THE VAMPIRE DIARIES: “1912″
Read on for my recap & review of The Vampire Diaries 3×16, “1912,” originally aired Thursday, March 15th, 2012 (plus a quick recap of 3×15, “All My Children”):
With four episodes having aired since I last recapped the show, I have a lot to catch up on. A lot. I’m not going to give “All My Children” (3×15) the full recap treatment, but I do want to cover the highlights briefly before getting into “1912.” When the show left off before hiatus, Alaric had been shot by Meredith. Gasp! Except, what with all the previous deaths, no one was too worried about his safety. Not the most perilous of cliffhangers, and more than a little infuriating since Alaric has already died five times, making this a possible sixth. Seriously? Seriously?!?! Also, Mama Original teamed up with her son Finn and the Bennett witches to organize some elaborate sacrificial ritual. Presumably, Finn would have sacrificed himself, so that all his Original siblings would die. But the other Original kids found out what mommie dearest was up to and kidnapped Elena (must be Tuesday). Uh oh! To save Elena’s life, the Salvatores were told they had to kill the Bennett witches. But Stefan and Damon flipped a coin over Elena (gross), and Damon ignored the result and ended up turning Abby Bennett into a vampire. Poor Bonnie. Needless to say, Mama Original’s plan didn’t work, and the Originals scattered (not before Elijah wrote a heartfelt apology note, of course). Klaus and Rebekah decided to stick around, however, as they weren’t done causing trouble in Mystic Falls. Oh, and Rebekah found evidence on the cave wall of another white oak tree (aka an “Original Killing Tree”), many years after the “only one” had been burned. There’s a way to kill these Originals dead-dead now, and Klaus and Rebekah are determined to find the tree before anyone else does. Trees: they’re the new lockets/moonstones, people! It’s all vey exciting, I’m sure. Basically, “All My Children” was my least favorite episode of The Vampire Diaries ever, so let’s move on.
Happily, “1912” did a lot to mend the wounds from “All My Children.” Good save, writers. Good save. Alaric’s ridiculous number of deaths went from an embarrassing study in repetition, to a dark and twisted nightmare. The sheer multitude of Alaric’s resurrections served as foundation for a fantastic plot twist involving the Gilbert rings. I loved this twist. It turns out that dying and coming back to life has been driving Alaric crazy. Literally. Those Gilbert rings always did seem too good to be true, and now we know that they are. Magic fixes don’t come without consequences. Well done.
Despite the title, and the trailers, and promotional photos released ahead of time, the flashback parts of “1912” actually seemed the weakest. You all know that I love a good flashback, and with such a notable year in the mix, I expected to be blown away. Instead, I found the stuff in the past a bit meh, and the introduction of Sage to be disappointing. Sage was presented as sort of an “evil” Lexi. Instead of teaching her protégé to keep his darker impulses at bay, Sage taught Damon horrible lessons of rape and manipulation. It was all rather sad and pathetic, especially the pointedly gendered dynamic. Ugh, Sage.
On the other hand, I absolutely loved the storylines in the present. The scenes between Elena and Matt were beautiful and touching, and served to give us a closer look at what drives these two old friends. Also, once again the show proved why Matt’s character is so crucial to the show. Alaric really got to shine as well, and as stressful as this storyline is for me as an Alaaaaaric fan (soooo sooooo stressful—THINK OF MY PAIN!), I can’t wait to see Matt Davis play these new facets of his character. And of course, this was also a very intense episode for the Salvatore brothers. We got to learn about another crucial turning point in their relationship, and actually see the potential for them to learn from past mistakes. Oh, family … still the cornerstone of this show. On to the recap …
Mystic Falls, 1912. Flashback! One Mr. Salvatore and one Sheriff Forbes stand on a street corner. From their conversation, we learn that the Sheriff’s first name is Gerald and that a member of the Council has been murdered. You decide which point of information is more important. After these brief words, the two men separate. Mr. Salvatore is being followed, and there is some dramatic tension until GASP! STAB! Mr. Salvatore has been killed by some mysterious person. Dun dun dun.
Fade to the same street in the present day. Carol and Liz are fighting. Again. Hee. Some things may have changed, but it’s nice that we can rely on these two ladies to continuously bicker. They recap recent events: there have been two murders and one attempted murder. New information: Liz has a suspect, but won’t share the identity with the mayor. Carol wants to be in the loop, but Liz doesn’t want to accuse an innocent person of being a serial killer.
Cut to … Alaric waking up on a cot. In a jail cell. Dun dun dun. Title card! Alaaaaric is Liz’s #1 suspect in the Council killings. On the plus side, Alaric is alive, so … yay? Liz explains: “You were shot. Dr. Fell used vampire blood to heal you.” So … Meredith shot Alaric, only to heal him with vampire blood? Perhaps she should invest in tranquilizers. Or a nice heavy frying pan. I mean, there are better ways to incapacitate people, is what I’m saying. Did he really need another miraculous resurrection from a close brush with death? Anyway, Alaric tells Sheriff Forbes that he didn’t commit the murders, and Damon comes to his defense too. Damon points out that Alaric was practically stabbed to death. Sheriff Forbes counters that Dr. Fell suggested that Alaric’s wounds could be self-inflicted. Hmmm. Alaric says that he’s being framed. Damon wants to find proof to exonerate his bestie, but Liz tells him to stay out of it.
Meanwhile, Elena and Matt are jogging. Matt: “Elena, you can’t outrun your problems.” Waaaah waaaah. It’s all a little too on the nose. So, I guess that’s why Elena’s been obsessed with jogging lately. Run, Elena! Run! The two then talk about Bonnie’s situation. Matt says that Bonnie and Caroline are at Abby’s house, helping her through the transition. Elena asks if there’s anything she can do, as apparently she and Bonnie are still not speaking. Matt says that it’s not Elena’s fault, but Elena insists that it is. I say that once again everyone else’s problems are being made out to be ALL ABOUT ELENA. Pass. Matt: “You’re gonna make me run more, aren’t you?” Poor Matt. But he’s saved from more cardio when Sheriff Forbes calls Elena to tell her about her incarcerated guardian. Well, Elena’s life is never boring … so there’s that.
When Elena shows up at the jail, she runs into Damon. He fills her in about Liz wanting him to stay out of it. When Elena disbelievingly asks if he really will, he plays light and says it seems like as good a plan as any. Elena is not amused: “Your friend’s in jail for murder. You have to do something.” He baits her with threats of violence against Meredith that involve feeding her to squirrels. Elena continues to be unamused: “Stop it, Damon.” Damon: “I saved your life last night. You’re welcome.” Elena: “You know, you could show a little compassion about Bonnie.” Damon continues to be an ass: “I know. You’re right. Her and her mom must be really hurting right now. Should I send lasagna?” Elena: “Okay, now you’re just being mean.” Damon: “I’m mean, you hate me. The earth is back on its axis.” Elena: “You know, if you keep pushing people away, you’re gonna end up alone.” She exits, he glares. Same old, same old.
Cut to Casa Salvatore, where Stefan is journaling. He has developed an annoying tick wherein he bangs his ring against the table. It seems that the younger Salvatore is having a hard time with blood cravings. Damon enters, and offers us some laughs: “Dear Diary, a chipmunk asked me my name today. I told him it was Joe. That lie will haunt me forever.” Hee. Damon wants some brother bonding, and suggests that he and Stefan “activate our Wonder Twin powers.” Ha! Damon further explains that he’s looking for clues. It seems that he didn’t listen to Liz’s counsel after all. The two brothers reminisce about their long-dead relative Zachariah’s funeral. They remember that he wasn’t the first Council member killed that year, and Stefan recalls that the year was 1912. Damon: “1912. Or as I like to call it, the last time Mystic Falls had a serial killer on its hands.” Dun dun dun.
Flashback! Stefan’s diary voice over plays as we see a sepia toned scene from 1912: “It feels strange to be home again after so long away …” He’s back in town for Zachariah Salvatore’s funeral—the same guy who we saw stabbed in the opening scene. Following said funeral, Stefan talks to two women at the cemetery. No, not Ladies Mary and Sybil Crawley, but Miss Marianna Lockwood and Miss Samantha Gilbert. Samantha, we learn, is the granddaughter of the late Johnathan Gilbert. Stefan questions the circumstances of his “uncle’s” death, and the ladies say Zachariah was murdered. Marianna adds: “Be careful, Mr. Salvatore. It’s not a good time to be founder of this town.” When has it ever been? Oh, Founders … just move. Run and never come back.
A behatted Damon approaches his brother: “Have you been eating the relatives again?” Stefan: “It’s been a long time, brother.” Damon: “And miss the funeral of … what do you call him? ‘Uncle’ Zachariah.” Stefan: “So you’re still mad at me? Any chance you took it out on our nephew Zachariah?” Ah, suspicion. Zachariah, it turns out, is actually their nephew. Damon makes it clear that he wants to live out his eternal existence as far from Stefan as possible, but Stefan wants to grab a drink and catch up. He has missed his brother. Damon: “Sure. Why not.” Hmmm.
Cut to the present day. Damon: “What do you say, brother? You want to go get drunk?” Stefan: “Ahhhh, I get it, I get it. You’re bored. Your best friend’s in jail and you have nothing better to do.” Damon: “Well there’s that, and I was hoping you could help solve a murder.” Well, this should be fun.
At the Mystic Grill, Rebekah meets with Mayor Lockwood. Beks thinks that Carol is a good person to ask about old trees since she’s the head of the Preservation Society. Carol: “A long line of Lockwood women used to keep those records, back before any of them had actual jobs.” Damon and Stefan enter and see the pair. Damon refers to Rebekah as “the She Devil” because he’s classy like that. He also gives her the Damon eyes, and she is not unaffected. Carol tells Rebekah that all the logging mills used to be owned by the Salvatores. Hmmm.
At the bar, Stefan continues with his nervous tick, and Damon recognizes the source of his little brother’s agitation. He tells Stefan that he needs to practice moderation. Cold turkey won’t work. Stefan changes the subject back to solving the murders, pointing out that the victims were all Council members. Damon is unimpressed with the selection: “At least back in 1912 they killed a Salvatore.” Ha! Rebekah interrupts and asks which one. It seems that she’s going to keep hanging around them until she finds out about the white oak tree.
Meanwhile, Liz and Alaric talk back at the jail. Alaric argues that he had no motive to kill Brian or Bill, but Liz points out that both victims got into altercations with Meredith. It seems that Meredith told the Sheriff that Alaric was a witness to her fight with Brian Walters, and that she told Alaric that Bill Forbes threatened to report her to the medical board. The latter purportedly was revealed during that drunk dialing conversati a few episodes ago. According to Meredith and the phone records, Alaric talked to Meredith for over an hour. However, he doesn’t remember the conversation, what with his penchant for day-drinking and all-other-times-drinking. Liz asks about an alibi for the night Brian Walters was killed. Alaric was at the fundraiser, but since the killing happened between 1 and 3 am, his only alibi is merely being home asleep. Uh oh.
Mystic Grill. Rebekah: “You say Zachariah Salvatore was your nephew?” Damon: “Well my father knocked up one of the maids during the Civil War. She had a son. As far as everyone else was concerned, Stefan and I were dead. Family name had to go somewhere.” Ah, family history. Damon then taunts “Blondie Bex” a bit about wanting more sex, and brings up Stefan’s blood desires. Stefan denies, as usual. The question of whether the killer from 1912 was caught is brought up, and the Salvatore brothers point to each other as suspects. Stefan: “Well, there was one other vampire. Do you remember Sage?” Damon: “Oooh, right … Sage … speaking of great sex.” Spoiler alert: GROSS.
Flashback! 1912 Stefan and Damon watch Sage (played the lovely and talented Cassidy Freeman) in the boxing ring. She offers $100 to any man who can beat her. That’s a lot of money for 1912, and the prospect of a woman beating up men for sport was surely an unusual sight for the day. Sage catches Damon’s eye—a hint at what’s to come. Stefan tells Damon that he could teach him how to survive without human blood, but Damon is not interested. The older Salvatore tells his brother that he can’t lecture him on how to live his life, not anymore. Then Sage approaches Damon, but he rebuffs her. She puts some money is his waistband. Literally. Huh?
Back in the present, Rebekah comments that she knew a Sage once: “Trashy little thing.” The brothers wonder whether it could have been Sage killing Council members back in 1912. Stefan points out that back then it probably never occurred to people that a woman could have done it.
Cut to Elena and Meredith in the hospital parking lot, and a somewhat off-putting scene. I don’t know how this reconciles with Meredith’s previous and future actions. Meredith: “Whatever case you’re gonna make against Alaric, make it quick.” Huh? Against? Elena: “I don’t have to make a case. He didn’t do anything.” Meredith: “How do you know? Sure you live with him, he takes care of you, but do you really know anything about him?” Elena: “I know enough.” Meredith: “Let me tell you what I know. He was arrested for fighting 4 times before the age of 21. When he was at Duke, his future wife Isobel filed a restraining order against him, twice. Although, then she married him, so I guess that says more about her.” Whoa, whoa, whoa. Information overload. Thoughts? Alaric used to be violent and Isobel took 2 restraining orders out against him? This is all too much. I need details. And context. And proof. And bourbon. And someone to tell me that it’s all going to be okay. It’s all going to be okay, you guys, right? RIGHT?!?! Excuse me while I breath into a paper bag.
Okay, I’m back. Elena stands up for her guardian, saying that Meredith must be making all of this up. Meredith: “How would you know? You took pity on a borderline alcoholic vampire hunter and you never even thought to look any deeper.” There is only one response to this statement: BORDERLINE????? The correct term is “(dis)functioning alcoholic.” Ahem. Elena is outraged: “How could you do this to him? He didn’t kill anyone and you know it.” Meredith: “You date vampires, Elena. It shouldn’t come to you as a shock that your guardian is a murderer.” Mark these words, because they once again do not seem to correspond to Meredith’s depiction in the past or the future. More on my thoughts on Meredith’s characterization further on.
Meanwhile, Rebekah continues to try to hang with Damon and Stefan, but Damon tells her that it’s boys’ night and she wasn’t invited.
Elsewhere, Matt and Elena are engaged in suspicious activities. It turns out that they are breaking into Meredith’s place. Elena says that she knows that that Alaric is innocent, and she also knows Meredith is a Fell. Founding Family Profiling Alert! Geez, Elena, how would you like for everyone to assume that you’re crazy because you’re a Gilbert, huh? They open Meredith’s closet, where they find a dummy wall, and behind it, a file box. Elena: “Skeletons in the closet, just like a true founder.” A quick look inside the box reveals files on Brian Walters, Bill Forbes, and Alaric Saltzman. Dun dun dun.
Back at the Grill, Damon and Stefan couldn’t shake Rebekah. She is a woman with a mission, after all. The three of them play darts and continue to discuss the case. Damon thinks the killer couldn’t be Meredith because she’s a woman. Um … okay. What??? Rebekah: “That’s a bit sexist. A woman could easily kill a man.” Then the subject changes to Stefan and his problems. Oh, Former Ripper, such problems. Stefan claims that his refusal to drink human blood does not mean he’s self righteous. He’s just not interested in killing innocent people. (Anymore.) Damon: “You used to be self righteous.” To prove his point, Damon opens opens Stefan’s diary and reads aloud: “Dear Diary, Damon has lost his way. Though I’ve pulled my own life together, he continues to waste his.” Rebekah pulls the book away. “Ouch.” She continues reading: “‘His bitterness consumes him. He is nothing but bitterness and bile.’ Woof, judgy.” Um, I would like to request dramatic readings from Stefan’s diary in all future episodes, please. Forever amused. Rebekah adds, “Well, if I’m being honest, you didn’t seem like much fun either, Damon.” Damon: “I wasn’t. The woman I was in love with was stuck in a tomb. She wasn’t getting out for another hundred years.” Ooooh, good. I’ve always been curious about how Damon went from 1864 lovestruck-and-horrified-to-be-a-vampire-Damon to the predator of season one. (Spoiler alert: the answer is disappointing. Also, gross.)
Flashback! Damon finishes feeding on a woman as Sage approaches. Sage: “How sad. You’re doing it all wrong. Bad vampire.” Damon: “I was hungry, now I am not hungry. My quality of form is purely subjective.” Sage: “A woman isn’t just for food. She’s for pleasure.” Damon: “I do not need a woman for pleasure. I am spoken for.” Sage: “We are all spoken for, in some way. But what is being a vampire if not relishing in the pleasure of it? C’mon, let me show you.” She leads him back inside the tent, where the people are.
Ringside, Sage points out the women in the audience. She advises: “You want the ones who button themselves up. Watch them. They can’t tear their eyes away. Those are the women who secretly crave seduction. They’ll put up a good fight, but the game is in winning them over, making them beg for it.” Damon: “What if they don’t?” Sage: “You’re a vampire. You take it.” She points a woman out. It’s poor Samantha Gilbert. GROSS, GROSS, GROSS. Also, how twisted is it that Damon’s first “pleasure victim” was Elena’s ancestor? Oh, Vampire Diaries, you just like to layer on the damage, don’t you?
Back in the present, it seems that Damon has been recounting this story to Rebekah and Stefan. Beks: “That sounds like Sage alright.” Team Rebekah! Damon: “How did you know her?” Beks: “She was obsessed with my brother Finn over 900 years ago.” Damon takes the words out of my mouth: “What? Creepy suicidal guy?” Then there’s some more of Stefan and his nervous bloodthirsty ring-tapping. He finally admits that he’s freaking out due to his blood cravings.
We then return to Elena and Matt, still with the breaking and entering. They sift through Meredith’s box and find an old Gilbert journal. Hmmm. Matt also uncovers a document from the coroner’s office—a letter that lists a different time for Brian Walters’s murder. Hmmm. Unfortunately, before they can investigate further, they hear someone coming. They quickly hide in closet, and soon Meredith enters. She throws down her keys and purse, but then quickly changes her coat and picks her stuff up—as if she plans to leave again. The kids think she’s gone, but when they open the door, Meredith is there, staring. I had a brief flashback to Nanny Carrie for a second, but luckily Meredith was sans axe.
Cut to a short time later in Sheriff Forbes’s office. Elena and Matt are treated to Liz’s stern disapproval. She’s upset that they broke the law. Um, Liz, do you know what else is going on in your town? A couple of teenagers breaking and entering is the least of your worries in Mystic Falls. Elena explains that they found something that clears Alaric. However, Liz informs her that Meredith already submitted the letter from the Coroner’s Office: “Full of apologies for accusing an innocent man.” Matt wisely questions why she had a hidden copy. Liz doesn’t answer that, but she does tell the kids to go home: “Alaric will be released as soon as the letter is authenticated. Go.”
Cut to Rebekah and Damon walking the streets, following Stefan. Damon explains that Stefan doesn’t want to drink human blood due to a guilty conscience. Rebekah: “Funny. When I knew him in the 20s he had no conscience at all.” Damon: “He’s a stubborn one, my brother.” Rebekah asks what she can do.
Damon’s solution? To find a hot blonde girl in an alley. How Mystic Falls hasn’t run out of attractive female victims at this point, I’ll never know. Also, that whole hot-blonde-girl-getting-mauled-by-vampires-in-an-alley thing makes me yearn for Buffy to visit this town. She is sorely needed. After Damon bites into the girl, Stefan turns around to save her. Oh, so now he’s saving randoms from his brother? He never did that before. Usually he just gives a side-eye and a disapproving speech. Hmmm. Progress? Damon tries to tempt Stefan into having a bite, explaining that this is “tough love.” Damon insists that Stefan won’t survive this cold turkey thing. Stefan can either let Rebekah have her way with the blonde victim, knowing she’ll kill the girl, or Stefan can just take a drink and spare her life. So dramatic. Couldn’t Damon just spike his drinks with that blood in the Salvatore basement? Stefan steps in when Rebekah moves in for the kill, and then there’s a looooong pause while Stefan stares at her bleeding neck. Eventually, Stefan feeds. After using Rebekah for leverage, Damon tells her to scram. Nice. She calls him an asshole and leaves. Then Damon tries to stop Stefan from draining the girl to death. Damon steps in to feed her his blood to heal her. Progress?
Unfortunately for Stefan, Elena and Matt just happen to pass by the alley and find Stefan is this very compromising position. We all know that Stefan is a messy eater, and his mouth is covered in blood when Elena catches sight of him. Awkward. Elena: “What are you doing?” So. Awkward. “What are you two doing?” she asks. But Matt quickly hurries Elena away before she gets any answers. Stefan turns to his brother, very upset. Damon: “Soooo … that’s gonna take a little time.” Stefan skulks off.
Cut to Elena and Matt in the Gilbert kitchen. He brings her tea. Awww. Also, nice to know that some people drink things other than bourbon and blood in this town. Elena: “Just say it.” Matt just doesn’t get her thing with the Salvatores. Elena: “I know it doesn’t make sense, but at the beginning, after my parents died, there was something about being with Stefan that just … felt safe.” Matt is understandably perplexed: “Safe?!?! Elena, he’s a vampire.” Elena: “I know, believe me. Just saying it out loud sounds crazy. It’s like I knew that he would never stop loving me, that he would never …” Matt: “What?” Elena: “Die. Like he would never die.” Matt: “Like your parents did. [He nods in understanding.] And Damon?” Elena: “Damon just … sort of snuck up on me. He got under my skin and no mater what I do, I just … I can’t shake him.” Matt: “Once you fall in love with someone, I don’t know if you can ever shake them.” Awww. (Side-note: I kept thinking during the close-ups on Roerig during this scene that he looks like a cowboy. I mean, that is probably a weird thing to say, but he just has the chiseled rugged features that belong in Texas. I know he was already a cowboy on Friday Night Lights, but the boy really needs to play one again.) There is a long dramatic pause as Matt and Elena consider his words and their respective feelings. Elena: “I’m sorry, is this … is this weird? Talking about them with you?” Matt: “No, not really.” Awww. And I’d like to think that Matt was spending so small part of that moment thinking of Caroline, by the way. He then pulls out the Gilbert journal from Meredith’s closet: “It’s your family’s. You should have it. Meredith and that idiot deputy were too busy questioning you to give a damn about me. Sometimes it pays to be the only normal one in a town of vampires. I’m practically invisible.” Dead. YOU’RE NOT INVISIBLE TO ME, MATT.
Then the two are interrupted when Alaric comes home. Welcome back, Alaaaaaric!!! He assures Elena that he is okay, and the two of them hug. It is all very emotional. After all, it is not every day that your guardian is shot by his girlfriend, then spends the night in jail as a suspect for 2 murders, and then is released due to new evidence from the trigger-happy girlfriend. You’ve got to appreciate the little victories in life.
Meanwhile, Stefan is brooding in front of a fire in the Salvatore living room. Damon comes home and fills his brother in about Alaric being released. Damon adds: “I know it may not seem like it, but you did really well tonight. Before you know it, you’re going to be the king of moderation. Elena will understand.” Awww. Stefan is not so optimistic and is clearly still broody: “It doesn’t really matter what Elena thinks.” Damon: “Nah uh. No more no-humanity-Stefan. There is a road called recovery, and we are on it.” Awww. Yay for supportive Damon! Stefan says that he doesn’t need Damon’s help. Damon reminds him of the last time Stefan refused his help.
Flashback! Damon eggs Stefan on, encouraging him to pick a woman to feed on. He tells Stefan that he’s forgotten how good it feels. Damon had forgotten too, until Sage, who reminded him: “It’s worth it. It’s all worth it.” Um … gross. Finally, Damon picks a victim for Stefan: Marianna Lockwood from earlier. Poor thing. Outside, Stefan feeds on her, but then loses control. Damon tries to get him to stop, but Stefan feeds so voraciously that he mistakenly knocks her head off. Seriously. I mean … eeeewwww. Stefan immediately feels guilty and starts repeating that he’s sorry. He tries to put her head back on. Wow. Stefan cries out: “What’d you do to me? What did you do to me?!?!?!” Damon says he can help him—Stefan just needs to learn when to stop. So, Ripper Stefan’s decapitation modus operandi was the result of a hungry mistake and a lack of self-control.
Cut back to present day. Damon: “The Founder’s Council killer had nothing on you. By the decade’s end, they were calling you the Ripper of Monterey. I let you walk away. I watched you go over the edge and I didn’t do anything to stop you.” Stefan: “You couldn’t have.” Damon: “Sure I could’ve. I just didn’t want to. But I want to now. Whenever you go too far, I will be there to pull you back, every second of every day, until you don’t need me.” Stefan: “Why?” Damon: “Because right now, you’re all I got.” It seems that Damon has learned something from the past, and wants to help his brother. Rather than blame Stefan for everything, he realizes that he and his brother need each other. I like it. Oh, Salvatores.
Meanwhile, Elena reads her new journal on the Gilbert couch, and Alaric comes downstairs. He tells her that Sheriff Forbes told him about everything she did today. He appreciates it, but he doesn’t want her getting in trouble for him. Elena: “If not for you, for who.” Awww. (Though, to be fair, Elena gets into trouble for a lot of people. She’s heroic like that.) Alaric reminds her that he’s the one who’s supposed to be taking care of her, even though he sucks at it. True. They agree to take care of each other. Awww. Cuteness. He then asks what she’s reading, and she identifies the old family journal. It was written by the granddaughter of Johnathan Gilbert, “who apparently went just as crazy as he did.” Elena jokes, “So, great genes, huh?” Alaric: “Well, at least you have something to look forward to.” Hahaha! And the Petrova line seems less than stable too. Poor Elena.
Cut back to Casa Salvatore. Stefan got into the old family archives from the 1900s and he found a confession 10 years after the killings. Jonathan Gilbert’s granddaughter, Samantha, confessed to the murders. The authorities assumed she was crazy, and she ended up in an insane asylum. The trail ends there. Damon: “Samantha Gilbert. That is very very weird.” Stefan: “Why?” Damon: “Because I’m pretty sure I had already killed her.” Dun dun dun.
Back at the Gilbert residence, Meredith shows up on the doorstep to talk to Alaric. Hmmm … perhaps she should have used her conversational skills before she resorted to firearms and incarceration. Meredith: “I know what this looks like.” Alaric: “Yeah, well I sure as hell don’t.” Word. She says that she forged the coroner’s note to clear his name. What?!? Alaric: “Oh! You know what, people are right. You are psycho.” She says that now that he’s been cleared, they’ll look for someone else. They won’t look his way again. She says if he lets her in, she can explain. Wait, so now Meredith is helping Alaric? She forged a note to get him released? After shooting him and turning him in in the first place? Was that part of a plan? Has she been helping him all along? WHAT?
Meanwhile, Elena reads in bed upstairs. Samantha Gilbert voiceover: “I don’t feel like myself … I’m losing time, as though I am going mad.”
Stefan and Damon try to figure things out. The note that it was impossible that Samantha Gilbert was a vamp, because they would have known, but then they figure out that she must have had a ring. She couldn’t be alive today, as the ring doesn’t protect against old age, so the present day killer is still a mystery. Jonathan Gilbert only made 2 of those rings. Jeremy has one, and the other one is Alaric’s. Dun dun dun.
In the Gilbert kitchen, Meredith points out that the victims were killed with Alaric’s weapons. Alaric: “Yeah, but I was attacked!” Meredith: “With your own knife! A wound that could have been self inflicted.” Alaric: “It’s impossible! I would know if I were killing people.” Meredith: “Would you? Have you had any blackouts? Instances of lost time?” Alaric: “You’re insane.” Meredith: “No, but I think you might be. You wear a ring that lets you cheat death, Ric. How many times can you die before it changes you? I think you’re sick and I want to help you. This has happened before, almost a hundred years ago.” Elena enters the kitchen, having come to the same conclusion: “Ric, I think she’s right.” Dun dun dun.
Cut to the final scene. A flashback to 1912 definitively reveals the identity of Zachariah Salvatore’s killer. It was Samantha Gilbert who killed Zachariah Salvatore in the street. (Take that, Damon and your doubting of women’s homicidal abilities! I mean … um, never mind …)
So, thoughts on this Alaric-is-the-killer-and-the-ring-made-him-crazy twist? I was completely flabbergasted. Shocked. SHOCKED, I TELL YOU. I felt all of the feelings. Horror that Alaric had killed people, terror that Alaric is crazy and could kill again, dread for what he might do next, nervousness for the consequences, anger at everyone and everything, intense sadness at the thought that this could bring about Alaric’s death or permanent incarceration, resignation to the fact that this could mean Alaric is not long for Mystic Falls, excitement for the insanity to come, happiness for Matt Davis that he gets to play something new and interesting, hope that Crazy Alaric might like to wear suits, etc., etc. Also, I bought a big bottle of bourbon in anticipation of what might happen next. You guys, I am going to be suffering heart palpitations and shallow breathing until this storyline concludes. SO STRESSFUL.
On a less positive note, I feel like this episode demonstrated that the characterization of Meredith has been very uneven. While I understand that this is mostly intentional, in order to preserve the mystery and service plot twists, it is disconcerting. Meredith has been swinging so far back and forth on the pendulum that I find it hard to actually care about her as a person. Instead, she seems like merely a plot device. We haven’t been privy to any of her motivations thus far. The “tricks” she has been playing seem more like contrivances by the writers, rather than organic decisions on her part. I had hoped for more from such a long awaited fan favorite character. Disappointing.
That said, “1912″ was certainly an exciting and thought-provoking episode, and the crazy keeps coming. I have a lot to say about recent events from “Break On Through” and “The Murder of One,” which expand on these developments. I’ll try to catch up on the rest of my Vampire Diaries recaps this week. Thank you for your patience.