When we left off about a month ago, Damon vamped Bonnie's mom, to save Elena's life, so of course Bonnie is not in this episode. Why develop her as a fully realized character, when she's such a convenient deus ex machina? When something happens to Bonnie, the writers ship her out of Mystic Falls, so they don't have to deal with her. This time, she and Caroline are at Abby's, helping Abby through her transition.
We flash back to 1912, where there's a serial killer on the loose -- I mean other than all the vampires that haunt Mystic Falls on a regular basis. The serial killer seemingly turns out to be Miss Samantha Gilbert, who like her grandfather before her, went crazy. Thank goodness she was also a diarist, so our modern day Mystic Falls residents can piece it all together. Samantha and her grandfather both had the Gilbert protect-o rings. It seems dying and coming back too often messes with a person's head. They lose track of time and eventually go crazy. 1912 is also where we meet vampire Sage (Cassidy Freeman) who, in the course of a brief conversation, persuades Damon to ditch the morose attitude he's had for the past 48 years, just by teaching him the simple pleasure of playing with his food.
It looks like the 2012 serial killer is Alaric, who is wearing one of those protect-o rings today. Of course Jeremy has one too, so maybe he's snuck back into town. There's a lot of Alaric in this episode, but the plot involving him, Meredith, and Sheriff Forbes is so convoluted that I'm just going to save it for the full weecap. Suffice it to say that Elena (thanks to the help of Samantha Gilbert's journal) realizes Alaric might be the killer, just when Meredith and Alaric are coming to that conclusion. Across town at Mossy Manse, Damon and Stefan have the same suspicions.
The best and most important moments in this episode -- are the scenes between Damon and Stefan, and those between Elena and Matt. Damon is trying to help Stefan consume human blood in moderation. He tried once before, back in 1912, but when Stefan ripped off the head of their victim, he got angry at Damon for making him try. Instead of trying to break through to his bro, Damon let him go.
In 2012, Damon again manipulates a jonesing Stefan into feeding. This time, Stefan manages not to kill their victim, but he still gets upset with Damon, because Matt and Elena happen upon them, before Stefan can even wipe the blood off his face. I get upset with Damon because he's been through this before. Couldn't he have started Stefan out on blood bags? Anyhow, back home, the boys eventually have a heart to heart. Damon is determined to help Stefan learn self-control without self-denial, and this time, he won't quit, even if Stefan wants him to. They share a lovely moment where Damon admits that Stefan is all he has.
Similarly, Matt and Elena get some quiet time together. At Matt's request, she explains her feelings for the Salvatore brothers. Stefan made her feel safe, in part, because she knew he wasn't going to die on her (like her parents had). And Damon somehow just snuck up on her, and got under her skin. She can't shake him. When Matt says he doesn't think you ever completely shake off someone you love, he might as well be telling Elena he's still in love with her. She knows it, and asks if he wants her to stop talking about it, but Matt's a Pudding Pop, so he says no, he's fine.
While I am glad that there seems to be consequences to the protect-o rings, on first watch, this episode has some real problems particularly where Meredith and Liz's actions are concerned. The Sage Tutors Damon story is entirely too facile. Rebekah's subplot about finding the Son of the White Oak is also fairly ridiculous. In the end, what saves it, are the tender moments between Matt and Elena, and between Stefan and Damon. They are more than worth the price of admission.
I'll be back with the full weecap, ASAP. In the meantime, please grade the episode up top and join us in the forum, where the freezer is stocked with Pudding Pops.
Welcome back, fang hags. I hope you had a good hiatus. It's been so long since the "All My Children" episode aired, that I feel the need to revisit it before getting into "1912." Specifically, I want to look at the scene in which Meredith shoots Alaric.
From The Vampire Diaries "All My Children," weecap: Alaric is at Meredith's place, letting her care for him. He's got a bump on his noggin and probably a broken rib, so he crashes on her couch. When he wakes, he heads to her kitchen to find some aspirin. Wait. He's putting it his mouth? I thought you were supposed to put aspirin between your knees. Huh. Anyhow, Ric finds a file about him and other files concerning people like dead Bill Forbes and dead Medical Examiner Brian. He also finds the knife that was used in the attacks and he knows that knife! Suddenly, Meredith appears and says, "You weren't supposed to find that." Sheesh, Mere -- then stick in it a drawer or something. She ignores me, takes out a gun and shoots Alaric. I suppose I should have used an exclamation point there, but Alaric has died so many times, I'm numb to it. I'm just hoping that Mere is something supernatural and couldn't parse the screwy ring mythology. Better still, maybe she hit Alaric in the liver. That sucker can take abuse.
Just keep that in mind later, all right? I love the emotions "1912" evokes, but my first impression of the plot was that the writers wrote plot points on spaghetti, threw the spaghetti at the wall and used only those points that stuck. I'm going into this weecap with such a bad attitude. I hope that re-watching the episode will help clear up some of my concerns. You ready? Okay.
Mystic Falls, Night, 1912. Sheriff Gerald Forbes and Mr. Zachariah Salvatore exit the town hall. Forbes offers to get a police car to take Mr. Salvatore home, but Salvatore declines. Forbes is concerned because a member of the Founders Council has recently been murdered. Salvatore pooh-poohs this concern, so, of course, he ends up stabbed to death thirty seconds after bidding Forbes goodnight.
Mystic Falls, Day, Present. Mayor Lockwood is harassing Sheriff Liz Forbes about the serial killer who has murdered two council members and tried to kill Alaric. Liz stands her ground. She's not going to discuss the case with the Mayor until she has more facts. We cut to a jail cell. Alaric wakes up and smacks his head on the Title Card.