THE VAMPIRE DIARIES: “The Murder of One”
The Vampire Diaries 3×18, “Murder of One,” aired Thursday, March 29th, 2012:
This will be a shorter recap this week. I’m experimenting with brevity (gasp!) and a variant format (again). Previously on the Vampire Diaries, we met Damon’s misogynistic former life coach, Sage. THE WORST. Sage was revealed to be in love with the suicidal Original brother, Finn, and she betrayed Damon to keep her Original boyfriend safe. With Sage’s help, Rebekah burned all the white oak from the Wickery Bridge, not knowing that Damon and Stefan had their hands on a historical sign, made from the same wood. Thank you, Alaric! Sometimes it pays to have friends who are history nerds, you know. The Salvatores were REALLY excited at the prospect of killing Originals. Also, Alaric was revealed to have a psycho councilmember-killing alter ego. Psycho!Alaric, powered by his fractured psyche, tried to kill his girlfriend, Meredith Fell. Related: Alaric continues to be unlucky in love. Bonnie did a spell and gave Alaric herbs to curb his dark impulses, so supposedly he’s on the mend. Also, Bonnie’s vampire mom ran off, abandoning her daughter for a second time.
In “Murder of One,” our characters were forced to deal with the ramifications of these events. Damon, Stefan, and Alaric got to work making weapons out of the white oak sign, and planned an Original offensive. They brought in Elena, Matt, and Caroline to help with the plan, which was actually smart. The new plan revolved around isolating one Original from the group and surprising and killing him or her. With 12 stakes, 5 conspirators working together, and time to wait for the right opportunity, this might have really worked. However, unbeknownst to our plotters, Klaus had kidnapped Bonnie, and he succeeded in making her perform a spell to unlink the siblings. She pulled it off JUST IN TIME, right before the Scoobies killed Finn (final blow by Matt frakin’ Donovan, thank you very much!). With the Originals no longer linked, killing Finn didn’t achieve what the Scoobies had dreamed. Klaus and his other siblings were all still alive, sans the suicidal maniac one. To make things worse, Rebekah had kidnapped Damon, so there was a minor hostage crisis. Stefan was forced to sacrifice the Scooby advantage—giving the stakes to Klaus in exchange for Damon’s life. Stefan tried to pull one over on Klaus, and keep 3 of the stakes in his possession, but Klaus figured it out. Things became even more complicated when Sage and her minion Troy died within an hour of Finn. They just dropped dead. The Scoobies figured out that this must be a result of the bloodlines. If an Original dies, then all the vampires they turned will also die, killing every vampire in their bloodline. Uh oh. They better figure out who turned Rose, fast. Boom. Recapped. (Kidding.)
Oh, and Rebekah tortured Damon for a bit. Fun times.
Remember how Damon teamed up with Sage in the previous episode? How he seduced Rebekah in order for Sage to get into her head and find out what she was up to? Well, Rebekah remembered too, and she was not happy. She showed up at Casa Salvatore, knocked Alaric out, and kidnapped Damon. “Hello, lover.” I mean, I can’t really blame her.
So how did Rebekah’s torture skills measure up against past torturers? I mean, I would have to give her a B+, only because of points lost for lack of follow-through. Those chompy animal trap things creeeeeeep me out. I am cringing just thinking of those things. And Beks gets extra credit for righteous indignation and long-term compulsion goals. As she explains to her victim: “You pretended to be interested in me, and then you slept with me so that your trampy friend Sage could steal my thoughts. Ever since then, I’ve felt this obsessive need to one-up you. So I’ve decided to bleed the vervain from your system.” Ha! Damon: “You want to compel me to be your boyfriend?” Rebekah: “Actually, I’d rather compel you to kill your brother. Or Elena.” Excellent—she knows her target. Hitting him exactly where it hurts. Of course everyone always wants to backseat torture, but Rebekah held her own against her know-it-all big brother. Klaus was convinced that it would be easer to turn Damon upside down, but Beks was not impressed with his meddling: “I’m perfectly capable of inflicting pain.” Klaus: “Oh, excuse me. It’s not like I have any expertise in the matter.” Ha! Oh, Original family squabbles do amuse.
Another key element of Rebekah’s torture plan, of course, was that mind warp dream thingie. Do we have a name for that vampire power, you guys? I need something a little more graceful. Anyway, while Damon was hanging in torture vise, suddenly he saw someone coming. Elena had come to save Damon! At first, I really thought it was real. Elena was super upset, helped him to get out of the bear trap thing, and then tried to help him out of the house. However, Damon was too weak and collapsed. Elena assured him that she was not going to leave him, and put out her wrist for him to drink. And I was like “Dear humans, when planning to rescue a kidnapped vampire, always bring a blood bag. #TVD.” But then I couldn’t hit “send” on my tweet because I realized that it was a mind warp dream thingie, perpetrated by Rebekah. Because, then Damon and Elena moved in to kiss, and everything started to look cinematic and surreal, and then the screen faded to black. Damon was revealed to still hanging in that torture vise, Rebekah at his side. “You bitch.” Nice. Hee.
We then got a little insight into our favorite Original sister. Rebekah: “It’s not fun when someone messes with your thoughts, is it?” Silence. Damon: “Actually, I was having a pretty good time in there.” Rebekah: “Well I hope you were nicer to Elena than you were to me.” Damon: “Oh c’mon. I couldn’t have hurt you that bad. You didn’t really think I had a thing for you, did you? [Silence.] I get it. Klaus bossed me around for a thousand years, I’d probably be pretty desperate for attention too.” Rebekah reacts by inflicting more pain. I found this scene interesting for a few reasons. 1) Rebekah is shown to be naïve and almost innocent here. Also, she is incredibly immature for someone 1,000 years old. There is a childlike view of the world displayed here, which I find both charming and sad. 2) She really is desperate in her desire for romantic attention. The loneliest vampire girl in all the world. 3) The poor thing slept through feminism, in all its shades and forms. She really needs to make some girlfriends. I nominate Katherine Pierce, obviously. Oh, the stories they could share … think about it.
Highlights from another failed plan to kill Klaus.
Of all the Salvatore plans over the course of 3 seasons, this might have been the best one. And it totally would have worked … if it weren’t for Klaus being smart and thinking ahead. Next time, they need to assign someone to do recon—watch Klaus and see what he’s up to. You know? (Or just assume that when one of them isn’t answering their phones, he or she has been kidnapped.) But really, I thought this was a fun plan. Especially Alaric and his power tools (I mean …), and all the whittling. I also liked that this plan had flexibility. The Scoobies would be on the look out for every opportunity, making the Originals actions work for them. 12 stakes, 12 shots at killing an Original. Nice. Plus, the practice in the woods, in which they all took turns pretending to be an Original? LOVE. And the fact that the brothers included Alaric, Elena, Caroline, and even Matt, giving weapons to all? LOVE LOVE LOVE. (And boy did arming Matt pay off, but more on that later.) I mean … unity, power tools, whittling, murder-rehearsal … the keys to success.
So, what went wrong? Well, first of all, Damon was kidnapped. This created a distraction for Elena, who tried to get Stefan to drop everything and go save him. Stefan chose to stay the course, arguing that this is what Damon would want. Also, with Sage in the mix, hanging out with Finn, the Scoobs weren’t able to keep the numbers and odds entirely in their favor. Of course, the biggest problem was that Klaus has kidnapped Bonnie, and forces her to perform an unlinking spell. She tried to resist, but Klaus made some threats against her mother. He also called Kol in “THE MILE HIGH CITY,” AKA DENVER! Uh oh. Klaus showed Bonnie a video of Jeremy playing fetch with his new puppy, proving that he can get to Jer. Bonnie had no choice, so she performed the spell. The only question was how long it would take. Would the Scoobies be able to kill Finn in time? OH, THE SUSPENSE!
The Scoobies didn’t know about Bonnie, of course, so they went in for the opportunity none the wiser. Matt made use of his position at the Grill to put vervain in Sage and Finn’s tequila, and this, plus a significant glance from Stefan on his way out the door, sufficed to lure the vamp couple outside. Outside, Sage quickly got the drop on Stefan, taking Stefan out of the fight. But then Elena crossbowed Finn from the doorway, and Matt rushed forward to finish the job with a white oak stake. BOOM. Finn was dead. Go Team Human! Matt Donovan is THE BUSINESS. I mean, what even just happened? So far, we’ve seen an Original kill another Original dead-dead—Klaus killed Mikael—but to think that Matt frakin’ Donovan would be next? It’s all too much for my fangirl heart.
Despite this exciting victory, it was too late. The unlinking spell had already been performed. The rest of the Original siblings remained happy and healthy. Elena found this out when Bonnie called and filled her in, and then we watched Bonnie have her own emotional breakdown. You guys, Bonnie’s life is a nonstop horror show, in which she is continually forced to do vampires’ bidding. That poor witch is always at someone’s beck and call. Sigh. She needs to move. Or get some witch allies.
On the continued importance of bloodlines, wood, and math.
After learning that his plan had failed, Stefan was in a rage at Klaus. This was soon interrupted when Sage and her minion Troy showed up at Casa Salvatore and started knocking heads. Sage was ready to go “all 10 rounds,” but then suddenly … she started collapsing … and so did Troy. They coughed and sputtered and started turning grey, until finally they just … died. It was soon pointed out that this had happened within an hour of Finn’s death, and the wheels started spinning. Caroline: “Maybe Sage was so in love with Finn, she just died of sadness.” Hee. Oh, Caroline. Elena pointed out that doesn’t explain Troy, and Stefan started to realize that this is a bloodline thing. Finn turned Sage, who turned Troy. Ooooh. Elena: “If the Originals die, so do all of you. The entire vampire species would just be dead.” Dun dun dun.
After Stefan runs off to ransom Damon for the price of 8 stakes of white oak (more on that in the next paragraph), Elena and Caroline discussed the bloodline question further. With 8 stakes in the trade, the Scoobies still have enough stakes to kill 3 of the remaining 4 Original siblings … if they can figure out who to spare. Damon, Stefan, and Caroline were all turned by Kat, who was turned by Rose (not that I really want to give her credit, because Kat basically turned herself), but the girls don’t know who turned Rose. Elena hopes that it wasn’t Klaus, so they can still kill Klaus. Caroline soon realized that they have another problem: “Elena, even if Klaus didn’t create our bloodline, we know for a fact that he turned one of us.” Elena: “Oh my god, Tyler! If we kill Klaus, then Tyler will die.” Dun dun dun.
Meanwhile, Stefan showed up at Klaus’s place. Stefan offered 8 white oak stakes in exchange for his brother’s life. Of course, we know that there are 11 stakes left, not 8. Tricksy Stefan. He told Klaus and Rebekah that Finn is dead. Klaus wants to be certain that there aren’t more weapons, so he planned to compel Damon to answer. Of course, he first had to make sure that the vervain was completely out of his system, so he compelled Damon to “go home,” forcing Damon to try to tear his way out of the metal animal traps that are clamped on his wrists. Ewwwww. Hard to watch. Once Klaus was convinced that Damon wasn’t faking it, he asked how many more stakes are out there. Damon was forced to answer truthfully: “11.” Uh oh.
Stefan then claimed that he can get the other three, but Klaus was not impressed: “Yeah, that’d be nice. Or since you lied, maybe I’ll just compel your brother to chew out his tongue.” Stefan snapped: “What is wrong with you?” Klaus: “What is wrong with you?! Do you really have no appreciation for me? I have given you someone to hate, to loathe, a target for all of your anger. So you don’t have to turn it on yourself. I have given your life purpose, as your friend. I really think you should be thanking me.” Oooh. Finally these boys were hashing things out! Stefan went for Klaus, white oak stake in hand—one of the hidden remaining 3. Klaus had numbers on his side, with Rebekah’s help: “Step down, or you both die.” Also, Stefan couldn’t be sure that killing Klaus wouldn’t be suicide. Finally, Klaus took the stake from Stefan. “There, now you only have to get me the other 2.” White oak stake count: Klaus has 9 stakes; Scoobies have 2 stakes.
At this point, Rebekah had had enough. Girl was just trying to have a torture party, and then white oak stakes started getting thrown around. RUDE. “Well this is ridiculous,” she cried. She let Damon down from the creepy animal traps and then made her move: “I brought him here, I get to let him go. My rules now. Bring us the stakes, and you both live. Take your brother as a sign of good faith.” She then walked out with the bag of stakes. Nice. #TeamRebekah Klaus wants the last word, however: “Bring us the stakes—all of them—or I’ll wage a war against everyone you love. I hope I’m being clear.” Um, Klaus, that would be more threatening if it wasn’t what you were already doing for two seasons. Get a new shtick.
Later, Damon went to see Alaric. It seems that Alaric’s stake is one of the remaining 2. However, things got more complicated when Alaric’s stake was found to be missing from its hiding place. Damon demanded to know who else Alaric might have told, but Alaric assured him that no one else knew. Both men came to the realization of what this means. Uh oh. Damon: “Noooo. Are you telling me that your vampire-hating alter ego has a stake that can kill an entire line of vampires—possibly mine?” Alaric: “That’s exactly what I’m telling you.” Dun dun dun. Okay, and I’m not saying this in a mean way (mostly), but that cliffhanger totally made me laugh. Hee. Fun times ahead.
On the importance of family.
A key element of this episode was the juxtaposition of the Original siblings and the Salvatore brothers. When Klaus learns that Finn is dead, he reacts coldly: “Good riddance. He was an embarrassment, Rebekah.” Beks is horrified at this reaction. Klaus: “Fine. Let us all say a prayer for Finn, who slept in a box longer than he lived as a man. He was a lovesick fool. He’s better off in death.” Rebekah can’t help but see her own future in these words: “Is that how you would speak of me, if I died?” Klaus: “Well you let the Salvatores loose with two stakes that can kill us, so I guess we’ll find out soon enough. And since when did you have a soft spot for them?” Rebekah: “The Salvatores may fight like dogs, but at least they know what family is. You destroyed ours.” And there’s the crux. Klaus callously used his brother to get the blood necessary to save his own life, and then didn’t even mourn his death. And that is only the latest cruelty. Stefan and Damon can’t stand each other a good portion of the time, yet when things get tough they are always there to help each other, saving each other’s lives countless times. The Salvatores may be dysfunctional, but they are everything to each other. Klaus is so self-absorbed and blind that he can’t even see the lesson there. He claims: “I wanted a family. They just didn’t want me. And now we’re unlinked. We’re no longer responsible for each other.” Despite living for a thousand years, he sees things so crudely. For Klaus, everything only has meaning in terms of how it makes him feel. He is the height of selfishness. Rebekah asks if he’s leaving. Klaus: “As soon as I get my stakes, I’m gone. I’m gonna take Elena and use her blood to create a new family, of hybrids.” Rebekah: “And if I choose to stay?” Klaus: “Then you’re just as pathetic as Finn.” He stomps out of the room. Rebekah may sometimes be a child, but Klaus is a 1,000 year old baby. Worst brother ever.
Some additional notes …
Finn is quite the strutter. I mean, Klaus has nothing on him. Watching him walk down that street, so happy to be alive … oh, Originals, you do amuse.
Another thing important to mention is the fallout from learning that Alaric killed Caroline’s dad. Elena broke the news to Caroline in the woods, early on in the episode. She also explained about the ring, and the herbs, etc. Caroline: “Is that supposed to make it okay?!?!” Elena: “No, Caroline, it’s not okay. It’s horrible. And I feel horrible about it. But … he’s a victim of something supernatural. He didn’t ask for this. It just happened to him. Just like Bonnie’s mom. Neither did Stefan, or Tyler…” Caroline: “Or me.” Caroline: “Or you. None of you asked for this. But who would I be if I just turned my back on any of you?” Caroline: “Oh, Elena Gilbert. Savior of the cursed and damned.”
Caroline must have been mighty moved by this discussion, as she parrots it back to Alaric in the Salvatore library. The scene was really sad and hard to watch, but I also felt like something was missing. You know? Like it was too easy. After some light pleasantries, the situation devolved into AWKWARD. Alaric sighed and couldn’t look at her. “Caroline, I am so sorry. I don’t even know what else I can say.” Caroline: “Right after I turned into a vampire, I killed someone. A stranger. I just killed him. And what’s worse, I liked it. I have blood on my hands too. We all do.” Alaric: “Yeah, but the blood on my hand is your father’s.” Caroline: “Yeah, it is. And maybe the guy I killed was someone’s father too. [I doubt it, unless it was a teen pregnancy situation.] All I know is that I’m no better than you. So I’m gonna take a page from the Elena Gilbert Handbook and choose to believe that you can be saved. Okay?” Alaric. “Okay.” Hmmm.
Then there was Stefan and Elena’s intense conversation at Casa Salvatore, at the end of the episode. On the plus side, Stefan finally seemed to realize that Klaus isn’t worth it. FINALLY. PROGRESS. He’s a stubborn one. On a less positive note, he finally revealed why he’s been such a grump about Damon lately. While he knows that Elena loves him, he also thinks Elena is in love with Damon. Elena didn’t know how to react this, as she hasn’t yet been able to face her feelings for Damon. Stefan acknowledged his bad behavior (understatement), and his part in this (understatement), but then he basically glossed over that by making a demand: “Hey, I love you. I will always love you. I just want you to look me in the eye and tell me that you don’t feel something for him.” Stefan! Really?!?! There was a long pause, and finally Elena said, “I don’t know what I feel.” If Stefan is going to be mad about this … UGH. I mean, Stefan, look at your life, look at your choices. It’s all too much.
- Damon: “You know what they say: the way to a psycho killer’s heart is through his stomach.” Elena: “They’re not for you.”’
- Alaric: “I have a homicidal alter ego. Unlike some people in this room, I would like to take responsibility for the people I’ve killed.” Damon: “If you wanted to turn yourself in, you wouldn’t be saying it out loud. Just saying.”
- Alaric, upon seeing Damon’s hiding place for the white oak stake: “I mean, did you learn nothing from the moonstone in the soap dish?” Damon: “Why? Where’d you put yours?” (This quote wins all the awards, for obvious reasons.)
- Finn: “He stored us in boxes!” Rebekah: “At least he’s not trying to make us extinct.” Point to Rebekah.
- Caroline: “Why do I always have to be Klaus bait?” Damon: “Because he’s obsessed with you.”
- Matt, after learning about Alaric’s homicidal alter ego: “Mr. Saltzman was like the most normal guy in town.”
- Sage: “You’ve never had tequila before? That’s embarrassing. I’m embarrassed for you.” Finn: “I’m truly awed by the evolution of mankind.”
- Rebekah, to Bonnie: “Oh, leaving so soon?” Klaus: “Sister! Be nice.” Rebekah: “Thank you, Bonnie. See you in Physics class.”
- Klaus: “You’ll have to excuse the mess. Apparently Damon hurt her feelings. [He sees Bonnie’s horrified expression.] Go on, help him. Save the man who turned your mother into a vampire.” Bonnie: “Just get me out of here.” Klaus: “Very well.”