THE VAMPIRE DIARIES: “The Last Day”
Read on for my recap & review of The Vampire Diaries episode 2×20, aired Thursday, April 28, 2011:
After “The Last Day,” there is only one more episode left until the finale of The Vampire Diaries season two. Translation: there are only two more episodes left this season. It seems like just yesterday when Katherine breezed into town and started chopping off fingers, and then turned our beloved Caroline into a vampire. No rest for the wicked, as the show powers ahead full steam week to week. Stand out moments included Damon force-feeding Elena vampire blood, Elena breaking down and admitting that she doesn’t want to become a vampire, Damon NOT killing Matt, Damon saving Caroline and Tyler’s lives, and Klaus turning Jenna into a vampire to make up for his vampire shortage. Oh, and Damon was bitten by a werewolf. No big deal. This show. Such a shame that nothing ever happens. Quite dull really. But seriously, Damon really had the worst day ever. A terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Of course, he had pretty much the same day that everyone else in Mystic Falls had. Maybe they should all move to Australia.
The episode left us with some major questions, but the biggest one is: what in the world was Elijah up to all day? I mean, he showed up in a suit acting all perfect and awesome early on in the episode, but then … nada. Let’s hope our favorite Original was scheming schemes. Klaus can’t be the only one with surprises, right?
Oh, and how good is Katherine at faking being compelled? Girl is badass. You know, Erika Kane has also been kidnapped for the past couple weeks on All My Children, and I can’t decide who is more badass as a kidnapping victim. I mean Erica is wearing stretch pants with cut-out diamond patterns down the leg, while she yells at her captor, demanding her meals on fine china with real silver. On the other hand, Katherine stood in the sunlight without her bracelet, just letting the sun burn her up, to prove to Klaus that she was still on vervain. I think I’m gonna give this victory to Katherine. However, reading through a list of Erica Kane’s crimes, I think it’s fair to say that Katherine Pierce is the Erica Kane of the vampire world. And I mean, Katherine would totally wear what Susan Lucci wore to her recent appearance on Jay Leno.
Right? They are as one. So now let’s get into all the little details. On to the recap …
We open on Damon, lying awake in his bed and staring at the ceiling. He is using his super vampire hearing to listen to Stefan, Elena, and Elijah discuss the curse stuff. Elijah (don’t worry, he’s wearing A SUIT) points out: “Tonight is the full moon. We should assume that Klaus is prepared to break the curse.” The trio then works together to recap the exposition from last week. The curse of the sun and the moon is fake, but the witches put a real curse on Klaus to keep “his werewolf aspect from manifesting.” Klaus is a vampire, but born of a werewolf bloodline, and if he is able to break the curse, “he’ll be a true hybrid.” Or werepire. Whatever. Damon finally enters, and asks, “Then why are we letting him break the curse? We could kill him today. With Bonnie.” Elena: “No, Bonnie cannot use that much power without dying.” Damon: “I’ll write her a great eulogy.” Nice. Elena: “It’s not an option, Damon.”
Stefan just ignores Damon’s attempt to pick a fight and asks how they break the curse. Elijah says they already know the ingredients. First, there’s that dratted moonstone. We cut to Klaus and Greta at the mention of the stone. They are plotting stuff in Alaric’s apartment, as Katherine pouts. (Hi, Katherine! We love you!) Back at the Bermuda Triangle, Elijah explains: “A witch will channel the power of the full moon to release the spell that’s bound within the stone. After that, Klaus, being both werewolf and vampire, will sacrifice one of each.” Elena asks where she fits in. Elijah: “The final part of the ritual. Klaus must drink the blood of the doppelgänger, to the point of your death.” Dun dun dun. Elena: “And that’s where you come in.” In response, Elijah takes out a fancy box, wherein resides a magical elixir for resuscitation. Elena: “So I’ll be dead?” Elijah: “And then you won’t.” Damon is not impressed: “So that’s your plan? A magical witch potion with no expiration date?” Well, when you put it that way. Damon then asks about the Gilbert rings, wondering if that could be a solution. However, Elijah says the rings only work on humans. Odds are that the ring won’t work on a doppelgänger because it’s a supernatural occurrence. Poor Elena. It’s a hard knock life when you’re a supernatural occurrence. Damon: “Well I’ll take those odds over your elixir. [He turns to Elena.] What if it doesn’t work, Elena?” Elena: “Then I guess I’ll just be dead.” Damon is NOT pleased, and leaves in a huff. Elena then asks whether Klaus has everything he needs to break the curse. Elijah: “Klaus has been waiting to break this curse for over a thousand years. If he doesn’t already have a werewolf, my guess is by tonight he will.” Most important thing to take away from this scene: I could listen to Elijah talk all day long.
Cut to Carol Lockwood walking up the stairs at the Lockwood mansion, leaving a phone message for Tyler. She says that she needs him to come home because she had an accident and is in the hospital. At the top of the stairs she sees Maddox, and asks him, “Why did I say that?” Maddox: “Because you had a terrible fall.” With that, he knocks her down the stairwell. Ouch. Title card.
Meanwhile, Damon is outside, pouting and drinking bourbon. Stefan joins him: “Breakfast of champions, huh?” Hee. Damon: “I’m surrounded by idiots. I need all the help I can get.” Hehe. Tie! Stefan: “You know, you’re not helping.” Damon: “Elijah’s an Original vampire, Stefan. One we tried to kill. You’re gonna believe this guy?” Stefan: “What do you want me to do, Damon? Elena made her decision. She’s choosing to trust Elijah. I’m gonna put my faith in her.” Awww. Damon is less moved: “Why? She’s gonna end up dead!” Stefan: “Because she put her faith in me. She chose to trust me in spite of what I am. If I’m gonna bet on somebody’s instincts, it’s gonna be hers.” Double awww. Again, Damon is NOT impressed: “Well then that makes you the biggest idiot of them all.” Stefan: “She chose to trust you too.” Triple awww. I may die of “aww”-ing over here. Damon is full of self-loathing, however, and retorts, “Maybe you shouldn’t be so sure about her instincts.” It’s all very “I don’t want to belong to any club that would accept me as a member!” Way to self-sabotage, Damon! He turns to leave, spilling his bourbon out on purpose. Why punish the bourbon, Damon? Why?!?!?
Back inside, Elena and Elijah talk. Elena says, “They can’t understand why I’m willing to do this.” Elijah: “Why are you?” Elena: “I’m the key to breaking the curse. Klaus is here because of me. If I don’t stop him, he’s gonna hurt people. It’s that simple.” Elena is my hero. (More on that later.) Elijah: “You know, there’s a possibility that this elixir won’t work. I don’t want to mislead you.” Hmmm. Elena: “I know the chance I’m taking.” Then they hear Jenna yelling, “Get out!” Elena hurries to the entryway to see Jenna holding a crossbow. Yeah she is. Go Jenna! Alaaaaric is back (Welcome back, Alaaaaric!), but she thinks he might be Klalaric. He tells her to put the crossbow down and promises that it is really him. By now, the rest of the group has joined the party. They ask him to prove it. Alaric addresses Jenna: “The first night you and I spent together, Jeremy walked in right when …” Jenna quickly interrupts: “It’s him.” Awkward. Poor Jeremy. Oh, how he suffers. They wonder why Klaus let Alaric go, and he says that he is there to deliver a message: “The sacrifice happens tonight.” Me: “Thanks, Alaric, but Elijah kind of beat you to that reveal. Sorry.”
Cut to Carol Lockwood in the hospital. You know, I’ve been watching Melrose Place on Netflix Instant, and the actress who plays Carol, Susan Walters, has a prominent role in season 6. She played “Christine,” a woman masquerading as the supposedly-dead lost love of Amanda’s husband Kyle, killed in a jeep explosion in the Gulf War. “Christine” was paid by Kyle’s ex, Taylor, and his old Marine buddy, Nick, to break Kyle and Amanda up. “Christine” ends up killed by accident, and then Nick and Taylor fake her suicide by putting her body on the railroad tracks. This drives Kyle and Amanda apart, due to all the guilt for their part in her “suicide.” And that’s not even half as crazy as what’s going on in Mystic Falls right now. Anyway, I keep thinking about “Christine” every time I look at Carol Lockwood now. So, Tyler is there to see his mom, and he is all sweet and kisses her forehead. She is really happy to see him. My feelings are a bit more mixed.
Meanwhile, Matt and Caroline act all sweet together at the Grill. Woo hoo! The Grill is back in business! Matt and Caroline plan to meet up later on his break, after Caroline runs some errands. Kiss!
Then Matt goes over to sit with the sheriff, and he is really unhappy. Liz asks if Caroline suspects anything, and he says: “No, but I can’t do this anymore. I’ve been doing it the past few days and I’ve been putting on the best show of my life, but … either she is too, or she’s still the same Caroline.” Liz: “She’s not the same. She’s a vampire.” Matt: “At this point, I don’t even know what that means.” Go, Matt! Liz: “Look, I know that this is hard to understand, but my family was raised with this. They’re monsters, Matt. They have no souls, no humanity.” Liz, this is not the Buffyverse. It’s different with these vampires! Get with the program, please! Matt: “There’s nothing about her that makes me believe that.” Go, Matt! Liz: “It’s an act. I believed that Damon Salvatore was my closest ally in this town. Instead, he’s a killer. He killed your sister. What other proof do you need?” Okay, good points. Darn Damon. Matt has a good counterpoint though, “I could ask you the same question, sheriff? Why haven’t you done anything? Why are you hesitating.” Liz: “Because I need more information. And because in spite everything you just said, I still look at her and I see my daughter.” Matt: “Damon is the problem, not Caroline. We should focus on him.” So ironic that after this conversation, Damon is the one who saves his life. The sheriff then says that she shouldn’t have involved him: ”Thank you for all of my help, but I’ll take it from here.” Luckily, Matt doesn’t listen … but more on that later.
Meanwhile, back at the Bermuda Triangle, the gang asks Alaric what he remembers. Stefan: “So, you don’t remember anything that happened?” Alaric: “No. It’s like I blacked out and woke up three days later.” So this was basically a typical weekend for Alaric. Just Klausier. After a bit of a pause, he adds, “ Katherine was there.” Stefan: “She’s under compulsion. Damon snuck her some vervain, but she can’t leave until Klaus tells her she can.” At the mention of Damon, Elena leaves to go talk to him. But back in the living room, Alaric asks, “So what else did I do?” AWKWARD. Oh, just compelled a bunch of your students and killed Bonnie. Oh, and there was dancing.
Upstairs, Elena finds Damon in his room. She says, “You disappeared.” Damon: “I didn’t want to hear anymore.” Elena: “I need you to understand why I’m doing this.” Damon is still pouty from earlier: “Why? It clearly doesn’t matter what I think.” Elena: “I’ll be fine, Damon. I’ll drink the elixir, Bonnie will kill Klaus and then all of this will finally be over.” See, she’s still planning to use Bonnie. I guess that with Klaus weakened because of his post-sacrifice transformation, it won’t take so much magic to kill him; thus, Bonnie will survive. Damon points out, “If it works.” Elena: “It will work.” Damon: “You think it will work. You want it to work. Why am I the only one who’s convinced it won’t? There has to be another way.” Elena: “There isn’t.” Damon: “You’re gonna die Elena.” Elena: “And then I’ll come back to life.” Damon: “That is not a risk I am willing to take.” Elena: “But I am. It’s my life, Damon. My choice.” Damon disagrees, and is completely desperate: “I can’t lose you.” Elena: “You won’t.” Kind of a sweet touching moment … uuuuuntil … Damon superspeeds over to her pierces his wrist and says “There’s another way.” He FORCES Elena to drink his blood, while she struggles and protests. HORRIBLE. At first I thought that his plan was to then immediately kill her—turning her into a vampire so that she could not be sacrificed. But no. It looks like this was just so that after Elena dies in the sacrifice, she’ll come back as a vampire.
Stefan, of course, hears the kerfuffle, but he intervenes too late. Stefan asks his brother what he did. Damon: “I just saved her life. [He turns to Elena, who is still on the floor, upset and in shock.] If you’re so bent on dying, at least this way you’ll come back.” Stefan: “As a vampire. She’ll come back a vampire.” Damon: “It’s better than nothing else.” Stefan: “How could you of all people take that choice away from her?” Good question. I theorized a few weeks ago on the podcast that Damon wouldn’t be the one to want to turn Elena, given his own experience in being forced into becoming a vampire. Guess I was wrong! Leave it to Damon to self-sabotage beyond my wildest predictions. Damon: “Go ahead. Wish me an eternity of misery. Believe me, you’ll get over it.” Wow. Then Damon and Stefan fight. Damon: “Admit it. You just wish you had the balls to do it yourself.” Not. Fight fight fight! Finally, Damon stabs Stefan with a wooden post. Elena intercedes and screams at Damon to leave. Then Alaric and Jenna enter, wondering what’s going on. When Alaric tries to get Damon out of there, there’s a nice little moment where he raises his hands off Damon like “Okay okay, I won’t touch you.” Don’t touch the angry and desperate vampire when he is enraged and desperate, people. Alaric’s no idiot. He tells Jenna to get blood bags down in the basement, as Elena pulls the stake out of Stefan’s torso. Not his heart, Stefan fans. So don’t worry.
Damon then goes downstairs and runs into Elijah. Elijah, of course, is calm as can be. Not fazed one bit. I love him so. He just says: “Well, it sounds like you won’t be needing this [indicating the elixir] anymore. Feeding her vampire blood rendered it useless. Tell Elena I’ll be back before nightfall. We’ll proceed as planned.” Damon: “We both know that elixir wouldn’t have worked anyway.” Damon then takes a drink of bourbon. Elijah: “The problem is, Damon, you talk a good game, but you don’t actually know anything.” Word. He adds: “She’ll never forgive you. And never for a vampire is a very long time.” Ouch. I think Damon might have been lying a few weeks ago when he was all like “And I’ll let her hate me for it blah blah blah.” The only thing Damon actually cares about, aside from keeping Elena alive, is her opinion of him. Oops. However, I think it’s silly to imagine that she will never forgive him. As Elijah pointed out, never is a very long time. Plus it only took Elena like two episodes to get over Damon trying to kill her best friend last season, and same with him snapping her little brother’s neck this season. Plus, like everything else he has ever done. This will be a struggle, and hopefully one that makes for juicy drama, but I’m sure they will come to terms over time.
Obviously, Damon totally screwed up here and he showed no respect for Elena’s wishes. Not okay. While he did this out of love and desperation, as Elena points out later, this just proves that he doesn’t really know what love means. However, he knows that he screwed up and he does A LOT to fix it in this episode. He ends up saving Caroline, Matt, and Tyler’s lives (at least temporarily). So, ultimately, this was one of my favorite Damon episodes ever. I’m going to give his character a lot of props later on. I know people think I’m such a Damon-hater, but I think that it’s more like I call Damon on his crap. And you know, sometimes he pulls A LOT of crap. I judge him in the moment, and sometimes he is the villain of the story, and sometimes he is the buffoon, and it is okay for me to “strongly dislike” him at these moments (or any other moments I choose). When he’s killing and abusing people, or using his eyebrows as weapons, that’s my prerogative, people. He may be on a journey to become someone better, but I don’t have to like him every moment on that journey. You are entitled to your own opinion, obviously. My opinion does nothing to negate your opinion. It just represents my views. My sister’s response to everything I ever say about Damon is, “I just think he’s really in love.” Okay, fine. I would also like to point out that I call every character out on their B.S.: Stefan, Elena, Bonnie, Jeremy, Matt, Tyler, Jenna, and even my favorites, Alaric and Katherine. And if Elijah and Caroline ever stopped being perfect for two seconds, I would give them grief too. Because these are fictional characters, and drinking wine and judging them is my favorite past time. But I would just like to point out that I am being as authentic as I can be, while also trying to maintain a healthy sense of humor and perspective about the fact that I am writing about fictional characters on a television show. While I often point out Damon’s foibles, I also give him love too, as befits a complicated character. I am constantly laughing at his witty lines, and pointing out when he is occasionally awesome. As I shall in this recap. He’s never going to be my favorite, but I appreciate him and what his character brings to the show. That is all.
Meanwhile, Stefan is recovering from his brother stabbing him with a wooden post, having imbibed a few blood bags. He thanks Jenna and Alaric for their help, and then Alaric and Jenna head out in the hallway to have a moment. Alaric: “I know it’s a lot to take in.” Jenna: “Yeah.” Alaric: “I tried to protect you from all of this, but I should have known you could handle it.” Translation: “You holding a crossbow was HOT.” Jenna: “Can I?” Alaric: “Well you just did. Look, Jenna, I know we have a lot to talk about …” Jenna interrupts: “I’m glad you’re okay. I should have said that already.” They kiss. Awww. I guess we should have known then that Jenna would be turned into a vampire. Nothing is ever allowed to go smoothly in Alaric’s love life ever.
Back inside the bedroom, Elena asks, “How could he do that to me? Why?” My heart really breaks for her in this scene. Stefan: “We’ve never talked about this—what this all means.” Ahhh, as in becoming a vampire. Elena: “It doesn’t matter.” Stefan: “Of course it matters. Hey! It matters. I want you to go somewhere with me.” Elena: “Stefan, I can’t.” Stefan: “No, it’s not far. It’s just for the day. I promise.” And this is the story of how Elena gets tricked into hiking up a mountain on her last day as a human girl. Tricksy Stefan.
Cut to Tyler and his mom in the hospital. As he exits her room, he runs into Jules. He asks what she’s doing there, and she says she should be asking the same thing. She told him not to come. Tyler: “She’s my mother. I had to.” Points for Tyler. Jules says that they have to get out of there and lock themselves up before tonight’s full moon. As the two walk outside, they run into Caroline. Jules: “I’ll give you a few minutes. Just a few, Tyler.” Tyler explains to Caroline: “She was just making sure I’m safe.” Caroline: “So what? Are you two like friends now?” Subtext: “That’s the chick who kidnapped me and locked me in a cage, remember!” Tyler: “She’s been helping me. How are you?” Whatever. Caroline heard about Tyler’s mom and was there to check on her. Awww. With all that’s going on in Caroline’s life, she’s taking time to visit Carol Lockwood in the hospital. Clearly we should just start calling her St. Caroline. Tyler: “She’s banged up, but she’ll be okay.” Caroline: “And you? How’s everything with you?” Tyler: “Hanging in there. I should get going. Jules and I need to get on the road.” Caroline is upset to hear this, and asks disbelievingly, “You’re leaving?” Tyler: “I left for a reason, Caroline.” Caroline: “Your explanation must have gotten lost in the mail, along with your goodbye.” Word. Tyler just ignores this: “Well, take care of yourself.” Whatever, Tyler. But before Tyler can run out of town, he and Caroline start getting magical headaches and they are kidnapped by Maddox and Greta.
Meanwhile, at the Mystic Grill, Matt tries get a hold of Caroline, but just gets her voicemail. He sounds worried. This will be important later. Then Damon sits down at the bar, and surprise surprise, Alaric sits down next to him. Damon: “I screwed up.” Alaric: “Yeah. Yeah, you did.” The pity party is interrupted, however when Klaus comes in. Hi, Klaus! Love your new haircut! He greets them: “Gentlemen. Why so glum?” Damon sighs. This terrible horrible no good day just keeps on getting worse. He says, “Klaus, I presume.” Klaus: “In the flesh. [Turns to Alaric.] Thanks for the loaner, mate.” Hee. Damon asks, “Any reason you stopped by to say ‘hi’?” Klaus and HIS ACCENT explain: “I’m told you and your brother fancy my doppelgänger. I just thought I’d remind you not to do anything you’ll regret.” Oh, wow, this guy reaaaaaally doesn’t know Damon. Telling Damon not to do anything he’ll regret is pretty much like waving a red cape at bull—or some other analogy that makes more sense. You know what I mean—this is inviting trouble. Damon: “Thanks for the advice. I don’t suppose I could talk you into a postponement, by any chance, huh?” Klaus: “You are kidding? [Turns to Alaric.] He is kidding, right?” Alaric deadpans: “No, not really.” Hee. Best two lines of the episode. Priceless. Damon is undeterred: “I mean, c’mon. What’s one month in the grand scheme of things?” Klaus gets serious: “Let me be clear. I have my vampire. I have my werewolf. I have everything I need. The ritual will happen tonight. So if you want to live to see tomorrow, don’t screw it up.” Again, inviting trouble, I say. Klaus leaves, and Damon sits back down and snarks, “That was fun.” Oh, Damon. Alaric immediately asks, “You’re gonna screw it up, aren’t you?” Me: “Duh.”
Damon, however, is lost in optimistic wonderings, and asks, “You think if I took his werewolf out of the equation, she might get over the fact that I tried to turn her into a vampire?” See, what I like about this is that Damon does realize that what he did was wrong. He’s not standing by what he did as the right decision anymore, like his posturing with Stefan earlier indicated, but trying to fix it. He wants to buy Elena another month so that basically he can undo what he did in forcing her to drink his blood. It’s like Damon needs to screw up royally before he can make the right move. So, it’s like we have to suffer through his idiocies in order to get these really good character moments that show growth. And the bigger he messes up, the more he learns. It has pretty much been one big step back, then one little step forward, all season; but perhaps in this episode he might finally start to make actual progress forward. I don’t know—I guess we’ll have to wait and see. But back to his conversation, Alaric is all practically and points out, “I think it won’t matter, because you’ll be dead.” Good point. But his likely death doesn’t really faze him, so Damon reasons, “But without the werewolf, he can’t perform the ritual tonight, which means I would have bought her one month before the next full moon.” See, he’s not even thinking that it’s possible to avert the ritual forever, but he’s now willing to sacrifice his life so that Elena can do this the way she wanted to. Impressive. Alaric reminds him, “But you’ll still be dead.” Damon: “You gonna help me or what?” Alaric doesn’t even miss a beat: “What do you want me to do?” Team Blood & Beer 4eva!
Meanwhile, Stefan and Elena are hiking through the woods. Elena asks where they are, but Stefan says that it’s a surprise—just a little while longer. Elena points out: “I’m not a vampire yet. My legs still get tired.” Hee. Stefan tries to get her to talk about the vampire thing, but she says that she doesn’t really know how she’s feeling. Then she notices the waterfall. You guys, Mystic Falls is named after actual FALLS. This is amazing. Taking bets now on whether this waterfall is mystical in some way and whether there is some secret room filled with grimoires and/or weapons behind it. But that’s a reveal for another day. Stefan tells Elena: “I think you do know how you feel. I just want you to know that it’s okay for you to tell me.” Elena: “Stefan, I just … I can’t talk about it.” Stefan: “If you don’t want to, that’s your choice. Today’s about you. But it’s a long way to the top. You never know what might come up.” Elena: “We’re climbing all the way up to the top?” Stefan: “Oh yeah.” Elena: “Well, can’t you do one of your super-powered vampire jumpy things?” Stefan: “No, it’s your last day as a human. Why cheat now?”
Cut to Katherine, still kidnapped and stuck at Alaric’s apartment. She goes through the fridge looking for blood and is disappointed with what she finds. Klaus is a bad host to his kidnapping victims. Then Alaric shows up. Katherine mocks him: “Look who’s dumb enough to come back.” Alaric: “Well, somebody had to invite him in. Damon, would you like to come in?” And with that, Damon enters. This makes me wonder how Klaus was invited in. We already know that when Klaus was in Alaric’s body, he didn’t need to be invited in. But what about Klaus in his own body? I think that perhaps Klalaric was able to invite in the body; or else, the body of Klaus didn’t need to be invited until Klaus was back in it, at which point Klaus just compelled Alaric to invite him in. Anyway, what’s important here is that now Team Blood & Beer can hang out at Alaric’s place on occasion. Of course, there’s no roaring fireplace here, so you can imagine why they prefer the Salvatore home for their hangout sessions.
Katherine is not at all pleased by this turn of events and asks Damon, “Are you trying to get me killed?” Damon: “I gave you vervain, and now I’m here to collect.” He did promise. He then turns to Alaric, “I’ve got it from here, Ric.” Alaric: “Are you sure?” Damon: “Yeah, only one of us needs to get blamed for this. Get back to the house. Keep Elena from handing herself over.” You guys, Damon is protecting Alaric from being blamed by Klaus and then killed. Excuse me while I swoon. Katherine asks, “Get blamed for what?” Damon: “I need to know where Klaus is keeping his werewolf.” Katherine: “Why? What are you gonna do?” Damon: “Dead werewolf equals no ritual.” It’s interesting that Damon planned to kill the werewolf, yet later is so easily swayed by Caroline to save him instead. What a softie. Katherine: “No, you can’t interfere, Damon. Klaus will kill you and everyone you’ve ever met.” Well, basically everyone he has ever met is either dead or involved in the ritual already, so no big. Damon: “I just need to delay this thing.” Katherine: “No. No way.” Damon: “You should like this. It’s gonna buy another month of your pathetic life.” Katherine: “Right, except that I’m not the vampire he’s planning on sacrificing on.” Damon: “What?” Katherine: “Yeah, he’s got Caroline Forbes and Tyler Lockwood. Therefore, I’m in the clear.” Damon: “And where’d he get that idea from?” Katherine: “Hey, I’m just trying to stay alive long enough to get myself out of here.” Oh, Katherine. Other than the whole kidnapping thing, you’ve managed to get Klaus to follow YOUR EXACT PLAN. Bravo! (Not that I approve of Caroline—may she live forever—being sacrificed, but luckily I’m in denial on that front. She will outlive them all, OBVIOUSLY.) Damon then targets Katherine’s weakness: “What if I told you Elena had vampire blood in her system?” Katherine is shocked. Damon taunts, “Imagine how much fun that will be competing with Elena for Stefan’s love for … I don’t know … FOREVER.” Nice. When Damon comes to play, he comes to play. Katherine coughs up the info: “The tomb. He’s got them in the tomb.” Damon: “Thank you.” Katherine pouts.
Cut to Caroline and Tyler in the tomb. Katherine told the truth for once. Mark it down in your calendars. Caroline comes to, and sees that she and Tyler are both chained up. She can’t rip off the chains and complains, “Those witches vervained me.” Tyler is out of the loop, so he asks, “Who were they?” Caroline: “I think they’re with Klaus.” Tyler: “Who the hell’s Klaus?” Oh, Tyler, you have missed so much. Caroline says grimly, “Tyler, you shouldn’t have come back here.”
Meanwhile, Elena and Stefan continue their hike. Elena muses, “I guess Bonnie will have to make me a daylight ring.” I vote necklace over ring! Poor Caroline is stuck with that hideous thing. Elena then asks, “What’s the best part about being a vampire?” Stefan: “Everything’s heightened.” Elena: “And the worst?” Stefan: “You know the worst.” Elena: “Aside from the blood.” Stefan: “Grief. Loss. It can cripple you. That’s why so many of us turn our emotions off. It just becomes too overwhelming. The good just wasn’t worth the bad.” She points out that he has been able to handle it, but he cautions, “I’m still trying, every day.” Elena then changes the subject and they continue their hike.
Back at Alaric’s apartment, Katherine is pouring coffee as Klaus enters. She casually asks if everything’s okay. Klaus is suspicious, what with her being Katherine and all, and asks her what she’s been doing. Katherine innocently replies: “Making coffee. Do you want some?” Klaus doesn’t buy this and he gets violent, grabbing her and compelling her: “Tell me, what have you been doing.” She answers, “Making coffee.” Of course, she has taken vervain, so she is just pretending to be compelled. Klaus begins to suspect this, so he says, “Wait, take off your bracelet. Now, I want you to walk over to the window and stand in the sunlight.” Katherine protests, “But I’ll burn.” Klaus: “You don’t have a choice.” So she does. She takes off her enspelled bracelet and walks over to the window and stands there while the sun BURNS her face. Hardcore. Finally Klaus says, “That’s enough,” and she speeds into a shady corner to recover. Klaus underestimates Katherine’s awesomeness, so he says: “Guess I was wrong. Alright then. I need you to do something for me.” I assume that this is when he has Kat call Aunt Jenna to lure her out (as we learn later).
Meanwhile, Damon heads to the tomb, supposedly planning to kill a werewolf. However, he runs into Maddox who asks, “Which one are you trying to save? The blonde? Or the wolf? Did you really think Klaus would leave them unprotected?” Damon: “Wishful thinking.” Hee. Then Maddox and Damon fight, but before Maddox and his magic can get the best of Damon, MATT shoots Maddox WITH HIS HUGE RIFLE. Because you know, MATT HAS A GUN. And it’s a big one. And I just … can’t even. Who do you think taught him to shoot? Perhaps his dad wasn’t so absent all the time and took him hunting once? Or perhaps Mama Donovan is a crack shot, and passed on her knowledge? Or maybe Papa Gilbert used to take Matt hunting, back when he used to date Elena? We do know that the Gilberts knew their weapons. Either way, what a way to rally, Matt! Everyone counted you out, but then you just show up with a gun, ready to rescue Caroline. Damon and Matt stare at each other for a bit, until Damon asks what he’s doing here. Matt asks where Caroline is. Damon reads the situation and assures him, “I’m just here to rescue her.” Aw, and that’s what Matt was doing too! You guys, my heart just grew two sizes. Anyway, then Damon grabs Matt’s gun and knocks him out. When he looks at the bullets, he sees that they’re wooden. Now he knows that Matt knows. Hmmm. Damon adds, “You’re lucky I already screwed up once today, or you’d be dead.” Hee. See what I mean about screw-ups leading to steps forward. It’s like Damon has a screw-up quota that he needs to meet every day, and you’re just lucky when you show up after that quota is met. Lucky Matt. Poor unlucky Elena.
Meanwhile, down in the tomb, Caroline fills Tyler in on all the curse stuff. He figures out that they were probably grabbed so that they could be sacrificed. Bummer. Tyler muses: “This whole time I’ve been gone, Jules has been helping me come to terms with what I am—how to deal with it. I guess none of it matters anymore.” Caroline asks, “Why didn’t you say goodbye? You just left.” Tyler: “You wanna talk about this now?” Caroline: “Well, if we’re gonna die, mine as well know the truth. Why did you leave me?” Tyler: “I knew you hated me. I thought you deserved better than having someone like me in your life.” Caroline: “I was hurt. You turned your back on me when I needed you. But I could never hate you, Tyler.” Tyler smiles oh-so slightly. Translation: HAPPIEST MOMENT OF HIS ENTIRE LIFE. Me: “Caroline, Matt is up there trying to save your life, going up against a witch and a vampire, and getting knocked out for his troubles. While Tyler has become besties with your kidnapper and torturer-enabler. Just saying.”
At this point, Damon enters. He fills Caroline in: “Your boyfriend’s outside with a rifle loaded with wooden bullets. You have some explaining to do.” Lu-uuuucy! Caroline: “What? Matt?!” Tyler: “Matt knows about you?” Do I detect a little bit of jealousy there? Caroline: “No, I …” Damon: “Shhh. Tomorrow’s problem. Let’s just get you out of here.” You guys, I was really afraid at this point that Damon was just going to kill one or both of them. I did not think he was really going to pull a rescue, but HE DID. With everything he’d been saying, I thought he was so desperate to delay the sacrifice that he was just going to kill the wolf and possibly also the vampire, in order to stop the sacrifice. Soooo glad that Damon changed his mind about the killing part. Now that he sees that Caroline is there, he actually plans on rescuing her, and if anything can put someone in my good graces, it’s rescuing Caroline. It also seemed like maybe Damon was just gonna leave Tyler there unharmed, but Caroline intervenes. She says that she won’t leave without him. And again, I was so tensed up, thinking that Damon was going to solve this problem by snapping Tyler’s neck. But he didn’t. Is this what character growth feels like? I like it. Of course, this only adds to Damon’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day, and he sighs heavily. Now he has to babysit a soon-to-be transitioning werewolf. If Damon’s exasperated sighs were a drinking game this episode, we’d all be drunk. He tells Tyler: “It’s getting dark soon. How fast can you get the hell away from here?” Tyler: “I need to get to my family’s cellar. I can lock myself up.” Caroline: “I’ll help.” Damon: “Don’t make me regret this.” Me: “Caroline, how about you and Matt run in the opposite direction of the werewolf. Pleaaaaase?!?!” (Sadly, no one listens to me.)
Meanwhile, Stefan and Elena finish their climb to the top of the mountain/hill/whatever. Elena: “We made it!” Stefan: “That was nothing. I’ve climbed Mt. Everest.” Elena: “Nobody likes a bragger, Stefan.” Ha! They survey the view, and it’s really gorgeous. Sometimes the world around us is pretty amazing, when we bother to look. Uh oh, I’m drinking Stefan’s Kool-Aid. Stefan: “Hey, you can say it.” Elena: “Say what?” Stefan: “The thing you’ve been wanting to say but you’re afraid of how it will make me feel.” Elena: “There’s nothing I can say, Stefan. It’s not gonna change anything.” Stefan: “It might make you feel better. Look I know this isn’t the first time you’ve thought about it—drinking vampire blood to survive. I mean, I know I’ve thought about it a hundred times.” Elena: “Before all this with Klaus—did you think about it then?” Stefan: “Of course I did. If it were my choice, I’d want to be with you forever.” Elena: “Why have you never brought it up?” Stefan: “Because I knew if it was an option, you would’ve. It would be selfish of me to ask you.” Excuse me while I have a major I <3 Stefan moment. Ahem. Elena: “It didn’t stop Damon.” Stefan: “He shouldn’t have done what he did.” But then, of course, because STEFAN CAN’T HELP HIMSELF, he defends his brother, AS ALWAYS: “He did it because he loves you.” This is why I just don’t get why so many of those who love Damon can hate Stefan. Clearly Stefan is Damon’s biggest fan, and the one who always defends him, and will continue to love him no matter what. I mean, personally I’m sort of meh on both of them in general, but they each have their great moments periodically. But back to the conversation. As I alluded to earlier, Elena points out: “But he did this to me, Stefan, which means that he doesn’t know what love is.” I think that’s valid. Elena then adds—causing me to love her more than ever—the following: “And to be honest, I don’t know if I do. I’m 17 years old. How am I supposed to know any of this yet? I know that I love you, Stefan. I know that. But my future—our lives together—those were things I was supposed to deal with as they came along. [She starts to cry] I was supposed to grow up, decide if I want to have kids and start a family, grow old. I was supposed to have a lifetime of those choices and … now it’s all gone.” Stefan: “Please say it. Please.” Elena: “I don’t want to be a vampire, Stefan. I never wanted to be one.” Stefan: “I know. It’s okay.” She sobs and he holds her. Round of applause for Nina Dobrev.
I LOVE ELENA SO MUCH. And let me break down why. First there’s the obvious: she has a rational response to becoming a vampire. She knows the consequences, and she realizes that the price is too high for someone as young as she is. Even though she loves Stefan, she’s willing to admit that she’s too young to decide to be with him for eternity. She doesn’t want to have to give up growing up and having a future to be with him. At least not yet. Second: she clearly wants a future, and she has thought about that, and so she clearly does not want to die. And yet, she has been willing all season to sacrifice her life to save her loved ones. She wasn’t being suicidal—she was being brave. This reaction to becoming a vampire shows that she doesn’t undervalue her life. She realizes how precious it is, and yet she has still been willing to give it up to save others. That’s being a hero, not a victim. This reminds me a lot of Buffy in the season one finale, “Prophecy Girl.” Knowing that she has to face the Master, and that she has been prophesied to die, she is terrified. She cries to Giles, “Giles, I’m 16 years old. I don’t want to die.” For a few hours, it seems like she might give up. And yet, in the end, she cowboys up and she faces the Master anyway. She dies, and then she comes back to life, and then she keeps on fighting. And we know that Elena will too. Elena is terrified, and yet she still intends to go through with the sacrifice. Doing something even though you’re afraid is real courage. Can there even be courage without fear? I don’t think so. Thus, Elena is my hero.
We then return to Damon, Caroline, and Tyler leaving the tomb. It is now conveniently night time, and the full moon is above them. Caroline rushes to Matt’s side when she’s sees him on the ground. She yells at Damon, “Did you hit him?” Damon: “Did you already forget the part about the gun with wooden bullets.” Hee. But things get serious when Tyler starts twitching and says ominously, “It’s starting.” Me: “Man down. Leave him! Leave him!” Everybody else: “Shhhh, Lucia. We like Tyler.” Damon makes his “Can this day get any worse?” sigh and tells Caroline: “Grab Boy Wonder. Let’s go.” Aw, Matt has a new nickname. I like it.
Cut to Stefan and Elena return home from their climbing adventure in the Porsche. Elena: “Thanks for today.” But their sweet moment is interrupted when we see that Klaus is there. Uh oh. He tells them: “Got me all nervous. I thought maybe you’d done something stupid. You ready, my dear.” Reminder: this is all said WITH ACCENT. Elena: “I’m ready.” Stefan kind of moves to stop her, but Klaus warns: “I wouldn’t. No reason for you to die too.” Elena talks to him and assures him, “There’s no reason for you to get hurt.” Then she kisses him and tells him that she loves him. He gets teary and tells her that he loves her too. Then one more kiss. Then, Elena continues her Buffyesque streak by telling him to close his eyes. But then, instead of stabbing him and pushing him into a hell dimension, she lets go and disappears with Klaus, as we pause on Stefan’s outstretched hand. As he opens his eyes, he sees that Elena slipped away. Well, Stefan, your fate could be worse. Just ask Angel.
Stefan then goes into the house and sees Alaric is there. Alaric says that when he got there the house was empty, so Stefan asks where Damon is. Stefan then calls his brother and asks, “What the hell are you doing?” Damon: “Saving the day. I figured you’d understand. Just tell Elena to stay put.” Stefan: “She’s already gone, Damon.” Damon is totally horrified: “What?” Stefan: “Klaus came and took her.” Damon rallies: “I’ll take care of it.” He’s walking through the woods with Caroline, Matt and Tyler. But things take a turn when Tyler begins transforming. Caroline says that they’re almost there—he’s got time. Tyler: “It’s happening faster.” Then he moves to attack, but Damon jumps in the way, stopping him from biting Caroline. Wow, this episode is really trying to make me like Damon, huh? Damon then tells Caroline and Matt to go, as the Lockwood cellar can just as easily keep Tyler out as in. Again, I wondered, is he going to kill Tyler? But instead, it seems that it was the other way around; in the kerfuffle Damon gets bitten, but he pretends that he’s fine. He then superspeeds off, while Tyler transforms.
Cut to Klaus returning to Alaric’s apartment again. He is playing with some kind of techno gizmo, and he tells Katherine that he sent Elena off with Greta. “It’s almost time,” he adds. But then the door opens. Klaus: “I wasn’t aware you’d been invited in.” Damon: “I’ve come here to tell you that you have to postpone the ritual.” Klaus: “Didn’t we already have this conversation?” Damon: “Yeah, but that was before I rescued your werewolf and vampire and killed your witch.” Ooooh! Nice one, Damon. Klaus: “Excuse me?” Damon: “I knew you’d kill me for it, but I don’t care. It was all me.” Klaus: “Katerina, give us a moment.” Kat fakes her compulsion, and begrudgingly steps away. But you know she is totally going to use her super-hearing to listen in on this drama. Klaus tells Damon: “I’ve heard about you. The crazy impulsive vampire, in love with his brother’s girl. I knew one of you would try to stop me. It was just a fifty-fifty guess on who.” Then he turns on his little electronic gizmo (is it just a video phone that has a dock?) and we hear a woman screaming. Klaus: “The nice thing about werewolves is that they tend to travel in packs. Need a closer look?” We then see that the screaming woman is Jules. Klaus: “When you spend a thousand years trying to break a curse, you learn a thing or two. First rule: always have a backup. Backup werewolf, backup witch …” Damon: “Backup vampire.” Klaus: “I’ve got that covered too.” Attack! Or putting a sack over his head or something! At this point, I totally thought Klaus was going to make Damon the vampire sacrifice.
Cut to Caroline and Matt, as they run down to the Lockwood cellar. They rush to lock the gate, but then Wolf!Tyler is there. Uh oh. Caroline tries to be a wolf whisperer, but it turns out that’s harder than you might think. I mean, I love Caroline Forbes, but she’s no Crocodile Dundee. Behind her, Matt stands around holding his HUGE RIFLE, aiming it at Tyler. I’m beginning to suspect that this is a Matt-Caroline-Tyler love triangle fanfic. I mean, seriously. Really?
We then return to Alaric’s apartment, where Katherine tries to revive Damon, who is collapsed on the floor. He asks, “What the hell happened?” Katherine: “He’s gone. He went to do the ritual. I’m sorry, I had to. He would’ve known I was on vervain if I didn’t do it.” Damon: “Do what?” Katherine: “Klaus. He made me call her to lure her out. He needed another vampire.” Damon starts to get worried: “Who did you call? [Grabs her.] Who did you call, Katherine?” Dun dun dun.
Cut to Greta and Elena walking in the woods. Elena asks where they’re going. Greta unhelpfully answers, “This way.” Elena: “You’re Luka’s sister, aren’t you? He and your father were looking for you.” Greta: “They were wasting their time. I wasn’t lost.” Cold. She doesn’t even ask how they are. Those guys died trying to save a girl who didn’t even want to be saved. Again, such a waste. Elena then stumbles a bit and notes that she can’t see anything. Greta shows off her powers by immediately lighting fires all around them. Elena then sees that there’s a body lying ahead. The area looks to be by the lake where Stefan and Damon turned, back in “Blood Brothers.” We soon see that the dead body is Jenna! Except, suddenly, she’s no longer dead! She’s undead! Elena: “You killed her? Why? I did everything that he asked.” Greta: “She’s not dead. She’s in transition.” Wow. Poor Jenna. Poor Elena. And poor Alaric. It’s hard to be a vampire slayer and have a love life. Like Buffy, Alaric is cursed to fall in love with vampires. Though in Alaric’s case, they only become vamps later. So, do we think that Jenna will end up killed in the sacrifice? Or will someone stop the sacrifice in time? Or did someone perhaps slip her a Gilbert ring ahead of time, and perhaps she did not actually revive as a vampire in transition? (Yes, I’ve been reading @redcognito‘s theories on Twitter.) In related matters: where’s Elijah, and what is he up to?
We then return to Kidnapping Headquarters for the final scene. Damon cries: “He should have used me. Why didn’t he use me?” Katherine: “He couldn’t. Damon, he said that you were as good as dead.” Damon: “What does that even mean?” She pulls at his arm, and asks, “What is this, Damon?” Damon admits: “It’s a werewolf bite.” Dun dun dun. The end!
Thoughts? Reactions? Theories? I’m pretty sure that the elixir intended for Elena will end up curing Damon of his werewolf bite. That would be a nice ironic twist, since Damon was so sure that the elixir was a crock. Otherwise, there’s always magic. As for the rest, have at it in the comments.