You know how I'm always wishing the show would slow down and let moments breathe? Well, "Into the Wild" sure slows down, but it's so exposition heavy that any breathing we get is of the gasping variety. Let's break this down.
Mystic Falls. Tyler goes to Gilbert Gables to taunt the currently mystically imprisoned Klaus, who responds exactly as you would expect. When Caroline arrives, she tries to persuade Tyler to ignore Klaus and help her tidy up the joint. She starts by using one of the Gilberts' tablecloths to cover Kol's festering corpse. Okay, he was burnt to a crisp so there's no festering. I'm just in the mood to say festering corpse. Even though the corpse isn't festering, I think Care Bear owes the Gilberts a new tablecloth.
Watching his crush and his former slave cover up the
festering corpse of his dead brother is too much for the emotional Klaus, who breaks down in tears. Tyler can't wait 'til the rest of the Fellowship returns with the cure so they can dose Klaus. Klaus tries to convince Tyler that if he (Klaus) is made mortal, Tyler will revert to a plain old werewolf and will once again have to transition at every full moon. Tyler thinks Klaus is wrong or lying or both, and suggests that once Klaus has been de-vamped, his bloodline hold over them will be broken, which will allow Tyler to kill Klaus in any number of creative and painful ways.
At some point, Klaus suggests that since he killed Carol and the Fellowship killed Kol, they should just call it even, but that's a no go. Eventually, Klaus stabs Caroline with a nearby thingie (maybe a lamp stand, I disremember), uses it to pull her into his mystical prison. He then bites her. Since he is part werewolf, Klaus's bite is fatal to our fair Vampire Barbie and his blood is the only cure. He orders Tyler to beg for it. Tyler does make a plea for Caroline's life and even promises his fealty, but he's not a convincing beggar. Eventually Caroline tells Tyler to take her home, because she can't even look at Klaus's stupid face anymore. Tyler complies.
With werewolf venom coursing through her veins, Caroline's suffering intensifies. Now I know we have been told that Klaus's blood is the only antidote, but I'm always frustrated that no one has ever tried Tyler's blood (or another werewolf's blood, but Tyler is the obvious candidate) to see if it too would serve. Sure, he's not an Original, but it's worth a shot. Anyhow, Tyler doesn't try. Instead, he asks Caroline to trust him and then returns her to Gilbert Gables.
Laying Caroline at Klaus's feet, Tyler says if Klaus refuses to cure her, then Klaus can watch her die. With that, Tyler leaves. Eventually, Klaus's crush gets the best of him and he cures Caroline, even though that means Tyler "wins." I never doubted for a second that it would play out any other way, so this is a little boring. I'm not sure if saving Caroline is supposed to make Klaus a more palatable suitor for her, but it does no such thing in my eyes. He's the one who bit her!
One Year Ago. Craphole Island, Down East. We watch as Shane runs through the woods and comes to a cliff. He's either being chased or simply followed by a First Nations-looking person, who has a white stripe painted across his nose and white paint (or gloves) on his hands. What is up with that?
What is up with this location shoot, too? I can't prove my disbelief is correct, but for 300 years, my family has bounced between Boston and the Maritimes, so I'm having trouble imagining an island off the Nova Scotia with landscape like that. Okay? The seaside "cliffs" in Nova Scotia are generally made of red clay, because they're just banks, not cliffs. I suppose the 200 miles distance lends plausible landscape deniability, but Show, you are set in Virginia and generally shoot in Georgia. Just make this some imaginary island near to your actual shooting location. It will go much better for my head.
Anyhow, Shane finds the opening to a cave in this cliff and enters it. Inside, he finds cave paintings which are some weird mash-up of Runes and graffiti. This leads him to a deep well. Shane peers into it and we flash forward to...
Today. Craphole Island, Down East. Off by himself, Shane whispers, "Congratulations, we made it." Meanwhile, the gang is unloading their gear from two inflatable motor boats. I know the The Vampire Diaries is still back in 2010 or so, but they did just have a Christmas episode three episodes back. The way time runs on this show, that means that within the story no more than a week or two would have passed. My point is, these characters should be way more bundled up -- at least the human ones. I've got to let this location/season stuff go, don't I? Fine, just don't blame me later when you spy the tree that still has its red leaves.
After the title card, Damon is sharpening a knife when Shane approaches so he asks the shady professor, "Couldn't they have hidden this cure in Hawaii?" I only mention that for the Lost fans, who will never not see Boone when they're looking at Ian Somerhalder on a beach. Elena and Rebekah are at each other's throats. In fact, Elena tries to stake Rebekah with the Perma-Son of White Oak stake, but Rebekah easily fends her off. What makes no sense is that she doesn't confiscate the stake. Soon, Damon and Elena are alone talking about the cure. When Elena asks Damon if he's interested in taking it, he says he doesn't want to speculate.
There's a scene of Bonnie feeling up and photographing Jeremy's tattoo and oh my word, I just realized I'd forgotten this is just the recaplet. Let's concise this up, okay? There is someone -- or some someones -- following the gang. When Jeremy is almost shot with an arrow, his assailant is axed by a player to be named later. When the gang stops for the night at some cabin, Jeremy inexplicably parks himself in a tent. In the North Atlantic. In January. I'll let this go. He is then kidnapped.
Bonnie remains at camp to do a location spell. Shane remains behind to keep Bonnie under control. Damon remains behind to keep an eye on (and torture) Shane. Bonnie's location spell turns into a forest fire. Well, it turns into a trail of fire that should turn into a forest fire, but doesn't. Nobody notices her leaving, because she is still just everyone's tool.
Somewhere in there, we learn that when Shane first visited this island, he dripped his blood into the well, which is a magical well. This gave him a vision of his late wife, Caitlyn. Caitlyn was a powerful, but undisciplined witch. When the Shanes' son Sam (Sam Shane, really?) was killed in a car accident, Caitlyn tried to resurrect him through Expression magic, and ended up dying. In Shane's vision, Caitlyn told him all about Silas, how to resurrect him and that Silas could bring back her and Sam. We also learn there are three sacrifices required to power the Silas resurrection. So far, we've had the Council and the Hybrids. What will be the third? Including Shane and Bonnie, only seven people made the trip from Mystic Falls. Will this sacrifice need twelve victims, as well? Hmm.
Stefan, Rebekah, and Elena do a crappy job of tracking Jeremy. Intent on annoying me, they use none of their super senses or abilities. After bickering with and then having her life saved by Rebekah, Elena leaves the budding lovebirds to search alone and returns to camp. She and Damon have a falling out when he admits he's afraid he'll lose her if she takes the cure and she invites him to be human with her, but he says being human sucks. Eventually, Damon takes off. In the woods, he's confronted by someone who soon snaps our Evil Pixie Monster's neck, but only after Damon realizes his assailant is, like Jeremy, a member of the Brotherhood of the Five.
Bonnie meets up with Jeremy, who is in chains and being led around by the First Nations-looking man, who happens to be Shane's spare witch. Shane meets up with them, too. Isolating Bonnie and the Germ from the pack seems to have all been a part of Shane's plan. Meanwhile, Rebekah and Stefan return to camp. They find Elena there alone and realize that Silas's tombstone is gone. When Rebekah suspects Elena of taking it, Elena swears she didn't. She then hands Rebekah the Perma-Son of White Oak stake, as a peace offering and show of good faith.
I know this recaplet is long, rambling, and doesn't really go anywhere, so that makes it just like the episode, really. I will return with the full recap, in which I hope to make sense of this all, 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 touching Jeremy's tattoo, but only to photograph it.
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This is an odd little episode, so I'm skipping the Previouslies and getting right to it so that I don't distract myself. You ready? Okay. We open...
One Year Ago. Professor Atticus "Shady" Shane runs through the woods of what we'll later learn is a super-secret island, 200 miles off the coast of Nova Scotia. Think of it as Craphole, Down East. In the recaplet, I already remarked on the terrain and weather, so I'm going to try to avoid doing so here unless it frustrates me beyond all belief (which is not inconceivable).
A man is scrambling some ways behind Shane. This man has a white stripe painted across his nose and his hands have been dipped in white. (Or he's wearing gloves, but I think it's paint) He has long dark hair and in this funky lighting the man's skin looks darker than your average Caucasian, so I think he's supposed to be a First Nations person (in Canada, that term is preferred over Native American). I'm deciding he is, unless we learn otherwise. I want to give him a name. I don't want it to be racially icky, but I can't just keep calling him the apparently First Nations man who is some ways behind Shane, so I hereby declare him The White Hand. Please feel free to add an of Saruman if it pleases. I'll just be referring to him as WH.
It's unclear if WH is chasing Shane or merely following him. Caveat lector: despite the exposition overdose, there's a lot that is unclear in this episode. What do you think of Flashback Shane's hair? I've read comments from people who prefer it, but to me, it looks like he took the trouble to get a blow out before taking a motorized inflatable boat to an imaginary, desolate, geographically and climatically improbable island. Considering how crazy Shane is, I find that quite believable and certainly easier to swallow than things to come.
Shane makes it out of the forest and to the foot of a cliff, where he finds the opening to a cave. Inside, there's writing on the wall that -- ugh, can I just interrupt to say how much I hate the me who wrote the recaplet? This episode was hard to sum up, so when I began the recaplet, I started out by including as much detail as I might in a recap. Now I'm in a bind. I don't want to leave things out in case you didn't read the recaplet, but I don't want to repeat myself for those of you who did. Bear with me, because after Damon's "Hawaii" question it will be a lot fresher in here. Anyhow, there is writing on the cave walls. Some of it is modern. I can make out John Moredock and HELP ME, as well as Carter and then something that I believe is Runic for Kilroy was here. Shane rubs his hands on the etchings, then proceeds to the edge of a seemingly bottomless hole in the ground, which is clearly symbolic of this season's mythology mess. As Shady Shane shines his light down into it, we flash forward to the...