On the way to her car, Elena has to lie to our Pudding Pop, Matt, that she doesn't know where Vicki is, and that the blood on her costume is fake. Matt wonders if he's in for a lifetime of worry about Vicki. Elena just mumbles that he's a good brother. He says, "Maybe she just went home." Elena fights back the tears as she says, "Maybe." Awww. Be cool, Pudding Pop. You're not going to have to worry about Vicki anymore. Once he's gone, Elena gets in her car, cries, beats up her steering wheel, which seems an innocent bystander, if you ask me, and...Commercial!
Gilbert Gables: Stefan is standing watch when Elena arrives. When he tells her Jeremy is in the house, she leaves him on the porch. Inside she tries to suss out what Jeremy understands about the night's events. "I mean, I know what I saw, but I don't understand." Elena says, "She was going to kill me." Germ replies, "Now she's dead. Vicki's dead." And then later, "Why does everybody have to die on me?" As he sobs all Elena can do is hold him.
Sanders Bohlke's beautifully mournful "The Weight of Us," plays as Stefan sits on the Gilbert porch in deep contemplation. We cut to the Donovan Domicile, where Matt returns to a dark, empty house. Back at Gilbert Gables, Elena comes out to the porch with a blanket wrapped around her like a shawl, or maybe it's just a shawl. Whatever, Elena, I don't think it's going to be sufficient enough to cover the smell of your blood. Stefan explains that he wanted to help Vicki. "But instead, uh..." He nods towards the house and asks after Jeremy. Elena tells him Germ is a mess. "I don't want him going through this again. He's just a kid." When Stefan offers to help in any way, Elena asks him to make Jeremy forget. "I don't know how he'll ever get past this. I just want him to forget everything that happened." Stefan explains that his abilities are lesser because of how he lives. Damon appears from the shadows. "I can do it." He crosses the porch and adds, "If that's what you want. I'll do it." Elena's lip curls at the sight of him. She turns to Stefan and says, "It's what I want." He nods at her, so Damon asks, "What do you want him to know?" Elena looks at Damon long and hard. "I want you to tell him...that Vicki left town and she's not coming back -- that he shouldn't look for her or worry about her. He's going to miss her, but he knows it's for the best." Damon nods grimly and heads off inside. AND ELENA AND STEFAN DON'T FOLLOW HIM! I MEAN, REALLY! And where the hell is Jenna? Sheesh.
After Damon has gone (INSIDE THE HOUSE) Elena says that part of her wishes she could forget meeting Stefan and that he's a vampire, and everything that's happened since. Stefan says, "If that's what you want." Elena says, "Yes, it is, because I don't want it to be like this. I don't wanna feel like this. But I can't. With everything that's happened, I can't lose the way I feel about you." We'll check back in with her when Damon eventually shows her Katherine's picture. Speaking of Damon, before Stefan fails at mourning and breaks into a shit-eating grin, Damon comes back out and tells the maybe-sort-of-a-couple, "It's done." Elena retreats inside, leaving our two beautiful brothers on her front porch, just looking at each other and we fade to black.
What a solid episode. I only gave this one a B, because I'm going to be grading this show a little harder from now on. It's more substantial than I expected it to be, so no more fluffy grades. Specifically, it got a "B" for two major things: first of all, I think Jeremy should have killed Vicki. It seemed like he was supposed to and in fact I had to watch the scene a couple of times to be sure Stefan not only removed the stake from Vicki, but put it in her in the first place. It didn't make emotional sense to me, you know? Later, when I found out from Michael Ausiello that the scene was originally shot and written with Jeremy doing the dirty deed, I sighed for what could have been. I get why the change was made. Stefan needs to be a hero in this story, and that was a heroic act (that took special knowledge -- but hey, everyone knows you stake a vampire through the heart -- they just don't know there are vampires). But moreover, killing Vicki is a tragic act. Vicki wasn't a villain, so much as a victim. I wish they'd left things as they were. I'm sure Stefan will have plenty of opportunities to be heroic. He's the romantic lead. And I assume that eventually, Jeremy's brainwashing will wear off for one reason or another, and it would be powerful to watch him come to terms with the fact that he had to kill his lover to save his sister.
Secondly, the episode gets a B for having Stefan and Elena sit by WHILE DAMON WENT IN THE HOUSE TO BRAINWASH JEREMY! Are you kidding me, Show? Elena didn't even want Vicki near Jeremy. She has nothing but contempt for Damon right now. She has no reason to trust him. Stefan knows better than to trust him. Damon going in to do the deed alone -- it just didn't ring true. I understand they needed a moment alone for Elena's emotional revelation to Stefan, but I would have liked to see it work differently -- in a way that was more in character for both Elena and Stefan. I don't know whether or not I trust Damon in this particular instance. He seemed remarkably whimsy-free at the end of the night, and I think he was fond of Vicki in some sick way. Still, I hope he was a little naughty when he hypnotized Jeremy -- just because Stefan and Elena deserve it for being so careless. Bitching aside, this show is really hitting its stride. It always holds my interest, and manages to be scary, dramatic, romantic and funny sometimes, too. I'm going to miss Kayla Ewell. I've loved her since she played Maureen on Freaks and Geeks. It was right and brave of them to kill her off -- right, because where else could the character go? Brave, because Ewell has more of an edge on screen than the other women on the show, and that's going to be hard to replace.
I'll see you at the end of the week for "162 Candles" -- in which Elena tries to avoid Stefan, which is probably just as well, because he has company. In the meantime, come on over to the forums and let us know what you think.
Cindy needs to step away from the Halloween candy. You can keep her busy by emailing her at CynthiaMcLennan[at]gmail.com or following her on Twitter.