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THE VAMPIRE DIARIES: “Dangerous Liaisons”

2012 February 16

Photo Credit: Chris Grismer.

Read on for my recap & review of The Vampire Diaries 3×14, “Dangerous Liaisons,” aired Thursday February 9th, 2012:

With all that happened last week, let’s briefly review. Previously on The Vampire Diaries, Alaric and Bill were killed by a mysterious Council-member-killing serial killer. Presumably their killer was the same one who staked the medical examiner a few weeks ago. Bill became a vampire, but refused to transition so he died for good. Alaric was revived thanks to his magical ring. Elijah undaggered all his siblings. The mysterious coffin was opened, and it turned out that Esther, the Original Mama was inside. Esther claimed to forgive Klaus. Yes, that all happened in one episode. Let’s all catch our collective breath, shall we? Iiiiiin … oooooooout.

Okay, now let’s get to “Dangerous Liaisons.” To be honest, I’m shocked that this episode title has not been used before. I mean, it’s so TVD, right? Though I guess it makes sense to wait, as Esther is totally the Marquise Isabelle de Merteuil/ Kathryn Merteuil  of this story. And Alice Evans is totally getting her Glenn Close/ Sarah Michelle Gellar on, right? Of course, she’s got that whole Eloise Hawking thing going on too, what with planning to kill her own children. There are layers here. Scary scary layers. On to the recap …

After visiting Alaric at the hospital, Elena is almost killed by Rebekah. Beks wants revenge for that dagger in the back in “Homecoming.” Luckily, Elijah steps in to save Elena, and then fills her in on the family reunion off-screen. Elena, in turn, fills the Salvatores in on the latest Original shenanigans, against the backdrop of the Gilbert kitchen. Blah blah blah. It seems that a (temporary) peace has been declared. Elena says that Elijah promised his family wouldn’t hurt any of them, and she believes him. This is just the set-up. Then things get awesome. 

Meet the Mikaelsons …

The doorbell rings, and Elena opens the door to find a beautiful invitation (no pearls, but I think Emily Gilmore would approve) to a ball. It reads, “Please join the Mikaelson Family,” so Stefan is all, “Who the hell are the Mikaelsons?” Elena: “The Original family.” There’s also a hand-written note on the back: “Elena, I think it’s time that we finally meet. Esther.” Dun dun dun.

Cut to Klaus’s newly renovated estate, where all the Mikaelsons are busy getting makeovers. You’ve got to respect Original priorities. In a coffin for the last few months? Or perhaps even the last century, the last nine hundred years, or maybe even the last millennium? Get a haircut, buy/steal evening wear, and THROW A BALL. I like these people. My only disappointment is that I wanted this scene to last longer, with many close-ups. I could have watched an entire episode entitled, “The Originals Get Haircuts.” Then “The Originals Select Accessories.” You know? Kol feels the same way, as he admires his reflection in the mirror. He commands Rebekah, “Tell me how handsome I am.” Rebekah: “Oh Kol, you know I can’t be compelled.” Hee. Then there’s some tension between Kol and Klaus, but Esther breaks it up.

Perhaps you are confused by all the new names and faces, and are having trouble keeping them straight, and my still be uncertain about Original math, so I’ve provided a handy guide for the Original siblings below (in what I’m guessing is their birth order):

Unnamed Child #1: A victim of the plague. Died in Europe. It’s really a shame, because there’s a 10% chance he or she might have been sane, and thus an ally for Elijah.

Elijah: One scary dude. But with nice hair. Perfect in every way. Too Gillies to die.

Finn: Total mama’s boy and a lot like his father. Just itching to sacrifice himself for the greater good … and to please mommy dearest. Used to have pirate hair, but now he’s quite dashing. If he hadn’t been trapped in a box for the last 900 years, he would have lived his life in Elijah’s shadow. He really cramped Klaus’s style, apparently.

Klaus: Classic middle child. Major daddy issues. Major mommy issues. His mom had an affair with a werewolf, and then turned him into a vampire, so … his issues have issues. He thinks since his father didn’t love him, no one else will. Thus, all the slaughter, mayhem, creating of a hybrid army, and the general RUINING OF EVERYONE’S LIVES. Too bad he couldn’t just take to journaling. His definition of family love and loyalty is killing his family and toting them around in coffins, so he’s not so much with the stable. Has good taste in ladies though, and some major artistic talent. Looks like a lion. As a hybrid Original, he is almost impossible to kill, which makes him insufferable in family arguments. “BUT I’M THE HYBRID. YOU CAN’T TELL ME WHAT TO DO!” You get the picture.

Kol: While resembling Elijah in looks, he couldn’t be further away in character. Every family has an obligatory psychotic jackass. He’s theirs.

Rebekah: Gorgeous. Blonde. Mermaid. Trouble. A little spoiled. A lot awesome. Tough but vulnerable. Wants Caroline’s life. Has four older brothers who keep telling her what to do, so I can’t wait until she snaps. Also, I can’t wait for a scene between Beks and Katherine. Let’s start a petition.

Henrik: Killed by werewolves. He’s the reason that the Original parents turned their children into vampires. THANKS A LOT, HENRIK.

Mommie Dearest …

What about the mother of all Originals? Oh, Esther. After “Bringing Out the Dead,” I asked you guys if she was trustworthy, and I received a resounding “NOOOOO!” Looks like you all were right. She plays it cool though, manipulating her children beautifully.

After Mama Original breaks up her children’s fighting, Klaus whines and tells on his little sister. “Mommy, Rebekah tried to kill my doppelgänger!” (I may be paraphrasing.) Ugh, don’t you hate when that happens. To Esther’s credit, she reminds him of what he did to his siblings—what with the repeated killing, and storing in boxes. “You need to give it time, Niklaus. I’ve had a thousand years on the other side to be angry and to heal. I’m here to make sure this family does the same.” Hmmm. Klaus doesn’t understand how he killed her, but she still forgives him. Esther: “It’s been my dream for a thousand years that this family could be as one. Forgiveness is not a chore, it’s a gift.” Suuuuuuure. Then she asks who he’s bringing to the ball. Klaus is all sad and embarrassed, saying he’s not inviting anyone. Esther wants him to reconsider, since the night is going to be so magical. Spoiler alert: He does reconsider. And the night is magical … in more ways than one. More on that later.

Despite Esther’s claims of family and forgiveness, we eventually learn the real reason for this ball is to meet with Elena. Why would the Original witch want to meet with the doppelgänger? Gee … after last week’s reveal that Esther kidnapped the original Petrova and used her blood to create vampires, I can’t imagine. (Be smarter, Gilberts and Salvatores. I beg you.) Elena, Stefan, and Damon discuss this. Elena and Stefan rightly suspect that there’s more to this ball than a family reunion, but neither remembers that the Mikaelsons have basically been obsessed with Petrova blood for the past thousand years. Sigh. Damon doesn’t want Elena to meet with Esther, because he thinks it’s too dangerous. He gets annoyed that Stefan won’t support him in telling Elena what to do. I guess he misses the kitchen scenes of yore, when both brothers joined forces to and give Elena orders. Not only is this annoying, but it is hopeless. Even when both Salvatores agreed, it wouldn’t stop Elena from doing what she thought was necessary. Stefan offers to go to ball in Elena’s place. (Someone wants to dance with Klaus.) Damon: “You’ve pissed off enough Originals to last a lifetime. I’ll go. End of story.” Sure. Because it’s always that easy when a Petrova’s involved. Silly Damon.

Here's a glimpse at all the pretty. Photo Credit: Quantrell D. Colbert/The CW.

Fast-forward to the actual ball. The music swells as Elena enters, and the Salvatores kind of lose their minds for a split second. And while I just can’t with this love triangle business, we should all take a moment to appreciate how gorgeous Nina Dobrev looks. And you know, for a minute I understood why two sets of vampire brothers have done so much in the name of the Petrova ladies. I mean … wow. Plus, gorgeous gown, Elena. In the grand tradition of this show, I can only hope that it belonged to someone’s dead relative. Anyway, then Elena meets Finn for the first time. Finn definitely wins the award for “Most Improved.” You clean up nice, Finn. He tells Elena that if she wants to see his mother, she’ll have to be alone. Oh, this bodes well.

Then Elijah commands the attention of the room. Like he does. And then all the pretty Originals stand on the stairway looking so pretty it hurts. I mean, wow. Elijah invites the guests to dance. Elena not-so-subtly tries to sneak upstairs, but Damon intercepts her. He is very bossy, but then charms her by asking her to dance. See, Damon, you catch more flies with honey. It’s actually a shame that Damon didn’t follow up this distraction tactic with something a little more thoughtful and subtle than all the commanding. He might have convinced her to wait if he wasn’t so angry and forceful, you know? Perhaps he could have even used logic (I know, silly me) and brought up the fact that Esther has a history of kidnapping Petrovas and doing spells with their blood, not to mention that murder attempt earlier this season. Alas.

Anyway, so Damon and Elena dance, and then it turns out that it’s one of those dances where they change partners. The best kind! It was like a Jane Austen movie there for a few minutes, you know. And Elena gets stuck with Stefan, and she is happier about this than she should be, given their recent history. They go outside to talk, and she fills him in on the sitch—how Damon won’t let her near Esther without protection. Elena’s sales pitch includes, “And you care about killing Klaus more than you care about anything so …” And Stefan’s face tells a very different story. Elena: “What? Am I wrong?” More of Stefan’s switch-less face. Stefan lies: “No, you’re not wrong.” So, Elena wants him to ensure that she gets into the room alone with Esther. She adds: “When we were together, you used to let me make my own decisions. You trusted me. After everything, at least that hasn’t changed.”

I mean, what? This was maaaaaaybe true about 50% of the time, so … yeah. I don’t know … maybe I just watched seasons one and two too recently? This interaction is just the most recent example illustrating why I can’t with this love triangle. I just feel like the dynamic between Elena, Stefan, and Damon is all over the place this season—and it’s damaging the characterization of each one individually. The “triangle” is just such a mess, and I never know where anyone stands with anyone, and no one ever has appropriate reactions to anything. Maybe that’s the point, but it doesn’t work for me.  I know lots of you love it—most of you, probably—but personally, I am finding it impossible to care about whether any of these three are together. Mercifully, despite what the marketing campaigns might lead one to believe, this show is SO MUCH MORE, so it doesn’t even matter.

Also, who “lets” their girlfriend make her own decisions. Ugh. And who congratulates her boyfriend for “letting” her make choices. THAT SHOULD BE A GIVEN. THE END. Guess what world? Women can handle choices. Cc: the U.S. government.

Anyway, all this is just set-up for Elena to meet Esther. We are getting there. Elena lures Damon to an empty room via text, so that Stefan can break his neck. Once again, no one decided to use words or logic. Sigh. The co-conspirators nod at each other, and Elena rushes off to see Mama Original.  However, she hits a slight snag when Elijah catches up with her in the hallway. Elijah is not an idiot, so he finds his mom’s ability to forgive Klaus strange. He decides to trade on Elena’s goodwill, what with saving her life the night before and all: “Can I depend on you to tell me what she says?” Elena: “Of course. I’ll find you later.” Uh uh.

Elena reaches her destination to find Esther and Finn, in a room full of candles. Remember, Esther is a witch, so candles are a MUST. Esther lights some sage, explaining, “I’ve spelled it so we can speak freely without being overheard.” Handy. Finn exits, and Esther invites Elena to sit. Elena asks some good questions, but not nearly enough. “How are you alive? Are you a ghost?” Esther: “Not exactly. When I died, the witch Ayanna preserved my body with a spell. She was a close friend of mine. An ancestor of your friend Bonnie.” Aha! This answers a couple different fandom questions. Elena: “So that’s why only Bonnie and her mother could open up the casket.” Esther: “They complete the Bennett bloodline. I drew power from them and their ancestors, who were with me on the other side.” Elena: “So you’ve been on the other side for a thousand years?” Esther: “Nature’s way of punishing me for turning my family into vampires. But there is a way for me to undo the evil I created.” Elena: “You’re gonna help us kill Klaus, aren’t you?”  Esther: “One thing at a time, Elena. For now, I simply need your help.”

After that cryptic remark, Esther says the she knows Rebekah told Elena the story of how she made the vampires. She confirms that she did it to protect her children from the werewolves, but it had unforeseen consequences. Soon her children turned to human blood, and ravaged the town with no remorse. Niklaus turned against her. Elena: “How are you going to kill him? He’s immortal.” Esther: “It will take time, magic, and your assistance.” Elena: “What do I have to do with it?” DID STEFAN AND DAMON FORGET TO TELL HER ABOUT TATIA?! You guys, I’m so upset reading that quote. Esther: “My children think I’m holding this ball to celebrate our reunion. But in truth I’ve gathered them together to perform a ritual. The first step requires blood from the doppelgänger. Only a drop. Its essence will be in the champagne toast later on this evening. Will you do it? Or shall I?” And then Elena proceeds to take off her glove, offering up her special blood WITHOUT ASKING ANY MORE QUESTIONS. Gaaaaah! I mean … WHAT?!?! Is Elena forgetting everything that has happened in the history of the show? I just … no.

Esther pricks Elena’s finger and puts the blood in a goblet. Esther: “Elijah is more suspicious than the others, so he may need more persuasion. But they must all drink at the toast in order to be linked as one.” Elena: “What do you mean linked as one?” (Oh yay, Elena decided to ask an important question … AFTER offering up her blood.) Esther: “You said yourself Klaus can’t be killed. But tonight’s spell links all my children together so that if one goes, they all go.” Elena: “What?” Esther: “I love my family, Elena, but they are an abomination. I betrayed nature when I created them. It’s my duty to kill them.” Wow. And who wants to bet that since the doppelgänger is tied to this ritual, she dies too? *Raises hand* P.S. I finally figured out who Alice Evans sounds like! J.K. Rowling. Right?

Later, when Elena rejoins the party, Elijah asks her how his mother was. Elena: “Intense.” She leaves out the part about planning to kill all her children. Elijah: “And for what reason did she need to speak with you in private?” After a moment of silence, while Elena nervously looks at, Elijah’s tries again. “Elena, should I be concerned about my mother’s intentions?” Elena: “She just wanted to apologize for trying to have me killed.” Elijah: “So, it’s true then? She’s forgiven Klaus?” Elena: “It’s true.” Sad. But as much as I love Elijah (INFINITY TIMES A THOUSAND), I totally get why Elena is doing this. Girl has to lookout for herself and her loved ones, you know. Klaus has terrorized her and everyone she knows, and with that whole immortal thing, she’s desperate. I think she sees this as her only chance. Like Elijah, who betrayed her and the Salvatores for the sake of her family, she has to be willing to be a bit dishonest for the sake of keeping her loved ones safe. Sacrifice, kill or be killed, etc. I do not blame her one bit. NOT ONE BIT. Elena is all heart, so in that context, this decision makes sense. (But I just wished she used her head a little more, you guys. Or at all.) That said, I think Elijah is going to figure things out, so I would not count out the Mikaelson kids to soon. Plus, let’s remember that Elijah is too Gillies to die.

Esther proposes a toast to her assembled guests: “Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. Waiters are coming around with champagne. I invite you all to join me in raising a glass. It provides me with no greater joy than to see my family back together as one. I’d like to thank you all for being part of this spectacular evening. Cheers.” Everyone raises glasses of pink champagne. We see all the Originals drink, one by one. Except Elijah. And for a minute I was like “Oooooh … he’s suspicious!” But then Elijah says “Cheers,” and so Elena drinks too … and Elijah takes a sip. Dun dun dun. Let’s take a moment to note that almost everyone we know in Mystic Falls has now had a taste of Elena’s blood, including Elena. I can just imagine Elena at the next town event: “That person drank me, and that one, that one, that one, and that one too.” This show is so delightfully gross. Okay, just gross. I’m not sure if I’ll ever look at pink champagne the same.

Later that night, Finn and Esther plot some more, courtesy of the magical burning sage. Finn asks if she’s having second thoughts. Esther: “Of course not. It’s just Elijah … he’s so moral.” Finn: “You’re doing the right thing, mother.” Esther: “You understand what this means, don’t you? This spell I’m casting tonight will bind you all together as one.” Finn: “I understand. When it is time, I will be ready to die.” The ultimate mama’s boy. I mean, whoa. Esther: “Then we must complete the link.” Then there’s a really cool effect where she puts Finn’s blood on a piece of parchment, and we cut back and forth between shots of each Original sibling drinking the pink champagne, and then back to their names in runic script on the piece of parchment. Finn’s blood spreads into a family tree. Very dramatic. Esther: “The link is complete. You are one.” Dun dun dun.


Photo Credit: Quantrell D. Colbert/The CW.

“It’s some twisted Cinderella fetish is what it is.”

 You guys, where to even start with the Caroline and Klaus of it all? Remember how I was grossed out by Klaus’s attentions toward our Care back on her birthday? Well, the show has handled it beautifully. Just completely pitch perfect, and so their scenes have been a joy to watch. What really makes it work for me is that Caroline is reacting the way Caroline would, you know. Just so in character. Giving him crap about Tyler, telling him what’s wrong with him, etc. Just perfection. Let’s get into the details.

At the beginning of the episode, Caroline listens to a voicemail from Tyler. Apparently he freaked out and left, but then he heard about her dad. He’s sorry. He’s out doing what Bill told him to. “I’m gonna fix myself and come home to you. I love you.” Kind of impressed by Tyler right now. But then Care hears a knock on the door. It’s a package, with a letter addressed to her. It’s the same invitation to the Mikaelsons’ ball that Elena got, but on the back is a handwritten note of a different sort: “Save me a dance. Fondly, Klaus.” Caroline: “Seriously?!” See! She opens the box to find a beautiful blue gown inside.

Care and Elena discuss these happenings at the grill, where Caroline sums the whole thing up perfectly: “It’s some twisted Cinderella fetish is what it is.” Hah! Caroline doesn’t want to go to the ball, but then Rebekah enters and invites Matt. Uh oh. Caroline: “What time is this stupid dance?” Ha!

Caroline then desperately tries to find a dress in her closet so she won’t have to wear Klaus’s gift … but she can’t find anything. And she can’t deny the fabulous that is the blue gown. So Care shows up at the ball all dolled up, looking like Cinderella indeed. When Klaus catches sight of her, his face is perfect. Klaus: “Good Evening.” Caroline: “I need a drink.” Ha! See? This is perfect. She is not blushing or falling over herself. She knows who she is, and she knows who Klaus is, and she has not forgotten what he’s done because of a few gifts and a little attention.

Later, Caroline and Klaus dance. Caroline worriedly eyes Matt and Rebekah. Klaus: “I’m glad you came.” Caroline: “Well, it was either caviar or sympathy casseroles.” This prompts him to bring up her late father, but she warns him not to. He then compliments her on the dress. Caroline: “I didn’t really have time to shop.” Klaus: “And the bracelet I gave you, what’s your excuse for wearing that?” Ha! Silence. Hey, Caroline Forbes knows the meaning of fabulous. She’s not going to let diamond accessories go to waste. Klaus: “You’re quite the dancer.” Then Caroline delivers my favorite line of the night: “Well, I’ve had training. I happen to be Miss Mystic Falls.” Oh, Caroline. I’m surprised she didn’t wear her sash. Klaus: “I know.” Pitch perfect. (Also, someone’s been researching our Vampire Barbie’s history. Ahem.)

When it comes time to switch partners, Caroline is paired with Matt. She angrily asks him, “What are you doing? Why are you here with the She Devil?” Matt: “What was I supposed to say? And why are you here with Klaus?” Yeah, it’s not really good for one’s health or life expectancy to say no to Rebekah, I imagine. Unfortunately for Matt, coming with Rebekah is not good for his life expectancy either. We soon learn that Beks brought him here to hill him—to hurt Elena. She wants Kol’s help, and when he hears the plan he is very enthusiastic: “And spit right in the face of mother’s rules? I’m in.” Charming.

Sometime later, Caroline goes outside to get some hear. There is a horse and a carriage nearby—all the better for the Cinderella fetish, you know. Klaus approaches and asks her if she likes horses. Caroline: “I’m not talking to you until you tell me why you invited me here.” Klaus: “I fancy you. Is that so hard to believe?” Caroline: “Yes!” Klaus: “Why? You’re beautiful, you’re strong, you’re full of light. I enjoy you.” Wow. I’m charmed in spite of myself. Stay strong, Caroline! Caroline does: “Well, I’m spoken for. By Tyler.” Klaus: “I thought you two ended things.” Caroline: “Yeah, because of you and your freaky sire bond.” Klaus: “So you aren’t spoken for?” Ha! Klaus: “You know, horses are the opposite of people. They’re loyal. My father hunted me for a thousand years, and the closest he ever came was the day he killed my favorite horse. He severed its neck with a sword.” Caroline: “Did you ever consider sitting down with your father and talking it out?” Klaus: “I’m afraid my relationship with my father was a little bit more complex than yours.” Caroline: “Maybe so. But I let my father go with no regrets. And to answer your question, yes, I like horses. But I also like people, and they actually like me, so I’ll be inside.” Wow wow wow. I know I say it all the time, but Caroline Forbes is just THE BEST. And you know, it says a lot about The Vampire Diaries that the girl who was recently tortured by her father in a dungeon does not have the worst daddy issues on the show.

Further on in the evening, Klaus is able to get Caroline alone again. He shows her the prize of his art collection: a painting from Monet’s water lilies series. Klaus: “One of my passions.” Caroline: “Impressive. I take it the curators of the Louvre aren’t on vervain.” Klaus: “Yeah, well, that’s their mistake.” Caroline: “And what about these?” She holds out her wrist, indicating her bracelet. “Where did you steal this from?” Klaus: “Well that’s a long story. But rest assured it was worn by a princess almost as beautiful as you.” Hmmm. Then Care catches sight of some drawings—very Renaissance-esque. She asks, “Wait a second, did … did you do these?” Klaus: “Yeah, um … actually one of my landscapes is hanging at the Hermitage, not that anyone would notice. Have you been?” Caroline: “I’ve never really been anywhere.” Klaus: “I’ll take you. Wherever you want. Rome? Paris? Tokyo?” She laughs. He laughs. It’s just all too much. Their scenes were really the highlight of this episode. Caroline: “Wow. Must be really nice to just snap your fingers and get whatever you want. Is that why you collect hybrids? A little servant army to take you places and bring you things?” Ooooooooh! SHE. COULD. NOT. BE. MORE. AWESOME. All my eternal devotion to Caroline Forbes. Klaus get annoyed: “You’re making assumptions.” Caroline doesn’t let up: “And why do you need Tyler? Stop controlling him. Give him his life back.” Klaus gets angry: “You know, this has been a fun evening, but I think it’s time for you to leave.” Caroline: “I get it. Your father didn’t love you, so you assume that no one else will either. And that’s why you compel people, or you sire them, or you try to buy them off. [Rips off bracelet.] But that’s not how it works. You don’t connect with people because you don’t even try to understand him.” Klaus is at a loss for words, as he should be. Caroline exits, having had the last word. CAROLINE FORBES FAN CLUB 4EVAH.

Caroline heads home and calls Tyler to leave him a message. She tells him that she’s grateful for what he’s doing, but she misses him and wishes he was here. Then she goes into her room to find a familiarly wrapped box on her bed. She mutters, “Seriously? Just give up already.” But when she opens it, instead of jewelry she finds a beautiful drawing inside. It features Caroline with the horse from earlier. Written at the bottom is the following: “Thank you for your honesty, Klaus.” Well played, Klaus. Well played.

Time for some self-destructive heroics …

While all the magic is happening elsewhere, Kol is itching to kill someone. (Obligatory psychotic jack-ass, remember.) So, Rebekah lures Matt outside. However works his small-town quarterback charm on her, offering her his coat, and Beks is smitten. She can’t go through with it. So she hurries him back inside. Unfortunately, Kol is less moved by Matt’s chivalry. Kol cruelly confronts Rebekah: “Don’t tell me you like this boy. What’d he do? He gave you five seconds of his attention? Don’t be so predictable, Rebekah.” Rebekah tells her brother to leave Matt alone, but Kol seems far from convinced. Uh oh.

I interrupt this recap to show you Matt in a tux. You're welcome. Photo Credit: Quantrell D. Colbert/The CW.

Meanwhile, Damon recovers from that whole neck-snapping incident, and he and Stefan tussle a bit. Damon: “What did you do?” Stefan: “Oh, don’t blame me. This is all her. Right down to the broken neck.” Ouch. And the blows keep coming when Stefan tells his brother, “Well, your emotions are getting in the way of our plan.” Damon: “My emotions? How is this even happening right now?” Stefan: “Maybe because you care too damn much.”

This snowballs further when Damon catches up with Elena. He is pretty grabby and bossy. She tells him to let go of her, and he calms down a bit. She apologizes for cutting him out of the plan. Elena says she doesn’t like to go behind his back, but if she hadn’t done what she did, Damon would have tried to be the hero and ruined everything. He explains “… I’m mad at you because I love you.” Elena: “Well maybe that’s the problem. [Long pause] No, that’s not what I m— …” Damon: “No I got it, Elena. I care too much. I’m a liability. How ironic is that?” Then Caroline interrupts, asking if they’ve seen Matt. (See, even in the midst of Klaus’s Cinderella fetish, she doesn’t forget about Matt’s safety. Love her.)

And where is our Matt? Up on the balcony. Uh oh. Kol appears suddenly, and introduces himself. Uh oh. Matt shakes his hand, but in return Kol crushes it. Nooooooooo! Luckily, Damon shows up: “Hey hey hey, easy on the hand. Guy’s a quarterback.” Right?! Plus, a waiter working for his daily bread. Stop injuring the only person on this show who actually needs a job to pay his bills, show! Then Damon DESERVEDLY throws Kol over the balcony. But instead of being celebrated for saving Matt’s life, everyone gives his a hard time. I mean, really? All the partygoers come outside to see what’s going on and Stefan is all, “Are you crazy?” Damon: “Maybe a little.” He catches sight of Elena, and you can see that he is really hurt from earlier. “Far be it from me to cause a problem,” he says, and then walks away. This show is putting me in a position where I am defending Damon, so … bravo?! I don’t even know. But yay for saving Matt!

Also, somehow poor Rebekah gets blamed too. Esther complains to Elijah about the violence: “Rebekah and Kol disgraced our family tonight!” I mean, yeah, Beks considered killing Matt, but actions speak louder than words. She figured out the error of her ways. Like Buffy, she learned a valuable lesson: Never kill a boy on the first date. (Especially after he offers you his coat!) Elijah assures his mother that he has the situation covered: “It won’t happen again, mother. I’ll deal with them.” Esther: “Thank you, Elijah. I wish the others were more like you.” Me too, Esther. Me too. I mean … FIVE ELIJAHS! Can you even imagine? Ahem.

At the end of the night, Elena arrives home with Stefan. Stefan: “So uh, Esther wants to kill her whole family. How’s that for mother of the year?” Elena: “Yeah. And I got to look Elijah right in the eye and lie to him about it.” Stefan: “Well good. I can’t say I’ll be sorry to see any of them go.” Elena feels bad: “I just signed their death sentences, Stefan.” Stefan doesn’t: “No, you signed Klaus’s death sentence, Elena. Everyone else is just collateral damage.” Elena: “It’s not that simple.” Stefan: “That family’s brought you nothing but darkness, Elena. It is that simple.” Then Stefan asks where Damon is. He asks, “What was with him going after Kol?” Elena: “Damon being self-destructive. I said something I didn’t mean.” Stefan: “So did I. Anyway, uh … good night.” Really? Neither of them saw poor Matt with his poor pathetic crushed hand??!??! Open your eyes, you self-absorbed crazies. I mean, what even is this conversation????

Stefan exits, but Elena goes after him. PORCH SCENE ALERT! I don’t really want to recap it, but I will for you guys. Elena: “Stefan, did you really not feel anything?” Stefan: “When?” Elena: “How do you do that? Act like you don’t care? Like you don’t feel anything? Because I can’t do that. I feel. I feel everything.” She moves closer. Stefan: “Elena, stop.” Elena: “I’m not going to stop, Stefan. Because I don’t believe that you feel nothing.” Stefan: “You think I want to be this person? I hurt you, Elena. I bit you. I hate myself for what I did to you.” Elena reaches out her hands to hold his face. Face holding is a staple of porch scenes, after all. Elena: “Then show it. Do something. Stefan, anything is better than trying to convince me that you don’t care. Stefan …” Stefan: “I can’t.” Elena: “Stefan…”  Stefan: “If I let myself care, all I feel is pain.” He walks away.

Meanwhile, Matt nurses his wounds at the Grill. I’m a little worried he lost his house, you guys. Have we seen it at all this season? Is he sleeping on a cot in the break room? Poor Mattie. Rebekah approaches and asks what he’s doing. Matt is understandably grumpy: “Well, let’s see. I went to a dance and got my hand crushed, found out that I don’t have health insurance, so I just need a minute to myself.” Poor Matt. She offers to buy him an apology drink, but Matt just wants her to leave him alone. Rebekah apologizes for her brother’s actions. Matt: “Look, Rebekah, you’re really fun and pretty and all, but I really need you to leave me alone.” He walks away.

Damon approaches Rebekah at the bar. “Burn. Rejected by the captain of the football team. Welcome to adolescence.” Awww. Rebekah: “Shut up, Damon. You know, I should have killed him. Mother wouldn’t let me.” Damon pours them shots and gives her unsolicited advice: “Well, never let people tell you what to do. Besides, you would have broken him in a second.” Rebekah: “Are you suggesting I can’t be gentle.” Damon: “No, I’m just saying you should find someone a little more durable, that’s all.” Rebekah: “And who would that be.” The music swells and we cut to Rebekah and Damon all over each other, arriving at Casa Salvatore. And it was HOT HOT HOT. I blushed. I’m blushing while writing this. I mean, what with the ripping, etc. Ahem.

Some loose ends …

  • So, another ball, another opportunity for Alaric to NOT wear a suit. No tux for Mr. Saltzman. You guys, I am bereft. I am simply inconsolable.
  •  Oh, and so the excuse for Alaric’s absence from the episode was that he agreed to stay overnight at the hospital for observation. You know, the hospital where Bill was killed. By the same mysterious serial killer who tried to kill Alaric YESTERDAY. Um, great plan, Scoobies. Just go to your ball. Don’t anyone stay to protect the injured Alaric. Carry on. Wow. (Let’s hope that I’m wrong and that Bonnie was there off-screen, using her witchy juju to keep him safe.)
  • Kol totally snubbed Damon at the ball. Apparently, the script originally featured a backstory between the two, but it was never shot. Alas. Still hilarious.
  • Why didn’t Esther invite the Bennett witches?!?! I mean, after all Ayanna did for her, and after Bonnie and Abby opened the coffin??? Bad form, Esther.
Despite my occasional griping, this episode was great. So much pretty. I can’t wait to watch tonight’s new episode. I’m actually putting it off to finish this late recap. The things I do for you. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. Buh-bye! I’m off to watch “All My Children” …

*Source of the Peggy Olson GIF from Mad Men: twentysomethingbullshit.

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You have no idea how happy it makes me to hear that you are much more on board with the Klaus and Caroline of it all. Well okay you probably have some idea because I pretty much swoon over them every day and tell everyone they should love them. (I've already found a shippers anonymous group to start attending). But seriously, Caroline is the best ever. The fact that she totally calls Klaus out on everything but in her compassionate, amazing Caroline way. I just love how she won't let him off the hook about who he is, but she also doesn't dismiss his feelings or his art or anything. There are not words for how perfect Caroline Forbes is.


Thanks for commenting, Melissa. This blog post has been so lonely! Yeah, I haven't caught the shipping bug yet, but the Klaus and Caroline scenes have been my favorite parts of "Dangerous Liaisons" and "All My Children." I love the playfulness and also empowerment that Klaus brings out in Caroline. The scenes between them really just bring out the best in both characters. It's fun to watch.