid of). While Stefan lies (badly) and feigns disinterest, Rebekah pulls him to her and seizes the opportunity for a kiss.
A flicker of...something....flashes across her face. Her earlier warnings come back to haunt him.
Stefan should have listened to Katherine. Rebekah does know him too well. She can instantly tell that he’s lying to her - about being able to love her again, about being with them, about a piece of his life back in Mystic Falls.
Klaus comes in, and just like a tattle tale little sister, she spills everything she knows to Klaus. Lights out for Stefan.
Morning’s finally arrived, and Damon’s pouring 2 drinks - one for him and one for his soon to be no longer dead buddy. Ric is livid that Damon killed him. While I almost defended Ric earlier, I’m going to have to go with Damon here. Bill needed to be dealt with. A man who’d brutalize his own daughter in the hope of curing her is no one to mess around with, and he’s totally not someone to have trying to take over the leadership role in the Founder’s Council.
Damon needed to act, and Alaric needed to get out of his way.
Caroline and Elena have a really nice heart to heart. Once again wandering through the square, Caroline’s not going to beat around the bush any longer. Elena needs to be honest with herself, even if she’s not going to voice it to her friends. Elena feels something for Damon, and Caroline knows it.
Notice here that Elena doesn’t deny her feelings. She doesn’t try to tell Caroline that her friend is imagining things. She’s just torn.
Torn between what she feels and what she thinks that means about her. She protests that if she says anything...even thinks anything about her feelings for Damon, that they’ll be real. She can’t do that.
Problem is, she already has. She and Damon had that moment after their first failed rescue attempt to bring Stefan home. She told Damon she feels something...she cares...and she’s conflicted.
She’s always said that she isn’t Katherine. Yet, to borrow Caroline’s words, if she switches Salvatores, will she be any different from the woman who shares her face?
Of course she will, but that’s not what Elena sees.
Elena is unsure about what falling for the darker and more dangerous Salvatore means about her.... The problem with that scenario is that she already DID fall for the darker brother when she fell for Stefan. Despite everything she's been told...things she's witnessed, she still just doesn’t realize it.
Bill wanders by, interrupting the girls’ conversation.
Caroline goes to her father and discovers he’s leaving. Even after showing him what she’s capable of doing - fighting Damon to defend him, forcing her blood on him to heal him, it isn’t enough. He only sees her as something that’s broken. His daughter is gone. She’ll never be the same in his eyes.
Alaric meets with Liz and Mrs. Mayor. Whatever Elena said to him in the van after their failed attempt to rescue Stefan must have really gotten to him. His new role of guardian to the Gilbert kids combined with Damon’s most recent actions have pushed him to fully earn that Gilbert ring he’s wearing. The humans need a voice on the council - one that knows what’s really going on in the town.
And Alaric’s going to be that voice. At the next meeting, he’s filling the Gilbert family vacancy.
Bonnie and Elena are meeting in the lovely outdoor seating area at the Grill. Bonnie seems troubled. Not only can she not figure out what’s going on with the necklace, she now knows about Jeremy’s own version of ghosts of girlfriends past that’s been going on.
Elena seems concerned, but what she wants is her necklace. She needs that little connection with Stefan.
As soon as Bonnie hands it over, Elena’s gone - like blink of an eye gone. (I’ll admit that the first time I saw this, I’d been distracted. I thought that the necklace had a spell that somehow transported Elena somewhere - hey, stranger things have happened on this show.)
I did not expect....
Someone’s at the Salvatore door. Damon answers it, expecting an apology from Elena.
In an instant, Elena’s face transforms, and Katherine smiles back at Damon. She’s getting very good at this. One brother would play along with her, so she’s come to find a new partner in crime.
She dangles the necklace in front of Damon and proposes a little trip. Stung by Elena’s words at the Lockwood house combined with his argument with Alaric that morning, Damon’s actually up for a little adventure.
What is Katherine’s game here? Is she taking the necklace because she knows it’s what Klaus wants? Is she somehow trying to protect Stefan? Does she just want a little leverage?
In all the focus on the necklace, one big elephant in the room has gone without mention. Katherine now knows about the ghosts.
Katherine said it herself. She knows stuff, and she uses it to her advantage. Her conversation with Bonnie will definitely be called into play soon.
Stefan wakes up and Klaus is ready for a little chat. The Hybrid isn’t mad - mainly curious. His sister has good instincts, and she senses that Stefan’s not being truthful. He has something to hide. Klaus wants to know what it is.
Oh Stefan, if you’d listened to Katherine, if you’d been a better liar, you wouldn’t be back in Mystic Falls right now. All you needed to do was convince Rebekah you were head over heels, and you’d still be day drinking somewhere. As it stands, you’re in serious trouble.
Stefan may not be the true ripper without remorse yet, but he’s not in control of his bloodlust.
Damon’s gone - off with Katherine on some adventure with the necklace.
And she might have Alaric, Caroline, and Bonnie, but Elena’s basically on her own. She wants to trust Stefan - she’s convinced she can somehow save him. Her one voice of reason is currently car tripping with Katherine.
Yeah, next week’s not going to end well.