Caveat lector: This is part recaplet and part reaction, because all I can really think is Katherine and Elijah. Katherine and Elijah. Katherine and Elijah. Are you with me? Okay!
In Mystic Falls, Klaus spends the hour with his shirt off, moaning and whinging about the Perma Son of White Oak stake tip that isn't even stuck in his back anyhow. That's right. Silas messed with Klaus's mind last week, which I love (and the camera messed with ours, which I don't). He simply compelled Klaus into thinking he was in mortal (immortal?) danger. Silas is Klaus's first visitor, but he's wearing his prettiest Caroline costume to mess with the mind of the former menace of Mystic Falls because even Silas, our new supposedly scarier villain, wants the frigging Bore.
Eventually, real Caroline comes over, and because this is Season Gore, she digs around in Klaus's back but can't find the stake tip. I must be growing immune to the gore because now I want steak tips. Eventually, Caroline gets a clue and realizes that since she has some leverage over Klaus, she should make him promise that Tyler can both return home and live.
Contrary to the Kübler-Ross model, bargaining begets anger. Klaus is still furious that Tyler tried to kill him. Caroline lays some hard truths on Klaus, including a beginner's guide to trust. She also reminds him they've all tried to kill each other. It's time to get the hell over it. For some reason, my mind turns to the Seinfeld finale. Remember during that trial, the audience was basically told that these people with whom we'd laughed and
cried laughed for nine seasons were unlikable, irredeemable ass chapeaux? I don't think Plec and company necessarily want me to transfer that lesson to their characters, but now that I've thought it, I can't unthink it, and thus, I share it with you. The lesson will come in handy by the end of this recaplet.
At any rate, once Klaus gets angry enough, he realizes the
steak stake tip isn't even in him. Silas just compelled him to think so. Caroline is more than a little wigged that Silas is powerful enough to manipulate even Satan Klaus. Personally, I think this is Bonnie's get out of jail free card, for being foolhardy enough to indulge Professor Shane and weak enough to let Shane and Silas control her mind, and I feel a little manipulated myself because it's working on me.
As Caroline leaves Klaus Haus, she tells him not to bother her again because she has important things to do -- like plan a prom. Klaus turns on his impish smile and asks if they're now friends. Caroline again pleads for Tyler's safe return. Klaus doesn't exactly capitulate, but he does point out that he's hardly been scouring the earth for Pudding Pup.
Meanwhile, Elena and Rebekah arrive in Whatever, Pennsylvania. At one point, someone (probably Damon, I disremember) refers to the town as the state's Creamed Corn Capital, which would totally give me Smallville flashbacks, had I ever watched Smallville, but it was only on ten seasons; I never got the chance. And no, since I never watched Smallville, I have no idea how Smallville trivia has infiltrated my brain. I mean, I somehow even know Smallville is set in Kansas, not Pennsylvania. Let's just blame fandom and move on.
Katherine has compelled everyone in the entire town to forget her, except for when she's directly addressing them. For once, being the Petrova Doppelgänger works in Elena's favor. She and Rebekah happen upon a woman, who will later prove to be quite useful. If we were given her name, I can't remember it, so let's call her Marie Curie, and get some information about Kiki.
Eventually, Katherine meets up with the new BFFs. When she tries to get rough with Elena, Rebekah shuts that right down. They retreat to a coffee shop, where they demand Katherine hand over the Bore. When Katherine refuses, Rebekah pins her to the table by sticking a fork through her hand. Snooping through Katherine's cell phone, she finds that Katherine has a meeting scheduled with an EM. Thanks to Rebekah's powers of persuasion (i.e. violence), Katherine gives up the meeting location, and her jacket, shoes, etc. so that Elena can fool this EM.
I'm not even going to pretend EM isn't Elijah Mikaelsson because he totally is. He seems taken in by Elena-as-Katherine, at first, but by the time he kisses her, and possibly before that, when she lays her hand on his chest, he realizes with whom he is dealing. I only wish the smooch had been a little hotter. Damn, Elena, if Elijah kisses don't fire up your humanity, what will? I actually have a theory about restoring her humanity, but I'll save that for the recap. Anyhow, before Elena realizes Elijah is onto her, there's some dissembling about the Bore, but who wants to talk about that, when Elijah is on our screens?
Thanks to some off-screen assistance from Sheriff Forbes, Stefan and Damon find Damon's car where the girls abandoned it when it ran out of gas (really?), and also find the car they subsequently stole to get to Whatever, Pennsylvania. They find Katherine and Rebekah at the coffee shop, and in a delightfully funny scene, the boys and Rebekah are completely grossed out when they learn Katherine is sleeping with Elijah. Stefan calls Elijah, who is quite worried the Beckster will kill his lovah once she's of no further use. Oh, Elijah. I don't want Kiki dead, either, but please stop being in love with her.
Elena agrees with me, and tries to help Elijah see he's being used, which of course prompts him to talk about Elena's trademark compassion (ptui, I shall speak of it no more) and how it seems to have gone missing. They reminisce about that lovely letter Elijah wrote to Elena, then Elena says coldly that she let it burn up when she burned down her house to cover up the death of her baby brother.Elijah had no idea either that Jeremy was dead, or that Katherine is the one who effectively killed him. He's quite stricken, both on Elena's behalf, and by the fact that his lover remains so unlovable. Elena tells him he's just like the Salvatores. They're all in love with girls who no longer exist.
Katherine thrills the audience by giving Elena a broken neck nap, burning Damon's pretty face in a fish tank full of vervain water and passing off a fake cure to Rebekah. She has the real cure stashed at Marie Curie's house. When she retrieves it, she surprises the hell out of everyone by handing it (or perhaps a reasonable facsimile) over to Elijah. She says she wants him to trust her, the way she trusts him. Don't do it, Elijah. Don't!
When Rebekah meets up with Elijah, she says she thought he was the smart brother, so he quickly sets her straight that she doesn't have one of those; he's as stupid as the rest. Klaus calls Rebekah to check on her Bore progress. She explains she ran into some complications, and says she's handing off the phone to one of them. Klaus is happy to talk to big brother, who assures Klaus he'll bring the cure to Mystic Falls, provided some conditions are met.
By episode's end, Elena meets up with the Salvatores in the same coffee shop. She explains to them that she has no desire to be cured. She insists they accept her for who she is and respect her decision. If they don't, there will be consequences. The boys, who earlier had already come to an agreement that Humanity-Free Elena is a stone cold bitch, ignore her warning. Stefan reminds her that even at his lowest, she never gave up on him. He's bound and determined to return the favor. The problem is, Elena is bound and determined to make good on her guarantee of consequences, so she snaps the waitress's neck and tells the boys if they don't stop trying to control her, there will be more blood on their hands.
I'm so thrilled by seeing Katherine and Elijah that I can't think straight, but I do want to make one point. Remember how I earlier mentioned the Seinfeld finale? Right now, everyone is unlikable and irredeemable. But if you look hard at what they all have done, Elena (arguably the least likable, currently) has only killed one person (Connor was self-defense and I won't count it against her). Caroline just slaughtered 12 witches, and Bonnie is partly to blame for that. The Originals have a bloody thousand year history. Stefan and Damon are no saints. All the current supernatural players have higher kill counts than Elena. And frankly, Elena wouldn't be killing people, had Damon not invoked the sire bond and ordered her to turn off her humanity, and if everyone wasn't trying to run her unlife. The show is having its cake and eating it too, and with some finesse. While any random audience member might decide that Elena's murder of the waitress is unforgivable, Elena doesn't hang out with the audience. Her friends, foes and those in between, all know they've done worse, so they have plenty of reasons to forgive her, once she's regained her humanity (either by turning it on, or thanks to the cure -- I'm betting on the former).
"American Gothic" is exactly the oasis this parched fan needed. It is funny, surprising, suspenseful, and emotionally and otherwise satisfying. From a recapper's perspective, the prospect of a mini-hiatus doesn't hurt, either. I'll be back with the full recap ASAP. In the meantime, please grade the episode at the top of the page and then come on over to the forum, where we're throwing a welcome back party for Kiki and EM.
Previously on The Vampire Diaries, Elena cried. Many people died.
Currently, on The Vampire Diaries, Elena and Rebekah have been to three towns in 24 hours, and yet there's no sign of Katherine. They're no longer in Damon's baby blue convertible. What's up with that? I suspect it's a product placement for this new car, but I don't recognize the brand so I think that means I win. Tired, hungry and aggravated by both pop radio and the sound of Rebekah's voice, Elena pulls into Willoughby, Pennsylvania. Since Willoughby isn't on Damon's list of Katherine's possible nests, Rebekah rags on Elena and, by proxy, Damon.
The temporary BFFs bicker, but Elena doesn't let that keep her from her next meal. She approaches a young woman, whose name we never learn, so I'll just call her Marie Curie. Elena grabs the woman, and lunges for her neck. It's bad enough when your food talks back to you after you've eaten, but Elena's dinner is mouthing off even before the first drop. "Katherine, what are you doing?" Elena is surprised. "You know me?" Marie Curie says, "Of course. I know most people around here prefer you to feed from the neck, but I asked you to drink from my wrist. Remember?" When Marie Curie holds out her arm, telltale fang marks prove she's a regular entree. To Elena, Rebekah says, "Conniving little bitch compelled the whole town." Elena is pleased. "I think we just found Katherine." Title card. When Becky asks questions about Katherine, Marie Curie has no idea who or what she's talking about. When Elena asks, Marie can usually answer. Rebekah breaks it down for us: "She compelled people to forget all about her, unless she was talking to them herself. Clever girl." When Elena asks how long they've known each other, and where she lives and works, Marie Curie says she doesn't know. She does know "Katherine" said they could all be friends with her, provided they kept her secret. Elena's eyes narrow. "What secret?" Marie Curie stammers out an, "I--I don't know." We cut to the...
Highway. Damon and Stefan find Damon's car, abandoned and out of gas. Bicker. Oh, sidebar...
So, I have a bad back, as you all know. Well, this week, I also seem to have carpal tunnel issues. They started when I sitting in a weird (yet back soothing) position on the couch, with my laptop on my lap. My wrists were at a bad angle. My right wrist is a team player. My left wrist is the Princess who slept upon the pea. Meanwhile, my husband is having back spasms so bad, he can barely walk. We have three kids and a dog. It's school conference time (for the kids, not the dog), and so it goes. I mention all of this so that when you read a sentence from me that simply says, "Bicker," it's because I wrote the word bicker in my notes, but the bickering parties are among the usual suspects. You don't need me to tell you what they're bickering about. In fact, you're probably hoping to forget their bickering. So? There.